Thursday, November 29, 2012

Life, The Universe, And Everything

So Thanksgiving has come and gone and it is now onto the holiday season. The time of year where people tend to forget about pretty much everything except for the commercialization of the Christmas holiday. Now some of you may know that one of my best friends as a kid passed away just before thanksgiving. He was the kid I spent the most time with while growing up, so it was naturally very tough for everyone involved. Anyways, I don't want to get too depressing about it. Mostly I just want to remind people of the true meaning of the holidays. I'm not talking the religious meanings as I don't want to be that guy. I'll go with something more down to earth and straightforward. Enjoy your family and your friends. Holidays are a great excuse to get together with those that you care about. Life's too short to let crappy, petty arguments get in the way of relationships with those you care about. And also grrreeaaat food! Enjoy the family home cooked meals really make the holidays worthwhile, especially when you enjoy them with those loved ones.

Soap box aside, things are going well for me. I'm living with Devon in Flagstaff now and it's fantastic! The only real downsides are that I have to look for a job again and that we live on a freshmen girls floor of the Res. Hall she works in, which is odd and loud at times. We've been enjoying relaxing together and watching TV in our spare time. We are currently working through Angel and it's getting into the middle of season 3 and it's really good. We have also watched Sherlock which is fantastic! The BBC really kicked major ass and pulled out all the stops on this show. There's a lot of times where I flash back to the battle of wits scene from The Princess Bride and Benedict Cumberbatch plays Sherlock as well as Jim Parsons plays Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory. Holmes is a fantastic character who has the classic ramblings of how he came to his conclusions and the way they portray his recognition of the clues is fantastic! The portrayals of John Watson, Mycroft Holmes, and Jim Moriarty by Martin Freeman, Mark Gatiss, and Andrew Scott respectively are all top notch and along with the very complex stories pushed this show to the top of my favorite shows list.

Apart from watching TV and filling out job apps, I've also been doing several podcasts as you have probably read about if we're friends on facebook. My next post will be an overview of what goes into doing that. Until then, if you are interested in checking them out there are links on the right side of this page. I do Rogue Arrow Podcast which talks about the CW show Arrow as each episode airs, Mainframe Chronicle where we review a few episodes of the 90s cartoon ReBoot each podcast, and Cinemasters where we talk about movies. We're still working on getting Cinemasters really up and running, but the others are one a more regular basis now that Joey (Mainframe Chronicle cohost) is done working on the election. I was also a guest on the Geek Fights podcast where we discussed which was the best fight in many different movies and comics. That can be found here. It's pretty hilarious so you should definitely check it out! Anyways, that's all for now. Looking forward to the Christmas movie season as Rise of the Guardians, The Hobbit, Les Mis, and Django Unchained all look fantastic.

-Daniel Janes

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Sky Fell

Yesterday I was finally able to go see Skyfall. My one word review would have to be "underwhelming." Now don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this movie greatly and I will get into more detail as to why, but I want to do a review sans spoilers for those who haven't had the opportunity to see it. The best way to describe this movie are that it's a fantastic 50th anniversary celebration of 007. LYT over at Nerdist has a great review where he takes the contrarian point of view. I echo his sentiment that this movie's biggest problem is that is simultaneously trying to complete the reboot/origin that the Craig films set out to do, while also trying to go the Lethal Weapon "Too old for this shit" route. There are many references to Bond and the MI6 itself being outdated. While sitting through the movie at the theatre I had this feeling that something wasn't right throughout. It wasn't until after I thought on it for a day and read Thompson's review that I realized this was the problem. 

All in all it was a good movie with solid action, a story that was pretty good, if not overly original, and a lack of silly gadgets. While not as excellent as Casino Royale, Skyfall is definitely a strong movie and as of right now I will give it a 7 out of 10. 

SPOILERS: Now I will go into specific reasons and examples of the film. So stop reading if you don't want to ruin it for yourself. Sorry for the length, got onto a bit of a rant. 

So the movie begins with a beautiful shot of a blurred silhouette of Bond. He walks towards the camera and into focus with a conveniently placed pin spot on his eyes. At this point I'm thinking to myself, "This is going to be awesome." This was of course before I knew that almost every other scene would have an artistic silhouette shot in it. And before I knew how many obvious references to not only previous Bond films, but also other movies. We find out that an MI6 agent has been killed and Bond and agent Eve are chasing the killer who is in possession of a list of all the MI6 agents in the field. Within minutes we get a pretty quick car chase that leads to a small shoot out, then a mororcycle chase across the rooftops of a bazaar in Istanbul (Not Constantinople). Shortly thereafter Bond is on a train chasing the mercenary, Patrice. Eve follows on road in the company jeep. The fight on the train is the first blatant reference to classic Bond as there have been many train fights since From Russia With Love. I don't remember ever having a fight on top of the train though, so in that sense this is a first for Bond movies. Bond gets in an excavator to protect himself since he's out of bullets, but he gets shot in the shoulder (Convenient plot point for later). We see the scene of Bond using the excavator to hold the cars together while Bond can jump to the next car before the excavator pulls off the back of the car. Great moment and a beautiful shot. I don't mind that they use construction equipment again (used in Casino Royale in a similar fashion). 

