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2013-06-22: Transfered all of my 2011 "My Year in Music" posts from Facebook.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Superficial Bond Reviews --- #11: Moonraker

* So here we go - Moonraker! Woo hoo! Named so because it's... something that... uh... rakes the Moon? What the hell does that even mean? I dunno.

* The movie starts off with a pretty cool space shuttle heist. The whole scenario seems oddly familiar, but so does about 75% of everything in every Bond movie since the '60s. I get over it, and enjoy the scene, although it's a bit over the top, even for a Bond movie.

* There's a great parachute scene with 007 and Jaws that seems to have inspired a few other action scenes since. At least, it starts off great, until Jaws actually survives his fall by dropping into a circus tent (thus highlighting the clown-like nature of the "Moore era" in the 007 franchise).
Much later (in an unrelated scene), Jaws will show up wearing a clown costume, and fail to kill a helpless woman.
Seriously, what's with all the clowns?

* Roger Moore has really started to look old now - much of the skin that covers his face has completely lost contact with the underlying structure. I keep thinking that I don't wanna see him involved in any even vaguely erotic scenes anymore, because he just looks like some gross, horny uncle you should stay away from.
But I know I won't be spared: It's a Bond movie, so we're constantly shown that 007 is a chick magnet. It's a bit like being told that Sarah Jessica Parker is hot, and that she doesn't have the face of a mule.
Suspension of disbelief only goes so far.

* The loose face skin actually comes in handy during the space centrifuge scene, as 007's face ripples under the strain of massive G-force. The scene is one of the most memorable ones in Moonraker - which should tell you a lot about the overall quality of the movie.
The scene also offers the worst acting in the entire history of the James Bond movies. Watch and marvel at the Nasty Asian Henchman's disappointed face as 007 blasts the centrifuge to a halt with his sleeve dart. He looks like somebody just flushed his puppy down the toilet.

- "So did the centrifuge make you feel sick, mister Bond?"
- "It's not that, you bint, it's this whole, bloody film that makes me want to vomit!"

* Later, the same, stupid henchman tries to kill 007 by using a wooden sword. This takes place inside a mansion where five hundred and sixty eight billion real weapons are at display in some kind of convenient gallery of violence.
Perhaps this henchman has learned everything he knows from the movie's bad guy - Sir Hugo Drax - who also tries to kill Bond. He does this by having a sniper aim at the agent from a tree in the distance. When said sniper fails, Hugo seems uninterested in using his own shotgun to blast Bond's head off.
What was the plan, Hugo? You're insanely wealthy and influential, and you have Bond standing at your own estate. If the sniper succeeded, would you claim it was a "hunting accident"? So could a shotgun blast to the head be! It would even be more plausible than a rifle shot with a downward trajectory. Planning to hide the body and go with the "never seen the man, officer" approach? Shotgun will do the trick! Use the shotgun, you idiot! Christ!

* In Moonraker, the obligatory chase scene is boring, unoriginal and annoyingly "humorous". Another boat chase, this time with a friggin' gondola - sped up for super extra funniness.
Later, in the same movie, there will be another damn boat chase! I won't comment it any further. It just makes me so angry that I want to punch the screen, although I'm completely aware that the screen itself has nothing to do with the quality of the movie I'm watching, and that punching it thus would be utterly absurd and fruitless.

* So after writing the shitty gondola scene, the writer thought: "'gondola'? Isn't that just another name for 'cable car'?" and promptly wrote an equally shitty cable car scene.
Enter the immortal Jaws, who bites over a cable to stop 007's cable car or something, instead of just biting over the cable that would send the gondola lift crashing to the ground. I'm not a cable car expert or anything - but nor is the screenwriter, I suspect.
Jaws and Moore then fight so slowly, it looks like they're underwater, before Jaws crashes into a concrete wall at 200 mph and survives, just like he does everything else.
Then Jaws meets a girl, and there's instant romance, because she's petite and blond and has glasses, and that's funny and cute, because Jaws is big and dark and has no glasses, and he's really a big, cuddly bear and I think I'm going to be sick.

* Towards the end, Moonraker just seems to give up being its own movie. It sheds the last bit of self respect it has, in order to capitalize on other movies - and I'm not sure whether to call it "prostitution" or "cannibalism". I'll just call Moonraker a cannibal whore and be done with it.
007 and his chick hijack a space shuttle, and shortly after takeoff, they realize that they're not heading for some moon - it's a giant space station!
The station's purpose is to serve as a modern Noah's Ark, and it's owned and operated by the villainous Stromber... Drax! who wants to save the World by creating armageddon himself.
The government sends a lot of diver... astronauts! to defeat him with friggin' laser guns, but Draxberg's divers are also many, and the ensuing battle is the most bestest in all of Thunderball.
Then Jaws turns good for no reason whatsoever, Darthx walks backwards out of an airlock because of a special backwards-walking poison, and James Bondwalker and Leia hunt down the remaining Tie Fighters who are heading for Earth.
Honestly, who do I even bother?

* Some of the choices in this movie are a violent stab in the testicles for the Bond franchise's credibility, and after watching this, I'm amazed that the franchise survived Moonraker.
Is it because of some inner quality of the Bond series? Is it because of the massive patience/stupidity of the audience?
That's something to be explored on a later date. Now, I have to scrub away the foul imprint of this movie from my brain. Whisky? Electric shock treatment? Surgery? I don't care.

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