Tell us all about your BONDATHON

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  • edited June 2022 Posts: 12,310
    On Her Majesty's Secret Service

    I sometimes endearingly refer to OHMSS as “the miracle Bond film.” I can’t imagine how jarring it all was for audiences in 1969: a new Bond actor taking over Connery’s place, no new sung title song after established tradition, Bond falling in love, and an ending that’s anything but triumphant. I applaud all involved in crafting this daring, non-crowd-pleasing masterpiece that few thought was a great Bond film at the time. OHMSS wins the test of time though and was truly ahead of its time.

    I unapologetically love Lazenby as James Bond; he’s my third favorite after Connery and Craig. He may not be the most charismatic or flashy, but to me, he’s the most “human” and relatable of all the Bonds. His performance, labeled wooden and boring by many, is natural and unique in my eyes. I can only imagine the alternate course of history had he stayed on for a while as Bond. Probably no Roger Moore, which then affects everything else…

    OHMSS boasts several all-time #1 elements in a Bond movie to me, including soundtrack, villain, and girl. It’s staggering how much material is top-notch here. The Alps / Piz Gloria is also probably my favorite location / lair. I love snowy settings in movies, and that’s used to perfect effect throughout OHMSS, including the iconic ski chase that ranks among the series’ greatest highlights. The action throughout is superb, with brutal fist-fights and thrilling chases galore.

    Truth be told, OHMSS is the only Bond movie that gives CR a run for its money in my top spot(s). They function as Bond masterpieces as well as terrific action / romance films on their own. Like many others, I wasn’t a big OHMSS fan when I was younger, but now I see it as nothing less than a franchise titan—a magical movie that sent off the golden age 60s in spectacular form.

    2022 Alphabetical Bondathon Ranking:
    1. Casino Royale
    2. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    3. From Russia with Love
    4. Dr. No
    5. Goldfinger
    6. GoldenEye
    7. Live and Let Die
    8. Licence to Kill
    9. For Your Eyes Only
    10. No Time to Die
    11. The Man with the Golden Gun
    12. The Living Daylights
    13. Octopussy
    14. Moonraker
    15. Diamonds Are Forever
    16. Die Another Day

    JAMES BOND WILL RETURN IN QUANTUM OF SOLACE
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    @FoxRox , Lazenby is my third favourite after Connery and Craig as well. And as a person, he is the most likable of them all.
  • edited June 2022 Posts: 12,310
    @Thunderfinger Glad to hear I'm not alone then! I don't know as much about the actors behind the tuxes myself, but from the little I've seen, Brosnan and Craig seem like nice people at least.

    Quantum of Solace

    QOS has become one of my most nostalgic Bond movies. It was the first one that was "new" to me when I came into the series, and the first one I saw in a theater. I never thought I'd be nostalgic for a year like 2008, but these days I sure feel it in certain ways. And just last year I wrote about the film's environmental themes for my final college paper (got an A, too)! A clear sign of how this movie and James Bond at large has left such a huge impact on me. Though this film operates better as a sequel to CR than a standalone picture, I get plenty of enjoyment out of it on its own, too!

    Daniel Craig just seems so comfortable in the role. His debut performance in CR was extraordinary, and while not reaching those same insane highs, he's just a total natural in the way he does things in QOS. The ice-cold assassin, with a small streak of tenderness hidden deep within. Mathis's death I find one of the saddest scenes of this whole series, especially with the forgiveness motif. Not to get too far off-topic, but that speaks to me a lot about real life, and how things are just too short for us not to be as forgiving as we can. That moment on the plane between them too is a really nice, "real" moment, so to speak. The film does drama with a beautiful subtlety that escapes other dramatic attempts in the Craig era. Camille is a really unique Bond girl, having never slept with Bond, and it wouldn't have worked with the movie they were presenting. They form a terrific alliance and respect between each other. Bond's apology to her when he learns about Medrano is a nice touch. I think Dominic Greene's a bit overhated as the main baddie. Yes, he's not elite level, but he functions perfectly as a realistic, evil little slimeball of a businessman. As is (almost) always the case in the Craig era, the casting and characters are top-notch.

    A lot's been said about the rough editing in this one, and I must say, the older I've gotten the more "effective" that is on my eyes. I don't think it ruins the film by any means, but it certainly isn't as easy to follow or easy on the eyes as most of the other films. That being said, in a way it does help add to the franticness of the intense and quick action. Bond vs. Slate is a brief, brutal highlight of a fistfight! One thing I always like to mention about this movie too is that I adore David Arnold's soundtrack. I miss him composing Bond movies a lot, and honestly I think this was his magnum opus. I can't say I'm crazy about Another Way to Die, though I don't hate that song as much as many others, either.

    QOS epitomizes the term "underrated" for me. It's such a subjective thing, but I really do feel like more should appreciate what this film did. With the Craig era all officially wrapped up, I think it's safe to say it's the biggest outlier of the bunch, primarily for being the only "short" one and just utilizing that brisk pace. I have to say, even months later, I find it very hard to definitively say if I like QOS or NTTD more. They're sort of like 3A and 3B in my Craig ranking. Tonight though I'm giving it to QOS. It feels like the right decision right now. I'd say NTTD has the higher highs but also the lower lows, and QOS, while not perfect, is a concise and consistent package. Probably still higher rewatchability goes to QOS too. Honestly, that whole section in my ranking of about #7-11 is super close, and could see plenty of shifting over time. Every time I marathon these movies it strikes me just how close together these films are for me in how much I love them.

