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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pop Quiz, Hot Shot: James Bond
So I saw Skyfall a few days ago, and whenever a new Bond movie comes up, it seems that I always reminisce about all the other Bond movies I've seen. After approximately two minutes of exhaustive googling, I've determined that there aren't any quizes or memes or whatever that I can desperately latch onto, so I made one up. You're welcome.

1) Favorite James Bond actor?

Well, it might seem trite and cliche to say Sean Connery, but there's a reason he's the typical answer to this question. He more or less originated the character as we know him, so it's tough to go with anyone else. However, if Daniel Craig continues his run (he's 2 for 3 at this point, by my reckoning) for a few more good movies, he could give Connery a run for his money. Unlikely, though.

2) Favorite James Bond movie?

Casino Royale is the movie that really hooked me into Bond, and I think it remains my favorite for numerous reasons. In particular, the first third of that movie is utterly perfect and the best action film out of all of the series. The second and third acts drag a little bit and things do get convoluted at times, but it all worked out reasonably well for me. I'd say Goldfinger deserves some recognition as the film that really refined and perfected the Bond formula. Of the other Bond films, I like a lot of them, but many are middling efforts at best, and most don't seem to age very well. That being said, even the bad ones aren't without their charm, which is why the series has been so enduring.

3) Worst James Bond movie?

I'll give this to Never Say Never Again, though Diamonds Are Forever is nipping pretty closely at its heals. The commonality with both these movies is that they were failed attempts to reinstate Connery as Bond. Also, they're nigh incomprehensible stories. The one saving grace for Diamonds are the henchmen, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd. Oh sure, they're silly characters and make no real sense, but they stand out in a movie that bad. That's kind of damning with faint praise, to be sure, but that's why I went with Never as the worst.

4) Favorite villain/henchman?

The one/two punch of Auric Goldfinger and Oddjob from Goldfinger is pretty hard to beat.

5) Favorite Bondian double-entendre?

Another obvious win for Goldfinger: Pussy Galore. However, that answer is so blindingly obvious that this should really be the Pussy Galore memorial list. And thus, I think Octopussy merits special mention, not just because it's silly, but because they actually went ahead and named the movie after the double entendre.

6) Favorite Bond girl?

The obvious answer is Honey Ryder, played by Ursula Andress, from Dr. No, but since that's so obvious, I'll go with Vesper Lynd, played by Eva Green, from Casino Royale.

7) Name an under-appreciated Bond moment.

Moonraker has garnered a rather low reputation among the Bond films, perhaps even rightfully so, but one of my favorite moments in all of the movies is in Moonraker. Bond is hanging out at the estate of the villainous Hugo Drax, and in his villainy, he invites Bond to participate in a pheasant hunt. He even hands Connery a shotgun. But it's a ruse! One of Drax's henchmen has taken up residence in a nearby tree and levels his sniper rifle at Bond's head. Just then, a few pheasants are kicked up. Bond lifts his gun, gives the birds a lead, then pulls the trigger. Drax laughs and says "You missed!" Cut to man in tree falling, cause Bond just shot him. Bond says "Did I?" Annnnd scene! Sheer brilliance. Watch it online here.

To finish this comprehensive survey of James Bond films, I leave you with this parting thought, something I think we all say at some point whenever a new Bond movie is out:
Sophisticated Cat wants an Aston Martin
Holy crap, I posted cat picture on the internets. I'm, like, a real blogger now. Only took a dozen or so years.
Posted by Mark at 09:29 PM
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4 Comments

1) I grew up with Roger Moore as Bond; but, while I'm probably being more of a contrarian than anything else, I've always liked Lazenby.

2) "For Your Eyes Only"

3) I still have to go with "Moonraker". It's the only one that I'll actually switch away to another channel after a while.

4) Blofeld as played by Donald Pleasence. Jaws, because of Richard Kiel. And the jaws.

5) Bibi Dahl.

6) Man. The tough one. Part of why I love "For Your Eyes Only" is Carole Bouquet. Also, "For Your Eyes Only" is sung by Sheena Easton, which is like an extra Bond girl. Which is irrelevant, so I would probably have to go with Michelle Yeoh in "Tomorrow Never Dies."

7) The winter sports scenes from "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", despite some of the obvious matte work in close-ups, were phenomenal. I especially loved the bobsled work.

1) It has to be Roger Moore, I'm afraid. It's the one I grew up with, and his semi-serious approach is the one I now expect from a Bond movie.

2) The Spy Who Loved Me – which at least partly explains my high opinion of Moore's Bond career.

3) While Roger Moore is my favourite Bond, he also made some of the worst Bond movies of them all – Moonraker and Octopussy; but at least the latter has some funny moments. However, each Bond era has at least one movie that I actively avoid. The list would be: Connery – Thunderball, Moore – Moonraker, Dalton – Licence to Kill, Brosnan – Die Another Day and Craig – Quantum of Solace. All these films share a deathly sin for a Bond movie – they're quite boring.

4) Jaws as portrayed in The Spy Who Loved Me was an incredibly menacing figure, towering over the 6 foot 2 Moore. However, it would be remiss not to mention the scene-stealing Vincent Schiavelli as the put-upon torture expert Dr Kaufman in Tomorrow Never Dies.

5) From Diamonds are Forever:

- Hi! I'm Plenty!
- Of courshe you are.
- Plenty O' Toole.
- Named after your father perhapsh?

Although, it's more of a single entendre really...

6) Hm... this is actually quite tough as, by and large, Bond girls tend not to be very well-developed characters. Say Major Amasova from The Spy Who Loved Me.

7) In For Your Eyes Only, where Bond pushes an injured and helpless henchman off a cliff. The contrast between the normally jocular Moore and the icy, cold-blooded determination in this scene is quite sudden, and very effective. While this man may appear suave and charming, he's very much capable of sudden and extreme violence.

Comments are closed for this entry. Thank you for your interest and sorry for any inconvience.

 



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