Complete and Detailed Bond Movie Ranking

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  • Posts: 6,799
    GoldenGun wrote: »
    Thanks a lot for the feedback fellas! It's nice to know some of you took the time to read it :)

    Edit: @Mathis1 Are there re-issues of the Dalton films on the big screen coming in August somewhere? :-O

    Odeon Cinemas are showing All the Bond movies from now until October. Once a week, Tuesday here in Ireland. Went to see GF last night, great to see it on the big screen. Daltons two should be in August. The one I really want to see is OHMSS, in two weeks!
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Per ora e per il momento che verrà
    Posts: 6,778
    That’s amazing! Afraid I won’t see something like that anytime soon here in Belgium though :(
  • I’ve held off on doing this for quite some time, but after finishing my Bondathon for this year, I figured it was time to lay out my thoughts on the series and where I land with each film. I was quite surprised after my latest rewatch of the series at how much some of my opinions have changed on some of these movies; films have been dethroned and underdogs have risen. I’m not going to be including the “unofficial” movies in this ranking just because I want to keep this strictly kept to EON’s films. Needless to say this is all strictly opinion based, but I hope you enjoy! I’ll be splitting this ranking up into 5 parts starting with my bottom 5 in the series.


    25. SPECTRE (2015)

    I think this ranking is a bit of a shame considering how much I loved this movie around the time of its release. But it was only with the passing of time and more viewings that I’ve begun to think less highly of this one. I used to think this movie was Craig’s shining moment as Bond, but now I can’t help but notice he appears a bit bored in some places. I don’t think it helps that I find absolutely zero chemistry between him and Lea Seydoux either. Seydoux herself doesn’t really come across as interesting in this movie imo and perhaps that’s down to writing and direction. But whatever the case may be, the positioning of her as “the true love” of Bond does not work for me. Christoph Waltz is also an incredibly disappointing villain, and shockingly the weakest Blofeld portrayal to date (positively shocking.) Dave Bautista pops up for a few memorable scenes in this movie but never leaves much of an impact on me in the way that some other memorable heavies like Jaws have, and Monica Bellucci isn't utilized enough imo. Andrew Scott is fine if a bit of a twerp, I could tell right from the moment that he was introduced on screen that he was going to be a villain so there wasn't much subtly I'm afraid. Of coarse who could forget about the "Scooby Gang" as well. I ultimately don’t like the retconning of previous movies to fit this film’s narrative, nor do I really like the love story this film forces upon the audience which is unfortunate seeing as how they inevitably carried that element onto the next film, and in the end this movie can just be boring at times imo. It doesn’t hold my attention the way some other Bond films do; it’s a bit sluggish and tiresome in places which is unfortunate. Having said that I am quite glad for the few elements that do standout; its nice actually having the gunbarrel back where it belongs, the pre title sequence is actually quite great despite some odd looking CGI, and I enjoy some of the witty banter scattered throughout this movie, particularly at the clinic. All in all, this is one that I don't really revisit that often and for good reason I feel.

    My Rating; 2/5 Stars


    24. THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (1974)

    I am quite shocked to see how low this one is myself, especially because I’ve never really had this movie dipping below #20 in a ranking before. This film is just a hot mess imo. It is perhaps the least “classy” of all the Bond films, and you can look no further than watching Moore’s 007 being forced to grab the asscheeks of a sumo wrestler. Moore himself is quite unlikeable and his performance in this movie feels as if it’s quite the step-down from his introduction in LALD. Perhaps this is down to the direction or the writing, but regardless it is perhaps my least favorite performance from an actor playing Bond which is quite a shame considering it’s Moore. I also think that Britt Ekland is one of the weaker Bond girls who in the end is reduced to a clumsy character. Despite solid performances from Christopher Lee, Herve Villechaize and Maud Adams, this movie is ultimately weak compared to some of the other enteries. It strays a bit too much into the lighthearted humor established in DAF, and despite having an excellent set up with Bond being hunted by the world’s greatest assassin, the movie ultimately falls into typical Bond territory with the villain having a huge lair fitted with a giant laser that serves no purpose save for one scene. Needless to say this movie could’ve been a lot more and it’s a shame United Artists decided to pressure EON into rushing this one out quickly. I also don’t think the BTS friction between Broccoli and Saltzmen really helped things for that matter. There are a few elements that I do like about this movie such as the aforementioned Christopher Lee and Herve Villechaize, as well as the duel between Bond and Scaramanga at the end. So while I find some enjoyment in this movie, and I do have quite a bit of nostalgia for this one, I think on the whole TMWTGG marks a low point in the franchise, and certainly the poor ending to the Broccoli-Saltzmen Partnership.

    My Rating; 2/5 Stars


    23. QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008)

    Listen I am well aware that this movie has more of a following now, but save for a few elements, this one has never really managed to connect with me. I'll start with the positive and say that this film perhaps has my favorite performance from Daniel Craig as James Bond. I think this is the movie where he becomes fully comfortable in the role, and plus it has some of his wittiest one-liners imo. I like Olga Kurylenko quite a bit actually and she's very much a highlight of the film for me. Unfortunately I can't say the same about Mathieu Amalric and the henchmen that he is given. They all come across as some of the weakest villains in the entire series and each one of them pose very little threat to Bond, who in this film comes across more like a force of nature. Another complaint is the often criticized editing of this movie, which perhaps leans a bit too much into Jason Bourne territory for my liking. I'll say that I do like the final set piece at the hotel, and the simultaneous fights between both Bond/Greene, and Camille/Medrano, as well as the ending of this movie as well. The return of Giancarlo Giannini as Mathis is also a highlight for me, despite me never really understanding why 007 would choose to dump his body in a dumpster. Judi Dench is fine as M once again but I can't help but feel a bit confused by the writing of her character. On moment she is chastising Bond for the death of Agent Fields (I refuse to indulge in that stupid joke), and then after Bond escapes custody while simultaneously injuring 3 MI6 agents, Dench's M suddenly does a 180 and declares to Tanner that she suddenly "trusts him." What? The whole plotline involving the CIA and their involvement with Greene becomes incredibly muddled as well. I get what the movie is trying to do; it's trying to create a more "real" sense of ambiguity around intelligence agencies/governments and the shady people/corporations/organizations they choose to do business with; but I don't necessarily want stuff like that in a Bond film. I come to Bond films for escapism, not to be reminded of crappy geopolitics. I'll admit that while I don't revisit this movie very often, I do come away feel slightly more appreciative of it's efforts each time I do rewatch it, and it offers an alternative look at what Daniel Craig's James Bond could've looked like pre Skyfall.

