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Thomas Devon

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James Bond - The Man With The Golden Gun (Ultimate Edition 2 Disc Set)  [DVD] [1974]
James Bond - The Man With The Golden Gun (Ultimate Edition 2 Disc Set) [DVD] [1974]
Dvd ~ Roger Moore
Price: £3.91

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Most underrated Bond film ever?, 27 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'll start by making one thing clear: this definitely still isn't the best Bond film, but after all the negative things I've read about it from critics and Bond fans alike, I was quite surprised at how great I thought it was when I finally watched it.

The first thing about this film that sets it apart from most of the others, or to begin with at least, is how unconventional the plot is for a Bond film; after the usual pre-credits sequence, the story begins with 007 being called into M's office with a warning that he has been targeted by the notorious assassin, the titular 'Man with the Golden Gun', aka Francisco Scaramanga. Realising that the only thing that can give him the advantage over such a renowned killer is to "find him first", Bond sets out to track down the assassin before said assassin can get the drop on him.

Many of the scenarios in this film are some of the most hilariously over-the-top of the lot, such as a fight scene in a karate school and a car chase culminating in the villain's vehicle donning wings and flying off into the horizon, but this is one of few Bond films where the story actually had me gripped. This is largely due to Christopher Lee's performance as Scaramanga, who comes across as a sort of 'anti-Bond' in his blend between sophistication and outright ruthlessness, making him a genuinely chilling antagonist.

The only real negative is the film's 'Bond girl', Mary Goodnight. Though she doesn't really show up until a fair way through the film, once she eventually does she quickly establishes herself as one of the worst Bond girls of the lot. While she came across as an attempt by the producers to create a more 'sympathetic' female lead who the audience actually felt for, she ended up being more of an annoyance than anything else, as well as being pretty much the perfect archetype for a "hopeless female sidekick".
Another much-complained-about sequence in the film is the infamous corkscrew stunt, which many fans claim was ruined by the unnecessarily slapstick sound effects, but I wasn't too bothered - the stunt would have been better without the effects for sure, but it's nowhere near as bad as everybody seems to make out.

The Living Daylights (Ultimate 2-disc Edition) [DVD]
The Living Daylights (Ultimate 2-disc Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Timothy Dalton
Offered by halcyonbooksuk
Price: £1.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprised the living daylights out of me!, 1 Sept. 2010
When I bought this product, I was unsure for a while as to whether or not I had made the right choice - of all the Bond films, this was the only one which I had never before given a second glance. Upon watching it, however, my concerns quickly disappeared; alongside the likes of 'From Russia with Love', 'The Spy Who Loved Me' and 'GoldenEye', this is as good as classic Bond gets.
This film differs from all the previous ones in three main ways: the new bond, the considerably darker storyline and the loss of many cliches which had gathered up over the years.
Bond is no longer an emotionless, invulnerable 'superman' (in Dalton's own words), but instead a gritty human being with a visible sense of rage. While this may not please die-hard fans of Connery and Moore, it certainly brings the franchise closer to the books and makes a more believable protagonist.
The story revolves around faked defections, arms and drug trading and, of course, domination plots. Jeroen Krabbe plays Georgi Koskov, the main villain - a Russian general who plans to take over the KGB (the Russian secret police) by staging his defection to Britain in an attempt to see his superior, Leonid Pushkin (played by John Rhys-Davies), put down. His plot also involves using KGB funds to purchase opium from a Mujahideen army and handing it over to war-enthusiast Brad Whitaker (played by Joe Don Baker), a failed American soldier, for a massive arms collection.
Of course, no Bond film would be complete without a 'Bond girl' - in this case Kara Milovy (played by Maryam d'Abo), Koskov's girlfriend, who gets tangled up in his plot without her knowledge.
As I mentioned before, this film has lost many of the cliches from previous films, which, as is the case with Dalton's portrayal of the titular character, will please fans of the books but may upset Connery-lovers. Unlike with past villains such as Blofeld and Dr. No, Koskov's 'lair' is not a private tropical island or a volcano, but a simple base in a desert. There is also no longer an unnecessarily slow-moving trap for killing our hero - the villains just shoot at him instead.
One of the other things that pleased me about Dalton was that he did a lot of his own stunts and action scenes, which in this case are all very exciting. We've got a jeep rampaging through a cliffside village with Bond gripping onto the roof, a shootout/chase on a desert runway, and an impressive fistfight on a net dangling from the open hangar of a midair plane. There are also some classic elements, such as a somewhat tongue-in-cheek race down an icy slope - on a cello case.
For those who like a good action film and aren't completely attached to Sean Connery's methods, I really can't recommend this film enough. It's got everything you want to see in a film of its genre, and more. Brilliant.

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