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

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Superficial Bond Reviews --- #14: A View to a Kill

* All alarm bells are ringing when A View to a Kill starts off with another bloody ski sequence.
I've completely lost count how many there are now - and this time, the lack of originality goes so far as to rip off the whole continuing-on-with-just-one-ski routine from On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Sad.
Then it gets even sadder, as 007 uses a makeshift snowboard to escape his enemies - subtly accompanied by the sound of the Beach Boys. Yes, we get it. It's a board. Much like a surfboard. But on snow. Thank you!
You might think that's as sad as it gets... but no! Bond escapes this dangerous situation in a motorized iceberg (I'm not making this up!) with some chick who's a full thirty years younger than him. Our action hero is now 58 years old, and sucks his mummified lips onto this poor young thing, in what has to be an attempt to drain life force out of her and be around to plague the Bond franchise for a few more years.

* I have to admit that I enjoy the intro tune from Duran Duran. If you disagree, that's OK, but you can put it into perspective by listening to, say, the For Your Eyes Only tune first. That'll make you wanna kiss Simon John Charles Le Bon's feet and thank him.

* Some people seem to be weirded out by the fact that Grace Jones is in this movie, since she's so... well, weird. I think she's excellent because she's weird.
You know those odd figurines of half-naked black women that some people seem to think it's OK to own and display? She's like one of those, if it came to life, grew to full-size and wanted to take revenge by raping you to death. I know, I know: this is what everybody thinks - but I had to say it anyway.
What I do not appreciate, however, is the mental image of Roger Moore and Grace Jones having sex. I picture some kind of humanoid version of a night stick being flung repeatedly against a pink bean bag. Ebony and ivory it ain't.

Grace Jones

* James Bond encounters May Day (Jones) in Paris, and there's an action scene on the Eiffel Tower. That's nice - I like it when the Bond movies utilize landmarks. If done properly, it enhances the feeling of being somewhere real, and also provides a spectacular backdrop. Too bad that I keep breaking out in laughter when the movie tries to fool me into believing that Roger Moore can run up more than three flights of stairs without breaking his hip.

* For some ungodly reason, there are a lot of horses in this movie, and scenes involving horses. Since I'm not a 12 year old girl (or a cowboy), I don't care.
I zone out and amuse myself by exchanging the word "horse" with "whores" in popular movie titles, bands and such. Neil Young & Crazy Whores. The Whores' Whisperer.
I'm not pulled back into the movie until there's an actual action scene with horses. The reason I snap back isn't that this scene is good, but rather that it's so idiotic that I can't help being amazed.

* Again, the Bond villain potential is largely wasted in aVtaK, although the mighty mighty Christopher Walken tries as hard as he can to infuse some nasty fun into the part. The character Max Zorin is just too poorly written - and we end up with something as rare as a boring homicidal maniac.
Blah blah microchip. Blah blah Silicon Valley. Blah blah some plot thing that reminds me of Superman the Movie. Blah.

* Zorin and his band of idiots also get to the finals in the "Who Tries to Kill James Bond in the Stupidest Way?" competition.
Just listen to this: After discovering 007's identity, they choke his associate Tibbett to death and shove his fat carcass into the backseat of their Rolls. Cool. They then confront 007... and do not choke, stab or shoot him. Nope, they knock him unconscious and put him in the backseat with his dead pal, before they drop the car in a lake and watch for a couple of minutes. Yeah, he must be dead by now. Go home and watch some TV.
So there's no plan to make it look like an accident, no reason to rush, and no prolonged murder method to get a sadistic kick out of the kill. It makes no. sense. at. all.

Strange figurine

* There are long periods of time where my level of interest is so low, I almost ignore what happens on screen altogether.
Not the fire truck chase, though. Good piece of eighties action, that is - blasting a huge vehicle through city streets and generating massive havoc.
Note how, in one moment, Bond descending a ladder is treated like a herculean effort (when you see that it's Moore performing his own "stunts"), and in the next, he's dangling and swinging acrobatically from the fire engine at full speed through traffic.
Well, I guess that a fire truck is a good substitute as any... when you still have no damn car of your own! How many times do I have to say it? Get Bond a car! Damn!

* The grand finale is atop the Golden Gate bridge, where Bond and Zorin finally duke it out.
OK, so I said nice things about using landmarks, but once for each movie is enough. Otherwise, you start questioning how plausible it is to always end up somewhere instantly recognizable when you fight. You better justify that shit properly, at least.
This is my last chance to make fun of how perversely old Roger Moore is, so I'm going for it: At first, I thought 007 was swaying back and forth in the strong wind, but then I realized that it was Roger Moore's geriatric version of "fighting". He moves a bit like a man in a space suit.
Goodbye, Roger!
Now what am I going to ridicule?

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