bond, james bond

August 27, 2010

Are you ready for possibly the longest movie closet challenge (what is this?) writeup ever!? Too bad, because it's ready for YOU.

Right smack-dab in the middle of the very-summery action section we busted into Special Agent James Bond, all 23 of them– in order. I've always been Bond enthusiast, I have great memories of afternoons spent curled up in front of the tv for the 007 days of Bond. Nostalgia, I haz it. Are we ready? Here we go.

Dr. No

The very first one! How young Sean Connery looks, can you believe it? Dr. No set up the basic flow of all other Bond movies, you know the drill. I went to imdb looking for a plot recap and this is what they had written:
A secret agent from London, England named James Bond (Sean Connery) travels to an exotic locale on a mission from MI-6 to investigate a matter of national security. There, he meets several attractive young women, and has sexual relations with some of them. Bond's work is thwarted by the henchmen of the antagonist, and he is captured. He is then taken into the antagonist's base of operations, where he engages in repartee with the antagonist. During the repartee, Bond learns the details behind the antagonist's plans. Bond then kills the antagonist, foils his plans, and escapes the base with the essential information to conclude his investigation. 
Wait, isn't that exactly the same plot of ALL 23 movies?! I hadn't noticed how completely repetitive most of the plot devices were until we watched them in order. Of course the general gist is always the same but he literally does the exact same things in multiple movies along with a lot of gratuitous scenes of skiing which I had somehow forgotten about.

(I'm noting those below each film as "memes present"

oh... didn't get that part yet? 

yeah, I'm going to recap ALL OF THEM.)

Dr. No is notable because: It was the first one. Like all the older ones the pace can sometimes be a little slow, but it's also gritty and awesome with a side of memorable bikini. Bond bangs everybody and introduces the world to the secret agent thing.

It's stunning to think that before this moment most audiences had no preconceptions about what "spies" were like or the kinds of things they did. The entire concept of a "secret agent" exists thanks to this movie (based on the book) and now it has complete infiltrated our culture. Imagine a time before James Bond... imagine seeing this in the theater for the first time... Brain explosion.

Bond memes present: gambling his life away, underwater scuba diving, call in the locals, pew pew a car chase!, an overblown evil plan

From Russia With Love
Notable because: Sean Connery bangs the russian lady who wears negligee on the Orient Express, sweet catacombs scene shot on location in Istanbul, so, so much time on the train
Bond memes present: banging the chick against her will and making her like it, trains!, the evils of communism

Notable because: The woman dies painted with gold, which is a traditional favorite moment. It was most-mocked in austin powers. The bad guy is especially hilarious and round. Oddjob appears and slices thing with his hat! A girl's name is Pussy Galore!
Bond memes present: pew pew a car chase!, a tracking device, an overblown evil plan

I always confuse this with the one where they go into space, but it's actually the one where Connery spends 85% of the movie underwater moving. very. slowly.
Notable because: yeeeeeaahhhhh.... um... underwater?
Bond memes present: underwater scuba diving, call in the locals, an overblown evil plan, underwater evil headquarters

You Only Live Twice
Notable because: They dressed Sean Connery up as an "Asian" and he pretends to be a "ninja." I had kind of forgotten about this one/blocked it out of my memory because it's boring and vaguely racist. Someone on imdb said this was the best action and best sets of any bond movie!!!!.!!. That person is an idiot. Let's pretend this never happened.
Bond memes present: call in the locals, banging the chick against her will and making her like it, is that racist? that might be racist.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Notable because: Welcome to the club, George Lazenby! Sean Connery took a break for this one and the much younger and slimier George Crazenby stepped in. This is one of the most rare Bond films since the dvd production rights expired in the 80's and they no longer release copies of it. Also? He gets MARRIED! To a girl! And then she dies.
Bond memes present: gambling his life away, pew pew a car chase, SKIING!, an overblown evil plan

Diamonds Are Forever
One of my personal favorites, and back to Sean Connery as our leading man.
Notable because: Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint are remarkably memorable baddies. I enjoy referring to them as 'Mr. Kidd' and 'Mr. Play.' Connery goes to Las Vegas and fights two freaky acrobatic chics in a swanky house with an endless pool and then rides around on an abandoned Disney ride in the desert.
Bond memes present: call in the locals, an overblown evil plan, gambling his life away, pew pew a car chase!

