Last of the Monster Kids

Last of the Monster Kids
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bangers n' Mash 62: Batman & Robin (1997) Commentary

When JD and I decided to start the Bangers n' Mash Show, I knew there was no hope of us creating a weekly show. Firstly, we both have lives. Secondly, even before starting the program, I knew I would never be comfortable releasing unedited episodes. So we both agreed on two episodes a month as a good number. This schedule slipped wildly in our first year, in which we only put out 9 episodes. We've been doing a lot better since then, mostly meeting our goal. Except usually in January, as previously established. Normally, I let this slid but... I don't know, it would be nice have 24 episodes a year, don't you think?

So that's when commentaries happen. I've complained about them before. I hate recording them. Due to the very nature of the thing, I can't edit them, so all the slips, stuttering, breathing, coughing, snarfing, double-speech, mumbling, and rambling off-topic goes in. This most recent one, at the very least, wasn't interrupted by a phone call or my neighbors doing construction. We also mostly stayed on topic.

Anyway, JD and I talked over "Batman & Robin." He picked the movie. I think we managed to pierce the film's odd camp appeal a little. It's still probably not very good.

Real episode, next time. I promise.

Monday, March 30, 2015

LISTS AND STATS: The James Bond Series

Since I have now sat down, watched, and reviewed all of the James Bond films, I’m left with certain factoids rampaging around in my head. Because the Bond series is so formulaic, certain elements are present in all of the films. Every film features beautiful women, wicked villains, a theme song, a stylized opening credit sequences, exotic locations, Walther PPK-related murder, so on and so forth. Since the series is so iconic, many of these elements have become world famous. So the temptation to rank, not just the movies and actors, but various trademark elements becomes overwhelming. Similarly, after watching all of them, you begin to wonder about certain things. How many people has Bond killed? How many women has he slept with? How often is he captured? How frequently does that judo training come in handy? Answers to these questions and more are included below.


To rank a series as long running as Bond’s is a bit silly. There’s so many movies of varying quality that my opinion of them could change at any point. Before starting this most recent marathon, I probably would have put “Thunderball” as my favorite. This time around, that one comes in fourth. However, some aspects are consistent, with certain films always ranking high and others always sinking to the bottom. I do find it interesting that, out of the listed 26 films below, I only truly dislike the bottom seven. Bond’s adventures are fairly consistently entertaining.

1. Casino Royale (2006)
2. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
3. Goldfinger
4. Thunderball
5. From Russia with Love
6. The Spy Who Loved Me
7. Dr. No
8. The Living Daylights
9. Skyfall
10. For Your Eyes Only
11. GoldenEye
12. Licence to Kill
13. Spectre
14. Quantum of Solace
15. Live and Let Die
16. Moonraker
17. You Only Live Twice
18. Never Say Never Again
19. The World is Not Enough
20. A View to a Kill
21. Tomorrow Never Dies
22. Octopussy
23. Diamonds are Forever
24. Casino Royale (1954)
25. The Man with the Golden Gun
26. Casino Royale (1967)
27. Die Another Day


1. Daniel Craig

“Craig does not play Bond as an effortlessly cool secret agent. He is those things, in a way. He delivers a sarcastic smirk fantastically. He’s an unstoppable bad ass, fighting brutally to dispose his enemies. He has the ability to seduce women but does so only in service of his job. His big blue eyes are steely, hiding the heart of a cold killer.”

2. Timothy Dalton

“Dalton is indeed darker. He’s prone to anger and outrage. He bristles under authority. However, referring to Dalton as "the brooding one" oversimplifies his abilities. He successfully combines aspects of all past Bonds. He kills in cold blood, like Connery. He’s also a romantic lead, much like Lazenby. Dalton delivers one-liners worthy of Moore. Yet he makes the part his own.”

3. Sean Connery

“Connery is cool and steely but focused. Even while kissing women, his mind remains on his mission. He’s observant enough to know when he’s being watched or when his driver is a hit man. Yet it’s not impossible for him to be caught off guard. This is Bond, a blunt instrument, a killing machine. But Connery can pull off the pithy one-liners or the romantic entanglement.”

