Saturday, March 1, 2008

Top 5 Most Dashing and Debonair James Bond Films

Make sure to check out the previous installments:

Now there have been six Bonds, and this is only a top five list, so of course not everyone is going to get on this list, due to lack of films (i.e. George Lazenby and Daniel Craig, even though I am giving Craig a second chance because I just bought [that’s right, BOUGHT] Casino Royale). We also don’t acknowledge 2-film veterans, like Timothy “The Fat Bond” Dalton (even though The Living Daylights was passable, and had a pretty cool theme song performed by
A-Ha). With that said, as the final installment of an ongoing series, in association with Ben's Movie Reviews, The Solar Sentinel is again proud to present:
Top 5 Most Dashing and Debonair James Bond Films
5. Goldfinger (1964) --- This was the third movie in the Bond franchise, and probably the most beloved of the Connery run. It involves Bond once again going up against a world-wide villain trying to rob Fort Knox. Auric Goldfinger, the antagonist, uses an ingenious way of making money. He buys gold in a country where the price is very cheap, such as in India. He hen smuggles the gold on his personal airline, bringing it to a country where the price is high and sells it. That's my kind of super-villainy. James Bond, however, puts a stop to this, after outsmarting Goldfinger in a game of cards, nearly escaping a body-splitting laser beam and winning over the always glamorous stunt plane performer Pussy Galore. (That's vulgar!) So sit back, throw a lamp in the tub, paint your girlfriend gold and call up your shortest Vietnamese companion and enjoy Sean Connery in Goldfinger.

4. Live and Let Die (1973) --- I really enjoy this film. Not only is it the only Moore movie that has him looking relatively young, but it also sparks the Bond of the 1970s, which I believe to be the best Bond era. Further, it also plays as a
Blaxploitation film, similar to Shaft, Blacula or Blackenstein and the theme song is written and performed by Paul McCartney and Wings. In this film, Mr. Big controls the crime in Harlem and New Orleans, helped by Tee-Hee Johnson and Baron Samedi (Voo-Doo God of the Underworld, and main boss in the Golden Gun level of Goldeneye.) Roger Moore, dashing and quip as ever, soon unravels the mystery of missing MI-6 agents, and wins over the heart of Solitaire (played by Jane Seymour, who was 20 at the time and the youngest Bond girl to date.) So if you enjoy groovy movies, complete with pimp-mobiles and alligator stepping stones and Tee-Hee Johnson, then you need to pick up Live and Let Die.

3. From Russia With Love (1963) --- I really wish I lived in the 1960s. I mean they had a Bond movie coming out every year for almost 5 years. Why don't they do that with franchises any more? Regardless, From Russia With Love is one of the better Connery performances and story lines. As dictated in previous Bond posts (see above), this story follows Bond through an entangling web of Russian spies, fake British agents, beautiful women and gypsy rituals. On top of that, Bond kills a man on the Orient Express, destroys six boats with the shot of a flare gun and (don't quote me on this, because I haven't seen the film in a while) punches an old lady in the face. If you're looking for ridiculous Bond antics like jet packs in Thunderball or underwater Lotus cars in The Spy Who Loved Me, then this movie isn't for you. But if you enjoy straight up spy/murder/mystery movies, then check out From Russia With Love.

2. Goldeneye (1995) --- I had a hard time keeping this movie at Number 2, and I know alot of you will disagree with me on it. If I could allow a tie, I would, but that's really just the coward's way out. In any case, Goldeneye, a reboot of the series, tells the tale of Bond and long time friend/enemy Alec Trevelyen in a post-Cold War world. Now that the Berlin wall has been crumbled, what will Bond's life be like? Thank goodness there are rogue Soviet soldiers on the loose and traitorous computer programmers to keep the new Bond (Pierce Brosnan, possibly my favorite?) busy and his joints fresh. With this great storyline and character development, you can't go wrong with this movie. Is this movie for England, James? No, for me...

1. The World is Not Enough (1999) --- Found on the coat of arms of the Bond name in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The World is Not Enough barely passes the finish line as Number 1. It was close, I'll tell you for sure. I think that this is the greatest Bond movie of our generation, and it embodies our world like no other Bond movie in this quarter century. With a great story and character development, and a most dashing looking Brosnan, you really can't hate this cinematic experience. Two gorgeous Bond girls?! In one movie!?!?! Stripping itself of the Cold War days of yore, and the really gay Asian factor found in Tomorrow Never Dies (In the "Top 5 Worst"), TWINE brought in new technology, a really sweet introductory chase scene, a hot super-villain, a crazed super-human kidnapper and John Cleese. If you watch just one Bond movie, watch 2: Goldeneye and The World is Not Enough. I guarantee you will be satisfied.

On a sadder note, a few weeks before TWINE was set to be released in theaters in 1999,
Desmond Llewelyn, who played Q (short for Quartermaster), the tech expert in the films, died in a car accident. He appeared with every Bond (except Craig) and in every movie from From Russia With Love to TWINE (minus LALD). He was succeeded by John Cleese (aptly named "R"). If you watch the movies in order, Llewelyn does a fantastic job of keeping Bond in check, and tying the movies together. Although he only appears for a few minutes in every film, the audience builds a sub-conscious emotional relation with the character that is inherently absent from the newer films.

There you have it, the finale to the "007 Days Past February" James Bond Solar Sentinel Posts. Keep yourself updated on Bond movies here at Ben's Movie News and Daily Movie News. And keep yourself updated on everything else at The Solar Sentinel. As for me, well, I'm on assignment in Costa Rica. I guess the guy I'm suppose to meet isn't going to show... Says his name is Felix Leiter, whatever that means...

Safe journeys, spy fans, wherever you are...


Timothy said...

I disagree on the #1. I think the classic soviet gun fights and tank scene of goldeneye put it way before the world is not enough and Bond's full body air bag ski jacket with obvious room for two! (i mean seriously)(although that french actress also in Braveheart was a perfect Bond girl & the villian character was fairly creative) But you nailed all my favorite classic Bonds. Good read from a good Bond series.

Bond...James Bond said...

I do believe you're correct in saying that TWINE is the most "dashing and debonair" Bond film of them all, since Brosnan is a pansy through most of it.

This does not, however, mean that I think TWINE is the best Bond movie ever [or even in the Top 10]. I think that honor belongs to The Man With The Golden Gun. However, I can see how you decided to go with something from more of "our generation," leaving the [probably] better film out of the list entirely due to a vaguely asexual performance from Roger "Not as good as Connery" Moore.

Overall though - great series. I'm a lot more "Bond Educated" than I was before I read your articles.

Joey Joe said...

Although I don't really understand what the hell you mean by dashing and debonair, I will agree that TWINE was badass. Pierce is a stud, and Denise as Christmas Jones is something next to godliness. Also, that other chick in the movie was pretty hot. I wanna say her name was....Sophie Marceau?