The matter of gadgets is something I've been debating with myself about on and off for quite some time. If you were given creative control of the next film, how prevalent would gadgets be? What about the cars - did you feel that the DB10 (and the Skyfall DB5 before it) was a step in the right direction or would you rather go back to the DBS and Casino Royale DB5? I want to see them do more with existing technology. Smartphones in particular have been oddly absent in the past two films despite being such a massive part of modern life.
Day 129/365 of my daily creative project titled “365 James Bond Characters”. Featured Character: Aston Martin DB5 (Goldfinger, Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, Casino Royale, Skyfall and Spectre)
In Catch Me if You Can (2002) Frank Abagnale sees the film Goldfinger. After he adopts the identity of Mr. Fleming (Bond creator) and buys a suit and Aston Martin DB5. In the hotel when the Bond theme ends, the song "a Look of love" starts. The song was orig. made for Bond parody film Casino Royale.
So in April, I decided to watch every Bond film from "From Russia with Love" to "Spectre". I had already seen Dr. No for a english assignment last year and while I enjoyed the film didn't feel the need to rewatch it. So here are my thoughts: Dr. No - A great start to the Bond franchise that is introduces a lot of the classic elements, including "Bond, James Bond", Girls and cold kills. The film is quite quaint by modern standards but is still fun to watch. I will say the second half of the opening is just plain odd though, why after the James Bidn theme am I hearing bongos?. I will say that I wish we saw more of Dr. No than we do in the actual film, as, but otherwise Jospeh Wiseman gives a great performance. Overall 7.5/10 From Russia with Love - Okay this one just got better as it went along. While the pre-title sequence isn't bad we don't actually get to bond for a bit of the film and it does drag a bit. I also love that in the second movie we're already trying to play with the fact that Bond loves to sleep with women. I also find it funny that Robert Shaw looks awfully similar to Daniel Craig. Even with that though Red Grant still delievrs a codl performance that leads to one of the best fight scenes in cinema Overall 8.5/10 Goldfinger - I love this one so much. From a great villain to the DB5 to the iconic imagery and the brilliant henchman in Oddjob. This film gets nearly everything right and I have very few problems with the film as a whole. My only qualm is the barn scene where it appears that Bond may have raped Pussy galore, but that really didn't hinder my enjoyment very much as all. Where my love for the films was truly cemented for the film was for this quote "Did you expect to me to Live?" "No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die".Also my favourite character is introduced in this film: Q. The way Desmond Lleweyn plays this character is perfect and I really did not want anyone to replace him. Goldfinger is almsot flawless 9/10 Thunderball - This is where the franchise really went downhill for me. What really annoys me about this film is the first half hour is a complete waste of time that we didn't need. We could have easily started just at scene where Bond is meeting with leaders of the world and M and it still wouldn't affect your understanding of the film. Even after that, so much of the film just feels like wasted potential. The only good part of the film are probably about half the girls, Sean Connery and the one Q scene. The Underwater scenes are just boring and I didn't care. Altough this film does have on e the best title sequences. This will seem harsh to some but honestly this film gets a 4/10 Casino Royale(1967) - Yes I made sure to watch "every" James Bond film (although that wasn't really worth it in the end). What the fuck happened in this film. Honeslty this film is just random scenes together stuck together with a plotline. I remeber David Niven playing some game with Ursula Andress( If I remember correctly). I remember Bond's daughter stuck in a mze like berlin in the cold war. I remember peter sellers going up against Le Chiffre. But the films comes together like a Sandwhich made of Jello and Glue. It's awful. But it's also hilarious to think about. Honestly the story behind the film is more interesting than the actual film. Oh and how lazy is that ending, my God. 3.5/10 You Only live Twice - Alright I knew going in to this some of the films would be dated but I thought that was going to eb about the attitudes towards Women. I did not expect Sean Connery to be badly put in makeup to make him "look Asian". Also the final "Blofeld" reveal is somewhat disappointing, not necessarily bad just somewhat disappointing considering how he was bulit up in From Russia with Love and Thunderball. Although I honeslty didn't have a problem with Connery's performance that much. While it's not great, it wasn't enough to have an impact on my feelings towards the films. Overall not bad. 7/10 On Her Majesty's Secret Service - Alright this one is hard for me. I didn't enjoy the film very much but it's clearly great. Why is it great? Well it gave me Captain America: Civil War which is a film I sometimes don't enjoy but know it is a great film regardless. I was probably just in the wrong mood for this film. As for Lazenby, he's not bad but I think he might have just needed a bit more direction on what to do. Although while it's a gutpunch I love the ending. I'll just give it a 7 now, but I might come back to this one. Diamonds are Forever - This one is quite weird. From Blofeld to drag to having scenes set in Vegas to Connery weirdly looking too old depsite only being in his 40s. But it can also be a sort of fun weird as well. But then it's not great either. Also I blame this film for the stupid moon landing conspiracy theories. 6.5/10 Live and Let Die - This is a decent start to the Roger Moore Era. Moore feels like Bond but not like Connery which I think was a slight problem with Lazneby trying to be a little too much like Connery. Dr. Kananga is a good villian and Jane Seymour as Solitaire is one the best bond girls. Also Sherriff J.W Pepper is silly but helps us understand how the Roger Moore Era will feel. Overall 7.5/10 The Man with the Golden Gun - "THAT FUCKING SLIDE WHISTLE". Seriously though the slidew whistle over the car flip represents the whole film. Good Idea that were unfortunately done wrong due to horrid execution. However, this makes the film one of the best to enjoy ironically. Scaramnage and Nick Nack are probably the only things done well in the film. Just for ironic enjoyment I'm willing to give this film a 6/10 The Spy Who Loved Me - For the longest time this was my favourite Bond Film. It had my favourite Bond girl in Anya, One the best henchmen in Jaws, Moore at the top of his game, and one the best ending scenes battles in all of Bond. My only problem comes from Stromberg, who's just a bit one note. Overall 9.5/10 Moonraker - I had bad experience watching this one. I was expecting all of it to be set in Space but only the 3rd act actually is. This meant that during the first 2 acts I was just waiting for them to go to space and when they did, I wanted them back on Earth. I really didn't like the space scenes because the blasters reminded me too much of Star Wars. The film itself is probably the most over the top it's ever been and hell, looking back I realise while it was incredibly stupid it was fun seeing a double taking pigeon and the other nonsensical happenings in this film. Honeslty I'll give this a 6.5. For Your Eyes Only - What happened in this one? This isn't like Casino Royale '67 where it's incredibly confusing but it's more just boring. I really don't remember much at all. I don't remember many of the stunts or any of the bond girls really. Hell, I have no idea who the villain actually was. The only thing I remember is the brilliant opening sequence. 4/10 Octopussy - This one's similar to FYEO for me only stupider. unfortunately though unlike Moonraker where it jump the shark fairly soon to get you ready for the sillier scenes later on, the clown scene at the end I was completely unprepared for looked and just came off as incredibly dumb. Also Octopussy could've been a great villain but no, it's someone else who I didn't care about. 3/10 Never Say Never Again - The first act is weird in that it can't decide if it wants to be classic Bond or a spoof like CR '67. The second act is classic Bond(although they play videogames at some point. What?). I don't remember the 3rd act at all and I got completely lost which really ruined the film for me. 4.5/10 A View To a Kill - This is like TMTWGG for me. The only real good parts are Mayday and Christopher Walken as Zorin. We really should've had Dalton by this point. In fact I think Dalton should've started with For Your Eyes Only. Moore I don't think gives a bad performance but he was clealry too old for the role by this point. As a film it's one of the sillier ones, but at least it wasn't too boring 5/10 The Living Daylights - What a breath of fresh air. It was nice to have a bond film I enjoyed again after some many I didn't like. I love the 3rd act with the both Bond hanging on for his life with the plane and the end fight (although it could give you a seizure if you're epileptic). Timothy Dalton is James Bond. All the other actors were playing a version of James Bond. Dalton is that character personified to a T. The Living Daylights gets a 7/10 Licence to Kill - This was very different. What is easily the darkest bond film (maybe except, Casino Royale '06) is also one of the better bond films. While I enjoyed TLD dalton's bond fits better in this sort of film. I love the plot is literally Bond on a revenge mission rather than just filling out M's orders. Also Q in more than just one scene, is bliss. I Love Q, not only for Desmons Lleweyn, but also because his warmth helps to say "Yes it's dark, but it's still Bond and we can still have fun with it". However the film does almost crumble under all of the different plotlines but unlike NSNA I was still able to get back into the film despite that. Also, It annoyed me that Felix survived the film. It would've been better and more believable if both Felix and his wife had died. LTK gets a 7.5/10 Goldeneye - I don't have a lot to say about this one. Just a great Bond film in it's own right with a great villain and some of the best Bond girls. Although I wasn't big on Brosnan at first though. To me he seemed too generic and didn't really have his own spin to Bond. But he grew on my over time. Besides Goldeneye is still a great film otherwise. 9/10 Tomorrow Never Dies - Again, not a lot to say about this one. Decent Bond flick, that while not as good as Goldeneye is still worth your time and worth checking out at least once. The best part of this film is the villain by far, being a version of Rupert Murdoch(hate that slimy bugger). 7/10 The World is Not Enough - Man I don't have a lot to say about the Brosnan films. I really don't know what to think of this film. The opening scene is great but otherwise I find the film to be another average Bond flick that is a little worse than TND. 6/10 Die Another Day - This one's similar to TMWTGG and AVTAK for me where's it's incrediby stupid but you can have a laugh at it. John Cleese is decent as Q but not as good as desmond lleyweyn. Unlike otehr silly bond films some of the stupid shit can be seen as downright offensive and taking the piss such as the parasailing on waves scene and the end villain literally being Robocop. But the film is somewhat saved by incredibly silly dialogue that is easy to laugh at. Overall 5/10 Casino Royale - First Act is good. The second act is one the best scenes in cinema I have ever seen. I was just invested in that Poker Scene as I was in the Portals scene in Avengers: Endgame if nor more so in the Poker scene. The torture scene is brutal but works perfectly. However once Mr White shows up the films kind of falls apart. This because you could easily assume that Mr White was CIA(Like I did) and just though that was that. While Mathis still had to be dealt with, (whihc QoS messes with for some reason) the film could've just ended with Bond and Vesper. But no we had to have this silly third act which feels like it was only there to kill Vesper. But since the first two acts are still really good and the third act doesn't ruin the movie I'm still willing to look a the film positively. Overall 8/10 Quantum of Solace - I saw this one fairly recently and I still don't remember what happened. I think Greene was the villain and Bond was on the run from MI6 but honeslty that's about it. I will say that in the first half however, Daniel Craig somehow managed to not be Bond and instead come off as top Gear host. The ending really ruins this film however. Well more the gunbarrel itslef. YOU MAKE WAIT THE ENTRIE MOVIE FOR THE GUNBARREL ONLY FOR IT TO THE BE THE WORST GUNBARREL EVER DONE" Ugh. 4.5/10 Skyfall - What a stroke of genius this film was after QoS. One the best Villians in Bond history,Daniel Craig on top of his game, some stunts that are a bit silly but still keep the realims in check and making M the central focus was brilliant . Also while Desmond Lleweyn Will always be my favourite, Ben Whishaw is a great Q. I know this film has some silly plot holes the film is so damn good you just learn to not care about them. I could gush on and on about this film, but this has gone long enough as it has. 10/10 Best Bond film Spectre - So I'm listening to Bon Jovi's "You give Love a bad Name" and it has the lyric "You Promised me Heaven and gave me Hell". That sums up my feeling towards the films perfectly so I'll just leave at that. 3/10 TLDR Ranking 1.Skyfall
