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 My top 5 most underrated and overrated Bond films.

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ironpony
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PostSubject: My top 5 most underrated and overrated Bond films.   Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:14 pm

After watching the series again, I thought I would do a top 5 overrated and top 5 underrated, with #1 being the most of each. Below the lists are reasons for my selections.

Most Overrated:

5. Live and Let Die
4. Goldfinger
3. Thunderball
2. The Living Daylights
1. Skyfall


Most underrated:

5. Never Say Never Again
4. Octopussy
3. Licence to Kill
2. Die Another Day
1. The World Is Not Enough


LIVE AND LET DIE

Basically I would put this in my bottom ten Bond movies probably and although the action is pretty good, I feel there is hardly any plot. You could cut out half of what happens in the movie and it wouldn't even make a difference to the overall story. The villain's plan is to distribute a lot of free heroin to get a lot more addicted customers that would drive his competition out of business. Sounds interesting enough... but then the movie never does anything with it. As soon as the villain explains the plan, the rest of the movie becomes about rescuing Solitaire, even though Bond saved her twice before, and it gets really repetitive. In other Bond movies, the villain gets to at least attempt his plan after we are told what it is, but not this one, which makes for a very anticlimatic climax for me.

I also find a lot of the humor to be really tacky like Rosie Carver and Ms. Bell. The scene where the cab driver says "For your money, I'll take you to a Ku Klux Klan cookout" is probably the most cringeworthy line ever uttered in a Bond movie.

GOLDFINGER

Now just to be clear, I LOVE Goldfinger. It's in my top 8 without a doubt, maybe even my top 5. However, I don't know if it's great enough to be #1, like most fans make it out to be. I mean is it really the best Bond movie ever? Sure it started the successful formula, that has been used over and over again, but don't you think that maybe, some of the successors, used the formula better and improved upon it a little perhaps? Still a really good top entry.

THUNDERBALL

This is actually in my bottom 3 worst Bond movies of all time. I find the villain to be one of the worst most bland villain in the series, who has no interesting personal quirks. All he seems to like is skeet shooting, and fishing, but he's just so bland and run of the mill.

The same can be said for Domino Derval and although she is really smoking hot, she just has nothing interesting to do or say, other than willing to make love underwater. Overall it is a very run of the mill written entry, as if they just wanted to make another one for the road to cash in after Goldfinger.

I also hate the sped up fights where they take frames out and it looks unintentionally comedic, taking all the tension out of the action.

THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS

The problem for me is that Bond and Kara have no chemistry at all. Bond is a coldblooded spy/assassin, especially the way Dalton plays him, and Kara is such a happy naive school girl, and plays the role, like a Cinderella type. Not that there is anything wrong with this necessarily but I think it would have worked a lot better for Moore's Bond.

I did some research and read that the script was originally intended for Moore, which would have made more sense. But I feel that the way John Glen had D'Abo play it, just didn't work. Why would this Bond feel romantically interested in this school girl type?

Bond is also annoyed by her a lot of the time, like the way she goes back for the violin, or the way she thinks they are free in the Soviet base, and Bond feels annoyed having to correct her, or the way he gets annoyed with her, not being able to drive into the plane, or operate the plane, etc.

He just seems annoyed with her most of the time, so because of this, the romance scenes feel forced and don't work for me. I also found the ending to not make much sense. Kara is upset that Bond didn't come to her show and then finds out he was hiding in a room upstairs? Why was Bond hiding this whole time? There was no reason for him to be and it just felt like a useless last surprise that the audience doesn't need.

I also felt Brad Whitaker and Koskov were kind of lame villains, and Whitaker's average war museum, is by far the least interesting of all the Bond villain layers. Necros is also the most bland of all the Red Grant copycats probably. Hans is too, but he has a better physical look to him at least, which seems to be usually all they care about with these blond henchmen.

SKYFALL

This is also a pretty good Bond movie and I would put it around #8 in the series. I just don't feel it's great enough to be in the top 3 that most fans seem to place it in. I really like the plot with M and the villain is really good as well.

I just feel that before you find out what the villain is really up to, the first half of the movie if not more, is very routine, and has elements that they have already done before. Not that that's bad, a lot of good Bond movies do, it's just that here it detracts Skyfall from being one of the top 3.

Like the part where Bond has been a way for a while then comes back to an underground MI6 seems directly lifted from Die Another Day for example.

