Posts tagged “James Bond

Ranking Bond: Spectre (2015), Part V

In what was a precursor to Fun with Franchises and as a lead up to the release of Skyfall in 2012, Colin and I did a series called Ranking Bond. We watched all the movies in the franchise wrote them up and ranked how we liked them. We did it as a movie a day, which is absolutely insane. Though it did make me realize we could get more out of splitting each movie into parts, and how much fun the two of us riffing on films can be, and thus Fun with Franchises was born.

But, since Bond movies keep coming out, we keep going back to the franchise. Because we love it. We did articles for Skyfall when that film got released on Blu-Ray, and now we’re doing Spectre.

Here is Part V of Spectre:

Spectre - Title Card (more…)


Ranking Bond: Spectre (2015), Part IV

In what was a precursor to Fun with Franchises and as a lead up to the release of Skyfall in 2012, Colin and I did a series called Ranking Bond. We watched all the movies in the franchise wrote them up and ranked how we liked them. We did it as a movie a day, which is absolutely insane. Though it did make me realize we could get more out of splitting each movie into parts, and how much fun the two of us riffing on films can be, and thus Fun with Franchises was born.

But, since Bond movies keep coming out, we keep going back to the franchise. Because we love it. We did articles for Skyfall when that film got released on Blu-Ray, and now we’re doing Spectre.

Here is Part IV of Spectre:

Spectre - Title Card (more…)


Ranking Bond: Spectre (2015), Part III

In what was a precursor to Fun with Franchises and as a lead up to the release of Skyfall in 2012, Colin and I did a series called Ranking Bond. We watched all the movies in the franchise wrote them up and ranked how we liked them. We did it as a movie a day, which is absolutely insane. Though it did make me realize we could get more out of splitting each movie into parts, and how much fun the two of us riffing on films can be, and thus Fun with Franchises was born.

But, since Bond movies keep coming out, we keep going back to the franchise. Because we love it. We did articles for Skyfall when that film got released on Blu-Ray, and now we’re doing Spectre.

Here is Part III of Spectre:

Spectre - Title Card (more…)


Ranking Bond: Spectre (2015), Part II

In what was a precursor to Fun with Franchises and as a lead up to the release of Skyfall in 2012, Colin and I did a series called Ranking Bond. We watched all the movies in the franchise wrote them up and ranked how we liked them. We did it as a movie a day, which is absolutely insane. Though it did make me realize we could get more out of splitting each movie into parts, and how much fun the two of us riffing on films can be, and thus Fun with Franchises was born.

But, since Bond movies keep coming out, we keep going back to the franchise. Because we love it. We did articles for Skyfall when that film got released on Blu-Ray, and now we’re doing Spectre.

Here is Part II of Spectre:

Spectre - Title Card (more…)


Ranking Bond: Spectre (2015), Part I

In what was a precursor to Fun with Franchises and as a lead up to the release of Skyfall in 2012, Colin and I did a series called Ranking Bond. We watched all the movies in the franchise wrote them up and ranked how we liked them. We did it as a movie a day, which is absolutely insane. Though it did make me realize we could get more out of splitting each movie into parts, and how much fun the two of us riffing on films can be, and thus Fun with Franchises was born.

But, since Bond movies keep coming out, we keep going back to the franchise. Because we love it. We did articles for Skyfall when that film got released on Blu-Ray, and now we’re doing Spectre.

Here is Part I of Spectre:

Spectre - Title Card (more…)


Ranking Bond: Skyfall (2012), Part V

In the 22 days leading up to this film’s release (which seems insane to me now. You’ll find out why soon. And also kinda with these articles), I did a series called Ranking Bond. I watched all the movies in the franchise, wrote them up and ranked how I liked them all. And since my buddy Colin (whose blog is TokyoRemix.com. Fuck yeah, promotion!) is a huge Bond fan, I enlisted his help in the articles, since he knows more trivia and such about the franchise (specifically about the cars) than I do.

