Film A Week 47: Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

There are one thing I love in from cinema that I am not ashamed of loving: Imaginative cult films. Luckily, we have the 80’s to thank for practically churning films like that from the get-go. From fare like The Last Starfighter taking the odd concept of an arcade game that randomly selects a great player from the universe to help defend an alien race to The Goonies making a simple treasure hunt film into a big grand adventure with pirate ships and bank robbers and borderline insanity. Luckily, their is another that takes the crown and that is John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China.

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This slice of 80’s gold features Jack Burton, played by Kurt Russell, stuck in Chinatown with his friend Wang Chi, played by Dennis Dun, after looking for the kidnappers of Wang Chi’s green-eyed gal Miao Yin, played by Suzee Pai, from the airport. Burton and Chi, along with feisty reporter Gracie Glam, played by Kim Catrall, taking on the Wing Kong society, the Three Storms in the form of superpowered humans Lighting, Rain and Thunder, and having to deal with the ancient Chinese evil that is Lo Pan, played by James Hong, after Burton unwlling runs him over with his truck. Sounds ridiculous? Good because it is and it is pure awesome as well.

Big Trouble in Little China provides a nice change of pace all around from the typical action films of the 80’s era by making a bizarre martial arts fantasy film without making Jack Burton the typical leading man. Burton is clueless, naive and can be defined as a bumbling idiot, but that’s what makes him so damn cool. There is even one scene as he is about to head into the climatic battle and shoots up in the air in celebration of storming in, only for a piece of the ceiling above to crash down on him and knock him out for a majority of the fight. He obiviously has never done this before as being a truck driver, Burton does not experience action. Yet again, this is Kurt Russell we are talking about and no one messes with Kurt Russell.

Seriously, no one. (Animated Illustration by Jeff Victor)

With that said, John Carpenter with Kurt Russell is always magic because of the tight knit relationship between the two. Carpenter has an eye for unique concepts and the mind to take ideas that no one else would see fit and make them work. From making the dystopian prison of New York in Escape from New York to making paranoia a true enemy in The Thing, Carpenter cast Russell as the unlikely hero in all three of these films, but Russell subverts the tropes with humor and having fun while doing it.

The other characters are just as good with Dun’s Wang Chi being the ‘true hero’ of the film and doing a great job, as does Catrall’s Gracie Glam being Burton’s possible love interest and being surprisingly ground in reality underneath the chaos. Other notable characters are Donald Li’s Eddie who seems to be the plucky comic relief who happens to know the art of kung fu and Egg Shen, played by Victor Wong, a magician that can take on Lo Pan’s magic head on. These two are quite dynamic and help balance out the anti-hero nature of Russell’s Burton.

The ones that steal the show here are the villains with Lo Pan and his deadly three storms igniting the screen every time they are on. James Hong as Lo Pan seems like the cliched Chinese sorcerer, but Hong takes it seriously and puts a nice dynamic to it. He gives Lo Pan’s backstory of being whole again and the curse behind it weight and sympathy begins to be felt him as he grows weak in age (this is before you realize “Oh fuck, he is an all powerful sorcerer and kind of a dick”). Hong has been in a variety of other features since, but this is arguably his best role.

The Three Storms Rain, Thunder and Lightning, played respectively by Peter Kwon, Carter Wong and James Pax, kick ass by showing off their powers, skills and dominance against Burton and friends. The fights they hold and the style comes across well as these men are trained martial artist and could probably summon powers of ancient evil, if given the chance.

One hilarious in hindsight moment (Thanks TVTropes for this one) is how Lightning has the same features as Raiden from Mortal Kombat. Maybe Ed Boon was inspired by Carpenter to create this character for the game and the resemblance is uncanny.

The only downside being that Christopher Lambert and his wicked long hair are not in this film as well.

Thunder, played by Carter Wong, is the ultimate dick of the dragons to Lo Pan’s master role by breaking Burton’s gun, kidnapping Wang and Burton and using his powers to engage in a DragonBall Z style fight mid air without having to wait four damn episodes for it. The odd moment for Thunder and Wong’s performance is the self-destructive demise of Thunder by inflating himself like Mr. Big from Live or Let Die in order to explode and get all the chunks everywhere.

Now in beautiful .gif form!

