Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Unused literary Bond scenes that need filming, Part 002



A couple of months ago, I told you about how I teamed up with the Artistic Licence Renewed site to discuss our favorite scenes from the Bond novels that haven't yet shown up in the movies. Then I totally forgot to mention when the second half of that article came out. So go read that!

Jump Tomorrow, Happy Idiot



When I posted my White Elephant Blogathon review of Jump Tomorrow, I had no idea that Tunde Adebimpe (the lead in that movie) is also the lead vocalist for TV on the Radio, which makes me like that band even more. The Speed Racer-inspired video for "Happy Idiot" is almost as awesome as the song itself. Enjoy!

Monday, June 29, 2015

What's your favorite comics character makeover?



Which comics characters do you like one of their later looks better than their initial look?

A bunch of comics readers (including me) answered that question on the Comics Reporter site a while back. Curious to know what you think.

The Yellow Nineties [Guest Post]

By GW Thomas

I'm loving the second season of Penny Dreadful, which is set in that glorious decade known as "The Yellow Nineties." I doubt many horror fans understand the significance of the color yellow in turn-of-the-century horror. We've all heard of The King in Yellow because Lovecraft praises Robert W Chambers as: "very genuine, though not without the typical mannered extravagance of the eighteen-nineties." We also know HPL appreciated Arthur Machen: "Of living creators of cosmic fear raised to its most artistic pitch, few if any can hope to equal." He even points out Oscar Wilde's masterpiece: "Oscar Wilde may likewise be given a place amongst weird writers, both for certain of his exquisite fairy tales, and for his vivid Picture of Dorian Gray." So what happened in the 1890s that was so important? And why yellow?

To understand this you have to know that the Victorian world was crumbling, slowly, but surely. Technology like the rail system gave us the need for magazines, something to read on the train, but it also opened many doors that the Victorians feared. Doors like women's rights, workers' rights, looser sexual practices, more foreigners in England as trade expanded, and new ideas around aesthetics. Technology and commerce came from Germany and America, while artistic and sexual ideas came from France. Here's where the yellow comes in.

French novels of an explicit nature were sold in yellow wrappers, the color version of the letters XXX today. Vincent van Gogh painted a still life called "Parisian Novels" displaying a pile of yellow-covered books. This should not be surprising, for Impressionism in painting, like Naturalism in writing, were the enemies of Victorian bourgeois Romanticism. These radical approaches, along with the Pessimism of Oscar Wilde and the Fin-de-Siecle school (whose ideals included perversity, artificially, egotism, and curiosity) under Aubrey Beardsley, also attacked traditional forms, but from different angles. The Old School was under attack on many fronts and the banner of the enemy was yellow.

The men who led the charge in England along with Beardsley were American editor Henry Harland and John Lane, co-founder of the Bodley Head publishing house. Together they created The Yellow Book, a magazine of supposed illicit nature that has a reputation that is much bigger than its actual contents. The publication ran from April 1894 to April 1897 (the complete run is in PDF). Beardsley was "let go" partway through the run,but the contents are pretty uniform despite this. John Lane was willing to exploit the title's supposed evil reputation to sell copies, but he never really allowed Beardsley to go wild. Lane had to peruse every Bearsdley illustration for hidden naughtiness. The artist defied his critics (especially in Punch) by publishing three images in the third issue, two under pseudonyms. The critics attacked the drawing with his name on it, but praised the other two.

So where does horror come in? The Yellow Book published no great amount of horror stories, though it did publish works by authors who have written in the genre, such as Henry James, AC Benson, HB Marriott Watson, R Murray Gilchrist, John Buchan, Vernon Lee, WB Yeats, as well as fantasy writers E Nesbit, Max Beerbohm, Richard Garnett, and Kenneth Grahame. Perhaps the most strongly identified was Oscar Wilde, who never appeared in the magazine at all. Wilde had published his horror/art thesis, The Picture of Dorian Gray five years earlier. At his trial in 1895, he appeared in court holding a yellow book and many thought it was the magazine of that name. But it was actually a French novel. He was released in 1897 before becoming an exile on the Continent, living under the name "Sebastian Melmoth," after the Gothic character.

