Monday, March 28, 2011

Moonraker (1979)

If you’re like me, you were introduced to 007 with The ABC Sunday Night Movie, while your dad reclined in a La-Z-Boy® and your older brother sat next to you on the couch, smearing Elmer’s® glue all over his hands, waiting for it to dry, and then peeling it off and rolling it into a little ball.  

Re-watching 007 movies can be quite eye-opening. Innuendo Galore! I'm guessing the majority of this was either edited for television, over my head, or completely off my radar. The latter is most likely, as I was only in it for cool weaponry and heroics.

A scene not nearly as dumb as it looks here.
Remember when Bond movies cornered the market on this kind of stuff?

Before big budget action and special effects-laden movies became so commonplace, 007 was no longer unique?

Then came Casino Royale (2006)—a reboot so worthy, it makes watching any prior James Bond movie nearly intolerable.

So, I know. Let's watch Moonraker!

Yes, the Bond film largely regarded as the goofiest entry in the whole franchise. I pick this one, because it happens to be the first 007 movie I actually saw in a theater, as part of a double feature with For Your Eyes Only (1981).

If you never saw it, your life probably progressed in a different direction than mine. One where you never walked up to a cash register at a Ben Franklin store and said, "Please take my lawn mowing money in exchange for these Moonraker trading cards."

Basically, in this movie, James Bond must stop a guy who looks like the children's book author in Elf (2003) from wiping out the planet with a deadly gas, and then re-populating it with a master race he plans to create on a space station.

Miles Finch, clutch children's book author

Hugo Drax, would-be world conqueror

Put another way, the James Bond producers wanted to cash-in on Star Wars mania.

There is a space battle with lasers.

But before that, Bond is nearly spinned to death in a giant centrifuge chamber, shot at repeatedly, attacked in the air and on a cable car by a metallic-toothed giant, almost driven over a waterfall, and nearly had the life squeezed out of him by an anaconda.

Disappointed henchman.

And this was the highest-grossing Bond movie to date(!) until GoldenEye in 1995.

"To those crazy American movie-goers!"

          We're suckers.