Carpenter’s direction is superb by constantly keeping a steady pace and never letting go. Carpenter always wanted to direct a martial arts film beforehand, so when given the chance, of course Carpenter jumped on board to direct. The giddiness and excitement he had is captured on film with love and dedication. Never for a minute does the film dull as it is just fun to watch the insanity going on.

To be completely honest with you all, this was a hard one to review for reason and that one reason is that I can sum up my review in a single sentence which I will use to end this review properly…

Big Trouble in Little China is fuckin’ awesome.

This Saturday, the final month of Film A Week is finally here with only five films left with the first of the five films here. One film that has been on the FAW list has been moved back and forth time and time again until now. The fantasy world as only Neil Gaiman could bring us is brought to life in the film adaptation of his novel Stardust, the final fantasy feature we are covering and director Matthew Vaughn’s sophomore directing effort. Tristan, played Charlie Cox, tries to retrieve a fallen star that has a gorgeous woman named Yvaine, played by Claire Danes, in it, but must send it back to his love, only for three witches to get wind of it as well.

The Final Month of Film A Week
Film A Week 48: Stardust (2007)

Saturday, December 7th

Film A Week 46: Throne of Blood a.k.a. Spider’s Web Castle (1957)

The greatest director in arguably all of Japan was Akira Kurosawa, a director known for his unique story telling and influence on Western directors from Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese and Robert Altman and for changing the way audiences saw cinema. Kurosawa was known for being hands on in all aspects of filmmaking and being quite the perfectionist. To get a sense of Kurosawa for a first time watcher of his work, Throne of Blood seems to be the least obvious yet clear choice since I only read about the famous scene of real arrows being shot at actor Toshiro Mifune and nothing more. Luckily, this film is less about flying arrows nearly killing an actor and more about a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic play, Macbeth. Let’s head to Japan one last time to cover a masterpiece.

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1957’s Kumonosu-jo or Spider Web Castle, known to Westerners as Throne of Blood, takes the Bard’s work and makes a clever retelling filled with all the wonders of mischievous spirits and betrayal of kingdoms that the original had in Feudal Japan.

Takeoki Washizu, played by Toshiro Mifune, and his partner Yoshiaki Miki, played by Minoru Chiaki, wanders into the Spider Web Forest on their way to their Great Lord Kunimaru Tsuzuki’s, played by Hiroshi Tachikawa, castle and see a Forest spirit telling them the prophecy to unfold. Washizu will be named the master of North Castle whereas Miki will be the leader of Fortress One. The spirit also foretells that one Washizu will rule the Forest Castle with Miki’s son to rule soon after. For those that know MacBeth, this will probably be all too familiar, but the retelling works every without knowing anything. This bring us to my next point.

BUT FOR THOSE NOT IN THE KNOW!
Washizu is basically Lord MacBeth who returns to his wife Asaji, played by Isuzu Yamada, tells her of the prophecy which makes her go ‘Fuck it, let’s make this come true’ and just like her batshit insane self, plots out the murder of Tsuzuki when he come and to frame others in order for Washizu to get the Web Castle, which actually is not a Web and is quite disappointing that is not. That is besides the point because soon Washizu goes coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs as well to makes sure the others do not fufill the prophecy and he retains his throne (which is sadly, not of blood. Did know one know how to title this damn thing?). Asaji is pregnant, pops out said kid, kid dies and Miki son is now dead, proving in no point of doing that shit. Spirits and witches haunt and tuant him for his misery. His armies attack the other fortresses, but they retreat as the forest moves to attack. The next of Washizu’s death is quite badass as he dodge real fuckin’ arrow to make sure he does not go out like Biggie and Tupac, but still dies.

Cue ominous fog and chanting to end a magnificent film.

Throne of Blood is a true cinematic art piece, but it may not be for everyone. Those who are not viewers of classic black and white cinema may find it a bit boring and drag on for too long (and for those who hate subtitles, prepare for tons of reading). I personally do not mind it, but at times, I did get a bit lost only due to, well, me being a bit sleepy while watching this film. Sometimes, sleep can make us weaker than we should be.

The film has set-pieces that are unbelievable, even by 1957’s standards from the mysterious castle appearing out of the fog to the stunning moving forest scenes. The use of lighting and makeup to capture the spirits by Kurosawa is impressive by highlighting the out of this world element they encapsulate. Kurosawa’s direction is astounding using the size and scale of his shots in order to tell a visually compelling story and never missing a beat.

