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A Classic I always enjoy to watch
Let's turn down the mushy-gushy romance a notch, it is a marathon of Moore era where this is the only piece of chocolate you are going to get addicted to.
The Spy Who Loved Me
Gilbert is back, after a while now. And with a promising premise and a polished version, he recreates the spark and puts the franchise back on the map with a hope that the magic isn't vanished yet and they still have few impressive tricks under the sleeve. And even though the structure of the script and the concept itself seems derivative, the tiny moments that it thrives upon gives little wins to us and to those characters that keeps us engaged in this familiar exotic vacation. Cornered in vigorously by the previous chapters, Lewis Gilbert, the director, has decided to embrace all the ingredients that made these characters so magnetic.
Hence, a quick tour in Q's lab, that makes the audience gasp and the fan boys to drool over something. This is more of a repaired version of the previous ones. And simplifying this formula made it so entertaining, all they had to do was not repeat the same mistakes they have been doing and the result is well, not satisfying but at least qualifying. The Bond girl gets a chunk of role to portray or should I say Roger Moore, the Bond, gets to support the lead actress.
Walking parallel-y with the Moore, Barbara Bach isn't completely social with the audience but has surely pulled off a remarkable persona on screen that dares trick, James Bond himself- that's going to catch up! Speaking of whom, with a more convincing dialogue delivery, Moore's humor is palpable and smooth compared to the previous installments. He still lacks the- if I may- sexiness that the character demands, but I would presume that's what the gadgets are for and not-so-likeable antagonist to contrast out the color and infuse an incredible love track between him and Bond, that is much more romantic than girl who reminisces, "The Spy Who Loved Me" gazing into the abyss.
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) 9 out of 10: How does one even score James Bond films? Do you score them against each other or consider them against movies as a whole? Do you take into consideration the various filming and special effects restrictions on the earlier works? Do you take into account the aversion to sex and nudity in some of the later works? Is Peter Sellers considered a real Bond character? Is George Lazenby? Is Timothy Dalton?
What is the worst Bond film? It's Thunderball which I might add was remade in into a Never Say Never which honestly is also vying for a spot in the bottom five. That script is poison. The best Bond film, however, is a much tougher nut to crack.
The Spy Who Loved Me is undoubtedly in the top five. Or at least my top five. Which admittedly holds less weight after I declared Thunderball worse than Octopussy, the one with Denise Richards, and the one with the invisible car.
The Good: The Spy Who Loved Me is chock full of iconic bits. After a fairly long and somewhat relaxed, by Bond standards, opening sequence Bond skis of a cliff in a stunt so spectacular it is still remembered forty years later.
Also remembered forty years later is the white Lotus Esprit that turns into a submarine (The Spy Who Loved Me also had the first Jetski. Literally. Bond is riding the prototype.)
There is a surprisingly good battle on a vast soundstage near the conclusion of the film. The whole movie has a fantastic sense of scale to it.
Speaking of large, 7' 2" Richard Keil as Jaws steals the show. Utterly indestructible and a with a never quit attitude he is easily the most likable Bond henchman.
If you are making a list of Bond Girls Barabara Bach is going to be near the top. Even better her character is one of the better-written Bond girls. Also, Barabara doesn't like to wear clothing all that much even by Bond girl standards.
Nobody does it better is one of the best theme songs and for my money the discofied Bond theme by Marvin Hamlisch (Bond â~77) really rocks. Both are regulars on my Spotify list.
Plus there is more. Our proto Bioshock villain feeding of the secretary to the shark (Okay its no Zombi 2 but still impressive), Great scenery particularly in Eygpt. Excellent overall direction and a decent plot with some actual conflict and nuance.
The Bad: There are some "dude really" moments in this film that make it show its age. The miniature effects overall are excellent (and there are a lot of them), but then there will be a scene where a submarine is leaving a burning tanker and someone put a gummy bear on a dock and hoped it looked like a dead body.
The bad guy plans to nuke the earth and to live under the sea (hold on I have a song stuck in my head.)