    My Rating; 2.5/5 Stars


    22. DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (1971)

    With the exception of LALD, I feel like the early 1970’s were a creative low point for the series, and that all starts here with DAF. I like Connery in this film for the most part despite how out of shape he may appear to be, which could be a result of not having enough time to get in shape and perhaps be fitted with a better toupee than what he’s given. On the plus side it is nice seeing Connery more engaged with the material he’s given as opposed to YOLT, and it’s hard to deny that he accepted this movie from a place of goodwill (he must’ve ultimately felt some sort of vindication for how Broccoli and Saltzmen treated him.) Jill St. John starts off as an intriguing character but is unfortunately reduced to a buffoon by the end of the film who nearly jeopardizes Bond’s mission by switching the tapes in the machine. I like Charles Gray quite a bit, even if he is a step down from the actors who’ve portrayed Blofeld before him. Gray works for the tone that they were going for, and it’s hard not to smile at some of the witty one liners he’s given. Wint and Kidd are also a fantastic set of henchmen too. I can’t admit to being a fan of Norman Burton as Felix Lieter however, but this would be rectified in the next film. Aside from the fight in the elevator between Bond and Peter Franks, I think the action scenes are pretty weak in this movie, especially when compared to what we’ve seen in the previous 6 films. I also feel as if this movie is a bit of a “overreaction” to OHMSS, as it does everything it can to not only ignore the events of that film, but make tonal and creative decisions that are the complete opposite of that film. Even beyond comparisons to Majesty’s, I don’t think DAF lives up to the the standards of Connery’s initial 5 film run as Bond. I suspect they may be down to the loss of Peter Hunt, whose editing and later direction on the series created a fast/dynamic feel to the action scenes, but it may also have to do with the turmoil between Broccoli and Saltzmen behind the scenes at this point. In the end, Diamonds is just an incredibly disappointing book-end to the Blofeld/SPECTRE arc, and a weak send off for Connery’s Bond.

    My Rating; 2.5/5 Stars


    21. DIE ANOTHER DAY (2002)

    I know that in the eyes on some, this film is already ranked too highly on this list. I am well aware of all the problems that plague this movie, but this was the first time in quite a while where I was able to sit back and fully enjoy this movie, warts and all! Despite having race-swapping villains, invisible cars, CGI Tidal Waves, Halle Berry, and Madonna there was still plenty to enjoy in this movie for me. Once again Brosnan is superb in this film, and I always leave the movie feeling if he was screwed out of one more chance to play Bond. While I do find some of the dialog between him and Halle Berry to be a bit "weird" (which is an understatement), Brosnan fortunately sells it. I don't really think there is much chemistry between Bond/Jinx in this movie as previous romances, and a lot of the banter between them is just plain ludicrous. Perhaps Jinx could've benefitted from being played by a different actress, but I think the issues with her character lie more within the writing of this film. Toby Stephens is surely has to be one of the most ridiculous Bond villains in the series; but man did I have fun watching how hammy he was this time around. He chews up so much of the scenery around him and its palpable imo. I don't really like the "race-swapping" aspect of his character, but I think Stephens works for the tone of the movie. Rosamund Pike is another standout of the film for me, and for plenty of others too as she's commonly regarded as being amongst the best elements of this movie. The same can't be said for Rick Yune as Zao, who is one of the weaker Bond henchmen imo. I think the biggest sin DAD has is being stupid, and whether or not the film is warranted of being at the very bottom of most people's list is purely up to them. Speaking strictly for myself, I do have some nostalgia for this movie as this was the first Bond movie that I owned on DVD, and it was a staple in my household as a result (much to the chagrin of my family), but also after nearly 20 years of having Bond films that are "super serious" and dare I say come across as "smug" at times, it was incredibly refreshing to go back and watch this film and be reminded of a time when James Bond was allowed to have fun in his films. If that upsets people, then I don't feel sorry.

    My Rating; 2.5/5 Stars


    That's the end of Part 1, stay tuned for Part 2!
  • peterpeter Toronto
    Posts: 8,484
    I enjoyed reading this. Fair and thoughtful, with care in describing your perspectives on each.

    I look forward to your next five, @007ClassicBondFan !
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,454
    @007ClassicBondFan, we share two of the same in that list already and have the exact same one in last place. Good stuff!

    Of course, I couldn't disagree more heartily on QoS, but I usually expect that to be at the bottom of most rankings I see.
  • peter wrote: »
    I enjoyed reading this. Fair and thoughtful, with care in describing your perspectives on each.

    I look forward to your next five, @007ClassicBondFan !

    Thank you @peter, much appreciated!
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    @007ClassicBondFan, we share two of the same in that list already and have the exact same one in last place. Good stuff!

    Of course, I couldn't disagree more heartily on QoS, but I usually expect that to be at the bottom of most rankings I see.

    Thank you! Alas I wish I could enjoy QOS the way some folks do. Everytime I do watch it I come away with a bit more appreciation than before.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,454
    peter wrote: »
    I enjoyed reading this. Fair and thoughtful, with care in describing your perspectives on each.

    I look forward to your next five, @007ClassicBondFan !

    Thank you @peter, much appreciated!
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    @007ClassicBondFan, we share two of the same in that list already and have the exact same one in last place. Good stuff!

