let's rate the James Bond films

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let's rate the James Bond films

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Originally written by davemerrill on 2015/11/11, 18:46:54 PST :

let's rate the James Bond films :

Over in the what are you watching thread the discussion moved to James Bond movies and I thought it'd be fun to have a thread where we'd rate our favorite James Bond movies. GO!

DOCTOR NO Lean, mean, creepy, Jack Lord as Felix Leiter, it's tops

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE Robert Shaw, Pedro Armendariz, freakin' Lotte Lenya the best.

GOLDFINGER Bloated, gimmicky, Bond is inept throughout. Some insurance salesman playing Felix Leiter.

THUNDERBALL 90 minutes of a great movie that somehow is three hours long. I mean, if you really really love long scenes of men in scuba gear swimming around, this is probably your favorite movie ever. For the rest of us, not so much. Still, Luciana Paluzzi!! Rik Van Nutter scowls as Weird Dutch Felix Leiter.

YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE Pluses Mie Hama AND Akiko Wakabayashi AND absolutely fantastic sets. Minuses instantly dated far-out space nuts plot, pool of deadly piranha, Sean Connery's hairpiece, Sean Connery's fake Japanese hairpiece. No Felix Leiter.

ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE Serviceable, close-to-original-book script is almost too pedestrian, Diana Rigg's great, you can see the cracks in the early 60s facade of masculine cool cracking under the weight of the Beatles and youth culture in general. Lazenby makes a serviceable Bond but his smirky lack of gravitas is his undoing. No Felix Leiter.

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER this film is legit terrible. Super Nobody Norman Burton is Felix Leiter.

LIVE AND LET DIE Time has not been kind to this film, which has a great theme song, Roger Moore being a dangerous cigar-smoking SOB, and Yaphet Kotto in a terrible mask confusing audiences all over the world. Why is Yaphet Kotto's character spending half the film in an unconvincing mask? they asked. And if you think this film is racist, try reading the original book! High note is David Voyage To The Bottom of The Sea Hedison as Felix Leiter.

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN superfluous third nipple

THE SPY WHO LOVED ME man, that car! That car is the best!

MOONRAKER space marines, Jaws, avoid. Lonsdale makes a great Drax, but this film is rotten and should be shot into space

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY Doesn't a thug get squashed under a giant roll of paper in this one? Points for that. Isn't Topol in this one?

OCTOPUSSY Really? Really. Avoid.

A VIEW TO A KILL Duran Duran did the theme song. Grace Jones was in it. Everybody else was terribly, terribly old. Avoid.

THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS Timothy Dalton is the new Bond and he's just angry all the time. Also he teams up with the Taliban to save the day! A-Ha does the theme song for maximum 1980s.

LICENSE TO KILL Dalton is even angrier. David Hedison is back as Felix Leiter. If you really want to see Wayne Newton play a coke-dealing TV preacher, this film is for you!

GOLDENEYE This film launched Pierce Brosnan as Bond and also launched the Nintendo 64 as the game system in which everybody would spend hours and hours shooting their friends in Goldeneye. Refreshing film, wild but never stupid, loses the typical Bond baggage while keeping the action.

TOMORROW NEVER DIES A-list cast, B-list script. Passable. Michelle Yeoh is woefully underused.

THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH Another A-list cast wasted on a C-list script. Listen movie, if you're going to give us an insane bad guy who can't feel pain, give us a scene where he's supposed to be feeling pain but isn't! That's all I ask. Wasn't Denise Richards in this movie? Make that a B-list cast.

DIE ANOTHER DAY At about the part where the insane North Korean super criminal disguised as an English billionaire is controlling his outer space laser cannon with his Nintendo Power Glove on board a wildly pitching airliner, that's where I started to think this movie might actually be stupid. Points, however, for the title sequence torture session with Wally Wood's Madame Toy.

CASINO ROYALE Clues this movie is from 2006 Parkour and Texas Hold 'Em. Daniel Craig makes for a muscular, dangerous Bond, and the movie's stripped down, back to basics approach delivers with an impact like a brick through a plate glass window. Jeffrey Wright makes a great Felix Leiter and he should be in all the movies from now on.

QUANTUM OF SOLACE Confused, stylish, written on the fly, filled with violence, only occasionally dipping into silly, misogynistic nostalgia perhaps the least self-conscious of the Bond films at times. I liked it a lot.

SKYFALL Clues this movie is from 2012 the bad guy lets himself be captured to further his evil plans and is imprisoned in a clear glass prison cell. Great Javier Bardem performance in that clear glass cell, though unhinged, deadly, disfigured, and monomaniacal as all great Bond villains should be. Script is kind of a mess and trips over its own backstory, too much of the film takes place in small rooms and offices, there's a scene in a casino in which James Bond doesn't gamble ?! and you can see the film getting giggly and gadgety again, just waiting for Roger Moore to come back.

