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 Bondathon 2012 
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Just watched The Man with the Golden Gun tonight, and your write-up for that is really superb. Great, all-encompassing review. The same goes for your reviews in this thread, in general.

One complaint, Mr. Nation: you have so many continuous rankings after each new film is posted - where is the "Theme Song" ranking??? Clue us in to your musical taste, man! :D

And, despite your closing line to Moonraker, I hope you continue with the series.


Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:54 pm
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The Man with the Golden Gun is still my favorite Roger Moore Bond. Just watched The Spy Who Loved Me and Goldfinger last week. The latter film holds up much better than the former. And, yes, Moonraker is a disgrace.

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Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:09 am
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Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:27 pm
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I'm in the second half of a Bond-marathon and I definitely see where he's coming from with it being hard to justify finishing the series. I'm currently in the section where there are just a lot of sub-par titles to get through and it's hard to put in several films back to back where you're quite sure they won't be very good. Oh well. I will keep on trucking anyways.

Also, anyone that says Casino Royale ('67) and Diamonds Are Forever are their favorite Bond films is clearly just not a fan of the series.


Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:43 am
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Derninan wrote:
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Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:06 am
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For Your Eyes Only (John Glen, 1981)

The British spy ship St. Georges has been sunk by a naval mine in the Ionian Sea off the coast of Albania; the St. Georges was equipped with an ATAC, a transmitter used to coordinate the Royal Navy's fleet of Polaris submarines. Due to the sensitive nature of the mission, MI6 had asked marine archaeologist Sir Timothy Havelock (Jack Hedley) to secretly locate the wreckage, but Havelock and his wife were assassinated by hitman Hector Gonzalez (Stefan Kalipha) before Havelock could deliver his report. Bond's mission sends him to Spain, the Italian Alps, Greece and Albania in an attempt to identify the men who hired Gonzalez and recover the ATAC for Britain; during the mission, he becomes caught up in the feud between two Greek smugglers, Aris Kristatos (Julian Glover) and Milos Columbo (Chaim Topol), as well as Havelock's daughter, Melina's (Carole Bouquet) quest to avenge her parents' death. Bond discovers that Kristatos hired Gonzalez, and plans to deliver the ATAC to Chairman of the KGB General Gogol (Walter Gotell).

The films open Bond laying flowers on the grave of his murdered wife, Tracy. A Universal Exports helicopter soon arrives for Bond; it's quickly remotely hijacked by none other than a wheelchair-bound Ernst Stavro Blofeld (John Hollis; voice: Robert Rietty). Blofeld's face is obscured for the entire sequence, harkening back to his appearance in From Russia with Love; he also sports a neck brace, as he did during the final moments of On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Bond is able to turn the tables on Blofeld, regaining control of the helicopter and using its ski to catch Blofeld's wheelchair and lifts him into the skies above London; as Blofeld pleads for his life, Bond adjusts the helicopter's tilt, sending Blofeld to his death. The scene of Bond finally avenging Tracy is everything the pre-credits sequence of Diamonds Are Forever wasn't, and it sets the tone for the film. For Your Eyes Only is a true return to form for the series, harkening back to From Russia with Love and On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the series' strongest outing. Cut away is the excess that has dominated a decade of Bond films; this is a classic Bond, filled with intrigue and set against the backdrop of the Cold War.

The opening of the film is a clear throwback to On Her Majesty's Secret Service; the ATAC is a throwback to From Russia with Love's LEKTOR decoding device. The scenes set in the Italian Alps are also a callback to the former, with an ample amount of skiing; there's even a bobsled sequence, just like in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, as well as lots of Olympic rings in the scenery. Topol's Columbo is a throwback to From Russia with Love's Kerim Bey; he also turns in the strongest performance of any Bond ally since then. KGB agent Erich Kriegler (John Wyman) is another throwback to From Russia with Love, though he's not nearly as memorable as Red Grant. Kristatos is an excellent villain, and significantly more grounded than a number of his predecessors. Carole Bouquet is also exceptional as the hard-edged, revenge-obsessed Melina Havelock; she's a drastic improvement from the Bond girls of the past decade. Emile Locque (Gothard), Kristatos' agent who hires Gonzalez who Bond is misled to believe is actually Columbo's agent, rounds out the cast; he's not particularly memorable, however.

Roger Moore, who was beginning to appear too old in both The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, really breaks the threshold in For Your Eyes Only. He's just too old to believably be evading strongmen on skis or scaling the cliffs of St. Cyril's Monastery. However, Moore turns in his strongest performance to date, portraying Bond as hard edged, serious and even a bit world-weary, telling Melina "Before setting out on revenge, you first dig two graves." Perhaps the hallmark of Moore's portrayal of Bond, his seeming chemical ability for women to instantly fall into bed with him, is turned on its head in For Your Eyes Only; when Kristatos' ice-skating prodigy, Bibi Dahl (Lynn-Holly Johnson) throws herself at Bond, he constantly rebuffs her advances. It's a stark change from his Bond from the previous decade, who would take women wherever he found them, no matter what the life-threatening circumstances or age differences. It's a shame it's the first outing where Moore portrays Bond in this manner, as he's excellent.

For Your Eyes Only is a true return to form for the series, taking cues from From Russia with Love and On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Everyone is in top form, particularly Roger Moore, who turns in his best performance to date. The plot is a throwback to From Russia with Love, showcasing the gradually warming Cold War after a decade of détente. It's a significantly leaner film, cutting away the excess of its immediate predecessors, especially Moonraker. It's the strongest film since On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and one of the best to date.

Film Ranking
1) On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
2) From Russia with Love (1963)
3) For Your Eyes Only (1981)
4) The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
5) Goldfinger (1964)
6) Dr. No (1962)
7) Thunderball (1965)
8) The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
9) Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
10) Live and Let Die (1973)
11) You Only Live Twice (1967)
12) Moonraker (1979)

Villain Ranking
1) Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia with Love)
2) Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
3) Rosa Klebb (From Russia with Love)
4) Francisco Scaramanga (The Man with the Golden Gun)
5) Karl Stromberg (The Spy Who Loved Me)
6) Aris Kristatos (For Your Eyes Only)
7) Dr. Julius No (Dr. No)
8) Emilio Largo (Thunderball)
9) Dr. Kananga (Live and Let Die)
10) Hugo Drax (Moonraker)

Bond Girl Ranking
1) Tracy di Vincenzo (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
2) Honey Rider (Dr. No)
3) Tatiana Romanova (From Russia with Love)
4) Pussy Galore (Goldfinger)
5) Anya Amasova (The Spy Who Loved Me)
6) Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only)
7) Sylvia Trench (Dr. No)
8) Domino Derval (Thunderball)
9) Solitaire (Live and Let Die)
10) Holly Goodhead (Moonraker)
11) Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun)
12) Tiffany Case (Diamonds Are Forever)
13) Kissy Suzuki (You Only Live Twice)

Henchman Ranking
1) Red Grant (From Russia with Love)
2) Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me)
3) Oddjob (Goldfinger)
4) Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
5) Nick Nack (The Man with the Golden Gun)
6) Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd (Diamonds Are Forever)
7) Irma Bunt (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
8) Tee Hee Johnson (Live and Let Die)
9) Emile Locque (For Your Eyes Only)
10) Erich Kreigler (For Your Eyes Only)
11) Baron Samedi (Live and Let Die)
12) Professor Dent (Dr. No)
13) Chang (Moonraker)

Ally Ranking
1) Kerim Bey (From Russia with Love)
2) Milos Columbo (For Your Eyes Only)
3) Marc-Ange Draco (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
4) Felix Leiter (Dr. No)
5) Quarrel (Dr. No)
6) Lieutenant Hip (The Man with the Golden Gun)
7) Willard Whyte (Live and Let Die)
8) Tiger Tanaka (You Only Live Twice)
9) Quarrel Jr. (Live and Let Die)


Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:49 am
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Derninan wrote:

One complaint, Mr. Nation: you have so many continuous rankings after each new film is posted - where is the "Theme Song" ranking???

I thought the same thing... and am also curious about. Great reviews otherwise, though :fresh:

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Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:11 am
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Zaius Nation wrote:
For Your Eyes Only (John Glen, 1981)

Carole Bouquet is also exceptional as the hard-edged, revenge-obsessed Melina Havelock; she's a drastic, improvement from the Bond girls of the past decade.


<3

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"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:55 am
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I might rank the themes once I've finished with the films themselves. It's not something that I feel needs to be ranked alongside the film's individual components, as I don't actually need to view the films to do so.


Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:46 am
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Octopussy (John Glen, 1983)

In West Germany, a mortally wounded 009 (Andy Bradford) delivers a Fabergé egg to the British embassy; MI6 soon after discovers it to be a forgery. The real egg is currently up for auction, the fourth egg over the course of the past year. Bond's mission is to investigate the forgeries, leading him to India on the trail of Kamal Khan (Louis Jourdan), an exiled Afghan prince working in collusion jewel smuggler Octopussy (Maud Adams) with Soviet General Orlov (Steven Berkoff). Orlov, who favors an invasion of Western Europe, is locked in a power struggle with General Gogol; his plan is to smuggle in and detonate a nuclear weapon at Feldstadt Air Force Base in West Germany, manipulating Western Europe into unilateral disarmament. There's some influences drawn from Steven Spielberg's 1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark, but nothing nearing any of the Moore films of the 70s; Octopussy is another solid installment in the vein of For Your Eyes Only.

There's no getting around the detriment Moore's age is to his performance; he's just too old an actor to believably play Bond. Otherwise, it's another one of his more grounded performances. Bond masquerading as a clown, however, is a bit of a blemish. Jourdon's is capable as Kamal Khan, though by no means classic; Berkoff's Orlov, on the other hand, isn't particularly strong or memorable. The return of Maud Adams as Octopussy is a bit out of place, seeing as she portrayed Scaramanga's ill-fated mistress Andrea Anders in The Man with the Golden Gun. It's another capable performance, though less memorable then her last turn in the series. Kabir Bedi portrays Gobinda, Khan's bodyguard; he comes off as a Sikh Jaws, swapping the dentures for a turban. He's also capable, though forgettable. There's Mischka (David Meyer) and Grischka (Anthony Meyer), two knife-throwing twins in Octopussy's International Circus who take their orders from Khan; like Gobinda, they're capable if forgettable, resembling Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd from Diamonds Are Forever. Finally, there's Vijay (Vijay Amritraj), Bond's contact in India, who's comparable to Lieutenant Hip from The Man with the Golden Gun. Unlike Hip, however, he meets a particularly gruesome fate at the hands of a spin saw wielded by a group of mercenaries hired by Khan and Gobinda.

Noticeable is the replacement of Bernard Lee as M with Robert Brown, who last appeared as Admiral Hargreaves in The Spy Who Loved Me. There's better reason than the revolving door role of Felix Leiter; Lee passed away during the filming of For Your Eyes Only; M is said to be on leave and Bond receives his instructions from Defence Minister Frederick Gray (Geoffrey Keen) MI6 Chief of Staff Bill Tanner (James Villers). It's probable that Hargreaves was promoted to the role of M following the departure of his predecessor in-universe. He's sterner and comes across as a condescending; he's no Bernard Lee, but that's how government agencies work. It comes across as a changing of the guard at MI6. Moneypenny now has an assistant, Penelope Smallbone (Michaela Clavell), who sports a workstation with a desktop computer. The plot, set against the backdrop of the warming Cold War, is more pointed and overt then in For Your Eyes Only with the he divisions inside the Soviet leadership and the growing Europe Nuclear Disarmament movement placing Octopussy as a film trapped in transition; it's no longer trapped in the long malaise of many of its predecessors, but it's not a clean break like Live and Let Die was. Moore as Bond is a big factor in this.

Overall, Octopussy is another solid film in the vein the return to form of For Your Eyes Only. It plays out as more of an adventure than many of its predecessors, taking clear inspiration form Raiders of the Lost Ark, though not enough to make it another plug-in as Moore's first four outings as Bond were; there's actually a stronger case to be made for 1984's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom drawing from Octopussy. It's trapped in transition, largely due to Moore; it also suffers from many of the same issues as Thunderball, being less memorable than other films in the series despite being significantly better. Still, it's one of Moore's strongest films, and effectively carries the foundational torch of its immediate predecessor, For Your Eyes Only.