Here is where the chase goes on the roof. The train goes through a tunnel, as has been seen in almost any train roof fight scene. Patrice finds spare piece of chain just sitting on top of the train (what?) and starts fighting with it. Eve runs out of road and pulls out a gun to take a shot, as the list is top priority and cannot get out of their hands. Bond and Patrice are fist fighting in close combat and Eve is asking M if she should take the shot. After an intense while, after talking through far too many options, she says to shoot. Eve shoots as the two break apart. Eve hits Bond and not Patrice, so he is considered dead and the list is lost. 

M should never have trusted Eve's ability to shoot the right man on top of a moving train over Bond's ability to beat the man in a fistfight. This is acknowledged, but tossed aside quickly after Bond returns. Anyways, Bond is presumed dead but is actually just hanging out with some babes and some booze. After seeing a CNN report on an attack of the MI6 headquarters, both hacking and an explosion. Bond goes back to see M and is told he has to pass the tests again before he can go out on active duty. Bond performs badly in all the tests as he is being briefed by Bill Tanner M's aide. He cuts some shrapnel out of his shoulder that is used to identify Patrice and after an odd meeting with Gareth Mallory, M and Tanner where Mallory doubts if Bond is ready then M lies and says that he is ready and passed the tests. When M and Tanner are alone M admits that Bond hadn't passed any of the tests. This is a conflict of character. If Bond is so highly thought of by M, why did she have Eve take the shot? In the first meeting of Bond and M she implies that he's the best. 

After a meeting with Q where he gets a gun encoded to his palm print and a radio tracker, Bond hunts Patrice down with a tip from the CIA and goes to Shanghai. He follows him up a skyscraper and watches as he assassinates someone. They then fight and Bond pushes him out of the window. He then finds a gambling chip that leads him to Macau. The scenes in Shanghai and Macau are classic Bond moments. We have gambling, drinking, fighting, and near death experiences. Had the entire movie been like this it would have been much cooler! After meeting with Sévérine and having drinks and a fight, he heads to her boat that will take her to Silva. Here is where we meet Javier Bardin as one of the best Bond villains to date. He is an ex MI6 agent who has gone rogue and blames M for his misfortunes (see Goldeneye and The World Is Not Enough). He is flamboyant, and menacing and creepy in the most excellent way. He has taken over a whole island and is hacking things around the world from there. 

Bond activates the radio, Silva tells him how M lied to him about the test scores and tries to convince him of her badness. In another solid, tense scene Silva has Bond try to shoot a shot of scotch off Sévérine's head to see if his aim has improved. He misses, so Silva shoots her dead. Bond takes out the 5 guards or so then the cavalry arrives and they take Silva back to the new, underground headquarters of the MI6. After some exposition, M goes to a meeting with the PM where they discuss how badly M is doing with the list getting out and going public so their agents are getting killed. Q is hacking Silva's computer and too late realizes that he just opened up the MI6 server for Silva's computer. He escapes and disguises himself as a cop and heads to find M. 

Bond arrives in time to stop the assassination and get M out. They head out of the city and go up north to Bond's family estate, Skyfall where they meet Kincade, the gamekeeper, and start to set up to defend against them. Following the trail Bond had Q set up. A massive fight ensues and culminates with Bond throwing a knife into Silva's back and then having to watch M die from a gunshot to the side. Back in London Bond talks with Eve and they go into the office. Eve introduces herself as Eve Moneypenny and Bond goes in to talk to Gareth Mallory who is the new M. 

Now here's the problem. On the one hand, they are trying to introduce us to Moneypenny and the new M. But they get Bond's hidden Aston Martin complete with ejector seat and machine guns in the headlights from Goldfinger et. al. You can't reboot something and homage it's predecessors at the same time! it doesn't work. They confused the chronology of all the Bond films by doing so. This is the same problem with the X-Men film continuity, they tried to redo it, but then had the main character from the other films make a cameo. I think it was a mistake for them to kill M. It works okay for the story, but it feels that they just wanted to get a new, male M. I liked the quips between Bond and Q, "What do you want, an exploding pen?" Those played well. I honestly think that had they not killed M, this movie would have worked a whole lot better. It would not have felt as much like the continued reboot as it would just be introducing Q and Moneypenny as opposed to recreating the entire supporting cast. If they recast Felix Leiter (who was absent in Skyfall) in the next film, I will be very sad. Another problem is that several times they mention Bond being old, yet this is really the 2nd mission he is on, as Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace are so closely related. The final showdown at the Skyfall ranch feels very Home Alone with their setting up. It tuns out to be a great scene overall and includes an underwater fight (another repetitive event from the classic films). 

