Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Juno may be more of a teen movie than a chick flick but either way it is well written, deftly performed and directed with energy and warmth. Ellen Page excels as the know it all teen who becomes pregnant and wants to give her baby up for adoption. She brings a razor sharp intelligence and wit to her characterization of the title teenager. All of the characters come across as slightly realistic including Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman as adoptive parents and Michael Cera as the quietly stable teen that happens to be the father of the child. Mildly quirky, Juno is more an exaggerated slice of life than an after school special. Good stuff.
The most stereotypical of the chick flicks I saw is The Jane Austen Bookclub. An ensemble piece with seasoned veteran actresses like Maria Bello, Amy Brenneman and Kathy Baker, the story follows a book reading group who are inspired by and live in parallel ways to Jane Austen's novels. They laugh, they love, they cry, they hug. Bookclub can't be faulted, it plays it safe and hits all of its marks. But it doesn't do much more than that either.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
While I can't say I agree with everything Sammy Hagar does or believes in as a person, I am convinced that his music has important life lessons that can lead to a happy life. I covered many of them on a previous post and with a new album on the horizon Sam has yet more wisdom to impart on us. "Cosmic Universal Fashion" from the album of the same name is a sequel to the classic Van Halen video Right Now in which Hagar comments on the state of the world today. Teach us, oh great one!
The Beatles are bigger than Sammy Hagar - Two items have popped up about the Fab Four, the first being Paul McCartney talking about releasing a 14 minute lost Beatles song. The song called "Carnival of Light" sounds like it will be one of those Brian Wilson sort of sound collages. It will be interesting if it sees the light of day. In other Beatles news, the Vatican has forgiven John Lennon for his famous remark of being more popular than Jesus. The comment is now taken as a "boast".
Free Axl! - Guns N Roses' Chinese Democracy is released today. After a decade plus of recording the world will finally hear these songs. I haven't heard it yet, but I still say its an album better heard about than actually heard. No way it can live up to the weight of expectations and hype. Because to do that, it would have to be the greatest album made by anyone anytime ever.
Hella Good - No Doubt is regrouping for recording and touring, good news for fun loving ska music lovers everywhere.
It Doesn't Suck? - Twilight is the #1 movie out right now in terms of ticket sales. I still can't stand the commercial.
Pieces of Me - In other star struck irrelevant celebrity news that I read as often as possible, Ashlee Simpson and Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz has had a baby named Bronx Mowgli. I could be wrong, isn't Mowgli the name of those creatures that turn into Gremlins?
So Predictable it's Uncanny - The X-Men franchise is going for the younger actors approach (read - cheaper) that was pointed to with the last X Men movie. They've brought in the guy who made Gossip Girl and one of my favorite shows, Chuck, to put it together. I love watching Chuck yet smell a Batman and Robin coming on here.
Working for the Boss - Bruce Springsteen announced a track listing for his upcoming January CD and his new song "Working On A Dream" is hitting radio. As is his talent, Springsteen manages to capture a moment in song. To hear it, click here.
Extreme Hoax - Tonight's WWE Survivor Series includes a story line that wrestler Jeff Hardy was found unconscious at the bottom of a stairwell in his hotel this morning. I don't know how the story was presented on WWE.Com where the story originated, but it seemed to catch on with the rest of the media as factual. While wrestling continuously blurs the line between fantasy and reality, I hope this trend doesn't continue or it might cause a "cry wolf" effect when real events happen.
WWE Survivor Series - Not just a title this year, the long running PPV has the traditional team vs team format back. Tonight's PPV was a solid effort for me, here's what I recall-
- Team HBK (Shawn Michaels, The Great Khali, Rey Mysterio, Cryme Time) vs Team JBL (JBL, Miz and Morrison, Kane and MVP)- An effective match and decent opener to the PPV with a lot of running and jumping courtesy of Mysterio. Team HBK gets the win.
