Movie Rewatch — Jaws

Dun dun. Dun dun. DUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUNdoodooDOOOO!

This movie still blows me away (not unlike the way a certain 25-foot Great White got blown) and I am super surprised. I knew it was good, but I didn’t remember it being THIS good. Like A+ level good. Steven Spielberg, while young, was already on his game.

It’s hard to hold the title of First Ever Blockbuster. And it’s harder even to look back since 1975 and agree that such an “old” film holds up to our current movie-going standards.

Remember, suspense-horror-action fans, it’s what you don’t see that’s the best kind of scare. Alien did it. Recently the very good A Quiet Place did this perfectly.

This review is going to have some spoilers, but since it’s been a while since the 70s, even people who missed Jaws the first time pretty much knows most of the plot (via pop culture osmosis).

The gore is surprisingly low key. There are two distinct grisly moments, and one of those is a jump scare. (That would be the one-eyed human head under the boat). And the only real icky scene is the real early one, where the naked girl’s remains are a bloody lump chewed on by a seething mass of crabs. It’s a quick thing, and you get more visceral punch from the random policeman who found her: he’s so squicked out he can ‘t watch, stand, or even be near the remains. You can almost smell it yourself.

The less you see of ol’ Bruce (Jaws’ real-life mechanical contraption) as he swims by or attacks, the better he looks. He’s got one or two raggedly bad side shots that really look awful (like when it’s on the boat, attacking Quint). Since Spielberg knew how bad his rubber shark looked, the crew kept it mostly underwater or head on, where we see only the big bloody mouth coming at the screen.

But. Then. The film really lucked out. Now we’re talking about the human actors – the big three. It works, and works fabulously. You know who they are. These are three very different characters, who come together and make you sit forward, avidly watching each moment build, smiling as they compare scars, then shivering in suspense as the story plays upon what came before. When the stricnine laced needle falls useless to the ocean floor, and the shark cage is in tatters, you’d do just what Hooper did — lie still under some flotsam and ride it out. Recall that the shark responds to prey-like panicky ‘fear’ movement.

Back on what’s left of the ship “Orca” (a great in-joke), Brody has one trick left, and isn’t looking like he’s going to survive this. However, the magic of subtle foreshadowing saves the day in a way that simply makes sense. It’s not a last minute Hail Mary – this has been baked in from early on, if you paid attention. The resolution is incredibly satisfying.

The fine acting of characters Brody, Quint, and Hooper elevate what could have been just another sensational summer disaster film into the stratosphere of real greatness.

And you know what else? THIS MOVIE IS INCREDIBLY FUNNY! I don’t think childhood “me” thought it was funny (I thought it was scary, even though the iconic Musical Shark Cue gave me most of those shivers).

But in this viewing, if I wasn’t gripped by a scene, I was laughing. And sometimes I was gripped AND laughing. This is frakking good storytelling.

The ending is so completely satisfying that you walk out with a big smile. I sat through the entire end credits, just to see Brody and Hooper make it, swimming on those barrels, back safely to shore. Then I could breathe again, and turn the laptop off. I haven’t felt so excited and satisfied by a monster action movie since Pitch Black or Aliens.

Something really fun: there’s a heat wave going on in So Cal, and I’ve been swimming in the pool daily. To the point where I wan’t going to dry out for movie watching…and yeah, I swam and paddled through my entire Jaws rewatch, laptop on the edge of the pool. This wasn’t planned. By the time I realized it, I was glad it was a pool, and not, you now, the ocean. (Although I love the ocean and no fraking fish is going to keep me out of it.) I just thought it was an interesting juxtaposition.

So.

Did I bother to watch the sequels?  Good question. In a word: No.

Should I?

