“ Genre: Action & Adventure / Theatrical Release: 1979 / Director: Lewis Gilbert / Actors: Roger Moore, Michael Lonsdale ... / DVD released 17 July, 2006 at Mgm Home Ent. (Europe) Ltd. / Features of the DVD: Box set, PAL, Widescreen „
'Moonraker' is the eleventh official Bond movie to be released by Eon Productions, the fourth for Roger Moore and the third to be directed by Lewis Gilbert (the other two: 'You Only Live Twice' and 'The Spy Who Loved Me'). At the end of the credits for Bond film #10, 'The Spy Who Loved Me', you may find the words: "James Bond will return in For Your Eyes Only"; but he didn't. Due to the massive success of 'Star Wars' and furthermore, filmgoers' resultant newfound obsession with space, Eon decided to bring 'Moonraker' forward and leave 'For Your Eyes Only' for another day - a good move when all is said and done, but the film itself is a different story.
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Starring: Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Michael Lonsdale, Richard Kiel
Runtime: 126 minutes
-== The Plot ==-
A space shuttle belonging to Drax Industries, on loan to the United Kingdom, is hijacked, and M16 orders for 00 agent James Bond (Roger Moore) to return from a mission in Africa. Bond makes his way to California to investigate Hugo Drax's (Michael Lonsdale) stately home & laboratories. He immediately suspects that Drax is behind the hijacking of his own shuttle, and proceeds to probe the grounds. The trail leads him from the U.S. to Venice, and then back to the Americas in Rio de Janeiro and the Amazon, before boarding a shuttle to space. Drax's ideal is to start a new world in space by beginning a new human race and destroying remaining life on earth; can Bond and CIA lovely Dr. Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles) stop the madman from a deadly and ultimately deranged terrorist attack?
-== The Review ==-
Links to previous Bond films aren't small in numbers. 'Moonraker' is the second in Lewis Gilbert's back-to-back Bond films, with Roger Moore returning as 007. The villain Jaws appears again, while the story revolves around a terrorist set on destroying life as we know it and starting a new world, this time in space (as opposed to the proposed underwater city in 'The Spy Who Loved Me'). However, 'Moonraker' falls massively. Gilbert's direction apparently finds much of its focus in the special FX, while the character of Jaws (Richard Kiel) becomes stale where it had potential to get better. Meanwhile, there are some absolutely ridiculous ideas at play here (from the main storyline of a new world in space to distastefully arty scenes), some terrible acting and a predominant emphasis on comedy. Every series has its blip; there are few substandard Bond films and this most certainly finds its way to the top of the list, or at least near to. Yet the Bond formula is still present; you've got the guns, girls and gadgets, the vehicles (this time coming in the form of space shuttles, a speed boat and the infamous gondola cum hovercraft), the sadistic villain and the exotic locale. It just all goes wrong, really.
Roger Moore is one of my favourite James Bond actors, and I know that he is one of the fans' favourites too. Bond, up until the Daniel Craig era that is heavily influenced by the Bourne series, has never been particularly athletic; he can fend off a series of foes, but rather ungracefully so and often gets caught out. Roger Moore fits this bill, but provides the suaveness we come to expect, too. Out of all the Bond actors, he also provides the most comedy, with his rather patronizing and misogynistic attitude, which lends itself to some truly hilarious moments. But 'Moonraker' finds its laugh elsewhere, as the great Bond one-liners just aren't so great this time. Instead, the film gets laughed at with some dire, embarrassing scenes. Firstly, the gondola sequence. The knife-throwing bloke in the coffin, the classic useless henchman who has absolutely hopeless aim when firing a gun, and of course, the gondola that transforms into a hovercraft. Gadgetry inclusions are vital for a Bond film, but this just goes a bit too far. Secondly, the dog scene in the forest is just absolutely bizarre. John Barry's grinding music accompanies a never-ending chase that is so iconic that it becomes enormously jarring in the Bond context; it's too arty for its own good. And thirdly, the god awful relationship between Jaws and that little French or Scandinavian girl, in particular, the use of Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliet overture music that should NEVER have been used in a James Bond film - ever.
And the film's concept is so farfetched, while moments in the final scenes are very unsettling. Drax plans on taking a group of couples up into an ultimately tiny and claustrophobic space station for them to mate and live there until it's safe to return to Earth, and we get shots of Bond and Dr. Goodhead spying on them in the back of their shuttle as they lovingly kiss one another during the ascent to space. It's quite disturbing and evokes strange feelings. But while 'Moonraker' deviates quite heavily from the Bond formula, as aforementioned, typical elements remain. We have a number of fight scenes and vehicle chase scenes that are enjoyable, particularly the one between Bond and Chang in the glass museum, and we get our usual shots of upcoming gadgets which is always a laugh. The added bonus in 'Moonraker', however, is the effects. Eon took its biggest leap yet by setting a Bond film in space, and with it comes some fantastic and exciting visuals - for late-70s standards anyway. The film was in fact nominated for an Oscar in the visual effects category. The forward-shifting of the production of 'Moonraker' was due to the success of 'Star Wars', but 'Moonraker' is highly dissimilar. More parallels can be drawn between this and Kubrick's brilliant '2001: A Space Odyssey', more than a decade after the latter's release. There is more emphasis on the spectacle of space, the visuals are great and there is a lot of influence drawn from '2001' for Drax's space station. What's more, the use of pre-existing music - in particular the music of Strauss (no sign of 'The Blue Danube' thank God!) - pays homage to Kubrick's work. The original soundtrack (scored by a returning John Barry) is inferior in certain respects, when compared to other Bond films from this era. Barry opts for a more orchestral approach as opposed to his usual jazz-infused brass band style, and while he does a good job in that respect, and it suits the film well, there are moments of obtrusiveness and overall, it's not particularly outstanding. Furthermore, 'Moonraker' provides one of the weakest theme songs from the franchise; written by John Barry, lyrics by Hal David and sung by Shirley Bassey.
-== The Verdict ==-
'Moonraker' is close to if not the worst Bond film of Eon's currently-released 22. It's not immediately apparent as to what went wrong, with cast and crew onboard who had previously produced some excellent James Bond films. What is immediately apparent, however, is what exactly IS wrong with the film. Eon were drawn to the popularity of space, and Lewis Gilbert was keen on exploiting special effects and the beauty of space - but there is little else going for it. With ridiculous ideas and poorly executed scenes, some very dire acting and an overall strangeness to the film, 'Moonraker' fails on many a level. It's provocative and distasteful, and while elements of the James Bond formula are nonetheless present, they are disconnected and at times, perhaps due to the context of the film, laughable. James Bond will return, however, in a far superior 'For Your Eyes Only'. And he definitely will this time. Really.
Hugo Drax: Look after Mr. Bond. See that some harm comes to him.
----------Main Cast ----------
Roger Moore as James Bond
Lois Chiles as Holly Goodhead
Michael Lonsdale as Sir Hugo Drax
Richard Kiel as Jaws:
In this film, Bond is sent to investigate the mysterious disappearance of the Moonraker space shuttle built by Hugo Drax of the Drax building firm in America. Drax is a rich industrialist with a thirst for power and conquest. Bond travels to America and there he meets the beautiful Dr. Holly Goodhead, a scientist working with Drax on loan from NASA. Bond and Goodhead follow the lead from the US to Venice and from there to Brazil and then eventually into outer space on Drax's secret space station. Unfortunately Drax has also brought along his newest henchman - Jaws.
Originally intended as a second outing for Roger Moore back in 73, Moonraker was made after the phenomenal success of Star Wars. Attempting to cash-in on the world's sudden sci-fi craze, they opted for Moonraker to be the next Bond film. The Spy Who Loved Me was seen as a watershed in Bond films and was incredibly successful at the box office, so the producers brought back the same team including director Lewis Gilbert and several key crew. Moonraker also saw the return of Jaws, a much loved villain from The Spy Who Loved Me.