https://preview.redd.it/imjwn5lpxzl51.png?width=1000&format=png&auto=webp&s=d142b0446d938d86b95c807c4b76604f72517240 Probably the best made Bond film, though it just misses the top five because of several factors. Skyfall feels different from Craig’s first two films. It made the wise decision of not referencing lingering plot threads from previous films, allowing it to stand on its own. Perhaps, this is why Quantum of Solace and Spectre are not well-regarded: they tried to build off previous installments and retroactively hurt the stories of their predecessors. Skyfall draws heavily from the past, returning to the style of earlier entries. Casino Royale is my favorite Bond film, but I do think it was heavy-handed in in its attempts to differentiate Craig from previous Bonds. Bond responding with “Do I look like I give a damn?” when asked if he wants his martini shaken or stirred feels less like a mythology gag and more of a dig against the tropes the franchise created. Shaking up the formula is fine, but changing too much runs the risk of losing what made the franchise what it was in the first place. I appreciated how Skyfall simultaneously deconstructed (an overused word today) and reconstructed the character. As jarring as it is to see Bond go from being a loose cannon novice to a veteran closer in characterization to the previous Bonds, Craig’s played out Bond addicted to alcohol is quite close to the novels, and nicely picks up where the Dalton films left off. Skyfall realized that Casino Royale was a one-time thing and returning to the formula while adding enough fresh elements was the right way to go. Licence To Kill and Skyfall proved that the films can still be fresh without stripping back almost every aspect of the films. The cast is great. Judi Dench gets an expanded role as M and it is nice to see her relationship with Bond become a strong focus. As sad as it was to see Dench go, I think her character had a fitting end. Skyfall repeats quite a few beats from previous films, but integrates them quite nicely. Javier Bardem’s Silva is similar to Christopher Walken’s Zorin due to both being major psychopaths. Bardem’s first scene was fantastic and I thought the concept of Bond facing off against a former MI6 agent was done much better than in GoldenEye, where Sean Bean’s Trevelyan was pretty much your typical Bond villain in the end. The mid-plot twist where Silva “wanted to get caught” was the worst aspect of the film for me though, and Q was quite idiotic for plugging in a known cyber-terrorist’s computer into MI6’s servers. Also, the train almost hitting Bond underground made no sense unless Silva had predicted that Bond would follow him. He definitely should have come up with a better plan for preventing Bond from stopping Silva’s assassination of M. Bond films are not the best written films, but they made up for their inconsistencies by not taking themselves seriously. A problem with the Craig films is that they take themselves seriously, but also fall prey to poor writing. This only makes their flaws more evident, which is why Spectre is a mess. Bérénice Marlohe has a small role as Severine. She is similar to Andrea Anders, another ill-fated Bond girl who wants to leave her life as mistress to the villain. The love scene with Bond is a bit off considering she was a child sex slave, but I would not go so as far as to call it rape. The late Albert Finney is nice as Kincade, though one can only imagine how it would have been if Sean Connery accepted the role as intended. After ten years, Q and Moneypenny return, portrayed by Ben Wishaw and Naomie Harris respectively. No one can ever beat Desmon Llewelyn, but Wishaw is a fine counterpart. Playing up Q’s computer skills to the point of having him design advanced security protocols was silly considering he then made the mistake of plugging Silva’s computer to the servers. Harris probably has the best chemistry of any young female in Craig’s era. I have heard some take issue with the implication of Moneypenny sleeping with Bond, but Lois Maxwell (forever the best Moneypenny) and Connery (tied with Dalton for my favorite) had conceived a backstory where Bond and Moneypenny had a romantic weekend and decided to stay apart, so it is not too far off from the originals. Ralph Fiennes makes his debut as the new M and I think he has done a fine job so far, playing one closer to Bernard Lee and Robert Brown while having a larger role. One area where Skyfall absolutely outclasses Casino Royale is in cinematography. Ignoring the subject of films of the past twenty years using color grading, this is the best-looking Bond film, superior to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, in my opinion. The Shanghai and Scotland scenes are breathtaking and it is nice to see some nice shots without a yellow palette. Skyfall is an artistic film, and Sam Mendes ran out of ideas quickly. Filmmaking has changed and using the same director for multiple films is not going to work like it used to. Martin Campbell had eleven years to refine his skills, but Mendes’s lack of originality between Skyfall and Spectre is very evident. The same can be said of Thomas Newman. I have a fond spot for Newman’s score, despite lacking the “Bond” feeling John Barry and David Arnold delivered. It is tied with The Spy Who Loved Me for my favorite non-Barry score. “Shanghai Drive” and “The Chimera” are two of my favorite tracks. The immersion when watching Spectre for the first time in theatres was broken when I kept hearing cues from Skyfall. Despite being a good film, Skyfall is a bit harder to watch again. It is slower than Craig’s first two films, but this also works to its advantage since this is the first time we have had a Bond film that does not throw constant or tacked-on action at your face since Licence To Kill. Pacing is subjective, but the middle does drag on with Silva’s nonsensical scheme. The opening and ending both provide great action scenes as a respite. Skyfall was the first Bond I saw in theatres and the pre-title sequence, which is a welcome return to the traditional style, still excites me. The climax at Skyfall is unparalleled by none but Licence To Kill. I felt that the Aston Martin DB5’s previous appearances in Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, and Casino Royale were blatant attempts at nostalgia, but there is some purpose to the DB5 here. Craig’s films were grounded in reality, but the return of the gadget-laden car brilliantly supported the film’s theme of returning to the old ways. The ending with the old MI6 crew back, and the wooden office with a leather door (a sight that brings tears to one’s eye) was a true return to where we left things off in 1989 and we could finally have Bond undertake traditional adventures while maintaining the originality Craig’s era brought (or so we thought). It may not surpass Casino Royale, but Skyfall deserves applause for respecting Bond’s past while moving forward.
Timothy Dalton’s era as Bond has always garnered divisive opinions. In this subreddit and other fan forums, Dalton is definitely not underrated and gets the praise he deserves from fans. However, general audiences and critics still look down on his era negatively. Several rankings from mainstream sites, have put his films in the twenties. It is a shame, since Dalton himself was a great Bond and, perhaps, my favorite. The Living Daylights, despite sharing the same crew members from previous films, is a huge breath of fresh air for the franchise. The film brings a lot of attention to Bond’s assassin status; Bond’s refusal to kill an amateur and interrogation of Pushkin are some of the best in the franchise and faithfully adapt Ian Fleming’s original character. I do not judge the films based on the books, especially since I have not read them in some time, but Dalton’s Bond is so clearly meant to be a return to the novels after Moore’s more humorous interpretation that it has to be brought up. Regardless, Dalton’s Bond is close to Connery’s Bond from his first two films, which were easily his best performances. He's a more cynical Bond, and cold to Kara at first. Based off Dalton's second film, he probably closed himself off after Tracy's death, which is quite similar to what Spectre's story did. On a side note, this film establishes that Bond and M are not exactly the warm pair that they were in earlier films, making the events of Licence To Kill an easier pill to swallow. The humor is reduced and when Dalton quips worse than Connery and Moore. Of course, humor was not on his mind and Dalton more than delivers when it comes to portraying a cold assassin who warms to the love interest as the film progresses. Kara is an underrated Bond girl; her relationship with Bond is the best after Tracy and Vesper and is definitely more natural than Bond and Madeline. The villains are lackluster here. Jeroen Krabbe and Joe Don Baker are fine as Koskov and Whittaker, but they are forgettable compared to Bond’s more colorful rogue gallery. Andreas Wisniewski is more memorable as Necros and the safe house attack and plane scene are highlights of the film. Another is the Aston Martin chase. Despite the change in style, a gadget-ridden car similar to the DB5 from Goldfinger is incorporated to not make the change too jarring. John Barry’s final score is fantastic and while David Arnold was a great composer, this was the last time we truly had the “Bond sound.” “Ice Chase,” featuring the new version of the Bond theme, is fantastic and “Where Has Everybody Gone?” is a great leitmotif for Necros. The theme by a-Ha is my personal pick for most underrated Bond theme. The story is quite good, with the Bratislava scenes being based off the original short story and the Vienna scenes also being quite interesting. The Afghanistan scenes are a bit slow, but the film makes up for it with an explosive climax. The greater focus on espionage, like the first four Bond films, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and For Your Eyes Only is also much appreciated; only Casino Royale has really focused on this aspect ever since. The Living Daylights is one of the most faithful to the novels, with a colder, more sardonic Bond, but also features the larger-scale thrills one comes to expect from Bond. For Your Eyes Only set the tone for the Eighties films with a return to realism, but Moore’s Bond did not fit the film and it was hurt by a lack of excitement and poor pacing. The Living Daylights beats On Her Majesty’s Secret Service as my favorite Bond film in the marathon so far.