All in all it was a very fun, amusing movie and the biggest problem I had with Skyfall was my high expectation for the movie. After the new direction of the Craig films, I was super happy with the direction and the trailers made this look as if it was going in the same direction. I like that they tried to continue that path and I love that they homaged the classics, but I hate that they tried to do both, without something to make it make sense. Mostly, it was silly of me to expect it to meet my hopes for it. It is a Bond movie after all. And a fun one at that, go see it if you haven't.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Bond Re-watch Recap.

Well I have finished my James Bond marathon re-watch and Skyfall has come out. I will do a review of it once I get the chance to go see it. The first thing to note is that I am pretty sure I have seen all the bond movies all the way through before this, some more than others. Any mention I give there is from the podcast For Your Ears Only. A great podcast where 2 British guys talking about each of the Bond films. It's a great podcast and you should check it out here! As a quick disclaimer, I have seen the films, but I have never read a book, something I intend to remedy before the 24th movie comes out. Anyways, as Linkin Park says, It starts with one:

1. Dr. No - The first time I recall seeing this one was at my grandparents' place in Arizona. Now I may have seen it before, but that was the first memory of it. I remember being creeped out by his replacement hands. Anyways, this film starts many iconic Bond staples. The gorgeous Bond girls, the "Bond...James Bond.", the gun shooting at the screen at the start of the film. While I find the plot of this movie silly (Who really believes in dragons?) I can pass it off as the naïveté and lack of experience with machines and vehicles. We get introduced to Sean Connery as the smooth spy who has a way with the ladies and with weapons, as well as the first mention of SPECTRE (SPecial Executive of Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion). Spectre is a playing factor in the next several movies, as well as M and Felix Leiter (The head of the British Secret Service and Bond's often ally in the American CIA). Likes: Definitely Honey Rider, the prototype of one of the greatest roles ever, the bond girl. Connery as Bond is iconic as most people will say. The introduction of the staples of Bond, including the legendary theme by Monty Norman. Dislikes: Plot isn't the best thing ever, but it's a solid action movie, but the final fight scene is pathetically short and not very well thought out.

Rating: 7 of 10. as it started the franchise and according to the Formby Corollary (See Geek Fights Podcast), the franchise wouldn't exist without this film.

2. From Russia With Love - This film is one that I don't remember in general from my childhood. As I watched, some of the scenes seemed to ring a bell. This story takes place mostly in Turkey and we get a lot of great scenery shots. This movie also introduces the pre-credits sequence where they show a bit of a preview almost that has a little to do with the story of the film, as well as the stylized credit sequence with naked dancing women and the theme song of the movie. We get a better view into the evil of SPECTRE and introduced to the number one man Ernst Stavros Blofeld who exists for several movies.  We also get a brief introduction of Q and the James Bond gadgets. We get briefcase that has tear gas cartridges, a rifle, ammo, money, and a throwing knife. Bond uses all of these and they come in handy a lot at the end during the first of many fights on a train. Likes: This one was sort of a fresh watch for me as I remembered very little of it prior to watching. It was nice to see a solid Bond film that was fairly low on the ridiculous level, although there was a periscope for the MI6 to spy on the Russians. While the plot of trying to get someone to start a war with Russia is over done now, it feels quite organic in this film. Dislikes: There are a few scenes that seem unnecessary, such as when they go to a friend's gypsy camp because it's safe and the Russians show up and a fight ensues, yet the SPECTRE agent is protecting Bond with his sniping. Slightly strange but doesn't damage the movie at all.

Rating: 8.5 of 10. Strong story, solid acting. Unfortunately squeezed between the first and one of the most iconic films.

3. Goldfinger - This is inarguably one of the most popular and iconic Bond films and villains. This is where we get a few great lines: "No, Mr. Bond I expect you to die!" as well as the classic girl completely covered in gold as a form of murder. Now Bond spends most of this film in captivity of Goldfinger. Given that, there were many, many timest in which Goldfinger could have killed Bond and only one potential time that it's good he didn't. This is why I don't think he is a very good villain at all. Had he just offed Bond at any of these times, he couldn't seduce Pussy Galore into helping out. The plot is okay at best. Irradiating the American gold supply so that it becomes useless would be devastating to the world economy and would definitely cause some chaos. If Goldfinger had a bit of brains, he could have pulled it off easily. Likes: Definitely has some of the most brilliant, iconic lines from the franchise as well as one of the best henchmen in Oddjob. Dislikes: Goldfinger is a pretty awful villain when you think about it. A few minor plot issues but not too damaging.

