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How are these films "holding up"?

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#1 freemo


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Posted 15 August 2014 - 03:04 AM

Now that the films are starting to one by one hit the 50 mark, it got me thinking to how well or otherwise particular ones have aged, how they're "holding up":


- GOLDFINGER (now 50) long since became more of a monument than an actual movie, but I think it still snaps, crackles, and pops.
- THUNDERBALL has lost none of its lusture or cool.
- DR. NO is looking a touch creeky in spots, but overall its still pretty slick. Biggest problem is the music, which, the spidery Bond theme aside, sounds old-fashioned even for 1962, and at odds with the actual film itself.
- ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE has aged like wine.
- THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN has aged like cheese.
- FOR YOUR EYES ONLY has aged like unrefrigerated peeled fruit.
- DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, it pains me to admit, is beginning to look a little ratty and tatty and natty and batty.
- The mid-to-late-90s films now look like ho-hum mid-to-late-90s in-flight movies. Sorry, mid-to-late 90s fans.
- OCTOPUSSY feels like something that has always existed. Like that old children's book your dad had when he was young.
- I know there's a feeling that the Craig films have exposed it, but THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS still has a certain freshness and vitality, even if it's now clear that it's all down to Dalton.
- LIVE AND LET DIE is "dated" to be sure, but is it really "old"? I think the New York portion kind of has that early-70s urban gritty detective film vibe.


Of course, there's the matter of the impact and influence that the early ones in particular would have, and that what at the time was innovative might now look a touch cliched. But I think the ones that were most impactful are still impactful.

#2 Iceskater101


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Posted 15 August 2014 - 03:53 PM

I am not sure I like all of these food references you are using.


I like to look at it this way.

If you're a Bond fan and you love the franchise, certain Bond films "age" better. Such as A View to A Kill or Man with the Golden Gun or Octopussy


If you're not a Bond fan I think Goldfinger really ages the best. It's a great film to show to anyone who isn't really a Bond fan. I think that movie will be timeless and it will always be passed down.

#3 Professor Pi

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 05:07 PM

Goldfinger has aged incredibly well, even though we are off the gold standard now.  OHMSS becomes more relevant with the bio-terror issues.  FYEO is relevant even today, though it's a Detente movie.  The less said about a MacGuffin, the longer the test of time it stands.  From Russia With Love works as a classic period piece now.


Live and Let Die, Golden Gun, and Moonraker all date themselves with the blaxpoitation, kung fu, and sci fi references of their times.  TSWLM ages better because fantastical plots will always be timeless.  But how they all deal with women ... ugh.  DAF warned us that decade was coming with Tiffanie Case and throaway characters like Plenty O'Toole.


The 90s were better on that scale, with Natalya Simonova being the strongest character.  Kara Milovy was the most realistic woman, I find, but beginning with Pam Bouvier they returned to the mode of Anya Amasova with Bond's "equal"--Wai Lin, Jinx.  Elektra was smart enough to outwit Bond and seduce him, but Christmas Jones set it back two decades to the days of Mary Goodnight, at least her casting if not so much the character, who on script paper could have been much stronger with the right actress.


Licence to Kill, while now having the feel of a TV movie, will always be relevant as long as there are drug cartels and government corruption.  Tomorrow Never Dies, on the other hand, is aged by its 20th century media--newspaper?  Most of the movies are of their time, especially the 60s Connery classics.  Dr. No has probably aged the worst in terms of plot, blue screen cinematic devices, music, caucasian actress cast as Asian characer, and Felix Leiter's sunglasses!  But the performances and locales are iconic.


AVTAK and Octopussy are kind of caught in between.  AVTAK's plot could work today, minus the microchip reference, but it's obvious today that the Bond movie making institution wasn't pushing the envelope the way it is now and was in a comfortable rut.  Octopusssy is dated by its politics but even back in '83 felt more like a 70s Bond movie.  Not sure recasting would have helped that much as The Living Daylights was still the same Bond character.


If you want to avoid aging a film, avoid computer displays.  Nothing typifies that more than Never Say Never Again.  Though its electrocuting video game is still an interesting idea, aging somewhat better due to its lack of a CRT monitor.


Craig's movies still seem up to the minute.  Quantum of Solace's water theft plot looks to be more and more foreboding for our planet.  Casino Royale will age much better than its book, thanks to the plot changes and updates, though the cell phones and blurays will one day be its wrinkles.  The one that's already showing its crows feet is Skyfall, ironically the most recent.  The plot holes are more obvious and Sylva's manipulations become more preposterous with each viewing.  But it works on a symbolic level, especially M's speech--best part of the Bond franchise.

#4 Guy Haines

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 07:28 AM

The films should all "hold up" provided the viewer remembers they are films of their time. The 1960s classics are, well, of the 1960s, but not the clich├ęd "swinging 60s" the media dutifully trots out whenever the 60s as a decade is considered. In terms of Bond's style I think the Connery films hold up better than most. (Oddly enough it was the numerous Bond imitation films which often included the "swinging 60s" backdrop, probably to draw in a teen audience. They are more like period pieces now, whereas the 60s Bond films still seem fresh.)


The 1970s films - there is a problem, pointed out above, in that one or two followed certain cinematic trends. There's an argument that the current crop of Bond movies are also doing that, but unless you've seen the "Bourne" movies, and I haven't, it's not obvious, whereas the "Blaxploitation" trend in LALD, kung fu in TMWTGG and late 70s sci-fi in MR stand out a mile off. The irony is that LALD didn't have a cast of black villains because of a movie trend - Ian Fleming cast them two decades earlier, but the only way LALD could be carried off in the 1970s was to have a nod in the direction of films like "Shaft".


