Monday, March 26, 2018

The Worst and Best Bond-Movie Moments

For my next trick, I shall deliver unto you my picks for the 25 worst and 25 best single moments in the totality of Bond films.  (Well, "totality" excluding the following: the "Casino Royale" episode of Climax!, Casino Royale '67, Never Say Never Again, and James Bond Jr, the latter three of which were excluded so they would not hog the entirety of the "worst" list.)
In deciding what moments to use in making the lists, I have done my very best to NOT do the following:
  • include a moment merely because it is a great -- or terrible -- line of dialogue; so, for example, "Named for your father, perhaps...?" is nowhere to be found, awesome moment though that is; you will similarly not find "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to DIE!" here.  That said, are there moments that are largely based on the dialogue delivered?  Yep.
  • include a moment merely because it is a great piece of stuntwork (a list of the best Bond stunts would be a great idea, though); which is not to say that no stunt-centric moments will make the list, for they surely will; but a few iconic moments (such as the boat crossing the road in Live and Let Die) are absent, as well
  • include entire scenes; so, for example, Silva's entrance monologue is nowhere to be found, because that's not a moment, that's a scene (although it's entirely possible one moment FROM that awesome scene has made the cut); the scene in which Bond consoles Vesper in the shower, or the one in which Le Chiffre tortures Bond?  Similarly absent.  Best scenes of Bond films?  Great idea for a post!  Maybe I'll write it one of these years.
  • include moments that may horrify modern audiences with their sexism and/or racism; you can find plenty of that in these films, and maybe some of them deserve to be here, but frankly, it might have threatened to overwhelm the focus of the post, and I simply didn't want to do that.  You can probably find that sort of thing done in a more illuminating manner on some other blog.
  • have the best-of list be merely a collection of "cool shit James Bond did" moments; this was a danger, and I believe I avoided it, barely

It is, admittedly, a very rough and ill-defined set of criteria.  You may read through it and feel I've failed entirely in trying to herd the cats I'm referring to as "criteria" here.

If so, feel free to use the comment section and tell me how shite I am.

We'll begin, of course, with the worst.  A note of clarification: #25 worst is, in my estimation, less bad than #1 worst.  So we're counting down from the offensive to the horrendously offensive.

Got it?

Cool.  Here we go:

The 25 Worst Moments In James Bond Films

#25 -- Mr. Kidd and his flaming kebabs (Diamonds Are Forever)

I hate Diamonds Are Forever.  Spoiler alert: this won't be the last time it appears on this list.

I also hate almost everything about Mr. Wint and (especially) Mr. Kidd.  Mr. Kidd, as played by Putter Smith, is a hairy thumb wearing glasses, a mustachioed pudding who I am expected to believe is a formidable enough adversary to be in a position on numerous occasions to subdue James Bond.

Get out of here with that bullmess.

Right at the end of the movie, this cretin decides to have one final go at 007 by igniting some kerosene-soaked kebabs and then walking them calmly in Bond's direction.  There is no urgency to it; no menace.  Jill St. John looks at him, makes an "ugh" face, and then backs away.  I don't know what director Guy Hamilton was thinking in the way he filmed this scene; I'm not sure he was paying any attention.


#24 -- the "C" joke (Spectre)

After the title sequence in Spectre -- another movie I fucking hate -- Bond is introduced by M to Max Denbigh, who will turn out to be one of the movie's villains.  Bond quips about how he should call Denbigh "C" now, which Denbigh seemingly takes as a sort of compliment.  He insists that "Denbigh" will do just fine, to which Bond replies, "No, I think I'll call you 'C' now, C."  To which Denbigh replies by kind of just being confused and saying, "As you wish."

So I guess the idea here is that Bond is surreptitiously calling Denbigh a cunt...?  I guess the idea here is that Bond is vexed by Denbigh's new spy initiative that may put MI6 out of business...?  The latter doesn't come across well, and the former simply makes no sense.  If Bond were -- even on the down-low -- calling Denbigh a cunt in front of M, M would likely produce a large saber of some sort and simply lop 007's stupid head off.  If Denbigh didn't beat him to it.  That neither of them has any reaction indicates that neither of them got the joke (IF that's what it even is!), which means that Bond is being a fucking pussy in this scene.

Beyond that, Daniel Craig is awful here.  He's not built to be doing whatever it is he's doing.  He may have been just as confused by the intent as I am; that, at least, might explain the performance.

#23 -- X-ray spy specs (The World Is Not Enough)

If you can explain to me how X-ray spy spectacles work that have the ability to see through clothes BUT ONLY IN A PG-13 MANNER, then you may deserve some sort of university fellowship for scientific research.

Everything about this little bit of The World Is Not Enough is idiotic.  Why not just have Bond wear the glasses plus a big smirk and let us imagine what he's seeing?  So we could see the weapons, I guess.  Which mattered ... why, again?

#22 -- Jaws can't steer (Moonraker)

Alright, look: I love Moonraker.  Truly.  It's an idiot of a movie, but a grinning idiot, like a tame bear.  It's operating on a kid's-movie level, and as such, I think it's a blast.

But Jaws...?  Man, Jaws bums me out.  Not AS much in this movie as in the comparatively more serious The Spy Who Loved Me, but a good bit.  This is perhaps his worst moment in Moonraker: in hot pursuit of James Bond, Jaws is stupid enough to just keep chasing him right up to the edge of a waterfall.  Then he's stupid enough to just yank the entire steering wheel off, condemning his boatload of henchmen to a certain death as they are dashed to bits at the bottom of the waterfall.

The scene is sure to make kiddies laugh.  And it kind of still makes me laugh, too; but it's really kind of embarrassing.

#21 -- Jaws meets Dolly (Moonraker)

Everything about this subplot screams WTF.  The acronym "WTF" may as well have been invented specifically for this subplot.

Honestly, I have no actual words to say about this scene.  Instead, I shall resort to a modified screencap of what we cut to in the movie right after Jaws and Dolly go walking off hand in hand:

As much as I love Moonraker, you could probably have made a 25-worst-Bond-moments list strictly from that movie.  Bless its heart!

You could quite possibly do the same from our next movie:

#20 -- "Yo mama" (Die Another Day)

I know, I know: I said I wasn't going to list things here simply because they were terrible (or great) lines of dialogue.  And indeed, that's not the only reason this moment is making the worst-of cut.  Halle Berry is pretty bad here, which is one of the only places in the film that's true.

See, Jinx Jordan is actually quite a good Bond girl; arguably, she's a GREAT Bond girl.  But this one moment -- in which Jinx's reply when asked who sent her is "Yo mama" -- is so horrendous that I think it is all a lot of people remember about the character.  Berry says it with no real conviction; if she had put it into Jinx's mouth with a hint of real fuck-you in on her lips, it might have come off as bitingly ironic.

Instead, it is a dead fish, lying limply on the table and stinking up the entire room.

#19 -- Tiffany Case with a gun (Diamonds Are Forever)

Throughout Diamonds Are Forever, Tiffany Case is (allegedly*) portrayed as being a tougher-than-nails dame who can handle any situation.  So why, toward the end, does she turn into a complete dunce?

The worst moment is this one, in which she is using a rapid-fire weapon to shoot at some henchmen, and is so overpowered by it that (A) she only fires into the air and (B) shoots herself right off the oil rig.  Is this supposed to make Bond look cooler in comparison or something?  It doesn't work.

*I say "allegedly" because let's face it, Jill St. John doesn't exactly sell this aspect.  In her hands, Tiffany Case seems like a bit of a weakling for most of the movie.

#18 -- Bond commands a tiger to sit (Octopussy)

I love Octopussy, but it's not without its flaws, and seemingly about half of them show up during the sequence in which Bond tries to escape Kamal Khan's palace via the jungle.  I could easily have chosen several things from it for this list, but managed to restrict myself to one: the moment in which 007, faced with an angry tiger, looks the big cat right in the eye and says "sit!"

It's not merely that this is inane (DOGS respond to "sit!", not cats, especially fucking tigers), it's that Roger Moore's delivery is garbage.  In no way does he seem to James Bond at this moment.  If he'd done something persuasively Bondian to get out of this jam, I'd be inclined to overlook it.

#17 -- gondola assassin foiled (Moonraker)

Again, it's not so much that this scene is ridiculous -- though it certainly is -- but moreso the manner in which it is performed.  Bond is being ferried down a canal in Venice, and a funeral gondola (?!?) passes by with a knife-wielding assassin inside the coffin.  It pops open -- and by "pops" I mean "unenergetically" -- and the assassin promptly kills Bond's gondolier.  He throws another knife at Bond, but misses, so 007 grabs the knife out of the side of the boat and throws it right into the assassin's chest.  The "actor" playing the assassin grabs his chest in a manner not even as convincing as a Red Foxx special, calmly lies down, and the coffin closes again.


And, by the way, don't be surprised if that "actor" was not in fact a stuntman, employed more for his knife-throwing skills than his thespianism.  If so, it's understandable, but the end result was not worth it.

#16 -- Jaws versus the scaffolding (The Spy Who Loved Me)

Can I be honest?  I don't much care for Jaws.  I know people love him; and in a way, I do too.  But I love the idea of him more so than the actuality of him, and if you want to know why, I'll tell you: the series put him to stupefyingly poor use at times.

I would argue this is the absolute nadir of that side of the character.  You would have to be mentally incompetent not to see this coming from a mile away.  So how does that do anything beneficial for the character, this scene, or the movie overall?

Answer: it doesn't.  But The Spy Who Loved Me is a garbage movie in general, so I shouldn't be surprised.

Yeah, that's right!  I said it!  And I meant it!

By the way, don't think I wasn't tempted for one of the items on this worst list to simply be "Barbara Bach."

#15 -- "You've just killed James Bond!" (Diamonds Are Forever)

After killing the real smuggler Peter Franks, 007 swaps identities with him.  Tiffany Case checks the dead man's wallet, and finds identification.  "You've just killed James Bond!" she says, incredulously, as though she had just witnessed the despatching of Iron Man. 

Three reasons why this moment made the cut:

(1)  The mere idea that Tiffany Case would know who James Bond is appallingly idiotic.
(2)  Jill St. John's delivery of the line is annoying.
(3)  The stupidity of having the form of identification be a Playboy Club card.

Fuck you, Diamonds Are Forever.

#14 -- burly henchman on Zorin assembly line (A View to a Kill)

The scene in A View to a Kill in which Bond and Tibbett fight a couple of Zorin's henchmen near the assembly line is quite probably the worst fight scene in the entire series.  And the worst bit of that fight comes when, after Bond has finished off the burly henchman, the scene cuts from a rattled Tibbett to a shot of the burly stuntman in the act of lying down on the conveyor belt.  The editor, Peter Davies, has clearly had a dilemma: tasked with making sure the audience understands why the henchman is on the conveyor belt in the first place (and therefore understands why he is crated up as though he were a bunch of microchips), he has seemingly snipped off every possible frame of the stuntman lying down in the hopes that nobody would notice.

Somebody noticed.

#13 -- "gassed" soldiers play dead (Goldfinger)

Oh, you thought all the GOOD Bond movies were exempt from the worst-moments list?  No sir!

It doesn't screencap very well, but I hate the moment in Goldfinger in which the airplanes fly over the military base and spray what they think is nerve gas.  A line of soldiers "falls down" "dead."  In fact, the soldiers are merely playing dead; and in fact, the actors playing the soldiers merely lay down en masse.

You don't see fakeness of this magnitude every day.

#12 -- Lupe Lamora's "I love James so much!" (Licence to Kill)

Another line of atrocious dialogue, but it's not merely the dialogue that has put this moment on our list.  The best actor ever to live would have been hard-pressed to make it work, but Talisa Soto -- who was not the best actor ever to live -- comes nowhere close.

"You know," she says to Pam, as though she were casually mentioning having a headache, "I love James so much!"

And, like ... there's been no indication of that being the case; so that's bad.  What's worse is that Lupe's confession sends Pam into a fit of jealousy, which itself has not been hinted at very well.  Both of these are fairly good characters, and this one moment ruins them both.

It's almost impressive.

Speaking of unearned passion:

#11 -- "...and I'll do anything for you!" (For Your Eyes Only)

I swear, I haven't forgotten my rule against opting merely for awful dialogue.  This moment is cringe-inducing for any number of reasons.

And yes, the dialogue is key among them.  Bond wants to know how Bibi got into his hotel room, and she answers by saying she bribed a porter, who is a fan of hers.  "He'll do anything for me ... and I'll do anything for you!"

But what puts this moment on our list is Lynn-Holly Johnson's nonverbal coda to this line.  She closes her eyes in a reverie, shrugs, and grins widely.  She honestly seems about four years old in this moment.  And yeah, the joke is that Bibi is much too young for Bond, but still.

Man.  How did this miss the top ten?

I'll tell you how...

#10 -- inflatable Kananga (Live and Let Die)

Before we proceed, I must caution you NOT to look into this thing's eyes.

I suppose there was no way for this moment to win using 1973's special effects.  And if so, this arguably means that I'm being judgmental less of a moment here than I am of a special effects, or perhaps of a plot point.

Ah, but not really!  I mean, yes; both of those things.

But what really and truly sinks this moment is the editing, which is seemingly zoomed in and is therefore incredibly grainy.  So not only is it a horrendous plot point executed via a shoddy special effect, but the literal film quality takes an incredible downward leap for these few seconds.

Imagine being Yaphet Kotto and having to live with the fact that this is how your villain -- the only black main villain for a Bond villain even to this day in 2018! -- goes out.  Tears would I be weeping, every god damn night.

We are going to transition from one lousy effect to another:

#9 -- CGI para-surfing (Die Another Day)

Alright, I confess: this moment really IS here almost entirely due to it being poor visual effects work.  Which arguably makes this a bit of a cheat.  (So does the fact that it's arguably more of a scene than a moment.)

Here's the thing: it's not just that it's bad.  It's that it's SO INCREDIBLY bad that I am convinced it single-handedly ruined this movie's reputation.  Don't get me wrong: there's plenty of other stuff to complain about (the invisible car, Madonna, Madonna's song, etc.); but I think people were mostly still with the movie at this point.

Then, it happens: a scene in which James Bond uses a piece of metal and a parachute to surf along, over, and away from a tidal wave caused by a laser beam from outer space.  It's a big ask, even for a Bond movie.  If it had somehow been accomplished primarily via real-life stuntman, I think people might still have rolled their eyes at it, but they'd have accepted it and moved on.