And the part where Bond seduces the woman and goes from Macau to Thailand, just seems all like very routine plotting all for the first half. All in all, still a very good entry I would still put around #8, cause I like the last half a lot better.



NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN

To be clear, this isn't necessarily a good Bond movie, I just don't think it's near as terrible as fans make it out to be. I would probably put it around #17 or #16 on my rankings, and I can think of at least 6, if not more, worse Bond movies than this. I even put Thunderball in my bottom 3 like I mentioned before.

I feel that the two villains are both very solid from what I can remember, and even though Basinger isn't near as hot as Claudine Auger, her Domino had more weight to her and her relationship with Largo was much better. The story is no worse than most Bond stories, accept for maybe the twist with the necklace. But there are plot holes in other movies too, so not sure if the neckless twist was that bad actually. The movie could have used better action scenes and locations though. Connery does a really good job as well though, and I feel he is better here, than both YOLT and DAF.

OCTOPUSSY

This is often rated as one of the worst, if not the worst of the entire series by a lot of fans. But why? It's not more campy and over the top compared to other ones that are. Even Moonraker is well liked a lot, compared to this one, but I think this one is right up there, if not better.

The villains and the Bond girls, are better than usual, for the John Glen era, and the henchmen are as well, especially the knife throwing twins. Octopussy is one of my favorite Bond girls, and I thought that Magda was a decent one as well.

A lot of the criticism comes down to Bond's clown costume it seems, but I feel that the costume made sense for having to sneak into a circus, without being seen as suspicious and it made sense. The action scenes are also really good, and I think the villain's plan is one of the better ones in the series.

LICENCE TO KILL

This is also criticized as being one of the worst by many but I think it has one of the best plots of the entire series. It's much more rich and complex than other plots, resulting in more consequences in twists, from the action. I like how Bond attempts revenge on the villain and fails, and then finds out some of the people he thought were working with the villains, turned out to be undercover agents who Bond gets killed accidentally.

Things like that are what make LTK brilliant and other Bond movies, do not have near as colorful of subplots that build into the main story near as well. The two Bond girls are really good and Pam Bouvier is one of my personal favorite ones.

The villain is good, and has more of an arc than usual, with how everyone he is after, betrayed him first, which I thought was interesting. Him being a Pablo Escobar clone though is, both a strength and a weakness. A weakness cause he is a Pablo Escobar clone, but a strength, cause he is the first Bond villain to be a Pablo Escobar clone, so at least it's different for the series. I put this one in my top 5 probably.

DIE ANOTHER DAY

Yes this move is over the top and stupid but it's highly entertainingly over the top and stupid. The kite surfacing tsunami scene, is worth paying the theater price of admission for cause one cannot make this stuff up! The movie wins as a good silly Bond movie though, cause it's much more creative compared to some of the other campy ones. The villain and girl I also think are overall winners as well.

The villain is funny but in a good funny Bond villain way. And the woman is sexy as well, not only physically but in personality for Bond as well. It's not top 10 material by any means, but I give this entry a solid pass, as one of the hits, as oppose to misses.

THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH

I think that TWINE is the most underrated Bond movie the entire series, and I put it in my top 6 Bond movies of all time, either at #5 or #6.

I think it has one of the best plots of the series and Renard my favorite villain of the series. King is one of the best as well.

Brosnan is of my second favorite Bond, after Connery, and does just as good of a job here, as his others. I think that the plot with M having a personal past with the villains is done better here, than in Skyfall in my opinion. Of course in Skyfall, M has a more memorable climax and ending though, but the actual backstory is done better here.

A lot of people complain about Denise Richards, but I honestly do not see why she is so bad. There have been much worse actresses than her. I think that she is as bad as Tanya Roberts, Britt Eckland, Rosie Carver or the two Japanese women from YOLT for example.

In fact I vote for Britt Eckland as being the worst, and I don't see how Richards is considered so bad. Have perhaps the people complaining about her, not have seen the older Bond movies? I honestly do not get it.

Some people say they do not like TWINE cause the story relies on too big of coincidences, but I mean all the Bond movies have coincidences, and I don't see how this one takes the cake. I think it's one of the best and Brosnan's best one.


All in all that's my top 5 of each. What do you think?
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FieldsMan
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PostSubject: Re: My top 5 most underrated and overrated Bond films.   Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:45 pm

Interesting read. I don't include NSNA in these discussions. It's a cheap knock off of the superior TB in my opinion. 