- Smackdown Divas vs Raw Divas- I missed some of this match, it looked like fairly typical Divas stuff. The only parts that stood out to me were the pop Mickie James got on her entrance and the fun of watching Natalya apply the Sharpshooter on Candice Michelle. The Beth Phoenix team won, I don't know what team that is.
- Undertaker vs Big Show in a Casket Match - Heavily hyped and slowly paced, this match mainly consisted of lumbering moves that seemed to take forever. A normal thing for a "Big Guy" match to go slow but this one just seemed leaden. Even the part where Taker leg drops Show through a table didn't quite have the impact it should have. What's the new catch phrase out there? Meh.
- Team Orton (Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, William Regal, Mark Henry and Shelton Benjamin) vs Team Batista (Batista, Matt Hardy, Kofi Kingston, CM Punk, R-Truth). The pace picks up again with another solid Survivor Series classic style match. Didn't see all of this one and didn't notice any real highlights, but nothing bad either.
- Triple HHH vs Vladmir Koslov for the WWE Championship - A pretty good match up, the two power houses actually focused on a mat wrestling style for most of it. This seemed to draw some "boring" chants but I liked it. Edge came back and was brought out at the end courtesy of Vicki Guerrero to be the third member of the Triple Threat match. Jeff Hardy's run in inadvertently helps Edge score the championship. To my surprise, Edge looked a little pudgy. I guess whatever Hell the Undertaker banished Edge to had a McDonalds. The extra weight didn't stop Edge from laying a killer spear on The Game.
- John Cena vs Chris Jericho for the World Heavyweight Championship - Cena's return to wrestling following major neck surgery. Like a lot of superstars returning from this type of injury, the match was the story of the neck. Jericho focused his attack on the neck, Cena sold the neck and babied it throughout the match as commentators hyped it to the point I was convinced a neck breaker might cause Cena's head to snap off the rest of his body. Cena did look rusty out there and a touch lost but one of his strengths is his ability to show emotion to the crowd. Bonus points to Jericho for sounding really concerned after kicking Cena in the head. He audibly yelled "Check him!" to the ref as Cena was left lying on the ground. It was predictable, but Cena got the win for the championship. He went into the audience to hug his family, but he looked dazed and I think he might have left a little boy hanging for a high five right in front of him. It was messy, but otherwise Cena is back on the Chaingang.
Sammy Hagar - Cosmic Universal Fashion
Friday, November 21, 2008
Sometimes a mood just strikes me to listen to a certain artist. About mid week I just felt like listening to some KISS. So I put a KISS Cd in my car and listened to their rocking jams with zeal. Though they were more famous in the '70's and I originally wanted to hear a lot of Detroit Rock City, I found I really wanted to hear the 80's stuff. I know, I know...what a surprise.
KISS was one of the most dominant bands in the '70's, they turned rock music into a theatrical carny smorgasbord. Flame throwing demons, sensitive cats, space aces and star childs gave millions a dream to aspire to. And Rock and Roll still had some rebel cred left, enough to have the mainstream culture brand them as Satanists (Knights In Satan's Service was the popular supposed acronym). While I was aware of KISS at that time, I wasn't really a fan of them or any other rock band. So other than KISS meets the Phantom (I think that's what the TV special was called) and Rock and Roll All Nite I didn't think much of them at all.
It wasn't until the make up came off in 1983 that I found KISS songs I liked whole heartedly. Removing the make up was a big deal because without the kabuki face paint and ornate costumes they seemed so ordinary. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley's mugs definitely looked fancier with the make up and it seemed like they had made a mistake. Their long guarded mystique was gone. And yet that was when I finally heard a song by KISS that I flat out loved. Their first make up free video, "Lick It Up". The strutting energy of that tune is awesome and the song was nice and dirty even without any sexual connotation (back then I thought the song was about licking the ground). Is it me or without makeup do they look more like street walkers than the women in the clip?
