Final Score is our final episode. This fifth installment of Get Pierced will be our last before taking a hiatus, from which we may or may not return. We discuss our reasons, as well as the latest #Bond25 update, that True Detective's Cary Joji Fukunaga is directing the next James Bond movie. Since we're no closer to this next movie and it's been three years since we started this podcast, we have concluded it's about time we take a break.
Enjoy one last hurrah with Sky Cinema's Final Score, approximately 20 minutes of which stars Pierce Brosnan. The star here is Dave Bautista, saving West Ham stadium from the plot of Die Hard by motorcycling on its roof. Richard delves into why it was released straight-to-TV and whether there is a de facto ban on Pierce Brosnan movies in Irish cinemas. Jonathan looks at the portrayal of Muslims through the comic relief sidekick Faisal Khan.
Thank you to all our listeners. We wish you safe and happy travels. Be Quantum and Stay Friendly.
And if you're on Twitter, stay in touch.
-Richard Drumm @frontastic
-Jonathan Victory @victorybyname
Before discussing the first three movies of the Mission: Impossible series, Richard picks apart the latest Bond news that Danny Boyle is no longer directing the final Daniel Craig film in the James Bond series. Jonathan also announces our new fictitious sponsor, and will continue to do so until actual sponsors reach out to us. The trilogy of spy action films that enabled Tom Cruise's adrenaline-junkie lifestyle is reviewed in its entirety here. So if you've never seen them you can get through all three in the time of one film here. Brian DePalma in 1996. John Woo in 2000. J.J. Abrams in 2006. Each bring their own approach and aesthetic baggage of the era with them. Revisit the visually stunning set-pieces and soundtrack ranging from The Cranberries to Lisa Gerrard, from Metallica to Limp Bizkit, even "We Are Family".
Delivered just in the knick of time Mission Impossible style, this month's episode has suppressive persons Richard and Jonathan watch Mission Impossible: Fallout. This installment of the franchise pushes the envelope for action stunt work and audience ability to ignore Tom Cruise's Scientology. There is discussion of that along with tangents about Elon Musk, the Irish Presidential election and other movies' casting decisions. Jonathan ponders Henry Cavill's bizarre comments on #MeToo while Richard dissects subtle psychedelic details in the shot of Henry Cavilll's physics-altering arm-reload. Facing Superman against Ethan Hunt has shown who the real adrenaline-junkie spy is. How much Scientology is involved is up for debate. As is the identity of the mysterious Irish filmmaker who would most likely lash out against an episode on their work. #WhosDana
This marks the first episode of our non-existent strand "You Know What Seydoux: The Filmography of Léa Seydoux". She stars alongside Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg and Sawyer from Lost in 2011's Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Richard discusses everything he likes about this solid spy adventure while Jonathan speculates on how Elon Musk would fit into a real-life espionage plot. Together, they might even figure out whose body was hidden inside the spacesuit in the Tesla he sent into space. They also find time to discuss the campaign to remake The Last Jedi and controversial blackface group, Charlize's Angels.
Beyond the Canon. Beyond Eon? As in, Beyond The Eon Productions Canon. Look, this strand of the podcast can have multiple names, lots of things do. Consider 1967's "O.K. Connery", aka "Operation Kid Brother" aka "Double Agent 007". There are many exploitation parodies of James Bond before you even leave the cinema of Italy. Where better to start than with the parody starring Sean Connery's real-life brother Neil Connery? Watch the quickest rise from Edinburgh plasterer to 1960s Doctor Strange in cinema history. It's not just the facial hair staying where it is on his face. He has the superpower of hypnosis through intense staring. He is also helped by multiple actors from the original Bond franchise including Lois Maxwell, Bernard Lee, From Russia With Love's Bondgirl Daniela Bianchi and Thunderball's villain Adolfo Celi. This is a real movie that exists and Richard and Jonathan discuss it. There's also Richard's look at the re-publication of Roger Moore's on-set diary of Live And Let Die and Jonathan's confirmation that Danny Boyle is directing Bond 25. It's good to be talking Bond again.
