Like others mentioned, Quantum of Solace was a very disappointing follow up to Casino Royale. I hope there's a rebound with this one.
Mike Lantry, 1972
Like others mentioned, Quantum of Solace was a very disappointing follow up to Casino Royale. I hope there's a rebound with this one.
As a long-time Bond fan, there have been plenty of underwhelming offerings in the James Bond genre, but I think the Top 5 are undoubtedly the following:
And my choices for the Bottom 5
Wait, wait, wait hold on...you didn't ever want to spend Christmas in Turkey?
Would I want to spend Christmas in Turkey with Denise Richards? Certainly. That doesn't make the character of Dr. Christmas Jones and all the stupid puns related to her name any less stupid.
If we want to go through hottest Bond Girls....well that is a whole other topic.
Hah of course the whole premise is stupid but I myself love a crappy pun, Arnold was the greatest/worst offender of all. But that line at the end of movie always makes me laugh.
Famke Janssen - Xenia Onatopp
Halle Berry - Jinx
Caterina Murino - Solange
Diana Rigg - Tracy Bond
Denise Richards - Christmas Jones
Olga Kurylenko - Camille Montes
Allison Doody - Jenny Flex
Honor Blackman - Pussy Galore
Britt Ekland - Mary Goodnight
Tanya Roberts -Stacey Sutton
Not going for iconic, just personal tastes...
TB - Fiona - Luciana Paluzzi. Bad has never looked so good. (Unless you count the remake Never Say Never Again with Barbara Carrera).
YOLT- Aki - Akiko Wakabayashi.
OHMSS- Tracey - Diana Riggs. The crazy ones are always the ones that get to you.
LALD - Jane Seymour. Even though she got better with age. She's a goddess by the time she's in that Chevy Chase Benji movie.
LD - Kara - Maryam D'Abo. Maybe the only one you'd take home to mother.
LtK - Lupe - Talisa Soto. Not a good actress, but man she's hot.
TND - Wai Lin - Michelle Yeoh. She'd kick your ass and you'd like it. Honorable mention to Teri Hatcher before plastic surgery destroyed her face.
CR- Vesper - Eva Green. Even though she's not my favorite (what a body though), she sells the relationship, and I care.
An aside, it's great to see Olga on Magic City...
Agree mostly with your list. 1. with a bullet. Beyond the ridiculousness you point out so well below, the filmmaking got to me too. It became a superhero movie with CGI. And Bond movies were always about death-defying stunts. Now I don't expect the lead to go all Jackie Chan, but I expect some real person to be doing something amazing. If it was something a human could do, I want a human doing it. If it was some ship or plane or thing that used to be done with a model, I have no problem CGIing it. But if you're going to do crazy surfing, have someone doing a surfing stunt, and if you can't, don't do it.
Anyway, AVTAK does suffer from really old Moore, and maybe the worst Bond girl (she's worse than even Richards to me...and that's bad). But I do love Walken, so I don't know if it'd be that far down. Even though the whole movie is a step by step remake of Goldfinger.
Speaking of remakes, since Moonraker is just doing the same thing as the movie RIGHT BEFORE IT, that'd be up there. It has many a good part or bit, but they're just that, bits, put together to a bad whole.
DAF- for all the reasons you said.
I wouldn't have TWINE that high. I think part of the problem is people think Carlyle was the bad guy, when he was really just the henchman. He's Oddjob, not Goldfinger. Sophie Marceau is really the master villain, and she's great. She's also the love interest basically too. The problem was they didn't have the balls then that they did in say, QoS to have Bond not end up in bed with a woman. They could have cut Richards and had a better movie. That and the last fight is lackluster...they didn't do enough with the "feels no pain" thing. But the stuff between Brosnan and Marceau is Pierce's best acting in the series, and hey, Robbie Coltrane is always fun.
So what else then? Maybe Octopussy. Though I like the more back to basics plot. Live and Let Die...something just feels off to me. And then maybe The Man with the Golden Gun...but much like AVTAK, I have a hard time hating on it because of Christopher Lee. A great bad guy can do wonders.