With no distractions, KISS's music was pushed to the forefront and revealed what a nasty little band they were. Meanwhile, some of my friends got into KISS and reveled in the sounds of their Animalize album. Copying the tape gave me the next KISS song that kicked ass, "Heavens On Fire". I've been cranking that gem up all week long. Also I have warm memories from reminiscing about my friends being pissed that the local radio station wouldn't play "Burn B*tch Burn" at their request. They thought the radio station were wusses for not putting that song on and went on about it for weeks. You just don't live in reality if you think a radio station is going to play that one. At least back then, now it would probably be tame enough for a fast food commercial.
I lost track of KISS again after that though I recall hearing Crazy Crazy Nights a bit. The next song to catch my ear was the power ballad "Forever". A quintessential flick your bic lighter ballad, KISS got all sensitive courtesy of Michael Bolton himself. As much as I would like to bash on Bolton, I can't bash on this song. For-Ev-Ahhh!
Though I'm not religious, I thought "God Gave Rock and Roll To You Pt. II" from the Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey movie was outstanding. Epic and cheesy in all the right ways as the hair band era drew to a close. Also a little amusing when you think about how much they've been accused of devil worship that they would do a song like this. Not that it's an incredibly religious song or anything, but still its a little ironic. A few years later KISS would bring back the original members and the classic face paint resulting in a huge reunion tour that went on for...I think it kinda still goes on even though Peter Criss and Ace Frehley aren't there again.
The last jam of KISS to blow my mind was a song I hadn't heard until last year even though it was released in 1982. It was from the last record to have the make up, "I Love It Loud". A muscular rock anthem, the song emphasizes the powerful drumming of the late, great Eric Carr. Carr was a dynamic and fluid drummer who sadly passed away at just 41 years old. He died the same day Freddie Mercury of Queen passed on, November 24, 1991. In the case of both, it was a great loss to music.
Even though they have good songs from their hey day, I guess I think more of KISS' visual style and showmanship from their swingin' 70's period. Once the make up went back on in the 90's I found I felt the same way again effectively closing the door for me on the part of their career I enjoyed the most. While I was never a die hard fan (I think Animalize was the only music I had of theirs until the 90's), KISS has given me enough great hard rock moments to make me want to shout it out loud!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
And so the hype begins. The second Star Trek XI trailer is out and probably like many Trek fans I can't get enough of it. Moment to moment you see J.J. Abrams rewrite the lore of the original tv characters with a Tom Cruiseish Captain Kirk, a violent Mr Spock, phaser beams galore and monsters. Legions of articles on the internet are dissecting the trailer down to the second to figure out what it all means. It all points to a movie bent on delivering excitement on an interplanetary scale while also possibly jettisoning the sentimental Gene Roddenberryisms about the advancement of mankind. In other words, it is shaping up to be a fresh 21st Century look at the 23rd Century. No time for sentiment, just action, action, action.
Too soon to tell if Star Trek XI will turn out to be a great film. The only part of the trailer I took exception to was the very beginning of it where a kid version of James Kirk drives what looks like a Corvette off a cliff for no apparent reason. It just reeks of Phantom Menace to me. If the kid Kirk starts yelling "Now that's what I call Podracing!" or "That's Wizard!" I'm going to be one unhappy camper. Otherwise the trailer looked like fun.
Now that the hype has started we have to wait until May of '09 to see this thing. Does Abrams have the goods or is it all a bluff? As a Vulcan scientist once said, there are always...possibilities...
Star Trek XI trailer
Monday, November 17, 2008
A song I got into early on when I started listening to a lot of music is "So You Ran" by Orion the Hunter. The band was sold as a continuation of Boston (which at that point I hadn't consciously heard them) and I was hooked on this jam of big harmony vocals and slick guitar playing. I ran out to the Mall and bought the record so I can enjoy 40 minutes of this stuff. It led to me eventually buying Boston tapes and becoming a huge fan.
