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Watching all the James Bond movies (SPOILERS) (1 Viewer)

Sam Favate

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I always thought The Smithereens deserved a shot at a Bond title song. They must have thought so too, because their 1988 video for Only a Memory looks like a Bond title sequence.

 

benbess

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‘No Time To Die’ Nears $400M At Global Box Office
Scott Mendelson
Forbes Staff
....The film had a running cume of $360 million worldwide as of Wednesday, meaning it added $16.4 million domestic and around $29.6 million overseas over the previous Mon-Wed frame. If that matches up, then the $250 million flick has earned $373 million worldwide thus far, besting the $366 million cume of Tenet (including a still-impressive $305 million overseas last year) and putting on schedule to pass Black Widow ($380 million) today. By the way, with all the hub-hub over whether the mere $55 million launch of No Time to Die means that James Bond is no longer a hot commodity, we should remember that the Daniel Craig actioner will pass $400 million worldwide today or tomorrow. It may end the weekend above the unadjusted $437 million global cume of Die Another Day...."
 

Walter Kittel

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Bowie would have been a pretty inspired choice for a James Bond theme. (While lyrically it doesn't really work, I sort of think that the phrase 'The Man Who Sold The World' is very much of the Bond universe.)

A couple of songs that were in the running for Bond films that were rejected:

Muse - Supremacy - Skyfall. While I like Adele's song, Muse's song really feels like a Bond theme.




Radiohead - Spectre - Spectre. Can't say I was ever a big fan of Sam Smith's contribution to Spectre. For me, this is a superior song and fits the somber mood of that film really well.



- Walter.
 

benbess

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International trailer is somewhat different from the US one. Seems to emphasize a bit more the humor, as well as the human aspects of Bond.

 

benbess

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Tough question, but how would you rank the six main James Bond actors?

For me, Daniel Craig has moved into first place, because of his surprising vulnerability at appropriate moments. He's an impressive actor, as well as someone who does many of his own stunts, and I hope that he's nominated for an Academy Award for his last performance as Bond in No Time to Die.

Although it may seem like a dodge, I actually think the others are more or less a tie for me.

Sean Connery iconically inhabited the role, and at his best he's great. But starting even in Thunderball I sense that he's beginning to get tired of playing Bond, and this accelerates in You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever. Some moments in his movies are flawed by the sexism of the era, although that's true of some of the later Bonds as well.

George Lazenby only played Bond once, and so it seems impossible that he could tie Connery, and I guess that's true. But it happens that he was in a pivotal and more personal Bond film that actually helped pave the way for Daniel Craig. For many Bond fans On Her Majesty's Secret Service is at or near the top of their list of favorites, and Lazenby is part of that—although the late and great Dame Diana Rigg is obviously also part of it. I can't quite imagine the Connery or Moore of 1969 doing better in OHMSS than GL.

Roger Moore is the Bond I grew up with. His grace and sense of humor are appealing, and his posh but unfussy accent I find enjoyable. Moore was called "wooden" a few times by critics, but when actually given a well-written dramatic moment to play he could pull it off with convincing professionalism. He emotions were understated, but conveyed by his eyes at such times. But most of the time the movies he was in were over-the-top escapades, and he knew how to make them fun. His movies are period pieces, like all Bonds of earlier decades, but I have affection for them.

Timothy Dalton brought a Shakespearian touch of realism to the role of Bond, and he's excellent. I wish we had more than two from him.

Pierce Brosnan does quite well in GoldenEye, which I confess is the only one of his that I've seen so far, but in that film he somehow combines the lighter touch of Moore with the more serious approach of Dalton. I plan to watch the other Brosnan Bonds at some point, but the mixed to negative reviews they got makes me think that the screenplays for all of them are below average.

all bonds.jpeg
 
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Camps

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Saw NTTD in 3D, which I think does enhance it even in the scenes of lesser visual depth -- and the credits (and gunbarrel sequence) come out quite nicely. I think the producers and MGM understood this may help bring people into the theaters, and indeed various reports indicated 2D audiences have been sparse compared to 3D and IMAX crowds.

I actually appreciated the music licks from previous movies especially OHMSS. And it dips further into Bond history by borrowing liberally from a plot device of Fleming's original You Only Live Twice novel which was not used in the 1967 movie.

In fact, the late Cubby Broccoli famously told his daughter Barbara and stepson Michael Wilson that (paraphrasing), "Whenever in doubt, go back to the Fleming books." Thus the highly successful 2006 reboot with the first serious feature-length film of Casino Royale.

