Wednesday, June 11, 2014

F This Movie! - Live and Let Die

Patrick and Mike don't love it when Roger Moore takes over as James Bond and the franchise goes Blaxploitation.



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Also discussed this episode: All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006), Tromeo & Juliet (1996), The Boston Strangler (1968), Dredd (2012), Island of Death (1976), Excision (2012), Among Friends (2013), Triangle (2009)

24 comments:

  1. I think I laughed more in this podcast than any other - maybe you need to truly dislike something for the wit to really flow. I don't dislike LALD with the vehemence of Patrick, but by no means is it a good movie. What I keep coming back to is what a rampaging asshole Bond is in this one. Moore's Bond can't resist behaving like a jerk in most of his early films, and his smirk really gets on my nerves. My favorite of Moore's films is For Your Eyes Only, where they really toned down his more annoying mannerisms and got much tougher. That's one film where he genuinely seems to care about his mission, and he actually REBUFFS a sexual advance! Given how much Mike clearly hates "gentleman" Dalton, I expected him to vibrate with excitement every time Moore acted like a douche (which is all the time). I must now insist that Mike do his Dalton voice in every podcast in which he appears.

    Just for the record, Solitaire is what Fleming named the girl in the book Live and Let Die. However, she was NOT a mystical fortune teller in that one (there are no supernatural elements in the Fleming book).

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    1. If she didn't have those stupid cards, I wouldn't be bothered by the name Solitaire. It's no worse than most Bond girl names. But there should not be any supernatural elements or MAGIC in any Bond movies.

      Gentleman Timothy Dalton is my new favorite FTM character. It makes me laugh just thinking about it.

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  2. Very funny podcast guys - I've never seen this (or most of the Bonds for that matter) but enjoyed it too much to stop listening. I think I can still (not) enjoy this movie even knowing the phate of Yaphet Kotto. Maybe more so - anticiploitation!

    Gentleman Timothy Dalton is hilarious - he could double as any of the members of Spinal Tap as well!

    Looking forward to the Casino Royale podcast - the only Bond I've watched more than once! Speaking of which, Mr. I Watch a View to Kill All the Time - how the hell do you do it? How do you have time to watch all of these new movies, all of these old movies (multiple times), write 1000s of words about them, read Stephen King books and have kids?! Spoiler Alert - I'm expecting! (my baby bump is enormous) - and I need to know how you do it! Do I need a flux capacitor or something?

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    1. Thanks! And Patrick somehow manages to live a 48 hour day in only 24 hours. I'll never understand how he does it.

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    2. He has a clone named Patrick 2.0 who watches all the movies and then explains them to Original Patrick in great detail for him to write and talk about, thereby giving OP the ability to maintain responsibility for his kids. It's one of the only logical answers.

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    3. Patrick 3.0 is the one with the Hermoine device so he can take classes at Hogwarts and do play by play for the Quidditch matches.

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    4. We're missing the bigger picture, guys -- CONGRATULATIONS, Sol and family! That's great news. What a lucky Canadian baby it will be!

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    5. Wow, Patrick even finds time to congratulate soon-to-be fathers. HOW DO YOU DO IT, PATRICK?!?!?! Also, CONGRATS, Sol!!!!

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    6. Oh, man, that slipped by me. Congratulations, Sol!!! Your baby bump may be enormous, but it's okay as long as the cravings aren't too bad.

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    7. SOL!!!!! Congrats brutha from anothu mutha :-)

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    8. Thanks all! Super excited! Already can't wait till I can watch movies with the little F'er!

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  3. Michael GiammarinoJune 11, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    Hilarious podcast, guys. I haven't seen Live and Let Die since it was on regular tv in the 80s. The most I can remember about that movie is Jane Seymour, which is probably as it should be.
    Patrick, your Mr. Mercedes diversion was unexpected but great to hear. I'm about 130 pages in, and loving it so far. It's good to hear that it's still engrossing a hundred more pages along. Yesterday, King tweeted that this will be the first novel in a trilogy of stories, at least for three characters. I'm not sure how I feel about that, how about you?
    Mike, when you do that impression, I can't help but hear Michael Caine. I would love to hear that Bond tell the story about how he once found a diamond "the size of a tangerine."