    Of course, I couldn't disagree more heartily on QoS, but I usually expect that to be at the bottom of most rankings I see.

    Thank you! Alas I wish I could enjoy QOS the way some folks do. Everytime I do watch it I come away with a bit more appreciation than before.

    I'm almost the same way with the likes of SF and TND - I give it an honest effort every time but they just don't work for me. Maybe one day!
  • BennyBenny In the shadowsAdministrator, Moderator
    edited March 11 Posts: 14,862
    A great read thus far @007ClassicBondFan I certainly agree with many of your reviews so far, and look forward to part 2.
  • Benny wrote: »
    A great read thus far @007ClassicBondFan I certainly agree with many of your reviews so far, and look forward to part 2.

    Thank you @Benny!
  • Back at it again with Part 2 of this ranking, starting with...


    20. A VIEW TO A KILL (1985)

    I think Moore's last outing as 007 has a lot going for it. For starters it has an iconic villain and henchwoman in both Max Zorin and May Day. Christopher Walken's psychotic "yuppie" stands out as the best villain of the entire 80's decade of Bond films imo, and Grace Jones portrays an incredibly intimidating character whose 180 at the end of the movie is pulled off more convincingly than that of Jaws in Moonraker. I like Zorin's plot in the movie as well, despite the similarities to Goldfinger's scheme. I feel what holds this movie back however is Moore himself. Its nothing to do with his performance in the role nor do I feel like the issue lies his age, but the constraints of his era in general. I feel that AVTAK really tries really hard at points to be just as edgy and contemporary as some of the other action films of the time, and there are scenes in the film that would pre-date the violence we would see in LTK four years later but feel's incredibly out of place in a Roger Moore Bond movie. Or speaking simply, it's hard as an audience member to be watching 007 examine the corpse of a fellow 00 Agent (one who had a family more or less) then snow boarding to The Beach Boys; it's jarring watching a Russian Agent get shredded to death then jumping to Moore in a hot tub with a woman half his age; it's jarring watching Zorin ruthlessly kill most of his subordinates and betray May Day before watching Moore hold on for dear life avoiding his "jewels" being hit by an Antenna. I'm not sure if having another actor in the role of Bond would've resulted in these jarring tonal shifts, because I think this comes into play as well in the next movie, but there's always a part of me that feels as if this would've been a better film for Timothy Dalton to start on. Tanya Roberts is unfortunately one of the weaker Bond girls, and it's quite hard for me to state that given that I am a fan of her work on "That 70's Show" but in this film I sadly don't buy her as a "state geologist" and perhaps she does scream a bit too much. In the end, AVTAK just misses the mark for me sadly because I do think there is a good Bond movie waiting to burst beneath the surface but it's held back in many ways for me for the reasons mentioned.

    My Rating; 2.5/5 Stars


    19. NO TIME TO DIE (2021)

    Despite some of the backlash this movie has received from fans, I think NTTD stands out as the best "swan-song" for a Bond actor (although I am not counting both OHMSS/LTK in that discussion.) Having said that, it was still incredibly difficult to rank this movie. First off, I do think this movie improves upon the faults of SPECTRE, which is a positive for me. Craig looks much more engaged in the role this time around as opposed to the last film as well, which is another positive for me. The entire cast in this film is actually pretty solid even if I take issue with some of the writing behind the characters. I enjoyed Lea Seydoux much more this time around which isn't something that I was expecting. Lashana Lynch was fun to watch on screen, and the chemistry between her and Bond is quite palpable. I also like Rami Malek's Saffin too, and I really can't stress enough how glad I am we finally got to get a "megalomanic" complete with private lair and all; it was really overdue in the Craig era. Loved seeing Jeffery Wright come back as Felix, and I thought his death scene was wonderfully executed (perhaps in a way that Bond's wasn't for me); Obruchev was great comic relief, and I liked the concept behind Primo, even if they don't really manage to do anything incredibly interesting with him. On a side bar actually, I'm not sure if anybody picked up on the comparisons between Primo, and the protagonist of 2004's Goldeneye - Rogue Agent, but I've always felt like that was cool little connection there (though I highly doubt it was intentional.) The MI6 regulars are all pretty solid here for the most part as well, but the cast member who really walks in and out of this film a shining star is without a doubt Ana De Armas. Her joy and enthusiasm radiates the second she's introduced on screen, in fact my only issue with her is that she isn't in the film long enough. Whereas I felt that some of the action scenes in SPECTRE were pretty lackluster, it's hard to deny that NTTD steps up on that front in almost every aspect. From the PTS in Matera, all the way to the stairwell shootout (reminiscent of not only of Casino Royale; but the various shootouts found in the Brosnan era.) There is a great Bond film to be had in NTTD; which is why I'm gutted to say that the writing of this movie is what holds it back for me. Starting with Bond's refusal to listen to Madeline at the beginning; the woman was kidnapped and tied up in a building rigged to explode at the end of the previous film yet despite saving her and nearly getting himself killed in the process, Bond just completely disregards all that knowledge and let's Blofeld manipulate him yet again. Strictly speaking, I don't like Bond films where 007 is portrayed as being dumb or easily manipulated, and it's unfortunate that NTTD paints him to be just that in the PTS. I also take issue with the way Ralph Fiennes' M is portrayed here. We're introduced to Fiennes' M chastising Judi Dench's M for what he perceived to be "careless" at the beginning of Skyfall; yet we as an audience are expected to buy that this very same man would develop a virus as dangerous as Heracles? I'd also be remiss not to bring up that while I don't take issue with the idea of killing Craig's Bond off, I do think the writing that leads us to that point could've been executed a tad bit better. I will say that I do like how much "overkill" Bond's death felt like; it took a gunshot, a virus, and rockets to finally kill James Bond. I'm glad it wasn't something to simple and easy. On another sidebar, who else was reminded of the plot for 2004's Everything or Nothing while hearing all the nanobot talk? I can't be the only one! While I admire the bold swings this movie does take (I mean I really love "The Bond Family" in this movie and the scenes where its Craig, Seydoux, and that little girl make for some of the most tender scenes in the series imo), it's quite hard for me to forgive some of the more "interesting" choices that this movie does choose to make. All in all NTTD is a solid finish to Craig's tenure as Bond, if a little bit un-even.