Overrated: 
Casino Royale 
Live and Let Die
The Spy Who Loved Me
Licence to Kill
SPECTRE?

Underrated:
Tomorrow Never Dies
The World Is Not Enough
Die Another Day
A View to a Kill
For Your Eyes Only
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ironpony
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PostSubject: Re: My top 5 most underrated and overrated Bond films.   Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:51 pm

Oh okay.  I don't really consider NSNA to be much of a knock off cause there is enough different about it to make a different movie.  I mean the only two things they have in common is villains hold world hostage with nuclear bombs, and villain kills girlfriend's brother, which is his downfall.  I mean they have some more things in common but not a lot for me. There is one thing I like better in TB and that is Bond's seduction of the health club worker was a lot better.

So it feels like that could happen in any Bond film I think.

As for SPECTRE, why did you put a question mark in front of it, just not sure?
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CJB
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PostSubject: Re: My top 5 most underrated and overrated Bond films.   Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:04 pm

Overrated:
Goldfinger
Live And Let Die
Octopussy
Goldeneye (I rank it highly but sometimes feel it gets puffed up nostalgia thanks to the video game)
SPECTRE (because it's not as universally despised as it should be)

Underrated:
Diamonds Are Forever
For Your Eyes Only
A View to a Kill
The Living Daylights
Possibly Tomorrow Never Dies
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FieldsMan
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PostSubject: Re: My top 5 most underrated and overrated Bond films.   Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:17 pm

ironpony wrote:
As for SPECTRE, why did you put a question mark in front of it, just not sure?

I'll elaborate on all:

Overrated: 
Casino Royale 
Vacuous writing in terms of story structure and some of the worst dialogue to materialise in a Bond movie. Terrible characterisation of James Bond, Vesper and later, Mathis. What people don't realise (or care to realise) is the baselessness of Bond's personal journey, padding out what should have been a straightforward spy film with Bond unknowingly falling in love with the traitor. Bland, clinical music though this matches the sterile cinematography. The only Bond film I flatly don't like.

Live and Let Die
Baffles me how people think this is a superior Bond film. I can only recognise that perhaps the Paul McCartney theme song is what people love most about it, as well as a 70s funk sound underscoring much of the movie. Admittedly, it's very cool seeing Anglo Bond confidently walking amongst segregated black communities to the sound of Martin's score. But it's not enough to liken it to the very best of the series - such as FRWL and GE. 

The Spy Who Loved Me
Added ample to the James Bond iconography, but there is a lack of focus and rather silly end goal for the villain that prevent this from being the best, in my opinion. More should have been done with Anya's subplot, and with a better actress. Imagine Faye Dunaway in the role - and she looks suitably Slavic. 

Licence to Kill
Grasping at straws here as I don't find many others that are overrated. My thinking here is that many think that Bond's anger equates to Fleming's Bond, and that doesn't sit right with me. And while she is growing on me, I find Pam to be a little too obnoxious. 

SPECTRE?
The question mark is added because I do see some unwarranted love thrown at this film. It's as vacuous as it is offensive, but since it's the latest in the canon and I imagine it will sink to the bottom of the barrel as the years press on. 

Underrated:
Tomorrow Never Dies
It has all the ingredients of Fleming's Bond - sex, bizarre, danger, espionage, political/social commentary and local colour/culture (more so in Saigon than Hamburg - in a contemporary setting. I like this level of conflict in Bond in that in the scenes involving Paris, he's fighting to distance himself from having a personal attachment to the mission, and Brosnan sells that. I love Hatcher's Paris, and Yeoh's Wai Lin is the only true "Bond equal". Pryce's Carver is the perfect adversary for Bond and a palpable threat that continues to dominate the real world (even if he has "just taken it one step further"). It's packed full of delicious dialogue, the music is one of the series' best soundtrack and the action, while admittedly abundant, especially on the stealth ship, it's well crafted.

The World Is Not Enough
Similarly, as above, but with an intricate plot and with a beautifully post-Cold War atmosphere to the film. Elektra appears to have been lifted straight from Fleming's word, and Renard takes on a interesting "trademark gimmick" that has psychological implications, making for an interesting duo with Elektra. Feels positively Flemingesque. 

