CommanderBond.net
  1. Top Secret – For Your Eyes Only’s 007th Minute revealed

    Image ‘Compound Eyes of a Robber Fly’ by Thomas Shahan (c)

     

    31 years after its initial premiere ‘For Your Eyes Only’ still has up-to-now-overlooked details to reveal. CBn’s resident optometrist Jacques Stewart took it upon himself to have a close look at the 007th Minute of this opus of entertainment and shares his findings here with you. You may share your own opinion on his impressions in this thread

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Go on then, make your outlandish Bond if you feel that you must. It helps disguise the onset of both decrepitude and breasts for your leading man. Cram it to overbursting with all the leftovers that you never thought you would get away with, administer it to the world and then have a crisis of conscience / money and trouble yourself with worrying about the direction to take it in next once you realise that you’ve rather overdone it and probably exhausted the concept of, and patience of the audience for, “Bond Films”. Rather brilliantly, you decide to make some proper films that incidentally happen to be “Bond Films”. Great success and critical acclaim await.

     

    No, sorry, that’s the Barbara Broccoli way.

     

    If you’re her father, you just plough on turning out Bond Films every couple of years because that’s mysteriously The Law, progressively less spectacular ones until you can’t afford to give Timothy Dalton a proper haircut, or story, and the series stalls. Mediocre returns and critical indifference await. I don’t pretend to know about the studio economic politik of the 1980s, largely because that would render me a fatuous dullard and “the” Internet already has more than enough of those, and of course it’s on record that 1989-1995 coincided with yet more litigation, Bond attracting as many lawyers as he does bullets. Yet so often is that dispute wheeled out as the explanation for the lack of production activity that one wonders if it’s a bit of a cover story, a convenient ruse for self-denying the truth that, starting with For Your Eyes Only, Bond was gently but horribly complacently driving itself into the ground, coasting along in neutral with the odd blip here and there on the accelerator, gathering some cash but running out of road, fuel and audience captivation in equal measures. Studio bankruptcy and creative bankruptcy going hand in hand. After eleven films, we can churn out any old dross, slap a gunbarrel on it to make it A. Bond. Film to draw the core punters in, and get away with it. Making it look effortless (The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker) is different to actually making it without any effort.

     

    This isn’t to say that parts of the Bond Films of the 1980s aren’t appealing but, when it comes to it, they’re just yet another five Bond Films to watch. Despite pretence in each film at trying new stuff out (For Your Eyes Only – “seriousness”; Octopussy – “turbo-racism”; A View to a Kill – “quiche”; The Living Daylights – “an hour of mesmeric brilliance followed by an hour of the usual tat” and Licence to Kill – “shameful cowardice”), in essence they deviate very little from the previous eleven. Even the ostensibly “radical” Licence to Kill is teat-suckingly dependent on being A. Bond. Film, with all the decades of reheated canker that comes with that idea, and totally to its disadvantage.

     

    For Your Eyes Only represents very little progress from Moonraker.

     

    continue reading…

    H.Sc. @ 2012-12-04
  2. ‘Moonraker’ – Where other 007th Minutes stop…

     

    Image ‘Moonraker 2’ by ‘pinkflo 13’ (c)

    …this one is also going to end. But till it does so Jacques Stewart scrutinises the film and its impact on himself and the series as a whole with his usual mixture of opinion and Science Fact!

     

    Share your own scientific findings about ‘Moonraker’ in this thread.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The first one. Film it in Jamaica, Bond investigating the death of British agents, an abundance of local colour to liven it up and make it so very terribly, veritably, exotic.

     
    The second one. Bond and a meeting-his-match dark side of Bond killer circle around each other for ages whilst a cursory plot about an initially important but swiftly neglected device plays out.

     

    The third one. Go showier, bolder, aim for definitive, iconic imagery, up the gadgetry significantly and bung him into a tremendously amusing car.

     
    The fourth one. The third one having turned out “quite well”, what the Hell, just hurl it into overdrive and do some strenuous envelope-pushing to spew out something dementedly pursuing an agenda of entertaining us.

