33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 26 October 2007
I'll begin with saying this has always been one of my personal favourites from the golden era of Bond movies - the 70s. This film is Roger Moore, the greatest Bond IMO, at his peak and he plays him with the same charm and wit we came to expect. However, this movie always seems to get a bad press, often named as the worst Bond ever, which I think is strange considering this is very similar in style to The Spy Who Loved Me, one of the most successful Bonds of all time. Both were directed by Lewis Gilbert, both feature the metal toothed henchman Jaws, both blend action with humour perfectly, and both have two very similar villains with a view to wiping out the human race, only difference being one has his lair in the sea and the other in space. Unfortunately this movie is panned for being a copy, but I don't believe this to be true as both films have their own unique qualities. I agree that Moonraker does appear to be far fetched in places, eg the laser battle, the gigantic space station that Drax had built, but, let's face it, far fetched is what you come to expect from most Bond films. There are some very good moments in the film. The film begins with Bond fighting for a parachute in mid air after being pushed out of a plane. There's a darker moment when Drax sends killer dogs to maul a girl to death after she gives infomation to Bond. Jaws is eventually hired to kill Bond, yet he doesn't outsmart him when he pursues Bond in a cable car, which makes way for the hilarious scene when Jaws falls in love! There's a great chase full of explosions when Bond is chased to Drax's base, a haven inhabited by beautiful women. It was a nice twist to see Jaws turn good and help Bond, and in his last scene, sharing a drink with his girlfriend, we hear him say his only ever words 'here's to us'. The effects stand up very well. Obviously everything in space was model shots, but IMO I think this looks more real than CGI which is so over used today. The score from John Barry is the best I have heard from a Bond movie. Very haunting and beautiful, and I love the familiar Bond tune played on the boat chase scene. This film doesn't take itself too seriously which is how I believe Bond films should be. Wish people would give this film a break, as it is in a different league to Die Another Day, the most stupidest and far fetched Bond ever! But if you like your Bonds more Daniel Craig like gritty thrillers, then avoid this at all costs! Hope this review has been helpful.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Moonraker is directed by Lewis Gilbert and adapted to screenplay by Christopher Wood from the novel written by Ian Fleming. It stars Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Michael Lonsdale, Richard Kiel and Corinne Dufour. Music is scored by John Barry and cinematography by Jean Tournier.
Bond 11 and 007 is tasked with finding out what happened to the Moonraker space shuttle that mysteriously disappeared up in space. His investigation takes him to the billionaire builder of the craft, Hugo Drax, where Bond discovers a fiendish plot to start a new world of perfect human beings.
At the end of The Spy Who Loved Me we were told that James Bond would return in For Your Eyes Only, but the gargantuan success of Star Wars and a rekindling of all things sci-fi led Albert Broccoli to send 007 out into space! Armed with a $30 million budget and using only the core base plotting of Fleming's novel, the makers crafted what many feel is the runt of the James Bond litter. The money "is" up there on the screen, it's excess overdrive, outlandish from start to finish and actually is very very entertaining. The problem is that in James Bond terms it barely feels like a Bond movie, it actually could be any bloke propelling the story, this is a guy reliant on gadgets and not his brain or brawn, quipping away purely for the sake of a cheap laugh. Ultimately it's a cash in, both in terms of the sci-fi boom hitting the late 70s and of the James Bond name.
If judged away from the Bond universe on its own popcorn terms, film is a blast, literally. As a whole it's a bit choppy, but many of the parts desperately trying to make up a cohesive blockbuster are great entertainment. Mid air scrap for a parachute, a cable car sequence brilliantly realised, centrifuge chamber peril, boat chase, laser fight and much space age malarkey, the film is chocked full of crowd pleasing moments. In fact it's often mistaken as being a film set in space, when in fact the action doesn't move up there until the last half hour, the previous hour and a half is spread out over France, Italy, Brazil, USA, Gutemala and of course England. The score and the title song, however, are very much Bond. With Barry and Bassey back respectively, film is filled with appropriate atmospheric space strains and a hauntingly emotive theme song.
