November 2008


quantum_of_solace_ver4_xlg

OK, so the title is little corny, but you get what I’m getting at.

With the new James Bond, Quantum of Solace, coming out this week, I feel that now is a perfect time to revisit the best and worst of James Bond.

First, a bit on my Bond background and my thoughts

I have seen 22 of the 23 Bond movies multiple times, not counting the one made for CBS.  I’ll give you one guess as to which Bond movie I have never seen, it’s one of the two “unofficial” Bond movie.  My first Bond movie ever was For Your Eyes Only, and like most others who saw a Bond movie for the first time, I fell in love with the character, so I do feel a bit bias towards it.  I have read Casino Royale about a third of the way through before I lost the book.  I have definitely pretended I was James Bond in my youth and even have ordered “a martini, shaken, not stirred” before even though I don’t drink.

I don’t think there was ever a bad Bond, Lazenby didn’t get the chance to prove his worth after just one movie and Dalton was only acting like the character in the book, but was just too dark for its’ time.  Craig is doing just that and getting praised for it.

Now for the lists-

BEST BOND

  1. 1129299607_8477Sean Connery – He pretty much personified who Bond really is.
  2. Daniel Craig – After just one movie, he pretty much reinvented Bond, but also save the Franchise.
  3. Pierce Brosnan – Got people back into seats after a long lay off and disappointing Bond movies.
  4. Timothy Dalton – Under rated, mainly because of the time his movies were made, I recommend you go back and revisit his movies.
  5. George Lazenby – Was a competent Bond, but just don’t have enough to analyze.
  6. Roger Moore – Over rated, his best movies were when he was playing a darker Bond, but he always wanted to play the loving Bond.  At one time I would have argued that he was the best, but then I wised up.  I kind of lost a bit of a respect from him after recent comments that the new Bonds are too violent.  Did he read the Books???  (He was 5 before I read his comments.)

BEST BOND GIRL

  1. evagreen_400Vesper played by Eva Green in Casino Royale 2006 – Bad and Good, she portrays what I think a Bond girl should be to the tee.
  2. Honey played by Ursula Andress in Dr. No – As the first Bond girl, she set the bar way high, which is why it took 22 movies to find someone better.
  3. Tatiana played by Daniela Bianchi in From Russia With Love.
  4. Kara played by Maryan D’Ado in The Living Daylights.
  5. Domino played by Claudine Auger in Thunderball.

I already know people will have a problem with this list.  “where is Pussy Galore, Anya Amasova, or  Xania Onatopp”  All good choice, and with so many girls, there is bound to have a bunch of variation on this list.  This my.

BEST BOND GADGET

  1. JetPack in Thunderball – Not a gadget now, but was ground breaking at the time.  I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want to take a ride on a jetpack.
  2. Lotus Esprit in The Spy Who Loved Me – Come on, the freakin car turns into a submarine.  SOLD!!!
  3. Camera Gun in License to Kill – It’s been done many more time since, but I believe Bond was the originator, plus it’s a sniper gun not just a close range one.
  4. Mobile Phone in Tomorrow Never Dies – Ok the phone contains a stun gun, fingerprint scanner, and when flipped open it remotely controls Bonds BMW 750.
  5. Swiss Army Briefcase in From Russia With Love – Secret compartment, .22 rifle with infrared scope, 50 gold sovereigns, tear gas cartridge, throwing knifes and spare ammo.  what else would you need.

Notable, Laser watch in Goldeneye.

BEST VILLIAN GADGET

  1. The Golden Gun in The Man With The Golden Gun.
  2. Oddjob’s Bowler Hat in Goldfinger.
  3. Dagger Shoe in From Russia With Love.
  4. Yo-Yo Saw in Octopussy.

BEST BOND SONG

  1. Live and Let Die by Paul McCartney and Wings
  2. Goldfinger by Shirley Bassey
  3. Nobody Does it Better by Carly Simon (The Spy Who Loved Me)
  4. Diamonds are For Ever by Shirley Bassey
  5. The World is Not Enough by Garbage

Notables, Thunderball, Goldeneye, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and For Your Eyes Only.

