Moonraker (James Bond, #3)

Moonraker (James Bond, #3)


Hugo Drax is a national hero in mid-fifties Britain, having risen from amnesiac wounded soldier to millionaire businessman. He is spearheading, and funding, Britain’s ICBM programme- the Moonraker of the title. However, horrors, he cheats at cards.

This is where Bond enters the story, as M asks him to show the cheater a lesson. This would probably have been a more thrilling sequence if I knew the rules of Bridge. Amped up on one of his less appetising cocktails- champagne and benzedrine- Bond fleeces Drax for fifteen grand, somewhere in the region of seven times his annual salary.

Then, the story proper starts. A security officer at the Moonraker site has been shot, before he could report something he deemed important. Bond goes in as his replacement, to work with undercover Special Branch officer Gala Brand. I won’t give away any more plot points, but, together, they foil a nuclear plot.

Bond doesn’t really do much to uncover the plot. He simply stirs up some trouble trying to find out what his predecessor had stumbled upon, whilst the key discoveries- and the solution- come from Gala Brand. He suffers some serious batterings, and writes off another Bentley, along the way.

The plot of Moonraker hinges on a lot of coincidences. Indeed, Bond himself muses on all them toward the end of the book. But, in the reading, it rolls along at such a pace that you don’t really notice the happenstance until the hero draws your attention to it.

From:: Ian Pattinson Goodreads reviews

The wonderful world of Mad Max rip-offs

As I’m writing a story inspired by Mad Max and the whole post apocalypse road warrior genre, I’ve been watching quite a few eighties era rip offs of the original.

A fair few of them are mentioned on this list, and I’ve gone searching for the ones I haven’t seen yet. Be warned, you are not going to encounter high production values, subtle acting or coherent storytelling if you follow me down this path. But most of these films are enjoyable in their own clunky ways.

(Don’t tell anyone I told you, but many of these films can be found, complete, on YouTube. Often ripped from VHS copies, the reproduction can leave a lot to be desired. But, as so many of them are currently unavailable any other way, this could be your best chance of seeing them.)

Source: The 10 stupidest (and most shameless) Mad Max rip-offs

Lights, Quadcopter, Action!

If I was making a movie I’d be calling on Team Black Sheep, or a local equivalent, to get some aerial footage. The night-time flight high over a cityscape has become something of a thriller cliche, but just imagine how much of a surprise it would be to viewers if you then flew into a boathouse or under a bridge as they do in this video. The quadcopter could allow directors to plan more surprisingly intimate aerial shots. If they haven’t been used in a full length film yet it can’t be long.

DOOMED! The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s “The Fantastic Four”

Back in 1994, legendary B-Movie filmmaker Roger Corman produced one of Marvel’s first movies. It was a feature film adaptation of The Fantastic Four, which at the time never saw the light of day. It has since been bootlegged and leaked, and has gained a cult following over the years.

Director Marty Langford has created a documentary called DOOMED!: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s “The Fantastic Four” which gives us the full behind the scenes story of the film’s troubled production and release.

via Trailers for DOOMED! The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s “The Fantastic Four” — GeekTyrant.

Peak Shark!

In the wake of Mega Shark v Giant Octopus, we’ve seen the likes of Mega Shark Vs Crocosaurus, Two-Headed Shark Attack, Sharktopus, Malibu Shark Attack, Jersey Shore Shark Attack and Ghost Shark. All of them follow the same blueprint, and none of them is really about sharks. The sharks in these films could realistically be any scary thing. You could feasibly be watching Two-Headed Zombie Attack, or Megavampire Vs Werewolfosaurus. Which, now I’ve written it down, is something I really want to see. But that’s not the point. Somewhere along the line, the majesty of sharks became shorthand for generalised cheapo scares.

Yet I shall probably watch them all.

Avalanche Sharks: have we reached 'peak shark'? | Television & radio | The Guardian.

RIP Tony Scott

The film director has died aged 68, committing suicide in LA.

Tony Scott didn’t produce the grand visions that Ridley does, but I bet his films were more successful than his brother’s. They may just have been throw away action movies, but he still created some of the most memorable ones out there. I’d even watch The Last Boy Scout again if it was on tonight (but not Man On Fire).