    Watching this one again... just reminds me how lucky I was to have grown up with Craig's Bond. This does mark the most "uninteresting" part of my Bondathon, by the coincidence that Craig's middle three films all come in a row. But I know I'll still get maximum enjoyment out of them! Well... mostly... (*cough* SP! *cough*)

    2022 Alphabetical Bondathon Ranking:
    1. Casino Royale
    2. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    3. From Russia with Love
    4. Dr. No
    5. Goldfinger
    6. GoldenEye
    7. Live and Let Die
    8. Licence to Kill
    9. For Your Eyes Only
    10. Quantum of Solace
    11. No Time to Die
    12. The Man with the Golden Gun
    13. The Living Daylights
    14. Octopussy
    15. Moonraker
    16. Diamonds Are Forever
    17. Die Another Day

    JAMES BOND WILL RETURN IN SKYFALL
  • RemingtonRemington I'll do anything for a woman with a knife.
    Posts: 1,533
    Great read @FoxRox
  • Agent_Zero_OneAgent_Zero_One Ireland
    edited June 2022 Posts: 554
    Finally managed to work through my Writer's Block on these two. Sorry my reviews tend to be fairly small, it just seems to be my modus operandi.

    The Spy Who Loved Me

    A quintessential Bond film, and an important turning point in the franchise. After the smaller, sleazier TMWTGG, this is for my money the right kind of course correction - a big, bombastic spectacle.

    Moore is back in the LALD mold after playing it darker in the previous entry, and I much prefer it. While he's great in the comedy, he sells the more serious side too, like the scene where him and Anya learn he killed her lover.

    Barbara Bach is arguably a weak point. While I like her in the scenes in Egypt, she ends up coming off as wooden in much of the rest. Some of this may be down to the voice looping, which also screwed with Chile's performance in the next movie. It's a shame regardless, as Anya is one of the more interesting Bond Girls script wise.

    I actually quite enjoy Curt Jurgens as Stromberg. "I'm not interested in extortion" is one of my favourite villain motive dumps so far. Richard Kiel as Jaws is pretty scary in some scenes, which is very effective, and comedic in others, which works too (I cheered when he swam away), though it does lead to some tonal disparity.

    I originally wasn't a fan of Nobody Does It Better, but it's really grown on me. I'm even fond of the cover at the end, it brings a smile to my face.

    Highlight: Jaws hunting Fekkesh.

    7/10

    Moonraker

    I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this one this time around, but I came away a bit of a fan! Yes, it's silly, but it's silliness I have a lot of time for. Even the utter excess of the gondola chase. My preference may be the more serious points in this series, but there's no harm in different approaches.

    Moore is just as good as he was in TSWLM. In particular, he really sells the utter exhaustion of Bond after escaping the centrifuge. Not even a quip.

    I like Chiles as Goodhead despite the aforementioned voice looping, but they do blatantly repeat TSWLM with the dètente plotline. Lonsdale is fantastic as Drax. He has that creepy god complex down pat. Jaws is superfluous in the PTS, but I found myself enjoying his return later a lot. Dolly and him falling in love is complete camp, but somehow I end up rolling with it. That moment with Manuela in the alley and him holding her as the crowd pass is horrifying stuff, a little undercut by them dragging him away with them. It is funny, though...

    Corrine's demise is another very effective piece of horror, but seems odd in a film otherwise so light.

    Clocked the little hat toss and got a kick out of it.

    In conclusion, a crap adaption of the book, but a fun movie on it's own. Fitting that a plot with similarities to YOLT has a similar theirs.

    Highlight: the centrifuge. I especially like the editing of Bond remembering the events in M's office.

    7/10
  • Posts: 12,310
    @Remington Thank you so much! Makes me very happy people are reading along and enjoying :)

    Unfortunately just because of awkward timings, a little hiatus is here. Hoping to get back to SF maybe Saturday night.
  • edited July 2022 Posts: 2,161
    Over the last couple weeks I’ve been watching the films in, for me, an interesting new way. First I watched all of the fifth films in succession (YOLT, FYEO, NTTD), that was certainly interesting, and actually had a cohesion to it. Then I did the first outings, where you can’t go wrong (DN, OHMSS, LALD, TLD, GE & CR). The only one that’s not my top 10 is TLD, and that’s just because I don’t like the last quarter very much. The rest of that film is superior Bond. Sixth was smooth and easy, DAF and OP, both fun distractions.

    As to where to next, I’m probably going to go with the second outings, that and the third wave are both packed with top Bond films. The fourth and seventh sets, not quite so much.
  • Junglist_1985Junglist_1985 Los Angeles
    edited July 2022 Posts: 1,007
    I’m a huge fan of the second outings…
    FRWL, TMWTGG, LTK, TND, QOS.

    There’s something zippy, action heavy, and brutal about most of the second outings.
  • edited July 2022 Posts: 2,161
    I’m a huge fan of the second outings…
    FRWL, TMWTGG, LTK, TND, QOS.

