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Archive for November, 2010

Review Catch-up

I have been falling a little behind with my reviews lately so here is a catch-up:

RED

Based on the three-issue comic book series created by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, Frank Moses’ (Bruce Willis) is struggling to handle retirement, this in itself is nothing unusual, but frank was a CIA black-ops agent. He spends his days ripping up his pension cheques to give him an excuse to talk to Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), who works in the call centre working for his pension office. When a hit squad attempt to kill Frank he soon realises Sarah may be in danger so kidnaps he to protect he (as you do!). Along the way he picks up Joe (Morgan Freeman) from a New Orleans retirement home, paranoid Marvin (John Malkovich) from his hideout in the Florida Everglades and Victoria (Helen Mirren), an assassin turned B&B owner. They also enlist the help of an unlikely ally, former Russian adversary Ivan (Brian Cox).

The plot is a little on the thin side and with no real twists or surprises but the characters are more rounded and likeable than you would expect in the genre. The true test of a movie like this is how it lives up to its contemporary competitors, and in a class that includes The Expendables, The A Team, The Losers and Knight and Day, Red is probably the best.

Three Stars out of Five 

   

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The Kids Are All Right

Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening), are a lesbian couple who live in California with their two children Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson). It transpires that both woman conceived a child via the same anonymous sperm donor, when Joni reaches eighteen, her brother Laser talks her into contact the sperm bank in order to make contact with heir biological father, Paul (Mark Ruffalo). Despite being keen to meet his farther it is it is actually Joni who forms a bond with him. As he gets to know the family the cracks begin to appear, but they are the cracks of a couple who have been together for a long time. From a prospective of sexual orientation the problems the family have to deal with are no different to those of any other family and leads to a great scene where the mom’s are concerned that Laser may be gay.

The thing that really stands out about the movie is how great the acting is, in the presence of Julianne Moore and Annette Bening it would be easy for the younger actors to get lost but Josh Hutcherson does a decent job and Mia Wasikowska is excellent. A film that can’t decide if it wants to be a comedy or a drama it is brilliant as both.

Four Stars out of Five

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Let Me In

Los Alamos, New Mexico in the early 1980‘s, Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a 12 year-old boy, bullied at school and living with his mother after his parents marriage brake up. He forms a friendship with the new girl next door Abby (Chloe Moretz) who is also twelve but has been twelve for “a long time” and has a taste for human blood.

Whilst lacking the gravitas of Let the Right One In, this movie looks as good as the original and conveys the same story to a wider audience. Taken on its own merits it is intelligent and supremely well made, I just can’t help feeling there is something missing, a feeling I didn’t get from the original. Hopefully it will point a few more people towards the brilliant original.

Four Stars out of Five

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Another Year

Set over the course a year and split into four segments representing the four seasons. Tom (Jim Broadbent), a geologist, and Gerri (Ruth Sheen), a therapist, are a happy couple in their sixties. Unfortunately their friends and family are less stable and well adjusted and rely on the couple’s support and friendship. The most significant of these is Gerri’s work colleague, Mary (Lesley Manville).

Basically the title tells you everything you need to know about the movie, it is just about another year in the life of an ordinary family, to put it simply nothing much happens! This isn’t a bad thing, the movie is a very realistic and hugely enjoyable. I was amazed on leaving the cinema to discover that it was over two hours long, the time flew by.

Four Stars out of Five

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We Are What We Are

When the father and head of a Mexican family dies another member must take charge and provide for the family. Unfortunately they are cannibals and providing for the family means finding people to eat.

Telling the story from the point of view of the family it is dark, disturbing and grim but also funny at times. There are also subplots involving the family that help ground the movie but in doing so it becomes even more disturbing. The subject matter and the slow moving narrative make the movie far from easy to watch or to truly enjoy but one you can’t take your eyes off. I get the impression the movie is supposed to be a satire on poverty and society, but it all gets a little lost in translation. I think it’s a movie that different people will take different things from. I really liked it.

Three Stars out of Five

 

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Modesty Blaise started life as a British comic strip in the London Evening Standard in 1963, written by Peter O’Donnell with art by Jim Holdaway. Featuring the character Modesty Blaise, a young woman with extraordinary talents and a shady criminal past, think of a female cross between James Bond and Simon Templar. As well as the comic strip her story has been adapted into a series of thirteen novels/short story collections and various comic books/graphic novels. With all this in mind it would be amazing if it hadn’t been made into a movie, what is truly amazing is that it has actually been filmed three times, they just aren’t that memorable.