     

    But enough about the Sean Connery films.

     

    Right, then. Moonraker. Hm. This.

     

     

    continue reading…

    H.Sc. @ 2012-11-27
  3. From Summer 0077: The Spy Who Loved Me’s 007th Minute

    Image ‘Dear diary’ by ‘incurable hippie’ (c)

    (contains traces of the secret diary of a super villain, found by renown beachcomber Jacques Stewart)

     

    … and as such things do is a primarily opinionated affair. 

     

     

    Tell us about your own adventures with ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ in this thread.

     

     

     

     

    Time for a running total.

     

     

    On the basis that this little misadventure was initially an exercise in establishing whether the 007th minute of each film exemplified “A Bond Film”, one may as well, upon reaching 00-figures, “Apply. Observe. Conclude”, as a Chemistry teacher of mine used to shout. Given what subsequently happened to him, he evidently interpreted the process as “Binoculars. Boys. Not just calling a register but also signing one”.
    Accordingly, working through our nine 007th minutes so far, in order, where we appear to get to is:-

     

     

    1.    British interests are in dire peril; the stiff upper hair is wobbling. Send for the hero, a high-living gambler.

     

     

    2.    The opposition are a roster of equally sophisticated parallels, although they can be more intellectually blessed than the hero.

     

     

    3.    Let’s be bold and brash and a lickle bick cheeky…

     

     

    4.    …and push it to the cusp of outrage, when we can.

     

     

    5.    Amidst the madness, we can inject some moody solemnity for “depth” – if not realism.

     

     

    6.    Thunderous action in interesting locations, and wink at the audience to reassure that everyone knows it’s all pretend.

     

     

    7.    If in doubt, fall back on some proven routines…

     

     

    8.    …but don’t be afraid to inject even into them an element of the bizarre and unexpected now and again.

     

     

    9.    …Um…

     

     

    Hmm. What is the positive ingredient to extrapolate from the 007th minute of The Man with the Golden Gun? 9. Ensure a bird is very dead before resting one’s weapon thereupon? Not convinced that’s appropriate family viewing, although it’s arguably evident in other films in the way The Actor Pierge Brosmomb’s Bond ostentatiously sniffnibbles murdered women. Applying his little shooter is surely only one step further. 9. Do not listen to cackling power-crazed midgets? Not even when they’re banging on about the gorgeousness of Rosamund Pike? Shame. 9. Hang around filling time and wasting it in the process? Too many other examples to mention. No, no, come now Jimothy, one must be positive and clappy and blisswhacked and…

     

     

    …ah.

     

    continue reading…

    H.Sc. @ 2012-11-23
  4. Pure 007th Minute – 24 carat of The Man With The Golden Gun

    Image ‘Ko Tapu Island’ by ‘Moe-tography’ (c)

    …and every ounce of it extracted from its real 007th Minute by our resident metallurgist and fine jeweller Jacques Stewart. Exclusively  dissected and commented in the most opinionated manner by himself, just for your distraction. 

     

    Please applaud us for this amusement in this thread.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I appear to have made a serious mistake.

     

    Such confession doubtless prompts troubling thoughts in the reader, replacing that one about whether your boss is contemplating having you killed, namely:-

     

    A ) of course you have, you clot. You’ve subjected yourself to The Man with the Golden Gun; and/or

     
    B ) only the one serious mistake? In a whole lifetime? I find this unlikely; and/or

     

    C ) you haven’t gone and told someone about that bad thing, that really bad thing you did, twice, with [name redacted: seditious libel]; and/or

     

    D ) you’ve gone and spent the pocket-money Mrs Jim permits you on obscenely expensive wine again, haven’t you?

     

    Tackling these in reverse order, it’s D ) how is this a mistake? Don’t understand; C ) not yet, but blackmailing Clarence House can be so protracted; B ) find it unlikely, then; I am evidently a god amongst worms and A ) ouch. Smidge harsh, pickle. More on this “soon”.

