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Archive for the ‘Bond Films’ Category

James Bond Films – Rank Order

I initially wrote this about 6 years ago during a long winter in which I watched every single Bond film from beginning to end.  I’m leaving it intact from my thoughts then, but I’m sure that this list could change a lot if I watched them all over again…not that I haven’t seen all the Bond films about 100 times.

There’s something special about a Bond film.  A lot of them are very unique, and you could make a case for why any one of them is your favorite.  They’re like a great record or song that takes you back to a certain time in your life.  This list will no doubt elicit serious debate, so…..here we go.

This ranking does not include any spoofs such as the original “Casino Royale” or remakes such as “Never Say Never Again”.  It must also be said that even though this is a rank order of Bond films I feel that only the bottom five are actually bad films.  I’ve found the rest of them quite enjoyably and the top five films I believe are excellent films.  So by no means do I feel that placing “The Man With the Golden Gun” for example at #14 as being a slam against it as a Bond film.   I know this list is going to bring a heated debate about all of you readers out there that love Octopussy, so you know what bring it on! Maybe I’ll change my tune but I’m warning you I am not easily persuaded.

 

#22 – Moonraker (1979) – Bond goes to Space!!! Give me a break not only is this easily the worst Bond film ever made, but it could be one of the worst films I’ve ever seen!  Oh but it has Jaws in it?!  Yeah Jaws falling in love with a NASA scientist or something like that.  Love at first sight I’m sure.  Bond goes through a bunch of chase scenes and then somehow ends up on a gigantic space station that is unnoticed by US and Russian intelligence, and ends in a laser shootout in the middle of space. A laser shootout that looks absolutely terrible.  Bond’s answer to Star Wars.  I’m amazed that this was nominated for an Oscar for visual effects in 1980.  This is everything that is bad about Bond, a ridiculous plot, cheesy lines, and easily the worst theme song of all Bond films.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poster shows a circle with Bond flanked by two women at the centre. Globs of fire and action shots from the film are below. The film's name is at the bottom.#21 – The World is Not Enough (1999) –  Everything about The World is Not Enough is over the top and ridiculous.  Now I know Bond films are all about fantastic gadgets and big action scenes, but this is beyond over the top.  So ridiculous that nothing really seems plausible or makes sense in the film.  It also includes some of the worst acting I’ve ever seen.   And what’s with the plot?   No really I’m asking because I have no clue what the hell the movie is about.  Robert Carlyslye is a terroist that can’t feel pain and Denise Richards is the sexiest yet most idiotic scientist I’ve ever had the pleasure of not knowing.  Then there is something about Oil and of course taking over the world but..it’s not enough…get it?  This film makes Bond look like a freakin moron.  He can’t figure anything out it seems and is constantly outwitted the entire film.  I’d almost rather sit through Moonraker again than watch this…..almost.

 

 

 

 

 

#20 – Die Another Day (2002) –  Bond has spent enough time attacking the Russians so now it’s him vs. the Koreans.  Captured after a botched transaction of conflict diamonds, Bond is tortured and held captive for over a year before he is released from the Korean’s terror.  Now British Intelligence feels he is worthless and he escapes to go after the bad guys on his own terms.  So Bond hooks it up with Halle Berry and traces the diamonds back to Gustav Graves, a terrible Bond villain with a horrible sneer.  The rest of the film is spent trading one-liners with Madonna (why, seriously?), some fencing, which turns into fighting with broad swords, and a battle in a palace made of ice.  John Cleese takes over fully as Q as well, introducing the invisible car?!  The whole idea of the dream machine is completely ridiculous, as are many of the twists that take place during the film. It would have been ten times better if Michael Madsen was the bad guy and chain-smoked the entire film, cursing up a storm as Bond went after him.  It amazes me that the Brosnan films can be so good at times and also so horrendous as well.

