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  # 1092562 20-Jul-2014 17:29
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IIRC, you can see the name "Skyfall" on the gate as he drives in there.




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  # 1092584 20-Jul-2014 17:55
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"The World is Not Enough" - the motto on the family crest, first mentioned (film universe) in George Lazenby's On Her Majesty's Secret Service - was reused as the title of Brosnan's third outing.

Lots of little easter eggs littered throughout the films, not counting the obvious winks/nods they brought into Die Another Die to commemorate the 20th film in the series...

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  # 1094539 23-Jul-2014 21:44
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  # 1094546 23-Jul-2014 21:57
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^You mean it's the same story?  Or something different based on that kind of story?

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  # 1094548 23-Jul-2014 21:57
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Tim's Vermeer This guy gets it in his head that Dutch Artist Johannes Vermeer must have used some kind of device to help him get those perfect photographic like tones and qualities on his very famous work so he gets into his shed and not only nuts it out, but goes the full hog; creating his own replica of a very famous painting using only materials and methods known at the time. Presented and directed by Penn and Teller - if you paint or not, this is geek syrup - 8.5/10.

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  # 1094550 23-Jul-2014 22:00
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gehenna: ^You mean it's the same story?  Or something different based on that kind of story?


Different story but demonic possession, exorcism, etc. Trying not to put spoilers here.




 
 
 
 


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  # 1094553 23-Jul-2014 22:06
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Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Blu Ray from Fatso.

I have a scaredy cat part of me about watching ape movies. Must have been from watching the old TV series when I was a kid which must have freaked me out a bit.  I started to hear some good reviews about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes so I thought I had better catch up on the first one so it took some strenght to get this one out. My wife and I quite enjoyed it. Great emotions, great effects and now I look forward to seeing the latest. 7.5/10 from me.



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  # 1094559 23-Jul-2014 22:21
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ToPGuNZ:
Great emotions, great effects


Dawn amps it up to 11!

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  # 1094629 24-Jul-2014 07:02
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ToPGuNZ:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Blu Ray from Fatso.

I have a scaredy cat part of me about watching ape movies. Must have been from watching the old TV series when I was a kid which must have freaked me out a bit.  I started to hear some good reviews about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes so I thought I had better catch up on the first one so it took some strenght to get this one out. My wife and I quite enjoyed it. Great emotions, great effects and now I look forward to seeing the latest. 7.5/10 from me.


The FX in the latest one are even better. CGI chimps on CGI horses, and a lot of other CGI creatures that look totally real.




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  # 1096967 28-Jul-2014 10:31
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I have just completed a re-watch of all 24 James Bond films (23 Eon Productions, plus Never Say Never Again).  Rather than write something for every film, I decided to share a few thoughts about the different "eras" of the films, having watched them all so close together.

Sean Connery: Bond Ranking (1), Best Film (Thunderball)

It's pretty obvious to pick Connery as the best (and first Bond - if you don't count the Jimmy Bond TV movie that was made pre-1962) but I think the choice is supported by his films.  He made seven in total (including Never Say Never Again in 1983).  His first six set the formula for the franchise, with the first two (Dr No and From Russia With Love) showing the most originality.  I quite like FRWL because it's less Bond and more spy-film.  It has a nice European flavour to it, before the gadgets and the gags became the centrepiece.

Most people pick Goldfinger as their favourite Connery film, but I prefer Thunderball.  It's arguably as "formulaic" as Goldfinger, but it has a more epic scope to it.  The story is terrific - SPECTRE steals two nuclear weapons and holds the world to ransom - though it seems corny by today's standards.  The plot beats out Goldfinger's "heist" in my books, because it captured the 1960s theme of nuclear fear.  Plus, the underwater fight scene was fantastic.

The worst Connery film IMO is Diamonds are Forever.  They brought Connery back after Lazenby's On Her Majesty's Secret Service, but the story and plot were ridiculous, with some of the most cringe-worthy villains in the whole series.  I grimaced my way through most of DAF.  You Only Live Twice isn't much better.  But I have a soft spot for Never Say Never Again, a re-make of the Thunderball story which Kevin McClory wrote with Ian Fleming, and over which a dispute arose that was settled by giving McClory the rights to produce a new film based on the original story.  They managed to get Connery back, which was a coup in itself, and it neatly updated the story for the 1980s.  It hasn't aged well, but I still like it's little quirks.