———————————————-

Want to hear some crazy stats from the Jaws franchise? Rotten Tomatoes gives 1975 Jaws a coveted 97% score. For a film in an era of public smoking and casually sexist behaviors, that’s pretty awesome. For the sequels, the critic scores drop down FAST:

Jaws 2 – 57% (Meaning more than half of the reviews think it’s worth a shot – like a B- or C+)

Jaws 3 – 41% (Meaning “meh”…see it at home if you can’t get enough sharks chomping swimmers)

Jaw 4: The Revenge – 0% GOOSE EGG. It’s in fine company with several John Travolta movies (see even recently: Gotti gets the Goose). But the ZERO is way more than enough to sink the shark and his brethren for decades. Only weird franchises like Sharknado returned to this well, and as far as I know (I haven’t seen them), they are mostly a joke, like Snakes On A Plane.

And now….we have The Meg: all about an ancient, titanic sea shark the size of a cruise ship. We’re covering the science of Megalodon, the Mosasaurus, and the Great White on RunPee.com for your geeky enjoyment!

Movie Grade: A+

About the Peetimes:  “The Meg” inspired us (Dan, Jill, and RunPee Mom) to do a rewatch of the classic JAWS and add Peetimes for it. (Just for fun.) We even recorded a podcast of our discussion about which Peetimes we would select. To sum: With a perfectly made film like this, finding Peetimes was easy and a joy. We always maintain that a well made film has both times of excitement, and times to recover. The movie builds on these solid principles.

Movie Review — Dog Days

This small but cute film is solid middling fare, and a possible excuse to get into air conditioning during these “Dog Days of Summer”. If you’ve ever had a canine friend, Dog Days has got something for everyone — there were nine storylines, but none of them felt forced. I even shed a tear (and you will know that moment, if you’ve ever had to put a beloved pal down). If you’ve loved pets, especially dogs, you’ll find a moment that feels like you. 

Small, sweet, well done. Nothing momentous; certainly not worth $15 in the theater — my opinion: wait for the DVD/streaming choices to come. There’s not much to say, narratively about this film. 

It’s not as charmingly off-the-cuff as Best In Show (2000), but still has some easy-going moments of nice add-libbing (stay through the entire end credits scenes).  If you love dogs, consider this a good date night film (specifically, if you both love dogs).

To sum: surprisingly charming and well-produced. But there’s also this: I don’t remember anyone’s name, not the human names anyway, and don’t feel bad about that. There’s the brother/musician, the sister, the athlete, the newscaster, the sad older guy, the pizza boy, and the adopted family. I remember most of the dogs’ names, as that’s how I roll. I had to write down some of the human characters’ names to help with your Peetime Cues, but otherwise almost everyone has a sort of low-key fungability. A pleasant B movie. 

Movie Grade: B

About The Peetimes: This was a kind of difficult movie to get Peetimes for, since there are so many plotlines and stories happening simultaneously. However, it’s really okay to jump out at the 3 Peetimes I chose, because nothing momentous happens in the movie, and each break is easy to summarize. Go with your bladder to pick a Peetime, as each one is decent.

Sir Patrick Stewart Back as the Beloved Jean-Luc Picard in New Star Trek

Captain Picard, making it so.

Jean-Luc Picard is back!

I’m so excited that I have to repeat this: He’s BACK! Sir Patrick Stewart announced yesterday at the Las Vegas 2018 Star Trek Convention that he’s ready to take back up the mantle of intrepid Renaissance man Jean-Luc Picard in an upcoming Star Trek series on CBS All Access. Well, frak; looks like I’m going to have to sign up and pay for that platform now.

Will he still be a Captain? An Admiral, or a Starfleet Professor? My guess is he’ll move on to the Ambassador role he played at the end of All Good Things. Picard’s a huge diplomatic asset to the Federation, and I think the beloved Captain, once he’s moved on from Captaining (last seen in that role in 2002’s feature Trek film Nemesis), would head down the road of peace between peoples, using his famous Picard Speeches to pave the way.

We see glimpses of other things that came to pass in that otherwise benighted film – Kathryn Janeway has become an Admiral (with a specialty in Borg Knowledge, if Voyager series finale Endgame is to be believed).

