James Bond: FAVE FIVES (Updated)
1. Daniel Craig
This isn't even really a hard choice. I think he benefits from his era, in that he gets modern movies that aren't dated and full of ludicrous sexism and racism, but I choose him more for his Bond being able to show vulnerability. It's a trait none of the other Bonds used and it is MUCH needed. He also LOOKS like the kind of guy that could kill you with his leg, run through a wall, ride a motorcycle on a roof, have sex with incredibly beautiful women (and not in a rapey way like Connery, AND in a way that he clearly gives a shit about the pleasure of a woman), create a martini on the spot, play high stakes poker, and have impeccable clothes. He brings the elegance, viciousness, and style to Bond that no one else has. He's able to convey so much with just a look or a wince.
2. Sean Connery
There are a lot of things I don't like about Connery's Bond. Mostly how rapey he is. It's really within the first 3 movies where his charm shows. After that he completely checked out mentally and it shows. But watch him in Dr. No. Watch him at the card table for his introduction. Especially watch him in his first scene with Moneypenny. Holy SHIT is he charming as fuck. Just off the charts. He has a manliness and gruffness to him that Roger Moore certainly didn't have. You believe he's a guy that is going to fuck every woman he sees. I just don't know why he had to be so rapey. Those women would have banged him. Except maybe Pussy Galore, since she was a lesbian. But he cured her with dick. Dr. No-Goldfinger are him at his best, and goddamn if he wasn't great.
3. Roger Moore
I would probably have Moore over Connery if he hadn't done the 2 or 3 movies where he was trying to be like Connery. As distasteful and gross as Connery's Bond was towards women and minorities, it kind of fit. With Moore, it absolutely didn't fit and it is super awkward and uncomfortable coming from him. Once he got away from trying to resemble anything of Connery's Bond, I enjoy him so much more. The know it all, English as fuck gentleman. He's the most giffable Bond due to most of his acting being done with just his eye brows. He's the fun and playful Bond. His movies are often insane. I wish he hadn't done Live and Let Die. I wish no one had let that movie get out. I very much enjoy his commentary tracks on the laserdiscs/DVDs/blurays. He seems so genuinely nice and friendly.
4. Timothy Dalton
He brought the edge back to Bond. His movies were basically trying to do what the Craig films succeeded in doing. He has the edge, the looks, the acting ability. He had all the tools. It's a shame he didn't get at least one more movie. He could have taken the series in a far different direction, much for the better. After the decade of frankly wacky as shit Moore movies, Timothy Dalton comes in looking like an actual physical threat. While Moore was a dick in his smugness, Dalton was a dick in his brisk attitude. The quips were nearly gone, sexing up the women was something that seemed not particularly of interest to him. He was great.
5. Pierce Brosnan
I would rank him higher if his movies weren't garbage. He was the perfect blend of Dalton, Moore, and Connery. He looks the most like what you'd expect James Bond to look like. He's a great actor. But he was given such dog shit movies. It's a shame. A real shame. And you can see how it bothered him if you watch any of the extra features or documentaries. He wanted to become an actor because of Bond movies. He had it in his grasps as a young man in the 80s and had it taken away from him. When he finally gets it in 1995, his movies are terrible and get progressively worse and worse until they actually cause a reboot of the series. He could have been the GOAT. Instead, his movies ended up having him do a Connery fight scene with a Moore one liner and they just didn't work.
1. Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Kind of hard not to pick him. He's in or behind more plots than anyone else. If Bond has an archenemy, it has to be Blofeld. He's certainly the most personal villain, having killed Bond's wife in the classic series, and having grown up with Bond in the Craig series. His schemes range from trying to start WWIII to threatening to wipe out entire species (up to humans) to using diamonds to amplify a death laser, used to target nuclear stockpiles if he wasn't paid. My favorite version is by far the Donald Pleasence version.
2. Raoul Silva
I put him at 2 because he actually succeeded at his objectives, as wacky as they were. What he wanted: To die, for M to be embarrassed, exposed, and killed. And that's exactly what happened. It was also a great and creepy performance from Javier Bardem. It's hard to not put him at number 1, actually. He's the only one that achieved his goals. Because of him, James Bond implied that he's at least had his dick sucked by a dude before. For Her Majesty's Secret Service, of course.
3. Francisco Scaramanga
This is basically just because it is Christopher Lee. Most Bond villains kind of suck, actually. Scaramanga's only known physical attribute was a superfluous nipple. As far as villainous motives go, his weren't even really bad. He was trying to get a Solar Agitator, which was a vital component in solar power plants. Then he'd sell the info to the highest bidder. He wasn't trying to keep it to himself. He wasn't trying to take over the world or anything. He wasn't even trying to deny people the energy. He just wanted paid for it. And he wanted to kill Bond as he felt Bond was his only equal. He's pretty genial and classy. He has a golden gun. He cums just before the kill.
