Cut The Commentary: ‘A View To A Kill’

Wednesday, July 27 by

Surviving the death of laser-discs, DVD audio commentary tracks have become a go-to source for cinephiles to learn more about the development and production of their favorite films, gain possible insight into how certain shots or effects were achieved and sometimes just hear filmmakers yack back-and-forth like a solid episode of MST3K. While streaming online and the move to push cheaper DVDs by stripping them of superfluous extras signaled the nadir of these reminisces, the recent rise of Blu-rays that need to earn their higher price tag has given them a last-minute stay of execution.

But then a movie comes along with such a pointless commentary that it forces you to ask yourself: Am I wasting my life by listening to this?

A View to a Kill is arguably the cheesiest and most balls-out fun Bond movie of all time: a killer fly fisherman, a plan to submerge Silicon Valley underwater, that scene where 007 bakes a quiche.

So with that, you would suppose octogenarian Roger Moore (who was last seen trying to earn viewers’ respect by playing a rapey passenger on a gay cruise in Boat Trip) would seize the opportunity to discuss the craziness on set, the stunts, and the experience of filming a love scene that is far creepier and disturbing than walking in on your parents.

Instead, you’re greeted by his gravely voice at the start of film with the portent warning that this commentary was not going to be about “what actually happened during the shooting of the film.” And he is a man of his word.

Talking over a particular scene, just moments before busting out a banal anecdote discussing Cubby Broccoli’s license plate number (dead serious), Moore namedrops like a home room teacher doing roll call and then delivers a delicious roundhouse kick to the face with two of the greatest non sequiturs ever recorded.

“Patrick McKnee also was uh, my Watson when I played Sherlock Holmes, uh, which we shot at 20th Century Fox. With a wonderful all star cast: John Huston playing Moriarty, and Gig Young, David Huddleston, um…Jackie Coogan, an amazing, amazing cast. Produced and directed by Boris Sagal. Whose daughter, Boris’s daughter, was so wonderful in that crass American series that I love, uh, er, The Al Bundy Show. He’s, uh, the lowest form of human life, a woman’s shoe salesman. I don’t know why it should be the lowest form, but they would say it is. But Boris Sagal, he tragically died, uhhhh, directing a film when he stepped back into a helicopter blade. Absolutely awful…To play Sherlock Holmes was sort of as much of a challenge as playing Bond.”

Ed O’Neil and the producers of Married with Children await a formal apology from Sir Roger.

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