I’m also thrilled to return to the 24th century, where humanity have evolved into a more enlightened state and the future looks hopeful. By the 24th century, humans live mostly at peace with their neighbors (Borg and Dominion Wars aside); poverty, hunger, and most illnesses have been eradicated, and we live in a Post-Scarcity dream world where the greatest mission of an individual is to explore and improve one’s self.

I’ve avoided CBS’s Star Trek Discovery almost completely (I did view the free episode). It’s dark, it’s grim, it’s a big downer. I turned my attention to Seth McFarlane’s The Orville instead: a playful, Next Generation-lite tribute to Trek. Even my mother loves it, and she’s not a science fiction fan as such.

More to relate as 2019 gets closer. But I did want to let Trek fans know that Captain Picard is a thing again!!! SQUEEEEE!

Watch as Stewart excitedly announces his return: 

Sorry YA movies that never finished their franchises

Where fighting becomes foreplay!

I’m the member of the RunPee family who LOVES the YA (young adult) Dystopian/Fantasy genre. Harry Potter is still an obsession for me (and I’m 50). I re-read The Hunger Games every year, and watch the franchise even more. I even think Twilight was decent, although The Host was better.

So, what’s the deal with this post-millennial spaghetti-on-the-wall approach to YA series? Do the studios really think every dystopian and fantasy series is worthy of the full big screen treatment? And if they do put out an origin story on spec, do they care about following through with the series? And what happens when the young actors age out of their roles?

Am I just barking down a well, here? Woof, woof — does anyone care ?

I ask right now because I just watched The Darkest Minds (2018). It was…okay. Was it good enough to follow through to the end of the franchise? I’d probably say no. I’ve been burned a lot recently.

Here’s a list of YA series that will probably never see completion, for better or worse:

A Wrinkle In Time (2018) — This was just awful; totally incomprehensible. The company spent some money on it, but somewhere along the way it devolved into a hot mess. I don’t expect any of the sequels will be forthcoming.

A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) — There are so many childish books in this series that kind of sucked — I lost interest early on while reading them. How many of these books came out? I can’t say. I couldn’t be interested enough to watch any of them onscreen. Remarkably juvenile writing, IMO. (Looking it up, three movies of the 13 books actually made it to the theaters.)

Maze Runner (2014-2018) — I recently rewatched Maze Runner, and I have my opinion — it’s an okay version of an actually quite decent book. The sequel was middling, and the third film was frankly awful. Is there more to come? Do I care? This is ridiculous. Nothing made any sense in the 3rd film, and my Peetimes probably reflected this.

Divergent (2014-16) — I’m not sure how many books made it through to the screen. Three? Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant? All I have to say is that the first movie hewed close enough to the book to be worthwhile, and things fell apart quickly after that. I think I turned off Insurgent halfway through, and certainly didn’t bother with the third. Is there more? Do I care? (Note: Ascendant is supposed to follow soon as a TV series, but Shailene Woodley isn’t bothering to appear.)

The Chronicles of Narnia (2005-10) — This one hurts. As a child, waaaay before I picked up The Lord of the Rings (best book ever penned), this was my absolute favorite novel series in the world. In the universe! I believed if I had enough faith, when I died that I’d go to Narnia. I even had a special role — I was a forest nymph. My best friend and I made up stories about our lives in a magical meadow in Narnia…and as grownups, we re-met to hold our hands and hold our breath, trembling with excitement, and watch The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe on the big screen. And you know what? It was kind of lame. Prince Caspian was about the same, while my favorite book, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, was only a little bit better. Not better enough to save the series. If they ever do The Silver Chair, they’re going to have to hire newer, younger actors in a sort of soft reboot. Oh, well. I’ll always have The Lord of the Rings to rewatch.

The Golden Compass (2007) — to be honest, I tried to read the book and stopped pretty early in. I would love to give this series the full shake, but it seemed so…well, dark. It’s called His Dark Materials, so I guess that is to be expected. From the photos and the trailer, it looks really pretty, but it flew so far under the radar that I kind of can’t be bothered. One case where riding a super cool polar bear just isn’t enough.

