The A-Z of Film
B = Bond, James Bond
It’s not really a surprise that Bond has made my A-Z. I grew up with Bond, (not literally, he lived next door) but unfortunately A View To A Kill was the first one I watched. It didn’t put me off though. I suppose at the age of 7, I found it entertaining. Unfortunately Roger Moore was well past it at this point. Sorry Roger.
Things got better after that, making my way through the whole back catalogue. I think the last two I got round to watching were Dr. No and Octopussy. By the time 1995 arrived and Pierce Brosnan had put his suit on for his first outing in Goldeneye, I had watched them all.
I really enjoyed all the Pierce ones, even Die Another Day has its place. Although I don’t think anyone can forgive the awful CGI skiing scene.
Pierce then made way for Daniel Craig, who has been an amazing Bond. Yes Quantum of Solace was a bit rubbish but in my opinion it’s better than Spectre. His finest performances are Skyfall and Casino Royale and let’s hope his next instalment (due out 14th February 2020 as I write this) can undo the damage left by the overly long, dragged out and utterly ridiculous Spectre. Yeah I’m not keen on it, I will post a review of it one day.
Also might be worth mentioning. When I watched Quantum of Solace for the first time, my friend and I dressed up in tuxedos, drank some Vodka Martinis and Vespers, then ate a massive Chinese at Buffet City. We then went to watch the film at our local Cineworld. Classy, I know. I wouldn’t recommend drinking cocktails before sitting in the cinema for 2 hours. I really needed the loo and I didn’t remember half the film. I had to watch again it at the cinema the next day.
With at least ten viewings of each film, (I’m sure some I’ve watched well over twenty times) I have ranked them below. This ranking has changed many times over the years. At one point I had the bottom film on the list in my top five. Yes, I do hang my head in shame. Here’s the list as it stands now.
- 24th – Diamonds Are Forever ⭐⭐ Stars
- 23rd – A View To A Kill ⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 22nd – Die Another Day ⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 21st – Octopussy ⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 20th – Tomorrow Never Dies ⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 19th – Spectre ⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 18th – Quantum Of Solace ⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 17th – The Man With The Golden Gun ⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 16th – Moonraker ⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 15th – The World Is Not Enough ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 14th – Thunderball ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 13th – You Only Live Twice ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 12th – The Spy Who Loved Me ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 11th – Licence To Kill ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 10th – Dr. No ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 9th – The Living Daylights ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 8th – For Your Eyes Only ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 7th – Casino Royale ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 6th – Goldeneye ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 5th – Skyfall ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 4th – Live And Let Die ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 3rd – Goldfinger ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stars
- 2nd – From Russia With Love ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Stars
- 1st – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stars
The top two have been the same films for years, they just occasionally switch places.
Below is one of the funniest YouTube clips I’ve found involving Bond. It does have some colourful language.
So I can’t talk about Bond without mentioning the dishonorable non-canon of Never Say Never Again and Casino Royale (1967). Both are terrible in very different ways, Casino Royale is a comedy, but is a complete mess of a movie, with exits in cast and crew throughout production and an awful plot. Casino Royale can be forgiven however as it never takes itself seriously unlike Never Say Never Again. Which is a pointless remake of Thunderball and just really naff. I won’t get into the whole legal rubbish with Thunderball, but if you’re going to make a statement and put out your own version of it, do something better than that.
On a different note, if you are ever wondering how the beginning of The Spy Who Loved Me starts, don’t watch the film. Instead flick on I’m Alan Partridge series 2 episode ‘Never Say Alan Again.’ If you haven’t seen it, I thoroughly recommend you watch it. It gives me my go to line when people talk about Bond. ‘Stop getting Bond wrong!’
Bond isn’t for everyone, and looking back at some of the really old ones, they haven’t aged massively well. But as things changed, so did Bond. James Bond will always be something I come back to. Every time a new one comes out I re-watch them all. (That starts in February 2019) It’s been around for fifty-seven years and I think with it’s capability to change with the times, means it’ll probably be around for a long time to come.