    There’s something zippy, action heavy, and brutal about most of the second outings.

    They’re almost all vengeance driven to a degree. SPECTRE seeking vengeance on Bond, Bond getting vengeance for Felix and Della, then Paris, then Vesper. Even TMWTGG has Bond being personally targeted for assasinaton.
  • edited July 2022 Posts: 12,310
    Skyfall

    At long, long last, I've returned to continue my marathon. Just got sidetracked by a ton of things, and I might not be able to go as regularly as I was for a while, but just seven films remains after tonight! SF was the perfect entry to jump back into this Bondathon.

    It's crazy for me to think SF is ten years old. I still vividly remember seeing it at the theater, how entranced I was and stoked that Bond returned in such fantastic fashion. Unfortunately, the series didn't take the standalone turn I was hoping for that this movie seemed to indicate, but we were blessed to get this gem. I did call QOS the biggest outlier of Craig's five movies for its brevity, but SF is the biggest outlier of the bunch in its "standalone-ness." All the other four have far more interconnections, while this one just works so much better on its own than in the messy continuity created in SP.

    Craig does great work as Bond, hitting a happy medium between his signature dark style from his first two movies and a bit more lightheartedness that would go too overboard in the next movie. I like how the movie touches on Bond's past in a subtle way, where we get just a little more of him than the usual but still plenty of mystique remains. Judi Dench's M gets a really grand sendoff in this movie. The focus on her screwups and her tense but mutual-respect relationship with Bond are handled so well. In addition to her death scene, which still moves me, I find the moment where she says "I f*cked this up, didn't I?" to be powerful. It's not like her to ever admit to being wrong, and to see the guilt and sadness transmitted through her facial expression and tone was effective. Silva's one of the greatest villains of the whole franchise, definitely my favorite of the Craig era.

    I love the way the action is handled in this movie. It feels like the least "action-packed" of the five Craig movies to me, but in the best possible way to where every action sequence feels extra meaningful and plenty of time for great character interactions is had. The PTS is a rightfully beloved classic, the Shanghai sequence is one of my personal highlights of the entire series, the Macau scuffle is brief but fun, the London chase and courtroom shootout are solid, and the explosive finale at Skyfall is amazing. I seem to be in the vast minority that LOVE the third act of this movie. Not only do I love it, but it's my favorite part of the whole movie, and one of the best third acts to a movie I can think of. It works perfectly for me even though I seem to be pretty alone there.

    I'll admit Thomas Newman's score isn't one of my personal favorites among a collection of great ones to be enjoyed in this franchise, though I do like several tracks, and at least it was original before so much over-usage in the sequel. Adele's title track is phenomenal, and I'm a big fan of the title credits too. What else, what else... I just feel like the movie is a perfect way to celebrate 50 years of James Bond. The whole "resurrection" theme is perfect, and Bond's aging yet timelessness to him worked well to me. I can agree in the context of a five-movie run, his character was "aged up" too quickly, but on its own merits I like how it's done here.

    Seeing SF again and again is still magical, even though nothing could be quite like that first cinema trip again. IMO, Daniel Craig had one dud (SP), two good ones (QOS + NTTD), and two masterpieces (CR + SF) - a great track record. And once again I'm going with a bit of a shakeup on my list, having SF just below my Big 2 for the first time. It's about a tie with FRWL, but I'm riding off the emotional high right now that SF gave me, especially as it's a movie I have a lot of personal connection and history with. It's good to be back.

    2022 Alphabetical Bondathon Ranking:
    1. Casino Royale
    2. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    3. Skyfall
    4. From Russia with Love
    5. Dr. No
    6. Goldfinger
    7. GoldenEye
    8. Live and Let Die
    9. Licence to Kill
    10. For Your Eyes Only
    11. Quantum of Solace
    12. No Time to Die
    13. The Man with the Golden Gun
    14. The Living Daylights
    15. Octopussy
    16. Moonraker
    17. Diamonds Are Forever
    18. Die Another Day


    JAMES BOND WILL RETURN IN SPECTRE
  • edited July 2022 Posts: 2,161
    Having finished watching the five actors’ second outings in a row, I am in agreement with the point that @Junglist_1985 makes above. These films move. It's like each time the filmmakers didn’t hesitate to ride their initial success and threw themselves into the follow-up with incredible zeal and confidence. Not as shiningly perfect as the first round, or as epic as the third, but in some ways the most exciting grouping done in this fashion. Every one is a fun time.

    In contrast, I am beginning my "lightning" round of the actors' fourth entries. This group is almost universally rife with examples of bloated, mishandled and dull cinema. Even TB, which is a Top Ten for me, is a drop off from it's successors, and suffers from several of the usual fourth outing ailments.

    MR, DAD and SP all fall near or at the bottom of my rankings. Though I will credit MR with being one of the best looking and sounding entries in the entire series.
  • edited July 2022 Posts: 12,310
    Spectre

    Oh Lord, SP. I felt a surprising amount of sadness watching this movie this time, especially for knowing exactly what to expect having seen it so many times already. This was my first viewing of it since seeing NTTD, and I thought maybe there was a chance I could look back on this one a little more favorably in hindsight given the continuity and all. Truthfully, I really don't think NTTD made SP any better or worse, at least for me.