The best and most used gadget in the film is Bond's new wrist watch that fires darts at the flick of the wrist. This helps him out on quite a few occasions when he is in trouble.
John Barry calls upon the shriek of The Bassey for Moonraker, her third and final song appearance. I think that the original choice of Frank Sinatra would have been a good one, if not Kate Bush who was also on the cards. The incidental music is also good, with Barry reusing his classic '007' march for the boat chase scene.
Dr. Holly Goodhead: You know him?
Bond: Not socially. His name's Jaws, he kills people.
Moonraker is a bit of an odd film. Split into sections, the film zips along at an incredible pace hardly leaving you to catch your breath. It has split the critics down the years, especially the die-hard Bond fans.
Some of the more critically panned elements of the film are probably the most fun. The laser battle outside of Drax's space station are hardly Bond, but more Star Wars and the gondola that drives through St Peter's Square in Venice (are we to believe Q really devised this for any such purpose, other than expected boat chases through Venice?) are pretty ludicrous. While incredibly silly and light years away from Fleming's vision of Bond, they are entertaining and slightly kitsch in a funny kind of way nowadays.
Roger Moore begins his incredibly entertaining 'double-take' look in Moonraker. Just watch as he double-takes nearly every single double-entendre and wiggly bottomed woman on Drax's space station. You dirty old man! One very silly scene has Moore wrestling a poisonous snake in Drax's underground lair, the snake in question looks very rubbery and the scene is pretty lame. 'I discovered it had a crush on me.' Bond retorts. It also appears that nearly every single line uttered by Moore is some kind of joke - after throwing a henchman to his death on a piano, Moore says 'Play it again, Sam.' And then when he disposes of Drax through an air-lock; 'Take a giant step back for mankind.'. But the best line of all comes from Q whilst Bond and Goodhead are having sex in zero gravity - 'I think he's attempting re-entry, sir.'
It's also pretty annoying that the Bond producers would go for such a similar story this time as they did for The Spy Who Loved Me. Both villains stole either submarines and in this case shuttles from America. They both also wanted to rid the world of human life and repopulate it either under the sea or from space. C'mon guys, a bit of originality here!
Ken Adam again creates some amazing sets - especially the final Drax space station. My hats off also go to the visual effects team who produced some excellent model work for both this film and the previous effort The Spy Who Loved Me- truly the true heroes of the Bond films. It certainly looks realistic and could so easily have looked a little pants.
I was also extremely surprised by the blatant product placement in the film. Twice did I see Marlboro cigarettes - once in a prolonged view inside Goodnight's bedside table and then as a massive billboard on the way up a mountain. There were also huge '7-Up' placards on the cable car scene and numerous other pieces of advertising selling to the audience.
I wasn't over-enamoured with Michael Lonsdale as Drax. He just didn't have the screen presence to carry any weight as the villain and generally acted quite sulky throughout the film. Thank goodness then for Richard Kiel's Jaws who turns in another memorable performance as the metal-toothed giant - here turning nice towards the end.
Moonraker gets a bit of a bad rap by Bond fans and is pretty much derided as being one of the worst on the series, and certainly not within keeping of the Bond franchise.
Moonraker doesn't really feel like a James Bond film at all, ending almost like a distant cousin to Star Wars itself. It's entertaining and fast paced meaning that not one scene ever outstays its welcome, it's also full of ideas and clever touches that means it certainly remains in the memory long after you've seen it. That doesn't mean its a great film though. Moonraker will probably anger Bond purists and fans of the more recent Daniel Craig capers because its just so totally over the top. I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing because Bond is certainly about the incredible, it just feels here they went a little too far. Its also obvious that the producers though the same and by the next film they decided to keep things small scale and realistic.
Current ratings from adambrown400
Dr. No: 4 dooyoo stars
From Russia With Love 5 dooyoo stars
Goldfinger: 5 dooyoo stars
Thunderball 3 dooyoo stars
You Only Live Twice 4 dooyoo stars
On Her Majesty's Secret Service 5 dooyoo stars
Diamonds Are Forever 3 dooyoo stars
Live and Let Die 5 dooyoo stars
The Man with the Golden Gun 3 dooyoo stars
The Spy Who Loved Me 4 dooyoo stars
Moonraker 3 dooyoo stars
Following the success of Star Wars the year before, it was somewhat inevitable that films would try to get a ride on its tail and even the Bond producers decided to go for it. Putting another Bond film on hold, they adapted and completely re-wrote Flemming's novel Moonraker to send Bond into Space for the first time. The result is a great action film, but you do always feel that it's a little too far fetched.
Moonraker is the name of a shuttle created by Drax Industries. During mid-flight as a Shuttle is flown to the UK on the back of a NASA plane, the shuttle itself it hijacked. Following an investigation, the trail initially leads to the owner of Drax Industries, and Bond is sent to investigate. Bond meets Drax [acted by scene stealing Michel Lonsdale), who immediately takes a dislike to him, saying to his henchman 'Take care of Mr Bond, see that some harm comes to him'.
Following two attempts to kill him, Bond is sure that Drax is involved, but doesn't know why. Following the trail to Venice, he teams up with Bond girl Dr Holly Goodhead, a CIA agent. They discover that Drax and some scientists have invented a lethal gas that kills humans, but nothing else. Again following the trail to Rio in Brazil, there are more attempts to kill them and Jaws returns once more, having been hired by Drax as a new henchman. The trail leads to the Amazon, where Bond finds that Drax has his own Space Shuttle launch sites and is going into space, leading to a stunning but somewhat unbelievable ending
Without the Space part at the end, this is a cracking thriller that doesn't stop throughout. Moore is on good form as Bond, and the Bond girl Dr Holly Goodhead is a little more pro-active that some Bond girls have been, so she does make for an intersting character. But the start of this is Michel Lonsdale as Drax, who is just calm, cool and subtle all the way through this film. Jaws returns as well (played again by Richard Kiel), and once again is tearing through things with his teeth. And there are two brilliant scenes, one at Drax's space centre and the fight scene in Venice.
When the do go into Space though, the story loses it just a bit and becomes a little unbelievable. It's still entertaining, but it does trample on the serious parts earlier in the film.
Some cracking scenes and some great characters, this is a good Bond and is well worth watching, but just don't expect anything to serious at the end.
Moonraker is a space shuttle designed and built by Drax Industries and they have agreed to lend it to Britain but when it is being taken to them it gets hijacked. Bond is called in to investigate the disappearance of the shuttle as the wreckage of the plane carrying it does not show any signs of the shuttle wreckage. Bond takes the mission and heads of to California where Drax Industries is. When Bond arrives he is introduced to Hugo Drax who owns the company and subsequently he meets Dr Holly Goodhead who is on loan from NASA to Drax.
Soon Bond has uncovered more to the company than was first thought, they are producing toxic and legal drugs but Bond has his work cut out trying to find out what Drax intends to use them for and just how they are connected to the disappearance of the space shuttle. Bond's job is made harder with the arrival of Jaws who keeps trying to kill him. Will Bond be able to uncover the truth to the shuttle and the drugs and just how many women will he bed along the way?
This for me was not a film I was looking forward to seeing as I did not rate Roger Moore as a good Bond, I grew up only knowing Pierce Brosnan as Bond and always though he was best suited to the role but I have to say I was quite surprised with this film as I did enjoy it! The storyline was good and different from any I have seen before, there were times when it did get a bit silly and completely unbelievable but as this is a Bond film I can forgive it!