I am Number Four (2011) — I did like this movie. I like the science fantasy aspects, and the story was well supported by both cast and narrative. Not enough to save it, however. Next.

Eragon (2006) — I didn’t bother with this one, so I’d love to hear if anyone enjoyed it. Dragons and fantasy sounds right up my alley, but all reviews say this was the pits, and there’s no news for keeping the saga going.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians (2010 and 2013) — These were pretty good! So why the silence? Good novels, decent films…and crickets. I would have stayed with this one. Bummer.

The Black Cauldron (1985) — Well, hmph. The Chronicles of Prydain is an underrated classic, and I’d love for some studio to try this again. The seven-novel YA series was my second youthful favorite adventure tale after the The Chronicles of Narnia, and since this one kickstarted so long ago, a reboot might do well. I mean, they did this one in the 80s! I doubt anyone has anything to hold against this poor attempt to get Taran’s saga going. Disney owns it, and they might be ready to option it again. Please, somebody give this excellent series a fair chance.

Vampire Academy (2014) — This sounds great on paper, sort of like a Harry Potter/Buffy match up. I’d watch that. Except somehow this was so bad I’d never even heard of it. Someone must have really screwed the pooch to mangle a really cool premise like this.

Ender’s Game (2013) — This one is truly a bad deal for us all. The book is magnificent. It was only a middling movie. You could watch it, and even sort of enjoy it, but Orson Scott Card’s literary masterpiece didn’t manage to move people in the theater. Maybe they can reboot it sometime and get the entire series done right. Or better yet, leave it be. Just re-read the novels.

The Mortal Instruments (2013) — Another one that slipped under my radar. There’s six books in this one, and people say the novels are fine. That doesn’t mean it translated well to the cinema, since it slid quietly into dust.

There’s more. I can delve further into the failed classics and promising franchises, but it’s frankly too depressing to keep going. Feel free to discuss what I missed and what I’m wrong about in the comments.

As for me, I’ll still keep the flame burning. I’m a believer in the genre, and I know there’s some good ones yet to emerge. Besides, someone has to watch these films and get the Peetimes for RunPee. 🙂

Related: 

Movie Review – The Darkest Minds

Movie Review – A Wrinkle In Time

Movie Review – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Movie Review – The Mockingjay, Part 2

Movie Review – Maze Runner, The Death Cure

Movie Review – Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Movie Review – The Vampire Academy

Movie Review – Twilight Eclipse

Movie Review – Twilight New Moon

Movie Review – Twilight Breaking Dawn, Part 2

Best Bond and Bond Parody Intro Songs

Gotta admit it — the Bond movies have some outstanding music, especially the opening credit themes. Here are some of our favorites, plus a few honorable mentions from the Bond parody genre: (In no particular order)

The Original 007 Bond Theme (Dr. No)

Thunderball –Tom Jones (1965)

Skyfall — Adelle (2012)

For Your Eyes Only — Sheena Easton (1981)

Nobody Does It Better (The Spy Who Loved Me) — Carly Simon (1977)

View to a Kill — Duran Duran (1985)

Live and Let Die — Wings (1973)

Goldfinger — Shirley Bassey (1965)

You Only Live Twice — Nancy Sinatra (19xx)

Diamonds are Forever — Shirley Bassey (1971)

All Time High (Octopussy) — Rita Coolidge (1983)

Moonraker, Shirley Bassey (1979)

The World is Not Enough — Garbage (1999)

Die Another Day — Madonna (2002)

Tomorrow Never Dies — Sheryl Crow (1997)

License to Kill — Gladys Knight (1989)

The Man With the Golden Gun — Lulu (1974)

Golden Eye — Tina Turner (2011)

Quantum of Solace — (2008)

Spectre (2015)

Bond Parody Best Musical Mentions:

The Golden Circle — Frank Sinatra, My Way (2017)

The Spy Who Dumped Me — Michael Buble (2018)

The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)

 

 

Fantastic Theme Music from the Entire Mission Impossible Franchise

Tom Cruise dominates the series now, but it did run from 1966-1973 on television, and in syndication, long before Cruise started breaking his legs and doing stratospheric plane jumps in the movie franchise. I remember watching this long ago, at the edge of memory, with my mother, and humming the theme with the spark burning through the ubiquitious bomb’s fuse.

