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Episode 99 — A View To a Kill: LIVE

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Just a minor correction for one of the lucky few attending: The countdown timer began at 3600 "movie" seconds, which gives us a total time of roughly 60 "movie" minutes. When it displayed 1994, that meant it had just over thirty-three minutes remaining. Movie timers, of course, are dramatically faster.

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Oh boy, A View to a Kill. I don't think this is the worst Bond movie, but it's damn close. I'm a huge Bond fan, but the only Roger Moore Bond movies I have any fondness for are The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only, and the very unpopular Octopussy. I don't have much fun with the campier Bonds, but I wish I did. It was a blast hearing the HDTGM and James Bonding teams unite and take on AVTAK, though, and the highlight was clearly June's fixation on that butterfly "act." I've never really thought about it, but she's totally right about it. Loved the Monkey Shines callback, too. I'm also with Zouks on the troubling pronunciation of "St. John"; that's always driven me crazy. It's nuts that with all of the blimp talk, none of the hosts or guests mentioned that Zorin's blimp sneaks up on Stacey. I'm glad it's been brought up in this thread, because, again, A BLIMP SNEAKS UP ON HER.

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Coincidentally, I was halfway though the For Your Ears Only Podcast covering A View to A Kill when your episode was posted. I put that podcast on hold to listen to yours. It was like a threeway crossover. A menage a troicast as it were.

 

An Omission for you Paul; well, more of an addition really. I was living in San Francisco when AVTAK was being filmed (yes, I'm old, but not as old as Roger Moore in AVTAK). After the exterior scenes of City Hall burning were filmed our local CBS affiliate KPIX teased their upcoming newscast with anchor Dave McElhatton seriously intoning to the camera, "City Hall in flames. Details at 11." Journalistic integrity at its finest.

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The thing about this particular Bond Villain who will fall to his death from a great height, as so many super villains must, is that he will laugh and enjoy the experience, relish the sensation of plummeting through space toward his violent destruction, because (we are told) he is a psychopath.

 

His psychopathic nature is not earned in the first 90 minutes of the film by specific actions. He does not demonstrate a lack of empathy for fellow beings. He does not drown kittens, nor does he rape women. Instead we are left to trust James Bond's diagnosis that he is a psychopath because this villain has a weird and sinister face (he is a young Christopher Walken after all). Maybe it's his disturbingly peroxided hair color that is enough for us to judge his personality by, since a Bad Guy devising elaborately inefficient methods of murdering enemies is typical Bad Guy behavior and no proof at all of a dangerous mental disorder. Maybe he is a psychopath because he doesn't seem to mind when James Bond fucks his girlfriend, the stunning Grace Jones playing the role of master assassin, May Day.

 

For evidence that the villain really is a psychopath we will have to wait until the climax of the movie when he makes up for lost time by personally murdering hundreds upon hundreds of his loyal henchmen with dynamite, drowning and machine gun. Bonus psycho points for entombing these victims deep underground, down in his company's own mine. Corporate chiefs in the mining industry do make believable psychos. The mine shaft is supposed to be an oil well now that I think about it, but it looks more like a mine, and it will have to do as the setting for this major action sequence because this Bond villain doesn't have any other secret base. No mountain base, no under sea base.

 

He does conduct a lot of business on his corporate blimp though.

 

Killing all of your henchmen along with your underutilized female assassin squad, here is sufficient proof that we have an extremely psychopathic Bond Villain. The sane Bond Villains just plan to murder innocents by the thousands, but this one chuckles behind the trigger and slaughters his own men for no reason. Perhaps he is acting as a hyper rational CEO, thinking of the savings down the road on pension costs.

 

If this failure of a James Bond movie has anything going for it, then it is the theme song, Duran Duran's "A View to a Kill." A triumphant 80's classic, with sultry lyrics like: "Could it be? The whole world opening wide! A sacred whine, a mystery gaping inside." Horny! Please tell me more about dancing and fire Mr Le Bon.

 

Le Bon. Simon Le Bon.

 

If they had given the lead singer of Duran Duran the title role of A View to a Kill and done some rewriting to make the aging British spy into a younger British pop singer we might have had ourselves an interesting picture. Keep in the extreme Siberian ski chase and the accidental invention of snow boarding. Keep in the remote control steroids and the rigged steeple chase; and keep in the muted themes of Nazi eugenics. (On second thought, lets unmute those themes and let the weird racial breeding subtexts of the movie run wild. ) Definitely keep Christopher Walken and Grace Jones, but this time devote more of the script to exploring their obviously complex relationship. How does he really feel when she fucks James Bond for reasons that are completely arbitrary and unclear? Let's see this power couple work out their tensions in the light of the day after the betrayal. I bet they fight like fucking tigers and then fuck like frickin' rabbits.

