Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Man With The Golden Gun - Reviewing Bond 50 Blu-Ray

As I was watching The Man With The Golden Gun I realised I’ve never actually seen the whole film (or I couldn’t remember a lot of the first hour). I’ve definitely watched it from the boat/car chase onwards, but a lot of the earlier scenes felt new to me.

However, I really enjoyed the film and I’d put in on par with Live And Let Die, although this felt more like a traditional Bond film with more tropical location. Phuket was looks just beautiful and I’d love to go on holiday there. However some of karate / dojo scenes feel a bit forced in to the narrative but apart from that

I enjoyed Roger Moore’s performance again thoroughly. Before I started reviewing the Bond 50 Blu-Ray boxset I mentioned I wasn’t a huge Roger Moore fan compared to the other Bond’s but I think I’d have to go back on myself as he works well in the films and appears to do most of his own stunts and fight scenes.

Again as with Live and Let Die, the blu-ray contains a picture that is almost completely full screen which looks incredible. It's really great watching a film that’s almost 40 years only in crystal clear clarity.

I watched the Bond documentary Everything or Nothing last month and in that I’m sure they said The Man With The Golden Gun wasn’t well received, but I can’t see why it feels like a very traditional Bond film and I really enjoyed it.

8/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Live And Let Die - Reviewing Bond 50 Blu-Ray

Roger Moore takes over the 007 mantle.

I've never considered myself a huge Roger Moore fan, however Live And Let Die has always been one of my favourite Moore films. Re-watching the movie now, it still stands up. The story is relatively well structured and makes sense, rather than feeling like a globe trotting adventure.

There are some great action scenes, with the stand out being by far the speed boat chase across the New Orleans lagoons, the stunt work is absolutely incredible.

In terms of Moore's performance, I actually quite enjoyed it. Sean Connery can sometimes comes across as arrogant, but Moore is much more charming and charismatic. The Bond girl Solitaire (played by Jane Seymour) is also one of my favourites, especially looks wise.

I was pleasantly pleased with the blu-ray transfer. The picture returns to almost full screen (the same aspect ratio used for the first three films) on a HDTV and the quality itself is pretty good throughout (with the exception of a bit of stock footage).

Roger Moore's venture into the Bond world starts off strong.

8/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Epic Movie Trailer Is Beautiful

Beautiful.



In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Diamonds Are Forever - Reviewing Bond 50 Blu-Ray

I seem to remember having very fond memories of Diamonds Are Forever, but after re-watching it I'm not really sure why. It is definitely the weakest of the 007 films I've watched from the Bond 50 Blu-Ray yet.

Whereas You Only Live Twice went big and over-the-top and On Her Majesty's Secret Service grounded the series with some awesome action sequences. Diamonds makes things smaller, remove's most of the action as well as anything interesting. There's not really any gadgets and the most memorable set-piece is the car on two wheels in Las Vegas.

Diamonds doesn't really have any flaws per-se but the film prior to it (OHMSS) was so well structured and paced, it's hard to really get excited or be impressed with this film.

Yes, they got Sean Connery back, but he came back for a pretty poor film so it's a bit pointless. He also doesn't seem as interested playing the role and therefore becomes less charming, he does a few funny one-liners though.

The HD picture is pretty crisp and consistent, however I would say it's not quite as sharp as the previous films in the series.

The film isn't terrible and it's an easy watch, but nothing overly memorable or exciting happens in it. The theme song is a classic and if it wasn't for that, this would probably be one of the more forgettable Bond films.

7/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
.

Friday, 16 November 2012

On Her Majesty's Secret Service - Reviewing Bond 50 Blu-Ray

Why had I only watched this film once properly before?!

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is an awesome Bond film. I’m angry with myself for not watching this more recently as it’s easily stands among one of the best in the series.

The story is extremely well structured, with each scene progressing the plot which builds to a third act filled with action. After the over the top antics of You Only Live Twice its refreshing for the film to be more grounded and the plot really benefits from this.

OHMSS is also one of the first early Bond films that stands up extremely well even by today's standards. The more realistic approach means there are literally no special effects, so nothing looks dated. The cinematography over mountain landscapes and sunsets still looks incredible.

George Lazenby has always got quite a bit of flack for being the worst Bond and I think it’s 50/50. In the straight scenes and the fights he is really good and works well, however the sequences that involve charm or witty one liners fall a bit flat which is a shame. However I can't imagine Sean Connery or Roger Moore in the role for this particular storyline. Especially with the tragic ending...

The picture quality of this particular HD transfer is exceedingly good, I barely noticed any problems. This also helps with giving the film an ageless quality, it's almost like a period film shot today.

OHMSS is now one of my favourite Bond films.

9.5/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
.

