014: Die Another Day (2002)
Like Quantum of Solace, this movie gets a bad rep. I agree some of the action gets too ridiculous, and the villain’s outfit on the plane is appalling. For me, the invisible car isn’t too far fetched, and I had more issues with the parasailing sequence. It feels too unbelievable and you can tell the film takes the CGI direction too far. Yet, despite the sheer insanity of the film, it’s good fun. I also like the fencing sequence and the hovercraft opening which felt innovative for a Bond film. Miranda Frost and Jinx are both great Bond girls too. If you don’t take Die another Day too seriously and just go with I think you’ll enjoy this film.
013: The World Is Not Enough (1999)
Yes, it’s ridiculous that Denise Richards play a nuclear physicist. And the sexual joke at the end is pretty embarrassing. However, this film has a lot going for it. The opening boat chase is spectacular, and it’s followed by a great Bond song by Garbage. It’s refreshing to see a strong female villain, and Renard’s a formidable foe for Bond. M gets more screen time, and the film sends out Q in a classy way. Weaknesses? Both villains are great, but if the film had focused on one villain, it would have been better. Still, flaws and all this is a great Bond film.
012: Live and Let Die (1973)
A great Roger Moore film. And more than a placeholder for a kick-ass Paul McCartney title song. I can see why some people don’t like this film because of the racial tone. To me, it’s not a problem having a all black villain cast. Besides the great title song Live and Let Die has Solitaire, who can predict the future and voodoo shaman Baron Samedi. Both characters make the film very memorable. I also can’t forget the guy with the hook, and the high-speed boat chase sequence rocks. A strong first showing for Roger Moore.
011: The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Cheesy is putting it bluntly, but one of the best Roger Moore movies no doubt. The opening ski pre title sequence lives up to the hype and remains dazzling 39 years later. Who can forget Nobody Does it Better either. Barbara Bach as a female 007 who works together with Bond and can hold her own in a fight is equally memorable. The underwater car scene never gets old and Jaws, a formidable foe for Bond steals the show. What’s disappointing is the villain. Stromberg’s plan to rebuild a new world underwater is ridiculous. Moonraker pretty much used the same idea in this film, but in space and it was disappointing as well.
010: For Your Eyes Only (1981)
For my money, this is Roger Moore’s finest hour. The Spy Who Loves Me may have a more memorable cast and song, but this Bond film is more like the early Sean Connery films. I love the ski chase sequence, and it’s one of my favorite Bond action sequences. The plot has a clever twist midway through, and the end has a breathtaking climbing sequence. Also, while it’s serious, there is still the trademark Roger Moore humor. However, the Bond girls are for the most part forgettable, so it’s not a perfect Bond film. The opening sequence is disappointing too and feels like a lame way to get rid of Blofield the iconic Bond super villain. Flaws and all though it’s a fine film.
I can’t understand all the hate this film gets. It’s been a polarizing Bond film for many. I thought it was great, and if it is Daniel Craig’s last Bond film, it’s a fitting way to go. What I enjoy most about Spectre is like Skyfall it pays a lot of homages to past Bond films and the fact that it has good humor. It is a little like Roger Moore at times so I can see some people being pissy about the tone of the film. However, if you just go with it, you’ll enjoy it. I think a lot of the criticism leveled on Spectre is that it’s more of a traditional Bond film. It doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel like Casino Royale or Skyfall. Also, while Christopher Walz is fantastic, he feels underutilized here. His character isn’t fleshed out, and it’s hard to believe he is the author of all Bond’s pain so I can see the hate there. For me, those are minor issues and don’t take away from my enjoyment of the film.
008: You Only Live Twice (1967)
One of the most stunning and creative Bond films in the franchise. You Only Live Twice has incredible set pieces, great action and is a unique entry in the Bond franchise. The little Nellie helicopter scene is just sublime too. Where it goes wrong is that Bond needs to become Japanese to face Blofield. It seems strange to make 007 go through all this. Second, it’s hard to take Blofield seriously in this film after seeing Austin Powers. You can tell Dr. Evil got his inspiration from the Blofeld character just by watching this film. Still, even with its flaws age can’t dampen the quality of one of the coolest and creative Bond films ever.
Stay tuned for part 4.