Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The 007 Project: Die Another Day

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
Bond is captured on a mission to assassinate a young North Korean colonel. The colonel, presumed dead, ends up transforming into a wealthy British businessman who hopes to reunify Korea using his powerful satellite. 

Memorable Quote:
Plenty of time to sleep when you're dead.  ~Graves

Highlight:
Fantastic opening, right from the jump with the big-wave surfing. The North Korean sinister landscape is perfect for a Bond movie, and the whole lead-up where Bond meets Moon and Zao followed by the action sequence is outstanding, with great music to boot. We're now 4 for 4 in great openings to the Brosnan movies. 

Lowlight:
As great as the opening surfing scene is, the scene where Bond windsurfs using a makeshift parachute has some of the worst CGI that I've ever seen in a movie. It doesn't really make sense that it could be that bad, like I don't understand what they were thinking in leaving that scene in the movie as it was. 

Most interesting piece of IMDB trivia:
While filming their love scene in Cuba, Halle Berry choked on a fig, requiring Pierce Brosnan to perform the Heimlich maneuver.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • Not only are we 4 for 4 in great openings in the Brosnan era, but we're also 4 for in great title songs too. I'm actually putting this song as number one on the list for now, but it's very close to Tomorrow Never Dies (#2) and Goldeneye (#3).  
  • Remember in my Tomorrow Never Dies review that I said I loved how Bond was unstoppable in that movie? Well, Bond being captured and tortured for 14 months is on the other end of the spectrum to that, and I remember seeing this movie in the theater and being stunned and appalled at the time, like it really bothered me. Now, it doesn't bother me, though I still think that 14 months is too long, like they could have just said 3 months.  
  • 23:03 mark -- M says, "If I had my way, you'd still be in North Korea." Jesus, M, show Bond a little goddamn respect.  
  • 23:28 -- Bond says, "I never asked to be traded. I'd rather die in prison than let him [Zao] loose." Jesus, Bond, show yourself some goddamn respect -- you're like 100 times more valuable to the world than Zao is dangerous.
  • 24:54 -- M says,"You're no use to anyone now." STFU, M. 
  • 25:30 -- Bond escapes by stopping his heart and inducing cardiac arrest, but is able to regain his pulse when he chooses to. I don't think that's possible. 
  • 27:33 -- I love when he enters the hotel confidently and like a boss despite being soaking wet, half dressed, and unshaven. And then a great line from Bond: 
    • Been busy have we, Mr. Bond?  ~Chang
    • Just surviving Mr. Chang, just surviving.  ~Bond
  • 33:57 -- Bond picks up the Field Guide to birds in the West Indies book which was written by an ornithologist named James Bond, and it's the book by which Ian Fleming got the idea for the character's name. 
  • The entire Havana clinic scene is great -- I love the setup of the jerk guy and how Bond punches him and then shoves his wheelchair into a crowd as a distraction (and then sneaks a grape from a patients room).
  • Halle Berry is not a great actress in this movie, though compared to Denise Richards, she is Meryl Streep. 
  • Rosamund Pike (Miranda Frost) is stunningly beautiful. 
  • Tremendous fencing scene between Graves and Bond -- I was very close to making it my highlight over the opening. 
  • 58:52 -- Miranda breaks up the fight, saying "That is enough!" Wasn't it "enough" five minutes ago when they were destroying the club?
  • 1:05:39 -- When Q gives Bond his watch, he said it's his 20th (since it's the 20th Bond movie). Just before that, we see Bond looking at a shoe with a blade like in From Russia With Love. It is too bad John Cleese wasn't in more movies, he's good. 
  • I like Zao's look with the diamonds in the face -- distinctive.
  • It's hard to believe the North Korean dude from the beginning (Moon) would be able to pull off being a charming English gentleman, but it's a movie.
  • The ice palace set is impressive.
  • The morning after Bond and Miranda spend the night, Bond leaves the room to snoop around. Wouldn't Graves have someone watching the room and following Bond?
  • I'm not a fan of the fight scene between Bond and Mr. Kil with all the lasers spinning around them -- just seems too unrealistic that they could be fighting and perfectly avoiding the randomly spinning lasers. And yes, I realize I'm complaining about a Bond scene being unrealistic. 
  • Kind of a brutal death scene with Graves getting sucked into the propeller -- too much for me, honestly, I don't care for that. 
  • The Moneypenny virtual reality scene is quite clever. 