Modesty Blaise (1966) was a comedy thriller (light on the thriller part and not very funny) directed by Joseph Losey and staring Monica Vitti as Modesty. Terence Stamp played her sidekick Willie Garvin, and Dirk Bogarde as the arch villain Gabriel. Hamstrung by script rewrites and a lack of cohesive vision the movie looks more like an Austin Powers movie than a James Bond one (and not as funny as either). Imagine looking back at Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels if Casino Royale (1966) was the only James Bond film to be made! Unsurprisingly the film was financially unsuccessful and a suggested film series never happened.

Modesty Blaise (1982): the next incarnation of the story was a one-hour pilot for a TV show that never got picked up. Set in America the characters and the actors who played them were American not British with TV regular Ann Turkel playing Modesty Blaise and Lewis Van Bergen as Willie Garvin. Slightly more serious and less camp than the 60’s version, I saw it many years ago and remember enjoying it but looking back now at clips online it looks typically cheep and cheesy like other 80’s TV.

My Name Is Modesty: A Modesty Blaise Adventure (2004) Miramax owned the rights to Modesty Blaise but they were about to expire. In order to retain them they decided to throw together a direct to video movie. Shot in just two and half weeks on a modest budget the movie acts as a sort of prequel to other Modesty stories; set before she ran the criminal organisation “The Network” and before her time with British Intelligence and before she met Willie Garvin. Typical B movie action, the movie is worth a look when it comes on TV but I wouldn’t bother buying/renting the DVD. With British actress Alexandra Staden taking the title role the cast is virtually unknown, the DVD box does feature a famous name, above the movie title it reads “Quentin Tarantino presents”. From what I understand Tarantino did no more than lend his name to the movie, he has however suggested on many occasions that he would like to direct a Modest Blaise movie. For those who haven’t spotted it, the book Vincent Vega is seen reading a copy of Modesty Blaise (the novel based on the first movie).

Has Quentin Tarantino got Modesty Blaise out of his system by making Kill Bill (2003-04) or is it still there in the background? When you consider he has been talking about Inglourious Basterds (2009) since around the time of Pulp Fiction (1994) I would suggest Tarantino isn’t one to let things go. The big question, who do you cast in a movie like this? As Uma Thurman proved in The Avengers (1998) and Charlize Theron in Æon Flux (2005) looking good (and they did look really good) isn’t enough, the movies were terrible.

 

Interestingly both these actresses have been suggested as a potential Modesty along with Kate Beckinsale and Jennifer Connely. Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lopez also expressed an interest around the time of the Miramax movie that never materialised after My Name is Modesty. If I can throw a few more names into the hat; Modesty should be in her late twenties or early thirties, tall, slender, drop dead gorgeous, very tenacious and slightly aloof; two actresses that fit the bill and have been brilliant in everything they have done recently: Anna Hathaway and Eva Green.

And if QT doesn’t make the movie someone else will sooner or later, who else can direct an intelligent action movie but retain a deeply cutting sense of humour? The one man who springs to mind: Joss Whedon! I would like to see the movie made as a period piece set in the mid sixties but accept the fact it will probably be undated to the modern day. The setting should include England (particularly swinging London of the mid to late 60’s) as well as more exotic locations around the world. Whatever happens Modesty Blaise is a character who deserves a big screen outing to rival Bond and Bourne.

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Skyline

Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and his girlfriend Elaine (Scotty Thompson) travel to LA for the birthday of Jarrod’s best friend Terry (Donald Faison) who lives in a luxurious penthouse apartment. Early the following morning Beams of light appear in the sky, thus begins the alien invasion that the trio must try to survive along with a few friends and neighbours.

