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Directors Bond Films...Best 3, Worst 3

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Ernest Rister, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Well-Known Member

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    THE JAMES BOND OUVRE...
    PICK THE WORST THREE AND THE BEST THREE

    WORST BOND

    3. License to Kill (Yes, I know, it is a leaner meaner Bond without too many silly gadgets, and Dalton never got his due and thank goodness, there is no Giant Villain's Lair that looks like a discarded idea for the Legion of Doom -- however, despite the film's reported budget, this is the cheapest-looking Bond film since #1 below, with tired direction and no creative spark at all. Bond had been eclipsed by modern action films, like Raiders and Die Hard and Lethal Weapon, and nobody bothered to tell the creaking Bond crew. This was pretty much the same ol', same ol', filmed with enormous lethargy. Even the props look tired. Quick! Can you sing the theme song by Aretha Franklin? Can you remember the tune?)

    2. From Russia With Love (Naah, just kidding. Just put it here to watch Bond purists lose their minds. This was a hard choice, but I'm going name A View To a Kill my second runner up. Not quite as horrible as I remembered it being, Walken is great, and the flooded mine sequence was actually genuinely exciting. Sort of lacks imagination - I mean, how come everytime Bond goes to a large city, he winds up fighting on top of that city's largest and most famous landmark? Bond is in Paris, he fights on top of the Eiffel Tower. He is in San Fran, he fights on top of the Golden Gate Bridge. He comes to Hollywood, he fights on top of Oprah....I keed! I keed!)

    1. Live and Let Die (Maybe the strangest Bond film of all time. Seriously, it's like watching one of those 7-up commercials from the 80's mixed together with The Serpent and the Rainbow and The French Connection..."Voodoo! Crisp and clean and no caffeine! HA HA HA HA!" -- Best thing about it is Yaphet Kotto's performance and the Paul McCartney title track.)

    BEST BOND

    3. Thunderball (Hey, look at this! A Bond film that actually has a pretty good story. There's also a confidence about this movie that I like. Like every Bond film, it has an oddball scene or two (like Bond's near-death at the hands of a spine-strecthing exercise machine), but overall, the film is aces.)

    2. Goldfinger (Bond goofing around in America. How many classic moments does this film contain? From the giant laser to Odd Job's demise to a girl covered in gold, this movie is an icon. Loads of fun, too. "Man talk." *swat* Enough said.)

    1. Die Another Day (Isn't the Madonna song just super! Okay, you got me. I'm just trying to annoy the Bond purists again. I'm gonna be boring and say From Russia With Love as #1. Villainous henchmen don't come any cooler than Robert Shaw, and like Thunderball, the best asset of the film is the story. The actual climax isn't the most suprising thing in the world, but the suspense scenes throughout (including the final showdown between Shaw and Connery) make up for the lack of, say, giant hovercraft with flame throwers going over cliffs, or expensive cars racing around inside a giant ice castle while a space heat beam tries to melt them...also the love interest is actually interesting for once in this film. Well done, 007)

    CURRENT TALLY (excluding the votes of those who picked ties or more than three titles)

    WORST:
    Casino Royale (1)
    On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1)
    Diamonds Are Forever (4)
    Live and Let Die (2)
    The Man with the Golden Gun (2)
    Moonraker (6)
    Never Say Never Again (2)
    For Your Eyes Only (1)
    Octopussy (2)
    A View to a Kill (7)
    The Living Daylights (1)
    License to Kill (3)
    The World is not Enough (1)
    Die Another Day (3)

    BEST:
    Dr. No (1)
    From Russia With Love (7)
    Goldfinger (9)
    Thunderball (2)
    You Only Live Twice (1)
    On Her Majesty's Secret Service (2)
    The Spy Who Loved Me (5)
    For Your Eyes Only (1)
    Octopussy (1)
    The Living Daylights (1)
    GoldenEye (3)
    Tomorrow Never Dies (1)
     
  2. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Well-Known Member

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    Worst Bond
    1. The Man w/ The Golden Gun
    2. Die Another Day
    3. A View To a Kill

    Best Bond (this is harder)
    3 Way Tie for Best!
    1. From Russia With Love/Octopussy/Tomorrow Never Dies
    From Russia With Love is Connery's best & I think Octopussy is Moore's best too. Also feel that Tomorrow Never Dies is Brosnans best as well. These are all different in their own way. I love FRWL for the opposite reasons I love Octopussy. Same for TNDies.