Film Ranking
1) On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
2) From Russia with Love (1963)
3) For Your Eyes Only (1981)
4) The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
5) Goldfinger (1964)
6) Dr. No (1962)
7) Thunderball (1965)
8) Octopussy (1983)
9) The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
10) Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
11) Live and Let Die (1973)
12) You Only Live Twice (1967)
13) Moonraker (1979)

Villain Ranking
1) Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia with Love)
2) Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
3) Rosa Klebb (From Russia with Love)
4) Francisco Scaramanga (The Man with the Golden Gun)
5) Karl Stromberg (The Spy Who Loved Me)
6) Aris Kristatos (For Your Eyes Only)
7) Dr. Julius No (Dr. No)
8) Emilio Largo (Thunderball)
9) Kamal Khan (Octopussy)
10) Dr. Kananga (Live and Let Die)
11) General Orlov (Octopussy)
12) Hugo Drax (Moonraker)

Bond Girl Ranking
1) Tracy di Vincenzo (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
2) Honey Rider (Dr. No)
3) Tatiana Romanova (From Russia with Love)
4) Pussy Galore (Goldfinger)
5) Anya Amasova (The Spy Who Loved Me)
6) Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only)
7) Sylvia Trench (Dr. No)
8) Domino Derval (Thunderball)
9) Octopussy (Octopussy)
10) Solitaire (Live and Let Die)
11) Holly Goodhead (Moonraker)
12) Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun)
13) Tiffany Case (Diamonds Are Forever)
14) Kissy Suzuki (You Only Live Twice)

Henchman Ranking
1) Red Grant (From Russia with Love)
2) Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me)
3) Oddjob (Goldfinger)
4) Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
5) Nick Nack (The Man with the Golden Gun)
6) Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd (Diamonds Are Forever)
7) Irma Bunt (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
8) Tee Hee Johnson (Live and Let Die)
9) Gobinda (Octopussy)
10) Mischka & Grischska (Octopussy)
11) Emile Locque (For Your Eyes Only)
12) Erich Kreigler (For Your Eyes Only)
13) Baron Samedi (Live and Let Die)
14) Professor Dent (Dr. No)
15) Chang (Moonraker)

Ally Ranking
1) Kerim Bey (From Russia with Love)
2) Milos Columbo (For Your Eyes Only)
3) Marc-Ange Draco (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
4) Felix Leiter (Dr. No)
5) Quarrel (Dr. No)
6) Lieutenant Hip (The Man with the Golden Gun)
7) Vijay (Octopussy)
8) Willard Whyte (Live and Let Die)
9) Tiger Tanaka (You Only Live Twice)
10) Quarrel Jr. (Live and Let Die)


Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:29 am
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Zaius Nation wrote:
I might rank the themes once I've finished with the films themselves. It's not something that I feel needs to be ranked alongside the film's individual components, as I don't actually need to view the films to do so.

That makes sense. You're doing a great job regardless... the only reason I said anything is because the songs are so ingrained in the series. Looking forward to the rest!

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Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:52 am
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Interesting that they used "You Only Live Twice" as the music over the closing montage during the S5 finale for Mad Men.

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Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:52 am
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dreiser wrote:
Interesting that they used "You Only Live Twice" as the music over the closing montage during the S5 finale for Mad Men.

Appropriate, I felt. And awesome. What a montage!


Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:53 pm
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Derninan wrote:
Appropriate, I felt. And awesome. What a montage!


Double lives.

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"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:01 pm
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dreiser wrote:

Double lives.

Indeed. Not just the Whitman/Draper point, but Draper himself; the Draper we've come to know over the first four seasons versus the Draper of season five, and the hint that he may revert back to his former self. What a show.


Got a text from pwiedenheft this morning that said the blu for S5 "looks SOOOOO sexy." I can't wait to pick it up.


Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:04 pm
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Derninan wrote:
Indeed. Not just the Whitman/Draper point, but Draper himself; the Draper we've come to know over the first four seasons versus the Draper of season five, and the hint that he may revert back to his former self. What a show.


Got a text from pwiedenheft this morning that said the blu for S5 "looks SOOOOO sexy." I can't wait to pick it up.


:up:

_________________
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:11 pm
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A View to a Kill (John Glen, 1985)

MI6 recovers a microchip invulnerable to electromagnetic pulse from a Soviet facility in Siberia; analysis reveals the microchip to be identical to those designed by a British defense contractor recently acquired by Zorin Industries. MI6, concluding espionage by the KGB, assigns Bond to investigate the company's owner, Max Zorin (Christopher Walken). Bond subsequently uncovers a plot by Zorin, a former KGB agent gone rogue, to detonate enough explosions along the Hayward and San Andreas faults to cause a major earthquake, destroying Silicon Valley and giving him a monopoly over the market. A View to a Kill follows Octopussy's lead in introducing computer technology into the series; it seems to have followed Moonraker's lead, however, in terms of quality, as A View to a Kill is another terrible entry that casts into doubt the relevance of the series against its contemporaries.

Roger Moore looks awful, especially against the backdrop of 80s California; Moore's Bond clad in tight pants and a leather jacket is easily his most awkward since his trip to Harlem in Live and Let Die. He looks older than M, Q, and Defence Minister Gray, all his superiors; the scenes where Bond is with a woman are particularly unbelievable. Stacey Sutton (Tanya Roberts), the film's Bond girl, is even worse; she's inept, horribly acted, and completely unbelievable as a geologist employed by the state of California. She's without a doubt the worst Bond girl in the series, undercutting even Kissy Suzuki from You Only Live Twice. May Day (Grace Jones), Zorin's bodyguard and lover who Bond also unbelievably beds, fares better, but doesn't leave much of an impression. Zorin, on the other hand, does; he's easily in the upper echelons of Bond villains. Christopher Walken excellently portrays Zorin as a self-absorbed sociopath, defiant to the KGB that trained and funded him yet loyal to the man who facilitated his birth as part of a Nazi experiment to create abnormally intelligent children Dr. Carl Mortner (Willoughby Gray). It's a shame such an excellent villain is undercut by how terrible the film is. Patrick Macnee rounds out the cast as MI6 agent Sir Godfrey Tibbett; he's surprisingly fairly memorable, despite meeting a similar fate to his predecessor Vijay from Octopussy.

Whereas Octopussy showcased the series trapped in transition, A View to a Kill showcases society trapped in transition. The first half of the film plays out against the backdrop of European high society, being set at locales such as the Ascot Racehorse in Berkshire, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and Zorin's estate in Chantilly, France. Like the auction and even the Fabergé egg itself in Octopussy, it comes off as remnants of an archaic and irrelevant aristocracy. The second half of the film is set against the backdrop of the booming economy of Silicon Valley; Zorin invests more in his plan to monopolize the microchip market then he does fixing horse races in Europe. When General Gogol chastises Zorin for attempting to eliminate Bond without KGB approval and warns him that "Reprisals might jeopardize ongoing operations," Zorin angrily retorts "You jeopardize mine!," abruptly resigns from the KGB, and holds Gogol's men at gunpoint. It's emblematic of the growing corporate power during the Reagan Era; later on, when Stacey goes to her superior at San Francisco City Hall, W.G. Howe (Daniel Benzali), with evidence of Zorin's plan to destroy Silicon Valley, he abruptly fires her. Later, Zorin literally orders Howe around in his own office; he then murders the incredulous Howe.

The CIA is still operating on American soil; there have been two CIA agents that have assisted Bond since the last appearance of Felix Leiter in Live and Let Die, leading one to wonder about his absence. While active KGB agents on American soil perfectly believable, the fact that General Gogol is in San Francisco actively engaged in an operation as a getaway driver and that CIA Agent Chuck Lee (David Yip) is unaware of his presence is not. Disregarding plot holes like these doesn't make A View to a Kill a better film; it's a terrible entry that has much of the same effect as Moonraker, though it somehow manages to avoid such a depth. Not even Christopher Walken's portrayal of Max Zorin, a true classic Bond villain, can make up for the remainder of the lackluster film; A View to a Kill is one of the series' weakest, and makes a similar case to Bond's irrelevancy in the 80s as Moonraker did in the 70s.

Film Ranking
1) On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
2) From Russia with Love (1963)
3) For Your Eyes Only (1981)
4) The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
5) Goldfinger (1964)
6) Dr. No (1962)
7) Thunderball (1965)
8) Octopussy (1983)
9) The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
10) Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
11) Live and Let Die (1973)
12) You Only Live Twice (1967)
13) A View to a Kill (1985)
14) Moonraker (1979)

Villain Ranking
1) Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia with Love)
2) Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
3) Rosa Klebb (From Russia with Love)
4) Francisco Scaramanga (The Man with the Golden Gun)
5) Karl Stromberg (The Spy Who Loved Me)
6) Max Zorin (A View to a Kill)
7) Aris Kristatos (For Your Eyes Only)
8) Dr. Julius No (Dr. No)
9) Emilio Largo (Thunderball)
10) Kamal Khan (Octopussy)
11) Dr. Kananga (Live and Let Die)
12) General Orlov (Octopussy)
13) Hugo Drax (Moonraker)

Bond Girl Ranking
1) Tracy di Vincenzo (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
2) Honey Rider (Dr. No)
3) Tatiana Romanova (From Russia with Love)
4) Pussy Galore (Goldfinger)
5) Anya Amasova (The Spy Who Loved Me)
6) Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only)
7) Sylvia Trench (Dr. No)
8) Domino Derval (Thunderball)
9) Octopussy (Octopussy)
10) Solitaire (Live and Let Die)
11) Holly Goodhead (Moonraker)
12) Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun)
13) Tiffany Case (Diamonds Are Forever)
14) Kissy Suzuki (You Only Live Twice)
15) Stacey Sutton (A View to a Kill)

Henchman Ranking
1) Red Grant (From Russia with Love)
2) Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me)
3) Oddjob (Goldfinger)
4) Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
5) Nick Nack (The Man with the Golden Gun)
6) Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd (Diamonds Are Forever)
7) Irma Bunt (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
8) Tee Hee Johnson (Live and Let Die)
9) Gobinda (Octopussy)
10) May Day (A View to a Kill)
11) Mischka & Grischska (Octopussy)
12) Emile Locque (For Your Eyes Only)
13) Erich Kreigler (For Your Eyes Only)
14) Baron Samedi (Live and Let Die)
15) Professor Dent (Dr. No)
16) Chang (Moonraker)

Ally Ranking
1) Kerim Bey (From Russia with Love)
2) Milos Columbo (For Your Eyes Only)
3) Marc-Ange Draco (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
4) Felix Leiter (Dr. No)
5) Quarrel (Dr. No)
6) Lieutenant Hip (The Man with the Golden Gun)
7) Sir Godfrey Tibbett (A View to a Kill)
8) Vijay (Octopussy)
9) Willard Whyte (Live and Let Die)
10) Tiger Tanaka (You Only Live Twice)
11) Quarrel Jr. (Live and Let Die)


Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:50 am
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Zaius Nation wrote:
Two characters that do leave an impression, however, are Mr. Wint (Bruce Glover) and Mr. Kidd (Putter Smith), two Blofeld assassins that eliminate each link in the smuggling chain as the final shipment of diamonds is brought to the underground laboratories of WW Tectronics outside Las Vegas. The two make campy quips after every successful (and in Bond's case, attempted) assassination, and steal every scene they appear in.

Speaking of who, have all the people talking about how Bardem supposedly seems to be the first gay Bond baddie never seen Diamonds?

Btw Zaius, not gonna review Never Say Never Again?

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Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:12 pm
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Post Re: Bondathon 2012

Not EON and it's a remake of Thunderball, so no.


Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:02 am
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The Living Daylights (John Glen, 1987)

After over a decade playing James Bond, Roger Moore decided to retire from the franchise following A View to a Kill. Taking over for Moore is Timothy Dalton, who had originally turned down an offer to star in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Dalton had considered himself too young; two decades later, Dalton brings a renewed vigor to a role that had twice looked to have become irrelevant against its contemporaries. The Living Daylights does for a post-A View to the Kill Bond what For Your Eyes Only had done for a post-Moonraker one. The Living Daylights is one of the freshest films in years, and one of the overall best in the series.

In Czechoslovakia, Bond assists in the defection of KGB General Georgi Koskov (Jeroen Krabbé). Koskov explains during his MI6 debriefing his reasons for defecting: newly promoted Chairman of the KGB, General Leonid Pushkin (John Rhys-Davies), has revived Smert Spionam, the Soviet counterintelligence agency formerly headed by Rosa Klebb, and Koskov fears nuclear escalation when the KGB begins to assassinate CIA and MI6 agents. Shortly after his debriefing, Koskov is kidnapped from an MI6 safe house by Necros (Andreas Wisniewski), whom MI6 believe to be KGB; having found a Smert Spionam calling card on the body of 004 (Frederick Warder) in Gibraltar, M assigns Bond to assassinate Pushkin during the general's visit to Tangiers. Bond, having previously crossed paths with Pushkin before, is unconvinced of the plot; he returns to Czechoslovakia to interrogate Kara Milovy (Maryam d'Abo), the KGB sniper whom Bond had prevented from assassinating Pushkin during his defection. Bond discovers that Milovy is not a KGB agent but Koskov's girlfriend and that Koskov had staged his defection with the help of arms dealer Brad Whitaker (Joe Don Baker) as part of a plot to manipulate MI6 into assassinating Pushkin, keeping the arms agreements made between the KGB under Koskov and Whitaker and using the Soviet down payment to purchase opium from the Snow Leopard Brotherhood, the largest dealer in the Golden Crescent, and turn a massive profit.