It's the return of cinema's favourite iconic team, the Horsemen. Now You See May looks at the magician franchise which against all odds got a sequel. This episode looks at Now You See Me 2, in which Jon M Chu, director of "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never", directs cinema's longest card-flicking-based heist scene. Jonathan provides a brief overview of Chu's career, including the upcoming "Crazy Rich Asians". Richard tries to decipher how the tricks of Now You See Me 2 were done, and crucially, why any of these characters are the way they are. There is also discussion of harassment allegations around Morgan Freeman. Now You See #MeToo. Ultimately, the success of this series is baffling and fans, Horsepeople, Bojacks, whatever they like to call themselves, are welcome to tweet us to explain what it is they like about these movies.
It's "Now You See May" with our close look at Now You See Me, the movie where magicians are considered cool for some reason. Enter the world of everyone's favourite iconic character team, the Four Horsemen. There's Jesse Eisenberg playing a Jesse Eisenberg-type. Woody Harrelson playing a Woody Harrelson-type. Dave Franco is a thief and Isla Fisher is an actual witch with unexplained supernatural powers. FBI agent Mark Ruffalo will convincingly hunt them down in a bizarre and inexplicably successful movie. It raises many questions for Richard and Jonathan, questions like;
"Why did Dina get more money than Josepha?"
"What happened to atheism?"
"When were magicians ever considered cool?"
"Is Woody Harrelson recurringly transphobic?"
"Does Hollywood cynically shoehorn unearned romantic plots into movies?"
"How is any of this happening?"
This latest instalment of Get Pierced looks at a surprisingly obscure Pierce Brosnan movie. What a highly-rated YouTube comment called "another good train movie". 1993's Death Train also stars Patrick Stewart, Christopher Lee and Buffalo Bill him, her or themselves, Ted Levine. Alexandra Paul of Baywatch fame stars as a feisty modern 90s woman who don't need no man. But there's a man she has to team up with; a Pierce Bros-man who is more sexist in these movies than any of his Bond outings. Together, they solve gender equality and political correctness forever, working under Patrick Stewart's UN Anti-Crime Office, whose prime directive is to stop a train with a nuclear bomb on it from speeding across Europe. Richard ponders whether Bond movies could have a more contained story like this. Jonathan is baffled by Christopher Lee's villainous plan. Lying about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction so a military superpower will invade? What a far-fetched plot. Surprisingly strong action movie though and not one many people talk about these days. Hear about it now, so the legacy of Death Train will live on in the synapses of your brain until you die or merge with some form of digital consciousness.
Thunderballers, Piercings, 90s kids, lend us your ears. Throw your hands in the air like The Thomas Crown Affair. Our series on the filmography of Pierce Brosnan continues. This episode looks at the 1999 Netflix release Annihilation. Writer-director Alex Garland follows up Ex Machina with a romantic heist caper starring Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Rene Russo and returning collaborator Oscar Isaac(s?). Can Thomas Crown steal paintings from a mysterious Shimmer that appears to bend the laws of reality? Richard seems to think so, delighting in Pierce Brosnan's best performance as Bond as Thomas Crown and a love interest who, it has to be said, is very much his equal. Meanwhile, Jonathan ponders the harrowing prospect of different scientific phenomena refracting, causing several films to bleed over into this episode. Just listen to this one as if glimpses of an episode from a parallel universe dickety-bop up now and then. Happy 4/20 y'all.
