Let’s Talk Villain Deaths

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Whether they are trying to start World War III, or create financial crisis, or just steal water from Bolivia, Bond villains usually have a righteous kill coming their way. Sometimes they even survive to live to die another day. Let’s take a look at each Bond villain’s demise.

  • Dr. No has an ironic death. His metal hands can’t grasp the metal railing after Bond overloads the reactor and knocks Dr. No into the reactor pool. His death looks extremely painful. I give his death a 006 out of 007.
  • Rosa Klebb certainly had her kicks in From Russia With Love. In a climactic fight with Bond, she tries to kick him with her poisoned switchblade shoe, but Bond girl Tatiana takes her sweet time in deciding to shoot Klebb. I like her death strictly for actress Lotte Lenya’s nearly orgasmic last gasp and pose. I give her death a 005 out of 007.
  • Shouldn’t Goldfinger have died in some manner involving gold? Goldfinger is sucked out of the cabin of a plane through a ruptured window. I’m gonna just come out and say it. He was too fat for that tiny window. I give his death a 002 out of 007.
  • In Thunderball, Bond is fighting Largo on board his yacht, and Largo is about to shoot Bond when Bond girl Domino shoots him with a harpoon gun. I like a good revenge killing. After all, Largo did have Domino’s brother killed. I give his death a 004 out of 007.
  • You Only Live Twice, but for Blofeld he goes on and on and on. He escapes, via an Epcot-like ride, after Bond pal Tiger Tanaka throws a ninja star at his wrist.  No death, so this gets a 000 out of 007.
  • New Blofeld, same result in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Blofeld survives a bobsled fight with Bond, although he does appear to have broken his neck. He definitely is a pain in Bond’s neck. We see Blofeld wearing a neck brace driving his right-hand woman Irma Bunt. She opens fire on Bond and his new wife Tracy. Bond survives, but Tracy is shot in the head. No death, so this gets a 000 out of 007.
  • Will somebody please kill Blofeld?! In Diamonds Are Forever we have the same villain now thrice. Oh and three different actors each time. Blofeld tries to escape at the end in his tiny submarine, but Bond gains control of the launch crane and crashes the sub into the control room. We don’t see him live or die. No visible death, so this gets a 000 out of 007.
  • Live And Let Die gives us the villain Kananga and the most ludicrous death in the history of James Bond movies. Bond fights him and they both fall into a shark pool and Bond forces Kananga to swallow a compressed-gas pellet, causing his body to inflate and explode. No, really. I’m serious. His death gets a 001 out of 007.
  • Francisco Scaramanga is The Man With The Golden Gun. The world’s deadliest assassin challenges Bond to a duel. Bond stands in the place of a mannequin of himself that Scaramanga kept around and when he walks by it, Bond turns to fire and kills him. Pretty clever. How did Bond have time to change into the mannequin’s clothes? I give his death a 005 out of 007.
  • Karl Stromberg is a poor man’s Blofeld in The Spy Who Loved Me. His death might be one of the most vicious in the franchise, especially coming from Roger Moore. He shoots Stromberg in cold blood a few times. Including in the groin. I give his death a 005 out of 007.
  • Hugo Drax takes a giant leap for mankind in Moonraker, after Bond shoots his heart with a poison-tipped dart. Bond then escorts him out the space station and Drax is last seen floating off into space. A very cold death. I give his death a 005 out of 007.
  • Aristotle Kristatos is the main villain of For Your Eyes Only and it isn’t Bond who does him in. Bond ally Columbo throws a knife into the back of the double-crossing Kristatos. A boring death for a dull villain. I give his death a 002 out of 007.
