The name’s Bond…….. James Bond.
That’s right folks, 007 is back! Through all the hits, misses, and flat-out flops the Bond franchise is still a huge draw. Daniel Craig’s much-anticipated 3rd mission as Ian Fleming’s James Bond in “Skyfall” is due to hit theaters November 9th.
As a James Bond fan for as long as I can remember, I’m always looking forward to the next installment. Especially since Daniel Craig’s breakout performance in “Casino Royale” changed the Bond landscape in 2006.
I, like many who love Bond, own all of the films. I’ve seen all of them many times over but that never stops me from catching a Thanksgiving Bond marathon. Whoever came up with the T-day marathon idea is genius! I’ve seen some Bond flicks more than others and I’ll try to refrain from pointing fingers at the completely dreadful movies… “Die Another Die”, “Octopussy”, “A View To A Kill”. I really did try not to call them out.
This year is a special one for the Bond franchise. It’s the 50th anniversary of Bond on the big screen. The first Bond movie, “Dr. No” which starred Sean Connery as James Bond, was released in 1962. Another cool little tidbit that has fans (me) excited is that this will be Daniel Craig’s third film in with the role. Connery and Roger Moore arguably had their defining moments as Bond in each of their third films, “Goldfinger” and “The Spy Who Loved Me”, respectively.
So, without further ado, let’s uncover my top 5 favorite Bond films to date. (October 2012)
5 —-> The Spy Who Loved Me
It was a close call between this and “Live and Let Die”, (I love the song “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney and the way it is used throughout that entire movie) but “The Spy Who Loved Me “delivers on a couple different levels. The opening ski scene with the Union Jack parachute, along with the first appearance of the famous and menacing henchman, Jaws. But Russian agent XXX and the chemistry she has with Bond is why this movie is as great as it is. Roger Moore’s Bond is not sure whether she is an ally or a foe. Bond killed her husband in the opening scene of the movie while on a different mission and she doesn’t let Bond forget that. Bond is always on his toes throughout because he isn’t sure what XXX’s main priority is: killing him, or finding the man who stole nuclear missiles? Roger Moore’s signature movie as James Bond.
4 —-> Goldeneye
Pierce Brosnan’s debut as 007 had it all. One of the classic Bond henchmen names – Xenia Onatopp, with an arch rival that was step for step a match for James Bond – Alec Trevelyan aka 006. And who could forget the awesome BMW Z3 Bond was sporting? Oh yea… they also dropped a completely awesome N64 game – Goldeneye that I played for hours and hours. (I loved me some battle mode 🙂 ) There were twists and turns throughout the entire movie. I love the fact that Trevelyan isn’t revealed as the villain to Bond until much later in the film. Brosnan brought that suave look and feel to the role that was much-needed to reestablish Bond as a heavy hitter in 1995. It definitely was a blockbuster that delivered.
3 —-> Thunderball
This movie gets a bad rap for too many slow under water scenes. But it’s the flair that Sean Connery has in all the other scenes that puts “Thunderball” in my top 3. I think you get the point…
2 —-> Goldfinger
Arguably the crown jewel of the Bond Franchise. Easily the most influential Bond film. “Goldfinger” created pop culture hysteria in 1964 when it was released. Everything fell into place to create the perfect storm – the theme song, the car, the girls, the quips, and the villains. Who isn’t familiar with Pussy Galore, really? I named my fantasy baseball team after her this year… 48 years after the movie was released!
“Goldfinger” gave us possibly the most iconic and famous lines in cinema history. Right before getting cut in half with a laser Bond asks, “You expect me to talk?” Goldfinger’s reply… “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!”
1 —-> Casino Royale
Daniel Craig took the stakes to a whole new level with “Casino Royale”. A raw, brash, and ego driven super agent learns the hardest lesson of all: trust nobody. This tension filled flick was executed flawlessly. So many layers to peel back. I loved this movie from start to finish. It would probably be smart to rant and rave since you are here reading. Instead, I urge you to watch it immediately. “Casino Royale” was Ian Flemings first James Bond novel, it’s only fitting that it eventually became the best Bond interpretation to grace the silver screen!
Go see “Skyfall” on November 9th!!! I’m thinking it’ll be great – comparable to “Casino Royale” and no where close to any “Octopussy” comparisons.