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I liked Sean Connery at first,but he got old quickly. He became too much like a foreshadowing of Roger Moore towards Diamonds Are Forever,by the time he was put into that film with Kim Basinger in the 80's,I hated him as much as I hate Moore.But the early ones set the standard
George Lazenby was a much nicer,more likable Bond. But he had his own class and style to him that's hard to hate
Timothy Dalton I probably like the most becuase he was the most believable,the plots were better,and he did all his own stunts. He's like the Michael Keaton of James Bond,tormented and introverted but you want to like him all the time.
The rest of them suck,Moore and Brosnan make terrible jokes,and Craig is as pretentious and unlikable.
Of course I am only a casual watcher of James Bond since most of them are very silly anyway.
Interestingly, I groan at Brosnan's jokes, but think that his performance otherwise was alright, though the films themselves aren't really as good as what I've seen of the earlier Bonds.
And yes, I am probably retreading what I already said two months ago.
edited 8th Sep '11 10:20:08 AM by OldManHoOh
Just watched Die Another Day and this scene caught my attention:
->Bond: "I'm a ornithologist" Jinx: "Ornithologist, huh? *Looks at Bond's crotch* Wow. Now there's a mouthful."
For me, it was one those scenes where you can only scream at the screen "WHY WHAS THIS LEFT IN?"
edited 8th Sep '11 11:04:10 AM by erforce
I'm pretty sure the series has made references to Bond's "manhood" since the 60s.
edited 8th Sep '11 11:14:45 AM by OldManHoOh
On Her Majestys Secret Service is the favorite film of the ones I've seen so far (ducks thrown objects), with From Russia With Love a close second. Tracy Bond kicks ass and impales Brutes.
I do, however, have a soft spot for The World Is Not Enough. I've seen this one savaged, savaged, and savaged some more on Bond forums, in lengthy screeds that typically bring up Dr. Jones, Mr. Bullion, and Bond being "not merciless enough" in dealing with you-know-who (not that one). However, the scenes that do not feature the aforementioned two characters are quite good. I liked the human, fallible Bond. Both halves of the Big Bad Duumvirate were awesome, and both were Woobies to a certain degree. Woobie. Bond villains. Never been tried before or since.
edited 8th Sep '11 1:06:05 PM by HamburgerTime
The World is Not Enough is by no means my favourite, but I can't see any real reason why it would be savaged to the same degree as Quantum or Die Another Day.
The main complaint seems to be that it was out of character for Bond not to execute ZOMGSPOILARZ immediately. I actually liked that; it show's Bond's human.
My favourite films are more down-to-earth stuff like From Russia with Love and Casino Royale, but good god, Golden Gun and Moonraker were just so FUN I just can't bring myself to hate them.
I liked Quantum, partly because the subplot about Bond's and the Bond Girl's competing Rampages of Revenge reminded me of the old Lee Van Cleef spaghetti western Death Rides a Horse.
On Her Majesty Secret Service is a great movie except for Lazenby. Connery probably wouldn't have been ideal for the love story aspects of the movie either, but Lazenby just strikes me as kind of smirky and dorky. Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan had a kind of gravitas inspite of the smirkiness and the cheap jokes, and they could be pretty intense on the rare occasions where the films let them try. Lazenby didn't have that.
Connery was good when he still halfway cared about the character (up through Thunderball), but he is very much on auto-pilot in You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever, and in Never Say Never Again he has his tongue planted so deep in his cheek it's a wonder he can shtill shpeak hish linesh. Daniel Craig works pretty well for the kind of thing they're doing with the Bonds right now, but he occasionally crosses the line from tough guy with angst to just plain full of himself
I liked The World Is Not Enough-it was a fun doomsday plot in the style of the better Moore Bonds, and the twist with the villains was well-done. By and large though I liked the Brosnan Bonds okay, except for Die Another Day, but as a rule they tend to grasp for an emotional resonance they haven't earned. I feel about the Dalton Bonds kind of the way I do about OMHSS...great, coherent adventure/thrillers starring somebody who doesn't work for me as Bond.
I know why people don't like Moonraker, but it actually puts some kind of thought into what warfare in space might be like; its speculations are probably way far off the mark but points for trying.
The thing about the Bonds is that the vast majority of them are about the stunts and the gimmicks and the location shooting rather than the plots. You watch Live Twice for the ninjas and the volcano base and the ability to watch footage of mod-era Tokyo without worrying about Godzilla showing up. You watch Spy Who Loved Me for Jaws and the submarine car, and Thunderball for the Caribbean stuff, and Octopussy for the Classy Cat-Burglar Island and so on. There are exceptions: Russia With Love, OHMSS, For Your Eyes Only, the Dalton and Craig Bonds, but that's six-going-on-seven out of how many movies?
edited 11th Sep '12 3:13:36 PM by odadune
Dalton not working as Bond? How the hell do you get that? He IS Bond from the novels!
