This file was generated 2002-07-13 05:15 GMT. This movie's information hasn't changed since 2002-06-10.

Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> February 1999 >> Moonraker


Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
3 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
February 1999
IMDB Name:
Moonraker (1979)
Lewis Gilbert
action, james-bond
MPAA Rating:

Grand Scale

In the "Making of Moonraker" featurette, director Lewis Gilbert comments that Bond is the ultimate in escapism, making the diversity of settings a natural feature. Before it runs out, Moonraker travels to Venice, Rio, and outer space. The scenery is beautifully filmed and a delight to behold. The frequent locale changes allow the movie to have a huge plot arc that doesn't wear out the viewer, an accomplishment in a two-hour action flick.

The action sequences were also on a fairly grand scale. There's an awful lot of weightless time with many actors floating on screen, and it looks fairly convincing. The fight atop the tram is also convincing, partially because they actually filmed it up there.

The Villain Question

Good action movies call for good villains. I found Drax, played by Michel Lonsdale, to be a bit on the dry side. His extreme calm suggested his devotion to his cause, but he occasionally got a little boring. The rest of his empire, especially the main henchman, was OK. I don't have any great affection for Jaws, as played by Richard Kiel, but he definitely fills the screen!

Very Funny, Mr. Bond

There's a surprising amount of humor in Moonraker. I wasn't prepared for references to other movies, Tchaikovsky slipped into the score, or bizarre vehicle conversions. The gratuitous destruction of priceless objects in Venice was even funny! I expected a lot less, but was glad with what I got!

DVD Comments

The Moonraker DVD is slick without being gratuitous in its transitions. The menu navigation is usually fairly clear, and the chapters are given very funny names. I am disappointed that the first thing confronting the user on disc insertion is the widescreen vs. fullscreen question. This seems to be a common misfeature of MGM DVDs. For extra content, there's a small "featurette" detailing some of the locations, the trailer, and a menu that jumps to the introduction scenes of characters, gadgets, and vehicles.

See the IMDB information on Moonraker's DVD.

Other Opinions

Copyright 1999-2002 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.