 

Why can't we see that movie?

 

Sadly, in this life we don't get the 80's cinema we wish got made, (Aykroyd's original Ghost Busters script please!) we live in the real world, where in the mid 80's the Bond movie was almost as worn out and tired as both the Cold War and old man Roger Moore.

 

Somewhere along the meandering path of this movie, Bond is undercover at a fancy party for the One-Percent. Double-Oh-Seven sees the young blonde that he really wants to stick it in, standing off by herself. He chats her up, but for some reason she doesn't find his creepy innuendo charming, even though he cleverly used his opening line to suggest that she might be a prostitute: "Well are you buying or selling?" Get it? The party is all about buying and selling race horses, but also James wants to know if she will have sex with him for money.

 

That's not the only horse-related word play. Take this exchange with a skinny young henchwoman, Jenny Flex, who seems to have been cut from the rest of the movie despite the inclusion of the following banter:

 

James Bond: "Well my dear, I take it you spend quite a lot of time in the saddle."

Jenny Flex: "Yes, I love an early morning ride."

James Bond: "Well I'm an early riser my self."

 

Boner jokes. Classy.

 

So Bond is chatting up the blonde, who will eventually become the movie's leading lady, when May Day (Grace Jones) with her hair styled to look like either pointy horse ears or demon horns, is sent over by Christopher Walken to cock block James Bond.

 

Stepping into the path of his boner, May Day says to Bond: "Some one will take care of you." To which Bond replies, ""Oh, you'll see to that personally will you?" A little rapey, but May Day sort of accidentally on purpose ends up in bed with Bond that night and they make weird sex happen together.

 

Christopher Walken as the psycho Zorin asks James the morning after: "You slept well?" To which Bond answers, "A little restless, but I got off eventually."

 

There are many, many moments where this movie looses its way, but I want to argue that this moment is the biggest loss of them all. Here is the blooming of a cinematic love triangle that could have rivaled Casablanca. Old Roger Moore, Young Christopher Walken, and Grace Jones in her physical prime. Once the plot began to sink its teeth into this trio and their tensions I cannot say why, other than cowardice or attention deficit disorder, why did they ever let it go?

 

The possibilities for greatness are staggering: Is Bond serious about this love affair with such a strong and aggressive woman? Can he even handle a woman who fights back? Is May Day playing Bond, and will she end up murdering him while mounted on top of his aging frame? Is she toying with him like a cat playing with a mouse or is it vise versa? Maybe Zorin is just playing at being a detached psycho because he really is falling for this one-of-a-kind woman, even though his one-percenter friends don't approve. Maybe Bond and May Day begin the affair just playing, but as they are thrown together in their opposing roles in the espionage game they find that they can't keep their hands off one another, even though when they are not groping they are grappling. Maybe she will accidentally on purpose kill the old man with her vagina? Maybe Mr. Zorin really has the secret hots for James Bond so he throws his assasin/lover at him, and then, since Zorin can't face the boner in his closet for 007 he'd rather murder his lover and his crush in the same diabolical mine shaft cave in.

 

There are options, but the film makers partake in few to none of them. Instead they abandon the love triangle entirely and end up with a completely different movie, with a different woman, and this other movie is a whole lot less interesting. Something about microchips and a firetruck chase through San Francisco that probably amused the 80's audience, but grown ups in the future have seen every type of vehicle chase every other type of vehicle through every city. Inter-racial love triangles with the fate of the world in the balance would have been better.

 

The love triangle does come back near the end, when May Day learns the inevitable lesson that psycho super villains will always break your heart, but this all comes about an hour too late to matter. Imagine how much harder the existing dialogue would have landed if they had just taken my advice:

 

May Day: "And I thought that creep loved me."

 

Bond: "You're not the only one he double crossed."

 

 

Here is a movie that fails to thrive because it can't figure out who the Bond girl is. The obvious choice is Grace Jones. But the film chickens out and gives us more than one basic blonde instead.

 

One blonde is so unremarkable that A View to a Kill just switches to another, a Russian ballerina turned K.G.B. agent, who is the Bond girl of the moment for about 15 minutes before James switches back to the other one.

 

How many times had Roger Moore played Bond at this stage of the franchise? Answer: A lot. He is still handsome and rugged enough at 58, but his distinguished charm and chiseled good looks work better in a well tailored suit and less so in a steaming hot jacuzzi, where his old man flesh is saggy, pink and sweaty.