Roger Moore did actually manage to make the character of Bond believable but for me he was not the best. I found he did suit the role and looked good in his suits but for me he just looked to slick and not like a man who could defend himself and certainly not one who would always get the women. He acted well and he had a good on screen chemistry with all the purporting actors. I did like the role of Dr Holly Goodhead, played by Lois Chiles as she was a strong and confident woman who did not give in to Bond's charms straightaway. I think she was a very believable character.
There are a lot of supporting actors in the film but the one which stood out for me was that of Jaws, he was a very strange man, he towered above everyone else and had metal teeth which allowed him to bit through anything. I did think his acting was shockingly bad and wooden at times but he was the one which stood out for me.
The film is set in a few different countries, Britain, America, Venice, Rio and then unbelievably space and this differences in places is very clear to see from the landscapes and towns which were shown, I think this helped me to understand and not get confused as to which place Bond was now in and I did actually enjoy seeing the different lifestyles and culture we were shown. The parts of the film which were shown supposedly of space were very far fetched for me and I have to say the effects were not very good.
This film was made back in 1979 so the effects are not going to be amazing against today's standards but for the year of production then these would have looked amazing. I did notice several badly added backdrops throughout the film and I have to say they were quite funny at times. The other effects in the film were not too bad but some of the gadgets which Bond had looked very dated and basically a load of crap! The laser guns were one of the gadgets which stood out for me as they looked awful and so unreal. Another part of the film which was not good for me was the fighting as it was so clear to see the actors were not actually touching or punching each other and also when they were supposed to be thrown to the ground or punched hard they clearly fell with easy and landed in comfortable positions, I think a little more work on these scenes would have greatly improved them.
The music was good though and I have to say the theme tune was a good one, it was sang by Shirley Bassey and although it was not a well known one and one I had not heard before it was very good and what I would expect from a Bond film and nothing like the silly ones when have had on recent Bond films. I found the music helped with the drama and tensions of the film and it was all well made and fitted perfectly into the film.
The DVD which we have does have some bonus features which include:-
Feature Film with Frame by Frame Digital Restoration and DTS 5.1 Audio
Newly recorded Audio Commentary Featuring Sir Roger Moore
Audio Commentary Featuring Director Lewis Gilbert and Members of the Cast and Crew
As neither me or hubby are fans of bonus features we have not taken the time to watch these so I am not able to make comment on them.
The running time of this film is 121 minutes and I did find this was quite long enough. The certificate is a PG, there are some scenes with moderate violence and sex references but I have to say this is very suitable for all ages as the violence is comical! The DVD can be bough in Tesco for just £2 which is a bargain considering it is priced at £10 on Amazon.
Overall I do recommend this film as I was very surprised by it, the storyline was good apart from it being daft and far fetched at times, especially the end, the acting was also good and for me Roger Moore proved slightly he could make a decent Bond. Not the best Bond film but a good effort.
"Moonraker" is a 1979 James Bond thriller and the 11th film in the James Bond movie franchise, it stars Roger Moore, Lois Chiles and Richard Kiel.
In the movies opening sequence we see a space shuttle on loan to the UK by Drax Industries being hijacked and resulting in the carrier plane transporting the shuttle crashing, James Bond ( Roger Moore ) is dispatched to investigate.
Bond's first port of call is the Drax Industries manufacturing facility located in California, there he encounters Hugo Drax ( Michael Lonsdale ) who while seemingly on the outside is as horrified at the incident as the respective UK and US Governments, before long it becomes clear that all is not as it seems at Drax Industries.
While attempting to get to the bottom of things Bond finds himself crossing paths with CIA Agent Holly Goodhead ( Lois Chiles ) and also repeatedly crossing paths with the assassin Jaws ( Richard Kiel ), all culminating with Bond travelling to outer space in an attempt to thwart Drax in his scheme.
While I have a love / hate affair with the Roger Moore Bond movies you can't help but love the charm that Moore oozes in the iconic role, while nowadays most people will find the wacky comedy of the storylines to camp to be taken seriously you have to understand that back in the 70's this was highly appealing and thats why this movie remained the highest grossing Bond movie for 16 years ( Until Goldeneye topped it ), I think its biggest appeal is the science fiction / space aspect of the movie, especially when you consider that this was released at the height of the Star Wars / Battlestar Galactica era of Movies and TV and shamelessly capitalised on that genre.
While its easy to attack the campy / ridiculous aspects of this movie such as the silly sequence involving the motorised Gondola, or the Space Battle with dated special effects even for that period, this movie also has some key elements that make it a quintessential Bond movie, the gadgets are top notch and the storyline while full of holes is a strong candidate for one of the best Bond storylines ever, in particular I love Michael Lonsdale's portrayal of Hugo Drax and think he stands the test of time as one of the more sinister Bond villains.
For fans of Bond this is of course essential viewing, for Sci-Fi fans this may appeal, if you can get past the dated special effects, but for the casual movie fan you may not find what you're looking for in Moonraker, for hardcore fans mostly I think !!
I love the Roger Moore era of Bond. I know a lot of people didn't like the sillyness of those particular Bond films but they had a certain charm about them. The Brosnan Bonds were also veering to the point of silliness but did it in a cheap way.
Here, Moore returns as Bond to investigate how and why a space shuttle was stolen which leads him to discover an even bigger plan.
With the release of Star Wars shortly before this film, you can tell it was inspired by it for it's effects and story set in space.
This works for ROGER MOORE's Bond but I really don't think it would ever work for Connery or Dalton, not with their hard edge and more serious approach to the role.
Moore plays James Bond with his tongue in his cheek and just has fun with it.
This is a fun 007 film but if you are looking for a more down to earth (no pun intended) Bond film then I suggest you skip to For Your Eyes Only.
Jaws is back again to do battle and Richard Kiel hams it up. At first he appears to be the same remorseless, scary killer from The Spy Who Loved Me but he soon mellows when he meets a certain someone(!)
The soundtrack is good although not as great as the others. I didn't like the beginning title sequence song but it's not a song that would be hated by everyone so you may enjoy listening to it.
The action is spectacular for a 1979 Bond film that ends up set in space. The laser effects were clearly stolen from Star Wars but this type of thing was rarely seen back then.
The Bond girls are nice here, it still keeps up the standards in that area.
If you don't mind a Bond film that just likes to have fun and is a little far fetched in it's approach then you should be highly entertained by it.
A lot of people do give it negative opinions but I am guessing they are the very die hard fans of Ian Flemming and you can't blame them for that.
Recommended if you have an open mind and want to see a Bond film with a difference.
Roger Moore returned for his fourth Bond film in 1979's Moonraker. Lewis Gilbert takes to the director's chair for the third time after the success he achieved on "The Spy Who Loved Me". Original plans were to film "For Your Eyes Only" after TSWLM, however, Cubby Broccoli decided to shoot Moonraker next following on from the success of 1977's Star Wars and all things sci-fi.