Timothy Dalton is excellent as Bond, portraying him as a man forged into a weapon by MI6. This brutal professionalism has left Bond weary; Dalton's Bond is shown to be weary of his employer's directives, beginning his own investigation when doubting the authenticity of Pushkin's resurrection of Smert Spionam. He's resentful, even; when Saunders (Thomas Wheatley), the agent who arranged Pushkin's defection in Czechoslovakia, tells Bond he intends to report to M that Bond deliberately disobeyed his orders to terminate Milovy, Bond angrily retorts "Stuff my orders! I only kill professionals. The girl didn't know one end of the rifle from the other. Tell him what you want. If he fires me, I'll thank him for it." Dalton is much more believable defying M than Moore, Lazenby and even Connery was; it's the strongest portrayal of Bond since From Russia with Love. The remainder of the cast, however, is a bit mixed; Koskov isn't a particularly strong or memorable villain, and Whitaker is weaker than any villain since Moonraker's Hugo Drax. Milovy is also forgettable; she plays her role in the story capably, but doesn't particularly stand out. She's a significant improvement than Stacey Sutton from A View to a Kill, though. Necros is another throwback to From Russia with Love's Red Grant, switching out Grant's wristwatch garrote for a pair of Walkman headphones; he's more memorable than Erich Kriegler from For Your Eyes Only, but less than many of his predecessors.

Felix Leiter finally returns after a decade-long absence; he's now portrayed by John Terry. What he's been up to since Live and Let Die is a mystery. Terry is probably one of the stronger actors to portray Leiter, though like much of the rest of the cast, he's fairly forgettable. Bond's ally in Afghanistan, Mujahideen Deputy Commander Kamran Shah (Art Malik), on the other hand, is an excellent addition. His presence, as well as much of the sequence in Afghanistan, however, borders on crass. While the Shah's support of the Snow Leopard Brotherhood's opium sale somewhat attempts to portray the group as perhaps engaging in some nefarious practices, overall the Mujahideen are portrayed as heroic; in reality, they were anything but. The Living Daylights is also the first time that Bond has actively been directly pitted against the Soviets, save for the opening sequence of The Spy who Loved Me; it's the hottest entry in a series set against the backdrop of the Cold War. Coupled with Bond's alliance with the Mujahideen, it showcases how dominant the Reagan Doctrine had become in the decade after the détente-focused The Spy Who Loved Me, just as A View to a Kill had showcased how dominant Reagan's business-centered domestic policy had become. A final casting note is the replacement of Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny with Caroline Bliss; while Maxwell was roughly the same age as Moore, her screen presence never diminished like his. Bliss' Moneypenny has less chemistry with Bond and is generally weaker than her Maxwell's portrayal.

Whereas Octopussy began a transition for the series that was held back by the abysmal A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights is the series fully transitioned. Dalton absolutely dominates the film, and his portrayal of Bond is a welcome addition after the malaise of the Moore films. Despite Dalton being surrounded by a fairly forgettable cast and a complex plot that skirts convolution, The Living Daylights is another return to form for the franchise. For the first time in almost two decades, Bond is relevant again. The Living Daylights the freshest film since On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and overall one of the best in the series.

Film Ranking
1) On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
2) From Russia with Love (1963)
3) For Your Eyes Only (1981)
4) The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
5) The Living Daylights (1987)
6) Goldfinger (1964)
7) Dr. No (1962)
8) Thunderball (1965)
9) Octopussy (1983)
10) The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
11) Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
12) Live and Let Die (1973)
13) You Only Live Twice (1967)
14) A View to a Kill (1985)
15) Moonraker (1979)

Villain Ranking
1) Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia with Love)
2) Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
3) Rosa Klebb (From Russia with Love)
4) Francisco Scaramanga (The Man with the Golden Gun)
5) Karl Stromberg (The Spy Who Loved Me)
6) Max Zorin (A View to a Kill)
7) Aris Kristatos (For Your Eyes Only)
8) Dr. Julius No (Dr. No)
9) Emilio Largo (Thunderball)
10) Kamal Khan (Octopussy)
11) Dr. Kananga (Live and Let Die)
12) Georgi Koskov (The Living Daylights)
13 General Orlov (Octopussy)
14) Brad Whitaker (The Living Daylights)
15) Hugo Drax (Moonraker)

Bond Girl Ranking
1) Tracy di Vincenzo (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
2) Honey Rider (Dr. No)
3) Tatiana Romanova (From Russia with Love)
4) Pussy Galore (Goldfinger)
5) Anya Amasova (The Spy Who Loved Me)
6) Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only)
7) Sylvia Trench (Dr. No)
8) Domino Derval (Thunderball)
9) Octopussy (Octopussy)
10) Kara Milovy (The Living Daylights)
10) Solitaire (Live and Let Die)
11) Holly Goodhead (Moonraker)
12) Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun)
13) Tiffany Case (Diamonds Are Forever)
14) Kissy Suzuki (You Only Live Twice)
15) Stacey Sutton (A View to a Kill)

Henchman Ranking
1) Red Grant (From Russia with Love)
2) Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me)
3) Oddjob (Goldfinger)
4) Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
5) Nick Nack (The Man with the Golden Gun)
6) Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd (Diamonds Are Forever)
7) Irma Bunt (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
8) Tee Hee Johnson (Live and Let Die)
9) Gobinda (Octopussy)
10) May Day (A View to a Kill)
11) Necros (The Living Daylights)
12) Mischka & Grischska (Octopussy)
13) Erich Kreigler (For Your Eyes Only)
14) Baron Samedi (Live and Let Die)
15) Professor Dent (Dr. No)
16) Chang (Moonraker)

Ally Ranking
1) Kerim Bey (From Russia with Love)
2) Milos Columbo (For Your Eyes Only)
3) Marc-Ange Draco (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
4) Felix Leiter (Dr. No)
5) Quarrel (Dr. No)
6) Kamran Shah (The Living Daylights)
7) Lieutenant Hip (The Man with the Golden Gun)
8) Sir Godfrey Tibbett (A View to a Kill)
9) Vijay (Octopussy)
10) Willard Whyte (Live and Let Die)
11) Tiger Tanaka (You Only Live Twice)
12) Quarrel Jr. (Live and Let Die)


Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:56 am
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Post Re: Bondathon 2012

<3 TLD.

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Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:28 pm
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Licence to Kill (John Glen, 1989)

Bond is in Key West for the wedding of now-DEA agent Felix Leiter (David Hedison); just prior to the wedding, the two successfully capture Latin American drug lord Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi) in the Bahamas. Sanchez quickly escapes, and exacts retribution by having Leiter maimed and having his wife Della (Priscilla Barnes) murdered; Bond swears revenge. M intercepts Bond, chastising him for ignoring his assignment in favor or pursuing Sanchez and ordering him to leave the country; Bond angrily resigns from MI6 and pursues Sanchez to the Republic of Isthmus. Licence to Kill is another film dominated by Dalton's portrayal of Bond; the elements of professional bitterness hinted at in The Living Daylights take center stage, with Bond cutting ties with MI6 instead of letting it encroach upon his personal goals. Unfortunately, it's never manages to excel the way immediate predecessor did and is one of the weaker films in the series.

Despite one of the strongest performances in the series in The Living Daylights, Dalton comes across as significantly stiffer in Licence to Kill; the pronounced widow's peak he sports for the quarter of the film where his hair is slicked back undercuts the youthful image that was so essential to his performance in the previous film. He never looks as out of place as Sean Connery in Diamonds Are Forever or Roger Moore did in all of his films, but he still has an awkward screen presence. Davi is decent if fairly unremarkable as Sanchez; his diamond-collared iguana is a clear throwback to Blofeld's diamond-collared Turkish Angora. Carey Lowell is Pam Bouvier, a former U.S. Army pilot and one of Leiter's informants in Latin America; she's another in a long line of capable yet unmemorable Bond girls. Benecio del Toro portrays the switchblade-happy Dario, one of Sanchez's enforcers and a former Nicaraguan Contra; he must have been too liberal for them, because rapists and murderers dominated the Contras. He doesn't spend much time on screen, and is never given the opportunity to shine; the character has a fair amount of untapped potential. Leiter is once again portrayed by David Hedison, almost two decades after Live and Let Die; it's refreshing to see him return to a role that basically operated as a revolving door, especially as he was one of the stronger actors to portray Leiter. He's not on-screen for a lengthy amount of time, however. The cast is rounded out by Sharkey (Frank McRae), a friend of Bond and Leiter who joins the former's vendetta before losing his life to one of Sanchez-associates Milton Krest's (Anthony Zerbe) henchmen; he's perhaps the weakest of all Bond's allies.

Licence to Kill is another entry dominated by the Reagan Era; this time the backdrop is the War on Drugs. Like a number of Reagan Era policies, the War on Drugs during the 80s was an incredibly muddled mess. The CIA had been complicit in the Contras' drug trafficking; Bouvier was probably involved as well. Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, who Sanchez draws inspiration from, had even been protected from DEA indictment by then-Director of Central Intelligence George H.W. Bush; by the time Licence to Kill was released, Bush was President of the United States. Dalton's Bond in particular is an anti-drug zealot, cutting open packages of Krest's cocaine underwater and destroying Sanchez's tankers full of cocaine-gasoline mixture. In The Living Daylights, Bond destroyed Koskov's entire shipment of Snow Leopard Brotherhood opium, to which an incredulous Whitaker responded "You burned up a half a billion bucks?" Dalton's Bond really buys into "Just Say No," doing his part to destroy all the drugs he finds; he comes off as puritanical.

Overall, Licence to Kill is one of the weakest entries in the series, though it manages to avoid the abysmal depths of You Only Live Twice, A View to a Kill, and Moonraker. It's the starkest drop in quality following an actor's freshman outing as Bond in the series. Dalton's performance, which carried The Living Daylights, is a double-edged sword in this film. Licence to Kill builds upon his hard edge and the resentment he harbors towards his employers, but he frequently comes across as awkward and stiff. His resignation doesn't seem to have any consequences either; at the end of the film, it's clear M plans to rehire him regardless, despite telling Bond "We're not a country club, 007!" Still, it's not as horrendous as some of its predecessors, which might as well be an accomplishment in itself.

Film Ranking
1) On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
2) From Russia with Love (1963)
3) For Your Eyes Only (1981)
4) The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
5) The Living Daylights (1987)
6) Goldfinger (1964)
7) Dr. No (1962)
8) Thunderball (1965)
9) Octopussy (1983)
10) The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
11) Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
12) Live and Let Die (1973)
13) Licence to Kill (1989)
14) You Only Live Twice (1967)
15) A View to a Kill (1985)
16) Moonraker (1979)

Villain Ranking
1) Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia with Love)
2) Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
3) Rosa Klebb (From Russia with Love)
4) Francisco Scaramanga (The Man with the Golden Gun)
5) Karl Stromberg (The Spy Who Loved Me)
6) Max Zorin (A View to a Kill)
7) Aris Kristatos (For Your Eyes Only)
8) Dr. Julius No (Dr. No)
9) Emilio Largo (Thunderball)
10) Kamal Khan (Octopussy)
11) Dr. Kananga (Live and Let Die)
12) Franz Sanchez (Licence to Kill)
13) General Georgi Koskov (The Living Daylights)
14) General Orlov (Octopussy)
15) Brad Whitaker (The Living Daylights)
16) Hugo Drax (Moonraker)

Bond Girl Ranking
1) Tracy di Vincenzo (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
2) Honey Rider (Dr. No)
3) Tatiana Romanova (From Russia with Love)
4) Pussy Galore (Goldfinger)
5) Anya Amasova (The Spy Who Loved Me)
6) Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only)
7) Sylvia Trench (Dr. No)
8) Domino Derval (Thunderball)
9) Octopussy (Octopussy)
10) Kara Milovy (The Living Daylights)
11) Solitaire (Live and Let Die)
12) Holly Goodhead (Moonraker)
13) Pam Bouvier (Licence to Kill)
14) Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun)
15) Tiffany Case (Diamonds Are Forever)
16) Kissy Suzuki (You Only Live Twice)
17) Stacey Sutton (A View to a Kill)

Henchman Ranking
1) Red Grant (From Russia with Love)
2) Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me)
3) Oddjob (Goldfinger)
4) Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
5) Nick Nack (The Man with the Golden Gun)
6) Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd (Diamonds Are Forever)
7) Irma Bunt (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
8) Tee Hee Johnson (Live and Let Die)
9) Gobinda (Octopussy)
10) May Day (A View to a Kill)
11) Necros (The Living Daylights)
12) Mischka & Grischska (Octopussy)
13) Dario (Licence to Kill)
14) Erich Kreigler (For Your Eyes Only)
15) Baron Samedi (Live and Let Die)
16) Professor Dent (Dr. No)
17) Chang (Moonraker)

Ally Ranking
1) Kerim Bey (From Russia with Love)
2) Milos Columbo (For Your Eyes Only)
3) Marc-Ange Draco (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
4) Felix Leiter (Dr. No)
5) Quarrel (Dr. No)
6) Kamran Shah (The Living Daylights)
7) Lieutenant Hip (The Man with the Golden Gun)
8) Sir Godfrey Tibbett (A View to a Kill)
9) Vijay (Octopussy)
10) Willard Whyte (Live and Let Die)
11) Tiger Tanaka (You Only Live Twice)
12) Quarrel Jr. (Live and Let Die)
13) Sharkey (Licence to Kill)


Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:30 am
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Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:12 am
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GoldenEye (Martin Campbell, 1995)

On December 25th, 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved following years of political and economic stability. Following the release of Licence to Kill in 1989, series distributor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists was sold to Pathé Communications holding company; Danjaq, LLC, the owner of the Bond film series' trademarks and copyrights, sued MGM for licensing the films to Pathé without Danjaq approval. In April 1994, after years lawsuit-induced production delays, Timothy Dalton resigned the role of James Bond. Pierce Brosnan, who had been originally approached to take over for Roger Moore following A View to a Kill, was tapped as the fourth actor to portray James Bond; GoldenEye, released half-a-decade after the end of the Cold War and half-a-dozen years after Licence to Kill, deftly takes advantage of the circumstances surrounding its release and is not only the strongest film since For Your Eyes Only, but the most relevant film in over two decades.