1895 was a most important year for horror. John Lane published Arthur Machen's "The Great God Pan," which was both a high-water mark for horror fiction as well as a mini-sensation when critics tore at it for its sexual content. It established Machen, but also tied him to the "Yellow Nineties." In America, in the same year, Robert W Chambers published The King in Yellow, a collection of weird stories and sketches from his travels to Paris. One story in particular resonated with horror fans, "The Yellow Sign" (there's that color again!) and would inspire HPL in creating his Cthulhu Mythos. The King in Yellow is supposedly a play that shows up in the different stories. The play is so terrifying and bizarre that it drives readers mad. Can there be much doubt that The Yellow Book played some part in Chambers' creation?

The tempests of the 1890s passed along with much of the Victorian Age as the Boer War, then World War I, smashed expected norms to pieces. The Jazz Age found HP Lovecraft and his friends writing horror tales for amateur magazines, and just a little later, for the pulps. The Cthulhu Mythos acquired the classics of the past from these Yellow Nineties authors along with others like Algernon Blackwood, HG Wells, and Lord Dunsany. HPL gave us the yellow-wrapped priests of Leng as well as the terrible book filled with cursed knowledge. I should think, if credit was due, The Necronomicon would come in a yellow wrapper.

GW Thomas has appeared in over 400 different books, magazines and ezines including The Writer, Writer's Digest, Black October Magazine and Contact. His website is gwthomas.org. He is editor of Dark Worlds magazine.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

7 Days in May | Inside Out



Didn't get a lot in this past week, but I did go see Inside Out. Although I have to admit that I wasn't excited about it after that trailer with the dinner table scene.



Ninety minutes of stereotyped dialogue between emotions didn't interest me. But enough people raved about it that I decided to give it a look. I'm usually not as crazy over Pixar films as a lot of my friends are, so I kept my expectations low, but I also understood that maybe that was just a lousy trailer that focused too much on one, out-of-context scene. And yep, that's the case.

Inside Out is wonderful. I don't want to have to rank my favorite Pixar films, but it's as great as anything they've done. It's not only funny and has a lot of heart, it's also very wise about the value of emotions. All of our emotions. We're often tempted to want to cheer up people we care about when they're feeling sad, but Inside Out points out that sadness isn't just a useful feeling, it's also a beautiful one. If you've ever seriously grieved and experienced well-meaning people trying to put a positive spin on whatever you're mourning, you know what I mean. Sometimes, you just need to allowed to feel freaking sad.

There's a lot else to be said about the movie, but just go to Rotten Tomatoes and read some of the many positive reviews. They all dissect and praise it better than I can. Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

For Your Eyes Only (1981) | Music



During the production of For Your Eyes Only, John Barry was still in tax exile from the UK. He'd been able to work on Moonraker, because it was made in Paris, but FYEO returned the production team to Britain, meaning that Barry was back out. To replace him, he recommended Bill Conti, the man behind the amazing Rocky theme, so that's who Broccoli and Wilson hired.

For the title song, Conti teamed up with lyricist Mick Leeson. I can't find much about Leeson's career before this, but he'd go on to work with Sheena Easton quite a bit after. He and Conti worked on a couple of variations on the song with input from Maurice Binder who always liked to have the title said early in the song so he could put it on screen at the same time. There was also a version that Blondie submitted, and it sounds like they were considered, but only if they played the Conti/Leeson song. They passed and ended up releasing their own song on their next album, The Hunter.



At United Artists' suggestion, Sheena Easton was hired to sing "For Your Eyes Only." She'd just had a big hit with "Morning Train" and she totally fit the easy-listening, soft-rock vibe that the Bond films were in love with at the time. The song isn't horrible, but it's too sentimental and earnest. I don't like it. I'm not a huge fan of the Blondie song either, but it's at least got blood pumping through it.