Here, though, what we get is about (seemingly) twenty minutes of piss-poor CGI, intercut with shots of Pierce Brosnan trying valiantly to (A) appear as if he is actually steering this contraption and (B) appear as if he is actually in the scene.  It doesn't work, I am sad to say.

And I really am sad to say it, because not only do I think this moment/scene tanked people's feelings about the movie, I strongly suspect that it indirectly led to Pierce Brosnan's unceremonious firing by the producers of the series.  What a shame!  He had, by any standard of measurement, had a commercially successful run as 007, up to and including this film.

He deserved better.  And I blame the CGI in this scene, which looks awful in 2018 but looked shoddy even in 2002 when it was brand new.

#8 -- fake-moon-landing gravity (Diamonds Are Forever)

I've been accused in the past of being too hard on Diamonds Are Forever, which I might well be.  I strongly considering removing this moment from my worst-of list at the last minute and trying to find some acceptable substitute, not because I fear that I'm being too hard on the movie -- fuck that movie! -- but because I have to admit to being pretty damn amused by this oddball scene.

However, I think that by any semi-objective standard, this whole thing is just awful.  So in deference to that, I'm leaving it in.

And to be clear, what I'm saying gives it its place is not the conspiracy-theorist fake-moon-landing angle, but the fact that the "astronauts" opt to continue moving as though oppressed by the lighter gravity of the moon when their jobs in this moment are clearly to subdue the infiltrator in their midst.

Which really does make me chuckle, against my better judgment.  Still, this moment is sheer swamp ass, and I hope its ranking here reflects that.

#7 -- Goodnight rear-ends the Solex controls (The Man With the Golden Gun)

Just incredible.

I am by no means the world's biggest fan of The Man With the Golden Gun.  I used to not like it at all; that changed during the course of writing this blog, but despite that, I have to admit that it is a very flawed film.

One of its worst flaws is the manner in which it treats Mary Goodnight, its ostensible female lead.  I believe this film -- to the extent that it is a living and breathing entity of its own -- hates Mary Goodnight and/or Britt Ekland, the actress who played her.  Throughout, seemingly every opportunity is taken to demonstrate that hatred.

Or if not hatred, perhaps contempt.  Whichever, the fact the movie asks her to literally back into a big red button that can and does activate a destructive laser beam is next-level bad.

#6 -- Blofeld in drag (Diamonds Are Forever)

Drink THIS motherfucking nightmare fuel in, y'all:

I should remember that it's 2018, and I might possibly be accused of being insensitive (if not downright homophobic or transphobic) by ranking this here.  Hey, look, I got virtually no homophobia in me; maybe a wee touch of transphobia, I can't lie about that.  But not enough to make it necessary for anyone in that community to worry about my thoughts and/or feelings; y'all do what you want to do, it ain't gonna hurt me none.

But if all of y'all looked like what Charles Gray's Blofeld looked right in drag, I would be younameit-phobic.  I will own that shit right here and now, proudly, defiantly; and I feel certain that at least half of y'all queens are right there with me, if only in secret.


#5 -- double-take pigeon (Moonraker)

This moment doesn't screencap well at all, so let's have a look at the actual moment.  And you know the one already, right?

I actually love everything about this silly-ass scene.  Is it ridiculous that Bond has a hover-convertible gondola?  Oh, you bet it is!  Is it ridiculous that a pigeon is so flummoxed by it that it responds in human fashion, like it's Don Knotts or something?  Of course it is!  It's also hilarious.  And despite that, I'm including the moment here.  I am a beneficent and reasonable blogger, so I yield to the demands of the worldwide Bond-loving populace, who would likely insist that this HAS to be here.

And my rationale is this: the reason I include this moment despite loving the overall scene is that the editorial manner in which the double-take was achieved is awful.  Just dreadful. 

The best part of that clip, by the way, is the judgmental-looking dog, who is squinting at everyone involved in these decisions and -- correctly -- finding them to be lacking.

We've got another video coming up, since this moment also proved to be highly screencap-resistant.

#4 -- Elliot Carver's sarcastic kung fu (Tomorrow Never Dies)

I sometimes forget this moment.  In fact, when I compiled this list initially, I forgot it entirely.  I wasn't happy with some other thing that I'd listed and decided to remove it, and was trying to figure out what to put in its place.  I had a vague sense that some of the movie were perhaps under-represented, so I went on a hunt through a few of them...

...and landed squarely on this, which I immediately vaulted into the top five (even though what I'd been looking for was a replacement #25).

I loathe everything about Elliot Carver.  And about the performance Jonathan Pryce gives in the role, for that matter.  But this moment in which he mocks Wai Lin is so wackadoo that you almost have to tip your hat in its direction.

Some people may well do so.  Shit, man, remember that one speech in which a certain prominent U.S. politician bold-facedly mocked a disabled reporter?  If THAT guy can get away with that in the real world, then I suppose I have to admit that what Carver/Pryce does in this scene is perhaps (A) entirely realistic and (B) permissible as (a) fictional or (b) actual villainy.
It is thus admitted.  Still, this is handily one of the very worst things that happens in any Bond movie.

#3 -- confused dudes versus the DEA (Licence to Kill)

Gotta set this one up a bit before bringing in the screencaps.

In the pre-titles sequence of Licence to Kill, Bond and Felix Leiter -- who suddenly works for the DEA and not the CIA, but whatever -- are on their way to Felix's wedding.  Felix receives a tip that a most-wanted drug dealer is nearby, so they cheese off to try apprehending him.  When they arrive at the airfield, Felix and the other DEA agents go running across the runway in slow motion.  It's the most serious thing you have ever seen in your LIFE:

It goes on for what seems like about an hour, and when we cut away, what we cut to is this:

These two hapless a-holes are presumably Sanchez's getaway pilots.  They appear to have NO fucking idea what is going on here.  They appear to have just wandered out of a Burger King to find that their car has been shit on by Godzilla.

They respond in the only way one imagines they are able:

It's bad acting in any sense of the idea, but what makes it a truly godawful moment is the juxtaposition with the furious pursuit of the DEA taskforce.  This is Ed Wood-level bad.

#2 -- Secret Asian Man (You Only Live Twice)

Let's forget about whether You Only Live Twice is racist or not.  That's a toilet full of snakes of a conversation.

This moment is here not because it is racist as fuck -- it might be, it might not be; I really don't know what even counts anymore, if you want to know the truth -- but because of how incredibly poorly the film sells the concept of what is actually supposed to be happening here.

James Bond, you see, has been attended to by the Japanese Secret Service and given a makeup job designed to have him pass as a local in a fishing village.  The result is so unconvincing -- in our real world, if not within the story itself (where it apparently works like a fucking charm) -- that I did not even realize what was happening for the first two and a half(ish) decades of seeing the movie.

I don't remember what year it was, but the Alabama Theatre in Birmingham hosted a three-day Bond series one weekend in which the six Connery films were screened, two per night.  The final one, of course, was You Only Live Twice followed by Diamonds Are Forever.  I was in heaven seeing these movies on a big screen.  A friend -- hi, Brian! -- tagged along with me; he was not a Bond fan beyond having seen maybe one or two of the Brosnan-era films.  But we went to the Alabama all the time, so he was down for this.

He hated these two movies, though.  In retrospect, I don't blame him one bit.  As we were driving home, he dropped a bomb on me: "What was up with them doing such a bad job of trying to make Sean Connery look Japanese?" he asked indignantly.

"What are you talking about?" I responded, somewhat indignant at his indignation.

"The surgery scene or whatever that was...?" he clarified.  "What the fuck was that?!?"

"He's not supposed to look Japanese," I patiently explained, "they're just ... uh ... they, uh, just ... gave him a wig and stuff.  He wasn't supposed to look Japanese," I repeated, suddenly unsure of my position.

"Yes the fuck he was!" Brian insisted, quite correctly.  "Yes the fuck he was and it was awful!"

"Holy shit!" I said.  "Is THAT what that scene is all about?  Man, I've been confused by that all these years and didn't even know it!"

If you're going to take a swing at something like this in a movie -- and under very few, if any, circumstances should you do such a thing -- then you've got to take a better swing than this.  I'm sure that if they had, it would make the movie downright infamous in a Breakfast At Tiffany's sort of manner, and so maybe it's for the best that they settled for what seems to have been a shrug.

But the mere fact that in the moment depicted above, when James Bond steps into the room and says "konbanwa," he is supposed to actually look Japanese...?  Stunning failure.  I'm still reeling, all these years later, as finding out that that is what was up in that moment.

And yet, I did NOT vote that as my #1 worst Bond moment.

You didn't really think it would be from anything other than Diamonds Are Forever, did you?

#1 -- Bambi and Thumper subdued (Diamonds Are Forever)

And now, a visual ode to Bambi and Thumper, the worst characters in any Bond film.  I have purposefully found the most awkward screencaps of them I could find:

You may think I'm lying about this, but I had not realized until just now that I both opened and closed my worst-of list with tag-team characters from Diamonds Are Forever.  If I had thought of it, I would have done it; both Wint and Kidd AND Bambi and Thumper were always going to be on this list in some manner, and it was easy for me to pick what THE worst moment would be.

It's this:

We've gone through one of the absolute lamest action scenes in all of Bond ... a scene filled with poorly-looped dialogue, inane gymnastics, criminal overacting from Thumper, criminal underacting from Bambi, and an extended period of time in which we are asked to accept that these two women would get the upper hand on James Bond physically.

Okay, sure.  If I absolutely HAVE to buy that, here's my wallet; take a single and let's call call it a day.

But no.  YOU motherfuckers want that hundred that's been in there since my gramma gave it to me for Christmas.  You insist that I then accept the notion that Bond, having been flung into the pool after getting his old ass whupped by two gymnasts, would regain the upper hand by merely putting his hands on top of their heads and shoving the two of them under the water.  A few seconds before, these two were beating everloving fuck from Bond the way you know M wishes he could; now, they can't swim out from under his hands.

Fuck you, Diamonds Are Forever.

That rejoinder issued for one final time* (*it won't be the final time as long as I am alive and operating a Bond blog, rest assured), we move on to greener pastures:

The 25 Best Moments In James Bond Films

This list was brutal to compile.  In selecting my picks for best Bond-film moments, I have done my best to accurately represent my own Bond-fandom personality, by way of making selections I've never seen on lists like this one.  That's not to say that I'm about to foist upon you a hipster-ish, look-how-smart-I-am type list (at least, I hope not!); but to say that while there are certain highly-prized moments which I 100% agree with, and have consequently placed here, I have by no means shied away from stepping outside what might be considered conventional wisdom.

I stand by it, and yet am sure it is a complete failure by virtue of not having managed somehow to include at least 50 entries.  I am aware that that math does not add up; you simply CANNOT squeeze 50 into 25 without cheating, but I feel it was nevertheless incumbent upon me to somehow, in defiance of logic and fact and the universal language of mathematics, manage to do exactly that.

Complete failure.
Sorry about that, y'all.  I really did try!

With that mea culpa issued, let's begin with a pair of inclusions that might well shock you.

#25 -- Fatima detonates bomb (Never Say Never Again)

That's right!  Never Say fucking Never Agoddamgain!  I omitted it from consideration in the worst-of list, but I see absolutely no reason to do with the best-of list, given how incredibly bad the movie is.


And yet, I have always loved this particular moment.  Fatima Blush has rigged a bomb underneath James Bond's bed, and sits in the courtyard beneath his room, staring into space with her cold, dead shark's eyes.  She flinches only the tiniest bit as the bomb explodes; this is as implacable and ruthless a killing machine as any in any Bond film.

I celebrate her for it, if only for this single moment.  She's got other great moments in the movie, too, and some dreadful ones; but this one truly shines.

#24 -- Moneypenny selects a 007 (Casino Royale)

Casino Royale '67 has it merits.  Its demerits are more voluminous by a factor of, like, ten ... but that doesn't mean there aren't things in it to like.

One of them is this terrific moment during a scene that is fundamentally silly, but successfully silly in a manner that indicates what the entire movie could have theoretically been like if it had worked.

What's happening is that Moneypenny (as played by Barbara Bouchet) has been tasked with making a recommendation as to who the new 007 ought to be.  The manner in which she is evidently going about this is ascertaining their kissing ability.  The first two would-be agents she tests out are duds, but the third is a big old hit.  It's dumb as a post, but the idea of turning the lighting red for a few seconds so as to indicate Moneypenny's favorable natural responses is funny and effective.

The thing that really sells it, though, is the music by composer Burt Bacharach, which syncs up ith what is happening onscreen perfectly.  I'm not recognizing merely the music, though; everything works in this moment, from the music to the lighting to the performances by the two actors.

Imagine if the whole movie had been like this!  We'd have very different feelings about it, I think.

And hey, here's another movie I don't like all that much:

#23 -- trick floor (You Only Live Twice)

When I was a child, there was very little in all of James Bond that I thought was cooler than this moment with the trick floor in You Only Live Twice.  Proof that danger lurks around every corner in the world of 007!

As an adult, I still think it's pretty damn cool.

#22 -- Bond raises a glass to henchmen (Skyfall)

Like several other films on this list, Skyfall is so littered with great moments that I could quite possibly have filled out the entire top 25 using that film alone.

One of the very best comes when Bond, having been informed by Severine that the bar's thugs are going to try to kill him when she leaves, looks in the direction of the goons and raises his martini toward them.  Rarely in Bond films has there been a more blatant "fuck you" from our hero.

#21 -- Tracy with tears on her face (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)

Hoo-boy ... not only could I compile an entire top-25-moments list using On Her Majesty's Secret Service, I might could do it using only scenes that Tracy is involved in.  (Spoiler alert: this won't be the final one we see.)

Here, what's happened is that Bond has gone to see Tracy at her father's birthday, at Draco's urging.  He's asked Bond to court her in exchange for information about Blofeld, and Bond has agreed.  Tracy knows this, and is furious, and emotionally blackmails her father into telling Bond what he wants to know with no further obligation.  Draco reluctantly does so, and Tracy, furious, storms away.

Bond chases her, finds her waiting outside by her car with her back turned to him.  When she turns around, her fury has vanished, replaced by sheer naked despair.  Tears are on her face, and Bond, obviously quite moved by this woman who is both steely and fragile, gently wipes them away.

