Established May 2010.

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Chris: Definitely.
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Chris: Yeah, but so what? Everybody's weird.

Film Critic for Twin Cities Live

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Reflections on Bond. James Bond.

Over the past few months I challenged myself to watch and review every Bond film leading up to the release of Skyfall. You can find reviews of the first 22 Bond films here. You can find the review of Skyfall here. I had watched quite of few of them in the past, but I had never taken the time to watch them all in order. I fell in love with Bond when I was in high school. I would randomly pop them in and watch them at the video store where I used to work. My friend Jenny gave me a DVD box set that had six of the movies in there for my birthday one year. Naturally, the studio did not put them in order so you were forced to buy all three sets.

It has been a pleasure watching the movies in order. It is fascinating to watch them and and see how the films change depending on the decade, the budget, and what is popular at the time. The movies are an interesting reflection on film culture at the time they were made. They usual seem to be inspired by whatever the latest trend at the time happened to be. You cannot help to watch Live and Let Die and not think about all of the other blaxploitation movies of the time period. Moonraker was not scheduled to be the next Bond film when it was released, but the studio rushed to make that story to capitalize on the sci-fi trend of the late '70s.

If you are a Bond enthusiast, you know what you like out of your Bond movies. Do you like sultry theme songs like the Shirley Bassey numbers? Do you like your Bond girls tough and smart like Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore? Do you like the gadgets gimmicky or more realistic? Do you like the plot lines to be more realistic or far fetched? Are you a purist that thinks Connery will be always be the best Bond or do you prefer Daniel Craig or Pierce Brosnan? My ideal Bond movie has a realistic plot and villain, a henchman that won't seem to die, tough kick-ass Bond girl, sexual tension between Bond and the Bond girl, gadgets (but not too many), a dry sense of humor, and a sultry theme song. Do not get me started on the absurdly silly final Roger Moore movies. I feel like the series seem to revitalize itself whenever a new actor came in to play Bond. On Her Majesty's Secret Service is one of the better movies and that was the first one to not feature Sean Connery. The Timothy Dalton movies felt fresh and action packed compared to the final Moore movies. The movies tend to feel stale and boring the longer an actor stayed in the role. A View to a Kill is the worst of the Moore movies. Die Another Day is the worst of the Brosnan movies.

Here are my picks for the best and worst regarding some of the classic elements of a Bond movie

The Movies (from Best to Worst)

1. Skyfall (2012)
2. GoldenEye (1995)
3. Casino Royale (2006)
4. Goldfinger (1964)
5. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
6. From Russia With Love (1963)
7. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
8. Live and Let Die (1973)
9. The Living Daylights (1987)
10. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
11. The World Is Not Enough (1999)
12. Licence to Kill (1989)
13. You Only Live Twice (1967)
14. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
15. Dr. No (1962)
16. Octopussy (1983)
17. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
18. Die Another Day (2002)
19. Quantum of Solace (2008)
20. For Your Eyes Only (1981)
21. Thunderball (1965)
22. A View to a Kill (1985)
23. Moonraker (1979)

Best Bond: Daniel Craig
Worst Bond: Sean Connery.
Close second goes to Moore because he played the role for far too long

Best Bond Girl: Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore in Goldfinger
Worst Bond Girl: Denise Richards as Dr. Christmas Jones in The World Is Not Enough

Best Villain: Gert Forbe as Auric Goldfinger in Goldfinger.
Close second goes to Lotte Lenye as Rosa Klebb in From Russia with Love.
Worst Villain: Charles Gray as Blofeld in Diamonds are Forever

Best Henchman: Richard Kiel as Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker.
Close second goes to Harold Sakata as Oddjob in Goldfinger
Worst Henchman: Grace Jones as May Day in A View to a Kill

Best Gadget: the infamous Aston Martin D85 in Goldfinger
Worst Gadget: the crocodile submarine in Octopussy

Best Theme Song: "Goldfinger" by Shirley Bassey
Close second goes to "GoldenEye" by Tina Turner
Worst Thee Song: "All Time High" by Rita Coolidge from Octopussy
Close second goes to "Another Way to Die" by Jack White and Alicia Keys from Quantum of Solace

Feel free to leave your comments below regarding all things Bond. I'd love to hear you thoughts some of your favorite Bond movies! What are some of your favorite gadgets or theme songs? Who is your top villain?

Here are some other Bond related posts I have written recently
The "Bond. James Bond." Challenge
My Review of SKYFALL
The Top 5 Worst Bond Girls

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  1. I personally was never very keen on Roger Moore at all for James Bond. Of course I haven't seen any of his films in a long time so maybe the Connery ones wouldn't fair as well now.

    1. Nate- Thanks for reading! I know what you mean about the Roger Moore ones. I really like his first three movies, but the rest of them get silly and go down hill.