With the recent announcement that Daniel Craig will take over as a blonder Bond in 2006's Casino Royale, we should look back and discuss the previous Bond films. The worst, in my opinion, is A View To A Kill. But what are the seven best?
- Goldfinger - Really the prototype for all the Bond films. It also happens to have a great story, some really cool music (love the theme as the camera zooms in on the diver at the Miami hotel), and some great set pieces.
- Dr. No - The first Bond movie happens to be one of the best. Besides Ursula Andress rising from the sea (Halle Barry paid an homage to the scene in Die Another Day), we see the introduction of Bond, and you instantly know why people (including me) consider Sean Connery the best of the 007s. I drink Red Stripe beer because of this movie.
- Goldeneye - It's amazing to look back at this film, Pierce Brosnan's first, and realize that this film was considered more edgy and explosive than other Bonds, but it seems almost old-fashioned when compared to the next three Brosnan films. But that's a good thing. This one very much has an early 60s feel, but with a definite 90s edge and style. Famke Jannsen and the other villains are great, and Bond girl Izabella Scurupo is one of the more believable Bond girls. This is a really good film.
- Licence To Kill - The most underrated Bond flick. People are always saying how bad Timothy Dalton was, but that's incredibly unfair. The fact he only lasted two films was the studio's fault, not his. The Living Daylights was so-so, but Licence To Kill is outrageously entertaining (it was the best-rated Bond film ever with test audiences), and more violent than the Moore movies, and had some great action scenes, music, and the return of David Hedison as Felix Leither. This was a more personal, revenge story, and it really worked.
- On Her Majesty's Secret Service - Let's get this straight: George Lazenby did a fine job as Bond. He had the looks for it, the action skills, and he played it somewhere between Moore and Brosnan - he was graceful but hard edged when he had to be. He might have gone on to other Bond movies if he didn't screw things up, contract-wise.
- You Only Live Twice - One of the more unusual 007 adventures, set largely in Japan and showing a side of that culture we don't usually see, and featuring a plot about Bond's death. Lots of interesting touches, and an epic finale.
- For Your Eyes Only - If you're going to include a Moore picture (let's face it, he was the worst Bond, and seemed too old for the role rather quickly), this is the one to choose. It's more realistic and gritty than any of the other Moore movies (even if it does have that odd beginning where Bond picks up Blofeld in the helicopter and Blofeld pleads for his life by telling Bond he'll buy him a delicatessen..."in stainless steel!")
What are your picks?