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: Quiz Show

Posted on by 5WC in Film

It should really be a surprise that a magazine about movies produced by a national cinema chain should be a good source for filming films that have somehow managed to pass me by but once again, Vue Cinema’s monthly free magazine has come up trumps. Having introduced me to Bringing Out The Dead at the start of January, this time around it’s welcomed into my life Quiz Show. A mid-nineties film from Robert Redford about the Quiz Show Scandals that rocked America in the 1950s as the nation became obsessed with television.

Going into Quiz Show I know absolutely nothing about it, I didn’t realise that it was actually based on true events and a real life scandal. I didn’t even watch the trailer. I simply looked at the critics rating on Metacritic, and combined with the review in the Vue Magazine (and a low price tag) pushed buy.
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Film Review: The Living Daylights

Posted on by 5WC in Film

The King is dead long live the King, and so for the second night in a row I settled down to watch James Bond save the world again. However, this time is wasn’t with the over the top suave and womanising of Roger Moore that I waved goodbye to with A View To A Kill but rather, the introduction and start of Timothy Dalton bringing a new tone and style to Britain’s most famous spy.

I have never seen Timothy Dalton as Bond before and so, everything was new, unfamiliar and for a while almost too much. I think it’s a case that where as normally you would have a decent break between Bond films, I’ve seen 5 in 2014 already and as stated, two in two days. I’ve become used to a face, a voice and however much I dislike it, a style to the character that was suddenly gone. Suddenly, I’m having to relearn and reappraise who Bond is and how he acts, and most noticeably how he sounds.
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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: The Monuments Men

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I was worried going into The Monuments Men, partly because having seen the trailer I wasn’t 100% sold on it as a film as a concept and cast, and secondly I had the overriding sense that I was going to be in for 2 hours of slapstick silliness and over the top one liners. It essentially struck me as nothing more than a Ocean’s 11 “the OAP” years, but with a plot based on loosely on real life events.

However, what I got was completely different. The film has problems, but I got an nostalgic reminiscence of M*A*S*H and it’s ability to take a serious subject, layout it out in simplistic terms but carry enough edge to hammer home it’s point and then lace it with just the right amount of humor. If Hawkeye and Trapper John were gracing our TV screens today this is how I’d expect they’d do it. Thankfully though, they are not, because while I got a sense of M*A*S*H this certainly is not M*A*S*H; it wants to be M*A*S*H. but sadly it’s fallen quite a long way short. It’s missing that sense of despair, that sense of dirt, it’s missing the destruction of war. War is matte, The Monuments Men is full on gloss.
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Film Review: Red Dragon

Posted on by 5WC in Film

So for one final time I sat down for a evening in the company of Hannibal Lecter. I must start by admitting that normally I wouldn’t have bothered with Red Dragon. I only have it to watch because the Hannibal Lecter Trilogy box set was better value for money than buying Silence of the Lambs on its own. One of those supermarket type specials: per unit the deal is better but actually you spend money on items you don’t really want or need. But hey, it’s was more films to watch, and as a trilogy makes arguable sense.

However, it’s a strange trilogy because it essentially goes in the wrong order. The books by Thomas Harris on which everything is based are ordered: Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and yet the filmed Red Dragon not first, but rather last. And as a result, you end up with a collection of movies that feel out of place. I think the problem is that I’m not sure it was ever really intended to be a trilogy. I get the sense that the success of Silence of the Lambs and the divisive response to the release of the Hannibal novel drove the production of the second film; but as it was so poor they made the third to attempt to bring life back to the Hannibal Lecter franchise.
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BAFTA Awards 2014

Posted on by 5WC in Film, Opinion

BAFTA 2014 - Header

While I was tucking into a slightly unfulfilling offering of Ray, the glitz and glamour of the film world was taking over the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, for the 2014 British Academy Film Awards. And while the blog is essentially about anything and everything, right now at the start of 2014 it does appear to be rather film heavy. So it makes sense to me, to pass judge on the winners and losers and give my thoughts on who won wot!

So without further ado:
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Film Review: Ray

Posted on by 5WC in Film

Ray is one of those films that I have had sat on the shelf, gathering dust, for a long, long time. I’ve always heard people speak very highly of it as a film, after all Jamie Foxx cleaned up the 2005 awards season and the film picked up nominations left, right and centre in a vast array of categories and as a result, I think subconsciously, Ray had become a “keep for a special day/watch the rubbish first” type film and as we all know, tomorrow never comes.

I also can’t help but think that an equally hefty factor in why it’s taken me so long to watch to the point I have been almost avoiding Ray is the running length – it’s over two and a half hours long – and as recently, I haven’t felt overly inclined to have a late night, finding the time of an evening to watch Ray post mundane tasks like cooking, eating and washing up has proved rather tricky. However, having cleared my Sky+ box for a lot of the “need to watch soon” recordings and without anything on the television of note, everything just seemed to be lining up and falling into place.
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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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Film Review: Ocean’s 13

Posted on by 5WC in Film

After the disappointment of Ocean’s 12 it was with slight trepidation that I thought I’d finish off Ocean’s trilogy and indulge in another round of Danny, Rusty, Linus and friends plotting to part somebody with something rather expensive. This time in the name of revenge.

Thankfully though, they appear to have learnt from past mistakes and essentially gone back to basics. Which for me, is both a blessing and a curse. Rather than continue on with the standard “we’re making a sequel… let’s send them on holiday!” Hollywood cliché that Ocean’s 12 fell head first into, the gang are back in Vegas and thankfully, only after one man and one “play”. The problem is, what’ve they done is nothing more than essentially replay the script and plot from the first movie.
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