    My Rating; 3/5 Stars


    18. THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (1999)

    The placing of this film in the rankings was another one that shocked me this time around. I used to really love and adore TWINE (and I still do to an extent); but my lord I'd be lying if I said the warts of this movie didn't stick out to me this time around. First off this is an incredibly confusing film with regards to its tone. The movie itself is torn between the goofy comedy found in the Moore era, and the serious dramatic moments found in OHMSS and the Dalton films. Brosnan puts in a good performance here, but the writing behind his Bond this time around really makes me scratch my head at times. Like NTTD, this movie also paints Bond to be easily manipulated/dumb in certain moments which irritates me. It's one thing to have Bond be caught off guard by a major revelation in the movie (FYEO is a perfect example of this), but to have Bond second guessing himself over Elektra's manipulation and lies is just one step too far for me personally. It's not just Bond who suffers from, but Judi Dench's M as well. I know that she is supposed to have family ties to the King family, but M is completely blindsided by Elektra too to the point where I found myself grinding my teeth at the blatantly obvious signals Elektra is putting out there, especially when she outright asks M to go to the pipeline herself despite how cold she's been acting since the death of her father. To be fair, I do think that Sophie Marceau is a good villainess for the movie (its actually a shame we haven't had one quite like her ever since this movie), but the fact that she is somehow able to easily manipulate both Bond and M is a bit too much for my liking. I also hate to say it, but Renard is also a bit wasted. The "no pain" element isn't really that well explored aside from two scenes where he gets shot in the arm, and the other where he punches some glass; both of which have no effect on him. I like the return of Robbie Coltrane in this movie; he's actually my favorite character of the film funnily enough, and his delivery of the line "Chill Out James" always remains stuck in my head. Denise Richards has unfortunately been the brunt of endless criticism over the years but I don't find her to be all that bad in this movie (certainly not in comparison to the likes of Tanya Roberts, Halle Berry or even Lea Seydoux in SPECTRE imo.) However I will concede and say that her character could've benefitted from better writing, and perhaps even a different actress in the part (no offence to Richards.) It doesn't help too that she's given the name "Christmas Jones" just to set up that awful joke at the end of the film. This movie also introduces John Cleese to the James Bond family, but he really doesn't leave much of an impression on me. Perhaps this could be down to being Desmond Llewelyn's final performance as Q (and in general) so all of my attention is focused on watching him and Bond together for one last time. Cleese himself at least gets to make more of an impression on me in the next film, as well as his appearance in 2004's Everything or Nothing. TWINE is a movie that certainly has it's fair amount of detractors, and it's always a mainstay of the bottom when it comes to other people ranking the series, which is quite fair. However I think it should be noted that this is truly where the themes and ideas that would commonly be explored in Craig's tenure start to emerge, so I think the film deserves some credit for that. I used to have this movie ranked a lot higher on this list than it is now, but even I can't defend some of the criticisms lodged against this film. But who knows, maybe one day I'll turn around and say "I love this movie" again.

    My Rating; 3/5 Stars


    17. THUNDERBALL (1965)

    This is film may be ranked too low in the eyes of others, but I've always found Thunderball to be the weakest of the 60's Bond films. I mean the first 3 Bond films had this energy to them that is completely lost by the time you get to Thunderball. Connery himself is great in the movie despite some scenes where he comes across a bit bored; an example this would be the scene where he's in the car with Fiona Volpe after she picks him up. Having say that, I do think Thunderball is the last "great" performance we would get from Connery as Bond (which may be down to being the last time he would work with Terence Young in the directors chair.) I've always felt that Claudine Auger was one of the weaker Bond girls, especially coming after the Bond girls of the first 3 films. I don't really find her to be much of an interesting character beyond being a "kept" version of Honey Ryder (even being dubbed by the same actress.) For all the flack that I was giving TMWTGG in my earlier post, I will concede and say that Maud Adams does a much better job at capturing the pearls of being a "kept" woman imo. Unfortunately I can't say I have much praise for Adolfo Celi as Largo either. I've always felt that Largo was the poster child of Bond villains being called "generic"; complete with eyepatch, sharks, and all. I will give the film the benefit of the doubt, and say that I'm sure that his character was fresh and unique back in 1965 (before all the cliches came along), but in the context of all the great Bond villains that have come around since, it's hard for me personally to find any qualities in Largo that stick out. I will say that I do like how Bond is always seen One Up-ing Largo, but perhaps that is more down to Connery's acting and prowess. Luciana Paluzzi as Fiona Volpe is the single best element of this movie imo; every time she's on screen she radiates an enthusiasm and energy that always leaves a strong impression on me as a viewer. Rik Van Nutter as Leiter is alright (much better than the likes of Cec Linder, and Norman Burton imo.) It's unfortunate that I find a lot of the other side characters to be forgettable ultimately. I feel as if Thunderball, despite being the biggest Bond film of the 60's, was the first mis-step for the series (but not a major one.) It's incredibly drawn out run-time has always been an issue with me, which I think could be solved by cutting out the scenes showing us Spectre hijacking the bombs; thus allowing the audience to follow the mystery along with Bond as the story unfolds. I also hate to be "that guy" but I've never found the underwater sequences to be that impressive, at least when compared to the likes of FYEO and LTK. I've also always felt as if Terence Young perhaps wasn't in top form for this film as he was for the first two movies; and if BTS footage of Young and the cast/crew constantly partying on set is any indication, that might be what happened. On a final and related note, I've always found this bit of info from John Cork to be interesting;