  • Octopussy villain Kamal Khan dies in a plane crash. This far too dull for a flashy enemy of Bond. Especially for as fun and wacky a movie as Octopussy is. I give his death a 002 out of 007.
  • Max Zorin has the most fun dying out of any other Bond villain, in the film A View To A Kill. Zorin, before plunging to his death from high atop the Golden Gate Bridge, lets out a self-amusing laugh. Typical Walken. That’s a 006 out of 007.
  • Triple-crossing Soviet General Koskov, from The Living Daylights, looked like he was about to die when his jeep collided with a plane. But nope, he survived. He is later arrested and sent back to Moscow. That’s a 000 for 007.
  • Robert Davi plays drug lord Franz Sanchez in License To Kill. Lets just say he is a real “hot head”. Sanchez killed Bond’s pal Felix Leiter’s bride. He also took Leiter’s leg! Bond shows Sanchez his cigarette lighter. A gift for being the best man at the couple’s wedding. Sanchez, covered in gasoline after his fight with Bond, is set a blaze. He stumbles into a wrecked tanker, blowing it up and killing himself. Great death. But did he ever really have time to read the inscription on the lighter and understand why Bond wanted revenge? Still, a great death. I give his death a 007 out of 007.
  • Alec Trevelyan is 006 and he is a very bad dude in Goldeneye. Faked his own death, wants to destroy Britain’s economy. After a brutal fight on top of a gigantic satellite dish, Bond catches and releases Trevelyan, who plummets to a backbreaking death. I give his death a 007 out of 007.
  • Elliot Carver is the Rupert Murdoch-type of villain in Tomorrow Never Dies. Bond kills Carver with his own sea drill after both actors deliver some cringe-worthy lines. I give his death a 002 out of 007.
  • Bond doesn’t really want to kill The World Is Not Enough villain Elektra King, but she gives him no choice. After taunting him that he can’t kill her because he will miss her too much, Bond shoots her in the heart and says, “I never miss.” This death gets a 006 out of 007.
  • Of course Die Another Day would have a bizarre villain death. Former Korean, Gustav Graves, attempts to escape by parachute but Bond opens the parachute which causes Graves to be sucked out of the plane and into one of its engines. All of this is going on while Graves is wearing an electric suit of armor. I give his death a 003 out of 007.
  • It’s time to get serious in Casino Royale.  Le Chiffre isn’t even killed by Bond. He’s taken out by his higher-up, Mr. White. Le Chiffre gambled away too much of their client’s money. I give his death a 002 out of 007.
  • Even though Bond doesn’t technically kill Dominic Greene in Quantum of Solace, it’s still a brutal way to go. Or should I say, another way to die? Bond captures Greene and interrogates him about his evil organization, leaving him stranded in the desert with only a can of motor oil to drink. Later, M tells Bond that Greene was found dead in the middle of the desert, shot twice and with engine oil in his stomach. I give this death a 007 out of 007, even if Bond didn’t actually do the deed.
  • A thrown knife in the back is the way the flamboyant Silva dies in Skyfall. He even has time to slowly walk up to Bond and give him about five different emotions before finally calling it a life. I give his death a 005 out of 007.
  • We meet again Mr. Blofeld. In Spectre, we learn Bond and Blofeld are foster brothers. Forgetting about this silly plot point, Bond finally has a chance to murder Blofeld but doesn’t because Bond has “found love” with his latest lady. As Blofeld crawls from his helicopter wreckage, Bond confronts him but empties his gun and leaves him to be arrested. Yawn. It gets a 000 out of 007.