MI6 intercepts a distress signal from a supposedly-abandoned radar station in Severnaya, Russia, which MI6 had once suspected was the ground station for a covert spaced-based weapons system codenamed GoldenEye; satellite surveillance discovers a electromagnetic pulse-immune Eurocoper Tiger helicopter, previously stolen by agents of the St. Petersburg-based Janus Crime Syndicate in Monte Carlo, leaving the station. Moments later, MI6's satellite is knocked offline; when surveillance resumes, the Severanaya installation lies in ruins. Concluding the GoldenEye to be an orbital electromagnetic pulse weapon stolen by Janus agents, Bond is sent to Russia to identify the Janus saboteurs and recover the GoldenEye access codes. Bond discovers that Janus is Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean), a former MI6 agent presumed killed during a joint mission nine years earlier; Trevelyan plans to fire the GoldenEye on London from a second GoldenEye ground station in Cuba, destroying Britain's economy in retaliation for the 1945 British repatriation of the Lienz Cossacks, who had sought to join forces with the British against the Soviets following the defeat of their Nazi allies; Trevelyan, a Cossack, was orphaned when his father murdered his mother and committed suicide after the two survived Stalin's execution squads.

Pierce Brosnan is the best Bond since Connery, replicating his predecessor's flawless balance between charm and physical presence. He's at home on the screen and more importantly every move he makes is natural and believable, be it physical or more-charisma based. When Bond easily seduces Caroline (Serena Gordon), a psychologist sent to evaluate him by the new M (Judi Dench), Brosnan's charm makes it completely believable; it's a far cry from Roger Moore's pheromone-induced seductions. Opposite Brosnan is Sean Bean's 006; he's easily the best villain since The Man with the Golden Gun's Francisco Scaramanga. Trevelyan is as warped image of 007, perhaps what Bond might have become if he continued down the path of the Timothy Dalton films. He's consumed by hatred and even envy; when he forces himself upon Natalya, he becomes more violent as she resists, a stark comparison to the ease of Bond's seductions. The chemistry between the two is stronger than the majority of other relationships in the series. Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen), Trevelyan's henchwoman, is excellent as well; she's a throwback to Fiona Volpe from Thunderball. The scene of her and Bond meeting at the baccarat table in Monte Carlo is another throwback, this time to Bond and Sylvia Trench's initial encounter in Dr. No; this time, however, Bond loses her to Canadian Admiral (Billy J. Mitchell), who she subsequently murders during sex. The film's Bond girl, Severnaya survivor Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scorupco), is a weaker addition, though her occupation of computer programmer adds to the film's digital lean; CIA agent Jack Wade (Joe Don Baker), is weaker still, and a bit out of place seeing as Baker had portrayed arms dealer Brad Whitaker only two films ago in The Living Daylights; still the two are memorable characters if lesser additions compared to the rest of the cast.

Judi Dench's M is a significant improvement over Robert Brown's portrayal; it's established she's his successor, not a convenient recast. She's shown as easing into the role, as Bond dominates the MI6 briefing on the Severnaya incident; Bond agrees with her assessment that he thinks she's "an accountant; a bean counter more interested in my numbers than your instincts." She quickly rebukes him, however, calling him "a sexist, misogynist dinosaur. A relic of the Cold War, whose boyish charms, wasted on me, obviously appeal to that young woman I sent out to evaluate you" It's one of the most important lines of the film; since the end the series' first decade, the series had become borderline irrelevant; the dissolution of the Soviet Union threatened it even further. By setting the film's narrative against the backdrop of the end of the Cold War, it succeeded exactly where it needed to; by giving the role of M to a woman, it directly addressed the issues the early entries in the series had with overt sexism. When informing Bond that the man who supposedly killed Trevelyan, Arkady Grigorovich Ourumov (Gottfried John), is now head of the Russian Space Division, she warns Bond against "running off on some kind of vendetta. Avenging Alec Trevelyan will not bring him back.," referencing Bond's vendetta-fueled resignation from Licence to Kill. Samantha Bond, who now portrays Moneypenny, is a significant improvement over her predecessor, Caroline Bliss; the chemistry between Bond and Moneypenny is the strongest since the early Connery films. She also addresses the role of sexism in the earlier films, responding to one of Bond's tension-laden quips with "You know, this sort of behavior could qualify as sexual harassment." Even the film's title sequence addresses these, juxtaposing images of the destruction of Soviet symbols with lyrics about a woman dominating Bond.

GoldenEye succeeds where it could have easily failed in modernizing a series defined by the Cold War. By working the dissolution of the Soviet Union into the film's plot, setting the narrative in Russia and Cuba, and giving Trevelyan weapon for the Internet age. It's the first digital entry, and the starkest beginning for a new era in the series. Brosnan is the best Bond since Connery, and Alec Trevelyan is one of the film's most memorable villains. It's not only the strongest film since For Your Eyes Only, but it's the most relevant entry since the 1960s. GoldenEye is one of the required films for anyone unfamiliar with the series; it's the most essential entry since From Russia with Love.

Film Ranking
1) On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
2) From Russia with Love (1963)
3) For Your Eyes Only (1981)
4) GoldenEye (1995)
5) The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
6) The Living Daylights (1987)
7) Goldfinger (1964)
8) Dr. No (1962)
9) Thunderball (1965)
10) Octopussy (1983)
11) The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
12) Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
13) Live and Let Die (1973)
14) Licence to Kill (1989)
15) You Only Live Twice (1967)
16) A View to a Kill (1985)
17) Moonraker (1979)

Villain Ranking
1) Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia with Love)
2) Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
3) Rosa Klebb (From Russia with Love)
4) Francisco Scaramanga (The Man with the Golden Gun)
5) Alec Trevelyan (GoldenEye)
6) Karl Stromberg (The Spy Who Loved Me)
7) Max Zorin (A View to a Kill)
8) Aris Kristatos (For Your Eyes Only)
9) Dr. Julius No (Dr. No)
10) Emilio Largo (Thunderball)
11) Kamal Khan (Octopussy)
12) Dr. Kananga (Live and Let Die)
13) Franz Sanchez (Licence to Kill)
14) General Georgi Koskov (The Living Daylights)
15) General Orlov (Octopussy)
16) Brad Whitaker (The Living Daylights)
17) Hugo Drax (Moonraker)

Bond Girl Ranking
1) Tracy di Vincenzo (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
2) Honey Rider (Dr. No)
3) Tatiana Romanova (From Russia with Love)
4) Pussy Galore (Goldfinger)
5) Anya Amasova (The Spy Who Loved Me)
6) Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only)
7) Sylvia Trench (Dr. No)
8) Natalya Simonova (GoldenEye)
9) Domino Derval (Thunderball)
10) Octopussy (Octopussy)
11) Kara Milovy (The Living Daylights)
12) Solitaire (Live and Let Die)
13) Holly Goodhead (Moonraker)
14) Pam Bouvier (Licence to Kill)
15) Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun)
16) Tiffany Case (Diamonds Are Forever)
17) Kissy Suzuki (You Only Live Twice)
18) Stacey Sutton (A View to a Kill)

Henchman Ranking
1) Red Grant (From Russia with Love)
2) Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me)
3) Oddjob (Goldfinger)
4) Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
5) Xenia Onatopp (GoldenEye)
6) Nick Nack (The Man with the Golden Gun)
7) Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd (Diamonds Are Forever)
8) Irma Bunt (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
9) Tee Hee Johnson (Live and Let Die)
10) Gobinda (Octopussy)
11) May Day (A View to a Kill)
12) Necros (The Living Daylights)
13) Mischka & Grischska (Octopussy)
14) Dario (Licence to Kill)
15) Erich Kreigler (For Your Eyes Only)
16) Baron Samedi (Live and Let Die)
17) Professor Dent (Dr. No)
18) Chang (Moonraker)

Ally Ranking
1) Kerim Bey (From Russia with Love)
2) Milos Columbo (For Your Eyes Only)
3) Marc-Ange Draco (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
4) Felix Leiter (Dr. No)
5) Quarrel (Dr. No)
6) Kamran Shah (The Living Daylights)
7) Jack Wade (GoldenEye)
8) Lieutenant Hip (The Man with the Golden Gun)
9) Sir Godfrey Tibbett (A View to a Kill)
10) Vijay (Octopussy)
11) Willard Whyte (Live and Let Die)
12) Tiger Tanaka (You Only Live Twice)
13) Quarrel Jr. (Live and Let Die)
14) Sharkey (Licence to Kill)


Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:16 am
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Nicely done. GoldenEye is my favorite in the entire series hands down. Xenia and Alec make a wonderfully psychotic two-headed villain. Best Bond opening sequence with the dam jump and the CGI free fall off a motorcycle into the plane cockpit. And the surprise revenge plot involving a former MI6 agent is excellent. Brosnan slides into the 007 role seamlessly like a tailored suit. Also, one of the best theme songs performed by Tina Turner, written by Bono and The Edge.

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Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:47 pm
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Tomorrow Never Dies (Roger Spottiswoode, 1997)

The British frigate HMS Devonshire has been sunk in the South China Sea, presumably by the Chinese; the Devonshire's global positioning systems showed it to be in international waters, despite Chinese claims it was only miles off their coast. When the newspaper Tomorrow reports that Vietnamese officials had found the bodies of the Devonshire crew riddled with ammunition used by the People's Liberation Army Air Force, the British begin to mobilize the Royal Navy to recover the Devonshire. During the initial crisis, MI6 had detected a mysteriously signal on the global positioning frequency being broadcast from a satellite belonging to the Carver Media Group Network, the owners of Tomorrow; Bond is given 48 hours to investigate the head of the group, Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce), taking him from Hamburg to Saigon. Bond, working with Chinese agent Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh), discovers a plot by Carver and Chinese General Chang (Philip Kwok) to manipulate Britain and China into conflict at the wreck of the Devonshire. During the skirmish, Chang will call an emergency meeting of the Chinese leadership and Carver, using a stealth boat constructed from materials supplied by Chang, will launch a cruise missile into Beijing, leaving him next in succession; in return, Carver will secure exclusive broadcasting rights in China for decades. Tomorrow Never Dies is more or less an update of The Spy Who Loved Me, with Stromberg replaced by Carver and the Soviet Union traded for China; it's a significantly weaker film than The Spy Who Loved Me, as well as of its immediate predecessor, GoldenEye.

Brosnan turns in a significantly weaker portrayal in Tomorrow Never Dies; he lacks the sharpness that dominated GoldenEye. It's not quite the drop in quality of Dalton's Bond from The Living Daylights to Licence to Kill, but it's noticeable nonetheless. Opposite Bond is Pryce's Elliot Carver, who's a much weaker villain than his immediate predecessor Alec Trevelyan; however, his portrayal of a psychopathic Rupert Murdoch-like media mogul is still one of the more memorable villains in the series. Michelle Yeoh's Colonel Wai Lin is also memorable, and one of the better Bond girls; she's a modernized Anya Amasova, in line with the rest of Tomorrow Never Dies' updates to The Spy Who Loved Me. Carver's henchman, Stamper (Götz Otto), is another blonde-haired strongman in the tradition of Red Grant; he's probably the strongest since From Russia with Love, though that's not saying much, as For Your Eyes Only's Erich Kriegler and The Living Daylights' Necros are two of the less memorable henchman in the series. Jack Wade briefly returns to assist Bond during his investigation of the Devonshire wreckage; outfitted in a button-down covered with dinosaur prints, he's gaudier than he ever was in GoldenEye.