The story follows 007's search for a hijacked Moonraker space shuttle. Bond is instructed to visit California and speak with respected billionaire Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale), the creator of the Moonraker. 007 meets with Dr. Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles) a CIA agent who is also investigating Drax and his unusual space programme activities. Bond is able to gain the confidence of Corinne Dufour (Corinne Cleryl), Drax's personal assistant/ pilot and she leads him to documents detailing Drax's involvement in the theft on the Moonraker. The trail leads 007 to Venice, where he infiltrates Drax's laboratory. He learns of a fatal nerve gas that Drax is developing but still Drax's master plan is unknown to Bond. After a gondola chase around the canals of Venice, Bond travels to Rio de Janeiro and with the help of Goodhead, further investigates Drax Industries. After the death of his original henchman, Chang, Hugo Drax secures the services of Jaws who makes a return after The Spy Who Loved Me. Jaws is again put in place to stop Bond by any means necessary. After a hand to hand fight with Jaws on top of a cable car high above the city of Rio, Goodhead is taken away by Drax's heavies. Bond locates the MI6 HQ in Brazil where M and Q give Bond details of the deadly toxic gas that he found in Venice. The toxin is found in a rare orchid indigenous to the Amazon jungle. Bond sets off in search for Drax's research base in a small speedboat along the Amazon. After a boat chase with Jaws, 007 escapes by hang-gliding from the boat in order to avoid a huge waterfall. Bond locates Drax's hideout and begins to learn of the villains evil plans. Being able to launch shuttle from his hideout, Drax plans to eradicate the human race with the release of his nerve gas from his space station and thus begin a new master ace with him in control. Drax has selected what he believes to be prime specimens of humanity and to take them in to space with him to begin his new world. 007 is reunited with Goodhead and after once again evading an attempt on his life, is able to travel into space with Goodhead to Drax's space station. 007 is able to alert the US marines to the space station in order to foil Drax. Bond is surprisingly aided by Jaws, when he learns that he may not be part of Drax's "perfect human vision". A massive space battles ensues and Bond is able to overcome Hugo Drax and his despicable plans for world elimination. After the space shuttle is destroyed Bond must finally stop three of the toxic gas globes from entering the Earth's atmosphere.
In Moonraker, Roger Moore is again excellent as the suave, super smart MI6 agent. He maybe doesn't hit the highs of the previous film, however I believe the strange placement of Bond in space makes Moore look a little uncomfortable with the role. The film has some amazing action set pieces which Moore completes with great accuracy. The scene following Bond in California having just come off a faulty centrifuge chamber is brilliant as are the combat scenes with Jaws and Chang. Moore also shines in a scene when he shoots a Drax sniper out of a tree and follows it up with a beautiful line. Moore was born for these particular scenes and it would be difficult for any of the Bonds to compete with Moore in this area. Dr. Goodhead provides an adequate romantic lead for Bond but unfortunately for me she isn't that memorable. Chiles performs her action scenes well and for all her misgivings towards Bond at the start she can't help but fall for him.
Hugo Drax is brilliantly played by Michael Lonsdale. The well- mannered, highly cultured villain has extravagant plans for the world. Lonsdale provides an almost emotionless performance that for some would not be brash enough. However, I like the fact that his quiet demeanour and love of fine living hides his devilish plans. I'm a big fan of Lonsdale's and love his performance in "The Day Of The Jackal" but his role as Hugo Drax just tops it for me. However, I believe that both Moore and Lonsdale are slightly let down with a strange Bond film and script. It has all the action, gadgets, locations that a good Bond film needs but somehow they just don't fit together. Maybe the story starts to fall apart a little when they venture into space (somewhere that Bond hasn't visited since and hopefully not in the future!) . The element of comedy increases after they toned it down for the last film. Although, Moore delivers expertly, the comedic moments can become a little tedious. For example, the decision to give Jaws a girlfriend and his help for Bond doesn't really sit right for me after his terrifying performance in The Spy Who Loved Me.
A special mention must also go to Bernard Lee, appearing in his final Bond film before his death in 1981, who had made the role of M look effortless. His crusty and cantankerous nature was a perfect parallel to Bond's bright and youthful ways. He will certainly be remembered as one of the most important factors in why the Bond films became so popular. He had appeared in all 11 Bond films to date and would be sorely missed.
Lewis Gilbert does a good job with his final outing as a Bond director. Maybe struggling with a weaker story than his other two films, he still manages to bring moments of brilliance to the film. The opening credits where Bond sky-dives without a parachute form a great start to the film. And with famous scenes in Rio and Venice, a fight with an Anaconda, and a space battle the film almost hit's the high notes of The Spy Who Loved Me.
John Barry returns to form a fantastic score, encompassing the space movement excellently. A great soundtrack featuring beautiful string melodies that play over scenes of real peril (the scene where Corinne is chased by Drax's dogs through the forest is a real treasure and well shot by Gilbert). Shirley Bassey returned at short notice to record the theme tune in a more low key affair than her previous efforts but still a produces a beautiful Bond ballad. Ken Adam once again doesn't let us down with the production values on screen. Far- flung locations are blended with extravagant sets to provide Bond with another lavish trip around the world......and into space!
Although Moonraker has many great individual plus points (great villain, action scenes, locations, music etc), the film doesn't quite work as a whole after the high expectations set by The Spy Who Loved Me. It's a good Bond film but not a great one. Moonraker was a box office success but it is nice to know that this was the final appearance of Bond in space! Cubby Broccoli had achieved his goal of sending 007 to whole new location but promised that he would be returning Bond to Earth in the next film "For Your Eyes Only".
James Bond is once again back to star in Moonraker which is another classic bond film. This has to be one of my favourites and it was originally released in 1979. The film is like all of the other Bond movies full of action and adventure scenes which are as good as ever. The film stars Roger Moore and also Michael Lonsdale amongst other very good actors who do exceptionally well. I found the overall quality of the movie to be very good and I think it is ideal for a film to provide home entertainment. Like many of the other classic Bond movies I really would recommend seeing this because some of the action scenes are just brilliant!
This time 007 is back again in this 1979 film to go into space on a whole new mission! A spaceship has been taken over in space and it is up to Bond to find out who is responsible for it, it turns out to be Hugo Drax. There is once again a romantic theme where James meet Holly Goodhead and finds himself in another battle with the metal toothed man. This really is another great plot line that I found to be very enjoyable and exciting to watch throughout!
I really liked how James Bond is as cool as ever and how there is a romance that is incorporated into the main story. I felt the film was great entertainment and the action scenes kept me on the edge of my seat the entire way through! The special effects and the scenery in the film really did look very realistic and was great fun to watch. I hope this was useful and thank you very much for reading this!
Roger Moore's fourth outing as 007 sees him enter the space age which at the time became the most successful Bond film of the era.At the end of the previous film, The Spy Who Loved Me, it was announced that For Your Eyes Only would be the next Bond film, but with the success of Star Wars and the U.S. shuttle launches in the news at the time it seemed only right to try and cash in on this movie at the time and make it the next Bond classic.
The plot - The Moonraker spaceshuttle made by the U.S. is being transported from America to Britain on the back of a British jumbo jet. The shuttle gets hi-jacked and stolen in mid-air and the jumbo destroyed.As the shuttle was on loan from the Americans Bond is sent off to discover who stole the shuttle and why.
Drax industries, ran by Hugo Drax, the films villain, is where the shuttle was built and this is where Bond starts off looking.His enquiries there lead him to suspicions of Drax himself, which in turn lead him to venice. Its there that Bond learns that Drax has made a deadly nerve gas which kills people but is harmless to wildlife. The gas is made up from a wild orchid found in remote regions of the Brazilian rain-forest- his next stop! Finally he finds Drax's secret headquarters and finds that Drax has built a city in space in which he intends to fill with beautiful people flown there by the Moonraker shuttles and he will create a new super-race of humans of whom he will be the leader and at the sam e time intends to kill off the Earths population with the nerve gas leaving him to re-populate the Earth at a later date with his super-race of beings.
The Villains - Hugo Drax, played by Michael Lonsdale,is another of Bond's more refined opponents as baddies come!Drax has financed the entire Moonraker project building the shuttles and training the astronauts, albeit for his own devious needs!
He lives in an elegant French chateau brought to California brick by brick complete with antique furniture. He enjoys pheasant shooting a scene in the film where he tries to arrange Bond's death by an accidental shooting.He is very ralxed throughout the film and is very cold hearted and plays a great Bond villain during the film.