Final Analysis:
I hadn't seen this movie in a while, and while I've always liked it, it actually was a bit better than I remembered. The first half in particular is outstanding -- it's the second half where the wheels fall off a bit with really bad CGI and an over-the-top storyline. If it was just the first half, I'd rank it 2, but instead I'll rank it 5 out of 20. 

And so that's the end of the Pierce Brosnan era. I talked about him in the Goldeneye post, but in short, he's my favorite Bond, and overall his movies represent my favorite Bond era. 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

The 007 Project: The World is Not Enough


Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
Bond is sent to protect an oil heiress whose father was murdered, but he discovered that she is not as innocent as she seems. 

Memorable Quote:
There's no point in living if you can't feel alive.  

Highlight:
The boat chase on the Thames, beginning with the moment where Bond gets in the boat and zooms out of MI6 headquarters.  For me it's the best scene of any Bond movie, in large part due to the majestic musical score which is just perfection. Throw in the London locale, the action, and the raw determination that Bond shows in never giving up and apprehending his target, and you have my favorite scene. 

Lowlight:
I generally don't like to critique actors too much, but it would be disingenuous of me not to mention Denise Richards's performance, aka the worst acting performance in a major motion picture that I've ever seen. Every time she opens her mouth, it's awkward and painful to watch. It's hard to even describe without just seeing it for yourself. 

Most interesting piece of IMDB trivia:
The title is the translation of the Latin motto, "Orbis non sufficit", given to George Lazenby's Bond, when he researches his own coat of arms, in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). The motto also appears in the original Ian Fleming novels. It was the motto of the Spanish King Felipe II.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • When Bond jumps out the window with the rope tied to the other guy, he's lucky that the guy grabbed the table leg and slowed his fall, or else I think Bond would have splattered on the concrete. 
  • Even if the boat/balloon lady is worried that Bond can't protect her from Renaud, at least she'd stand a chance of survival compared to blowing herself up, which gives her a 0% chance.  
  • Another excellent title song -- our third straight super opening and title song. 
  • 19:16 mark - I love how Bond flippantly tosses the x-ray aside. 
  • 22:50 - Q's descent beneath the floor is the last we see of him in the series, as Desmond Llewelyn died in a car accident three weeks after the premiere of this movie. He had a unique role in the franchise given that his appearances went all the way back to From Russia With Love, and in this movie he gives Bond a sage piece of advice that always stuck with me: Never let them see you bleed. I love that. I've always thought about it in terms of keeping your cool and not showing frustration or getting upset if you're in a competitive situation (like a sporting event) or if you're being bullied, because your opponent wants to see you frustrated and upset. If you can stay calm, you don't give them the satisfaction of seeing you down and out. 
  • Brosnan is starting to look a bit too old in this movie. It's kind of a shame that the Remington Steele contract prevented him from landing the role when he was younger. 
  • 39:46 - Kind of a powerful moment where Bond and Elektra are trapped in the snow and Bond tells her to look in his eyes to calm her down when she starts freaking out. What a man, like how could Elektra do him dirty after how great he is for her there. 
  • 1:03:51 - Once Renaud starts shooting in the underground area, if he were smart he'd go for Bond first instead of some random officers. 
  • I like how Bond does the time/rate distance calculation in his head. "106 miles from the terminal going 70 miles an hour. We have 78 minutes." I actually calculated it myself and it should be 91 minutes -- still a fun moment, though. 
  • Sweet blue and white outfit that Bond wears to the Russian safehouse. I'm not much of a fancy dresser, but I wouldn't mind having a suit combo like that. 
  • Fantastic scene with Bond and Elektra where Bond is held in the torture chair. Sophie Marceau is excellent in this movie, and she shines in this scene in particular. 
  • Famous last line about Christmas coming only once a year. 
  • The end credits score is fabulous -- thankfully they use a traditional Bond medley rather than a random song like they did in the previous two movies. 