    2. The Spy Who Loved Me. Moore finally finds his way here and sets the tone for the next few Bonds. His style wore thin but also earned new fans to the series with this one. Critics also began believing too.

    3. Goldeneye. Bond was back and in awesome grand style. Onatop was marvelous. Sean Bean was one of the best villains ever and the smartest. Outstanding music here too.
     
  3. Jim_K

    Jim_K Well-Known Member

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    Best

    1. From Russia With Love

    2. Goldfinger

    3. tie On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    tie Thunderball

    Worst

    Diamonds Are Forever

    Moonraker

    A View To A Kill
     
  4. george kaplan

    george kaplan Well-Known Member

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    Worst:

    3. Never Say Never Again

    2. On Her Majesty's Secret Service

    1. A View to a Kill


    Best:

    3. Tomorrow Never Dies

    2. Goldfinger

    1. From Russia With Love


    I was very tempted to put Live & Let Die in my #3 slot for the best films, just because it's infinitely better than Ernest ranked it. But I honestly can't say it's one of the three best, just an excellent middle-of-the-pack Bond film. Certainly not the worst (hell, the best Bond theme song by itself prevents that from happening).
     
  5. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Well-Known Member

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    Worst Three

    3. Die Another Day - A film that gets so caught up in referencing every other film, it forgets to actually have any reason for existing. Invisible car? Bond surfing? And the revelation of the villain's true identity was just laughable. Add to that Madonna's awful, ghastly song, and you just have a bad film. Although the ice building was a nice idea. And I did like the blonde.

    2. Moonraker - I seem to have vague memories (I haven't seen it in years) that the film was enjoyable enough for the majority of the film, a decent average Bond film. But then they went into space, and then the film just turned into Star Wars. Awful. Add to that that silly part where Jaws falls in love and becomes a good guy, and you're left with a truly awful film.

    1. The World Is Not Enough - The sole highlight of the film is Desmond Llewelyn, even if he is sidelined by the replacement. Other than that, it is the only Bond film that actually bored me. No matter how awful some of the other films would get, they had their moments that were actually enjoyable to watch. But TWINE? After an astonishing opening, it just became dull.


    Best Three

    3. The Spy Who Loved Me - Just a really well made film. After a wonderful opening that promises much, the film delivers. It never seems to take a misstep. And it's helped by having the best Bond theme song, full stop.

    2. Goldfinger - A great villain (and one that isn't Blofeld, who really was overused). The first Bond film to truly establish the formula, and it does it so well. Plus it has Pussy Galore. Great.

    3. On Her Majesty's Secret Service - George Lazenby is the worst Bond actor. End of story. And yet, he is lucky enough to find himself in a Bond film that far exceeds anything that the franchise ever made that the film saves his performance. It has a great romance with Tracy (Look! It's Emma Peel!), and the most memorable ending for a Bond film (Cue Louis Armstrong, "We Have All The Time Time In The World"). The film was the first Bond I ever saw, and it stayed with me.
     
  6. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Okay, before anyone reads my picks a disclaimer - the first Bond film I saw all the way through was The World Is Not Enough in 2000 when I was 21. My Dad was never a Bond fan so subsequently I pretty much avoided the series entirely.

    After watching TWINE, I rented all the films and watched them for the first time in order over 2-3 weeks. As a result, a lot of the picks I make are gonna be unusual, and are mostly based on my first reaction. Some of my complaints/praises with the series are weird ones: On Her Majesty's Secret Service is 30 minutes too long; the Madonna song in Die Another Day rules (small rant warning - Any song that makes me think the theater sound system was mistakenly turned off is frickin' brilliant. It's an electronic music lover's geek-out dream come true. If you don't like this song, I hate you. :p) ); Moore's tongue-in-cheek style makes the fantastically surreal Moonraker a blast to watch; Dalton's brief stint as Bond is severely underappreciated - YOU try following the "it's all a joke" feel of Moore's 7 films with anything more serious.

    Anyway, here we go.

    Worst:

    3) A View to a Kill - In the end, it's just dull. And Grace Jones is not attractive.
    2) For Your Eyes Only - I know they were trying to get away from the zaniness of Moonraker, but aside from the great pre-credits sequence this one left me rather bored.
    1) Diamonds Are Forever - Man this movie sucked. Connery came back for one more, and it's just awful. Watching them in order made me really want Connery back, not because Lazenby was that bad, but because he wasn't that good either. And then this horrid mess started playing before me. I tried to like it, but it kept having such idiotic parts that I couldn't. That whole fight (a.k.a. joyful frolick) with Bambi and Thumper was the final straw for me.

