Juck’s Thoughts on GoldenEye

I’m in the process of watching every Bond movie, from the first to the most recent. I will be giving my thoughts on each film as I go along. Not many people have seen every Bond film, and so I feel that this should be an interesting journey. Let’s get started!


Pierce Brosnan’s first outing as Bond was much like that of Roger Moore. In other words, Brosnan played the role conservatively. He did the charm, he did the humor, and he did the action. I believe that it will take another film for Brosnan to ease into the role of Bond and to exude confidence naturally. Nonetheless, Brosnan did a fine job as 007.

GoldenEye begins with a spectacular bungee jump that serves as a throwback to the iconic parachute stunt from the Spy Who Loved Me. If there is any stunt to rival that in the Spy Who Loved Me, it’s this one.goldeneye 3

The percussion-based Bond score was well done overall, save for the music played over the opening car chase sequence. It was as if the 80s regurgitated onto the 90s. No thank you. Other than that hiccup, the score was dynamic in spite of its ambiance.

GoldenEye features a couple of new cast members. Moneypenny, now the third version in the series, is formidable. She holds her own against Bond without an issue. She has a sass to her that is electric. M, now played by Judi Dench, is commanding and ultimately badass. She too is able to stick it to Bond. In fact, one of the best scenes of the film is defined by M calling out Bond for what he is. The exchange is golden.

Q, while still portrayed by Desmond Llewelyn, appears to be amped up as well. His Q branch scene is hilarious and charged with ceaseless energy. The entire supporting cast creates a strong base for Brosnan to stand on. I trust that he will take full advantage of the talented individuals around him in future films.

While GoldenEye did beckon in fresh faces, there still remains remnants of an older era, specifically the Moore era. The film’s henchman, Onatop, provided for some good laughs, but she was ridiculous. Her whole shtick may as well have been pulled directly from the Moore era. Her whole deal was strange, really.

7ff8bbdbedee967a9a4cfb838485c150This film also introduces CIA agent Jack Wade. I will refer to him as Sheriff Pepper Version 2, because that is all he is. 

Over all, I enjoyed GoldenEye. Its grand action pieces that put Bond against the world were engaging, if over-the-top at times. Furthermore, Brosnan has room to grow into Bond’s suit. I am confident that he will.


Juck’s Thoughts on License to Kill

I’m in the process of watching every Bond movie, from the first to the most recent. I will be giving my thoughts on each film as I go along. Not many people have seen every Bond film, and so I feel that this should be an interesting journey. Let’s get started!Licence-To-Kill

License to Kill is Timothy Dalton’s second and final entry in the Bond series. I write this with great sadness, as I have greatly enjoyed Dalton as Bond. Dalton brought an energized magnetism to the character, a cold danger to the man who, for so long, lacked any kind of screen command.

License to Kill stands out from the get-go because it clearly establishes itself as a non-formulaic Bond movie. The film begins with Felix Leiter’s wedding. Of course, Bond is there too, celebrating and enjoying himself. At the same time, notorious criminal Sanchez escapes from custody via Inception and captures Felix. The rest of the movie follows an alternate course for Bond. Instead of trying to save the world from a grand scheme, Bond goes out to find Sanchez, a pleasant change of pace from the usual Bond.

ltk bridge

Dalton is still cold, though I won’t go into much detail about it because I don’t want to spoil his actions. There is genuine shock value in this movie that I wouldn’t want to deprive you of. Oh, and there is notably more blood in this installment than any Bond film prior.

Sanchez, the main villain of the film, is strikingly menacing. He walks around with a Goodfellas-esque confidence and sells it entirely. Strong villains seem to be a growing trend in Bond films as of late. I like it.LTK-Robert-Davi

I enjoyed watching Benicio del Toro as the goon because it was like watching a young Fenster from Usual Suspects. To say that that is the sole reason why I enjoyed watching him would be misleading. Benicio del Toro was not a clear-cut goon who was sent around to do dirty work. Instead, he seemed to be like a son to Sanchez, a dynamic that gives him depth that is not attributed to many Bond goons.

Q shines in this movie, providing a warm screen presence as well as a delicate dose of humor. I feel that Q has always been a lovable character. His ceaseless scolding of Bond has always been a key component of the Bond films, and an enjoyable one at that. In License to Kill, however, Q is not reduced to a single humorous scene or two. Instead, he is a key character in the plot of this particular story. The fondness and loyalty that Q has for Bond is highlighted throughout the movie. The scene below is a fantastic representation of the spirit he contributes to License to Kill.