 

Maybe the film makers couldn't figure out what to do with this Bond story because the Evil Empire was deflating faster than their leading man in a hot tub. "Detente can be beautiful," the lovers joke, but then add: "This is no time to be discussing politics."

 

Another batch of ideas that almost make up enough of a skeleton to hang the plot of a Bond movie on is the whole Nazi eugenics and its links to race horse breeding, experimental remote control steroids, and black people.

 

If there is a fine candidate for fan fiction from the Bond-verse then Grace Jone's May Day is maybe the finest. Let's imagine her as the central hero with the story rewritten around her. She possesses superior strength and fighting skills. She base jumps off the Eiffel tower and lands on speeding speed boats on the Seine. She is the horse whisperer, but instead of whispering to horses she just commands them to obey her and they do obey because she is extremely fucking powerful.

 

Instead the vaguely racist script (I'll put my finger on it someday, but A View to a Kill on its surface is not as blatantly a racist 80's movie as Gremlins or Star Wars) sort of flirts around the edges of what is separating good and evil. I'd like to think that there was a much better, much more blatantly racist screen play that stuck with the race horse race baiting before it got dumbed down in the rewrites and we ended up with blimps and microchips.

 

I know that this movie is a little bit super racist because in addition to leading the audience to think of Grace Jones as an animal with the strength and grace of a thorough bred horse there's also the following:

 

Bond is discussing eugenics with an elderly Nazi scientist at a party, while in the background there is a broad shouldered black man filling out a tuxedo and flirting with two white women.

 

Keep in mind, there are no other black men in the movie until we get to an extra or two in a crowd scene outside San Francisco City Hall over an hour later.

 

Here is a black man in a tux at a fancy party talking to two pretty white women in a movie that is kinda about steroids and the following dialogue is spoken:

 

James Bond: "Tell me, are you a doctor of medicine?"

 

Nazi Dr.: "No, no, no. I am Mr. Zorin's breeding consultant."

 

"Oh really, then you can let me in on a little secret. How is it that you succeed in breeding bloodlines that other experts consider inferior?"

 

"Ah, selective breeding is important, yah. But more important is conditioning and desire."

 

"Are you talking about people or horses?"

 

"Oh, haha. My principals apply equally to human beings."

 

It's hard for me to figure out exactly what the film makers are getting at with this juxtaposition. One has to wonder if they had any idea themselves.

 

 

 

Possible themes of A View to a Kill the 80's Bond movie that lost its way:

  • Microchips are important and so is Silicone Valley. Rogue K.G.B. agents are coming for you, computer nerds.
  • African American women are really strong (like super hero strong) and they still have working vaginas.
  • Psycho Pimps hold business meetings aboard their corporate blimps.
  • 80's Action Movies signal not to take them seriously when their heros invent snow boarding and the sound track switches to the Beach Boys (which every nerd can tell you, is not surf music).
  • It's completely normal for everyone in the spy game who is male to be over 50 and every woman to be 26.
  • Are you a spy? If so, always check to see if Grace Jones is hiding in the backseat with a garret when you enter a vehicle.
  • When in doubt, a handy trick is to get James Bond trapped in a shaft again and again. Mine shafts. Elevator shafts. Underwater shafts. Any shaft will do.
  • 007's License to Kill must be a big deal, not because he is allowed to get away with murdering regular people, but because he has a license to kill other rich people.
  • Chinese Americans make for good non threatening, disposable side kicks.
  • The radio deejays in Mountain View, California offer you "smooth sounds to soothe those computer blues."
  • You can escape the consequences of a catastrophic mega quake by taking to the air in your personal zeppelin where you will have a one of a kind view to the killing of millions, but it's tacky to brag about it.

 

So this Bond movie opens as all Bond movies must with an innovative action chase scene. A View to a Kill has old Roger Moore on a pair of skis, cutting through untracked Siberian powder, extreme skiing like a pro with the Russians S-turning hot on his tail. Then James Bond kills a helicopter with a flair gun. And then he invents snow boarding. And then he gets away and locates his partner in a secret spy submarine disguised as an iceberg (that looks a lot like a giant cock.) Of course his partner on this mission is a hot blonde, and she must have been blasting the heat in that submarine when James was out battling the Russians, because her parka is unzipped down to her navel and she's not wearing a bra.

 

Of course they get right to humping because this is a Bond movie that can't keep its boner in its ski pants for longer than 10 minutes.

 

As June Diane Raphael said on the internet, here is a man with a problem. Clearly old James is running from something more dark and sinister than Russian agents on skis and snow mobiles, and all of the booze and pussy in the world can't keep whatever it is at bay forever.

