Posts Tagged ‘Robert Shaw

31
Jul
16

From Turkey With Love (James Bond 2)

From Russia with Love has long been considered by many to be the best of all the James Bond films. It perhaps isn’t the quintessential film as a few other aspects of the mythos wouldn’t be solidified until the third film. However, in terms of plotting, acting, directing, and spectacle, this movie has got it all.

Overwhelmed with the unexpected success of Dr. No, the producers hurried the sequel into production. The studio doubled their budget, and were expecting big things. The question was which of Ian Fleming’s novels to film next? Since they had already gone out of order (Dr. No is actually the sixth novel), they didn’t need to stay with any sort of continuity. Then-President John F. Kennedy had stated that From Russia with Love was one of his top-ten favorite books. So, why not use that one? They knew they’d have one fan eagerly awaiting the movie.

Since the source material dealt far more heavily with Cold War themes that the last, the producers decided to change a few aspects. SPECTRE once again became the primary villains. In doing so, the writers were able to carry over a few interesting aspects from the first film.

In 2008, the James Bond producers stated that Quantum of Solace was the first direct sequel in franchise history, coming after Casino Royale. Unfortunately, the current producers don’t know much about the history of their own franchise. If they were to watch From Russia with Love, they would realize it is a direct sequel to Dr. No.

Continue reading ‘From Turkey With Love (James Bond 2)’

11
Jul
15

Jaws

Jaws recently had its big 40th anniversary, and since I’ve never seen it, I decided to check it out. Jaws is one of those classic movies that has a lot of hype to live up to. When a movie is older than you are, and you’ve heard nothing but praise for it your entire life, you can pretty much guarantee it’s going to be a let-down.

Fortunately, Jaws holds up pretty well. It’s not an amazing film, not by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s pretty solid. It’s the movie that made Steven Spielberg an A-list director. You can tell that he’s developing his style, and he’s a little rough around the edges still, but the Spielberg magic is definitely there.

The thing that is both a benefit and a hindrance to Jaws is the pacing. It’s incredibly slow. It’s good because it builds tension and creates atmosphere, but it’s bad because it takes way too fucking long to get to the climactic battle with the shark. At 124 minutes, it’s about 24 minutes too long. I literally fell asleep while the crew was on the ship, talking, before the shark showed up.

Everything else about the movie is pretty good. The acting, the cinematography, the music, the directing, and even the story. Yeah, it’s a little thin, but it’s a play on horror films, so it’s good enough.

What probably made this film such a classic was the era it was released. The 70s had its fair share of great films, don’t get me wrong, but there was a ton of shit from that era, too. Jaws was probably so different, such a popcorn spectacle, that it immediately endeared itself to people. And those people who became so enamored with it on their first viewing haven’t forgotten their nostalgia for it. That’s why it’s considered a classic today; much more so than any truly amazing quality of the film itself.

Ultimately, Jaws is not the unstoppable film behemoth it’s purported to be. But it’s decent enough to watch once or twice. It’s a fun film. I’m feeling generous today, so I’ll give it a score of…

Verdict: Good




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