Really, I guess other than Die Another Day, I don't think any of them are actually BAD films. Some are just ok, some date badly, most are pretty good, and a few are great. DAF and MR would come in next...but there's still a lot that can be enjoyable in them, even if they don't completely work. DAD...other than Halle in a bikini, I'd have a hard time picking something I liked.
As I said, I could've gone any number of ways with number 5 on the list. I think it's a lot easier to identify the top 5 or 10 Bond films than listing the ones at the bottom, which can be ranked low for any number of subjective reasons. For me, plots that stretch credibility or villains who are just too over the top don't resonate with me. That's why I rate films like TWINE lower than others like Octopussy.
1. From Russia With Love
2. Casino Royale
5. Dr. No
Connery would have made Majesty's great.
Favorite supporting character: Kerim Bey, the head of the Turkish Secret Service. "back to the saltmines"
2. Casino Royale
3. From Russia with Love
4. The Spy Who Loved Me
5. For Your Eyes Only
I don't know that I have a well defined bottom five, except for that A View to a Kill would be number one with a bullet, and Die Another Day would not be far behind.
I am excited about this as well, but I've always been a fence-sitting Bond fan. I liked the older ones with Connery, then kind of fell out of them until Brosnan came back and they kind of worked early on, until they became all about tech and snarky references. Craig has been a solid Bond because he brings a certain maturity and muscularity to a role that had previously moved toward a more cartoonish approach. The fight scenes are more realistic, the games and tortures more realistic, and the overall feel closer to a Bourne movie (for all their flaws, they handle action and suspense pretty well) than some of the Roger Moore films.
I'm not sure how many more movies Craig is in for, but hopefully this is a sign that the character will continue to evolve a bit more than it had before.
As many others in this thread, I am a Bond aficionado, and I very much enjoy Daniel Craig and his take on the role. Initially, I was not a huge fan of Casino Royale but after watching it a few times I became quite enamored with it. I felt like Casino Royale kept many of the traditional Bond aspects (opening scene, theme, girl, etc.), but put a much more modern and realistic (maybe not the best word?) spin on them. As several posters above have mentioned, Daniel Craig's portrayal much more closely mirrors Bond's character in the books. Also, I particularly enjoyed the development we get to see from his character (even though I would have enjoyed more); perhaps from a "spy," to an assassin, to a "OO_," as well as the emotional toll/journey that eventually crafts him to the cold-hearted and steel-nerved character we all know so well. Craig is certainly not SC, RM, or even PB, but I think he has appropriately seized the role to make it is his and has created a vastly different and equally-intriguing Bond. I don't think there is any problem with the differing versions of Bond over the years, because each has provided what the audience of the day desired. It is great to see a more human, more real, and more flawed Bond character IMO.
Unfortunately, Quantum of Solace did come off as a less-than-polished work, and I would agree that it had too much "Bourne-style" camera work. Nonetheless, I do think that the overall storyline for Quantum of Solace was decent and that it provided a good starting point for Skyfall to now pick-up.
1. Goldfinger. Kind of hard to pick one that better epitomizes the film Bond, IMO. "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!"
2. Goldeneye. Probably higher than it would be on some lists just because it introduced me to the series, and I was SO addicted to the video game way back when. I felt like Pierce Brosnan did a great job with the Bond character in this one, whereas in later films it seemed like he became progressively more of a caricature.
3. Dr. No. The original bikini shot, the three blind men, the island's "monster", and a villain that enjoys playing around with nuclear technology. What's not to like?
4. Casino Royale. There hasn't been a Bond film that so closely mimics the books in a long time, and who knows if it'll ever happen again. The only thing that holds it back for me is the silly use of cell phones, and the use of Texas Hold 'em instead of baccarat.