Toshiro Mifune does a hell of an amazing job with his performance showing the decline of a nervous man about his fate to a man corrupted by his own power and pride and growing delusional. Even toward the end of the film when he is laughing and jesting about everything until his final stand against his enemy, you can see the nervousness still intact and slowly coming back. Also, any actor that is willing to be shot at by real arrows by choreographed archers is pretty damn awesome in my book. The supporting cast is good as well with Isuzu Yamada’s crazed wife Asaji being both supportive and deranged by the fortune of Washizu. The score by Masaru Sato helps capture the nature and growth of the story with classic music stings when the plot starts to thicken. The music throughout also capture the sense that the supernatural is always lurking around with the ominious chanting that start the film and book end it.

Probably cliched to say it at this point, but Kurosawa made a masterpiece and we all know it. Hell, The Criterion Collection practically has every damn film of his ready to add to any hipster’s film collection. Throne of Blood may not have a literal throne of blood, but it is a classic of cinema nonetheless.

This Saturday, we leave Japan to head back to San Francisco for the Thanksgiving weekend. Sadly, there are not of Thanksgiving films out there, but fortunately, to hang with truck driver Jack Burton to help find his pal Wang Chi find his fiancee in Little China or Chinatown to most folks. Hell yes, we are finally headed into fun ass kicking territory again with the John Carpenter cult classic, Big Trouble in Little China starring one of my actors, Kurt Russell.

Film A Week 47: Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Saturday, November 30th

Film A Week 45: Dear Zachary- A Letter to a Son About His Father (2009)

I want to take a moment out of this post to say that this is going to be a different type of review as it will not so much be a review, but a reflection on my first experience watching it and how it made me feel. Reviewing a documentary always seemed like a painful thing to do, but what is important about those features is how they make you feel detailing the information at hand. No humor from previous reviews will be present, so that is something we are just going to have to work with this one. Without further ado, here is Film A Week 45: Dear Zachary- A Letter to a Son About His Father.

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When I was browsing through Netflix one night without anything to watch, me and my sister were in a documentary mood. I browsed through the docs section to find Dear Zachary. I heard about it before from countless sites praising it and even Rotten Tomatoes collecting the glowing review to put it at 94 percent which seem unprecedented for a documentary. I told my sister I heard of it, but it was still just a name to me at that point. We both meant into it blind with only the reviews to be the only word of it. Then we started watching… (full documentary below)

Dear Zachary is the only documentary I know that has made me feel such anger and aggression, such sorrow and pain and such passion and hopefulness. It brought me to absolute tears. The document documents the life Dr. Andrew Bagby, who was killed his wife Dr. Shirley Turner and her pregnancy of Zachary that was revealed after the murder. Bagby’s friend Kurt Kuenne decides to make the doc for Andrew’s son, Zachary, to show what an amazing life and wonderful man his father was.

At first, it is amazing to see a man with so much life and humor within himself get taken away all of a sudden. Then the events played themselves out with Turner basically turning into a psychopath and sociopath killing Andrew and leaving him on the road to die. The case that came after put a fire in me as the Canadian Judicial System set Turner free after a short time being arrested for she was not a danger to anyone else because she already killed the one person she wanted. I yelled out with bile “No one, and I mean no one, would be that fuckin’ stupid, right?,” but there it was staring me in the face. Next, Zachary was born leading to a custody battle between the parents of Andrew, David and Kathleen, after she was set free and was given joint custody with the Bagbys because,  once again, she was not a danger to society anymore despite being psychological disturbed. I was already fuming as Kurt narrates ‘Dear Zachary, this is what happened…’ and so forth.

Hearing the details after this ordeal happened broke me down mentally and physically.

Zahcary Turner was killed by his mother Shirley who decided to drown Zachary and herself after taking her prescribed medicine. One subject I truly do not hearing about or discussing is the death of the child and to find out what happened to him tore me to pieces. I sobbed and I couldn’t believe such a selfish wicked act was done by a cowardly bitch who could not control herself. I i could not believe that the court would let something like this, someone like Shirley, walk away and allow this death to happen when it could have been prevented. I got mad as hell and I was ready to stop the doc…but I didn’t.

It was finally time to face the subject that upset me the most in life and stick it out. To see the struggle that grew after to get justice to make sure nothing like this occurs again is triumphant and courageous. It made me cheer for David and Kathleen Bagby to finally get the justice they deserved for both their son and his son, who are now probably resting in the afterlife knowing that justice was done. Yet, there is one core element that strikes me to loving this film story.