The 1980s - as a decade generally, and I'm not sure why. but I find its dated most of all. Probably the "big hair, big shoulders" style some women adopted, and looking back at music videos that, to me, look rather clunky now. But not much in the 1980s Bond films though - Octopussy could have been set in any decade up to the end of the Cold War, I think. One thing dates FYEO and TLD - politics. I thought it was a mistake to have Margaret and Denis Thatcher at the end of FYEO - the scene was out of line with the rest of the film, but it also dates it. TLD is a great Bond film, one of my favourites, but one can't get around the fact that Russia, or rather the USSR doesn't run Afghanistan anymore and the fellows Bond sided with would probably be shooting at him now.


The Brosnan films still hold up well, because I don't think there's much in them that one couldn't transplant into this day and age. Russia is still seems "post Soviet" and recent events hint it may be reverting to earlier ways. Media tycoons are still prominent - one in particular because of phone hacking allegations. Oil is getting more scarce. And over ten years on from DAD, North Korea is still isolated.


And the Craig films? CR's a special case - the first adventure recreated in 2006, but still treated as Bond's first. QoS - I was dismissive at first of the water hoarding story but it now looks more relevant than ever. SF is another special case because of the personal angle - but two things potentially age it. Technology - why go to the trouble of stealing a computer hard disk when information is increasingly stored online (All a man like Silva would need to do is hack into it, if he's that good at hacking!) I suspect five or ten years from now Silva's methods may look dated, as will the computers he sends his message to. And then there's the references to Hong Kong and Silva's time working for M.


There are some aspects of the movies from different decades which may make them look quaint, dated, jaded. But as I say, as long as the viewer realises they are set in what was then the present day it shouldn't spoil enjoyment of them.

#5 glidrose


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Posted 16 August 2014 - 08:32 PM

Anybody have any opinions about how well CR'67 holds up?

#6 Major Tallon

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 08:36 PM

As dreadful today as it ever was.

#7 glidrose


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Posted 16 August 2014 - 08:43 PM

Yeah, but does it feel dated?

#8 Dustin



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Posted 16 August 2014 - 09:50 PM

I haven't seen it in some years now (10???) but last time I saw it I actually felt it could have made a remarkable all-stops-pulled uber parody as they used to be popular with the Austin Powers subgenre.

But CR67's problem is not that it is spoof, it's the lack of a consistent hand in script and direction as well as performance. It's just too much over the place, with no real centre or feel to speak of, and for that carefree approach, 'let's just see what happens and hold the camera into the mess'-school, you'd have needed Monty Python. CR67 done 'right' - as a parody - would have resulted in something along the line of the Fantomas films; perhaps still not satisfying, but on the whole more rounded.

As to dated - no, it didn't then exactly feel dated to me. But that may well be due to the general revival the 60s culture currently sees.

#9 Double Naught spy

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 06:14 AM

Whatever CR`67's shortcomings are, its soundtrack is superior to most (if not all) of the Eon films.  Whenever I'm down and blue, a bit of Herb Alpert, Little French Boy, and Dusty Springfield are the perfect medicine to cheer me up..  It is also (if you can find a willing partner who is not too self-serious) a wonderful soundtrack for some excellent marathon love-making.  (Hope that's not TMI)


As for the movie itself - what a total train-wreck of a film!  Soundtrack notwithstanding, Its only saving grace (no matter how underused and squandered they might be) is the cast.  David Niven, Deborah Kerr, Peter Sellers, Woody Allen, John Huston, Orson Welles.  - with cameos by Peter O'Toole, Charles Boyer, George Raft, etc. - it's like a freakin' Dean Martin celebrity roast!!! (minus Angie Dickenson and Don Rickles)  Sure, its technically more of a sideways sequel to What's New Pussycat more than it is an official '007' film, but with Daliah Lavi and Joanna Pettet rounding out the cast - who cares!   I've always respected CR '67 for its illustration of the balls-to-the-wall, nonsensical insanity that could come from that brief sliver of time before the powers-that-be in Hollywood sobered up and said, "Umm, apparently there's a limit to the 'creative powers' of marijuana.  Hey, let's sober up and make films like The Godfather.'


Rock on Casino Royale 1967!  Aside from your kick-ass soundtrack, you are a veritable time-capsule filled with cautionary tales of what not to do (and/or illegally consume) when making a movie.  And 'Kudos" for somehow press-ganging (blackmailing?) the likes of Niven, Kerr and Welles into starring.

Edited by Double Naught spy, 17 August 2014 - 06:20 AM.

#10 Guy Haines

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 09:15 AM

Regarding CR 1967, it didn't help that there were five directors involved, and that one of the stars, Peter Sellers, went a little bit off the rails. I understand he would have liked to have played James Bond "as Bond", in a more conventional manner and conventional movie, but of course it didn't work out that way, so back to comedy it was. The chapter in "The James Bond Dossier" about CR 1967 explains all, though there's a quote from John Huston saying that he, at least, enjoyed himself!

#11 Mr_Wint


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Posted 17 August 2014 - 09:32 AM

Whatever CR`67's shortcomings are, its soundtrack is superior to most (if not all) of the Eon films.


#12 Walecs



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Posted 18 August 2014 - 06:00 PM

Whatever CR`67's shortcomings are, its soundtrack is superior to most (if not all) of the Eon films.