My 2019 Ranking of the Bond Films

Well, friends, there has been an upset. This ranking follows my previous inaugural ranking from 2018.

1. Goldeneye (no change)
2. The Living Daylights (no change)
3. Skyfall (no change) 
4. From Russia With Love (+19!)
5. The Man With The Golden Gun (-1)
6. Tomorrow Never Dies (no change)
7. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (+1)
8. Casino Royale (-1)
9. The Spy Who Loved Me (+1)

10. Spectre (-1)
11. Quantum of Solace (no change)
12. Moonraker (-7)
13. License To Kill (-1)
14. Die Another Day (+1)
15. The World Is Not Enough (+3)
16. Goldfinger (+5)

17. Octopussy (-4)
18. A View To A Kill (-4)
19. Live And Let Die (-3)
20. Never Say Never Again (unofficial) (-3)
21. Casino Royale (1967 spoof) (new)
22. You Only Live Twice (-3)
23. Dr No. (-3)
24. For Your Eyes Only (-2)
25. Thunderball (-1)
26. Diamonds Are Forever. (-1, but still the worst by a long, long way. This movie is poop).


Connery makes a return! On closer inspection, I realised that From Russia With Love has a lot of great stuff in it. It shoots way up the charts into the top third. Goldfinger also, while paced poorly, and badly, badly dated, has lots of stuff in it that is *interesting* to watch or listen to. For example, the ejector seat. The way they shot that car chase where Bond crashes his car because of his own reflection.

Moore has his average shot to heck by dropping Moonraker from a very high spot down to 12. When re-watching it recently, I realised it is only good when you have a lot of people around to laugh at it with. When you watch it on its own, it’s just excruciating. The Man With The Golden Gun, though, I will continue to back! It’s great!

Craig, Dalton, and Lazenby are virtually untouched, but all four of Brosnan’s have been given a boost or remained very high – there is just something so great about the period his films were made. The optimism for the internet and technology in that age of the late-nineties-early-noughts made these films really cool. And Brosnan is just gooooooood to watch. He is a man oiled with just the right amount of cologne to be Bond, and I enjoy him a great deal, even when trying to pull off those awful scripts. I watched a bunch of Bonds lately, capped off with Goldeneye, and it really, really, really is the best damn one. Such a good movie.

Note: The places where the best, middle, and worst thirds break down has been moved slightly.

Note: For comparison, the 1967 Casino Royale unofficial spoof has been added to the list along with the unofficial Never Say Never Again.

Stop Writing Computer Hackers!

I never want to see computer hacking in a movie ever again.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
-Arthur C. Clarke.

I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you’re using here: it didn’t require any discipline to attain it.
-Ian Malcolm.

Computer hacking in movies is so often just magic. Boom, something impossible happened. Who cares? It undermines the human story: that curiosity and bravery are noble traits. It removes struggle. And if you don’t struggle, you don’t truly earn something.

I currently live on an island. When I recently had occasion to visit the mainland, I eagerly took the opportunity to catch a couple of movies I had been desperate to see in theatres: Jurasssic World Fallen Kingdom, and Ocean’s 8 (about whose predecessor I have written at length). I must say while of course I loved JPark and O-8 and I’ll eat them up no matter what in this gutless era of unnecessary sequels, I was quite disappointed with the computer hacking aspects of both. I am so done with computer hacking in films. Contemporary screenwriters have shown themselves utterly unfit to wield that power. Read more of this post

My Inaugural Ranking of the Bond Films

This list is based on a shootout series, whence I paired films and asked, “which would I rather watch?”

The first third is amazing. The middle third are all fine, and so the ranking between them matters a bit less, so long as it’s clear they are all in the muddle. The bottom third I really don’t like to watch much at all, and the ranking of their stinkiness does matter, i.e. I think I’ve seen Diamonds Are Forever all the way through maybe twice in my life and I really, really hate every frame of it.

