JUMPCUT’S Favourites: License to Kill

Here at JUMPCUT we love to discuss all kinds of films, but nothing beats talking about your absolute all-time favourite! We asked our team to write a piece on their #1 film of all time to share with our readers and tell us just what makes it so great.

This is the first post of our series, which will be continuing over the next few weeks in-between our regular reviews and news posts.

License To Kill

Year: 1989
Directed by: John Glen
Starring: Timothy Dalton, Robert Davi, Carey Lowell, Talisa Soto

Written by Chris Gelderd

In 2006, Daniel Craig arrived at the right time to re-invent James Bond as a more faithful interpretation of the darker secret agent that author Ian Fleming originally penned in 1953s ‘Casino Royale’. It was all about timing. 4 years after the fantasy mess of ‘Die Another Day’, Bond was in trouble and needed a drastic change which he certainly got. Critics heaped praise upon ‘Casino Royale’s story, cast, crew and our modern day 007, Daniel Craig.

But rewind the franchise back twenty years to 1986 and one Timothy Dalton did exactly the same thing taking over from the late, great Sir Roger Moore in ‘The Living Daylights’. But it is his second and final Bond film stands tallest. 1989’s ‘Licence To Kill’.

This is a truly excellent and refreshingly different 007 adventure, yet sadly seen as a being “too dark” as a Bond film, and many finding it hard to cope with a drastic transition of 2 very different actors. This just means the world wasn’t ready for the Fleming-esque qualities Dalton brilliantly brought to the role.  It’s also sad that he bows out after just 2 films. But he does so in explosive fashion as James Bond seeks revenge with him operating outside of Her Majesty’s Secret Service and going rogue inside the heart of the drug operation fronted by the ruthless Franz Sanchez, played wonderfully by Robert Davi.

 

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We are limited to the gadgets, one-liners and the flamboyance of super-villains and super-weapons. It’s a real-world threat of taking down a powerful drug baron and his cartel responsible for endangering the lives of millions without the need for destroying the world itself. We see the darker side to 007 as his world is turned upside down at the hands of Sanchez. The cast are grounded in their roles and not one feels out of place. Our Bond girl, Carey Lowell, is tough, resourceful and kicks as much ass as 007. It’s also nice to see David Hedison return as Felix Leiter, last seen in 1973s ‘Live And Let Die’.

This is a real dose of grown up action for the Bond series which never lets me down and boasts some of the most exciting and dangerous stunt work and action sequences in a 007 film, like the water-ski escape from the Florida Keys to the finale set around an explosive tanker truck chase down a winding mountain road. There is also a real sense of espionage to this which was often lost in previous films with lots of infiltration inside the criminal underworld, manipulation and working above the law to get the job done, just as you’d expect James Bond to do.

And as this was the first ever James Bond film I saw 23 years ago that I picked from the recorded video collection of some secret agent called James Bond that my late Grandad passed onto me, it holds a special place in my heart for that reason above all else.

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Watch This Space: 9th – 15th October

Every Monday we will be recommending films that are on TV that week, films playing at the cinema, and also remind you of those brilliant films hiding on streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, and possibly in your own collection.

In Cinemas

Blade Runner 2049: Fans of the original have waited 35 years for a sequel to ‘Blade Runner’, and last week their wish was granted. It may not be receiving the best numbers at the box office, but fans and critics alike can’t help but share their love the this masterpiece. Our full review will be on site later today!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Whilst we know it’s not December yet, we thought we’d take this opportunity to remind you that tickets for ‘The Last Jedi’ go on sale Tuesday AM (UK), and with them comes a brand new trailer! We’ll have it up on site as soon as it hits the web!

The Mountain Between Us: Idris Elba and Kate Winslet are stranded after a tragic plane crash. They must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow covered mountain. ‘The Mountain Between Us’ opened in UK cinemas last Friday, and our full review will be up soon!

On TV

Monday

Se7en (1995): If you discount ‘Alien 3’ because, well, who wouldn’t, ‘Se7en’ was our introduction to a master filmmaker. David Fincher has blessed us with numerous films that rightfully earn their place on countless best films ever lists, though arguably none have managed to be as high on said lists as ‘Se7en.’ It’s a crime noir starring a pre-Fight Club and Morgan Freeman as they investigate a string of murders all based on the seven deadly sins. It’s a deceptively clever thriller that keeps you engaged, guessing, and shocked at some of the truly messed up ways the sins have been visualised as murder scenes. On a personal note, ‘Se7en’ is one of my favourite films of all time. This film can be watched and rewatched countless times and you will still find new things to love about it, right up until it’s brilliant, soul-crushing climax.