8 years ago, in the leadup to the then new James Bond film, Skyfall, I watched and reviewed every Bond film (official and unofficial), in chronological order of release. With the latest Bond film, No Time to Die, on its way (optimistically next April) and it being the last film with Daniel Craig as Bond, I figured I would try watching all the films again to see how my opinion has changed in the past near-decade. There’s a slight tweak though. To make things a bit different, I will not be watching the films in chronological film release order but instead be watching it in order of release of the original Ian Fleming books that lends its title to each film. (The order of the films plus a deeply geeky explanation of where I have placed the later films that do not have Fleming titles can be found at the end of this post). Other minor tweaks are that, since I am no longer an unemployed 22 year old who could watch 4-5 films a week, I will aim for 1 film per week and skip the unofficial films. If No Time to Die does end up coming out in April next year (and that’s a very big if) then I should finish all the films just before its release, but we’ll see. So without further ado, the first film in this Bondathon is Casino Royale, Daniel Craig’s first Bond film from 2006. It’s been my favorite Bond film for a while but I also haven’t seen it in a few years so it’s a good one to start out with... It still holds up really well and went by much quicker than I thought, despite it being one of the longer films. The first third of the film establishes that we are watching a reckless Bond at the beginning of his career who needs to keep his ego in check, and also sets up why the villain needs to set up a poker game to win back money he lost. It’s a bit of a stretch but necessary for a faithful but modern adaptation of the novel. The poker scenes can obviously be confusing if you don’t know the rules but the film does its best to keep them relatively short, break it up with non poker scenes, and show the tension in the poker scenes so that you at least have a rough idea of who’s winning or losing. Bond’s relationship with Vesper is my favorite part of this film, and that’s saying something considering some very impressive action scenes (parkour chase in Madagascar, Bond stopping a terrorist attack at an airport, the finale in the sinking house in Venice). Back in the late 90s/early 2000s the trend for Bond films was to star actresses that have box office pull (especially in America) but questionable talent like Teri Hatcher, Denise Richards or Halle Berry. In contrast, Eva Green, while talented and respected, was a relative unknown back in 2006, but her portrayal of Vesper put her on the map and made her the household name today. Her scenes with Craig’s Bond are always quick witted and it’s easy to see why Bond would fall in love with her. The dialogue does get a bit cheesy towards the end but overall she’s one of the most memorable characters in all of Bond. I absolutely love the music in this film, even though the Bond theme isn’t that present. As this is Bond’s first mission and reboots/origin stories were all the rage in the mid/late 2000s (see Batman Begins, Star Trek, and X Men First Class a bit later on), we see Bond at the start of his career and picking up nuggets of what makes him Bond throughout the film, winning poker, getting his Aston Martin DB5, disobeying M to go with his instincts, until the very end of the film where we finally hear him introduce himself in his iconic way, and that’s when we hear a bombastic rendition of the film in full. It’s funny to see what was considered advanced technology in 2006, just a year or so before the smartphone era. Bond has a Sony Ericsson phone with a very primitive version of a GPS, and snoops through a hotel’s security footage after going through a number of blu-ray discs. That’s always a danger with putting technology in films in this day and age when everything becomes obsolete almost immediately, but in this movie it’s few and far in between and is more of a gentle reminder of how long it’s been since Daniel Craig’s first Bond film rather than any distraction. Ironically, despite this being “Bond begins” and missing elements like the Bond theme, Q, Moneypenny, it ends up being the only Daniel Craig film where Bond gets sent by M to go on a regular mission. It’s all “Bond goes rogue” or “This time it’s personal” after this as far as the Craig films go. Overall, Casino Royale still holds up as perhaps my favorite Bond film (we’ll see how it fares after I’ve viewed all the other). It’s gritty, it’s tense, it’s emotional. It’s Bond without following all the Bond tropes. ***Deep geek zone: Order of films I'll be watching and explanation of where I have placed the non-Fleming titles Basically I have scattered the 6 movies whose titles are not from the Fleming books throughout the list, mainly putting them after a Fleming title whose book/film with a similar theme or element, with the one exception of Skyfall which I just placed in the middle of 4 Connery films to split them up.
Live And Let Die
License to Kill - Bond’s American ally Felix Leiter loses his leg to a shark, like in the Live and Let Die novel
Die Another Day - Features an nobody-turned-rich English villain with deadly rockets/satellite as their weapon, like in the Moonraker novel
Diamonds Are Forever
From Russia With Love
Skyfall - Just to split up all the two previous and two next Connery films. Also both From Russia with Love and Skyfall were filmed in Istanbul.
Goldeneye - Literally just because the title has the word Gold in it
Quantum Of Solace
A View To A Kill
For Your Eyes Only
The Living Daylights
The Spy Who Loved Me
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
The World is Not Enough - Title is Bond’s family motto, which was mentioned in Majesty’s
You Only Live Twice
The Man With The Golden Gun
Tomorrow Never Dies - contains scenes filmed in Thailand, like The Man with the Golden Gun
Casino Royale: Why It Worked (Retrospective on the Franchise)
One of the most critically acclaimed Bond films. It truly revived the franchise in a way that it had not been since the Connery days and while I strongly disagree with the comments about Craig being the best Bond since Connery, he debuted under the best circumstances. Casino Royale gets a lot of praise from the media for being “different” from other films while some fans deride it for the same reason, calling Daniel Craig’s Bond an emotionless thug. The latter group is somewhat correct, if referring to Quantum of Solace. The former group, is a bit overblown in their praise, forgetting that changing too many things could run the risk of losing what made something great in the first place, which happened in some areas with Craig’s subsequent films. In my opinion, however, Casino Royale is not a “deconstruction” of the Bond films that stripped back the gadgets, girls, and humor that defined the films, but a reconstruction that stayed true to the original novels and simply improved upon the many great things its predecessor did while getting rid of the fluff. Looking back, Connery started out perfectly in his first two films. He added his own charm and wit to the original character, making for a perfect lead actor while keeping the more dubious aspects of the character. Unfortunately, Goldfinger marked the beginning of Bond becoming a caricature, a perfectly dressed gentleman who saved the day as effortlessly as he displayed charisma. While some of the original Connery returned in Thunderball, his last two films doubled down on Goldfinger’s success and felt like a pale shadow of his former self. George Lazenby, despite only appearing in one film, managed to remain unobscured because he appeared in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, a crowning moment for the franchise that stripped back the gadgets, girls (kind of), and humor. Rather strange, considering Casino Royale was adored for doing the same thing, but gets a better reception from audiences (critics and fans have given Lazenby’s film its due for decades now). Roger Moore, despite the silliness of his films and the decreasing credibility the franchise had because of his age as the films progressed, deserves credit for allowing the films to develop differently rather than just copying the Connery films. Moore could never compete with Connery’s rugged macho persona and instead became more suave and gentlemanly, with even more emphasis on the humor. The franchise had been heading down a path where the films could not be taken seriously and Moore allowed them to embrace it. Say what you want about films like Moonraker, but that was the direction the producers wanted to take and much of how one perceives it is based on how silly or serious they want their Bond films to be, a testament to how Moore allowed the films to vary in tone. For Your Eyes Only, despite not being a particularly strong film in my opinion, stripped back the gadgets, girls, and humor (kind of). Casino Royale gets praise for being more realistic and grounded than Die Another Day, but For Your Eyes Only did the same after Moonraker, albeit to a lesser extent. Moore proved that he could still portray a more serious Bond and the result was one of his best outings. Unfortunately, the silliness still lingered and Bond faced competition from other heavy-hitters in the eighties. While I enjoy Octopussy and think A View To A Kill deserves to exist because of its awesome score and Christopher Walken, Moore should have left earlier. Timothy Dalton still remains underappreciated by critics and audiences (“Mainstream” media sites still rank his films in the twenties) despite having a cult following among fans. While I am not the most knowledgeable of the novels, I remember enough from the ones I read that Dalton fit the literary version almost perfectly and I still maintain that he is closer than even Craig or Connery to Fleming’s Bond. The Living Daylights and Licence To Kill are both extremely well-done films, that while suffering from a lackluster director far better at executing action than story and poor production values, managed to be the closest in spirit to Connery’s early films. It is rather unfair that Dalton is labelled the “proto-Craig” when he was closer to the novels, a bit too close. One area where Craig is superior to Dalton is the charisma. Dalton lacked the “it-factor” that his predecessors had and while he was not beholden to following what Connery started, the public perception about the larger-than-life Bond hurt his era. People began rejecting the caricature Bond had become with the Pierce Brosnan era, which had the worst scripts in my opinion. GoldenEye was a pop-culture hit and its legacy as the “only good Brosnan” film was aided by a video game that I would rather go back to than the film itself. It was a well-rounded out film, though I would argue that it is not one of the best since several others were less derivative and excelled in some areas more than it did. Brosnan’s era dropped in quality with films even more derivative than his debut, repeating GoldenEye’s mistake of ultimately wasting interesting plot-points in favor of falling back on the tried-and-true tropes. I still love Tomorrow Never Dies though. The end result was Die Another Day, which saw the producers in the same situation they found themselves in after Moonraker. They had to return to Bond’s roots, and for the first time in its history, truly delivered an almost flawless product that learned from everything the films had done. Some look back on the pre-Craig films and scoff at them, finding them too cheesy and not serious enough. However, quite a few Bond films were serious and faithful to the source material; they just happened not to do it as well as Casino Royale, with the exception of From Russia With Love, which is the closest in reception to it. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service suffered from a rather lackluster star, who despite the arguments from people such as myself who enjoyed his vulnerability compared to Connery and acting during the ending, hurt the reputation of a great film. For Your Eyes Only set the tone for the eighties films, but still had some of the Moore silliness. The Living Daylights and Licence To Kill also suffered from tonal issues, to a lower extent in my opinion. Dalton gave very committed performances, but the other members of the production were not quite as willing to commit to such a radical change and never went the extra mile like Casino Royale despite delivering two top tier Bond films. Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli finally realized that they had to give the character justice after they restricted Pierce Brosnan from reaching his full potential. The one-liners worked with Connery and Moore, but they did not with Dalton and Brosnan, showing a lack of confidence in their lead actors’ acting ability that they did not with Craig. Rebooting the franchise meant the producers could start a clean slate, take all the great things of the past twenty films, and put it in one film. I prefer Dalton overall, but Craig’s debut performance was the perfect combination of the literary and cinematic Bond. He retained the cold nature Dalton brought to the role while keeping some of the wit Connery brought into focus. Craig gets some praise for being more brutal with the bathroom opening frequently highlighted, but I think that it rather misses the point of the plot. Bond went from being a reckless, violent gunman to being a cold man who tries to hide it with charm and witty lines, closer in personality to the previous Bonds. It has even been brought up that Vesper influenced Bond’s dress style, going from wearing casual clothes to a three-piece suit in the ending. Bond holding the machine gun in such fancy clothes showed how far he had become since the prologue, no longer wearing his Oxford-styled suits with disdain. Even Craig’s hair, which is flat down throughout the film, is a bit sharper in the end, showing that Bond now puts more thought into the way he appears. Getting some input into the character also meant Craig had the freedom Dalton and Brosnan were unfortunately never afforded. Only Craig could have pulled off the torture scene. Connery and Moore were too untouchable; Lazenby and Brosnan were not the best when it came to dramatic scenes; Dalton lacked the humanity that made Craig more relatable, though their interpretations are two sides of the same coin. Casino Royale was inspired by the Bourne films and Batman Begins, but still feels very Bondian. The tropes Goldfinger introduced may be gone, but those from the novels and first two films remained. The film adds scenes set in the Bahamas, which reminds one of Dr. No and Thunderball. The Aston Martin DB5 returns, continuing the nostalgia for the Connery era which the producers had been milking since GoldenEye, and exacerbated in future Craig films. Bond’s characterization is also close to Connery’s first two films and Lazenby and Dalton’s films. The film does not feel like a complete departure from its predecessors, but more of a return to form. For me personally, I like the films like From Russia With Love and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which retain the cinematic Bond thrills while adding more depth to the plot and characters. Craig’s debut set the bar high and I think his follow-ups learned the wrong lessons from it. After being praised for departing from Bond’s roots, the writers went further and made a film that does not feel Bondian at times. Criticize Licence To Kill for being an eighties action film all you want, but the story felt more like classic Bond than most of its predecessors. While Quantum of Solace had great action, cinematography, interesting plot points (holding the water of a country ransom does not seem so funny now?) and had some parallels between Dalton and Craig (Dalton snaps and rejects MI6 to become a rogue agent hellbent on revenge, Craig never actively seeks revenge and despite the brutal moments he finds himself in, keeps his composure), it badly-edited and suffered from an undercooked script. On the other hand, Skyfall is a beautifully shot film that like GoldenEye, has a meandering plot focused on meta-commentary discussing Bond’s relevance. I would still put Skyfall in my top 10, but it is not as original or groundbreaking as the critics would have you think. Finally, Spectre repeated the same mistake the Brosnan films did: fall back on good old nostalgia. This time, the writers tried to fuse a Connery era plot with Craig’s darker aspects, making for a charmless bore with some really misguided intentions (Brofeld, anyone?). I eagerly await No Time To Die like everyone else and hope that it manages to end off the era of one of the best Bonds with a bang.