4. George Lazenby

“Lazenby is, in a way, more athletic then Sean Connery, tumbling around during the fight scenes and climbing tall heights. The story calls for Bond to impersonate a scholarly genealogist, be outsmarted a few times, and fall in love. I can’t imagine Connery’s Bond doing these things. He’s more romantic and suave, less murderous and unforgiving, then the previous actor.”

5. Roger Moore

“Moore’s appeal as Bond lies in his effortless charm. He’s immediately funny and likable, being a pleasant, amusing screen presence. Whether or not you’re a fan of the films he would make, it’s easy to see why Moore was such a natural choice for the part of Bond. He has the right balance of roguish charm and romantic confidence.”

6. Pierce Brosnan

“Brosnan sucks at one-liners. Pithy comments that Moore would have spun into gold become groaners. As a romantic lead, Brosnan never has much chemistry with his co-stars. What Brosnan does excel at is being an action hero. He’s more physical and dynamically violent then either of the previous Bonds. Brosnan’s Bond is mostly a man of action and pop-corn amusement.”


1. “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCarthy
“The film starts with rock n’ roll. One of the best Bond themes of all time, Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die's” driving rock beat provides energy and excitement. The jazzy breakdown in the middle recalls the film’s Caribbean setting while the blaring trumpets of the chorus firmly establish the song as a Bond theme.”

2. “Nobody Does It Better” by Carly Simon
“The song focuses on Simon’s simple but strong vocals. She’s backed up by relatively straight forward instrumentation, built around a lovely piano melody. The lyrics nicely incorporate the film’s title. Considering how many women Bond has loved over the years, it’s impressive such sincere lyrics were written about the guy. It’s a giddy, romantic number, one I like a lot.”

3. “Casino Royale” by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
“Another element I genuinely enjoy about “Casino Royale” is the music. If you’re a fan of sixties pop-jazz, this movie is a feast for the ears. Herb Alpert’s opening theme song is incredibly catchy and always puts a smile on my face.”

4. “Goldfinger” by Shirley Bassey
“Playing over the credits is Shirley Bassey’s bombastic title song. Bassey’s operatic vocals soar to the heavens as she infuses every lyric with intense emotion. The song, a warning about the villain’s evil intentions, brushes up against camp. However, Bassey’s delivery is so perfectly timed and toned.”

5. “Thunderball” by Tom Jones
“It’s appropriate that Tom Jones would sing a Bond theme, one that might as well be Bond’s personal theme. The song describes a man that can have any women he wants and always strikes at the best moment. Yep, sounds like our Bond. Jones, naturally, sings his heart out, powering the song with his propulsive vocals which combine perfectly with John Barry’s bombastic trumpets.”

6. “GoldenEye” by Tina Turner
“Tina Turner’s sensual, purring, but powerful vocals make her a logical heir to Shirley Bassey’s throne. The lyrics, which seem to equally reference the film’s love interest, villain, and titular superweapon, are well chosen. The theme song is an instant classic.”

7. “A View to a Kill” by Duran Duran
“Duran Duran was brought in to provide a hip theme song. If you have a taste for the pop music of the day, you’ll probably dig it. The song’s synth lasers come off as ridiculous today. However, the melody is driving and exciting, the lyrics are dynamic, and the delivery is dramatic. It’s a great pop song.”

8. “Surrender” by k. d. lang
“The opening theme pales in comparison to k. d. lang’s “Surrender,” which plays over the end credits. Lang’s song is all you could ask for from a modern Bond song while keeping the classic style. It’s bombastic, powerful, catchy, and related to the film’s themes. I have no idea why it was passed over.”

9. “You Know My Name” by Chris Cornell
“Chris Cornell’s hard rock style and gravelly vocals weren’t well received by everyone. However, the lyrics accurately, beautifully described Bond’s mindset as a cold blooded gunman. The music builds fantastically to an intense finale. It’s a great opening.”

10. “Moonraker” by Shirley Bassey
“Shirley Bassey doesn’t consider the song one of her best. Personally, “Moonraker” is one of my favorite Bond themes. Instead of stretching her voice to its limit, Bassey swoons romantically, intoxicating every word with longing. The song, about someone searching for an impossibly perfect love, doesn’t have much to do with the movie. I like it a lot anyway.”