One of Tomorrow Never Dies' stronger aspects is a deeper examination on Bond's vulnerabilities in regards to women, which had been briefly touched upon in GoldenEye. In regards to Bond's resolve to kill Trevelyan despite being former friends, Natalya asks Bond "How can you act like this? How can you be so cold?," to which Bond replies "It's what keeps me alive." Natalya coldly responds with "No. It's what keeps you alone." When Bond compares Trevelyan's plot to a schoolyard grudge, Trevelyan retorts with "Oh please, James. Spare me the Freud. I might as well ask you if all the vodka martinis ever silence the screams of all the men you've killed, or if you find forgiveness in the arms of all those willing women for all the dead ones you failed to protect." Tomorrow Never Dies works this into its most prominent subplot. Bond had previously had a relationship with Carver's wife, Paris (Teri Hatcher); M suggests that Bond use his prior relationship with her to further his investigation. This prompts a pained and uncomfortable response from Bond; it's clear the relationship is an emotional wound. When the two encounter each other again, it's revealed that Bond abruptly ended the relationship because she got to close to him. When Carver has her killed after discovering she lied to him about knowing of his affiliation with MI6, Bond angrily exacts his revenge on her killer, professional hit man Dr. Kaufman (Vincent Schiavelli); it's clear he blames himself for her death. Their relationship is hardly as developed as the one between Bond and Tracy in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, but Brosnan is the first Bond since Lazenby to portray Bond as this vulnerable.

In closing, Tomorrow Never Dies is one of the weaker films in the franchise, especially as a follow up to GoldenEye. It's not quite the drastic drop in quality that Licence to Kill was to The Living Daylights, but almost every quality that worked so well for its immediate predecessor deliver mixed results this time around. Elliot Carver's scheme of global domination through the media is one of the more memorable in the series, though only because it's the most implausible since You Only Live Twice. The updates that Tomorrow Never Dies makes to The Spy Who Loved Me work reasonably well, though the end of the Cold War half-a-decade earlier makes the updated plot elements significantly less relevant. The film's deeper look at Bond's relationships is one of its high points, but overall Tomorrow Never Dies is a weak and unremarkable addition to the series.

Film Ranking
1) On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
2) From Russia with Love (1963)
3) For Your Eyes Only (1981)
4) GoldenEye (1995)
5) The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
6) The Living Daylights (1987)
7) Goldfinger (1964)
8) Dr. No (1962)
9) Thunderball (1965)
10) Octopussy (1983)
11) The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
12) Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
13) Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
14) Live and Let Die (1973)
15) Licence to Kill (1989)
16) You Only Live Twice (1967)
17) A View to a Kill (1985)
18) Moonraker (1979)

Villain Ranking
1) Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia with Love)
2) Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
3) Rosa Klebb (From Russia with Love)
4) Francisco Scaramanga (The Man with the Golden Gun)
5) Alec Trevelyan (GoldenEye)
6) Karl Stromberg (The Spy Who Loved Me)
7) Max Zorin (A View to a Kill)
8) Aris Kristatos (For Your Eyes Only)
9) Dr. Julius No (Dr. No)
10) Emilio Largo (Thunderball)
11) Kamal Khan (Octopussy)
12) Elliot Carver (Tomorrow Never Dies)
13) Dr. Kananga (Live and Let Die)
14) Franz Sanchez (Licence to Kill)
15) General Georgi Koskov (The Living Daylights)
16) General Orlov (Octopussy)
17) Brad Whitaker (The Living Daylights)
18) Hugo Drax (Moonraker)

Bond Girl Ranking
1) Tracy di Vincenzo (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
2) Honey Rider (Dr. No)
3) Tatiana Romanova (From Russia with Love)
4) Pussy Galore (Goldfinger)
5) Anya Amasova (The Spy Who Loved Me)
6) Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only)
7) Sylvia Trench (Dr. No)
8) Natalya Simonova (GoldenEye)
9) Wai Lin (Tomorrow Never Dies)
10) Domino Derval (Thunderball)
11) Octopussy (Octopussy)
12) Kara Milovy (The Living Daylights)
13) Solitaire (Live and Let Die)
14) Holly Goodhead (Moonraker)
15) Pam Bouvier (Licence to Kill)
16) Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun)
17) Tiffany Case (Diamonds Are Forever)
18) Kissy Suzuki (You Only Live Twice)
19) Stacey Sutton (A View to a Kill)

Henchman Ranking
1) Red Grant (From Russia with Love)
2) Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me)
3) Oddjob (Goldfinger)
4) Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
5) Xenia Onatopp (GoldenEye)
6) Nick Nack (The Man with the Golden Gun)
7) Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd (Diamonds Are Forever)
8) Irma Bunt (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
9) Tee Hee Johnson (Live and Let Die)
10) Gobinda (Octopussy)
11) May Day (A View to a Kill)
12) Stamper (Tomorrow Never Dies)
13) Necros (The Living Daylights)
14) Mischka & Grischska (Octopussy)
15) Dario (Licence to Kill)
16) Erich Kreigler (For Your Eyes Only)
17) Baron Samedi (Live and Let Die)
18) Professor Dent (Dr. No)
18) Chang (Moonraker)

Ally Ranking
1) Kerim Bey (From Russia with Love)
2) Milos Columbo (For Your Eyes Only)
3) Marc-Ange Draco (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
4) Felix Leiter (Dr. No)
5) Quarrel (Dr. No)
6) Kamran Shah (The Living Daylights)
7) Jack Wade (GoldenEye)
8) Lieutenant Hip (The Man with the Golden Gun)
9) Sir Godfrey Tibbett (A View to a Kill)
10) Vijay (Octopussy)
11) Willard Whyte (Live and Let Die)
12) Tiger Tanaka (You Only Live Twice)
13) Quarrel Jr. (Live and Let Die)
14) Sharkey (Licence to Kill)


Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:09 am
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The World is Not Enough (Michael Apted, 1999)

MI6 is investigating the sale of documents stolen from the Russian Atomic Energy Department to Sir Robert King, head of King Industries (David Calder). M, being an old friend of King's, had also tasked Bond with retrieving the funds King had paid for the documents; King had been led to believe the documents revealed the identities of terrorists who had attacked an oil pipeline King was building in Central Asia. Before being successfully retrieved by Bond, the money had been soaked in urea and one of the note's anti-counterfeiting strip had been replaced by magnesium, essentially turning it into a bomb; when King comes into contact with the money, his lapel pin, which had been switched out for one containing a radio transmitter, triggers the bomb. Years earlier, M had advised King in the kidnapping of his daughter, Elektra (Sophie Marceau); upon closer investigation, Bond discovers that the amount King paid for the documents was the same as Elektra's ransom. Believing Elektra's kidnapper, former KGB agent-turned-anarchist Renard (Robert Carlyle) to have returned, M assigns Bond to shadow Elektra and discover the identity of the traitor in King's organization. Bond discovers it to be Elektra herself, in revenge for her father refusing to pay her ransom and allow 009 to find and kill Renard. Believing herself abandoned by her father, Elektra seduced Renard; Elektra plans to have Renard feed plutonium into the reactor of a stolen Russian nuclear submarine beneath the Istanbul Strait, causing a nuclear reaction, destroying Istanbul, and giving Elektra a monopoly over oil exports from the Caspian Sea.

The World is Not Enough is the first film since From Russia with Love to feature a female adversary; Sophie Marceau's Elektra King is one of the series' stronger adversaries. Early on it's apparent her kidnapping left her psychologically unbalanced, putting herself into dangerous situations not unlike Tracy in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. When Bond tells her that she'll be safe in her villa in Baku while he continues his investigation, she responds with "I don't want to be safe." Her unhinged nature reflects a sheltered daughter so traumatized by her ordeal that she blamed her father rather than her kidnappers. Marceau has strong chemistry with Brosnan, which is integral to the film. Robert Carlyle's Renard is a weaker villain, though his inability to feel any physical sensation is well juxtaposed against his devotion to Elektra. The film's Bond girl, nuclear physicist Christmas Jones (Denise Richards), is without a doubt the worst in the series. She's completely unbelievable in the role, even more so than Stacey Sutton from A View to a Kill. Luckily, she's not particularly central to the plot, and the character's hidden strength is that she's completely forgettable. Robbie Coltrane's Valentin Zukovzsky returns, last seen as one of Janus' Russian mafia competitors in GoldenEye, becoming Bond's ally after discovering the true nature of Elektra's plans. He's one of the stronger allies in the series, despite not surviving.

The World is Not Enough continues the exploration of Bond's vulnerabilities with women that began in GoldenEye and continued into Tomorrow Never Dies; his relationship with Elektra is the focus here. When examining a video interview taken by Cyprus police following her escape, Bond is visibly appalled by the battered, crying Elektra, even touching his fingers to her image on his computer monitor. Later, Bond attempts to convince her to call off her plan to destroy Istanbul as she tortures him at Maiden's Tower, she taunts him and says "You should have killed me you had the chance. But you couldn't, not me, not a woman you've loved.," knowing full well his vulnerabilities. When Bond gets free and orders her at gunpoint to radio Renard and abort, she taunts him further, telling him "You wouldn't kill me; you'd miss me.;" when she tells Renard to "Dive!," Bond kills her. Despite quipping "I never miss," it's clear he deeply regrets having to had taken the shot, leaning over her body and running his fingers through her hair before turning his attention to stopping Renard.

Overall, The World is Not Enough is one of the stronger films in the series, and a bounce back for Brosnan after Tomorrow Never Dies. The examination of Bond's vulnerabilities with women, explored in both GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies take center stage here; the relationship between Bond and Elektra forms the film's core. It's the most distinctive quality of the Brosnan films, and allows The World is Not Enough to overcome a weaker villain in Renard and the series' weakest Bond girl in Christmas Jones. It's able to channel many of the things that worked so well in GoldenEye, producing another strong outing for the Brosnan-led modernized take on the series.

Film Ranking
1) On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
2) From Russia with Love (1963)
3) For Your Eyes Only (1981)
4) GoldenEye (1995)
5) The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
6) The Living Daylights (1987)
7) Goldfinger (1964)
8) Dr. No (1962)
9) Thunderball (1965)
10) Octopussy (1983)
11) The World is Not Enough (1999)
12) The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
13) Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
14) Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
15) Live and Let Die (1973)
16) Licence to Kill (1989)
17) You Only Live Twice (1967)
18) A View to a Kill (1985)
19) Moonraker (1979)

Villain Ranking
1) Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia with Love)
2) Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
3) Rosa Klebb (From Russia with Love)
4) Francisco Scaramanga (The Man with the Golden Gun)
5) Alec Trevelyan (GoldenEye)
6) Karl Stromberg (The Spy Who Loved Me)
7) Max Zorin (A View to a Kill)
8) Aris Kristatos (For Your Eyes Only)
9) Elektra King (The World is Not Enough)
10) Dr. Julius No (Dr. No)
11) Emilio Largo (Thunderball)
12) Kamal Khan (Octopussy)
13) Elliot Carver (Tomorrow Never Dies)
14) Dr. Kananga (Live and Let Die)
15) Renard (The World is Not Enough)
16) Franz Sanchez (Licence to Kill)
17) General Georgi Koskov (The Living Daylights)
18) General Orlov (Octopussy)
19) Brad Whitaker (The Living Daylights)
20) Hugo Drax (Moonraker)

Bond Girl Ranking
1) Tracy di Vincenzo (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
2) Honey Rider (Dr. No)
3) Tatiana Romanova (From Russia with Love)
4) Pussy Galore (Goldfinger)
5) Anya Amasova (The Spy Who Loved Me)
6) Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only)
7) Sylvia Trench (Dr. No)
8) Natalya Simonova (GoldenEye)
9) Wai Lin (Tomorrow Never Dies)
10) Domino Derval (Thunderball)
11) Octopussy (Octopussy)
12) Kara Milovy (The Living Daylights)
13) Solitaire (Live and Let Die)
14) Holly Goodhead (Moonraker)
15) Pam Bouvier (Licence to Kill)
16) Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun)
17) Tiffany Case (Diamonds Are Forever)
18) Kissy Suzuki (You Only Live Twice)
19) Stacey Sutton (A View to a Kill)
20) Christmas Jones (The World is Not Enough)

Henchman Ranking
1) Red Grant (From Russia with Love)
2) Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me)
3) Oddjob (Goldfinger)
4) Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
5) Xenia Onatopp (GoldenEye)
6) Nick Nack (The Man with the Golden Gun)
7) Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd (Diamonds Are Forever)
8) Irma Bunt (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
9) Tee Hee Johnson (Live and Let Die)
10) Gobinda (Octopussy)
11) May Day (A View to a Kill)
12) Stamper (Tomorrow Never Dies)
13) Necros (The Living Daylights)
14) Mischka & Grischska (Octopussy)
15) Dario (Licence to Kill)
16) Erich Kreigler (For Your Eyes Only)
17) Baron Samedi (Live and Let Die)
18) Professor Dent (Dr. No)
18) Chang (Moonraker)

Ally Ranking
1) Kerim Bey (From Russia with Love)
2) Milos Columbo (For Your Eyes Only)
3) Marc-Ange Draco (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
4) Felix Leiter (Dr. No)
5) Quarrel (Dr. No)
6) Valentin Zukovsky (The World is Not Enough)
7) Kamran Shah (The Living Daylights)
8) Jack Wade (GoldenEye)
9) Lieutenant Hip (The Man with the Golden Gun)
10) Sir Godfrey Tibbett (A View to a Kill)
11) Vijay (Octopussy)
12) Willard Whyte (Live and Let Die)
13) Tiger Tanaka (You Only Live Twice)
14) Quarrel Jr. (Live and Let Die)
15) Sharkey (Licence to Kill)


Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:02 pm
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Zaius Nation wrote:
The World is Not Enough (Michael Apted, 1999)

The World is Not Enough is the first film since From Russia with Love to feature a female adversary; Sophie Marceau's Elektra King is one of the series' stronger adversaries.


