Map-It – Bond, James Bond: Charting the 24 Films of the Spy Franchise

TL;DR – Today we chart every location visited on screen in the James Bond film franchise

James Bond. Image Credit: MGM and others.

Article

Over the last little while, I have been rewatching all the old Bonds now that they are all streaming here in Australia. Watching the old Bonds I have been struck by a lot of things, like how did they ever get away with calling a film Octopussy? But the one really interesting thing is just how much of the world James Bond visits in his travels. Indeed back before air travel was as available as it is now, this was one of the core drivers of the Bond franchise. Because you got to see exotic parts of the world that you would never get to see in your lifetime and this is still the same today.

So with this map, I have tried to get every location that I could find but this did lead to some issues. There are a lot of places where there are no clear locations, indeed there are a few fictional countries as well. With that in mind I have made some educated guesses, and when there are not reasons otherwise I have used the actual filming locations as a guide. It was also fun to see the locations that films like coming back to like Hong Kong, Istanbul, Venice, and Austria. Well, without further ado, here is the James Bond World Map.   

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Movie Review – Paddington 2

TL;DR – I don’t think I can say it as good as the first one, but what I can say is that it is full of joy, laughter and feels, and I would recommend it for everyone

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

P.S. – There is a mid-credit scene

Paddington 2. Image Credit: Studio Canal.

Review

Ah, Paddington, I do love this film series, I saw the first film when I was a chaperone for a group of teenagers going to see it at the local drive-in theatre. I had no idea what to expect, but the first film was filled with such joy and was genially one of the funniest films I have ever seen. I found it so funny that at one point one of the teenage girls I was with yelled out “IT’S NOT THAT FUNNY BRIAN” … but it was, oh it was. So I was delighted to hear that there was a new movie coming out, but could it live up to the first film, well no, but that doesn’t mean it was not a delightful ton of fun.

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Movie Review – The Foreigner

TL;DR – This is a movie with a lot of moving parts, some which are simply amazing and others that don’t quite work as well.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

The Foreigner. Image Credit: STX Films.

Review

The Foreigner is a really interesting film, because it is a film with a lot of moving parts, and it is delving into an area and setting you don’t see very often these days. However, while some parts of this film are simply amazing, others just don’t work at all, which creates a kind of juxtaposition. You’ll be sitting there during these moments of high intensity, or fascinating filmmaking, but then something from the story will just rip you out of it. So today what we will do after setting the scene is break down this juxtaposition.

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Movie Review – Victoria and Abdul

TL;DR – A beautiful film, wonderfully acted, but it does glaze over history

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Victoria and Abdul. Image Credit: Universal.

Review

So we are about to look at Victoria and Abdul a film that promotes itself as ‘Based on Real Events’ … ‘Mostly’. Now, on the one hand, this could sum up most ‘based on true events’ films, but it is telling that they had to add the disclaimer which we will see as we go through it. Overall I did like Victoria and Abdul despite its many issues, but it does present a very one-sided view of the past and that is deeply problematic. Though I must say it was interesting watching the BBC make something that is almost irreverent about the Royal Family.

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Movie Review – Kingsman: The Golden Circle

TL;DR – A great follow-up, but it does struggle to find its feet in places.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Kingsman The Golden Circle. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Review

So the original Kingman: The Secret Service was one of the first films we reviewed back in 2015 when we started (and you can read it HERE). Overall we really liked the film, it had great action, a fantastic cast, a magnetic lead villain, and it was a star-making turn for lead Taron Egerton. Overall the movie worked bar one ill-placed ‘joke’ at the end which was out of place, tacky, unnecessary, and literately brings the whole movie to a stop to get it out, but that didn’t stop Kingman from getting on our Top Films of 2015 list (see HERE). So I was wondering if they could make the follow-up as good as the first film and I think they may have just pulled it off.

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Movie Review – Hampstead

TL;DR – Beautiful and charming, a fun look into that quirkiness that is classic Britannia, a great date night film

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Hampstead. Image Credit: Entertainment One.

Review

What happens when your life is falling into a hole of others making, what happens when the world is against you and you just want to be left in peace, what happens when worlds collide, this is the story of Hampstead. Hampstead is part romantic comedy, part comment of the class divisions in Brittan, and part legal drama, but it is all heart.

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Movie Review – Their Finest


TL;DR
– Where Their Finest excels is in creating the world of WW2 United Kingdom and what it was like to make a film during this time, but it is held back a bit is in its slightly clunky script.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Review

Their Finest. Image Credit: Lionsgate.

It is at the depths of WW2, Hitler is on the move everywhere, the allies have been forced to retreat from France, London is under almost daily bombings during the Blitz, and the USA is refusing to get involved, it is the darkest of times. However, it is also a time of great change both within society and also within the film industry, with pressures to boost moral but also the need to engage with women in a way that they have never done before. Within this complicated setting, we have the Ministry of Information who is trying to make a film about the Dunkirk evacuation, the biggest military retreat in history yet also a great source of national pride as the whole country mobilised to save the troops from the approaching German Army. This is a great setting for a film, it deals with a lot of issues that feel very much of the time yet still relevant today, but can it maintain your interest for the whole film, well that’s what we are going to look at today.

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