It's not just 2018's "Tomb Raider" that brings Lara Croft to the big screen. There is also 2001's "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" and its stilted 2003 sequel "The Cradle of Life". Whether it's Alicia Vikander or Angelina Jolie, Lady Croft is the most down-to-earth ass-kicking, globe-trotting, robot-fighting, communing-with-dead-spirits, sprinting-up-pyramids, espionage-expert, archaeologist-adventurer billionaire you're likely to find. Richard shares extensive knowledge of the video games on which these films are based, as well as his love for Iain Glen. Jonathan is enamoured by Alicia Vikander but manages to rediscover the wonderfully insane moments of the Jolie films. Sharks will be punched, stone statues brought to life, perhaps even robots will also learn to feel. See how the new Tomb Raider compares to the ones from the early 'noughties', a time when you could actually just have the Illuminati be the villains of your movie.
Happy St. Patrick's Day! Following on from last year's festive episode on Taffin, we sought out another Irish-themed vigiliante movie with eccentric performances. The Boondock Saints comes from the unlikely auteur, Troy Duffy, an Irish-American who ran into production problems. Jonathan discusses those problems, self-inflicted and otherwise, as well as some of the cultural misunderstanding between the Irish and Irish-Americans. Meanwhile, Richard is in awe of Willem Dafoe's iconically over-the-top performance as FBI agent and namey-ology expert Paul Smecker, though equally perplexed by his portrayal of the gay man of the 90s. Smecker has to track down the titular Boondock Saints, from an unspecified part of Ireland, now living in Boston to take down its gangsters.
Content Warning: slur words, ranting over the Irish national anthem, discussion of racism in Agent Cody Banks etc.
Eva Green made her film debut in 2003's "The Dreamers", where she and her brother lure an American student in Paris into some really dodgy, not-okay, erotic shenanigans. Now that is one big pile of wank. Richard revels in the ultra-heightened Frenchness of Eva Green. Jonathan vents his frustrations about the film's politics, pacing and pretentiousness. Hear them discuss abusive directors, auteur theory, arthouse cinema and the connections with the #MeToo movement on this episode. To lighten things up, there is also "the world's most boring porn review".
At last! The work of Beloved Eva has a podcast of its own. This is the first in our new series "For Eva Alone". Eva Green made the Showtime series Penny Dreadful what it was. Yes, John Logan was the showrunner and Richard has plenty to say about him. Jonathan brings us up to speed on the three season arc of the show "briefly"; in the sense that he covers three seasons of a TV show in the space of this episode. It begins with an update on HBO's Confederate and ends with a fictitious story about Willem Dafoe's behaviour on the set of Spider-Man. The story sounds as though it could be true, considering Dafoe, and is a better ending than what Penny Dreadful got.
The second episode in a month to look at a Pierce Brosnan Netflix movie. The second episode in half a year to look at a house of rich people driving themselves crazy. Urge follows some insufferable one-percenters as they discover the titular drug; a mysterious CG vape whose euphoric high brings with it a collapse of inhibition. As more and more blandly attractive extras give in to their primal desires, society falls apart. Why would the kindly drug dealer played by Pierce Brosnan unleash something like this? Let's just say this wouldn't have happened if young people loved Jesus. Jonathan gives it benefit of the doubt, highlighting its weaved strands of social commentary. Richard rightly points out none of them lead anywhere. It's just chaotic dumb fun with one of Pierce Brosnan's most eccentric performances.
CONTENT WARNING for discussion of racial slurs and bad Ulster accents.
You take the director of Goldeneye & Casino Royale, Chinese finance and Netflix distribution, throw in Jackie Chan and THAT is how you make a movie where Pierce Brosnan plays a thinly-veiled Gerry Adams. Transparently-veiled. There basically is no veil in The Foreigner, in which alleged IRA veteran Liam Hennessy, uses alleged contacts, to allegedly stop a radical terror cell. But as Jonathan says, "Jackie Chan is losing his patience with Gerry Adams". To avenge his daughter's death in a London bombing, he torments the IRA with a particular set of skills he has acquired over a long tragic life. Richard is not at ease with Jonathan's discussion of slur words. But if anything, bringing bombs back to Northern Ireland makes Jackie Chan the culturally insensitive one.