Check that out– at one time Jane Seymour was a hot semi-virginal Bond girl.
Mind = Blown

Thus begins the era of Roger Moore, a serviceable but not spectacular Bond. Jon despises him, I find him passable. He's not much to look at but he can throw out a quip or two.

Live And Let Die
My all time favorite Bond. No, seriously. I want to draw a little pink puffy heart around it and put it in my pocket.
Notable because: It's blacksploitation themed. Dr. Quinn ye old medicine woman plays a hot young virgin psychic. And New Orleans funerals? Hellz yeah! AND an alligator farm full of cocaine, AND a sweet speed boat chase with one of the worst southern-stereotyped American characters ever! AND a dude with a mechanical hand! And SHARKS. THERE'S HOKEY VOODOO AND A GOOD THEME SONG.
Bond memes present: call in the locals, gambling his life away, pew pew a car chase, banging the chick against her will and making her like it, trains!

The Man With The Golden Gun
Notable because: Christopher Lee is the baddie. He has a dwarf assistant who lives with him on his private island. He's totally wacko and likes to get it on before he kills (KINK ALERT!). It almost makes up for the really boring chase scene through the fun house. There's a car plane.
Bond memes present: call in the locals, an overblown evil plan, pew pew a car chase, a tracking device

They Spy Who Loved MeNotable because: Moore and a russian agent work together against JAWS! the dude with metal teeth! He chases them through the ruins at Giza during the sound and light show on the pyramids. Culminates in a showdown inside a dreamy underwater bad-guy headquarters called atlantis.
Bond memes present: SKIING!, banging the chick against her will and making her like it, the evils of communism, underwater scuba diving, a tracking device, underwater evil headquarters

Moonraker aka, Mooncrapper
Notable because: They go to space. They go to space with crazy people and fight. I believe at one point he hang-glides. Not a fan. I'm going to go get some doritos.
Bond memes present:  an overblown evil plan, this is fucking stupid

For Your Eyes Only
Notable because: Most annoying title song. Lots of underwater archeology in greece, cut to hilltop evil headquarters/monastery. Moore teams up with an annoying american ice skater chickie whom he should have let fall into a pit of stakes. The sequence where they climb up the mountain and into the headquarters is pretty good, otherwise it's rather dull. There's a talking parrot.
Bond memes present:  underwater scuba diving, call in the locals, the evils of communism

Octopussy  -  a true classic!
Notable because: A society of female entrepreneurs and spies gets in on Moore's action plus, they're HOTTT with ten t's! Not quite so good: the twin knife-throwers and all the parts with the clown. There's a carnival, and a bomb, and Q in a hot air balloon.
Bond memes present: underwater scuba diving, call in the locals, the evils of communism, banging the chick against her will and making her like it, trains!, gambling his life away, pew pew a car chase

A View To A Kill
Notable because: Fucking DURAN DURAN did the song and, fucking CHRISTOPHER WALKEN is in it as the bad guy. Great combo. Not so amazing: Walken's sidekick May Day, played by Grace Jones. She's pure 80's madness, and I know some people love her, but it's too much for me. Overall a pretty entertaining one though.
Bond memes present: gambling his life away, pew pew a car chase, an overblown evil plan

Awkwardly, I must cut in here to add:

Never Say Never Again
Because Sean Connery didn't want Roger Moore to have more Bond films than him (six to Moore's seven) he came back and made one more. It's actually remake of Thunderball, which is a little odd, but I find this version a million times better. There's still a lot of underwater, but it's an improvement.  There might even be more underwaterness than skiing. Kim Basinger made a pretty good Bond girl as Domino and I find her delightful.

Enter: Timothy Dalton, in my opinion one of the worst Bonds ever. I don't find him suave, or smart, or particularly quippy, and all I can think about when he's on the screen is punching Nazis.

The Living Daylights
Notable because: It's not. It's just really not. The main chick is dullsville and plays the cello. Bleh. I do not care about your endless cello talk.
Bond memes present:  the evils of communism, banging the chick against her will and making her like it, SKIING!, gambling his life away, pew pew a car chase

License To Kill
Notable because: Despite my dislike of Timothy Dalton I've always rather liked this one. Dalton goes "rogue" to avenge his friend Felix and same crazy shit happens. There are sharks. Frankly, I don't remember the details and I watched it twenty minutes ago. Is that a good or bad thing? Probably bad for you, Timothy Dalton.
Bond memes present:  whiiirrrrr.... uh...... probably the same damn stuff that happened in the others, ok?

