|A few thoughts on James Bond.
Goldfinger is number three in inflation-adjusted total gross (barely behind Thunderball), highest-rated by IMDb (by far), tied for highest-rated from Maltin, tied for highest-rated from Berardinelli. I think it would also be my choice.
Last place is harder to estimate. Excluding the renegade productions, I guess it goes to A View To a Kill or Moonraker, which tied with two stars from Maltin and 5.8 at IMDb. If you include the non-Broccoli films, then it is the much-despised Casino Royale. If you go by inflation-adjusted box, it's either The Man With the Golden Gun or Licence to Kill.
In terms of inflation-adjusted dollars, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, and Goldfinger are still the kings of the hill, as their 1960's box office figures translate to the equivalent of $200m-$250 million today in domestic alone, and $400-$500 counting overseas.
Regarding individuals, Connery and Brosnan were the franchise. When Connery dropped out the first time, domestic gross dropped from $69 million in You Only Live Twice to $23 million in the Lazenby pic, then it went back up to $72 million for Diamonds are Forever. When Connery left the second time, it dropped from $72 to $35 million for Live and Let Die. Connery was worth $35-$45 million at the box office in 1960's dollars. That was one big pile of money in those days.
Brosnan also has a great box office record - domestic gross zoomed from $35 million to $106 million when he replaced Dalton. Hard to say exactly, but Brosnan seems to be worth something like $70 million at the domestic box office. Dalton's pics did 35-51, Brosnan's 106-127. That doesn't beat Connery because of the inflation of today's dollars, but it's reasonably comparable. It's interesting to note that Brosnan's apparent value of $70 million per picture doesn't take rentals, broadcast rights, or foreign grosses into account. Like him or not, the boy is a cash cow.
Moore had no intrinsic value. The box dropped in the first picture when he took over, and increased in the first one after he left. And to make matters more embarrassing, he was bested by Dalton and Joe Don Baker!
Bond has always been an international phenomenon. In terms of international box offfice, Thunderball and Goldfinger were both among the top five pictures of the 1960's, and several other Bonds were hot on their tails. Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me made the top 10 in the 1970's. The 1980's were an off decade. No Bond film made the top 25, but For Your Eyes Only and The Living Daylights came fairly close
Actual exposed nipples, breasts, or other privates:
Claudine Auger -- Thunderball -- nipple slip
Denise Perrier -- Diamonds are Forever -- Clear breast as Bond rips off top
Maud Adams -- The Man with the Golden Gun -- Side view of breast in shower then exposed nipple as Moore hands her a towel
Maud Adams -- Octopussy -- Nude from rear (longshot)
Tina Hudson -- Octopussy -- Nipple slip
Virginia Hey -- The Living Daylights -- Left breast
Major see-throughs or breasts without nipples:
Ursula Andress -- Dr. No -- See-through side of breast
Barbara Bach -- The Spy Who Loved Me -- side view of breast in Shower
Barbara Carrera -- Never Say Never Again -- side of breast -- most of buns when water skiing
Carey Lowell -- Licence to Kill -- Crotch as she gets out of plane
Cassandra Harris -- For Your Eyes Only -- See through buns in nightgown
Cecilie Thomsen -- Tomorrow Never Dies -- crotch from back as she rolls over onto Bond
Denise Richards -- The World is not Enough -- Clear breast see-through
Grace Jones -- A View to a Kill -- buns in workout outfit, and later labia while fighting with Bond then side view of breast
Kim Basinger -- Never Say Never Again -- Clear nipple see-through and side view of breast on massage table
Lana Wood -- Diamonds are Forever -- buns through sheer panties
Talisa Soto -- Licence to Kill -- Side View of breast
TUNA'S BOND PROJECT, capsule summaries
My Bond project took over 100 hours for the 19 films, and produced 507 images made from over 2,000 frames captured. All of these images are archived somewhere in the back issues of Uncle Scoopy's Fun House at www.scoopy.net. While the films were light on exposure, they were heavy on attractive women in sexy costumes, and many came from a period when there was not much nudity around in mainstream cinema. It is ironic that the worst Bond, Lazenby, stared in one of my favorites, On Her Majesty's Secret Service. My favorites: Goldfinger, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and Octopussy. The worst, Thunderball, Goldeneye and The World is not Enough.
