The Gunbarrels: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

Ever since I was a little kid, the OPENING gunbarrel for 007 has thrilled me. The moving target, the walk, the music, the pose, the running blood, etc. Every actor has his different style, and every composer puts their own spin on one of the most famous themes in film music history.

Here’s how I rate all 24ish (I mean some aren’t true gunbarrels) from the franchise.

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THE GOOD 

 

 

THE BAD 

 

 

THE UGLY 

 

 

 

007 World: James Bond Theme Park

Stars Wars. Harry Potter. Why should Disney and Universal have all the theme park fun?

James Bond movies are going strong with 25 official movies over nearly 60 years. There are plenty of film plots, memorable characters and cool gadgets to make a 007 theme park a major tourist attraction.

Before I continue, I want to give a shoutout to James Bonding (theme park episode), as well as Brad Hamilton for his awesome videos of what “The Spy Who Loved Me” and  “Moonraker” and “Tomorrow Never Dies” would all look like as theme park rides.

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What Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, and the rest of EON Productions, need to realize is that they have enough material for an entire 007 theme park, and not just a pavilion in some other company’s park.

Here are some things I’d like to see at the park.

NAME: 007 World

LOCATION: Orlando/Central FL. Why? Besides that I live in Orlando? It is theme park heaven. It’s always a tourist destination. And most importantly, tons of land to develop.

PAVILIONS: Each ride, attraction, restaurant, etc., will be located in different pavilions throughout 007 World. Think of it in the same vein as Disney’s Epcot.

  1. London. Of course. This is the park entrance. You will have MI6, Big Ben, double-decker buses, and shops on Savile Row for you to get a custom made suit a la Bond.
  2. Latin America – Mexico City, “Isthmus City“, Rio, the Amazon, the Bolivian desert, etc.
  3. The Alps/Winterland – Think of all the skiing locations and snow scenes from Bond movies: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me, A View To A Kill, The Living Daylights, The World Is Not Enough, Spectre. There will be replicas of Piz Gloria and the clinic where Madeleine Swann works.
  4. Europe – Not much needs to be said considering all the European locations. Paris, Venice, Athens, Hamburg and many others come to mind.
  5. The Caribbean – The beaches of Jamaica, Bahamas, Cuba, etc.
  6. The Middle East – Istanbul, Tangier, Cairo. Just think about riding the Orient Express as if you are in From Russia With Love. Or experiencing the Pyramid show like in The Spy Who Loved Me.
  7. Asia – You Only Live Twice (Japan), The Man With The Golden Gun (Thailand), Skyfall (China) are just a few of examples where the world of Bond meets Asian culture. As well as all that India has to offer, as it did in Octopussy.
  8. Russia – Yes, the old Soviet Union gets its own pavilion. Be like James. Shoot in and out of Russia.
  9. America – The old Vegas strip, New Orleans, the Louisiana swamps, Key West and San Francisco.

 

HOTELS: Yes, there will be gambling at all of them.

  • The Casino Royale in the European Pavilion.
  • The Ice Palace (Die Another Day) in the Alps/Winterland Pavilion.
  • Phang Nga Bay (The Man With The Golden Gun) in the Asian Pavilion.
  • The Golden Dragon (Skyfall) in the Asian Pavilion.
  • The Whyte House (Diamonds Are Forever) in the American Pavilion.
  • The Ocean Club (Casino Royale) in the Caribbean Pavilion.
  • Ian Fleming’s Goldeneye House in the Caribbean Pavilion.
  • Perla de las Dunas (Quantum of Solace) in the Latin American Pavilion.

 

HALL OF BONDS in the London Pavilion Just like Disney’s “Hall of Presidents.” Except with Ian Fleming doing the Mark Twain part, along with six robot Bond actors. There will be a museum inside with some iconic Bond memorabilia, plus rare film footage about Fleming’s work, the actors, the role of 007, the entire film franchise, etc.

 

RESTAURANTS: There will be food all throughout the park and at the hotels, but these will be some of the main attraction restaurants.

  • Crab Key – Seafood – Caribbean Pavilion (Dr. No)
  • The Orient Express – Continental – European Pavilion  (From Russia With Love)
  • Monsoon Palace – Indian – Asian Pavilion (Octopussy)
  • Le Jules Verne at the Eiffel Tower – French – European Pavilion (A View To A Kill)
  • Fillet of Soul – Cajun – American Pavilion (Live And Let Die)
  • Piz Gloria – Continental – Alps/Winterland Pavilion (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)
  • The Mojaba Club – Middle Eastern – Middle Eastern Pavilion (The Spy Who Loved Me)

 

PARADES: You can’t have a theme park without them!