Andrew was a man who loved everyone and cared for everyone. He was a selfless and real, yet kept an air of mystery to him. He changed lives for the better and to see him go is a tragedy in itself. He had a nice innocence to him and Zachary was nothing but innocent. He never will get to live his life and he would never know who the man that was his father was. Everything all do to the mind of a selfish person that was prime evil and vicious in every sense. It shows that even the most unbelievable evils reality can be as terrifying as the horrors in cinema. Dear Zachary is one of the greatest films ever made for that reason alone.

Next week, we head back to the regular review format and back to Japan to cover Akira Kurosawa’s Macbeth inspired masterpiece, Throne of Blood.

Film A Week 46: Throne of Blood (1957)

Saturday, November 23

The Stream Machine: 8 Films, 2 Shows for November

Welcome to a new little thing on the site called The Stream Machine were we take a look at what is streaming on Netflix (US & Canada Netflix specifically) that are arguably worth your time. Netflix has a wide range of films and shows that are vying for some much needed love, to be uncovered or need a nice revisit. Since this is the first time a post like this is done, some of the picks may have been on there for quite awhile and possibly a new pick that has started to stream. Let’s see what the old stream machine has for us this November.

Skyfall (2012)

James Bond is back in this heart pounding thrill ride that became the biggest Bond adventure to date. Helmed by American Beauty director Sam Mendes, Skyfall celebrates Bond’s 50th anniversary with a stellar and clever tribute in a dramatic fast paced thriller. After being shot and believed dead, Bond returns to find the man responsible for leaking the identities and whereabouts of other MI6 agents with M, played by Dame Judi Dench, as the prime target. Javier Bardem also star as the villianous Mr. Silver and plays it with such terrifying flamboyancy. The action is fast paced a la the Bourne series of films, the suspense is pounding as tension builds between Silver and M and Craig pulls off classic Bond quips and moments along the best of them.

Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

It may not be the best film in the action genre and a bit cliched (hell, even I gave it a mediocre review at best), but upon second viewing, Olympus Has Fallen is just right for action junkies. With Gerald Butler as Former Secret Service Agent Mike Banning, he must go back to the White House to save President Benjamin Acker, played by Aaron Eckhart, from a North Korean terrorist group lead by Kang Yeonsak, played by Rick Yune. As this happens, Morgan Freeman becomes the acting president as Speaker of the House Allan Trumbull in order to lead Banning to save the day. The plot is exactly like Die Hard in the White House, but that is far from a problem enjoy Gerald Butler kick ass and take names, including a epic fight between him and Dylan McDermott. It is a film from the 90’s that just ended up being made in 2013.

Pirates of the Caribbean  The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Before becoming the mega franchise it was, Pirates had its humble beginning as a film based off a theme park ride making many theatergoers question “How in the hell is that going to work?” Luckily, the powers that be managed to create an instant summer blockbuster sensation. Will Turner, played by Orlando Bloom, teams up with Captain Jack Sparrow, played flamboyantly by Johnny Depp, to find the nefarious Captain Barbossa, played ever so cooly by Geoffrey Rush, to get back Elizabeth Swan, played by the gorgeous Keira Knightley. Disney filled this one to the brim with a clever story, stunning action and quotable lines from Depp’s Sparrow before it became stale and never seems to bore. It’s an instant classic from start to finish.

Senna (2010)

Senna is an intriguing documentary about world famous Formula 1 racer Ayrton Senna and his struggles through the politics of Formula 1 and his bitter rivalry between Alain Prost. The tale of his career is quite interesting relying mostly on audio interviews intertwined with Senna’s on-board camera, archival footage, home videos and never before seen behind the scenes footage from the driver’s meeting. It also show the sad end of his life and does not shy away from the details of the incident that occurred. It’s heartwarming, heartbreaking and will make you cheer for Senna in the end.

Doctor Who Series 1-6 (2005-2012)/ Classic Doctor Who (1963-1989)

With the 50th anniversary coming up on November 23, newcomers or long time Whovians can catch up with the beloved character from Gallifrey roaming time and space in the TARDIS to help save not only the world, but the entire universe. From William Hartnel to Tom Baker, Peter Davidson to David Tennant and current doctor Matt Smith, all the Doctors (with the exception of the Sixth and Eighth Doctor) are ready to stream to stop Daleks, Cybermen and team with various companions. Key episodes to watch are ‘Pyramids of Mars,’ ‘The Aztecs,’ ‘The Empty Child,’ ‘The Christmas Invasion,’ ‘The Eleventh Hour’ and the ever so awesome ‘The End of Time.’