Bond vs Bond: 1983

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“Bond is back. The real one.” That was how many entertainment reporters and film critics described Sean Connery returning to the role of James Bond in 1983’s Never Say Never Again.

I was only five years-old, but I do remember the Summer of 1983. It was the battle of the Bonds. At this time I was watching more 007 movies than Sesame Street. I believe the first VHS of a Bond movie I got as a gift was around this same time. If my memory is correct it was You Only Live Twice. And it seemed like at least once a month, a Bond movie was the ABC Sunday Night Movie. I couldn’t be any happier as a child.

My parents took me to see Octopussy in early June of ‘83 and it was a hoot. By this time Roger Moore was so settled in as 007, that maybe he was a little over the hill for the role. But that didn’t stop me or my family, or the movie-going public from seeing a Roger Moore – Bond movie.

Also in the Summer of ‘83, Sean Connery was set to return to the role in Never Say Never Again. An non-official entry into the world of Bond films. The title came from Connery’s wife, as Sean was famous for saying “never again” to playing Bond. Some production nightmares delayed NSNA and it was pushed to the Fall of ‘83. We never did quite get the head-to-head showdown.  Moore vs Connery. Bond vs Bond. Who is the real 007? Kill or be killed at the box office.

TALE OF THE TAPE

Opening Party for "Movie Star"

ROGER MOORE

Movie: Octopussy (June 1983)

Tenure Up To This Point: 6 official Bond movies (1973-present)

Age During Filming: 55

 

SEAN CONNERY

*Never Say Never Again is not an official James Bond movie*

Movie: Never Say Never Again (October 1983)

Tenure Up To This Point: 6 official Bond movies, 1 unofficial Bond movie (1962-1967, 1971, 1983*)

Age During Filming: 52

 

Which movie, which Bond won the worldwide box office battle?

Octopussy $183.7 million

Never Say Never Again $160 million

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I do remember being a little confused. Roger Moore was like my Bond father and Sean Connery was like my Bond stepfather. I loved watching them play the role when I was a young boy, but I couldn’t understand how they could both be 007 around the same time, in two different films.

Short story of a very long story revolves around a producer named Kevin McClory. Back in the early 1960s he managed to talk Ian Fleming into making Thunderball before Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman started the official Bond film franchise. When the time came around to finally making Thunderball, McClory meddled and got the right to produce the film with Cubby and Saltzman, but no other official Bond movies. He could only remake Thunderball and McClory attempted just that in 1975 and finally succeeding in 1983. Never Say Never Again is very much a remake of 1965’s Thunderball.

Why did Connery want in on a rival Bond movie? He and the producers (Broccoli and Saltzman) ended on bad terms in 1967, although Sean did return for one other movie in 1971 (Diamonds Are Forever). Sean Connery always felt used and under-appreciated by them and this was his chance to get some revenge. He had been the first, and in most minds the best Bond. Official or unofficial, Sean Connery was back as 007.

For Roger Moore, who was good friends with Connery, he was a very popular Bond in his own right. Octopussy was his 6th out of 7 Bond roles and it was his chance to finally step out of Connery’s massive shadow.

As great as Connery was as Bond, a true Bond movie needs a few classic elements. The famous gun barrel opening,  James Bond theme, title song with sexy girls dancing around, etc.  Never Say Never Again wasn’t legally allowed to have all of those Bond goodies. Octopussy of course could. That’s a major difference.

Can you imagine in today’s social media-driven world if a rival Bond movie challenged the current franchise? Just like what happened in 1983? How about Idris Elba vs Daniel Craig? At the end of the day, there can only be one James Bond at a time. And it’s the one with all the official goodies.

Movie Review: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER

Getting Sean Connery to return as James Bond was major news in the early 1970s. After George Lazenby’s one and done (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service), the idea that the two producers Connery loathed (more Harry Saltzman than Cubby Broccoli) and $1.2 million (a record at that time) could lure him back for his sixth turn as 007 was mind-blowing.

Unfortunately, you can see Connery mentally cashing his paycheck many times throughout Diamonds Are Forever. To the actor’s credit, he gave $1 million of it away to charity. Connery was not the same dashing spy we remembered uttering the famous “Bond, James Bond” line in 1962’s Dr. No. By 1971 he was in full “dad-bod” mode and audiences knew that this would be just a one time deal. Connery was only 41, but he somehow managed to look much older.

Diamonds Are Forever was the hit the producers were looking for and it’s mostly thanks to the return of Sean Connery. This movie is fun and messy at times, more campy than Connery’s previous five movies combined, and there are a number of scenes that just don’t look like they belong in a Bond movie.

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The film opens up with Bond on the hunt for his arch nemesis, Blofeld. Bond is out of revenge for the death of wife Tracy, who was gunned down at the end of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. After physically assaulting characters who have horrendous ADR, eventually 007 finds Blofeld at a facility where look-alikes are being created through plastic surgery. Bond kills one of the soon-to-be Blofelds by drowning him in a mud bath. The real Blofeld and his goons then show up. After Bond (for some odd reason) uses a mouse trap hidden in his suit as a weapon, and uses a goon as human knife-throwing practice, Bond (Connery, not Lazenby) finally gets his revenge on Blofeld (Charles Gray, not Telly Savalas from OHMSS) by drowning him in a pool of superheated mud.

After the opening title sequence, we meet assassins/gay lovers Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd. They are serial-killing their way through diamond smugglers in South Africa and Holland. M believes these diamonds are being stockpiled to depress prices by dumping, and sends Bond on what seems to be a dull mission to uncover the smuggling ring. Still with me? The plot ends up all over the place.

