Which Bond film is the most intellectually and/or emotionally engaging?

edited August 2016 in Bond Movies Posts: 676
There's so much breaking down of Bond films into formula elements in the fan community, and it gets a bit old, so I thought I'd ask about how we experience the films in a more meaningful sense. Just what it says in the title: which Bond film do you find the most intellectually and/or emotionally engaging?

For me, The Living Daylights is top in both categories. It's basically down to the Bond/Saunders relationship, with an assist from Kara. How Bond and Saunders come to respect each other, and then Necros offs Saunders to spur Bond into action, because Bond's been too busy wooing Kara. The contrast between Bond and Saunders is so entertaining, and seeing them finally get on the same page is so satisfying. And then Bond getting lost in romance, not aggressively pursuing his assignment, is a great encapsulation of the reason Bond doesn't get close to women: getting too close can bring harm to the people around him. That's the intellectual bit. Then there's the emotional: Saunders' grizzly death... Bond pulling a gun on a kid and his mom... the tragic, helpless, raw sound of John Barry's "Murder at the Fair." I find it all very affecting. And there's so much more that gets me, too: Bond's revulsion with shooting the woman sniper. Barry's bittersweet love theme. Bond brutally ripping the bathrobe off Pushkin's girlfriend. I could go on.

Runners-up include Casino Royale and Skyfall. CR has the double-wallop reveal that Vesper was a traitor and also still had another boyfriend, which raises so many questions for Bond (when was Vesper turned? was she just using Bond, or did she love him? did she still love her boyfriend as well?). Of course, viewers can suss out their own answers to these questions based on events in the film, and some answers come easier than others. But I find the ambiguity more interesting. As for Skyfall, it's satisfying to think about the film's ideas - it has some rich ideas - but I find the film itself a bit undercooked.

Now it's your turn. What do you think? (Feel free to discuss mainly which films you enjoy intellectually and/or emotionally - I'd like to celebrate the series' successes here, rather than dissect its failures.)
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Comments

  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 7,466
    Interesting topic, as Bond-films generally aren't known for their intellectual stories or emotional engagement. I think I agree completely on your takedown on TLD.

    I would at least mention the foremost emotional film: OHMSS. I think the way Bond falls in love with Tracy (first interested, still fearing his liberty is at stake, but slowly drawn to her as he is more and more impressed by her) and vice versa 'that may come too', is increadably well executed. Who can't fall in love with them with the tune of 'we have all the time in the world' in the background? Funnily enough it's done far better than in many a romantic film.

    Intellectually Blofeld stands out with his curious method, distrusting Bond for his small slip-ups on heraldry. But it's the way that Bond finds Blofeld in the first place -> through his father-in-law-to-be (is he still using Tracy here?), and the cunning way he finds, well, they find to save Tracy (not her very smart notion of going to the most open place as soon as she hears her father on the radio) that puts it in the 'intelligent' category as well.
  • Posts: 670
    For me it comes down to which Bond films can I watch over and over and still find something of interest. For me that's OHMSS and CR. The similarity is obvious: both films are anchored by fully evolved women, not dumb Bond girls. The development of those relationships create more emotionally and intellectually satisfying films.

    The history of Bond films is a mixed bag, largely inconsistent in tone. Not a thing wrong with giving us a film to think about, to consider ethical and moral choices, while at the same time proving entertaining.

    SPECTRE had the opportunity to move the series forward, instead it blew it with the adopted brother with father issues nonsense. It would have been much better had SPECTRE been reconstituted and headed by someone new and far more dangerous than Blofeld.

    The Bond series is clearly infatuated with Bourne series. But the latest Bourne was a hollow rehash of its predecessors. Nothing to think about, nothing to care about. Action sequences were more important than story, which was the typical convoluted no one can be trusted mumbo jumbo.

    Instead of being imitator, Bond needs to get back to being trend setter. That begins with an intellectually satisfying story instead of action before all else.

  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited August 2016 Posts: 23,883
    I suppose none of the Bond films can be considered intellectually stimulating really. It's not quite their focus.

    Having said that, I know that I learned much more from the early Bond films (up to 1979) than I have done from the later ones. I'm not sure if that was because I watched them when I was younger (and so more hungry for knowledge) or if it's because the films themselves had more knowledge sharing.

