8 10 12
This film is easily the most fun Bond film of the Connery catalog. The first half is flat-out terrific, with an iconic, indelible moment popping up roughly every five minutes. This film features maybe the only attempt to kill Bond via some absurdly elaborate method that actually makes sense — at least in terms of how Bond survives. This film contains arguably the best villain, arguably the best Bond Girl, arguably the best theme song, arguably the best henchman, and unquestionably the best car. In terms of Bond movies, this was as good as it got for a long time.
The Spy Who Loved Me
7:30 10 12:30
This film is often hailed as the peak of the Roger Moore years. For me, it would have been best to set the franchise on hiatus during that period. Nonetheless, it is the best entry in Roger Moore’s run. Jaws’ antics and Ken Adams’ unbelievable set pieces are somewhat inspiring, but otherwise, this is middle-of-the-road Bond. Admittedly, however, many see some excellence in it, and it certainly has one of the more appealing Bond Girls. Pitting the “forces” of Britain against the veritable war-machine of the USSR is unbelievable, but intriguing.
7 10 1
Aside from trying to be a Christopher Nolan film, playing up a sappy backstory, and going full-out Freudian at the end, Skyfall is undeniably the best Bond picture we’ve had in at least two decades. The Shanghai set piece is one of the year’s best, thanks to the digital cinematography of Roger Deakins (best known for his work with the Coen brothers). Javier Bardem makes an amply cartoonish villain that, if mildly forgettable, is certainly performed with commitment. Daniel Craig is proving to be a spectacular Bond, providing a sneaky meta-commentary on the aging franchise.
7:30 10 12:30
In terms of the video game, GoldenEye gets five gold stars and a handshake. Each of our childhoods is probably populated by memories of that all-time great first-person shooter. But does anyone actually remember the movie? It was Pierce Brosnan’s first take on the role and his most admirable — but that’s not saying much, since he was a fairly dismal 007. Anyway, there are always free points for any film involving Alan Cumming.