SPECTRE Haven't seen it.




Originally written by Char Aznable on 2015/11/12, 13:37:02 PST :

Re: let's rate the James Bond films :

My favorites are Dr. No, Live and Let Die, The Living Daylights, and Die Another Day. I liked when the Bond movies were fun, witty and had all the gadgets gimmicks. In truth I enjoy nearly all the Bond films, enough so that I bought the 'Bond 50th Anniversary' Blu-ray set a few years ago. Though I absolutely can't stand the Daniel Craig ones, and don't care to ever re-watch any of those again.




Originally written by DKop on 2015/11/13, 08:12:51 PST :

Re: let's rate the James Bond films :

I'm surprised you didn't add Never Say Never Again in your list Dave, any reason why?

In terms of Diamonds being the worst film, I have to put Guy Hamilton under the same scope than just breaking off his films individually. Goldfinger is completely different than this others like Diamonds, Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun. The later three have comedic elements to it, where as Goldfinger is a straight forward its as serious as a bond film can get typical Bond film. I'm wondering if Hamilton did that to get out of his contract because he just didn't care. Diamonds does have a unique charm to it, id rather have a fun Bond film than a dry boring Bond film.

It is easy for me to rate my Bond films by the actors, so I will go by that system. Connery will and shall always be the iconic Bond character. I think his two lowest films are easily Diamonds are Forever and Never Say Never Again, but those films don't affect the character, just everything else.

For the one shot wonder Lazenby, I didn't think he was a bad Bond, but just in a Bad movie. That film has so many editing issues it mad me laugh during the fighting scenes. I did like Telly Savalas as Blofeld, but that was about as much positivity I can give to that film. What got me to finally watching that was the fact that in the Roger Moore movies they always have those throwaway moments where Moneypenny mentioned Bond was married at one point, which I found out later it was related to this film. Of course, Bond was only married for 5 minutes, which brought on one of the best parts of On Her Majesty's Secret Service and I have to give that movie its only credit .

Speaking of Roger Moore, he has always been my weakest Bond actor. I guess MGM liked having him around for over a decade it seems, but it seems that the lowest and goofiest moments in Bond films is from the Roger Moore era. If I ever need to grow a Calais on my forehead from slapping myself from stupid moments in film, I have all of those films to pick through. I also have fond memories of A View to a Kill than the others, and I have yet to see Octopussy, although I do have it on laserdisc.

Timothy Dalton I wish went on to make more Bond films, because I see him as an under appreciated Bond actor. Yea he might have been angry, but I dug his attitude as having Bond go from a charming goof to a hardened professional. His Bond character seems to be the beta version of the Daniel Craig Bond we recently got.

Pierce Bronson is hit and miss for me. I really like Goldeneye, and was one of the first Bond films I ever owned on VHS which I got on some online contest when I was 13, which I was supposed to be 18 and over to enter. I was surprised that I won anything from that contest, and even more surprised how the internet in 1999 didn't care about contest security . I guess the reason why I find it a good film is the fact that its directed from the same director that did Casino Royale, and yes I played the hell out of that Nintendo 64 game with my adolescent friends in bible study groups and apartment complexes at the time. That game does not hold up 18 years later, just saying.

The other films by Bronson for me are just kinda meh. Tomorrow Never Dies I kinda forgot about, except Teri Hatcher was pretty hot. The World is Not Enough had Denise Richards in her prime from Starship Troopers and Wild Things, but was kinda dumb. Die Another Day, I am not even sure if I have ever seen from start to finish on, and if I did, it must have been that bad for me.

Daniel Craig is my favorite by far. I guess for me being part 24 Jack Bauer fan, Craig had the attitude of Jack Bauer, which instantly got my attention. As slow as Casino Royale got in parts, its still a good film. Quantum of Solace just tied up ends from Casino, which felt like a lot didn't really happen. I really enjoyed Skyfall, and to me might be the best bond movie of all time calm down internet, its just IMO . And I won't say much on Spectre, but I still enjoyed it.

I think that sums up my post, and the tl dr version is I like Craig, can't really stand Moore.




Originally written by AVHodgson on 2015/11/13, 10:09:46 PST :

Re: let's rate the James Bond films :

I'm surprised that David Niven and Peter Sellers as Bond aren't listed here.




Originally written by DKop on 2015/11/13, 11:40:11 PST :

Re: let's rate the James Bond films :

I have not seen the David Niven Casino Royale movie yet, but I did see most of the Peter Sellers one on TCM a few years ago. I cannot make heads or tails of that movie, and I have no idea what is going on 95 percent of the time. I guess thats a British comedy for you.