Final Analysis:
This movie has a bit of a cold, dark feel, and Denise Richards really brings it down considerably. However there are also many positives, including Brosnan (as always), the musical score (incredible), and the opening boat scene (the best scene of any Bond movie). Ranking it 5 out of 19. 

Sunday, April 17, 2022

The 007 Project: Tomorrow Never Dies

 

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
Bond is sent to investigate Elliot Carver, a worldwide media baron who manipulates the British and Chinese into a possible war to increase his ratings. 

Memorable Quote:
It's time...for...a...station break.  ~Bond

Highlight:
Everything in Hamburg is "delicious," as Carver would say. Particularly the party scene culminating with Bond turning out the lights on Carver. 

Lowlight:
The HMS Devonshire scene in the beginning drags on a bit and should probably have been cut in half. 

Most interesting piece of IMDB trivia:
Sir Anthony Hopkins was cast as Elliot Carver, and joined the production, but walked after three days because it was so chaotic, and there was no completed shooting script; due to the pressure on EON Productions to finish the movie on time, new pages of the screenplay were being delivered every morning. He opted to appear in The Mask of Zorro (1998) instead.

Update: Per script writer Bruce Feirstein, this piece of trivia is not true. 

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • The opening pre-credits sequence, omg, it's so good. Like, amazing.  The way they refer to Bond as the White Knight but we don't see see him until partway through -- the setup and the execution is flawless. 
  • The Sheryl Crow song is outstanding -- it's really hard to decide between it and Goldeneye for my number one song so far. I think i'm gonna go with Sheryl for now in the number one spot. 
  • Some great dialogue in the Danish professor scene, including: 
    • Studying a new tongue
    • Brushing up on a little danish
    • Cunning linguist
  • Much as in the Bourne Ultimatum, there's something about Germany as a locale for a spy movie that just works. Like when Bond gets to the airport and they're speaking German over the intercom -- just feels right. 
  • Great scene with Q where Bond grabs the remote control and starts driving like a pro: "Let's see how she responds to my touch."
  • The actor who played Gupta was actually a world-class magician named Ricky Jay. 
  • 39:07 -- Love Bond casually picking up the ashtray and examining it before cracking the guy's head with it.
  • My friend Joe Passman liked to say about Carver, "I'll destroy the world, and then broadcast it on the evening news!"
  • Fantastic scene in the top-floor secret lab, even though no words are spoken, as Bond searches the room and then finds the encoder in a safe behind a picture. It's also funny how he just casually knocks over and destroys the 300 million dollar satellite -- if it is worth that much, they should have secured it a little better so that it won't just break if it topples over. 
  • Back in 2014 (have I really been blogging for that long?) I wrote in the review of MacGyver episode Soft Touch about the connection between that episode and this movie. Both feature actor Vincent Schiavelli (in this movie as Dr. Kaufman) as a bad guy opposite Teri Hatcher. 
  • Given that Bond is parachuting from extremely high altitude, how is he able to land exactly where the ship is?
  • 1:13:47 -- I like how fast Carver can type with one hand, and I wonder if there are people out there who can really do that. 
  • I forgot how good the motorcycle chase is, and it's a fun wrinkle how Wai Lin and Bond are handcuffed and have to straddle each other. Michelle Yeoh is great, and I actually saw her once when she came to my university for a presentation of some kind (I don't remember the details). 
  • 1:40:00 - The tone, volume, and assurance in which Bond says "Hello Elliot" is absolutely perfect. In general, the climactic scenes on the stealth boat are very well done -- big and explosive but also dark and gritty, and not too over-the-top. 

