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Wednesday, January 17, 2007


So I just got the Volume3 DVD set of James Bond so I'm in a bit of a 007 frenzy right now. I thought I'd list my personal favourite Bond films from Best to Least.

The Classics
1. On Her Majesties Secret Service: Easily my favourite because it actually has a great story whereas a lot of Bond films seem like an excuse to to string long pointless action sequences and gizmo freak-outs. It also includes the best Bond Girl (Diana Rigg), the best Bond Villian (Blofeld), and the most sentimental Bond. George Lazenby gets a raw deal in the starring role, but he actually suits the role quite well. Lets just saw that I really can't picture Sean Connery playing it any better in this film.

2. Casino Royale: A Bond Lover's wet dream. The first of the Bond books to be written, the last to make it to the big screen (unless you consider the 67 version which is a spoof and sucks). Daniel Craig is perfect in the role as a young unproven Bond. This has story, action, romance, cards, and next to no gadgets (at least not the off-the-wall type ones in every other movie.). The ending drags slightly, but good nonetheless.

3. Dr No: The beginning of the saga. This film is simple, straightforward, but effective and ends up setting the standard for the 20 to follow. Sean Connery puts his stamp over the role from the first utterence of "Bond....James Bond".

4. Goldfinger: I actually think this is a slightly overated Bond film. Most folks think this is the best of the bunch and while it is good, I think that it falls slightly short of the best. Best theme song however.

5. From Russia with Love: Starts off slowly, but once you get past the bulk of plot details in the first half of the movie, the last half of the film works its classic Bond magic.

Near Classic
6. License to Kill: Bond goes rogue as only Timothy Dalton can portray him. Dalton has been often called the serious Bond, and he keeps this pretty cold here, the only time he really lightens up is in the first 10 minutes. Some people might not like that, but I think it actually his portrayal is the closest to Ian Fleming's Bond.

7. Goldeneye: The first Bond film I saw in theatres. Pierce Brosnan was Bond for my generation. While he would end up being stuck with some horrendous scripts in future films, this one is pretty good. Brosnan is the classy Bond.

8. For Your Eyes Only: Things fall off the deep end with Moonraker, and so producer's scale back a few things. I like the fact that they connect with the past in this film like bringing back Blofeld in a cameo and the grave scene. It also cuts back on the overblown gadgets and focuses more on what Bond can do in a good fight.

9. Thunderball/Never Say Never Again: These two I lump together because it is essentially the same story. In the first we go to the Bahamas and maybe a little bit to much underwater action. Int the second we go to the Bahamas, Spain, Africa, and some weird place in the East Indies?

10. Diamonds are Forever: Bond is on a rampage. Picking up where OHMSS leaves off, Connery returns to the role and tracks down Blofeld to gives him his just desserts. Would have been higher except I didn't really like the Bond Girl in this one. The two gay villains are pretty funny though.

11. Live and Let Die: Moore's first go at Bond and immediatly sets a new tone for the role keeping him a little more lighthearted than other Bond actors. It also is a little dated in terms of slang and African American style. It comes off in many parts as more Shaft than Bond (Not that Shaft is Bad........he's very Bad.).

Not Bad for the Semi-seasoned viewer
12. You Only Live Twice: I actually really like this film, but certain things about it leave me to rank it this low. First, Blofelds hidaway which would provide fuel for Dr. Evil's secret lair. Second, poor special effects (this came out the same year as a Space Odyssey and you'd think they would have had enough moneyfor decent outer space shots. Other than that, I like the filming locale (Japan and Asia), the actor (Connery), and the fact Spectre (my favourite criminal sindicate of all-time) is running the show.

13. The Living Daylights: The first Timothy Dalton movie gets high marks except for the fact that it drags on way too long in parts. Like the Bedoin/Middle East bit. Still not all that bad.

14. The Man With the Golden Gun: Bond is back in Asia and that little dude from Fantasy Island is here too. The Bond girls are forgetable, but Christopher Lee as Scaramanga is not. Probably one of the best Bond Villains ever.

Worth a few Hours (However, time is expensive)
15. The Spy Who Loved Me: This is getting into iffy territory for me and Bond. I liked the film enough, but you can see the more haphazard craziness happening around now.

16. Tommorrow Never Dies: I haven't seen this in a while. Liked it when I first saw it, like it less now. It's still worth a bucket of popcorn and a few spare hours on a couch somewhere, but you can do better.

17. Octopussy: Another one I haven't seen in a while so I'm not sure how this one actually goes again. Hated the song though......ahhhhh easily the worst Bond song ever (and that's counting Madonna). Bond in a Clown costume? Hmmmm.

Terrible (All the reasons people loath Bond are in these movies)
18. A View to a Kill: I actually haven't seen this one so I really shouldn't rank it. However countless reviews of this film put it down near the bottom so I won't deter.

19. The World is not Enough: Saw this only once, and don't really want to see it again. Brosnan could have been such a good Bond if they hadn't given him such God-awful scripts.

20. Moonraker: Haven't actually seen the whole thing through but Bond in Space? It doesn't sound promising.

21. Die Another Day: Earns the distinction of being the worst Bond film ever. No wonder Brosnan left after this mess of a film. Let's see, we have an Ice Palace, an invisible car, windsurfing a tidal wave, a villain that's Asian but now white (who doesn't happen to sleep), and Madonna. Oh yes Madonna. Not content enough to have done the song (which is terrible BTW) they actually let her have a cameo in the movie. Thank goodness it is only like 2 minutes. And to think it started off so promising.


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