Never had there been a moment like this in a James Bond movie.  There have been precious few since.  Whatever Bond movies do well -- and they do plenty very well indeed -- they do not necessarily traffic in genuine emotion.  That Diana Rigg is as profoundly good as she is in this moment is so shocking -- even today, nearly fifty years later -- is truly incredible.  It is quite likely a sign of director Peter Hunt's having formerly been an ace editor that the scene remains on Rigg the entire time, and never cuts away to Lazenby; you would not want to miss a single frame of what she is doing here.

#20 -- the killing of Professor Dent (Dr. No)

One of coldest and most ruthless moments in the entire series comes when Bond exercises his licence to kill as the conclusion of his talk with Professor Dent. "You've had your six," Bond says to the treacherous professor after the man has just attempted to shoot him.  Then he fires his own weapon, putting Dent on the ground; and, for good measure, he puts one in the man's back.

It's got silly aspects to it, but Dr. No is also a remarkably realistic movie at the time, especially for a film made in 1962.  It might be the most underrated Bond film of them all.

#19 -- Bond focuses on explosive device (GoldenEye)

It's the little things.

It's the big things, too, obviously; but the little things should never be minimized or ignored.  And one of my absolute favorite Bond moments comes toward the end of GoldenEye.  Bond has infiltrated Trevelyan's compound and is making a noisy, destructive nuisance of himself.  Some guards begin firing at him, and he ducks behind a column.  His plan: to rig an explosive device on a timer, surrender to the guards, and then wait for the bomb to go off.

While he's setting the bomb up, the guards are continuing to fire at him.  He's safe, but bullets are hitting and shrapnel is flying all around him.  When one bullet hits in especially close proximity, it causes Bond to flinch a bit ... but not for one second does his focus on the the explosive device he is rigging waver.

Incredibly badass.  Speaking of which...

#18 -- Bond catches a gun (Casino Royale)

Dude tries to shoot Bond; gun is empty.  Dude decides to make lemonade out of lemons, so he throws the gun at Bond.  Bond catches the gun and throws it right back, hitting the guy squa in the face.

If I need to explain this moment any more than that, one of us is doing something wrong.

#17 -- Bond kicks car off cliff (For Your Eyes Only)

For Your Eyes Only is a relatively hard-edged Bond film, and it has what is almost certainly the most cold-blooded moment from Roger Moore's tenure as 007.  Having shot and wounded Locque, the assassin who has killed Bond's associate Luigi (and also ran down Lisl on the beach), Bond approaches the man's car.  It is teetering on the edge of a cliff.  Bond, l'homme sans merci, flicks into the open window a pin that Locque left on Luigi's body.  This begins the car sliding a bit, and Bond gives it a kick to get it going the rest of the way.

Moore spoke in interviews over the years about not liking the fact that his character had done this.  I can kind of get it; Moore was seemingly quite a gentle man, and you've got to figure a gentle man would worry about the things he was putting into the world.  James Bond, however, is not a gentle man, and I think on occasion it makes sense for him to demonstrate that fact.

In the world of James Bond, sometimes a man simply needs killing.  And if you have the opportunity to give that man a few seconds in which he knows it is about to happen, all the better.

#16 -- Bond receives ceramic bulldog (Skyfall)

It is a testament to the skill with which Skyfall was written, directed, and edited that this moment lands as successfully as it does.  But that's the power of an effective symbol being used in a piece of visual storytelling; it's practically the reason why the medium exists.

The reason why this moment made the cut for me is that it puts a bow on the entire film.  It represents both Bond's relationship with M and his relationship with job and country; these are both the same relationship and distinct ones, which makes the little statuette a more complex symbol than it might appear at first glance.

It also represents the audience's long-standing relationship with Bond himself.  The movie came out during the 50th anniversary year of the series, and had a metafictive aspect to it that reassured the audience, "Yes, this means something; and no, it's not going anywhere."  When Daniel Craig looks into that box, he's seeing the soul of the character he plays; the soul of the love people have for the films.  That's Sean Connery and George Lazenby and Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan who Daniel Craig is seeing inside that box; and, yes, it's Daniel Craig himself, as well.  Plus the next guy, and the guy who comes after that guy.  It's Britain inside that box, past, present, and future.  And it's Judi Dench's M, and it's Tiago Rodrigues, and it's the pain of that betrayal, a necessary betrayal, an unavoidable betrayal.

It's all that and more.

So of course, the sequel (Spectre) made it a mere means of M passing secret information on to Bond.

Lame.  Fuck you, Spectre.  That said...

#15 -- Bond assassinates the assassins (Spectre)

I like very little in this movie, but it does have moments.  Here's the best one: Lucia returns home from her husband's funeral, knowing her life is in severe jeopardy, but resigned to the idea that she is powerless to stop whatever is going to happen.  She walks through her house, drinking, and the camera reveals that there is a killer already inside her home, waiting for her:

She walks outside, and a second assassin is revealed:

Does she know they are there?  I think she suspects it from the beginning, and quite possibly hears the one guy's footsteps.  It just seems as if their presence is known to her.

The two killers take up flanking positions behind her.

As filmed, this is the definition of inescapable doom.  These two thugs may as well be demons sent straight from Hell; there is no hiding from them, no evading them, no bargaining with them.  This is the Grim Reaper come a-reaping at long last, as we always knew he would.

Two shots ring out, and Lucia flinches a bit ... but does not fall.

An angel has arrived to counter these demons.

Almost nothing else about this sequence works for me, sad to say.  But forget that.  This bit of it is exquisite.  Never let it be said I won't give credit where credit is due!  And the credit for this moment should be thus: this is about as omnipotently awesome as James Bond gets.

#14 -- Max Zorin laughs in the face of death (A View to a Kill)

The more time passes, the more it seems to me as if Max Zorin (as played by Christopher Walken) is one of the very best Bond villains of all.  When I ranked them, I put him at #10, and could easily have bumped him up a place or two (or three?) higher.

Walken's is an eccentric performance, but an incredibly memorable one, and, I should add, an entirely appropriate one.  Zorin is a model of barely-restrained insanity; a high-functioning lunatic whose deepest impulses occasionally bubble to the surface.

Perhaps the most notable of these comes in his final moments, when Zorin, scrabbling futilely for purchase atop the Golden Gate Bridge, realizes he is about to fall to his death.  His response?  He literally begins laughing.  "You amuse me, Mr. Bond," he said to 007 at one point much earlier in the film; here, as the final grains of sand pour from the hourglass, it seems as if Zorin has been greatly amused by life in general.  Perhaps this is the culmination of some long-held, deep-seated fear, or ambition, or suspicion.

Who can say?  Zorin goes out in enigmatic fashion, as befits him.

#13 -- bomb stopped with seven seconds to spare (Goldfinger)


As originally filmed, the bomb was stopped on a different number; 004, I think.   Whoever made the decision to change that to 007 deserved a very large bonus.

#12 -- Bond versus drywall (Casino Royale)


I've always felt the black-and-white flashback sequence is a bit overrated as Bond pre-titles sequences go.  It's fine and everything (and I considered including the "gunbarrel" moment from it on this list), but wouldn't it have been even cooler if the pre-titles sequence had been the sequence in which Bond pursues the bombmaker?

That's irrelevant to this conversation, of course.

What's very relevant is the fact that this moment is awesome: the baddie uses some parkour to simply leap through a hole in the top of a wall, and Bond simply runs right through the wall in order to continue the chase.

This, perhaps, was not the Bond we'd been accustomed to for the previous many decades; it was an expansion -- or, perhaps, a contraction -- of Ian Fleming's definition of Bond as a "blunt instrument."  And yet, this still was the 007 people could aspire to be like: a guy who is smart enough to know when he's got to turn his brain off and simply charge ahead like an angered bull.  He's instinctive enough to operate effectively in moments like this, powerful enough to make it work, and determined enough to eventually narrow the gap.

You want a guy like this on your team.

#11 -- Bond emerges from centrifuge (Moonraker)

Roger Moore's finest on-screen moment as James Bond comes in Moonraker, when 007 has been put into a centrifuge and subjected to pressure that would kill a normal man.  He uses his wrist dart-gun to disable the controls and escape from it.  He emerges shaken, barely able to walk, barely alive ... but still possessed of whatever core of inner strength makes him James Bond.  Dr. Goodhead tries to help him stand, and he -- as gently as he can given his tenuous grasp on life itself -- brushes her arm away, determined to regain his composure on his own.

As he does so, he looks into the control booth, focusing on the man who has done this to him.

Hey, say what you want about Moonraker, but this stuff right here is a knockout.

#10 -- most of all, they need love (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)

The scene: James Bond has escaped from Piz Gloria to the village below.  Blofeld's henchmen, led by Irma Bunt, have followed him to a skating rink.  He sits alone at a tiny drinking table, his collar pulled up in the futile hope of not being recognized.

During this sequence, the song "Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?" (sung by Nina, written by John Barry and Hal David) plays as source music in the background.  If one is not very familiar with the song, the editing that's about to come may not be as impactful.  So as to emphasize what I mean, here are the song's lyrics:

La la la la la la laaa!
La la la la la la laaa!

Do you know how Christmas trees are grown?  
They need sunshine.
Sunshine can't grow Christmas trees alone; 

they need raindrops.
Raindrops can't grow Christmas trees; 

here's the reason why:
In the winter, rain will freeze, 

and the trees will die.
Do you know how Christmas trees are grown?
They need sunshine and raindrops, 

friendship and kindness;
and most of all, 

they need love.
Do you know how Santa gets around?  
He needs snowflakes.
Snowflakes cannot do it all I've found; 

he needs reindeer.
Reindeer (even though they try), 

they need other things;
once a year they have to fly, 

and they don't have wings.
Do you know how Santa gets around?
He needs snowflakes and reindeer, 

sunshine and raindrops,
friendship and kindness; 

and most of all, he needs love.
Do you know how Christmas cards are made?  
They need pictures.
Pictures can't complete them, I'm afraid; 

they need greetings.
Greetings say what's in your heart, 

that's what they are for;
but when loved ones are apart, 

Christmas cards need more.
Do you know how Christmas cards are made?  
They need pictures and greetings,
sunshine and raindrops, snowflakes and reindeer,
friendship and kindness; 

and most of all, they need love...

Not exactly Shakespeare, but kind of a weirdly touching song.  It's all about how everything Christmasy runs on love; the world runs on love, is the idea.

As it appears in the film, we cut into the song already in progress, partway through the first iteration of the chorus.

I am now going to present a series of screencaps, with the lyrics playing over the moment in question given as captions:

Do you know how Santa gets around?  He needs snowflake and reindeer,














The song is timed precisely so that that line -- "he needs love" -- is delivered as the camera pans up the legs of this seeming stranger who has skated to a stop in front of James, the pan revealing that it is no stranger at all but Tracy, the song trumpeting its touching message as if harmony has been restored to the universe.  I had never noticed this synchronization of song and story until I reviewed the movie a few years ago; when I did notice it finally, I found it to be utterly devastating.  
I still do.  There was no way this wasn't ending up on my list.
But, of course, the moment is even better than that.  The song has been cued up so that the line "he needs love" is emphasized, but the song itself says they need love as the resolution to two of the three choruses.  And indeed, this moment is just as consequential for Tracy as it is for James.  Though the film never spells it out, the idea is clearly that Tracy has pried the information from her father that James has gone to Piz Gloria.  She, in the mad hope of finding him, has gone to the nearby village and is simply hanging out there, hoping against hope that some miracle might bring them together.  And what do you know?  It has.
Here's one more screencap, from moments later:
Speaking of which...
#9 -- golden girl reveal (Goldfinger)
Guys, there's a reason why Goldfinger sent the Bond series into the stratosphere in popularity.  It wasn't this moment alone, but this was quite possibly the biggest of the (many) moments that contributed toward it.
What else is there to say?
From one dead woman to another:
#8 -- Vesper fills her lungs (Casino Royale)
When I ranked the Bond girls, it pained me not to have Tracy at #1 ... but it would, I think, have pained me even more not to have Vesper at #1, and so that is where she ended up.
I was tempted to have one of the best-of moments simply be "Vesper Lynd" and/or "Eva Green," but knew that was a no-go.  So in determining which of her many fine moments to use as a representative here, I quickly determined that it had to be her death.  It could just as easily have been her kissing James' fingers; it could just as easily have been any number of things, frankly.
But this particular moment had to work so well that it could plausibly be seen as the motivating moment for James Bond to be James Bond for the rest of his career.  It is a heartbreaking, tragic, oddly beautiful moment, one that is completely sold by not only Eva Green but by the effects work, cinematography, music, you name it.  Nothing isn't working at 100% efficiency here, and it sent shockwaves through the Bond series like few other moments before or since.
I should probably have more to say about it, but it really just speaks for itself.  So does this next item on the agenda:
#7 -- Bond versus crocodiles (Live and Let Die)

#6 -- Bond gives Fiona something to put on (Thunderball)
In the long history of James Bond, James Bond has done a lot of James-Bond-ass shit.  And of all that James-Bond-ass shit, the James Bondiest may well be this:

I will never, ever, ever be that cool.  Not for one second in my life.
You won't be, either.
We move now into the top five, all five of which could stake a claim as THE best Bond moment of them all.
#5 -- bullet hole in windshield (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
This moment remains shocking, and probably always will.  It's perfectly framed; the sequence is perfectly edited, perfectly lit, perfectly acted, perfectly tracked (in terms of the sound).
This is the world James Bond lives in.  It is a brutish one in which joy can turn to desolation in mere seconds; it is moments like this against James Bond wages his war.  
This film was the first time in which the series truly played for keeps.  It did so on a personal level, foregrounding emotion and character.  I can't imagine that there are many Bond fans who are not utterly haunted by this scene; perhaps it has less impact for viewers who grew up with Casino Royale and Vesper Lynd serving a very similar (and equally effective) purpose, but for anyone whose Bond fandom flourished prior to this current era, I'd think this image is indelible.
We really don't have all the time in the world, you see; and it's still surprising that a James Bond movie, of all things, was able to make that point in so poignant a fashion.
#4 -- Honey Ryder emerges from the sea (Dr. No)

The sexual revolution that began (arguably -- dating these things is an imprecise business even for experts, which I assuredly am not) in the late 1950s was in full bloom in the early 1960s.  The goal: women wished to take control of their own sexuality, and do with it as they saw fit.

Dr. No explores those ideas in conscious fashion, but never has anyone come on screen and say, "Dammit, women are self-actualized now!" or something silly like that.  Instead, the film simply places its female characters in position and allows them to speak for themselves.  They are free to be as they wish to be, and they are a rather varied group.