    Best:

    3) Octopussy - The one Moore should have ended with. Perfect combination of Moore's schmalzy style, mindless action, and legitimate intrigue to boot. Besides - who can not love a movie with Bond disguised as a circus clown?
    2) You Only Live Twice - The "Think I'm Turning Japanese" segment aside, this film rocked my socks off. Great gadgets, best Blofeld, overall a ton of fun - which is really the bottom line for me with a Bond film.
    1) The Living Daylights - Sue me. I enjoyed every frickin' minute it. The fight on the cargo plane; using the cello to slide down the snow; Dalton's intensity. It may not have any of the iconic moments in the series, but I don't care. It's just a wonderfully great ride.
     
  7. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Well-Known Member

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    Long-time Bond fan here, so my choices may go to the obvious:

    Worst:
    1. A View To A Kill - I knew it was going to be bad as soon as they played the Beach Boys tune in the pre-credit sequence. Nothing against the Beach Boys, but the movie went for comedy right off the bat. A terrible self-parody.

    2. Die Another Day - So stupid. Stunt-casting never works, and Halle Berry was terrible; her line in the fight sequence at the end to Rosamund Pike made me laugh out loud. It's clear they are going for the lowest common denominator when they make films like this.

    3. Toss-up. Licence To Kill or The World Is Not Enough. Too much testosterone, and that's saying a lot for Bond movies. Licence is far too grim; World is too simplistic (and stunt-casting Denise Richards doesn't help).

    Best
    1. From Russia With Love - exactly what the series should be. Doesn't matter it was 40 years ago, it is still the most stirring film in the series.

    2. Goldfinger - For once, a crowd-pleaser that works. The reason it became the archetype is because it was great.

    3. Thunderball - Yes, more Connery, but these three films cemented the Bond legacy. Everything that followed was because of the creative success of these films.

    Honorable mention goes to The Spy Who Loved Me (best of the Moore films, even if the plot is an exact copy of You Only Live Twice), The Living Daylights (for a moment it looked like Timothy Dalton would rescue the series), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Lazenby was pretty good, although with Connery in the movie, alongside the great Diana Rigg, this could have been the best in the series), Tomorrow Never Dies (what a Bond film should be in the 21st century; the only good entry in the Brosnan films -- yes, including Goldeneye, which substituted explosions at the end of every scene for sublty of plot).
     
  8. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Well-Known Member

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    OK, OK ... I want to play, too!

    My Worst Three Bond Movies:

    3. Moonraker ... The tagline was "Outer space now belongs to 007!" Only it takes almost the entire movie for him to get there ... and in the meantime we have to put up with riffs on "Close Encounters" and "2001: A Space Odyssey". And the "sight gags" , oh ... the "sight gags"!! Who needs Austin Powers when you have self-parody??

    2. Never Say Never Again - Yeah, I know: This movie wasn't part of the main franchise, but was an "authorized" re-make of Thunderball. Still, Bond without the 007 music? Forgetaboutit!

    1. The Living Daylights - I don't know what to say about this film ... It just didn't seem like Bond to me ... Hey, it was a great little spy/action movie, though!


    The Best:

    3. On Her Majesty's Secret Service - I'm in the camp that believes that Lazenby did a great job with a great Bond script. The movie was unique in that Bond truly falls in love. The movie has everything: Believable, but eye-popping, action sequences; a great villian played by a great actor (Telly Savalas); humor where needed; and human pathos (a rarity for a Bond movie)in spades.

    2. From Russia with Love - Bond without gadgets, but depicted as the "pure spy". A great, intelligent script derived from an actual Ian Fleming novel. The unforgettable train fight between Connery and Shaw is still amazing to behold. A winner all the way.

    1. Goldfinger - The only movie to give us "pure Bond" with just the right amount of high-tech gadgets mixed-in. The car is great, the villain is great, the henchman is great, the script is great, the women are great, the direction is great. The movie also has one of the most memorable quotes of the series:
    Bond: "Do you expect me to talk?"
    Goldfinger: "No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die."

    Hey, you could lose your head over this movie! It's just ... Golden!
     