  1. Goldeneye
  2. The Living Daylights
  3. Skyfall
  4. The Man With The Golden Gun
  5. Moonraker
  6. Tomorrow Never Dies
  7. Casino Royale
  8. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

  9. Spectre
  10. The Spy Who Loved Me
  11. Quantum Of Solace
  12. Licence To Kill
  13. Octopussy
  14. A View To A Kill
  15. Die Another Day
  16. Live And Let Die
  17. Never Say Never Again (unofficial)

  18. The World is Not Enough
  19. You Only Live Twice
  20. Dr. No
  21. Goldfinger
  22. For Your Eyes Only
  23. From Russia With Love
  24. Thunderball
  25. Diamonds Are Forever

Discussion: The Connery films of course are iconic, but frankly, boring. I couldn’t care less about his game of golf with Auric Goldfinger, nor the chitchat in Russia With Love, nor the slooooow scuba in Thunderball. They are dated, and I’d rather watch something else on the whole. In fact, not only that, I think I’d rather not watch them at all, really. I can watch the spectre and goldfinger and volcano lair clips on YouTube if I really want to see some highlights. Now, Tim Dalton’s Living Daylights has always, ALWAYS! been my favourite for too many reasons to name, but in compiling this list I realised that I – just barely – more fondly think of and more broadly grin at the Goldeneye mayhem from my impressionable preteen years. That film’s 90s charm is INVINCIBLE! This effect carries over to Tomorrow Never Dies, (delicious!), but by the time I was 10 years old I could tell World Is Not Enough was crap. Die Another Day (my first Bond seen in cinemas) however I will watch gladly because it goes SO bonkers. He has an invisible car, guys. But then again, I haven’t actually seen it for a while. Moore’s madder mid-seventies jaunts are near the top purely for their goddam bravado; the less quirky ones of his era tend toward the bottom the more they opt for seriousness. Craig has the benefit of all that went before, plus some great writers and directors, resulting in a very respectable outing with all four near the top. And while OHMSS is by no means one of the best films, I think Lazenby is probably the best Bond – yeah, that’s right I said it. He’s the only one I actually believe could do this job in real life. Everybody else is clearly an actor acting in a movie.

Altogether, by average Moore and Craig seem to perform best in my estimation, but I’m going to eyeball it and not actually crunch the numbers. Each Bond (but Connery) has one or two in the top third, so really everybody is a winner. If there is a trend to extrapolate here, perhaps it’s merely that the further they stray from Flemming’s mysogyny and racism, the better I like ‘em.

I look forward to your sure-to-be interesting comments. Andrew.

Who’s Who in “The Prestige”? A Complete (Mental) Breakdown.

The Prestige (2006), directed by Christopher Nolan, is a very complicated movie, primarily because two of the main characters are much, much more than they first appear. Only at the very end do we get any kind of confirmation of the real truth behind the illusion we were presented with throughout the film. This blog post sets out to properly identify and explain, scene by scene, exactly who is who, and remove the mysteries.

Spoiler Warning:

Everything following refers to a massive, massive spoiler in the The Prestige. If you have not yet seen the film, I highly recommend you stop right here, and go watch it first. This film has a big secret that you cannot “un-know” once it’s been spoiled for you, for example like The Sixth Sense, The Usual Suspects, or Fight ClubFrom here onward I am assuming you know the secret. You were warned.

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Ocean’s Twelve EXPLAINED

This post contains spoilers.

I am sick, sick, SICK of people all over the internet talking shit about the fantastically intricate and rewarding experience that is Ocean’s Twelve, the sequel to 2001’s Ocean’s Eleven.

Yes I’m talking to you.

Common accusations levelled by stupid people at Ocean’s Twelve:

  • Just an excuse to get the celebrities back together and sell movie tickets
  • Too many new and/or insignificant characters
  • I didn’t understand what was going on
  • The twist ending makes the whole movie totally pointless

These complaints are all wrong, and everybody who believes them is just too stupid to understand the story. Yes I said it. The movie is genius. YOU are stupid.

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