 

 

 

 

#19 – Diamonds Are Forever (1971) – After Lazenby got ousted for his great portrayal of Bond they decided to bring Connery back as our favorite secret agent…..30 pounds overweight and full of grey hair!  What the hell where they thinking?  The plot revolves around Bond going after Bloefeld with probably the most annoying Bond girl of all time, Jill St. John, to stop him from using the world’s largest supply of Diamonds to make a deadly laser beam satellite.  There is a solid two-wheeled car chase that is interesting but the rest of the film falls flat.  Connery loses all of his debonair charm and you can see the beginnings of the campy films that Roger Moore was about to make.  Shirley Bassey returns with a solid title track theme song.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#18 – A View To A Kill (1985) – The last in the campy Roger Moore Bond films, he was pushing nearly 60 at the time of the making of this film and looks damn near on his death bed, not to mention Money Penny is looking a little ragged herself dressing up in old lady garb.  You know the movie is setting itself up for failure when the opening scene has bond snowboarding to ‘California Girls’.   Not even Christopher Walken can save this piece of garbage.  The one-liners are as cheesy as ever.  Even the sound effects are horrible, reminiscent of early Batman TV shows. (Ka-Pow!)  The only reason worth watching this film is the fight at the Golden Gate Bridge which is pretty sweet, but other than that A View To A Kill falls flat in every aspect.  And seeing Moore get his freak on with Grace Jones is less than appetizing.  Ok,  it does have a killer theme song by Duran Duran, but theme song does not a movie make.  It is with pleasure that we say goodbye to Roger Moore as James Bond.

 

 

 

 

#17 – Octopussy (1983) –  Lucky number 13 in the Bond franchise.  Bond vs. the Russians and some Faberge eggs ooh! Which they subsequently toss around like play toys.  All the gadgets and gimmicks are here but they are getting quite tired from Roger Moore.  The same old formula all over again.  He gets his freak on with a not so hot Bond girl, the lines are just as chessy as ever, “Well that’s my little Octopussy?!” Bond tames a wild tiger, and makes Tarzan calls in the jungle.  A girl does a two story back dive off a building with her dress, and Bond dresses up in a clown costume because the Russians decide to go to the circus!  I’ll give you this the guy with the retractable saw is pretty cool slicing everything in his path.  I guess this is the Bond film for the female fans, but Moore just looks old and tired.

 

 

 

 

 

#16 – Live and Let Die (1973) –  The best thing about this Bond installment is the theme song.  Hands down the best theme song of any Bond film.  The theme of Live and Let Die is ‘Bond goes Ghetto’ and the black man is being brought down by the white leaders of the world.  This film is down right racist in its plot twists and was almost condemned just because Bond gets a little Jungle Fever.  The villain isn’t that great, the story is ridiculous (something about heroin and a tarot card reader?) and the special effects are pretty bad (like Mr. Big’s disguise, yeah that almost looks real)….except for the final scene.  I do have to say this is probably one of the coolest ways a Bond villain gets axed.  The gadgets are solid as well.  These two things save Live and Let Die from being a complete disaster.  And Stephanie Seymour is pretty hot, although dumb as a box of rocks, as one of Bond’s love interests.

 

 

 

 

 

A man in a dinner jacket holding a pistol is in the centre of the picture. Various scenes and images surround him, including two women in bikinis, a midget with a pistol, a car stunt and explosions. At the bottom right, oversized and pointing towards the man in the dinner jacket, is a golden gun, with a hand holding a bullet, about to load the gun. The top of the picture has the words "ROGER MOORE as JAMES BOND 007". At the bottom are the words "THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN".#15 – The Man With the Golden Gun (1974) – I think Man with the Golden Gun’has gotten a bad rap over the years as a Bond film for it’s simplistic story line.  On the contrary I think that’s what makes it some what entertaining in its own right.  I mean it’s got Christopher Lee as the villain Scaramanga!  The plot is simple Scaramanga vs. Bond in a funhouse of death! Winner gets the solar powered secret weapon.  There’s a couple great chase scenes, although the film does lack its fair share of gadgets, and Moore is just as campy as ever.  Ok so maybe it’s not that great but its got Christopher Lee! And that small dude from Fantasy Island. It’s kind of worth it to see Bond chase him around a yacht at the end of the film for some good laughs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#14  –  The Living Daylights (1987) – Timothy Dalton’s first outing as Bond and while he’s not great, he’s really not that bad.  That thing with Dalton is he tries to take the best of Connery and Moore and mix them together and this can be both a weakness and a strong point for him at times..  He never really created (or I should say got the chance to create) his own interpretation of Bond. This film has some great scenes and solid gadgets..  The entrance parachuting onto a yacht, the laser shooting tires, and the scene in which they use an old barn for cover and then cut a hole in the ice to sink the bad guys turning his car into a snowmobile is just classic.  There’s still some really campy scenes in the film (like when they cross customs on a homemade bobsled “We have nothing to declare!”) but there is enough thrills to keep the viewer interested, and a solid plot about stopping a Soviet General and a weapons conspiracy plan.  Dalton is a little too mushy with Natasha in this one which does get annoying at times, but the thrills and spills and a great ending battle, more than make up for it.  There’s also something to be said about the theme song to each of the Bond films and A-Ha’s title track is a great tune to start off the action.

