JAMES BOND FILM GUIDE

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(LAST UPDATE 07/24/2017 08:43 PM , CLICK ON THE TITLES TO READ MY REVIEW, BOND FILM GROSSES AND BUDGETS BELOW)

SEAN CONNERY

ROGER MOORE

PIERCE BROSNAN

DR. NO

LIVE AND LET DIE

GOLDENEYE

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN

TOMORROW NEVER DIES

GOLDFINGER

THE SPY WHO LOVED ME

THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH

THUNDERBALL

MOONRAKER

DIE ANOTHER DAY

YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

DANIEL CRAIG

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER

OCTOPUSSY

CASINO ROYALE

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN

A VIEW TO A KILL

QUANTUM OF SOLACE

GEORGE LAZENBY

TIMOTHY DALTON

SKYFALL

ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE

THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS

SPECTRE

 

LICENCE TO KILL

BOND 25 (Nov. 8 2019)

MIKE'S JAMES BOND REVIEWS WITH MPAA RATING

DR. NO - The first of the Bond films is a little slow compared to the rest, but they had to start the formula somehow. Compared to other films of the time, it is action packed. Sean Connery had such a commanding charisma even early in his career and it shows here. When Connery first introduces himself in a casino as Bond, James Bond, you get chills. This also has the famous scene of Ursula Andress coming out of the water in that bikini. It's chilling when Bond kills Professor Dent after Dent empties his gun into Bond's empty bed. He registers as a better villain than Dr. No himself, who has a monotone delivery and wasn't very threatening except for his hands. Dr. No's lair explodes at the climax, which starts that tradition in the Bond films. When you watch the films you can see that the Austin Powers films have spoofed some aspects so closely, it's funny when you watch them again. Definitely recommended, but it's not the best in the series.

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE - The Bond films were starting to hit their stride with this film. The villains, Robert Shaw and Lotte Lenya, were excellent and the fight on the train between Shaw and Connery is one of the best ever. It's not packed with action, but it's got a great plot about stealing a Russian decoder and you get to meet Blofeld, or number 1 of SPECTRE, for the first time. The plot is the most realistic out of all of the films and it shows Connery at his best. This was also the first Bond film to have a pre-credits sequence or a teaser, which has been imitated in film adventures over the years. Definitely highly recommended.

GOLDFINGER - Probably the best Bond film of all time. Everything works, some effects are dated though. The teaser jump starts the film and you can't wait for it to keep going. The golf game, the golden girl, the Aston Martin DB5 with the ejector seat, Oddjob with his hat, the famous laser scene, the fight between Oddjob and Bond - so many great scenes in one film. On top of it all, it had one of the best Bond villains ever, Auric Goldfinger and a great music score by John Barry. Enough said. If you have to see one Bond film, start with this one, it's great. The highest recommendation.

THUNDERBALL - The fourth Bond film has underwater coonfrontations that have to be seen. Sometimes underwater battles are slow moving, but that doesn't detract from those scenes being an amazing achievement for a 1965 release. A little longer in length than Goldfinger, but the film has many memorable scenes like the jet pack and fight during the teaser and Bond has a worthy adversary in Emilio Largo. Connery is at his best, as usual. Definitely highly recommended.

YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE - The fifth Bond film somewhat suffers in comparison to the last three. Some scenes are slow moving and Connery looks like he wants to be somewhere else. His boredom with the role starts to show here. His line readings were a little flat compared to how great he was in the first four films. Still, the volcano lair was one of the most spectacular film sets in history and the battle that went with it was very exciting. The Little Nellie helicopter chase and the fight Bond has with Mr. Osato's bodyguard were both excellent and well staged. The title song and score are memorable additions to the Bond canon. But when Bond starts living with the Japanese, the film slows down but the volcano climax is still great. Recommended.

ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE (PG) - George Lazenby's only turn as Bond does have a great ski-bobsled chase, a great fight in a hotel room, a fun demolition derby, the neat safe cracking scene, Diana Rigg as Tracy, and an exciting climactic battle at Blofeld's lair. But most people remember it because Lazenby, a former model, was an amateur actor and thrust into the role as Bond. He was in over his head, but the film is still very good because of the plot and Bond's relationship with Tracy's father, Draco. They were more like equals, which was different for Bond. It should also be seen for Bond's brief marriage to Tracy which explains many plot points in the later films. The haunting love song was sung by Louis Armstrong and the score is one of John Barry's best. If you can tolerate a long running time and an amateur Lazenby in the title role, this film is recommended.

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (PG) - Sean Connery returns to the role that made him famous, but this time the script isn't the best. It's not clear what happens to Blofeld at the climax, but it does probably have the best car chase in all the Bond films and it has the best Bond. The fight in the elevator is memorable, his climbing high outside a Las Vegas hotel, a dune buggy chase and an attack on an oil rig are the high points. Jill St. John makes for a fun Bond girl and the scene at the funeral home where you're not sure how he'll escape are also highlights. Connery is very confident in the role, you just wish the movie around him was better. Recommended, but nowhere near the best.

LIVE AND LET DIE (PG) - The eighth Bond film and first with Roger Moore does have the best Bond title song ever and introduces Jane Seymour to the world of film. It also has the best boat chase in film history and the longest boat jump over land. Moore is not as tough as Connery, but he grows into the role and has the look that he's in on the joke. You wish Yaphet Kotto had a more interesting character to play since he's such a good actor. His role is comparable to a bad comic book villain. Bond does make a great escape from a crocodile farm with the background help of a crazy and brave stunt man. Geoffrey Holder only has a few scenes as a henchman, but he has a presence that stays in your memory. Recommended.

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (PG) - The ninth Bond film is usually considered one of the worst, but to a Bond fan, they all have their good points. Christopher Lee, being a cousin of Ian Fleming, was a perfect choice for a villain. He was definitely one of the cooler antagonists. The fun house was a great set piece, the flying car was outlandish, the golden gun was stylish and the spiral car jump was well planned and dangerous. But, it was too coincidental to meet Sheriff J. W. Pepper from the last film and the leading lady didn't have much of a role or impact in the film. On the whole though, it was fun. Recommended for Bond fans.

THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (PG) - Roger Moore's third is one of his best Bond films. The teaser is probably the best in the entire series. The ski chase and jump off the cliff is also most likely the best stunt in the series. It starts the film with a blast and you probably won't be disappointed with the rest of it either. Exotic locations, the Lotus submarine-car, the assassin Jaws, some excellent fights and a full blown battle inside a tanker at the climax are some highlights. Roger Moore also is more confident and comfortable in his role than before. The only major problem is that the main villain, Stromberg, is not very expressive, older and would be too easy to kill for Bond. Jaws also survives one too many times, but it is definitely recommended.

MOONRAKER (PG) - Also considered one of the worst Bond films, Moonraker is never boring, though. It might not all make sense, but it can be a lot of fun if you allow yourself to go with it. The spectacular mid-air parachute exchange during the teaser was so great, it's worth sitting through the film just to see it. This is not to say I didn't like the film. The leading lady wasn't the best, the Drax character was just about the most boring main villain ever and the space battle was outlandish, but the two boat chases, the teaser, the glass factory fight and the haunting dog attack register high on the Bond scale. Recommended for Bond fans.

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (PG) - A more down to earth approach distinguishes the twelfth Bond film and makes it the best Roger Moore Bond film. It has a much more realistic plot and some emotion to set it apart from the last couple films. When Melina's parents are killed right in front of her, you can see the shock and horror of the situation in her eyes. She plans revenge, which you are caught up in along with Bond. It gives the viewer an emotional tie to the film. When Bond kicks a villain's car off a cliff, you cheer. The ski-bobsled-motorcycle chase and the rock climbing scene are also involving and exciting. The only down point would be that the real mastermind doesn't make himself known right away and he is not one of the better villains of the series. Other than that, this film is a must see. Highly recommended.