Rating: 8.5 of 10. Certainly an iconic Bond film, but definitely lacking on the villain end. However add a few points for Oddjob.

4. Thunderball - This is certainly an interesting film. It can easily be argued that this is the film that started the ridiculous trends in the films. The gadgets are crazier, the stunts are weirder, and the fight scenes are under water-er. Yes, this is the first of a lot of Bond films that have to do with water. I found it interesting how many of the movies take place on/in/under an ocean somewhere, and watching them all in a row definitely makes that apparent. This one takes place in the Bahamas so it's definitely a gorgeous film in the scenery department. The pre title sequence has Bond taking out a SPECTRE agent after the agents own funeral as he was disguised as his own widow. Bond kills him then makes an escape by donning a jetpack and flying down the block to a getaway car. Definitely the silliest scene to date. Likes: The underwater fight scenes were pretty cool as well as the gadgets. Dislikes: Once again the villain is beat only with the help of a seduced Bond girl. While I'm all for women having power and whatnot, I find it weird when Bond doesn't triumph.

Rating: 7.5 of 10. While still a strong action movie, there were too many ridiculous things that the Connery era wasn't suited for and so it didn't work for me.

5. You Only Live Twice - This movie starts with James Bond apparently getting killed. We find out later it's just to throw off SPECTRE as they know his appearance by now. Bond goes to Japan to investigate some disappearing spaceships that keep disappearing. The Americans blame the Soviets due to the cold war. Bond "turns Japanese" through prosthetics and then trains to be a ninja. We get introduced to Blofeld portrayed by Donald Pleasance. He is a pretty iconic villain and gets parodied quite a bit (Dr. Evil, Dr. Claw, Dr. Robotnik, Giovanni, etc...). The story is very topical and works very well. Bond only gets caught right before a ninja invasion of a SPECTRE base rather than being held captive for the majority of the film. Likes: This is Blofeld's best film and he has a volcano base. Bond is on the top of his game here and it leads to a solid film. Dislikes: Bond manages to find the self destruct button in order to win this battle, which is a little Deus Ex Machina for me and him turning Japanese is odd, but the rest of the movie works.

Rating: 8 of 10. Bond is on his A game in this film and the villain is very well played by Pleasance.

6. On Her Majesty's Secret Service - I am torn on this film. it is one of the most closely adapted films from the novels. As such the plot behind it is great. This film marks the one and only appearance of  George Lazenby as 007. Bond disguises himself and for the majority of the film is in the Piz Gloria resort where Blofeld is brainwashing many women to distribute bacterial warfare to kill the crops and livestock. Bond meets Tracy di Vicenzo here and they are eventually married after Bond destroys the Virus production lab. Likes: The plot is very solid and it's interesting to see the womanizing spy actually fall in love. Blofeld reveals himself to not be dead by showing up and killing Bond's wife in a drive by, thus causing Bond to be emotionally torn up throughout the rest of the franchise (Until the reboot). Dislikes: The majority of the time at Piz Gloria, Bond is pretending to be Sir Hilary Bray. During this time, his voice is dubbed over by the actor who played Bray. This bugs the crap out of me. Just have the actor disguise his voice. It would be so much better and a lot more realistic. Also, Bond and Blofeld meet face to face in the previous film. The only explanation for Blofeld to not recognize Bond is that he was "Japanese" when they met.

Rating: 6 of 10. Great plot hurt severely by poor acting and a poor choice to dub Bond's voice.

7. Diamonds Are Forever - Boy oh boy. This one is a treat. Definitely the worst out of Connery's legit Bond films. The reason for this is they raised the campiness level for this one so that it was hard to take seriously. There's a Bond girl called Plenty O'Toole. The evil plot is to make a laser capable of destroying nuclear weapons from space that's strengthened by diamonds. Silly movie overall. Likes: One piece of camp that works is when Bond is trying to hide the control tape from the satellite, so he gives it to Tiffany Case who proceeds to switch it back. Realistic possibility thats fairly amusing to see. I also like when Bond is facing apparently 2 Blofelds and uses the cat to find out which one is real. Unfortunately it is not the right cast and as such not the right villain. Dislikes. Moon Buggy chase scene. MOON BUGGY CHASE SCENE!

Rating: 4 of 10. Awfully campy yet still Bond and was amusing as a kid so it still gets some points.