For me, Moore got a bad rap as 007. He followed an enormously popular star, and made his films during a period that saw an explosion of action films. He did continue past his prime, but turned in some good performances in the middle. I thought Dalton did a credible job, and had the sophistication part exactly right. As you know by now, I am not a Brosnan fan yet. My favorite Bond girl goes all the way back to the beginning -- Dr. No. Ursula Andress oozes sex appeal, and set the standard for all future Bond girls.
Brosnan has a contract for a total of 4 Bond films. I assume we will see a new Bond after that. The writers have many challenges. All the great villains are killed off, M and Moneypenny retired, and Q, sadly, has died. Felix, after Licence to Kill, is missing a leg. Despite these challenges, I am sure we will see many more Bonds, and that all of them will make a profit. The series has survived bad Bonds and bad scripts, and will continue to work due to the formula. As Maltin says, "Not every man wants to be James Bond, but every boy does." I would add that there is a little boy in every man.
"Dr. No" (1962)
Dr. No is the first of the Bond films to be made, and set much of the tone for future efforts. Sean Connery plays Bond much more closely to Fleming's character than in any other films in the series. We are introduced to M, Moneypenny and Felix Leighter. Bond has less sense of humor, and is actually much the worse for wear by the end, where he is bloody and has a torn short. Ursula Andress plays his love interest as the first Bond girl, and the one who set the tone for all future Bond girls.
The scene where she emerges from the surf is one of the best known in film. We have the beginnings of the trademark Bond titles, and the Bond theme premiers. Other than some nice calypso numbers, the rest of the score is a little heavy-handed. Still and all, Dr. No is one of the better Bond efforts. IMDB readers have it at a respectable 7.5, and the critics give it between 3 and 3 1/2 stars.
Bond is sent to Jamaica to investigate the death of a British agent, and the "toppling" of American spacecraft off course. There are no gadgets, limited special effects, one average car chase, and lots of hand to hand action from Connery. Dr. No also became the prototype for future Bond villains. It was a huge financial success, returning nearly $60m worldwide for a .9m budget. The voice of Andress was dubbed, as her accent was too thick (and probably still is today. With the first film being so successful, it is no wonder the Bond series became the longest in film history.
"From Russia with Love" (1963)
From Russia with Love is not my favorite Bond film. First, it costars the lovely Daniela Bianchi, but shows very little of her. Second, the Q toys are not very exciting. Last, and bigest, is that they shot much of the film in Instanbul, including several places I have been such as the Hagia Sophia and the Grand Bazaar, and managed to make this exotic and colorful city seem rather drab.
For those who might not remember the plot, SPECTRE has pitted the Rusians and the British against each other, with the prize being a Soviet "Lecter" cypher machine. A clerk at the Soviet embassy in Istanbul is tricked into offering the machine to James Bond. Even though this is far from my favorite, I enjoyed it anyway.
Goldfinger was Connery's third outing as Bond, and he had the part cold by this time. The film is chuck fill of memories. Shirley Bassey singing the title song, the sight of a gold plated Shirley Eaton, and the character name Pussy Galore are icons of western culture. Odd Job, the body guard with a practical hat, and Gert Fröbe as Auric Goldfinger made great enemies. Bond discovers a plot to detonate a nuclear device inside Fort Knox, contaminating the US gold supply, and making Goldfinger's holdings worth 10 times as much.
This was the first Bond film to use the formula as we now recognize it. The film has gadgets, chases, action, women, Q, M and Moneypenny, a great title song and score, and interesting opening credits.