So we went through and did the articles, and it was fun. (You’ll find out just how fun soon. Hint hint.) And the only real thought we had when it was over was, “We really need to do Skyfall when it comes out on DVD.”

And that’s exactly what we’re doing.

We’re four months removed from the rest of the articles, so we won’t rank specifically (though we will discuss where he think this falls within our lists at the end), but we will be doing the same thing we did for the other articles.

Today we finish Skyfall:

Skyfall - Title Card (more…)


Ranking Bond: Skyfall (2012), Part IV

In the 22 days leading up to this film’s release (which seems insane to me now. You’ll find out why soon. And also kinda with these articles), I did a series called Ranking Bond. I watched all the movies in the franchise, wrote them up and ranked how I liked them all. And since my buddy Colin (whose blog is TokyoRemix.com. Fuck yeah, promotion!) is a huge Bond fan, I enlisted his help in the articles, since he knows more trivia and such about the franchise (specifically about the cars) than I do.

So we went through and did the articles, and it was fun. (You’ll find out just how fun soon. Hint hint.) And the only real thought we had when it was over was, “We really need to do Skyfall when it comes out on DVD.”

And that’s exactly what we’re doing.

We’re four months removed from the rest of the articles, so we won’t rank specifically (though we will discuss where he think this falls within our lists at the end), but we will be doing the same thing we did for the other articles.

Today we get into Part IV of Skyfall:

Skyfall - Title Card (more…)


Ranking Bond: Skyfall (2012), Part III

In the 22 days leading up to this film’s release (which seems insane to me now. You’ll find out why soon. And also kinda with these articles), I did a series called Ranking Bond. I watched all the movies in the franchise, wrote them up and ranked how I liked them all. And since my buddy Colin (whose blog is TokyoRemix.com. Fuck yeah, promotion!) is a huge Bond fan, I enlisted his help in the articles, since he knows more trivia and such about the franchise (specifically about the cars) than I do.

So we went through and did the articles, and it was fun. (You’ll find out just how fun soon. Hint hint.) And the only real thought we had when it was over was, “We really need to do Skyfall when it comes out on DVD.”

And that’s exactly what we’re doing.

We’re four months removed from the rest of the articles, so we won’t rank specifically (though we will discuss where he think this falls within our lists at the end), but we will be doing the same thing we did for the other articles.

Today we get into Part III of Skyfall:

Skyfall - Title Card (more…)


Ranking Bond: Skyfall (2012), Part II

In the 22 days leading up to this film’s release (which seems insane to me now. You’ll find out why soon. And also kinda with these articles), I did a series called Ranking Bond. I watched all the movies in the franchise, wrote them up and ranked how I liked them all. And since my buddy Colin (whose blog is TokyoRemix.com. Fuck yeah, promotion!) is a huge Bond fan, I enlisted his help in the articles, since he knows more trivia and such about the franchise (specifically about the cars) than I do.

So we went through and did the articles, and it was fun. (You’ll find out just how fun soon. Hint hint.) And the only real thought we had when it was over was, “We really need to do Skyfall when it comes out on DVD.”

And that’s exactly what we’re doing.

We’re four months removed from the rest of the articles, so we won’t rank specifically (though we will discuss where he think this falls within our lists at the end), but we will be doing the same thing we did for the other articles.

Today we get into Part II of Skyfall:

Skyfall - Title Card (more…)


Ranking Bond: Skyfall (2012), Part I

In the 22 days leading up to this film’s release (which seems insane to me now. You’ll find out why soon. And also kinda with these articles), I did a series called Ranking Bond. I watched all the movies in the franchise, wrote them up and ranked how I liked them all. And since my buddy Colin (whose blog is TokyoRemix.com. Fuck yeah, promotion!) is a huge Bond fan, I enlisted his help in the articles, since he knows more trivia and such about the franchise (specifically about the cars) than I do.

So we went through and did the articles, and it was fun. (You’ll find out just how fun soon. Hint hint.) And the only real thought we had when it was over was, “We really need to do Skyfall when it comes out on DVD.”