OCTOPUSSY (PG) - A mixture of outlandish and down-to-earth Bond in the same film. The teaser with the Acro-Star jet is exciting, then after the titles, when the double-o agent is chased and killed, you get the feeling that it is going to be serious. The section of the film where Bond is trying to locate a bomb on an American air-base in Germany is tense and involving. The film also throws in the outlandish: the pursuit of Bond through the jungle, him driving a car on train tracks and Bond and the villains hanging and fighting on a plane in mid-air at the climax. The film also has a short but great scene involving a backgammon match and a fun scooter chase through an Indian city. You just have to go with it when it's serious and when it's not. Recommended.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (PG) - Even though it's an unofficial remake of Thunderball, it's still a good Bond film, especially with the return of Sean Connery to the role. The fight between Bond and the assassin at the health club is one of the longest and best fights ever, it's very exciting, spans many rooms and has a very funny visual joke at it's end. Klaus Maria Brandauer is one of the best villains ever. He's threatening, devious, somewhat charming and almost Bond's equal. Bond's explosive confrontation with Fatima Blush is suspenseful and funny. Some think the movie is slow, especially the underwater scenes, but it does have it's charms, like Rowan Atkinson in a small but funny role as a timid government agent. I did miss the gun barrel logo and the Bond theme, but on the whole it's a fun flick. Recommended.

A VIEW TO A KILL (PG) - Roger Moore's last Bond film and he looks a little old now. It's very easy to see when they use a double for stunts and fights. But, he still has a lot of charisma and he's fun. The film is not considered one of the best, but Christopher Walken and Grace Jones are entertaining and fun as the villains. Patrick Macnee was also great as Bond's sidekick fellow agent. The teaser has a very good ski chase and the Duran Duran title song is awesome. Tanya Roberts is very pretty, but she was not one of the best Bond girls and her line deliveries were a little flat. But the jump and chase from the Eiffel Tower was one of the best scenes in the film, a great stunt. Recommended for Bond fans.

THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS (PG) - Timothy Dalton's first Bond film is more serious and less outlandish than the last two Roger Moore films. With Dalton as Bond, he was more believable as the best agent available at the time. The teaser was exciting and moved us right into the plot of a fake Russian defection. How they got the defector over the border was interesting and funny. The Aston Martin and cello case snow chase was original and fun. As villains go, the henchman Necros, was far better than the two main villains who were goofy in some ways. The scene with Bond and Necros hanging out of the back of a cargo plane was exciting and looked very dangerous. In the Afghan section of the film though, the scenes and politics were very 80's and outdated. Even though, it's highly recommended.

LICENCE TO KILL (PG-13) - Timothy Dalton's second and last Bond film is more like one of Ian Fleming's novels, darker and more violent. It's probably the most violent Bond film ever, that has him in a vengeful mode where he will do anything to get his man. Some people who were used to Roger Moore were surprised by this change in tone, but this is more of what Fleming's novels were like. Carey Lowell registered famously as the best Bond girl in a long time, tough, resourceful and an equal of Bond. This film also gave Benicio Del Toro one of his earliest roles. He had a passion to his acting and you got a feeling he was going to be great. Also Robert Davi was very chilling as the ruthless drug king, one of the series best villains. You could see why Bond had to behave almost the same way to get him. If you can stand the more violent tone, this film is highly recommended.

GOLDENEYE (PG-13) - After a 6 year absence from the screen, James Bond is back in the form of Pierce Brosnan, and it's a winner. The teaser is one of the best ever, exciting, suspenseful with the spectacular bungee jump off the dam to start and the motorcycle jump off the cliff to end it. It's a mini movie that ties in to the rest of the action. Once Pierce warms up a little, the role suits him just fine. Sean Bean and Famke Janssen are two of the most dangerous villains ever, and Bond has great confrontations with both. The escape from the Russians and ensuing tank chase through St. Petersburg is a blast. Joe Don Baker and Robbie Coltrane provide great comic relief around the suspense of the plot to destroy England's economy. Highly recommended.