4. Franz Sanchez
The most violent of all Bond villains. This dude beats his girlfriend, cuts hearts out, has women raped, feeds people to sharks. He's legit. His plan also isn't THAT bad. He's just a drug dealer. Considering how many guys Bond has had to stop from taking over the world, he seems pretty small time. I enjoy Robert Davi's sense of menace.
5. Max Zorin
100% due to Christopher Walken being crazy Christopher Walken. His plan (Cause massive earthquake destroying Silicon Valley in order to monopolize the microchip market) was stupid, but he was fun to watch. Bond villains kind of suck. A lot.
1. Pam Bouvier
The most bad ass woman in the whole series. She saves Bond multiple times, is never once a damsel in distress. Looked great in a dress. She also calls Bond out on his misogynist ways in a way that hadn't been done up to that point.
2. Vesper Lynd
Her relationship with Bond has more emotional depth than any in the series. It does more to humanize Bond than any in the series. Her actions also have the most impact, as James sill has emotional baggage from her three movies later.
3. Tatiana Romanova
A great character, who is technically working for the Reds/SPECTRE, but her goodness and loyalty to Bond is a key in his mission being successful. Really great interactions with Connery.
4. Teresa di Vicenzo
The first, and only, Mrs. Bond. Prone to depression, James ends up meeting her by saving her from a suicide attempt and things go from there. It's a real shame that her movie had Lazenby as Bond. The movie and her relationship with Bond would have felt so much better with any of the other five actors in the role. The emotional depth would have been so much deeper.
5. Anya Amasova
Her characterization made me want to shoot myself. She's the female, Russian James Bond. Literally the top spy Russia has. The entire movie, she's teaming with Bond only for the greater good and plans to kill him after the mission because Bond killed her lover in the cold opening. Bond treats her with so much disrespect and condescension and then she ends up fucking him at the end even though she had him at gunpoint. I put her here because she was really hot in that Eurotrash way, and because she deserved better treatment.
He's fun and playful. He's tall. He can eat you. You can't hurt him. He's a sharp dresser. You can't hurt him. He's the only henchman to make more than one appearance, gets a face turn, and lives. He's pretty dope. He even gets to fall in love. He has the gimmick of metal teeth (and possible skeleton), super strength, and gigantism.
2. Red Grant
What a bad mother fucker. His fight scene in the train with Bond is very likely the best in the series. I don't think any dude really had Bond in his sights so many times. He's such a badass that he SAVES BOND'S LIFE just so he can kill him later. Unlike most heavies, he doesn't really even have a gimmick. He does put gloves on, but he's a killer, so that seems pretty logical. The book version has him as a killer whose kills coincide with full moons. Thankfully that was dropped. Robert Shaw is dope. I think we can all agree on that.
Korean (the most devious and violent of all Orientals, as it turns out) with the gimmick of super strength and the sharpest brimmed hat you'll ever find. Likely the most parodied henchman of any Bond movie.
4. Mr. Hinx
We're a fan of Batista here. As it turns out, he was great in SPECTRE. Really stole the show. The only heavy in the Craig series that actually came off like a physical threat to Bond. The most physically threatening of any heavy since Red Grant. Probably not coincidentally, he also has a great close quarters train fight. He had maybe 10 minutes of screen time at most, and only one line, but anyone who saw SPECTRE was coming out of theaters remembering him. The best henchman in over 30 years.
5. Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint
Randomly weird gay killers who seem completely unconnected to the plot. They just show up, kill people, and make weird puns. They were the definition of random. Wonderful. Wint is the father of fellow random and weird Crispin Glover.
1. Casino Royale
A wonderful reboot. Took the series in much needed fresh direction. Daniel Craig is wonderful as Bond. The action is incredible. Everything about this movie is so good. Except for the last 15 minutes or so. Still, this is the best Bond movie. It's so good. There aren't many genuinely good Bond movies. This is a great movie without qualifications.
Truly the quintessential Bond movie. All of the tropes and hallmarks are here. If there is one Bond movie to watch to understand what a Bond movie is, it is definitely Goldfinger. It's also the last time Connery gave a shit. Overall, I think more elements of this are used in parodies than any other individual Bond movie. It also looks amazing. Everything is so bright and pops off the screen.
3. From Russia With Love
As much as Goldfinger is the quintessential Bond movie, FRWL really has all the same elements and is a better movie. It just isn't as important or popular as Goldfinger. A much more believable story, one of the greatest fight scenes in the series, and one of the greatest heavies in the series. I think Connery's acting was the best in this as well. Definitely a high quality movie.