Under the sea
Under the sea
Darling it's better
Down where it's wetter
Take it from me
Dammit, that's going to be stuck in there all day. You know that is kind of a suggestive tune for a children's cartoon now I think about it.) Anyway he has this plan just like Hugo Drax in the follow-up Moonraker. Except Drax had all these Logan's Run style supermodel couples and Stromberg is down two female henchwomen out of well two (One he fed to a shark the other Bond killed with a missile from his underwater car. Seriously the movie has scenes like these to spare.) Point is Rapture needs women.
Remember when films used to use slide whistles or other sound effects during particularly dumb or slapsticky comedic moments? Yeah, this film does that too.
Last of the bad has Roger Moore ever not been too old to play James Bond. Forget doing stunts and beating up henchman I would worry if Roger has the balance and strength to clean the rain gutters.
The Ugly: I have a high tolerance for poor special effects from the old days. Yes, I complained about one miniature shot above, but that was due to sloppiness (It looked like a third graders diorama) rather than miniatures in general. And overall The Spy Who Loved Me has excellent miniature work. I have a high tolerance for less than perfect CGI, miniatures, guys in Godzilla outfits, squibs, car crashes, puppets, matte paintings, prosthetic makeup, stop motion, and obvious stuntmen. What I cannot stand are bad green screen effects. The Spy Who Loved Me has some doozies particularly in that opening sequence you are showing your friends to tell them how cool this film is. I hate bad green screen.
Now The Spy Who Loved Me is hardly alone in great films with terrible green screen effects. , and there are plenty of times you just got to ask why are they filming in a "moving" car if they know it is going to look that bad. There is even a film that is not just plagued with bad green screen, but they also speed up the green-screened film to give an additional sense of speed. That film's nameâ¦ Thunderball.
In Conclusion: More memorable scenes than most Bond films with a great Bond Girl, soundtrack and henchman. One of my favorite Bond films.
This was the first Bond film I saw in a theater.
At first, being six-ish years old, I thought it moved too fast for understanding.
I watched it again years later on TV, then I read the novel: Very different story. However, I read Moonraker in college and then realized "Wait a minute! 'The Spy Who Loved Me' novel is actually 'Moonraker' novel but instead of space, it is the sea!"
Then I saw what the filmmakers did there! They actually mad the film twice!
(The Spy Who Loved Me novel is told in the perspective of a young girl who has an adventure with Bond...Very different!)
Roger Moore’s best outing as Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me delivers great action and Carly Simon’s iconic song Nobody Does It Better
All in all, this is an excellent example of a Bond film and could easily be considered one of the top in the series.Â As with any of the Bond films there is a certain suspension of disbelief required but this one makes it pretty easy to do. http://latetothegame.blog/2019/03/07/key-movies-of-my-life-james-bond-edition-the-spy-who-loved-me-1977
I had the feeling the end fight was a homage to the Connery days of Bond and overall it was enjoyable, but it fell flat with the Bond girl having little to no potential. I wait for the return of Jaws.
saw this in the original theater release and many times since. I like it only marginally better than that first viewing. Best pre-title sequence ever of course. Apparently I'm one of the few people who despises the title song. Marks the first film with bad Maurice Binder titles and getting even worse from there (what's the deal with all the gymnastics, some kinda Nadia ComÄneci fetish?). Hamlisch score is the epitome of disco sucks and that much more anachronistic 40 years later. Barbara Bach is so disinterested in her role, that much harder to watch in every repeated viewing. Moore's performance redeems some of it but not all. I also did not think much of Jaws, who became so popular they decided to needlessly bring him back for the next one, and make a mockery of him too. Now reading back what I just wrote, I like the film even less. Oh well!
This is a sillier Bond adventure with its dated 1970's tendencies, but it's also a fun Bond adventure with one of the most memorable villains in the franchise, the overly powerful Jaws.
The result is good popcorn action, humour, and ridiculousness.
Roger Moore's third outing is also his best outing. The Spy Who Loved Me is what a Bond movie should be, fun and energetic.