Caligula (1979)

It is very rare something this trashy and delightful comes out to stream for your pleasure. 1979’s Caligula is no stranger to this site with Malcolm McDowell in a sleazy exploitive epic only Penthouse Productions can produce. It’s extreme and risque, but does have magnificent performances by McDowell and a young and seductive Helen Mirren against the sheer pornographic imagery throughout. Netflix did not skimp on this one because Netflix is streaming the glorious Director’s Cut with the unesscary porn sequences in tact. Just make sure to put the kids to bed or the sock on the door for this film.

Of Dolls & Murder (2012) Recommendation Written by Jennifer Berrueta

This documentary is perfect for anyone with an obsession for true crime or someone interest in becoming a detective. Narrated by John Waters, the documentary is about heiress Frances Glessner Lee who had an interest in forensic pathology, but was discouraged by her family. However, in the 1930’s, she made a series of dollhouse-style diorama, known today as The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Deaths. The film also shows how her dioramas are used in today’s modern world of forensics, leading to a fascinating study in the untold history of the field.

Lars and the Real Girl (2007)

Lars and the Real Girl is not only one of Ryan Gosling’s smaller film most have not seen, but arguably one of his greatest performances. As Lars, Gosling portrays an awkward antisocial man who is not ready for anything drastic after the death of his father living with his brother Gus, played by Paul Schneider, and his wife Karin, played by Emily Mortimer, who are trying to help Lars break away to enjoy life. Lars looks for comfort and peace in a Real Girl sex doll named Bianca in order to be his girlfriend and, as one would expect, everyone in town is shocked, but discovers there is more to Lars than they would have guessed. It’s a beautiful and tragic comedy and an intriguing character study on a man who does not seem ready to be himself again.

The American Scream (2012)

Halloween may be over, but watching this documentary will give viewers a warm fuzzy feeling for the holiday all over again. Following three different families in Fairhaven, Massachusetts who take this holiday in stride, The American Scream documents the dedication and struggles that go into making haunted houses from the ground up in order to scare up the town and trick-or-treaters who pass by and enter at their own risk. Michael Stephenson, best known for the Troll 2 doc Best Worst Movie, creates another heartwarming documentary that gets viewers engaged in the madness and root for the families as they brave mother nature and infighting in the family itself.

Bob’s Burgers Season 1 & 2 (2011-Present)

One of the most hilarious animated shows on television next to ArcherBob’s Burgers manages to be a modern day classic with the essence of classic episodes of The Simpsons and an impressive voice cast. H. Jon Benjamin (ironically also the voice of Archer on, well, Archer) voices Bob Bleecher running his beloved burger joint near the wharf in Wagstaff with his darling and odd wife Linda, voiced by John Roberts (yes, a male voice actor). His children are just as strange with the oddball Gene, voiced by Eugene Mirman, the crazy and possibly insane Louise, voiced by the gorgeous Kristen Schall, and awkward teenage nerd Tina, voiced by Dan Mintz. The show is an impressive show and will having you having in its first episode ‘Human Flesh,’ where Bob is shut down for possibly serving human flesh in his burger. Other key episodes that are ripe for viewing are Season 1 episodes ‘Sacred Cow,’ ‘Bed & Breakfast,’ ‘Lobsterfest,’  and from Season 2, ‘The Belchies,’ ‘Burgerboss,’ ‘Bad Tina’ and ‘Moody Foodie.’ It’s terrific animation, amazing comedic writing and characters we can somehow all relate to.