We have reached a tipping point in movie making, and I don’t like where its going. As a fan of B movies I love the way that that low budget filmmakers use their imagination to create something special on a tiny budget. The way Skyline differs from other low budget movies and the thing that worries me is the use of special effects. With over 800 visual effects shots (more than most big budget movies) and a quality of digital effects that wasn’t available to any director at any budget a few years ago. This comes from the use of the latest version of the Red camera and the fact the directors Greg Strause and Colin Strause (known collectively, and somewhat pretentiously as “the Brothers Strause“) who have spent the last decade and a half working on the visual effects of some of the biggest movies around. I have no problem with the effects Per se, the problem is that they have made the filmmakers lazy, there is nothing original about Skyline, it is like watching every alien invasion movie you have seen before, and to be honest there are times when I would rarther have been watching an Edward D. Wood Jr movie. Aspects of the production are true to the low budget ideals with the main filming location being the apartment building where Greg Strause lives in Marina Del Rey. The budget for this was around half a million dollars, the post production (mainly the visuel effects) cost anywhere from $10 to 20million depending on who you believe. The cast is relatively unknown with Eric Balfour and David Zayas the most recognisable from their TV work. This isn’t a problem, but the lack of acting ability on display is a real problem. At least it is better than the directors previous movie AVPR: Aliens vs Predator – Requiem, it could hardly be worse!

To its credit the movie does end on a suitable cliff-hanger as the movie takes a final act change of direction, I understand there is a sequel on the way in two years time, hopefully it will be more original. The best thing about the movie wasn’t actually the anything to do with the movie, it was the trailer for Monster shown before the movie. Due for UK release next month I hope Monster will be the movie to restore my faith low budget movies.

Two Stars out of Five

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James Bond was created in 1953 when Ian Fleming’s first novel, Casino Royale was published. The British secret agent hit the big screen just under a decade later with the first movie Dr. No in 1962. As such Bond’s origins like Flemings go back to the second world war, Fleming worked for the director of Naval Intelligence of the Royal Navy, he was commissioned as a lieutenant and rose to the rank of Commander (the same rank he gave to his fictional creation). As Fleming returned to civilian life the Cold War was starting making Bond very much a cold war character. Whilst the character has a very defined arc across the series of books they all date from mid fifties to mid sixties, the movies however have had to adapt and develop in order to stay reverent over time. In the seventies he joined the space race (Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker), in the late 80’s as Mikhail Gorbachev embraced the idea of Glasnost a new Bond took on East – West relations before embarking on a battle with a new enemy, the drug trade. Then Bond disappeared from our screens for a time. The brief hiatus was caused by a legal dispute, once settled yet another new Bond took over finding the world a different place after The Berlin Wall came down. As the villains plans got more elaborate and Bonds gadgets got more preposterous the franchise lost its relevance and something new was needed, we received it with Casino Royale. As MGM work through their financial situation we do not know where the series will go next, but one thing we do know; James Bond WILL return!

Casino Royale (2006)

“Christ I miss the cold war” – M

Bond was conceived in the cold war and after forty years of evolution had lost relevance and all connection with reality. In essence Bond is a character from a time travel movie who after around 1977 (or possibly even 1965) never completely fits into the modern world. Opinions differed as to how best to restore the franchise to its former glory, some (including me) advocated a return to the original source material and a 1950/60’s setting. Others suggested something more like the all action Bourne movies, as it turned out a middle ground was the best option. Taking the first Bond novel at its centre and expanding on it to create a rounded movie that is essentially a reboot taking the franchise back to year one.

The black and white pre credit sequence takes us back to a pre 00 (licence to kill) Bond (Daniel Craig), it is raw, bloody, brutal, visceral but more importantly it is basic simple and brilliant; the perfect antidote to the overblown excess of its predecessors. We next meet Bond on assignment; in a scene involving a fantastic parkour chase, a mission to capture a bomb maker goes wrong. Bond follows the evidence resulting in a chain of events that culminate in him taking part in a high-stakes poker tournament against terrorist banker/financier LeChiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) who is attempting to win back the money he lost because of Bond. This tournament is where we rejoin Ian Fleming’s source material, true the setting has changed from France to Montenegro and the game from baccarat to Texas hold ‘em poker but the essence of the story survives.

This may be a reboot and an attempt to get new and younger viewers onboard (a successful one) but it is also a Bond movie through and through full of themes and references to what has gone before. The conversations Bond has with Vesper Lynd (Green) and M (Judi Dench) are equally as epic and important as the action scenes. Whilst I still believe From Russia With Love is the best Bond film ever Casino Royale is comfortably the second best and certainly the best made within my lifetime.