Making Spectre the You Only Live Twice of the Craig era and a better sequel to Quantum of Solace
It’s been said before that the structure of Craig era of James Bond has some parallels with the Connery films, especially in regard to the villains. In Casino Royale/ Dr No – the villain is a mid-ranking member of an otherwise unseen criminal organisation. In Quantum of Solace/ From Russia With Love (and also Thunderball to an extent) – Bond is more directly in conflict with the villainous organisation and it is understood that bad guy defeated at the end is still just a lackey to the real villain. Goldfinge Skyfall are independent of the larger plot with a hitherto unconnected villain (until Spectre tried to retcon Silva). Spectre’s equivalents therefore are You Only Live Twice and Diamonds are Forever in which Bond directly confronts and defeats the big bad villain at the top of the criminal organisation. While this works in the Connery era since Spectre and Blofeld had been set up since Dr No, in Spectre (due to legal circumstances outside of the film’s control) Blofeld is quite poorly forced in as the big bad behind it all with no setup. The organisation of Quantum meanwhile is retconned from being a illuminati-like society of the world’s most powerful individuals manipulating the strings from behind the scenes to being one part of Blofeld’s masterplan to screw with this one kid his father taught to ski. So my fix is this – rather than have Quantum being one section of Spectre instead have Blofeld take over Quantum over the course of the film turning it into Spectre.
The new plot
We have a similar opening to one we got with Bond (in this version Bond will be responding to an intelligence tip MI6 received) in Mexico city walking through the Dead of the Dead paraded and up to a hotel room with an masked woman. However, when they reach the hotel room, they find a very sickly Mr White holding a gun on them. Bond tells the Masked Woman to go wait outside and Mr White talks about how Quantum has changed, becoming more divided and filled with infighting since the events of QoS and that new more ruthless players are cannibalising Quantum’s old guard, with Mr White himself being poisoned after he challenged their rise to power. He tells Bond he will give him the names of Quantum’s leadership if MI6 promises to protect someone for him. Before Bond can ask him who a shot blasts through the wall killing White. Bond exits the room and spots the Masked Woman running away from the hotel carrying a gun. He pursues and we get the same chase through the parade and helicopter action scene we got in the original with Bond killing the Masked Woman at the end rather than Sciarra leading us into the title sequence. Cut to MI6, which is still located in the London Undergound/ World War 2 bunker from Skyfall but its undergoing extensive renovations in order to expand it for full time use. We get the scene from the film of M reprimanding Bond about his actions in Mexico City. I would remove Bond being suspended because I’m quite tired for the rogue agent trope. M exposits that the Masked Women was a Russian SVR agent although Moscow is claiming she defected earlier that year. We can also meet Max Denby aka C, and get the exposition about the possible changes to MI6 although in this version rather than it being a merger between MI5 and MI6 it’s a new EU wide organisation which will merge Europe’s various intelligence communities together (Spectre came out a year before the UK’s Brexit referendum so it wouldn’t hurt to reference British-European tensions). The British Parliament will shortly be voting on whether MI6 will be joining this new European Security Service. We then get a classic Q branch scene which includes Bond being giving a piece of jewellery disguised as a tracker along with the explosive watch from the original film. Bond goes to Austria to investigate Mr White’s last known residence. As he approaches, we cut to group of Russian-speaking men watching Bond’s progress, with a particular focus on one man I’m are going to call ‘Russian Felix Leiter’. Bond’s investigations reveal that Mr White has a daughter but before he can investigate further the Russians begin to enter the house intent on capturing Bond. A shootout ensues and Bond is able to escape leading to a car chase action sequence as Bond phones up Moneypenny to check the records about Mr White’s family. After Bond evades the Russians he travels to the facility where Mr White’s daughter, Dr Madeline Swann, works in hiding as a psychiatrist. We get the same psychiatric evaluation scene we did in the actual film only we regularly cut to Mr Hinx’s slow approach into the facility to capture Dr Swann. As this is his introduction, we can take time to build up his character with him forcing his stone thumbnails through one of the facility’s staff member’s eyes similar to the actual film. Following this we get the same chase down the mountain slope we got in the actual film, only without Q , as Bond races to free Madeline from Mr Hinx. After some convincing she agrees to trust Bond and take him to Rome where she knows that Quantum’s leadership will be meeting and explains that she, as Mr White’s next of kin, is entitled to seat at the table. The journey from Austria to Rome can include the train sequence from the original film where Bond and Madeline get to know each other and include the fight scene with Hinx. They arrive in Rome and Bond gives Madeline the jewellery/tracker gadget as she is to be taken blindfolded to Quantum’s meeting place. Bond is able to track Madeline’s location and infiltrates the meeting. This scene plays out similar to how it did in the original film only with a round table as the individuals seated are supposed to be equals to one another. Madeline of course is seated at the table but another of the seats is conspicuously empty much to the chagrin of the other members. As in the original we get some references to the various crimes the organisation has perpetrated around the globe along with references to something called the SPECTRE initiative. Eventually the door to the meeting room opens and like in the original film the final seat is filled by a man whose face is obscured in shadows. One of the members subtlety reprimands the shadowy man’s tardiness but gets nothing but silence in return. The other members bicker about the SPECTRE initiative before holding a vote on whether or not to halt the Initiative. The vote goes against SPECTRE and man shadows begins to laugh, before saying something ominous, such as “I afraid this organisation will not tolerate insubordination”. The walls to the meeting room suddenly slide open to revel dozens of armed goons who immediately open fire on the rest of Quantum’s leadership. Bond leaps out of his hiding place to protect Madeline but is unable to prevent her from being captured. During the confusion there is a brief moment in which Bond and the man in shadows stare at each other. However, before Bond himself can be captured he throws his explosive watch at the man in the shadows blinding him and causing a distraction so he can escape. Bond does successfully escape from the carnage and is able to hide from the pursuing goons. However just when he thinks he’s safe a passer-by sprays him with knockout gas and white van pulls up for Bond to bundled into. He awakes in a small room surrounded by Russians led by Russian Felix Leiter who explains that they’re Russian intelligence agents who’ve been tracking Quantum’s activities since the defection of their own agent (the Masked Woman in Mexico) several months prior and that they think Quantum is behind a string of recent terror attacks. Bond explains his side of the story and its revealed that the trackejewellery Madeline is wearing is still functional and is transmitting from a crater in the Sahara desert. Bond and the Russian’s travel to the Sahara and Russian Felix Leiter explains that Bond has six hours to free Madeline before the Russians go in and kill everything that moves. Bond successfully infiltrates the facility in the crater but when he enters the room where he believes Madeline is being held it is revealed to be a trap and Bond is promptly disarmed. He is then met by the man in the shadows, now scarred from the explosion in Rome, who reveals himself as Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Blofeld tells Bond about how he has been causing terror attacks across Europe to convince the nations of Europe to join the European Security Service which is of course feeding intelligence directly to Blofeld and that the UK, the only holdout, will be the next target. When Bond asks why Blofeld is revealing this to him Blofeld will turn on multiple screens of camera’s watching the entrance to MI6, proclaiming that MI6 will be the site of the London terror attack, forcing the British government to join the European Security Service, and how he has had double agents working to ensure that during new construction work the entire headquarters was deliberately rigged to explode. He will state that he wants Bond to watch the destruction of MI6 in revenge for Bond scarring him in Rome. Bond escapes and is able to free Madeline. Together they recover the plans for the MI6 bomb and make their way to the facility’s communications tower, setting off an alarm in process. Madeline is forced to defend the two of them as Blofeld’s goon converge on the tower while Bond contacts Q and Moneypenny to tell them about the bomb and how to disarm it. Since Bond and Madeline are occupying the communications tower they can prevent Blofeld from setting off the bomb remotely however they can’t be sure that any of Blofeld’s double agents in MI6 won’t set off the bomb early so Q and Moneypenny have to keep a low profile. Q and Moneypenny are able to disarm the bomb in nick of time just as Russian special operations soldiers begin to enter the crater. A big, Lewis Gilbert-style shootout occurs between Blofeld’s men and the Russians with Bond and Madeline trapped between them. Inevitably the facility will start to explode and Blofeld will attempt to escape. The final action sequence will see Bond chase down Blofeld in order to prevent him from escaping. Bond can either succeed or fail depending on where we want Blofeld for the next film. We then get our debriefing scene with M and end the film with Bond and Madeline driving away in the DB5.
