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Ranking the Bonds with the Tiers Strategy 
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Post Re: Ranking the Bonds with the Tiers Strategy
Ken wrote:
Which Bond films are "traditional"? The ones that built the formula? The ones that typify the formula? The ones that cling to the formula like a dingleberry?


Let's narrow that down to the first 3 then.

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Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:29 pm
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Post Re: Ranking the Bonds with the Tiers Strategy
Oh fuck it that doesn't make any sense -- From Russia with Love is anomalous. Basically, I want a supervillain and gadgets and a fiendish plot to take over and/or destroy the world

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Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:30 pm
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Post Re: Ranking the Bonds with the Tiers Strategy
Cool. Maybe they can remake GoldenEye.

Thanks, everyone. I'll be here all week.

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Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:40 pm
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Post Re: Ranking the Bonds with the Tiers Strategy
Ken wrote:
Cool. Maybe they can remake GoldenEye.

Thanks, everyone. I'll be here all week.


STOP BEING DIFFICULT, KEN!

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Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:45 pm
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Post Re: Ranking the Bonds with the Tiers Strategy
Goldeneye was one of the weirder Bonds. Bond didn't get assigned his mission until like an hour in, hardly part of the formula.
I think the Broccolis would have tossed something like that in the trash if a writer gave them that in the 70s or 80s.

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With Brosnan, the series lost its novelistic aspect. The Moore films all tell stories - sometimes pretty bad and stupid stories - but on average, more narratively grounded than the Brosnans.


Yeah this is certainly part of why I think the Brosnan Bonds are so horrible. As you say, the Moore films all tell stories, however lame some are. I don't know what the hell was being attempted with Brosnan's stint (in addition to what I said above, they made a lot of weird in jokes throughout his Bonds, with some of the characters acting like they had seen all the previous Bonds when they encountered him. as jokey as Moore was, it didn't take self awareness to this level. and with all this jokiness(& a far higher body count, Bond was like Rambo in the Brosnans compared to Moore etc which also seemed weird), they actually attempted to give a Bond quite a few serious scenes, far serious than anything in Connery/Moore's tenure - "Goldeneye: why are you so cold? because it keeps me alive" and references to Bond being an orphan. and Bond being captured and tortured in Die Another Day? what the hell? its like they tried too much & too little with Brosnan during his entire tenure. and he's not a good enough actor to make Bond 'deeper.')
again I'm amazed at the box office during his time. but the 90s action heroes did kinda suck, maybe people just went out of boredom. the action scenes also kinda suck in the 90s Bonds compared to the 80s Bonds, not sure why that is(and some of the fx & backdrops look incredibly cheesy - compare Goldeneye's fx to Moonraker's, the '95 release looks cutrate, while Moonraker looks like a A list production)


Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:18 pm
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Post Re: Ranking the Bonds with the Tiers Strategy
calvero wrote:
Goldeneye was one of the weirder Bonds. Bond didn't get assigned his mission until like an hour in, hardly part of the formula.
I think the Broccolis would have tossed something like that in the trash if a writer gave them that in the 70s or 80s.

Quote:
With Brosnan, the series lost its novelistic aspect. The Moore films all tell stories - sometimes pretty bad and stupid stories - but on average, more narratively grounded than the Brosnans.


Yeah this is certainly part of why I think the Brosnan Bonds are so horrible. As you say, the Moore films all tell stories, however lame some are. I don't know what the hell was being attempted with Brosnan's stint (in addition to what I said above, they made a lot of weird in jokes throughout his Bonds, with some of the characters acting like they had seen all the previous Bonds when they encountered him. as jokey as Moore was, it didn't take self awareness to this level. and with all this jokiness(& a far higher body count, Bond was like Rambo in the Brosnans compared to Moore etc which also seemed weird), they actually attempted to give a Bond quite a few serious scenes, far serious than anything in Connery/Moore's tenure - "Goldeneye: why are you so cold? because it keeps me alive" and references to Bond being an orphan. and Bond being captured and tortured in Die Another Day? what the hell? its like they tried too much & too little with Brosnan during his entire tenure. and he's not a good enough actor to make Bond 'deeper.')
again I'm amazed at the box office during his time. but the 90s action heroes did kinda suck, maybe people just went out of boredom. the action scenes also kinda suck in the 90s Bonds compared to the 80s Bonds, not sure why that is(and some of the fx & backdrops look incredibly cheesy - compare Goldeneye's fx to Moonraker's, the '95 release looks cutrate, while Moonraker looks like a A list production)

I disagree, Moonrakers effects look incredibly ridiculous and outdated by today's standards, I actually liked the "in-jokes" they were pretty clever and a lot better then the incredibly lame humor that permeated many of Moore's outings(worst moment, the car chase in Golden Gun which could've worked if it wasn't for that fucking slide-whistle sound-effect thrown in for absolutely no reason, I thought I was watching Bond, not the Three Stooges), also some of the action scenes were terribly directed, like that boat chase in Live And Let Die, which was incredibly boring and fell flatter then a week-old pancake, any of the action scenes in Brosnan's outings are better then crap like that.


Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:54 pm
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Post Re: Ranking the Bonds with the Tiers Strategy
I disagree that the Moore films are more novelistic, mainly because I think the term "novelistic" implies things that describe very few films, let alone even the best James Bond movies. That said, I think I can understand what MGames means, and if I'm right, I'd be inclined to agree.

I would say that the Moore films tend to be more goal-driven--meaning that the plot developments, the visual techniques, and the behavior of the characters all stem more from the pursuit of the MacGuffin-du-jour. In the Brosnan era, those things tended to stem more from the desire to create action sequences that would lure in modern (i.e. post-Cold War) viewers.

Not that I'm defending Moore, putting down Brosnan, or vice-versa vice-versa. I'm not a huge fan of either era, though I'll readily admit that Brosnan is "my" Bond in the sense that every generation has its Bond.

Wasn't it cool when he stole the boat in The World Is Not Enough? Of course it was. He's James Fucking Bond.

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Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:10 pm
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Post Re: Ranking the Bonds with the Tiers Strategy
JamesKunz wrote:
<Snip>

I figured I'd weigh in as I consider myself to be a bit of a Bond fan, though more of the novels by Fleming and movies that stay truer to them.

Tier 1: The Absolute Best
Casino Royale
Goldfinger
Dr No

Tier 2: Good to Very Good Entries in the Series
Skyfall
Thunderball

Tier 3 - Solid Bond Films
Quantum of Solace
From Russia With Love

Tier 4 - Half-Decent to Decent
You Only Live Twice
Diamonds Are Forever
GoldenEye

Tier 5 - The Mediocrities and Misfires
Die Another Day
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Live and Let Die
For Your Eyes Only
The Man With The Golden Gun
The Living Daylights

Tier 6 - The Bad
License to Kill
Moonraker
The Spy Who Loved Me
Octopussy
A View To A Kill
Never Say Never Again
Tomorrow Never Dies
The World Is Not Enough

I don't agree with those who think that Brosnan made the Bond franchise as campy as Moore did. For me, the Moore films are the point where James Bond became a campy joke, though I agree that the Brosnan films had some moments that reflect this at times. Connery's early films represented an attempt to closely adapt the Fleming novels, but the Craig films could be said to have better captured the essence of Bond's character from those novels.

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Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:18 am
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Post Re: Ranking the Bonds with the Tiers Strategy
JamesKunz wrote:
Oh fuck it that doesn't make any sense -- From Russia with Love is anomalous. Basically, I want a supervillain and gadgets and a fiendish plot to take over and/or destroy the world


I've heard this argument used against Craig numerous times. A friend of mine keeps slagging them and him off, basically saying that Craig's films are good, but are not Bond because there are no sharks with laser beams on their heads.

Fact is, it's a bit of a myth that Bond requires a Dr Evil-type villain. Both From Russia with Love and Goldfinger figure very high on nearly everyone's list. And they are in some ways pretty much opposed in terms of what Bond films are.

Ken remarked last week that Goldfinger hinted at the exaggerated direction Bond would later take. Imagine if that kind of supervillain inflation was allowed to go unchecked from 1964 until today. The end products would be unwatchable by now. We need supervillains to be a possibility and to arise every so often, but we need the brakes applied too.

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Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:06 am
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Post Re: Ranking the Bonds with the Tiers Strategy
NotHughGrant wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Oh fuck it that doesn't make any sense -- From Russia with Love is anomalous. Basically, I want a supervillain and gadgets and a fiendish plot to take over and/or destroy the world


I've heard this argument used against Craig numerous times. A friend of mine keeps slagging them and him off, basically saying that Craig's films are good, but are not Bond because there are no sharks with laser beams on their heads.

Fact is, it's a bit of a myth that Bond requires a Dr Evil-type villain. Both From Russia with Love and Goldfinger figure very high on nearly everyone's list. And they are in some ways pretty much opposed in terms of what Bond films are.

Ken remarked last week that Goldfinger hinted at the exaggerated direction Bond would later take. Imagine if that kind of supervillain inflation was allowed to go unchecked from 1964 until today. The end products would be unwatchable by now. We need supervillains to be a possibility and to arise every so often, but we need the brakes applied too.

Tell that friend of yours to read one of the Fleming novels and then try to tell you what Bond films should be.

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Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:02 pm
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Post Re: Ranking the Bonds with the Tiers Strategy
NotHughGrant wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Oh fuck it that doesn't make any sense -- From Russia with Love is anomalous. Basically, I want a supervillain and gadgets and a fiendish plot to take over and/or destroy the world


I've heard this argument used against Craig numerous times. A friend of mine keeps slagging them and him off, basically saying that Craig's films are good, but are not Bond because there are no sharks with laser beams on their heads.

Fact is, it's a bit of a myth that Bond requires a Dr Evil-type villain. Both From Russia with Love and Goldfinger figure very high on nearly everyone's list. And they are in some ways pretty much opposed in terms of what Bond films are.