  • The Junkanoo (once daily) – Caribbean Pavilion (Thunderball)
  • Funeral Celebration (once daily) – American Pavilion (Live And Let Die)
  • Carnival (once daily) – Latin American Pavilion (Moonraker)
  • Day of the Dead (once daily, only in October) – Latin American Pavilion (Spectre)
  • Christmas (once daily, only in December) – The Alps/Winterland Pavilion (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)

 

SHOWS: Exhibitions throughout the day at the park.

  • The 007 Stunt Spectacular in the London Pavilion.
  • James Bond Musical Spectacular in the American Pavilion.

 

RIDES/ATTRACTIONS: Each film will have at least one.

Dr. No – Dr. No’s Mechanical Dragon (Caribbean Pavilion)

From Russia With Love – The SPECTRE Hedge Maze (European Pavilion)

Goldfinger – The Aston Martin DB5 Ride (European Pavilion)

Thunderball – Operation: Underwater Battle (Caribbean Pavilion)

You Only Live Twice – Ninja Training (Asian Pavilion)

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – The Bobsled Ride (The Alps/Winterland Pavilion)

Diamonds Are Forever – Moon Buggy Escape (American Pavilion)

Live And Let Die – The Great American Boat Race (American Pavilion)

The Man With The Golden Gun – Scaramanga’s Fun House (Asian Pavilion)

The Spy Who Loved Me – Ski Like Bond VR (The Alps/Winterland Pavilion); The Lotus Esprit Ocean Drive (European Pavilion)

Moonraker – The Moonraker Rollercoaster (Latin American Pavilion)

For Your Eyes Only – Rock Climbing with Bond VR (European Pavilion)

Octopussy – The Jungle Hunt (Asian Pavilion)

A View To A Kill – The Great Fire Engine Ride (American Pavilion)

The Living Daylights – The Cello Snow Chase (The Alps/Winterland Pavilion)

Licence To Kill – Sky Fishing Pilot (American Pavilion)

Goldeneye – Tank Ride In The Streets (Russian Pavilion)

Tomorrow Never Dies – The BMW Obstacle Course (European Pavilion)

The World Is Not Enough – The Great English Boat Chase (European Pavilion)

Die Another Day – The Hovercraft Minefield (Asian Pavilion)

Casino Royale – Parkour with Bond VR (Caribbean Pavilion)

Quantum Of Solace – Airplane Fight (Latin American Pavilion)

Skyfall – The Skyfall Haunted Mansion (European Pavilion)

Spectre – Helicopter Control (Latin American Pavilion)

 

 

What a Bond TV Series Should Look Like

While I will always take watching a brand new Bond movie on the big screen, I can’t ignore the fact that taking the franchise over to the small screen is an intriguing possibility. The film franchise has run out of Fleming titles, but most of the Fleming novels haven’t been properly adapted. And we have four decades worth of non-Fleming Bond novels that haven’t been touched.

I believe there is a perfect way to handle this. An original James Bond streaming series on Netflix, or Hulu, or Amazon Prime, etc. The series will be set in the time period of the original novels. 1950s, 1960s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s. Each new season/decade will give us new actors playing James Bond, M, Moneypenny, Q, Felix Leiter, and any other recurring characters.

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SEASON 1: The 50s (Each episode will be 80 minutes long)

Episode 1 – Forever and a Day

Episode 2 – Casino Royale

Episode 3 – Live and Let Die

Episode 4 – Moonraker

Episode 5 – Diamonds Are Forever

Episode 6 – From Russia With Love

Episode 7 – Dr. No

Episode 8 – Goldfinger

Episode 9 – Trigger Mortis

 

SEASON 2: The 60s (each episode will be 50 minutes long)

Episode 1 – From a View to a Kill

Episode 2 – For Your Eyes Only

Episode 3 – Quantum of Solace

Episode 4 – Risico

Episode 5 – The Hildebrand Rarity

Episode 6 – Octopussy

Episode 7 – The Living Daylights

Episode 8 – The Property of a Lady

Episode 9 – 007 in New York

 

SEASON 3: The 60s (Each episode will be 80 minutes long) 