    Craig's performance is so bizarre when put against his other four. Yes, he has a bit more of the lighthearted touch in NTTD at times, but that aspect was done SIGNIFICANTLY better as was the dramatic side. I just hate that they went for so much Roger Moore-esque humor as it does not suit Craig. And the part when he miraculously becomes Superman right after horrific torture? Even for movie standards it's ridiculous. In CR after torture, he has to spend time recovering. In some pretty big ways, personality wise and tonally, this Bond doesn't feel like the one from the last few despite being the same actor.

    I always disliked the forced usage of Moneypenny, M, and Q here. It feels way more natural in SF and NTTD. And of course, as most others on our site do, I hate the forced connections with the past few movies. They tried so hard to make Craig's era one big epic continuous thing here, and it just doesn't work at all. I really hate the direction they took with this, especially since SF seemed to indicate a return to standalone form. Even if they did go with a more continuous approach, it could have been done infinitely better. I was truly excited to see Mr. White back in the teaser, as it is a loose end I'd always wanted wrapped up! But the SPECTRE organization could have been done so much better, Blofeld could have been done so much better, Madeleine could have been done so much better... it's all so half-baked. And don't even get me started on the boring, cliche third act in general.

    The score is easily one of the series' weakest, mainly because it had so many reused tracks from SF. But now I want to talk about the positives, because there are still a few. I still think the PTS is terrific, and I've been a bigger fan of the title credits more than most and still am. It makes the mediocre title song almost bearable! The train fight is the best hand-to-hand fight scene we got in the Craig era, from the classic Bond grabbing onto something higher maneuver to kick (even though it failed here) to the fact it was the one time I felt like Bond was in serious danger this movie. Hinx is cool, but could have been used more and better. The Mr. White scene is super satisfying, and the crows making sure his body doesn't go to waste is the kind of macabre touch I enjoy.

    It just baffles me how much lower in quality SP is to me than the other four Craig movies. There's this perpetual feeling of lower energy, less care, and trying to force things that just don't work. I found and still find NTTD to be an immensely better film and better sendoff for Craig, even though the very ending isn't what I would have chosen. You can tell with SP they gave Craig a potential way out should he not have returned, but I'm very glad he did. In addition to SP retaining its spot just above my bottom 2 (all three of them are pretty close honestly, but I've let SP keep the edge just because it has the most individual parts I enjoy of the bunch), I decided to bump FRWL back above SF after the hype. Love them both! Only six movies remain, and I'm very happy TSWLM is up next!

    2022 Alphabetical Bondathon Ranking:
    1. Casino Royale
    2. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    3. From Russia with Love
    4. Skyfall
    5. Dr. No
    6. Goldfinger
    7. GoldenEye
    8. Live and Let Die
    9. Licence to Kill
    10. For Your Eyes Only
    11. Quantum of Solace
    12. No Time to Die
    13. The Man with the Golden Gun
    14. The Living Daylights
    15. Octopussy
    16. Moonraker
    17. Spectre
    18. Diamonds Are Forever
    19. Die Another Day


    JAMES BOND WILL RETURN IN THE SPY WHO LOVED ME
  • edited July 2022 Posts: 2,161
    As predicted, watching the fourth installments (of the four actors who made it that far) was often a slog, particular coming on the heels of watching the zippy second installments. Even TB, which still manages to make my Top Ten, slowed down to a crawl (more than usual) during the mid-film underwater segments. I have always considered it a couple of steps down from it's predecessors. At the drive-in in the '60s I saw it on a double-bill with YOLT, which, being the newer film, was shown before TB. What a drop-off for a seven year old. I still remember every detail of YOLT from that night (unlike with GF and DN a few years earlier, I was now at least old enough to, more or less, follow the storyline), I loved it, but TB just bored me to death. Nowadays I actually prefer TB, but, as I said, it can still drag on. It is saved and elevated by excellent dialogue, one great underwater battle, beautiful Bond Girls, the portrayal of Fiona, the theme song, and Connery.

    Next up is then seventh installments NSNA and AVTAK. Both enjoyable, yet frustrating Bond films. This has actually been a very positive viewing of NSNA. Some of you that weren't around in '83 who can't understand why an older fan might have an affinity for this entry, try to imagine going into the theater to see Connery as Bond again after 12 years, and he even looked better! In was quite a lot just to bask in the moment. Imagine, @Creasy47 and @Murdock , it was Brosnan. It was something we never thought we'd see again. It was a fantasy. All before seeing a frame of film.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,665
    @Birdleson, I can't begin to imagine Brosnan returning for a surprise Bond film, official or not. I'd be beyond excited, as I'm sure @Murdock would too.

    I honestly prefer a lot of aspects and tweaks in NSNA over TB. I know that's sacrilegious to say around these parts but I'm always surprised just how much fun and excitement I get outta NSNA every time I see it. It has its objectively piss poor moments but most of it is thrillingly entertaining.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 5,063
    I have been a Bond fan since I was 10. First film I saw was DN on a black and white TV out of a local station. First film on the big screen was MR in 1979 and it was at the Drive-In paired with Corvette Summer with Mark Hamill. The reason I start with this preamble is that I have never watched the films in order purposely. I usually throw in whatever is my fancy and give it a watch.

