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Thread: Bond. James Bond.

  1. #1
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    Bond. James Bond.

    On seeing that there's been a bit of a live ranking lately (which put 2006's Casino Royale at the top of the tree) I figure that a thread for Bond is clearly needed. There've been 24 Bond movies in the Eon franchise, not to mention numerous others outside of that. And there's going to be a 25th official movie late in 2019, though it is unlikely that Denis Villeneuve will be directing it based on news over the last couple of days. It will probably be Daniel Craig's last film as Bond too, and he's rumoured to be getting in excess of £100m for it.

    I'm a fan of Bond movies, but I don't have as much invested in it as a lot of people do. I would call very few of them indeed 'good films', though when they get them right they can be a lot of fun. But I'm not as into the newer ones as most people are. The idea of any of the 21st century ones being the best is laughable to me. I liked Casino Royale, but didn't do anything more than like it. Hated Quantum of Solace. I've never actually walked out of a cinema during a film but I came damned close with that one. I actually swore off Bond in the aftermath completely and was only tempted back when Skyfall got such rave reviews, and I got a copy through Lovefilm. That's got me back on side but I didn't actually see S.P.E.C.T.R.E. so I'm not really up to date.

    For me, I'm an advocate for both Connery and Moore, in different ways, with Brosnan playing a good supporting role. From Russia With Love is the one great spy film of the lot, but I've got just as much affection for Thunderball and You Only Live Twice. In upping the comic value Moore's bond is often dismissed but there's still a lot more to like in the better films of that era than in much of what has come later, for me at least. And then in the 1990s, everyone of my age loves Goldeneye.

    Right, that's my take. I'm sure there are people who've got way more to say on this than me, so have at it.

  2. #2
    The Brain
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    I never fully got the appeal of Casino Royale. I thought it was fine but the clear standout of the Craig era is surely Skyfall, which I loved. Spectre didn't really up to the standard, Pete, so I don't think you're missing too much.

    I'll second the love for Goldeneye, though a good bit of that is because of the video game (and most of the rest comes from the greatness of Sean Bean). Glad to see someone take up for Moore a bit, I feel he's been disparaged too much over the years. God knows the last few aren't too good but he had plenty of good moments. Connery is a classic, of course. I've seen most of the films (probably missing one or two but too lazy to pick out which ones), and overall I tend to enjoy Bond in any era.

    For Your Eyes Only sucks though.

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    I feel the same way about Casino Royale. I'm really not a fan of Daniel Craig as Bond. The movies are great movies but only Skyfall felt like a true Bond movie to me. I want fun and carousing with women.

    I'll throw some love to On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Lazenby is Lazenby but it's a great story and the ending left me shocked.


    Goldeneye was awesome. Sean Bean is one of the best Bond villains in my opinion. He was fantastic.

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    Yeah, OHMSS is solid in my book too. It's also got the cheeky "this never happened to the other fellow" line, which was obviously a joke but in my mind lends credence to the "James Bond is a codename, not a person" theory that makes the series make a little more sense when taken as a whole.

  5. #5
    Samuel Plan
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    Yeah, I'm a big fan of the code name fan theory too. Especially with the whole "Bond's first mission" vibe of Royale. I revisited that one recently and really struggled with it. It's bloated, convoluted and way too long. Had the opposite reaction completely when I revisited Quantum. Hated it to begin with. I love it now; it's like a 1960s Connery flick in a 21st Century setting. I think it has a certain charm as a result. Skyfall is Craig's one classic though. Spectre sucked. Really, really sucked.

    Bond has been a huge part of my life since I was young and first saw You Only Live Twice. My opinions on the films tend to be informed by my love for Fleming's novels though, which I read when I was relatively quite young. So Dalton remains my favourite Bond, for making the character truer to the source material than any of the others. Licence to Kill is my favourite film of the entire series. I love how brutal the story is, and how single minded and vengeful Bond becomes.

    My least favourite is Brosnan. Man, he bores me. Scripts didn't help, mind. I don't even care much for GoldenEye to be honest. Was glad when he got replaced.

    No franchise is as cyclical as Bond. It tends to work in resets. There's a grounded, realistic film and they gradually get more and more fantastical under one actor until they throw out a stupid one (Diamonds; Moonraker/View; DAD). Then they recast and do a grounded one again and the cycle starts fresh. That's why I was disappointed to hear Craig was coming back again. His Bond doesn't suit the direction the franchise seems to be going again, like at all, and that was glaringly obvious in Spectre; which, in my mind, belongs in the same class as the likes of Die Another Day and Moonraker. Bloody ridiculous film, with the dumbest, most transparent, ineffective retcon ever.

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    Dalton was Bond when I was a kid and Brosnan was when I was a teen so I've always been fond of them. When I Was a kid nothing was cooler than the snow chase in The Living Daylights.