Honorable Mention: 
“Skyfall” by Adele, “Diamonds are Forever” by Shirley Bassey, “We Have All the Time in the World” by Louis Armstrong, “The Living Daylights” by a-ha


1. “Die Another Day” by Madonna
“Madonna’s techno styling, which includes the genre’s expected bleeping and blooping, is a poor fit for the series. Her lyrics are inane and seemingly unrelated to the film. The song also throws in some bizarre vocal effects, utterly out of place. 20 years earlier, Madonna might have delivered a decent theme. During her “striving to be relevant” era, she just embarrasses herself.”

2. “All Time High” by Rita Coolidge
“A generic, adult complementary pop number. Coolidge's voice, though not without a sensual quality, mostly sounds bored. The instrumentation includes uninspired pop flourishes and a boozy saxophone. The song’s lyrics are more-or-less a rehash of the superior “Nobody Does It Better,” describing another woman blown away by James Bond’s charm. The song puts me to sleep.”

3. “Licence to Kill” by Gladys Knight
“When I first heard Gladys Knight’s theme song, I didn’t care for it. Knight’s R&B style seems like a backslide. The lyrics are nothing to write home about. The melody, which heavily samples Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger,” isn’t particularly memorable.”

4. “The Man with the Golden Gun” by Lulu
“Lulu’s high-pitched vocals grate on the ears. The song’s lyrics are repetitive and the rhymes are inane. It’s probably the only Bond theme to feature the word “glittering.” Though catchy as hell, the song is only of value as a camp artifact.”

5. “Never Say Never Again” by Lani Hall
“Lani Hall’s number is not much better then Rita Coolidge's “All Time High.” Both songs are hampered by sleep-inducing, smooth jazz backing music. The lyrics are better though and Hall’s delivery is dripping with sensuality. It’s still not going to crack anybody’s top ten Bond themes.”


1. Casino Royale (2006)
“The credits juxtapose Bond’s status as an assassin with gambling images. Thus, the background is the green of a poker table. Bond shoots hearts and clubs from his gun. The cross-hairs of a gun morph into spinning roulette tables. Finally, as two zeros are shot into a 7 card, Bond steps out of the shadows, revealing the face of a stone-cold killer.”

2. The Spy Who Loved Me
“Against a cool blue background, to go with the film’s oceanic theme, Bond is shown disarming female agents with his romantic abilities. Meanwhile, the required nude silhouettes tumble around, one swinging around the barrel of a giant gun. My favorite bit is when Bond sweeps a whole fleet of female solders off their feet. In other words, it’s a great way to open the film.”

3. Thunderball
“The opening to “Thunderball” would set the standard for all future Bond openings. Women, seen only in black silhouette, swim to and throe against a brightly colored background. Meanwhile, spies and guns mingle around them, interacting with the titles. All future entries in the series would copy this style.”

4. Live and Let Die
“Maurice Binder’s opening is similarly dynamic. A fortune teller’s face explodes into a flaming skull. Outlines of nude women vamp around related voodoo imagery. The song and the images are paired fantastically, giving “Live and Let Die” one of my favorite Bond openings.”

5. Skyfall
“There are two scenes here I really like. First, during a scene patterned after a Rorschach test, dancing women shift into knives and skulls. At the beginning of the credit, we see the Skyfall manor, the face of a young Bond inside. At the ends of the credits, we see the crumbling Skyfall, the face of a grizzled, adult Bond inside.”

6. Goldfinger
“The film’s opening minutes is pop culture magic happening before our eyes. The credits, illustrated with sexualized images of women, would become standard from now on, as would the accompanying song, usually sharing a name with the film. “

7. The Living Daylights
“As for Maurice Binder’s opening sequence, it’s simple but effective. Mostly, women in frilly dresses and long gloves pose with guns. However, the images are paired up perfectly with the music, making for a memorable opening.”

8. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
“The iconic nude women, silhouetted in black, make their second appearance, this time posing against a blue background. They stand before a massive hour glass, where scenes from the previous films fall forward. Bond, also silhouetted, runs around and pulls a Harold Lloyd by dangling from the arms of a massive clock. A stylish bit of fun in its’ own way.”