To this point, on another board I offered a (quickly disputed) theory: that Michael and Barbara may consider remaking the original Bond flicks -- Dr. No, From Russia With Love, etc. Not to replicate the mores of the era, and not even to set them in the '60s, but to update them for modern-day realities while still accomplishing some of the visuals and set-pieces of the books. And this time, thanks to CGI, they'd have the luxury of hewing more faithfully to Fleming's imagery. Dr. No, for example, did not die submerged in radioactive water in the novel; he was drowned under a giant pile of guano deposited on him by a steam shovel operated by Bond. Not so easy to depict on film in 1962; a layup today.

This idea may seem quaint -- but indeed we seem to be back in a good ol' Cold War with both Russia and China, are we not....?

Simply my (possibly idiotic) stab-in-the-dark as to how they might go about..... resurrecting.... the franchise. Bottom line, given what they did with this last outing, I'm... dying to know what they plan to do next. ;)

Anyway, my take on the best and worst Bonds differs somewhat with some of the above rankings...

The Best: From Russia with Love (1963); Goldfinger (1964); On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969); Thunderball (1965); Dr. No (1962); You Only Live Twice (1967); Casino Royale (2006); Live and Let Die (1973) (Sentimental attachment; the first Bond I saw in a theater. And it gave the franchise a 2nd life... could you imagine if John Gavin had been given the role after all...?)

Good: Diamonds Are Forever (1971); The Spy Who Loved Me (1977); The Living Daylights (1987)

OK: For Your Eyes Only (1981); GoldenEye (1995); No Time to Die (2021) (Yes, it's excellently made... but just too different for me to be able to place it among the best...)

"Forgettable" Territory: Licence to Kill (1989); Tomorrow Never Dies (1997); Spectre (2015); Quantum of Solace (2008); The World Is Not Enough (1999)

Not Very Good: Skyfall (2012) (Too dark... downbeat...downright depressing); The Man with the Golden Gun (1974); Octopussy (1983)

Just Bad... Moonraker (1979); A View to a Kill (1985); Die Another Day (2002) (That waterskiing gag...)

(Not including NSNA nor of course '67's Casino because they're not lineal EON Bonds.)
 

Osato

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Love 1962-1989. Pierce and Daniel films are hit and miss for me. I watch them rarely.

I do like pierces first 2. I like quantum of solace and Skyfall too.

The ones I go to the most:
Any of Rogers films.
Sean : Thunderball and diamonds
Dalton: daylights

I was so happy to get to see Dr. No and Goldfinger in theaters last year.

I haven’t missed a bond in theaters since daylights. My first was Octopussy.
 

Sam Favate

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All lists are subjective, but of course, mine make sense to me.

Favorite films:
From Russia With Love - it's the quintessential Bond movie, before the fanciful nature of the series kicked in, and with more than a touch of the serious take that would come later, but still with Connery's humor and charm.

Goldfinger - it's usually held up as the best in the series, and with good reason.

The Spy Who Loved Me - the most spy-like of all Roger Moore's movies, with action sequences that can leave you breathless. Audiences in 1977 literally gasped at the pre-credit sequence.

Thunderball - a bit long, but essential Bond and Connery.

Dr. No - Often overlooked, but this is a tense spy thriller, with Connery's Bond at his deadliest and most ruthless.

The Living Daylights - Timothy Dalton was a great James Bond (until he wasn't) and his debut film snapped away from the comedy of the later Moore films and showed a more dangerous Bond.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service - Fleming's best book could've been the best film, but George Lazenby - who is not bad in the role - isn't an actor; he's a stand-in, and it shows. The production and the supporting cast here are second to none.

Live And Let Die - Moore's debut is really good, and the blaxploitation elements give this an identity all its own.

For Your Eyes Only - The series gets back to the spy business after the outer space exploits of the previous film.

Casino Royale - Daniel Craig's debut is terrific, even if Fleming's story is needlessly marred by the convoluted writing of the Purvis & Wade team, which is the films only drawback.

No Time To Die - Craig's final film hits all the right notes, and honors all the films that came before. It was a joy to see it all come together.

Tomorrow Never Dies - Pierce Brosnan's best film, thanks to a good script and the presence of Michele Yeoh, who is easily his equal and the best Bond girl ever; in fact, calling her a "Bond girl" is a disservice. She's way beyond that role.

Moonraker - It gets maligned for its third act, but the first 2/3 of the movie have all the classic Bond elements, and yes, it gets too fanciful for its own good, but the Bond movies always strived to stay current and what's more current in the age of Star Wars than setting the film in outer space? I bet audiences would look at this differently now that there is a real-life space station in orbit and flights by private rich people going up regularly.