To go with the song, Binder basically made a music video. For Your Eyes Only predates the debut of MTV by about a month, but music videos were already becoming a big deal thanks to USA Network's Video Concert Hall. The FYEO credits are mostly interested in Sheena Easton's face as she sings the song with generic silhouettes running around doing the same stuff they always do in Bond credits. There's also a water theme to the imagery, teasing at and leading into the opening scene of the movie where the spy boat with the ATAC is sunk by a mine. It's mostly weaksauce.

Conti doesn't use the Bond Theme as much as I'd like, but he uses it more than Barry does. A lot of the action in FYEO is set to this weird, disco-y music that sounds like its from a '70s or '80s TV cop show. During the cold open, when Bond's hanging from the helicopter, Conti mixes that music with the Bond Theme, but it's not satisfying. There's also a short, wa-wa guitar version of the Bond Theme after Lisl's death when Bond is captured. That seems like a weird spot to put it since Bond isn't doing anything cool right then, but it works as an "oh crap, they don't know who they're messing with, they're going to get it" moment. Even though don't get what's coming to them right then, it makes it very clear that they're going to later.

The best uses of the Bond Theme though are during the mini-sub trip and when Bond finally gets up to the monastery after killing the last guard. The mini-sub is as close to a gadgety vehicle as we get in FYEO and the monastery scene is when Bond is finally going to make the bad guys pay. Great moments.

Top Ten Theme Songs

1. The Spy Who Loved Me ("Nobody Does It Better")
2. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
3. Diamonds Are Forever
4. You Only Live Twice
5. From Russia With Love (John Barry instrumental version)
6. Live and Let Die
7. Dr No
8. Thunderball
9. Goldfinger
10. From Russia With Love (Matt Monro vocal version)

Top Ten Title Sequences

1. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
2. Dr No
3. Thunderball
4. Goldfinger
5. From Russia with Love
6. The Spy Who Loved Me
7. Diamonds Are Forever
8. Live and Let Die
9. Moonraker
10. The Man with the Golden Gun

Friday, June 26, 2015

For Your Eyes Only (1981) | Villains



The biggest flaw of For Your Eyes Only is that it has a dull villain. Kristatos is smart - I like how he uses Columbo to throw Bond off the scent, and how he tricks Melina into coming to the Alps so that he can bump her and Bond off at the same time - but he's just not that interesting or cool. Julian Glover (General Veers from Empire Strikes Back, and of course Walter Donovan in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) plays him as coldly arrogant, so it's difficult to connect with him. His interest in sponsoring Bibi's Olympic career could have been humanizing, but even that turns cynical and sour by the end. And for no good reason.

And really... Kristatos isn't the film's actual villain anyway. He's just a very powerful henchman.



Emile Locque has a great look for a cold-blooded assassin. He doesn't have anything to prove; he's just frightening as hell.

I also love how he sub-contracts the Havelock's deaths to Gonzales, presumably to protect Kristatos' involvement. And then how he stays detached when the crap hits the fan at Gonzales' estate.



Erich Kriegler looks like your typical big, blonde, thuggish henchman in the tradition of Grant and Hans. He's got a lot more backstory than Hans though. He's introduced as an Olympian friend of Bibi, but we quickly learn that she doesn't really know him and that he's standoffish in general. Then we find out that he's actually an assassin and we assume he's working for Columbo and then Kristatos, but nope! He's a KGB agent working for Gogol. Which leads us to...



This is an interesting role for Gogol. He's been in two movies before this and both times he was a friendly ally, united with Britain to bring down an independent threat. This time, he's the Big Bad. He makes some noises early on about not taking a direct role in the search for the MacGuffin, saying that he'll simply buy it if it becomes available. But then he immediately puts out the order to contact Russia's "friend in Greece," who turns out to be Kristatos. So he is responsible for everything that happens in the movie. He hires Kristatos, who has the Havelocks killed and starts looking for the ATAC. Gogol even sends a KGB assassin to assist Kristatos in all the murder. Sounds like a pretty direct role to me.