Thunderball (1965), when adjusted for inflation, was the highest grossing Bond ever at $142.2m on a budget of $9m. It featured Connery in his fourth outing as Bond. Spectre steals two nukes, and uses them to blackmail the world, threatening to destroy a major city if demands are not met. Bond is sent to find and recapture the nukes. That pretty much covers the first boring hour, which mainly concerns Bond trying to harass a nurse in a spa into having sex with him.
Once he is actually on the job, the second hour is mostly boring underwater battles. He does, however, have a relationship with the villain's girlfriend, Claudine Auger. Claudine's brother was a NATO officer who was killed and impersonated by Spectre to steal the nukes. This was remade, again with Connery, as Never Say Never Again. You might have guessed by now that this was not my favorite of the series. As a matter of fact, it may be my least favorite. One note of interest from the special features. There are multiple versions circulating with minor dialogue and scene differences. Nobody can explain why the multiple versions exist.
"You Only Live Twice" (1967)
You Only Live Twice, known as the Japanese bond, is the 5th is the series, and features Sean Connery as Bond-san. Spectre, with the help of a Japanese industrialist, hijacks both an American and a Soviet spacecraft in an attempt to get the superpowers to nuke each other. Bond is sent to find the truth in time to prevent WW III. He gets a lot of help along the way, most notably from super agent Aki (Akiko Wakabayashi) and her boss, Tiger Tanaka (Tetsuro Tamba), head of intelligence in Japan.
In the opening sequence, Bond's death is staged to give him some breathing room. Lovely Tsai Chin, better known from The World of Susie Wong and Joy Luck Club, helps with the ruse. The first half of the film moves right along, with lots of action and chase scenes. In the second half, Bond is made into a Japanese and ninja trained, then married to a spy/pearl diver (Mie Hama) to infiltrate the island that is Spectre's headquarters. The second half is slow going, and Spectre's entire space program is a little hard to swallow. Title song was sung by Nancy Sinatra.
It is watchable, but not one of the best in the series.
"On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969)
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) marks the first and only appearance of George Lazenby as 007. The film is one of the best in the series, with wonderful action sequences, a touching love story, a villainous villain (Telly Savalas), and a whole new side to Bond's character. The only flaw was Lazenby himself, who didn't bring much to the role.
Bond is encouraged to court a countess by her wealthy father who has some legal businesses and some not so legal. He and the daughter both help Bond find and attack Blowfeld, who is trying to blackmail the world into declaring him legitimate. Rigg shows a lot of cleavage, and that is it for exposure in this film.
"Diamonds are Forever" (1971)
Diamonds are Forever stars Connery as Bond. In the pre-title sequence, he is trying to revenge the death of his wife by killing Blowfeld. He is then assigned to investigate a diamond smuggling caper, which takes him to Las Vegas via Amsterdam. Once in Vegas, he discovers that his old nemesis, Blowfeld, is behind the smuggling, and has taken over a company from a recluse billionaire patterned after Howard Hughes and played by Jimmy Dean.
We have scenery, action, villains, and three women who show more than usual in a Bond film. I enjoyed the Jill St. John character, who was on whatever side looked to be to her advantage. Please excuse the motion blur in the Denise Perrier images. It was a very quick bit of exposure, as Bond rips off her bikini top.
"Live and Let Die (1973)
Live and Let Die was the first appearance of Roger Moore as Bond, and many think it to be one of the worst in the series. Sure, Roger Moore is not Sean Connery, and his wisecracking Bond was a shock, the plot didn't involve the KGB or a worldwide secret organization of fanatics, and there were not many exciting gadgets. On the other hand, the art direction and photography was superb, and there was more than a little comic relief.
Three British agents are killed, and Bond is sent to find out why. He is soon hard on the trail of the ruler of a small Caribbean Island who growing poppies and trying to take over the heroin trade world-wide. Jane Seymour plays a psychic called Solitaire who is his own private fortune teller. Her gift only lasts as long as her virginity, and Bond makes short work of that. In the opening sequence, M visits Bond at home, and surprises him with an Italian secret agent (Madeline Smith). She only had a short part, but displayed great talent and appeal. Gloria Hendry plays a double agent sent to keep Bond from discovering the poppies.