TOMORROW NEVER DIES (PG-13) - Pierce Brosnan's second Bond has an exciting teaser where Bond escapes from a Russian arms bazaar in a jet in the nick of time. Teri Hatcher would have been one of the better Bond girls ever if her part was larger, but she dies too early in the story. He then gets involved with a Chinese agent played by Michelle Yeoh and she is the toughest Bond girl ever and has her own great fight scene. The film comes alive when they start working together. Jonathan Pryce is a very good actor but I thought his character was a little wimpy to be a world leader. His henchman Stamper was more chilling and threatening in the long run. It's fast paced, has many action scenes and is non-stop towards the end. The car chase in the parking garage and the helicopter-motorcycle chase are must sees. Highly recommended.

THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (PG-13) - The teaser is one of the best. It starts in Spain where Bond jumps out of a window with just a shade cord around his waist, then there is the spectacular boat chase, the second best in the series on the Thames River in London. And that's just the teaser. Sophie Marceau and Robert Carlyle are three dimensional villains with reasons (although twisted) behind the mayhem they cause. You actually feel sorry for these people during the film for what has happened to them. The Para hawk-ski chase, the battles in the missile silo and the submarine, the scenes with "Q", "M" and "R" and the haunting title song are all highlights of this entry. Highly recommended.

DIE ANOTHER DAY (PG-13) - Pierce Brosnan's fourth and last Bond is action packed. It's the first time you see Bond tortured and almost pushed to the breaking point while captured, so it definitely throws you for a loop. After his release, it was strange to see him not trusted by "M". It adds unexpected realism and danger to get you caught up in this story of betrayal and revenge. The ice palace in Iceland was an amazing location, it seems the Bond films always find the most interesting places to film. The hovercraft chase, the sword fight, the assassination attempt off Cuba, the car chase on ice and Halle Berry as one of the best Bond girls ever are all highpoints. My one and probably only disappointment was the CGI surfing scene, it looked so fake. But, the rest was excellent. Highly recommended.

CASINO ROYALE (PG-13)  - OPENED NOVEMBER 17 2006 - DVD and Blu--ray release date is March 13 2007. Wow! They are going back to the first Ian Fleming Bond novel, I think it's great. It also will be the first Bond film to have MGM/Sony/Columbia distributing. So they pick Daniel Craig, the first blonde James Bond. Can't wait to see if he's as good as they say. The trailer was just released, and in my opinion I think it looks great. The official website is at www.casinoroyalemovie.com and here are a couple photos. I've seen the film twice on opening weekend and it is definitely more intense and violent and more like Fleming's novels than the previous films. Daniel Craig did a fine job playing Bond, he was a lot tougher and reminded me of Sean Connery. The action set-pieces are spectacular: the construction site chase, the airport bomb placing sequence and the total collapse of a building in Venice. Also the dialogue in the film was much different, less quips and more intelligent conversation especially between Bond and Vesper Lynd. There is a very rough torture scene (from the novel) that is a little hard to watch. But if you can stand it, go see it especially if you are a Bond fan. So on the whole its different than most of the other Bond films but I highly recommend it.

QUANTUM OF SOLACE (PG-13) - OPENED NOVEMBER 14 2008 - DVD and Blu-ray release date was March 24 2009. The next Bond film after Casino Royale to star Daniel Craig is from an idea by Bond producer Michael Wilson. Marc Forster is the director. It started filming on January 7 2008 and actress Olga Kurylenko is the new Bond girl. The film continues the modern style of Casino Royale. It begins almost exactly where the previous film left off with an almost too tightly filmed car chase, but it is wild, nonetheless. Traitors in MI6 and other agencies abound, leaving Bond to chase after the criminal organization, Quantum, modeled after SPECTRE. "M" has to trust Bond when no one else does. Bond meets Camille, an ex-girlfriend of the head of Quantum and the two form an uneasy alliance which leads to a motorcycle, car and boat chase. They both have their reasons for wanting to see Quantum destroyed. A plane chase ensues which leads to an explosive climax. It's faster paced than Casino Royale and you have to pay attention to the details. Most people prefer Casino Royale, but I still enjoyed this Bond film very much and highly recommend it.