Xenia Onatopp?

Absolutely love Elektra, btw. She's in my top three favorite Bond girls.

_________________
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:09 am
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dreiser wrote:

Xenia Onatopp?


Elektra runs the show. Xenia works for Janus.


Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:36 pm
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Die Another Day (Lee Tamahori, 2002)

After successfully putting an end to rogue Korean People's Army Colonel Tan-Gun Moon (Will Yun Lee) arms-for-conflict diamonds scheme by presumably killing Moon, Bond is captured by the Colonel's father General Moon (Kenneth Tsang) and held prisoner in North Korea for 14 months, when Bond is released in exchange for the repatriation of Zao (Rick Yune), a former aide to Colonel Moon captured while trying to bomb a summit between Chinese and South Korean officials. A week prior to Bond's release, the top American agent in the North Korean high command was killed; American intelligence had intercepted a message sent from the prison Bond was held in identifying him, leading them to conclude Bond had broken under torture. Bond escapes from MI6 captivity following the exchange to track down Zao and clear his name, leading him to Graves Corporation head Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens). Bond discovers Graves is actually Colonel Moon, disguised via gene therapy, and that Moon plans to use his Icarus satellite, capable of focusing solar rays, to destroy the Korean Demilitarized Zone, allowing North Korean forces to invade South Korea. Die Another Day marks the series' 40th anniversary; it's a reminder of four decades of stronger films, as Die Another Day is the worst film since Moonraker, and the absolute worst film in the series.

Die Another Day is the bastardization of the Bond series; it's pandering to the MTV generation, attempting to force Bond into the mold of early-2000s MTV culture. It fails; Die Another Day has very few redeeming qualities. It's the worst looking film in the franchise; despite the decent Icelandic setting, the film is marred by egregious use of computer-generated imagery and dramatic slow motion effects. It has the worst cast of the series; the constantly sneering Gustav Graves is even worse a villain than Hugo Drax from Moonraker. Graves' conversion from Korean Moon to Caucasian is a throwback to the worst stereotyping of the series' early entries. The film's Bond girl, NSA Agent Jinx (Halle Berry), is even worse than her immediate predecessor from The World Is Not Enough, Christmas Jones. Jinx represents everything that's wrong with the film; she's a hollow, hypersexualized character who responds to characters with such quips as "Your momma" and "He did you?" There's no intrigue or sophistication in her character, mirroring the film itself. Zao, who is midway through his own ethnic conversion, is one of the series' worst henchman, though not as weak as Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike), an MI6 double agent posing as Graves' publicist who's actually a triple agent for Graves; it was her who not only exposed Bond as MI6 during his mission in North Korea, but also leaked the information that led to Zao's repatriation. The two are only undercut by Moonraker's Chang for worst henchman in series history.

Die Another Day commemorates the series' 40th anniversary by finding a way to work in aspects of every prior film. Graves' Icarus satellite is more or less the same as Blofeld's from Diamonds Are Forever; the only difference is that diamonds are used to focus solar energy, like Scaramanga's solex agigtator-powered laser in The Man with the Golden Gun. Bond operating rogue for the film's first half is taken from Licence to Kill. When Jinx is first introduced in Cuba, she emerges from the Havana Harbor in the same fashion as Honey Rider in Dr. No; she wears a knife belt as well. There's a one-sided mirror in Bond's room at the Rubyeon Royale Hotel in Hong Kong with a video camera behind it, similar to From Russia with Love. Before bedding Miranda Frost in Graves' ice palace, he quickly slips a gun under his pillow; when Bond met Paris Carver again in Tomorrow Never Dies, one of the first things she asks him is "Tell me James, do you still sleep with a gun under your pillow?" In The World is Not Enough, Q had introduced Bond to R (John Cleese), his replacement upon retirement; the newly-promoted Quartermaster's lab is filled with items from earlier films in the franchise, such as the jet pack from Thunderball, Little Nellie from You Only Live Twice, and the mechanical alligator from Octopussy; when giving Bond an upgraded watch, he even says "Now, a new watch. This will be your 20th, I believe.," referencing the number of total entries in the franchise.

Despite playing to nostalgia, all these references do is serve as a reminder of how much stronger every film that preceded Die Another Day was. By pandering to an MTV demographic, Die Another Day undoes GoldenEye's successful modernization of the series; it's archaic again, in many regards more so than it was during Moore's tenure. None of the charm, wit, intrigue, subtlety or sophistication that defined the series had made it into this film; it's a ham-fisted mess. There are few redeeming qualities in Die Another Day; Brosnan may be passable, but Graves and Jinx are the worst villain and Bond girl in the series. Die Another Day is not only the weakest film in over two decades, but it's the absolute worst film in the series' four.

Film Ranking
1) On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
2) From Russia with Love (1963)
3) For Your Eyes Only (1981)
4) GoldenEye (1995)
5) The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
6) The Living Daylights (1987)
7) Goldfinger (1964)
8) Dr. No (1962)
9) Thunderball (1965)
10) Octopussy (1983)
11) The World is Not Enough (1999)
12) The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
13) Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
14) Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
15) Live and Let Die (1973)
16) Licence to Kill (1989)
17) You Only Live Twice (1967)
18) A View to a Kill (1985)
19) Moonraker (1979)
20) Die Another Day (2002)

Villain Ranking
1) Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia with Love)
2) Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
3) Rosa Klebb (From Russia with Love)
4) Francisco Scaramanga (The Man with the Golden Gun)
5) Alec Trevelyan (GoldenEye)
6) Karl Stromberg (The Spy Who Loved Me)
7) Max Zorin (A View to a Kill)
8) Aris Kristatos (For Your Eyes Only)
9) Elektra King (The World is Not Enough)
10) Dr. Julius No (Dr. No)
11) Emilio Largo (Thunderball)
12) Kamal Khan (Octopussy)
13) Elliot Carver (Tomorrow Never Dies)
14) Dr. Kananga (Live and Let Die)
15) Renard (The World is Not Enough)
16) Franz Sanchez (Licence to Kill)
17) General Georgi Koskov (The Living Daylights)
18) General Orlov (Octopussy)
19) Brad Whitaker (The Living Daylights)
20) Hugo Drax (Moonraker)
21) Gustav Graves (Die Another Day)

Bond Girl Ranking
1) Tracy di Vincenzo (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
2) Honey Rider (Dr. No)
3) Tatiana Romanova (From Russia with Love)
4) Pussy Galore (Goldfinger)
5) Anya Amasova (The Spy Who Loved Me)
6) Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only)
7) Sylvia Trench (Dr. No)
8) Natalya Simonova (GoldenEye)
9) Wai Lin (Tomorrow Never Dies)
10) Domino Derval (Thunderball)
11) Octopussy (Octopussy)
12) Kara Milovy (The Living Daylights)
13) Solitaire (Live and Let Die)
14) Holly Goodhead (Moonraker)
15) Pam Bouvier (Licence to Kill)
16) Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun)
17) Tiffany Case (Diamonds Are Forever)
18) Kissy Suzuki (You Only Live Twice)
19) Stacey Sutton (A View to a Kill)
20) Christmas Jones (The World is Not Enough)
21) Jinx (Die Another Day)

Henchman Ranking
1) Red Grant (From Russia with Love)
2) Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me)
3) Oddjob (Goldfinger)
4) Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
5) Xenia Onatopp (GoldenEye)
6) Nick Nack (The Man with the Golden Gun)
7) Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd (Diamonds Are Forever)
8) Irma Bunt (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
9) Tee Hee Johnson (Live and Let Die)
10) Gobinda (Octopussy)
11) May Day (A View to a Kill)
12) Stamper (Tomorrow Never Dies)
13) Necros (The Living Daylights)
14) Mischka & Grischska (Octopussy)
15) Dario (Licence to Kill)
16) Erich Kreigler (For Your Eyes Only)
17) Baron Samedi (Live and Let Die)
18) Professor Dent (Dr. No)
19) Zao (Die Another Day)
20) Miranda Frost (Die Another Day)
21) Chang (Moonraker)

Ally Ranking
1) Kerim Bey (From Russia with Love)
2) Milos Columbo (For Your Eyes Only)
3) Marc-Ange Draco (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
4) Felix Leiter (Dr. No)
5) Quarrel (Dr. No)
6) Valentin Zukovsky (The World is Not Enough)
7) Kamran Shah (The Living Daylights)
8) Commander Carter (The Spy Who Loved Me)
9) Jack Wade (GoldenEye)
10) Lieutenant Hip (The Man with the Golden Gun)
11) Sir Godfrey Tibbett (A View to a Kill)
12) Vijay (Octopussy)
13) Willard Whyte (Live and Let Die)
14) Tiger Tanaka (You Only Live Twice)
15) Quarrel Jr. (Live and Let Die)
16) Sharkey (Licence to Kill)


Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:52 pm
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Wow, worse than Moonraker even? I've been quietly doing my own Bond marathon the last month, though I've only watched the Connery and Moore films so far, and we shared Moonraker as our cellar-dweller. Makes me...not very excited to rewatch Die Another Day, which I've never liked, but haven't seen since the year it was released in theaters.


Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:40 pm
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Derninan wrote:
Wow, worse than Moonraker even?


No. Nothing is worse than Moonraker.

BTW, I thought Rosamund Pike was the lone highlight in an otherwise dreadful movie.

_________________
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:18 pm
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Casino Royale (Martin Campbell, 2006)

On June 15th, 2005, Warner Bros. released Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins to critical acclaim; the film rebooted the Batman film series following 1998's ill-received Batman & Robin, severing all narrative ties with its cinematic history and starting the series anew. Over a year later saw the release of Casino Royale, a reboot of the Bond film series drawing inspiration from Batman Begins, ignoring all twenty of the series' entries for over four decades. The entire recurring cast of the Brosnan films was replaced, save Judi Dench as M; Daniel Craig replaces Brosnan as James Bond. Whereas GoldenEye had previously represented the series' modernization, Casino Royale is an even starker break; by updating the series' Cold War backdrop to a post-9/11 one, it establishes a relevancy not seen since the Connery films. The Bond series' reboot is even more successful than the film it drew inspiration from; by drawing from the strongest elements of its predecessors, Casino Royale is a stronger beginning to the new rebooted series than even Dr. No was over four decades prior, and the strongest film since On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

MI6 is investigating the financing of a global network of terrorists groups; newly promoted 00 agent James Bond follows a trail to associates of terrorist banker Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), preventing a terrorist attack against a Skyfleet S570 prototype aircraft at Miami International Airport. Just prior to the foiled attack, an unknown party had sold a over a $100,000,000 of Skyfleet; following the attack, Le Chiffre sets up a high-stakes, winner-takes-all poker game at Casino Royale in Montenegro. Concluding Le Chiffre to had used his client's funds during the attempted short and the poker game to be an attempt to recoup the funds, M sends Bond, MI6's best player, to defeat Le Chiffre and offer him sanctuary in return for information on his terrorist contacts. Despite Bond's success, Le Chiffre is killed by an assassin sent by an unknown third party, (Jesper Christensen); Bond successfully captures him during the final minutes of the film.

Craig combines elements from each of his predecessor's performances in his portrayal of the newly minted 007, but takes the character in a direction not seen before. He's a brutal killer, somewhat recalling Dalton's portrayal of Bond as a living weapon in The Living Daylights; M even calls him a "blunt instrument." It's a dramatically different portrayal of Bond than any of his predecessors'. Bond's appeal to woman is less charm and more danger. The relationship between him and British Financial Action Task Force International Liaison Officer Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) recalls the one from On Her Majesty's Secret Service; Craig's portrayal derives aspects from Lazenby's here. Lynd is the strongest Bond girl since The Spy Who Loved Me's Anya Amasova; she's particularly memorable, recalling Diana Rigg's Tracy from On Her Majesty's Secret Service; like Tracy, Bond falls in love with her only to have him die before his eyes. Le Chiffre is one of the series' stronger villains; his sophistication is greatest strength. Giancarlo Giannini portrays Bond's contact in Montenegro, René Mathis; he recalls For Your Eyes Only's Milos Columbo, and is the strong of Bond's allies since. Felix Leiter returns as the CIA's participant in Le Chiffre's poker game, this time portrayed by Jeffrey Wright; he's somewhere in the middle, though weaker than the last actor to portray Leiter, David Hedison. Judi Dench's M is even stronger than she was in GoldenEye; she portrays M as a stern, maternal character.