^ Which is "not Bond" if you're looking for the movie Bond.
Personally, I didn't really mind any of the Bonds except for Lazenby, though some of the movie scripts I could have done without, particularly the sillier stuff that Moore got saddled with during his turn as 007.
Caissa: Dalton has a smug, pseudo-intellectual vibe that I don't really associate with Book!Bond, although Fleming himself perhaps had elements of it. He's actually more entertaining in less serious roles IMO-I genuinely enjoyed him in Flash Gordon and Hot Fuzz.
edited 13th Sep '12 8:42:51 PM by odadune
I loved Lazenby and hated Moore.
Apart from that, there is only one Bond, and his name is Connery.
"Psuedo-intellectual" - the man went to Oxbridge, and has always shown intelligence and aptitude. His lingual proficiency aside (that's shown with all Bonds), OHMSS gives a good example in Bond's picking up heraldry. And most Bonds - every other film really - have an aspect of the M scene be that Bond demonstrates extraordinary knowledge about an obscure concept or the main villain (whom to that point in time would also be a meaningless person).
There's a different between being an intelligent, well-educated person who happens to be a food snob/lifestyle snob (and kind of a jerk in other ways), which is how I see Book!Bond; and being an intellectual snob, which is how Dalton!Bond comes off to me.
(The comments about Book!Bond's personality are affectionately meant, btw).
edited 14th Sep '12 12:30:57 PM by odadune
Amazingly, I'd never seen the Connery Bond films until the last couple years (I grew up with Brosnan as Bond, and caught several of the Roger Moore ones on television). It's stunning how blatantly sexist they are - in the first five movies there are two different scenes of arguable rape (the much-commented-on Pussy Galore one, and the one in Thunderball where Bond almost gets assassinated at a health clinic and uses it to extort a female worker there, who had been rejecting his advances, into having sex with him). And You Only Live Twice! ("In Japan man come first...woman come second." "I may retire here." I may throw up.) The only one that's fairly passable is From Russia With Love, even if they have the female lead act like kind of an idiot.
I mean, there's an inevitable aspect on sexism to the whole Bond premise (except in the first two Craig movies, where Bond Girl trope is never once played straight; they are - not solely for that reason, but it certainly contributes - hands-down my favourites of the franchise) but the Connery ones really take it over the top. Makes me realize how much I owe second-wave feminism.
It's worth noting that Ian Fleming was actually considered a liberal for his day. The books and films are stunningly sexist (Gold Finger is even worse in the novel, because Pussy is a lesbian and Fleming accidentally forgot to make it plausible that she could be seduced by Bond, meaning he pretty much has to force the issue) but others were writing so much worse.
Not that that excuses the sexism that exists, of course, but still, What Could Have Been...
I've read other things from that era or before that were a lot less sexist, so I'm not sure what we're comparing to when we say "more liberal"... I expect there were some writers who dealt with gender worse than him, but that alone doesn't mean liberalism.
He wasn't liberal by today's standards, but my understanding is that he was considered a liberal for the time by the literary community at that time.
What would be a good Bond film for someone (me?) who generally isn't too big on action films and tried the first movie and found it sort of okay, but not really interesting enough to really be compelled to seek out more?
edited 6th Feb '13 6:00:13 PM by JMQwilleran
Well, they're all action films to a greater or lesser extent, but I'd recommend Casino Royale for strong character development, good interactions between Bond and other characters, strong acting by Daniel Craig, great visuals, good dialogue, and action sequences that directly contribute to the plot. It's certainly the film where Bond is most a person rather than just an archetype.
For Your Eyes Only (with Roger Moore) is one that leans a bit more towards spy-thriller than straight-up action movie, so you might like it as well.
edited 5th Feb '13 4:38:51 PM by WarriorEowyn
Start with any of the Connery ones. Unlike others here, I love "You Only Live Twice" so I would give that a go. It still has one of the all time best Bond Themes.
Thanks for the suggestions. I think I'm going to go with Craig's Casino Royale and see what I think.
For someone new to Bond, I'd say start with Casino Royale. Values Dissonance inherent in some of the older productions might turn them off.
Agreeing with Casino Royale.
Of the older ones, Gold Finger and The Spy Who Loved Me are definitely considered among the best. Gold Finger basically was the Trope Codifier for the franchse, TSWLM is a particularly good example of it, and one of the first to even attempt Action Girl (it still fails by modern standards, but was a hell of a lot better than anything they'd done beforehand and a lot of what followed *glares at Stacey Sutton*)
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