 

 

 

 

Poster showing small, open-cockpit helicopters flying in the sky#13 – You Only Live Twice (1967) –  Bloefeld is back in his volcanic hideout as he tries to start World War III amongst the superpowers.  Bond enlists the help of the Japanese to hunt him down and stop the madness.  There are some really great fighting scenes with the Ninja warriors, especially the female ones.  Bloefeld’s hideout is probably one of the coolest hideouts he’s ever had as well.  Bond is starting to get really big budget right about now, and the films are starting to lose the great plots they had in films like From Russia With Love.  You Only Live Twice is still an entertaining film with gadgets galore, great villains, and sidekicks as well.  Bond fans will not be disappointed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The poster shows a man, wearing a business suit and holding a gun, and a woman, wearing a black dress, walking in a desert. Behind them is a building burning in flames. Between them is the title Quantum of Solace in white letters – except the 'O's, which are golden and make a diagonal straight line with a 7 resembling a gun, making the number "007". Text at the bottom of the poster reveals the production credits, rating and release date.#12 – Quantum of Solace (2008) – Quantum of Solace is the second Daniel Craig Bond film, and is the only film that is really considered a direct sequel to a previous Bond film.  Marc Foster does a great job directed a solid Bond film.  It’s not a s good as Casino Royale and the plot gets a little messy and confusing at times.  Craig shows that he truly is one of the great Bond actors here though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A graphic, taking up three quarters of the image, on black background with the bottom quarter in red. Above the picture are the words "No one comes close to JAMES BOND 007". The graphic contains a stylised pair of women’s legs and buttocks in the foreground: a pair of bikini bottoms cover some of the bottom. The woman wears high heels and is carrying a crossbow in her right hand. In the distance, viewed between her legs, a man in a dinner suit is seen side on, carrying a pistol. In the red, below the graphic, are the words: "Roger Moore as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY".#11 – For Your Eyes Only (1981) –  For Your Eyes Only has some fantastic chase scenes and a fabulous cliff climbing climax, but most of the film is boring as hell.  You keep waiting for the scenes to happen and when they do it’s not really enough to jolt you from your seat.  This one is Bond vs. The Russians in a chase to find a coding machine.  Like I said the thrills in this one are Bond escaping from drowning off the back of a speed boat and a fantastic ending, which more than makes up for the extremely slow parts through-out the film. Not to mention the second best theme song of all Bond films.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A man wearing evening dress holds a gun. On his sides are a white woman in a white dress and an Asian woman in a red, sparkling dress holding a gun. On the background are monitors with scenes of the film, with two at the top showing a man wearing glasses holding a baton. On the bottom of the screen are two images of the 007 logo under the title "Tomorrow Never Dies" and the film credits.#10 – Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) – Tomorrow Never Dies could be one of the most underrated Bond films.  It seems this time around they decided to hire actors who are actually really good.  Jonathon Pryce as the media mogul Eliot Carver, and his number one played by Ricky Jay, as well as Michele Yeoh as Bond’s companion.  Vincent Schiavelli is only around for one scene but it is classic!  Bond is sent to stop Carver from starting a war between the British and the Chinese, in order for him to complete his plans for a world wide communications conglomerate.  Bond is back with the remote controlled car and the tazer cell-phone. What is really great about the film though is some of the action scenes.  Bond and Wai using the gigantic Carver poster to slow their fall as they jump off the tower and are then handcuffed together as the motorcycle their way through the crowded streets are an amazing cluster of scenes.  Even Bond’s jump out of an airplane, which we’ve seen a hundred times, is shot in a complete new light.  The film moves at a fantastic pace, and the fight scenes are great without being  over the top.  It’s also one of the few Bond films that clocks in at under two hours.