Bond poses as professional smuggler Peter Franks and travels to Amsterdam to meet Franks’ contact Tiffany Case, played by actress Jill St. John. The real Franks and the fake Franks (Bond) meet and end up having a killer fight in the world’s tightest elevator. After Bond kills him, he switches IDs to make it seem as though Franks is Bond and vice verse. Case and Bond then fly to Los Angeles, smuggling the diamonds inside Franks’ corpse. Where inside the body? Bond can be really anal about some details.

At the airport Bond meets his BFF, Felix Leiter of the CIA, and then drives with gangsters to Las Vegas. At a funeral home, Franks’ body is cremated and the diamonds are passed on to another smuggler, an old curmudgeon of a comedian named Shaddy Tree. Are you sure you are still with me? Now we got old stand-up comics! Bond is nearly incinerated when he is put into a coffin and sent to the cremation oven. However, his life is spared since the diamonds were fakes planted by Bond and the CIA. Bond stays alive until he finds the real diamonds.

While in Vegas, Bond goes to the Whyte House, a casino-hotel owned by the reclusive billionaire (*cough* Howard Hughes *cough*) Willard Whyte. Shaddy Tree works as a stand-up comedian at the lounge and Bond catches Tree’s old shtick. He heads to his dressing room, where he later discovers there that Tree has been killed. It was done by that twisted duo Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd. The diamonds everyone wants are still fake, by the way.

At the craps table Bond meets a gold digger with a heart of…well, gold… named Plenty O’Toole (insert classic Bond line here _________). After winning, because that’s what 007 does when he gambles, he takes her back to his room. Before Bond adds Plenty to his sexual conquests list, he’s caught with more than his arms up, by those same gangsters who drove him to Vegas. They throw Plenty out of the window and into the hotel pool. Bond moves on very quickly and spends the rest of the night with Tiffany Case. During some pillow talk, they hatch a plan to retrieve the real diamonds at a circus. Yes, Bond goes to the circus in this one.

Tiffany double crosses Bond and instead flees all this trouble. When she gets home she sees Plenty O’Toole floating in the bottom of her pool. Plenty was killed after being mistaken for her, even though the movie fails to set this scenario up. All we know is that Plenty O’Toole and swimming pools are a bad combo. Tiffany changes her mind about being a pain in Bond’s arse and drives Bond to the airport, where from there the diamonds are delivered to a remote facility out in the desert. The research laboratory, owned by Whyte, is where a laser satellite is being built. Bond’s cover is blown at the lab and he escapes the security guards by stealing a moon buggy. Bond and Tiffany make their way back to Vegas, where they are seen by the Las Vegas police department and a very silly car chase occurs on the Strip.

Bond decides to confront Willard Whyte but soon discovers two identical Blofelds, who used an electronic device to sound like Whyte over the phone. This neat trick worked since Whyte had been a recluse for years, all Blofeld needed was his voice. Bond kills one of the Blofelds, but as usual the wrong one. The real Blofeld pulls a gun on Bond, and instructs him into a elevator, where he is knocked out by gas. He is picked up by Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, and taken out to Las Vegas Valley, where he is placed in a pipeline and left to die.

Spoiler alert: Bond escapes and finds out where the real Willard Whyte is being kept. After a brief, embarrassing battle with Whyte’s female bodyguards Bambi and Thumper, they rescue the very clean-shaven wealthy recluse. While all this is going on, Blofeld (in drag for some reason) abducts Case (who for some reason decided to follow “drag Blofeld”).

Bond discovers that Blofeld’s plot is to create a laser satellite using the diamonds. With the satellite already in orbit, Blofeld destroys nuclear weapons in China, the Soviet Union and the United States. He wants to setup an international auction for global nuclear supremacy, highest bidder wins. Whyte identifies an oil platform off the coast of Baja California as Blofeld’s likely base of operations and 007 heads there. Bond attempts to change the cassette containing the satellite control codes, and rescue Tiffany, all while a helicopter attack on the oil rig is launched by Felix Leiter and the CIA. Blofeld tries to escape in some sort of ocean cocoon pod, but Bond gains control of the crane that controls it and crashes the sub into the control room, causing both the satellite control and the base to be destroyed. Blofeld is left alive in that pod, presumably just muttering over the intercom.