...We apologise unreservedly for this one. We're trying a new direction and not just in discussing a Netflix film. We will have a few strands to move between on this podcast. This is the first episode of "Get Pierced!", a revisiting of Pierce Brosnan's filmography. Subscribe for further episodes of that strand along with "For Eva Alone", "Beyond the (Bond) Canon" and more.
It's been 50 episodes of Quantum of Friendship and to celebrate, we're looking back at the best of James Bond. The world of 007 has been introduced by Richard Drumm, to Jonathan Victory, who now deeply regrets and apologises for much of what has been said on the podcast. It's been quite the journey over the last two years looking at cinema's most popular rapist. Movies are engrained with sexism. More has now been revealed about how engrained it is in the making of movies. Humanity has a long way to go. Before our podcast moves on from Bond to take new directions, there are awards for the following categories:
Best Bond Villain
Best Bond Girl
Most Racist Moment
Most Sexist Moment
Most Psychedelic Moment
Worst Moment of the Franchise
Weirdest Production Quirk
Best Bond Actor
Top 5 Best Bond Songs
Top 5 Best Films "Objectively"
Top 5 Favourite Films
Best Side Character
...and the most important category of all...
007 has seen service in this whole other medium of video games. Richard remembers several James Bond video games with nostalgic fondness. Jonathan is brought to tears at how perfect the casting of David Bowie as Nikola Tesla was in The Prestige. They discuss Tesla and Tolkien, whose Lord of the Rings is being adapted for TV by Amazon. If this episode is strange and meandering, it is very much reflecting the present state of the world. Or it just meanders a bit since Jonathan is a fake gamer guy and Richard is a foppish 18th-century aristocrat of an elite gamer.
Video games discussed include;
Tomorrow Never Dies
From Russia With Love
Goldeneye: Rogue Agent
Quantum of Solace
Everything Or Nothing
Our Halloween special, marking two years of our podcast, looks at Ken Russell's 1986 "Gothic". During 1816, volanic ash created a Year Without A Summer, with many cold storms keeping people indoors. Among those losing their minds in a Swiss villa, were bad-boy Lord Byron and SJW Percy Shelley. A writing contest among the guests led to the inspiration for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Polidori's The Vampyre, paving the way for a century of flourishing Gothic horror literature.
That is what the opening and conclusion of this movie is about. Everything in-between is a discordant nightmarish phantasmagoria of steampunk porcelain robots, eye-boobs and "nudey Nick-Nacks". Jonathan gets into some context for what actually happened to the people depicted while Richard notes comparisons with Darren Aronofsky's Mother! And the latest Bond news reveals an upcoming biopic of Nick-Nack actor Hervé Villechaize, where Peter Dinklage plays him and it actually exists. Happy Halloween.
You voted for us to do an episode on this, Thunderballers. Did Sean Connery's James Bond return in the 1996 Michael Bay film The Rock? If he did, he's using the codename John Mason (or "Mashon"), and he was caught smhuggling the truth about JFK, Roswell and who knows what else out of America. Getting imprisoned in Alcatraz makes him the guide of its secret passageways as Nicolas Cage tries to defuse chemical weapons and moderate the volume of his voice. Richard is less than impressed with certain stereotypes and patriotic militarism. He's even less impressed with Jonathan rapping the theme song to Kenan & Kel. On the whole, they agree this movie is much more enjoyable and better-written than they were expecting from a Michael Bay film.
Another spy series that pushes the envelope for decency is Kingsman, written by Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman. "Kingsman: The Secret Service" sees lowly chav Gary Unwin taught how to be a gentleman, but, like, in a positive way. This is through becoming a Kingsman, part of an unaccountable shadowy spy organisation set up by people who didn't like all these unaccountable shadowy spy organisations. After Kingsman: The Secret Service sets up this benign version of Spectre, Kingsman: The Golden Circle just hits reset on all that careful world-building for the sake of an inferior sequel. Jonathan talks about the first film's many political problems while Richard squirms at the sequel's innovative use of VaginaCam.