    However I decided it was time to watch them in order and see if that changes my views of the movies. I also decided to make this a father and son bonding time. See what I did there.

    My 11 year old and I started a few weeks ago with DN and have worked our way to TB.

    Here are his thoughts:
    • DN he really enjoyed the film. I wasn't sure it would hold his interest. He laughed at the "See that he doesn't get away line." Enjoyed Quarrel and Leiter. Thought the final fight was good and also mentioned how surprised how roughed up Bond got here with the tunnels and such.
    • FRWL the quips continue to land for him. The "She should have kept her mouth shut" line was a hit. As was the "Excuse me is your clock correct?". He enjoyed the fight and loved the boat fire scene. He didn't always understand the plot, thought Klebb was Russian but overall he enjoyed it.
    • GF he has seen this one before and still enjoyed it. The humour brought laughs. He loves the machine gun granny and enjoyed the quips. He mentioned that OddJob is his favourite henchmen.
    • TB this was another first time watch. I thought he wouldn't enjoy it due to the pacing but when it ended he declared it his favourite Connery. He really seems to enjoy the one liners of Bond and this one was no exception. I had to explain Chemin De Fer to him and he was confused by all the searching for the bombs.

    Next up for us will be YOLT and I look forward to watching them in order.
  • edited July 2022 Posts: 12,310
    That's so awesome! As someone who absolutely never has wanted to be a parent, this is the most convincing thing I've seen that would make me potentially want to be one: bonding over Bond with a son :D
  • Posts: 2,161
    Great job @thedove !
  • Agent_Zero_OneAgent_Zero_One Ireland
    edited July 2022 Posts: 554
    For Your Eyes Only

    FYEO could perhaps be called a little dry as a film, (although everything looks dry compared to Moonraker) but it's hardly bad either.

    Moore is very good here. His quiet grief at Tracy's grave, the car kick, meeting Colombo etc. I like how the film seems to be self-aware that he's not a young man anymore with his scenes with Bibi, although the relationship with Melina is still a little awkward to me. It doesn't come out of nowhere or anything, you've got her looking jealous as Bond leaves with Lisl and all that, but the way Moore plays it felt more paternal. Richard Maibum once said they there was more of a focus on how Bond "couldn't get to first base with this girl because she was so obsessed with revenge" in his original drafts, and that "it was as if the director didn't feel there was a love story there at all", which goes some way to explaining it. I appreciate Melina's title drop though.

    Maibum also said there was subtext about fear of death originally (with the priest blessing himself as Bond's helicopter took off), which would've given the story an additional layer. Shame they cut it.

    Bibi is pretty decent in the early scenes with Bond, but her annoying nature has less of a point in the final battle.

    Colombo is a pretty good ally, with a natural likability. Ferrarra is decent in his small role too; poor man didn't even get his handshake from Kristatos.

    Speaking of Kristatos, he's a little weak as a villain. Keeping Bibi captive is alright in terms of giving more of a creepiness factor, but there's not much there. He just generally doesn't have much personality to him. Doesn't help the twist isn't exactly shocking.

    The way they blow up the Lotus after it's iconic role in the previous films is a funny way to signal the tonal shift, even though the opening and ending are both still fairly campy. They may be inconsistent with the rest of the film, but I still like them a lot (the helicopter head pat is underrated). Margaret bloody Thatcher being here is very arguably a bridge too far, but I got a kick out of it. I'd forgotten they had her appear in the flesh and not just her back.

    Max the Parrot being plot relevant is neat.

    Bill Conti does a killer gunbarrel theme, but I didn't gel with the rest of his score. In particular during the otherwise excellent ski chase, which sucks some of the tension out, (shoutout to Young Charles Dance). The title theme is one of my least favourites, but I like the instrumental version incorporated into the score well enough.

    Another callback to the hat toss, which is fitting for a movie that wants to go back to the basics.

    The explosion was nice, but the rest of the underwater scenes, much like Thunderball, aren't the most engaging part of the film. The keelhauling was a step up from it.

    I initially found Bond’s quest to save Melina's soul silly, but it works for me more now. He sees someone who isn't already a written off professional killer like him, who already nearly got lured to her death because of her drive for revenge, and Unidentified Bald Man In A Wheelchair even got himself killed as a direct consequence of attempting to settle the score with Bond.

    The finale isn't a spectacle, but the rock climbing sequence is great, as is Bond's exchange with Gogol. Nice character beat that he stops the guard from shooting them.

    Highlight: the car kick.

    7/10
  • edited July 2022 Posts: 2,161
    I’m going to finish my Bondathon tonight. All I have left are the actors’ fourth entries. So in a row (I might have to take a break and finish it tomorrow) I’m going to watch GF, TSWLM, TWINE and SF. The only real problem with this group is that, though I’ve seen every Bond film dozens of times, most of this group I’ve seen more than that. GF and TSWLM, and SF for that matter, are Bond films that I go to very often. So I don’t feel the excitement that this final segment really deserves.