Not that I'm complaining. The script and especially Walter Gotell do a great job of making him the villain without compromising the goodwill he's built up in Spy and Moonraker. He runs the KGB. Of course he's going to end up on the opposite side from Bond occasionally. If anything, FYEO helps his character out by showing that he's not a big marshmallow. But his history with and fondness for Bond come through even here and I love his reaction to the final détente scenario. Easy come; easy go.

He also doesn't ever screw up. He almost gets exactly what he wants. Except for a ridiculous coincidence where someone said the wrong thing in front of a parrot, he and Kristatos would have won.

Top Ten Villains

1. Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
2. Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia With Love and Thunderball)
3. Ernst Stavro Blofeld (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
4. Francisco Scaramanga (The Man with the Golden Gun)
5. Dr. Kananga (Live and Let Die)
6. Doctor No (Dr. No)
7. General Gogol (For Your Eyes Only)
8. Karl Stromberg (The Spy Who Loved Me)
9. Emilio Largo (Thunderball)
10. Hugo Drax (Moonraker)

Top Ten Henchmen

1. Baron Samedi (Live and Let Die)
2. Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
3. Grant (From Russia with Love)
4. Nick Nack (The Man with the Golden Gun)
5. Naomi (The Spy Who Loved Me)
6. Oddjob (Goldfinger)
7. Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me)
8. Irma Bunt (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
9. Miss Taro (Dr. No)
10. Tee Hee (Live and Let Die)



For Your Eyes Only (1981) | Women



I started talking about Melina Havelock some yesterday, because I love her and I love how real her relationship with Bond feels.

Carole Bouquet can't do big emotions very well, which is a problem when the moment calls for her to be seething with rage, but she's great at the little stuff. I love the fun she's having during the car chase. I love her conflicting emotions about whether to let Bond help her or just do things on her own. That's a complicated decision and I can see her struggling with it the entire movie. She also does "sad" extremely well.

She never turns stupid and she's a vital part of the film right up until the end. She storms the monastery right alongside the men and is crucial in taking it. My one regret is that we don't get to see whether or not she would have killed Kristatos. The movie does a lot of work to get her to that point and then chickens out at the last minute. That's too bad.

I usually try not to talk much about the attractiveness of the women in the series, because I don't want this to be about that, but I'm making an exception for Bouquet. She's so beautiful, I can't even stand it. I'm not going to pretend that's not a huge part of why I love her and this movie, but it makes me so happy that the rest of the film is also awesome.





Okay. Moving on...



Bibi Dahl isn't really a Bond Girl. Not if you only count women whom Bond actually makes out with. But she so very much wants to be and it's great to see Bond show some restraint for once in his horndog life. His relationship with her is perfectly summed up in the line, "You get your clothes on and I'll buy you an ice cream cone."

Here's the hilarious thing though. Actress Lynn-Holly Johnson is only one year younger than Carole Bouquet.



I've always had a problem with Lisl von Schlaf, but I've warmed to her the last couple of times I've seen FYEO. Mostly, I think my problem is that by this point in the movie I'm fully invested in Bond and Melina as a couple. This whole interaction feels like it belongs in another movie.

But there's a really lovely part when she lets her accent slip. Moore is so wonderfully real and casual with her when he asks if it's from Manchester; then she drops her guard and admits that she's from Liverpool. It's just this sweet, human moment between two people who are supposed to be playing each other, but find a genuine connection in the process. Bravo, For Your Eyes Only.

My Favorite Bond Women

1. Tracy Bond (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
2. Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only)
3. Paula Caplan (Thunderball)
4. Tatiana Romanova (From Russia With Love)
5. Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
6. Domino Derval (Thunderball)
7. Holly Goodhead (Moonraker)
8. Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun)
9. Andrea Anders (The Man with the Golden Gun)
10. Honey Rider (Dr. No)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

For Your Eyes Only (1981) | Bond

Actors and Allies



I've read that Roger Moore didn't enjoy making this movie and I believe it. It's not the kind of Bond flick he's known for and I expect that he liked making those kind better. But he's great in it. It works really well that he's getting a little older, even though Carole Bouquet (Melina) is 30 years younger than he is. He's still super active (that ski chase is amazing!), a handsome man, and I buy that she's temporarily attracted him as an anchor point in the chaos her life has become. Especially as a surrogate father figure after the death of her dad.