 

Tuesday

Southpaw (2015): Directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, ‘Southpaw‘ is the gritty drama about a successful pro boxer who goes off the hinges after his wife is shot at a press event. Gyllenhaal delivers a strong and heavyweight performance as Billy “The Great’ Hope, a husband and father who wins titles in the ring, but ultimately loses himself outside. He’s on top of the world, beating opponents to a pulp with a fight fueled by anger. Hope must rehabilitate himself in order to take back his life and the custody of his daughter. Gyllenhaal’s character is aggressive and the onscreen punches are impressive. If you want something decent and gritty that isn’t afraid to throw punches, this is your film. Catch this knockout boxing drama on Film4 at 9pm.

Wednesday

Locke (2013): One of Tom Hardy’s most astonishing performances makes for an audacious film. Almost entirely a one-man monologue delivered over the course of a long night-time road trip. We watch as Locke slowly unravels and details of his career and personal life are revealed through a series of confessional phone conversations. Remarkable that this film was made at all and I’m very glad it was. Alongside ‘The Drop’ – one of Hardy’s best but underseen roles. Highly recommend.

Dirty Dancing (1987): An iconic soundtrack runs throughout this 80s classic, set in the 60s and telling the tale of a summer romance. Rich girl Baby meets bad boy and dirtier dancer Johnny and an illicit affair is sparked. Throw in a watermelon, a botched abortion and a corner where NOBODY puts Baby and you have one of the most quotable films of a generation. Again, if you haven’t seen it, why not? Rectify this immediately!

The Green Mile (1999): In the season of Stephen King adaptations, why not visit one of the most profound and heart-breaking? Tom Hanks (one of Hollywood’s most reliable actors) stars as Paul Edgecomb, who accompanies men down the ‘mile’, the walk cons take to the chair, to the death. When he meets the simple and naive John Coffey (played to perfection by Michael Clarke Duncan), a giant of a man accused of murdering two young girls, Paul begins to question John’s guilt.

Legally Blonde (2001): Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) has everything: hot shot law student boyfriend, top spot in a prestigious sorority house, a stellar fashion sense, and the most infectiously lovely personality. When her sure-to-be future husband unceremoniously dumps her for being too blonde, she is determined to win him back. Using her unstoppable willpower and wit, she gets into Harvard Law School, and brings all her charm, a splash of pink and her chihuahua with her. Riotously fun and positive, Legally Blonde is the perfect antidote to the darker nights.

Thursday

License to Kill (1989): Rewind 17 years before Daniel Craig made James Bond a badass, and you’ll find Timothy Dalton doing it just as good if not better this time in the darkest 007 film of all. Going up against drug baron Robert Davi with the aid of the kick-ass Carey Lowell, Dalton shoots, stabs, water-skis, parachutes and punches his way into the heart of a dangerous drug cartel to bring them down from the inside in a mission of revenge. Blistering action, brutal violence and a real film of it’s time. The world wasn’t ready for a darker 007. Well, they are now. Enjoy!

Titanic (1997): What can be said about the biggest film in the world? I can’t imagine there are many people left who haven’t seen it. It’s a classic tale of boy meets girl, girl meets enormous blue diamond, iceberg meets boat, floating door not big enough for two people. Despite all the cliches, the second half of the film is still quite thrilling and visually spectacular. Get it in your eyeballs.

Friday

GoldenEye (1995): The Cold War is over, but there are plenty of reasons for James Bond to thrill us in the wake of a 6 year absence from an early end to Timothy Dalton’s run in 1989. Old and new cast and crew come together to take 007 to new heights with classic elements laced with a new, modern twist. Pierce Brosnon re-introduces Bond to a new generation of fans going up against rogue agent Sean Bean from bringing the world to it’s knees with a hi-tech super-weapon. With death-defying stunts, loud action sequences, a rousing theme and all the martinis, girls and guns we’ve come to expect from 007, it’s a new era but one that proves nobody does it better still.

Last Action Hero (1993):  The film that easily divides many Arnold Schwarzenegger fans, this is actually far cleverer than it appears and delves into the self-parodying track of spoofing the action genre and Hollywood in general. Director John McTiernan makes sure the action is played out tongue-in-cheek as we jump from inside the silver screen and beyond when Arnie goes up against villain Charles Dance. As long as the film is understood to be a mockery of the thing it tries to be, it comes across more enjoyable than if watched to be a serious actioner. And don’t worry, there are many Arnie one-liners a plenty here. “Iced that guy, to cone a phrase!”