 

Eventually it's going to catch up with him.

 

Although, since James Bond gets to live in multiple bodies, spanning multiple decades, then maybe he is different from other men hiding from their demons. Maybe they never will catch him. Pussy and Booze for all eternity.

 

Anyway. If only this movie had remained inside of the iceberg penis submarine as it sliced through arctic waters on a five day voyage to the northern tip of Alaska, with this incarnation of James Bond on the verge of retirement and this nameless blonde conquest is his arms. Let's dawdle and dwell inside the steamy sub and their victory fuck party (she calls him "Commander"). What do Bond and this young agent talk about in the nude, between bone sessions, as they cool their swollen genitalia and sip their chilled cocktails. Do they discuss where this nice girl will be while James is off making the rest of this dumb movie? What do James Bond and this specific sex partner do about birth control? Or maybe this time is the right time to start a family? Alas, these are not scenes the screen writers were ever paid to imagine into being. Alas.

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Question: (Possible Omission) A View to A Kill (1985) came out the same year as Back to the Future (1985), who made the better invention, James Bond inventing snowboarding or Marty McFly inventing skateboarding in 1955?

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Great episode guys, one of the best yet!

 

A few details I noticed:

 

In the scene where Zorin is celebrating his win at the horse race, the extra standing behind him goes in for a handshake and is totally left hanging.

 

During the Eiffel Tower stair-chase sequence, the filmmakers reuse the shot of Bond firing his gun when he’s on different floors.

 

Finally, how did you not mention all of the terrible rear projection effects? I know that a lot of the Bond films use this effect, but the fact that elderly Roger Moore didn’t do any of his stunts makes its cheesiness stand out that much more.

 

Keep up the great work! :)

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OMISSION - During the blimp talk, they didn't mention the funniest blimp-related thing, and possibly the funniest thing overall in the movie, which is that while Tanya Roberts is happily watching after Bond escapes from the mine, the blimp SNEAKS UP ON HER and they grab her and take her up into the air.

 

 

Thank you! That was my favorite part of this entire movie. Tanya gets scooped up by a blimp like a golf ball from a fairway. In the runup, when we see the blimp coming, it's completely silent, and once it has her it's about as noisy as a helicopter. We are either to believe: A: Tanya Roberts is so useless she can't hear this blimp coming, or B: Zorin has some kind of silencing function on his blimps just so that he can sneak up and people and kidnap them. I'm leaning more towards B.

 

Also, my Bond girl name: Roxy Glitterpoon

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My mind was blown that Jason or Paul didn't make fun of this part during the interminable horse stable scenes:

 

In Zorin's basement, Bond throws that obese henchman into a packaging machine to kill him. The plunger comes down to put the lid on the henchman SO SLOWLY. Instead of a lethal force, it comes down to gently massage him.

 

Also, can plungers suction onto wood?

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1.) Mayday incapacitates the real butterfly fisherman with a single karate chop to the chest. Now the guy doesn't yell "Hey, I'm being attacked!" or otherwise call out for help. Since this was a blow to the chest and not to the head (which could've understandably knocked the fisherman unconscious and rendered him unable to speak), I can't help but think that Mayday's karate chop caused the fisherman's heart to explode and killed him instantly. That's quite a chop!

 

2.) I would love the job at MI-6 where you have to record fake decoy conversations between spies such as the one on the tape recorder Bond and Sir Tibbett use when they discover Bond's room at Zorin's estate is bugged. Do you think their recorded conversation was scripted or improvised? I would love to be either the guy at MI-6 who has to write these fake conversations or the producer in the recording studio who has to smother giggling whenever Bond and Tibbett's inprov takes an amusing turn. What do you think they talked about? How long was the conversation? Does Bond have a backup tape with a different discussion in case he has to have another conversation in a bugged room? I must know more about these tapes.

 

3) Like Paul, I always thought Zorin's death was a bit underwhelming. He seems to just kinda fall off the Golden Gate Bridge. Upon closer inspection of the action, however, Bond actually pulls quite a move to get Zorin to lose his grip. Zorin, holding onto a cable, swings his ax at Bond, misses, and hits the cable Bond is holding onto. Bond grabs Zorin's ax against his cable with both hands, as if trying to steal the ax from Zorin. Zorin, not wanting to lose the ax, lets go of his cable and grabs the ax with both hands. Bond's trick worked, however, as he quickly does a leg sweep of Zorin's arms so that they release the ax.... and are now holding on to nothing. It's a cool move and interestingly choreographed, just terribly shot and directed so you barely notice it's even happening. Still, Bond's got some moves.