    After this I will rank the experience. If I was a newcomer I would predict this next segment would be the most enjoyable of the lot. We’re going by what I just said above, it’s gonna be hard to top how much fun it was watching the fifth and second sets of entries en masse like this.
  • Posts: 12,310
    The Spy Who Loved Me

    TSWLM is most certainly one of my most nostalgic and beloved Bond titles. It continues its legacy of me watching it when I'm down in the dumps like today, so I just have to consider it a pick-me-up classic at this point! Really seems Connery, Moore, and Craig got to enjoy phenomenal third entries... Brosnan, not so lucky, but more on that later down the line.

    One thing that immediately stands out to me every time about TSWLM is that it has a charm all of its own, going even beyond Bond itself. Maybe it's the super 70s flair, but at any rate it feels uniquely endearing and magical. It's a pretty big departure from LALD and TMWTGG stylistically, shooting for the stars with a much grander scope and also a more well-rounded performance from Moore (he's great in his first two, I just feel like this is where his take really comes together fully). I can sort of see the complaints on Barbara Bach's performance being a little wooden, but I like to just think of it more as she is strong, cold, and calculating instead of boring. She's stunning to look at and proves to be Bond's equal. Not trying to make this too political, but I couldn't help thinking to myself, in the scene she knocks Bond out with whatever was in her cigarette and gets the better of him... a certain big crowd we be all up in arms today about it being "woke" and hating men... hmmm......

    ANYWAY, lovely henchman in Jaws, he's both scary and funny, and absolutely unforgettable. Stromberg's not an elite-tier villain, but I do think he gets a bit too much flak. Egypt and Sardinia combine as two of my absolute favorite locations this series has used; the film's simply stunning to look at from start to finish. The PTS is an all-timer too, and the action was never better in any other Moore movie. I'm a fan of Nobody Does It Matter and Hamlisch's groovy soundtrack. The only complaint I really have, like with GF and GE, is just a little bit of pacing feeling off to me, primarily in the third act here. I do feel like the epic boat sequence could have maybe been trimmed a bit. Nothing of significance hurts though.

    As expected, TSWLM retains a solid positioning in my ranking. A great go-to entry that always raises my spirits. The water theme continues with TB, which sadly is the final "great"-level movie for me in this marathon.

    2022 Alphabetical Bondathon Ranking:
    1. Casino Royale
    2. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    3. From Russia with Love
    4. Skyfall
    5. Dr. No
    6. Goldfinger
    7. GoldenEye
    8. The Spy Who Loved Me
    9. Live and Let Die
    10. Licence to Kill
    11. For Your Eyes Only
    12. Quantum of Solace
    13. No Time to Die
    14. The Man with the Golden Gun
    15. The Living Daylights
    16. Octopussy
    17. Moonraker
    18. Spectre
    19. Diamonds Are Forever
    20. Die Another Day

    JAMES BOND WILL RETURN IN THUNDERBALL
  • Agent_Zero_OneAgent_Zero_One Ireland
    edited August 2022 Posts: 554
    Octopussy

    Might just be my favourite Moore era movie. It's so thoroughly watchable from beginning to end.

    The man himself is still fantastic in the role, and still looks plausible in the role despite being 55. He seems more at home with Maud Adams as Octopussy than most of the other Bond Girls of his era. There's a lovely friendship between Bond and Vijay as well, which makes his death hit relatively hard.

    The villains are a great package; Khan's civilised neferiousness, Gobinda's small moments of confusion, Orlov's hamminess...

    The whole film has a great sense of style, Particularly the India segment.

    I have a soft spot for All Time High, though the titles are truly lazy.

    The PTS is a cracking self-containted adventure in the original mould, and the post title chase is effective in it's own pseudo-horror way.

    Audibly cheered a bit at "that's for 009".

    The amazon invasion where nobody dies at the end is worth it for Q's big moment.

    The camp doesn't bother me at all here. Moore can sell the silliest of it like no other Bond.

    Highlight: Bond racing to stop the bomb.

    8/10

    Never Say Never Again

    NSNA is not not great film. The main appeal, of course, is Connery's comeback, and to the film's credit, it at least delivers there; he's in good shape and seems to enjoy himself (operative word is seems, I don't think he was having a ball on set).

    The plot is a weaker version of Thunderball, the Bond Girl is a weaker version of Thunderball's (sorry Kim Bassinger, there isn't much here), the villain is weaker than Thunderball's - although Brandesheimer has one or two good moments of psychopathy.

    The theme is crap. So is the score as a whole, pretty much. Moving on.

    Max Von Sydow is utterly bland as Blofeld here, unfortunately. Any sense of menace is non-existent. Fatima Blush may be the poor man's Fiona Volpe, but Helga is still the poorest man's. Her dispatching of Jack is camp fun, and her death is actually a brilliant scene. "I just remembered. It's against service policy for agents to give out endorsements!"

    Seeing the villain's plan here is even more tedious than in TB, because at least there there was the film's ever present style. NSNA may have had a bigger budget than OP, but you wouldn't know it from the TV Movie looking production quality at some points. Well, Connery doesn't come cheap.

    Edward Fox's M is OK, I appreciate the attempt to do something different. Moneypenny is a total non-entity, they would've been better leaving her out. Alec Macowan as Algenon, on the other hand is a standout.

    The script does have the odd pretty good one-liner, I'll give it that.

    Rowan Atkinson is a delight. Can I consider this film Johnny English 0?