The title song was written by George and Linda McCartney, and was nominated for an Oscar. With apologies to the experts, I liked this film.
"The Man with the Golden Gun" (1974)
The Man With the Golden Gun (1974) was the 9th of the 007 films, and the second with Roger Moore playing Bond. Reviewers are split on the merit of this effort compared to others, but most appreciate Christopher Lee as the villain Francisco Scaramanga, a spectacular car stunt, and exotic Asian locations.
007 is led to believe that the worlds most expensive assassin, Francisco Scaramanga, is after him. He tries to strike first, and ends up involved with a new solar energy device as well. There are several unusual things about this film. First, the villain has all the great toys. Second, Christopher Lee doesn't have fangs, and gets a pretty girl. The character names, as usual, are whimsical. The character name of the unknown actress is Chu Me, the Brett Ekland character is Miss Goodnight and a Thai millionaire villain is Hai Fat. Lee is great as the villain, Moore is not quite settled in to the Bond role, and Adams looks really good even through a shower door.
"The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977)
The Spy Who Loved me is widely considered Roger Moore's best performance as Bond. When Carl Stromberg captures a Soviet and an English nuclear sub, Bond, and Major Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) are sent by the respective governments to find the subs. Bond and the major end up pooling their resources, and, by the end of the film, bodily fluids. Stromberg is intent on starting a nuclear holocaust to destroy civilization, so he can start a new one in the ocean. He sends Jaws (Richard Kiel) out to kill anyone in the way. It is shot mostly in Egypt and Sardinia, and there are some lovely scenes along the Nile.
Bach shows a lot of cleavage, and her character is seen nude through partially open shower curtains. I have no idea if this is a double or not. The film was nominated for three Oscars, including Carly Simon's rendition of Nobody Does it Better. We had toys from Q, and lots of action from Moore. This is equal to the Connery Bonds in my opinion.
Moonraker (1979) featured Roger Moore as Bond in his 4th outing, and he had it down pretty well. With a space theme, which capitalized on the popularity of Star Wars, Moonraker became the largest grossing Bond film to date. As the film opens, the bad guy (Drax) steals a space shuttle (Moonraker), and Bond is sent to find it. The chase leads him to California, Venice, Brazil, and finally outer space. Along the way, he encounters several barely dressed women, and beds more than his share. This film also sees the return of Jaws as a villain, although he falls in love and mellows by the end of the film. Although there is no actual exposure, there were four women worth capturing, and several unknowns.
The action sequences are very well done, and it was nominated for a special effects Oscar.
"For Your Eyes Only" (1981)
For Your Eyes Only is the 12th in the series, and the 5th with Roger Moore as Bond. The opening credits feature Sheena Easton singing the theme. After the special effects blowout in Moonraker, they returned to the old formula. We have car chases, helicopter stunts, skiing, diving and mountain climbing, so there is plenty of action. A British Spy ship is sunk, and the Russians want to by a secret low frequency transmitter that controls the British nuclear missiles. Bond is to stop them.
After the sinking, the Brits ask some underwater archeologists to locate the wreck. When they are gunned down by the bad guys in front of their daughter (Carole Bouquet) she swears revenge, and proves that she is beautiful, can act, and is dangerous with a crossbow. A young ice skater, Lynn-Holly Johnson, is thrown in for comic relief, and is thought to be the only dark spot in a very good Bond film. The Greek smuggler and good guy is played by Topol of Fiddler on the roof fame, and is excellent. His sidekick, Cassandra Harris, is killed after spending the night with 007. Not much exposure, but Bouquet is one of the more attractive Bond girls, and possibly the most accomplished actresses.