9. GoldenEye
“The silhouetted women and prominent placement of Bond’s gun are retained. Daniel Kleinman moves the opening credits into a more music-video-style direction. Bond and his female companions walk around sickles while hammers fall around them. Meanwhile, female dancers hammer away at the symbols of Communism. It’s all pretty cool stuff.”

10. A View to a Kill
“Welcome to 1985! Maurice Binder’s opening features super models in day-glo body paint. The girls have hyper-permed hair-dos. Their similarly glowing guns shoot flashing laser beams. At one point, a life-size ice sculpture of a woman puts in an appearance. It later bursts into flames. The opening is, of course, completely ridiculous. However, it’s certainly not forgettable.”


1. Moonraker
“I can’t say I like Maurice Binder’s latest opening credits sequences as much as the song. The silhouetted nudes leap and bound through the air. More then once, one shoots across the streets, arms and legs out, like a kid playing Superman. One model does bicycle kicks atop a disco ball. It’s one of the few times when Binder’s style extends into campiness. “

2. Tomorrow Never Dies
“The opening credits are immediately dated. The sexy women dance around x-ray images of weapons and bullets. The layered surface of a computer motherboard raise around female dancers. The opening credits have always had a somewhat tenuous connection to the main film. Here, the images seem especially unrelated, while also revealing some of the obsession of 1997.”

3. Die Another Day
“For the first time, the credits are incorporated into the story. While Bond is being tortured, he has visions of beautiful nude women made of fire and ice. The idea is fascinating. However, the execution leaves a lot to be desired. Cutting between the day-glo fantasies and the harsh realities just makes the credits look more ridiculous. And then there are those CGI scorpions.”

4. The Man with the Golden Gun
“Even the opening credits are disappointing. The images of nude women are reflected in a lake, lily pads covering their R-rated bits. During the song’s breakdown, one of Maurice Binder’s trademark silhouetted women dances in front of fireworks. That’s pretty much it. It’s about as languid a Bond opening as you could ever imagine.”

5. Octopussy
“Octopussy’s” mediocrity is broadcast from its opening credits. A red laser outline of Bond and his code number rotate over partially clad women. Cutting into these sequences are the expected silhouettes of women and men dancing and tumbling through the air. File this one under “Generic Bond Openings.”"


1. Domino Vitali (from “Thunderball”)

“Claudine Auger is gorgeous, melting off the screen in an array of cleavage-barring bikinis. Auger has fantastic chemistry with Connery. Domino isn’t just eye-candy, as she actually contributes to the plot and helps the protagonist out.”

2. Tracy di Vicenzo (from “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”)

“Tracy proves to be Bond’s equal. She actually rescues him during one moment. She has a brutal fight scene with a henchman. Diana Riggs and George Lazenby have fire-cracker chemistry. If Bond was going to truly fall in love with one woman, she would have to be incredible. Riggs’ Tracy fills this tall order with ease.”

3. Vesper Lynd (from “Casino Royale”)

“Craig and Eva Green share an immediate chemistry. At first, the bond they share is light-hearted flirting. However, a sturdier connection quickly forms. A touching scene has Bond comforting Lynd in the shower after she nearly dies. It’s a dynamite performance from Green. Her exotic beauty, including those piercing eyes, hides an innate vulnerability.”

4. Pussy Galore (from “Goldfinger”)

“So many women fall at Bond’s feet but Galore is not so easily swayed. She introduces herself to Bond by pointing a gun at his face. She tosses him around a barn. Honor Blackman is a formidable opponent for Connery.”

5. Fiona Volpe (from “Thunderball”)

“We’ve had women before that seek to betray Bond and usually fall to his charms. Not so with Fiona Volpe. After the required roll in the hay, Volpe pointedly does not switch sides, continuing to pursue Bond, acting as the film’s secondary villain.”

6. Melina Havelock  (from “For Your Eyes Only”)

“Melina’s plotline is more detailed then your regular Bond girl. She’s on a quest of revenge. She’s not afraid to fight along side Bond. The secret agent warns her about the cost of revenge, providing “For Your Eyes Only” a bit of weight. Most importantly, Moore has fantastic chemistry with Bouquet.”