Bond’s other MI6 chum, Moneypenny, does not fare as well as Q, unfortunately. I have determined that the new Moneypenny is no good. The new actress just doesn’t fit the mold of the witty yet lovable secretary. I can’t tell if she’s supposed to be brainy or sexy or foolish. This Moneypenny is a bit jumbled, is all.

One thing that did fall flat in this film was the romance. Bond’s womanizing is forced. There is literally no buildup to the romance with either of the women. I don’t feel that this is the fault of Dalton, as he does a fine job on his end at appearing interested in the women he acts opposite to. Instead, I feel that it is the script that puts the romance in the backseat, as there is little opportunity to develop the motivations and the passions. This is surprising, as the Living Daylights featured one of the most natural relationships that Bond has had with a woman.

The film ends with one of the most inventive Bond chase sequences to date, which features massive explosions like I’ve never seen in a movie. The flat explosions from Transformers cannot hold a candle to those in License to Kill. I felt the heat of the fire and the shock waves of the explosions. I kid you not. And seeing a tanker truck drive like that was incredible to witness. 

Fullscreen capture 12042012 124237Timothy Dalton had an excellent run as Bond. I would have liked for him to have continued carrying the torch for a few movies more, but perhaps it is for the best that he didn’t work himself dry as did Sean Connery and Roger Moore. Of the four Bonds that have been put to screen as of this film, Dalton is my favorite. He will be missed. The next film in the series will introduce me to Pierce Brosnan, the Bond that I knew when I was growing up.


Juck’s Thoughts on the Living Daylights

I’m in the process of watching every Bond movie, from the first to the most recent. I will be giving my thoughts on each film as I go along. Not many people have seen every Bond film, and so I feel that this should be an interesting journey. Let’s get started!


Bond. Is. Back.

They say that Bond became dark with the arrival of Daniel Craig in Casino Royale. As a young lad who had gone from Die Another Day to Casino Royale, I couldn’t help but agree. But now I am older. Now I know better. Dark Bond was born with Timothy Dalton in the Living Daylights, a film that has breathed new life into the James Bond franchise.

I must begin by discussing Timothy Dalton’s screen presence. The man fits right into the role of Bond. There was no adjustment period, there was no question as to whether or not he could take on the role. For me, Timothy Dalton was Bond the second he took off his mask in the opening sequence. Dalton’s Bond has a cold, brooding presence. He comes across as being a smart, quick thinker. He cracks jokes, yet he is ultimately a serious individual.

Often times, I felt that Roger Moore was aloof, standing about and responding woodenly to the conflicts that surrounded him. Timothy Dalton, on the other hand, was always present. Even when he wasn’t uttering a word, the audience was fully aware of his screen presence. Dalton sold the cool look without seeming apathetic and without hanging about like he expected everything to turn out well. This man is Bond.


The Living Daylights begins with what may very well be the best Bond opening sequence to date. It was captivating, visually impressive, and properly scored. In fact, the entire film has a stellar score that achieves the perfect balance between classic Bond and a retro Bond sound. This movie kicked off Timothy Dalton’s Bond with a well-executed bang.

Another thing about the Living Daylights that surprised me was the degree to which the dialogue captivated me. I found the words exchanged to be interesting and substantial, which has rarely been the case with Bond films thus far into the series. To my satisfaction, I was fully invested in what the characters were saying. Hats off to the writers who worked on this Bond installment.

I must add that I had a blast with the crafty gadgets in this movie. The decked out cars were also a treat. What triumphs everything, however, is the “ghetto blaster.”

Politically correct? No. Priceless? Indeed.

This time around, the Bond girl was a likable and layered character. She was well acted, she had great chemistry with Timothy Dalton, and she was one of the most capable Bond girls to date. She is the first in a string of countless Bond girls who was not

a) utterly useless

b) annoying

c) merely there for to provide cleavage

d) All of the above

(D is the correct answer)

Props to her for stepping up the Bond girl game. 

