Skyfall

Skyfall has been out on video for a few weeks now, and with Adele having recently won the Academy Award for the theme song, I’ve been thinking about my favourite James Bond movies.

To me there were three great Bonds.  Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, and now Daniel Craig.

I think Daniel Craig is the best James Bond, and that’s hard for me to say, because Sean Connery is the man who will always be Bond…but Craig just kicks so much ass (and looks amazing in tailored suits).

1 – From Russia with Love
Great fight scenes, great Bond villains, and amazing femme fatales.  It was the second James Bond film, and it firmly set up the tropes of the franchise.  Sean Connery is debonair, aloof, and brutal in his fighting technique.  There’s no wire work here, it’s all straight up punches and fisticuffs. Connery’s Bond used to be my favourite Bond…until of course Daniel Craig.

2 – Casino Royale
I honestly never thought a James Bond would be as good as Sean Connery who managed to deliver cheesy lines with a drop dead serious tone.  Daniel Craig is even better.  Casino Royale starts out before he gets his “Double O” designation (which requires two active kills), with a new M, gadgets mostly confined to tricked out cars and radios, and a great bad guy.  A back to basics Bond, which totally re-invented the franchise.

3 – Goldfinger
Many consider this the best Bond film, I really enjoyed it, but to me the first two are better examples.

However, one of my favourite exchanges in any movie is in it:

James Bond: “Do you expect me to talk?”
Auric Goldfinger: “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”

The plot is ridiculous – Goldfinger is going to detonate a nuclear bomb in Fort Knox to render all of America’s gold radioactive, thus raising the price of his own stockpile – but this IS a Bond movie.  The movie is completely full of amazing, even iconic moments such as the image of Shirley Eaton playing Jill Masterson, lying on the bed, covered in gold, the victim of “skin suffocation”.

4 – GoldenEye
I worked at the Eglinton Theatre, a single screen theatre, during my second year of college.  We would get one movie, and have it for two to three months.  We had Evita, 101 Dalmations, and then GoldenEye.  I must have seen this movie 10 times in the theatre, and I enjoyed it every time.

It was Pierce Brosnan’s first James Bond film, and the first James Bond film not based on one of the novels.  He was originally supposed to have taken the role nine years earlier, but the buzz around the possibility of Brosnan being the new Bond encouraged NBC to pick up Remington Steele for another season.  This one came after a six year hiatus, so the Bond franchise had a nice breather, and was ready to be reinvented again.  With Sean Bean cast as a renegade agent, and Bond once again upping the action, and doing amazing stunts, James Bond was back.

5 – Dr. No
This one set up the tropes.  The shot of Bond through the barrel of the gun, Ursula Andress, as the first Bond girl Honey Ryder, who emerges from the ocean (a scene that many others, including Daniel Craig, reprised over the years), and a great bad guy in Dr. No, who is part of a shadowy conspiracy called SPECTRE.

Those are my five…so where does that leave Skyfall? Not to worry friends, it’s still up there.

6 – Skyfall
The most recent Bond film is one of the best. Craig is again an incredible Bond. He does little things like fix his cuffs after jumping through a hole in a train. His bond is fallible, human, but never weak.

One of the coolest parts is that the end of it sets up the status quo for Dr. No. M is now a man, Q “the Quartermaster” is introduced, and SPECTRE is established as a threat, and Bond is fully prepared to become the world’s greatest spy.

So there they are. My five six favourite Bond movies. How did I do? Where do they rank for you?

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