Bond and Tiffany end up on a cruise ship for some downtime, where Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd pose as room-service stewards and attempt to kill them with a bomb inside of a cake. Yeah, it gets sillier. Bond sets Mr. Kidd on fire and he falls overboard to his death, while Mr. Wint is killed by Bond by having his balls attached to the bomb. Bond flips him over and he explodes as he hits the ocean. Tiffany then asks James: “How the hell do we get those diamonds down again?” Cue the title song by Shirley Bassey as they both look into the night sky.

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Bond’s coolest moment? When he first meets Tiffany Case. It’s Connery’s Bond at his most charming.

Bond’s most embarrassing moment? Plenty (no pun intended) to choose from, but I’m going to with Bond getting beaten up by Bambi and Thumper. Moon buggy Bond is a close second.

Bond’s best line? The Plenty O’Toole reply of “but of course you are” and “named after your father perhaps” are too classic and easy to choose. I will go with Bond’s underrated “small world” comment to the dumb gangster who says he “also got a brother.”

Best acting performance? Bruce Glover (father of Crispin) as Mr. Wint is the best choice. This is one of the campiest Bond movies ever and the actor goes for it!

Bond’s most “sexual predator” moment? Ripping off a girl’s bikini top after telling her “there’s something I’d like for you to get off your chest” and then proceeds to strangler her with it.

Worst line in the movie? Tiffany Case (Jill St. John) saying either “blow up your pants” to a kid, or “keep leaning on that tooter, Charlie, and you’re gonna get a shot in the mouth” at the gas station.

What I noticed for the first time after watching this for the 77th time? It just dawned on me that Bond was in that car with those gangsters from Los Angeles to Las Vegas for about four hours. What the hell did they talk about?

Best action sequence? That elevator fight between Bond and Franks is in the top five best fights ever in the Bond franchise.

Who or what is the title song about? Rumor has it that composer John Barry told Shirley Bassey to sing about a man’s penis. Shirley is definitely singing about not needing a man like Bond in her life, since she has her diamonds. “Men are mere mortals who are not worth going to your grave for”… damn Shirley!

Best looking cinematic moment? I think the oil rig action sequence is well done. Especially the pull away shot at the end.

How could the villain have succeeded? Blofeld has a gun on Bond and doesn’t use it. Instead he gases Bond in an elevator, only to have him buried in a pipe. Making things way too complicated.

Which other Bond actor could have starred in this movie? This is easy. Roger Moore. Moore took over just two years later and was meant for a campy side of Bond.

Does Bond ever think he might die? He looks pretty damn worried during his almost cremation.

What would have made the movie better? If it had been a direct sequel to OHMSS and starred Lazenby. Think 007 meets Taken. No offense to Connery, but he phoned this one in.

What’s in a name? Bond uses the name Peter Franks and also pretends to be Franks’ brother. He also uses Mr. and Mrs. Jones for a bridal suite at the Whyte House.

What’s in a title? Diamonds Are Forever comes from the Ian Fleming novel of the same name. The title is perfect and fits the plot of the movie.

Drinking game: Take a shot of Belvedere Vodka every time the word “diamond” is uttered (not counting the song). You will be drunk before Bond gets to Amsterdam.

“WTF?!” moment: Where to start? Bond making out with himself. A woman in the circus “turns” into a gorilla. An elephant plays the slots and wins money. But the winner is Blofeld in drag. There’s no explanation for it, other than Charles Gray in drag works better than Donald Pleasance or Telly Salavas in drag.

Fun fact: The original plot had Goldfinger’s twin brother as the main villain. I’m guessing this brother loved diamonds?

Overall ranking: 24th best Bond movie out of 24 Bond movies.

Review synopsis: James Bond just doesn’t belong in Vegas. Gray is the weakest Blofeld. The revenge plot goes away too quickly and the rest of the story is all over the place. Jill St. John isn’t a very interesting Bond girl. Connery is the greatest Bond of all-time, but he goes out with a dud. As a Bond fanatic, Diamonds Are Forever is still watchable and enjoyable, but it’s also my least favorite film in the franchise’s history.

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Was SPECTRE Daniel Craig’s “Roger Moore Bond Movie”?

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Roger Moore and Daniel Craig will never be confused for each other. About the only thing these two Bond actors have in common is that they’re the only two British Bonds. Moore’s style was tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek, while Craig has just had a bloody cheek. I mean this literally! A rough day for Moore’s Bond was getting his hair out of place. If Craig’s Bond isn’t bruised and bloody, well then he hasn’t been doing his job.