    "During the filming, Cubby and Harry felt that Terence Young was losing control of the film, then, when they left the Bahamas, they discovered that his hotel bill was through the roof. They confronted him at the end of principal photography and demanded he pay the overages. Young, upset, then left the film." You can find the source of that quote here;

    https://thedigitalbits.com/columns/history-legacy--showmanship/remembering-thunderball-50th/Page-3

    My Rating; 3/5 Stars


    16. OCTOPUSSY (1983)

    Octopussy has always been one of the "Moore" difficult movies to place in a ranking. I think this movie has a lot going for it in concept, but it also has a lot that could've been improved upon in execution. First off, I think Moore is great in this movie. I love the moments where he gets to stretch his "acting chops" like the confrontation with General Orlov, or trying to disarm a nuclear bomb dressed as a clown. Plus I strangely think this is the Bond film where he's at his most "kick-ass", even being able to do some nice fight chorography in the Palace fight. As a result I think Octopussy is a testament how versatile Moore could be as 007, and it would've made for one hell of a send off for his take on the character. Maud Adam's was never an issue for me in TMWTGG, but I prefer her character in OP. Perhaps the fact that she is more age appropriate for Roger Moore helps, but regardless of age I've always felt as if her and Moore have an incredibly palpable chemistry in this film. Louis Jourdan perhaps isn't the strongest of the Bond villains, but I enjoy him here in this film (thanks to some memorable pieces of dialog.) I like Kabir Bedi as Gobinda too, and especially enjoy the train fight between him and Bond. Steven Berkoff as General Orlov perhaps can be a bit too camp and boisterous at times, but like Jourdan fits quite nicely in this movie. I also like both Kristina Wayborn, and Vijay Amritraj's roles in the film as well. I think what holds this movie back for me in some ways is perhaps the tone of the film. I liked the more "harder edge" feel that FYEO brought to the table; I actually think Moore worked well in that film and while Octopussy keeps the "Flemingesque" tone, amping up the comedic aspects the Moore era was known for seems as a bit of a missed opportunity in continuing along the direction FYEO set up for the 80's; yet I can also understand that due to the competition posed by NSNA that year, perhaps bringing back more of the comedic elements of the earlier Moore films was the best call (plus not everyone likes FYEO as much as I do.) I also think the influence of Raiders of the Lost Ark is quite apparent in some of the action sequences, which is fair enough. All in all, while Octopussy is always a fun viewing, it's hard for me not to think of what this movie could've been had it continued what FYEO set out to do.

    My Rating; 3/5 Stars


    That concludes Part 2, I hope everyone enjoyed reading that! Stick around for Part 3!
  • BennyBenny In the shadowsAdministrator, Moderator
    Posts: 14,862
    Another great read @007ClassicBondFan
    Whilst I don't agree with all of your rankings, you have justified them as to why you rank them where you do.
    Look forward to part 3.
  • peterpeter Toronto
    Posts: 8,484
    Once again, a really enjoyable read. Roll out the next five!
  • Thank you both!
  • peterpeter Toronto
    Posts: 8,484
    Thank you both!

    You put in a lot of thought and effort to express how you’re feeling with each film. It’s always interesting to read. I appreciate it a lot, so thanks to you @007ClassicBondFan (it’s great reading while sipping on the first coffee of the day!).
  • peter wrote: »
    Thank you both!

    You put in a lot of thought and effort to express how you’re feeling with each film. It’s always interesting to read. I appreciate it a lot, so thanks to you @007ClassicBondFan (it’s great reading while sipping on the first coffee of the day!).

    I appreciate that! I’ve been trying not to rush these out because I want to be as clear and concise with my views as possible, but luckily it’s been a fun process writing these posts! I think Part 3 will have an interesting mix of choices so I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts!
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,421
    Nice read @007ClassicBondFan It's always nice to read such thoughtful posts.
  • royale65 wrote: »
    Nice read @007ClassicBondFan It's always nice to read such thoughtful posts.

    Much obliged @royale65!
  • DwayneDwayne New York City
    Posts: 2,619
    Thank you @007ClassicBondFan for these writeups.

  • Dwayne wrote: »
    Thank you @007ClassicBondFan for these writeups.

    Why thank you @Dwayne!
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Per ora e per il momento che verrà
    Posts: 6,778
    An interesting read @007ClassicBondFan ! I'm looking forward to part 3.
  • GoldenGun wrote: »
    An interesting read @007ClassicBondFan ! I'm looking forward to part 3.

    Thank you! I'm working on Part 3 as we speak, and it should be up within the next few days!
  • edited April 3 Posts: 2,047
    I’m back with Part 3, and I’m very excited to roll out these next 5 films of the rankings; starting with…