You Only Live Twice - Reviewing Bond 50 Blu-Ray

I mentioned in my Thunderball review that it’s becomes very apparent that the budget/scope of the earlier Bond films are increasing with each consecutive film. You Only Live Twice takes this to another level, with a story focused around the space race, lots of beautiful large scale landscape shot, aerial gun fights and a huge hollowed-out Volcano for the villains lair which features a large scale ninja fight!

Unfortunately, this actually works to the films detriment when viewing it today. The special effects used for the space sequences especially have not aged well and it’s hard to review objectively as it contains a lot of elements that have since been spoofed in recent decades as “Bond cliché”.

But even taking the era into consideration, I found the first half of the film hard to get into from a story perspective. A lot of things happened that don’t seem to serve any purpose other than to show off the fact that this was filmed in Japan, and although this all looks great for an aspirational “holiday advert” it doesn’t make a great narrative.

This sounds a bit harsh, as overall I did enjoy the film and it’s story concept of setting up Russia and the USA against each other would have been a relatively new concept in 1967. The hollowed-out volcano is still a masterpiece of engineering, the battle inside it is great and it’s fun to watch.

The HD picture quality is pretty solid on blu-ray, with only a few noticeable shots where the resolution drops. I’ve read a few reviews which say this transfer isn’t that good but I didn’t notice anything particularly bad, and it’s a noticeable improvement on Thunderball.

You Only Live Twice is definitely the weakest of the first 5 Sean Connery film’s but it’s a fun and easy watch.

8/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Original Prometheus Script Alien: Engineers Screenplay

I was personally extremely disappointed with Prometheus. The story felt empty, unfinished and all over the place. The decisions made didn't make sense from a story (or character) perspective and felt like it wasn't sure whether it wanted to be an Alien prequel or not.

I'm told the original script, titled Alien: Engineers is much better and should have been the film they made. It's now online and I plan to find out if that is the case.

You can read it here.


Let me know what you think.

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
.

Django Unchained Official Cinema Poster

I'm pretty excited for Django Unchained and this new movie poster is keeping that excitement high. Black and white with a hint of red isn't exactly new when it comes to poster, but I think it works well here...


What do you think?

You can see for hi-res version at Yahoo Movies.

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Thunderball - Reviewing Bond 50 Blu-Ray

My Bond 50 Blu-Ray review continues...

In 007's fourth adventure, the Bond formula has been truly cemented following Goldfinger ironing it out. The girls, the guns, the gadgets and exotic locations are all here.

The story follows James Bond to the Caribbean where he's on the search for two missing nuclear missiles, whilst SPECTRE holds the UK and USA to ransom. This is the first world domination type story in the franchise (a plot point the series will find very familiar).

Watching the films in order it's really easy to see as the budgets are increased and they become more action packed. The underwater sequences are particularly impressive, especially the big fight under the sea at the films climax.

Thunderball was one of my favourite Bond films, having rewatched it again I'd say it's probably not quite as good as Goldfinger or From Russia With Love, but is on par with Dr No. The story just doesn't seem to gel as well as the previous two movies, and the fact that the villain Largo knows Bond is a secret agent but doesn't do anything about it is a bit odd.

However, Thunderball is still a very enjoyable film and holds up well.

From a picture format perspective I was initially disappointed with the Thunderball blu-ray as it is in the standard letterbox format. The first three Bond films were all full screen on my TV (due to their original filmed aspect ratio) and that makes a huge difference. Despite this the actual film picture quality is generally of a high standard, however there are quite a few shots which are of a noticeably lower resolution. There was a similar problem in Goldfinger (but it’s more apparent here) and is worst with all the transition swipes from scene to scene. I’m not sure why this is, it feels like most of the film has been re-mastered but they never quite finished it. I’m hoping this trend doesn’t continue as I progress through the box set…

"I think he got the point."

8.5/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Jurassic Park 3D Movie Poster

Next year sees the 20th Anniversary of Jurassic Park (was it really that long ago?!) and to celebrate the film is being re-released in 3D.

The movie marketing has begun with the release of this new poster, and to be honest I love it! Think it's classy and with those gates just slightly open, it hints at the great things to come...


What do you think?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
.

Goldfinger - Reviewing Bond 50 Blu-ray

So my review of the Bond 50 blu-ray boxset continues with a true classic... Goldfinger.

Originally released in 1964, this is the third Bond film starring Sean Connery. It is also the first Bond that really encompassed all the elements that make up the (now well known) Bond cocktail – the girls, the guns, the gadgets, a villain with a unique side-kick, the elaborate traps, etc. For many this is the pinnacle of Bond films (though probably now closely followed by Skyfall).

First Sean Connery as Bond, he really is the classic and the best. Watching his performance as 007 was really quite interesting and nostalgic as he carries a balance of arrogance and charisma around him that none of the new Bond truly match (Daniel Craig comes close but brings more emotional weight to the role).