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  4. I'm just getting started on my quest to watch all the bond films....will have to wait to listen to the podcast until I finish this one...

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  5. Nice podcast guys and I actually can come up with one good thing in this movie (besides the theme song which I do like) and thats the coffin bit in the funeral at the beginning. Its at the completely wrong moment of the movie but I did like it. Everything else is pretty rough indeed so I understand your furor.
    My girlfriend and I have actually been marathoning the whole bond series (8 movies to go!) and have been jumping from bond to bond so we dont get burnt out on seeing the same Bond actor in every film. I think its a good way to go to keep it interesting. This should be a monthly podcast me thinks. My least favorite thing though in Live and Let Die is that stupid New Orleans cop Pepper, he may be the worst character of all time in the Bond movies ever

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  6. What's scary is that this is basically the best of the Roger Moore Bond movies. It's a weird, strange, movie that I can in no way defend as good, but geez, at least it kind of hangs together. Unlike, say, Moonraker or Octopussy, which are just plain bad.

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  7. Great podcast! Love the Bond podcasts (except for Mike's passionate and unapologetic hatred of Dalton). I am one of those Roger Moore guys you talk about. I like him because I find him genuinely funny and it was during his era that the stunts and action setpieces started to get bigger and bigger (Live and Let Die not included). I get that he's generally smug/aloof, but he has his moments of badass-ness (For Your Eyes Only and the end of Octopussy). Live and Let Die is the worst of his movies though. As you say it's pretty boring, and basically utter nonsense. Here are some things I like about it though:

    -Bond in Harlem. It’s always cool to see Bond out of his element, and some of the Harlem locations seem almost otherworldly.
    -“Butter Hook!” Favorite Bond One-Liner of all time. Always slays me.
    -The Alligator Scene.
    -Some decent boat stunts (the jump over the road was a world-record at the time).

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    1. Thanks, Matt! See, this is exactly what I want to know -- why fans of the Roger Moore Bond movies are fans. And like I say over and over, it all comes down to us wanting different things out of Bond movies. I tend to like mine more stripped down and less jokey, which, as you say, the Roger Moore Bonds are not. But I can see why, if you dig that style of Bond, the Roger Moores would appeal to you.

      Thanks for coming to his defense!

      And he is definitely at his most badass in For Your Eyes Only. If not for the awful Blofeld prologue and the Lynne Holly Johnson character, I think that might be his best outing.

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    2. I really can't defend Bibi. The movie tries to get by with it by essentially saying "Hey, WE think she's annoying, too!" I do love Bond's "ice cream" rejoinder to her lame seduction attempt. And yes, all that brilliant stunt work in the prologue is undercut by one of the worst bald caps of all time.

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  8. Great ep. It's interesting to listen to your opinion of Roger Moore and then go to another specifically Bond podcast, James Bonding, where the Matts both love Roger Moore.

    I'm not sure where he lands on my Bond list (he's not first, he's not last) but I will say he is my favorite Bond in real life. He's so polite and nice and funny and by all accounts a joy to work with. His book, Bond on Bond, is a fun read.

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    1. Roger Moore published a diary of the filming of Live and Let Die at the time (must have sold on his being famous from TV up to then?) I remember it being an enjoyable read despite my not liking the movie or Moore as Bond. I agree, he seems to be a nice, funny guy to know in person. I just never felt he was right as Bond. On the flip side, I liked Connery but there are lots of anecdotes that paint him as unlikeable.