George Lazenby: Bond Ranking (5), Best Film (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)

I won't write much about Lazenby.  He's definitely not a memorable Bond, except for his noteworthy single-entry into the canon.  There's the dreadful moment in the opening sequence where he breaks the fourth wall and addresses the audience, which is simply awful (though Connery does this in NSNA, with a wink at the camera at the end of the film).  Telly Savalas as Blofeld broke the mold of what we had seen of the villain so far, making him less enigmatic and more camp.  The film also sticks in my mind for it's painful attempts to shoehorn the quips and one-liners into the script.  Even though Connery was noted for his wit and gallows humour, Lazenby shouting some dreadful pun over to Diana Rigg as they ski down the mountain away from some villains stretched credibility to breaking point.  There's little to redeem OHMSS, other than it's much better than DAF which followed it.

Roger Moore: Bond Ranking (4), Best Film (The Spy Who Loved Me)

Moore made seven films in the Eon series, the most of any Bond actor (so far).  When I was younger, I quite liked his films but as I've got older I find them more and more cringe-worthy.  I read once that Moore was reluctant to take the role because he found Bond's killing distasteful.  It was only when he discussed it with the producers and read the books that he was able to reconcile things, claiming that Bond was a reluctant assassin.  This comes out in his films, and is I think the most noteworthy element of his films - you can see that when he kills, he does so because he has to - a point which is directly made in The Man With The Golden Gun; to Scaramanga he says "When I kill it's on the express order of the British Government."  However, this doesn't make up for the creepy smirks, and the horrendously forced puns and one-liners which had become endemic to the franchise.  Occasionally they work, but most are dreadful.

Watching all the films in a row, I charted a path with Moore's films.  Live and Let Die was good, and The Man With The Golden Gun was okay.  The Spy Who Loved Me was Better, but Moonraker was appalling.  For Your Eyes Only improved things, but then they plummeted again with Octopussy (contending with Moonraker for worst Moore film ever).  A View To A Kill was a little better, but Moore was pretty burned out by then.

Timothy Dalton: Bond Ranking (6), Best Film (The Living Daylights)

It might be controversial to put Dalton at the bottom, behind Lazenby, but I have never really warmed to Dalton's Bond.  He is too angry, with no warmth at all.  Even when he is supposedly charming, you can see the anger seething below.  For me, one of Bond's defining characteristics is his culture and refinement, an appreciation for the finer things in life.  Dalton just comes across as a thug and a brute, with no real debonaire quality.  

He only made two Bond films, and Living Daylights is easily better than Licence to Kill, though the latter had the intriguing notion of a 00 having his licence revoked.  But I found the plot convoluted and boring, and even though I finished watching it about a week ago, can't remember much of it.

Pierce Brosnan: Bond Ranking (2=), Best Film (Goldeneye)

My "first" Bond, Brosnan made Bond "cool" again after a six year hiatus.  Martin Campbell did a great job reinventing Bond for the 90s, and assembled a fantastic cast.  The story was engaging and thrilling, it was well acted, and Brosnan managed to channel the suave sophistication of Connery, the relaxed humour of Moore, and the brutal energy of Dalton.  However, the risk of shining so brightly in your first film is that you struggle to shine so brightly again.  Tommorow Never Dies was enjoyable, but not as good as Goldeneye, and they got progressively worse from there.  The less said about Die Another Day, the better (An invisible car?  That's a great idea - take one of the most attractive cars on the planet, and make it invisible!).

I ranked Brosnan as second equal, because I have trouble picking between him and Daniel Craig.  When Casino Royale came out, I think Craig had the edge, but as time has worn on I think Brosnan holds his own.  I think they are equally good in the role, in different ways.  Brosnan's strength is his suave, debonaire demeanour.  There's a scene in the (horrendous) Die Another Die where he escapes from captivity in Hong Kong and rocks up to a high-end hotel, dripping water with a scraggly beard and requests a suite.  The manager recognises him and greets him warmly.  Even in such a dishevelled state, Bond doesn't expect anything less than the best, and exudes that confidence despite his outward appearance.