Originally written by AVHodgson on 2015/11/13, 11:45:31 PST :

Re: let's rate the James Bond films :

The David Niven one is the Peter Sellers one.

It's one of the few films I've ever seen that's simultaneously insane and boring.




Originally written by davemerrill on 2015/11/13, 13:37:35 PST :

Re: let's rate the James Bond films :

Both Never Say Never Again and the '67 Casino Royale are these weird copyright dodging cash-ins, not produced by the Cubby Broccoli -Saltzman Eon gang that produced the real Bond films. I realize I'm being super finicky here, but I have to draw the line somewhere, otherwise we'll be trapped in a morass of TV productions starring Jimmy Bond and Italian movies featuring Sean Connery's brother.

Being a remake of Thunderball, I haven't bothered with Never Say Never Again, and it seems as if time has been supportive of that decision. the '67 Casino Royale has an absolutely amazing pool of talent and they are all one hundred percent wasted in a terrible, terrible film that shows you exactly why major motion pictures were dying at the time see also Skiddo! .

On the other hand, part of the charm of Bond films is how hard they try to be current and stylish, and that '67 Casino Royale is definitely a very 1967 picture.

And yeah Dkop, there's some weird jarring editing decisions made in OHMSS and you can see similar stuff happening in later films frames cut here and there to speed up action scenes. Watching these films as a kid on TV I always figured these were cuts for time or content or some technical reason, but no, these were artistic choices on the part of the director. And they were bad choices.

I should have asked this in the first post, because I do think it affects one's enjoyment of the films - have you read Ian Fleming's Bond novels?




Originally written by llj on 2015/11/13, 17:09:39 PST :

Re: let's rate the James Bond films :

I've only fully read one Fleming novel, which is Casino Royale. The others I couldn't really make it through without giving up. Outside of that, the other non-movie Bond I am most familiar with are the comic strips by Laurence and Horak McClusky. I've read a ton of those. I have no idea how faithful they are to the novels. They are a different Bond than the movies though.

My favorite Bonds, from a directing standpoint, are actually the John Glen directed ones. I even like Octopussy to a certain degree. I notice his movies don't seem to be very popular among many viewers in general.

One's favorite Bond movies really depends on how one views Bond as a character. I don't hate Roger Moore but I get why many Bond fans would disassociate themselves with his version of the character. He upped the silliness quotient to an enormous degree, but I never minded that.

I've always thought of Bond as a character borne out of the dying years of the pulp novel age who made it big in movies. That was his main cinematic appeal, so I'm a lot softer on the goofier Bond plots because in a certain way it was faithful to the climate he was created in. One thing that must be made clear is that Ian Fleming was no literary genius. Hell, as a pulp fiction writer, his novels more like novellas are dime store variety. There's a tendency among Bond fans to hold the books up to a higher pedestal than their pulp origins would indicate, so any version of Bond that would fit right into the pages of those corny old 50s and 60s MEN'S ACTION magazines is how I personally view Bond as a character.

Off the top of my head, my favorite Bond films in no particular order would be Dr. No, License To Kill, You Only Live Twice, Skyfall, and The Spy Who Loved Me. I want to put Goldfinger and Casino Royale in just because those two had some singular elements I extremely enjoyed iconic penis threat scene and Eva Green, respectively but those films are a little too slack in their pacing and perhaps run a little longer than their plots can handle.




Originally written by davemerrill on 2015/11/14, 09:28:11 PST :

Re: let's rate the James Bond films :

There is a tendency of the later films to bloat, but that's something I've been noticing in most films for awhile. Skyfall clocked in at two hours and 20 minutes! Of course a lot of that was Kubrick-style shots of cars in sweeping landscapes, so that's OK.

Fleming's novels are workmanlike pulp fiction most of them were banged out while on holiday in his Jamaican estate Goldeneye as an excuse to get the hell out of London in the winter, and if you check out his Thrilling Cities travelogue it's pretty obvious to see how influenced he was by his travel and both his travelling companions and whatever local fixers he met on location who could hook him up with the local booze, gambling, and women of easy virtue. They're meat and potatoes writing, there's no subtlety, he's not trying to do anything other than write a decent adventure yarn. There are many underlying themes of racism, sexism, imperialism, and a general upper-class British douchebaggery that shine through in large portions of the Bond novels, and while they make the books interesting and challenging! reading for modern audiences, I don't think they derail the entertainment value.

