Shaken, Not Stirred

In honor of the premiere of the new James Bond film Skyfall, I offer the following ranking of “James Bonds” and my top five Bond films of all time:

James Bonds from best to worst:

  • Sean Connery: The archetype.  There’s just no getting around his iconic status.  Watch him in Goldfinger and tell me he’s not one of the coolest man to ever grace the silver screen.
  • Daniel Craig: Some see him as a “less fun” Jason Bourne-ification of Bond, but for my money he carries the gravitas and depth of a Bond that is in the process of becoming.  If James Bond could be a real person, Daniel Craig might just be that person.
  • Timothy Dalton: Coming after Roger Moore, anything would look better by comparison.  Even so, Dalton brings a certain quality to the character than I enjoy.  Some see him, as with Craig, a more serious character.  But again, after Moore…
  • Pierce Brosnan: A pretty boy with a quippy sense about him, he is nevertheless “my” Bond, by which I mean that he was the James Bond I was first introduced to as a teenager in Goldeneye.  Plus there’s that video game.
  • George Lazenby: Starred in only one James Bond film. Though it had emotional depth it was overlong. I include him on this list mostly just to push Roger Moore down even further.
  • Roger Moore: Boo. BOOO.  He played James Bond more times (7) than anyone else…and I wish he

    Once again, BOO!

    hadn’t.  He is the 1970s Bond, and brings all the uncool quips, corny jokes, and excess about Bond that (when he does it) I hate. Others can get away with such things, but not Moore.

My top five James Bond films (in chronological order):

  • From Russian With Love: Truly a spy movie, and evocative of its Cold War setting and filming.  More of a moody piece than some other Bond offerings, but worthwhile nonetheless.
  • Goldfinger: THE 1960s Bond.  It is all here, and Sean Connery pulls it off with aplomb.  Goldfinger is a GREAT villain, and he and Bond are well-matched.
  • License to Kill: James Bond’s infamous “license to kill” is revoked in the wake of a tragedy…and he goes on a mission of vengeance.  Even Q visits the field in this over-the-top adventure.
  • Goldeneye: Again, this film was really my entry into the James

    Like the Honey Badger, Daniel Craig just does whatever he wants.

    Bond world, and its introduction of Brosnan and place at the end of the Cold War make in the beginning of a “new” world of Bond for the new world order.
  • Casino Royale:  Speaking of the introduction of a “new” Bond, I feel that this is probably one of the greatest of these films ever made.  Even though its editing gives it a strange false ending about 3/4 of the way through, Craig’s Bond is truly a breath of fresh air into the franchise.  His is reminiscent of Connery’s take yet with a hard postmodern edge that speaks to human frailty and emotion.

     

Skyfall opens tonight. In the meantime, enjoy some Adele:

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3 comments on “Shaken, Not Stirred

  1. Jason says:

    Hey Josh,

    Liked the post . . . but I question your movie choices. Goldeneye isn’t even the best Brosnan movie and Licence to Kill is terrible.

    Thunderball
    The Spy Who Loved Me
    and
    Die Another Day

    Should all make the list before those two movies.

  2. I will say “License to Kill” is s guilty pleasure…

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