    15. MOONRAKER (1979)

    It’s sometimes hard for me to gauge where the overall fandom stands with Moonraker these days. I think that the movie has definitely received more appreciation over these last few years, perhaps down to key figure heads in the fandom like Calvin Dyson always praising the movie. But then there’s always the chunk of fans who think this may have been on giant leap (for mankind) too far for 007. Personally I think there is a lot of fun to be had with Moonraker, starting with the big man himself; Roger Moore. I think Moore’s string of performances as Bond from TSWLM all the way to OP are nearly faultless but Moonraker is where he seems the most comfortable in the role certainly. He wasn’t “greatly” concerned about his age at this point and he still looked incredibly great in the part. While I think that the chemistry between him and Lois Chiles left a little to be desired, the scenes between him and Michael Lonsdale remains some of the best Bond-Bond Villain moments in the entire series; with the both of them given such memorable lines of dialog that I find myself remembering fondly. Lonsdale himself is quite the villain of the piece; he's very dry and reserved for most of the film. But it's only at the end when his plan is starting to fall apart that he starts to lose his composure, and I always felt as if that was a nice touch. Sure his plot is somewhat similar to Stromberg's in the previous film, but I personally have never really minded that; and that goes for a lot of the other elements recycled from the previous movie as well - the one exception being Jaws. I'd be remiss not to mention the slight downgrade of his character from Spy to this film, and while I do admire the filmmakers for at least trying to work in an explanation for his switch to the good side towards the film's end (that being Dolly), the end result came across as a little bit predictable. Having that said, there is one scene where the menace of the character is back, if only briefly; that being the scene in Rio during the festival, where Jaws is walking down the alley way, dressed in the clown(?) costume. While I am quite disappointed that we didn't get the scene of his wedding in the next movie, it was probably for the best that the character was wrapped up here in this film; and hey, there's always Everything or Nothing. When I was younger, I used to prefer Barbara Bach to Lois Chilies but these days quite the opposite. While I don't think that Chilies is the best of the Bond girls, I do like her character for the movie she's in. Actually she provides a bit of levity at times too given some of the humor found in this film. But like I mentioned earlier, I don't see much chemistry between Moore and Chiles unfortunately, at least in the "romantic" sense of the word. I do however buy the partnership between both Bond and Goodhead. I like how the movie initially pits them against each other to an extent; they aren't really sure if they're able to trust each other, and even after the reveal of Goodhead being a CIA agent, the uneasiness is still present. It's only after Bond saves her after the cable-car fight that the two fully learn to work together. Moonraker is not short of memorable sequences in this movie for better or worse. I love the Sky Diving PTS Stunt, I like the fight between Bond and Chang, the cable car fight between Bond and Jaws, the boat chase scene in the Amazon Jungle, the space battle (and the great Special Effects showcased during that scene), and the final confrontation between Bond and Drax. I suppose at the end of the day, I've always had a bit of a soft spot for this movie. This was my introduction to Roger Moore's Bond, and it may even be the first Bond film I saw without Pierce Brosnan (who was my introduction to the character in general.) Despite some silly scenes and the idea of Bond in Space being a bit too far-fetched, I think Moonraker is always a fun time for me. I'm also pleased to say this is the highest Moonraker has even been on my rankings, so hopefully one day it may even crack into the top 10!

    My Rating; 3.5/5 Stars


    14. LIVE AND LET DIE (1973)

    As I mentioned in Part 1, I think that the early 1970's were a creative low-point for the series. You could tell there was a deliberate effort to "play things safe" following Majesty's and while in the long run it may have saved the series, I don't really look back on this period with much fondness. The one exception to that is Live and Let Die. Roger Moore's debut as 007 packs one hell of a punch despite some individual elements not appealing to me as much. I think that Moore did a great job taking over from Sean Connery on his first try, and I admire the filmmakers for trying to change the character to suit Moore rather than have him copy Connery (which is something they would force Moore to do in the next movie.) It's not my favorite debut from a Bond actor, but its an incredibly solid one I think; I'm also willing to give credit where its due and say that Moore's take on 007 in this film is what saved the series following Connery's departure (sorry Laz), as audience members at the time seemed to have responded quite well to his debut. I do think it's quite the shame that a lot of the other elements in this movie aren't quite as up to par as Moore is however. For example I feel as if Yaphet Kotto is overshadowed by virtually every single henchmen of his, the one exception being Whisper; and in a case similar to Largo in Thunderball, Kotto does come across as weak by comparison to the great Bond villains of before, and the great Bond villains to have come after. I suspect this could be down to the writing of the character - but if I'll give Kotto slack as he is unfortunately stuck with the poor "dual identities" schtick that's given to Kananga. Plus Kotto does come alive towards the end of the film (maybe this was Tom Mankiewicz trying to give the impression of Kananga going "mad" after Solitare's betrayal), it's just such a shame that they decide to give his character a death scene that is straight out Looney Tunes. I do quite like Jane Seymour quite a bit in this film; I actually think that she's far and away the best Bond girl of the 70's decade, and one of the best in the entire series. One of my issues with Tiffany Case in Diamonds was that she was introduced as a tough, crass woman who was just as capable as Bond; only to be reduced to a buffoon by the film's end. Live and Let Die by comparison avoids that error by making Solitare more of a damsel in distress, which I don't mind for some Bond girls. I don't think every Bond girl needs to be some sort of kickass character who can rival Bond in wit, or capability; sometimes it's okay to have the women need to be rescued in these movies because it allows we (the audience) to visualize ourselves in the role of Bond trying to save her, and I think Solitare captures that essence perfectly. Plus it's Jane Seymour for goodness sakes, how can you dislike her? The henchmen in this movie are amongst the most memorable of the entire series, with iconic characters like Baron Samedi and Tee-Hee, played retrospectively by Geoffrey Holder and Julius W. Harris, being real highlights of the film. I think the action scenes in this movie too are a real step up from those present in Diamonds, though I do still feel the loss of Peter Hunt's editing during some of the punch-ups. I think for me, Moore looked at his best here as Bond in LALD. The "aging" complaint so closely identified with the later years of his era wasn't an issue, and I think some of the outfits he's given helps establish this overall opinion I have on him here. Plus I think he benefits from having a slightly shorter haircut too. I also like the "Moore" serious undertones they had for Roger's initial take on 007. Moore came across as a bit more "credibly" dangerous than some of the later entries he was in, and despite his jokey/light demeanor he could be just as much about business as Connery could have. I think the only time this side of Moore would return would be in FYEO (but we'll get to that film.) In the end, I am of the opinion that Live and Let Die is a "watershed" Bond film; proving that 007 didn't have to die with Connery and the end of the 60's, and setting a precedent for how future Bond debuts from other actors should be handled. Plus who can forget that Paul McCartney theme song, and George Martin's excellent score. While I wish I could place Live and Let Die higher on the list, there are just other Bond films that I find to be even better than this one.

