Film Review: Spectre

Posted on by 5WC in Film

Bond is back, and so are Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes. Looking to follow up the phenomenal success they had together on Skyfall; Spectre, the 24th instalment in the Bond franchise, has always been stuck slightly in predecessor’s shadow with a weight of expectation to deliver upon its shoulders far greater than it really deserved. In fact, it’s fair to say that aside from Star Wars: The Force Awakens no other movie this year has been waited for with such anticipation, and I’ll admit, I am one of those piling on the pressure to deliver, after all, I named it in my 10 movies of 2015 I couldn’t wait to see.

Sadly though for me, it just doesn’t deliver. It’s not a bad film, it’s purely a case that there are more negatives than positives to come from it. My biggest complaint against it is that nothing really makes sense. The plot appears to be individualistic yet formulaic. This is the story of Daniel Craig as Bond and so, all too often, it’s trying to tie up ideas and clarify characters from any one of his previous three outings into a story that is meant to come together and complete the tale. It’s a back to the future plot. A completing of the circle. Read more

Book Review: Solo By William Boyd

Posted on by 5WC in Book
Solo By William Boyd - Header

I really don’t know whether to call myself a huge James Bond fan or not. You’ll be able to see from my blog that I’ve watched all 23 films and currently wait the 24th with anticipation. I also rowed many, many anorexic miles listening to the books of Ian Fleming narrated by a variety of different stars and I’ve even read Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks. Yet I’m not instantly drawn to the character and his stories. I’m interested in them more through celebrity and routine than passion and love.

William Boyd’s attempt at a writing a new James Bond novel has been hailed by many to be a close and fitting tribute to the style and ideas designed by Fleming. And it was also the fourth book recommended to me by my Father on his list of “books I should read”. Everything adding together to bring back to life a character that I enjoy spending time with in a style the fits the mental imagery I already hold. So it’s fair to say that I was actually looking forward to reading it. Read more

Film Review: Quantum Of Solace

Posted on by 5WC in Film

And so, the end is near. I can now officially say that I am part of a very nonexclusive club of people who have watched every Bond film. I’ve shared 23 missions with Britain’s best loved spy. And while we’ve had some impressive ups, some seriously low lows and a lot of filler in between, the friendship is strong and continuing.

Annoyingly though, our time for now is drawing to a close with Quantum of Solace. The last film in the “50 years of Bond” box set and therefore, until the 24th and as yet untitled film hit’s cinema’s in November 2015 is likely to be my lasting remembrance of Bond as Skyfall, arguably his and Craig’s finest outing, being a cinema treat rather than a home DVD experience.
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Film Review: Casino Royale

Posted on by 5WC in Film

In my view Casino Royale is arguably the most important James Bond film there has ever been. This really is the live or die moment for the franchise. The Pierce Brosnan era had sunk the franchise lower and lower. It struggled to let go of the past and through Brosnan’s uncomfortable miscasting and the even worse judgement in attempting to continue “Q Branch” with John Cleese had created a scenario where by the writing was seriously close to the wall.

And then along came one man, holding firmly in his grasp the nails and hammer to Bonds coffin. And before you jump to conclusions I am not talking about Daniel Craig. I am in fact, talking about Paul Greengrass. He was the man who took Doug Liman‘s massively successful The Bourne Identity and turned Jason Bourne into the spy to which you now had to complete. Essentially Liman raised the bar on the spy genre and then Paul Greengrass set it in stone and said this is 21st Century spying.
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Film Review: GoldenEye

Posted on by 5WC in Film

As quickly as things improved Timothy Dalton departed and in walked Pierce Brosnan, and sadly, Timothy forgot to hand back the blueprints for how to make a good Bond film. The opening title sequence to Brosnan’s reign, as he bungee jumps down the Dam before breaking into the Russian base just sum up exactly what type of Bond he plans to bring to the screen and sadly, it’s going right back to the bad old days.

It’s such a shame though because at the time, Brosnan was arguably one of the most realistic looking actors to play Bond. He looks like a soldier: he looks trained and he looks right. But then he throws this perfect fit away by channeling his inner Roger. The stunts become over the top, the one liners and stupidity become too much, and by the time the ubiquitous naked girl appears to usher in the opening titles everything has been ramped way beyond even 11 that you really question how they thought anyone would buy this. It’s just too unbelievable to be true.
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Film Review: Licence To Kill

Posted on by 5WC in Film

Bond goes rogue and I absolutely love it. Timothy Dalton has completely destroyed any effects Roger Moore has had on my love for James Bond. He’s essentially done what Daniel Craig was Lorded for doing and revitalized Bond in stunning fashion. It’s just beyond a crying shame that as quickly as he appeared and we’re parting ways because, for me, until Daniel Crag arrives, Timothy Dalton is James Bond!

Licence To Kill sees Bond turn rogue to capture a Cuban drug dealer and avenge the attack on his friend Felix Leiter. It should be pointed out at this point that to start with it’s the first Bond film not to take its title from an Ian Flemming novel, but instead, and almost bizzarely, borrows source material from its plot from a number of short stories and most noticeably the 2nd Bond novel “Live and Let Die”. This meant that when the film started I actually got slightly confused. I sat there watching the action unfold thinking “I know all of this – I’ve read this book, but if I’ve read the book why didn’t I watch the film” which was annoying because it was an unwarranted distraction to the movie.
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Film Review: A View To A Kill

Posted on by 5WC in Film

And now, the end is near and I can’t say that I’m overly disappointed as my love hate relationship with Roger Moore as James Bond, 007 draws to a close. As relationships go it’s had its moments, you just have to look back at my reviews of The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy to see just how much I find Roger Moore an unconvincing British Spy but as our time comes to an end it’s almost with a tint of sadness that we part, because, however much I dislike the type of Bond Moore created, he has for the last month been, “Bond”.

And so it’s to our final outing – A View To A Kill.

It wasn’t a Bond film I knew anything about before I stuck the disc into the player and settled in for the evening. What I found was a Bond film that I actually enjoyed. It’s strange I am fast beginning to realise that when Bond rolls out a “paint by numbers” style film, that’s formulaic with the plot walking easily from point to point, while Bond beds every girl he passes and dodges every bullet fired at him, I switch off and spend more time thinking about tomorrow night’s dinner than the action on the screen. However, paint outside the lines, throw in a mad villain, spend some time beating up Bond and make him weaker in comparison to those he’s coming up against and suddenly I become engrossed – I start to enjoy it. And thankfully, A View To A Kill follows the later rules.
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Film Review: Octopussy

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I am really starting to dislike the whole Roger Moore as James Bond “era” and sadly, part of me is longing for the day when Rog’ retires and I get to rejuvenate my interest in 007. The problem is that right now, I’m almost becoming bored with the franchise. It’s just too hit and miss as to whether you’re actually going to be entertained by the “latest” film and annoyingly, I am stuck with this sense that firstly: Roger Moore is fast becoming less and less convincing as a British secret service spy. Not only does he seem to be capable of performing any task: better than anyone else, at any time, but he also has an encyclopaedic knowledge of everything, and an amazing ability to dodge bullets, knives, bowler hats at any distance you care to think up.

Forget Neo being “The One” Morpheus should be looking for Roger Moore!
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