7. Kara Milovy (from “The Living Daylights”)

“Kara Milovy is a true innocent being manipulated by her scumbag boyfriend. Bond is manipulating her at first too. However, real sparks fly between the two. The romantic relationship forms the backbone of “The Living Daylights.” The romantic encounters the two have are genuinely charming. You really want to see these two lovebirds run off together.”

8. Anya Amasova (from “The Spy Who Loved Me”)

“Amasova is very much the Soviet equivalent of Bond. Barbara Bach’s exotic beauty is a great fit for the character. She has fantastic chemistry with Moore. The two play against each other before eventually falling into each others’ arms. Most films would have stopped there but their relationship continues to evolve.”

9. Wai Lin (from “Tomorrow Never Dies”)

“Lin is a badass Chinese secret agent. She rocks a leather catsuit, grapples down a wall, and sneaks throwing stars into her boots. Michelle Yeoh is so badass that the movie is not afraid to give her a stand-alone action scene, the most lively sequence in the film. It’s no wonder why as Yeoh is magnetic, goes toe-to-toe with Brosnan, and nearly outmatches him.”

10. Xenia Onatopp (from “GoldenEye”)

“The character is a literal femme fatale, crushing her lovers to death between her thighs. She’s sexual aroused by murder, Famke Janssen groaning in orgasmic glee while machine gunning victims. Janssen is fantastically over-the-top. It’s great to see a bad guy equal to Bond in violent capacity and sexual appetite. It’s even more refreshing that she’s a woman.”

Honorable Mentions: Tatiana Romonova, Solitaire, Dr. Holly Goodhead, Sylvia Trench, Camille Montes


1. Mary Goodnight (from “The Man with the Golden Gun”)

“To be brutally honest, Mary Goodnight is stupid as hell. She gets locked in the truck of a car. While Bond is attempting to deactivate the villain’s death ray, she backs into the “on” button, nearly killing him. Bond shoves her in a closest at one point and I don’t blame him.”

2. Jinx (from “Die Another Day”)

“Jinx is designed to be as “cool” as possible. The character gets nearly as much action as Bond. There’s a big problem though. Halle Berry is terrible in the part. Every line is read as flatly as possible. She seems utterly lost, like a child pretending to be a grown-up. Jinx is also nowhere as cool as the film thinks she is.”

3. Tiffany Case (from “Diamonds are Forever”)

“Personality wise, Tiffany Case is rotten. She’s motivated solely by greed and is more interested in saving her own skin then helping Bond. Worst, Case actively screws up Bond’s plans several time. Sean Connery and Jill St. John have zero chemistry.”

4. Dr. Christmas Jones  (from “The World is Not Enough”)

“Denise Richards’ casting as a nuclear scientist has been widely, rightly mocked. Richards has the body of a porn star which wouldn’t be a problem if she didn’t have the delivery of one too. Her line-readings are flat and disinterested. She doesn’t come off as a knowledgeable scientist. Instead, she acts like a petulant teenage girl.”

5. Helga Brandt (from “You Only Live Twice”)

“Karin Dor’s Helga Brandt, with her indistinct personality and silly accent, is a poor man’s Fiona Volpe.”


1. Ernst Stravo Blofeld (from “You Only Live Twice”)

“Donald Pleasence originated the part. That Blofled is usually represented by his cat is fitting. His manner is cat-like, distant, smugly superior, but with a keen, predatory intellect. Speaking in a staccato voice, he packs each word with as much coldly threatening energy as possible. Blofled has been played by many actors. Yet Pleasence casts the biggest shadow.”

2. Le Chiffre (from “Casino Royale”)

“Le Chiffre appears to be an expected Bond villain. However, Mads Mikkelsen gives him an unexpected quality. Le Chiffre has an air of desperation about him. At the end, his face is caked with sweat as he looses more hope. Yet the character never looses his sense of executing coolness. Though fully human, he’s still a serious threat to Bond.”

3. Alec Trevelyan 006 (from “GoldenEye”)

“Trevelyan was Bond’s brother in arms. However, 006 has a dark history. The government sent his parents to their deaths and he still holds a grudge against the crown. His plan isn’t much different then your usual Bond villain’s but his motivation is more personal. Sean Bean is great, packing the dialogue with as much venom as possible while arguably being cooler then Brosnan.”