Casino Royale takes the strengths of the series' beginnings and updates it for a contemporary audience; the series hasn't felt fresher or more relevant since Connery's early films. Changing the backdrop from the Cold War to a post-9/11, terrorist-dominated climate is particularly smooth. Casino Royale eschews baccarat in favor of Texas hold 'em poker; the rules of Texas hold 'em, ascendant in popularity during the mid-2000s, are more comprehensible for a contemporary audience. It's stronger for doing so, as even in GoldenEye baccarat was archaic. It's also obvious that the shadowy organization associated with Le Chiffre is an updated version of SPECTRE; it serves as a compelling hook for future installments.

Casino Royale is a triumphant return to form for the series. It combines the sophistication and intrigue from the early Connery films, the relationship-focus from On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the lean from For Your Eyes Only, and the focus on modernization from GoldenEye. Craig's Bond, while working in strengths from his predecessors, is a departure from them; it's a bold new direction for Bond. Casino Royale succeeds even more than GoldenEye did in modernizing the series; Casino Royale takes its title as the most essential film since From Russia with Love. It's an excellent beginning to the revamped series, the strongest film in almost four decades, and one of the best films in the series.

Film Ranking
1) On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
2) From Russia with Love (1963)
3) Casino Royale (2006)
4) For Your Eyes Only (1981)
5) GoldenEye (1995)
6) The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
7) The Living Daylights (1987)
8) Goldfinger (1964)
9) Dr. No (1962)
10) Thunderball (1965)
11) Octopussy (1983)
12) The World is Not Enough (1999)
13) The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
14) Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
15) Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
16) Live and Let Die (1973)
17) Licence to Kill (1989)
18) You Only Live Twice (1967)
19) A View to a Kill (1985)
20) Moonraker (1979)
21) Die Another Day (2002)

Villain Ranking
1) Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia with Love)
2) Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
3) Rosa Klebb (From Russia with Love)
4) Francisco Scaramanga (The Man with the Golden Gun)
5) Alec Trevelyan (GoldenEye)
6) Karl Stromberg (The Spy Who Loved Me)
7) Max Zorin (A View to a Kill)
8) Aris Kristatos (For Your Eyes Only)
9) Elektra King (The World is Not Enough)
10) Dr. Julius No (Dr. No)
11) Emilio Largo (Thunderball)
12) Kamal Khan (Octopussy)
13) Elliot Carver (Tomorrow Never Dies)
14) Dr. Kananga (Live and Let Die)
15) Le Chiffre (Casino Royale)
16) Renard (The World is Not Enough)
17) Franz Sanchez (Licence to Kill)
18) General Georgi Koskov (The Living Daylights)
19) General Orlov (Octopussy)
20) Brad Whitaker (The Living Daylights)
21) Hugo Drax (Moonraker)
22) Gustav Graves (Die Another Day)

Bond Girl Ranking
1) Tracy di Vincenzo (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
2) Honey Rider (Dr. No)
3) Tatiana Romanova (From Russia with Love)
4) Pussy Galore (Goldfinger)
5) Vesper Lynd (Casino Royale)
6) Anya Amasova (The Spy Who Loved Me)
7) Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only)
8) Sylvia Trench (Dr. No)
9) Natalya Simonova (GoldenEye)
10) Wai Lin (Tomorrow Never Dies)
11) Domino Derval (Thunderball)
12) Octopussy (Octopussy)
13) Kara Milovy (The Living Daylights)
14) Solitaire (Live and Let Die)
15) Holly Goodhead (Moonraker)
16) Pam Bouvier (Licence to Kill)
17) Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun)
18) Tiffany Case (Diamonds Are Forever)
19) Kissy Suzuki (You Only Live Twice)
20) Stacey Sutton (A View to a Kill)
21) Christmas Jones (The World is Not Enough)
22) Jinx (Die Another Day)

Henchman Ranking
1) Red Grant (From Russia with Love)
2) Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me)
3) Oddjob (Goldfinger)
4) Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
5) Xenia Onatopp (GoldenEye)
6) Nick Nack (The Man with the Golden Gun)
7) Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd (Diamonds Are Forever)
8) Irma Bunt (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
9) Tee Hee Johnson (Live and Let Die)
10) Gobinda (Octopussy)
11) May Day (A View to a Kill)
12) Stamper (Tomorrow Never Dies)
13) Necros (The Living Daylights)
14) Mischka & Grischska (Octopussy)
15) Dario (Licence to Kill)
16) Erich Kreigler (For Your Eyes Only)
17) Baron Samedi (Live and Let Die)
18) Professor Dent (Dr. No)
19) Zao (Die Another Day)
20) Miranda Frost (Die Another Day)
21) Chang (Moonraker)

Ally Ranking
1) Kerim Bey (From Russia with Love)
2) Milos Columbo (For Your Eyes Only)
3) Marc-Ange Draco (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
4) René Mathis (Casino Royale)
5) Felix Leiter (Dr. No)
6) Quarrel (Dr. No)
7) Valentin Zukovsky (The World is Not Enough)
8) Kamran Shah (The Living Daylights)
9) Commander Carter (The Spy Who Loved Me)
10) Jack Wade (GoldenEye)
11) Lieutenant Hip (The Man with the Golden Gun)
12) Sir Godfrey Tibbett (A View to a Kill)
13) Vijay (Octopussy)
14) Willard Whyte (Live and Let Die)
15) Tiger Tanaka (You Only Live Twice)
16) Quarrel Jr. (Live and Let Die)
17) Sharkey (Licence to Kill)


Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:50 am
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Casino Royale was definitely a high point of 2006 cinema.

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Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:02 am
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Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008)

Bond, having captured Mr. White during the closing moments of Casino Royale, brings him to an MI6 safe house in Siena, Italy for interrogation; after taunting M on how little information she has on his organization, M's bodyguard Craig Mitchell (Glenn Foster) pulls his gun and attempts to both M and Bond. In the ensuing chaos, White escapes and Bond kills Mitchell. When examining Mitchell's effects, MI6 finds a tagged banknote MI6 had introduced into Le Chiffre's money-laundering operation; just prior, a number of banknotes from the same series were deposited into an account in Port-au-Prince. Bond follows the trail to environmental philanthropist Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), uncovering a plot by Quantum, the shadowy organization behind Greene and White, to use their clout to secure international support for a military coup d'état by exiled Bolivian General Madrano (Joaquín Cosío) in exchange for land rights to a seemingly barren piece of desert; in reality, Quantum will gain control of over 60% of Bolivia's water supply. Quantum of Solace is a direct follow up to the excellent Casino Royale, and the first direct sequel for the series since the Connery films.

Daniel Craig builds on his portrayal of Bond in Casino Royale; it's no stretch to say he's better in Quantum of Solace, a quality that eluded both Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan. He's even more brutal than he was in the previous film; in Quantum of Solace, Bond is in the midst of a murderous vendetta sparked by the death of Vesper Lynd, channeling it against any associates of Quantum. The film's Bond girl, Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko), tells Bond "there's something horribly efficient about you." Kurylenko's Camille, whose parents were murdered by Madrano, operates as the flip side of a coin to Bond; her deadly vendetta against Madrano echoes his against Quantum. After she avenges her family's death, she tells Bond "I wish I could set you free." She's one of the stronger Bond girls of the series. Greene is another villain in the mold of Le Chiffre; a contemporary villain that could easily blend in with society. He's capable, though forgettable; the film's true villain is the faceless Quantum. Cosío's Madrano, on the other hand, never comes across as believable in his role, and Quantum of Solace is worse off for it. Mathis returns after being falsely accused of betraying Bond in Casino Royale; he's overall weaker than in his last appearance, though serves out the role of prodding Bond to come to terms with the nature of Vesper's betrayal and death. During their initial reunion, he tells Bond "I was sorry to hear about Vesper. I think she loved you.," Bond responds "Right up until she betrayed me.;" Mathis flatly tells Bond "She died for you." His death is one of the more poignant scenes in the film, reflecting Vesper's in Casino Royale, at least until Bond unceremoniously drops his body into a dumpster. Jeffrey Wright, returning as Leiter, is stronger than his initial appearance in Casino Royale; it's refreshing to see the role not recast as it had been through the series' history. Judi Dench, like Craig, turns in a better performance in Quantum of Solace, establishing an even stronger maternal relationship with Bond.

The greatest strength of Quantum of Solace, as it was in Connery's early films, is its narrative consistency with its predecessor. It's the most direct sequel to a previous installment in series history, even more so than From Russia with Love was to Dr. No. All the major characters return from Casino Royale, and the events of the past film are referenced throughout the film. Despite these strengths, there are a number of continuity hiccups, MI6, which in the previous film appeared as a classic government office, is now a high-tech digital command center; as Quantum of Solace takes place directly following the finale of Casino Royale, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense how this came to pass. Villiers (Tobias Menzies), M's secretary in Casino Royale, has also conspicuously vanished, being replaced by Bill Tanner (Rory Kinnear); it doesn't make a whole lot of sense why he doesn't appear either. During the film's opening car chase, Bond is driving an Aston Martin DBS with Mr. White in the truck; it's not clear where this car came from, as there was a Jaguar XJ8 parked in White's driveway at the end of Casino Royale.

Overall, Quantum of Solace breaks the cycle of lackluster follow-ups to excellent Bond-introductory films; it's the first film since The Man with the Golden Gun to not be significantly weaker. Craig is even better than he was in Casino Royale, unlike Dalton in Licence to Kill and Brosnan in Tomorrow Never Dies. Quantum of Solace's narrative consistency is it's key strength, and it's effect in keeping the series' renaissance strong. It's a bit of a modern Thunderball; despite its strengths, it's not a particularly memorable film. Still, by introducing Quantum, it keeps the series' intrigue alive, just as SPECTRE did for Connery's films. While Quantum of Solace falls short of classic, it's a worthy follow up to Casino Royale, and one of the stronger films of the series.

Film Ranking
1) On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
2) From Russia with Love (1963)
3) Casino Royale (2006)
4) For Your Eyes Only (1981)
5) GoldenEye (1995)
6) The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
7) The Living Daylights (1987)
8) Goldfinger (1964)
9) Dr. No (1962)
10) Thunderball (1965)
11) Octopussy (1983)
12) Quantum of Solace (2008)
13) The World is Not Enough (1999)
14) The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
15) Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
16) Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
17) Live and Let Die (1973)
18) Licence to Kill (1989)
19) You Only Live Twice (1967)
20) A View to a Kill (1985)
21) Moonraker (1979)
22) Die Another Day (2002)

Villain Ranking
1) Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia with Love)
2) Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
3) Rosa Klebb (From Russia with Love)
4) Francisco Scaramanga (The Man with the Golden Gun)
5) Alec Trevelyan (GoldenEye)
6) Karl Stromberg (The Spy Who Loved Me)
7) Max Zorin (A View to a Kill)
8) Aris Kristatos (For Your Eyes Only)
9) Elektra King (The World is Not Enough)
10) Dr. Julius No (Dr. No)
11) Emilio Largo (Thunderball)
12) Kamal Khan (Octopussy)
13) Elliot Carver (Tomorrow Never Dies)
14) Dr. Kananga (Live and Let Die)
15) Le Chiffre (Casino Royale)
16) Renard (The World is Not Enough)
17) Franz Sanchez (Licence to Kill)
18) Dominic Greene (Quantum of Solace)
19) General Georgi Koskov (The Living Daylights)
20) General Orlov (Octopussy)
21) Brad Whitaker (The Living Daylights)
22) Hugo Drax (Moonraker)
23) Gustav Graves (Die Another Day)

Bond Girl Ranking
1) Tracy di Vincenzo (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
2) Honey Rider (Dr. No)
3) Tatiana Romanova (From Russia with Love)
4) Pussy Galore (Goldfinger)
5) Vesper Lynd (Casino Royale)
6) Anya Amasova (The Spy Who Loved Me)
7) Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only)
8) Sylvia Trench (Dr. No)
9) Natalya Simonova (GoldenEye)
10) Wai Lin (Tomorrow Never Dies)
11) Domino Derval (Thunderball)
12) Octopussy (Octopussy)
13) Camille Montes (Quantum of Solace)
14) Kara Milovy (The Living Daylights)
15) Solitaire (Live and Let Die)
16) Holly Goodhead (Moonraker)
17) Pam Bouvier (Licence to Kill)
18) Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun)
19) Tiffany Case (Diamonds Are Forever)
20) Kissy Suzuki (You Only Live Twice)
21) Stacey Sutton (A View to a Kill)
22) Christmas Jones (The World is Not Enough)
23) Jinx (Die Another Day)

Henchman Ranking
1) Red Grant (From Russia with Love)
2) Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me)
3) Oddjob (Goldfinger)
4) Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
5) Xenia Onatopp (GoldenEye)
6) Nick Nack (The Man with the Golden Gun)
7) Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd (Diamonds Are Forever)
8) Irma Bunt (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
9) Tee Hee Johnson (Live and Let Die)
10) Gobinda (Octopussy)
11) May Day (A View to a Kill)
12) Stamper (Tomorrow Never Dies)
13) Necros (The Living Daylights)
14) Mischka & Grischska (Octopussy)
15) Dario (Licence to Kill)
16) Erich Kreigler (For Your Eyes Only)
17) Baron Samedi (Live and Let Die)
18) Professor Dent (Dr. No)
19) Zao (Die Another Day)
20) Miranda Frost (Die Another Day)
21) Chang (Moonraker)

Ally Ranking
1) Kerim Bey (From Russia with Love)
2) Milos Columbo (For Your Eyes Only)
3) Marc-Ange Draco (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
4) René Mathis (Casino Royale)
5) Felix Leiter (Dr. No)
6) Quarrel (Dr. No)
7) Valentin Zukovsky (The World is Not Enough)
8) Kamran Shah (The Living Daylights)
9) Commander Carter (The Spy Who Loved Me)
10) Jack Wade (GoldenEye)
11) Lieutenant Hip (The Man with the Golden Gun)
12) Sir Godfrey Tibbett (A View to a Kill)
13) Vijay (Octopussy)
14) Willard Whyte (Live and Let Die)
15) Tiger Tanaka (You Only Live Twice)
16) Quarrel Jr. (Live and Let Die)
17) Sharkey (Licence to Kill)


Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:21 pm
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Terrible disappointment.