Charaterisations are a mixed bag. Lonsdale's Hugo Drax is one of the better Bond villains, dignified, well educated and wallowing in a life of luxury, he's perfectly understated in Lonsdale's hands and in fact steals every scene he shares with Moore's Bond. Holly Goodhead (Chiles) is a bold Bond girl with many skills, she's a scientist and an astronaut, attractive and decently played by Chiles, if a touch unmemorable in the Bond girl universe. Kiel is back as Jaws, with the makers choosing to make him some love sick puppy dog, where once was a unique villain, now is cypher for slapstick and a crappy flip-flop of plotting, while the "love interest" for Jaws, Dolly (Blanche Ravalec), is cringe worthy. Sadly this would be the last appearance of Bernard Lee as M, but he leaves a favourable mark, as does Desomond Llewelyn as Q, but once again Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) is all too brief, the flirt and banter she used to share with Bond now seems long gone.
With a committed Bond fan base trudging through the turnstiles to see the latest instalment, the sci-fi fans intrigued by the themes of the story, and the general blockbuster loving crowd, Moonraker made a colossal $203 million at the worldwide box office. Making it the highest grossing Bond film so far, a record that would stick until Brosnan's debut in 1995. While critical notices were not as bad as some would have you believe, the critics clearly judging it on non Bond terms. Broccoli took notice of the fans, though, who were upset by the lack of respect to the serious side of Bond. He promised things would be different for Bond 12. 7/10
on 8 April 2015
A space shuttle is stolen enroute to London and M sends 007 out to apologise to the shuttle creator, billionaire Hugo Drax.
While visiting Drax's estate several attempts are made on Bond's life, making Drax himself the number one suspect. Bond meets Dr. Holly Goodhead, a NASA scientist who is also a CIA agent investigating Drax.
Their investigations lead Bond to discover a plot to murder the world's population so that Drax can repopulate the planet in his image.
The mission takes Bond all over the world, California, Brazil, the Amazon Jungle and, finally, to Drax's huge space-city over the Earth. Drax,
meanwhile, has hired a old friend of Bond to take care of any problems.....
It's ironic that Jaws makes another appearance in this movie, because is the movie where Moore and the creators really jumped the shark with Bond. I'm not saying its a bad film, I really enjoy watching it, it's just unbelievable that this movie is from the same franchise as From Russia With Love, and even Skyfall.
Moore once again is great as the worlds most famous secret agent, and while this is the film where he really starts to show his age, he and the rest of the cast and crew are clearly having a ball.
It's clearly cashing in on Star Wars, but unlike other copycats, this has a really good story, amazing concept, and pretty wonderful narrative. It's just that when the film goes daft, it gives us double taking pigeons and that gondola.
Action scenes are as good as expected, but this time, whenever Jaws is on screen, he doesn't feel as threatening as he should, because we know he's there because he was just so popular.
Saying that though, the Mardi Gras scene with him walking slowly down the alleyway still gives me the creeps to this day.
The soundtrack is wonderful, the effects are still surprisingly good even to this day, and even know its one of the lesser appreciated Bond movies, it's still one of the most successful.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
In 1977 The Spy Who Loved Me, reinvigorated the James Bond franchise after the disappointing box-office returns for The Man with the Golden Gun. The next Bond movie was originally to be For Your Eyes Only, and indeed on the end credits of Spy Who Loved Me, it was stated that this would be the next film. However no one had anticipated the huge success of the original Star Wars, released the same summer as Spy Who Loved Me. With space and science fiction making a big comeback, Eon productions decided to instead make another unfilmed Ian Fleming novel Moonraker the next Bond movie. This was only remaining Fleming book with a space theme. Moonraker began filming in 1978, and would be competiting with numerous other space related films about to hit the cinema such as the original Star Trek film and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Although often regarded as one of Flemings best novels, the movie adaption of Moonraker would have little in common with the book. The name Drax is maintained for the main villain, but otherwise this movie is very futuristic in scope. Producer Albert R Broccoli once stated that Moonraker was based on science fact not fiction. But in fact is alongside Die Another Day, the most far fetched in the series. Space shuttles are faetured in the movie, although in reality the first launch was not until 1981. There is also a laser battle in the movie climax, which is set in outer space, with Drax's men fighting the US Military.
Whereas Spy Who Loved Me has a villain with an underwater base who wants to destroy the world and recreate in his own image, Moonraker's Drax plans to destroy the Earth as we know it from space. In essence then the plots of both films are very similar. Both also feature the henchman Jaws, and are both directed by Lewis Gilbert. John Barry returns after several years to give another music score. Roger Moore is by now, very comfortable in the role of Bond. Both girls are also memorable, although the death of one after she is mauled by dogs, is a dark sequence in an otherwise lighter Bond movie. Familar French actor Michael Lonsdale makes a great droll villain. This is one of the rare instances in which the movie scores over its predecessor, as he is much better than Stromberg.
