Monday, October 15, 2012

Lists. Bond Lists.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the James Bond films.

What does that have to do with being TG?  You'll see, Agent Reader.  Have I let you down yet?  Well, except that time.  And.. wait, that wasn't my fault- you're the one who brought the goat. 

Anyway.  I'm a big Bond fan.  So I decided to have a little intellectual exercise and make some Bond lists.  And in so doing, maybe you'll get some insight into the way my twisted mind works.  That said, these lists are my opinion, and are subject to change without notice.  Void where inhibited.  Your mileage may vary.  Read the prospectus before investing.  Professional driver on a closed course. 

Let's start with Why I love Bond movies.  Everyone needs a role model growing up.  For most people, that's a parent or relative.  In my case, those people were horrible role models, and I did everything in my power to be the opposite of them.  For example, I excelled in school.  I read a LOT.  If they liked something, I was pre-disposed against it.  Example: my whole family are Eagles fans.  So naturally, I'm a Redskins fan.  In 1980, I rooted for the Cowboys against the Eagles in the NFC championship game, and was grounded for a week.  (The Iggles won that game, then got crushed by the Raiders in the Super Bowl.)

So I wanted a role model.  And as I was running away from my true feminine self, I needed said person to be hyper-masculine.  That's when I discovered James Bond.  Cool.  Sophisticated.  Man of the World.  And women fell all over him!

Bond knew his drinks, so I learned to be a bartender and took a wine tasting course.  Bond could dance, so I took ballroom dancing.  Bond could play cards, so I learned the games and betting structures.  you get the idea.

So, here we go with the lists.  I am including only Bond movies in this list, not TV plays or parodies.  That said I AM including "Never Say Never Again."  After the lists, I will have a small conclusion.  ;)

CAVEAT:  LOTS of spoilers here.


The Bonds (Best to Worst):

1) Sean Connery:  Suave, cold, dashing.  And a Scot!  Will always be Bond
2) Daniel Craig:  THAT'S a Bond!  Cold, but capable of great emotional range.  And human.
3) Pierce Brosnan:  Brought Bond back from silliness
4) Roger Moore:  My first Bond, but loses points for falling into self-parody
5) George Lazenby:  may have grown into the part
6) Timothy Dalton:  Too damn grim and expressionless

5 Best Bond movies

1)  Goldfinger 1964
      How good is this movie?  The Aston Martin!  The girl painted gold!  Pussy Galore!  Oddjob's hat! "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!"   Bond spends about half this movie as a prisoner, yet it STILL rocks due to an amazing supporting cast.

2)  Casino Royale 2006
     Daniel Craig grabs the reins and runs with it.  Visceral, tough, and fun!  Few gadgets.  What Bond SHOULD be.  And the way he finally introduces himself...

3)  For Your Eyes Only 1981
     Roger Moore makes up for one of the goofiest Bond movies with a taut, back to basics thrill ride.  Bonus points for the crossbow!

4)  GoldenEye 1995
     Post Cold War Bond reboot featuring the Best Bond villain since Goldfinger and great depth.  Oh, and Famke Janssen, pre- Xmen!

5)  The Spy Who Loved Me 1977
     Tour de Force of great locations, fun villains, and Barbara Bach as a perfect foil for 007.

5 Worst Bond Movies

1)  A View to a Kill 1985
    Worst by a huge margin.  Christopher Walkin is wasted as the villain, and Patrick McNee deserved better.  Moore is twice his leading lady's age, and that leading lady is... Tanya "Can't act" Roberts.  And Grace Jones lifting a horse.  Duran Duran.  I could go on for hours.  (And this was the first Bond I saw in a theater no less!)

2)  Moonraker 1979
     Bond in Space.  Drax is a Darth Vadar rip off.  Has one good scene and THAT is with a recycled villain!  Simply terrible.

3)  Die Another Day 2002
    Where to start?  The piecemeal use of Bond history, the really stupid main villain, the Madonna cameo.  At least Halle Berry was fun.

4)  Diamonds Are Forever 1971
    Sean Connery returns after a hiatus and mails it in.  Looks dated.  Has it's moments but... a moon buggy chase?  Really?

5)  Licence to Kill 1989
    Interesting plot idea and some fun moments (Wayne Newton especially) but Timothy Dalton was too humorless and there was no chemistry between him and his leading ladies.  Which is a shame, as Cary Lowell was a great leading lady.

Best Villains  (lead)

1)  Auric Goldfinger  (Goldfinger)
    NO ONE chewed scenery like Goldfinger.  Keeps bond prisoner half the movie, has a well thought through plot, cool henchman, and THE best line in Bond history.  Trivia:  Gert Frobe was dubbed as he didn't speak a word of English.

2)  Alec Trevelyan (GoldenEye)
    A former double 0 with a grudge and a decent plan.  Bond's match in every way, and SEAN BEAN!

3)  Ernst Blofeld (Multiple)
   Spectre leader with so many plans.  Kills Bond's wife. 

4)  Largo (Thunderball)
    Smooth, suave, ruthless.  Hands on. 

5) Elektra King (World is Not Enough)
    First female Bond villain.  Complex, vulnerable, yet ruthless.  Oh, and it's Sophie Marceau.

Best Bond Villains (Henchmen)

1)  Oddjob (Goldfinger)
     The Hat.  The expressions.  And he kicked ass! 