And that’s exactly what we’re doing.

We’re four months removed from the rest of the articles, so we won’t rank specifically (though we will discuss where he think this falls within our lists at the end), but we will be doing the same thing we did for the other articles.

Get ready, folks. Much like Bond himself does, we’re getting back in the saddle again. It’s Skyfall time:

Skyfall - Title Card (more…)


Ranking Bond: The Articles

Here’s a compilation of all the articles I’ve written about the Bond franchise.

In all cases, there will be links to the individual articles. There will also be some added articles here that weren’t published before, mostly because I don’t have much to say about them and just wanted to include them for trivia/information purposes. (Just like the Ranking Disney articles.) Oh, and I’ve decided to list them from bottom to top, to add a little bit of suspense to them, in case people haven’t read the articles.

Ranking the Bond Movies (My List)

(Note: Now that I’ve updated the list, some of the films won’t be ranked the way they were for the articles. So if you click on a film that’s, say, #12, and you see that it was #10 when I wrote the articles, know that it’s because the article was written BEFORE Skyfall came out. I know this needs to be explained, because if it isn’t, some idiot will bring it up. That’s how these things work. There’s always some idiot.)

24. The Living Daylights (1987)

23. Octopussy (1983)

22. For Your Eyes Only (1981)

21. Die Another Day (2002)

20. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

19. A View to a Kill (1985) (more…)


Ranking the Bond Cars

Today we conclude what has become “Thirty Days of Bond.” I hadn’t quite intended it to become thirty days, but that’s what it became. Now we have thirty articles all about what’s probably the best franchise in film. We’ll conclude with the area that I know absolutely nothing about — Bond cars.

Bond cars are a huge staple of the franchise — all those great, iconic cars that Bond drives, like that Citroen in For Your Eyes Only, the BMW in Tomorrow Never Dies and the Vanquish in Die Another Day. You know… classics.

I honestly know nothing about cars and, outside of like, three of them, would probably just rank them based on how they look to me. But fortunately, I have a Bond expert who knows all about cars. So I’m just gonna leave the floor to him. He knows more about this shit than I do. This article is honestly going to be the opposite of what the earlier ones were. I’m leaving all this entirely to TokyoRemix — he’s gonna rank the cars, and I’m gonna comment (and put my list down below, since what the fuck do I know?). He’ll be the play-by-play guy, and I’ll be the colored guy.

(TokyoRemix Note: Did you guys know Mike is Puerto Rican?)

(Mike Note: Now everyone’s gonna believe… ah fuck it. Nobody reads this.)

Oh, and later on today, I’m gonna post an index of all the lists that were published, with links to all the articles. And the link will go up in the Favorite Films tab up top for future reference.

So let’s get into the car talk. (more…)


Ranking the Bond Action Sequences

Oh man, it’s the action sequences. Are you excited? Well you should be, because you’re about to relive many of the best moments of the franchise right now.

Action sequences are the centerpiece of this franchise. And there are a lot of them. The hard part was trying to figure out which ones to list. Originally I was just gonna list 50, but soon realized, “Fuck that, let’s make it 100. There are so many good ones.”

But then I didn’t want to structure it the same way as everything else. That’s not as interesting. So I figured — let’s do it this way — instead of me listing my favorites and TokyoRemix commenting and then listing his list, I figured we’ll just have one list. Since there are so many action sequences, the specific rankings don’t really matter, as long as we all agree they belong in the general area. So TokyoRemix and I both came up with a list that we felt generally put all the action sequences in a place where we both felt they should go. Then, what we did was — we each took half the list. We alternated talking about the sequences. TokyoRemix is doing all the odd numbers, and I’m doing all the even numbers. So I’ll talk about a sequence, then he’ll talk about one, and so on and so forth. That’s how numbers work.

So get ready — it’s pretty great. This is gonna be the best of the supplementary Bond articles, and a great way to lead into tomorrow’s final article (which of course is gonna be the Bond cars). (more…)


Ranking the Cold Openings and Final Scenes

Today we rank the Bond Cold Opens and Final Scenes.