The music theme has stayed surprisingly familiar all long. Enjoy this musical Mission: Impossible trip from last generation to today. You can’t not bop along. I dare you to try. That’s your mission, should you choose to accept it.

The very first version: Mission Impossible, the TV Series Theme Song (1966)

Original MI (movie version) Opening Song (1996)

M:I 2 (2000)

And the M:I 2 theme song (2000)

MI: Ghost Protocol (2011)

MI: Rogue Nation (2015)

Mission Impossible: Fallout — Friction by Imagine Dragons (2018)

Tom Cruise Broke Ankle in MI: Fallout Stunt – and kept filming

Cruise’s HALO MI Dives: 106 jumps at 25,000 feet, w/broken ankle

Cruise adapted a helmet so we could even see his face during the drops!

Tom Cruise broke his ankle mid-stunt, leaping from one roof to another. He pulled off the painful, complicated  move, landed a bit funny, and kept on filming. We cover that here. The foot looks a little gruesome in the side video — take a look. Feet don’t work that way.

So, what’s the perfect way to heal?

How about doing 106 insane High Altitude Low Open skydives while waiting for your ankle to knit?

Also known as HALOs — dives in which you in which you open your parachute at a low altitude, after stratospheric entry — Cruise discusses, at length, his unusual drop into Paris for Mission Impossible: Fallout. This detailed article covers what it took to make this scene a reality, in his latest (and some say best) Mission Impossible blockbuster hit.

Here’s the official featurette of Cruise’s HALO dive experience: 

Related:

Tom Cruise breaks ankle against a wall filming Mission Impossible: Fallout, and kept filming

Mission Impossible alum Jeremy Renner breaks both arms filming stunt for movie TAG, and keeps on acting (He really IS Hawkeye)

Movie Review – Mission Impossible: Fallout

Movie Review – Tag

Movie Review – The Darkest Minds

Here is yet another Young Adult Dystopian film that feels a lot like many others that came out of last decade’s love affair with young people who are either 1. the Chosen Ones or who have 2. Superpowers. Sometimes both apply. These characters even ask themselves what Harry Potter characters they would be in “real life”…and we come full circle between a meta-moment and in-narrative story telling.

In The Darkest Minds Children/Teens are placed in experiments (like The Maze Runner), or killed outright to save society (as in The Darkest Minds/The Hunger Games). They are abandoned in city simulations for unclear reasons (look to Divergence). And there are dozens of one-and two-shot similar films that will never find a filmatic resolution, box office stakes being too small to serve their small but ardent fanhoods.

Rule Number One: Make a good movie. Rule Number Two: Make a good movie. Lord of the Rings crashed and burned many times before settling on when Peter Jackson got it right. And then he still lost his touch with 75% of The Hobbit. Watership Down — referenced often, appropriately even, still hasn’t found a way to make this long, traumatic, yet ecstatic epic come to life.

There’s a reason so very many sci fi classics haven’t transferred to the big screen. Your material can be momentous or tripe, but if you have the triumvirate of good individual actors, good chemistry between them, and a director who’s on the right emotional page as the story, it will be a good movie. For a GREAT movie, you need a few more things. (I’ll save that topic for another day.)

So, what is The Darkest Minds? It’s somewhere between a decent movie and a good one. It might spawn a sequel. The kids need to grow into their roles (which actually did happen in the meta-referenced Harry Potter and at this point can’t happen in The Chronicles of Narnia). They need stakes more than the “oooh, mutants are scary, and mutant kids are scarier” line of thought that sent the Divergent series into final oblivion.