"Octopussy" (1983) and "Never Say Never Again" (1983)
Octopussy (1983) is included in the third and final James Bond boxed set released by MGM. In case one of you hasn't seen Octopussy, here is a brief run-through of the plot. Another 00 is knifed but manages to collapse into a US embassy before he dies. A Faberge egg rolls out of his hand. When it turns out to be a very good fake, Bond is assigned to find out who killed the other agent, and what the counterfeit is all about. The path leads from an auction, to India (where one of the villains, Kamal, played by Louis Jordan, and Octopussy live), and then to Germany, where Octopussy's circus is playing. Seems a soviet General wishes to prevent the USSR from disarmament agreements with NATO, and intends exploding a nuclear device, which will look like a US weapon, on a US base. He expects NATO will unilaterally disarm when this "accident" happens. He enlists the help of Octopussy, who is also a jewel thief/fence, but does not tell her the entire story.
The best exposure comes from the sequence before the opening credits, and, after three hours of research, I have been totally unable to identify the actress. If anyone knows who she is, please let me know so I can properly re-label the images. Maud Adams is seen nude in a very long shot, and Kristina Wayborn shows lots of skin, but none of our favorite body parts. I have watched all of the films from these boxed sets now, and they are superbly done. The image quality is superb, and they are loaded with special features. In this case, the "making of" featurette, and the director's commentary both concentrated on the stunt work, and the special effects. Although I was hoping for information on my unknown actress, I have to admit that the stunts and effects were the strong point of this effort. One of the stunt men was seriously injured filming the train sequences, and an actor fell and broke his arm during production. Special effects and stunts dominate the film. There are fewer clever Q toys than usual, less action from Moore, and less skin than normal. Even though this is not one of the best Bond films, I am a sucker for any Bond, so I enjoyed it.
"Never Say Never Again" is not included in these three boxed sets, and the reason involves Octopussy. It seems the original concept for Thunderball was developed by Kevin McClory and Ian Fleming. Sometime after they gave up, Fleming wrote Thunderball. When it was announced that Thunderball would be made into a film, McClory sued and won. He was made an executive producer, received a cut, and also received the right to do a remake at a future date. When McClory decided to make Never Say Never Again, which is the rewrite of Thunderball, he talked Connery into playing the role that he had said he would "Never Again" play. Hence, the title of the film. I don't suppose the $5 million he was offered made his decision a little easier. Fleming sued and lost, and the film was made at the same time as Octopussy.
Never Say Never Again (1983), Connery's comeback, is available on DVD from MGM, but not as part of their Bond Special Editions. The DVD transfer itself is very good, but there are no special features on this DVD. I have to say after watching it that it is not a bad Bond film except for two things. They were not allowed to use the opening Bond credits, and were not allowed to use the Bond theme music. The music by Michel Legrand just didn't seem to have the right tone for 007.
They handled Connery's age pretty well in the plot, and I am not about to argue with Kim Basinger and Barbara Carrera as Bond Girls.
"A View to a Kill" (1985)
A View to a Kill (1985) is the last Roger Moore Bond film, and one of the poorest regarded of the series. Part of the reason was Tanya Roberts who is more decorative than talented, and villains who aren't all that villainous.
Great stunt work is the only saving grace in this plot by an industrialist to sink Silicon Valley in a man made earthquake and take over the microchip market. Fiona Fullerton is another high point as a Soviet agent, but has far too little screen time.
"The Living Daylights" (1987)
The Living Daylights features Timothy Dalton as a Bond who doesn't have fun. Not only doesn't he joke, but he is nearly celibate. Maryam d'Abo plays a soviet cello player who is one of a harem belonging to a high ranking, but self serving Russian General. When British agents start dying, General Koskov feigns defection, and claims that the head of the KGB is out to kill all British agents. The defection and claim is really a plot to get Bond to kill the head of the KGB. This is necessary, as the KGB is near catching on to an arms/diamond/dope deal meant to enrich Koskov and arms dealer Brad Whitaker (played by Fun House legend, Joe Don Baker!).
Most agree this is one of the weakest Bond films, and I concur. On the other hand, Australian actress Virginia Hey actually exposes her breasts as the girlfriend of the head of the KGB. d'Abo either had no role to work with, or wasn't up to the challenge. She also wore far too many clothes.