Bond isn't just a potential lover to her, he's a mentor. In fact, he's that first, offering her counsel on the price of revenge; something he knows a lot about. And I absolutely love that at the very end, he's going to let her make the decision about whether or not to murder Kristatos. It's taken out of both of their hands by circumstance, but it's important to me that Bond isn't the one to step in and deny her what she's spent the whole movie looking for. He obviously cares a great deal about her; enough to let her make her own choices.

More than just about any other Bond movie, his romantic relationship with Melina builds naturally (The Living Daylights and Casino Royale are other exceptions). There's even a really lovely montage of Bond's tagging along as Melina shops the Grecian markets for supplies for her crew. It's not a love to last the ages or anything, but it's believable and I appreciate the work that went into them as a couple.

I also like the way Bond's age factors into his reactions to Bibi. And he's back to flirting with Moneypenny, but it's mellowed out a lot. There's no danger in it, which is kind of sad, but it also makes sense that at some point these two would move past the flirting and just be friends. However, there's also something sad in the way Moneypenny starts putting on makeup when she notices that it's time for Bond's appointment. I can willfully re-interpret that as something else, but it's clearly supposed to be her holding a torch for Bond. Really, their whole scene together has an air of melancholy about it that I don't care for.

Moving on to Bond's other allies, this is the first movie in the series without Bernard Lee. He died of cancer, sadly, before they got around to shooting his scenes, but the script was already written and filming had already begun on other parts of the film. To work around his absence, they rewrote the story to explain that M is "on leave" and that Bill Tanner, M's Chief of Staff, is filling in. In the novels, Tanner is Bond's best friend in the Service and there's some of that camaraderie here, too. Tanner is more relaxed than M ever was and when he tells Bond to "try not to muck it up again," he's probably teasing, although it's a little hard to read that line.

The reason Tanner might be serious is because the Minister of Defense is also involved. The only "again" Tanner can be referring to is Melina's killing the Cuban assassin before Bond could question him, but that seems unfair to put on Bond. Except that the Minister already doesn't care for Bond thanks to the all times that Bond's embarrassed him one way or another. In FYEO, the Minister seems to know that Bond's a good agent, but he's still chilly towards him. And that's probably not going to change after the situation between Margaret Thatcher and the parrot.

Q's got a new assistant named Smithers who shows up again in Octopussy. There's not much to him here other than Bond knows his name and - more importantly - he's played by Jeremy "Boba Fett" Bulloch.

In the field, Bond's first ally is a fellow spy named Luigi Ferrara. He's competent, but mostly inconsequential and only there for exposition and to provide some pathos when he's killed. I like him though. He's a nerdy little guy and physically, he kind of reminds me of Roman Polanski.

Bond's biggest ally turns out to be Columbo, aka The Dove. Like in "Risico," we start off thinking he's the bad guy, but he turns into one of Bond's most memorable friends. He's one of those Fleming characters like Kerim Bey or Marc-Ange Draco who are not only Bond's pals, but sort of mentor/father figures to him. What's interesting in FYEO though is that the actor who plays Columbo (Topol from Fiddler on the Roof) is eight years younger than Roger Moore. He's letting his gray hair show though, so the age difference seems less and he and Bond treat each other as peers. It's a cool relationship and another reason I like older Moore in this movie. He's playing his age and it's great.

Another cool thing about Colombo is his obsession with pistachios. He uses them once as sort of an impromptu warning system, but they aren't in the movie as a plot device. They're just a character quirk and it's stuff like that that makes me love FYEO so much.

One last sort-of ally is Bibi's trainer, Brink. She's just a background character for most of the film, but when things get tough at the end, she turns out to be loyal and great. I like her a lot.

Best Quip



"That'll come in handy," regarding Smithers' fake-cast weapon.

Worst Quip



"He had no head for heights," after Locque goes over a cliff.

