Dissecting James Bond / Movies

Dissecting Bond… James Bond. Part 1

Photo courtesy of Mike Boldt

Photo courtesy of Mike Boldt

For the past two months, I’ve been watching the entire series of James Bond films from the very first (Dr. No) to the most recent (Quantum of Solace). As the topic is much too expansive to be contained within one posting, I’ve divided them up into four sections. I have ranked the movies from least favorite to most favorite. In this first post, I’ll list #15-#23. In the second list, we’ll go thru #14-#6 and in the third post, we’ll go from #5-#1. In the fourth section, I’ll do what no other Bond nemesis has been able to do – break them down… from top to bottom as well as rank my favorite Bond girls.

The James Bond Rankings: #23-#15

23. Never Say Never Again: The only Bond movie that I absolutely couldn’t stand. Even the ones that make this first section were better than this movie, and that’s saying something because the movies in this section were pretty bad. The most annoying thing about this movie, aside from the plot taking FOREVER to evolve is the lack of the James Bond theme song and the usual cast members. It just didn’t have the same feel. Not to mention the kitchen fight sequence that goes on FORVER is down-right ludicrous. Absolutely hated this movie.

22. Octopussy: The first half of this movie is so boring. Not until Octopussy and her girls start swinging into action with Bond does this story get interesting. You’ll notice in the original 1983 trailer that 90% of the footage they use is from the second half of the movie, because NOTHING happens in the first hour!! Plus, the whole plot device involving the most deadliest octopus in the world was predictable and ultimately, boring.

21. Thunderball: The story isn’t that bad. There’s just waaay to much underwater footage. I know, you’re saying that the fighter jet in this movie is hidden at the bottom of the ocean so of course there’s a lot of underwater footage. Fine, but do we need a never-ending underwater bow and arrow fight? I think not. I got really drowsy watching this film.

20.Quantum of Solace: The problem here is that the villain is such a pansy. He’s easily one of the weakest terrorists in the history of film. OK, that may be reacting a bit dramatically, but I didn’t buy this movie for a second. For reasons we’ll get into in the fourth section, Daniel Craig is the worst James Bond ever. And having the guy who penned the cheesy Oscar-winner Crash along with really terrible, shaky cinematography doesn’t help matters.

Daniel Craig and Olga Kurylenko in "Quantum of Solace"

19. The Man With The Golden Gun: Again, the story in itself is fine, it’s just somewhere during the car chase with Bond and the redneck sheriff that the movie switches from being an action movie to a slapstick buddy flick. I will give Roger Moore credit though in that he did have the best boat-related chase sequences (minus the thrilling opening sequence in The World Is Not Enough).

18.You Only Live Twice: The opening sequence is probably the lamest opening in the Bond series. You know that Bond isn’t going to be killed. So then the question becomes why and by the time we get into the story and Bond dispensing of the bad guys, I had already lost interest. Which is a shame too since the whole Bond in Japan idea seemed promising too.

Sean Connery enjoying his second life in "You Only Live Twice"

17.Moonraker: When I read the premise for this installment, I thought we were headed for trouble. However, as absurd as the plot of Bond having to fly into outer space to claim victory for the Queen is, it’s done with a affable plausibility that I actually bought Roger Moore having to control a joystick and blast space pods before they hit Earth. And the character change in Jaws is disappointing. It reeks of endless nights of arguments between the pre-production creative crew of not knowing how Bond was going to dispatch of the metal-jawed nemesis, so let’s have him become a good guy, have him fall in love and help Bond escape. Lame.

16. The Living Daylights: I liked the opening sequence a lot and thought they could have done more with it. In that regard, Timothy Dalton got off to a nice start as Bond. But from there, the story is literally forgettable. I mean, seriously, after navigating through 23 Bond movies, I forgot what this one was about. In fact, the people who made the trailer probably realized how bad this movie was cuz the trailer consists of scenes from the first ten minutes of the movie!!

15. From Russia With Love: Top fifteen’s not bad and I know I’m going to catch hell from the Bond purists for ranking this movie so low. The problem with this movie is that it lags, in particular during the gypsey sequence. And I hated how the Tatiana Romanova kept playing both sides. Yes, I know most of the Bond girls do that, but for whatever reason, this time the plot device irked me. And furthermore, the SPECTRE villians are a joke. This is supposed to be a fearsome terrorist organization, correct? I expected more. Kinda like this trailer. In fact, I think I like the trailer more than the actual movie! Haha

OK, there you go, now have at it. Up next will be Bond movies #14-#6. But first, what are Bond bottom-feeders?

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