  9. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    As a huge fan of the official Bond movies (not counting Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again) I have to say there isn't a dog among them, each film has it's loyal fans, all are hugely entertaining, yes even A View to a Kill.[​IMG]

    The quintessential Bond film is Goldfinger, if only one could be picked and put into a time capsule it would most likely be that. The template for all future Bonds, Ian Fleming fans may have wished it was From Russia With Love instead, but I'm glad it was Goldfinger.[​IMG]

    As for personal favorite Bond films, I always group them by decade...

    1960's - You Only Live Twice (Always been my favorite of all the Bonds, completely over the top, fantastic photography, great locations, gorgeous gals, one of John Barry's most memorable scores, Blofeld trying to trigger WWIII from his volcano lair, hundreds of ninjas helping Bond thwart Blofelds plans, and Connery's cool bored Bond totally unfazed by it all, perfect!) [​IMG]

    1970's - The Spy Who Loved Me (a remake of You Only Live Twice, my favorite Roger Moore Bond, fantastic setpieces, they don't get much better than this one)

    1980's - The Living Daylights (Timothy Dalton was underrated as Bond, uncomfortable with the 007 quips, but a very good actor, Tim was the most serious and dangerous Bond of them all, shame he didn't make a couple more)

    1990's - Tomorrow Never Dies (Action packed Bond spectacular, Michelle Yeoh the best Bond girl in ages, weak villain as is usual with the Brosnan Bonds, but great action sequences and a fine score by David Arnold)


    The weakest Bonds IMO are The Man With The Golden Gun, For Your Eyes Only and The World is Not Enough.
     
  10. JonZ

    JonZ Well-Known Member

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    Best:
    The Spy Who Loved Me
    From Russia With Love
    Goldfinger

    Worst:
    A View To A Kill
    Live and Let Die
    Octopussy
     
  11. Amy Mormino

    Amy Mormino Well-Known Member

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    I personally feel every Bond film has something positive in it and that there hasn't been a "perfect" Bond movie yet. That's the beauty of the Bond formula: consistency.

    Worst Three:
    3. Diamonds Are Forever: Anyone who complains about the campiness of the Roger Moore movies needs to see this one, Connery's last turn as Bond. Connery looks bored and out of shape. He actually looks hotter in The Rock, which was made over 20 years later. Charles Gray, who I like in other films, is a bland Blofeld. I enjoyed the song, though.
    2. The Man with the Golden Gun: This one makes me mad because it had a lot of potential. The Thai scenery is the finest in any Bond film, imho, and Christopher Lee is a suave villain. But the heroine (Mary Goodnight) is painfully stupid and the comic relief is awful.
    1. Moonraker: The effects are good, but that's the most that can be said for it. Jaws should never have been turned "good" in the end. Plus, it lazily recycles the basic plot of The Spy Who Loved Me, but in space.

    Best Three:
    3. From Russia with Love: I actually like this more than Goldfinger, which lags in places. Its exciting and has the right balance of camp and action. Points off for the lousy title song, however.
    2. For Your Eyes Only: I admit to its faults, especially the teen ice skater character. But I love the Greek setting and the action sequences. Its a sentimental favorite.
    1. The Spy Who Loved Me: Practically perfect. This film has Moore at his most dashing and a great mix of action, gadgets, stunts, and scenery. Good title song as well.

    The Brosnan films are neither good nor bad enough to rank, though still enjoyable. Die Another Day will takes its proper middle ranking with the passage of time.
     
  12. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Well-Known Member

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    Great thread Ernest!

    We should start another thread on favorite Bond quotes; but not here so we can stay on task. Like reading everyone's picks; while all differing...intriguing. [​IMG]
     
  13. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Well-Known Member

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    The worst three, in my opinion:

    3. Licence to Kill (somehow it just didn't appeal to me that much, particularly the idea of a vengeful 007)
    2. Octopussy (zzzzzzzzz all the way throughout)
    1. Moonraker (they'd promised "For Your Eyes Only" in 1979, but they rushed this sucker into the theaters to cash in on "Star Wars" and pushed back FYEO to 1981)

    The best three: in my opinion:

    3. GoldenEye (Pierce Brosnan's first outing as 007 was really good and gave him a very believable nemesis)
    2. Goldfinger (how could I not include this one in the top 3? All of the classic lines, gadgets, and humor - the definitive Bond of them all!)
    1. Dr. No (I pick this one over Goldfinger simply because this is where it all began and set the standard to come.)
     
  14. Brian Sheffield

    Brian Sheffield Well-Known Member

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    The worst Bond film ever.