Key among them is Honey Ryder, as played by Ursula Andress, whose carefree and affectless sexuality seemingly inspired at least an entire generation, and perhaps more.  She comes striding out of the ocean like Botticelli's Venus, but less modest.  Why be modest?  She is as she is; and it is as if the very notion of femininity had been reborn in that moment.

I suspect that the more time passes, the more lost the impact of this moment on Western culture of the sixties will become.  If you want to help combat that slide into obscurity, you could do worse than to read the outstanding book Bonds Girls Are Forever (written by Maryam D'Abo and John Cork), which not only places Andress/Ryder in proper context but does so for many of the other Bond girls of the series.

All of that sprang from this one moment, however.

#3 -- Union Jack parachute (The Spy Who Loved Me)

Every so often, the films offer up a compelling piece of evidence for why people ought to still care about James Bond.  Here's one such moment:

If that's not a stand-up-and-cheer moment, I don't know what is.

Oh, and by the way, I wanted to mention something real quick.  (I was reminded of this by the parachuting association.)  I strongly considered putting this moment on the best-of list:

That, as you may recall, is from the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, in which a Danny Boyle-directed short film included James Bond escorting the Queen -- played by the actual Queen of England! -- to her helicopter.

James Bond, in his fiftieth year of cinematic existence, was considered an important enough thing that he escorted the QUEEN OF ENGLAND to the Olympics, in a manner of speaking.

I opted not to include the moment because frankly, I wasn't sure where to put it; or whether it actually counted as an all-time-high James Bond as opposed to a Daniel Craig one.

I thought it merited a mention, though, so here it is, in an unofficial honorable-mention capacity.

#2 -- the gunbarrel (Dr. No)

The iconography of the first few moments of Dr. No is absolutely indelible: a white dot bounces across the screen, expands, takes on the metallic gleam of the inside of a gun barrel.  The gun is pointed as a man in a suit, who is calmly walking along, minding his own business; and his business, as it turns out, is the holder of this gun whose barrel we are seeing through.  The man turns and fires, and a wash of blood obscures the vision; the aim wavers, and the would-be assassin fades out forever.

There are perhaps a tiny handful of similar cinematic conventions; the plot-summary crawl at the beginning of the episodic Star Wars films comes to mind, and ... well, that's about it, actually.

What this gunbarrel sequence did for Dr. No probably cannot be overstated; but I think it can be underrated, and I think it probably has been for a long time.

Not around here.

Without this moment -- this awesome, iconic moment -- then "James Bond" is not what we think of it as being.

Same goes for this, our #1 moment:

#1 -- "Bond...JAMES Bond" (Dr. No)

What else could it possibly have been?  Oh, sure, there were some strong contenders.  But in the end, I don't think there is any more iconic moment in the entire series than Connery's delivery of that line.  It's one of the most impactful line readings in all of cinema; it helped to define a character who helped to define a generation, and remains not merely viable several generations later, but vibrant.

Why is that, do you suppose?

I think an overlooked aspect of its success is the notion that Bond is meeting Sylvia Trench on her own terms.  I referred earlier to the sexual revolution, and its significance within this specific film.  Well, Sylvia herself is very nearly as significant a character as Honey Ryder in that regard.  There she is, free as a bird in the Le Cercle club, beholden to no man in any evident way.  She gambles; she flirts shamelessly; she loses money and then risks more of it without a thought of not doing so.  This is a formidable person; a woman, yes, but clearly not content to be defined by that in the manner ones assumes her mother was before her.  She is a new breed, confident and determined.

And James Bond is in no way intimidated by her or -- and this is very important -- put off by her.  This is a man for whom the sexual revolution is not only not a problem, but is perhaps a marvelous development.

We cannot forget that when 007 gives his name as "Bond...JAMES Bond," he is merely answering his new friend, whose name he has asked for.  "Trench," she has answered; "Sylvia Trench."

But there's more to it than that.  Bond has thrown a very slight verbal dagger at her.  Having defeated her at baccarat, and heard her request for more funds to stake, he says, "I admire your courage, Miss...?"  She answers him with her name, but then also adds, "I admire your luck, Mr...?"  She is not troubled by having been beaten by him; nor is she quailed by his digging at her just a wee bit.  She's instead determined to fling that dagger right back at him, and let him know that while she might be down for a moment, she is by no means out.

Bond, of course, sees her effort; and, it might be said, raises.  So he responds to her in semi-mocking manner: "Bond," he says, "JAMES Bond."  It is the epitome of cool.  This is a man who will not be beaten under any circumstance; he has won this game, but you get the feeling that even if he had lost it, he would still, somehow, be on top of things.

Bond will introduce himself in this manner many more times over the course of the series.  Every single one of them -- with the possible exception of Daniel Craig's at the end of Casino Royale (a moment which came VERY close to making this list) -- is a mere shadow of this moment in Dr. No.  All of them are chasing it as a dog chases a car, doomed never to catch it.

It gets no finer than this moment, and likely never will.

There you have it: the official You Only Blog Twice picks for best Bond moments on film.
Speaking of film, we won't be for the foreseeable future.  Not around here; at least, not mostly.  (I'll explain the qualifier in a moment.)  Instead, we are finally going to shift gears and drive our Aston-Martins into the world of the literary James Bond.  Yep, that's right: a deep-dive into the Bond novels of creator Ian Fleming will be the next phase of You Only Blog Twice.  I expect it to be an extended stay in that territory; I'll be lucky (at my rate of progress) to cover three or four novels a year.
Fine by me!  I've been wanting to reread Fleming for years now, and if it takes me a while to complete the project then so be it.
I do not currently anticipate that I will employ a modified form of the Double-0 rating system.  I'd prefer to keep that a conceit associated with the films themselves.  However, it's entirely possible that I could change my mind about that once I get into the process; we'll see.
Now, for the no-more-talking-about-the-movies pronouncement.  That's not gonna be a hard-and-fast rule.  There's almost no chance that my posts about the novels won't contain copious comaparisons with the movies.

Also, whenever the next Bond film comes out, there's a pretty good chance I will write about it here.  Whether I give it the old Double-0 rating treatment is another matter.  Spoiler alert: my next task once I finish the Fleming novels is going to be to return to the movies and give them all fresh appraisals, complete with a modified and revamped/fine-tuned Double-0 rating system.  Or if I'm really enjoying the exploration of the books, I might plow on through the continuation novels first; again, we shall see.
Before I get to the Fleming novels, there will be a period in which I do something I've been wanting to do for a long time: I'm going to update my images on the initial posts (Climax! through You Only Live Twice).  See, I never screencapped those first movies; I didn't actually know such a thing was possible until sometime around beginning my Majesty's post, so I began with that movie.  It's always bothered me that I don't have a full set of screencaps for the first five movies in the series (nor the first two versions of Casino Royale).  So I'm going to rectify that, add in screencaps where they fit in best within the posts, and do my very best to resist the temptation to rewrite those posts top to bottom (which would likely lead to a modified set of rankings, which would in turn lead to chaos and, for all I know, the end of the world).
This also brings up another issue.  While I began screencapping with On Her Majesty's Secret Service, it took me all the way until Tomorrow Never Dies to be able to screencap the Blu-rays.  So I might well have to go back and redo Majesty's through GoldenEye in that format.  But BOY will that be a lot of work; not unpleasant work, mind you; worth it, but time-consuming.  And that's an understatement.  So I might well decide to just not do that, not until the 2.0 version of the Double-0 rating system comes around.  
In any case, I'm definitely going to screencap the first few movies before diving into Fleming.  There won't be new posts or anything, but I will leave a comment saying when the posts have been updated; if you're interested, just subscribe to the comments, and you will get an email letting you know when the new 'caps are up.
Now, Bond, please do see yourself out.  You've earned that two-weeks' leave.  Do skip the obligatory banter with Miss Moneypenny.


  1. I really wouldn't know how to quantify/ qualify best or worst moments, only my personal favorites, so I can't comment on your rankings or inclusion, etc. But I'll be happy to comment on these just as specific moments for sure.

    25: Yep. That's pretty bad.
    24. Hmm. I have no memory of this scene, really. But I will say "cunt" is a far less loaded word in UK than over here. It's basically just a swap-in for "wanker/ asshole." But, you say tomato.
    23. "If you can explain to me how X-ray spy spectacles work that have the ability to see through clothes BUT ONLY IN A PG-13 MANNER, then you may deserve some sort of university fellowship for scientific research." ha! That's funny to picture that lab. I bet they patent those bedsheets that automatically cover women's breasts in love scenes.
    22. Poor Jaws! The perils of being indestructible and super-strong: you never learn the fundamentals the rest of us know. (Like steering, or not-flapping-your-arms-when-falling-from-planes, etc.)
    21. This moment does not inspire such a reaction from me personally. Neither this: "As much as I love Moonraker, you could probably have made a 25-worst-Bond-moments list strictly from that movie." See, I say this not just because I love MOONRAKER, but anyone who made such a list would be an asshole. Why would I listen to some asshole about something as awesome as James Bond? I wouldn't. To single out moments of MOONRAKER for stupidity betrays, to me, a misguided sensibility and approach and understanding. Fix your premise, fictional-MOONRAKER-listmaker, then I'll listen.
    20. Reminds me of Berry's line read from X-MEN re: "what happens to toads when struck by lightning." You probably recall the line and anecdote Whedon provided in a subsequent interview, how she read the line with all this theatrical fury vs. the sarcastic "Oh wow, like, same thing that happens to everyone else, I guess" way he'd written it. But hey! That's on the director(s). Probably. What do I know.
    19 - 18. For sure, for both. Even as a kid, I knew that "Sit!" (and Tarzan yodel) in OCTOPUSSY was a mistake.
    17. Aww. I kind of love this. I think the death is done very purposefully like Legosi rather than realism-in-death so that's how I'd have directed the fall-back-to-coffin thing, too. Deaths and unconsciousness are rarely rendered with anything resembling realism in Bond - and sure MOONRAKER particularly - so I don't have a problem with using such scenes for some comedic homage here and there.
    16. Poor stupid Jaws.
    15. Oh yeah, this one bugs the hell out of me. And I never liked Bond's reaction, either. Instead of "Who?" (which might have been amusing) we get "Is that who that was?" Is Bond's ID common knowledge? This is well-trod ground, but yeah, fuck off, DIAMONDS.
    14. Terrible.
    13. Terrible but adorable.
    12 - 8. Here I can't agree enough with each entry and combine them only to prevent repetition.

    1. 24. Maybe that's it. It's certainly possible.

      22. lol

      21. Harsh! But I love a spirited defense of "Moonraker," so I salute it.

      20. Yeah, I've heard that story before, and it's a great one. A good point, too; you're probably right about Berry's inconsistent skill being the common denominator. But I agree: that's on the directors.

      19. The Tarzan yodel got very close to making the list, too.

      17. You might be onto something there.

      15. I can kind of envision a hypothetical viewer reacting to this in a similar manner to how you react to #17. The comedy works, so the moment is forgiven. I personally disagree in both cases, but it's also a perfectly valid way to look at these things.

      13. It really kind of is.

    2. re: 21 - I'm kinda insane about "MOONRAKER." (I said that out loud, and my wife said "Yeah... only about MOONRAKER.") The funny thing is, I started over-praising the film as sort of a joke, or as a way to puncture the seriousness of so much film critique. Like: it's this amazingly technically accomplished film with beautiful music and wonderful performances, but because it's silly, people write it off, etc. But somewhere along the line, either the 12 year old boy I once was staged a coup d'etat, or I talked myself into it. I do exaggerate, though, here with the asshole-list remarks, of course. (I mean, Einstein probably wouldn't have cared for MOONRAKER, and what am I going to do, write him off? Sad answer: absolutely I would. At least as a film/ Bond critic I want to listen to...)

      13. Ricardo brings up a good point in his comments - the scene plays much differently and much more somberly in the book.

    3. "From Einstein to Eisenstein, if they don't love Moonraker they can pound sand."

  2. 7. You could be right. Britt Ekland was hated on practically every set she was ever on, from what I read. Wouldn't surprise me a bit if it impacted the editing. The character/ movie suffers for it, but it goes to show that fascinating side of moviemaking: the degree to which the real-world / off-stage dynamics of an actor can influence the make-believe.
    6. Just goddamn awful.
    5. Ok, you're absolutely right: that editing should have been better. The dog is great tho. Got a good chuckle from this.
    4. Terrible.
    3. OMG that screencap captures everything about the awkwardness of this. Felix is out of his mind in this movie. I have so many questions. But yeah, this particular moment! Holy freaking crap. It's one of those moments in LICENSE TO KILL that just can't be reconciled. Too many of these add up before Felix even gets married.
    2. LOL on "Secret Asian Man."
    1. Agreed. As we discussed elsewhere, the idea could have had legs. (No pun intended.) Everything about this scene makes no sense, and Bond looks way too old and slow when he's getting beat up. They should've sped up the camera a la OHMSS.

    1. 7. I immediately want to know more about Ekland being hated on film sets.

      5. The dog sells it.

      3. The more I think about it, the worse this seems. Which actually makes me love it all the more. But yes, it's stunningly awful; I can't believe John Glen allowed editing that shoddy to make it into one of his movies.

      2. I was very pleased with myself for that, I must confess.

      1. May as well have added Benny Hill music, too, and really sped it up! It couldn't have been any worse that way.

  3. "I feel it was nevertheless incumbent upon me to somehow, in defiance of logic and fact and the universal language of mathematics, manage to do exactly that."

    First and foremost, excellent job with these! You're right about the virtual impossibility of the task, but you chose 25 must-haves.

    Second, after publishing the above comments, I see how unseemly the single-space within them is on the eyes. So, I'll double-space here and apologize to you and any reading this for doubling the verbal effluvian spilled over your comments section.

    25. Bad-ass for sure.

    24. Ha! I love that you picked this. You're right to isolate it; it (and maybe that "Venerable Sir James Bond" song) are the best things about the movie.

    23 - 22. Perfectly acceptable, but:

    21. Abso-freakin-lutely. "Never had there been a moment like this in a James Bond movie. There have been precious few since." This moment is (along with a couple others of course) the beating heart of OHMSS, which is to say it is the beating heart of the entire character and franchise.

    20. - 18. I'll spare you 3 separate iterations of "Oh hell yes".

    17. One of four Roger Moore moments that came to mind when I first read the title of this post. I'm sure I'll be seeing the other 3 below. You're right, too - you can see this scene weighing on Moore the man than it would on Bond.