"Licence to Kill" (1989)
Licence to Kill has Timothy Dalton in his second appearance as Bond, and he did a decidedly great job. Desmond Llewelyn as "Q" had his largest part ever, and Robert Brown and Caroline Bliss made their last appearances as M and Moneypenny. The story is not typical Bond. James attends Felix Lieter's wedding. When a drug kingpin kills the bride, and feeds one of Felix's legs to a shark, Bond swears revenge. M visits and demands that he go to Istanbul for his next assignment, and Bonds quits. M demands his gun and says he is no longer licensed to kill, but does not try very hard to prevent him from escaping. Sometime later, Q turns up "on holiday" to see if he can be any help, and Bond is told at the end that M has a job offer for him. My read was that M couldn't approve the activity, but was on Bond's side.
He partners with a CIA operative, Carey Lowell, in pursuit of Robert Davi. He also takes the time to charm Davi's girlfriend, Talisa Soto. Here we have a determined Bond with much less humor who relentlessly chases Davi. There is a wonderful cameo appearance of Wayne Newton as a televangelist who actually is a front for the drug trade. The action highlight is a downhill chase with gasoline tanker trucks.
I loved this one. The major critics agreed, but it did not do well at the box office, and was the death-knell for Dalton.
Goldeneye has Bond updated for the 90's. He works for a female "M.," and drives a BMW, but still fancies himself irresistible to women, drinks Vodka martinis, loves toys, and fights given any excuse. Bond is played by Pierce Brosnan, who brings all of the charisma and excitement to the role as an ant hill brings to a picnic. The films got off to a bad start for me. First, Bond ties a bungie cord to his feet, then jumps off a dam. As he nears the end of his rope, he fires a piton into the damn, and stops himself without so much as a jerk. A while after he repeals the laws of gravity and inertia, he throws the pilot out of a plane that is taking off on a runway that goes to the edge of a cliff. He then mounts a motorcycle, jumps off the cliff after the pilotless plane, catches it free-falling, and pulls it out of a power dive to escape.
A single engine plane with no pilot would end up flying straight and level, not in a power dive. Single engine planes tend toward level flight. But let's forget that, and accept that this particular plane was fond of the power dive position. It would be accelerating at a rate defined by both gravity, and its air speed. Meanwhile, Bond would be falling much more slowly without any propulsion, and never catch the plane.
We have evil Russians here but, in the absence of the cold war, they are Russian traitors seeking to use a satellite based EMF weapon to destroy London and cover up a theft of all the money in the bank of London. Famke Janssen is a high point, as a very evil accomplice, and Izabella Scorupco is delightful as a Soviet programmer who helps Bond. The effects are good, as are the stunts, and some of the art direction and photography is very nice.
It is a close call for me which is worse, Goldeneye or Thunderball. I attribute the success of this film to the Bond formula, not this particular film.
"Tomorrow Never Dies" (1997)
Tomorrow Never Dies is the second outing for Brosnan as Bond, and my favorite of the three (he is under contract for one more). A media mogul, a thinly disguised Bill Gates caricature, sinks a British frigate to steal a nuke. His intent is to start a war between Britain and China. In exchange, he gets a 100 year media exclusive in China, making him the one who controls the flow of information worldwide. Bond is sent to sort out the puzzle. Teri Hatcher plays the moguls wife, and ex Bond lover. Michelle Yeoh is a Chinese agent that ends up working with Bond. Bond is in bed with Cecilie Thomson, who is supposed to be teaching him Danish, when he is summoned by M.
The opening sequence is one of the better ones, wherein Bond crashes an arms auction, destroys most of the weapons, and flies off in a Mig with two nukes aboard. There are stunts and action aplenty -- especially the helicopter/motorcycle chase, the remote control car, and martial arts from Yeoh -- and less emphasis on special effects. The title screens are rather interesting this time.