    No contest.

    Think Austin Powers without anything remotely humorous.


    CASINO ROYALE - IMDB Entry. Peter Sellers, Woody Allen, and a whole host of 60's stars.


    Ugh.. what an unfunny mess with absolutely no discernable plot. It saddens me that they were able to buy the rights to the original Bond TV story and remake it into this.
     
  15. BrentWW

    BrentWW Active Member

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    Worst three: (in no particular order)
    1. Moonraker - This one is just pure cheese. Jaws goes from menacing villian to Wyle E. Coyote in this movie. Every time Bond "dispatched" him I was just waiting for Jaws to raise a sign above his head that said "Yipe!"

    2. Licence to Kill - Although I liked Timothy Dalton as Bond, this one just didn't seem much like a Bond film, and its action sequences were uninspired.

    3. Diamonds are Forever - definitely the weakest film with Connery as Bond, save Never Say Never Again.

    Best three: (in no particular order)
    1. Goldfinger - How can I not pick this one? As its been said before, the definitive Bond movie.

    2. The Spy Who Loved Me - definitely Moore's best.

    3. Goldeneye - faith was returned to the 007 franchise. A good villian, and once of the best Bond chases ever - the minute Bond busted through the wall with the tank and the 007 theme played, I was hooked.




    On a similar note I'd also like to see a "Best Bond Teaser" thread to see what Bond movie people think has the best pre-credit sequence.
    "fill 'er up please!" [​IMG]
     
  16. Joe Kamsan

    Joe Kamsan Well-Known Member

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    Worst:
    3. Tomorrow Never Dies
    2. You Only Live Twice
    1. Diamonds Are Forever

    Best:
    3. The Living Daylights
    2. The Spy Who Loved Me
    1. From Russia With Love
     
  17. Andre Bijelic

    Andre Bijelic Well-Known Member

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    Worst 3:

    1). "A View to a Kill" - Lethargic, uninspired outing featuring Tanya Roberts' stupefyingly bad performance.

    2). "Licence to Kill" - Why, oh why, did they continue to allow John Glen to direct these things? Made with all the panache of a Steven Seagal direct-to-video actioner.

    3). "For Your Eyes Only" - A John Glen hat-trick. Horrible, bombastic-disco score by Bill Conti. Marred by a sullen Carole Bouquet as the primary love interest. And the scenes with Roger Moore and Lynn Holly Johnson are just embarrassing.


    Best 3:

    1). "The Spy Who Loved Me" - The perfect balance of action, adventure, thrills, romance, humour, wit and spectacle. Everything a Bond film should be. Loses a point for Marvin Hamlisch's score.

    2). "You Only Live Twice" - Bogs down a bit in the Japanese fishing village scenes, but the music, production design and set-pieces are still spectacular.

    3). "Moonraker" - Yes, "Moonraker". Sure, it's silly, but if you want gritty, down-to-earth espionage stories, stick with John Le Carre. I've always been a fan of the outrageous, over-the-top sci-fi Bonds and nodbody did them better than Lewis Gilbert.
     
  18. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    I have two absolutes - very best and very worst. The others are more closely, but there just has to be an order to them. Or has it?

    Very Worst: 1. Moonraker. Absolutely terrible, go away Roger Moore, you're not James Bond. Wish you'd said "Never" again and again and again.

    Not very good: 2. Live and Let Die. What was that story again?
    3. The Man With the Golden Gun. Yawn.

    (I'm not saying here that Diamonds Are Forever or A View To a Kill are very good Bond movies.)


    Very Best Spy film: 1. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Oh wait, it has to be a Bond movie:
    1. From Russia With Love Absolutely quintessence Bond movie. Read the books, this is James Bond, this is what he does, this is one of his assignments. Too bad the over-the-top Goldfinger became the Bond Film standard. (Not a bad film, though!)

    Very good: 2. Dr. No. A bit too low budget, but Bond, James Bond.
    3. The Living Daylights. Timothy Dalton is underrated as JB.


    Cees
     
  19. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Cees I'm shocked, I always thought Europeans loved Roger Moore as Bond, he was my dad's favourite anyway, dad loved his suave, tongue in cheek approach.
    Moonraker. Bond.. in.. space! What's not to like? [​IMG]
     
  20. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Well-Known Member

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    B3 - Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, The Spy Who Loved Me

    W3- Moonraker, Live And Let Die, Goldeneye
     

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