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Moonraker [Blu-ray] 
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Lewis Gilbert directs the eleventh instalment of the James Bond franchise. When a space shuttle goes missing during a test flight, James Bond (Roger Moore) is the man who must track it down. His investigations take him to Venice, Rio de Janeiro and finally into outer space where he uncovers a ruthless plot to wipe out the human race and replace it with genetically engineered humanoids.
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"James Bond goes into space" so the ads proclaimed in 1979, and boy does he ever, in possibly Roger's weakest 007 outing. Firstly the negatives, the story itself starts off very well and is very entertaining but as it goes along it becomes more & more silly culminating in the space adventure. Lois Chiles who plays Bond girl "Dr Goodhead" isn't a particularly warm character as she comes across quite cold and as a viewer I didn't really like her all that much and I would also say that the Shirley Bassey theme song is one of the weaker efforts. There is plenty to enjoy about the film however, the action is superb, the gondola through Venice is excellent as is the pre credits sequence and there are many others (Bond & Chang's fight, Bond's gravity experience, etc) plus John Barry's operatic score fits in perfectly with the grand scale of the film. Roger Moore's fourth turn as 007is another strength, the film suits his style very well and he delivers his (many) one liners brilliantly, Michael Lonsdale as "Drax" is a very good villain and Corinne Clery as one of Drax's assistants is excellent and her exit is memorable. The special effects are (for 1979 anyway) actually very good, in fact the whole production design by Ken Adam is excellent, Lewis Gilbert (directing his last James Bond movie) does a stellar job keeping the pace and action moving, that is probably the best thing about the film is never gets boring or uninteresting. There are two small things, Jaws getting a girlfriend and that final line by Q "I think he's attempting re-entry Sir" both add so much charm to the overall feel of the film meaning repeated viewings are always a pleasure.
Overall I would say that although it does have a couple of issues this a easy to enjoy, stunningly produced & well made Bond adventure, Roger's weakest but still a lot of fun. 4/5
The collars are enormous, the dialogue as lightweight and wooden as balsa, i.e. perfect, the locations are exotic, the girls gorgeous, the gadgets range from the coolly preposterous to the real gone gonzo (a turbo-powered hovercraft gondola, fleets of space-shuttles, and an invisible space-station!), the villain's blackguardly plot perfectly dastardly (a 'flying stud-farm' where the evil Drax plans to conceive his 'new master race', is how Bond describes it!), the evil henchmen/women have ridiculous butt-hugging yellow outfits, and there are some fabulous stunts and set pieces.
You get everything from a skydiving punch up for a parachute, to a sword fight in a glass-museum in Venice, and we traverse - and even leave - the globe, as Bond ventures into the jungles and mountains of Brazil, with a spot of tourist-brochure carnival fun in Rio, before heading into outer space! Jaws turns good and pulls a terrific little Heidi-like dollybird with fab hooters (who, it turns out, is called Dolly!). And Q delivers the classic 'oo-er missus' line: 'I think he's attempting re-entry'.
If you like the film or not is a matter of personal preference and probably even depends on your mood on the day. This is Bond at its campiest. It is actually great fun to watch, and Jaws' romance is almost touching and utterly un-Bondian. Moonraker is a product of its time. A Star Wars it is not, but hey, the next year gave us that campiest space opera of all time: Flash Gordon.
I loved this film when it first came out (at a time when the dark and intense Bond of Dalton and Craig was still in the distant future), then over the years more or less forgot about it. When I watched it again lately in the course of a Bond marathon I was aware of the very low regard for the film these days. Thus it came as a pleasant surprise that I found myself hugely entertained. Just as long as you don't expect anything other than silly laughs with high production values you may enjoy this one more than you'd like to admit.
My dvd was nicely wrapped, but there was no "collectable booklet" inside and the packaging looked like a photocopied pirate issue. Ho hum.
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