    The final moments are a bit much, but ah, the wink works for me.

    It won't set the world alight, but Connery at least makes it worth something.

    Highlight: Blush's demise.

    4/10

    A View To A Kill

    I really wasn't sure about AVTAK coming to it this time. OP would've worked incredibly well as a sendoff for Moore, and I thought another movie from him unnecessary. Well, I'm still conflicted. While I initially continued to feel this way, I think Moore's presence has it's benefits. Him and Walken have a great dynamic; a common criticism of this film is that Walken and Jones inject a sense of vitality while Moore at 57 is on his seventh film, but I think the aging Bond vs the younger Zorin, representing at once both a new kind of brutality that Moore's Bond is uncomfortable with in and out of universe, and and an old evil with the Nazi links (which Moore's Bond may well have seen in his youth) is great. The final fight feels genuinely dangerous for Bond. This thread is a great collection of takes in regards to this angle. https://www.mi6community.com/discussion/18721/bonds-final-mission-avtak-or/p1

    Zorin is of course a very entertaining villain, played to maximum insanity by Walken. The way him and Bond transparently loathe each other is unique to this era. Yes, he had a disdain for Scaramanga, but it was never so overt. The little laugh before Zorin slips off to his doom is a signature moment.

    Unfortunately, Moore's age has it's drawbacks too. The clothing they put him in for a good portion of the film isn't suited to him, the fist fights feel stale, and Stacey is mismatched. Much like with Melina in FYEO, Moore's instinct seems to be to play it paternally, but the script still calls for the traditional ending.

    One additional positive of Roger here is Patrick Macnee's Tibbet, who plays off him wonderfully. You get a real sense of friendship between them, and his death feels like a real loss. When they repeat his death in almost the exact same way with Chuck Lee later, though, it's very lazy (one of several lazy screenwriting moments). I wish they brought David Hedison back as Felix, but it is what it is.

    The Russian subplot is criticised as unneeded, and it's a fair point. I do enjoy the Gogol-Zorin confrontation for the "Nobody ever leaves the KGB" line, though

    It gets a lot of crap, but I like the fire truck chase. I even find the cop tolerable!

    The title drop is hilariously awkward.

    Mayday's turn gels with me more now. It's not out of a genuine turn to good, but just sticking it to Zorin, which I think fits.

    The score of this film is spectacular. I'm not as big a fan of Duran Duran's theme as a lot of people, but Wine With Stacy and especially He's Dangerous are peak tracks.

    While the very end is questionable, Bond literally throwing in the towel is a nice moment.

    Highlight: Bond and Zorin playing bridge.

    6/10

    1. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    2. From Russia With Love
    3. Goldfinger
    4. Octopussy
    5. Thunderball
    6. The Spy Who Loved Me
    7. Moonraker
    8. Live and Let Die
    9. Dr. No
    10. For Your Eyes Only
    11. You Only Live Twice
    12. A View To A Kill
    13. Diamonds Are Forever
    14. The Man With the Golden Gun
    15. Never Say Never Again (there's just barely more I enjoy in TMWTGG).
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 5,063
    Me and Dove Junior watched YOLT in our extended Bond-A-Thon. He hadn't seen this one in a while so it was like a fresh viewing. He always perks up when Q appears in the movie and he absolutely adores Little Nellie. He loved how Bond says the part about making advances on her.

    For me this film always is enjoyable. Sure it is OTT. That set of the volcano is still a sight to behold and holds up to this day. Incredible piece of set construction right down to Blofeld's stylish apartment. The fight between Bond and the driver in Osato's office is full of fury and wonderful dynamic.

    Lots to like here if you just let the film happen. As for Dove Junior he enjoyed it the second time. Claiming "Little Nellie" is my favourite vehicle and gadget.

    We have decided to skip OHMSS as we had watched it recently. This will be interesting as some people say DAF starts where YOLT ends so I will be able to see if this is the case.

    Once we complete the Connery ones I will provide Dove Junior's rankings so far.
  • imranbecksimranbecks Singapore
    Posts: 972
    Currently revisiting the Brosnan movies since they're all on Prime Video, I've just finished Tomorrow Never Dies and I actually enjoyed it a lot more now than I did before. The one liners and lines in general were on point and hilarious at times. A media mogul taking advantage of things by creating his own bad news and almost creating WWIII due to territorial disputes and all. What a fun Bond movie!
  • Posts: 462
    Just got out of the local movie theater, they were showing Dr. No for the 60th anniversary. This is the first Bond I’ve watched since NTTD’s release.

    To put it shortly, I loved every minute of it. Something about watching Dr. No makes me happy. So many memorable and defining moments for the series. I see people say this one is vanilla or doesn’t stand out from the rest, but there was no formula to follow, so it takes its time doing its own thing. I think this actually makes the film more unique. The pacing is excellent, the cinematography is great. I love the atmospheric Jamaican music that plays throughout. I prefer From Russia With Love and Goldfinger, but this is a very, very solid entry that sits comfortably at 6 out of 25.
  • edited September 2022 Posts: 462
    Just finished a viewing of The Living Daylights. I’ve always preferred Licence To Kill and I don’t think that has changed, but Daylights has jumped in my rankings quite a bit.