Originally this article was going to be just the cold opens and a ranking of our favorite action sequences (with the final scenes list a little easter egg that wasn’t going to be announced in the title), but the sequences list got bigger than I expected and there was no way I was gonna get it up in time, so I just left these by themselves and made the action sequences list a standalone list that’ll go up tomorrow. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

That said — the two lists do work well together. The cold open leading into the credit sequence is one of the few traditions the franchise will adhere to no matter what. And the final scenes are — well, they’re interesting. I didn’t actually give much thought to listing them until I did the cold opens and realized how — well, you’ll see when we get to them. Not too many of them are memorable.

But, that’s today. Today’s gonna be a pretty simple day, especially as compared to tomorrow. Just wait til we get to tomorrow… (more…)


Ranking the Bond Henchmen

Today we talk about the Bond Henchmen.

Henchmen are perhaps the most integral part of the Bond franchise, since often times they’re more a part of the action than the villain, and they’re often the reason for the action.

Plus, given how many of the villains aren’t particularly interesting, or don’t do much outside of create a plan, there are often some very interesting and unique henchmen out there.

So let’s appreciate them: (more…)


Ranking the Bond Villains and Allies

Today, we talk about the Bond Villains and the Bond Allies.

Pretty simple, actually. The villains are a pretty simple list. Some films have multiple villains. We’re dealing with the people who are primarily the ones in the films who are behind the plans that go into motion. Typically, when a film has multiple villains, either there’s a big villain like Blofeld behind the main villain, or two villains team up, so there’s the logistical villain who sets everything up or is the cerebral villain, and then the muscle villain, who is usually a general or something who is forcibly going to carry out the plan. Simple stuff, we’re just gonna rank them. It’s much easier than the Bond Girls.

Then — Allies. Bond doesn’t typically have a lot of allies. He has fewer allies who matter/make themselves memorable. I had to struggle just to get the list to 25. But I got it there.

So that’s today. Let’s get ranking: (more…)


Ranking the Bond Girls

Today we rank the Bond Girls. A huge staple of the franchise, obviously this was gonna happen at some point.

Though there are a lot of specifications when it comes to Bond Girls. First, who counts? Technically any female who is in a Bond movie is considered a Bond Girl, even if they’re in one scene. Shit, Rosa Klebb could be considered a Bond Girl, by the way people throw around that term. I try to hold them to higher standards. Typically, a Bond Girl is a chick that Bond has some sort of sexual relationship with, good or bad. Now, there are the primary Bond Girls for each film (one film is generally regarded as having two), and then there are the rest. So the way we’re doing this is — first we’re gonna rank the primary ones, since they’re a set list. We’ll just pick which ones we like best, and that’ll be that. It’ll be based on anything — mostly their role as a Bond Girl, how they function within the plot, whether we like the character, if they’re completely useless or not — that sort of stuff. Their attractiveness won’t really factor into it, as I’ll explain in a second. Then the second list will be a list of our twenty-five favorite other Bond Girls, who are not the primary ones.

Then, since we should factor in how hot some of these chicks are, we created a base list of all the women in the franchise who can vaguely be considered a Bond Girl, and we went and ranked which ones we considered the hottest. First we voted on their personalities, now it’s completely superficial. Because sometimes you just want to appreciate a Bond Girl for simply having nice tits. Because that’s all some can offer to a plot.

So those are gonna be today’s lists. The pictures will be especially choice. (more…)


Ranking the Bond Title Songs, Scores, and Credit Sequences

Okay, so we’ve ranked all the films, now let’s get to the fun part. The music. We’ve all heard the Bond songs. Shit, at least one of these is played on the radio every single day. Plus, it’s music, so all we really need to do is listen to the songs and we’re able to participate in ranking our favorites. So we’ll start with those, get those out of the way. Of course, we all have our own tastes, so my list is likely to very different from other people’s lists. Not that I care. I go by what I hear (and for tiebreakers, the nature of the song, how iconic it is, etc).