2) Grant (From Russia with Love)
     Robert Shaw tails 007 and actually fools him for a while.  Great psycho... and it's Robert Shaw!

3)  Fiona ( Thunderball)
    Luciana Paluzzi is ruthless, gorgeous, and takes Bond for more than one ride!  Bonus points for dying on her feet.

4)  Dr. Kaufman (Tomorrow Never Dies)
   Vincent Schiavelli steals the show as a forensic specialist who is "especially good at the celebrity overdose."

5)  Knick Knack (Never Say Never Again)
    Herve Villachaeze is the sadistic butler playing both sides.  Steals scenes and sophisticated to boot!

Honorable Mentions:
Bambi and Thumper, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd (Diamonds are Forever)
Easily the best parts of this movie.  Bambi and Thumper kick ass, while Wint and Kidd have personality and bad puns (aside from being gay stereotypes)

Worst Bond Villains:

1) Drax (Moonraker)
   So unspeakably dumb.  The slouch, the bad lines, the stupid plans.  I shudder.

2) Largo (Never Say Never Again)
   A killer video game?  Really?  "Sweet... like money!"   Selling Kim Basinger into slavery.  Good actor, lousy role.

3)  Max Zorin (View to a Kill)
    Coulda been a contender instead of just a bum.  Walken was so underutillized in his role as a genetically engineered psychopath who is in the end just a killer yuppie. 

4) May Day (View to a Kill)
    Why?  Just... WHY?  80s at its worst.

5)  Franz Sanchez (Licence to Kill)
  Robert Davi is good, but has really bad lines.  In the end, just a caricature.  No depth.  

Honorable mention:
Blofeld (On her Majesty's Secret Service)
   Telly Savalas mails it in.  Just dumb.

 Best Bond Girls:

1)  Tracy (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
     Dame Diana Rigg plays a complex, beautiful and conflicted foil for Bond.  I read somewhere she's the first Bond "WOMAN" and I agree.  Best thing about that movie.  Only woman to marry Bond.

2) Solange (Casino Royale)
    Caterina Murino is sizzling hot as the unfaithful wife of  Alex Dimetrios.  The red dress!  The subtle and amazing facial expressions!  After Dames Diana Rigg and Judi Dench, easily the best Bond actress.

3) Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only)    
     Carole Bouquet is sexy, strong, and lethal.  Given that this was the 70s, WOW!  

4) Wai Lin (Tomorrow Never Dies)    
     Michelle Yeoh does her own stunts, kicks ass and looks great doing it!   Even exposes a Bond goof- Pierce Brosnan's Bond looks at a keyboard with Chinese characters and begs off... but in You Only Live Twice, Sean Connery's Bond reveals he "took a first in Oriental languages at Caimbridge." 

5) Pussy Galore (Goldfinger)   
     Honor Blackman is great as the henchwoman who turns.  Knows judo, ace pilot... wow!  

Worst Bond Girls:  

1)  Stacy Sutton (View to a Kill)   
     Tanya Roberts.  Can't act.  No depth.  Half Moore's age. So bad she beats out #2 on this list, which is saying something.  

2) Christmas Jones (World is Not Enough)   
     Denise Richards plays a nuclear physicist.  Really.  Even if you buy that miscasting, she can't act her way out of a paper bag.  Then there's the bad lines.  Then the floating breast implants...  

3)  May Day (View to a Kill)
     Grace Jones with bad hair, worse outfits and bad acting.  Has one good scene, which keeps her from being #2.

4)  Goodnight (Man with the Golden Gun)
     Britt Ekland has bad lines, a really stupid character, and no chemistry with Moore.  Best thing about her is that she gets shoved aside for a real woman: Maud Adams.   

5)  Bibi Dahl (For Your Eyes Only)
     Lynn-Holly Johnson plays hot blooded jailbait.  Ummm... no.  Only bad thing about that movie.

Best Bond Car:

Aston Martin DB5. 

Best Pre-credit Sequences:

1) Casino Royale
     Daniel Craig earns his double 0.

2) Thunderball
     Villain in drag, nasty fight, and... the jet pack!

3)  For Your Eyes Only
     Bond finally gets revenge for Tracy

4)  Living Daylights
     Great action sequence with a fun ending

5)  Tomorrow Never Dies
     Lots of things go boom, with some wonderful interplay back at HQ


I could keep going, but this is long enough. 

So, as those reading this know, my attempts to keep my feminine side were doomed to failure.  So now what?

Now I'll still watch Bond, but maybe my dreams will be different.  Maybe I could be the second trans- Bond girl.  Yes, there was one!  Tula was in For Your Eyes Only in a pool scene where one of the baddies is shot by a crossbow in mid-dive.

Tula on the set

How would I look as a Bond girl?  Well, I asked Lady Ellen to do a Bond Girl look on me back in April 2010.  Here's her take.

I liked it!  :)

I'm no Tula, but I'm getting there!  All I have to do is lose seventy pounds, get FFS, a boob job, GCS...

So there you have it.  Do you agree?  Disagree?  That's the fun part- there ARE no right answers.  My Bond may not be YOUR Bond. 

New Bond movie coming!  I can't wait!

Hey maybe I can be a Bond girl using photoshop...

Sigh.  A Girl can dream, can't she?

1 comment:

  1. I have seen many people posting their own bond girls list and it is interesting to see how they perceive the Bond girls. Some are attracted to a strong personality, but all to beauty.