Final Analysis:
This isn't just my favorite Bond movie, this is one of my favorite movies of all time. I freakin' love this movie. What really appealed to me about it as a kid was how Bond was in total control the entire movie. Unlike other movies where Bond gets hurt or shows vulnerability, in this one he always is a step ahead and shows confidence throughout. As I've gotten older, I've come to appreciate vulnerability more, but as a 20 year-old who sometimes lacked confidence, seeing Bond as a Superman-type figure was legitimately motivating and inspirational to me. 

While the Daniel Craig movies have their merits, they too often have Bond on a depressing, soul-searching journey for truth instead of following the formula here, which is just to have a fun, entertaining movie where Bond kicks ass. I haven't even mentioned the amazing soundtrack by first-time Bond composer David Arnold, who has no qualms about using the Bond theme early and often. And the dialogue in this movie is very well-written -- it's clever and witty without being goofy. 

So yes, this is going to the number one spot on the rankings where it will stay. What a film.   

Monday, April 11, 2022

The 007 Project: GoldenEye


Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
Bond investigates the disappearance of a top-secret Russian satellite weapon and in the process discovers that his old friend is alive and is now his enemy. 

Memorable Quote:
Half of everything is luck, James.  ~Trevelyan
And the other half?  ~Bond
Fate.  ~Trevelyan

Highlight:
The entire opening is electric and sets the tone perfectly for the movie. In particular, I love the moment where Bond is slowly walking behind the cannisters with about 50 Russian guns drawn on him. 

Lowlight:
I do have one quibble about the opening, and that is the part where Bond launches himself off the cliff on a motorcycle, works his way into the nosediving plane, and pulls the plane up before it crashes. I'm all for suspending disbelief, but this act is not only the most unbelievable event in any Bond movie but possibly any movie. Someone could hypothetically try to do that one billion times and it would probably never work even once. It would have been better if he just stayed in the plane and took off from the mountainside.  

Most interesting piece of IMDB trivia:
"Goldeneye" is the nickname of James Bond creator Ian Fleming's beachfront house in Jamaica where, between 1952 and 1964, he wrote the Bond novels and short stories. It was named for the contingency plan that the S.I.S., whose members included Fleming, devised in the event of a Nazi invasion of Spain.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • OK, we've now officially entered into my wheelhouse -- I've seen each of the Brosnan movies at least 10 times each. 
  • This movie is directed by Martin Campbell, who also directed The Mask of Zorro and would go on to direct Casino Royale. 
  • The dam bungee jump is a breathtaking stunt, and it was completed in one take.
  • Love the Tina Turner song, and it's going to number one on my song rankings thus far. I did just learn that the song was written by Bono and The Edge. 
  • So far I've been waiting for the actor's final movie to talk about him, but I want to get into Brosnan right now. Brosnan is clearly the best Bond and way better than any of the previous ones, and it's not even close. Daniel Craig (who we'll get to later) is also very good, but Brosnan is just at another level.  He quite simply was born to play the character -- his look, his voice, his charm, his ability to be ruthless, his likability, his acting skills, his physicality, his ability to deliver one-liners.  He's perfect. 
  • Great scene with M and Bond in the office where she calls him a "sexist, misogynist dinosaur." Judy Dench is a great M. 
  • That light blue BMW is beautiful -- too bad it doesn't get more screen time. 
  • Not sure why they felt like they needed to bring Joe Don Baker back -- he's not as bad here (as CIA man Jack Wade) as he was as Whitaker in The Living Daylights, but still a bit too silly for my tastes.  
  • Zukovsky on the other hand I kind of like even though he's a goof. And great line by Bond about giving him the limp. 
  • Fantastic villain performances by Famke Janssen (Onatopp) and Sean Bean (Trevelyan). 
  • I forgot how good the tank scene is: the music, the energy, and I love the way Natalya looks at him longingly from the car.  
  • I don't know why Trevelyan is so upset with Bond for setting the timer for 3 minutes, like he told Bond at the time to "Finish the job James, blow them all to hell," so what's his problem?
  • I love how Bond guesses Boris's password in like a quarter of a second. 
  • Wade says "Give me a call if you need backup and I'll send in the marines," well why not just do that right away? I know, because it would ruin the movie. 
  • After Bond drops Trevelyan to his death, he makes it look easy when he jumps from the satellite tower to the helicopter and grabs the rudder while the helicopter flies away. That is not an easy thing to do, especially considering the pilot is a bad guy (being held at gunpoint by Natalya) and could easily tilt the plane so that Bond falls. 
  • The end credits -- ewwww.  That song they picked was so out of place. 
  • Let's talk for a minute about the Goldeneye video game for Nintendo 64. I played this game a bit in college, as did many of my peers, and I still have the game. Quite simply, it's one of the best video games ever made, and I'm not alone in that opinion. The 4-person multiplayer was incredibly fun, and the music was unbelievable. Here's a sample