BEST BOND MOVIE

  1. dr_no_xlgDr. No – no contest.
  2. From Russia With Love – Dr. No pulled you in, From Russia kept you coming.
  3. Casino Royale 2006- Pretty much reinvented the James Bond Series and saved the franchise.
  4. Goldfinger – This is where you start to realize who bond is, plus this is also when he become dependent on gadgets.
  5. Goldeneye – six years after the last Dalton movie, Bond had lost it’s luster, that is until this movie came out.  Great update of the series with high-tech, action-packed feel.

Notables – Thunderball, For Your Eyes Only, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and The Spy Who Loved me.

WORST BOND MOVIE

  1. Casino Royale (1967) – Did you guess which movie I hadn’t seen?
  2. A View To a Kill – Just plain bad.
  3. Octopussy – Formulaic and just plain silly.
  4. The World is Not Enough – A lot of ppl think Die Another Day is Brosnan’s worst but I disagree.
  5. Never Say Never Again – In case you didn’t know, this is the other unofficial Bond movie.

Notables, Die Another Day, The Man With The Golden Gun, and Moonrakers.

I know a lot of you wont agree with my selections.  What would you change and why?

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it seems like it’s come up randomly over the last 6 months. and it’s not like it’s very often. but when it does come up, it’s with the intensity of a rabid wilderbeast’s fangs digging deep into my humble giblets.

i’m of course speaking about a film debate. DEBATE. ARGUMENT. FIGHT. all out World War III sometimes, especially if i’m arguing with Fernando, timid as he might seem.

mallrats1

today, Fernando and i revisited an old argument: the suckiness of Kevin Smith’s “Mallrats.” this is a debate i don’t think will ever be put to rest. Fernando sticks to his guns: “Mallrats” is not only terribly bland and run-of-the-mill, but it’s the worst in Smith’s canon. i take the side that it’s incredibly entertaining albeit flawed. i appreciate it for trying to add to the R-rated titty comedy subgenre that “Porky’s” movies once dominated. i also recognize its interweaving of suburban high school trials-and-tribulations movies which John Hughes put on the map. it’s a purely autobiographical entry in my favorites because of the time and place i discovered the film; i, along with most of my friends, were slackers, skaters, suburban white kids with no plans but to hang out. the MOST interesting thing that happened in Bowie when i was a teenager was relationships or their crumbling. so, for a lot of reasons, i identify with the directionless comedy of “Mallrats.” and its quotability.

i do agree with Fernando’s assessment that it’s shitmade. but, i also believe Kevin Smith isn’t that great of a filmmaker, and his films have been pretty hit-or-miss since “Clerks.” he has his “independent” eye, but it’s never really evolved; he’s not doing anything but paint-by-numbers editing and plotting in most of these movies. every film of his that has an agenda or tries to marry comedy and drama are badly paced and uneven, with the exception of “Clerks 2.” “Chasing Amy” and “Dogma” are the worst offenders; some great moments, great characters, but unfulfilled potential on screen. i think Smith is a great writer and lecturer, one of the funniest and down-to-earth dudes i’ve ever seen. his screenplays have great monologues. but besides an infrequent collab with cinematographer David Klein, ALL his films are run-of-the-mill formula by now: nerds arguing about nerdy things (hey, like us!) and gross-out humor. add a romantic interest and boom, you got Generation X Independent Movie 101.

so, this argument with Fernando coupled with…

1) an exhaustive debate over Two-Face’s fate in “The Dark Knight” some months ago (on this very site, no less)

…along with…

2) an article i read about movie arguments over at The A.V. Club today (which is perfect timing as well as poignant for this post’s goal)

…and not forgetting…

3) Bart wanting to find topics for he and i to do point/counterpoint on

…has all led me to an idea.