A side note about my early fandom of Boston, before buying the record I saw one of the song titles was "Foreplay / Long Time". I was convinced that it would be a song about sex and that I would be busted by my parents for buying a tape with this song. That didn't stop me from getting the record though it was with a bit of relief and disappointment that I found out the songs had absolutely nothing to do with sex after I played it. Just seemed more Rock & Roll if it had been. At least the song "Smokin" was prominently featured in an anti drug movie I had to watch in high school. That's dangerous. Right?
Another aside, if curent statistics are to be believed the popularity of the Mall is declining. Growing up, the Mall was a central place for teenage life. The ultimate expression of consumerism and hanging out plus they usually had an arcade so it was the happening place to be. I wonder where the kids go now?
Looking back, Orion the Hunter was an interesting mix of people. Barry Goudreau was definitely the selling point as the former guitarist from Boston doing a cut rate version of Tom Scholz sound. On drums was Michael Derosier the former drummer of Heart. And on vocals was Fran Cosmo, a guy with a pimped out name and higher voice than Boston's Brad Delp. Cosmo would eventually join Boston for that band's fourth album, Walk On.
"So You Ran" was not a large hit and I couldn't explain to a lot of people who this band was back then. For my part of the world, it was a song that didn't seem to exist except for my record player. I was OK with that though, at least it meant I couldn't get sick of hearing it.
I would play the record often and think "What a great record, what a lame band name". Orion the Hunter? I'd say Goudreau couldn't come up with a lamer name, but then he named a later band RTZ (it stands for Return To Zero). Goudreau can do a lot of things, but please keep him away from naming bands in the future. Anyway, here's Goudreau and Co. performing their lone minor hit, "So You Ran".
Orion the Hunter "So You Ran"
Sunday, November 16, 2008
One of the great films of the '80's, The Karate Kid (1984), has been a long time favorite flick of mine. Directed by John G Alvidsen, the movie took Rocky and put it in the teen years. When I saw this movie in the theater, the audience erupted as Ralph Macchio crane kicked William Zabka for the championship. Now a new generation is being exposed to the greatness of this classic motivational movie.
Ooh La La - Rumors are going around the media that The Faces are considering a reunion. Hopefully it will happen, my wife is a big fan.
What will happen to Bubbles? - Michael Jackson sold off his theme park home, the Neverland Ranch.
Watcher of the Skies - Genesis is still kicking around the idea of a Peter Gabriel / Steve Hackett version reunion. As impressive as it would be to have this version roll out, I wonder how big an audience is out there waiting for it to happen. There are definitely fans out there but while the Gabriel era gets more respect it was the Phil Collins era that sold records.
Glory Days - Bruce Springsteen will debut part of his new song "Working on a Dream" during a Sunday Night Football game tonight. The Boss is on a roll!
In Spite Of His Rage He Is Still Just A Rat In A Cage - the new Smashing Pumpkins tour is said to be dissolving into trash talk between Billy Corgan and the audience. Corgan is always an innovator, searching for new ways to self destruct.
Perfect Crime - The dude who illegally distributed the new Guns N Roses songs pleaded guilty in court. Another guy in court pleading no contest is ex-drummer Steven Adler for possession of heroin. The drug addled Adler hopes to reunite with Guns N Roses in the future. This poor guy gets sadder and sadder by the second.
Joey, Have You Ever Been To A Turkish Prison? - The city of Batman, Turkey is suing the makers of The Dark Knight for usage of the name Batman. Batman's Mayor charges that his city's high crime and suicide rate is caused by, well, Batman. Sooo...apparently Turkey must have just found out about Batman after what 70 years? Decades of comic books, a TV series and six movies just got by them. And they must not have seen or read Batman because otherwise they would know he does the opposite, he fights crime. If this stupid lawsuit works, I'm going to sue that Mikey kid from the Life cereal commercials. Do you know how many times I had to hear "He like's it, hey Mikey!" or "Give it to Mikey, Mikey will eat anything" growing up? Cereal eatin' jerk.