Episode 1 – Thunderball

Episode 2 – The Spy Who Loved Me

Episode 3 – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Episode 4 – You Only Live Twice

Episode 5 – The Man with the Golden Gun

Episode 6 – Devil May Care

Episode 7 – Colonel Sun

Episode 8 – Solo

 

SEASON 4: The 80s (Each episode will be 80 minutes long) 

Episode 1 – Licence Renewed

Episode 2 – For Special Services

Episode 3 – Icebreaker

Episode 4 – Role of Honor

Episode 5 – Nobody Lives Forever

Episode 6 – No Deals, Mr. Bond

Episode 7 – Scorpius

Episode 8 – Win, Lose Or Die

 

SEASON 5: The 90s (Each episode will be 80 minutes long) 

Episode 1 – Brokenclaw

Episode 2 – The Man From Barbarossa

Episode 3 – Death is Forever

Episode 4 – Never Send Flowers

Episode 5 – Seafire

Episode 6 – Cold

Episode 7 – Zero Minus Ten

Episode 8 – The Facts of Death

 

SEASON 6: The 21st Century (Each episode will be 80 minutes long) 

Episode 1 – High Time To Kill

Episode 2 – Doubleshot

Episode 3 – Never Dream of Dying

Episode 4 – The Man with the Red Tattoo

Episode 5 – Carte Blanche

Which James Bond Are You?

Got to love those online quizzes! Forget about your own personality; let’s find out if your personality matches that of James Bond. I grew up watching Roger Moore play 007, so naturally I think I’m closest to his rendition of Bond. But each of the six actors might have their own distinct qualities that can relate to all of us Bond fanatics.

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Sean Connery as 007: The Original, The Classic Bond

  • Alpha male.
  • Walks like a panther (not literally on all fours).
  • Aggressive with ladies.
  • Calm under pressure.
  • Likes to mix business with pleasure.
  • Not afraid to get into a fight.
  • Loves to investigate.

 

George Lazenby as 007: The One-Timer Bond

  • Still discovering his own style.
  • Looking to settle down, but still sleeps around.
  • Obsessed with only one aspect of his profession.
  • Bar room brawler.
  • Tries to hide his emotions.
  • Not a great liar.
  • An office hoarder.

 

Roger Moore as 007: The Charming, Campy Bond

  • Doesn’t take life or his job too seriously.
  • Would rather charm the ladies.
  • Not much of a fighter.
  • Takes pride in his puns.
  • Blinks nervously when he fires a gun.
  • Looks great in a tux.
  • Isn’t embarrassed by his own vanity.

 

Timothy Dalton as 007: The Nonsense Bond

  • Not afraid to tell his boss to “stuff it!”
  • Not a great sense of humor.
  • Doesn’t want to sleep around.
  • Whatever he is doing, he’s intense in that moment.
  • Believes in revenge.
  • Prefers to live on the edge.
  • Likes to solve problems; a real problem eliminator.

 

Pierce Brosnan as 007: The Man Born To Be Bond

  • Always smirking, no matter what life brings.
  • Addicted to puns.
  • A fan of office flirting.
  • Tries to be a bit of everything to please everyone.
  • Doesn’t take too many risks.
  • Never lets his enemies see him bleed.
  • Always has an escape plan.

 

Daniel Craig as 007: The Bloody Bond

  • Can be careless and reckless.
  • Has a love-hate relationship with his boss.
  • Emotionally scarred by a past relationship.
  • Drinks and gambles more than most.
  • Takes good care of his body.
  • When he’s around somebody usually dies.
  • Always threatening to quit his job.

Best Performance By Bond Actors In Other Films

The role of James Bond isn’t supposed to be a meaty part for the best actors to sink their teeth into. Daniel Craig’s performance as 007 in Casino Royale is considered the best out of them all, but that’s about it. What about taking each Bond actor and finding their best overall acting performance from their entire acting career?

SEAN CONNERY (The Untouchables)

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The easy answer is The Untouchables, for which the legendary Scot won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. But there are so many other choices like The Hill, The Offence, The Man Who Would Be King, The Hunt For Red October, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Finding Forrester. What a career! More than just being the first (and still the best) James Bond.

 

 

GEORGE LAZENBY (Universal Soldier)

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Okay this was a tough one. Lazenby was never really a true thespian. In fact, his first ever acting role is probably his best. It was as James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Sadly, he never got a chance to continue on with the role. So instead we get this low budget 1971 action flick, which sees Lazenby as a former mercenary who comes out of retirement to take part in the overthrow of an African dictator.