     

    Nope, the serious mistake – and By Toutatis, is it serious – is that anyone bothering itself to consider these fistfuls of red-hot excreted tapeworm as anything approaching a meaningful enterprise and is playing along interactively (in which case I pity them, but pity more the people who have met them), will now have realised that the timings of the 007th minute in each case so far is “off”. Timing’s never been my strong suit. I have more offspring than the rhythm method and piteously listless willymilk would otherwise allow, for example, and there was of course that time I sat next to Kevin Spacey on a train and failed to repeatedly smash him in that face of his with my bony elbow for making me sit through Pay It Forward.

    continue reading…

    H.Sc. @ 2012-11-20
  5. Live and Let Die – More Action. More Excitement. More 007th Minute!

    Baron Samedi original art by Cecily Devil (c), used with kind permission

    Here now another adventurous instalment of Jacques Stewart’s 007th Minute series. Watched and commented by himself. Commented by you in this thread.

     

    Oh, and everything written here is of course subjective, seen through Jim’s eyes. Only our illustration is the genuine work of Cecily Devil, whose other work we hereby warmly recommend. You can find it at Cecily Devil’s own website here.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    OK, so the last one was a bit unrestrained, directionless and flabby, a scattergun and largely busked collage of old tat with a distractingly sinister undertone to it all. The film it was purporting to criticise wasn’t much better, but I suppose I could argue – if bothered (not very) – that “review” and “reviewable” being of similar hopeless natures is a tremendously funny joke and, more pompously (it is possible) that Diamonds are Forever is a corrupting influence not only on the young but also on the decayfrayed and moth-chewed, i.e. me.

     

    Its corrupting influence on the next few films is a popular perception, that it was with Diamonds are Forever that the rot set it, that shocking rot of making millions of dollars, oh that hateful, hateful money. The burden. Oh, the humanity. Will no-one think of the children? Tonally, its successor does look like someone was thinking of the children as ostensibly it appears to be a gentler affair, or at the very least a far more even one, absent the violent mood swings of Connery’s Fat Vegas Comeback Special. Obviously that’s only perception; it’s simply much, much better at disguising its bipolar, filleted soul, if only by dint of having an actual story this time, to distract one from all the jarring inconsistency that’s still jumping about like youths at a (ahem) “jazz funeral”. I don’t want dancing like that at my funeral, although I am trying to engineer it that there will be a good fight when they find out that all the money’s been left to, oh I dunno, some donkeys or something.

     

    continue reading…

    H.Sc. @ 2012-11-14
  6. The 007th Minute is Forever – Jim is back!

    Las Vegas Hilton by CaDeltaFoto/Larry Eiring (c)

     

    Jacques Stewart is back, bringing you his take on DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER’s 007th Minute.

     

    Suggested for mature readers above 40. Readers below must be accompanied by a  parent, guardian or spouse.   

     

    Feel welcome to share your feelings here

     

     

     

     

     

    Untroubled by any pretence at accuracy, the others in this series are available “on our website” which is always a lazy thing to say and assumes everyone has access to this posh Ceefax thing, but on the basis you’re reading this you must, so one must cease one’s snivelling, and onwards.

     
    “Snivelling” though, delicious and underused word as it is, seems to be the emotion generated by the seventh Bond fillum. By no means universal – it was United Artists, and I can’t believe I’ve done that “joke” – but the current thinking, such as can be extrapolated from the internet amidst all the pørn and copyright infringement, has it as an aberration that does not follow faithfully the principal plot set up by On Her Maj. Given that continuity isn’t an express intention of the series – and would it have lasted as long if it were? I doubt it – is this actually a problem of the film as a piece of nearly-entertainment, or an imposition of a desire for continuity in hindsight? It’s not as if this film was a commercial failure by sashaying down its particular course. So used are we all now to clever / ludicrous / ultimately forgettable “story arcs” and box-sets of themes to scrutinise and pick over and type furiously about, that we may risk undervaluing the attitude that runs “sod it, it’s some light entertainment and I might actually enjoy it if I give both it and myself a chance”. Can we cope with something that has no particular motive other than what it shows us? Imposing a criterion that it can’t have sought to achieve can’t genuinely be a sustainable, nor fair, manner in which to approach it. It’s like kicking the cat because it can’t speak Gaelic or expecting The Actor Piers Brongnong to act. We may be expecting too much and if it cannot manage our retrospective, forty-years on, stampy-feet demands, one wonders whether that’s really its fault. I accept that if that proposition of blamelessness holds, the Pearce Brosmin example is not a good example.