Then, we’ll rank the credit sequences. All of the songs (save Skyfall, which I won’t rank there, even though I’ll have seen the film by the time this goes up. I don’t want to spoil it for TokyoRemix. He won’t be able to see it for another month) will have their respective credit sequences in to the song videos, so it’ll be easy to do.

Then we’ll end with my favorite scores of the franchise. While setting up all the articles (do you know how much time goes into uploading 500 screenshots into an article like that? Try it sometime), I had lots of time to listen to the scores all the way through, so I’ll give my thoughts on those and list some of my favorite tracks from each of the scores (not counting the title songs, of course). And tomorrow will be more lists.

So let’s get ranking: (more…)


Ranking the Bond Movies: #1 – From Russia with Love (1963)

This was a no-brainer for me. And honestly, the only film this had competition from was Casino Royale and not even Goldfinger. I think this film beats Goldfinger every time. It’s just more compelling. I feel like Goldfinger is the first film to perfect that “formula” that we’d see them repeat with the other Connery films and even the rest of the films of the franchise (for the most part). This film feels like a pleasing middle ground between the newness that is Dr. No and the perfection of the formula that is Goldfinger.

There’s just something about this film that’s perfect to me. I like that the pacing isn’t breakneck. I like that we don’t get many action scenes. I love Robert Shaw. I love almost everything about this movie.

I don’t really have too much to say — if you asked me what I thought the best Bond film was, this would be my answer.

(more…)


Ranking the Bond Movies: #2 – Goldfinger (1964)

♫ “Goldfinger… he’s the man, the man with the Midas touch.” ♫

I actually wanted to just put the lyrics to the song as the intro and nothing else. Still kinda want to.

What can you say about Goldfinger? It’s fucking Goldfinger. If this isn’t in most people’s top 3 Bond movies, then it’s interesting. So many people automatically put this as #1 and in their top 3 that there’s actually a more compelling case to be made for this not being in the top 3. The person who put the film that’s #1 (which — it’s obvious what that’s going to be, but for the sake of people who can’t keep track of things, I won’t spoil it), Casino Royale and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service as 1, 2 and 3 and this as #4 would be able to make a very compelling argument to me as to why that’s a legitimate ranking. And if they did it correctly, I’d go along with it. Because I can see where some people wouldn’t consider this a top three film.

But for me — I just love that it’s the quintessential Bond movie. It has everything you could ask for in a Bond movie, and the only gripes I could have with it are that it could have done some things better. You know you have something special when your only real gripes about it are, “Everything here is amazing, but this little part is only above average.”

Seriously, though — it’s fucking Goldfinger. I don’t have to explain this. It should just make sense.

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Ranking the Bond Movies: #3 — Casino Royale (2006)

Casino Royale is the most important Bond film of my lifetime. One would think they’d never have to reboot Bond, but — it was time. They sort of did it again with Brosnan, but it was clear that was only a temporary fix. This was a way to get an entirely fresh start to the franchise, leave all the excess baggage behind while reestablishing the parts of the franchise that truly matter.

And they knocked it out of the fucking park. I won’t lie — I barely knew Bond before this film. My knowledge of Bond was very limited. I’d barely seen any of the films and just assumed it was a hokey franchise from the 60s (I was young and stupid), and I had no expectations for this at all. And I had friend say, “No, trust me, you need to see this movie.” So I went to see it (not being one to turn down a movie) — and it blew me away.

Not only did they manage to successfully reboot a franchise twenty films in, but they also managed to make a film that legitimately ranks among the best Bond films of all time. Every single thing you know about Bond — they show you how it came to be. This is how Bond became Bond. This is a movie so good, nobody gave a shit that it was technically a reboot. Because it’s more of a Bond movie than almost any other one they’ve made.

They really hit a home run with this one. And every time I think to go, “Yeah, but it’s too recent. It feels like I’m overrating it because it’s recent,” I watch it again. The film is its own evidence. This belongs exactly where it is, because it really is one of the best Bond movies ever made.