8. Live and Let Die - Ah yes. This is one that I really wanted to watch again. I remember enjoying it as a kid, but I didn't remember much about the film. I think I was mostly fascinated with the cajun feel to the film. This one takes place in the Caribbean and New Orleans. The plot of a heroin monopoly in the States is a bit ridiculous, but it's the Moore era. He can get away with that kind of thing. This movie has some pretty cool henchmen; Baron Samedi, Tee Hee and Whisper. This is a solid example of Bond films reflecting the times as this was during the era of Blaxploitation films and was very much influenced as them. There's a pretty cool chase scene through the swamps of Louisiana. It's very cool to see, but we are introduced to J. W. Pepper. A comic relief sheriff that can be seen as a predecessor to Sheriff Buford T. Justice of Smokey and the Bandit fame. While a hilarious archetype, it doesn't help this movie at all and is around almost long enough for it to hurt. Likes: The overall feel of the whole movie as well as the voodoo aspects here and there. Dislikes: Sheriff Pepper and Bond running across a line of crocodiles to escape.

Rating: 7 of 10. Plot is okay at best, but the feel of the movie overcomes the silliness involved.

9. The Man With The Golden Gun - A movie that from the title is a set up to pit Bond against Scaramanga who assassinates people for a million dollars using a golden gun. They are both very good at what they do. They share a professional respect of sorts for each other and the movie culminates in a pretty awesome shootout in Scaramanga's wild west themed shoot out obstacle course type thing, like a laser tag court. This is a pretty iconic film in the franches, but it seems a bit unnecessary. From the title onward, the film leads toward a showdown between the two. The plot has no real reason for them to do so. Their confrontation seems convoluted to an extent that it's just weird for them to get there. It must be mentioned that Scaramanga is played phenomenally well by Christopher Lee. This man has one of the most impressive resumes ever as he is a bond villain, a LOTR villain, and a Star Wars villain. Not somebody you'd want to cross. Likes: There are some really cool fight scenes, especially in the funhouse. Nick Nack is an interesting henchman and definitely fun, especially when I was a kid. Dislikes: Lacking in the plot area, but not too bad. J.W. Pepper makes a small appearance. He is comic relief, but it doesn't really work.

Rating: 7.5 of 10. While the plot is totally contrived, the action is good enough to overcome it.

10. The Spy Who Loved Me - This movie has probably the best pre credits scene, a ski chase scene that ends with Bond jumping off a cliff and deploying a parachute with the Union Jack symbol on it as the chute opens up, the Bond theme plays. This movie has Bond fighting a man who has created an underwater city that he plans to survive on after instigating a global nuclear war. This is the first appearance of Jaws, the giant henchman with metal teeth and seemingly superhuman strength. He makes a good fight against Bond as it forces him to out smart the man instead of just using overt strength. The Soviets and British work together by sending Bond and agent Amasova (Triple X) to retrieve the plans stolen by Jaws. Somewhere along the way, Bond has killed Triple X's lover and she vows revenge. After taking out the vile Stromberg, she forgives Bond and they copulate in an escape pod from the Atlantis. Likes: Very excellent cat and mouse game between the spies and Jaws. Solid action and plot, even if it's cliche a bit. Dislikes: The cheesy making up between Triple X and Bond after she swears to kill him. I understand it's to fulfill the womanizing nature of the character.

Rating: 8 of 10. Solid movie, but nothing that makes it stand too far above others.

11. Moonraker - A low point in the Bond franchise. Although it remains one of the highest grossing to date, it was merely a response of the sci fi boom in the 1970's. This movie has it all, a ridiculous murder attempt in a g force training gyroscope, a poorly engineered murder attempt while hunting in a wide open field, an obnoxious fight scene with Jaws on top of a pair of cable cars that go up a mountain, and it concludes with a laser gun fight on a space station. Never mind that the plot is essentially the same as The Spy Who Loved Me except Drax is sending people to space to repopulate after he kills every one instead of underwater. Likes: There's very little to like about this one, but I totally loved the Star Wars-esque fight when I was younger. Dislikes: Just about everything else. Especially Jaws falling in love.

Rating: 2 of 10. Not sure it deserves both of those, but it has nostalgia going for it.

12. For Your Eyes Only - Where Moonraker took the camp to a whole new level, FYEO went the opposite way. It took a much more gritty realistic approach and had a bit of a revenge plot to it. The opening scene shows Bond killing a man who is unnamed but is hinted at being Blofeld who killed Bond's wife earlier. This one isn't overtly memorable. The villain has stolen the ATAC which is used to  communicate with the Royal Navy's fleet of Polaris subs and tries to sell it to the soviets. Likes: As I said, there's not a lot memorable here. The enemy cliff-side base (St. Cyril's monastery) is pretty cool looking. Dislikes: Bond gets saved by one of his helpers in the big climactic scene, and he only succeeds by throwing the device off a cliff.

Rating: 5 of 10. Nothing memorable, but not a bad film.