 

 

 

 

A film poster showing a large face in red dominating the left hand side. In the middle of the picture stands a man dressed in black pointing a pistol towards the viewer. An inset picture shows two women looking out of the poster. The name '007' appears in the top right whilst in the centre at the bottom are the words "LICENCE TO KILL"#9 – Licence to Kill (1989) – It’s Bond by land, sea, and air in a race against Mexican drug smugglers.  The film opens with long time pal Felix getting married to that chick from three’s company.  This one at least brings up a little back story about Bond’s past marriage and tragedy, and its got future Oscar winner Benicio Del Toro as a vile henchman.  Alright!  This Bond film is quite dark and vicious, and at least Bond is fighting for something personal in this outing and not just to save the world like every other film. Bond is on his own as he resigns from British intelligence, and I at least applaud the makers for trying to do something different with the Bond franchise and thinking outside of the box.  It’s too bad Dalton got the axe after this one because he begins to show a little bit of charisma and originality in his role.  While he was never the best I think overall he’s gotten a bad rap for his portrayal of our favorite agent.

 

 

 

 

 

#8 – The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) –  A great opening ski scene which leads to Bond parachuting off a cliff, and the introduction of Jaws as a villain pop this one into the top ten of the list automatically.  Bond has met his match as well, being outwitted at times by the beautiful KGB agent Anya.  They must hunt down Stromberg and stop him before World War III is started through his nuclear missile storage basin. The play between Bond and Anya is marvelous at times, especially when she finds out her lover was murdered by Bond earlier on a mission.  She swears revenge on him when the mission is over, but will she go through with it?  Hands down the best Moore outing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the foreground, a green-tinted man in a suit holding a gun, a yellow-tinted woman in a bikini, a blue-tinted woman wrapped in a towel, an orange-tinted woman in a man's shirt, and a red-tinted woman in a dress. Below them are drawn figures of scenes of the movie. Above them, the slogan "NOW meet the most extraordinary gentleman spy in all fiction!...JAMES BOND, Agent 007!" and the 007 logo, where the 7 has a trigger and gun barrel. In the bottom of the poster, the title "Ian Fleming's Dr. No", film credits and other slogans.#7 –  Dr. No (1963) – Ah the first Bond film, the one that made it all possible.  Dr. No is solid all the way through, but just solid, not spectacular.  Dr. No is a great villain though, he’s got a great hide out, and is kept secret from the viewer for most of the movie to keep the suspense going.  You have to appreciate Dr. No as the prototype model for all the Bond films to come, the gadgets, the villains, Spectre, and hidden palaces of solitude.  Bond is also backed by some great companions and Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder, solid!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#6 –  Golden Eye (1995) –  First of all this is probably the best opening of any Bond film as Brosnan bungee jumps hundreds of feet off a dam, and cold cocks a Russian agent in the crapper.  Then it’s on to team up with a fellow agent, and man what an escape scene speeding on a motor bike off a cliff to catch a plane in flight! Stellar! Judi Dench’s turn as M brings a great dynamic to the Bond franchise, everything she hates about men she finds in Bond.  Not to mention the return of the DB5 (and the emergence of a beautiful new BMW) and Famke Janssen ooh baby! There are some great fight scenes and Brosnan is a breath of fresh air, not to mention Judi Dench as M is fantastic. The plot is a little bit over the top (something about Russians again and a laser beam and satellites in a really cold place) but none–the-less this film is entertaining, wicked and fresh, and the end fight on the satellite, come on! Awesome! Be on the lookout for the Minnie Driver cameo in this one, as a Russian Lounge singer.