4. Red Grant (from “From Russia with Love”)

“It’s impressive the filmmakers cooked up a villain that could intimate Bond. Grant is a man of few words, not speaking until the movie’s nearly over. He’s all harsh determination and brutal execution with a calculating intelligence. Ultimately, Grant is Bond’s Soviet counterpart, a home-brewed killing machine with his eyes solely on the mission.”

5. Auric Goldfinger (from “Goldfinger”)

“Gert Frobe’s Goldfinger codified much of what we associate with a Bond villain. He covers everything in gold. He is foreign, sporting a non-specific European accent. Goldfinger is a man of fine taste, demanding the best things in life. He’s also petty, taking every minor lose as a personal insult. This mixture of refinement, eccentric obsessions, and rat-bastard villainy makes Goldfinger equally sinister and nasty.”

6. Raoul Silva (from “Skyfall”)

“Many of 007’s most memorable adversaries darkly mirror Bond. Silva is a former double-0. Instead of fighting for queen and country, he fights for himself. He’s as calculating as Bond. Javier Bardem plays the character between psychotic mastermind and foppish dandy. He’s viciously efficient in his plan while also carrying that classic Bond villain style.”

7. Franz Sanchez (from “Licence to Kill”)

“The nastiest Bond villain in quite some time, Robert Davi plays Sanchez as a ruthless businessman, willing to murder anyone who gets in his way. Even his girlfriend isn’t safe, as he whips her with a stingray’s tail. The only things Sanchez truly enjoys are money and his pet iguana. Davi, a character actor capable of great intensity, is well cast in the part.”

8. Francisco Scaramanga (from “The Man with the Golden Gun”)

“Christopher Lee’s towering figure and baritone voice are an ideal match for a Bond villain. Scaramaga is as skilled at killing as Bond, as stylish, with similar tastes in fine things. Lee seems to relish the part, bringing all his sinister glee. “The Man with the Golden Gun” doesn’t do much right but casting Lee as the three-nippled evil-doer was a perfect decision.”

9. Max Zorin (from “A View to a Kill”)

“Max Zorin is a cold-stone killer, willing to murder thousands to make himself rich. Moreover, he seems to enjoy the pain he causes. He grins with sadistic glee while executing his own men. Christopher Walken creates a character distinct from the comic book supervillains of the last few flicks. Instead, Zorin is a frighteningly plausible sociopath and madman.”

10. Elektra King (from “The World is Not Enough”)

“Elektra King is first introduced as a traumatized victim. When Bond meets her, she is a strong businesswoman. However, turns out, she’s the mastermind behind the evil plot. In a surprising turn of events, she has been manipulating Bond all along. Sophie Marceau is equally adapt at playing a innocent victim, a purring sex kitten, and a sociopathic villainess.”

Honorable Mentions: Dr. No, Hugo Drax, Mr. Big


1. Gustav Graves (from “Die Another Day”)
“In an absurd plot twist, the British billionaire Gustav Graves is actually a North Korean Colonel. His final goal is to destroy South Korea with his space laser, all a ploy to regain his father’s respect. Toby Stephens is whiny and unappealing in the part, making for an obnoxious bad guy further damaged by a ridiculous plot line.”

2. Elliot Carver (from “Tomorrow Never Dies”)
“The motivation behind Carver’s actions is laughable. He wants to start a war with China because they denied his news station access to the country. Jonathan Pryce goes way over the top in the part, preening like an evil peacock.”

3. Dominic Greene (from “Quantum of Solace”)
“Greene is unintimidating. Mathieu Amalric’s performance is weaselly and nasal. When faced with Bond, he grabs an axe, fidgets around, stabs himself in the foot, and stumbles off a platform. Le Chiffre as a nervous wreck was a fresh approach. “Quantum of Solace” goes too far in the same direction, creating a bad guy that is weak-willed and pathetic.”

4. Kamal Khan (from “Octopussy”)
“Khan is not the most complicated villain. His loyalty to the Soviets is never expanded on. Greed appears to be his motivator but that doesn’t explain why he’s willing to kill thousands. Louis Jourdan does fine in the part.  I suspect he could have played a more memorable threat if cast in a more memorable film.”