 

4) I want two gifs from this movie - one of James jumping into the wedding cake, and another of James falling down all of 3 feet into some mineshaft rubble (1:50:18). Both parts I had to watch multiple times and ultimately caused laughing fits.

 

100/100 A+ episode guys. Top 10 podcast eps alltime?

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Omission

 

You guys briefly mentioned the ridiculous Sharper Image window unlocker credit card thing. I remember when this movie came out that The Sharper Image was doing a cross promotional campaign with this movie selling lots of James Bond style gadgets in their stores. So, it’s not surprising to see this item pop up. But, The Sharper Image isn’t the worst product placement in the movie. That title goes to Michelin Tires.

 

Michelin Tires shows up at least three times in the movie. The first is at the gas station where Tippet gets the Rolls-Royce washed. There is a full-on shot of the Michelin man. Another is during the firetruck sequence where they pass a Michelin Tire store. However, the most egregious is the scene where Bond wakes up inside the sinking Rolls-Royce. What does he do to stay alive? He breathes air from a Michelin tire. That’s right! A Michelin Tire saves James Bond’s life. How’s that for product placement? Also, did you notice that with all the blimps in the movie none were from Goodyear? Not surprising considering Goodyear is Michelin’s main competitor!

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Also, love it when the cop broadcasts that Bond is "probably" armed and dangerous. This, from the same cop that asks "Is this your gun?" which Bond immediately reclaims with thanks. Yes. PROBABLY armed. Your movie tax dollars at work, folks.

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The thing about this particular Bond Villain who will fall to his death from a great height, as so many super villains must, is that he will laugh and enjoy the experience, relish the sensation of plummeting through space toward his violent destruction, because (we are told) he is a psychopath.

 

His psychopathic nature is not earned in the first 90 minutes of the film by specific actions. He does not demonstrate a lack of empathy for fellow beings. He does not drown kittens, nor does he rape women. Instead we are left to trust James Bond's diagnosis that he is a psychopath because this villain has a weird and sinister face (he is a young Christopher Walken after all). Maybe it's his disturbingly peroxided hair color that is enough for us to judge his personality by, since a Bad Guy devising elaborately inefficient methods of murdering enemies is typical Bad Guy behavior and no proof at all of a dangerous mental disorder. Maybe he is a psychopath because he doesn't seem to mind when James Bond fucks his girlfriend, the stunning Grace Jones playing the role of master assassin, May Day.

 

For evidence that the villain really is a psychopath we will have to wait until the climax of the movie when he makes up for lost time by personally murdering hundreds upon hundreds of his loyal henchmen with dynamite, drowning and machine gun. Bonus psycho points for entombing these victims deep underground, down in his company's own mine. Corporate chiefs in the mining industry do make believable psychos. The mine shaft is supposed to be an oil well now that I think about it, but it looks more like a mine, and it will have to do as the setting for this major action sequence because this Bond villain doesn't have any other secret base. No mountain base, no under sea base.

 

He does conduct a lot of business on his corporate blimp though.

 

Killing all of your henchmen along with your underutilized female assassin squad, here is sufficient proof that we have an extremely psychopathic Bond Villain. The sane Bond Villains just plan to murder innocents by the thousands, but this one chuckles behind the trigger and slaughters his own men for no reason. Perhaps he is acting as a hyper rational CEO, thinking of the savings down the road on pension costs.

 

If this failure of a James Bond movie has anything going for it, then it is the theme song, Duran Duran's "View to a Kill." A triumphant 80's classic, with sultry lyrics like: "Could it be? The whole world opening wide! A sacred whine, a mystery gaping inside." Horny! Please tell me more about dancing and fire Mr Le Bon.

 

Le Bon. Simon Le Bon.

 

If they had given the lead singer of Duran Duran the title role of View to a Kill and done some rewriting to make the aging British spy into a younger British pop singer we might have had ourselves an interesting picture. Keep in the extreme Siberian ski chase and the accidental invention of snow boarding. Keep in the remote control steroids and the rigged steeple chase; and keep in the muted themes of Nazi eugenics. (On second thought, lets unmute those themes and let the weird racial breeding subtexts of the movie run wild. ) Definitely keep Christopher Walken and Grace Jones, but this time devote more of the script to exploring their obviously complex relationship. How does he really feel when she fucks James Bond for reasons that are completely arbitrary and unclear? Let's see this power couple work out their tensions in the light of the day after the betrayal. I bet they fight like fucking tigers and then fuck like frickin' rabbits.

 

Why can't we see that movie?