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part I (2011): The Twilight Saga lives on with its second to last installment, based on the novel Breaking Dawn. Bella Swan, the average girl who fell hard for vampire stud Edward Cullen, gets married and soon becomes impregnated with a half-mortal, half-immortal child. Seen as a potential threat to the local wolf pack and humans, the Cullen family must help Bella survive her pregnancy, and protect their livelihood in Washington. The young Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson reprise their roles in this fairytale drama that grossed big box office numbers among book and film fans alike.Catch the popular endearing story on E4 at 9pm.

Gladiator (2000): It’s Friday, and we all know what that means. A cosy night in, all snuggled up in front of the TV with snacks aplenty. And what better way to spend your Friday evening by watching Ridley Scott’s epic ‘Gladiator’, a 155-minute spectacle that throws you into the gladiator pits of Ancient Rome. With mesmerising cinematography by John Mathieson and career-defining performances from Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix, ‘Gladiator’ is an epic that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with other grand, cinematic spectacles like ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and ‘Ben-Hur’. A must-see.

 

Hiding Online / In Our Collection / Out This Week

 

Wonder Woman (2017): Yesterday we were treated to the final ‘Justice League’ trailer in which we saw Wonder Woman, along with Bruce Wayne, assemble the League to save the world. As of today, ‘Wonder Woman’ is yours to take home on DVD/Blu-ray in the UK! With it’s record breaking run at the box office almost complete, we can probably expect more records to be broken on her home release.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994): Allllrriigghhttyy then! 1994 was a very good year for Jim Carrey. During this breakout year he starred in not one, not two, but three comedy classics. Dumb and Dumber and The Mask were great for Carrey to showcase his talents, but Ace Ventura was the one that he really was allowed to let loose in. With his rubber face cranked up to 11 and his limbs in a non stop hurricane of madness, Ace is a character that Jim Carrey looked like he had the best time playing. It shines through in his performance. The premise is simple. Ace Ventura is hired by the Miami Dolphins to find their missing mascot, Snowflake the Dolphin. What follows is 87 minutes of pure 90s gold. With support from Courtney Cox and Sean Young, Jim Carrey’s Ace Ventura Pet Detective is an easy, fun comedy which will keep you entertained for all its duration. They don’t really make them like this anymore so catch it while you can.

Fast Five (2011): The Fast and Furious franchise, whether you love it or hate it, can be an entertaining breakaway from the mundaneness of everyday life. The absurd car chases, the improbable yet insanely fun shootouts, even the fast-paced fight sequences in which the franchise is renowned for is especially present in the fifth instalment; ‘Fast Five’. Arguably the best in the now 8-film series, ‘Fast Five’ is relentless in its presentation, and with the addition of Dwayne Johnson’s hulking Hobbs joining the rest of the charismatic roster, ‘Fast Five’ rejuvenated a franchise that most felt was on its way out. Popcorn entertainment has never looked so good, so be sure not to miss it!

The Notebook (2004):  If you’re a hopeless romantic, the latest addition to the Netflix roster is for you. Adapted from a Nicholas Sparks novel (king of the rom-com), The Notebook is a story of everlasting love told in two timelines. With notes of The Princess Bride (‘Always’) and Romeo & Juliet (forbidden love), the lead characters are so irresistible to root for. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as Noah and Allie bring to screen one of the most authentic representations of first love and teenage love, one that is sure to make you feel sentimental. Watch this under a blanket with a hot cup of cocoa.

A huge thank you to contributors this week: Dave Curtis, Chris Gelderd, Jessica Peña, Rhys Bowen-Jones, Fiona Underhill, Corey Hughes, Sasha Hornby

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It’s Official – Daniel Craig Confirms Return As James Bond

After flip-flopping over the subject for many months now, Daniel Craig has officially confirmed he will return for the role as James Bond for the 25th film of the franchise. He made the statement on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’, which you can see in the video below.

Craig also apologised to people who had previously interviewed him before this announcement who he told that he wasn’t returning to the role. Craig does go on to say that he does feel that this next film will be hist last and that he wants to “go out on a high”, although he did say the same thing during the press tour of ‘Spectre’, and here we are!

The As-Yet-Untitled ‘Bond 25’ has a release date of 8th November 2019

Sir Roger Moore – Nobody Did It Better

Written by Chris Gelderd

Mention the name James Bond to anyone. What do they think of? The danger of Sir Sean Connery? The gadgets, girls and guns? The hunky Daniel Craig? Quite possibly, but in a few seconds they will think about memorable villains who one actor faced, a classic opening theme who one actor entered to, lots of eye-rolling puns that one actor made iconic and a charming British persona that was, and still is, unmatched.