The Darkest Minds is pretty, and it’s fluffy, and it might have a chance. I’m hard on this genre, as it is one of my favorites. I’m going to think over this and possible adjust my grade.

Movie Grade: B-

About the Peetimes: Lots of scene changes happen in this YA origin story. You’ll be fine with any of the 3 Peetimes, although the 1st 2 are better. The 2nd Peetime is recommended, if you can manage it.

Related:

Sad, Sorry YA Franchises That Never Finished Their Stories

About the End Credits Scenes in Ant Man & The Wasp

First off, it’s a Marvel movie, okay? You simply may not leave your seat until the lights come up. In this case, Ant Man and the Wasp are no different. Make your friends — and even strangers — “hold onto their butts.” (Ten points to Gryffindor if you remember where that quote is from.)

Spoilers for Infinity War and Ant Man & The Wasp ahead!

Some extra scenes/tags/stingers are fluffy fun, some add to the plot, and some hint at what’s to come. Some tease you in a sort of parody way, or just send you off with a little laugh. We’ve got a fine stew of all that in Ant Man 2, the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

My advice: don’t leave until the bitter end.

As the credits roll, for two minutes we see scenes from Ant Man and the Wasp as miniature models, highlights from the films. There are posed dolls; there are miniatures sets; it’s nice and all. Since this bit of Fancy Credits begins exactly as the movie ends, we don’t call this kind of thing an extra. It’s neat to see, though, with some good music to enjoy while you wait for the big anticipated mid-credits scene.

Some background first : Ant Man and The Wasp takes place roughly before/during/around the momentous events of Avengers: Infinity War.  Maybe most of their timelime happens during Thor: Ragnarok, which leads directly into Infinity War. 

Seriously awful things happen in the last 20 minutes of IW. I saw it five times in the theater and still bawled like a baby. Peter Parker and Teen Groot destroyed me, especially.

So when I say that I and the audience GASPED out loud in the crucial mid-credits scene of Ant Man 2, I mean it viscerally. It was a gut-punch that surprised us all. It was almost (ALMOST) worse than what happened in Infinity War. This reminder hurt.

It’s not like the Ant Man crew are my favorite superheros, and while I’d hoped  this ‘small stakes’ lighthearted film would connect to the larger MCU, I was, by the end of the movie, lulled into a sense of contentment. By then, I’d totally forgotten about The Snap. As the directors planned. When The Snap returned, during the mid-credits, making ash of Hank, Hope and the newly-freed Janet — simultaneously stranding Scott Lang in the Quantum Realm — I actually yelped in the theater. A huge audience “Nooooooo!” showed I wasn’t the only one lulled into complacency.

And that is exactly what the Marvel studios bank on. Light, fun  movie? Check. Awful last minute universe continuity meant to shock the audience — double check.

So, Scott is left alone in the Quantum Realm (to be fair, Luis, Bill Foster or even Ghost could retrieve him, and maybe he was immune to The Snap by being out of space and time…theories abound), but that doesn’t take the power of the moment away when Hope, Hank, and Janet disappear. Mic drop. End scene.

If you wait for the final, post credit extra, you’re treated to a hint of the world status, Post Snap. Streets are empty, while sirens sound in the distance. We pan through Scott’s empty house, in several rooms, see the TV switch over to the Emergency Broadcast System…and finally land on one of Scott’s giant ants playing his drums. Dire as things are, it’s still an Ant Man movie, providing a grace of comic relief, after the brutal reminder of the state of the universe.

The final nail in the coffin swiftly follows, when the screen fades to black and we see the title card: Ant Man and The Wasp Will Return.

Then a beat passes.

And a question mark pops up, to show: “Ant Man and The Wasp Will Return?”

Nice. Ambiguity.

Then lights come up and you’re left feeling like you saw a cutely made, well-done late phase MCU film: a rollicking good time with refreshingly small stakes (sans the very end).

