2002-01-17 Entry: "Bond, James Bond"
It had to happen sooner or later. With the amount of space I devote to talking about films and television, an entry devoted to James Bond was inevitable.
You see, Saturday, while I was watching the documentaries on the Bond DVDs I already owned, I ended up ordering the rest of the Connery films. And the indulgence caught up with me when they arrived this morning.
When I first bought Bond DVDs I had a cunning plan. I bought the first and the latest to do a comparison (so, "Dr. No" and "The World Is Not Enough"). Then I got the urge to buy a couple more, so decided to get one with each actor (and so by added "Live And Let Die," "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," and "The Living Daylights").
But Saturday, I realized I didn't have a very good Connery film - Dr No isn't very good. This is perfectly explainable - they were finding their feet, Connery was new to the role, and they were trying a few things out. But Dr. No is really, really slow - nothing very much happens in it. There's a brief car chase, and a couple of punch ups. The exciting scene where Bond nearly gets flushed out of some pipe requires him to hang on a bit tighter, but it's not exactly tension building.
So, I thought I'd find a better one, and ended up ordering the lot. Knowing my luck (and the fact that I'm a bit of a completist) I'll probably end up getting the rest in fairly short order - the other Dalton film and the two Brosnan ones will probably get bought before the Moore films though.
You see, I don't particularly like Roger Moore as Bond - it might just be that the films he was in were a bit weak. I think "Live And Let Die" is my favourite of the Moore films. "The Man With The Golden Gun" isn't bad. "A View To A Kill" just comes across as a little silly. "Octopussy" has the great scene where he gets in and out of a bear suit in about two seconds flat. I can't really comment on the other three as I don't remember them all that well ("The Spy Who Loved Me," "Moonraker," and "For Your Eyes Only" for those keeping track). This might mean they're very same-y, or it might be because I haven't got a hook for remembering what happens in each - Moonraker's the space one, but what actually happens in it is a mystery; the other two? Complete Blank.
So Moore ranks as least favourite Bond actor. I'm not sure who comes in top, as I quite like all the others in places. Brosnan is probably the only one who can play both sides of Bond's character convincingly (the suave and the gritty). Dalton only plays the Gritty Bond well - he's not really required to do Suave Bond in either of his outings. Connery's bearable throughout, but maybe the age of the films hinders my fondness for him. Lazenby does okay once he settles into the part, but he's still finding his acting feet - he does get one of the best stories though, so I can't help but like him.
So that leaves us with (order or me liking them, rather than being the best Bond):
Which seems like a particularly odd order. It's fairly subjective as I'd probably end up shuffling them around after being reminded of particular scenes. Brosnan makes the best Bond, but the films have been particularly average - they tend to have very little actual storyline and are a string of high action stunts. The middle films are slightly slower paced (but, admittedly, don't have a great deal more story).
Dalton comes in second mainly for The Living Daylights, which I think is a great film. Licence To Kill is acceptable, but has a completely different feel to the rest of them.
Lazenby gets in third with the inestimable On Her Majesty's Secret Service. This is a great Bond film, even if he's not all that great; Diana Rigg carries quite a lot of it.
So Connery falls fourth - he's got to come above Roger Moore, but for some reason the other three edge him out...
I would rate the films here, but it's a little unfair as I can't remember half of them. It'd probably go something like this:
Unrated (as I can't really remember them and rating them would be unfair):
So, there you go... feel free to disagree / remind me what happens in the other three...