What is most striking about the Living Daylights is its darkness. Bond is unbelievably cold. There is a moment where he rips the clothes off of a woman and uses her exposed body as a distraction. After she serves her purpose, he scares her into a closet. This comes as a shock, although it really should not. Bond has been harming women since From Russia With Love. In addition to Bond’s coldness, the film’s action is brutal. Check out this fight scene. (Begins 1:20, ends 2:15)

That was no karate scene with watermelons being used as weapons. That was hardcore.

Despite all of the darkness, the Living Daylights was not a depressing flick. There was plenty humor scattered through. In addition to the ghetto blaster featured above (watch it again. Soak in the glory), there was a chase down a snowy mountainside that involved a cello. The sight of it had me laughing out loud.


If you don’t find that funny, you have no soul.

The only aspect about the Living Daylights that I have yet to make up my mind about is the new Moneypenny. She seems to be agreeable thus far, though she may prove be too on-the-nose for Moneypenny. Time will tell.

Over all, the Living Daylights is a drastic revival of the Bond franchise. The movie brings new energy across the board. The acting, the music, the dialogue, the action, the entire spectacle was a joy. I am getting very good vibes from Timothy Dalton. The Living Daylights is one of my favorite Bond films thus far. It will certainly be hard to top.


Juck’s Thoughts on A View to a Kill

I’m in the process of watching every Bond movie, from the first to the most recent. I will be giving my thoughts on each film as I go along. Not many people have seen every Bond film, and so I feel that this should be an interesting journey. Let’s get started!


At this point, I feel like I am sifting through elephant dung with my bare hands. Yes, I am that frustrated.

I began this series because I wanted to witness the evolution of Bond. I wanted to experience the Connery era. I wanted to see how that one guy did as Bond that one time. I wanted to see the gadgets. I wanted to hear the music. I wanted to watch the title sequences. I wanted to watch Bond. A View to a Kill was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I am the camel, for those who can’t figure it out.

We begin this movie with a horrendous song by Duran Duran. Horrendous. Horr-en-dous. Absolutely horrendous. People are complaining about Sam Smith’s recently released song for Spectre, a song that is the Last Supper when compared with this horrendous piece of cave art. Here, suffer with me.

A View to a Kill seems to be a parody at many points. The destruction of the taxi that Bond carjacks is absurd, as is the taxi driver who he carjacks. The production line scene is absurd. Mayday and Mayday’s encounter with Bond is absurd. The racetrack traps are absurd. The check duplicator gadget is absurd. The gadget glasses are entirely pointless. The Molotov cocktail being thrown into the elevator shaft is absurd. The entire ordeal was absurd.


Yes, this was an actual prop for the movie. An actual prop.

Unlike the previous two films, this movie had flavor. That is, the flavor of spoiled milk.

The two positive qualities retained by a View to a Kill include the the score, which was dramatic and more extensive than that of previous films, and the chemistry between Bond and Tibbett. That’s all.

80’s Bond has tortured me endlessly. Thankfully, because God is merciful, this is the last Moore film of the franchise. I have enjoyed Roger Moore as Bond, but once the 80’s era came around, the Moore installments became dreadful. The series needs a fresh start. Though my back is broken, I am ready to go back into the desert with hopes that Timothy Dalton’s first installment is an oasis of water. 8o’s Bond is 0 for 3. Let’s get this series back on track. Please.


Interview with Natalia, Editor of the Album Reviews

The album reviews on this blog are nearly 100% free of technical errors because of the efforts of Natalia, the blog’s one and only album review editor. Since over 30 album reviews have been published as of today, I have decided it is time for her to get some extra recognition for her hard work. Let’s take a look at the interview I conducted with Natalia.

Juck: So Natalia. What is it that you like most about editing the album reviews?

Natalia: I enjoy getting to learn more about the different types of music and different artists and stuff life like that. It’s fun. I like finding music that I like through the album reviews.

Juck: Which album has been your favorite to edit?

Natalia: One of my favorites was the Lydia album review because I loved hearing what you had to say and it was entertaining seeing you bash the album. I also love any review with Robbyisms in it.

Juck: Is there an album that you dreaded editing?

Natalia: Citizen Cope. I hate Citizen Cope. All of his songs sound the same. He sounds like an amateur artist who just made songs in his room. Like he just keeps making more and they sound the same because he doesn’t know what to do.

Juck: What is the biggest mistake that you have had to edit?

