Sunday, July 3, 2016
Bond Watch: The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)
The last time I remember watching The Man With the Golden Gun (1974) was during a summer sleep-over in middle school. At the time, my folks had a tent, and Peabo and I had the bright idea that we'd set up the tent in the backyard and sleep out there. Of course, this was summer in Texas, and about 9:00 someone figured out it was really hot in that tent, so we went inside to watch TV until it cooled off outside. The Man With the Golden Gun was just starting, we watched it, and then just slept inside, because camping in your yard makes no sense.
Flash forward to 2016: As the movie wrapped up this time, Jamie and I had differing opinions. This is more or less one of the better Moore movies, says I, and Jamie found it "very silly". I guess it boils down to how you feel about Sheriff JW Pepper, slide whistles and elaborate, carnival-like death traps. These things, of course, I take deadly seriously.
Bond is told a master-assassin, Scaramanga (Christoper F'in' Lee!) is gunning for him and is taken off his current case about a missing solar energy scientist. He goes after Scaramanga, tracking him around the planet, and it seems the two cases could be dovetailing.
The cast is an interesting ensemble. The aforementioned Christoper Lee, model/ actress Britt Ekland, Maud Adams, Hervé Villechaize (Tattoo from Fantasy Island) and some Bond stalwarts like Lois Maxwell. And, of course, Roger Moore.
The locations include Hong Kong and Thailand, and more than one person I've met has been to "James Bond Island" in Phuket.
I kind of dig the change of pace in this movie - that it's an equal to Bond picking a fight with him to see who's the better man. Of course, that gets an echo of sorts in Skyfall, but Javier Bardem didn't have a shooting gallery with a Roger Moore life-sized doll, did he? No. He did not.
This one features karate schools, a half-assed boat chase, an amazing car trick (completely undercut with highly questionable sound effects), lasers, and lots of good stuff. Including a flying car. Like, a legit flying car.
I dunno. I enjoyed it.