Jaws - Richard Kiel's second outing as the villains henchman, previously appearing in the spy who loved me, exactly the same role again in this film he plays the indestructable henchman with the metal teeth able to withstand all of Bond's attempt to kill him, even plunging head on into a cable-car control room doesnt finish him off!!
This time though at the end of the film he finds a love interest, a petite blonde half his size who helps him change his mind and switch sides to help Bond escape from Drax's moon lair in the final scenes, he even speaks a few words at the end of the film for the first time in two complete episodes!
The Bondgirl - Dr Holly Goodhead, (Lois Chiles),yes this does sound like an 80's pornstar name!lol, The chauvanistic Bond is amazed to find that Drax's space consultant Dr Goodhead is a woman!She is a fully trained astronaut on loan from NASA is also a CIA agent. Like Bond she comes equipped with gadgetary from the US to rival Q's attempts to Bond.They join forces to take down Drax and his plans and after destroying his base enjoy what Bond always does with his Bond-girls!!
Gadgets - The usual array of gadgets again in thi film but this time from both sides, the CIA supplying Dr Goodhead with an array also, Bond gets a watch, which at the flick of a wrist shoots either explosive or poisonous darts out from the side of it, which he uses in the final scenes to defeat Drax, a safe- cracking gadget to get into Drax's safe in his chateau, a streamlined speedboat which can lay mines or fire heat seeking missiles from it which comes with a handglider attatched if he needs to quickly escape from the craft, a gondola which turns into a speedboat and a hovercraft in the flick of a switch, a pen with a poisened tip, which Bond uses to defeat a giant anaconda in the jungle, an address book that fires darts and a perfume spary that turns into a flamethrower!!
Overall - classic Bond again, this time travelling into outer space, very well thought out script again using many varied locations worldwide as all Bond films do to capture the viewers imagination coupled by another classic Bond soundtrack sung by the legendary Shirley Bassey.Another great two disc set with lots of extras like the making of the film and original trailers etc, well worth the money for any Bond fan.
Other info - released 1979- running time 126 minutes
Producer - Albert Broccoli
Director - Lewis Gilbert
Editor John Glen
Title designer - Maurice Binder
Locations used - Italy, Brazil, Guatemala, USA, Boulogne and Paris studios, France, Pinewood studios, England
The combination of Roger Moore as James Bond and Lewis Gilbert behind the camera directing him returns again for another attempt at saving the world from a man genocidal millionaire in Moonraker. The special effects in this film take a step up for the Bond franchise, with a large part of the film set in space.
Following the hijacking of one of Drax Industries' space shuttles and the destruction of the Boeing carrying it, James Bond is recalled from South Africa to investigate. Starting at Drax Industries' headquarters, he is met coldly by owner Hugo Drax and his henchman Chang. Bond is united with Holly Goodhead, CIA agent and together they must try to stop Drax and his henchmen, including the fearsome Jaws, from committing genocide in order to create a race of perfect human beings.
The Cast and Performances
Roger Moore is once again dashing as MI6 agent James Bond, and gives a solid performance. Michael Lonsdale is memorable villain Hugo Drax, and gives a very good acting role here. Lois Chiles is sultry as Bond girl and CIA agent Holly Goodhead, but once again the larger than life Richard Kiel steals the show in terms of a villain as Bond's enemy Jaws, the man with immense strength and metal teeth.
Bernard Lee, esmond Llewellyn and Lois Maxwell return again as M, Q and Miss Moneypenny, and the remainder of the cast support very well.
Originally, the 11th Bond film was set to be For Your Eyes Only, but after the success of 1977's Star Wars, Cubby Broccoli and his team decided to release Moonraker in keeping with the space theme in hope of larger box office success. The budget was more than double the amount of the 10th and previous Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me, and it was well worth it, with Moonraker pulling in the highest box office figures of all the Bond films until 1995's Goldeneye.
In terms of cinematic experience, Moonraker is very well filmed, and this is a trend of Lewis Gilbert behind the camera. One criticism I have had of the previous Bond films with Gilbert at the helm is the lack of the wow factor, the flamboyance Guy Hamilton brought to the MI6 agent in his films. However, here in Moonraker, Gilbert has struck a good balance with a lot of danger and suspense combining with great filming and camera work.
The acting combinations are very good, and the space sequences, although a little dated, are impressive for the era it was filmed in and considering it had to follow Star Wars at the box office in terms of space films.
Well balanced Bond film from Lewis Gilbert.
The DVD is available from amazon.co.uk for £3.63.
This review may also be posted on ciao.co.uk.
Thanks for reading.
What I am reviewing is the James Bond DVD Moonraker
Moonraker, one of my favourite Bond films as I was growing up and still is today. I have very fond memories of it as this was the first Bond film I ever saw on TV.
After the ending titles of "The spy who loved me" in 1977 it said that the next James Bond film would be "For your eyes only" The producer Cubby Broccoli then decided that the next film would be about another book "Moonraker".
At the time Star Wars had hit the box office with tremendous success and cubby thought that the time was right to make this film instead as the audience had taken so well to Star Wars and wanted this film to take Bond in outer space to secure it's place in Bond history. This was a first for a Bond film and was franchised when Broccoli put $30,000,000 behind it.
The film actually made $203,000,000 worldwide. A record at the time for any Bond film.
The sets for this film were constructed in England and France, the land setting were in London, Brazil, Italy and the US.
The space station set was set up in great detail and cannot be faulted.
The film has a great opening sequence with the Moonraker shuttle being stolen in mid air on top of a plane, we then find Bond in a plane over Africa who has just been double crossed by a lady, he is then forced to fight on the plane then pushed out with no parachute. We then see Jaws as the one who has pushed him off the plane who then jumps off himself to try and kill Bond. Bond manages to get the pilots parachute off in mid air and quickly attatches it, before you know it Jaws is decending on him about to sink his metal teeth in his leg. Bond pulls his parachute, jaws tries to do the same but his is not working. Jaws plummets onto the top of a circus tent down below.
The main titles are sung by Shirley Bassey in this marvellous song.
Without spoiling the plot too much the main villain in this is Drax who has stolen the Moonraker shuttle, and intent on destroying human life on the world, he only wants his choice of people kept alive who he has chosen to live on the space station that has been built.
Can Bond stop him ..
The cast in this were mainly the usual for a Roger Moore Bond film :
Roger Moore as Bond
Bernard Lee as M
Desmond Llewelyn as Q
Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny
Lois Chiles as Holly Goodhead
Michael Lonsdale as Drax
Richard kiel as Jaws
Emily Bolton as Manuela
Corinne Clery as Corinne Dufour
Sadly this was Bernard Lee's final performance as M. He died in 1981. he had been in all the Bond films and it wouldn't have been the same without him.
There were some marvellous stunts and sequences in this film, the parachute jumps, the cable car jump that was actually performed by Richard Kiel himself, the space sequences, the gondalier sequence, the speedboat chase, and a whole lot more.
This is also the first time Jaws actually speaks..
The disk includes special features of :
Audio commentary with director Lewis Gilbert and members of the crew, :
This gives very good insight into how the film was made in 1979 as the cast and crew have a lot to talk about and seems as fresh for them today as when it was made and they all have fond memories of it..
Inside Moonraker an original documentary : This is a documentary that was shown in 1979 about the film and giving a bit of information about it, the cast and crew, the background story, and a bit of the making of. The good thing is that they never give too much information away about the film so it would spoil it for those who hadnt seen it.
The man behind the mayhem, a special effects documentary : This deals with the stunts and special effects of the film showing you how they done certain sequences in detail.
Stills gallery : This has different pictures from the set designs, making of, gadgets, model shots, cast and crew shots, location shots.
Original theatrical trailer : This shows the trailer of the film in its full glory.