Natalia: You said headband instead of headbang. I don’t know if that’s the worst. And Robert doesn’t make any sense sometimes.

Juck: What is the most ridiculous thing that you have read while editing an album review?

Natalia: *laughs* Well when Robert said “you need to pray every night/day/both.” I love his use of slashes because they don’t make sense.

Juck: How do you think that Robert and I differ in our review styles?

Natalia: You’re a little bit more descriptive and you really get into the music and the instruments, whereas Robert does do that, but he also focuses more on the meaning of each song. What he says is more casual.

Juck: Would you ever consider reviewing an album with Rob and I?

Natalia: Yes, I would love to, if you let me. I really want to do that Hannah Montana one for April Fools.

Juck: Thank you, Natalia.

Natalia: Thank you, and thank you, everyone, for being cool.



Juck’s Thoughts on Octopussy

I’m in the process of watching every Bond movie, from the first to the most recent. I will be giving my thoughts on each film as I go along. Not many people have seen every Bond film, and so I feel that this should be an interesting journey. Let’s get started!


My word, Roger Moore has gotten old. 

Octopussy features what is possibly the worst credit sequence in any Bond film, and it’s not even because of the song. The visuals were subtle as the double-take pigeon and looked as if they were made with the skill of a Video Production I student. It was utter rubbish.

Octopussy’s strongest element was its villains. Both of the villains succeeded in being intimidating. I feel that Eon knew that it had such a solid cast of baddies this time around, as they dressed up Kamal Khan (Yes, they named the Afghani price Kamal. Camel. Kamal. Two thumbs up for cultural sensitivity) in Dr. No’s iconic getup.

The movie as whole, however, while it was able to keep my attention, was ultimately uninspired and dull, suffering from many of the same issues as did For Your Eyes Only. The film was relatively well-made, yet it didn’t have the charm of most other Bond films.

The circus element of the film was an usual fixture that threw me back to the supernatural element of Live and Let Die in that it was bizarre.

To make things worse, there were many points where I felt the movie wasn’t being remotely serious. The clown chase, the knife-throwing twins, the tennis rackets, Bond’s attempt at going at it with Octopussy while injured…The movie was just so tonally jumbled and bizarre. I was genuinely confused as to whether or not Eon was attempting to parody itself or if they were trying to come across as bold on account of randomness.


Highlight scenes include the tense auction scene and the surprisingly effective circus diffusion scene.

Octopussy was a dry installment of the Bond franchise. Yes, despite the clowns, the movie was dry. It was watchable, as I said before, but it was missing gusto. So far, 80s Bond is 0/2.



Juck’s Thoughts on For Your Eyes Only

I’m in the process of watching every Bond movie, from the first to the most recent. I will be giving my thoughts on each film as I go along. Not many people have seen every Bond film, and so I feel that this should be an interesting journey. The franchise has been around for over 50 years for a reason. Let’s get started!


This is series is called “Juck’s Thoughts on Bond,” yet I don’t have many thoughts to share. For Your Eyes Only failed to captivate me. The action was well done, the writing was fine, the sets were nice to look at, the score was alright, and the film was cohesive, but something was missing. I felt like For Your Eyes Only displayed Bond going through the motions. There was no passion to be felt, no spectacle. And there was hardly any spy-work to be done.

For Your Eyes Only was a grand action sequence that contained occasional breaks which served to advance the plot. Chase after chase, action scene after action scene, it was as if the brain of the Bond series was simply shut off for this installment. I certainly don’t hate it, as it has some positive qualities, but it made a very minimal impression on me. For Your Eyes Only is perhaps the most forgettable Bond film thus far into the franchise.

Instead of delving into my thoughts on this film, of which there are few, a simple shrug will suffice.


Juck’s Thoughts on Moonraker

I’m in the process of watching every Bond movie, from the first to the most recent. I will be giving my thoughts on each film as I go along. Not many people have seen every Bond film, and so I feel that this should be an interesting journey. The franchise has been around for over 50 years for a reason. Let’s get started!


I just finished watching Star W-…I mean Moonraker. It is easy to see why this film gets crap. Heck, Bond is in space and there are laser guns. But I won’t fall into the pitfall of unsubstantiated hate. Truthfully, Moonraker was a joy to watch.