5. The Living Daylights. Yes, I liked Timothy Dalton. To me it has a great blend of enjoyable plot lines and ridiculousness that a James Bond movie should have. I love the assassination scene, the idea of so many scenes revolving around the cello, and the fight at the end as well.
1. Die Another Day. An invisible car in an ice castle? Seriously? I still haven't seen Quantum of Solace mostly because "Die Another Day" was what happened the last time my friends told me not to bother with a Bond movie.
I'll be honest, that's the only one that I think actually deserves to be on a "bottom" list, though "The World is Not Enough" walks that line a bit.
Ridiculous plot points in "DIe Another Day"
Also not to mention the Dr. No bikini ripoff...
To me, when I think James Bond, I think charming, debonair, polished. I don't see that with Daniel Craig. I think he's too disheveled and gruff. Bond is a smooth talker. Daniel Craig is a man of too few words to be a smooth talker.
Obviously Connery is the gold standard. Then to me, Lasenbury did a good job, Brosnan was servicable, Craig is too gruff, and Dalton was my least favorite (partially, I'll admit, because he yelled/was nasty to Q).
Top 5 Bond Villains (non-Henchmen)
As silly as Live and Let Die was, I still really like it for some reason. Yaphet Kotto is a large part of that.
Goldfinger- They'll never do any better than that movie combo. There's a reason he's got the best line ever too.
Dr. No- a bit un-PC today, but really he set the standard and the style for every opponent since. Plus a cool look/gimmick.
Blofeld- if we have to take an actor, I've already said you by far picked the right one. But if we're going to really take the character, I think part of the problem with the introduction of him in YOLT is Pleasence isn't nearly as threatening or cool as Blofeld was when you didn't see him. He's best in FRWL and TB when he's a deep voice, a white cat, and executing failed Spectre agents.
FRWL- is Grant a henchmen, or the main bad guy? Or is it Blofeld? Or Klebb? That movie has such an unmovie like narrative (following the book) it's hard to say. But before he hunted Jaws (the shark, not the metal teeth guy) he was already a bad ass, even if he had no taste in wines. One of the great violent fight scenes of all time (used to be censored on network tv), but I could see how he could go down with Jaws and Oddjob as great henchmen. But if that's the case it makes more of a case for my Blofeld.
But Sean Bean was no henchman, he that might be the first fight since FRWL that you really felt like two guys were fighting, not choreographing. You could believe he was another 00, Bond's equal in every way.
If Grant doesn't work and I need a 5th, I'll probably go with good bad guys in so-so movies, Zorin/Walken and Scaramanga/Lee. Or maybe Elektra King. Though I do have a soft spot in my heart for Johnathon Pryce overacting as Carver.
I struggled with Red Grant as well, because he's such a great antagonist (Robert Shaw is the man), but I concluded he's a henchman, not villain. I mean if you just follow hierarchy, Blofeld is pulling the strings of Klebb and Kronsteen and they're pulling the strings of Grant, so Grant is clearly more henchman than villian, but for me, he's the best henchman of the Bond series. His character is like a mirror of Bond, with really the only difference between them being motivation.
Of course, From Russia With Love is filled with great characters. Ali Karim Bey is a great character. Rosa Klebb is a great character. Red Grant is a great character. From a pure story-telling standpoint, this is the best Bond movie.
It has been a while since I watched all of them, but top 5 for me:
1. GoldenEye: Probably made me more tolerant of the Brosnan era, because his first movie was just awesome. Sean Bean and Famke Jensen were great in their roles and I happen to like Izabella Scorupco. Brosnan was also a little more serious in this one.
2. On Her Majesty's Secret Service: As others have said, I would have loved to see this with Connery as the lead, but Lazenby was good and I really liked the story. It also did a decent job of following the books IIRC and the whole marriage scene was one of the few genuinely sad scenes Bond has had.
3. Goldfinger: Obviously. This almost has to make everyone's list.
4. From Russia With Love: Another one where I just really enjoyed the plot.
5. Dr. No: I know, I know. I just enjoy this one. Plus, I mean, Ursula Andress. The original Bond girl.
Honorable mentions: Thunderball, Casino Royale, The Living Daylights
Quantum screwed it up for me with that weird horseracing mumbo-jumbo. I don't remember the particulars, but I wasn't too impressed from that point forward.