 

Sadly, in this life we don't get the 80's cinema we wish got made, (Aykroyd's original Ghost Busters script please!) we live in the real world, where in the mid 80's the Bond movie was almost as worn out and tired as both the Cold War and old man Roger Moore.

 

Somewhere along the meandering path of this movie, Bond is undercover at a fancy party for the One-Percent. Double-Oh-Seven sees the young blonde that he really wants to stick it in, standing off by herself. He chats her up, but for some reason she doesn't find his creepy innuendo charming, even though he cleverly used his opening line to suggest that she might be a prostitute: "Well are you buying or selling?" Get it? The party is all about buying and selling race horses, but also James wants to know if she will have sex with him for money.

 

That's not the only horse-related word play. Take this exchange with a skinny young henchwoman, Jenny Flex, who seems to have been cut from the rest of the movie despite the inclusion of the following banter:

 

James Bond: "Well my dear, I take it you spend quite a lot of time in the saddle."

Jenny Flex: "Yes, I love an early morning ride."

James Bond: "Well I'm an early riser my self."

 

Boner jokes. Classy.

 

So Bond is chatting up the blonde, who will eventually become the movie's leading lady, when May Day (Grace Jones) with her hair styled to look like either pointy horse ears or demon horns, is sent over by Christopher Walken to cock block James Bond.

 

Stepping into the path of his boner, May Day says to Bond: "Some one will take care of you." To which Bond replies, ""Oh, you'll see to that personally will you?" A little rapey, but May Day sort of accidentally on purpose ends up in bed with Bond that night and they make weird sex happen together.

 

Christopher Walken as the psycho Zorin asks James the morning after: "You slept well?" To which Bond answers, "A little restless, but I got off eventually."

 

There are many, many moments where this movie looses its way, but I want to argue that this moment is the biggest loss of them all. Here is the blooming of a cinematic love triangle that could have rivaled Casablanca. Old Roger Moore, Young Christopher Walken, and Grace Jones in her physical prime. Once the plot began to sink its teeth into this trio and their tensions I cannot say why, other than cowardice or attention deficit disorder, why did they ever let it go?

 

The possibilities for greatness are staggering: Is Bond serious about this love affair with such a strong and aggressive woman? Can he even handle a woman who fights back? Is May Day playing Bond, and will she end up murdering him while mounted on top of his aging frame? Is she toying with him like a cat playing with a mouse or is it vise versa? Maybe Zorin is just playing at being a detached psycho because he really is falling for this one-of-a-kind woman, even though his one-percenter friends don't approve. Maybe Bond and May Day begin the affair just playing, but as they are thrown together in their opposing roles in the espionage game they find that they can't keep their hands off one another, even though when they are not groping they are grappling. Maybe she will accidentally on purpose kill the old man with her vagina? Maybe Mr. Zorin really has the secret hots for James Bond so he throws his assasin/lover at him, and then, since Zorin can't face the boner in his closet for 007 he'd rather murder his lover and his crush in the same diabolical mine shaft cave in.

 

There are options, but the film makers partake in few to none of them. Instead they abandon the love triangle entirely and end up with a completely different movie, with a different woman, and this other movie is a whole lot less interesting. Something about microchips and a firetruck chase through San Francisco that probably amused the 80's audience, but grown ups in the future have seen every type of vehicle chase every other type of vehicle through every city. Inter-racial love triangles with the fate of the world in the balance would have been better.

 

The love triangle does come back near the end, when May Day learns the inevitable lesson that psycho super villains will always break your heart, but this all comes about an hour too late to matter. Imagine how much harder the existing dialogue would have landed if they had just taken my advice:

 

May Day: "And I thought that creep loved me."

 

Bond: "You're not the only one he double crossed."

 

 

Here is a movie that fails to thrive because it can't figure out who the Bond girl is. The obvious choice is Grace Jones. But the film chickens out and gives us more than one basic blonde instead.

 

One blonde is so unremarkable that View to a Kill just switches to another, a Russian ballerina turned K.G.B. agent, who is the Bond girl of the moment for about 15 minutes before James switches back to the other one.

 

How many times had Roger Moore played Bond at this stage of the franchise? Answer: A lot. He is still handsome and rugged enough at 58, but his distinguished charm and chiseled good looks work better in a well tailored suit and less so in a steaming hot jacuzzi, where his old man flesh is saggy, pink and sweaty.

 

Maybe the film makers couldn't figure out what to do with this Bond story because the Evil Empire was deflating faster than their leading man in a hot tub. "Detente can be beautiful," the lovers joke, but then add: "This is no time to be discussing politics."