  7. #7
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    I do like Dalton for his brief run. Probably the most mental Bond but there's an appeal to that as well.

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    i'm a casual bond fan, can't remember all the movies but i'd love to do a rewatch of some sort to get a clear view of it.. i love the idea of bond being a codename and Spectre imo plants the seeds for that type of thing when they mention other double 00... Spectre btw, is way too long, some good action with Batista but how Bond falls for this chick, they have very little chemistry and then he leaves with her is just weird and feels like an ending to the Craig Era..

    I'm also annnoyed that Idris Elba hasn't been anointed the next Bond. i think he'd be perfect.

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    I wouldn't mind Elba at all but you're fighting an uphill battle on that one.

    I always thought in 10-15 years that Nicholaus Hoult could be a future Bond.

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    I'm all for Elba as Bond. The character has bounced through so many different accents and regions of origin already, I can hardly understand people who have a problem with it at this point.

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    I come at it from the very opposite end of the spectrum from 'Plan, he won't be surprised to hear. But the source material doesn't matter a jot to me. Here, I'm very much in the adaptation theorist's pocket, and say that the films are the films and the books are the books and if they were the same, why bother making the films. But I probably wouldn't do that with things I was massively into so I wouldn't knock that take on it, it just isn't mine. My little bit of familiarity with the literary stuff made me think the codename theory worked a lot better with the films than the books, but that could be just that I haven't spent enough time with them. And I'm probably not going to either, to be honest, although I have a certain curiosity in seeing how other authors have handled the character, especially people who've already got a rep of their own like Kingsley Amis, Seb Faulkes, and to a lesser degree, Jeffery Deaver.

    Mizfan, people can slag Moore off as much as they want, but you have to go a long long way to find a more enjoyable bond film than The Man With the Golden Gun!

    As for Elba... I've never been as big on him as some people have, but lord knows he'd be far from the worst actor to take the role. Probably one of the best. But yeah, you'd get a lot of political pushback from the right wing on that one, I think.

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    It's OK, you can say racists.

  13. #13
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    I quite enjoyed Live and Let Die as well, even with the silly death at the end. Didn't mind Spy Who Loved Me or even Moonraker either for the most part. Probably should have called it quits there though.

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    Moonraker is a total guilty pleasure one, but yeah, I'd much rather that than most of the Craig ones to be honest.

  15. #15
    Samuel Plan
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    Why the downer on the Craig stuff, Prime?

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    I much, much prefer the books to the films. They're a throwback and racist and sexist, but they're full of genuine drama and I think a lot of them are badly portrayed. Bond is more vulnerable in the books too, which I prefer.

    I don't mind the Craig era. I'll echo what people say about Spectre which is the weakest by far. Weirdly, I prefer Casino Royale as I think it's the truest Bond has ever been to the Bond in the books. It's gritty and uncomfortable which I think is much more what they should be. It's when they try and throw too much into the film that it gets worse. I like the simpler, darker stories.

    Die another day is definitely my guilty pleasure but, I imagine that's because it's the first Bond film I say in the Cinema. I also have shameless love for Dr No.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 'Plan View Post
    Why the downer on the Craig stuff, Prime?
    There probably shouldn't be, as in all likelihood he is the best actor to play 007. As someone I know once said, far too talented for a such a limited character as Bond.

    It's tough, as I'm only talking about the first two here - I liked the third, and haven't seen the fourth. And as I don't especially like the first two, I haven't rewatched them since seeing them in the cinema. So my impressions are now 11 and 9 years old, respectively.

    But, with that codicil out of the way, I find them quite flat. I don't find any tension in them at all.... often when they go for it, they become more tedious than anything. I think there's a good amount of style over substance in both of them, and some fairly obvious, even crass symbolism in the second. I think they can be plot light and action heavy at times, and to varying degrees. I wasn't at all surprised to learn that even Craig and the director thought that Quantum of Solace sucked when they put it out, and that they wouldn't have worked with the script in that condition if external factors hadn't forced them to do so.

    What it really comes down is that I find them charmless, even joyless productions.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 11-17-2017 at 08:27 AM.



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    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    All that Elba talk - I'd love him as Bond, I must say. Gets me thinking whether there'll ever be a female Bond and, if so, who you'd have. Tricky to think on that one, as there aren't a lot of female action stars.

    As far as favourite films go - I like the recent ones, although I think both Spectre and Skyfall jumped a bit too deeply into an action genre which Nolan had designed through his Batman run where the villain is a mast strategist and has all this personal knowledge of the hero. I liked them, but I think they aren't ever going to be the peak of that particular sort of film. I'm a real sucker for the older ones, and I remember watching them forever with my Dad at the weekends as a kid. I think if I did a top four it's probably OHMSS, Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, and The Spy Who Loved Me.