    My Rating; 3.5/5 Stars


    13. YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (1967)

    I think that without any shred of doubt, You Only Live Twice is certainly the biggest Connery Bond film in terms of its scale and scope. I think the producers were emboldened by the massive success of Thunderball that they felt that an audience was going to be present at this movie regardless of some of the creative choices made. YOLT, much like it's predecessor, doesn't quite live up to the standards set by the first 3 films; but that doesn't mean that this movie is short of aces. While Sean Connery himself puts in one of the weakest performances from any Bond actor, the cast around him are actually in top form. I love Akiko Wakabayashi as Aki in this movie, and I think that killing her off was a mistake. Instead they should have combined her character with Kissy, played by Mie Hama, but for reasons I'm sure are all notorious to anyone who has seen the wonderful Inside You Only Live Twice, we have both Bond girls present. I don't really think Kissy is all that memorable by comparison, although that's no fault of the actress. I don't really think she leaves much of an impact for me in this movie, aside from a few bits and pieces. I do like the scenes of her and Connery scaling the mountains in search for the hidden base, and I also quite like how she's assigned the task of gathering Tanaka and his ninjas for the assault (nearly dying in the process), but other than that I don't see much there unfortunately. I kind of feel the same way about Karin Dor as Helga Brandt; on paper it seems as if they were trying to recreate the success of Fiona Volpe, even dying Dor's hair orange. Dor is at least given quite a few memorable scenes though, such as her having Bond tied up, parachuting out of the airplane, and ultimately her death scene. Tetsurō Tamba as Tanaka is perhaps my favorite character in the film. In the tradition of the great Bond allies, Tanaka's warmth presence and friendly demeanor make for the scenes with him and Bond a delight for me to watch. But for as nice as Tanaka might be, he's every bit as deadly and sophisticated as Bond is; in fact Tanaka even runs his own training school. The two make for a great partnership for this film, and my only wish was that we got one final decent scene with Tanaka. Teru Shimadam (Osato) and Charles Gray are memorable characters as well, and of course the MI6 regulars do their schtick and do it well. It's also hard to forget about Donald Pleasence as Ernst Blofeld. While I prefer the shadowy, near omnipotent figure present in both From Russia With Love and Thunderball, it's hard to deny just how iconic Pleasence as Blofeld is. I was shocked by the big reveal even when I was a kid watching this movie on TV for the first time, immediately coming after FRWL. You don't need to look any further than Dr. Evil to see the influence of Pleasence's take on Blofeld. Even from a story standpoint, Blofeld in this film is at his wits end. The failures of Dr. No, Kronstein, Klebb, and Largo all pushed him to the point where he's headlining his own large scale operation now; the largest SPECTRE has seen up until that point. In many ways, this movie feels like the penultimate Bond film of the 60's era, with the events of the first four films (maybe aside from Goldfinger, though I do find it interesting seeing Gert Frobe wearing a SPECTRE ring during the Miami card game scenes) all leading up to this one. The stakes are higher than ever, and I think YOLT manages to deliver on those expectations, which is why it's such a shame that the biggest criticism I have about the film is the big man himself; Sean Connery. Words can’t begin to describe just how iconic Connery was in the first 3 Bond films, and Thunderball (in some places), so it’s quite the anomaly going from those films to this one. Any enthusiasm for playing this character looks completely lost from the second Connery is introduced on screen, and while he does regain some of that charm later on by the time we get to the volcano, it ends up being a huge shame that Connery is what holds this movie back for me personally. I once made the comment that Connery’s performance in this film accounts for why I enjoy Lazenby so much in the next film, because it’s nice actually having somebody engaged with the material (despite Lazenby’s lack of acting experience), and I stand by that even now. Yet despite Connery, I’m always entertained whenever I watch YOLT. The money is clearly on screen here, and while I do think it isn’t the best of the Connery era, it’s still one hell of a joyride to go on!

    My Rating; 3.5/5 Stars


    12. FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (1981)

    Seeing where this movie ended up genuinely gutted me. I was (and still am somewhat) such a huge fan of this film, and the themes/ideas that it tries to explore. I absolutely love the more "business first" approach Moore took to his version of Bond this time around. I wouldn't say FYEO is Moore at his most "ruthless" as Bond, but he's certainly given quite the mean streak in this film, as evidenced by his killing of Locque. I also quite like the more "jaded" angle that they've given his Bond this time around, and the way in which he tries to steer Melina away from taking revenge is a nice touch as well. My only issue with the "revenge" subplot is how it's wrapped up, with Colombo ending up killing Kristatos for the death of Lisl; undermining the message of the film. Some may actually argue that the PTS undermines the message of the film, with 007 finally avenging his late wife by dropping an unseen Ernst Blofeld down a chimney stack. It's a tacky sequence no doubt about it, but the helicopter stunts make the sequence incredibly impressive for me; as well as the mixture of foreground miniatures and the actual London Gasworks. It's hard to deny just how weird the sequence is tonally however. Starting off on a poignant callback to On Her Majesty's Secret Service was a nice touch, and I quite like the somber way in which Moore plays Bond during this sequence. It's also quite interesting to note that Blofeld (or at least the backside of him) resembles Telly Savalas' take on the character; even wearing a neck brace as a callback to when we last saw him. But as so many others have pointed out, the entire sequence becomes quite the oddity, with Bond's former arch nemesis going so far as to offer him a "delicatessen in stainless steel." The entire sequence has been interpreted as a it's a big middle finger to Kevin McClory, which could very well be the case. But regardless, I think it's one of the more interesting Pre Title Sequences that we've had in the series. While I don't think Carole Bouquet joins the pantheon of great Bond girls, I actually do quite like Melina as a character. I like how she's really the first Bond girl to have her personal life shattered to pieces by the villains as well, and the series wouldn't really explore that concept again until Goldeneye. I get the criticisms lodged against her character however, but I've always felt that Melina was perfect for the tone they were going for in the movie. I can pretty much say the same thing about Julian Glover as Kristatos; nothing really stands out for me beside the big twist that he's actually a villain and not Bond's ally. But regardless, I like him quite a bit in this movie. Topol as Colombo on the other hand is one of my most favorite Bond allies in the series; a great throwback to the type of smooth - rogue character we would see portrayed wonderfully in both Kerim Bay and Draco. It's hard not to smile whenever Topol is on screen with the radiating presence he has, plus I'm actually glad he makes it all the way through the movie. You can't really say that about a lot of other Bond allies. On a side note, I do quite like Colombo's group of thugs in this movie too; they're all quirky and unique in appearance despite not really have any characteristics' that stand out. While I think that the movie also suffers from some of the issues that plagues 80's Bond as a whole (tonal inconsistencies), I think FYEO manages to balance some of those elements quite nicely. I also have to mention that I think Bill Conti's score is quite memorable. I've always said that For Your Eyes Only along with both From Russia With Love and On Her Majesty's Secret Service form a nice triple bill of movies and I still stand by that. FYEO is not short of references and callbacks to those films which I quite like (even if FYEO itself doesn't quite live up to the standards of those movies.) All in all, I'm a bit disappointed this film is ranked a bit lower than it has been in the past, but still FYEO is a strong start to the 80's decade of Bond imo.