     

    continue reading…

    H.Sc. @ 2012-11-02
  7. Far up! Far out! Far more! – The 007th Minute is back!

    image by ‘Rooners’ (c)

     

    Entirely subjective opinion stuff and factual science-science by Jacques Stewart.

     

     

    Have your say in this thread

     

     

     

     

     

    G’day.

    Should you need a reminder of what’s gone before, you can sit through the titles to this wonderful, wonderful film (those titles appearing whilst 0.07 is on the minuteclicker of your DVDmerliser – one suspects deliberately and if not, then why not?); alternatively, and substantially more unrewarding, put yourself through:-

    this, this, this, this and this.

     

    So, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the film where Bond goes down on one knee on at least four occasions – the gunbarrel, breaking into Draco’s office and flinging knives despite the stated open door policy, lining up the shotgun wedding and the Chinese girl at Piz Gloria whose name, science fact, is Wan Nee.

     

    On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the long but bothered-to-tell-an-actual-story film in which we see an extremely athletic Bond move from enthusiastic hotheaded puppy of yet-to-mature-temperament to experienced agent by being broken and bereaved and seeing the consequences of his actions laid before him in the cold body of a woman he loved, played by an actor who came in for a huge amount of criticism at the time for having the temerity to be cast as the replacement for a fat archetype but who turns out to own the dramatics of the part utterly, assisted by raised-game writing and direction, a Bond girl who can act, twinkly and charming Italian character actor support, an evident desire to turn out something Flemingy and special, probably to surprise and spite all the critics and some absurd press stories and demonstrate how redundant they all were. Rides around Europe in a lovely Aston Martin. Prickly and at times downright disobedient relationship with the boss, whose home he visits. Theme song by Chris Cornell. Only one of these assertions is untrue; I wonder if you could spot it.

     

    continue reading…

    H.Sc. @ 2012-10-22
  8. Jacques Stewart IS Jacques Stewart! – The 007th Minute in ‘You Only Live Twice’

    Image by ‘jam343’ (c)

    Opinion: check

    Subjective: check

    Text by Jacques Stewart: check

    Link to have-your-own-opinion discussion thread: check

    007th Minute ready for take-off: check

     

     

     

     

     

    Prompted mostly into doing this at the expense of more meaningful pursuits and good works, herewith the fifth of this thunderously self-indulgent series of ludicrous moments and the same old jokes. The others you’ll find on your DVD shelf.

     

     

     

    No, that isn’t really quite fair.

     

     

     

    Prompted mostly into doing this at the expense of more meaningful pursuits and good works, herewith the fifth of this thunderously self-indulgent series of ludicrous moments and the same old jokes. The others you’ll find at
    here, here, here and here.

     

     

     

    Better. Still, the fifth one of any sort of ongoing fictional enterprise must present some sort of challenge to those who will administer it unto us. By this stage, the stock characters are established and may well have developed into “favourites”, for good or ill. The general beats of the entertainment have emerged, and these must be worth maintaining to ensure people keep coming back to enjoy more of it. However, there’s going to be a risk that you just bask in the transient popularity, go over the same stuff again and instead of bothering to test the expectations you yourself have created, you just reproduce your previous claptrap, to diminishing returns. The particular danger is that the audience, the audience that you thought you would be pleasing by capitulating to their lack of creativity, will turn on you for yours, making them pay (in both money and time and fleeting relationships) to sit through the same old guff again. Too much change, however, and you will have raped their childhood, or something. The ungrateful swine. Too many film series and television programmes to mention; none of which, I hasten to add, have lasted fifty years.