 

Another batch of ideas that almost make up enough of a skeleton to hang the plot of a Bond movie on is the whole Nazi eugenics and its links to race horse breeding, experimental remote control steroids, and black people.

 

If there is a fine candidate for fan fiction from the Bond-verse then Grace Jone's May Day is maybe the finest. Let's imagine her as the central hero with the story rewritten around her. She possesses superior strength and fighting skills. She base jumps off the Eiffel tower and lands on speeding speed boats on the Seine. She is the horse whisperer, but instead of whispering to horses she just commands them to obey her and they do obey because she is extremely fucking powerful.

 

Instead the vaguely racist script (I'll put my finger on it someday, but View to a Kill on its surface is not as blatantly a racist 80's movie as Gremlins or Star Wars) sort of flirts around the edges of what is separating good and evil. I'd like to think that there was a much better, much more blatantly racist screen play that stuck with the race horse race baiting before it got dumbed down in the rewrites and we ended up with blimps and microchips.

 

I know that this movie is a little bit super racist because in addition to leading the audience to think of Grace Jones as an animal with the strength and grace of a thorough bred horse there's also the following:

 

Bond is discussing eugenics with an elderly Nazi scientist at a party, while in the background there is a broad shouldered black man filling out a tuxedo and flirting with two white women.

 

Keep in mind, there are no other black men in the movie until we get to an extra or two in a crowd scene outside San Francisco City Hall over an hour later.

 

Here is a black man in a tux at a fancy party talking to two pretty white women in a movie that is kinda about steroids and the following dialogue is spoken:

 

James Bond: "Tell me, are you a doctor of medicine?"

 

Nazi Dr.: "No, no, no. I am Mr. Zorin's breeding consultant."

 

"Oh really, then you can let me in on a little secret. How is it that you succeed in breeding bloodlines that other experts consider inferior?"

 

"Ah, selective breeding is important, yah. But more important is conditioning and desire."

 

"Are you talking about people or horses?"

 

"Oh, haha. My principals apply equally to human beings."

 

It's hard for me to figure out exactly what the film makers are getting at with this juxtaposition. One has to wonder if they had any idea themselves.

 

 

 

Possible themes of View to a Kill the 80's Bond movie that lost its way:

  • Microchips are important and so is Silicone Valley. Rogue K.G.B. agents are coming for you, computer nerds.
  • African American women are really strong (like super hero strong) and they still have working vaginas.
  • Psycho Pimps hold business meetings aboard their corporate blimps.
  • 80's Action Movies signal not to take them seriously when their heros invent snow boarding and the sound track switches to the Beach Boys (which every nerd can tell you, is not surf music).
  • It's completely normal for everyone in the spy game who is male to be over 50 and every woman to be 26.
  • Are you a spy? If so, always check to see if Grace Jones is hiding in the backseat with a garret when you enter a vehicle.
  • When in doubt, a handy trick is to get James Bond trapped in a shaft again and again. Mine shafts. Elevator shafts. Underwater shafts. Any shaft will do.
  • 007's License to Kill must be a big deal, not because he is allowed to get away with murdering regular people, but because he has a license to kill other rich people.
  • Chinese Americans make for good non threatening, disposable side kicks.
  • The radio deejays in Mountain View, California offer you "smooth sounds to soothe those computer blues."
  • You can escape the consequences of a catastrophic mega quake by taking to the air in your personal zeppelin where you will have a one of a kind view to the killing of millions, but it's tacky to brag about it.

 

So this Bond movie opens as all Bond movies must with an innovative action chase scene. View to a Kill has old Roger Moore on a pair of skis, cutting through untracked Siberian powder, extreme skiing like a pro with the Russians S-turning hot on his tail. Then James Bond kills a helicopter with a flair gun. And then he invents snow boarding. And then he gets away and locates his partner in a secret spy submarine disguised as an iceberg (that looks a lot like a giant cock.) Of course his partner on this mission is a hot blonde, and she must have been blasting the heat in that submarine when James was out battling the Russians, because her parka is unzipped down to her navel and she's not wearing a bra.

 

Of course they get right to humping because this is a Bond movie that can't keep its boner in its ski pants for longer than 10 minutes.

 

As June Diane Raphael said on the internet, here is a man with a problem. Clearly old James is running from something more dark and sinister than Russian agents on skis and snow mobiles, and all of the booze and pussy in the world can't keep whatever it is at bay forever.

 

Eventually it's going to catch up with him.

 

Although, since James Bond gets to live in multiple bodies, spanning multiple decades, then maybe he is different from other men hiding from their demons. Maybe they never will catch him. Pussy and Booze for all eternity.