Moonraker is the first modern Bond film, and it’s not because it saw Bond in space. Instead, it was the smooth pacing of the film that gave it a modern edge. In the previous 007 films, there was plenty of action to be had, with scuffles and chases graciously spread throughout and massive action pieces to mark the endings. But Moonraker was paced in such a way that the action felt…familiar. Modern.

Moonraker offered some of the most thrilling action sequences to date, from the airplane jump to the G-force escape to the ski-lift scene to the sword fight in the glass room.

The film was bright and gorgeous-looking and the sets were grand. Some of the effects, like zero-gravity, did not look quite as modern as many of the other effects, but it was believable enough where it did not detract from the cohesion of the film. Moonraker was an expensive film to make, and it shows. Vast sets and luxurious settings are proof enough.


I am pleased to note that there was an abundance of gadgets in this movie. Bond utilizes a dart-watch, a high-tech lock-pick, and a mini-camera. There was also a helping of intriguing CIA gadgets, which most notably included flamethrower perfume. There were vehicle gadgets as well, from mines to torpedoes to a para-sail dispenser. Yes, a para-sail dispenser. A coffin laden with knives also makes an appearance.

There was a true spy feeling to the film that was established by the gadgets and further advanced by the MI6 presence and overall grand scope.

In this film, Jaws won me over. He was funny. He had personality. I finally get him. Just as was the case with Sheriff Pepper, I was puzzled by the character during his first appearance, but he grew on me during his second time around. Although, it is worth noting that Jaws’ scuffles with Bond are never captured clearly. Maybe this is because of the height difference.


Jaws’ girlfriend, while I understand why she is there, is ridiculous. That’s all I want to say about her.

Moonraker offers a blend of humor that did not always hit, but I didn’t feel that it substantially detracted from the film. Yes, the double-taking pigeon is mindbogglingly unbelievable, but it didn’t override the successful execution of other aspects of the film.

Tossed in with the fantastic action scenes, the laser space battle at the end was completely unnecessary. I understand the desire to end the movie with a grand action piece, but the space battle really did come across as being shoehorned in.

Moonraker ends with a golden line delivered by Q regarding reentry. The movie could not have ended with a better piece of dialogue.

In conclusion, Moonraker is a milestone in the Bond franchise. Its pace gave it a modern feeling, its gadgets gave it a definitive spy feeling, and the beautiful sets gave it a grand feeling. Moonraker was a blast that, I believe, will usher in a new era of Bond.


Juck’s Thoughts on The Spy Who Loved Me

I’m in the process of watching every Bond movie, from the first to the most recent. I will be giving my thoughts on each film as I go along. Not many people have seen every Bond film, and so I feel that this should be an interesting journey. The franchise has been around for over 50 years for a reason. Let’s get started!


When I share my thoughts on Bond films, I typically discuss the movie as a whole, specifically focusing on the changes and growth from one film to another. But the Spy Who Loved Me leaves me no choice but to approach this post differently than the others. If Eon can throw a bunch of stuff onto the screen without worrying whether or not it works, so can I. Let’s break this s*** down.

Here’s the good news.

The opening cliff jump had me in awe. That long shot of Bond falling is one of the best stunts in the series to date.


The first shark scene was intense, made even more intriguing by the soothing music and the lovely set pieces.

It is good to see that Bond still practices chivalry, as he uses a woman as a bullet shield on one particular occasion.

As is almost always the case with Bond, the car was tricked-out and a joy to witness.

The sailor escape scene was grand, bringing to mind the Fort Knox scene in Goldfinger.

And I must mention that the hookah gun is hilarious.

That is where the praise ends. The Spy Who Loved Me was a poorly written, poorly directed disaster.

The Spy Who Loved Me offers a drastic departure from the tightly-filmed fight scenes in the Man with the Golden Gun. The fight sequences in this film are ineffective, as they are noticeably choreographed. Each actor engaged in a “fight” hesitates and allows the other to gain ground for the sake of the “fight”. As a result of the poorly-directed fight scenes, there was no intrigue or drama involved in any close-quarters combat. 

The henchman, Jaws, is horrible. He literally appears to be mentally impaired. Despite his big stature, Jaws comes across as oafish, popping up in closets and rounding corners impossibly. His dumb stare in the closet legitimately angered me. For being such an iconic villain, I was surprised that Jaws was so underwhelming. 