     

    continue reading…

    H.Sc. @ 2012-09-29
  9. LOOK UP! – Jacques Stewart’s 007th Minute in ‘Thunderball’

    Image ‘Staines Wargamers THUNDERBALL’ by Kaptain Kobold (c)

    Look down!

     

    Look out!

     

    For opinion and highly subjective content in this here now fourth entry, Jacques Stewart’s 007th minute of ‘Thunderball’.

     

     

     

    Please feel free to have thoughts on this. Meet other interesting people having thoughts on this here. Share your thoughts and take your chance to spend Christmas in the company of likewise-minded people.

     

    007th minute observed by Jacques Stewart. Italics-piffle as usual added by me.

     

     

     

     

     

    “Hi”.

     

     

    The idea behind all this unnecessariness is “explained” in the Dr No one, and there’s a couple more on From Russia with Love and Goldfinger to subject yourself to as well, if you actually feel you must and don’t have something more fulfilling and pleasurable to do, like drinking the contents of a radiator or molesting ham.

     

    So, Thunderball it is. Before I launch into petty abuse and ill-thought-through sexual metaphor that would be doing well to achieve the status of “gratuitous”, let me put on record this one inalienable fact: I love Thunderball. I think it is the definitive James Bond film, exemplifying all the others’ strengths (many) and weaknesses (many) in one ninety-four hour long extravaganza of blueishness and harpoonydom and Conneryality and fish. I accept – I don’t have to like, but I accept – that this is not the chosen opinion of others and that their choices and opinions are valid, like the choice to use public transport, the choice to wear unpleasant hipsters and the choice to look in the mirror in the morning and yet still carry on.

     

    We’ve gone all wide in this one, wide and (bm-bm) deep. The previous three had quite a lot of standing or sitting, interior-bound snarling or fighting or rudey bits: this one largely keeps its mouth shut to the absolute bare minimum of plottidom, it’s the most basic of the stories so far, and gets out into the open air, as if the Bond series has had a bit of a frowny conversation with its wee-scrutinising GP about unplugging itself from the sofa and going for a nice brisk walk. Look at all the blue and sunshine and widescreen splendour of it; it gives us a show. They wanted us to see some extraordinary things with a bit of a plot stapled on. Patently this would get way out of hand with the next one but here, Barryhorns blasting over clear blue water, the biggest film star in history gliding through it and the production’s tangible air of total confidence in its task (never expressly tipping into the self-reverential smugness that would come to haunt the series later), this is the paradigm. Visually, it remains a big watery blur of old lovely and is a great watch after three pints of Rioja to just sit there in front of it and let the general (and I would maintain, deliberate) relaxedness wash over one as one slumbers into dreams of Claudine Auger licking plum jam from one’s moobs.

     

    continue reading…

    H.Sc. @ 2012-09-23
  10. Bond running upstream…

    The evil Franken van Banken (Julia Collier); image by courtesy Lyndsey Jones

    ‘Martini Bond’, that is. The play that garnered numerous positive – no, downright raving – reviews already during its run at the Camden Fringe Festival last August is finally moving to Barking’s Broadway Theatre, where it will be centre part of their ‘Bond Week‘ starting tonight. And here the exploits of James Bond’s daughter will take the chance to reach a wider audience beyond the limited seats of the Broadway’s tiers.  As their website informs us the play will be live-streamed from tomorrow, Friday 21th here. But playwright Lyndsey Jones’ blog WomanBitesDog tipped us off they will have a full-scale emergency exercise test run tonight, so eager fans can get to see ‘Martini Bond – The Hunt for The Spy Who Loved Her Mum’ already this evening (from 9.00pm).

     

     

    ‘Bond Week’ at the Broadway Theatre starts tonight and runs through 23rd September. It also includes ‘00 and his 7‘, a dance performance by the London Ballet Company  (also live-streamed from 7.45pm) and a free exhibition of Judith Walker cartoons.

    H.Sc. @ 2012-09-20
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