Final Analysis:
This movie is so good and easily slides into the number one spot on the rankings. I love it -- not much more to say! 

Friday, April 8, 2022

The 007 Project: Licence to Kill


Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
Felix Leiter's wedding is interrupted by the capture and escape of a drug kingpin, who then murders Leiter's wife and feeds Leiter to sharks. Bond vows revenge without the approval of M or MI6, who disavow him and revoke his license to kill, forcing Bond to go it alone with only the help of a CIA informant and Q.  

Memorable Quote:
Are you all right?  ~Pam
Switch the bloody machine off!  ~Bond

Highlight:
The one-two punch of Robert Davi (Sanchez) and Benicio Del Toro (Dario) as villains. Davi's Sanchez effortlessly switches from cool and charming to ruthless and angry, and Del Toro (who was only 22 at the time) portrays Dario with an abundance of menace and swagger. I remember the first time I saw this movie, Del Toro stood out to me as being very memorable and talented, and it's not surprising that he became a more famous actor. 

Lowlight:
I don't like how M and his men shoot at Bond when he escapes, like WTF are you doing shooting at Bond? That is so wrong. And then M stops one of his men from shooting with a reason of "No, too many people!" How about, "No, that is our best agent who has risked life and limb on countless occasions and is now trying to righteously avenge his friend by going after a dangerous drug kingpin!"

Most interesting piece of IMDB trivia:
The scene where Bond resigns from the MI6 was shot at Ernest Hemingway's house in Key West. That's why when M (Robert Brown) informs 007 that his licence to kill is revoked, he replies, "I guess this is a farewell to arms," a nod to one of Hemingway's most famous novels.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • I never noticed until this viewing that the official movie title includes the British spelling of Licence rather than License. 
  • Interesting opening where we see Bond in a different context than what we're accustomed to, as a best man at a wedding. 
  • 12:36 mark -- Della tells Bond it's "custom" for the best man to kiss the bride and then kisses him twice on the lips. 
  • Amazing that Felix survives the shark attack.  The shark attack and the line "He disagreed with something that ate him" come from the Live and Let Die novel. 
  • When Bond finishes off the corrupt DEA agent (played by the same actor who was the bad guy in Under Siege 2), did he really have to throw the 2 million dollars into the shark-infested water with the guy? Reminds me of the MacGyver episode Jack in the Box where MacGvyer somewhat unnecessarily lets the 5 million dollars blow up with the dynamite. 
  • Talisa Soto is excellent in the role of Lupe -- like Del Toro, she was only 22 at the time. 
  • 48:03 -- No one is strong enough to hold on to a plane like that with one hand while it's moving and twisting at high speeds. 
  • 50:12 -- Did they really have computer CD drives back then?
  • Memorable role for Q here, who gets to do some actual field work. 
  • 1:18:30 -- They don't show how Bond got down from the building. I guess we're supposed to think he climbed up the rope back to the roof.  
  • 1:23:00 -- Whoa, it's a Christopher Neame sighting! He was in three episodes of MacGyver as three different villains. 
  • Interesting appearance by Wayne Newton as the shady con-man salesman. 
  • 1:42:14 -- Lupe really turning the screws on Pam: "Last night he stayed with me" and "I love James so much."
  • 2:00:17 -- When Bond sees the bad guy down the road about to fire a missile at him, instead of jumping out of the truck, he does a side wheelie with the truck so that the missile flies right under it. It's the second unlikeliest thing to happen in a Bond movie (we'll get to the most unlikeliest in the next post). 