What I thought :
I thought that this Was a very good Bond story following up nicely from The Spy who loved me as it had the appearance of one of the main villains Jaws. I found this worked well to bring him back for one more story as he was so popular in the film before.
Roger Moores performance was as good as ever getting into the role of Bond again with his quips, charm and knowing his characters role inside and out.
The space station was a good touch for this film as at the time this space age type of thing was all the rage and James Bond had to follow suit. I thought this was done very well and had a lot of good effects for the time.
I found that the picture had been cleaned up well from 1979 and was very clear, also the sound is Dolby digital making it a very clear sounding film with no crackling or interference.
I liked the menu screens as I have on all the James Bond DVDs and thought that a lot of effort has been put into making them.
The disk is very easy to navigate through the films various menus and special features are well worth a look at.
The little booklet inside is a nice touch with quite a bit of detail about the film with how it was made, pictures, and topics of interest about the film.
I cant say that I really disliked anything about this DVD but now watching it you can see it is a bit dated, but thats all part of the James Bond process through the years and I am glad that it was not tinkered with too much from its original status.
"My god what's Bond doing ?", "I think he's attempting re-entry sir"
After the success of The Spy Who Loved Me the Bond team continued to mine the more fantastical possibilities of their franchise and, inspired by Star Wars, upped the ante by blasting 007 into space in what may be the biggest Bond of all time in terms of scope and ambition. For your Eyes Only had been intented as the follow up to The Spy Who Loved Me but the George Lucas space epic forced an about turn. Although the Bond series is the Grandfather of every franchise or action character, the team behind Bond have never been slow to pick up on trends be it Star wars, Raiders Of The Lost Ark or Jason Bourne.
Unjustly derided as the comic black sheep of the Bond series, Moonraker is a lavish spectacular and certainly the last of the 'epic' grand scale 007 adventures that include Thunderball, You Only Live Twice and The Spy Who Loved Me. It is no coincidence that Lewis Gilbert was chosen to direct Moonraker. Gilbert directed You Only Live Twice and The Spy Who Loved me previously and overall was responsible for three of the biggest and most technically demanding films in the series, a testament to his organisation and skill.
The opening sequence really does sum up the film. A US space shuttle on loan to Britain is hijacked in mid-air and the plane transporting it destroyed. We cut to Roger Moore in a pair of flares and cream polo-neck jumper on board a light aircraft. He is thrown out without a parachute but mananges to steal one (in mid-air!) from the villain. Then Jaws throws himself out of the plane and goes after Bond. His parachute fails to deploy after 007 activates his and he crashes into a huge circus tent. Moonraker has already laid its cards on the table. Ian Fleming's Moonraker novel will not play any role in the film save for a few character names. Instead Moonraker will be big, bold, outrageous and silly. This freefall sequence is astonishing and has been riffed on countless times over the years by movies like Eraser. Shirley Bassey belts out the theme tune and with Bassey, John Barry, Ken Adam, Lewis Gilbert and Derek Meddings involved you'd have to conclude that Cubby Broccoli had a much better team than his daughter currently enjoys.
Hugo Drax (a very droll Michael Lonsdale) plans to destroy life on Earth and create a race of perfect humans in space to repopulate the planet. No low key villains with modest goals for a seventies Roger Moore Bond! Bond is assigned the task of investigating the shuttle loss and heads to California where he is flown over Drax's spectacular estate and makes a few mildly sexist comments, especially to Dr Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles), the female lead and NASA instructor. Bond and Drax meet and we get the famous line "Look after Mr Bond...see that some harm comes to him." For such a derided entry Moonraker has some terrific lines. "Mr Bond...you appear with the tedious inevitability of an unloved season," says Drax to at one point. Great stuff.
Drax's henchman Chang attempts to kill Bond when 007 tries out the centrifuge. Roger Moore's face contorts with the G-force and, unusually for Moore, his Bond looks exhausted and rattled as he staggers from the chamber. It's a nice moment for Moore and one that shows how he could adjust the tone if required. The centrifuge set by Ken Adam is incredible.
The film moves onto Venice and this section amps up the humour a bit too much. We have Bond's gondola turning into a hovercraft and a double-taking pigeon. Bond's clock-tower fight with Chang and investigation of Drax's lab is however very nicely done. This section could have done with a slight trim. Parts of Moonraker are so good that you wonder how it would have turned out with a tightening up and a few less jokes.
Next Bond heads to Rio de Janeiro and speeds up the Amazon in a special boat. Unsuprisingly he is attacked by numerous other craft but Q has put plenty of gadgets in his boat and he escapes. He ends up in a huge jungle temple with an assortmant of Bond babes before being thrown in a pool with a giant snake. Jaws fishes him out and he enters Drax's control room, an extraordinary creation by Ken Adam. Adam's work makes Moonraker perhaps the most visually arresting James Bond film ever made.
From there Moonraker moves into space and we get laser battles, exploding space stations and a risque final scene and line from Bond. The special-effects, supervised by the much missed Derek Meddings, still look terrific today.
More comic book than other Bonds with perhaps a bit too much humour for its own good at times. But for me this negated by Michael Lonsdale's droll villain Hugo Drax, Ken Adam's amazing sets and a beautiful score by John Barry. The special-effects still hold up and there are some excellent 'Bond' moments such as 007 shooting the sniper in the tree. These 'cool under preassure' moments are the trademark of the 'cinematic' Bond. Roger Moore is witty and urbane and did a good job in adjusting Bond to his own personality and putting his own mark on the character.
Overall Moonraker is a fantastical and grandly produced slice of hokum and terribly underrated. I really like the big old-style epic Bonds because they seem like really huge films and 'events'. I don't get that feeling from the new Bond films now. It is a question of economics I presume but it looks like Moonraker may be the last epic Bond film. It's also trendy to dissmiss the film but you'd have to have a heart of stone not to find something enjoyable in Moonraker. Or as my brother put it once; "James Bond to me will always be Roger Moore getting thrown out of an aeroplane without a parachute in a blazer and pair of flares!"
On a sad note, Moonraker marks the last appearance of the great Bernard Lee as M.
As you would expect from an Ultimate Edition the extras are superb. The Inside Moonraker documentary and an FX one called The Men Behind the Mayhem are wonderful. You get an original trailer (which shows about half of the film!) and archive production features, test footage, on-set interviews with Michael G Wilson, Ken Adam's home movies and of course a brand new audio commentary by Sir Roger Moore.
Hello and welcome to my 5th review on DooYoo.
After the success of the 10th Bond Film, The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977 and the release of Star Wars, the whole movie industry was buzzing with two words "Science Fiction." To reflect the trend at the time Bond producer Albert R Broccoli needed to make the next Bond in line with modern fashions. The last film was the first to be produced without the assistance of Harry Saltzman who had sold his part of the production company; it was also this focus that made the last film a box office success at the cinema taking $185.6 million dollars worldwide, so it was inevitable that the next proposed production had to top what had come before. The remaining few Bond titles that had not been used, Moonraker seemed the most appropriate for the time.
The title comes from Ian Flemings third Bond novel. Moonraker was released in April 1955. In the story Bond is asked, as a personal favour to M, to expose a member of the exclusive gentlemen's club called Blades, this person is suspected of cheating at cards. The mans name is Hugo Drax; he is the Head of Britain's Moonraker rocket program. The stakes are increased as a security officer looking into Drax's work is murdered, and to progress the investigation Bond takes his place in an effort to discover the truth behind Drax's motives and his past and most importantly his intentions. Draxs intention in the novel is to launch a nuclear rocket to destroy London.
Compared to the film the novel is more localised as the story never leaves the country where as the film on the other hand takes a trip through various time-zones. Although when I read the novel I did find myself saying they used that bit in another film and so on. Very little of the novel is used in the film itself with the exception of the main characters of Bond and Drax. The Bond girl in the novel is called Gala Brand and is not utilised in the film at all.
