Tag Archives: Bond

Ranked

Hello,

One of the things I noticed while I was researching Moonraker‘s standings with Bond fans is that there a million best of lists for James Bond movies and they’re all garbage.

All of them.

There is no consistency where what movies lay where on the rankings. Oh sure, you’ll see From Russia With LoveCasino Royale and The Spy Who Loved Me hovering near the top consistently, but it’s a wild shot in the dark to see what movies are actually the best and which are actually the worst.

There are two conclusions that I can draw from this:

The James Bond movies aren’t really great movies, with one or two exceptions, and the differences between the majority of them is entirely subjective.

This conclusion is erroneous.

The second, true, conclusion I came up with is that there is not a consistent scoring system designed to actually rate the James Bond movies. But I have it. I made it. It exists now.

I’m going to randomly go through the Bond movies and create a list based on numbers and facts and it’ll be glorious.

Starting now.

-D-

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Raked Over the Coals: In Defense of Moonraker

Hello,

I want to talk about Moonraker. Not the book. The movie. The criminally underrated movie.

On most lists ranking Bond movies, lists by the way that are all shockingly wrong, Moonraker is usually toward the bottom, sometimes below such objectively awful entries like Diamonds Are Forever and Never Say Never Again.

just watched Moonraker for the first time, have, in fact, been avoiding it due to the reputation it has an I’m livid that I waited this long to watch it.

Full disclosure: Roger Moore is my favorite James Bond. He’s less of a callous bastard than Sean Connery’s Bond and much more wry and playful at his job than any other Bond. He might also be the only Bond I’ve seen who turns down a overly amorous woman (Lynn-Holly Johnson‘s Bibi in For Your Eyes Only).

Back to Moonkraker.

This a Bond film that kicks off with a space shuttle being stolen midflight and then a spectacular sky diving sequence where Jaws and James Bond battle it out in mid-air as they hurtle toward the ground, a sequence that took 88 jumps to capture on film.

This is a Bond film that, once again, has Bond matched up with an equally competent and equally wry secret agent as his love interest (Lois Chiles as Doctor Holly Goodhead). Note: The novel has Bond working with an agent from M5 who is infiltrating Hugo Drax’s installation. So, you know, basically the same thing.

This is a Bond film that ends with a laser battle in space and the villain has a truly derange plot that he lifted straight from a story in Doctor Who.

This is also a Bond film where Bond shoots a gun once and that’s it and yet he still manages to stop the bad guy and avoids being murdered by Jaws.

Oh yeah, Jaws is in this. I can take him or leave him.

The point is, this is a Bond film that has all the moments and pieces that you need for a truly great Bond flick, especially if you’re a fan of the best era of Bond movies (The Roger Moore Era). So what you should do is what I should have done and ignore everything that people have told you about Moonraker and just go watch it.

This experience has convinced me that I need to come up with a definitive rating scale for the Bond films, especially given the number of prfoundly wrong lists I saw while researching this entry.

Also, check out my last Bond blog entry, my endorsement of the many Bonds theory.

-D-

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James Bond: Chapter One; The First Chapter

“Today we are fighting Communism. Okay. If I’d been alive fifty years ago, the brand of Conservatism we have today would have been damn near called Communism and we should have been told to go and fight that. History is moving pretty quickly these days and the heroes and villains keep on changing parts.”
― James Bond, Casino Royale

I like James Bond. And, like everything else I’m interested in, I have to like it in a obsessive compulsive way that deeply worries the people closest to me. I hate half-measures and lackluster efforts. I have to take my interests and plow them into the ground, wringing out every last bit of enjoyment until I can’t stand the subject and put it on the shelf for a year.

James Bond is one I keep coming back to. He’s a hero that has survived over sixty years, from Ian Fleming’s first novel all the way to his next movie that’s due to be released next year.

He has fought communists, insane madmen seeking to blow up Silicon Valley, North Korean terrorists with a penchant for plastic surgery and duplicitous water stealing businessmen.

James Bond is a hero who has maintained the same posture and panache for his entire run, but, throughout, has maintained a relevancy that few other characters can claim. It is remarkable that someone who was so defined by the culture of the Cold War has not only survived twenty years after the end of that war, but has thrived.

He is defined by a cultured ruthlessness, a suave viciousness. He will lecture you on the correct way to drink a martini and then callously dispatch a henchmen without reflection or doubt. He remains, in many ways, thoroughly British, though beloved around the world.

His longevity is compelling in and of itself. He has been portrayed by many different actors in many different ways through vastly different era. His novels are still being written to this day, in spite of the fact that the original author has been dead and buried for fifty years.

Because of my obsessive compulsive madness, I need, NEED, to figure out a way to go the extra mile in James Bond researches. So, with a complete lack of careful thought and a dutiful inattentiveness to how much free time I actually have, I have decided to watch every James Bond movie, in chronological order, until I lose interest or I reach the final movie.

I will start with the first on-screen appearance. Which is, obviously, the hour long TV episode of Casino Royale.

Look for it at this location next week.

-D-

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