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Ranking the Bond Movies: #4 – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

This was a linchpin film for me. Because I had a lot of ideas about the film in my head, yet remembered very little of the actual film. Which is nothing new. I remembered next to nothing of most of the films before I went back and watched them for these articles, but this one was much more important than the rest of the films.

The reason is because, when I saw it the first time, I put it in my top five. Which is fine. As you can see, it remained there. Problem is, I remembered nothing about the film past – Blofeld, Swiss Alps, brainwashing, Bond gets married, boom, all the time in the world. Great but forgotten. That is your basic framework for the film, but I knew I a solid reason to rank it so high. It had to earn its spot by more than what was in my head.

My big worry was that the film, over time, has earned a reputation as a “trendy” top five choice. (This is according to TokyoRemix, I know nothing about this.) Apparently the pretentious Bond fans like to call this one the best because most people wouldn’t. It’s like the elitist film person who brings up some decent independent film that has no plot or character development but got lots of praise from the art house crowd as being the best film of the year and shits all over the mainstream ones that get all the attention. Apparently those people like to claim this one as the best because it’s so overlooked. And as we all know — I’m about giving everything a chance. I hate doing things because that’s how it “should” be. I go by my opinions and little more. And I didn’t want it to seem like I was automatically putting this one so high because it “should” be here. I wanted to be absolutely sure that I was ranking it where I was because I 100% felt it belonged there.

And I can say, without a second’s hesitation: this film absolutely belongs here. To the point where I almost want to put it higher. I can’t, because there’s absolutely no room in the top three whatsoever, but goddamn, this is a great movie. There are so few negatives here. It’s terrific all the way through. Even Lazenby doesn’t detract from the movie at all. And honestly, if they kept him out of a kilt and frilly shirts, he’d have made a fine Bond for a couple more (or, Moore) films. I love everything about this movie, and to me, the top four Bond films of the franchise are pretty much a set four, and this film is most certainly included in those four.

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Ranking the Bond Movies: #5 – GoldenEye (1995)

I grew up with GoldenEye. It’ll always be a seminal Bond film for me. Plus, GoldenEye 64 is probably the best Bond video game ever made. We all played it. I know this film. In terms of films I know backwards and forwards, this and Casino Royale are the two for me.

That said, the more I’ve thought about it, the more I feel like Dr. No probably should be here at #5 (and might well be, the next time I update this list after Skyfall). But, I feel like, for now, the sentimental aspect of GoldenEye helps me keep it here.

Either way, I think we can all agree that this was one of the best Bond movies they made. Almost everything about it works. It’s clearly Brosnan’s best, which might not be saying much, given his rocky tenure as Bond (he was always a good Bond in decent or not so good movies, but fortunately, here everything lined up), but still — this is easily a top ten film for all time, and is one I consider to be in that hallowed “top six” distinction. I feel like this, Dr. No and the four remaining films are easily the best six Bond movies made. And then the next four (at the moment) are Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, Thunderball, and Quantum of Solace. Rank them however you want, as long as we can all agree that those are clearly tops.

This one has the distinction of really being the only top Bond film in the 80s or 90s, which is interesting. It’s really the only Bond movie made in those two decades (aside from maybe Licence to Kill) that has a perfect blend of story, action and “Bond.”

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Ranking the Bond Movies: #6 – Dr. No (1962)

The one that started it all.

You’d think that most people would want to rank Dr. No high on their lists because it’s the first one and that carries some sort of novelty weight to it. But honestly — this film more than holds its own without that. Without even considering that it’s the first one, this is a top ten Bond movie. There’s just something special about this one.

And honestly, I didn’t even need to play the “it was the first one” card here, since the film actually just made #6 on the list on its own. The most that “first one” card did was make me consider it as a potential #5. Which I probably should have, but, as you’ll see tomorrow, when a sentimental favorite is in play, that’s almost always the choice.

But this one — don’t overlook this one because it’s the first one and isn’t “fully” the Bond franchise. Sometimes the first one is the most pure.

(more…)