The film can not be taken too seriously, and as with Casino Royale which followed Die Another Day, the producers elected to bring Bond right back to Earth for the next movie. The film is entertaining and this edition contains some great extras, including a commentary from Sir Roger Moore himself.
Although often regarded as one of Fleming's best Bond novels, the movie and book have little in common
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 21 May 2009
Well you either accept the film as a hugely enjoyable escapist romp or not. There's little point adding to what hasn't already been said about the movie over the past 30 years. But the fact it HAS been 30 years shows a remarkable eloquence and test of time. Ironically it's now kinda refreshing to see tongue in cheek hokum in these hard bitten cynical times. Anyway what blu-ray does here is first surprise you with the marvellous cinematography of the film. Something you wouldn't normally associate with a Bond film. Secondly, the genius of Ken Adams' set designs are shown off to even more supreme glory in High defination. He really was one of a kind! As was Derek Meddings of course with his master craftsman special effects... Often here, the model work can look even better than some of the rather flat CGI of today.
OK, yes, this was probably the pininacle of Roger Moore's humourously sly wink to the audience. After this, the laughs seemed to get a bit more painful and forcibly laid on with a trowl. Even the set pieces never seemed to segway or edit quite so well into each other as they were done with The Spy Who Loved Me or here! But alas, no more would the set designs of a Bond movie ever look so lavish, sumptuous or as visually stunning as they were presented here. On the blu-ray extras we even get home movie footage from Ken Adam when the production team was scouting various locations. So if like me you can take the film with a big pinch of salt and end up with a big smile upon your face, then believe me---- the blu-ray experience will only add a few more... Great fun.....
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 1 January 2001
I loved this film. Not as good as Goldfinger, but still great. I judge a film by it's entertainment quality, and it's here. Special effects are done very well here, they haven't dated like current CGI will have drastically in 20 years time. The humour is quite good. Perhaps it is childish like others will testify, but it made me laugh so who cares! My only small problem with the film is the laser battle; well realised but out of place.
This DVD is very good. For the most part picture quality is excellent for a 21 year old film, presented in anamorphic panavision widescreen. Sound has been remixed into 5.1, and is surprisingly good, adding a new dimention to the space scenes. Extras are lighter than usual, but the "Inside Moonraker" documentary is slightly longer than the others in the collection.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 July 2000
''moonraker'' was originally meant to be in the space of ''for your eyes only'' but because of the huge success of the sc-fi film ''star wars'' eon productions thought it might be a good idea to carry on the space fetische,in this film bond (roger moore) is sent out to recover a supposingly blown up space shuttle called moonraker which was really hi jacked in mid air of course you haved to have an evil villian and hugo drax (michael lonsdale) plays the perfect part of sinister man who wants to run his own private city in space without the goverment knowing,this film is packed with all the usual gadgets and unescapable situations so sit back and relax because you are in for a good ride,i give this film 5 stars.
on 1 July 2015
wow this bond film is great when jaws comes in! this is the last one he appears in love M and Q great classic bond which he stays on the earth but he goes up in space AND FINDS DRAX in space which brings bombs down to earth. Jaws turns good in the end and he fell in love with someone AH! THIS IS A BRILLIANT OUTSTANDING BOND FILM FANTASTIC LOVED IT FROM BEGINGING TO END JUST GO WITH THE FLOW AND BUY IT TRUST ME ITS FANTASTIC!!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2014
I am so pleased to have bought this DVD it will go to complete my set and am looking forward to watching it.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2009
In my opinion this is one of the best Bonds. A superb performance by Roger Moore accompanied by a sterling score from John Barry, including a fantastic title song, sung by Dame Shirley Bassey.
As Albert Broccoli stated: Bond films deal with science-fact NOT fiction. A villains lair in space; fact: ISS; a space station orbiting earth right now. Space shuttle's launched from earth docking with the villains lair; fact: space shuttle's regularly dock with the ISS. Laser battle in space; fact: Boeing have successfully tested a laser canon from a 747.
This film is not as far fetched as some would have you believe; besides Bond films are all about fun and adventure and boy does this film deliver!
The DVD itself is excellent, real value for money. It comes with an interesting collectors booklet and the DVD menu's, well lets just say that someone put real thought and effort into them. It's worth buying this DVD just for the menu. The extra's are excellent, from interviews to posters.
A great film and DVD! If only they still made Bond films like this.
Where all the other Bonds end...... this one begins!