Final Analysis:
While I've seen this movie a few times, I didn't remember it well upon viewing it now. I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end -- great locales, great villains, end-to-end action, a story that made sense, and a slightly edgier, more human Bond. Ranking it 1 out of 16.

And a quick word on Timothy Dalton. Overall I liked him better than Connery or Moore. I didn't love him -- his Bond is somewhat dour and dull, but he did bring a human quality to the role, and I didn't find him to be annoyingly smug as I sometimes did with Connery or as silly as I sometimes did with Moore. 

Saturday, April 2, 2022

The 007 Project: The Living Daylights

 

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
Bond is tasked with helping Soviet officer Georgi Koskov defect in Czechoslovakia, and while on the mission, he spares the life of Kara, Koskov's girlfriend, who is a cellist posing as a sniper. Koskov is later revealed to be corrupt and working with an American arms dealer to deliver weapons to the Soviets while buying opium from the Afghan mujahideen. Bond helps Kara see Koskov's true colors, and they work to stop his scheme. 

Memorable Quote:
Relax, Georgi. Our engineers have spent months perfecting this.  ~Bond
How many times have you done this before?  ~Koskov
You're the first!  ~Bond

Highlight:
The opening sequence in Gibraltar is lit. A year ago I wouldn't have known what it means to be lit, but ever since I've been spending more time on Discord with gamers younger than I am, I've learned the lingo and have become cool af, no cap. 

Lowlight:
The Afghan action sequence is much too long, and it's unclear to me how the mujahideen play into everything. Like they're selling opium to Whitaker and Koskov, but then they're attacking them and Bond is treating them as allies, I don't really get it. 

Most interesting piece of IMDB trivia:
Christopher Reeve turned down a million-dollar offer by Albert R. Broccoli to play Bond in this film. Had he accepted, he would have been the only American (as of 2021) to play the role.

(I don't know if this is actually true, I don't see it anywhere else online.)

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • I actually remember seeing this movie in the theater -- I was 6 years old. Why my parents took a 6 year-old to see a Bond movie I do not understand, but hopefully I still turned out ok. 
  • Some notable actors in this movie to mention:
    • Jeroen Krabbe as Koskov, also appeared in The Fugitive as Dr. Nichols. 
    • Andreas Wisniewski as Necros, also appeared in Die Hard, Mission Impossible 1, and Mission Impossible 4. Here's a one-minute video of his MI appearances. He's really good in this movie, by the way.  
    • Joe Don Baker as Whitaker, appears later in Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies as Bond ally Jack Wade. He's not really that good in this movie, by the way. 
    • John Rhys Davies as Pushkin, also appeared in Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Last Crusade.
    • Caroline Bliss as Miss Moneypenny, not really notable other than she's cute and I would have liked her to have more screen time. 
    • John Terry as Felix Leiter, not really notable other than he was not very good and I would have liked him to have less screen time. 
  • 35:00 mark -- Q gives Bond a key that opens 90% of the world's locks, how cool is that. 
  • 1:28:45 -- Funny how Bond is about to leave the prison without freeing the Afghan prisoner from the cell and stops only when he asks. Also is the prisoner supposed to be the mujahideen leader?  It seems like that's what they're suggesting, but if so, he acts like two different people (in the cell he seems like a buffoon). 
  • 1:50:16 -- Why is Kara trying to get on the plane now, like couldn't they have talked about the plan beforehand and she could have come along with him earlier? Also once she is in the cockpit, he says "Hold it steady," but how could a cellist know how to fly a massive Soviet plane like that? And why in the world does she open the hatch?