Especially because of Quantum, I'm kind of weary about Skyfall. This trailer doesn't do a ton to push me either way. I'll look it up on RT before committing to a theatre showing.
When I was a kid:
2. The Spy Who Loved Me
4. The Living Daylights
5. The World is Not Enough
1. Man with the Golden Gun
4. Dr. No
5. Casino Royale
The Bond series is my favorite. It's so hard to rank my top five, but there are some that standout. Dr. No, of course, the original - and damn, Ursula Andress in that white swimsuit. Goldfinger was great, and arguably the greatest Bond film among critics and fans.
Casino Royale was a great transformation of the series that brought in some darker elements, and Craig has been really good. I really hope they do some cool things with Quantum, including some reiteration of Blofeld.
I feel pretty solid about 1-9 and 19-22. I listed those without hesitation. I struggled more with 10-12, all of which I consider to be of comparable quality, with the same being said of 13-18. So if we were going to categorize these, I'd go with 9 great films, 3 strong films, 6 meh films, and 4 awful films.
4 classics, maybe another 6 really good movies, and I'm a slappy, but the next 9 are all pretty enjoyable. 2 bad films made fun because they're Bond, and one utter mess.
Bonus, that no one else will do because I don't think anyone else will even do the movies; Books-
Oh, man. It's been years since I have read the books. I can't list them all like that. But I do remember my favorite books: (2-4 are about equal)
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
From Russia With Love
You Only Live Twice
"The Living Daylights" short story
I had a list of all of the Bond films ranked first to last on my old computer, which I no longer have access to. It's been a few years since I have seen some of them, so I don't know that I can rank them off the top of my head, but I like your list pretty much, except I would put The Spy Who Loved Me much higher.
Looks pretty good. I'll have to admit, I have not seen On Her Majesty's Secret Service so I will have to see that one. I might bump up Tomorrow Never Dies a couple of spots. Also, maybe Octopussy, but that is sentimental for me as it was the first one I saw and it is a pretty silly movie.
1. For Your Eyes Only: My first Bond movie. Enjoyed the water inspired storyline (as well as the opening credits. who's with me?).
2. On Her Majesty's Secret Service. I actually enjoyed Lanzaby as the lead.
3. Live and Let Die: Bond, Cajun style
4. The Man with The Golden Gun: The supporting cast puts this movie on my list. Knick Knack, Sherriff Pepper, Goodnight
5. Goldfinger: Pussy Galore!
I'll back you up on For Your Eyes Only. One of my favs as well.
Ice Cube and Vin Diesel in XXX are both waaaay better than any 007!
What's amazing about Goldfinger is how well it holds up nearly 50 years later. While there are many outrageous aspects to the movie the plot itself is extremely timely considering the events of the past 10 years or so. The idea that someone would try to use crop dusting planes to kill Americans in order to use a dirty nuclear bomb (provided by China in the movie) to ruin the American economy is sadly not as far fetched as it may have seemed initially.
Pussy Galore isn't bad either.
She also holds up well 50 years later
I wasn't around for those releases, but it didn't seem THAT far in the past when I was the kid. Much like things like Spiderman and the Avengers (the 60's were productive). Now it's pushing ancient history. Captain America was on ice a longer and longer time. And Bond being a relic of the cold war....well, was he in high school then?
3. You Only Live Twice
4. From Russia With Love
5. Casino Royale
Back when I was in Ann Arbor (pre video rentals/Netflix), the university used to hold "Bond-age" festivals and would show the whole series, in sequence, one after the other. It was at the MLB and old natural history building as I recall. For a few bucks a student could get a great Bond fix.
The part around 1:04 into the preview reminded me of Usual Suspects when Verbal Kint is talking about the history of Keyser Soze.