Finally, the era of Pierce Brosnan! I never much cared for him UNTIL we watched all these in a row. There is such a huge jump in the production and plot quality in these newer ones that it's quite striking. Brosnan, I take back that slander I said against you as a Bond. Some of it anyway.

Notable because: Famke Jannsen squeezes people to death with her thighs. An annoying guy clicks a pen a lot. Boromir gets all scarred up and goes crazy. They slide around on the giant satellite dish from contact. Jigga-what! M is a woman! And Bond returns to making over-the-top stupid quips, just as things should be. Excellence.
Bond memes present: pew pew a car chase, SKIING!, the evils of communism, ridiculous evil plots, playing cards, whatever

Tomorrow Never Dies
Notable because: To be honest I forgot all about this one, which was probably a good idea because I despise Terri Hatcher and the whole media-mogul evil-newspaper man storyline hasn't aged very well now that we have the internet. Brosnan races around on a motorcycle. The parts with just him are pretty good, the female actors aren't fabulous which seems to be a recurring Brosnan-era issue. There's underwater fighting because there's always underwater fighting.
Bond memes present: drink a martini, bang a lady, win at cards, wear a suit, fight crazies and drive a fast car, repeat. with SKIING!

The World Is Not Enough
Notable because: This movie is not enough. Again, Brosnan is serviceable enough but the ladies are AWFUL. Denise Richards as Christmas Jones is practically PAINFUL and makes me want to stab my eyes out.

From imdb:  Denise Richards was attracted to the role of Christmas Jones as she found the part to be "brainy", "athletic" and had "depth of character", a change in direction from previous Bond Girls. Audiences did not agree, and often consider Christmas to be the worst Bond Girl ever. This was the first Bond film to win a Razzie (in the category of Worst Supporting Actress), for the same reason.

So, there's that. Overall a good action movie. Pretty high up there on the cheese scale but be warned to close your eyes and ears when you see boobs on the screen.
Bond memes present: guess what, fucking SKIING!

Are you ready for the awful magic that is...
Die Another Day
And here it's like they took all the good things about Bond and turned them up to 11 so that... well, they aren't so good anymore. It takes the Bond genre from lovably hokey to... what the crap. I'm shamed to admit that for this very reason... I actually like it. It's FUNNY. Laughably FUNNY.  –just not on purpose.
Notable because: First, the intro. Madonna? Club beats? Naked flaming chicks? Huge guilty fucking pleasure right there. Halle Berry, not so much. I know some people obviously think she's super hot but I kind of hate her. Ok, I totally hate her. And SHOCKINGLY she's NOT GOOD in this movie.  However, there's fencing! With a Madonna cameo! And Brosnan walking all wet and dirty into a hotel to demand service! Hilarity! And... an ICE HOTEL? And an INVISIBLE CAR? We're jumping the shark, baby, and I think I like it just this once.
Bond memes present: Is this the one where he jumps out of a plane and surfs away? No? Maybe?

Time for the gritty Bond reboot with Daniel Craig! Which I like because...

Casino Royale
Notable because: They start us back at the beginning, with Bond's very first mission. He's supposed to be young and dumb and... you know the rest. He foolishly falls in love. He plays in a really really freaking long card game. He's clever and makes quips and looks fancy. All this preceded by one of the best on-foot chase scenes of all time where that crazy parquor guy hops all around. And guess what? NO SKIING.  or... UNDERWATER. Can you believe it? It truly is a new age. He does, however, get poisoned and punched in the balls.
Quantum Of Solace
Notable because: It picks up just where Casino Royale left off, the first in the series to be a direct sequel. Craig is mad and he's going for blood. Stuff blows up. Geoff Manthorne from ace of cakes is the bad guy. It's the shortest Bond film ever in terms of running minutes, making it really more of an extension of Casino Royale than its own thing. You might as well just watch them in tandem if you have the time.

Annnnndd...  fin. You made it. We made it. We watched them all (as of this posting). In a row. It was crazy, sometimes boring, sometimes awesome, and very repetitive. I still love them but I don't know that I ever want to do that again.

On to the next in the movie closet challenge: King Kong, the 2005 version.

PS this is one of the longest post I've ever written. Is anyone going to read this?? High five if you made it this far.
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