The Brosnan era was actually more fun for Bond fans

We've never been able to look back at two even four-movie Bond film eras before.

Brosnan four-film era - 1995 to 2002
Craig four-film era - 2006 to 2015

It's almost universally accepted that the Craig films are better movies. But if I had to go through them again, I think Brozza wins on the fun side.

007 reasons why the Brosnan era was actually better for Bond fans.

001. A new Bond adventure every couple of years. Lots more to discuss, enjoy, and moan about. Four movies in seven years. Loads of Bond!
002. Bond on proper missions. No family baggage. Those were the days!
003. Everything in the right place. Pre-credit, gun barrel, Moneypenny and M (mostly) in the office.
004. Bad villains with proper plans, (what was Greene going to do again?)
005. All the films had novelizations. Why did that stop? When a film came out, you got the full package. The movie at the cinema, the soundtrack, the book, (and later, the Widescreen VHS videocassette!) What bliss!
006. Gadgets were still cool back then.
007. James Bond will Return.

I do love the Craig movies, but it was more fun back then.
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Comments

  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Costa Mucho
    Posts: 41,940
    The Brosnan era is the least fun Bond has ever been for me, so disagree regardless of the more rapid output.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Me lleva el chanfle
    Posts: 4,663
    I agree that it was more fun, all things considered.
  • Posts: 623
    I wonder what Bond fans (i.e. the people that frequent this message-board) would prefer. Four films the quality of the Brosnan era, every seven years, or four films of the Craig quality, but over a much longer time.
    I re-watched The World is Not Enough this afternoon, and although stylistically it's cringe-able in places, it's still great fun.
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    It’s way more fun than anything that came after. I’d rather have that back.
  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe "I need a year off" Craig
    Posts: 7,318
    Yes Brosnans films were more fun, and fun factor being the major decider in whether a Bond film works or not, they are better overall.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Costa Mucho
    Posts: 41,940
    shamanimal wrote: »
    I wonder what Bond fans (i.e. the people that frequent this message-board) would prefer. Four films the quality of the Brosnan era, every seven years, or four films of the Craig quality, but over a much longer time.

    I prefer the latter.
  • Posts: 5,910
    Birdleson wrote: »
    But we, as the core fans, have [passionate and varied criteria. The general public loved Pierce and his films.

    I think the general public just really likes Bond. There seemed to be a universal drop in interest in the mid to late 80s, but the films will always be enjoyed by the GP regardless who’s playing the role, IMO.

  • Posts: 623
    My criteria is a new Bond caper every couple of years please. This four year gap thing is nonsense.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Me lleva el chanfle
    Posts: 4,663
    Back then you also had many more video games coming out.
  • edited April 2018 Posts: 684
    I almost started a topic a few weeks ago called something like, "When was the best time to be a Bond fan?" but this will do nicely. I was going to make a case for the early 2000s, which somewhat fits in with the main question here.

    I think the Brosnan era was more fun for fans, but that goes beyond just the movies being less serious and more fun themselves. Specifically I'm thinking of the lead up to DAD and that period afterwards where we thought we were in for a fifth Brosnan flick before finding out Eon was recasting.

    During that time we had other things to look forward to:

    The release of the remastered soundtracks
    The quality EA video games coming out regularly
    The beginning of online Bond fandom (the start of message boards, fansites, etc.)
    The gradual release of the great Penguin paperbacks with the Fahey covers
    The casting of a new Bond which is always fun

    Some of this is nostalgia because I was a kid, but I think it was a better time to be a fan. Not only were there more films but more to look forward to between them.

    I know we've got a few games in the Craig era (not very good from what I understand), and new paperbacks (whose covers were blah), and fansites are still around, but I still think the Craig era has, on the whole, seemed a bit dead by comparison.

    EDIT: Just saw your comment above, @mattjoes -- yes, that's exactly it. And the games almost felt like new films themselves.
  • Posts: 623
    I think we've underestimated the value of the frequency of the franchise. It never mattered so much that the current Bond film wasn't a classic, because by the time you got it on video, there was another one round the corner in the cinema. These days we have twice as long to mull over the latest movie, and if it's not a good one....
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 35,149
    shamanimal wrote: »
    I think we've underestimated the value of the frequency of the franchise. It never mattered so much that the current Bond film wasn't a classic, because by the time you got it on video, there was another one round the corner in the cinema. These days we have twice as long to mull over the latest movie, and if it's not a good one....

    Indeed, it's much easier to stomach a bad installment when you know the next one is close by. For someone like me that hasn't enjoyed the last two installments, it's been one decade now since I truly enjoyed a Bond film. Insane.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Me lleva el chanfle
    Posts: 4,663
    Well said, @Strog. I also think that period you mention was a very enjoyable one.

