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The Six Faces of 007: Roger Moore

To celebrate James Bond’s 50th birthday on screen (and the release of Skyfall), we’re going to take a look at the character and his films. We’ve already reviewed all the classic movies, so we’ll be looking at his iconic baddies, and even at the character himself.

I always feel a little bit guilty when I concede that I am not too fond of Roger Moore’s time as James Bond. After all, Roger Moore seems like a truly wonderful person, and a great ambassador for the franchise. Of all the actors to play the role, he’s the one most likely to appear on television or in print to share stories or anecdotes about he time in the role, to defend the latest lead actor to come under fire, or even just to make some wonderfully wittily self-deprecating remarks. My Word is My Bond is a great deal of fun for any fan of the character and the films. So, to be clear, I love Roger Moore. I just don’t really like him as James Bond.

What’s not to love?

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A View to a Bond Baddie: Max Zorin

To celebrate James Bond’s 50th birthday on screen, we’re going to take a look at the character and his films. We’ve already reviewed all the classic movies, so we’ll be looking at his iconic baddies, and even at the character himself.

An interesting thing about Roger Moore’s Bond films is the fact that the best baddies tended to pop up in the worst films. Okay, I have a soft spot for Julian Glover in For Your Eyes Only, arguably the best of Moore’s outings as James Bond, but I’m thinking of Christopher Lee in The Man With the Golden Gun and Christopher Walken in A View to a Kill. In particular, Walken’s Max Zorin stands out – in my opinion – as one of the best villains of the entire franchise. He’s a character who really stands at the half-way point between the classical Bond villains and the characters we’ve seen since, positioned half-way between Auric Goldfinger and Franz Sanchez. It also helps that Walken is having a whale of a time, and that fun is contagious.

Hang on in there…

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Non-Review Review: The Living Daylights

This post is part of James Bond January, being organised by the wonderful Paragraph Films. I will have reviews of all twenty-two official Bond films going on-line over the next month, and a treat or two every once in a while.

The Living Daylights is a forgotten Bond film, sitting as it does between the twin “duds” of A View to a Kill and Licence to Kill (although I am not quite as critical of those films as most). It’s the first of the Bond films to feature Timothy Dalton, taking over from Roger Moore – who by this stage seemed as likely to be getting a free bus pass as he was to foil enemy spies. Although the word didn’t quite exist in media circles when the movie originally came out, there’s a strong smell of “reboot” about the film, as if the powers behind the scenes are attempting to consciously remodel the franchise in the wake of a disappointing previous film. Though not quite as obvious (or as far-reaching) as subsequent reboots in GoldenEye and Casino Royale, The Living Daylights isn’t a bad Bond film – it’s just a really poorly dated one.

Tim, you scared the Living Daylights out of me…

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Non-Review Review: A View to a Kill

This post is part of James Bond January, being organised by the wonderful Paragraph Films. I will have reviews of all twenty-two official Bond films going on-line over the next month, and a treat or two every once in a while.

A View to A Kill is not fondly remembered. In fact, it frequently finds itself listed amongst the dregs of the Bond films when the time comes to rank the worst of the British secret agent’s on-screen adventures. Truth be told, I find that rather harsh – I’d argue that it’s a significantly stronger effort than The Man With The Golden Gun, at least – as well as possibly Octopussy and Moonraker. After all, both Roger Moore and Christopher Walken look like they are having such a ridiculously good time.

Not quite a towering accomplishment…

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Non-Review Review: Diamonds Are Forever

This post is part of James Bond January, being organised by the wonderful Paragraph Films. I will have reviews of all twenty-two official Bond films going on-line over the next month, and a treat or two every once in a while.

When George Lazenby refused to come back to do a follow-up to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the producers were left with a bit of a problem. Three actors playing Bond in three films would perhaps be a little bit too much for audiences to grapple with, so an emergency appeal was made to Sean Connery to return to the role which made him iconic. Charging a then-astronomical fee, which he donated entirely to charity, Connery donned the tuxedo once again. Reteaming with Guy Hamilton, the man who directed Goldfinger, once would assume that we were pretty much assured a winner – a return to the good old days. What we got was something of a flash-forward. If I didn’t know better, I would suspect that somebody had pulled a “George Lucas” on us, using wondrous new technology to digitally superimpose Sean Connery into a Roger Moore film.

Adam West was considered to play James Bond in this film. I think that tells us everything we need to know.

Sean Connery's Bond was never afraid of wetwork...

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