Juck’s Thoughts on the World Is Not Enough

The world is not enough. It is nahht. Oh hi Mark. – Tommy Wiseau.

wold-is-not-enough

It is no secret that Christopher Nolan is a huge Bond fan by his own admission. With that in mind, I can’t help but wonder if Cobb’s rappel scene from Nolan’s very own Inception was inspired by this movie. A more eerie similarity between this particular Bond film and another one of Nolan’s pictures, The Dark Knight, is between two lines of dialogue. In the World Is Not Enough, a character says, “She could be everywhere” in reference to M’s potential death by bomb. Of course, if the bomb were to have gone off, M’s remains would certainly be “everywhere.” In the Dark Knight, when Batman is interrogating the Joker as to the whereabouts of Harvey Dent, the Joker responds, “Depending on the time, he may in one spot, or several.” Interesting, how the lines of dialogue are so similar under like circumstances.

On the other side of things, this Bond film nods to an older era of Bond and refers to Live and Let Die by flipping a speedboat. Thankfully, because the universe was kind on a particular day in the editing room, there was no slide whistle sound effect include this time around!

The World Is Not Enough features another strong Q scene, one that undoubtedly served as an appropriate sendoff for Desmond Llewelyn, who died shortly after the film’s release. The scene is touching, and it marks the end of a truly spectacular Q. Brosnan brought out the best in Llewelyn, as is palpable on screen. Or perhaps it was Llewelyn who brought out the best in Brosnan. However the chemistry was conjured, the two have the greatest scenes of any Bond-Q pair to date.

I have finally determined that Brosnan handles a gun significantly better than he handles hand-to-hand combat. The manner in which he handles firearms exudes confidence and power, which is fitting, given that this Bond has proven to be more fond of including (and more apt to have) technology in his arsenal.

The_World_is_Not_Enough_Brosnan

I enjoyed seeing Robbie Coltrane’s Zukovsky appear once again, with his first appearance being in GoldenEye. Continuity is a rare element in Bond films, and seeing a recurring supporting character who isn’t from MI6 a pleasant treat.

Though The World Is Not Enough moves along Bond’s evolution quite nicely, the film lost much of its charm and shine as it went on, suffering from a problem possessed by a host of older Bond films. That is, the second half of the film lags. This is a decent Bond film, but it is not a standout for me.

~Juck

Juck’s Thoughts on Tomorrow Never Dies

Hello, everyone. It’s been a while. Well, let’s dive into it, shall we?

tomorrow-never-dies-125

It is easy to regard Tomorrow Never Dies as Brosnan’s Moonraker for a number of reasons. To start, the sets are gorgeous. The futuristic aesthetic was palpable throughout the film. Visually, Tomorrow Never Dies is stellar, and the same could be said about the score. The music is notably strong in this installment.

Where this film shines, however, is its cast. Brosnan comes across as incredibly likable his second go-around. He seems to have struck a balance between charming, energetic, serious, and humorous. In this film, he doesn’t have a stick up his arse. Instead, he naturally plays Bond as a man rather than as a caricature.

tomorrowneverdies20-e13912248199781

The villain proves a strong adversary for Bond, a visionary type who rings quite close to Steve Jobs. Seeing him atop a stage only solidifies the similarity in my mind. He is intimidating and eccentric without being over the top with his performance.

tomorrow-never-dies-feat

 

The Bond girl is an interesting character in her own right. She possesses strength and independence, two traits that not many Bond girls have. 

tomorrow-never-dies-girl-2

M is still a badass who is intolerant of crap and disinterested in the fact that she is not universally well-liked. As for Q, the Q scene in this film is brilliant. Brosnan has great chemistry with Desmond Llewelyn. I am convinced that Brosnan’s interactions with Q are the best of the the series. With that, the two characters don’t simply banter. No, Q hooks up Bond with some gnarly gadgets. In fact, I feel that Tomorrow Never Dies provides what is perhaps the best and most comprehensive use of gadgets in a Bond film thus far into the series. Check out this chase scene in which Bond shows off some of his toys.

In terms of the action, Tomorrow Never Dies features intense action sequences that are well shot, wildly entertaining, and, above all, over the top. The movie’s pace is brisk, yet it retains tension throughout, a feat that is not easy to accomplish.

I must note that I noticed a cello being used in a fight scene. I cannot help but wonder if that bit was meant to be a nod to the Living Daylights. In any case, Tomorrow Never Dies was a solid installment in the Bond series. I am glad that Brosnan is more comfortable in the role. Let us see how he fares as time goes on. After all, time seems to be Bond actors’ worst enemy. 

 

~Juck

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.
1dalton5

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