It was Bond week this week at Austin's Paramount Theater. Sadly, I was pre-occupied and unable to make it to the screening of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, which I really wanted to see.
One summer when I was in middle school, Jason and I would go to the video rental place, return the last Bond movie we'd rented and check out another. In this manner, we watched every Bond movie but Thunderball, which I still haven't seen. The problem with this method was that within two years, all of the movies had sort of bled together in my mind, so I could only remember specific set pieces and the occasional Bond girl.
Thanks to TBS and a few other sources, I've watched several Bond movies over since then, and I do like catching the movies over again now, but I make an effort to watch them pretty far apart so they don't blend together again. And, for the record, Connery, of course.
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) stars Roger Moore as Bond, and it's from the point where the Bond franchise became a bit too enamored with quippy one-liners and just took it for granted that women melted under Bond's icy gaze. It's a fun movie, and it has some great Q gadgets, a phenomenally cool villain base, gadgets and private military (sherbet colored uniforms? Where do I sign up?!). The plan is pretty poorly sketched, but whatever. It's post-Connery/ pre-Timothy Dalton Bond, and its not all that different from what we'd see with Pierce Brosnan later.
And, hey, this is the one with the Lotus that turns into a submarine.
The movie makes an attempt to give Bond a sexy female Russian counterpart, but, truthfully, the base misogyny of the Bond franchise hadn't quite sort through itself, leaving Barbara Bach mostly standing around beside Bond as he Bonds his way around. I'm not sure Bach is also the most compelling Bond girl, but she does the job.
It's not my favorite Moore entry (For Your Eyes Only, probably), but it does feature "Nobody Does it Better" performed by Carly Simon, which is a pretty great Bond theme - and has a Bond opening sequence that well reminds you why they changed those for the Daniel Craig years, even if it's pretty brilliant.
Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) was Toho's "we can't top this" ending to production of Godzilla movies after 50 years. I'd heard they'd planned to stop making them prior to the US produced Godzilla starring Matthew Broderick, but after that trainwreck, they felt like they needed to keep making their own films.
I will give Godzilla: Final Wars this: you have no idea where this movie is going when the movie begins. I can promise you: mutants, aliens, Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan and a dozen other Kaiju, super ninja fights, matrix-style battles, sexy biologists and reporters, international/ interplanetary intrigue, the destruction of a half-dozen cities on at least four continents and a wildly out of control costuming department. Oh, and a really amazing mustache.
I don't really know how to sell this movie other than to say: hold tight and leave expectation at the door.
And, f-yeah, Godzilla.