The most glaring difference in their performances has to be in the sense of humor department. Roger Moore was Roger Moore as James Bond and the audiences of the 70s and 80s ate up the camp. Daniel Craig is Ian Fleming’s James Bond and has been the gritty Bond we need for this current dangerous world. The only other actor who is closer to Fleming’s interpretation of the character is Timothy Dalton.

With Craig’s 5th and final turn as 007 coming in November 2019 (he will pass Moore as the longest serving Bond in years, sometime in 2018), it begs the question… was his most recent movie, SPECTRE, as Moore-ish as Craig will get? Allow me to go all Jim Garrison – JFK investigation on this.

CASE STUDY #1

The Couch Gag

After Bond blows up a building in Mexico City, it rapidly becomes an escape from his own collapsing structure. After sliding down falling debris in his beautiful Tom Ford suit, Bond lands perfectly on a couch. I’ve read other theories on this scene that believe a more appropriate landing spot for Craig’s Bond would have been on his ass right next to the couch. Nothing ever comes easy for this Bond. Yet, the screenwriters and director Sam Mendes pulled the full-Roger for this one. The only thing Craig missed doing was the accustomed straightening of the tie and cuff links.

CASE STUDY #2

Ridiculous Car Chase

Bond’s gadgets don’t work. He accidentally starts playing “New York, New York”. He bumper-nudges an old Italian man driving a tiny car, that is blasting opera of course. He also has time to call Moneypenny and inquire about her social life. Not quite as campy as the car chases from The Spy Who Loved Me or For Your Eyes Only, but not too far off. And perhaps the greatest sin of all is that the Bond vs Hinx vehicular combat is boring.

CASE STUDY #3

THE ONE-LINERS

Daniel Craig’s 007 isn’t known for his pithy comebacks, while Roger Moore’s jokes came out of left field…and right field, and center. But SPECTRE did give Craig some one-liner opportunities. The best one being a laxative joke. Pay attention to Craig’s humor in his four films. It is there, in the shadows, and it is very snarky.

CASE STUDY #4

CRAIG GIVES THE “MOORE NOD” A TRY

The Roger Moore Bond tilt of the head is a classic move. It says “yes, I’m in danger, but this is also fun”.

Craig does his own “salute” when chasing Hinx’s jeep with his plane. Check out 00:40-00:55 of the video. It’s not quite as playful, but it still says “yes, I’m in danger, but this is also fun…oh and I’m slightly insane.”

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Could you swap any of the seven Moore Bond movies for Craig’s four films? It’s highly doubtful. Being British and the two longest serving 007s are the only thing these two Bond greats have in common.

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Three Is The Magic Number

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For this article I’m going to need Mr. Lazenby and Mr. Dalton to leave the room. Sorry gentlemen, but this is a club for only Bond actors who have played the role at least three times.

Why at least three times? That’s because there is a case to be made that a James Bond actor doesn’t hit his prime until his third turn at the role. There are three 007 actors that can claim that their best, or most popular, Bond movie took place on their third try. The other Bond actor left, not so much.

Sean Connery’s third Bond movie was Goldfinger. Even if you have never seen a Bond flick before, you know about Goldfinger. In 1964, it was THE movie to see in the theater. It was well before my time, but I think I came out of my mother’s womb knowing the classic scenes and humming the theme song. It’s the most iconic Bond movie there is. Even though I like it more than I love it, I completely understand why most critics and fans have it down as their number one 007 film. Connery is probably more lethal and excellent in Dr. No and From Russia With Love, but by the time that pre-credit title sequence comes on, you know he has made the role of James Bond his own.

By the time the summer of 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me hit theaters, there was a chance that the Bond franchise was done for. Live And Let Die and The Man With The Golden Gun were underwhelming in the eyes of many Bond viewers in the early 70s. Roger Moore just wasn’t Sean Connery. Well, in his third movie he learned he didn’t have to be. By the time James Bond skies off a mountain, and opens up a Union Jack parachute, audiences could just feel Roger Moore hitting his Bond prime. The humor, the raised eyebrow, the suave-over-dangerous manner. This wasn’t Roger Moore as James Bond. This was James Bond as Roger Moore.

