Saturday, October 1, 2016

Bond Watch: For Your Eyes Only (1981)

somewhere, a visual design graduate student is madly scribbling about this poster in their thesis

If memory serves, For Your Eyes Only (1981) was the first Bond movie I ever watched.  I seem to recall my Dad watching it on television a couple years after it came out, probably around 1983, and I felt like I was watching exciting action meant for adults.  After all, Star Wars did not feature guys on motorcycles with nails in the wheels or exciting ski chases.

I've seen the movie two or three times since then, and my general impression was "this is one of the better Bond films".  I recall my delight at the tiny-yellow car in the car chase during my middle-school viewing of the movie and as scenes came up during this viewing, I was quite pleased to see the scenes pop up, because I'd forgotten them over time, washed away in a haze of Bond-ness.

But I really like this Bond film.  For Your Eyes Only feels like a sane reaction to the excesses of Moonraker, maybe even feeling some influence from the Bond of the novels (of which I've only read two and am nowhere near an expert).  The task Bond is sent on feels grounded very much in a possible reality - to figure out what happened to a sunken British boat that was carrying their secret encoder/ decoder for nuclear weapons comms.  It's not "where's our spaceship?"  And the flow between scenes isn't haphazard, there's a logical progression to the unfolding of the mystery.

Horror Watch: Night Train to Terror (1985)

so, not even the poster copy writer watched this movie past the two minute mark

Sometimes you stumble onto greatness.  Or, you know, stumble onto... something.

TCM Underground is the late-shift at Turner Classic Movies, given a two-movie window starting at 2:00 AM Eastern on Saturday nights.  I don't watch it all that often, but have been known to check it out from time to time.

Last week, after wrapping up Vampyros Lesbos, I was flipping channels and was curious about the title and then the description of Night Train to Terror (1985).  Something about "God and Satan play chess with the lives of mortals while on a train."  I mean - that's going to be worth investigating no matter what.

Add in some surprise casting including Cameron Mitchell, Richard Moll and John Phillip Law, and you're in for a treat!

Huh Watch: Vampyros Lesbos (1971)

There's no easy way to say "this movie promised some sex and nudity, and vampires, and so I watched it" - so let's go ahead and get that out of the way.

I was sent a list of "movies that are basically not great, kind of smutty and horror movies", and on that list was a movie I'd intended to watch for quite some time as it often pops up in discussions of Italian horror directors - and that movie is Franco's Vampyros Lesbos (1971).

I'm not sure this film is ground zero for the lesbian vampire sub-sub-genre, which is definitely a thing when you consider everything from Daughters of Darkness to The Hunger, (this list rightfully points to the first Dracula sequel, Dracula's Daughter as having not so subtle undertones) - but it is, by far, the least subtley titled of all lesbian vampire films.

To be clear - it's not soft-core porn.  It is a legit erotic horror movie.

It is also very not good.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Cap'n Watch: Captain America - Civil War

I re-watched Captain America: Civil War because I bought the BluRay.

In general, I like this movie quite a bit.  But I've written on it twice this year, so that seems like plenty.

The image above appears on a t-shirt my mother purchased for me.  She's generous to a fault, but she usually is on the side of "you have plenty of Super-America Man stuff" which is usually followed by an unprompted "Poor Jamie" and a look of pity tossed Jamie's way.

But... My mom bought me this.  I wear it all the time because - yeah, I like it fine on its own, but sometimes it really is the thought that counts.

Thanks, Ma!

Bond Watch: Moonraker (1979)

I hadn't watched Moonraker (1979) since middle-school.  My recollection of watching the movie included three things:  the opening parachuting sequence (which is the best part of the movie), it had Jaws running around in it, and the ending feeling like it had been imported from a completely different franchise.

Straight up - I'm not sure that this is literally the worst Bond movie - finishing the series will tell me that.  But this is my personal least favorite Bond movie as of this writing and has been since I saw it the one time previously.

All this is frustrating coming right on the heels of one of my favorite Bond movies (The Spy Who Loved Me), especially as they abandon the tone of danger and adventure with light comedy that movie employed and turn this movie, essentially, into a Roadrunner cartoon with Jaws in the role of Wile E. Coyote.  It's kind of mystifying.