When an Anglo/ American Space Shuttle on loan to Nasa is stolen in mid flight from a top a Boeing 747 it is being carried upon, 007 is sent to further investigate the theft. On his travels around the world he comes face to face with Hugo Drax, portrayed by renowned French actor Michael Lonsdale. Bond's investigation takes him to various parts of the globe, each stop piecing together more of the enigma that surrounds Drax, Bond journeys from Los Angeles to Rio De Janeiro via Venice. Along the way meeting a number of gorgeous women and also teaming up with Holly Goodhead. Bond also encounters a familiar 7 and half foot tall acquaintance from a previous mission.
The film with Roger Moore was released in 1979 takes Bond to a totally new high. What could at the time be deduced as a reactive piece of work to the fashion requirements at the time, still looks fresh, but in some places does look very dated. This is mainly due to the clothes that are worn throughout the film. Moore wearing his now customary flares in the early part easily dates the film to the late seventies. The story as well was a complete departure from previous films as this is in more of the same feel as The Spy Who Loved Me but with more humour. This is evident in scenes that Moore plays for laughs such as the door code to Drax's laboratory; the code sound is the tune from Close Encounters of the Third King. Do, do, do, do, dooooooo. Clever piece of writing but not really necessary. The same humour is shown when Bond is on horseback as well as the theme from The Magnificent Seven is played, this raises a chuckle but can divert and can distract the viewer from the story.
Action wise you cannot complain as there is a host of sequences throughout that entertain and most importantly are relevant to the story. Scenes like the cable car where the stunt doubles are actually hanging off a cable car 800ft above Rio. The pre-title sequence really does take your breath away as Bond is pushed out a plane without a parachute; the aerial sequences do show very little back screen projection as it was literally two stuntmen being filmed in freefall, of course with the assistance of hidden parachutes. My favourite scene being the fight between Bond and Chang in the glass warehouse in Venice which is not only well choreographed but also well executed, if you have a sound system set up at home, this scene will definitely be worth turning it up for. The standard formula has been applied as you would expect, after the titles and the main song which is sung by Shirley Bassey, this is Bassey's last association with the Bond franchise, the film slows down and then starts to pick up speed until the climax and face off between Bond and the villain.
I watched this as a kid; it wasn't at the Cinema I saw it but when it premiered on ITV on 27th December 1982. I was absolutely enthralled with it, to see what Bond went through when he gets trapped in the Gravity chamber kept me on the edge of my seat, not to mention when he is literally pushed out of a plane in the pre-title sequence.
Now as an adult I still like the film a lot, but can see the innuendo and the double meanings a lot more clearly, I mean how many women do you know with the name of Goodhead? In the late seventies and the time that Women's Lib was happening, it was refreshing to see that a Bond girl was a strong character, something that was continued over from the previous movie. The downfall here is that the characters are on the receiving end of Bonds comments which when looking back can now be considered very non-pc, some of the female character such as Manuela are used purely as eye candy, which is a shame as the character could have had more to do.
Throughout Moore's time as Bond, one thing was always common to all his films, he always had back up if needed. In this film he has the Americans which play an important part in the last 30 minutes of the film. In all the Moore films, the back up assault team was always evident. Its just in this one it is even more so due to the location that final scenes takes place within. Not a major negative against the film itself but something that was repeated and was a characteristic of the Moore era. This is also the only time that Bond is seen to have ever flown on Concorde, at the time Air France was running a scheduled service to Rio from Paris. This was interesting point as Bond never flew on a British Concorde even though there is a product placement for British Airways shown in the film
Direction by Lewis Gilbert, who had directed You Only Live Twice and The Spy Who Loved Me is spot on and greatly assists with the edge of the seat emotion that can be shown when watching this. This is probably the closest that we have had in the Bond series to the next film being a direct continuation of the previous with one of the villains returning. Time wise it is not hinted if there were other missions for Bond between this and the previous film.
The music score is once again performed by John Barry, this time it is slightly different to previous films and is more orchestral than what we have heard, the moment that the villains lair is revealed is a great example of the effort that John Barry has placed in to this score a good example of this, the more thunderous the music gets when the liar is revealed which is a suspenseful moment in the film on its own and to see the reactions of Bond and Goodhead are priceless. Shirley Bassey completed the hat trick of Bond songs by singing the haunting theme to the film at the beginning with an upbeat disco version at the end, which with this film being nearly 30 years old does sound quite dated.
Box office receipts exceeded the previous film and totalled and an amazing $202.7 million. The budget of the film was $34 million which back in 1979 was a lot for a film budget, especially when The Spy Who Loved Me was made with a budget of just $14 million and the original film Dr No was made with just £1 million.
There is a whole plethora of extra, these include:
7 page booklet detailing the film itself
Commentary - Audio commentary featuring Roger Moore
Commentary - Audio commentary featuring Lewis Gilbert with cast and crew
Bond 79 and 007 in Rio' (original 1979 production featurette
Inside Moonraker: An Original Documentary'
The Men behind the Mayhem: Special Effects Documentary
Ken Adam's production films
Learning to Freefall: skydiving test footage and storyboards; circus footage;
Cable car alternative storyboards
Interactive guide into the world of Moonraker
The original documentaries are well worth the price of the DVD on there own, and will get you watching the film again with the high level of information that is given. What impressed me was that the special effects team and the efforts they went to ensure the effects were correct. In some cases discovering completely new techniques to get the result. One great advantage is that Sir Roger Moore also recorded new commentary for this DVD, as well and remains as only one of the two Bond actors who have done this. Unfortunately there are no deleted scenes on this DVD, but at the end of the Inside Moonraker documentary there are a number of bloopers shown, which are quite rare. It also discusses the fact that this was the first time that a Bond production was based outside of Pinewood Studios; in fact this film was made mainly in France. The documentary shows what problems were faced with a different cultural way of working, and what was done to resolve the issues and move on. The documentaries that go behind the scenes and breakdown various sequences in the film are top notch and give a good idea of storyboard to screen translation and what could not be done at the time and how the production crew tackled various elements that were new to film production altogether, one example is having a helmet mounted camera, common nowadays for filing but never thought off till the time it was required.
For Moonraker, the producers gathered together an International cast, slightly weighted to the French side, but seeing as this was the first Bond film ever to be based outside of Pinewood, you can understand.
Roger Moore - James Bond
Lois Chiles - Holly Goodhead
Michael Lonsdale - Hugo Drax
Richard Kiel - Jaws
Corrine Clery - Corrine Dufour
Bernard Lee - M
Lois Maxwell - Miss Moneypenny
Desmond Llewellyn - Q
The usual office crew of M, Q and Moneypenny are together, this would be Bernard Lee's last Bond film as he passed away shortly after this film was released. Roger Moore is well in his stride as Bond, this film now being his 4th time as the character. Although this film was only 6 years after Moore's debut in Live and Let Die, he does seem to have aged a bit. At the time he was approaching 52 when this was filmed and in some places this does show.
The casting of Lonsdale playing Hugo Drax is perfect for the part of the villain, he plays Drax as a character that is cool under any circumstances but can be brutal in a second, very menacing in a control freak sort of manner. By the end of the film the story is set up for a showdown and it doesnt disappoint. Drax gives of a aura of calm when inside you know he is seething and planning his next move. You never see Drax smile in the film at all and this just adds to the character completely. He brushes aside things that are of no good to him and disposes of them as he think necessary and usually brutally.
Jaws returns, once again played by Richard Kiel. The character of Jaws gets more screen time than when he was in the previous film, not only does he get the girl at the end, he also plays a pivotal part in the story. Although nothing new is learnt of the character, he does supply the comedy relief in certain scenes when he meets Bond, with a surprise at the end.