Die Another Day
I find most of the issues with this film are cosmetic. Sure there are some structural flaws, but nothing so dramatic that it doesn't make sense. Moon/Graves' goal is grounded in real world politics so there is enough to keep this viewer interested in the story. As original drafts dictated, Bond's mission to find the mole within the organisation would have been preferable, and a lot of that still does exist in the film so I'm able to enjoy the film with that at the back of my mind. The scenes in Cuba with Raoul especially are excellent and it feels like good-old fashioned espionage. There's colour, there's great music, and probably Brosnan's best performance as Bond. I have fun watching it, and it didn't kill my interest in the series, as SP and CR almost did. 

A View to a Kill
A lot of attention is directed at Moore's age, but I never thought about it until it was pointed out to me. Probably because he gives us arguably his most grounded/most focused performance. A lot of hate is directed to AVTAK for it being a 'GF clone', but TSWLM gets a free pass when that's inherently a YOLT remake? Hmm... THere's a lot of originality here, from the steeple-chase, City Hall, the characters of Zorin, May Day, Stacey, Tibbet, etc. Bond's cover is perfect for Moore, the Chantilly scenes are perfectly bizarre and suited to the world of Bond. The film is probably the whackiest in the series, but when you have source material focusing on mute servants with killer hats, toad-like Russian women trying to seduce a cypher clerk, Gardens of Death and death by bird dung, it's perfectly satisfactory for AVTAK to be al little eccentric. 

For Your Eyes Only
This just does not get the love it deserves. Maybe because of the slower underwater sequences and Bibi Dahl being considered a Bond girl (as opposed to a supporting character), but it's a thrilling Cold War flick which finally pits Bond directly against the Soviets. Oh and some really don't like the music, but it's pure 80s goodness to my ears.


Octopussy would be another I'd add, but I'll limit it to these five.



CJB wrote:
Possibly Tomorrow Never Dies



w00t



Last edited by FieldsMan on Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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CJB
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PostSubject: Re: My top 5 most underrated and overrated Bond films.   Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:16 pm

Don't get me wrong, I still think it's a mid-tier Bond film at best, but it's lighting-paced, modern, and fun. In the pantheon of mediocre Bond films, there's little more you can ask for than a movie which keeps the blood flowing to your Elliot Carve-Her for a solid 90 minutes.
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PostSubject: Re: My top 5 most underrated and overrated Bond films.   Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:55 am

ironpony wrote:

DIE ANOTHER DAY

Yes this move is over the top and stupid but it's highly entertainingly over the top and stupid.  The kite surfacing tsunami scene, is worth paying the theater price of admission for cause one cannot make this stuff up!  The movie wins as a good silly Bond movie though, cause it's much more creative compared to some of the other campy ones.  The villain and girl I also think are overall winners as well.

My main problem with DAD is that they couldnt decide if they wanted it to be a silly movie or a serious movie. This movie is very unbalanced in tone. You have Bond getting tortured in one scene and then CGI surfing waves in another. I love the movie, but its tough to watch it when its not clear what they are going for.
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PostSubject: Re: My top 5 most underrated and overrated Bond films.   Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:12 pm

Indeed, Cobra. Certainly one of the most tonally inconsistent films in the series.
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PostSubject: Re: My top 5 most underrated and overrated Bond films.   Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:59 am

Underrated:
1. TLD
Definitely in my book now that OHMSS is somewhat well regarded today in the general public, TLD is the most underrated film ever made. Everything works brilliantly, Glen's direction is spot on, the perfect silver anniversary film for the fans and a perfect blend of Film Bond with Book Bond. The last 100% great film in the series whereas LTK became hampered by losing Maibaum and budget cuts. (But is still really damn great.)
2. LALD
A real adventure film, and not derivative of blaxploitation despite what internet idiots may say who have never seen the film or who cannot understand the concept of something made for audiences of the time. The penultimate film with Harry still on board still has enough spark in the wilder moments, the best non-Barry score by George Martin who created what I think is one of the all time best film scores here, a good pace and return to a low key thriller style reminiscent of DN, astoundingly awesome Mankiewicz lines, Roger's toughest and arguably best performance, great color photography and finally a film that incorporates the heightened popularity of the blaxploitation market and a difficult novel adaptation while fully respecting everyone on board. Note that all the characters in the film are intelligent and fully capable of taking on Bond. The only one meant for laughs is the ultimate redneck J.W.-and it is his complete inadequacies that make him so darn lovable and hysterical.
3. AVTAK
No one takes it seriously which is their loss. Sure it runs a bit slow and is has a lower key feel to it but it is still a superior 80's action film.

None of the original 20 are overrated. They are still too much underrated by the general public.

I can't say enough bad words about 2006 onwards.
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