The 1970 Basil Dearden film "The Man Who Haunted Himself" was one of Roger Moore's last big films before playing James Bond. It is a very strange film about a man who appears to have someone stealing his identity. An alternate title for the film could have been "It's All So Frightfully Queer" given the tone and posh idiom of every conversation. Richard delights in Roger Moore's peak-poshness while Jonathan finds comparisons in spoiler-filled discussions of recent films Enemy (2013), The Double (2013) and The Prestige (2006). They conclude with an update on the next Bond film and new directions for our humble podcast.
This episode looks beyond the canon of official and semi-official James Bond movies to see the immensely broad cultural impact 007 has had around the world. You can tell by how many awful knock-off movies have been made of it. Such movies feature in the list of topics discussed here:
For Your Height Only, of the Phillipines
In Like Flint
James Bond 777, of Tollywood
James Bond Junior
Sherlock Holmes and the 22nd Century
Licensed to Kill, with a 'd'
Breaking Bad fan films
Lord of the Rings fan films
Looney Tunes: Back in Action
Dr Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, Dr Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs
Two Mafioisi against Goldginger, of Italy
Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die, of Brazil
Help! It is Vengos, Visible Agent 000, of Greece
The End of Agent W4C, of Soviet Czechoslovakia
O.K. Connery, of Italy, starring Sean Connery's brother Neil Connery
Fathom, starring Raquel Welch
Unlocked and our upcoming Noomi Rapace podcast "I Hardly Noomi"
From Hong Kong with Love, of France
The Dragon Lives Again, in which Bruce Lee's ghost fights James Bond, Dracula and other characters
From Beijing with Love, of China
Pub Royale, starring Alan Carr
How does America vote for Trump so relatively soon after the success of eco-warrior blockbuster Avatar?
Never Say Never Mind: The Swedish Bikini Team
008: Operation Exterminate, of Italy
The Agent 077 series of Italian exploitation cinema;
-From the Orient with Fury
-Mission Bloody Mary,
-Special Mission Lady Chaplain
The Simpsons and "You Only Move Twice"
After a brief message to Nazi punks (concerning their fucking off) and a look at the Iain Glen (Sir Friendzone on Game of Thrones) detective show Jack Taylor, a staple of Irish television apparently, Richard and Jonathan review Atomic Blonde. Charlize Theron is 'the living manifestation of destiny' as a badass spy at the end of the Cold War. Named Lorraine. Richard gets into spoilers and Jonathan really gets into the lesbian scenes. The depiction of bisexuality in this film leads to a discussion of how cinema treats sexuality in general. This podcast sure is the place to be if you want a male perspective on that. They generally approve of Atomic Blonde though, as an action film, espionage thriller and female-led franchise to rival James Bond.
007 also appears regularly in comic books so Richard introduces Jonathan to some recent releases; Vargr and Eidolon, written by Warren Ellis and the post-Brexit one-shot Service, written by Kieron Gillen. Service deals with white supremacists, Vargr with bionic experiments and Eidolon with double-crossing inside British intelligence. These are much more gritty and graphically violent than usual Bond fare, showing how much variation there can be in adaptations of the James Bond character.
But they run out of things to say about that so they also discuss the potential of Bond TV shows and cinematic universes, HBO's announcement of their upcoming alternate history series "Confederate" and even the promotion of the Mayweather-McGregor fight. Basically from here on out this podcast will be even more meandering than it already is. Enjoy!
In 2015, the successful spy franchise uncovered a shadowy intelligence organisation running its own operations counter to security services that had to be thwarted by attacking their Moroccan data centre then handing them over to the police in London. While Spectre was disappointing for many reasons, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation had pretty much the same storyline and produced a more enjoyable film. We may return to the Tom Cruise franchise that seems to be producing better movies than people realise. Since Richard and Jonathan recorded this during an airshow with noisy planes passing overhead (true story), they also take time to discuss the newly released Christopher Nolan war epic/survival horror Dunkirk.