Lois Chiles as Holly Goodhead is a more than adequate actress to play a Bond girl, not only does she have the looks. She also has the screen presence to carry this off and in multiple scenes proves she is more than a match to Bond as an equal. Chiles plays the part with gusto and shows an intelligence as the character, it is throughout the film that we learn more about the character.
French actress Corrine Clery plays Corrine Dufour, Drax's assistant, the character meets a gruesome end on Drax's order as she has betrayed him. The character is only on screen in the first 20 minutes of the film, but is also the first sacrifice as well.
The film is 122 minutes long; the length of the film itself is just right, which I always believe is a good sign. The film, while some fans will not necessarily believe to be one of the best Bonds is memorable because it is so over the top. The last scene with the now legendary line from Q "I think his attempting re-entry" always raises a chuckle, but it really does kind of sum up the dialogue throughout the film.
Looking back at this film it is evidently a film that Roger Moore had to star in; I could not imagine Sean Connery or Timothy Dalton in this film at all. It is on a larger scale than other previous Bond films and this helps to make it memorable for that reason, it was big production, and this means that the focus can be lost a little. The normal Bond formula applies here as it does to the others, madman plan, Bond intervenes. But it is the execution of the formula and what happens between the gun barrel and the end titles that is the most important.
The packaging of the DVD is impressive as this is a new design for this release of the Bond Film entirely and surpasses the previous releases by quite some distance shows Moore as Bond in a space suit, which is very fitting for the feel and style of the film and straight away you know what the theme of the film actually is and where Bond will end up.
This is definitely one of the more comedic pieces which suited Moore to the ground as he has always stated that he played them with tongue firmly in cheek. The next film was to bring that to a halt anyway but this is a film that all the family can watch and enjoy. And this will be enjoyed as this is also the remastered version as well so the picture will be clear as a bell. The soundtrack has also been remixed and upped with a 5.1 and DTS soundtracks available. For some great audio experiences as well, straight away there are certain parts of the film that will benefit from this feature.
This is where it gets a bit silly. The online stores are doing the double disc version from £9.99, this was released back in November 2006, a single disc version has also been released and although it is just the film it is effectively a cut down Disc 1. Again the rule applies that if you look around then prices will differ, but with the upcoming Summer sales at places like HMV and Virgin then this should be able to be found quite easily on there shelves. I have watched this film a number of times and still enjoy it; I hope you do as well and thank you for reading my review.
Take care, until next time
Film: Moonraker Film Number: 11 Year: 1979 Bond: Roger Moore Bond Girl: Holly Goodhead Villain(s): Hugo Drax Sidekick(s): Jaws Song: Shirley Bassey Director: Lewis Gilbert M: Bernard Lee Moneypenny: Lois Maxwell Pre title scene: The film opens with the hijacking of a Moonraker space shuttle on loan from the United States to Great Britain. It is being transported on the back of a 747 before being hijacked Plot: This is a film built on the success of Star Wars, which was launched in 1977 and is the first time that Bond leaves the Earth. Hugo Drax is a hugely powerful man who wants to set up a human super race from space. He plans to have a space station invisible to laser with certain chosen people on board. At the same time, he would launch an attack on the world by nerve gas in the form of a rare orchid flower, killing everyone and allowing him to take over the world. Bond manages to avoid Drax’s attempt to kill him and him and Holly Goodhead arrive in the space station, which they destroy, allowing the world to survive. In a change to the previous film, Jaws is given a love interest and actually helps Bond escape from the exploding space station. Comment: This film was a continuation of The Spy Who Loved ME in many ways, shown most clearly in the continuation of Jaws. However, this film saw his character develop more and actually provided him with a love interest which meant this film could not be seen as a simple rip off of the great Spy Who Loved Me. The actual story line and plot is very far fetched and the scene with the spacemen fighting in space with lasers was actually (although original) ridiculous. The thing that redeems this film is the action which took place before they went into space and or course, Holly Goodhead. There have been 19 James Bond films to date (excluding the almost comical and unof
ficial Never Say Never Again). I feel that this film rates at number 15. You will have to read the rest of my Bond related opinions if you want to know which film was my favourite. Of course, you will probably agree with my rankings, but I think that adds to the whole beauty of the 007 series - everyone has their favourite for different reasons
Moonraker has to be one of my favourite bond films. It isn't a particularly stand out film when put up next to the other ones, but the combinations of Jaws and the space setting mean I just love it! Jaws in my opinion has to be the best evil henchman in any James Bond film, but more on that later! Made in 1979 Moonraker lies just about smack bang in the middle of the long running Bond series, and features the not so bad Roger Moore as Bond. It's Moore?s fourth outing as Bond, although Connery for me is the best Bond for character, charm, and general fits-the-character-so-well qualities. Brosnan comes a close second because whatever you say, the new films are in my opinion good (some of the best Bond films), but I suppose Moore makes it in to third place in the people who have played Bond! The film begins with the ridiculous heist of a space shuttle, straight off the back of a jumbo jet. Bond is with the usual girl, and after some very cheesy pillow talk she turns against him, a fight naturally follows and Bond actually loses this time! But fear not, using some impressive sky diving skills he manages to steal a parachute from someone?s back in mid air. It's unbelievable Bond at its best! It's also here we are introduced to Jaws, the most ugly, gormless and generally freakish (and unbelievable) villain yet. But he still rocks. The space shuttle, entitled 'Moonraker' is on loan to Britain from the USA. Naturally Bond is sent to investigate, and save Britain?s relations with the US. Bond heads first to the USA to the manufacturer of the shuttle, the Drax Corporation, led by the obvious villain Hugo Draw (Michael Lonsdale). After the usual 'I'm your friend' charade, Bond escapes to Vienna to investigate the dealings of the Drax Corporation. It turns out that the Drax corporation are planning to kill everyone on the world, and then repopulate it from space with their master race. Bond must try to sto
p them, in the usual style! Unfortunately this film continues on the theme that ran through previous Bond films of including stupid bits. By that I mean the terrible one liners and those 'slap stick' comedy moments which do nothing other than make you cringe! Bond is meant to be about action, not Carry On comedy. Luckily if you can ignore the dreadful bits, they don't detract from the film too much, because this film is rather good. The set pieces are rather good, including the usual fights and action sequences. This time they include a river boat chase and an epic space battle. By this time special effects have got to the right side of cheesy, and although it doesn't compare to the films of today there is a marked improvement from the earlier Bond movies. The gadgets are back, and include a groovy watch that's also a mini rocket launcher, as well as a rather cool boat turned hovercraft! And it's set in space (some of the time) which automatically scores it higher for me! The theme tune that accompanies Bond films is often a high point, but this time it is rather lame. They're all similar, with catchy lyrics and a heavy emphasis on the title of the film, but this time it isn't particularly good. Or at least I don't think so! Overall I like this Bond film, because the combination of Jaws and the space setting make it appealing to me. Ignoring these points though, it's just a normal Bond film which is marred by the 'lets try to be funny' attitude that was around at the time. One of my favourite, but to most people it's just another Bond film!
In the 11th film in the 007 series sees Roger Moore return as James Bond. This time around Bond must investigate the theft of a space shuttle with help from beautiful CIA agent Dr. Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles) and sexy Euro supermodel Corrine (Corrine Clery). Agent 007 discovers that genocidal maniac-millionaire Hugo Drax (Michel Lonsdale) plans to poison all of humanity from outer space and repopulate earth with only the most perfectly bred humans. A variety of traps and villains awaits Bond, including the recurring character Jaws (Richard Kiel, also featured in The Spy Who Loved Me).