    16. I'm not sure this moment lands with me the way it does with you. But, SPECTRE unwound so much of the benefit of the doubt I gave SKYFALL, so I don't know - I'll keep an open mind when I get around to SKYFALL again.

    15. Ditto, minus the SPECTRE-retcons-my-enjoyment-of-SKYFALL bit. (SPECTRE retconned my enjoyment of itself just by being SPECTRE.)

    14. Nice moment for sure.

    13.-12. Well put

    11. There's number two of the Roger Moore moments that came to mind.

    10. Holy crap that song. It's so amazingly wtf-ish. The 60s are one weird-ass era. Well-done here, tho, for sure.

    9. No doubt.

    8. "From one dead woman to another" - ha! Nice. Well, "nice." You get me.

    7. This Roger Moore moment did NOT come to mind, but probably should have.

    6. through 1. Pretty much I have nothing to add here except 1) Well chosen on these top 6, 2) Well put on each! Ditto and chapeau and "exactly" and I hate sounding like Ed McMahon or what not but yes, totally.

    (The other Roger Moore moments that came to mind: Kicking that one dude in the face in TMWTGG in the dojo scene. And "Where's Fekkish?" Altho one more comes to mind right now: "Balls, Q?" That would be my representative example of all the Bond/Q scenes in all the movies.

    Looking forward to all the posts (and screencaps) ahead of us!

    1. 24. In making my selections, I kind of skimmed through all of the movies, and I initially didn't even do that with CR67. But I kind of had a nagging sense that I ought to, and when I got to that scene, I decided it had to be included. Probably a lot of Bond purists would think I'm nuts, but that train sailed long ago, I'd imagine.

      21. Part of me thinks I've got that one way too low, but I was afraid of having too much of the top half of the list be Tracy-centric. I mean, it'd be a fair ranking; but still.

      17. Regarding the other Moore moments you allude to here: the kick in the face was on the shortlist, and it pained me greatly to leave it off; "Where's Fekkish" was not one I thought of (though TSWLM was otherwise represented on the shortlist by him slapping the one henchman's hand away from his tie); and though "Balls, Q?" never made the shortlist, it was one that came to mind for me even before I began skimming the films.

      16. That's very fair to suggest that this moment is damaged by "Spectre." I have thus far more or less been able to separate that fourth DC film from the first three (and from the rest of the series, really). I hope I can keep it that way.

      15. I can remember watching this film for the first time. I was still onboard with it at this point, and was just blown away by how cool Bond was here. And in isolation, that bit of that scene still works for me 100%. Oh, if only the rest of "Spectre" measured up!

      7. Just for my own personal tastes, I could have rationalized putting this at #1. This has everything I love about Bond in it, and specifically everything I love about Moore's era.

      I echo your McMahonesque "Yes!" from afar.

      Thanks for the extensive comments! I enjoyed 'em, as always.

  4. Number 13 on your "Worst of" list: Oh, that was quite the contrary to Fleming's bone chilling narration in the novel. No pilots, no goofy fainting, it was a march through a grave yard and Bond's utter disgust.

    That aside, I eagerly anticipate your book reviews. I also look forward to your remarks on Fleming's not altogether enlightened view of the world.

    1. Oooh! See, that's why I'm looking forward to rereading the novels; I didn't remember that it was like that there.

      I'm sure Fleming's non-2018-appropriate worldview(s) will come under consideration quite a bit. But I'm going to do my best to not focus on it; and if I feel as if it's something I absolutely HAVE to deal with in pointed fashion, I might simply designate a section of each post to a consideration of that element of his work.

      The short version of my stance on it is this: hey, back in the day, being sexist/racist/homophobic/etc. was likely the default setting for most Westerners. It's unfortunate, and it's a good thing that we've moved on -- or, if you prefer, begun to move on -- from those attitudes. But I don't believe in throwing out the baby with the bathwater, and so if it were suggested to me that in order to avoid being sexist/racist/homophobic, I would need to disavow the entirety of Ian Fleming's work, then I'd decline to do so. I'm also an H.P. Lovecraft fan, and the same would apply to him; and does (and DID, the last time I read his work, which was just a few years ago).

      So I don't think I'm in danger of being too focused on that aspect of Fleming; but I know myself well enough to know that I'll almost certainly have to at least comment on it from time to time.

      I think I might also read some of the more famous biographies of Fleming and try to cover them; possibly in part, as segments with the posts on each novel. Not sure what the exact approach will be.

    2. I agree with every word you stated. You must separate the man from the art. I still enjoy Fleming's work regardless of any prejudice he had which was very much a product of his upbringing.

  5. My reading of both lists was largely a succession of, "Oh my god - yes."

    That burly henchman lying down on the conveyor belt, yikes!! The exact movement instantly sprang to my mind, no description required.

    Same with "slow motion DEA agents." I loved that you gave it attention in your LTK review, and delighted that it showed up once again here. The music cue alone: "duh-duh-DUH!-DUH!" (pilots raise their hands) "..."

    Bond telling the tiger to sit is probably my personal favorite bad moment in a Bond movie, tho. Or maybe it's Kananga blowing up - these are moments I have such a fondness for growing up with them, it's hard to hate them even when I know they're goddamn ridiculous. (They're my double-take pigeon moments.)

    "Remember that one speech in which a certain prominent U.S. politician bold-facedly mocked a disabled reporter? If THAT guy can get away with that in the real world, then I suppose I have to admit that what Carver/Pryce does in this scene is perhaps (A) entirely realistic and (B) permissible as (a) fictional or (b) actual villainy." Wow, good point.

    I've said it before, I'll say it again: you will be denied entrance into the VIP section of the afterlife for constantly bad-mouthing Spy Who Loved Me. You've got it at #4 on your Best list - "garbage movie"?? Yeesh!

    Nice to see Fatima get some love: she was not-reacting to explosions before doing so was the overused signature of a badass.

    Very interesting: I used to cite that exact same moment of Brosnan ignoring the gunfire to focus on the bomb as everything I hated about his Bond. I like my Bonds vulnerable, nervous and *human.* Roger Moore coming out of the centrifuge!Not like Superman, only slightly moving his head when death is literally an inch away, totally unphased by danger. I've somewhat come around on Brosnan's Bond - GOLDENEYE in particular - but for a long time I probably would have ranked this in the 25 WORST Bond Moments. (Speaking of which, surprised Boris didn't end up there!)

    Anyway, this is great. I'm excited for the possibility of a Best Stunts list in the future!

    1. "The exact movement instantly sprang to my mind, no description required." -- Ha! Yeah, it's burned into my cerebral cortex, too.

      "these are moments I have such a fondness for growing up with them, it's hard to hate them even when I know they're goddamn ridiculous" -- 100% agreed. For me, they are bad moments that do zero harm to the movies themselves, therefore I can and do forgive them. Maybe it's a cumulative-impact sort of thing for some of the films I do actually dislike.

      "I've said it before, I'll say it again: you will be denied entrance into the VIP section of the afterlife for constantly bad-mouthing Spy Who Loved Me." -- Incorrect, I will be allowed in due to my cutting-edge appreciation of (most of) Moonraker. Anyways, I can't help it. Triple X is awful, Stromberg is awful, Jaws is mostly awful; it's kind of like the inverse of Moonraker for me in that there are bits I love, but not enough to keep me from disliking the movie. I begrudge nobody their enjoyment of it, though!

      "I used to cite that exact same moment of Brosnan ignoring the gunfire to focus on the bomb as everything I hated about his Bond. I like my Bonds vulnerable, nervous and *human.*" -- It's a fair point, but Brosnan -- like Moore before him -- played Bond as a superman, and from that standpoint I think this is a very solid moment. That's an interesting take on it, though! I can see it.

      "Speaking of which, surprised Boris didn't end up there!" -- Oh, he got so, so close. Literally; #26 was "I am invincible!"

      Thanks for the comments!

  6. 18: 'Sit' is a joke aimed at UK audiences. At the time, there was a well known elderly dog trainer on British TV named Barbara Woodhouse, and 'sit' had sort of become her catchphrase. True story, no matter how absurd that looks typed out in 2018.

    1. No more absurd than any number of things in the post itself.

      Fascinating info! Many thanks for sharing it.

  7. I just laughed all over again at the Felix-juxtaposed-by-those-two-dudes screencaps and commentary. Man! That is really something else. Too funny, though, and well-rendered.

    1. It's like ... did David Hedison think he was in contention for an Oscar and this scene was what might put it over the edge? Did he think he was an actual DEA agent on an actual raid? So many questions.

  8. My, oh my, where to begin? Well, might as well start at Number 25 and work my way through. Not sure if I'll cover all 25 of them in one sitting, though.

    Firstly, a fantastic post! Exhaustive as all get-out. Kudos to you, BB.

    Okay, bear with me as I scroll up and down (this could take a while).

    25- Yep, Mr Kidd. Aside from not buying him as a credible villain, I also didn't buy him as a credible gay man, even (or especially) for 1971. Bruce Glover? Sure. He looked like a believable gay guy. Now I'm thinking how cool it would have been to cast him and Paul Lynde as a gay Odd Couple in a '70s sitcom, except instead of either one of them being an Oscar Madison type, they could BOTH have been Felix Unger types, with each one of them trying to top each other's annoying behaviour.
    But yes, the slow walk with the burning kebabs (the Bonds do have a varied list of dumb ways to try and kill 007) is a low point in the series. As a kid who started with the Moores before getting more serious with the Connerys, this film (which I saw before "You Only Live Twice") is where I began to see the cracks appear in the adventures of James Bond. And when I later saw "OHMSS", I felt even more gipped that this is how they followed on from that film.

    24- Ahh, SPECTRE. I could come up with a list of 25 bad moments in that film alone. SOOO much promise in the first five minutes...until Bond boards the helicopter above the crowd.

    23- X-ray specs, I still have a few Spiderman comics from the '70s where these are advertised on the back page. Next to the Sea Monkeys.

    22- Why yank at the wheel of a speedboat? And the dummy of Jaws as the boat goes over the falls looks too rigid. Although, CGI wasn't around in 1978. Just as well. After all, we saw the mess they made with it in "DAD".

    21- WTF indeed. And the 'Well, here's to us." line later on...
    Again, I took this film very seriously as a kid, but the Moore Bonds are hard to watch nowadays, even though he's the one who got me hooked on Bond. So, I'll always have a soft spot for Roger Moore's take on the role. And, it WAS the Seventies, after all. Benny Hill and the Carry On movies had a big footprint back then.

    Okay, I'll stop here because I just tried to post my reply and I went beyond 4096 characters. WHo'd have thought?

    1. Yep, Blogger'll only let comments be so long. I've been burned by that a few times -- lost some whoppers!

      25. I think the idea is that Kidd is the top and Wint is the bottom and I am so sorry for putting that idea into anyone's head. It'd be like being tupped by a barely sentient walrus, I'd imagine. Except I'd do my best NOT to imagine it.

      24. Him knocking out the helicopter pilot got very close to making this list. #28, I think. Awful. The fact that it's filmed relatively competently is all that kept it out of contention.

      23. I wouldn't have been surprised if there were man-sized sea monkeys in "Die another Day." That's who built the ice hotel!

      22. Yeah, that dummy is a relic of the olden days, for sure. I swear you can see its arms move, though.

      21. Not only did that other moment with Dolly get close to making the cut, there was another one which did, too. In the end, I felt like McMolo would stop reading my blog if I included them all, so I didn't!

  9. Okay, here's the next part of my reply to the 25 Worst Moments.

    20- Halle, Halle, Halle. I like her as an actress, but her performance in this film just doesn't thrill me. The script is probably to blame, but her delivery of some lines in this movie were pretty amateurish;
    "Ornithologist. That's quite a mouthfull."
    "At least we'll die rich." (delivered with a slight world-weariness when it would have played better if said in a more bright-eyed and 'Hey-I-got-great-idea! kind of tone.)
    And that line at the clinic, about an artist's work increasing in value after they die. That one, I blame Purvis & Wade, but Berry's delivery was uninspired.
    Still, I like the way she held the knives on board the Antonov in her fight with Miranda Frost.
    Actually, the more I think about it all, the more I blame the script. There just wasn't enough in it for her to say. And who brings a knife and peach to bed!?

    19- Similar to Jinx, Tiffany Case has a string of bad lines to utter, although I do like the "Forget it, curly, ya had yer chance and ya blew it!"
    But Jill St John's hairdo in the film is so freakin' Seventies!

    18- 'How far is cinematic Bond from Fleming's original idea' is what springs to mind whenever idiotic scenes like this show up. And the raising of the finger! Yes, Barbara Woodhouse was a big deal back then. But not everybody loves dogs.

    17- "Moonraker". I just don't rate it highly anymore. And it was never very high up the list to begin with. That scene belongs in a Pink Panther movie.

    16- Jaws the shark was smarter than Jaws the henchman. He had a higher kill-ratio.

    15- Bond as a member of the Playboy Club just bugged me no end.

    14- "AVTAK" is the Bond film that I have watches the least amount of times. Probably two or three.

    13- I like how some of the soldiers braced themselves as they fell, taking care not to graze their elbows too hard. Some of them fall even before the planes have completed their overpass. WATER doesn't fall that fast, let alone nerve gas. And these are the guys guarding Fort Knox?! Your gold is safe, America!

    Back with the rest...

    1. Teeritz is wise and learned about many things (and he frames a hell of a photo)...

      but he is as wrong as wrong gets about MOONRAKER, verdammt.

    2. I'll tell him you said so!

      20. None of those bother me as much as the "yo mama" line. But maybe I was in a too-generous mood last time I watched it.

      19. I do kinda like that line you mention. And I like the scene in which she and Bond first meet. It's not a complete loss of a movie; just near to it.

      17. I told McMolo I'd tell you you are wrong about "Moonraker." (I kind of agree with you both! But I'm closer to loving it than to hating it; it's just so gleeful in its silliness.)

      14. That'd probably be one of my most-viewed ones. It came out at just the right time -- adolescence plus HBO plus Bond movie equals watched frequently.

      13. Yes! I probably ought to have clipped this video and included it instead of a screencap. A still image really doesn't sell the silliness of it. Your summary does! I love the movie, but even as a kid I knew this moment was butt.

  10. 12- My wife and I always laugh at her delivery of that line. And Pam's jealousy is 'Eighties sitcom'- worthy. I like Pam Bouvier. Not the usual damsel-in-distress that we'd seen throughout the Moore years.