This one actor blended so much classic iconography into the role of James Bond that, favourite or not, he became quite possible the defining face of Britain’s number one spy; Sir Roger Moore.

Sir Roger, the beloved actor who played James Bond for 7 years, has sadly passed away after a brave battle with cancer. It is my honour to write a short piece on the man we knew and loved both on and off screen.

Born in 1927 and following a wonderfully ordinary childhood, Roger George Moore wanted to be an actor from a very early age, but his dreams were cut short with national service as the Second World War hit, and National Service loomed. It was only after the war did Roger study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, learning much and meeting many faces who would shape and influence his career.

After graduation and working as male model and taking extra television work when he could, Roger didn’t hit the big-time. Even with his dashing good looks and British charm, not even a film contract with MGM IN 1954 helped boost his name, with a few small roles here and there. Nor did a move to Warner Brothers in 1959. Roger Moore was, effectively, a nobody.

Turning his attention to the small screen back to his home country of England, what better role could fit this aforementioned handsome, charming man than Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe in ‘Ivanhoe’, an adaptation of the 1819 romance novel in in the 12th century.  That was when the small-screen called. Following ‘Ivanhoe’, Roger followed suit with ‘The Alaskans’ and later ‘Maverick’, both American westerns.

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From these roles that helped expand his quality at acting, screen presence and passion for the industry, another TV show came along. ‘The Saint’.  In 1962 (when a little film called ‘Dr.No’ was released introducing the world to James Bond), Roger Moore was launched internationally as a household name in playing the suave, womanising, cunning and dangerous Simon Templar for 7 years.

Following that, a newly married (for the 3rd time!) Roger starred in ‘The Persuaders!’ from 1971 to 1973 alongside Tony Curtis as a couple of millionaire playboys who got into all sorts of adventures. It was also in 1971 that Sean Connery stepped down for the final time as James Bond, leaving the door wide open for a new actor to take on the role as the suave, sophisticated secret agent.

Free from his television contracts, Roger, the most famous Brit on TV at that time, was signed by Bond producers Albert R Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to appear as 007 in 1973s ‘Live And Let Die’. Nothing was ever the same again. Not even the everyday raise of the eyebrow.

Spanning twelve years from 1973 to 1985 and covering 7 movies, Roger Moore became, and still is, the longest serving James Bond actor, and also the oldest, aged 43 in his debut and 58 in his finale. Not one to shy from work he loved, Roger starred in many dramas and action films during his Bond era that shaped him as an actor to bring charm, humour, excitement and action to his roles, such as ‘The Wild Geese’, ‘The Cannonball Run’ and ‘Gold’.

Roger was a very different Bond from Sean Connery, and has never been matched. He brought warmth and humour to the role, but was never afraid to show a dangerous side to his spy. He was the “family friendly” Bond that appealed to all generations and helped Bond gain many new followers and fans. He was also part of some iconic Bond moments that are memorable 40 years on. From the villains he faced, to the gadgets he used, the cars he drove and the one-liners he purred out, Roger Moore gave us a 007 like never before.

Following his finale of ‘A View To A Kill’ in 1985 as Roger hung up his Walther PPK, he took a deserved break from acting until 1990 when he started a quieter career in select films, television work and even pantomimes, injecting that trademark self-parody and passion to any role he took on as actor or presenter.

But it wasn’t just acting that Roger took on. In 1991 he was inspired by good friend Audrey Hepburn and became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. It was the continued acting and charity work that led to Roger becoming a ‘Commander of the Order of the British Empire’ (CBE) in 1999 followed by a ‘Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire’ (KBE) in 2003 to take the title “Sir”. He also met his fourth wife, Kristina Tholstrup in 2002 whom he was with until the end, but not before suffering a tragedy in 2016 when they lost their daughter, Christina, 47, to cancer.

Roger continued to work in voice-over and adverts from 2009 onwards, as well as his dedicated charity work. He also continued to be the unofficial ambassador for James Bond 20 years after he parted the role. From stage shows to talk about his life, promoting new 007 merchandise and writing books on his life and career, Roger never stopped, and nor did his passion for his work, his family and his fans.

Suave, sophisticated and not remotely serious, which is why we loved him and will continue to love him, thanks to his legacy on and off screen.

Thank you, Sir Roger. Thank you for keeping the British end up.

Sir Roger Moore, 1927 – 2017.

Is Bond 25 Production More Advanced Than Initially Thought?