13. Octopussy - Some people refer to Roger Moore as the clown version of Bond due to the campy nature of his films. In this one he actually dresses as one for a while. In this film, Bond is sent to investigate the death of agent 009 as well as a missing Faberge egg. He manages to switch the egg with a fake one at an auction and ends up pissing off the man who actually buys it. He discovers that the buyer is working with a renegade Soviet general, Orlov. Bond finds a cult of women thieves led by a woman called Octopussy. She is in league with Kahn, the buyer and is helping smuggle out priceless artifacts. Bond finds that Orlov has betrayed Octopussy and everyone by switching some diamonds with a bomb in a circus that's going to perform and then explode at a US Air Force base in West Germany. Since they are crossing the border in the train with the bomb, no one would suspect the Soviets and would assume that it was just a malfunction of one of the American bombs. Bond disguises himself as a clown to get past the guards and find the station chief. He deactivates the bomb and Bond and Octopussy and her cult go back to take out Kahn and his people. Likes: Octopussy's group is pretty badass and I like that this starts with a 00 agent getting killed. Dislikes: Bond as a clown, the entire circus scene climax is pretty well done overall, but it takes the Americans way too long to release the captured Bond after they realize he's telling the truth about the bomb. One of Kahn's henchmen has a chainsaw yoyo which is pretty awful.

Rating: 7.5 of 10. Solid film. A few things that I would change, but very enjoyable over all.

14. A View to a Kill - This is the movie that I remember liking the most from my childhood. This movie has Christopher Walken as the villain, Max Zorin. And he is awesome! There are a few moments he has that are pretty bad, but it's mostly due to moderate dialogue. His plan is to monopolize the microchip market after destroying silicon valley with an earthquake. The action in this movie is solid as well as the overall story. Zorin's henchwoman, May Day is pretty awesome at what she does and is loyal to the end. Well until Zorin leaves her for dead in the mine where the bomb is to go off. She takes the bomb out of the mine and then sacrifices herself to keep the brake on the cart off. Bond manages to grab hold of the mooring rope of the airship that Zorin is escaping on. They make it to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge and commence to have a very cool, yet ridiculous fight. Likes: There's a ridiculous car chase where Bond steals a car and chases the parachuting May Day from the Eiffel Tower and his car gets chopped in half vertically and the back half is taken off. It's incredibly cheesy, but I loved it when I was a kid. Dislikes: Zorin would have won had he not abandoned May Day. The one mistake he made as the villain.

Rating: 8 of 10. Roger Moore goes out with an excellent movie with an excellent villain.

15. The Living Daylights - Onto the most underrated Bond in my opinion. This movie is excellent! Bond is sent to investigate the systematic killing of American and British spies. I don't remember much of anything from this movie. I'm not even sure I had seen this one before watching it here. This one is full of many different betrayals and trickery. There is a bit of revenge involved as we see 004 get killed in the beginning sequence. There is a big conspiracy behind the assassinations and the man behind it is framing Bond's soon to be ally. They fake Pushkins assassination so they can trap Koskov in his scheme. His partner who was using embezzled KGB funds to buy opium gets killed by Bond and he crashes the plane carrying the Opium. Likes: I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Dislikes. The shooting a guy through a pipeline was odd, but not damaging to the movie.

Rating: 8.5 of 10. While not having much wrong with it, there's also not a whole lot that stands out.

16. Licence to Kill - This movie opens with Bond attending Felix Leiter's wedding, shortly followed by his new wife getting killed and Felix getting severely hurt by a shark. Bond is forbidden from going after Sanchez, who is responsible. So he resigns and goes out on a revenge mission. That's the plot of the movie: Bond gets revenge. It is very gritty and intense. Bond skillfully plays Sanchez against his partners in crime and has them killing each other off until he gets to a standoff with Sanchez himself. Likes: I definitely like Dalton's grittier Bond especially as he takes revenge. A very excellent film. Dislikes: Very few. Sanchez kills a man by cutting the pressure in a pressurized room and he inflates and explodes. Bond also pulls some ridiculous stunts using a semi truck which are absolutely silly.

Rating: 9.5 of 10. Fantastic movie. Great to see Bond on an all out revenge plan that's motivated by the attempted murder of such a lovable character.