Click here to see the whole article on Movie Mobsters

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In the week leading up to tomorrows Groovers and Mobsters Present: James Bond we have given you the best of Bond Girls, Gadgets, Cars, Villains and Henchmen. Now for something a little different. Like no other character from movies or literature James Bond can be identified by his possessions, it isn’t the gadgets, it’s the “stuff”.

The Suit

James Bonds cloths changed over time to keep up with (or not too far behind) the fashions of the day. His everyday attire was normally a tailored suit (in Ian Fleming’s novels he favoured a lightweight serge in Navy Blue). The identity of his tailor is never mentioned in the novels but someone on Savile Row is hinted at. The movies are a little more overt with Bond telling Felix Leiter that his suits are tailored on Savile Row. In reality the suits worn by Connery came from director Terence Young’s tailor, Anthony Sinclair (located on Conduit Street near Savile Row and not on “the row” itself). Roger Moore favoured his own tailors Cyril Castle (of Mayfair) and later Douglas Hayward but his contemporary and stylish suits are often forgotten because of the dated safari jackets he also wore. Partly because of the plots of the movies he appeared in Timothy Dalton introduced some more casual cloths but insisted the character remained true to his origins and not move more towards the Miami Vice inspired pastels that were creeping into fashion in the 80‘s. When Bond returned in the 90’s the game had changed and bespoke tailors (who spend about 80 hours on each suit) could not produce enough garments for a movie. For the Pierce Brosnan era they moved to the Italian company Brioni who have been associated with Hollywood since the 50’s. The current Bond, Daniel Craig has worn Tom Ford in his two movies so far.

The Gun

When Ian Fleming wrote the first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, he issued his secret agent with a Beretta 418. Fleming freely admitted to knowing little about the type of weapon an agent like Bond would use, therefore it came as no surprise when Geoffrey Boothroyd, a gun collector and Bond fan wrote to Fleming explaining the Beretta 418 was “a lady’s gun”. The two men entered into correspondence until eventually Bonds new gun the Walther PPK 7.65 mm was decided upon. As Fleming set to work on his next novel Dr. No, not only did he start using the Walther but he is actually assigned it by a character called Major Boothroyd. As Dr. No became the first Bond novel to be filmed we see Bonds move from the Beretta to the Walther at the start of the film series. The Walther PP was designed by Carl Walther Waffenfabrik in 1929 (and the slightly smaller version the PPK two years later) for police use, they have been in continues use ever since and the PPK/S has been manufactured in the USA by Smith & Wesson under license. After first using one in Tomorrow Never Dies, from The World Is Not Enough onwards Bond’s issued sidearm became the more modern Walther P99 but the PPK will always be associated with Bond.

The Car

In the novels Bond originally drove a Bentley, it is described as a 4½ Litre with an Amherst Villiers supercharger in battleship grey. He did however drive an Aston Martin in the novel Goldfinger, in the film version he drives the Aston Martin DB5 for the first time. The most iconic and recognisable Bond car, Bond and the BD5 will always be synonymous with each other. It reappeared with Sean Connery in Thunderball but its finest hour comes in GoldenEye when driven by Pierce Brosnan’s Bond as he races femme fatale, Xenia Onatopp driving a Ferrari F355 through the French Alpes towards Monte Carlo. In the real world the old Aston wouldn’t’t be able to keep up with the modern Ferrari but in Bonds world this is easily forgotten. After a few dalliances with Lotus’ and BMW’s Bond is now back in an Aston with a classic DB5 making its most recent appearance in Casino Royale.

The Watch

Ian Fleming’s Bond always wore a Rolex, the exact model was never mentioned. In the films Sean Connery wore a Rolex Submariner, as did Roger Moore initially. Then as we move into the digital age in The Spy Who Loved Me Moore updated to a digital Seiko. Timothy Dalton went back to the classic Rolex Submariner only to be replaced by Pierce Brosnan and The Omega Seamaster. Daniel Craig, also wears the Omega. Part of Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual range the Submariner was first produced in 1954 and designed for diving, the style is iconic and has been copied by other watch manufactures ever since. Although he was ultimately the Bond who moved away from the Rolex it was Roger Moore who made best use of it in Live and Let Die. His Submariner featured highly intense electro-magnet powerful enough to deflect the path of a bullet as well as rotating saw-edged bezel.