    My Rating; 3.5/5 Stars


    11. THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS (1987)

    Another one that I feel is ranked too low this time around. The Living Daylights has always been a highlight of the series for me, as this was one of the very first Bond films I can remember watching TV as a child. Having said that, the film's strongest asset is without a doubt Timothy Dalton. Dalton brought an intensity and harder edge to the character that was really refreshing after 7 Roger Moore films, although some of the "Moore-isms" are still present in the script. While I'm glad scenes like the "flying carpet" were cut out of the movie entirely, I could have done without some of the other tonally jarring sequences. An example of this happens during the giant battle at the end; where during the midst of all the chaos some "outhouses" reveling naked solders caught off guard. Now normally I wouldn't mind a scene like this (especially in a Roger Moore film), but it's this kind of light-hearted humor that doesn't really feel suited to the tone/style the filmmakers are going for with Dalton's take on the character. I hate to say it too but I don't think the one-liners are that great in this film either, and you can tell that Dalton finds some of them to be cringey; an example being the various one-liners during the Ice Chase. But what Dalton lacks during those humorous moments he makes up for with the ruthlessness and intensity he brings to the role. Of all the Bond actors up until that point, Dalton felt the most like a burnt out killer; a prime candidate for a Psychiatrist's couch - I like that element he brings to the part. I'm not going to begin to speculate what this movie would look like with Pierce Brosnan (I'm glad his era came around when it did); all I can say as a viewer is that Dalton as Bond is single handily the best element of the film imo. That doesn't take away from other elements however; everybody talks about how great John Barry's score is for this one and I don't disagree. Whenever I find myself playing music from the Bond series - Daylights is usually amongst the scores that I listen too. Barry had been on somewhat of a creative high starting with Octopussy and continuing with A View To A Kill and Daylights serves as a perfect sendoff for the man who defined the sound of 007. All of that being said, I do think that Maryam d'Abo is okay for the type of character she's portraying; a somewhat naive and innocent bystander who is unfortunately roped into this scheme by her manipulative boyfriend. What I don't really like are some of the scenes with her in the third act of the film; particularly during the escape from the Russian Air-Base, and subsequent raid. I can't say that I'm too impressed with Jeroen Krabbé and Joe Don Baker as the villains either; I've once heard them described as the "Laurel and Hardy" of Bond villains, and while I can't attest to the accuracy of that statement (given my lack of Laurel and Hardy knowledge), I can say that they aren't threatening or intimidating enough to go toe to toe with Dalton's Bond. Necros as well is just another Red Grant clone as well, with zero personality traits (at least none that I could find.) I do think that some of the action scenes are probably amongst the best of the series. It's always nice seeing Bond behind the wheel of an Aston Martin tricked out with Gadgets, and Daylights delivers that in spades. I particularly like the V8 (it may even be my favorite Aston), and the ice chase that follows. I also like the PTS as well, and the rooftop chase in Tangier (a nice precursor to The Bourne Ultimatum.) Plus my criticisms about Joe Don Baker aside, I do quite like the final confrontation between Bond and Whitaker. As far as side characters go, John Rhys-Davies is a highlight for me (that confrontation scene between him and Bond stands out as one of the best moments of any Bond film), while John Terry is okay as Felix Leiter (nothing that stands out really.) I also don't really think Caroline Bliss adds much to the role of Moneypenny (besides her youth), but I do also recognize that perhaps my bias towards Lois Maxwell may play a part in that (plus Bliss was only in two films mind you and barley made a splash in the next entry.) Now with all of that taken into consideration, I do think that Dalton is the driving force behind this film and for the faults I may have with TLD, it's still a thrilling watch for me every time. I just happen to think that it's follow up (as well as 9 other Bond films) offer more for me personally as an audience member.

    My Rating; 4/5 Stars


    Okay, that concludes Part 3. I apologize for how long it took to get this one published. I must admit that I was somewhat taken back by all the ATJ news that popped up (despite the "stench" of that rumor.) However I'm planning for Part 4 to be out a lot quicker than this was. I'm excited personally; we're about to enter the big leagues - the top 10 - and so the writing is only going to become much more fun for me as I go through these next two essays. So stay tuned everybody!
  • BennyBenny In the shadowsAdministrator, Moderator
    Posts: 14,862
    An excellent read @007ClassicBondFan
    Looking forward to part 4.
  • Posts: 2,047
    Benny wrote: »
    An excellent read @007ClassicBondFan
    Looking forward to part 4.

    Thank you @Benny!
  • Posts: 2,871
    Great stuff. I’m enjoying reading these
  • Posts: 2,047
    Thank you @007HallY! I have to say they’re a blast to write.
  • peterpeter Toronto
    Posts: 8,484
    Another great read, @007ClassicBondFan ... I especially liked reading about your thoughts on Dalton in TLD...

    Roll out the next part!!
  • Posts: 2,047
    peter wrote: »
    Another great read, @007ClassicBondFan ... I especially liked reading about your thoughts on Dalton in TLD...

    Roll out the next part!!

    Thank you @peter! Just wait until I get to LTK!
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