Saturday, November 26, 2005

Blog. James Blog.

Spike Television has carried on the mantle of its predecessor TNN, and is broadcasting a Bond-a-thon over the holiday weekend. It's back-to-back Bond for four days, save a few Three Stooges episodes and the standard litany of overnight infomercials.

All this TV left me shaken, not stirred, but not so much that I couldn't put together a list of Bond superlatives.

Best Bond. Any discussion about Bond begins with who was the best. I choose Roger Moore, anathema to Sean Connery fans I know, but Moore was helped by having the best scripts (Octopussy and the bayou tour de force Live and Let Die come to mind right away.) So it's Moore, Connery, then Pierce Brosnan. George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton bring up the rear. I can give Dalton a pass, though, because he was the first post-Cold War Bond, and didn't really have anybody to fight.

Best Villian. Speaking of which, Bond is only as good as his villian, and nobody did it better than Christopher Walken in A View to a Kill. Far scarier than the Ernst Blofeld character on which Dr. Evil is based, creepy crazy Chris Walken still gives NaturalBlog the heebie jeebies when I think about his plot to flood a fault line and trigger a massive earthquake in San Francisco. Walken's Zorin character, by the way, died in a tragic dirigible accident.

Walken had the help of Grace Jones in A View to a Kill, though she doesn't even crack the Top 10 of Best sidekicks. This is a tossup between Odd Job from Goldfinger and the recurring Jaws character. I can't pick between them, so you'll have to imagine a fight between the two to determine who's best.

Best Bond Girl. I believe I'm partial to Jill St. John as Tiffany Case in the forgettable Diamonds are Forver. Honorable mention to Jane Seymour. (As Solitaire in Live and Let Die, for providing an "I didn't realize she was a Bond girl moment.") Rounding out the top three is Denise Richards as Christmas Jones in The World is Not Enough.

That's a nice segway to Best Pun. Bond has a million, but I think I have to cite the love scene at the end of The World is Not Enough when he tells Dr. Jones, "I thought Christmas only came once a year." Classic.

Just a few more. Best stunt. Probably the boat chase in Live and Let Die, though the ski chase scenes in Living Daylights and For Your Eyes Only are up there.

Worst Special Effect. I think I have to nominate Moonraker, not one special effect, but the whole freaking movie. Just awful.

Best theme. You may not realize many Bond themes met some modicum of commercial success, most of them eponymous with the movie. Wings's Live and Let Die , Carly Simon's Nobody Does it Better, View to a Kill by Duran Duran. Madonna was in on the action in the last Bond movie, Die Another Day. But the best, by far, is Shirley Bassey singing Goldfinger. "Golden words he will pour in your ear, But his lies can't disguise what you fear, For a golden girl knows when he's kissed her, It's the kiss of death from Mister Goldfinger." Nice.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention Homer Simpson's spoof of the Goldfinger theme when he changes his name to Max Power:
Max Power, he's the man who's name you'd love to touch! But you mustn't touch! His name sounds good in your ear, but when you say it, you mustn't fear! 'Cause his name can be said by anyone!

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Anonymous Yer sister said...

I notice you don't mention the best Bond movie. I'd say From Russia with Lov. Even if you disagree, I also nominate for best opening sequence.

Best gimmicky chase sequence? Prob the chase on skis in The Spy Who Loved Me (which I had to do multiple google searches of "James Bond" "Ski" "Chase" to find the name of).

Most unintentionally hilarious? Live and Let Die, complete with every 70s black culture stereotype: the jazz funeral, the voodoo priest, the badasssss blaxplotation detective. And it's not even in the running for best gimmicky chase sequence.

November 26, 2005  
Anonymous Yer sister said...

PS. My favorite Bond Girl name would have to be Plenty O'Tool, from Diamonds are Forever.

November 26, 2005  
Anonymous K-Don said...

I have to go with Halle Berry as Jinx as best Bond girl. So modern that she can toss back clever quips that can match Brosnan's best. She almost had a spinoff "Jinx" movie, I recall, but made the wise career choice and decided to make a "Catwoman" spinoff instead. Meow!

Competition for best Bond girl/Villian is Rosemund Pike as Miranda Frost (also in Die Another Day). I was in London when it came out, so it was like a big deal and we watched a lot of promo shows for the movie. I remember Pike tells a story where she originally did not have a sex scene with Bond, but then made such a fuss that it was awkwardly written in. Quoth Pike: "I didn't want to be the only girl who didn't sleep with James Bond."

Ah, you can't touch that for the best villian line.

November 26, 2005  
Anonymous King Jason the Great said...

Best Bond: On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

November 30, 2005  

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