Some 007 movies have it all. Just like Goldfinger and The Spy Who Loved Me, Skyfall is the modern equivalent. Take a memorable villain, add an all-time great theme song, and you have Daniel Craig’s third go-around becoming the highest grossing Bond film of all-time, and even considered for a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars!

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Let’s rewind a bit. Before we had Craig defining what it means to be James Bond, we had Pierce Brosnan. A man who looks like he was born to play the role. Brosnan’s best Bond movie is his first. Most critics and fans agree about this when it comes to Goldeneye. His third movie, The World Is Not Enough, does not stand with the other three, third-times-the-charm, Bond pics as a great one. Although, a case can be made that Brosnan does his best acting in this one. Let’s be honest, it couldn’t have been easy for him to act along side Denise Richards (the second worst Bond girl ever). It’s interesting that in Goldeneye, Brosnan looks as smooth and cool as Connery/Goldfinger, Moore/Spy, and Craig/Skyfall, but come around to his number three and he has to force a solid performance just to keep the movie somewhat interesting.

Seven might be a lucky number, but for most 007s, the number three hits the jackpot.

What’s Next, Mr. Bond?

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At the end of Spectre, Daniel Craig’s James Bond drives off into the sunset with Madeline Swann. A woman who has fallen in love with him in a matter of a few days. She’s no Vesper!

This ending meant two things:

1) Craig will NOT return as 007 for a 5th movie, so this is a nice send-off for one of the best Bond actors.

2) This sets up a rebooted On Her Majesty’s Secret Service flick, where Craig as Bond and Madeline get married or engaged early in the next movie…and Blofeld finds a way to murder her and Bond goes all Liam Neeson-Taken on Blofeld and SPECRTE.

But what about neither of these being the correct choice? As we know now, after months and months and months of either playing coy or truly being torn, Daniel Craig is returning for his 5th and final turn as the world’s most famous secret agent. This 25th official 007 movie comes out in less than two years and we still don’t know much about it.

Here’s what we do know:

– Daniel Craig is signed up for only one more. He said he wants to “go out on a high note.”

– Christoph Waltz will not return as Blofeld. Although that doesn’t mean another actor won’t take up the role. It’s been a Bond movie tradition.

– Directors Christopher Nolan and Denis Villeneuve are very interested in directing a Bond movie… just not this upcoming one.

This isn’t much to go on. We don’t have shooting locations, or a plot description, or rumored title, etc.

This is where I step in. Craig has been in two all-time Bond classics (Casino Royale, Skyfall) and two good Bond movies (Quantum Of Solace, Spectre) that have the disadvantage of not being Casino Royale and Skyfall. How should Craig go out as Bond? What kind of a movie should he do? The idea of re-imagining On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is very tempting and I have no doubt Craig would knock it right out of the park. But if I creating this 25th Bond movie (and for the purpose of this article I am), I’m not sure I want to see Craig do another somber, rogue, unofficial mission flick.

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There is this inaccurate claim that Daniel Craig can’t do comedy. He’s hosted SNL, he and Stephen Colbert have great comedic chemistry, and while I wasn’t blown away by Logan Lucky, he proved he can be funny and isn’t afraid to make a fool of himself.

My Bond 25 movie has Craig almost going the full-Roger Moore. So maybe it’s more of a Brosnan type of Bond movie. Who can direct this kind of Bond movie? My sleeper pick is Tom Ford. If you watch Nocturnal Animals, you will see he has style to spare. Not sure how he could pull off some lighter moments, but I think it’s worth a shot. Plus, he already designs Bond’s wardrobe. Hitting two Bond jobs with one stone.

For the pre-title action sequence, I want to see Bond during a mission that has nothing to do with the main plot. Think the opening of Goldfinger or Octopussy. Something spectacular that gets the audience going and never has to come up again. This is a good way to say “Hey! Remember Spectre? And how all those four movies were tied together for some odd reason? Well, forget it!”