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Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:22 pm
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Zaius Nation wrote:
While Quantum of Solace falls short of classic, it's a worthy follow up to Casino Royale, and one of the stronger films of the series.


Just no. :rotten:

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Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:29 pm
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I liked Quantum, too. Emotional Bond! Fragile!

If you swapped The Spy Who Loved Me and The Living Daylights in your rankings, your top 6 would feature six different Bonds. SO DO IT!


Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:27 pm
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Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:19 am
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I still like Quantum a fair amount too. Good write-ups for the Craig films and noting the particular cinematic/cultural climate the films themselves found release into. Still have a lot of catching up to do in here though.

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Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:23 am
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Zaius Nation wrote:
Overall, Quantum of Solace breaks the cycle of lackluster follow-ups to excellent Bond-introductory films; it's the first film since The Man with the Golden Gun to be stronger than its immediate predecessor.

Film Ranking
3) Casino Royale (2006)
12) Quantum of Solace (2008)
Hmmm...

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Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:06 am
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lawl

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Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:10 am
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Colonel Kurz wrote:
Hmmm...


Not like I wrote this up at a McDonalds 30 minutes prior to the Skyfall release or anything.


Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:13 am
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Skyfall (Sam Mendes, 2012)

In Istanbul, mercenary Patrice (Ola Rapace) kills MI6 agent Ronson (Bill Buckhurst) and steals a hard drive containing the names of every NATO agent embedded in terrorist cells across the globe; while trying to recover the drive, Bond is accidentally shot from afar by MI6 agent Eve Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) on orders from M. Presumed dead, Bond takes the chance to retire from MI6, subsequently falling out of shape, into depression, and becoming addicted to alcohol and painkillers. Three months later, the hard drive is accessed from M's computer within MI6; moments later, an explosion rocks MI6, killing eight employees. Soon after, the identities of five embedded MI6 agents are posted online, with a promise to release another five within a week; the agents are killed before they can withdraw. Bond returns from the dead, offering to take the lead in the investigation; he follows a trail from Patrice to Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), a former MI6 agent who had worked under M while she ran operations in Hong Kong. Silva, while under M's command, became increasingly rogue, hacking the Chinese without authorization. With the Chinese onto Silva and the transfer of Hong Kong's sovereignty from Britain to China rapidly approaching on July 1st, 1997, M gave Silva up, ensuring a peaceful transition; Silva, having survived five months of brutal torture, swore revenge. Bond, in no condition to return to active duty, resolves to protect M from Silva at all costs. Skyfall, released 50 years after Dr. No is a dark, brooding thriller, unique among its predecessors; it's also one of the series' best. Skyfall is an incredible addition to the canon, serving as not only a deconstruction of the Bond mythos, but as a powerful argument for the series itself as it moves into its next 50 years.

Daniel Craig has aged drastically in the past four years; Craig no longer not looks the part of the young, headstrong agent of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Craig's age is addressed directly; this is an aging Bond suffering under the weight of years of service to MI6. Upon Bond's return, M tells him that "You and I have been at this for quite awhile.;" Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) tells Bond "You don't need to be out in the field to see the obvious. It's a young man's game." When Bond is first introduced to MI6's new Quartermaster (Ben Whishaw) in an art gallery, he remarks upon one of the paintings, saying "It makes me feel melancholy. A grand old warship being hauled away from scrap." During a tension-filled scene where Moneypenny shaves off Bond's scruff, she tells him "You look the part now.;" when Bond inquires "And what part is that?," she quips "Old dog, new tricks." Bond fails his MI6 evaluations; not only does he collapse after a physical fitness test, but he can't even hit a stationary target in the firing range. When tailing Patrice in Shanghai, Bond can barely hang on the underside of an elevator as it ascends up a skyscraper; after successfully disarming Patrice, Bond doesn't even have the strength to keep him from falling to his death.

Javier Bardem's Raoul Silva is one of the all-time greatest Bond villains; only series stalwarts Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Auric Goldfinger top him. Silva is a chilling, flamboyant psychopath; despite not appearing on-screen until well over an hour into the film, the character is built up through his actions off-screen. When Bond confronts Sévérine (Bérénice Lim Marlohe), Silva's agent and lover, she begins trembling at the mere mention of Silva; she asks Bond "How much do you know about fear?" Bond retorts "All there is.;" she flatly responds "Not like this. Not like him." When Silva finally makes his appearance, he immediately establishes himself; there's absolutely no daylight. Judi Dench is incredible in her final appearance as M; her maternal influence, stronger than ever with Bond, is effectively warped with Silva. When she dies from her wounds at the end of the film, Bond's devastation is comparable to a son losing his mother. Time will tell if Mallory can stand up to her. Naomie Harris' Moneypenny is the best since Lois Maxwell; her and Bond have excellent chemistry, and hopefully she remains with the series for as long as Craig does. Whinshaw's Q never manages to match Desmond Llewelyn, though he does leave a stronger impression than John Cleese.

Skyfall is an incredible film to mark the 50th anniversary of the Bond film series. It joins its predecessor Casino Royale in the highest echelon Bond of films; Skyfall is taut, dark, and powerful. Daniel Craig is once again in top form, defying his age; there's something to be said that with only three outings as Bond, two of Craig's films rank in the top four of the entire series. Javier Bardem's chilling Raoul Silva is one of the best villains in the series. Judi Dench gives an excellent final portrayal as M; her tragic death ranks among Tracy Bond's in On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Vesper Lynd's in Casino Royale. Happy 50th anniversary, 007; there's no doubt in my mind that once again, James Bond will return.


Film Ranking
1) On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
2) From Russia with Love (1963)
3) Casino Royale (2006)
4) Skyfall (2012)
5) For Your Eyes Only (1981)
6) GoldenEye (1995)
7) The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
8) The Living Daylights (1987)
9) Goldfinger (1964)
10) Dr. No (1962)
11) Thunderball (1965)
12) Octopussy (1983)
13) Quantum of Solace (2008)
14) The World is Not Enough (1999)
15) The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
16) Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
17) Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
18) Live and Let Die (1973)
19) Licence to Kill (1989)
20) You Only Live Twice (1967)
21) A View to a Kill (1985)
22) Moonraker (1979)
23) Die Another Day (2002)

Villain Ranking
1) Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia with Love)
2) Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
3) Raoul Silva (Skyfall)
4) Rosa Klebb (From Russia with Love)
5) Francisco Scaramanga (The Man with the Golden Gun)
6) Alec Trevelyan (GoldenEye)
7) Karl Stromberg (The Spy Who Loved Me)
8) Max Zorin (A View to a Kill)
9) Aris Kristatos (For Your Eyes Only)
10) Elektra King (The World is Not Enough)
11) Dr. Julius No (Dr. No)
12) Emilio Largo (Thunderball)
13) Kamal Khan (Octopussy)
14) Elliot Carver (Tomorrow Never Dies)
15) Dr. Kananga (Live and Let Die)
16) Le Chiffre (Casino Royale)
17) Renard (The World is Not Enough)
18) Franz Sanchez (Licence to Kill)
19) Dominic Greene (Quantum of Solace)
20) General Georgi Koskov (The Living Daylights)
21) General Orlov (Octopussy)
22) Brad Whitaker (The Living Daylights)
23) Hugo Drax (Moonraker)
24) Gustav Graves (Die Another Day)

Bond Girl Ranking
1) Tracy di Vincenzo (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
2) Honey Rider (Dr. No)
3) Tatiana Romanova (From Russia with Love)
4) Pussy Galore (Goldfinger)
5) Vesper Lynd (Casino Royale)
6) Anya Amasova (The Spy Who Loved Me)
7) Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only)
8) Sylvia Trench (Dr. No)
9) Natalya Simonova (GoldenEye)
10) Wai Lin (Tomorrow Never Dies)
11) Domino Derval (Thunderball)
12) Octopussy (Octopussy)
13) Camille Montes (Quantum of Solace)
14) Kara Milovy (The Living Daylights)
15) Solitaire (Live and Let Die)
16) Holly Goodhead (Moonraker)
17) Pam Bouvier (Licence to Kill)
18) Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun)
19) Tiffany Case (Diamonds Are Forever)
20) Kissy Suzuki (You Only Live Twice)
21) Stacey Sutton (A View to a Kill)
22) Christmas Jones (The World is Not Enough)
23) Jinx (Die Another Day)

Henchman Ranking
1) Red Grant (From Russia with Love)
2) Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me)
3) Oddjob (Goldfinger)
4) Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
5) Xenia Onatopp (GoldenEye)
6) Nick Nack (The Man with the Golden Gun)
7) Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd (Diamonds Are Forever)
8) Irma Bunt (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
9) Tee Hee Johnson (Live and Let Die)
10) Gobinda (Octopussy)
11) May Day (A View to a Kill)
12) Stamper (Tomorrow Never Dies)
13) Necros (The Living Daylights)
14) Mischka & Grischska (Octopussy)
15) Dario (Licence to Kill)
16) Erich Kreigler (For Your Eyes Only)
17) Baron Samedi (Live and Let Die)
18) Professor Dent (Dr. No)
19) Zao (Die Another Day)
20) Miranda Frost (Die Another Day)
21) Chang (Moonraker)

Ally Ranking
1) Kerim Bey (From Russia with Love)
2) Milos Columbo (For Your Eyes Only)
3) Marc-Ange Draco (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
4) René Mathis (Casino Royale)
5) Felix Leiter (Dr. No)
6) Quarrel (Dr. No)
7) Valentin Zukovsky (The World is Not Enough)
8) Kamran Shah (The Living Daylights)
9) Commander Carter (The Spy Who Loved Me)
10) Jack Wade (GoldenEye)
11) Lieutenant Hip (The Man with the Golden Gun)
12) Sir Godfrey Tibbett (A View to a Kill)
13) Vijay (Octopussy)
14) Willard Whyte (Live and Let Die)
15) Tiger Tanaka (You Only Live Twice)
16) Quarrel Jr. (Live and Let Die)
17) Sharkey (Licence to Kill)


Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:52 am
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Bondathon 2012 has finished. Thanks to everyone who took the time to read, comment, and give me feedback. Now fucking go see Skyfall.


Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:12 am
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Love the Skyfall writeup. It's definitely a top five for the series. This thread was a very good read, btw; nicely done.

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Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:32 pm
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Especially for being written at McDonalds.

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Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:33 pm
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I watched every Bond up to Tomorrow Never Dies when I was in high school... Anyway, I was starting to think I was crazy for remembering On Her Majesty's Secret Service as one of my favorites because I don't know anyone in person that even remembers it... let alone remembers it as a favorite. I think my top films pretty much are the same, perhaps a different order. Although I haven't seen QoS or Skyfall. I didn't read your reviews of those films, but your ranking of Skyfall makes me want to remedy that sooner rather than later. This was one of the better Bond threads I've read, nice job.

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Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:46 pm
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Great thread. Love the write ups. It's hard to go wrong with Bond.

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The Hateful Eight |Tarantino, 2015| +

+ Recommended


Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:19 am
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Image


Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:04 am
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