Monthly Roundup: July Movie Watching Recap

Happy August everybody! Actually scratch that, how is this August already??! Summer blockbuster months are practically over, even though there still a few movies I’m looking forward to before the weather turns cold, such as The Bourne Legacy, Total Recall, oh and Henry Cavill’s thriller The Cold Light of Day that was supposed to be released last April!

As far as blogging go, well there are a couple of major developments this past month. One is FlixChatter is now a member of Cinematic Consensus Group that’s started by the awesome Aussie blogger Rodney of Fernby Films. Hence I display this Member Badge proudly on my sidebar:

My friend Ronan of the fabulous blog Filmplicity also invited me to be a part of the MercatorNet family, that is Popcorn … a MercatorNet blog on the Movies. Check out Ronan’s welcome post and I hope you check out the Popcorn blog from time to time 🙂

As for the blog of yours truly, here are some of the posts you might’ve missed from the past month:

July is a pretty busy month at the cinema, I saw four movies on the big screen, including one advanced screening. I think about a dozen movie a month is pretty much I could really fit in my life right now, I wish I could watch more, but ah well, what can you do?

Movies I haven’t seen before:

The Dark Knight Rises
The Amazing Spiderman
Moonrise Kingdom
Ruby Sparks
21 Jump Street
Despicable Me
Mirror, Mirror
Angel (2007)

Re-watch:

  • The Living Daylights (1987)– Timothy Dalton is my favorite Bond and I really enjoy watching this film, good thing Joe Don Baker don’t get a lot of screen time, but this movie really would’ve been perfect with someone else as the villain.
  • Dr. No (1962) – I LOVE watching Sean Connery and I could see why people still regard him as his favorite but the movie is just so darn slow and silly. The highlight is the first time we hear Sean said that famous line: ‘Bond, James Bond’ inspired by a woman, no less!
  • The Dark Knight – Part of the countdown to The Dark Knight Rises, and it’s still the BEST of the trilogy.
  • One More Kiss (1999) – One of Gerry Butler’s earlier films set in Scotland is a bittersweet movie. I’d love to see him do a story like this again with talents but with a more compelling co-star like Cate Blanchett or Rachel Weisz.

Favorite July Movie:

Even though I didn’t give it a full rating, The Dark Knight Rises is still the highlight of my July movie viewing as it looks positively glorious in IMAX and really, all things considered, I think this movie does live up to the hype. A close second would be Ruby Sparks. Meeting the filmmaker and cast was definitely icing on the cake, especially having Paul Dano answer my question in person 🙂


So, how many films did you get to watch in July and which one is your favorite?

Groovers & Mobsters Present: JAMES BOND – The Living Daylights

Groovers & Mobsters event is upon as again and this time it’s all about the world’s most famous super spy.  Just a bit of background, this monthly event was started by Heather from Movie Mobsters and Andy from Fandango Groovers where various bloggers join them in exploring a select genre in the only way we know how, talking about our favourite movies. This is the first time I join on the fun, and my pick for the Bond genre (yes I think it’s the only franchise that can double as a genre) is:

THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS

Stuff my orders! I only kill professionals. That girl didn’t know one end of a rifle from the other. Go ahead. Tell M what you want. If he fires me, I’ll thank him for it.

Timothy Dalton made his 007 debut in the 15th Bond film, introduced in one of the most memorable Bond opening sequence of training exercise in the Rock of Gibraltar. Set in the post cold war era, Bond starts his mission by assisting the defection of Russian KGB General Koskov (Jeroen Krabbé) who revealed there’s a Soviet plot to kill British spies. Upon the general’s recapture from his hideout, Bond is assigned to kill Koskov’s boss, Pushkin (John Rhys-Davies) which leads to a conspiracy involving an American arms dealer (Joe Don Baker).

Though I grew up with Roger Moore as Bond, I love Dalton’s darker and tougher take of the superspy, which was a refreshing change from Moore’s campy and droll portrayal. This is the reluctant agent who ‘trust instincts, not orders’ and he doesn’t always enjoy the assignment he was given. As widely reported, Dalton is a big fan of Ian Fleming’s novels, thus his insistence on remaining true to the author’s vision of the literary character.

I realize TLD isn’t the best Bond movie, what with a weak villain and the least intriguing Bond girl ever. But Dalton more than makes up for it with his sophisticated approach combined with the right amount of danger. This is a guy with a license to kill and he’s got no qualms to use it. But yet he’s not heartless. The scene right after his MI-6 contact Saunders was killed showed Bond displaying a genuine emotion of real grief and seething rage, as he crushed that “Smiert Spionem” balloon with his bare hand. John Rhys-Davies also turns in a compelling and memorable performance as Pushkin, also a nice change from the stodgy General Gogol in the previous installments.

The action sequences are what you’d expect in a Bond movie, and it’s nice to see an actor who look believably bad-ass as Dalton did a lot of his own stunts, including the vigorous stunts in the opening scene as well as the awesome mid-air battle on a cargo airplane. It was fun and exhilarating, and yet not devoid of humor. When his girl Kara asked him what happened, Bond answered matter-of-factly, ‘he got the boot.’ That’s not the only comical one-liners in the movie, though I’m glad the writers didn’t pile them on as they did in Moore’s versions.

All in all, it’s a really underrated film that deserved a second look, especially if you appreciate Casino Royale. As I said here, both Daniel Craig and Dalton epitomized that merciless grit and ruthlessness like no other Bond before them. Clearly, Dalton was way ahead of its time.

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Head over to MovieMobsters blog to read the rest of the Bond event.