Ranking the Bond films

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xacviant
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Ranking the Bond films

Post by xacviant »

My own ranking of the series:
Goldfinger
Dr. No
From Russia with Love
Casino Royale
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Quantum of Solace
Licence to Kill
Skyfall
The Spy Who Loved Me
The Living Daylights
Octopussy
GoldenEye
Thunderball
For Your Eyes Only
The Man with the Golden Gun
You Only Live Twice
Tomorrow Never Dies
Diamonds are Forever
Moonraker
Live and Let Die
Die Another Day
A View to a Kill
The World is Not Enough

ShogunRua
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Re: Ranking the Bond films

Post by ShogunRua »

Ooh, what a fun topic.

I love the old-school Bond films, but hate the newer one with their pathetic attempts at a serious, gritty style. Ian Fleming's novels were always casual pulp action novels that you could turn your brain off while reading, nothing more. I haven't seen Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, or Skyfall and frankly, don't intend to.

1. The Man with the Golden Gun

Great, amazing film that encompasses everything I love about the series. A hell of a theme song, exotic locales, crazy fight scenes, plenty of humor, and an awesome villain played by the great Christopher Lee!

2. Diamonds are Forever

Another fantastic Bond with many of the same elements, except this one stars Connery. Las Vegas has never seemed cooler, more interesting, and filled with intrigue than in this 70s film, and that's saying a hell of a lot.

For a movie that was radically different from Ian Fleming novel (I have read all of them), this had one of the better stories, too.

3. Moonraker

Phenomenally fun film that takes the audience all around the world, finally exhausting that, and showing off outer space. Hilarious ending, too.

4. You Only Live Twice

Just a badass action film, featuring some great scenes in Japan and a neat mystery. Very memorable Blofeld by Donald Pleasance as well.

Honestly, it's way better than the book.

5. The Spy Who Loved Me

Another one of those really cool Moore action comedies that shows off beautiful, exotic locales. Also the first appearance of henchman Jaws. Shame they only had him appear in two films.

6. A View to a Kill

Hated this as a kid, but really liked it as an adult. Perhaps my favorite theme of the entire series (who cares if it's by Duran Duran? It still rocks), great villain roles by both Christopher Walken and Grace Jones, and an awesome mix of various locales and fights, whether it's horse-riding in France, shoot-outs on the Swiss Alps, or blimps on top of the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco! One downside to the picture is that the Bond girl might have been the worst one until Halle Berry.

Moore's last Bond film, and a fine end to the career of the greatest Bond ever. (I love Connery too, but Moore was BORN to play this role)

7. For Your Eyes Only

A flawed film; I loved it as a kid, but enjoyed it progressively less as I aged. A lot of very foolish scenes, including an absurd instance of Bond and company "capturing" cold-blooded killers instead of killing them.

Still...the first hour or so is tremendous fun, with a lot of inventive action scenes and a real mystery to it, similar to the short story that inspired it.

8. Thunderball

The best of the "faithful" Bond films, which followed the book reasonably closely. There are some awesome one-liners from Bond, and Jamaica is a great locale. However, they don't do Largo much justice as a villain, and there is too much "waiting around for things to happen" in this film. Still, it's solid fun.

9. Live and Let Die

Surprisingly faithful to the book, ("Diamonds are Forever" and "You Only Live Twice", both made considerably earlier, were radical departures) this would be Roger Moore's debut, and representative of what made him so great in the role.

One-liners, plenty of humor, inventive fight scenes, and fun locales. Colorful voodoo scenes aside, the story is a bit bland, and the action doesn't really pick until more than halfway into the film. However, it's still good fun.

10. On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Honestly, a huge part of the reason it's this high is my love for the incredible theme song. But on another note, I absolutely love the book (perhaps my favorite of the entire series), and while not entirely successful, the movie adapted several elements of it well.

Lazenby, while no Moore or Connery, was still a decent Bond; he was easily the biggest, strongest, and most athletic of all the men who played the role, and probably the most handsome.

11. Goldfinger

Never understood the hype for this film, honestly. It's perfectly enjoyable, don't get me wrong; but it's just so much more bland and less entertaining than the films above it! Hell, I actually preferred the book; at least it explained who the fuck Pussy Galore was, and why the hell she was in Goldfinger's organization to begin with. (She was his niece, and had been raped by him as a young girl)

With the possible exception of the final fight against Oddjob, the action scenes mostly suck, and indeed, very little entertainment occurs. The golf game and card cheating, so exciting in the book, is noticeably more subdued and dull here.

12. The Living Daylights

I'm no fan of Dalton, but this was an enjoyable albeit forgettable action film. At least they understood what the audience was there to see.

13. From Russia with Love

Same exact comments for this as "Goldfinger", except the original book was pretty mediocre and drab, and this is actually an improvement.

Nevertheless, it lacks content and creativity, and several changes actually hurt the end result. (The ending to the book was its most thrilling and best part, as Bond appears to die. In the movie, the final fight is routine and dull, and Bond escapes unscathed)

14. Dr. No

A decent intro to the series, even if doesn't resemble its sequels very much. On the plus side, it might be the only movie that faithfully reproduces one of the best elements of the books.

Namely, the insane struggle and physical attrition Bond suffers at the end of the book, when captured by the main villain. In countless Bond novels, like "Moonraker", "Diamonds are Forever", and especially "Casino Royale" (the torture in the film adaptation was actually nowhere near as bad as what he actually went through in the book) he suffers incredible pain, torture, and only manages to escape by a miraculous, superhuman effort.

Oh, and Ursula Andress is the hottest Bond girl of all time, as well as one of the most stunningly beautiful women I have ever seen. And this is coming from someone that normally isn't into blonde or white girls that much.

15. GoldenEye

I absolutely despised this when I was younger, although I have come to appreciate it more as I grew up.

Brosnan was insufferable to me as an arrogant pretty boy in this flick, the exact opposite of what Bond should be. However, I do appreciate its use of humor, as well as possibly the last good Bond girl in the entire series. Sean Bean makes a great villain, and there are a few good scenes throughout.

The pacing of the film sucks, and the female villain was atrocious. Still, I repeat the line "filthy amateur" to this day. Overall, it's still an enjoyable experience.

16. Tomorrow Never Dies

Like "The Living Daylights", it's an enjoyable albeit forgettable action film. However, gone are the exotic locales, hence its lower rating.

17. Never Say Never Again (Does this count?)

HUGE drop in quality from 16. to 17. This is just an unnecessary remake of "Thunderball", and every character besides Connery sucks. Still, there are some wacky and fun scenes that save it from being a waste. I still laugh at the hilarious scene where a Bond villainess wants Connery to write that she was the best woman he ever had. At least they had a sense of humor, something notably lacking in the newer Bond films.

18. Octopussy

The first forty five minutes of the film are a lot of fun. Great, exotic locales, bizarre villains, humor, and good action scenes. All the hallmarks of the best Moore films. Unfortunately, it becomes confused and meandering after that, like they had no idea what to do. What follows is a rash of silly, lousy chase scenes, a confused story, and general tedium.

Still, I ranked it 50/100, which is barely T5 for me.

19. License to Kill

Oh boy, now we get to the real shit! No humor here, mailed-in action scenes, some nonsensical, boring plot with drug smugglers, and Dalton being about as entertaining as a wilted plant.

There are only two good parts to this movie. One is that the main Bond girl (with short hair) is a decent actress and an insanely hot woman. The other is that the first 30 seconds of Gladys Knight's theme are incredible. Unfortunately, after that, the song, like the entire movie, falls off a cliff.

20. The World is Not Enough

Good God, everything about this film sucks. From the insipidly idiotic "story", presented with no humor and dead seriously, to fucking Denise Richards, a former escort, playing a fucking scientist.

Not just a horrendous Bond movie, but legitimately one of the worst films I have ever seen.

21. Die Another Day

I spoke too soon; this is even worse. An abomination in every way. There are only a small handful of videos (not even films, but videos) that I rank worse than this garbage. Here is my mini-review;

"The worst in the Bond franchise.Blatantly rips off the previous films not as an homage,but lack of ideas. Billions of plot holes, with the villain magically becoming a different person, or a terrorist plot that makes no sense, all played seriously, with none of the humor previous entries had.Also has nauseatingly boring, horribly choreographed "action scenes". And let's not forget the least sexy Bond girl ever,Halle Berry,or as my friend called her,"the black midget with pubic hair on his head". "

***

Overall though, the Bond series is (was?) pretty awesome. While I would call only 1 or 2 of the films legitimately "great", an amazing 16/21 of those that I have seen were at least "enjoyable" (ranked T6 or higher for me), and only 3 were genuine shit.

CMonster
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Re: Ranking the Bond films

Post by CMonster »

ShogunRua wrote:
21. Die Another Day

I spoke too soon; this is even worse. An abomination in every way. There are only a small handful of videos (not even films, but videos) that I rank worse than this garbage. Here is my mini-review;

"The worst in the Bond franchise.Blatantly rips off the previous films not as an homage,but lack of ideas. Billions of plot holes, with the villain magically becoming a different person, or a terrorist plot that makes no sense, all played seriously, with none of the humor previous entries had.Also has nauseatingly boring, horribly choreographed "action scenes". And let's not forget the least sexy Bond girl ever,Halle Berry,or as my friend called her,"the black midget with pubic hair on his head". "

Agreed. Especially about the ripping off of previous films part. It's amazing how Goldeneye managed to give new life to the series with uber-cheesey dialogue and a plot about a space laser yet they managed to butcher a pretty much identical concept to such a degree that it made me racist because Halle Barry was not a good Bond girl or sexy.

I've only seen about 15 or 16 of the Bond films. I've enjoyed most of them, even some of the worse ones. So I'll just give my opinions of the Bonds rather than all the movies.

Craig: My favorite Bond film is Casino Royale. But Quantum of Solace just gets worse every time I think about it. My initial reaction was slight fun while watching it but the villain had such a lame evil plan its just infuriating (controlling Boliva's water is his evil plan). One of the worst Bond films. Haven't seen Skyfall so Craig is 1 for 2 in my book so far.

Brosnan: Goldeneye is really the only note worth film for Brosnan(probably because I still have a N64). I oddly don't mind The World is Not Enough even though its pretty shitty. His other two are pretty awful.

Moore: Kinda all over the map with him in terms of which of his movies I liked. Most I haven't seen in quite a long time so I couldn't give very detailed reactions, but most I've enjoyed. The Man with the Golden Gun is probably my favorite of his but I also really like For Your Eyes Only, its not the best but I just like it.

Connery: I've only seen about half the Connery Bond films. All were better than everything by Brosnan, most of what I've seen with Moore (though not by a large margin), and Quantum of Solace.

Haven't seen the ones with George Lazenby or Timothy Dalton.

Overall, Bond films are pretty awesome. Skip Brosnan and Quantum of Solace. Get Goldeneye for the N64. Can't really go wrong with the rest that I've seen, even the ones that are super cheesey because its just fun if you can get into the whole "Bond" thing.
Last edited by CMonster on Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

overrated
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Re: Ranking the Bond films

Post by overrated »

1. Goldfinger [87]
2. You Only Live Twice [86]
3. From Russia With Love [82]
4. Goldeneye [75]
5. Dr No [74]
∧ good
6. The Man With The Golden Gun [64]
7. The Spy Who Loved Me [63]
8. Casino Royale [62]
9. Thunderball [56]
10. Licence to Kill [54]
11. Tomorrow Never Dies [49]
12. Live and Let Die [44]
13. Diamonds Are Forever [43]
∨ bad
14. Quantum of Solace [39]
15. Octopussy [37]
16. View to A Kill [29]
17. Moonraker [27]
18. The World is Not Enough [22]
19. Die Another Day [10]

Connery's the best of the actors, Brosnan was good but was forced into some really terrible films after Goldeneye, Dalton/Craig were/are decent but they don't 'feel' like Bond, Lazenby I haven't seen so no comment, Moore is the worst Bond for me. All of his film are like vaudeville acts, some of them are memorable because of how weird they are or how great the villains are (e.g. Man with the Golden Gun), but the man himself is a caricature. More of a lounge singer-type than a spy.

Villains, tie between Scaramanga and Rosa Klebbs. Least impressive was the guy from Quantum of Solace.

I think we can all agree however that Die Another Day was just the worst.

ShogunRua
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Re: Ranking the Bond films

Post by ShogunRua »

On a tangential note, I hope we can keep actual discussion of these films and characters going, and this doesn't turn into another mindless "List your Top X of your Favorite Y" topic.

If you can't tell, I hate those mindless threads, and how ubiquitous they have become on this forum. Just people listing movies in some arbitrary order, sans comment. What the fuck is the point of that? What knowledge does that impart on anyone?

shebang wrote:Connery's the best of the actors, Brosnan was good but was forced into some really terrible films after Goldeneye, Dalton/Craig were/are decent but they don't 'feel' like Bond, Lazenby I haven't seen so no comment, Moore is the worst Bond for me. All of his film are like vaudeville acts, some of them are memorable because of how weird they are or how great the villains are (e.g. Man with the Golden Gun), but the man himself is a caricature. More of a lounge singer-type than a spy.


He plays the character with a wink and a nod, which frankly, is the best possible way to play a character in the ridiculous universe inhabited by James Bond.

I know "dark and gritty" is the new hot trend, no matter how unrealistic and juvenile the underlying premise is. (Yes, let's treat a billionaire prancing around in a bat costume while fighting criminals WITHOUT a gun as seriously as a documentary about the Holocaust)

This isn't just my view on Bond; Ian Fleming wrote the works to be cheap, fun paperbacks. The male action version of a dime store romance. Pulp action novels for young men. This is the same guy who wrote "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", after all.

Connery was awesome and had the humor and one-liners down wonderfully, but Moore perfected it.

Villains, tie between Scaramanga and Rosa Klebbs.


Rosa Klebb was okay, but she was the third best villain (out of three!) in the single story she appeared in. Red Grant and Kronsteen were vastly more interesting and original, although I'm biased in the case of the latter; I absolutely love the inspiration Fleming used for the character.

However, in the movie, Klebb was the only one that had any significant development. Ergo, she was the only memorable one, even if the idea behind her was astonishingly shallow. Also, the lone interesting aspect of her character, that she was a closet lesbian, was never mentioned in the film.

td888
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Re: Ranking the Bond films

Post by td888 »

ShogunRua wrote:Ooh, what a fun topic.

6. A View to a Kill

One downside to the picture is that the Bond girl might have been the worst one until Halle Berry.



Really? How about Skyfall's bond girl?

Image

ShogunRua
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Re: Ranking the Bond films

Post by ShogunRua »

td888 wrote:
ShogunRua wrote:Ooh, what a fun topic.

6. A View to a Kill

One downside to the picture is that the Bond girl might have been the worst one until Halle Berry.



Really? How about Skyfall's bond girl?


Still way better than Halle Berry. Sexier, too.

xacviant
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Re: Ranking the Bond films

Post by xacviant »

I'm gonna say right off the bat, I don't get the hate for Quantum of Solace. I didn't get it in 2008, and I get it less now. I'll own that the film has two major flaws: the editing, especially in the first 20 minutes, is pretty irritating, and the final 10 minutes wrap things up WAY too quickly--they could have taken another 5 minutes, still have had a brisk film, and have made it that much more satisfying.

But that said, there's so much about QoS that's good. Marc Forster pulls off some great directorial flourishes--I recall one review that compared the opera scene to Hitchcock, and that's wholly on the mark: the shot with Bond in the background facing Greene and his henchmen in the foreground is simply marvelous.

The plot is a pretty simple Bond vs. evil tycoon narrative, but in QoS it allows for a surprisingly cynical look at bureaucrats and British-American tensions, while Greene, as played by Mathieu Amalric, is a wholly believable Eurotrash manipulator. They could've done more with his main henchman, but Greene's a very solid villain.

Add in Olga Kurylenko (who's good despite getting kind of a raw deal from the hair and makeup people) and Gemma Arterton (who's...yeah), as well as a dash of Mr. White (who's REALLY cool), and you've got a Bond film that can stand proudly among its brethren.

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Re: Ranking the Bond films

Post by CMonster »

I'm not gonna say there were no good moments in QoS (I actually thought the Opera scene was really good) but it wasn't just the basic Bond vs. evil tycoon narrative. Casino Royale was about stopping a guy who was funding international terrorism, but then it ended in one of its few flaws giving hint to a large conspiracy. Turns out the conspiracy that is more important than the funding of international terrorism is control water in Boliva so the broke ass citizens have to pay more for it. That is the stupidest fucking thing I have ever heard. How the two movies were made was that the end of Casino Royale said, "this is all build up to something bigger" and then QoS started off being build up to some big thing and then we get Bolivian water. The bad guy sucks a fat one in QoS.

Also, I will come right out and say I am a perfect target audience for how QoS was made. Unlike many people I not only don't mind shaky cam, but I think that its even enjoyable in many films. That doesn't stop me from noticing when it is used poorly, whether it be not well done shaky cam or something that would have been significantly better without it. Most of QoS's shaky cam was either done poorly or shouldn't have been done with shaky cam. Craig is charismatic and I enjoy him as Bond, but him and a couple good scenes don't make up for the rest of the problems in the film no matter how much I wish they did. I'm not gonna say its Die Another Day bad or even Tomorrow Never Dies bad, it's head and shoulder above those films, but I'd still put it in my bottom 5 Bond films.

ShogunRua
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Re: Ranking the Bond films

Post by ShogunRua »

CMonster wrote:QoS's shaky cam


Wait, it used a shaky cam? What more needs to be written about why it was garbage?

Also, http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net ... of_phallus .

Some good quotes;

"Bolivia. That's what's at stake in the new James Bond movie. Except not the entire country, just the public utilities. And not all public utilities, just 60% of the water... Yes, if a certain evil villain gets his way, 60% of the water in Bolivia will cost more.

JESUS NO!

Only James Bond—the secret agent who foiled a plot to destroy London with nuclear missiles—can make water more affordable for Bolivians! This is easily the stupidest James Bond movie since the last one."


"I don't know what Hollywood's obsession is with making jerk-off movies where the bad guys are "realistic." You know what's another word for realistic? Boring. If I wanted realism, I'd walk down the street to get Mexican food, and maybe stop by a Borders and pick up some magazines. You know why they don't make movies about me shopping for magazines? That's because nobody gives a shit. And that's what Quantum of Solace is: me shopping for magazines, with no Mexican food. I don't see movies for realism, and if I did, I sure as hell wouldn't watch one made by some asshole who thinks "reality" can best be represented with the aid of 219 special effects artists."

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