The Drink

Thanks to the movies James Bond is always associated with Vodka Martinis, in fact the Bond of Ian Fleming’s novels drank many different drinks. In Casino Royale he did however drink a Vodka Martini that he eventually named “Vesper” after the character Vesper Lynd. The Vesper recipe is:

  1. Three measures of Gordon’s Gin
  2. One of vodka
  3. Half a measure of Kina Lillet
  4. Shake over ice until it’s ice-cold and strain into a martini glass.
  5. Then add a large thin slice of lemon peel

Check back tomorrow for the main event, Groovers And Mobsters Present James Bond

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How do you pick the best Bond cars? You could choose the best original car, the best gadgets, the most iconic or just how they are used in race or chase scenes. This simple answer is a combination of all of the above. I give you my top five Bond cars:

FIVE – Aston Martin Vanquish – Die Another Day

If it was a list of the best gadgets on a car this one would be top of the list but the invisibility thing just goes a little too far even for a Bond movie. For that reason I nearly dropped it from the list completely, but I have to admit the chase scene it was involved in was pretty good largely because of the opposition. A flash car with gadgets and weapons in a mainstay of the Bond franchise but to give one to a villain is a novel idea, that’s exactly what they did with Zao’s Jaguar XKR.

Four – BMW 750iL – Tomorrow Never Dies, Movie

To choose a classic Bond car is a balance between how cool the original car was, what it does in the movie and what gadgets Q has added to it. The BMW is amongst the least exciting Bond car but the remote control is a neat trick and the car park chase is a great scene.

Three – Aston Martin V8 Vantage – The Living Daylights

The spiritual successor to the DB5 of Goldfinger the Vantage has wheel-mounted lasers (an great update of the DB5’s tyre slashers), If you believe Q’s description many of Bonds cars have missiles concealed behind the headlights, but hear we actually get to see them in action. The chase scene is pretty good too.

Two – Lotus Esprit – The Spy Who Loved Me

Choosing a replacement for Bonds iconic Aston Martin was an impossible task but the Lotus Esprit was a pretty good choice, the British sports car is sleeker and more modern than the old car, and that’s before they tuned it into a submarine!

One – Aston Martin DB5 – Gold finger (also seen in Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, and Casino Royale)

If I have to explain this one too you, you are reading the wrong list.

And here is the old Aston in action, its finest hour?

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Groovers and Mobsters Present: Bond Girls, Andy’s list.

Groovers and Mobsters Present is taking over Movie Mobsters for a week of James Bond related posts leading up to Groovers and Mobsters Present: James Bond next Saturday. Heather posted her top ten Bond Girls yesterday, now its my turn. We intended to choose five each and post them on the same page but there was a slight problem, we both independently of each other picked the same five (not in the same order), so we decided to go for our own top tens.

Ten – Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko) Quantum of Solace

A late and possibly surprising entry to the list I just re-watched Quantum of Solace and came to the conclusion that it is a better movie than I gave it credit for and she is a far better character than I initially appreciated. A former Bolivian secret service agent whose entire life is about revenge, this gives a prospective and balance to Bonds own personal mission. The most notable thing about the character is the way she completely overshadows Strawberry Fields (Gemma Arterton), also worth noting is that (unlike Fields) she doesn’t sleep with Bond, a real rarity for a major Bond Girl.

 

Nine – Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell) Licence To Kill

After a brief appearance at Felix Leiter’s wedding we next seeing Pam Bouvier pointing a shotgun at a sensitive part of henchmen Dario’s (a young Benicio Del Toro) anatomy. She then goes on to kick ass in a bar fight. You really notice her when she slips into a cocktail dress and gets a new haircut (inspiration for Jamie Lee Curtis’ look in true lies?), her insecurities and jealousy of Lupe Lamora (Talisa Soto) only add to the appeal.

 

Eight – Domino Derval (Claudine Auger) Thunderball

In many ways Thunderball is the perfect Bond film, it retains the link with the original source novels like the movies that went before it whilst also developing the over the top fantasy that the later movies became. As such it has a Bond girl that ticks all the boxes, Domino fills the eye-candy role that are often taken up by the bit part girls but is also a more fleshed-out role that is integral to the plot.