    That's why I hope whoever distributes the Bond films internationally demands the Bond property is made more use of.
  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper Hamburg, near the Atlantic Hotel
    Posts: 6,053
    I was happy with Brosnan as Bond, but the movies literally got worse with every step. GE was good, TND was ok, but TWINE and DAD are (for me, of course) the two worst of them all. If they could have avoided that by not churning them out every two years (or three, in the last case), but instead opted for having reasonable scripts, I would have much preferred that.
  • edited April 2018 Posts: 623
    At the time, TWINE was seen as the best Brosnan Bond. It was referred to as his FYEO, in that it had a more dramatic storyline. I think that had to do with the fact he actually seemed to fall for Electra. The first proper Bond romance since TLD I think. But certain parts of it haven't aged well, and I see it's often at the bottom of the list. At the time, it was considered an improvement over TND.
    I think the only major miss-step was the second half of DAD. And even then it wasn't a case of laziness, I think they tried too hard to do everything. DAD was the kitchen-sink Bond.
    It worked much better in the cinema, also.
  • Posts: 10,665
    Brosnan himself was a very good James Bond. I think GE is an all-time classic, TND is mostly decent, then TWINE is really up and down, then DAD is the worst Bond film. But in each film, Brosnan was really good. I must consider his era the weakest overall for Bond though. Craig had a misstep with SP, but his first 3 are all of pretty high quality I think, including the series’ best with CR.
  • Posts: 623
    I liked Pierce's Bond a lot. I think he's a much better fit for a screen Bond than Craig, but it's undeniable that Craig's movies - certainly three of them - are more artistically rewarding.
    But is the Craig era as much fun? I'd say not. I'd rather have a fun Bond caper every two years, than an artier, 'deeper' version every four.
  • BMW_with_missilesBMW_with_missiles All the usual refinements.
    Posts: 2,991
    Yes Brosnans films were more fun, and fun factor being the major decider in whether a Bond film works or not, they are better overall.

    I agree. People often claim the Craig films are better movies, and perhaps they objectively are, but for me that’s like comparing a Honda Civic to an Aston Martin. Objectively the Honda is a better car; it’s more reliable, cheaper to run and maintain, it’s sensible and will always get you back and forth to work, but I’ll take the Aston over it any day. I’m tired of Bond films chasing high-art, emotional drama, big name directors, and other “ideals” of so-called fine cinema. I just want some damn fun.
  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper Hamburg, near the Atlantic Hotel
    Posts: 6,053
    shamanimal wrote: »
    At the time, TWINE was seen as the best Brosnan Bond. It was referred to as his FYEO, in that it had a more dramatic storyline. ... At the time, it was considered an improvement over TND.
    I think the only major miss-step was the second half of DAD. And even then it wasn't a case of laziness, I think they tried too hard to do everything. DAD was the kitchen-sink Bond...
    It worked much better in the cinema, also.
    I never heard anybody rate TWINE higher than GE at the time, though you may be right that some people preferred it over TND, regarding which I admit being somewhat influenced by the Hamburg connection. And I definitely have more "fun" watching semi-serious action movies than would-be comedies where the dialogue is stitched together from outlandish puns of the moronic kind. Cringing is no fun.

    But anyway, I rather disliked TWINE from the beginning (for the individual gripes, I refer to the countless discussions elsewhere, and I share just about every criticism about it). And when DAD came out I was initially delighted during that "first half" that it promised to be at least a better movie than TWINE. But boy, was I wrong. That first half had its share of nonsensical things as well, among them of course the entire plot, but was basically well-made...and all the good-will was completely wasted at the latest when the story moved to Iceland.

    I said it before, but what disqualified DAD the most for me was the complete disappointment it served after the promising first half. You could say I still prefer TWINE a bit over DAD because it was comparatively shitty right away and did not delude people (ME!) into believing it could turn out great.

    And yet again: No, it's not Brosnan's fault. When he had good material to work with, he was quite ok, in fact (at the time) my 2nd favourite Bond, though he dropped to No. 4 in the meantime.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,636
    Brosnan-era merchandise was a lot more fun. Bond tie-ins over the last few years have been high-end luxury stuff marketed at adults; back in 95-02 they were still doing sticker albums and cap guns, which I was way too old for but gleefully collected anyway.
  • Posts: 7,650
    I still got the Heineken metal coasters that were released upon the release of TND.
  • Posts: 623
    I certainly remember TWINE being thought of a lot higher than it is now. I'm going back to my pre-internet days, when all I had was the letters pages in Bond fanzines. I also remember For Your Eyes Only being regarded as the best Moore. There was none of the love I see now for tswlm. Moonraker was spat upon. If you liked MR, you didn't like Bond.
    A good barometer of those times is Raymond Benson's Bond Bedtime Companion. NSNA is given a mighty thumbs up and most of Moore's are tossed off as spoofs.
  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper Hamburg, near the Atlantic Hotel
    Posts: 6,053
    shamanimal wrote: »
    I certainly remember TWINE being thought of a lot higher than it is now. I'm going back to my pre-internet days, when all I had was the letters pages in Bond fanzines. I also remember For Your Eyes Only being regarded as the best Moore. There was none of the love I see now for tswlm. Moonraker was spat upon. If you liked MR, you didn't like Bond.
    A good barometer of those times is Raymond Benson's Bond Bedtime Companion. NSNA is given a mighty thumbs up and most of Moore's are tossed off as spoofs.

    Apart from that TWINE matter it coincides with my views. I used to find FYEO superior to TSWLM...and sometimes still do, just like other movies keep shifting ranks at least to some degree. I refused to even watch MR when it came out (though I now tend to think it has aged less and is not really worse than TSWLM, and in fact more fun to watch).

    Basically all critiques I read in 1983/84 ended up saying that NSNA was definitely a better Bond film than OP, although those critics realised that NSNA was really meant to be a spoof that takes a jibe at the official Bond films. But I still agree: NSNA blows OP out of the water without even employing one of those cruise missiles.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,636
    SaintMark wrote: »
    I still got the Heineken metal coasters that were released upon the release of TND.

    Jealous! I somehow missed those (though I still have my GE Perrier bottle).
  • RemingtonRemington I'll do anything for a woman with a knife.
    edited April 2018 Posts: 1,499
    I love both eras. However, I slightly prefer the Brozz era for the same reasons @shamanimal stated. I'm always in the mood for those four films because they're all fun, classic Bond and for the most part don't include the personal baggage of the newer films.
  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper Hamburg, near the Atlantic Hotel
    Posts: 6,053
    Remington wrote: »
    I love both eras. However, I slightly prefer the Brozz era for the same reasons @shamanimal stated. I'm always in the mood for those four films because they're all fun, classic Bond and for the most part don't include the personal baggage of the newer films.

    I'm truly glad that you enjoyed all of them. I myself would even (just for the principle) watch all of them if I intended to have another "Bond marathon". But IMO doing that through TWINE and especially DAD would be a self-afflicted chore, rather than a pleasure. Give me all others, including the "usual suspects" like AVTAK or DAF instead.
  • Posts: 623
    Just to remind ourselves of the novelizations.

    PBPaperbacks.jpg

  • BMW_with_missilesBMW_with_missiles All the usual refinements.
    edited April 2018 Posts: 2,991
    j_w_pepper wrote: »
    shamanimal wrote: »
    At the time, TWINE was seen as the best Brosnan Bond. It was referred to as his FYEO, in that it had a more dramatic storyline. ... At the time, it was considered an improvement over TND.
    I think the only major miss-step was the second half of DAD. And even then it wasn't a case of laziness, I think they tried too hard to do everything. DAD was the kitchen-sink Bond...
    It worked much better in the cinema, also.
    I never heard anybody rate TWINE higher than GE at the time, though you may be right that some people preferred it over TND, regarding which I admit being somewhat influenced by the Hamburg connection. And I definitely have more "fun" watching semi-serious action movies than would-be comedies where the dialogue is stitched together from outlandish puns of the moronic kind. Cringing is no fun.

    But anyway, I rather disliked TWINE from the beginning (for the individual gripes, I refer to the countless discussions elsewhere, and I share just about every criticism about it). And when DAD came out I was initially delighted during that "first half" that it promised to be at least a better movie than TWINE. But boy, was I wrong. That first half had its share of nonsensical things as well, among them of course the entire plot, but was basically well-made...and all the good-will was completely wasted at the latest when the story moved to Iceland.

    I said it before, but what disqualified DAD the most for me was the complete disappointment it served after the promising first half. You could say I still prefer TWINE a bit over DAD because it was comparatively shitty right away and did not delude people (ME!) into believing it could turn out great.

    And yet again: No, it's not Brosnan's fault. When he had good material to work with, he was quite ok, in fact (at the time) my 2nd favourite Bond, though he dropped to No. 4 in the meantime.

    I actually consider GE to be the least of Brosnan’s Bonds. I’ve always felt that way.
  • Posts: 623
    I remember leaving the cinema after Goldeneye being not too excited. I thought it was a little bland, after Dalton had done his two. I think Dalton got you involved in the character more than Pierce. But Brozza had the cinema Bond feel that the audience liked, and I grew to like his Bond a lot.
    I was sorry to hear he'd finished. There was a clip of him somewhere doing DAD promo, and he says something like "you read about these new pretenders... I'm not done yet!"
    But he was done. And we've had some very worthy and interesting times in the Craig era. So I'm not moaning... but ....
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 16,545
    Dalton was my favourite Fleming-esque Bond, but Brosnan was my favourite 'fun' Bond. '87 - '99 was my golden age... but of course, I love them all.
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