SKYFALL (PG-13) - OPENED NOVEMBER 8 2012 - DVD and Blu-ray release date was February 12 2013. SAM MENDES DIRECTING AND DANIEL CRAIG RETURNS AS BOND. In the film, M, still played by Judi Dench, fakes Bond's death after a spectacular opening chase through Istanbul and on top of a moving train. Bond goes into hiding until MI6 is attacked and M's past is being investigated. A tortured former MI6 agent, wildly played by Javier Bardem, blames M for his injuries and comes after her and Bond, her only ally other than her assistant Tanner. This leads to some suspenseful shootouts and a look into Bond's past. Q is introduced again and this time he is much younger than previous Q's. The haunting title song by Adele is one of the best. I like the last 2 films better, but I enjoyed this Bond film very much and highly recommend it.

SPECTRE (PG-13) - OPENED NOVEMBER 6 2015 - DVD and Blu-ray release date is February 9 2016. Again directed by Sam Mendes and starring Daniel Craig as Bond with Ralph Fiennes as the new M. The opening gun barrel logo is back at the beginning where it belongs. James goes on a rogue mission directed by a video left by the previous M, which leads to a building collapsing, a foot chase and a fight on a helicopter and that's just during the teaser. This leads Bond to a sinister organization, SPECTRE, and it's leader, Blofeld, who has a past connection to Bond, played by a great Chistoph Waltz. Bond has funny conversations with the young "Q" and it is nice to see that the film is a little lighter than the previous films. The fight on the train is a blast and the car chase in Rome was fun. I enjoyed this Bond movie and I recommend it.

BOND 25 - OPENING NOVEMBER 8 2019 - Daniel Craig is returning to play Bond.

JAMES BOND FILMS & DATA (LAST UPDATE 7/24/17)

STUDIO/DIVISION/PROD COMPANY

U.S.A. RELEASE DATE

MPAA RATING

U.S.A. GROSS (MILLIONS)

BUDGET MILLIONS

DR. NO

UA/EON

May 8 1963

NR

16.0

1.1

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

UA

May 27 1964

NR

25.0

2.2

GOLDFINGER

UA

December 25 1964

NR

51.1

3.5

THUNDERBALL

UA

December 29 1965

NR

64.0

5.6

YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE

UA

June 15 1967

NR

43.1

9.5

ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE

UA

December 18 1969

PG

23.0

9

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER

UA

December 17 1971

PG

44.0

7

LIVE AND LET DIE

UA

June 27 1973

PG

35.4

7

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN

UA

December 18 1974

PG

21.0

7

THE SPY WHO LOVED ME

UA

August 3 1977

PG

47.0

13

MOONRAKER

UA

June 29 1979

PG

63.0

34

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

UA

June 26 1981

PG

54.8

28

OCTOPUSSY

UA

June 10 1983

PG

68.0

27.5

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN

Warner Bros.

October 7 1983

PG

55.0

36

A VIEW TO A KILL

UA

May 24 1985

PG

50.3

30

THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS

MGM/UA

July 31 1987

PG

51.1

30

LICENCE TO KILL

MGM/UA

July 14 1989

PG-13

34.6

40

GOLDENEYE

MGM/UA

November 17 1995

PG-13

106.4

60

TOMORROW NEVER DIES

MGM/UA

December 19 1997

PG-13

125.3

110

THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH

MGM/UA

November 19 1999

PG-13

126.9

120

DIE ANOTHER DAY

MGM/UA

November 22 2002

PG-13

160.9

125

CASINO ROYALE

MGM/Sony/Columbia

November 17 2006

PG-13

167.4

150

QUANTUM OF SOLACE

MGM/Sony/Columbia

November 14 2008

PG-13

168.3

225

SKYFALL

MGM/Sony/Columbia

November 8 2012

PG-13

304.4

200

SPECTRE

MGM/Sony/Columbia

November 6 2015

PG-13

200.0

250 + 100

BOND 25

MGM/EON

November 8 2019

 

 

 

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