So, now what?

My theory is that people we didn’t see dissolve are still with us. So, Luis is still in the front of the van. Bill Foster and his Ghost ward know how to operate the Quantum Tunnel. Getting Scott out may be a simple affair, and his knowledge of the Quantum Realm might hold the key to undoing Thanos’ damage.

It’s a long wait til 2019’s March release of Captain Marvel and the as-yet-untitled Avengers 4, due later that summer.

I do have a burning question: How did Hank Pym and family not know Earth was under attack by massive waves of alien monsters in Wakanda? You’d think this wouldn’t be the time for starting a risky new quantum experiment. Personally, I’d be glued to the news of world events.

And for that matter, in Infinity War, how did Nick Fury, of all people, not realize his planet was in a serious state of war? Shouldn’t he be dialed in to everything the Avengers say or do, at all times? Running around panicking in NYC, he seemed strangely out of the loop.

Here is the Mid Credit Scene from Ant Man and The Wasp, mixed in with the real-time last moment of Avengers: Infinity War. (2.3 minutes long.) You might need a tissue.

Coda. Final Scene:

What do you think happens with Scott, the Quantum Realm, and the Post-World Snap?

The Spy Who Loved, Shagged, and Dumped Me

What is it about spies and the women who love them?

With the release of the Mila Kunis/Kate McKinnon spy comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me, there’s now a third movie riffing on the same title.

Here are the three movies in question, what they were about, when they came out, and the really good songs that open them:

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

In a James Bond movie that kickstarted this meme, Roger Moore does his somewhat serious/somewhat campy best to take down a megalomaniac villain (is there any other kind in these films?) who threatens the world with nuclear weapons in an effort to start a brave new world under the sea.

This is Roger Moore’s third outing as the British superspy, and it’s a well-regarded film (the tenth in the Bond series). It was gorgeously filmed on location in Egypt and Italy. Notable for the first appearance of “Jaws” — a relentless seven foot henchman with metal teeth — a set piece where Bond skis off a cliff, and an underwater car, The Spy Who Loved Me is considered a classic Bond film. And so is the intro song Nobody Does It Better, by Carly Simon:

The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)

Mike Meyers, in his second Austin Powers spy spoof, offered the world a chance to misbehave in The Spy Who Shagged Me. Meyers is notable in this second film of the trilogy for showcasing his weirdness in three roles: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Dr. Evil: the villainous Goldfinger send up, and Fat Bastard: who is….fat. And not very nice.

This is my favorite film of the three; it’s the most fun and has the most cohesive plot, featuring Rob Lowe as the smary Number Two, Seth Green having a ball as the “Diet Coke of Evil” and space scenes that recall Bond’s 1979 Moonraker . Plus time travel. What’s not to love?

Here is the opening song and deliriously funny gag opening. Meyers is totally naked…watch the food product placement:

Just for fun, here’s another wacky song from the same film, with Meyers as Dr. Evil (and featuring Mini-Me):

The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)

In yet another playful version of the genre, The Spy Who Dumped Me opens nationwide this week. The tagline is Minimum Experience. Maximum Damage.

Of the plot, the IMDB reports: “Audrey (Mila Kunis) and Morgan (Kate McKinnon), two thirty-year-old best friends in Los Angeles, are thrust unexpectedly into an international conspiracy when Audrey’s ex-boyfriend shows up at their apartment with a team of deadly assassins on his trail. Surprising even themselves, the duo jump into action, on the run throughout Europe from assassins and a suspicious-but-charming British agent, as they hatch a plan to save the world.”

The official trailer song, by Michael Buble, sounds VERY Bondian:

The film looks goofy. It could be good goofy or bad goofy — we’ll see soon.  Campy and goofy is at least in the grand tradition of these movies. Kunis seems to be playing it straight, while McKinnon seems a bit unhinged.  So far it has a 55% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so it could go either way. Stay tuned for our review. In the meantime, here’s the trailer: