Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The name is Bond, James Bond: The Best and Worst of 007

Here are my favorites and biggest disappointments in Ian Fleming's world of the greatest fictional spy ever created.

Who is the Best Bond?

Minus George Lazenby who played the super spy only once, these are our choices.

For me the worst Bond of all was obviously Timothy Dalton:

The best Bond is the original Bond, against whom all others are compared.

Sean Connery

I like both Pierce Brosnan and Roger Moore (at least in some of his films) but the only guy close to Connery for me is current 007 Daniel Craig

Best Opening Sequence

I have always liked the jetpack at the beginning of Thunderball and Pierce Brosnan's Bond kicks butt in the Tomorrow Never Dies intro but the best opening of any Bond film has to be...
Casino Royale

The black and white, the intensity, and the shocking realness make this one stand out from all the rest.

Silliest Moment
Sure, there are plenty. Moonraker is silly almost all the way through. The Lawrence of Arabia theme playing as Bond and Anya walk across the desert in The Spy Who Loved Me is total cheese. But the most ridiculous, fall-on-the-floor moment that I guess was supposed to be shocking is Yaphet Kotto's "Kananga" blowing up in Live and Let Die

Didn't anyone realize young Mike Myers types would just spoof this later on?

Best Bond Villains

My personal favorites are:

1. Rosa Klebb in From Russia With Love

Lotte Lenya plays one creepy villain and I love the stiletto orthopedic pumps!

2. Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me

This guy would be the life of every party. He's a walking bottle opener!

3. Le Chiffre in Casino Royale

Perfect jerk you love to hate.

4. Ernst Estavro Blofeld in many films

Played here by Donald Pleasance, this most famous Bond villain (copied by Mike Myers as Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers films) was played by a few others including Telly Savalas.

The worst villains are many, including Christopher Walken's character from A View To A Kill and the guy with the amazing face lift in Die Another Day.

Best Bond Babes

1. Vesper Lynd played by Eva Green in Casino Royale

2. Anya Amasova played by Barbara Bach in The Spy Who Loved Me

Later wife of Ringo Starr.

3. Honey Ryder played by Ursulla Andress in Dr. No

The first Bond Babe!

4. Jinx Johnson played by Halle Berry in Die Another Day

Wearing a copy of the original Bond swimsuit worn by Ursulla Andress.

5. Teresa DiVincenzo played by Diana Rigg in On Her Majesty's Secret Service

The only wife of James Bond and other than Vesper Lynd the only woman he ever really loved.

My favorite James Bond films

1. Thunderball

This is the best of the Connery films to me. Bond is BAD! He kicks butt, there is action galore, and I love the jetpack sequence!

2. From Russia With Love

Cool story and cool villains.

3. Casino Royale

The beginning of the story, the making of the legend, and the most visceral heart-pounding action of them all.

4. The Spy Who Loved Me

I hate the Carly Simon theme song but this is Roger Moore's best one to me.

5. Tomorrow Never Dies

Pierce Brosnan really comes into his own in this one. The opening sequence is one of the best.

The worst Bond film is probably Moonraker which is too silly to take seriously but there are a few bad ones like Octopussy, A View To A Kill (mostly because Roger Moore is just too old for the gig anymore), and The Living Daylights which bores me just thinking about it.
But the most overrated Bond film of all in my opinion is Goldfinger.

007 is outsmarted the entire film. Goldfinger always stays a step ahead and even in the final moment when Bond should save the day someone else diffuses the bomb while Bond stands dumbfounded. Some of the most memorable scenes come from that movie, but I like Bond as a hero not a lucky buffoon.

The most underrated Bond film is of course On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Audiences didn't like George Lazenby as Sean Connery's replacement but compared to later Bonds he seems just fine. This is also a pivotal point in Bond's legacy since it is the film when he gets married and his wife is killed. It forever shapes the character and is frequently reffered to in other films. The action is top notch and the villain Blofeld played by Telly Savalas is a central character in Bond lore. I highly recommend this one.

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