The Stroke - (s), The Strokes are planning to get back together next year. Can they get back that early magic of shambolic indie rock?
Goin' Rogue in Widescreen - What's the deal with these movie commercials being shown in letterbox with the title on the top? Commercials for a lot of movies are doing this now, it's really annoying. The latest in this trend is the commercial for the upcoming Vampire flick Twilight. With the letterboxing going on it draws extra attention to the title and date but makes me less involved with what they're showing. The movie being advertised loses credibility to me because they don't have enough faith that people will watch the commerical to the end to find out what movie it is. Because of this, everytime Twilight's ad comes on and the girl says "I know what you are" and he says "Say it" I say "Someone who needs acting lessons because this scene seems really cheesy." I saw a full screen commercial on You Tube and didn't have that reaction. Bring back the old full screen commercials!
Passings - Author Michael Crichton passed away at the age of 66 after an esteemed career writing books like The Andromeda Strain and Jurrasic Park. The last of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, drummer Mitch Mitchell, passed on as well at age 61.
Wax On, Wax Off - 80's movie classic The Karate Kid is picking up visibility again. First, WWE Wrestler Funaki has repackaged his gimmick to be Kung Fu Naki. Funaki now wears a white gi and headband reminiscent of Ralph Macchio's get up while using the famous Crane Kick for a finishing move. Then Will Smith's son Jaden is said to be lined up for a remake of the film. A missed opportunity here, I think Karate Kid 4 should have Macchio and William Zabka start fighting again as adults. Wait, that sorta happened. See the video below.
No More Kings "Sweep The Leg"
Saturday, November 15, 2008
During the 90's, I noticed as Country music became increasingly popular with Garth Brooks, line dancing, boot scoot boogieing and what not that the music was taking on a more mainstream pop / rock sound as well. It seemed like Country music was moving out of the, uh, country and into the suburbs. This actually made the music more listenable to me as mainstream rock all but disappeared and stayed gone until recently where's it's come back as a sort of teen pop vehicle. I've found the occasional Country song enjoyable and even found I liked bluegrass artist Alison Krauss because of that song The Lucky One. This is just my personal taste, I'm not into hardcore Country where it gets either super slow and twangy or kicks into that hyperactive two step beat. My cousin, who likes Country quite a bit, was nice enough to give me some CDs to check out in the Modern Country vein. So I'm going to write my impression of these artists, which should be fun because I don't have as much knowledge or context about these people so it's new to me.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Would Ralph Macchio and Tamilyn Tomita have found love without the help of Cetera? Probably, but it sounded better when backed by one of the greatest ballads of the decade. Released ahead of the album to fit in with the timing of the Karate Kid sequel, the song continued the Cetera / David Foster awesomeness that started with Chicago 16 and 17. It so closely resembled the other love songs they had done, most people weren't aware it wasn't Chicago. The whole "I am a man who will fight for your honor" bit was incredibly memorable. The classic video mixed movie scenes, rice paper walls and super close ups of Peter Cetera's hands. While watching the video you'll see a lot more of Cetera's chin juttin' singing, the result of a beat down he received at Dodger Stadium for being a rock and roll Cubs fan. The song shot to #1 on the charts, Cetera's first solo hit.
Lots of songs about being caught in situations on this album, the ladies in "Big Mistake" don't find out the bad news until the next morning. In "Queen of the Masquerade Ball" the woman is a coffee achiever who hides her loneliness because, uh, that's just what she does. I imagine Cetera himself probably felt a bit in flux having just been booted/leaving Chicago. As they say in Star Trek V, "Everyone has a secret pain." Or maybe a public pain since this was big music news back then. When Chicago 18 and Peter Cetera went head to head, Cetera came out on top with two #1 hits and a Platinum record. What was this song about again? And I never got the lyric about "Mohair shoes". It's the 80's dude, sing about loafers or what Bo Knows or something.