"The World is not Enough" (1999)
Connery and Moore (despite his critics) brought enthusiasm, style, grace, sophistication and energy to the role of James Bond. Pierce Brosnan is more like an LAPD detective whose idea of a wild time is Knott's Berry Farm. Also, neither Goldeneye nor The World is Not Enough are based on a Flemming book. Any competent painter can copy Picasso's style, but not his genius. I am afraid the same is true of people trying to create Bond stories. I am a huge Sophie Marceau fan, but did not find her villainous enough in this role. Others praise the well-rounded character. She definitely is still attractive enough to be a Bond woman. I also had trouble believing Denise Richards as a PhD in nuclear physics and a woman with a past, but she was an appealing character nonetheless. I am still not sure why I dislike Brosnan as Bond so much, but part of it is that he is too young to have that much experience, and he is not British enough. He is also too easily rattled.
The plot, which seems to have been created after the action scenes and special effects were planed, has Marceau, with the help of a man who kidnapped her, then was shot with the worlds slowest moving bullet (it is taking months to work its way through his brain and kill him) stealing weapons grade plutonium, then using it to cause meltdown on a Soviet sub in Istanbul. The idea is to destroy all but her oil pipeline, giving her an oil monopoly. In a sub-plot actually lifted from Flemming, "M" is kidnapped by the bad guys. The title sequences were computer generated and mostly pastels. People praise the score, but I think the band name "Garbage" says it all.
Is it the worst? Possibly. Famke put Goldeneye above The World is not Enough in my opinion.
Scoopy Jr's supplementary rant on "The World is not Enough" (1999)
Currently I'm leaning toward "The World is Not Enough" as the worst Bond. Or should I say the least entertaining.
First let's recap...here are the basic Bond movie elements:
So why was "TWINE" the least entertaining? Because...
As I watched the most recent Bond, all I saw was one elaborate "How will Bond Escape" action sequence after another. Granted, that's part of Bond. But we know Bond! We know he'll escape, and we know he'll get the girl. So at least throw us a bone with the new characters! After all they are the only real distinguishing aspects to any Bond movie. Meanwhile...in "TWINE", our Ultimate Bad Guy is Robert Carlye. His character is evil because was shot in the head and now feels no pain. Plus he is going to die anyway. Come on! That's not really very evil! Where's the desire for world domination? Where is the joy found in humiliating Bond!
Then there was the the whole, let's spend some quality time with M bit. Look, just because Dame Dench as won a few awards doesn't mean I want to see her as a lead in a Bond movie! The character of M is only supposed to show up 3 times in a bond film. Once at the beginning to give Bond the assignment, once to scold him, and a third time at the end to congratulate him. That's it!
Moving on to Sophie Marceau...her screen time was divided almost evenly with Bond and M, so see the last argument. Then we have Denise Richards. Denise, we love you. But seriously, a 27 year old expert on Soviet military nuclear weapons disposal and Soviet nuclear submarine reactors!!! I wanted to buy it, but I just couldn't swallow that pill.
Basically, I wonder if anyone actually read the script first, or did they just start filming the chase scenes, and throw in some dialogue for fun?
Scoopy Sr's proposed outline for the next Bond Movie
I think Brosnan is OK, but these last few films have sucked pretty deep. In fact, MI2 is a much better James Bond film than the real James Bond film. If they would just re-dub it with the names changed, it'd be one of the better ones in the series.
Here is my proposal for the next James Bond film...
CIA agent Jack Wade (Joe Don Baker) goes toe-to-toe against a suave Scottish arms dealer bent on world domination, played by Sean Connery, who has his headquarters directly underneath some of the largest cascades at Iguazu Falls.
Since the final confrontation takes place in Scotland, James Bond makes a cameo appearance to tell Wade that British Intelligence will try not to fuck anything up. Unfortunately, British Agents miss an important rendezvous because they are pasting wood to the dashboard of their cars, and while their screw-up doesn't ruin the mission, it does cause Judy Densch to be dropped into the Russian Tundra, where we see her being torn apart and eaten by Siberian Tigers.