    In the past, I would have said it was a middle-of-the-road entry, but post-NTTD I’ve actually realized just how much I like Dalton as Bond, and I’ve always liked and appreciated how both of his films bring a darker edge to the character from the novels — this viewing I really appreciated how seamlessly The Living Daylights blends “Bond on a mission” with personal elements and a leading lady who Bond seems to be more romantically interested in without getting bogged down in (or revolving around) all of the emotional or personal beats that the latest films tended to.

    I really enjoyed the entire movie — great soundtrack, great Bond girl, a terrific performance by Dalton, and an engaging and somewhat complex plot where Bond is a spy again. The only part that really isn’t up to the rest of the movie is the actor who plays Felix. I think I had it around 13-15 but it’s easily a top ten for me now, and could even go a bit higher.

    It’s always nice feeling like you’ve rediscovered something, even if you know it so well.
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Per ora e per il momento che verrà
    Posts: 6,824
    CrzChris4 wrote: »
    In the past, I would have said it was a middle-of-the-road entry, but post-NTTD I’ve actually realized just how much I like Dalton as Bond, and I’ve always liked and appreciated how both of his films bring a darker edge to the character from the novels — this viewing I really appreciated how seamlessly The Living Daylights blends “Bond on a mission” with personal elements and a leading lady who Bond seems to be more romantically interested in without getting bogged down in (or revolving around) all of the emotional or personal beats that the latest films tended to.

    That’s exactly why I love those two films the most. It finds that right balance between Fleming-Bond and movie-Bond, as well as mission-Bond and personal stakes-Bond. I think only OHMSS quite gets that same balance right.

  • edited September 2022 Posts: 12,310
    Thunderball

    Finally, back at it again. Keep getting sidetracked, but with just four films to go after this, I've got to finish this Bondathon! What's crazy is that TB started off as my least favorite Connery Bond outing, and now it's right at the top. I've said it before, but TB stands as the best blend of novel Bond + movie Bond, really giving me the feels of the best of both worlds throughout.

    Where do I start with all the stuff I love about this one? It's Connery's fourth and final A+ performance as James, and he is never cooler and funnier than he is in this one. From both him and all the side characters, the dialogue is an all-time high. The collection of Bond girls is the very best of all 25 films here, with Domino being one of the all-timers as the lead girl, Fiona being perhaps the best femme fatale, and Patricia and Paula are as great of minor gals as ever! The sex appeal of this film in general is above that of every other Bond movie; you get to see more skin than ever thanks to the tropical setting, and there's tons of classic steamy interactions. Please, please, please, EON, make Bond films sexier again.

    I've never considered Largo one of the very best villains of the franchise, but he's still a rock solid baddie and I've come to like him more with every new watch. Fiona does outshine him, and I also love the usage of Blofeld and SPECTRE just as a larger threat looming behind the scenes - only outdone by FRWL. Q and M and Moneypenny all have some really memorable and funny interactions with Bond in this one. The movie just oozes charisma and effort from everyone. John Barry is in top form on his score, some really incredible music both exciting (climax) and calm (Bond dancing with Domino). The title credits and song by Tom Jones are absolutely classic, capping off the exciting and fun PTS beautifully. And Terence Young does such a fabulous job directing the biggest-scope Bond of his three, and goes a resounding three for three making some of all the best Bond movies ever.

    Objectively, I'd probably have to say FRWL is the best Connery Bond film. But I'd be lying if I said at this point TB wasn't my personal favorite. It's got spectacle, humor, action, sex, charm, and suspense in droves. Though I still absolutely love them, the odd numbered Connery movies (DN, GF, YOLT) used to be all my favorite ones of his, and now it's TB and FRWL (DAF... not so much)! Watching TB is just pure joy for me. It was the first Bond film I ever watched, chosen by me for it's crazy name I was instantly drawn to, and though I didn't fully appreciate it as much when I was young, I adore it today. A Bond masterpiece for my money.

    2022 Alphabetical Bondathon Ranking:
    1. Casino Royale
    2. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    3. Thunderball
    4. From Russia with Love
    5. Skyfall
    6. Dr. No
    7. Goldfinger
    8. GoldenEye
    9. The Spy Who Loved Me
    10. Live and Let Die
    11. Licence to Kill
    12. For Your Eyes Only
    13. Quantum of Solace
    14. No Time to Die
    15. The Man with the Golden Gun
    16. The Living Daylights
    17. Octopussy
    18. Moonraker
    19. Spectre
    20. Diamonds Are Forever
    21. Die Another Day


    JAMES BOND WILL RETURN IN TOMORROW NEVER DIES
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    Not my own favourite, but a good one. Nice to read your thoughts about it.
  • Posts: 12,310
    @Thunderfinger Thanks! It used to be around like #16 on my list, so it's come a long way over the years for me. I sometimes get shocked by how much my opinions on these movies can change despite having seen them tons of times!
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    FoxRox wrote: »
    @Thunderfinger Thanks! It used to be around like #16 on my list, so it's come a long way over the years for me. I sometimes get shocked by how much my opinions on these movies can change despite having seen them tons of times!

    Same. My last Bondathon two or three years ago brought some great changes. I wonder how my next will change things, or maybe it won t?
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