Film Rankings with Explanations, Ratings, and Tiers
During quarantine, I've had the opportunity to rewatch every movie in relatively short succession. I've seen them all 2-10 times and have been a lifelong Bond fan. I enjoy every Bond film, even the "bad" ones, but I wanted to try and rank them. I used a scoring system to help me, but ultimately went with my gut (e.g. License to Kill MUST be better than The World is Not Enough). I thought a tier system of ranking was useful, because it really is splitting hairs to rank some of these. Feel free to critique my ratings, my ratings weightings, and opinions! You could say I have too much time on my hands Tier 7: The Worst
Die Another Day: Best Sword Fight
- Why it's not irredeemable: For being the lowest ranked film on this list, it's not without its moments. Bond getting caught, tortured, then escaping from MI6 was interesting and novel. The ice hotel was neat, as well as the chase scene. I'll even defend the much maligned invisible car, as the Aston Martin Vanquish is quite a car. - Why it's not higher: Personally, I think Halle Berry is a terrible Bond girl, alternating between damsel in distress and super woman as the plot demands it. Moreover, Graves and the plot in general is pretty cheesy and boring. Perhaps most damaging is the deadly serious tone of the movie, which doesn't even provide the fun and excitement Brosnan's films generally provide the viewer. - Most under-appreciated part: The fencing scene is the best action scene of the entire movie. It's surprising it took Bond this long to fence, but seeing them go at it across the club was a blast. Tier 6: Disappointing
Quantum of Solace: Best Car Chase
- Why it's this high: The action is quite good, likely meriting the distinction of the best car chase in the entire series (the pre-credits sequence). Mathis is a good ally and it is sad to see him go. - Why it's not higher: My biggest beef with Craig's Bond films is that they are too serious, so when the plot and script isn't top-notch, the movie watching experience is just kind of dull. Quantum of Solace takes a bold risk in making the first Bond sequel, but unfortunately it's just not that good. Greene seems like a rather pathetic Bond villain, and his henchman (the worst in the series?) ends up in a neck-brace after getting tripped by Camilla. Also, the shaky cam is distracting and exhausting. - Most under-appreciated part: I actually thing the theme song is pretty good! Maybe I'm just too much of a Jack White groupie, but I think it rocks.
Moonraker: Best Locales
- Why it's this high: I'm pleased to see Jaws making a return, as he is an amazing henchman. On that note, the pre-credits sequence with Bond and Jaws falling out of the plane is exhilarating. Holly Goodhead is a very good Bond girl, beautiful, smart, and competent. Roger Moore always does an excellent job playing the role with suavity and wit. - Why it's not higher: Gosh it's cheesy. Particularly egregious is Jaws' love story. The theme song is terrible and Bond doesn't have any solid allies besides Goodhead and Jaws. - Most under-appreciated part: They really go all out with the settings here. Obviously, space is pretty polarizing, but I think Bond clearly should go to space at SOME point during the series. In addition, Italy and Brazil were gorgeous views, while Drax's estate is magnificent.
Spectre: Best Shooting
- Why it's this high: Rewatching this for the second time, I realized Lea Seydoux does a good job as the Bond girl, and it's actually quite believable she and James could work out, as she is the daughter of an assassin and can understand him (as Blofeld points out). Seeing Bond show off his marksmanship was quite satisfying, especially that one long shot during the escape from Blofeld's compound. Bonus points for Bond's DB10 and resurrecting the DB5. - Why it's not higher: The fatal flaw of this film is making Blofeld Bond's adopted brother. How did Bond not recognize him? How is Blofeld able to keep himself secret from British intelligence yet every criminal worth his salt knows of him? The worst part is that it actually cheapens the plot of the other Craig movies. I believe the Bond franchise should stay clear from sequels from here on out. Yes, they can weave a great story if done correctly, but it's so much more difficult to make great sequels (e.g. Star Wars only made two worthy sequels in seven tries) than to do one-offs. As usual for a Craig film, Bond has little charisma (save for his surprisingly good rapport with Moneypenny) and little in the way of jokes to lighten the mood. - Most under-appreciated part: The train fight scene with Dave Bautista is great! Gosh it was awesome to see them go at it, break through walls, and a priceless expression on Bautista's face when he knows he's done. Bautista is the first decent henchman since the 90s, so glad to see the series go back to this staple.
The Man with the Golden Gun: Best Potential, Worst Execution
- Why it's this high: This Bond movie frustrates more than any other, as it has the potential to be an all-time great. Bond's debriefing starts off with promise, as it turns out the world's top assassin is gunning for Bond! For the first time in the series, Bond seems vulnerable! M makes a hilarious quip as to who would try to kill Bond ("jealous husbands ... the list is endless"). Furthermore, the legendary Christopher Lee is possible the best Bond villain, a rare peer of 007. - Why it's not higher: Unfortunately, the movie opts to change course so that it's just Maud Adams trying to get Bond to kill Scaramanga. Goodnight is beautiful, but maybe the most inept Bond girl of all-time. They used a SLIDE WHISTLE, ruining one of the coolest Bond stunts ever (the car jump). - Most under-appreciated part: Nick Nack is a splendid henchman, showing the role can be more than just a strongman.
Diamonds Are Forever: Great Beginning and Ending, but Bad Everywhere Else
- Why it's this high: Is there another Bond with such a great contrast between the beginning/ending and everything in between? Connery shows his tough side, as he muscles his way through the pre-credits scene. Particularly good was the part where he seduces the woman, then uses her bikini top to choke her. At the end, Bond expertly uses his wine knowledge to detect something is amiss, then dispatches Kidd and Wint in style. Other cool scenes include Bond scaling the building to reach Blofeld and Bond driving the Mustang through the alley. - Why it's not higher: This is one of the films that I find myself liking less and less over time. Vegas, and especially the space laboratory scene, just seem cheesy. Connery is officially too old at this point, and Jill St. John just isn't a very compelling Bond girl. I would've preferred to have seen more of Plenty O'Toole, but alas 'twas not meant to be. Leiter is uninspired as well. Having Bond go after Blofeld for the millionth time just seems tired at this point. - Most under-appreciated part: Mr. Kidd and Wint are the creepiest henchmen in the Bond universe, but I'd argue they are some of the best. Their banter and creative modes of execution are quite chilling and thrilling.
A View to a Kill: Best Theme
- Why it's this high: Is it a hot take to not have View in the bottom five? Let me explain. I contend Duran Duran's theme is the very best. The ending fight scene on the Golden Gate Bridge is actually one of the most iconic ending set pieces in the series. The plot is stellar on paper, as the horse racing part was a very Bondian side story, and the idea of an attack on Silicon Valley actually seems even more plausible today. - Why it's not higher: It's self-evident that Moore is way too old for the part. Some parts are just mind-blowingly ridiculous, such as the fire truck chase scene through San Francisco and the part where Stacey is caught unaware by a blimp behind her. Speaking of Stacey, she may be beautiful, but she spends most of the movie shrieking whenever something goes wrong. - Most under-appreciated part: The scene with Bond and Ivanova is cool (I always like it when he interacts with other spies) and quite entertaining how he fools her with the cassettes. Tier 5: Below Average
Octopussy: The Most Characteristically Roger Moore Bond Film
- Why it's this high: Maud Adams has great screen presence as Octopussy, and her Amazonian-like women are cool to watch fight. Bond's deft swipe of the egg was nicely done. On a related aside, I wish Bond films would emphasize Bond's intellect more, as it seems the 60s and 70s films would allow Bond to showcase his vast knowledge more frequently than he does today. Gobinda is a fierce henchman, while India in general is a cool location. The plot is realistic, yet grand (war-mongering Russian general tries to detonate a nuke to get NATO to turn on itself). - Why it's not higher: This is the first Moore film where he simply was too old and shouldn't have been cast. Yes, it's too cheesy at times, most infamously during the Tarzan yell. Bond also doesn't use any cool vehicles. - Most under-appreciated part: People tend to focus too much on Bond dressing as a clown, but the scene where Bond furiously tries to get to the bomb in time to defuse it is one of the tensest moments in the series. Moore's "Dammit there's a bomb in there!" really demonstrated the gravity of the situation (I get goosebumps during that part).
Tomorrow Never Dies: Most Tasteful Humor
- Why it's this high: Brosnan really settles into the role well here. He gives the most charismatic Bond performance in 15 years or so. His quip "I'm just here at Oxford, brushing up on a little Danish" is an all-time great Bond line. Teri Hatcher is stunning as Paris Carver, delivering a memorable performance with her limited screen time. The plot is original and ages well, highlighting the potential downsides of media power, while Carver is an above average villain. - Why it's not higher: Wai Lin is good for action, but the chemistry between her and Bond is non-existent. By the end of the movie, Pryce just seem silly (especially the scene where he mocks Wai Lin's martial arts skills). There aren't any good Bond allies, as Jack Wade doesn't impress in his return to the franchise. In general though, the movie has few things terribly wrong with it, it just doesn't excel in many ways. - Most under-appreciated part: Dr. Kaufman is hysterical. At first, I thought "this is weird," but by the end of the scene I'm cracking up. I genuinely wish they found someway to bring him back for World, but c'est la vie.
The World Is Not Enough: Less than the Sum of its Parts
- Why it's this high: According to my spreadsheet, this is a top 10 Bond film, while on my first watch on this film I thought it was bottom five. I think the truth is that it's somewhere in between. I like the settings, everything from the temporary MI-6 headquarters to Azerbaijan. Elektra is an all-time great Bond girl, with a nice plot twist and character arc. The glasses where Bond sees through women's clothing are hilarious. The sense of danger is strong, with everyone from Bond to M being in danger. The return of Zukovsky is a nice plus. - Why it's not higher: I think two things really doom this film. First, Renard is totally wasted a henchman. The idea of him not feeling pain is a cool one, but he just seems boring and extraneous. I don't even think Carlyle acted poorly, he was just misused. Secondly, the ending (after Bond killing Elektra which is quite good) is rather terrible. The whole scene in the sub just isn't entertaining or engaging. - Most under-appreciated part: I'm going to defend Denise Richards as Christmas Jones. Although no Ursula Andress, Richards is absolutely gorgeous and did not actively make Bond's mission more difficult, which is more than some Bond girls can say *cough Britt Ekland. In particular, I found her introductory scene to be quite memorable and convincing. Also, the Christmas quip at the end is quite cheeky. Tier 4: Solid
The Living Daylights:
- Why it's this high: Dalton brings a breath of fresh air to the franchise here. His more serious take makes for interesting movies that seem more unique than most. I'm happy to see this subreddit appreciate Dalton more than the casual fun does, but I wouldn't go as far as the Dalton fanboys and say he's the best Bond or anything like that. I do wish he got the role sooner and did more films. Moving on to Daylights, it's got a good intro for Dalton and good plot in general. Surprisingly, Bond's fidelity doesn't bother me one bit, as it actually makes sense that Kara falls in love with James by the end, given all they've gone through. - Why it's not higher: The biggest reason is that the villain is just terrible. Whitaker seems silly and pathetic, a terrible contrast to Dalton's serious nature. I think Whitaker might be the worst in the series, and a Bond movie can't be great without a good villain. Also, Dalton doesn't have much charm and is abysmal at one-liners, which, in my opinion, IS a facet of the perfect James Bond. - Most under-appreciated part: The Aston Martin Vantage is a beautiful car, and the chase scene across the ice is great! It's both exciting and funny! Not sure why people don't talk about this chase scene and this car more; it's arguably the highlight of the movie for me.
Thunderball: The Most Beautiful
- Why it's this high: Thunderball used to be top five for me and here is why. The underwater scenes, the setting, the score, and the Bond girls are beautiful even to this day. Domino is excellent, while Volpe is a tour de force, oozing sexuality and danger. I think the underwater parts are interesting and novel, creating a staple of sorts for the franchise. The DB 5 is always welcome, and the jetpack use was quite cool for the time (and to some extent now). - Why it's not higher: Some would say it's boring, while I would more generously admit the plot is slow. Furthermore, the theme song is all-time bad (apparently they could have used Johnny Cash!!!), and there is no great henchman for Bond to dispatch. - Most under-appreciated part: Two plot ideas I liked a lot: Bond being injured and needing rehab, plus the part where all the 00s meet up and then are sent to the corners of the globe.
Never Say Never Again: Guilty Pleasure
- Why it's this high: Rewatching Never for the third time, I was struck by how fun this movie is. It's exciting, funny, and fast-paced. Basically, it's a more exciting version of Thunderball, with better pacing and better humor. I think Irvin Kershner did a great job managing this star studded cast. Carrera is a firecracker as Blush, Sydow is a convincing Blofeld, and Basinger is a classic Bond girl. Connery clearly has a blast returning to the role, doing a great job despite his advanced age. If anything, this one might not be ranked high enough. - Why it's not higher: The music is terrible. Normally I don't notice these things, but one can't help but notice how dreadful this one is. The theme is awful as well. I'd argue this is the worst music of any Bond film. - Most under-appreciated part: The humor! This is one of the funniest Bonds, as I found myself laughing out loud at various parts (e.g. Mr Bean!).
The Spy Who Loved Me: Best Intro
- Why it's this high: There's a lot to love about this one, so I get why this ranks highly for many. It is simply the best introduction, starting with Bond romancing a woman, followed by a skii chase, then jumping off the cliff and pulling the Union Jack parachute! The Lotus is a top 3 Bond car. Jaws is a superb henchman. Triple X was an excellent Bond girl, deadly, charming, and beautiful. Of course, Moore is charming and the locations are exotic (Egypt was a cool locale). If I had to pick one Moore movie for a newcomer to watch, it would be this one. - Why it's not higher: The theme song is bad, and Stromberg is a below average villain. I also think the last 45 minutes or so of the movie kind of drags. - Most under-appreciated part: The whole dynamic between Bond and Triple X is great. Whenever Bond movies show Bond squaring off against other spies (see View to a Kill, Goldeneye) it's just a pleasure to watch.
Live and Let Die: Most Suave
- Why it's this high: Roger Moore superbly carves out his own take on Bond in an excellent addition to the franchise. The boat chase is my favorite in the series, and Live and Let Die is my second favorite theme. Jane Seymour is a good Bond girl, while Tee Hee and Kananga are a solid villain/henchman duo. Unpopular opinion: I find J.W. Pepper to be hilarious. - Why it's not higher: The introduction isn't very good, as Bond isn't even included! The second climax with the voodoo isn't great. Bond blowing up Kananga has aged terribly. - Most under-appreciated part: When Bond is visited in his apartment by M and Moneypenny, Bond rushes to hide his girl from his coworkers. Finally, when they leave and he unzips the dress with his magnetic watch is one of the best uses of a Bond gadget in the series, showcasing why Moore might be the most charming Bond of them all.
You Only Live Twice: Best Blofeld
- Why it's this high: Just your classic, fun Sean Connery Bond movie. It was a great decision to send Bond to Japan for his first Asian visit, giving the movie a fresh feel. The ending set piece battle is potentially the best of this staple of 60s/70s Bonds. Tiger Tanaka is one of Bond's cooler allies. Pleasance killed it as Blofeld; when I think of Blofeld, I think of his take. In what could have been cheesy, he is actually somewhat frightening. - Why it's not higher: The whole "we need to make you look Japanese" part seems both unrealistic (who is he really fooling?) plus surprisingly impotent coming from Tiger Tanaka who seems to be a competent and connected man otherwise. Honestly though, this movie doesn't have a major weakness. - Most under-appreciated part: The fight scene with the guard in the executive's office is probably the best hand-to-hand fight in the series up until that point. Tier 3: Excellent
Dr. No: The Most Spy-Like
- Why it's this high: Nearly 60 years later, this film is still a blast to watch, due in no small part to its focus on the little things of being a spy. I adore the scenes where Bond does the little things spies (presumably) do, such as putting a hair across the door, or showing Bond playing solitaire while waiting to spring his trap on Prof. Dent. I also enjoy the suspense of Bond sleuthing around the island, while he and the viewer are completely unaware of whom the villain is until quite late in the film. It's easy to take for granted now, but this film established so many series traditions that were ingenious. My personal favorite is Bond's introduction at the card table: "Bond .... James Bond." - Why it's not higher: The film just doesn't have the payoff it deserves. Maybe it's just a result of the time and budget, but from the point Bond escapes on, it's just mediocre. Particularly egregious is the "fight" between Dr. No and Bond where No meets his demise. - Most under-appreciated part: Ursula Andress was a surprisingly well developed Bond girl, with a shockingly violent backstory (she was raped!). Obviously, she is beautiful and the beach scene is iconic, but I was pleasantly surprised to conclude she is more than just eye candy.
License to Kill: The Grittiest
- Why it's this high: On my first watch, this was my least favorite Bond film, as I thought it was too dark and violent to befit 007. By my third time watching, I've decided it's actually one of the best. Fortunately, I don't have to go on my "Ackshually, Dalton did a good job" rant with this subreddit. I liked the wedding intro and the concept of a revenge arc for Leiter (although come on he should've been killed by a freaking shark). Also, Lamora and (especially) Bouvier are great Bond girls. Bouvier is both competent and beautiful, and it's great to see Bond choose her at the end. - Why it's not higher: The theme song is atrocious, Dalton is so angry (dare I say charmless?) the whole time it's almost puzzling why Bouvier and Lamora fall for him, and Bond doesn't use any cool vehicles. - Most under-appreciated part: Sanchez is actually a sneaky good Bond villain.
For Your Eyes Only: The Most Underrated
- Why it's this high: I think Moore is a bit underrated as Bond. Yes, he was too old towards the end and yes, his movies were at times too campy, but he himself played the role admirably. He was the most charming and witty of all the Bonds, so by the time he got his first relatively serious plot to work with, he hit it out of the park. Anyhow, the climactic mountaintop assault is one of my favorite Bond action climaxes. Columbo is one of the best Bond allies, and the plot twist where he turns out to be good and Kristatos bad was well-done. - Why it's not higher: The intro is just silly. Bibi's romantic infatuation with Bond is just ...er... uncomfortable? - Most under-appreciated part: The theme song is a banger. What a chorus! Tier 2: Exceptional
Skyfall: The Sharpest Film (From Plot to Aesthetics)
- Why it's this high: One of the best plots of the entire series. The idea of an older Bond who had lost a step, along with making M the focus point of the movie, works very well. Seeing Bond's childhood home is also pretty cool. Bardem's take on Silva is delightful and a lot of fun to watch. Even the cinematography is a series peak, while Adele's them is excellent. - Why it's not higher: One thing most Craig Bond films suffer from is the lack of a Bond-worthy henchman. Skyfall is no exception. More importantly, Bond girls are mostly irrelevant to the film. Yes, Severine is both beautiful and interesting, but she's scarcely twenty minutes of the film. - Most under-appreciated part: Setting the new supporting characters up nicely. The Moneypenny backstory was well-done. Casting Ralph Fiennes as the new M is a great choice in of itself, but he also got a nice chuck of background story to help us going forward.
Casino Royale: The First Bond Film I'd Show a Series Newcomer
- Why it's this high: Craig's take on Bond feels like a breath of fresh air. In particular, his hand-to-hand combat scenes are so much better (and more believable) than any other Bond. The parkour chase scene is one of the best chase scenes in the series. Le Chifre is an excellent villain, but, more importantly, Vesper is an all-time great Bond girl. The conversation between Vesper and Bond on the train is probably the most interesting of any film. Bonus points for Jeffrey Wright as Leiter and the Aston Martin DBS. - Why it's not higher: There are hardly any humorous parts or much charm displayed by Bond in general. More importantly, the movie should have just ended when Bond wakes up in rehab. The rest of the movie feels confused and superfluous. - Most under-appreciated part: The decision to change from chemin de fer to poker makes for much better (and understandable!) cinema. The poker scenes are the best of Bond's many gambling scenes throughout the series.
Goldeneye: The Most Fun
- Why it's this high: Wow, rewatching Goldeneye I was struck by how entertaining the whole thing is. The opening jump is breath taking, the scene where Bond drives his evaluator around is hilarious, and Xenia Onatopp is a livewire. Sean Bean is a formidable villain as 006, and a great foil to James. Bond and Judi Dench's first scene together is amazing. Goldeneye feels like the first modern Bond, yet so true to the predecessors. Wade and especially Zukovsky are excellent allies. - Why it's not higher: Simonova is a forgettable Bond girl. She's not annoying, unattractive, or acted poorly, but is just below average in most regards (looks, back story, chemistry with Bond, plot). - Most under-appreciated part: the action is just so much better than any Bond before it
From Russia with Love: The Best Henchman (Red Grant)
- Why it's this high: Interesting settings, beautiful women, and an engaging story make this a classic. I'm not the first to point out that the scenes with Grant and Bond aboard the train are some of the best in the entire series. Grant is one of the few villains who feels like a match for 007. Furthermore, the addition of Desmond Llewyn as Q was crucial and Kerim Bey is one of the better Bond allies. - Why it's not higher: The helicopter scene should've just been omitted, especially when combined with the subsequent boat chase. It's just awkward to watch. - Most under-appreciated part: The gypsy scenes are quite exotic and entertaining.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service: The Most Heartfelt
- Why it's this high: James and Tracy's love story is charming, and when she dies at the end, this is the one and only time in the entire series where the viewer feels genuinely sad. Diana Rigg did an excellent job convincing the audience Bond could finally fall in love with one girl. The skiing scenes were beautifully filmed, and the score was exemplary. Personally, I quite liked Lazenby's take; however, some of his lines and jokes fall flat. To his credit, he looks and acts like Bond more than any other actor. - Why it's not higher: Honestly, it does drag at times in the first half, plus there is no theme song! - Most under-appreciated part: Bond's Aston Martin DBS is a beautiful car, combining 60's sports-car beauty with Aston Martin's elegance. Tier 1: The Best
Goldfinger: The quintessential Bond
- Why it's this high: From the opening ("Positively shocking") to the seduction of Pussy Galore at the end, this film has it all. Goldfinger is an all time great villain, while Odd Job is an exceptional henchman. Connery delivers a master performance, and drives THE classic Bond Car, ejector seat included. The reason I put it #1 is not necessarily because it is the best film (although it is great), it checks all the boxes of what a perfect Bond film should do. - Why it's not higher: I cannot think of any notable imperfections. - Most under-appreciated part: The golf scene between Bond and Goldfinger is a delight to watch, demonstrating Bond's wits for the first and only time on the golf course.
In Casino Royale Vesper notes the "chip on his shoulder", that Bond came to Eton from the grace of someone's charity and the others never let him forget it. I suspect this is what gave Bond a yearning for anything high brow... For one, Bonds colleagues at MI6 are remarkably ordinary from a financial perspective (look at Qs flat in NTTD or Moneypenneys in Spectre). So this implies DCs Bond exists in a reasonably mundane reality. If you compare this to Bond's live and die young lifestyle it really showcases the effort he goes to in order to exaggerate his wealth. Secondly, Bond through out the four films will actively avoid anything he deems to be lower class. In QoS Bond steers Strawberry Fields away from the low profile hostel and directs her to a luxury hotel, spinning a tale about lottery winnings. In Spectre, Bond marvels at Blofeld's '48 Silver Wraith and while Madeleine Swann appears nervous at the upcoming confrontation, Bond can barely contain his smile. This isnt just Bond wooing over a car, he is appreciative of the luxurious nature of this abduction. Moreover, his taste in cars again is indicative of a desire to showcase status. His personal DB5 and V8 Vantage are both sourced from MI6s archives (presumably). Whatever the case, the fact Bond prefers driving older company Astons to buying his own car would lead me to believe he can't personally afford something he would deem acceptable. (Think to Spectre where he goes out of his way to "borrow" both the DB10 and DB5). Bond uses expensive clothing tastes to mask his class as it is relatively cheap compared to buying a six or seven figure car. Such a car is difficult to buy if you dont truly have big money. Now, dont get me wrong, his vintage Astons are beautiful and I would prefer them to most newer cars. But I suspect Bond takes them as freebies to avoid the embarrassment of driving a more modest car. None of this is to say that DCs Bond isnt well off. His flat is nice, and his Jamaican house is also very luxurious. My point is more just to point out how Bond is constantly trying to project an upper class image. But even with his house and stylish clothing, this is something he just isnt a part of. The insinuated bullying at Eton has both haunted him and reinforced his own insecurities... There are more examples of this, and I suspect this point might have been obvious to a lot of you here and I am just an idiot. Nonetheless, it was fun to write this out and point out the characters continuity, if anything else. TLDR: DC's Bond is insecure thanks to childhood bullying, and his extravagant lifestyle is indicative of that.
I might be an outcast for this lol but I finally decided to give all the old movies a watch. I've only watched the Craig movies before this and grew up during the Craig era itself, so watching the Connery movies was quite a different experience! Thought it'd be cool to share my thoughts over here for the first 5 movies I watched: Dr No: Very simple and small scale. Quite enjoyable. Connery is definitely has a dominating presence but mostly the movie ages poorly just because it's so old, stuff like the stunts and stuff (and the dramatic spider scene lmao). That's okay. The villain was very good tho. From Russia With Love: Easily my favourite out of the Connery films I've watched so far. The movie has a soul to it, and the location setting, the boat chase sequence, much better than Dr No! But it's really funny to see Connery's stunt double DIRECTLY ON CAMERA like they don't even try to hide him lol Goldfinger: Easily the most iconic of it all, with Pussy Galore, the Aston Martin DB5, Oddjob, the dialogues, golden Jill Masterson all that. Also love that opening song. Only complaint is that the victory of the movie was basically a fluke? Like if Bond didn't fuck Pussy Galore, she wouldn't have helped him and he'd have died? The whole ending was based on Bond seducing Pussy? Maybe I'm interpreting it wrong but that twist at the end bugs me a little. Thunderball: Most cinematic of them all, shot in the 2:35 aspect ratio definitely makes it feel much newer than the previous 3 movies. Love the opening theme too. Claudine Auger is just so beautiful! My only problem is that the underwateaction scenes were so long, I had to skip them everytime. You Only Live Twice: This movie is so weird. Pretty much interchangeable with Thunderball, yet things like the pre-title sequence, and the title song itself are worse than the preceding film. And the movie has some weird choices and came off a little racist lol Going to watch OHMSS after this. But for some reason I just want to skip Moore's films, I feel kinda repelled by them since I've heard most of them aren't even on the top 10. Are they any good? Also my opinion on Craig's films: Casino Royale: perfect. bloody perfect. fav film. QoS: Ehhh had potential but boring. Poorly edited and shot. Some good moments tho. Skyfall: first half a little boring but second half is awesome. Spectre: Shot and edited with a lot of competence but story is lacklustre. Better than QoS.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS Many have been speculating exactly what Madeleine Swann’s secret is in No Time To Die. I wanted to make a post with all the concrete details the trailers and other official sources have given us. First of all, we know that the Noh mask we see Safin wearing in the trailers has a significance to Madeleine as early as the Matera scenes, which will likely be the first in the film. She cries when she receives the box with the broken mask in it, the same mask we see Safin wear as he fires a gun at someone under the ice. This links her secret directly with Safin. What is interesting too is that in Noh theatre the main character often is a ghost. “Faces from my past return...” Bond knows in Matera that Madeleine has some secret but he does not know what it is. She asks him “Why would I betray you?” in the DB5 as they are being chased in Matera. Even by the time they are in London at MI6 Blofeld taunts James with “When her secret finds its way out, it’ll be the death of you.” Bond by that point still does not know, but Madeleine, Safin, and Blofeld all know independently. Madeleine in Spectre tells James that a man came to her home one night with the intention of killing her father but she killed him first. Her father of course was Mr. White, the man responsible for the deal that cost Vesper Lynd her life. In the song trailer, some clever editing shows both Bond and Madeleine with notes. Bond stands before a tomb with a burning note that reads “Forgive Me.” I am aware of articles that talk about unofficial details regarding the tomb, but here I want to focus on official. The tomb, if in Matera and has an emotional significance to Bond, would have to be Vesper’s. She is the only one who could be buried in Italy, and it very well was likely James himself who buried her considering she was an orphan without any family. If the tomb sets off a chain of events that allows Bond to know that Madeleine has a secret, this must link Vesper, Mr. White, Madeleine, Safin, and Blofeld together. Madeleine would have been 20 years old around the events of Casino Royale and was estranged from her father by this point. Vesper herself was 25 when she died. I think this precludes Madeleine’s secret from having anything to do with Vesper’s death. Also, in Spectre, Blofeld uses the tape of Mr. White’s suicide to torture Madeleine. If she was a part of SPECTRE, he would not have done so. Blofeld hated Mr. White because White was tired of Blofeld’s evil games. The biggest question I still have is what is important enough to Bond to be “the death of him.” His relationships with Vesper and (Judi Dench’s) M, sure, but the man already has lost both of them. On top of that he is an orphan and his ancestral home was blown to pieces. Madeleine is the only thing he loves now. So, from all evidence we have currently, we know why Madeleine’s secret likely isn’t: • She did not help her father orchestrate Vesper’s betrayal to save Yusuf. • She is not secretly a SPECTRE agent or the “real” head of SPECTRE. What it likely could be: • Madeleine and Safin are brother and sister. Mr. White’s children chose different paths, one becoming fully dedicated to crime and the other dedicated to living honorably. (Vesper?) • Madeleine contributed to Safin’s science programs before the events of Spectre but did not know he was developing something malicious. She knows who the kidnapped scientist is and that is what links Bond, Felix, and Paloma together to find the scientist. (Vesper?) The piece I cannot understand yet is Vesper. If y’all would like to add anything, please feel free! This is all just what I have observed from watching each trailer too many times and analyzing it all. April 10 cannot come soon enough!
