Thursday, August 6, 2015

My Top 10 Favorite James Bond Movies

Here we go, all throughout August 2015 I’ll be doing nothing but James Bond related posts, and to jump right to the point, here are my top 10 favorite Bond films. Now the James Bond series has always been one of my favorite film franchises of all time, and is one of the longest lasting franchises of all time with a total of 26 theatrical movies. It goes without saying that this is a very personal list, not a countdown of the best reviewed Bond films of all times, in fact you may even notice a lack of classics 007 outings. Well, I have to be honest don’t I, and if I say it’s a personal favorite then so be it, no one has to agree with me. So, agree or disagree here are my personal top 10 favorite Bond movies.  

10. Live and Let Die (1973)

Roger Moore is the longest running actor to play James Bond, and this is the movie that started it all for him. In this adventure, 007 finds himself battling his most frightening enemies ever, a Voodoo clan that aims to take over the Western Hemisphere by converting everyone into heroin addicts. These are some of the most unique villains in the series, creating an atmosphere in which Bond can’t trust anyone, and every road leads to a deeply thrilling death trap scenario that 007 must avoid. The film also boasts a colorful cast of memorable supporting characters, including the goofy redneck Sheriff Pepper who always gets tangled in 007’s wildest chases, the beautiful Solitaire who can read the past, present and future with her tarot cards, and a supporting villain with a metal claw for a hand.  


9. Die Another Day (2002)

After spending 14 months in a Chinese prison, James Bond ditches the agency and circles the world on a personal quest to unmask a traitor, and prevent a war of catastrophic proportions. Most fans would call “GoldenEye” the most classic of the Pierce Brosnan Bond films, but personally this is the one I saw first and it’s always stood out as one of the most entertaining Bond outings. With a villain that has a diamond scared face, Halle Berry as the seductive agent nicknamed Jinx, a palace built entirely out of ice, and the most over the top, yet extremely entertaining action scenes of the whole franchise, “Die Another Day” just stands out to me as the more memorable and fun Pierce Brosnan Bond film.     

8. Sky fall (2012)

Daniel Craig hits it out of the park again with another smart, character driven, action thriller. The plot is less of a spy flick and more of a redemption story as Bond battles a former agent seeking revenge. Throw in some detailed locations, a slick direction, dazzling set pieces, subtle nods to classic Bond outings and an exciting cat and mouse climax, it’s enough to make “Skyfall” a successful entry in the series and one that fans of the series are very pleased with.

7. You Only Live Twice (1967)

The evil SPECTRE is up to no good again and is secretly plotting in Japan. Now 007 must go undercover and find out what the mad man is planning, but to make sure his deception is full proof, he fakes his own death to throw off his enemies. This is easily one of Sean Connery’s best Bond films, it’s faced passed, put’s Bond face to face with one of his most iconic enemies and the effects are quiet impressive for the time. I especially love the setting of Japan because it provides the movie with beautiful locations, armies of ninjas that will follow 007 into the most bombastic of fire fights and no shortage of sexy Asian girls.

6. Licence to Kill (1989) 

Timothy Dalton is easily the most underrated actor to play 007, giving the character a less jokey and more intense tone. His second (and only other Bond picture) titled “License To Kill” is also one of the more underrated gems in the 007 cannon. It still has the silly charms, explosive chase scenes and attractive woman that make the series so fun to watch, but this one adds a darker tone to the story as 007 is out for revenge this time and has even abandoned his organization, which makes things a little more exciting than the usual Bond fair.  

5. The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)

This is perhaps the only Bond film to make my list simply for nostalgic reasons. To be perfectly honest, this was the very first 007 movie I’ve ever seen. This is the one that got me watching the series, this is where my fan base all started and it’s still a fun entry in the Bond canon. 
Besides, you just can’t go wrong with a villain played by Christopher Lee, he is the master of playing classy bad guys, which makes this one of the most memorable Bond villains of all time. Plus, you’ve got to love his midget accomplice named Nick Nack. This is also the one Bond film that really banks on some colorful eye candy, there’s lots of exotic locations, a villain lair full of bright colors, unique designs, lots of cool set pieces and an attractive Bond girl who spends the entire third act of the movie running around in a skimpy, blue swim suit. If you agree or disagree, this one will always stand out for me as a classic entry in the series.   

4. Goldfinger (1964) 

People often associate Sean Connery as the absolute best actor to play James Bond and I absolutely support that statement because no-one is as sly, witty and charming as him.
However, I never cared for Sean Connery’s overall film series, I honestly find them to be boring and dated, all with the exception of some films like “Gold Finger”. “The Man with the Golden” may still feel like a classic to me but “Gold Finger” is the classic 007 movie that brought all of his famous trademarks and fraises to the screen. This is the one that exploited all of his fancy gadgets, this is the one with the most memorable imagery (like the naked gold girl on the bed), this is the film that Bound coined his famous line “A Martini, Shaken, not stirred”, and this is the film with the absolute best villain and best supporting villain. Even though “Dr. No” was the first Bond film, I feel that this one will last till the end of time as a great classic in film history, however, there are still three others that I personally enjoy more.

3. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) 

On this exciting adventure, Bond finds himself trying to prevent “World War III” and has to stop a mad man who’s corrupting the media and deceiving the British Government to go into battle against China. This is personally my favorite of Pierce Brosnan’s Bond films. It’s all about the thrill of the chase as 007 finds himself constantly on the run with an especially attractive Asian spy on his side and a remote control BMW at his command. The action scenes in this film are some of Bonds best ever, including my favorite car chase in the entire series. It may not be as much of a covert spy movie but seeing Bond prevent a Global War is a thrilling experience and Pierce Bronsnan has never looked better in the role.  

2. Casino Royale (2006) 

This film may not have the same silly charm or over the top gadgetry that usually makes 007 so much fun, but the writing, tone and especially Daniel Craig’s performance in the leading role are a lot more mature, intense and smarter than all the previous Bond outings. The film still provides some exhilarating action scenes, but with competent storytelling and intriguing characters to boot, making this a personal favorite of the James Bond movies that will be remembered for a long time.

Before I reveal my #1 Favorite Bond Movie, here are some honorable mentions ...
Diamonds are Forever (1971)
The World is Not Enough (1999)
Octopussy (1983)
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Moonraker (1979)

1. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) 

When a mad man threatens to destroy life on Earth in order to build an underwater Kingdome for humanity to inhabit, British agent James Bond must form an alliance with a female Russian KGB operative named Agent xXx. Right off the bat, this movie features my favorite Bond girl of the whole gallery. Having a British Agent work with a Russian operative is already a great setup, but there relationship is actually more complicated and far more interesting.
While this Russian agent obviously falls in love with 007, she also hates his guts because Bond was responsible for her late husband’s death. This built conflict between the two, and it puts Bond in a more personal situation. As for agent xXx, she has no choice but to work with him, and has to decide between vengeance or a new lover. Aside from that, this film offers all the good stuff, terrific locations, a stylish direction, thrilling action scenes, lots of sly wit, a car that can transform into a submarine, and a memorable villain named Jaws who’s got a mouth full iron teeth. Over the years, “The Spy Who Loved My” has often been described as the best of the Roger Moore era, which it certainly is, and it’s my personal favorite of all the James Bond movies.                                                                                                                              

 James Bond Countdowns will return in "My Top 10 Favorite Bond Action Scenes".  


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