Gadgets



True to it's scaled-back tone, FYEO doesn't do much with gadgets. In fact, it comments on this by having Bond's white, "burglar protected" Lotus blow up right before a chase, forcing Bond and Melina to escape in a tiny and cute, but unglamorous Citroën 2CV. Q's able to repair and repaint it, but Bond never uses any of its gadgets. The only field gadget he ever uses in the movie is a pager watch with a two-way radio transmitter.

The biggest gadget of the film is the Indentigraph (inspired by the slightly lower-tech Identicast system in the novel Goldfinger) that Bond and Q use to identify Locque. I like how Bond walks into the Identigraph room with Q and immediately grabs a tape reel to load up. He's clearly used the system numerous times.

Top Ten Gadgets

1. Lotus Esprit (The Spy Who Loved Me)
2. Aston Martin DB V (Goldfinger and Thunderball)
3. Jet pack (Thunderball)
4. Glastron CV23HT (Moonraker)
5. Little Nellie (You Only Live Twice)
6. Rocket cigarettes (You Only Live Twice)
7. Ski pole rocket (The Spy Who Loved Me)
8. Magnetic buzzsaw watch (Live and Let Die)
9. Attaché case (From Russia with Love)
10. Propeller SCUBA tank with built-in spearguns (Thunderball)

Bond's Best Outfit



I really like Bond's mountain climbing outfit from the end of the movie, too, but he's too dapper in this blue, double-breasted number with brass buttons. Reminds me of his Naval uniform.

Bond's Worst Outfit



Sunny yellow short-sleeves with high-waisted pants. Hi, Dad! (That's a joke. My dad never wore anything that dorky.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

For Your Eyes Only (1981) | Story



Plot Summary

A MacGuffin goes missing and Bond has to locate it before a) the Soviets do, and b) a beautiful avenger kills everyone who knows where it is.

Influences

Moonraker was a huge financial success, but producers Cubby Broccoli and his stepson Michael G Wilson realized that there was no way to go bigger. Instead, they intentionally went smaller; back to basics. They didn't invite back Christopher Wood - the man behind the over-the-top scripts for The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker - but brought back original Bond screenwriter Richard Maibaum. He and Wilson worked on the story together, merging two of Fleming's short stories, "For Your Eyes Only" and "Risico."

There's no super villain in For Your Eyes Only with a mad scheme to extort money from world powers or destroy the planet. It's a simple Cold War spy tale and it is fantastic. I enjoy some of the craziness of the Moore era, but that's not the Bond I'm most interested in seeing. Give me classic, close-to-literary Bond any day.

For Your Eyes Only uses several elements right out of the short stories, like Melina and Bond's meeting as they both infiltrate a remote estate to assassinate the man who killed Melina's parents. The opening scene from "Risico" is also played out very faithfully, including Kristatos' mistaking Bond for a narcotics agent and Colombo's staging a fight with Lisl. Later, when Bond tries to get information from Lisl, he even pretends to be a writer like he does in Fleming.

My favorite Fleming homage though is pulled from the novel Live and Let Die when Bond and Melina (Solitaire in the book) are dragged behind the villain's boat as shark bait. That's a great, memorable Fleming scene and it was a shame it didn't get used in that movie.

There are some weird coincidences attached to that scene though. Like how the sharks don't really go for Bond and Melina, even though Bond is leaking blood badly. They sure do like that non-wounded guard the second he goes overboard though. And is it a thing to leave your SCUBA tank at the bottom of the sea in case you need it later to get away from bad guys? I don't know anything about SCUBA. Maybe that's common practice.

And speaking of coincidences, how nice is it that the parrot just happened to pick up and mimic the very information that Bond needed to continue his investigation?

Those are small complaints though in my favorite Roger Moore movie. Director John Glen, freshly promoted from editor on the series, does a great job building suspense and keeping things logical. I love the way he does the sequence towards the end where Bond's hanging on a cliff face as a bad guy pounds out the pitons keeping Bond there. Each time a piton is removed, Glen shows the strain on the others. It makes me nervous every single time. And the underwater attacks by the JIM diving suit and mini-sub are legitimately scary thanks to weird camera angles and POV shots.