Best novels From Russia With Love, Diamonds Are Forever, Doctor No, Moonraker
Decent Goldfinger, Live And Let Die, OHMSS, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice
So-so Casino Royale, Man With The Golden Gun
short stories the For Your Eyes Only volume has 5 short stories, most of which work pretty well and became the basis for films. The short story Quantum Of Solace has no spy stuff or action at all is merely a man relating to Bond the story of a failed marriage, and is probably the most sensitive thing Fleming ever wrote, the closest he ever got to actual human beings. Octopussy has four short stories that are also worth reading the main character in Octopussy is probably as close to autobiography as Fleming ever got, a guilt-haunted retired British officer drinking himself to death in the Caribbean.

The books are light on the gadgets and on the sight gags of pigeons doing double-takes as Bond rides a convertible gondola through Venice. Not much of that. However, there's a menace and a brutality in keeping things close to reality that the films walked away from early on, and I think that's critical to any sort of action genre entertainment, the idea that people can actually be hurt and can actually die. Some of the novels, and I'm thinking of Moonraker here, are significantly superior to the films.




Originally written by DKop on 2015/11/16, 10:38:21 PST :

Re: let's rate the James Bond films :

quote davemerrill

And yeah Dkop, there's some weird jarring editing decisions made in OHMSS and you can see similar stuff happening in later films frames cut here and there to speed up action scenes. Watching these films as a kid on TV I always figured these were cuts for time or content or some technical reason, but no, these were artistic choices on the part of the director. And they were bad choices.

I should have asked this in the first post, because I do think it affects one's enjoyment of the films - have you read Ian Fleming's Bond novels? quote

Man, those artistic choices sounds like something from Mamoru Oshii movies the live action Kerberos films, not his anime ones, those are perfectly fine .

I do own a few of the books, I got the recent Carte Blanche for like 4 bucks at an Ollies Discount store, and I picked up some of the paperbacks at Bizzaro Wuxery in Athens Ga for a couple of bucks a piece used. They are on the endless shelf of Crap you gotta read one day Dustin!




Originally written by Akage on 2015/11/17, 23:42:40 PST :

Re: let's rate the James Bond films :

I've never read any of the books, but I'd imagine that I'd look at it similarly to the Harry Potter franchise, whose books I did read. My thought is that HP books movies are each separate entities, and to enjoy each one for what they are.

Connery will always be my favorite Bond. It's his role. I love that the old films were a good mix of action, humor much of it very un-PC...and very refreshing considering how PC everything is now and kitsch. I love the old Bond action scenes, especially those where he's in the car and the film is sped up while the same background goes by several times during the chase scenes.

Craig is perhaps my next favorite Bond. Each one of the actors who has portrayed Bond after Connery has tried to hone whatever characteristic they felt made Bond Bond. I like Craig's seriousness and that his movies, for the most part, are more plot driven than stand alone episodes. Remembering what took place in the previous films is difficult when there's a several year gap between movies, but that's what DVD players are for.

For me, the theme song is what really clinches 007 film's place for me. I can live with a meh plot. I sort of expect that considering that the franchise is more about flashy action scenes, cars and women. But I expect the franchise to produce a fabulous opening song simply because it's Bond and only the biggest and best will do. So while I don't care for the Diamonds are Forever movie, I adore the theme song. It's aged well. I can't say the same for View to a Kill and Living Daylights , which is a shame because Duran Duran and A-Ha had other songs and the latter's 'Take on Me' music video that I think have stood the test of time.

My favorite Bond movie, of course, is Skyfall . Adele's opening is perhaps one of the best this franchise has used, and, I love, love, love the villain. A male villain that swings both ways and wants to include James - yes please.




Originally written by DKop on 2015/11/18, 06:09:26 PST :

Re: let's rate the James Bond films :

quote Akage

For me, the theme song is what really clinches 007 film's place for me. I can live with a meh plot. I sort of expect that considering that the franchise is more about flashy action scenes, cars and women. But I expect the franchise to produce a fabulous opening song simply because it's Bond and only the biggest and best will do. So while I don't care for the Diamonds are Forever movie, I adore the theme song. It's aged well. I can't say the same for View to a Kill and Living Daylights , which is a shame because Duran Duran and A-Ha had other songs and the latter's 'Take on Me' music video that I think have stood the test of time.
quote

I consider View to a Kill and Living Daylights to be one of the best Bond songs, along with License to Kill, Man with the Golden Gun, For Your Eyes Only, and... thats about it. I mean Chris Cornell did a good job, but I just dont like it that much.




Originally written by usamimi on 2015/11/29, 07:59:18 PST :

Re: let's rate the James Bond films :

quote Akage My favorite Bond movie, of course, is Skyfall . Adele's opening is perhaps one of the best this franchise has used, and, I love, love, love the villain. A male villain that swings both ways and wants to include James - yes please. quote

I still need to see Skyfall...I somehow missed it when it was on Netflix, though. D'oh.

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