Final Analysis:
This movie doesn't do much for me. I like Dalton (will talk about him more next post), but there aren't many highlights or rewatchable moments, and the villains (except for Necros) are underdeveloped and cartoonish. Ranking it 12 out of 15. 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

The 007 Project: A View to a Kill

 

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
Bond is sent to France to investigate Max Zorin, a CEO specializing in microchips. Zorin plans to destroy Silicon Valley so that the value of his product increases. 

Memorable Quote:
Wow, what a view.  ~May Day
To a kill.  ~Zorin

Highlight:
The Eiffel Tower scene and subsequent car chase is brief but memorable. For one thing, how sweet would it be to eat in a restaurant like that in the middle of the Eiffel Tower. 

Lowlight:
The fire truck chase scene bothered me, like why couldn't Bond just explain things down at the station? Instead he leads these poor officers on a chase throughout San Francisco while doing untold amounts of property damage and risking the lives of the officers and bystanders. 

Most interesting piece of IMDB trivia:
The first of this movie's Eiffel Tower jumps was so successful that the second jump was cancelled, thereby eliminating any further risk, cost, and time. However, as mentioned in Inside A View to a Kill (2000), two of the crew, including Don "Tweet" Caltvedt, allegedly went and made an unauthorized jump, as they were apparently so disappointed that they didn't get to jump off the Eiffel Tower. The non-permitted stunt jump cost them their jobs, as it jeopardized the remaining filming of the shoot in the French capital.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • The opening is very good, though it was an inexplicable and startling choice to interrupt the exciting background theme by interjecting California Girls
  • Alison Doody, of Elsa Schneider/Last Crusade fame, appears as Jenny Flex. She was 19 when this movie came out. Moore, by comparison, was 57. 
  • There are a few other Indiana Jones connections:
    • David Yip, who plays ally Chuck Lee, was Indy's ally Wu Han in the opening to Temple of Doom
    • The San Francisco City Hall location is used at the end of Raiders when Indy is leaving his debrief meeting. 
  • The renaissance-style party at the big palace is cool, but I wonder how Sir Godfrey was able to "arrange an invitation" for Bond under a fake name -- as if Zorin's people would just go along with some dude staying at their mansion who they've never heard of. 
  • They say that Zorin was from East Germany and then moved to France, but he doesn't speak with any sort of German or French accent.  
  • 1:14:34 - That shrieking cat scared the shit out of me. 
  • Tanya Roberts as Stacey Sutton -- really bad actress, but perhaps the best looking Bond girl so far. 
  • I haven't seen many Christopher Walken movies -- in fact, I can't think of a single other one that I've seen, but he's a cool dude. 
  • May Day is a memorable character, and I like how she turns sides at the end. 
  • As the drama above the Golden Gate bridge unfolds, the cars on the bridge appear to be driving as normal and aren't distracted by the giant zeppelin directly overhead.  
  • Well, we've come to the end of the Roger Moore era. Moore is a likable guy but a little too casual for me, so I don't love him, but I rate him slightly better than Connery. 

Final Analysis:
I had only seen this movie once before, and my memory of it was that it was really bad and possibly the worst of the franchise. Upon viewing it now, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that it was not that bad, and in fact I kind of liked it. The first half was pretty good -- the second half not as much but not terrible.  Ranking it 9 out of 14.