How Is the Book Different?

The movie is shockingly faithful to the short stories it's based on. I'm amazed at how seamlessly the script puts them together. "Risico" is the main plot with "For Your Eyes Only" mostly just adding complications to it. The big differences are 1) the addition of the ATAC MacGuffin and 2) Bond's relationship with Melina.

Melina is named Judy in the short story and she's horrible. She starts off all cool and tough, but falls apart at the end, not able to handle the reality of revenge because, you know, girls and feelings. Melina is amazing and badass to the very end. There's a question about whether or not revenge is what she needs, but I don't read that as a gender thing. It's more like a civilian thing: the same advice that Batman gives Robin in Batman Forever.

Moment That's Most Like Fleming



Fleming's Bond isn't quite as brutal as I remember him. He's actually squeamish about killing in cold blood. But he's still a much harsher character than the wise-cracking movie Bond and that's especially true compared to Roger Moore's campy version.

Except for this movie where Moore kicks Locque's car off a cliff out of revenge. That moment is right up there with Connery's "You've had your six" and it's my favorite thing Moore's Bond ever did.

Moment That's Least Like Fleming



The one goofy thing in For Your Eyes Only is that hockey fight. I like the fight itself, but it's stupid that someone's keeping score every time Bond knocks a goon into the goal. Very small potatoes compared to Pigeon Double-Take though.

Cold Open



The cold open sequence sets up the whole retro feel that FYEO is going for. It starts with Bond at Tracy's grave (which nicely has her death as the same year that OHMSS came out) and then has him picked up by a Universal Export helicopter. Unfortunately, the pilot is actually working for a wheelchair-bound Blofeld.

Because Kevin McClory owned the rights to Blofeld and SPECTRE, neither is mentioned by name, but it's clearly Bond's arch-enemy complete with bald head and white cat. Incidentally, Blofeld's body is played by John Hollis; better known as Lobot from The Empire Strikes Back. His voice is Robert Rietty, who also dubbed Emilio Largo in Thunderball.

The FYEO teaser has a stunt, but it's way toned down from the parachute sequences of Spy and Moonraker. Bond has to climb out of the back of a helicopter and work his way to the front while in flight, so it's still pretty exciting, but the most memorable parts of the sequence are the references to Bond's past.

Top 10 Cold Opens

1. The Spy Who Loved Me
2. Moonraker
3. Thunderball
4. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
5. Goldfinger
6. The Man with the Golden Gun
7. For Your Eyes Only
8. From Russia With Love
9. Diamonds Are Forever
10. You Only Live Twice

Movie Series Continuity



For Your Eyes Only may have a deliberately retro feel, but it doesn't go after nostalgia as desperately as On Her Majesty's Secret Service did. At least, not after the opening credits. One major callback to early days though is that Bond's hat rack trick is back. I'd forgotten how much I missed it. Another is a scene where Roger Moore plays baccarat, which makes me realize that we didn't get a lot of card playing from Moore.

Most of the continuity though is with the other Moore films. The Minister of Defense has returned to represent the Establishment that Bond's working for and Gogol is also back. His first scene is even in the same office where he briefed Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me.

A less welcome bit is when the Cuban assassin identifies Bond as a Double-O agent simply by looking at his gun. And even worse than that is Q's yet again going into the field, but not even to deliver equipment. He simply shows up undercover as a priest to receive some intelligence from Bond. That's way outside of his job description.

But most of the gags are understated compared to the last couple of movies. The Italian wine guy from Spy and Moonraker makes his final appearance on a patio during the big ski chase, but there's no looking at his bottle this time. It's just a cameo for sharp-eyed viewers. The silliest bit is when Margaret Thatcher tries to talk with Bond at the end, but actual thought went into that joke and it makes me laugh every time.

Even Know-It-All Bond is toned down. He shows a solid knowledge of wine and expresses his preference during dinner with Kristatos, but he doesn't pull out any weird, arcane knowledge the entire movie.


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