The name of this movie is called Devil May Care. The title comes from a Bond novel written by Sebastian Faulks. It just sounds Bond-ish and will fit the tone of the movie. Who sings the opening theme? Rumors of Adele returning, and Beyoncé interested, are floating around. Both are great choices and improvements over “Writing’s On The Wall”. Sorry Sam Smith. But once again, I’m going with a real sleeper. A musical choice no one will see coming. My choice to sing “Devil May Care” is Miley Cyrus. If I had said this three or four years ago, I would have been locked up in a mental institution. Now Miley is all grown up and she is starting to make a career singing ballads. Think Adele’s “Skyfall” meets Sheena Easton’s “For Your Eyes Only”. Hell, you can even put Miley’s face during the title sequence just like Sheena’s in FYEO.

Let’s talk the villain’s plot. Who is the villain? I’m not bringing back Blofeld or anyone connected to SPECTRE. I’d like the villain and his plan to be of the times. I’m thinking a Zuckerberg-type played by Adam Driver. But the one I’m choosing for my Bond villain is another off-the-wall choice. I want to see America’s favorite son, Tom Hanks as a Bond villain. I want him for the role of an Elon Musk-type of space-obsessed madman. The real-life Musk is already rumored to be helping producers build something for the movie. Watch Bond drive a Tesla soon. This movie plot could be a less ridiculous mix of Moonraker, Diamonds Are Forever, Die Another Day.

We need to have two Bond girls. One good and one bad. It’s simple Bond mathematics. I like the idea of picking actresses that aren’t that well-known and have an international flair to them. My choices are Pom Klementieff (Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2) and Stephanie Corneliusse (Mr. Robot).

Location, location, location. Bond has done enough in Italy, Turkey and the Caribbean. I want to see James head to countries he’s never been to before. I’d like a location in any of the Scandinavian nations. A major city like Oslo or Copenhagen. Bond producers have never filmed in South Africa, so that’s my other spot. We need one more exotic location and the producers might be ahead of me on this one. There are rumors of Croatia being used. You put a Scandavian country, along with South Africa and Croatia, and you have an interesting Bond movie.

Some final touches on Devil May Care:

I want to see him scuba dive and ski. Need a henchperson with a physical abnormality. Bring back Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter. Need a top notch car chase, and to have Bond hang from a plane or a train or a building. This sounds like a classic Bond flick.

The final scene needs to have some way to say goodbye to Daniel Craig’s James Bond. We don’t want it to be too cheesy, but just a classy way to symbolize that “nobody does it better.”

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I Wish I Was James Bond, Just For The Day

I hate to nick (as the Brits may say) the song from Scouting For Girls, but for this first post it was just too bloody easy. Everyone is a nerd for something. Star Wars, Batman, Indiana Jones, etc. While I love all three of those examples, nothing compares to my fanaticism for James Bond 007.

My first ever in-the-movies Bond experience was Octopussy in the summer of 1983. I was only 5 years-old, but I was just beginning to get hooked on Bond movies. As a child growing up in NYC, while the other kids were watching Sesame Street, I was watching James Bond seduce a woman for the possession of a Fabergé egg. I caught the lifelong 007 fever from my parents (my mom claims to have named me after Sean Connery). While I grew up watching Connery as Bond on rather expensive VHS tapes, my boyhood idol was Roger Moore as James Bond. His death this past May was brutal. As ridiculous as it sounds, it was like losing a father figure. Sure, he was 89 years-old, but to me he will always be the 50ish-something (looking 40ish-something) suave secret agent.

My love for the Bond movies, and everything associated with Ian Fleming’s iconic creation, has never wavered. From my childhood years of catching up on Connery’s impressive start to the franchise, and then transitioning to Moore’s campy style, with the odd single turn of George Lazenby right smack in the middle, to the short run of Timothy Dalton’s brooding Bond, followed up by the urbane Pierce Brosnan and the current terrific 007 Daniel Craig…

Well, to quote Craig’s final line in Quantum of Solace: “I never left.”

I consider myself a 10 out of 10 when it comes to Bond knowledge, but you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy this site. Just be warned that on this site names of important figures in the history of Bond will pop up. Cubby Broccoli, Ken Adam, Maurice Binder, John Barry, Shirley Bassey and so on.

Like I said up top, everyone is a nerd for something. Mine happens to be for Bond, James Bond. Whether it’s collecting the movies, books, memorabilia, or every New Year’s Eve dressing up as him, with one of my “Bond girls” for a 007 party at this very cool theater/bar where I live in Orlando, FL… Bond is my life.

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From Orlando, With Love,

Sean M.

 

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