    11- It's all because of "Ice Castles", man! If that movie had never been made.
    Hey, I know a guy who knows LHJ and can get me her autograph. If you want it, BB. No? You sure?

    10- I laughed out loud when I read your first line and then saw the screen-cap. Yes, this moment loses its...'gravitas' due to the grainy zoom. I read a sci-fi film magazine article back in 1980 that stated that Yaphet Kotto got so caught up in his role in 'Alien' that he attacked the actor who wore the alien suit in the movie. Happened in the canteen on-set. Was he a Method man in LALD, do you think?
    Thank God for "Midnight Run". Alonso Mosely saved the day.

    9- Absolutely stupid. And Brosnan isn't steering the thing correctly, either. Not that I've ever gone para-gliding, but he was just pulling on strings and flicking his wet hair out of his eyes. And the invisible car! "Thousands of tiny cameras reflecting what they see, blah, blah, blah." Year, right. Thousands of tiny cameras. In the smooth, mirror-shine paintwork of his Vanquish. Some idiot in the cinema blurted out; "John Cleese! Fantastic!!!"

    8 - Come on, every workplace has one or two jerks who think some move they're about to pull is gonna be awesome/funny/clever, etc. I've been guilty of it myself. In my own defence, I was seventeen and thought it would be hilarious to grab a class-mate's school bag and throw it "Olympic Hammer-Throw Style" over a thirty-foot-high wire fence. He hadn't zipped the bag shut, so my throw ended with a stream of A4 paper (some major assignment he'd just completed) creating a white paper arc over the fence. I must have run for a year after that.
    Yeah, the 'astronauts'. "You had Bond in your sights, why'd you let him get away???!!!"
    "We thought it would be funny, Boss."
    Makes sense.

    7 - Eklund was all wrong as Mary Goodnight. You ever read her biography, "True Britt"? She's never done the wrong thing. But this one is hard for me to watch these days. Although, it DOES have the best Bootlegger's Turn ever put on film. Absolutely seamless.

    1. 12. I like her too. The screenplay did her no favors; if she'd been well-written throughout (rather than only for the first two acts), she'd be one of the all-time greats.

      11. I do like the scene where she's on the trampoline...

      10. It goes by so fast that I'd never noticed the eyes until hunting for good screencaps of the moment. Now, I can never unsee what I have seen.

      9. The invisible-car thing was one of my first ideas for this list, as you might imagine. But then I thought, well, it's less that there is a single moment in which it is terrible than it is just a terrible idea. And you could probably argue that I've done something similar elsewhere on the list, so maybe it belonged. But last time I watched the movie, it didn't bug me as much as it had once upon a time; if nothing else the effects in those scenes are quite good. So I omitted it, somewhat reluctantly.

      8. I cannot argue with anything you say there. And even if I could, I wouldn't, because you correct.

      7. I think I will pass on reading "True Britt." But I like that title. As for the bootlegger's turn, I didn't know that move had a name! Very cool. Where in the movie is that? I kind of vaguely remember ALL of the driving being great, but I'd love to check that moment out.

  11. 6- Charles Gray in drag looks like any number of English ladies of a certain age who partake of too much sherry or gin.

    5- It's like those Instagram videos that I occasionally land on where a dog with watery eyes is cradling its puppies and people go 'Aww, she's crying! Just like a person."
    Pigeons-doing-double-takes. Only in Venice, I suppose.

    4- Does Carver write any legible sentences on that mini keyboard that he furiously taps away on? He was a very non-threatening villain, and giving us Stamper to provide any level of threat to Bond was just dumb. Another bad script in some ways. Wai-Lin says; "Don't get any ideas, Mr Bond" twice!

    3- I really disliked David Hedison as Felix. Watch him in LALD after Bond has given the old lady her flying lesson- "She's in Intensive Care, but she may pull through!" It's a cliched and hammy delivery of the line.
    And I don't like the way Felix is holding the barrel of the AR-15 as he runs. And that intense look on his face! "Come on, boys, let's get these B-Grade 'Simon & Simon' stand-in bastards!"

    2- You cannot put Sean Connery in a caricatured fancy dress costume and 'turn him Japanese'. I really don't think so.

    1- Thumper, with her slowly gyrating arms and deliberate...whatever. Moves! Yeah, that's it. Bob Simmons was still the fight choreographer, wasn't he? It seems like movie fight scenes remained pretty stagnant for decades until sometime in the what, late '90s? The round-house punch had long outstayed its welcome.
    It was a silly scene. Bond's got your heads under water? Grab his nuts!

    Okay, that's ninety minutes done. I'll have to come back to cover your 25 Best Moments.

    1. 6. I'm kind of fascinated by this weird little bit. (And yes, I know a lot of people would take offense to me calling it weird. Sorry about that!) Especially given the "Rocky Horror" connection with Gray.

      4. His tying drove me NUTS the last time I watched this movie. Rarely has anything on film seemed more false. Pryce is so awful in this movie that I'm beginning to wonder if he didn't do it on purpose; if so, he MIGHT be in need of a reevaluation along those lines. Maybe next time.

      3. He's one of my least favorites, as well. I really only like a few of them: Jack Lord, Rik Van Nutter, Bernie Casey (one of the few things in NSNA I like), and Jeffrey Wright. They should have made a Leiter spinoff with Wright.

      2. It's pretty astonishing, really.

      1. I'm glad you mention those arm motions. And the facial expressions that go along with him. This whole scene is mystifying, and not in the good way, but SO MUCH not in the good way that it threatens to swing all the way back around.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave all these comments! I loved reading through them.

  12. I enjoyed Pryce's Elliot Carver but the furious typing did grate my nerves. I also hated that scene when Carver started mocking Wai Lin's fighting moves.

  13. Okay, onto the 25 Best Moments. But before I do that, I'll just cut and paste the link to YouTube where the car chase from MWTGG is located;

    I read somewhere that this Bootlegger's Turn was done often in 'The Rockford Files", too. Ahh, here it is, on The Art of Manliness website;

    Any, 25- I liked Barbara Carrera in this film, until she goes nuts just before her demise. As far as worst moments go, though, the string-of-saliva bit when Klaus Maria Brandauer forces a kiss out of Kim Basinger should have made the list. I'm surprised they didn't re-shoot it.

    24- Too many decades since I last saw this film. Worst moment for me, from memory, is the name Evelyn Trimble. Yes, yes, it's meant to be a comedy, but really...

    23- Somebody once said to me that there's one thing, a visual motif, that all the Bond films have in them - a metal staircase. Don't know where I was going with that, but anyway. That trick floor is a very elaborate (and probably expensive) way of getting somebody into your office. When I first saw YOLT, after working through all the Moores first, and then the early Connerys, I began to realise that this is where the cracks (for me) began to show. This is where the films sharply diverged from the books. Best moment in this film is Donald Pleasance calmly yet forcibly holding on to the cat as the explosions begin in his carved-out volcano. Poor thing. It wasn't acting.

    22- Skyfall is filled with best moments- the two short Goldfingery brass notes when the lights go on in Bond's storage garage and we see the unmistakable grille and headlight of the DB5, the look on Bond's face when Silva blows the car up later on, Severine's trembling hand as she takes a drag of her cigarette, Moneypenny's sideward glance at Bond when they walk past each other at the casino in Macao, and again when he drops the earpiece into her champagne.
    For me, though, the one great moment in this film occurs during the hearing where M quotes the Tennyson poem while Bond is running to get there. She begins the quote, and as she utters the line; 'One equal temper of heroic hearts', we cut to Bond as he runs. Those three seconds distilled the very essence of Bond, for me. Just a man, relying on his own steam to get the job done. No gadgets, no carjacking, no pushing some courier off his motorbike to get there. He. Just. Runs. The music is atmospheric, the editing superb. Perfect moment.
    Bond raising the glass, again, perfect; "You gents are gonna try to kill me when I leave. I'll just finish this drink, cheers, and we'll see who walks out of here alive."

    21-Vastly underrated. I used to hate this film. Now I put it in my Top 5. Rigg is great as Tracy, even though I've often wondered how the film would have been with Connery and Bardot, as was the rumoured casting had he opted to come back for this one. I'll have to watch this film again, even though I hate the bit where Bond tears out the Playboy centrefold. Seriously, 007?

    1. Thanks for the link!

      25. I kid you not, that rope-bridge of saliva between Brandauer and Basinger was the first thing I thought of when I began compiling potential moments for the worst-of list. So rest assured, if that movie had not been stricken from contention, that moment would have been in the top five, easily.

      24. My worst moment involves him -- it's when he gets into a racecar and recites a bizarre little poem. Ugh, just terrible.

      23. I totally agree that this is the movie where the cracks began to show. Much of the movie is spent straining for effect; they decided to do something cool and then rationalize it later (if at all). To be fair, this moment is emblematic of that and I probably ought not to have included it. But I yielded to the demands of nostalgia!

      And I agree about the cat, except I don't know if that goes on a best-of list or a worst-of list. But it was another moment that sprang immediately to mind for me.

      22. All those moments are sheer gold. Damn, I love that movie! And you know what, to my discredit, the Tennyson moment did NOT come to mind; I'd probably have included that omitted something else, if it had.

      21. I'd happily host a visitor from a parallel universe who had brought the Blu-ray for the Connery version of OHMSS with him -- or her! -- across the multiversal divide. But I swear I don't think it would have ended up as well; I think about mentally-checked-out Connery playing that role in that movie and shudder a little bit.

  14. 20- Connery Bond at his coldest. No civil libertarians screaming "That's just so unfair! He was out of bullets!", no PC BS. Just James Bond 007, tying up a loose end.
    Another great moment is the cool room where Dent goes to speak to Dr No. A small chair on a slightly elevated platform, a table about thirty feet away, and a great big circular hole in the ceiling with a lattice-worked window. If I ever get a new garage/workroom built, I'm gonna put a ceiling in it like that one.
    I have to say Dr No is a great film to watch on a hot Summer's night, with a cool drink in your hand. This film just feels humid and sticky.

    19- Brosnan's finest moment. A far cry from the screams that he lets out during the sliding-down-the-Carver-banner-with-Wai-Lin scene in TND two years later. Connery, Dalton and Craig Bond wouldn't have screamed. Lazenby neither.

    18- This is a cool scene, and it ushers in the thuggier Bond that Daniel Craig brings to the table in his debut. But for me, even more badass is when Bond jumps from one crane to the other in his pursuit of Parkour bombmaker Mollaka. By this stage, both Bond and the audience know that this baddie is quite spry on his feet. His jump seems effortless. Does Bond pursue him in the same fashion?
    Flashback to when I played the PS2 game 'Everything or Nothing'. There's a level in the game where Bond is working his way up a mine that's been carved inside a mountain. He goes higher and higher, encountering numerous guards and whatnot. He gets near the top of the mine and there's an opening cut out of the moutainside, with the village far, far below. The villain's helicopter appears, it's side door slides open, and the villain throws the Bond girl out of the chopper. She starts plummeting towards certain death. The player sits there with the PS2 controller in his hand, wondering what to do.
    I sat there with the controller in my hand thinking; "What would Bond do?"
    So, I jumped out of the opening and Bond is now hurtling towards the ground as well. She's in the distance, still falling. "Moonraker"-style, you can 'steer' Bond as he falls, in an effort to get closer to her. Meanwhile, thugs positioned on the mountain-side are firing at Bond as he falls, AND he has to avoid hitting any smaller mountains on his way down. As he falls, he can shoot at these thugs as well. It's a game after all.
    And so, Bond deciding to make a giant leap from one crane to another in this scene made all the sense in the world to me. And it was a cool move, too.

    17- Moore's coolest scene in that film, despite the trouble that he has in running up some stone steps in pursuit of Locque's car a few moments earlier. He WAS 54 at the time, I suppose.

    16- Beautifully said, BB. Worn, battered, cracked and glued back together, but still intact.
    That bulldog represents everything that has been England since the Second World War.

    15- Bellucci flinches better than Carrera. Perfect staged shot, too. SPECTRE had some great little moments, to do more with the cinematography and camera placement rather than the actual story, which was a mess, and you know what I think of that movie.

    1. 20. That's a great description of that movie!

      19. You make a great point about that down-the-banner moment. Roger Moore would have somehow drawn a mustache on Carver's face while doing it.

      18. I would really like eventually to play all the Bond games and blog about them. But whether this is a thing that will ever happen, I don't know. If it does, it won't be anytime soon. (I did, however, play "Agent Under Fire" many years ago. I dug it!)

      17. Yeah, the stone-steps bit could very easily have appeared on the worst-of list. I opted against including it, though, because it kind of works for the movie, which humanizes Bond a bit.

      16. I get a little choked up just seeing that little dog. I'm an American, but in those moments, I feel like I'm British, too. The power of 007!

      15. I sure do! And I support you 100%.

  15. 14- I've often wondered why Christopher Walken signed on for a Bond movie. Admittedly, AVTAK is the one that I have seen the least. I DO recall Zorin gives an amused laugh when the x-ray machine on his desk picks up Bond's PPK. Might have to see this one again.

    13- The fight scene in the lead-up to this moment is the stuff of Bond movie legend, but I've always loved the total silence of the scene. What's always seemed awkward to me is the close-ups of Bond's hands as he attempts to stop the bomb by trying to stop that BMW logo disc from turning. And doesn't the Poindexter dude just walk up, flick Bond's hands away from the device and then flicks a switch? Maybe I'm remembering it wrong.

    12- Craig's physique in this film firmly puts him in alpha-male territory and this would seem like every alpha-male's way of circumventing the high narrow gap in the wall. It didn't seem like a very Bondian move to me, but then, we were seeing a new version of Bond here, weren't we? So, it fits with the way Bond starts out in this film.

    11- Moore's best moment, as you say. The screenplays never really gave him a chance to actually act. Yet, in this scene, he does a great job without uttering a word.

    10- Great breakdown of this scene, BB. I re-watched this one a year or two ago and was more impressed with Lazenby's acting this time around. He genuinely looks worried as he sits there. And Rigg is perfectly lit throughout this entire movie. She just sparkles.

    9- At the "Designing 007- 50 Years of Bond Style" Exhibition back in 2013, after you enter through a Bond gunbarrel-logo portal, the first thing you see is a slightly elevated platform with a revolving bed on it and a very life-like mannequin/dummy of Jill Masterson covered in gold paint. The hair on my arms stood on end.
    Once a Bond fan, always a Bond fan.
    It is perhaps the most iconic image from the films. For me, anyway.