Daniel Craig: Bond Ranking (2=), Best Film (Casino Royale)

A lot of people were unhappy when they heard about Craig's casting.  However, on the strength of Casino Royale, I think he turned out to be a very good choice.  With Martin Campbell directing again, it was another reboot and one that was as good, if not better, than Goldeneye.  The opening sequence in particular, serving as a condensed origin story, was possibly one of the best pre-credit sequences in the entire franchise.  

Craig brings a lot of physicality to the role, and sometimes verges on the thuggishness of Dalton, but once in a while the twinkle in his eye tames the brutishness.  Casino Royale did a lot to embed the suave refinement of the role, which was reinforced in a small scene in Quantum of Solace where he is taken to a cheap hotel by Agent Fields as "teachers on sabbatical" and he storms out claiming he would rather spend the night in a morgue.  They end up in a much better place, posing as "teachers on sabbatical who have just won the lottery."

Quantum of Solace is a bit of a mess of a film, and there's not much of merit to comment on.  Skyfall, however, is an improvement though Casino Royale knits together better as a film.  It's clear they deliberately held back on the tropes of the franchise in the earlier films (gadgets, gags and martinis - though the origin of the Vesper martini is a nice touch), but in Skyfall they bring in a few more (reintroducing Q, a few gadgets, etc).  When I watched Casino Royale, it felt like they were re-establishing Bond in the modern era, setting up for a return to "business as usual" in QoS.  When that didn't happen, it seemed like they would do it for Skyfall.  It still didn't really happen.  I now think that the first three films work like a trilogy - introducing Bond, explaining where he comes from and how he gets to be the way he is - enabling them to create a different focus for the subsequent films.

Craig does a good job of exploring the character, and that's probably the strength of Skyfall, especially with the return to his ancestral home.  The destruction thereof acts like a metaphor for the rebooting of the character and franchise, which I think is completed with Skyfall, clearing away a lot of the chaff from the past 50 years.  It's just s shame that the central plot of the film - revolving around Silva's revenge theme - is pretty boring.

Conclusion

Congratulations on reading this far.  As you can probably tell, I'm a big Bond fan, and will happily rewatch all (or mostly all) of the films over and over again.  Seeing them all "back to back" over a period of weeks really sharpens the strengths and weaknesses of the franchise.  Some things have endured the test of time, while others feel really dated and awkward.  There are some clear winners amongst the films, but overall the franchise is a remarkable example of durability.  It has survived some absolute howlers, and each time it has gone on to a new strength.

Bonus trivia fact #1 - Jeffrey Wright is the first actor to portray Felix Leiter in subsequent films (David Hedison is the only other actor to play the character twice, but played it in different eras - LALD, and LTK)

Bonus trivia fact #2 - Walter Gotell played a bit part in FRWL in 1963, but was cast as General Gogol - the main KGB "villain" in The Spy Who Loved Me (and six further films over the next 10 years) 14 years later.

Bonus trivia fact #3 - Shirley Bassey, who sang arguably the most famous of the film's theme tunes (Goldfinger) also sang two more theme tunes, for arguably the worst films in the franchise (Moonraker and Diamonds are Forever)



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  # 1097079 28-Jul-2014 13:17
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^Love your work.

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  # 1097262 28-Jul-2014 17:40
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saturn 3 bd - what a turd in every department ! best thing was the cover with farrah fawcett in latex - cut from the film. -10/10

amazing spiderman 2 bd - totally un-amazing, it goes on and on with no pay-off. time for another reboot !  3/10 only 'cos the pic and sound is excellent.



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  # 1097281 28-Jul-2014 18:09
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^amazing spider man 2 doesn't come out on Blu-Ray until mid-August...sounds like you got stung with a bad transfer from a screener or something filmed in the cinema.

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  # 1097535 28-Jul-2014 22:52
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read again - i said pic and sound was excellent, the film's only saving grace.

i don't watch those filmed in a cinema things.

i'm allergic to fuzzyvision

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