 

 

 

 

#5 –  Thunderball (1965) – This is the great underwater Bond film.  The finale is fantastic as everyone shoots spears at each in other in the depths of the ocean.  Bond must stop Spectre before they launch nuclear warheads to destroy they US and UK.  Bond is not alone in this one as plenty of other 00 agents are sent to stop the evil scheme as well.  This was the big budget Bond at the time, and Sean Connery has really come full circle by this fourth Bond installment.  The film is fast and the action is huge.  A great Bond classic!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A man in a business suit with a loose tie holding a gun. Behind him is a building with a sign reading "Casino Royale", and a woman in a black dress who stands on the entrance staircase. At the bottom of the image is the title "Casino Royale" – both "O"s stand above each other, and below them is a 7 with a trigger and gun barrel – and the credits.#4  –  Casino Royale (2006)– I’ve already had the debate with many people about the newest Bond film, and I’m sticking by my guns.  Casino Royale is one of the best.  It takes Bond away from the over the top action of the Brosnan films, and there is absolutely no campy humor like the Moore films.  This film is dirty and gritty and is more about the story of Bond.  Daniel Craig is the most unique and human Bond since George Lazenby and plays it his way.  There’s still some scenes that are a little, ehhh. Such as the explanation of what a tell is during the poker game, (“See that’s his tell that James was talking about!”) oh really!  The film overall moves great from beginning to end which sets up the next film for a pure sequel, something that I believe has never been done in a Bond film before.

 

 

 

 

 

The upper center of the poster reads "Meet James Bond, secret agent 007. His new incredible women... His new incredible enemies... His new incredible adventures..." To the right is Bond holding a gun, to the left a montage of women, fights and an explosion. On the bottom of the poster are the credits.#3  –  From Russia With Love (1963) –  If not for anything else for me From Russia with Love makes the top three for having the hottest Bond girl of all time, Tatiana Romanova, smoking!!  This is the most realistic of all the Bond films and is really a Spy vs. Spy romp.   Spectre and the British are both after a Lektor coding machine and are willing to do whatever it takes in order to get it.  James knows he can’t trust Tatiana but he can’t help falling for her, and her for him.  Spectre sends out Red Grant a Russian agent trained to hunt Bond specifically.  The thrills are non-stop without being over the top, and the plot twists and turns while still being believable, and finishes with a fantastic ending.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A man in a dinner jacket on skis, holding a gun. Next to him is a red-headed woman, also on skis and with a gun. They are being pursued by men on skis and a bobsleigh, all with guns. In the top left of the picture are the words FAR UP! FAR OUT! FAR MORE! James Bond 007 is back!#2  –  On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) –  Am I going out on a limb on this one by putting it at number two?  Well yeah because it could possibly be the best Bond film of all time.  It’s dark, and mean and follows Bond as he falls in love and gets married, only to have Bloefeld escape and murder his wife at the end of the film as she and Bond drive away on there honeymoon.  No other Bond film ends in such dismay and despair and has us feeling as if Bond is an actual human being not just a super agent with a licence to kill.  The action scenes are fantastic, (Bond fighting with Bloefeld down a bobsled track), and Telly Savalsas is great as the cat-stroking evil genius Bloefeld.  The film is precise and moves at a pace that never gets slow (a problem for most Bond films).  It gives us a side of Bond that will not be seen again until Casino Royale almost 30 years later.  The screaming outrage of Bond fans everywhere at the release of this film (because no Sean Connery as Bond) seems like blasphemy now in the context of all the rest of the films.

 

 

 

 

On a black background, three pictures of a man in a suit, holding a gun on the middle one and kissing a woman in the bottom one. Behind the middle picture, a nude woman painted gold lies. Atop each image is a phrase of the tagline: "James Bond Is Back", "Everything He Touches", "Turns to Excitement!". On the bottom of the poster, the title and credits.#1  –  Goldfinger (1964) – What else can you say. This is the undisputed king of Bond films. It has everything you could want.  Great gadgets (the Aston Martin DB5 has enough in it alone to keep you entertained), great villains (not to mention great sidekick villains in OddJob) and a great storyline, (lets not rob Fort Knox but destroy all the gold to make mine worth shitloads more!)  Scene after scene is amazing, Bond making Goldfinger lose in a rigged car game, outwitting him in Golf, the laser beam scene, and Bond fighting Odd Job in Fort Knox just to name a few.  Not to mention Pussy Galore as the Bond girl!  I mean that’s pretty risqué for 1964 and I dig it. I would say that Goldfinger alone solidified the fact that there will always be a new James Bond film in the near future.