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LightlyFrosted said on December 17th, 2010 at 2:43 pm

In fairness to the movie of Live and Let Die, it somehow manages to be less ‘accidentally racist’ than the BOOK for live and let die.

Still racist, just, y’know…
less.

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Well, LF, that’s because Ian Fleming was a big ol’ racist.

Controversial opinion: The theme to “Goldfinger” was, and remains, terrible.

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Another great “Bond as blunt instrument” moment from Brosnan (and my personal favorite) comes from TWINE: “I never miss.” I only wish we could’ve seen more of that in his movies.

Also, I actually was really underwhelmed by the Craig movies. They’re not bad per se (or at least Casino Royale wasn’t; Quantum was mediocre at best), but they just don’t feel like Bond films to me; Craig’s Boond is Jason Bourne minus the amnesia and plus government funding. Where are the potentially world-destroying plots? The gadgets? The cool villains? Granted, both as an adaptation of the novel, and as a reboot towards a more grounded/realistic Bond, CR (and QOS) had to dispense with those elements, but without them, the newer Bond films just don’t feel big enough; they’re just one more action film. I feel all of the above can be reincorporated into future Bond films while avoiding the weaknesses and camp of past entries.

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On the Pleasance v. SAvalas argument… Pleasance never felt threatening when face to face with Bond, more like a bumbling mad scientist who had to resort to suing a gun face to face. Savalas Brought the physicality to the role that Blofeld needed to be a credible threat to Bond i na one on one scenario and still have that sense of menace an ex-Nazi should in dealing with his henchmen.

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Mark Temporis said on December 18th, 2010 at 2:52 am

I don’t get into favorite Bonds, but I’ll chime in that ‘Living Daylights’ is my favorite theme song, and OHMSS, while boring had two things going for it: Diana Rigg as a Bond girl and some guy being fed into a woodchipper during the ski chase.

Guys fed into woodchippers: COMEDY GOLD.

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@rbx: I agree, we need a new Q. And we need that Q to be played by a younger man, instead of an old boffin, because modern tech-heads in pop culture are all young guys who are inventing crazy shit before they even finish college instead of eccentric old men inventing stuff in their basement. But he should still be funny, because Q is always meant to lighten up what could otherwise be an overly grim movie. (The problem with the Moore movies was that he lightened up an already-light movie. 🙂 )

In short, Q needs to be played by Simon Pegg.

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CommenCzar said on December 18th, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Best movie? Double Double-O-Seven. Come on now.

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Not only is OHMSS my favorite of the entire series, but it’s one of my favorite films, period. Its script is SO good, it has the strongest cast, and you know what? Aside from a handful of wooden line readings early on in the movie, Lazenby does a terrific job. The emotional heart of the film — the scene in the barn, when Bond realizes he loves Tracy enough to quit the only job he knows how to do — is done so, so well. I don’t think any of the actors in the series could have done that scene any better than Lazenby did. And the film LOOKS stunning, to boot.

I also think that “From Russia With Love” is terribly underrated, and that “Goldfinger” is terribly overrated. Roger Moore was a better actor than many give him credit for, but it took him until FYEO to get a script that didn’t play things for laughs. Still, he had a couple of lethal moments in, say, TMWTGG, but the coldness in the way he dispatches an assassin in FYEO is as good as anything Connery ever did.

I love both of Dalton’s films — LTK is underrated, in my view — and Brosnan’s were pretty uneven. TWINE would have been really good, if the producers had had the guts to not have Denise Roberts along for the ride — it could have been the first Bond film to have “the girl” turn out to be a villain, and have NO other girl at all, but I think they chickened out and wrote in a horrible, horrible character.

Craig is great — CR is a terrific film, and I liked a lot about QoS, but that movie needed another pass at the script and a better director of action sequences.

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Black Rabbit said on December 18th, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Best songs:
1. Live and Let Die, Paul McCartney
2. Goldfinger, Shirley Bassey
3. Diamonds Are Forever, Bassey
4. Thunderball, Tom Jones
5. Nobody Does It Better, Carly Simon
6. Tomorrow Never Dies, Sheryl Crow

Bond songs are great. They kind of constitute their own mini-subgenre, with a distinct sound that’s stayed remarkably consistent over the years, spanning Lulu to Tina Turner, Nancy Sinatra to Garbage, Duran Duran to Jack White & Alicia Keys.

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I’d add Living Daylights to the above theme song list list (it’s my personal favorite, actually).

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From Russia With Love is my favorite because the script is tight, the locations are great (except for some unfortunate rear-projection), and Lotte Lenya just rules.

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There’s actually a history (going back to the very first film, actually)of the Bond producers changing the theme songs at the last minute; usually there’s a giveaway sign in that the ORIGINAL theme song is still buried in the film somewhere (frequently intergrated into the instrumental score).
IMHO, at least TWO of these “replaced songs” (K.D. Lang’s version of TOMMORROW NEVER DIES and the Prentender’s theme for LIVING DAYLIGHTS) are VASTLY superior, both as songs AND “Bond Themes”, than the ones used.

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Black Rabbit said on December 20th, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Thanks for the tip, Doc; I’d never heard those two songs before. However, even though k.d. lang owns one of my favorite set of pipes in the business, even she can’t save that terrible song (it is not the same song as Crow sings, with only the movie title in common). Its melody is flat and the arrangement is everything bad about latter-day Bond songs–overdone, uninspired, and full of gratuitous electronica. lang almost manages to save it (she can never sound bad in front of a horn section), but not quite. I now really wish she’d done the title instead, with its old-school, noir-ish dramatics; Crow is okay, but imagine lang’s soaring vocals in front of strings, guitar, and tympani…damn.

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Black Rabbit said on December 20th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Oh, and the Pretenders song? A bit out of character for Chrissie Hynde, but she sells the living shit out of it.

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I have a CD of all the Bond theme songs. Nothing drives home how long this series has lasted as realizing it runs from when Tom Jones and Nancy Sinatra were in vogue through Carly Simon, Duran Duran, Tina Turner and Madonna.

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That’s a good point on the alternative songs, actually. The Straw version of “The World Is Not Enough” is indeed significantly cooler than the Garbage version.

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