17. Goldeneye - This is a classic. Probably the story I know best due to the ever popular video game. The movie is a very solid one overall. The story is great, a supposedly dead 006 becomes Janus, the head of a crime syndicate. He uses General Ourumov of the Russian Space Division to steal the keys and controls to the Goldeneye Satellite. We meet Felix Leiter's replacement, Jack Wade. Bond follows the leads as usual and we see one of the greatest Bond chase scenes, where Bond is in a tank trying to rescue Natalya, that ends with him blowing up a train and saving her as Alec (Janus) and his henchwoman Xenia escape via helicopter. The movie ends with an awesome fight on a giant satellite dish antenna in the caribbean. Likes: This movie is incredibly memorable due to the countless hours of childhood spent playing the game. We are introduced to Dame Judi Dench as M and she is fantastic! Her small stature doesn't matter as she still commands plenty of respect from everyone in the room. The performances all around were quite good in this film. Boris is quite amusing with his "I am invincible!" catchphrase. Dislikes: Not a lot bad with this movie. It mostly just made me want to pull out the N64 and dust it off to play the game.

Rating: 9 of 10. Definitely the strongest first movie of the Bonds so far. Probably due to the recasting of the supporting characters and the overall new direction taken.

18. Tomorrow Never Dies - The first memory I have of this one is in a hotel room watching it pay-per-view with my family. This plot is reminiscent of The Spy Who Loved Me. The difference is Elliot Carver is trying to start a war to incite a Chinese revolution so that he can get a better broadcast empire, as opposed to making a master race. That being said, Johnathon Pryce's performance as Carver is fantastic, and probably the best part of this movie. There's plenty of solid action scenes as to be expected from a Bond movie, including a scene where Bond and the Chinese spy working the case are being chased on a motorcycle by a helicopter while being handcuffed together. Likes: Most memorable scene for me was when Bond uses his remote controlled BMW to take out a bunch of guys. Also, the drill they use to destroy ships is quite awesome. Dislikes: While I thoroughly enjoyed the idea of a stealth boat when I was younger, I now recognize how ridiculous it is.

Rating: 8 of 10. Pretty great, but not quite as good as Goldeneye.

19. The World Is Not Enough - Another movie with a game that I played a lot. This is an interesting case. I remember not enjoying it very much, but as I watched it this time, I was very happy with it. The opening chase sequence after an explosion hits the MI6 headquarters. This movie has a pretty good twist in it as Elektra turns out to be in league with her previous kidnapper. The performance from Robert Carlyle as Renard is fantastic as usual. We get a nice call back to Goldeneye as Valentin Zukovsky plays a part in helping Bond. Likes: Performance from Carlyle is excellent! M gets captured and we get to see her brilliance as she figures out a way to turn on the tracking device she has. Dislikes: Elektra's schemes are just devices of her severe daddy issues. There are a few scenes that are pretty odd as well (i.e. the pipeline bomb defusing scene, the fight with the tree trimming helicopter, and pretty much the whole scene with Elektra after capturing Bond.) And whose idea was it to cast Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist?

Rating: 7.5 of 10. Fun movie, but has some problems that make it not the best.

20. Die Another Day - I must say that the best part of this movie is that I think it's the first one I saw in theatres. This is definitely on the low end of Bond movies. That being said, it starts off with a pretty cool hovercraft chase scene in the opening sequence. There were definitely issues with it, but it was a cool way to do something new. The idea of having a satellite that fires concentrated sunlight to be used as a laser kind of thing is quite silly. Not a lot to say about this one. Likes: The aforementioned hovercraft chase and a really awesome cat fight towards the end. Dislikes: Most everything else about the film. Bond is captured within minutes and then tortured for 18 months or so before M makes a trade to get him out. This not only seems out of character for M, but is also boring as far as story goes. Bond should be able to get out of that situation by himself. There's a fight scene that starts with a cool fencing match. It gets out of hand and turns into a sword fight that travels around the mansion.

Rating: 2.5 of 10. A point for Judy Dench, a point for John Cleese, and half a point for the cat fight.

21. Casino Royale - A reboot of sorts. A fantastic movie all around. A new look at every thing and a completely new cast except for M. Judy Dench is too great as M to be replaced. While we don't meet a Moneypenny or a Q, we do have a new Bond who is fantastic, a new Felix Leiter who is almost perfect in the role, and a new take on Bond girls. Vesper Lynd shows up and there's a battle of wits between her and Bond. The opening sequence is a glorious flashback to Bond's first 2 kills that are needed before becoming a 00 agent. This is where we start to see the gritty brutality of the new version of Bond. We see another great action scene after the credit sequence where Bond is chasing a man through Madagascar to an embassy and then blowing it up. Bond proceeds to go to the Bahamas and Miami before going to compete in a tournament in Montenegro. His objective is to win all the money and beat Le Chiffre so that he has no place to turn to except the British government since his employers are expecting their money. He loses, but buys back in after being spotted by Leiter and eventually takes all the money. After being tortured some, Bond wakes up and goes with Vesper to Venice to vacation for a while. Bond realizes that Vesper is stealing the money and leaving him alone which leads to a pretty awesome fight scene in a floating building that is now sinking into the canals. Vesper ends up dying, leaving Bond distraught. Likes: Almost everything about this movie is very well done. Taken in a nice, fresh direction that is reminiscent of Dalton, but taking it to the next level. The performances all around this film are excellent. Dislikes: The movie is a little long, but I'm not sure anything really could have been cut out without hindering the film. There is one scene where Bond is showing his humanity and sorrow for putting Vesper through the violence where they are in their clothes in the shower and Bond sucks her fingers. It's just weird.