5. Brad Whittaker (from “The Living Daylights”)
“The mastermind behind the film’s plot is Brad Whitaker, the weapons dealer. Joe Don Baker would probably never be anyone’s first choice for a Bond villain. He’s smug but desperate, motivated mostly by greed and his own inflated sense of ego.”


1. Jaws (from “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Moonraker”)

"The most beloved lackey in the Bond universe. With his metallic teeth, he severs people’s spines, like a strictly murderous vampire. His superstrength is monstrous, as are his subtle cunning and tendency to appear when least expected. Jaws is patently indestructible too. Each time he walks away, dusting his suit off. Little character traits like this makes Jaws sort of lovable.”

2. Xenia Onatopp (from “GoldenEye”)

“Refreshingly, Bond’s fights with Onatopp are clearly painful for him. You’re not certain the spy can defeat the psychotic sexpot. This is most notable during their final fight in the jungles of Cuba, where we see her spine-crushing technique up-close.”

3. Fiona Volpe (from “Thunderball”)

“The fiery Luciana Paluzzi is great in the role, matching Connery’s wit and strength. She also gets to ride on a rad, missile shooting motorcycle!”

4. Oddjob (from “Goldfinger")

“Harold Sakata is built like a brick wall, a barrel-chested man that towers over Connery. Sakata never speaks but says plenty with a wry smile. He’s a sadistic tough guy who enjoys his work. Oddjob gets an unforgettable gimmick too. His razor-lined hat is one of the most parodied and referenced aspects of any Bond movie.”

5. Fatima Blush (from “Never Say Never Again”)

“Barbara Carrera’s Blush beats men in a fashion obviously meant to imply a dominatrix. She immediately wants Bond and the two share the steamiest sex scene out of any of the films. Carrera goes nicely over the type, creating a psychotic female adversary for the famous secret agent.”

6. Mayday (from “A View to a Kill”)

“For no discernible reason, Mayday has superhuman strength, tossing a grown man overhead. As ridiculous as that is, Grace Jones seems like she really could toss guys around. Her figure is Amazonian, her bone structure harsh, and she has an incomparable set of crazy eyes. When she jumps in bed with Bond, you honestly fear for the guy’s life.”

7. Necros (from “The Living Daylights”)

“Necros provides the film’s physical threat. Andreas Wisniewski shares a stern, Aryan appearance with many other Bond henchman. Necros, however, is especially brutal, strangling his targets with headphone cords. Though his ice cold expression doesn’t show it, he clearly enjoys taking out his targets.”

8. Baron Samedi (from “Live and Let Die”)

“Baron Samedi, the most immediately recognizable of voodoo spirits, puts in an appearance. It’s a memorable one too, Geoffrey Holder filling out the character’s frame well and nailing the flamboyant behavior.”

9. Dario (from “Licence to Kill”)

“Assisting Sanchez is Dario, played by a very young Benicio del Toro. Dario is as sadistic as his boss, gleefully cutting out a man’s heart and cackling at Bond’s torture. del Toro also brings some of his trademark eccentricity to the part, making Dario a memorable Bond henchman.”

10. Hans (from “You Only Live Twice”)

“Blofeld gets away but Bond gets a climatic tussle with the main henchman, the burly Hans. The way that plays out, with the villain tossed into the piranha pit, is incredibly satisfying.”

Honorable Mention: Erich Kriegler, Zao, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd


Let’s answer the important questions. How many people has James Bond murdered over the years? And how many women has he boned? These numbers now include the stats from "Spectre," so the list should be entirely accurate, as far as I can tell.


Daniel Craig: 285
Pierce Brosnan: 194
Sean Connery: 96
Roger Moore: 89
Timothy Dalton: 23David Niven: 15
George Lazenby: 5
Barry Nelson: 1

TOTAL: 708 (692 without unofficial movies)


Sean Connery: 24
Roger Moore: 21
Pierce Brosnan: 10
Daniel Craig: 8
Timothy Dalton: 4
George Lazenby: 3
Barry Nelson: 1
David Niven: 0

TOTAL: 71 (66 without unofficial movies)


In homage to my good friends at “AllOuttaBubbleGum,” each Bond movie was subjected to a checklist called the 007 Seven, a collection of essential Bond elements. Now, I breakdown which films meet which criterion.