It really is quite remarkable that a film almost 50 years old stands up as well as this does, with the exception of the few ‘spoof reminding’ (thanks Austin Powers!) moments it is a joy to watch. I really had fun, the one-liners come off naturally and it really shows how much Bond has done for modern day action films.

The picture quality of the blu-ray also looks stunning. There's a few shots that don't appear to have been reworked (which is abit jarring when everything else is crystal clear) but on the whole this film looks incredible. Dr No and From Russia With Love were also of a similar standard (but without any poor shots) so are actually better overall.

One thing the blu-ray transfers do highlight though are any dodgey special effects or green screen shots. But considering the time period this can be forgiven.

Goldfinger remains one of the best Bond films and is still one of my favourites.

9.5/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Reviewing Bond 50 Blu-ray – Dr No and From Russia With Love

Yesterday I did a double-bill of Dr No and From Russia With Love to kick off my review of all the James Bond films in the Bond 50 bluray boxset.

What struck me was how similar both the films structures are (bare in mind these were pre-Goldfinger so the standard Bond template isn’t in place). These are very much films split in two parts. Both films first half have James Bond investigating for his mission and the second half on the run and escaping. For Dr No Bond finds himself led to Crab Quay Island where he spends much of the last hour. Likewise in From Russia With Love, Bond and Tatyana spend much of the second half on the train and then on the run.

Any way onto the reviews…

DR NO
Where it all started…

A strong start to the series, but as the Bond template hasn’t been set yet it plays out quite differently to the typical Bond film. Firstly the open credits start the film rather than after a prologue, and the overall tone of the film is more of a detective story than all out spy action. There’s no gadgets either.

Of course, the girls and glamorous locations are all here from the get go with the classic Honey Ryder emerging from the sea. The eccentric villain and his outlandish lair take centre stage towards the end.

My only criticism is the classic Bond theme is over played here, whereas in later films it became a pay-off tune, here the music plays quite regularly even just to set the scene. It’s not a mellow version either, it’s the full on fast guitar riff! In context I can see why this is the case (it also act’s a Dr No’s theme tune to a certain extent) as the tune wasn’t famous and it would get the audience going, but it’s a bit odd to have it playing so regularly and loud (even when Bond’s just walking into a room, etc). This is obviously minor but pulled me out of the film a bit.

8.5/10

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
A rarity for Bond films, From Russia With Love is a direct sequel, with characters referencing the previous films events and characters. The initial story and SPECTRE’s scheme is also to act as pay back for Bond’s action at the end of Dr No.

I enjoyed this immensely, the film plays out slightly better than Dr No as you have visibility of the antagonists and their plans from the start of the film (whereas Dr No doesn’t reveal the titular villain until the final act). You feel Bond has a worthy opponent from the white haired assassin Grant and the tension that builds towards their fight is great.

I really love the ending with the helicopters / boat chase and you can feel the budget has been increased from Dr No.

9.5/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Reviewing Bond 50 Blu-ray (James Bond 007)

I have recently purchased the Bond 50 Blu-ray box-set and plan to watch all of the James Bond 007 films in chronological order. I’m interested to see if this changes my thoughts about the series as I’ll be re-reviewing them from a “matured” perspective. I’m also curious to see if watching them in order, you will be able to see each one building and trying to top the last one.

I’ve always been a huge Bond fan, ever since I saw Licence to Kill premiere on TV when I was seven I’ve been hooked. The first Bond film I saw in the cinema was Goldeneye so the obsession went into overdrive after that.
I’ve seen all of the Bond films, as when I was younger I recorded all of them from the TV to get the full set.

Although I’ve seen them all, some I’ve only really watched once or twice when I was a boy, especially the Roger Moore one’s as I’m not a huge fan of his films (with the exceptions Live and Let Die and The Spy Who Loved Me). So I haven’t ever re-watched them all properly since I’ve gained a more critical eye. I obviously watch my favourite’s quite a bit and the Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan one’s I’ve seen the most as these are the ones that I’ve grown up with being released theatrically.

My current favourites are Goldfinger, Thunderball, Licence to Kill (purely for nostalgia reasons!), Goldeneye, Casino Royale and most recently Skyfall. My least favorites are Octupussy and Die Another Day. However I’m wondering if this will change (or any will be added to the list) when I re-watch them.

So now you know where I’m coming from, over the next month or so I will be adding mini re-reviews to MoviePush of all the James Bond films in the franchise.

Starting with Dr No and From Russia With Love soon…

Hope you enjoy.

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Where's Channing Tatum In The New G.I. Joe Trailer

Considering all the fuss about G.I. Joe: Retaliation having re-shoots to feature more Channing Tatum, this new movie trailer doesn't exactly feature him very much... However it does look this could be a pretty fun movie.



What do you think?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
.