It always seems to be the way that not long after the dust settles with one Bond film, speculation begins about the next. Bond 25 is no exception to this, with conjecture and rumour all over the internet. ‘Spectre’ was barely in cinemas when Daniel Craig in no subtle terms indicated that he would rather slash his wrists than play James Bond again, leaving many fans believing that Craig had just tendered his resignation with immediate effect. This said, producers have vehemently tried to get Daniel Craig on board by reportedly offering him $150 million for his commitment to another two films, although this sum has not been confirmed by the studio or any representative of the actor.

Daniel Craig’s involvement in the next film grows tenuous, as replacement names emerge from Hollywood’s ether; notably Tom Hiddleston gave an impressive performance during his James Bond screen test, otherwise known as ‘The Night Manager’. You would certainly be forgiven for believing that Bond 25 is just a mishmash of gossip, desperate pleas, and tabloid misinterpretations. With no Bond, no title, no director, and no whiff of a plot to speak of, it must be said that the future direction of the franchise seems very uncertain. Almost too uncertain perhaps? A few weeks ago a German aviation museum in Wernigerode confirmed that a Bell UHD-1D helicopter was purchased by the James Bond production company (Eon) and is to be transported to the UK. This is then followed by the Mayor of Dubrovnik (Croatia) confirming that the city and Eon Productions are in advanced negotiations for filming of Bond 25 to begin later this year. This won’t be the first time that Dubrovnik has hosted film productions with ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ filming in the city in 2016, and ‘Robin Hood: Origins’ set to start filming soon.

With props being bought and locations scouted, this scarcely seems the activities of a studio without an idea. I wouldn’t be surprised if we soon hear more news surrounding the next film. Although one thing is for certain, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson know how to play their cards very close to their chest.

Written by Mark F. Putley

Chastain Eyes Bond Villain Role

Everybody is eagerly anticipating the cinematic release of ‘Spectre’, but whilst Daniel Craig continues to be moody, and everyone continues to speculate as to who will fill his suit for the next installment, some of you may have missed a little quote from a certain actress regarding future Bond films.

Jessica Chastain is one of our favourite actresses here at JumpCut UK, so when her name was linked with 007 on our newsfeed today we immediately got excited. In a recent interview, the American actress revealed that her life’s ambition is to play a Bond villain. She has however dismissed the possibility of ever playing a Bond girl in the future, when she said: “people ask me if I want to be a Bond girl, and I say, no, I want to be the villain. I’m waiting for that call”. There have been plenty of female Bond villains in the past, but it’s been almost two decades since Sophie Marceau played Elektra in 1999’s ‘The World Is Not Enough’. So we can all agree that it’s about time that another female stepped into the role of Bond villain, and here at JumpCut UK we can think of no one better for the role than Miss Chastain.

Written by Nick Deal

Spectre [Preview]

Written by Nick Deal

It is very likely that many of you are already willing it to be December so that we can enjoy another journey to a certain far, far away galaxy. However, in between now and what is certain to be the cinematic event of recent years, lies the small matter of the 24th installment of another iconic cinema franchise by the name of Bond, James Bond. ‘Spectre’ is scheduled for release in UK cinemas on October 26th, and there is much to be excited about, although we actually know very little, with many details being kept top secret. Here’s what we know so far, and my own conspiracy theory as to who I believe the real villain of the film will be…

Click here to read the full preview

Sam Mendes To Quit Bond After ‘Spectre’

It has been a big week of news for 007 fans. We’ve been treated to a new trailer that reveals a lot more about the plot of “Spectre”, which is set to crash onto cinema screens this October. ‘Skyfall’ was a personal favourite of mine and “Spectre” looks like it will continue in the same vein, which is very promising indeed. The film looks to continue the darker side of Bond, Craig looks like he is on top form again and the film certainly looks like it includes it’s fair share of explosions and fight sequences.

As exciting as this new trailer is, it was undermined by the news that Sam Mendes has announced that he will not be continuing his involvement with the James Bond universe once this latest film is released. In an interview with the BBC, he stated “I said no to the last one and then ended up doing it, and was pilloried by all my friends. But I do think this is probably it.” He continued in saying that being part of the Bond franchise is not just a job, “it’s more of a lifestyle choice”, and he simply could not imagine himself getting behind the camera again. “I don’t think I could go down that road again. You do have to put everything else on hold.”

It seems that Mendes wants to pursue other projects, which an involvement with Bond simply does not allow. He can look back fondly at his time with Britain’s best secret agent. Skyfall smashed “Bond” box office records and revitalized the franchise after the dismal “Quantum of Solace”. And if the new installment lives up to expectation, Mendes will have a left wonderful legacy that he can look back on proudly. Roll on October.

Written By Nick Deal