Frankenstein? Maybe.

The writing in this film was sloppy. Here are a couple of instances in which the writing was nonsensical: 

Bond says, “I’m looking for Mr. Kalba.”

The employee responds,”He’s the owner of the club. He’s right over there.”

That’s like me asking where my father is and having somebody respond, “He’s your father. He’s right over there.” If I asked for the whereabouts of a particular individual, it is assumed that I am familiar with the individual.

Another example: A chick says that she is cold. When Bond asks if there is anything he could do, she says no. She proceeds to say that she took a survival course in Siberia. They then proceed to make out. What? Bond was just rejected, and quite harshly at that. What kind of convoluted switch was switched in the girl’s head that told her to allow Roger Moore to perform the Dementor Kiss of Death on her? (Seriously, Roger Moore kisses women like he wants to devour them).

On the topic of the Bond girl, she was not good. Her inclusion in the film was to add nothing but cleavage. This is indisputable, as she was simply not good at the role.

But nay, I am not finished yet. I must remark that the disco Bond music was out of place. I understand that Bond films attempt to mold to contemporary trends, but disco music? The disco Bond music dated the film and added nothing positive to the final product.

Another thing that bewildered me is the fact that Bond uses his turn signals underwater while fighting off bad guys. This wasn’t done for humor. No, this is a thing that Bond apparently did for himself, or perhaps as a caution to the other drivers cruising along the oceanic highway.

But nay, I am still not finished. Bond villains are not known for having the most practical schemes, but this villain’s motivation is perhaps more ridiculous than that of any other Bond villain thus far. Stromberg wants to build Atlantis. Yes, that is his evil scheme. To build Atlantis.


I must mention that Bond plays Operation with a nuclear missile, buzzing noises and all. At this point, the film had lost me. The last half hour was a painful, dragging, slow segment where nothing happens. Nothing.

Over all, the Spy Who Loved Me felt forced. The fights were forced, the shots were forced, the plot was forced, the music was forced, most everything was forced. Thus far, this movie is Roger Moore’s worst Bond installment. I pray that Moonraker throws Moore and the entire crew back on track.


Juck’s Thoughts on The Man With the Golden Gun

I’m in the process of watching every Bond movie, from the first to the most recent. I will be giving my thoughts on each film as I go along. Not many people have seen every Bond film, and so I feel that this should be an interesting journey. The franchise has been around for over  50 years for a reason. Let’s get started!


Most Bond villains have characteristic deformations that set them apart from the average bad guy. In the Man with the Golden Gun, the villain has three nipples. Yes, Scaramanga has three nipples. I kid you not. Three nipples. Although the reality of this deformation perplexes me, and although there are few things stranger thus far into the Bond franchise, the Man with the Golden Gun was a real treat.

Roger Moore was energized in this installment, bringing good humor and charm to the screen. Entirely confident in the role, the man delivered a great performance. I am entirely satisfied with Roger Moore as James Bond.

The fight scenes were well done. I could feel each blow being dealt. Furthermore, the action was cut together properly. I found the watermelon headshot to be particularly enlightening. 


Scaramanga, played by the late Christopher Lee, is an impressive villain despite the campy weight of his third nipple. He was a substantial, involved antagonist. There were instances where he seemed very much like Bond, making him seem a worthy adversary to the secret agent. To label Scaramanga an anti-Bond would not be a label too far off. Not many Bond films thus far have had a villain that has come across as being so…capable.

I was surprised to notice that Sheriff Pepper makes another appearance in the series. He is certainly more bearable this time around, although his presence is an enigma, as there is no reason for him to be touring a foreign country due to his evident intolerance of foreigners. Regardless, Pepper was fine. Perhaps unnecessary, but fine.


The Man with the Golden Gun contains one of the greatest pickup lines I have ever heard. I am really going to have to try out, “You really do have a magnificent abdomen” on a lady some time soon. I will inform you of the results.

It is rare that I comment on the appearance of the Bond girls, but I must make an exception for Mary Goodnight, played by Britt Ekland. She was easy to look at.


This installment in the Bond franchise was a jolly good time. It was paced well, it contained great action sequences, and it displayed Roger Moore as a believable James Bond. The Man with the Golden Gun is a strong Bond film that is certainly setting up Roger Moore for many more successes as Agent 007.