The Man With the Golden Gun - Christopher Lee elevates this to a must-see Bond film, as one of the best adversaries in the series, and Moore's at his best too. It gets silly with the stereotypical dim Bond girl.

Mild disappointments: You Only Live Twice (the same story is told in the Spy Who Loved Me, only better), Diamonds Are Forever (the humor takes over), Octopussy (despite some good sequences, the humor suffocates the movie), Never Say Never Again, Licence To Kill (the emphasis on Bond as a rogue agent begins and never ends; it's the same in every movie after this), Goldeneye (too much overkill; nearly every scene ends in an explosion), Skyfall (Craig is great but it's a lousy script, full of plot holes big enough to drive a subway through), Spectre (plots out of Austin Powers? Come on).

Bad films - I literally would not care if I never saw these again: A View To A Kill, The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day (worst film, worst song, worst Bond girl, worst villain), Quantum of Solace.

Best Bonds:
Connery
Moore
Craig
Dalton
Brosnan (to be fair, he was underserved by the writing)
Lazenby
 

JimmyO

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I'm pretty much spoiled for more modern Bonds. Pretty much enjoying the Craig films the most, except for the mess that is Quantum.

Grew up with Moore, but it's too close to the end of Craig for me to really appreciate the prior Bonds anymore. Never liked Dalton at all.
 

benbess

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Yeah, the Daniel Craig Bonds have spoiled me too. I get what you mean.

Here's director Cary Fukunaga narrating a short scene from NTTD for the New York Times.

 

fdabbott

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I’ll give it a go. But NTtD will most likely change eventually as I’ve still only seen it once. I really need a good few watches over time before a Bond film solidifies it’s impression on me. Also, I will be going in reverse order, worst-to-best. Just prefer ranking lists like that.

25. A View to a Kill - A pretty easy dead last pick. Beyond boring and dull. I will say in slight defense of it, that it’s got a fun opening teaser and the finale on the Golden Gate bridge is pretty cool, and Christopher Walken was born to be a Bond villain. The rest is just not good. Great song though.

24. Die Another Day - Almost tied for absolute worst, this one actually starts out really strong. Seriously some cool and interesting choices here, but after the first 20 minutes or so it steadily goes to crap for the rest of the movie. I’ll give it an edge over AVTAK since it at least briefly showed promise.

23. The World is Not Enough - This one is pretty bad. Though it does showcase just how great Brosnan was as Bond. He’s pitch perfect here, not to say he WASN’T good in his first two, but here you can see how comfortable he is in the role. Unfortunately he wasn’t given much after GoldenEye.

22. Live and Let Die - A plodding and just plain boring movie, but I’ll give it the chunk that takes place in Louisiana. Pretty fun stuff there. And the cast of villains are great. Wish they were used better.

21. You Only Live Twice - I remember putting it dead last the first time I did one of these lists on a message board years ago. Since then, my opinion hasn’t changed TOO drastically, but there’s some stuff here to appreciate. The volcano lair set is AMAZING, the spectacle of it alone worth giving it a watch. Also like Dr. Loomis as Blofeld, but almost in a sort of unintentional funny way. But the majority of the movie is just sort of a bore.

20. Tomorrow Never Dies - I’ll preface by saying that this, and my last two choices, YOLT and LALD, are almost a three way tie for this spot, but if I have to give each a spot I suppose it’s this particular order. This one is boring and generic, even if un-offensively so, but Pryce makes for a fun villain.

19. Moonraker - This and the next pick are higher than I used to rank them, as they are NOT good Bond movies, but in trying to find good things about them I can sit and enjoy the movie for one reason or another. This movie has a wonderful music score as well as beautiful cinematography. So it can be a peaceful time watching it…until they go into space.

18. Diamonds Are Forever - One could make a good argument that this is the worst Bond ever. But if you look at it as a comedy it’s not so bad. Surprisingly watchable.

17. For Your Eyes Only - Yeah, it was nice getting a down-to-earth Bond film after Moonraker, but I feel this one is a bit too all-over-the-place for it’s own good. It has some notable sequences that are very Bond, but it just isn’t a smooth watch overall.

16. Octopussy - An uneven Bond movie, but it does have some pretty thrilling sequences including the opening teaser, the second half when the plot moves to Germany, and a fun finale. But it just takes too long for the movie to get going, and some of the villain plot just doesn’t make much sense when you break it down. Like FYEO, not the smoothest watch, but it’s can be fun.