 

Anyway. If only this movie had remained inside of the iceberg penis submarine as it sliced through arctic waters on a five day voyage to the northern tip of Alaska, with this incarnation of James Bond on the verge of retirement and this nameless blonde conquest is his arms. Let's dawdle and dwell inside the steamy sub and their victory fuck party (she calls him "Commander"). What do Bond and this young agent talk about in the nude, between bone sessions, as they cool their swollen genitalia and sip their chilled cocktails. Do they discuss where this nice girl will be while James is off making the rest of this dumb movie? What do James Bond and this specific sex partner do about birth control? Or maybe this time is the right time to start a family? Alas, these are not scenes the screen writers were ever paid to imagine into being. Alas.

There's no way I was gonna read a post this long. I can only assume this is part of the 7 page review on Amazon that Paul mentions at the end of the ep.

Also I hear Earwolf pays for server storage by the word. Let's stay concise folks.

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Also, Zorin dies falling from the Golden Gate Bridger, which is not necessarily a death sentence considering that people have lived from that fall. Hopefully, the producers of new Bond films will realize this and bring Walken back.

I hate to be that guy, but I think that the people who survived a fall from the Golden Gate Bridge all fell from the clearance height of about 220 ft, not the tower height of 746 ft. However, Zorin was a genetic marvel, and he might have had a parachute somewhere on his person, so hell yeah, let's say he survived and bring him back. Or, they had another one of him all along, made from the same genetic material. I don't care how they do it, but I agree with you, they really should bring Walken back.

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I had really hoped someone (and imagined it would be June) would talk about how May Day is the actual hero of this film. Sure, Bond grappled (sloooooowly) with Zorin and shoved him to his death, but he wasn't up to the level of May Day's sacrifice which saved the lives of millions of people.

 

Which made me all the more irritated that we had to spend the rest of the movie with Stacey and her impractical heels and her James!ing and her helplessness.

 

The movie was over for me when May Day (in her practical and stylish thigh-high boots) made the ultimate sacrifice.

 

Please remake Rosencrantz-and-Guildenstern-style with May Day as the main character!!!

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Just to address the St John-Smythe thing......being English I can confirm that "St John" is indeed sometimes pronounced "Sin-jun". Just as the surname "Featherstonehaugh" has been pronounced "Fan-shaw" and the Oxford College "Magdalen" is said "Mawd-lin". There are a few of these examples in English and quite honestly I think it's a class thing. Upperclass bellends like the twattish names I guess.

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Also I hear Earwolf pays for server storage by the word. Let's stay concise folks.

 

THEN WHY DID YOU QUOTE IT?!

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I had really hoped someone (and imagined it would be June) would talk about how May Day is the actual hero of this film. Sure, Bond grappled (sloooooowly) with Zorin and shoved him to his death, but he wasn't up to the level of May Day's sacrifice which saved the lives of millions of people.

 

The movie was over for me when May Day (in her practical and stylish thigh-high boots) made the ultimate sacrifice.

 

I must respectfully disagree. For the first two-thirds of the movie, Mayday was perfectly comfortable dispatching people in violent and needlessly cruel ways. She was, quite simply, a psychopath for hire.

 

It isn't until Zorin kills her minions and leaves her for dead that Mayday decides to help Bond. Her motivation is clear: get revenge on Zorin by fucking up his grand scheme. Even as she makes her final sacrifice, she tells James to get Zorin for her.

 

Mayday isn't a third act, seen-the-light hero. She's simply jilted. Jilted and evil.

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While listening to this podcast, I had a weird thought occur to me... Roger Moore is the British version of Adam West.

 

Tall, handsome (even when very, very, very old), hammy, ultimately self-parodying... exemplars of earlier eras when their respective franchises went into a period of not taking themselves at all seriously... yep, they're pretty much the same guy, apart from one of them speaking Queenglish instead of Americanese.

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Top five most sinking feelings of all time...

 

1-5 (tie): Firing up AVTAK on Netflix and immediately noticing the running time of TWO HOURS AND ELEVEN MINUTES.

 

Probably my favorite episode of HDTGM ever. Hot crowd, funny guests, the whole posse was together, and the most needlessly convoluted and bonkers bad guy plot of all time. Five stars.

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Not quite an omission:

 

"The Equine Hour" with Bond and Zorin is discussed at length, but no specific mention of what has to be the only steeplechase action sequence in cinema history? I literally cannot think of a less interesting/lower stakes chase scene in any crappy action movie I have ever seen. Oh, to be a fly on the wall when the studio execs were reading and subsequently greenlighting this part of the script!

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