So I have this vivid memory of being a kid in a takeaway, and on the TV they were showing some kind of documentary / special about the recently released James Bond film Casino Royale - so I'm placing this around 2006 ish based on when that film came out. In this special they started talking about how James Bond rolls his Aston Martin DBS in the movie, and then showed a clip of him doing the same thing in an Aston Martin DB5 instead. I can't for the life of me find this clip, nor any mention of it anywhere, making me believe I may have just dreamt this up. The clip in question was basically an exact mockup of the scene in the actual movie, with a woman in the road that the car has to swerve around, ending with the car rolling over. The DBS in the actual movie is modern in styling as it was the new Aston Martin at the time, but the DB5 is a much older car from the 60s, so I'm sure I haven't just confused the two cars. Anyone have any idea where this clip may have been from? It's been driving me nuts. https://youtu.be/x-21uPJGXFQ This is the scene from the actual movie here Note that there IS a Casino Royale movie from around the 60s, but this movie does not contain the clip I'm after
The Clarkson Review: Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante (Oct. 13)
The Clarkson Review: Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante (Oct. 13) Of course I will go and see the new James Bond film, but I almost certainly won't enjoy it. I haven't really enjoyed any of them since Daniel Craig took over. I know he wants his Bond to be fallible and weak, like the character in the books, but I don't want to see 007 swigging Heineken from a bottle that just happens to be label-side out, and I don't want to see him bleed, or fire his gun at something and miss. I want him to be Roger Moore, the cheeky chappie who could speak Latin, fly a space shuttle and lay anyone low with one of his signature karate chops. Craig's Bond can't do that. In fact, if you actually stop and think what he's done in the past, you'd have to conclude he's completely useless. In Casino Royale, he didn't notice that the woman he'd fallen in love with was spying for the other side, and then, despite his best efforts, he let her drown in a lift. The next woman he lurved, in Skyfall, got shot in the head by a former colleague. Oh, and then he took an old woman who needed to go into hiding to his own bloody house. Where she and 007's gamekeeper wandered about on a darkened moor, with a torch, just in case the baddies needed even more help locating her. Before that happened, though, Bond went to interview someone in Shanghai and ended up throwing him off a skyscraper. And in an earlier scene, he was shot by Miss Moneypenny. I'm telling you, Johnny English is better at espionage than this guy. So's Inspector Clouseau. But the worst bit in Skyfall came when the director Sam Mendes decided to blow up Bond's Aston Martin. So he pumped it full of bullets until it exploded. I'm sure, to the luvvie-in-chief, this was fine, because a car is just a collection of plastic and metal and glass. But a car is not just a collection of plastic and metal and glass. And Bond's Aston is more of a car than most. It has been a part of my life since I was four. I have owned many models, including one that would fire a small man under the sofa. And Mendes blew it up so he could get Craig to do some acting. I considered at the time filling Sam's dog with bullets until it exploded, just to show him how it felt. The car was put back together in the next Bond film, Spectre — and it appears in the new movie as well — but it was like making Ring of Bright Water 2 and trying to argue that someone had sewn the otter's head back on. I bet Aston Martin had a duck fit when it saw the DB5 reduced to a smouldering ruin, because Bond is its marketing department. He is its PR machine and its ad agency and its ambassador all rolled into one. So I bet it really did try to sew the DB5's head back on, because without 007, the company would have to maintain a public profile on its own. And it doesn't have the cash for that. I'm not sure it even had enough cash to develop the car you see before you today. It's called — deep breath — the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante, and sometimes you get the impression that you're tootling about in almost two tons of make-do and mend. With a bit of cast-off Mercedes tech to maintain a veneer of modernity. To create it, Aston had to chop the roof off a normal DBS, but this meant finding somewhere to put the electric roof mechanism. That meant rerouting the massive exhaust system and that meant turning the fuel tank round and redesigning every body panel aft of the doors. The company managed it, but sometimes the roof doesn't go down when you operate the switch, the boot is laughably tiny, and it gets so hot in there, owing to the exhaust system, you could roast a chicken. There's also a problem with the interior. Astonishingly, we got four adults in it, and that's impressive, but it is almost identical to the interior you get in a far cheaper DB11 Volante. And that's not good enough. The basic starting price of the DBS Superleggera Volante is £247,500 and, I'm sorry, but if I'm going to blow a quarter of a million on a car, I don't want it to have the same innards as a car that costs almost £90,000 less. The trouble is, of course, that when you've spent all that money turning the fuel tank round, there simply won't be enough left to do the air vents as well. Or fit a glovebox. It sounds like I have a real downer on this car, and I haven't finished yet, I'm afraid. Because superleggera is Italian for "superlight", and it just isn't. With a couple of people on board, it weighs more than two tons. Perhaps that's why it endlessly catches its chin-mounted skid plates on speed humps. And why its tyres are so thin you need to be very careful when you're parking, even against a dropped pavement, or you'll kerb the wheels. Perhaps Aston should have called it Supergrasso. You can feel this weight when you're driving, too. It doesn't come across as a feisty little whizz-bang; it's no water boatman. But that said, it's fast. Rocket-ship fast. It's almost too fast, because on wet roads you would be well advised to treat the throttle with extreme caution or you will have a crash. You even need to be careful sometimes on dry roads. And that raises a question. If you can't unleash all the volcanic fury without the back end having a few moments of panic, then why not save yourself the best part of £90,000 and get the DB11 Volante instead? Because you can exploit all the power in one of those, all of the time.And it has the same interior. And it's a little bit more civilised and comfortable. It's almost as though Aston bit off more than it could chew with the DBS. Think of its engineers as pianists. They're accomplished enough to impress their friends and colleagues, but they're not really able to put on a penguin suit, walk onto the stage at the Royal Albert Hall and attempt Liszt's La Campanella. If you attempt to build a 211mph car that costs £247,000, you need to make sure that you have the money to pull it off. Yes, the DBS Superleggera Volante is one of the best-looking cars ever made, and it's blisteringly fast and it makes some laugh-out-loud noises from the tailpipes, but as a package, it's flawed. Hopefully, the new Bond film will be a gem and will keep alive the aura that surrounds the man and the car he drives. But I wouldn't count on it. The way things are going, they'll replace Craig with Anthea Turner and give her a Nissan Leaf. And that, I fear, would bring the curtain down on Britain's best-loved car-maker. In the meantime, if you want an Aston because you, like me, grew up worshipping them, then don't despair because the DB11 Volante is brilliant. That sort of car at that sort of price? Nobody does it better. (Source [paywalled]): https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/clarkson-review-aston-marton-superleggera-volante-v0gz2qs0w)
So was Bond's legendary Ashton Martin won in a hand of poker in Casino Royale?
I'm a fan of the latest series of Bond films. Of course the character was always known to drive an Aston Martin. In Skyfall, Bond pulls the A.M. out if the garage for Bond and Mum once the my ditch the Jag. Bond comes from money so I always assumed he just bought his A.M. and always owned it. However, I'm watching the first Bond film of the Daniel Craig era, Casino Royale, and I just noticed that he actually wins an A.M. in a hand of poker. So does that explain away how the Bond character was able to afford an A.M.? Is that suppose to be the same A.M. the character uses throughout the entire Bond series? What do you all think?
DB5 for 007 James Bond (Casino Royale) (1963 - 2006) By now, you will have no doubt seen the 19th Bond Film, Casino Royale, staring Daniel Craig. Basically, the film chronicles the very beginning of the 007 James Bond story and includes this particular DB5, chassis number DB5/1399/L. Instead of having the car presented to him by 'Q', James Bond is very fortunate to win this car in a game of ... James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 James Bond Aston Martin DBS 007 Casino Royale 1/43 (KY02) Eines der vielen James Bond Autos !!! In Metall, in einer schönen Box mit dem Abbild von 007! Trigger Mortis: With Original Material by Ian Fleming (James Bond) Ixo Jaguar XJ8 X350 Schwarz Baugleich Daimler Super Eight 2003-2009 Casino Royal James Bond 1/43 Modell Auto mit individiuellem Wunschkennzeichen ... James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 James Bond Aston Martin DBS 007 Casino Royale 1/43 (KY02) Eines der vielen James Bond Autos !!! In Metall, in einer schönen Box mit dem Abbild von 007! Trigger Mortis: With Original Material by Ian Fleming (James Bond) Ixo Jaguar XJ8 X350 Schwarz Baugleich Daimler Super Eight 2003-2009 Casino Royal James Bond 1/43 Modell Auto mit individiuellem Wunschkennzeichen ... James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 James Bond Aston Martin DBS 007 Casino Royale 1/43 (KY02) Eines der vielen James Bond Autos !!! In Metall, in einer schönen Box mit dem Abbild von 007! Trigger Mortis: With Original Material by Ian Fleming (James Bond) Ixo Jaguar XJ8 X350 Schwarz Baugleich Daimler Super Eight 2003-2009 Casino Royal James Bond 1/43 Modell Auto mit individiuellem Wunschkennzeichen ... James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 James Bond Aston Martin DBS 007 Casino Royale 1/43 (KY02) Eines der vielen James Bond Autos !!! In Metall, in einer schönen Box mit dem Abbild von 007! Trigger Mortis: With Original Material by Ian Fleming (James Bond) Ixo Jaguar XJ8 X350 Schwarz Baugleich Daimler Super Eight 2003-2009 Casino Royal James Bond 1/43 Modell Auto mit individiuellem Wunschkennzeichen ... James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 James Bond Aston Martin DBS 007 Casino Royale 1/43 (KY02) Eines der vielen James Bond Autos !!! In Metall, in einer schönen Box mit dem Abbild von 007! Trigger Mortis: With Original Material by Ian Fleming (James Bond) Ixo Jaguar XJ8 X350 Schwarz Baugleich Daimler Super Eight 2003-2009 Casino Royal James Bond 1/43 Modell Auto mit individiuellem Wunschkennzeichen ... James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 James Bond Aston Martin DBS 007 Casino Royale 1/43 (KY02) Eines der vielen James Bond Autos !!! In Metall, in einer schönen Box mit dem Abbild von 007! Trigger Mortis: With Original Material by Ian Fleming (James Bond) Ixo Jaguar XJ8 X350 Schwarz Baugleich Daimler Super Eight 2003-2009 Casino Royal James Bond 1/43 Modell Auto mit individiuellem Wunschkennzeichen ...