4. Licence to Kill
This tried to do what the Craig movies did. It's dark, violent, mean, and dope. It's like a 2 hour episode of Miami Vice, but with James Bond. It's dope. So over looked. Timothy Dalton was great as the angry, out for revenge Bond who will really fuck people up instead of spend most of the movie trying to fuck and say puns.
This is a hard choice. I do genuinely enjoy almost all of the Moore movies, but I can't really say any of them are good. Brosnan movies have no place on this list. Had any of the other Bonds been in OHMSS, that probably would have made the cut. Instead, I'm going with SPECTRE. It's almost cheating, as it intentionally evokes memories of the Craig and classic series, so if you've seen them all, you should be predisposed to liking this. It doesn't look quite as good as Skyfall, but the action is great, Craig is great, and Batista is great.
1. Goldfinger - Shirley Bassey
Everything that screams Bond to me. I love it so much. The E to C IS Bond songs to me. GoldfinGAAAAH. God, I love it. Truly perfect.
2. Live and Let Die - Paul McCartney
Obviously, this needs no words for it. Stands on its own more than probably any Bond song. Surprisingly, when I saw GNR in 2011, this was in my fave five performances of the night. It has a ton of energy live. A real fucking shame it comes with if not the worst, the most offensive movie in the series.
3. A View To A Kill - Duran Duran
Listen to that shit. And think about how completely inappropriate it is for Roger Moore. It's a rad song though. Why on earth was this not called "Dance Into The Fire"?
4. Skyfall- Adele
Wonderful. Haunting. Beautiful. Everything you could want from a Bond song. Also an amazing title sequence. Maybe the best of the series that gets better the more you see it.
5. From Russia With Love - John Barry
While there is the actual song with lyrics performed by Matt Monro, the instrumental is the song in the titles and is wonderful. That opening is amazing. So Bondy.
Special shoutouts to the Thunderball instrumental, OHMSS, and The Man WIth The Golden Gun.
1. Live and Let Die
This has to be number one based solely on how terribly, irredeemably racist this movie is. Jesus Christ. All the black people in Harlem (which has only black people) are part of an evil cabal. All of them. All of the black people in New Orleans (which has only black people) are part of an evil cabal. All of the black people on the island that is totally not Haiti (which has only black people) are savages and super into voodoo. This movie is the most racist movie I've ever seen that isn't explicitly about slavery or the KKK. It is a fundamentally racist tract, which is not at all surprising considering how much of a true piece of shit Ian Fleming was when it came to minorities and women. The one good black person in the movie is Bond's boat driver. The main bad guy goes in black face to be ANOTHER BAD BLACK GUY. Fuck.
2. Die Another Day
This is actually worse than LALD, but it isn't as racist so I can't put it in the top spot. This is hot dog shit, though. There is nothing appealing about this. It is full of non-stop references to the other movies in the most obnoxious ways possible. Pierce Brosnan had completely given up and doesn't even try an English accent anymore. He's full on Irish Bond. Halle Berry is unbelievably bad. Everything is bad. This movie is terrible. Madonna's title song is the absolute worst title song in the entire series and genuinely one of the shittiest songs I've ever heard. This has Korean somehow change his entire body and DNA to turn into a British white guy and no one even picks up on it.
3. The Spy Who Loved Me
I understand this is one of the more well liked movies in the series. I HATE Moore movies where he's trying to be Connery's Bond. I have a legitimate physical reaction to it. It feels so gross and bad. And he's very Connery in this movie. I don't like it. It makes me so uncomfortable. There is a movie where Bond pretty much straight up rapes a woman (Pussy Galore in Goldfinger) and I think this is the movie where Bond is the shittiest to women. His partner for the whole movie is the top spy of Russia, who happens to be a woman. He treats her with SUCH disrespect and condescension. It's infuriating. He also uses a woman as a human shield and doesn't even give a shit that she died. He didn't check on her, didn't care, and it was never mentioned again. It's also essentially a remake of You Only Live Twice.
4. The World Is Not Enough
Pierce got the short end of the stick. All of his movies are shit. Even Goldeneye. It just sucks. I don't need to talk about it. Denise Richards is woefully miscast as a NUCLEAR PHYSICIST. The villain is really out of place in Brosnan movie and should have been in a Craig movie.
One of the other Brosnan movies is worse, but this one bored the shit out of me. It was such a chore to get through. There's a really weird moment where a snake charmer plays the 007 theme, which is the code for Bond. Which brings up a weird question: Are the Bond themes actual songs in the James Bond universe? How else would he know the tune? There's also a scene in OHMSS where someone whistles the tune to Goldfinger. I need answers.