 

 

ROGER MOORE (Ffolkes/North Sea Hijack)

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When asked about his acting range, Sir Roger once stated “everything from ‘raises left eyebrow’ to ‘raises right eyebrow’”. The man didn’t take his acting too seriously, which is probably why he was so well loved. But his performance as Rufus Excalibur Ffolkes is a hoot! Needing an acting change of pace in the middle of his Bond tenure, the character of Ffolkes is a cranky, misogynist, cat-loving, counter-terrorist expert. Roger may not have been an award-winning actor, but he had great comic timing and was never afraid to make fun of himself.

 

 

TIMOTHY DALTON (Hawks)

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If we are talking about which one of the Bonds is the truly best actor, it has to be Dalton. He’s a Shakespearian actor, whose screen credits don’t do him justice. He was in The Lion In Winter. Mary Queen of Scots and Cromwell, but none as a leading man. I think his best leading turn is as a terminally ill British doctor trying to escape a hospital for one last bit of fun. It’s an obscure flick, but quite an interesting performance by Dalton.

 

 

PIERCE BROSNAN (The Tailor of Panama)

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Usually pigeonholed into playing the suave, debonair type, Pierce Brosnan finally got a chance to slum it in The Tailor of Panama. He was still sort of like James Bond…if James was a real scumbag. There is some really chewy dialogue for Pierce in this one. Makes me wonder if Pierce could have done more with his time as Bond, if he had been given better scripts.

 

DANIEL CRAIG (Layer Cake)

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I’m choosing the performance that got Daniel Craig his Bond gig. Barbara Broccoli saw something in Daniel in Layer Cake (2004) that made her believe he could be the world’s greatest secret agent. Watching it now, you can see what she was thinking. Craig plays a British mid-level gangster looking to get out.

Missing Scenes From Bond Trailers

One of my biggest movie pet peeves is when I see a scene in a trailer that doesn’t make it into the final cut of the film. The James Bond franchise has had several of these moments. Sometimes it comes down to a mix of “that works better for promotion” or editors simply having to do their jobs. Here are some that stand out to me.

 

SPECTRE

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  • This has to be after Sam Smith’s song, and just before James getting chewed out by M for the Mexico City fiasco. I’m a sucker for a James at the office scene, plus DC has  a really cool walk here. Justifiable swagger.

 

QUANTUM OF SOLACE

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  • This trailer shot of James, impeccably dressed with a machine gun, was used heavily to promote QoS. Or could it have been an original opening shot of the movie?

 

CASINO ROYALE

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  • In the trailer for Casino, we see Bond and Vesper going at it in the ocean. For the film, we get them snuggling on the beach discussing what their future together will be like.

 

LICENCE TO KILL

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  • Clearly only used for the LTK teaser trailer, we do get to see James Bond showing us his bad side. And no. We don’t want to be on it.

 

A VIEW TO A KILL

At the 1:08 mark of the teaser trailer we have Bond introducing himself to Pola Ivanova. Which of course isn’t in the movie, because they apparently go way back.

 

Untapped Bond Locations

James Bond movies are more than just girls, guns and gadgets. They’re also about some of the most gorgeous film locations ever. Whether it be the Piz Gloria, or Phang Nga Bay, or the Golden Gate Bridge, we can always count on Bond location scouts to give us our money’s worth on the big screen.

As we prep for the next Bond adventure, nearly a year away, here are some beautiful (or at the very least some interesting) locations I would like to see 007 visit. Make up your own action scene if you like.

 

  • The CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada/New York, USA
  • The National Mall in Washington DC, USA
  • The Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA 
  • The Galapagos Islands, in the Pacific Ocean, 926 km (575 mi) west of Ecuador. 
  • Machu Picchu in Peru 
  • The Grand Palace in Brussels, Belgium 
  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy 

Leaning Tower of Pisa (Pisa)

  • Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia 
  • Serengeti National Park in Tanzania 
  • Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania 
  • Victoria Falls on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe 
  • Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge in Australia 
  • The Great Barrier Reef in Australia 
  • Great Wall of China; Shanhaiguan in Hebei province to Jiayuguan in Gansu province 
  • Shilin Stone Forest in China
  • Tanegashima Space Center in Kyushu, Japan