 

Seven – Teresa “Tracy” Di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

It would be easy to dismiss Tracy as a Bond Girl, she appears in a seriously flawed movie and Dianna Rigg has absolutely zero onscreen chemistry with George Lazenby. Putting this aside there are a few things to take into account, firstly she is one of only two women that Bond appears to have actually loved (the other being Vesper Lynd). The second thing is that she is a great character in her own right, the suicidal fast living daughter of a Mafia crime boss proves to be both entertaining and compelling. Last but not least she is played by Diana Rigg, yes thats Diana “Emma Peel” Rigg, what more could you ask for in a Bond Girl.

 

Six -Anya Amasova aka Agent XXX (Barbara Bach) The Spy Who Loved Me

Reclusive megalomaniac Karl Stromberg has a suitably fiendish plan to destroy the world and create a new under the sea civilisation. In an effort to save the world the M and his opposite number at the KGB decide to work together and assign their best agents. 007 and XXX. Constantly trying to out do each other the pair work well together, however there is a complication Amasova has vowed to kill Bond when the mission is over in revenge for the death of her lover (who Bond killed in the pre-credit sequence). This tension and competition between the pair is the at the heart of the success of the movie.

 

Five – Colonel Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh) Tomorrow Never Dies

Pussy Galore may be more than a match for Bond but with her sharp intellect, strong sense of duty and most importantly her considerable martial arts skills Wai Lin makes Bond look like a rank amateur at times. She is also played by action star Michelle Yeoh helping to introduce her to a wider western audience. As a more action orientated Bond girl she gets everything right that Halle Berry’s annoying Jinx Johnson gets wrong, and lets be honest she is the only thing work watching in a somewhat lacklustre movie.

 

Four – Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress) Dr. No

The first? Certainly; the most iconic? Probably; the best? No but still worth a place on the list, she is worth a place on the list just for her entrance into the movie. Not only is her rise from the sea one of the most iconic and memorable moments in Bond history it is one of the most iconic and memorable moments in movie history.

 

Three- Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman) Goldfinger

Depending on your point of view Pussy Galore is the best or worst name of a Bond Girl and the most suggestive double entendre in the franchise. In the original novel the character is a lesbian, something that is only hinted at in the movie,. Something that isn’t changed is the fact that she was the first Bond Girl to be more than a match for Bond, not exactly the archetype for future Bond Girls but certainly a reference point that future writers/directors would return to. At 39 Blackman is the oldest Bond Girl to date and a real rarity in that she was older than Bond (Sean Connery was 34) this gave a certain dynamic that has never been completely recaptured.

 

Two – Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen) Golden Eye

I had to think long and hard about this one, could I put a Bond villain/hench(wo)man as number two on my list of Bond Girls, then I decided hell yes, I even considered elevating her to number one. When the main villain is revealed in Goldeneye it really isn’t a surprise but Famke Janssen’s Xenia Onatopp is a perfect weapon of mass distraction keeping making us forget there is.

 

One- Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) in Casino Royale

There is always a danger with Bond Girls that they are little more than window dressing or eye candy, and when you cast someone who looks like Eva Green that is probably what you expect of the character. In an effort to update the movies there has been attempts to make the women in Bond films his equal, whilst Vesper Lynd makes no attempt to compete with Bond on a physical level, intellectually she more than holds her own, her character is also integral to the plot. She actually doesn’t appear until nearly an hour into Casino Royale, but what an entrance she makes, her exit is brety spectacular too and promises to echo throughout Daniel Craig’s tenure as Bond.

Honourable mention

Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) Dr. No (1962) to A View to a Kill (1985)

Not generally regarded as a Bond Girl but the list wouldn’t be complete without Moneypenny, and if you are going to include Moneypenny why not go for the original, Lois Maxwell. The Bond movies are essentially travel-logs of exotic places and fantasies of improbable lifestyles, within this Moneypenny is the link to reality, the boring and mundane, the fact that she is never boring or mundane is the reason she deserves a mention. Her playful and flirtatious banter with Bond were an essential and memorable part of the movies.

Take a look at Movie Mobsters every day this week for a new James Bond Post

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