5. Daddy's Girl
Oh, the magic of Three Men and a Baby. With fathers like Ted Danson, Tom Selleck and Steve Guttenberg involved how can anything go wrong? Cetera liked to write songs about his kids apparently because he did the same thing on the next album One More Story. It's one of the best songs on the album with its bubbly synths and bouyant melody. With a precious song like this, I bet he had some serious empty nest syndrome when his kid moved out which probably happened by now.
6. The Next Time I Fall
King Pete scored another #1 smash with this duet, the second single. Being out of Chicago meant he didn't have to whisper sweet nothings with another dude a 'la Hard Habit To Break and Christian pop singer Amy Grant was definitely better looking than Bill Champlin. A breakthru for Grant who was able to parlay the exposure to a successful Pop career. Cetera got into a special club having a number one single as a solo artist, with a group and now as a duet. This might be one of those duets where the two singers recorded in different studios without meeting. Grant once said when she met Cetera, she said something to the effect of thanking him for the years of hit songs which inadvertently pointed out their age difference. Careerwise, everybody's a winner here. Except those dancers in the video, what the hell is going on there?
7. Wake Up To Love
After all these sad songs there had to be another upbeat moment so this slight ditty does the trick. This jam makes me want to hit that dance floor and do the Cetera dance as seen here. (It's all about the shoulder action). I like that this is one of those type of songs you hear in a tv movie where people dance like its the best thing ever when in reality no one would think of dancin' to this bland cut.
8. Solitude / Solitaire
Finally Cetera tackles his situation directly and nothing says "on your own" like this song title. Has a real "movie soundtrack" feel to this track like the song that plays for 20 seconds in the background of a scene yet shows up as a full cut on the soundtrack release. Then you think, "I don't remember this song in the movie" and yet there it is. Like Peter Cetera's No Explanations on the Pretty Woman soundtrack. I have no idea where that song plays in the movie but there it is uncut on the soundtrack. One of the catchier songs that has stuck in my mind, I think of this one sometimes when doing something on my own. A nice feeling of independence on this track.
9. Only Love Knows Why
Another broken heart for Pete, this guy gets sad when he's in chasing love and he's sad when he gets dumped. Just no pleasing him. After 8 songs of either being infatuated or being told to hit the bricks, Cetera just throws his giant sized hands in the air and says "Only Love Knows Why". A nice ballad and the fourth single from this fine record. On ballads, Cetera's voice has a certain nobleness to it that comes off well.
Peter Cetera went on to record more solo albums, the follow up One More Story (1988) was the best of the bunch as he took on some Steve Winwoodisms to deliver snazzy adult contemporary pop. David Foster and Cetera would work on occassion together as well but would not recapture the heights of "Glory of Love". Michael Omartian's slicked out synth and electric drum heavy style proved a good fit for Cetera. For me, the partnership of David Foster and Peter Cetera were one of my favorite songwriting pairings so here's a medley of Foster and Cetera.
David Foster and Peter Cetera "Medley"
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I've had some reason to think about Sacramento lately and just coincidentally Tesla has released a new album Forever More. Their new song "I Wanna Live" has the sound a lot of classic rock bands are undertaking, slapping a shiny strident modern pop rock chorus on top of their established style. As far as that goes, it's not a bad song and the video with its extreme sports positive messaging is Sacramento the way I remember it. Hot, dry and active. Rock on Tesla!
Tesla "I Wanna Live"
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sylvester Stallone / Rambo Speech
Sunday, November 09, 2008
"Family motto" is what James Bond says of the phrase and title of the 1999 adventure The World is Not Enough. Over the years, the world of James Bond has developed in various ways to change with the times. To wrap up my cluster of Bond posts, I'm going to run through my most and least favorite Bondian items. Just because it's fun.