LET’S ARGUE!

~~~~~

Topic #1. This is for everybody.

What is your guilty pleasure movie of all time and why? (Prereq: it has to be a black sheep, something most people balk at) Give good support for it because I’m sure someone, including myself, is gonna rip it down.

Topic #2.

Are Generation X/1990s filmmakers (like Kevin Smith, Richard Linklater, Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, Alexandre Rockwell, Tom DiCillo, etc.) still relevant? Or even good anymore?

The polls are now open.

hopeful. ecstatic. happy. optimistic. interested.

obamathese are the words that i’ve used all day when referring to the historic moment we lived through yesterday. we’ve elected someone to President of the United States of America that encompasses all the progressive desires and needs we have as a country right now — reactionary needs to international crises, and, of course, a little man named George W. Bush. a failing economy, a struggling healthcare system, a crumbling environment, a sky-rocketing energy predicament, a tragic state of war in the Middle East and the Muslim world…the list of problems facing President-Elect Barack Obama is unenviable and intimidating. and regardless of what cave you’ve been living in (with no money, no healthcare, and no electricity), you know that these seemingly unsolvable issues dominate Americans’ beliefs in a secure future.

but, what happened last night has, if only momentarily, renewed hope in combatting these stresses. to finally get rid of the worst President since Nixon and maybe harken closure to the most unpopular war since Vietnam should give anyone hope for the future. hell, hope for the American Dream. we are in the lowest nadir, in terms of both domestic and foreign opinion of this once Great Land, since 1975. people hate us — America — because our poster child has been, well, a child. i don’t need to explain the worst possible aspects to G.W. Bush; you’ve heard, you’ve seen, you know. America meant something when it was founded. it was full of idealists who knew we had the best plan going, who wanted it to be not just the “land of the free,” but a place where The People made the decisions; not the Kings, Dictators, or Tyrants. over the centuries, these ideals have been misread, twisted, or glossed over by the greedy, racist, and power-hungry. ideals are usually called “ideals” because they’re unrealistic. in a perfect world, Democracy would work, critics would say. why, then, has America been stricken with so much strife? compared to other countries, we’ve had a cakewalk. it just seems like the Perfect Storm of issues and problems are hitting us all at once, right now.

but, November 4th, 2008. the times, they are a-changin’. we had record voting numbers, including a large percentage of young people. the kids identify with what many have realized is the most promising leader since JFK.

a young idealist with an edge in international relations. someone who can change the world and has his ear to the people. a man willing to tax the wealthy to support our poor. a man willing to finally get us fair and on par with the world concerning Universal Healthcare. a man willing to take troops out of Iraq. a man willing to work on a renewable energy way of life. these are hopes. this is Obama. check out his stances here.

the first black President. the first bi-racial President. this is history i’m glad i was alive to experience. we need to not only connect with those ideals that made this country great but represent our country justly, fairly. we’ve needed a person of color in the White House since the bitch was built (and not just cleaning it, kidding kidding), since we decided that “all men are created equal.” i mean, the years of slavery, no rights to vote, constant racism, harrassment, murder and social injustice warrants being equal, doesn’t it? well, finally, a glimmer of happiness can be had. the goals of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., the sacrifices of the civil rights movement, and the tragedies the world over concerning slavery and apartheid have yielded a leader that can serve as a beacon of racial equality and justice. he’s like a superhero.

now, if only we could get “The Wire” back on air. i think the country’s ready for a show about black people.

Barack Obama has changed my opinion of what this country can do, at least what a vote can do. his election gives me new interest in politics and the future.

It’s the big day that people won’t shut up about. No, it’s not the release of the new Harry Potter movie. It’s election day. So don’t forget to vote. I don’t care who you vote for, just do it. I won’t be tuning into results until about midnight so I don’t have to hear about how Nevada is going for Obama even though no precincts are reporting yet. I’ll be enjoying Fable 2, which is awesome. So go vote you knuckleheads.