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Moonraker [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
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This was the first James Bond adventure produced after the success of Star Wars, so it jumped on the sci-fi bandwagon by combining the suave appeal of Agent 007 (once again played by Roger Moore) with enough high-tech hardware and special effects to make Luke Skywalker want to join Her Majesty's Secret Service. After the razzle-dazzle of The Spy Who Loved Me, this attempt to latch onto a trend proved to be a case of overkill, even though it brought back the steel-toothed villain Jaws (Richard Kiel) and scored a major hit at the box office. This time Bond is up against a criminal industrialist named Drax (Michel Lonsdale) who wants to control the world from his orbiting space station. In keeping with his well-groomed style, Bond thwarts this maniacal Neo-Hitler's scheme with the help of a beautiful, sleek-figured scientist (played by Lois Chiles with all the vitality of a department-store mannequin). There's a grand-scale climax involving space shuttles and ray guns, but despite the film's popular success, this is one Bond adventure that never quite gets off the launching pad. It's as if the caretakers of the James Bond franchise had forgotten that it's Bond--and not a barrage of gizmos and gadgets (including a land-worthy Venetian gondola)--that fuels the series' success. Despite Moore's passive performance (which Pauline Kael described as "like an office manager who is turning into dead wood but hanging on to collect his pension"), Moonraker had no problem attracting an appreciative audience, and there are even a few renegade Bond-philes who consider it one of their favorites. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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THE ASSIGNMENT: The MOONRAKER Space Shuttle, transported from the U.S. to Britain on the back of a Boeing 747, has been hijacked in mid-air and the Jumbo destroyed. As the shuttle was on loan from the Americans, the matter is serious and Bond is sent off to discover who stole the shuttle and why. Drax Industries, in California, is where the shuttle was built and this is the starting point. Inquiries produce serious misgivings about Hugo Drax himself, suspicions leading 007 to Venice. There he learns Drax has developed a deadly nerve gas which kills people, but not other wildlife. The gas comes from a rare orchid found in Brazil - the next destination.Read more ›
Sending her majesty's top secret service agent into space wasn't necessarily a bad idea, but it indicated that the series was repeating itself, exhuming ideas leftover from "You Only Live Twice" (in which Bond almost became Buck Rogers). Worst of all, it acknowledged that the cutting edge in the cinema of the fantastic no longer belonged to 007 but to "Star Wars," a film that would lead to a series that rivaled Bond at the ticket windows. (The Bond team had already acknowledged the emergence of Steven Spielberg by naming one of "The Spy Who Loved Me"'s villains after the killer shark blockbuster of 1975, and Richard Kiel's reappearance here is another example of the series cannibalizing itself.)
What really sinks "Moonraker" is the humor. No longer merely tongue-in-cheek, it was now pie-in-face, a mistake the producers acknowledged themselves by returning to a more sober thriller mode for the next film ("For Your Eyes Only") despite the fact that "Moonraker" became the first film in the series to surpass the record box-office take of 1965's "Thunderball" (which remains, as its ad campaign claimed, "The Biggest Bond of All" when inflation is taken into account).Read more ›
The basic concept is similar to many of the previous Bond films that have worked so well. Hugo Drax, effectively played by Michael Lonsdale, has a plan for (what else) conquering the world. Lonsdale is one of the most superb Bond villains ever, easily surpassing Ernst Stavro Blofeld and in the same league as Christopher Lee. Lonsdale is one of the most coldly calculating megalomaniacs to ever menace the world in the Bond series, and his only error is to dismiss Bond too readily.
Lonsdale's plan is quite complex, and involves choosing "perfect" human specimens to transport into space, and then cleverly eliminating the rest of mankind. How does he do all this? You must watch and see. Obviously space shuttles are involved and a clever plan for killing all the humans remaining on Earth.
One thing I've wondered about in some of Roger Moore's Bond movies is why the bad guys are good at what they do and the good guys are not all that good, or perhaps effective. This time Hugo Drax is supported by Richard Kiel as Jaws, Corinne Clery as Corinne Dufour and Toshirô Suga as Chang. All these actors and actresses are competent and intelligent. Bond, on the other hand, seems to get people who appear to be amateurs or think he is bumbling. Makes you want to be on the side of the bad guys. Admittedly, two of Drax' key personnel end up helping Bond, but I still wonder why the good guys can't get better help.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Will be a great gift for Dad's 90th birthday. He enjoys Bond movies and this will help complete his collection.Published 5 months ago by Chris Richards
Big James Bond fan, so always love these movies!! The quality was very good, and will enjoy this movie for years to comePublished on April 12 2014 by oddjob
James Bond Make No Mistake,the Picture is Fantastic on Blu-Ray Maybe Better, when it was in Theater
the Sound is Good Not Great...