Favorite Title Sequence - The Spy Who Loved Me is classic Maurice Binder, slo mo nude silohuettes, guns and gymnastics. Next Runner Up: You Only Live Twice has a great mix of Asian women, Japanese fan designs and volcanos. One of Maurice Binder's most facinating sequences.
Least Favorite Title Sequence - Casino Royale had a lot of great things going for it, but the title sequence wasn't one of them. Weird computer animated cut outs break apart and form together in a playing card theme. Next Runner Up: Tomorrow Never Dies is just OK with its various computer effects. Seems there is just no replacing the original as both sequences were made after Binder's passing.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
To continue the celebration of James Bond, I'm going to feature the absolute worst James Bond movie: 1985's A View to A Kill. Roger Moore's seventh and final adventure as 007. Of the Bond films made in that decade, A View to A Kill was by far the most entrenched in 80's-ness. Silicon Valley, cassette walkmen, Grace Jones - it's all in there. Like any 007 movie, there are redeeming features as the stunt man team get a serious work out here. Plus, Duran Duran at the height of their teeny bopper fame. And now...the moment you haven't been waiting for...a a review of that disaster that is A View...to a Kill!
Let's start with what I liked about A View to A Kill. The theme song was nice, like most Duran Duran songs it makes no sense but sounds great. Watching Christopher Walken and Grace Jones make a great evil pair of villians with Walken's staggered cadences and Jones' maniacal laughter that makes me want to buy Honda Scooters (do they still make those?) was fun. Growing up in the Bay Area, the fact that 2/3rds of this movie takes place in the San Francisco vicinity is pretty awesome. And the stunt man team goes above and beyond, even being on the cutting edge of extreme sports. Base jumping off the Eiffel tower and snowboarding are all featured here. Plus fancy skiing, a great car chase and fighting on top of the Golden Gate Bridge up the ante. If we stopped there we would have a great movie! But there's more...much more.
We'll start at the top of the foodchain, Roger Moore was way to freakin' old to be James Bond at this point. I don't know what his literal age was, he doesn't look a day over 60, too old to be running with young girls and convincingly intercut with stuntmen for closeups. Watching Moore make out with a twenty something blonde in a hot tub is paaiinnful to see (though probably not painful for him) at this point (I could imagine Bond saying "Watch the hair plugs darling, they're property of Her Majesty's government.") And I know he's acting, but Moore wheezing his way through action sequences seemed really authentic. I guess if he had a Jack LaLane physique his age would have been less of an issue, but he didn't. James Bond looked like a man late for his own yacht party instead of a daredevil spy.
To make matters worse, he's paired up with the worst of the Bond girls - Stacy Sutton played by Tanya Roberts. Stacy Sutton is written as a supposed former Oil company boss and geologist who has a ton of intellectual knowledge and yet manages to be as dumb as a post. At one point, she literally gets kidnapped by a blimp. A flying blimp sneaks up behind her and carries her away. Even as James Bond is yelling "Look out behind you!" a good 60 seconds before she gets snagged. Though certainly beautiful, Tanya Robert's raspy voice transforms to an ear splicing shriek in every action sequence she's involved in. "JAMES!" she screams over and over like an aural equivalent to fingernails on a chalkboard. Roberts couldn't do anything about how the character was written, but that shrieking thing? She had control over that. I have to stop for a second, I just heard her scream and I think my ear is bleeding.
With the two stars failing miserably and a generic plot in play (they stole the story from Superman and plan to sink part of California under water) there isn't much else to do. San Francisco Keystone Cops, an unconvincing change of heart by Grace Jones towards the end, flat direction by the king of flat direction John Glen lead us through boredom and exasperation as the franchise goes to hell in a handbasket. If you watch the incredible locations in the background and ignore anything in the foreground it's a pretty picture, otherwise A View to A Kill almost lives up to its title. After seeing this movie, you may not want to see another James Bond movie again. It's more diabolical than a plot by SPECTRE, fortunately it failed.
A View to A Kill trailer