    8- Eve Green's portrayal of Vesper was flawless. I'd heard that Rose Byrne had been a contender for the role and she would have been marvelous, but Green just does not put a foot wrong in this film. When I first read the book as a teenager, I had seen the 1967 CR comedy/spoof/mess and had pictured Ursula Andress as Vesper as I read the book, despite the fact that it messed with my head, since I knew Andress as Honey Rider.
    Eva Green wiped that slate clean. Another great moment in CR is when Bond is convalescing after the beating to his nuts. In the book, you may recall Bond having doubts as to whether or not he can still perform as a man, etc, etc. In the film, Bond is kissing Vesper while he's still in the hospital bed and then he stops, pulls away from her briefly, and then a smile forms on his lips. Yes, he can still get it up. My wife doesn't agree with my assessment, but I can think of no other explanation as to why he stops mid-kiss. A great moment.

    7- Thought this was super-cool when I saw it as a kid in the Summer of '75. It was a double-bill, along with TMWTGG. Began my obsession for Bond and a Rolex Submariner 5513. Which I eventually got in early 2015. Yes, it took me 40 years.

    1. 14. unrelated to this, but I saw a great clip yesterday (on Twitter, I think) of Walken dancing in "Pennies From Heaven." How did that guy not end up the biggest star in the world?

      13. There are several moments just from the Obbjob-versus-Bond fight scene that I almost included here. I chose to not include any of them, basically because I didn't know what to pick! The closest I could get was the electrocution moment, but I personally love the brick-to-the-chest moment even more, AND the karate chop of the big piece of wood, AND the smile Oddjob has while Bond is ineffectually pummeling him. God, it's all just so good.

      12. In a way, it really isn't Bondian at all, is it? You make a good point. But it fits Fleming's "blunt instrument" description so well that I can give it a pass on that basis. Plus, it'd be an awesome moment for ANY character, really.

      11. When I rewatched "Moonraker" for the blog a few years ago and really took notice of this for the first time, I was just bowled over by it. He's SO FUCKING GOOD here. And you make a great point about the screenplays almost never giving him anything to really play.

      10. He really does look worried, doesn't he? It feels to me like Lazenby was probably a method actor at heart, but maybe didn't always know how to access that, or sometimes wasn't pushed toward it. But considering this was, effectively, the first acting the guy ever did...? You won't see all that many first-time actors turn in a better leading-role performance than this. Certainly not when there's this much pressure on them.

      9. Holy crap, that sounds incredible! If there were a Bond theme park with stuff like that, I'd save up however much money it cost and go as frequently as possible. If they could somehow have Star Trek and Stephen King lands nearby so as to help me maximize my time/money, that'd be awesome, too...

      8. That had never occurred to me, but I think you are 100% correct about that moment of renewed potency. How awesome! This movie is so good it's still yielding up treasures to me. And I agree about Eva Green, of course. Seeing her is like stepping on a landmine made of beauty.

      7. THAT must have a supremely satisfying acquisition. Just hearing about that makes me happy!

  16. 6- Smart-ass Bond at his finest. Connery was great at it. You can still see inklings of it in "Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade" when he is tied up with Indy and lets slip that the Bad Girl Ilsa talks in her sleep. He glances back at Harrison Ford, looks away, then glances back at him. Connery still has that Bond twinkle in his eye. Sure, he'll be 88 this year, and I think he's led a good life, but I'm still gonna be a mess when he cashes in his chips one day. Like I was when Cary Grant died in '84. I was driving my mother's car when I heard the news on the radio. Almost ran into a tree.
    There's that scene in YOLT where Karin Dor has him tied to a chair and she says; "I've got you right where I want you."
    "Well, enjoy yourself", he replies.
    Last time we watched it, my wife let out a laugh and said; "He's just so arrogant."
    But she said it with a slight admiration.

    5- Bond (and the rest of us) grows up. It's still a heartbreaking moment, the ultimate in collateral damage in a Bond film, made all the more heartbreaking because of Rigg's great portrayal of Tracy. You like her, and you think that this is exactly the kind of girl Bond should end up with.
    DAF heavily dilutes the impact of this moment for a couple of reasons- the continuity is lost by having Connery back as Bond, and also Connery Bond doesn't seem to be as hell-bent on revenge as you would think. Sure, he's looking for Blofeld, but it almost feels like he wants to catch up with him because Blofeld owes him two hundred bucks or something, rather than because he killed Bond's wife. And why didn't they bring back Irma Bunt? Charles Grey as Blofeld (can even the best plastic surgeon in the world change the shape of your head from an egg (Pleasance, Savalas) to a box?) and the lack of Irma Bunt further breaks continuity.

    4- This shot is what comes up on-screen when I boot up my computer. Aside from the girl-in-bikini aspect of it, it's just perfectly framed. The bottom quarter of the frame is all sand, the next quarter is sea, and the upper half is sky, with a hefty dose of cloud cover. And smack-bang in the middle is Honeychile Ryder, slipping off a dive mask before tossing some shells down.
    In trying to recapture the aura or mystique of this entrance, they had Halle Berry in DAD rising from the surf in slow-mo, as seen through Bond's binoculars. As stunning as Berry looks, it just doesn't pack the same whallop. Because it's all too staged and obvious an attempt to copy Ryder's entrance.
    In having Andress coming out of the water in such a natural and matter-of-fact manner, they created an iconic moment. When you try to replicate it, when you think about it too much, when you try to stylise it too heavily, you fail.

    1. 6. That "Last Crusade" moment is wonderful. So is that anecdote about your wife! An excellent summation of the appeal that is specific to Connery and Connery alone.

      5. If I push myself into it, I can rediscover that nostalgic side of myself -- reopen those mental pathways -- that loved "Diamonds Are Forever" as a child. It CAN be done. But considering it as the follow-up to OHMSS makes me refuse to do it. How you could do that coming off of the death-of-Tracy scene is just unthinkable to me. But I have to say, I'm glad they didn't include Irma Bunt; as-is, I hate it, but it at least refuses to engage with "Majesty's" and therefore doesn't sully it in direct fashion. It's an indirect affrontery of appalling scale; but at least it is indirect.

      4. Great analysis, and I agree totally. I initially had this moment ranked at a mere #25, and every time I began trying to write something about it, I realized I had placed it grossly too low, and I'd bump it up five places or so. Eventually, this is where it landed, and I'd say that's about right.

  17. 3- In my view, the Union Jack parachute sequence has dated somewhat, but it's such a cartoony, '70s-Bond moment, that I can still be amused by when viewed in that context. Although, it's a great visual way to remind us all that here is an English action hero.

    2- Whenever I'm sitting in a cinema and those white dots dance across the screen, my heart-rate increases, and I know exactly where I am.

    1- At that "Designing 007" exhibition that I mentioned earlier, I approached a doorway. This exhibition was done up as a series of rooms, each one highlighting some aspect of the Bond films. As I parted the beaded curtain of this doorway, I saw a large casino set-up. High above was a huge screen showing clips from the Bond films. And as I walked in, I looked up at the screen just as Connery makes his introduction to Sylvia Trench. Kismet? Serendipity?
    None of the other Bond actors have ever come close to saying it the way Connery did in Dr No. His dinner jacket is sharp, his hair is slick, his face is tanned as he lights his cigarette.
    His gives his surname, and pauses slightly as he snaps out the flame of his lighter. Then he gives her his full name. The tone and timbre of his voice is unmatched. This is indeed a case where nobody does it better.
    Every actor who has gone for the role is often asked in later interviews about the line. They often mention that they practiced it in a mirror a thousand times before being screen-tested. And they invariably always say that they didn't want to copy Connery's delivery.
    They couldn't if they tried.

    Great breakdown of that scene, BB!

    Whoo! That took a couple of hours or so. Okay, I'd better get some stuff done around the house, BB.

    1. 3. I think the movie overall has dated for sure, but this moment itself seems fairly timeless to me. I wonder if it plays at all for viewers born after the mid-eighties or so. Do they care that on some morning in 1976 or so, some maniac with a parachute on his back skied off a g-damn MOUNTAIN? "Meh," I imagine them saying, "looks fake." Back to your Pokemon, halfwits.

      2. Absolutely indelible. I halfway considered taking a screencap of every single iteration of it from each movie, and kind of regret not doing so -- because really, it's ALL of those. But I also think "Dr. no" deserves the credit.

      1. "And they invariably always say that they didn't want to copy Connery's delivery. They couldn't if they tried. " -- I got chills reading that, no joke.

      And you're right, of course. This is one of those moments that only seems stronger the older it gets. (I just got a great idea that I refuse to even consider following through on for now -- a post ranking all the "Bond, James Bond" deliveries!) there was some sort of genuine alchemy at work in the moment that was filmed. It's mostly Connery, of course, but it's also the framing, and the music, and the specific way the light enhances everything, and the costume. And, frankly, it's how good Eunice Gayson is as Sylvia; without her to play off of, Connery might have been unable to get to where he got with those three words.

      Gotta say: I feel GREAT about picking this as #1.

      Thanks a gajillion for taking this much time on your comments, my friend! It was a rough night at work tonight, and responding to these has proven to be a marvelous way of decompressing from it.

    2. This post of yours was a fun read, BB. Happy to have contributed. Still seems like there are some more points to consider/cover/add to, to some of these.

      25- NSNA, bad as it is in retrospect, I actually preferred this to Octopussy of the same year. Of course, time has not been kind to this film, but there is one scene where Connery Bond sounds they way he used to in the early EON Bonds. When Brandauer asks him, after that stupid Atari video game in the casino, "Tell me, Mr Bond, are you as gracious a loser as you are a winner?"
      "I wouldn't know, I've never lost", replies Connery.

      22- Some Bond fans absolutely hate "Skyfall", citing that it is not a Bond film at all. I would argue that some of Fleming's stories ("The Hildebrand Rarity", "Quantum of Solace" and "The Spy Who Loved Me") aren't really Bond stories either. I loved "Skyfall", if nothing for the fact that it was a change from seeing Bond blowing up the Villain's secret base, etc, etc.

      20- Dr No just has so many motifs that represent uncomfortable heat. Slow-turning ceiling fans, people fanning themselves with hats, Quarrel's perpetual sheen of sweat on his forehead, Dent's linen suit, Bond crawling through the hot tunnels from his cell. Counter-balancing this is the river on Crab Key, where I always feel that the water is probably warm, the muddy fields where the 'dragon' appears. It's a very atmospheric film. And even though I've never been to Jamaica, I've experienced the feel of warm Summer breezes against my skin on the beach, the feel of hot sand on the soles of my feet, the sound of wind blowing through reeds near a river, or of water cascading over rocks and I've sat in crowded bars where the air-con fought a losing battle against the heat.
      Tell ya what, being on-set in Jamaica in 1962 would have been fun.

      18- Aside from the legendary "Goldeneye 007" for the Nintendo 64 (which I barely played, but absolutely loved), there haven't been many great Bond games. "Everything or Nothing" was perhaps the best of the bunch. Actually, make that equal first-place, along with "Blood Stone". "From Russia With Love" was good, but I never finished it, and Connery at 75 doesn't sound like Connery at 35, that's for sure. Still, it's a clever game, and Connery did indeed have some input regarding the way Bond held a gun in the game, etc.

      19- Yes, Brosnan down the banner was channeling Remington Steele rather than James Bond.

    3. 25. I believe I preferred it, too, as a wee lad. There are absolutely some great Connery moments in it. I love the bit where he nurse asks if he could give her a urine specimen and he says, from the other side of the room, "From here?"

      22. It's a good drama, which is good enough for me. And that's an excellent point on not ALL of the Fleming material being what we think of as Bondian.

  18. 14- He's a great dancer. I think he came up through the ranks in the old Hollywood style. Walken had a shot in the Eighties, but I don't know why he didn't have a bigger career. I recall the rave reviews he got after "The Deer Hunter", but it seemed to fizzle out at some point. Something tells me he took whatever work he wanted to, but not necessarily whatever came his way. Either way, he's a little eccentric, but in a good way. And Bradley Cooper does a great impression of him too;

    10- Lazenby wanted Bond to cry at the end, but Peter Hunt said "No, Bond doesn't cry".
    Would have been awesome to see a tear. Would've raised the impact of the scene even more.

    9 - It was a great exhibition. Scaramanga's golden gun, a model of Skyfall, Rosa Klebb's shoes. The accompanying book is available on eBay;

    8- I can't think of ANY reason why somebody would stop kissing Eva Green.

    7- The hunt for this watch had been so built up in my head over the years that it had reached some kind of mythical status. Yes, it's a cool wristwatch, but it IS just a wristwatch. The long version. Better clear your schedule, BB:

    5- You make a lot of sense, BB. Better that DAF had no connection to OHMSS. Sandwiched between YOLT and DAF, "Majesty's" is the odd one out. And a better film than the both of them.

    4- Yep, definitely a Top 5 moment.

    1- It would be like trying to copy the Mona Lisa. In those few seconds, everything is perfect- the sharp tux, the tanned face, the long eyebrows, the swirls of cigarette smoke, the slightly elevated camera placement - to suggest that the viewer is standing while Connery is seated. Perfect. Made all the more so by the lead-up to Bond's medium close-up, where we first see his hands as they draw cards from the shoe, open the cigarette case, etc.
    I like your breakdown of the scene. Eunice Gayson (my God, she turned 90 on March 17th!)- who has her own website- has the honour of being the first Bond Girl. Man, she was hot!

    Okay, I think that's everything. Once again I went overthe word limit. Have a good one, BB!

    1. 9. I should get a copy of that!

      8. Death or being a gay man is about all I can think of. And I'm not sure about one of those.

      7. I will have to check that out!

      1. Hot as they get. Bless her heart, I hope she had a happy 90th! My gramma is about to turn that age.

  19. Hi Bryant, just wanted to say thank you for such a detailed and entertaining Bond blog, your coverage of the franchise is the best around!
    Had to very much agree about Spectre, here's hoping the next film is better(I like Never Say Never Again/A View To A Kill/Die Another Day tho so probably not the best to judge lol). Have you published any comments on the casting/plot announcement of the next film anywhere or not?
    Happy summer holidays, Emma

    1. Thanks for the kind words! Happy summer to you, as well.

      "Had to very much agree about Spectre, here's hoping the next film is better" -- I certainly hope so. I keep hoping that whenever I decide to revisit Spectre, I'll discover that I'd been unfair and that it is actually an awesome movie. I know this is unlikely, but I'd love to find I'd been wrong about it the first time!