Film A Week 44/007 in 23: Lost Assignment #013.5-Never Say Never Again (1983)

One year ago this week, this site ended the 007 in 23 series with Skyfall covering all 23 EON produced Bond films in celebration of 50 years of the film franchise. Yet, another Bond film still lurk behind the EON produced films. Back when optioning the film writes of the character, producer Kevin McClory met with author Ian Fleming in order to create a story that would fit perfectly on the big screen. Plans fell out of the ordeal and Fleming took the idea and turned it into Thunderball. When the franchise finally hit the big screen, Thunderball was turned into a feature and began a lawsuit by McClory to get the rights to Thunderball back resulting in vicious feuds and bad blood to be spilled. Fleming passed during this whole ordeal and McClory got what he wanted: the right to make his own vision of Bond and possibly his franchise. McClory was a bit of an ass throughout all of this, but got to realize his dream in producing his retelling of Thunderball and bringing back the Bond everyone wanted. Sean Connery returned after saying ‘never again’ to playing the Bond role and with the film titled to take claim of that comment. In 1983, the Battle of the Bonds began with Roger Moore’s take on the EON produced Octopussy, which I personally disliked, and McClory’s produced Never Say Never Again.

As always, we need a Bond song to begin.

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The first and so far only non-EON produced Bond film (1967’s Casino Royale is not counted for since that is merely parody) is not great, but not terrible. It is quite mediocre, but still retains some fun expected in a Bond feature. Directed by Irvin Kirshner, who is best known for Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, stepped up to the plate to tackle a new vision of an aging Bond trying to stop SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) from once again taking nuclear warheads in order to hold the world ransom by Ernst Starvo Blofeld, played by Max Von Sydow this time around.

Pretty much, it’s Thunderball all over again and if you are one of the fans who did not like Thunderball, this film will not change your opinion about that movie and that’s a good thing. Rather than be the bore Thunderball was, Never Say Never Again goes whole hog and delivers a much better version of the tale that is fresh.

It has all the characters you remember, abliet with minor changes.Domino, played by Kim Basinger, is now a dancer and lover of Emilo Largo, now named Maximilian Largo, played by Klaus Maria Branduer. Felix Leiter, played by Bernie Casey, is now an black man rather than the percieved White Anglo Saxon we have come to expect and is a nice change of pace from just another average white guy. In fact, this predates Jefferey Wright’s portrayal of Felix Leiter in Casino Royale in 2006. M, played by Edward Fox, is a much angrier British man, Q, played by Alec McCowan, is a cranky old guy who says ‘bloody’ a lot and Moneypenny, played by Pamela Salem is, well, Moneypenny.

The action in the film is as great when compared to Thunderball with Kirshner’s tight direction in tact and building set pieces that are stellar, including the opening sequence that shows Connery is back to take names for good, even if it just a test run. The oddest sequence though is Bond going against Largo in a game called Domination against Largo. It’s like if the film suddenly turned into The Wizard and it’s kind of awesome to say the least.

This film even features Connery going toe to toe with famed British stuntman Pat Roach, most famous for getting his ass handed to him in all three Indiana Jones films (excluding the forth one because he passed away beforehand). This scene is probably the most memorable for showing the natural talent both actors had in their fighting style and added some moments of humor, including the fact that James Bond’s piss packs quite the punch.

The acting is decent with Connery as the highlight, back in full form never missing a step, still smooth as ever and can pull off a terrible one liner with ease. Basinger is a neat Bond girl, yet a tad forgettable and Von Sydow’s Blofled is not as great as the way it was handled by Telly Savalas in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service or Donald Pleasence in You Only Live Twice, but still a hell of a lot better than Charles Grey in the terrible Diamonds Are Forever.

The theme song is cheesy and generic, but judging by the other Bond theme that year, that is what was in that year. The score is quite generic as well and not a memorable as John Barry’s famous Bond scores that are full of jazz infused sounds and bombastic nature. Heck, we still had another two years till we got another fantastic Bond theme song.

Also, any excuse to play Duran Duran’s ‘A View to a Kill’ during a review is fine by me.

The major downfall of this film is exactly what the first paragraph states: it’s Thunderball again and many knows what is going to happen already. Heck, it even ends in an underwater fight. Never Say Never Again is not the best of the Bond features as a whole, but it is worth a watch if you are into the franchise as a whole.

And being this the anniversary of the series that was the prequel to Film A Week, time to give it the classic rating from then.

Assignment Status: 3 out of 5

Next week on Film A Week will be a different type of review. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father documents the life of Andrew Bagby and his murder at the hands of his wife. Then, out of the bleak nature of the murder, a son named Zachary was born. This true crime documentary takes a look at the flaws of the judicial system, the mental state of a convicted murderer and the wonderful people taken away. This is going to be a difficult one to write.

Film A Week 45: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)
A Special Film A Week Devoted to the Lives & Deaths of Andrew & Zachary Bagby
Saturday, November 16th