      Dalton talked fascinatingly in interviews about his reading of the books and the character, but guarded his privacy so was difficult to get a sense of personally. I think his dislike of publicity and frostiness was a big part of why the public didn't warm to him when he was Bond. In contrast, Brosnan who had backing for the role from the start, got the part and immediately started presenting awards on tv and guest starring on the Muppets. He is a more open, gregarious character and the difference in the way the public took to him in 1995 was marked.

      Anyway,coming back to point - Moore's diary of Live and Let Die is well worth getting hold of if you can. The lightness with which he took the job is immediately evident - describing his first day of shooting, he said he and pal Dan Hedaya (Felix Leiter) walked with their 'best secret agent strides'. The other thing I remember from the book is how he received a letter during shooting from a racist who was upset by a publicity photo of him and the woman playing Rosie, captioned 'with Mrs Bond'. He didn't comment. He also reported that there was a big controversy during production because at a photo call outside an airplane, Yaphet Khotto made a black power salute.

      Coincidentally, I watched this movie only recently, for the first time in more than twenty years. I don't like it, but nostalgia gave it a bit of false virtue. In contrast, when I similarly watched The Spy Who Loved Me again a few years ago, even childhood memories did not stop me from thinking it was awful.

      Something not mentioned in the podcast - this was the first Bond movie since Dr No not to be scored by John Barry. Instead, Beatles manager George Martin did it. I always found the change from the classic Bond sound even more distracting than the change of lead actor, but I actually like Martin's score on its own merit. Years later, part of it (Martin's version of the Bond theme) was used for the first teaser trailer for The Living Daylights. Was that a coincidence that it was for the new Bond?

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  9. Patrick, in this episode you complained that LALD had no cold open and Moore does northing to open his first film as Bond, but lay in bed. I enjoy LALD as I enjoy most of Moore's turn as Bond, but I will not hold this film up as great cinema. I see it for what it is, silly but fun. As for the opening, I think they were going for something different with Moore as the new Bond. Up to this point we never Bond except when he was on the job. In this opening we see his apart and some of his personal life (meaning the girl he is currently sleeping with). Does this opening work for a Bond film? I say no, but I feel they were trying to give us something different with Moore.

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  10. I keep coming late to these parties, but I'll comment anyway.
    I love it when one of you really dislikes the movie, but can do it without coming off like an A-hole. That said, I can't abide Mike's vehement hatred of all things Timothy Dalton. What an A-hole.

    As for LALD, I tend to rank it right in the middle of Moore's films, above Moonraker, View and Golden Gun (Bond in Space!, Old Balls Bond!, Revenge of the Slide Whistle). I think LALD has some decent early-70s inner-city grit, and I don't think it gets quite as over-the-top (for better or worse) than other Moore movies (which is strange, since Q is absent).

    A few other things about missed opportunities:
    1. The series may have been attempting to "hide" Roger Moore early in his first film as they did more successfully in OHMSS and TLD. It doesn't work to have him completely absent. He should've exploded onto the scene.
    2. The boat chase is a lot like the underwater battle in Thunderball. They were trying to do something really cool, but they just dragged it out too long and sapped it of its energy.
    3. The plane/car chase on the ground is kind of inspired, but, as with JW Pepper, they kill it by throwing the flight student in there (worse: they recycle a shot of her at the beginning and end of the sequence).
    4. The henchmen--Samedi, Tee-Hee and even poor Whisper, are quite memorable with Tee-Hee's train fight reminiscent of FRWL. Carver is horrible and Kotto's Mr. Big/Kananga is crowded out by all of them. Too many villains! Still: "Names is for tombstones baby!"

    Still, I do like the gator stunt, that 70s "feel" and the theme song (at least the title fits for a Bond movie, right?). Lastly, I'm 100% with Mike regarding Jane Seymour's beauty. Not a great Bond girl (in a typically underwritten role), but a gorgeous one!

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  11. I love Mikes British accent. I want to say upfront that I sound nothing like that. I actually wish I did though. Its soo funny

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