      "I like Never Say Never Again/A View To A Kill/Die Another Day tho so probably not the best to judge lol" -- Nah, just means you like what you like. Nothing wrong with that. Anyways, I'm not much of a Never Say Never Again fan, but I love A View to a Kill. Die Another Day isn't anywhere near as bad as people make it out to be. It's got some iffy parts, but it's also got some great parts; might be Brosnan's best Bond performance, for example.

      "Have you published any comments on the casting/plot announcement of the next film anywhere or not?" -- No, I haven't. I'm excited about some aspects of it, though. The director is solid, though I'm not at all sure he's a good fit for a Bond movie; we'll see. Rami Malek will be a great baddie, provided the screenplay gives him anything to do. Not too interested in Lea Seydoux coming back, but we'll see how that goes. I liked Ana de Armas in Blade Runner 2049, so that seems good. Jeffrey Wright returning as Felix is by far my favorite bit of recent news.

      Overall, I'm weirdly unhyped about the movie. I don't know if that's fallout from Spectre or if all the problems getting the movie going have me soured, or what.

      I'll be there opening day, though; that's a given!

    2. Are you continuing the blog?

    3. Oh, most definitely. I never have as much time to devote to it as I'd like, but I definitely have things I want to do here. For example, I had not discovered the magic that is screencapping when I began the blog, so I'm slowly working on going back and doing so for the first several films. Already did "Dr. No," and I hope to move on to FRWL before the summer is out. OHMSS was the first post I did with actual screencaps, so once I get YOLT done, I plan to move on to the Fleming novels and write reviews of them.

      I am incredibly slow at all of this, I am sorry to say. But it will happen!

    4. Thanks for asking, by the way. It always puts a smile on my face to know anyone out there is reading this silliness of mine.

    5. Are you going to do a post on the next movie?

    6. Definitely. It won't be until the movie comes out on Blu-ray, though, so as to enable me to capture all the images I'd want.

      Let's just hope the movie finally comes out!

  20. So I was just reading this silliness again and remembered I had left a comment them completely forgotten about it due to being very busy... thank you so much for replying!

    Yeah I also feel a bit unhyped/ominous about Bond 25 thanks to a combo of Spectre and recent developments on both the film and tv/film in general seeming messy/egotistic/dull(what is with all the remakes/reboots? The 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' saying you yourself once used doesn't seem to be very fashionable). I'll definitely see it at the cinema though; my first and only Bond cinema trip was Spectre and I watched and reviewed the entirety of Doctor Who Series 11/lead up and fall out, but do I regret it having found both to be not only mediocre but damaging? Nope, glad I was there to see that part of the franchise's history firsthand!

    Talking of ominous news, the '007 codename Lashana Lynch' thing...hmm. Always thought the 'James Bond' is a codename theory bull myself, but not a fan of passing on a number either; it messes up the numbering(like when they retroactively added a new Doctor to Who thus changing everyone's numbers), and gives the agents less identity(with real names kept secret and numbers interchangeable). On top of that it's unnecessary and the topical nature of the change suggests other trends like retconning/rebooting etc a'la Spectre's plot might also be welcomed.
    Generally my solution to 'some want a big change others don't' is a spinoff, as making the change can spoil the main product and fobbing those who want it off with 'watch/read something else/make new' just isn't the same, but Bond doesn't really have spinoffs at all outside of the various Fleming miniseries/films...
    'Nothing wrong with liking what you like' exactly! Thank you, wish more fans of things got this! It was just great to find/read your reviews of those films as is hearing opinions on/ discussing things in general and seeing a different perspective on /view of something.

    Not fussed about Seydoux returning either and a OHMSS theme would be laziness akin to the Quantum/Spectre similarities. At least the Armas/Magnussen/Dali/Lynch cast seems varied and potentially good to me anyway. Am planning to review the 'Night At The Museum' trilogy Malek was a main member of once current ongoing projects are finished as no one seems to have properly reviewed the whole franchise despite its decent success, also hope they give him a proper Bond villain to play!

    1. "thank you so much for replying!" -- I get few enough comments that I more or less always reply to them. Seems rude not to, and anyways, it's a nice way to unwind after work.

      "I'll definitely see it at the cinema though; my first and only Bond cinema trip was Spectre and I watched and reviewed the entirety of Doctor Who Series 11/lead up and fall out, but do I regret it having found both to be not only mediocre but damaging? Nope, glad I was there to see that part of the franchise's history firsthand!" -- I hear ya. I am a casual Whovian; I fell behind at some point and still haven't caught back up. I've got Capaldi's final season and the Christmas special that preceded it, I think, plus all of Whittaker's run so far. Someday!

      "Always thought the 'James Bond' is a codename theory bull myself, but not a fan of passing on a number either" -- The Bond-as-codename thing is a dumb idea, and I genuinely hope it never sneaks its way into canon. I'm okay with the idea of the double-oh number passing on. In theory. I don't know why you'd want to do that, but sure, I guess you could.

      "it messes up the numbering(like when they retroactively added a new Doctor to Who thus changing everyone's numbers)" -- That was a truly weird and baffling idea on Doctor Who. Hurt was great, so in that sense it was fine; but the numbering thing ... who couldn't see that being controversial among fans before they did it?!? You'd have to be nuts not to expect a poor reaction to that. I guess the idea is just call him the War Doctor, but still.

      "the topical nature of the change suggests other trends like retconning/rebooting etc a'la Spectre's plot might also be welcomed." -- We'll see how the whole thing plays out. I like the idea of Lynch playing a badass lady agent, but if the idea is that she'll be 007 going forward, and that's what the "James Bond" series will now be, then that's the single worst idea in Hollywood since the Star Wars Holiday Special. Who would that be for? If that's the trajectory, what will happen is this: her first movie will make about $115 million worldwide and she'll never be seen again after that. The series will be rebooted with some white dude playing Bond, and fans will argue for decades over whether that movie should count as part of the series or not.

      And yes, I agree: spinoff is the way to go. Call it MI6 or whatever. But keep making Bond movies as we know and love them. It's worked for nearly sixty years, for God's sake.

      "also hope they give him a proper Bond villain to play!" -- If they don't, they'll have squandered a major talent. We'll find out!

    2. Don't blame you about Who, i had actually stopped watching first during Smith's final season (only came back for Capaldi) then again during Capaldi's penultimate season(most similar to Whittakers, luckily caught Capaldi's final season accidentally whilst moving house and found it a cross between his first and the Tennant era); and if not for reviewing/new-era curiosity would've stopped again with Whittakers first season...

      See, that's exactly how I was trying and failing to articulate my 'codename/numbering/007' thoughts! Yeah, learning about your own/others's opinions/ thoughts via blogging/commenting is probably the main reason I do it besides learning about all the shows/films/videogames/ novels/stories in general i'm interested in and broadening my perspective in life as a whole.

    3. Do you have a blog? If so, give us a link -- people might want to check it out.

      As for Who -- I found that the writing got to be pretty sloppy and same-y during the Moffat era. Which would be fine; I mean, I like most of the older-era Who I've seen, even during the sloppier stretches. The problem I had with Moffat's later seasons is that it felt very much as if the people making the show *thought* it was the greatest thing ever committed to film. Points for aiming high; points off for pretension and for failing to get anywhere close to the mark.

      So I remember it, at least.

    4. Yep that sounds like the Moffat era, at least it wasn't dull!
      Yes, it's (haven't uploaded for a few weeks though due to a combo of the new editor not working and busy with work/ ill relatives/house renovation, sorry).
      I review tv(Doctor Who, Primeval, the odd one-off) and dolls(Bratz, Barbie, various) and have some other things like Night At The Museum and possibly a videogame or film planned, plus coverage of Primeval/Who etc related stuff like fan videos and fanfiction.
      Sorry for rambling will stop now, came here to comment not advertise!

  21. I've liked most of the Felix's so far (thought Licence to Kill was one of the better 'personal' plots), maybe Wright can team up with the new M/Q/Moneypenny!
    Revisiting/rewatching something is interesting; generally i find you notice/appreciate more yet still keep a roughly similar opinion no matter how long it's been...(your being nicer to DAD after several watches probably shows you're less stubborn than i!)

    Agree about DAD being fairly tonally consistent and hope the direction for Bond 25 is too as this can be a major factor in selling something(although having strong enough ingredients can sometimes be enough).
    Thank you for the screencaps, it's great to have all the moments of the series captured to reenjoy!

    Was rereading the 'James Bond Jr' reviews and also came across old copies of the 'Casino Royale' and 'Colonel Sun' novels recently; wish i'd seen the cartoon as a kid(young Bond is meh but lol Dr Derange!) and was pleased to find the novels enjoyable and compelling in their own right.
    Anyway that's just my two cents.Thanks again and good luck with everything/ the screencaps/novels etc!

    1. "Revisiting/rewatching something is interesting; generally i find you notice/appreciate more yet still keep a roughly similar opinion no matter how long it's been" -- I think that's probably still how it is for me more often than not, but sometimes my attitudes do shift fairly radically. Part of why I blog at all is because I'm fascinated by that shift in my own attitudes, and enjoy trying to figure them out. Cheap and ineffective psychoanalysis!

      "was pleased to find the novels enjoyable and compelling in their own right." -- All of Fleming's are good, except maybe (from what I remember) "The Man with the Golden Gun." And "Colonel Sun" is excellent, too. I'm looking forward to revisiting all of those at some point.

      "Thanks again and good luck with everything/ the screencaps/novels etc!" -- I appreciate it!

  22. Wow, I can't believe you didn't put the Goldfinger scene where Bond is about to have his manhood melted by the laser gun up there with the best. "Do you expect me to talk?" "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to DIE." Damn epic.

    1. I hear you. This was an unwieldy concept for a ranked list, and I'm not sure I pulled it off; wasn't sure about it even when I wrote it. My rationale for not including it was that I felt it was primarily the dialogue itself which made the moment/scene a classic. Thinking about it now, I'm not sure I made the right decision with that. Ah, well.

      That said, if I had included it, it would have #2 behind only the first "Bond...James Bond."

  23. Bryant, what did you make of No Time to Die? I know you both love and loathe Craig’s performances, so curious to hear your thoughts on his swan song film, especially considering its direct ties to Spectre. Any post forthcoming?

    1. No Time To Blog


      I definitely plan to write a post about the movie at some point in the next few months, but to be honest, I haven't processed how I feel about the movie. I've only seen it once. I thought it was mostly very well made, but I just don't know how I feel about some of what it did. I was initially inclined to feel generously disposed, but the more I think about it the more I think they made some huge mistakes. And if they did, then frankly, those mistakes go all the way back to "Casino Royale," so I don't entirely know what to do with that.

      To sum up: I think it's going to be best for me not to be too hasty in writing this one.

      As for Craig, I thought he was mostly terrific. I'd give him a 006/007 for this one. But I'm not sure he was actually playing James Bond. It makes me think a bit of Jamie Lee Curtis in H20; she's not playing Laurie Strode so much as she is playing Jamie Lee Curtis. Good performance, but is that what it ought to have been? Same thing here, to a lesser degree.

      Or so it seems at the moment. I really don't have a handle on it. But part of me feels that in retrospect, it looks like the James Bond I grew up with was replaced by a changeling at some point after 2002, and if so, I may some rethinking to do.

  24. Feel the same way, hard to process after seeing it once but that character didn’t seem to be James Bond, I was entertained but that misses the point. Look forward to your take

    1. I think I kind of realized something last night. I've yet to summon the enthusiasm to watch the movie a second time -- and bear in mind that I work in a theatre, so I see things for free -- despite the fact that I've already seen "Dune" twice.

      I think that kind of says it all in some ways. And it bums me out.

  25. No Time to Blog… Funny.

    I understand your mixed feelings, and am glad you’re taking some to reflect. The JLC / H20 comparison is interesting. Ima sucker for Craig’s Bond, even though I cut my teeth on Connery and Moore. In any event, we’re here to read your thoughts whenever you’re ready to write them down. No rush.

    Thankee sai!

    1. I'll tell you a bit about where my head is right this moment. I feel like Craig made five Bond films, and three (maybe even four) of them feature some of the very best performances by any Bond actor. One of them I don't like at all, but the other four are pretty great. And yet, somehow, he's turned into handily my least favorite Bond. I'm having a tough time making sense of this for myself; perhaps because it makes none.

      And yet, right now, in this moment, he's easily the Bond I would be least quick to turn to.

      Eventually I will need to bear down and figure out what is going on in my reactions to all of this, but if I'm being honest, I have to admit that something has happened that for the time being makes me disinclined to spend any time thinking about it.

      The time will be right at some point, though. I hope that when it does roll around, I'm going to be able to come at it from a dispassionate standpoint.

  26. Replies
    1. I think (s)he's suggesting it's dead because of the lack of new posts. You're still working on it in other ways, but that's less visible and probably unimportant to him/her.

    2. Ah, of course; that makes sense!

      There'll be a "No Time to Die" review someday. I'm not sure when, though; no time soon, is all I can say for sure.

  27. I do feel like I'm one of the few (hardcore) Bond fans who liked Spectre and No Time to Die. I get why some didn't like Spectre, but for me, Bond has been silly since Goldfinger, maybe Dr No. He's a spy who gives everyone his name. I suppose bad writing can move the dial from silly yet unbelievably believable to just silly and unbelievable, but I think I just have a different tolerance threshold for the unbelievable than others. Or something. No idea really.

    Looking forward to the No Time to Die analysis whenever you post it.

    1. Someday! Not sure when; won't be this year, I think.

      "I just have a different tolerance threshold for the unbelievable than others. Or something. No idea really." -- We all like what we like. No need to apologize for it, explain it, qualify it, or defend it. Granted, I write blogs designed to do those very things. But I wonder sometimes if that's outlived its usefulness to me.

    2. If you do end the blog, No Time to Die would be a good time to do it, wrapping up Craig's run.

    3. I'm not feeling very positive about that run these days. So I think I'm going to just kind of sit on things for a while before I make any decisions. And I've still got a number of the films that I need to change the images from DVD to Blu-ray, so I may just let the newest film sit on ice until whenever I get around to getting that done.

      Time will tell! And of course, I'd still theoretically like to blog up all the novels.

  28. I understand.

    At one point you were, perhaps not so seriously, considering doing the Austin Powers movies but rating them as if they were serious Bond movies. That would be interesting.

    1. Yeah, that's kind of an appealing idea, daffy though it is. Maybe do some of the sixties spy films I've never seen as well (the Flint movies, etc.). We'll see!