In 17 out of the 27 films, Bond destroys an evil doer's lair. In five of those films, the lair is a vehicle of some sort. It’s a boat in “Thunderball” and “Tomorrow Never Dies,” a space station in “Moonraker,” a blimp in “A View to a Kill” and a plane in “Die Another Day.” In two films, “Dr. No” and “The Man with the Golden Gun,” the villain’s lair is on an island.

In 20 out of the 27 films, James Bond drinks or orders a vodka martini.

In 26 out of the 27 films, James Bond is captured and/or tortured. Bond is captured more frequently then he is tortured. Bond is tortured in all three versions of “Casino Royale,” He also is tortured in “Goldfinger,” “Thunderball,” “For Your Eyes Only,” “Never Say Never Again,” arguably “GoldenEye,” “The World is Not Enough,” and “Die Another Day.” He’s threatened with torture in “Tomorrow Never Dies” but the bad guys don’t deliver. “Quantum of Solace” is the only film where Bond is neither captured nor tortured.

In 22 of the 27 films, Bond introduces himself as “Bond – James Bond.”

In 11 of the 27 films, Bond teams-up with Felix Leiter. Out of all of the 007 Seven stats, this is the least frequently reoccurring one. Leiter has been played by nine different actors. Only David Hedison, in “Live and Let Die” and “Licence to Kill,” and Jeffrey Wright, in “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace,” reprised the role. Timothy Dalton is the only official Bond to team-up with Leiter in all of his adventures.

In 26 of the 27 films, Bond uses judo or his Walther PPK to defend against an enemy. Bond uses one or the other method in all of the official Eon productions. Barry Nelson in the 1954 version of “Casino Royale” is the only James Bond to use neither judo nor a Walther PPK.

In 24 out of the 27 films, James Bond wears a tux. Every Bond actor, including Barry Nelson and Peter Sellers, has worn a tuxedo.

Only three films in the series get a perfect score at the 007 Seven. Those are “Dr. No,” “Goldfinger,” and “Licence to Kill.” Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, and, as of now, Daniel Craig have never gotten a perfect seven.


While we’re here, I’m going to indulge in a little fan-wankery about the future of the Bond franchise. We’ll know everything about “Spectre,” the 24th official Bond flick, come November. After that, Daniel Craig is contracted for one more film. Presumably, the 25th movie, likely to be released in 2018, will be Craig’s last adventure as Bond.

“Spectre” is reintroducing the villainous organization and, one assumes, its leader Blofeld. The current rumor is that the 25th film will be a direct continuation of this one. Thus, we can assume that the rivalry between Bond and Blofeld, or at least these versions of them, will come to an end here. So I suggest number 25 be called “Shatterhand,” a frequent alias of the literary Blofeld and a pretty bitchin’ title in its own right.

After that, a new actor will likely fill the role. Though the internet's choice of Idris Elba would be great for the part, I fear he might be too old when the time comes to recast. I'd recommend Dan Stevens for 007, based solely on “The Guest.” I’d like his premiere film to be entitled “Everything or Nothing.” The phrase has been used for both a video game and a documentary but its classic connection to the series’ mythology, and the way it encapsulates the character’s philosophy, makes it a great title for anyone’s first Bond movie. Following that, I would like to see Eon use up the remaining Ian Fleming titles that aren’t awful. Namely, “The Property of a Lady” and “Risico.” I’d be okay if “The Hildebrand Rarity” and “007 in New York” never reach theater marquees.

I’m certain nearly none of this will come to be. This is what I personally think would be the coolest choices for the franchise’s near and not-so-near future. Feel free to ignore these half-dazed imaginings.


James Bond is a pretty cool guy. I enjoy most of his movies. Watching all of them within one month was fairly exhausting. However, the last three Craig movies were good enough to reignite my fandom of the series. So I’m quite excited for the next entry and will obviously review it as soon as I can. Until then though, I’m done with 007. Consider this mission dossier… Closed.