Ken remarked last week that Goldfinger hinted at the exaggerated direction Bond would later take. Imagine if that kind of supervillain inflation was allowed to go unchecked from 1964 until today. The end products would be unwatchable by now. We need supervillains to be a possibility and to arise every so often, but we need the brakes applied too.


Agreed, largely. Remember I do think Casino Royale is the best.

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Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:45 pm
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Post Re: Ranking the Bonds with the Tiers Strategy
NotHughGrant wrote:
Ken remarked last week that Goldfinger hinted at the exaggerated direction Bond would later take. Imagine if that kind of supervillain inflation was allowed to go unchecked from 1964 until today. The end products would be unwatchable by now. We need supervillains to be a possibility and to arise every so often, but we need the brakes applied too.

Indeed, I still say Goldfinger's demise is the second most ludicrous villain death in the entire series (only Kananga's from "Live and Let Die" was sillier). It's also a good part of why I feel "Goldfinger" is the only genuinely overrated Bond movie... mostly in that it's merely the series' THIRD best movie (behind "From Russia with Love" and "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" -- the latter of which I still believe many would consider the best had Connery been in it) instead of the absolute best. :P


Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:04 pm
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Post Re: Ranking the Bonds with the Tiers Strategy
Quote:
the action scenes also kinda suck in the 90s Bonds compared to the 80s Bonds, not sure why that is


Cause John Glen is a master at action scenes. Not the best storyteller, but at his best, his action sequences are as great as any action scenes can possibly be, ever, imo.

Goldeneye is the one Bond movie that makes almost no sense to me at all; even less sense than the funhouse in Golden Gun. Perhaps it's because Goldeneye was once considered the franchise reboot. Now that it's been replaced by Casino, it's a completely obsolete artifact. Watching it, it feels like a much older movie than Dr. No. The pacing is so stilted that it could almost be going backwards. I know exactly what you mean about how the other characters seem to have seen previous Bond movies. When charting the history of the tone of this series, it'd be easy to draw a straight line from LTK to Casino Royale. The Brosnans are almost in another dimension, except for the continuity of Judi Dench.

I think the John Glen films are largely just excuses for action, but the action itself is so good that I don't mind (except for the fact that they're all too long). With the Brosnans, I also keep in mind that their writers are also responsible for Casino and Skyfall, both successfully serious and self-reflexive entries. I can only conclude then that the Brosnans and Quantum are relatively unsuccessful attempts at those things. Actually, I think World is their first really solid work, though not as good as the Craigs. I mean, look at Silva; in some ways, a carbon copy of Alec Trevelyan. Maybe Skyfall was just their way of finally perfecting some of the stuff they were trying to do all along?


Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:03 am
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Post Re: Ranking the Bonds with the Tiers Strategy
I loved "Silva". Awesome character and performance.

Take this as an example -

[Reveal] Spoiler:
During the assault on "Skyfall", after the house is blown to pieces and Bond is fleeing up the moor, he is stopped in his tracks by Silva and a henchman on a frozen lake; Silva, or said henchman, could have killed him there and then. But 2 things happen - firstly instead of killing him that split-second, Silva feels the need to offer commentary to Bond in classic Bond-villain fashion.

Secondly, is what I call "Steven Seagal syndrome”.

Steven Seagal syndrome is when Man A (let's call him Mr Smith) has a loaded weapon, and is pointing it at Man B (Mr Jones). Now instead of Mr Smith thinking "I'm holding a loaded gun here, I can stand a distance that is safe for me, but still comfortably close enough to blow Mr Smith in half"; he actually walks right up to Mr Smith (who happens to be very handy with his hands in the old violence department) and is subsequently beaten and/or dispossessed of his weapon. Every man who has ever pointed a gun at Steven Seagal on screen has had the inexplicable need to walk right up to him, instead of hanging back a safe distance (say 15 feet). Perhaps they all secretly loath themselves. Perhaps their Mum's didn't give them enough attention and they have some kind of subconscious desire to end it all, I don't know. The henchman on this frozen lake must have been hired from a Seagal set. Bond drags his weapon and shoots down smashing the ice and they both fall through thus allowing Bond to escape Silva's belated firing a handgun at him.

Now, is this just a lazy piece of film-making? I think "no". Skyfall is anything but lazy. And Silva's reaction to this says it all - he offers the audience a desperate ironic laugh that says "why didn't we just kill this fucker while we had the chance". This demonstrates the self-aware, but not cheesy nature of Skyfall very well. It acknowledges the past (including all its procrastinating screen villains and Houdini -like escapes) without being held hostage by them.

Good stuff.

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Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:26 am
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Post Re: Ranking the Bonds with the Tiers Strategy
MGamesCook wrote:
When charting the history of the tone of this series, it'd be easy to draw a straight line from LTK to Casino Royale. The Brosnans are almost in another dimension, except for the continuity of Judi Dench.

... and the fact that, you know, the series starts over from scratch. :|


Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:30 am
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