Rating: 10 of 10. Not quite a perfect movie, but it exceeded all expectations and renewed the entire franchise.

22. Quantum of Solace - Now this movie got a lot of bad rap and I'm not sure why

I think it may be because it's pretty much the second part of the two part story of how Bond becomes the James Bond we know and love. Which it definitely is, but I think they both work separately as their own story. This movie is definitely different than other classics in that it picks up like an hour after Casino Royale. The plot of this movie is the villain (Dominic Greene) is damming up aquifers in Bolivia and then staging a coup d'état and selling the water to the new government to make a fortune. Most importantly, this movie introduces us to the Quantum organization. Quantum is like a modern take on the classic SPECTRE, a worldwide organization with many people in powerful positions all over the world. All in all this is a solid action film and it brings the rebooted story to a point where we can have new Bond movies that are more like the classics. Likes: Solid action scenes. We see the CIA being corrupt, except for Felix who is helpful to Bond. The finale is Bond and Camille invade Greene's compound with a few pistols, which is badass and totally something a classic Bond would do. This is also a revenge tale like Licence to Kill since Bond is going after Vesper's killer and finally catches him at the end. Dislikes: The Bond girls aren't too exciting. The better one in my opinion gets killed off way to quickly.

Rating: 8 of 10. Not the best, but still a great movie that's fun to watch.
Favorite movies overall:

So that's that. From the trailer, Skyfall looks to be a fantastic movie. It may even be my favorite, but we shall see. I'm wanting to do a recap of favorite moments and such, but there's so many so we will see how it goes. 

Here's the order of how I rank the films.
1. Casino Royale
2. Licence to Kill
3. Goldeneye
4. From Russia With Love
5. Goldfinger
6. Living Daylights
7. The Spy Who Loved Me
8. You Only Live Twice
9. Tomorrow Never Dies
10. Quantum of Solace
11. A View to a Kill
12. The Man With The Golden Gun
13. The World Is Not Enough
14. Thunderball
15. Octopussy
16. Dr. No
17. Live and Let Die
18. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
19. For Your Eyes Only
20. Diamonds Are Forever
21. Die Another Day
22. Moonraker

Sean Connery was a great Bond as he was the first. His portrayal was excellent as the suave spy who was good in a fight and in bed. He earned his place as the iconic 007.

George Lazenby was okay. I think his movie would have been a lot better had his voice not been dubbed over for the majority of the film. 
Roger Moore took the suave side and the light-hearted joker side of Connery's Bond and played it up a lot Moore (haha) to the point where he becomes the sort of clown of Bonds.
Timothy Dalton was the 80s version of a down to earth, hardened Bond who had the ability to score with the ladies and come up with the quips. 
Pierce Brosnan played an amalgamation of the previous Bonds. Makes a pretty good one and the image I was most experienced with due to the Goldeneye game. 
Daniel Craig plays the modern version of the gritty realistic Bond. Definitely a great version. May be my favorite, but I'm witholding judgement until Skyfall. 

Bond Staples throughout the years: 

Sexual tension with Moneypenny
Quip exchanging with Q
Train fight scenes
Underwater scenes
Car/boat chase scenes
The hot Bond girls, usually one who dies midway through and one who is present at the end fight.
Q's gadgets that often act as a deus ex machina for when Bond is in trouble. 
Bond often gets captured and uses gadgets or the villains stupidity to escape. There are probably more, but I can't think of them at the moment.

My favorite Bond gadget is probably the Little Nellie in You Only Live Twice. A tiny helicopter that's super compact and can be transported easily. 

My favorite scheme would have to be from Live and Let Die where Kanaga plans to make a monopoly on Heroin in the US. 

Favorite theme is a bit tougher. I love the most recent two, but Goldfinger is iconic. Goldeneye is great as well. Live and Let Die is most likely the most popular in the zeitgeist of the last almost 40 years. I think the one I enjoy the most is View to a Kill. It's just so catchy and upbeat. 

Anyways, it's been a great 3 weeks of Bond. Cannot wait to see the new one. I will be back soon with other posts. Thanks for reading!

I'll leave you with this video. It's a mashup of all the movies. Taking 5 minute clips from each movie in order. I haven't watched it yet as it's about 2 hours, but I hear it almost makes a good narrative.