15. Quantum of Solace - This was the only disappointing one of the Craig films, but I think I see what they were going for and I appreciate the try. Needed a little more development with the story and characters. And no one can say it was too long.

14. The Spy Who Loved Me - A good solid Bond movie. I don’t have much else to say about it really, other than I’m sorry I don’t like it even more, as it’s commonly near the top of people’s list. I don’t want to use the word overrated, but maybe it’s a matter of I just like the rest of the other movies more.

13. Licence to Kill - Amazing ideas, but a bit longer than it needs to be. It can feel a little like a slog to get through, and can be a visually ugly film at times, but the action is good and plentiful enough to be a pretty fun flick. Also really like the underrated score.

12. Thunderball - I REALLY dig this one. Though I generally appreciate the underwater stuff, I have to admit, it can drag a bit. I think if they could’ve somehow made it less slow it could be up there with Goldfinger. But alas, it’ll have to settle with “close”, which isn’t anything to complain about.

11. The Living Daylights - A great Cold War era spy story, it feels like a bit of a tribute to From Russia with Love. Dalton does Bond great right out of the gates and the movie moves quickly and entertainingly all the way through. Great stuff. But maybe shave off 5-10 minutes.

10. Dr. No - Amazing first film of the series. A great low-key start that leads to a big exciting finish. A little dated (which is fine, it was the first), but I particularly dislike Monty Norman’s score. Luckily they went with Barry after this.

9. Spectre - I liked this one from the first viewing, but it’s gotten even better in the years since it came out. Sam Mendes + Daniel Craig = Bond Heaven!

8. Goldfinger - Usually at the top of every Bond list, it’s easy to see why. It solidified the Bond “formula” and it’s crazy entertaining, mostly thanks to Goldfinger himself. I personally think it drags a little at times, but that doesn’t hold it back from being a classic.

7. The Man with the Golden Gun - I unapologetically LOVE this one! And thanks to some of the other posters here I know I’m not alone. And YES, I put this above Goldfinger. Deal with it!

6. No Time to Die - This (and sort of Spectre too) I found really hard to place on the list. They still feel fresh and I’m sure they’ll migrate around if I make a list again some day.

5. Casino Royale - This really blew me away back when it came out. An absolutely amazing start to a new era of Bond.

4. GoldenEye - This is a bit of a bias pick, and it was the first Bond movie is ever saw. I just absolutely love it.

3. Skyfall - As I said with Spectre, Mendes and Craig make amazing Bond movies.

2. From Russia with Love - One of the best Cold War spy stories ever concocted, and made even better in this adaptation of the novel. Close to perfection, if sort of an unconventional Bond outing. Not to say that’s a bad thing at all, though.

1. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service - Epic. Exciting. Heartbreaking. The best. Lazenby is surprisingly good, if a little stiff at times, but he really showed potential.
I just watched "No Time To Die" the latest James Bond film and I hated it. The producers have destroyed the character, what a totol waste of time and money.
 

benbess

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This movie certainly has a wide range of responses. In his thread on NTTD Robert A. Harris writes:

"Just left a screening of No Time to Die.

Probably the best of the Bonds, and a superbly crafted film in its own right.

Best to see it on a huge screen!

RAH"

When asked if it was really the best, RAH replied....

"Best of the Craigs.

better than Goldfinger? Yes.

A beautifully conceived film...."
 

benbess

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At some point soon I'm going to try to get back to watching and briefly reviewing all of the Bond movies in reverse order, which means the next movie would be 2015's SPECTRE, just in case anyone wants to do a reverse order watch and review as well.

But because it's such a pivotal movie in the franchise, seems like we should also continue with NTTD and the future of Bond, which is really a big question.

As said in the end credits of NTTD, "James Bond Will Return," but obviously recast as a different actor. Are there any British men that seem like a good fit for this role?

And just as importantly, how are they going to deal with the continuity of Bond. Bond as we know, has already lived weird multiple lives, stretching across six actors and six decades. When I was a kid and teenager, I kept expecting them to say that "James Bond" was a code name, and that each person eventually came to take on this role. But EON productions never did that, and in fact this idea that many have proposed over the years is quite controversial in the Bond fan community, with a majority seemingly looking on it negatively.

Should the next movie acknowledge somehow the death of Craig's Bond? Should they ignore completely even the existence of Craig's Bond?

And what happens to the other actors playing the MI6 team? Should they all be changed as well?

I myself prefer the "James Bond" as code name approach, and hope that EON finally goes in this direction, but again some Bond fans seem very much against this idea.
 
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benbess

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One of the possibilities that's been mentioned for the next Bond is Richard Madden....

 

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