  19. #19
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    It's really interesting that you say that, because I do like Skyfall out of the new ones, but I don't like Nolan's Batman run. Weird.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    All that Elba talk - I'd love him as Bond, I must say. Gets me thinking whether there'll ever be a female Bond and, if so, who you'd have. Tricky to think on that one, as there aren't a lot of female action stars.
    For a while there was talks of Halle Berry's character 'Jinx' getting her own movie but thankfully that did not happen.

  21. #21
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    Surely itís time for a black or female Bond?

  22. #22
    Samuel Plan
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    My first preference for the role was and remains Michael Fassbender. I'm all for greater representation in Hollywood, but honestly I don't think any actor would be better qualified for the role. Fassbender's talents are terribly undervalued I think.

    As for diversifying the role, I think a gay Bond would make a bigger impact at this stage than a black or female version, considering the machoistic core of the character. I dare say it'd be a much bolder statement.
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  23. #23
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    It'd be an interesting one, for sure, but I still think going with a woman would be the bolder statement, personally. Applies as much, if not more, to the macho thing too, to go with all the more obvious stuff.

    I think Fassbender is the bookies favourite, actually. Other name I hear a lot is Tom Hiddlestone.



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  24. #24
    Samuel Plan
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    I suppose either way would challenge traditional notions of masculinity, which would be interesting. My first preference would be to keep the character male in this instance, but that's really only because the images from the novels really are heavily entrenched.

    I'd still eagerly go see a female version though. For all its flaws as a film, I thought Charlize Theron was brilliant in Atomic Blond, especially the action sequences, and I expect a female take on Bond would be somewhat similar. Interesting to consider how it would impact other characters in the canon though, like Miss Moneyponey in particular. They could go all out and make Bond a black gay woman. That'd send the red tops into one hell of a spin.
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    A black lesbian Bond fighting corrupt UKIP-ers trying to reestablish the British Empire....



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  26. #26
    Samuel Plan
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    Love it! And the villain can be a press baron like in Tomorrow Never Dies. And he's secretly Russian.
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    Any thoughts on the proposed origin story for M? Hear that is on the cards.



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    A female bond? Christ. Call me sexist if you want, but no thanks. And I wouldn't go see it no matter who it was. That's not James Bond and not the images I have of who James Bond is. John Boyega will be the next Bond. If not the next he'll certainly assume the role at one point. And I hope Margot will be the next Bond girl. Bond needs more Aussies.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddieg2005 View Post
    That's not James Bond and not the images I have of who James Bond is.
    That'll be the main objection that some people will make to John Boyega, if his time ever comes.



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  30. #30
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    Bond has been everything from a psychotic killer to a literal clown. To draw the line at a vagina in order to protect an "image" seems arbitrary at this point.

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    Eh. I like to advocate for equality but i think the Bond movies miss something if Bond is a woman. The character is a gallivanting man in a suit that charms the ladies and takes down bad guys. Can be any race but as a woman? I just don't see it. I don't like this notion that because of the culture we live in now, it has to effect everything. I'm also the guy that loves Doctor who and is very happy that the next doctor is a woman.

  32. #32
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    Not just an equality thing to be fair, gender flipping was a way to liven up characters way before anyone gave a damn. You can find female Robin Hood movies from before the days of second wave feminism for example.

    To be honest there's no good reason to make another typical Bond film at this point. Not saying that it would need to be that change, exactly, but something radical is long overdue.



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    The Black bond is the next step. It would cause less uproar than a woman and make more sense if they go off it being a codename. Sure, you'd have your racists bitching but its not changing the character at really.. I don't think the character is the problem, i think the stale stories are.. like the films themselves need to go in a more fresh direction. The last few Bond movies with Craig i've seen are bloated and not really fun even if they are well made.

  34. #34
    Samuel Plan
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    As a passionate and life long fan of the world, I've always felt that Bond's flawed machoism and unhealthy habits, including his views on women, have always been a core and indispensable aspect of the character. I think there are better ways to approach that in a fresh direction than reinventing the character as a woman. I wouldn't lose any sleep if they went that way though.

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    there would be something endearing about a female Bond who screws around, charms her way into the world and drinks heavily

  36. #36
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    Haha, agreed.

    So here's a thought. How old will the next actor be? Are there going to be in their early 30s like Connery/Lazenby, older like the next three, or somewhere in the middle like Craig?

    Just thinking, that might end up having as much effect on how gets to be the next Bond as something else. Someone like Tom Hardy or Michael Fassbender, say, might be out of the running because they'd be in their mid 40s by the time the first movie would be ready to start filming if they were thinking of going younger (or the same age as Craig was). Similarly, a James Norton might not get a look in if they want someone with the old 40+ gravitas....



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  37. #37
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    Mid to late 20's.

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    Seems unlikely



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  39. #39
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    Well as I really think Boyega will be the next Bond that's why I'm saying that.

  40. #40
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    I have a harder time imagining them casting someone under 30 than any of the other options we've discussed so far.



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