    I'm referring mainly to dialogue (including use of interesting words to convey a point across) and humour/wit (which was subtle and very British). I'm also referring to location work, which used to be outstanding. We always learned something about a location in a Bond film because they focused on some interesting piece of architecture (like the Yoyogi National Stadium which was built for the 1964 Olympics in Japan in YOLT), something culturally stimulating (like the right temperature for Saki), or something about how things work (like the cremation sequence in DAF for example). It helped that I watched these early films with my father, who always pointed out something interesting about the architecture, since he is an architect. I haven't really got that learning experience from any of the films since the 1980's at all (the Glen era forward), except intermittently, like the Cossacks discussion in GE for example. So I learned a lot from films up to and including MR.

    Intellectually, I enjoy DN, FRWL, TB, CR & SF. The dark thriller elements and dialogue sparring interests me.

    Emotionally, CR stands out for obvious reasons. OHMSS much less so, strangely.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    CrabKey wrote: »
    For me it comes down to which Bond films can I watch over and over and still find something of interest. For me that's OHMSS and CR. The similarity is obvious: both films are anchored by fully evolved women, not dumb Bond girls. The development of those relationships create more emotionally and intellectually satisfying films.

    The history of Bond films is a mixed bag, largely inconsistent in tone. Not a thing wrong with giving us a film to think about, to consider ethical and moral choices, while at the same time proving entertaining.

    SPECTRE had the opportunity to move the series forward, instead it blew it with the adopted brother with father issues nonsense. It would have been much better had SPECTRE been reconstituted and headed by someone new and far more dangerous than Blofeld.

    The Bond series is clearly infatuated with Bourne series. But the latest Bourne was a hollow rehash of its predecessors. Nothing to think about, nothing to care about. Action sequences were more important than story, which was the typical convoluted no one can be trusted mumbo jumbo.

    Instead of being imitator, Bond needs to get back to being trend setter. That begins with an intellectually satisfying story instead of action before all else.

    Excellent post. Not to mention that the last 2x Bourne films ( 4 and 5) were crap!
  • edited August 2016 Posts: 676
    I would at least mention the foremost emotional film: OHMSS. I think the way Bond falls in love with Tracy (first interested, still fearing his liberty is at stake, but slowly drawn to her as he is more and more impressed by her) and vice versa 'that may come too', is increadably well executed. Who can't fall in love with them with the tune of 'we have all the time in the world' in the background?
    John Barry brings so much to these movies. His contribution cannot be overstated.

    Although these two scenes might not be an obvious choice in the "emotional engagement" stakes... If these scenes don't get your blood moving, then you should check for a pulse! ;) I find great joy in the sense of danger, adventure and just sheer cool that Barry's music inspires:




    bondjames wrote: »
    Having said that, I know that I learned much more from the early Bond films (up to 1979) than I have done from the later ones. I'm not sure if that was because I watched them when I was younger (and so more hungry for knowledge) or if it's because the films themselves had more knowledge sharing.

    Interesting point of view! It's true that one could often learn something from the old films and novels. Always something new to see or hear about. Although sometimes the "knowledge" is pure nonsense. Painting your whole body won't cause suffocation! Fleming also started the myth that sumo wrestlers retract their testicles into their bodies.

    A couple points in CR's favour that I failed to mention are the shower scene - one of the most tender, emotional scenes in Bond - and Vesper's drowning, which Eva Green's acting makes so harrowing.
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 7,466
    Oh how I love that music!

    I'd call a Bond-film 'intellectual' when the story isn't completely explained or straight foreward, but either you should figure some things out yourself or Bond has to use his wits in a less then obvious way. Most ealry films have this. It is quite obvious Bond is riling Dr. No up in the hope he makes a mistake.
  • dominicgreenedominicgreene The Eternal QOS Defender
    edited August 2016 Posts: 1,756
    I'm going to have to say CR or even QoS. Yup QoS. I don't know how to describe it but it feels the most emotional Bond film of them all. Perhaps it's because it's Bond at his most relatable. Seeking revenge. Finding companionship. Opening up a cold heart. Pursuing your passion and not giving a damn what anyone tells you what to do. Fighting real world assholes (especially more in QoS considering Greene was practically modelled off the Nestle CEO). I can't really describe it but I find this film immensely nostalgic. Also I think this films score is better than a lot of Barry's work IMO.

    I mean just listen to 2:30 onwards. What Bond film has even come close to this level of musical emotional complexity?
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,020
    OHMSS most definitely.
    Probably followed by FRWL.
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 7,466
    I would rank QoS high too, on the emotional level.
  • LeonardPineLeonardPine The Bar on the Beach
    edited August 2016 Posts: 3,783
    Definitely TLD is foremost one of the most intellectually and emotionally engaging. Followed by FRWL, CR, OHMSS and to a lesser extent QoS and SF.
  • Posts: 11,119
    I think this is a wonderful topic. Truly great @Milovy :-)!



    Regardless of what you might think of the finished product, and if the film actually works, the films featuring Daniel Craig to me are so much richer in layers and themes than many of its predecessors. I actually made a slightly similar topic about it:
    http://www.mi6community.com/index.php?p=/discussion/4593/spectre-and-its-underlying-theme-let-us-discuss-this-underappreciated-part-of-cinema/p1

    Here's an excerpt from the opening post of that topic:
    'CASINO ROYALE'
    But ever since 'Casino Royale' premiered, I truly believe that the underlying theme of the Craig-era Bond films have become more important. 'Casino Royale' was all about the dirtyness of money and how much bankers are actually villain thugs. Thugs that do everything for big Dollar signs. And Le Chiffre is willing to do everything for that. Only two years later, in 2008, the entire worldwide system of banks is in grave danger.

    'QUANTUM OF SOLACE'
    Then we have 'Quantum Of Solace'. Many Bond fans think this was the weakest of Craig's films. But when it comes to the underlying themes, I immediately saw it: Rich, Donald Trump-like philantropists and millionaires can actually be villains too. They say, they want to better the world. They say, they want to not only think, but also to act greener. But it's all nothing more than a cloak for power and money. And in reality many people get hurt by it, turning parts of the world into dry deserts.

    'SKYFALL'
    Lastly, 'Skyfall' truly excells in giving us an underlying theme. This is the film that is all about the net value of modern day espionage ánd the dangers that come with people who don't take government-run espionage seriously! Moreover, what happens to spies that are being cast away like scum? Or other cyber-programmers working for governments? One can name off course guys like Julian Assange, who don't feel respected by their past employers and who eventually decide breaking up the whole intelligence community via WikiLeaks is a good vengeful deed.

    CONCLUSION
    Well, after having seen this picture of Julian Assange, I can tell you this:
    800px-26C3_Assange_DomscheitBerg.jpg
    The newest Bond-film 'Skyfall', but also its two predecessors 'Casino Royale' and 'Quantum Of Solace', are three quite intelligent Bond films. The new Craig-era of Bond films is doing so much more than just giving us an entertaining Bond evening in cinema. It is also turning us into deeper, more loyal fans, by discussing exactly these kind of topics, by actually finding the underlying themes of movies. Do we have Barbara Brocolli and Michael G. Wilson to thank for that? Let us discuss this subject even deeper :-).

    PS: Can someone please cite 'M's poem, the one she was reading aloud from Tennyson :-)?



    Ooowh, and from that last sen tence in that quote, I actually made this topic. By jolly, these recent Bond films keep surprising us:
    http://www.mi6community.com/index.php?p=/discussion/16671/the-kennedy-s-james-bond#latest
    THE KENNEDY'S & JAMES BOND

    We all know that John Fitzgerald Kennedy loved the James Bond books written by Ian Fleming. I did study the matter a bit more thoroughly, and I was quite flabbergasted how the Kennedy Dynasty popped up in quite a few Fleming novels and Bond films. But how did this start? How did we end up with Jack Kennedy referring to "From Russia With Love" and director Sam Mendes refrencing Ted Kennedy?
    By: Gustav Graves (Gert Waterink)

    First meeting between Senator John F. Kennedy and Ian Fleming
    Early 1960 Ian Fleming paid a visit to the United States of America, which was to accompany his friend Marion Oates Leiter-Charles (We instantly know where the surname 'Leiter' was derived from). That story in itself is intriguing. Mrs. Leiter-Charles, "Oatsie" to her closest friends, was married to Thomas Leiter until his death. But Marion and Thomas knew Ian Fleming already from their first vacations in Jamaica in the early 1950's. Later, "Oatsie" and Thomas settled in Newport, in the state of Rhode Island, New England.

    There, the couple was already acquinted with John F. Kennedy. The then rising star within the Democratic Party wasn't all that healthy. JFK suffered from severe spinal pains. He was hospitalized many times in Newport Hospital. And shortly after he endured another necessary surgery in 1955, "Oatsie" visited JFK and gave him a present from one of her best friends: Ian Fleming's "Casino Royale". John F. Kennedy instantly loved the first James Bond book.
    P3_WHATSHAPPENINGRECENTnrf2.jpg
    Marion "Oatsie" Leiter-Charles

    Five years later, when the campaign for the 1960 US Elections started to gear up, Ian Fleming once again visited his beloved friend "Oatsie" Leiter-Charles. At that time the Leiter family frequently resided in Washington D.C. On one Sunday morning in March of the year 1960, "Oatsie" ran into then Senator Kennedy when he left church with his wife Jackie. "Oatsie" introduced Jack to Ian and he was baffled: "Not thè Ian Fleming?!?". "Oatsie" and her husband already had dinner plans with the Kennedy's later that night, so she kindly asked if she could bring a guest. And so it happened.

    JFK's Endorsement of the novel 'From Russia With Love'

    The introduction resulted in mutual respect between Fleming, the Leiters and the Kennedy's. Ian Fleming named the CIA character Felix Leiter after the Leiters. And in return, when JFK became president, Jack presented "From Russia With Love" as his 9th favourite book in his own TOP 10 of Favourite Books of 1961. John F. Kennedy was a popular president during the first year of his term, a bit like Obama now. Following Kennedy’s endorsement of "From Russia with Love" in 1961, Fleming saw the sales of his book skyrocketing, and he became the highest-selling crime author in the United States Of America.

    References in the novels 'The Spy Who Loved Me' and 'The Man With The Golden Gun'

    Fleming's respect for the Kennedy's didn't stop there. In 1962, he wrote to district attorney Robert F. Kennedy: “I am delighted to take this opportunity to thank Kennedys everywhere for the electric effect their commendation has had on my sales in America.”.
    Kennedy_fleming_pd.jpg?t=1471286946844&width=349
    lead_large.jpg?1429716615
    When writing two of his novels, Ian Fleming even put references to John F. Kennedy in them. In "The Spy Who Loved Me", a novel that he later despised, he wrote: “We need some more Jack Kennedys. It’s all these old people about. They ought to hand the world over to younger people who haven’t got the idea of war stuck in their subconscious.

    Shortly after JFK was assassinated in 1963 in Dallas, Texas, Fleming started writing his final novel "The Man With The Golden Gun". The death of Jack Kennedy had a profound effect on Fleming, thus he again referenced the Kennedy's. In a scene he depicts Bond relaxing with a glass of bourbon, reading JFK's memoirs "Profiles In Courage".

    Another big Kennedy reference in 'Skyfall'

    The fact that the relationship between the Kennedy's and Ian Feming was close, didn't escape director Sam Mendes' eye for detail. During pre-production of "Skyfall" Mr Mendes suggested to dedicate a very important scene to JFK's brother, Edward "Ted" Kennedy. As we all know, Ted Kennedy died in 2009 of cancer. For Mr Mendes it proved to be a good moment to remember both the Kennedy's, and Ian Fleming.

    It was Ted Kennedy's rousing concession speech during the Democratic National Convention of 1980 that served as the blueprint for this pivotal scene. Therefore, please skip to Ted Kennedy's closing statement at 34min 00sec:

    I quote Ted Kennedy's last words down below:
    "And may it be said of us in both dark passages and in bright days. In the words of Tennyson that my brothers quoted and loved. And that have special meaning for me now:

    -- I am a part of all that I have met;
    -- Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
    -- We are not now that strength which in old days
    -- Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
    -- One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    -- Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    -- To strive, to seek, to find, and NOT to yield.


    For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose scares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.

    We now know that Dame Judi Dench's final performance as "M" had to sound as heroic as some of the finest speeches from the Kennedy's. In my opinion it worked. The emotional, unprecedented death of "M" in "Skyfall" in many ways mirrored or echoed John F. "Jack" Kennedy's death (1963), Robert "Bobby" Kennedy death (1968) and Edward "Teddy" Kennedy's death (2009, two years before production of "Skyfall" started). Ian Fleming would have been proud of his legacy.



    And, from the previous topic, another quote I made from my essay-ish investigation of the themes of "SPECTRE":
    There are several themes in "SPECTRE". I discovered two themes:

    A Theme of Family, Generations and Teamplay:
    - Marco Sciarra is married to Lucia Sciarra. Marco Sciarra is a member of S.P.E.C.T.R.E.
    - Madeleine Swann's father is The Pale King/Mr White. Mr White is a member of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. and its daughter-branch QUANTUM. He loves Madeleine a lot.
    - Ernst Stavro Blofeld's/Franz Oberhauser's father is Hannes Oberhauser. His mother is Ms Oberhauser-Blofeld. Blofeld is the head/Nr.1 of S.P.E.C.T.R.E.
    - James Bond's foster father is Hannes Oberhauser, so for a short while -2 winters- he was a foster brother of Franz Oberhauser.
    - Conclusion: "SPECTRE" is the most family-heavy Bond film in the franchise history. It is therefore a rather unique film. Fathers, sons, husbands, wifes, foster parents, brothers, daughters, mothers....the above mentioned characters are all connected through families.

    Secondly, there's the notion that teamwork in this new Bond film is as vital as ever. With so many layers of deceit and leaks within the intelligence community, one has to work together. BUT, we also see that in some instances one man alone has to do the job...alone, without any support: Agent James Bond-007. The new 'M' directly refers to that, as he thinks it's better than Moneypenny and Q stop interfering with Bond's 'rogue' mission. So there comes a point in "SPECTRE" where it is of no use to work according to authorized government missions.

    A Theme of International Espionage and its Implications on Democracy:
    Whereas "Skyfall" focused on the importance of modern-day espionage, mainly inside the UK, "SPECTRE" goes a step further and focuses on how espionage works in a global environment. Sam Mendes doesn't introduce a villain or character that is based on Richard Snowden, but he does focus on all the scandals and intelligence information that were leaked through ex-CIA-operative Edward Snowden. And one could say that James Bond himself is an 'Edward Snowden'-esque character.

    These 'leaks' included the revelation of two intelligence programs:
    A) The PRISM Program: Which is a US-based NSA-program that foresees in eavesdropping all American citizens, via telephone and on internet. It's basically assisted by big bluechip billion dollar companies like AT&T, Google and Microsoft.
    The link with "SPECTRE"? Blofeld is running a privately held PRISM-like company, which is hired by several national governments and its intelligence services. Like MI6/CNS, led by 'C'.
    B) The Five Eyes Program: This collaboration of intelligence services across the globe exists as of today. The core 'Five Eyes' are the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom. As Edward Snowden once said:
    The Five Eyes alliance is sort of an artifact of the post World War II era where the Anglophone countries are the major powers banded together to sort of co-operate and share the costs of intelligence gathering infrastructure...The result of this was over decades and decades some sort of a supra-national intelligence organisation that doesn’t answer to the laws of its own countries.
    The Link with "SPECTRE"? Obviously, that's The Nine Eyes Program. And as weird as it may sound, in today's, real-life intelligence community members of Five Eyes already refer to Nine Eyes. The 4 extra countries in this program are: The Netherlands, France, Denmark and Norway: hhttp://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/02/nsa-portrait-total-surveillance

    So there you have it PRISM and Five Eyes are the two main McGuffin's of "SPECTRE".

    Blofeld is a larger-than-life version of Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) / Larry Page/Sergey Brinn (Google). He runs a S.P.E.C.T.R.E.-paid company in the Moroccan desert where he runs the PRISM-esque Big Brother program. He is also the head of the Bilderberg-esque crime syndicate S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

    Max Denbigh, or 'C', could be seen as a government official that gets his ideas from Bush-era politicians, ex-CIA director Allen Dulles and ex-FBI-director J. Edgar Hoover. Make no mistake, Allen Dulles and J. Hoover weren't lovable babies.
  • MayDayDiVicenzoMayDayDiVicenzo Here and there
    edited August 2016 Posts: 5,080
    For me, DIE ANOTHER DAY is the most intellectually engaging film in the series. Tamahori succeeds in his political commentary of the Korean Peninsula and in presenting nuanced themes of betrayal, morality and revenge. Some of the work in the latter half of the film is stimulating stuff; the irony of Tolstoy's War and Peace coming between Jinx and Miranda as they battle to the death upon the crashing cargo plane is a particular highlight. No Bond film comes close to Die Another Day's brilliance in this regard.
  • Posts: 11,119
    For me, DIE ANOTHER DAY is the most intellectually engaging film in the series. Tamahori succeeds in his political commentary of the Korean Peninsula and in presenting nuanced themes of betrayal, morality and revenge. Some of the work in the latter half of the film is stimulating stuff; the irony of Tolstoy's War and Peace coming between Jinx and Miranda as they battle to the death upon crashing cargo plane is a particular highlight. No Bond film comes close to Die Another Day's brilliance in this regard.

    Ehhh :-S
  • Posts: 11,175
    In terms of emotional engagement I'm afraid I'm going to be predictable and say the barn scene/the ending of OHMSS as well as M's death in SF.
  • edited August 2016 Posts: 11,119
    BAIN123 wrote: »
    In terms of emotional engagement I'm afraid I'm going to be predictable and say the barn scene/the ending of OHMSS as well as M's death in SF.

    If it comes to....real, heart-felt emotions, that brought a tear to my eyes when I first say these Bond films, there are only three Bond films that truly excelled in that:

    --> "On Her Majesty's Secret Service":
    James Bond 007 proposing Tracy to marry her in the barn, and the absolutely devastating assassination of Tracy by Irma Bunt at the very end. Man, George Lazenby showed brilliance in that scene. You, truly wanted to hug the man. :-<
    --> "Casino Royale":
    Another Bond film where James Bond-007 truly falls in love. One wonders why it had to take 37 years to come up with a very emotional Bond film. Daniel Craig is a magnificent actor. The way he fell in love with Vesper, and how subsequently Tracy betrays Bond and commits suicide...Again, you wanna hug the man. :-<
    --> "Skyfall":
    This was Dame Judi Dench's magnificent send-off. And by jolly do we miss her, don't we guys & gals? That bastard of a Silva...is the 2nd villain after Irma Bunt who manages to kill a leading character. Seeing James Bond holding 'M' in her arms while she pulls out her last breath, is absolutely emotional. :-<


    Some special mentions:

    --> "Octopussy":
    Many people consider "FYEO" Moore's best outing when it comes to an emotional relationship with a leading character. But, I actually think Octopussy was the perfect match for Moore's version of James Bond. She's closer to his age, and the passion bursted from the screen when they intensely kissed each other. It didn't feel like another dummy girl being conquerred by Bond.

    --> "Licence To Kill":
    The events of "OHMSS" still linger on. Bond isn't ready for another serious relationship. So you understand his vengeful feelings and incredible anger when the same happens to Felix Leiter as it happened to him 20 years earlier.
  • MayDayDiVicenzoMayDayDiVicenzo Here and there
    Posts: 5,080
    For me, DIE ANOTHER DAY is the most intellectually engaging film in the series. Tamahori succeeds in his political commentary of the Korean Peninsula and in presenting nuanced themes of betrayal, morality and revenge. Some of the work in the latter half of the film is stimulating stuff; the irony of Tolstoy's War and Peace coming between Jinx and Miranda as they battle to the death upon crashing cargo plane is a particular highlight. No Bond film comes close to Die Another Day's brilliance in this regard.

    Ehhh :-S

    I'm deadly serious, @gustav.
  • Posts: 11,119
    For me, DIE ANOTHER DAY is the most intellectually engaging film in the series. Tamahori succeeds in his political commentary of the Korean Peninsula and in presenting nuanced themes of betrayal, morality and revenge. Some of the work in the latter half of the film is stimulating stuff; the irony of Tolstoy's War and Peace coming between Jinx and Miranda as they battle to the death upon crashing cargo plane is a particular highlight. No Bond film comes close to Die Another Day's brilliance in this regard.

    Ehhh :-S

    I'm deadly serious, @gustav.

    I understand @MayDayDiVicenzo. But although the points you are mentioning are in there, to me they are way too much clouded by unnecessary sci-fi-esque cinematography, unrealistic, over-the-top action. Perhaps you can read some political commentary in the plot, as it was set indeed in North-Korea. But I do think that not Tamahori, but some other Bond directors were infusing deliberately some political commentary and emotional resonance in it. Terence Young, Peter Hnt, Martin Campbell and Sam Mendes for instance. To me, North-Korea always felt like "Ooowh, we need to have a 'bad country', so we choose the North-Koreans". It's a bit too obvious and it doesn't investigate certain 'grey's' more fiercefully. All the North-Korean villains to me felt a bit...cartoonish, whereas Le Chiffre, Silva and even Waltz' version of Blofeld are multi-layered in their motivations.

    But that's my opinion off course ;-).
  • MayDayDiVicenzoMayDayDiVicenzo Here and there
    Posts: 5,080
    Wit: it's a dying trade.
  • Posts: 2,341
    FRWL
    OHMSS
    LTK
    CR
    SF
  • w2bondw2bond is indeed a very rare breed
    Posts: 2,243
    Intellectually I would say Skyfall. The themes of old and new resonate throughout the film with the old being triumphant.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    QoS is reasonably impressive in this regard in my view, because things aren't really spelled out all that clearly all the time. That may have been on account of the writer's strike, but nevertheless, it seems like a more adult thriller with an understated feel.

    The subtleties and realpolitik of US foreign policy, banana republics, the UK's subservient relationship with the US, and greedy corporations are also alluded to nicely, and not always in a complimentary way.
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Per ora e il momento che verrà
    Posts: 6,158
    Licence to Kill for three reasons:

    1. Della/Tracy angle. The viewer is reminded of OHMSS's tragic ending before the exact same thing happens to his best friend. There is a reason to go personal here and in 1989 that was still a novel idea. Gives Bond's character some depth too.

    2. Bond's friends.You'd think Bond is out on his own but he's not. Moneypenny goes against her orders to get Q to Isthmus and Q indeed pops up there and proves to be a significant help to 007, even though he isn't allowed to. Without spelling it out to us, Bond really matters to Q and Moneypenny which tells us something about their loyalty towards him.

    3. How Bond just uses his wits to win Sanchez' trust, before he turns him against his own associates.

  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 7,466
    bondjames wrote: »
    QoS is reasonably impressive in this regard in my view, because things aren't really spelled out all that clearly all the time. That may have been on account of the writer's strike, but nevertheless, it seems like a more adult thriller with an understated feel.

    The subtleties and realpolitik of US foreign policy, banana republics, the UK's subservient relationship with the US, and greedy corporations are also alluded to nicely, and not always in a complimentary way.

    The desolation and desperation of the desert and water shortage is put foreward in an impressive and beautiful way .QoS sits very high on ly list, with the only minor beeing that terrible song and small glitches, like the way Bond disposes of the last boat. But it's increadable how the mood of the film functions to help tell the story. I don't think any other Bond film has this quality.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    edited August 2016 Posts: 5,131
    CR, LTK & OHMSS are the most emotionally engaging. CR & TLD for intellectually engaging. I find FRWL & DN to be too of the most 'engaging' plots/ scripts.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,526
    I love Bond films because they are not emotionally or intellectually engaging.

    However, I guess OHMSS is a little sad at the end, despite Tracy being the most spoilt, self-pitying woman/child I've seen in the series.
  • Posts: 11,119
    NicNac wrote: »
    I love Bond films because they are not emotionally or intellectually engaging.

    However, I guess OHMSS is a little sad at the end, despite Tracy being the most spoilt, self-pitying woman/child I've seen in the series.

    She was mentally ill, suffering from huge depressions, and perhaps she was even suffering from Borderline. But then again, the mentally ill are usually addressed like that: spoilt, self-pitying 'childs'.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,526
    NicNac wrote: »
    I love Bond films because they are not emotionally or intellectually engaging.

    However, I guess OHMSS is a little sad at the end, despite Tracy being the most spoilt, self-pitying woman/child I've seen in the series.

    She was mentally ill, suffering from huge depressions, and perhaps she was even suffering from Borderline. But then again, the mentally ill are usually addressed like that: spoilt, self-pitying 'childs'.

    Now don't try that one on me - I know what mental illness is, but it's wrong to attach it to every individual who can't cope with modern life. 'Stress' is thrown around like confetti. The most over used word since 'genius'.

    Tracy does not strike me as mentally ill, just a girl who was given everything and at the start of OHMSS (I'm not talking book by the way, only film) is bored with life. Erratic, unpredictable, but mentally ill?
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,651
    She was trying to drown herself at the beginning of OHMSS. If that's not mental illness, I have no idea what is.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,526
    I'll give you that.
    Look, this may be an argument I can't win, so like anyone who is on to a loser I will gracefully bow out. ;)
  • Posts: 11,119
    NicNac wrote: »
    I'll give you that.
    Look, this may be an argument I can't win, so like anyone who is on to a loser I will gracefully bow out. ;)

    Nah, don't worry @NicNac ;-). It's just....that for me Tracy's character had this emotional depth because of her mental and psychological problems.
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