Monday, March 26, 2018

The Worst and Best Bond-Movie Moments

For my next trick, I shall deliver unto you my picks for the 25 worst and 25 best single moments in the totality of Bond films.  (Well, "totality" excluding the following: the "Casino Royale" episode of Climax!, Casino Royale '67, Never Say Never Again, and James Bond Jr, the latter three of which were excluded so they would not hog the entirety of the "worst" list.)
   
In deciding what moments to use in making the lists, I have done my very best to NOT do the following:
  
  • include a moment merely because it is a great -- or terrible -- line of dialogue; so, for example, "Named for your father, perhaps...?" is nowhere to be found, awesome moment though that is; you will similarly not find "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to DIE!" here.  That said, are there moments that are largely based on the dialogue delivered?  Yep.
  • include a moment merely because it is a great piece of stuntwork (a list of the best Bond stunts would be a great idea, though); which is not to say that no stunt-centric moments will make the list, for they surely will; but a few iconic moments (such as the boat crossing the road in Live and Let Die) are absent, as well
  • include entire scenes; so, for example, Silva's entrance monologue is nowhere to be found, because that's not a moment, that's a scene (although it's entirely possible one moment FROM that awesome scene has made the cut); the scene in which Bond consoles Vesper in the shower, or the one in which Le Chiffre tortures Bond?  Similarly absent.  Best scenes of Bond films?  Great idea for a post!  Maybe I'll write it one of these years.
  • include moments that may horrify modern audiences with their sexism and/or racism; you can find plenty of that in these films, and maybe some of them deserve to be here, but frankly, it might have threatened to overwhelm the focus of the post, and I simply didn't want to do that.  You can probably find that sort of thing done in a more illuminating manner on some other blog.
  • have the best-of list be merely a collection of "cool shit James Bond did" moments; this was a danger, and I believe I avoided it, barely

It is, admittedly, a very rough and ill-defined set of criteria.  You may read through it and feel I've failed entirely in trying to herd the cats I'm referring to as "criteria" here.

If so, feel free to use the comment section and tell me how shite I am.

We'll begin, of course, with the worst.  A note of clarification: #25 worst is, in my estimation, less bad than #1 worst.  So we're counting down from the offensive to the horrendously offensive.

Got it?

Cool.  Here we go:


The 25 Worst Moments In James Bond Films


#25 -- Mr. Kidd and his flaming kebabs (Diamonds Are Forever)


 
 
I hate Diamonds Are Forever.  Spoiler alert: this won't be the last time it appears on this list.

I also hate almost everything about Mr. Wint and (especially) Mr. Kidd.  Mr. Kidd, as played by Putter Smith, is a hairy thumb wearing glasses, a mustachioed pudding who I am expected to believe is a formidable enough adversary to be in a position on numerous occasions to subdue James Bond.

Get out of here with that bullmess.

Right at the end of the movie, this cretin decides to have one final go at 007 by igniting some kerosene-soaked kebabs and then walking them calmly in Bond's direction.  There is no urgency to it; no menace.  Jill St. John looks at him, makes an "ugh" face, and then backs away.  I don't know what director Guy Hamilton was thinking in the way he filmed this scene; I'm not sure he was paying any attention.

Awful.


#24 -- the "C" joke (Spectre)




After the title sequence in Spectre -- another movie I fucking hate -- Bond is introduced by M to Max Denbigh, who will turn out to be one of the movie's villains.  Bond quips about how he should call Denbigh "C" now, which Denbigh seemingly takes as a sort of compliment.  He insists that "Denbigh" will do just fine, to which Bond replies, "No, I think I'll call you 'C' now, C."  To which Denbigh replies by kind of just being confused and saying, "As you wish."

So I guess the idea here is that Bond is surreptitiously calling Denbigh a cunt...?  I guess the idea here is that Bond is vexed by Denbigh's new spy initiative that may put MI6 out of business...?  The latter doesn't come across well, and the former simply makes no sense.  If Bond were -- even on the down-low -- calling Denbigh a cunt in front of M, M would likely produce a large saber of some sort and simply lop 007's stupid head off.  If Denbigh didn't beat him to it.  That neither of them has any reaction indicates that neither of them got the joke (IF that's what it even is!), which means that Bond is being a fucking pussy in this scene.

Beyond that, Daniel Craig is awful here.  He's not built to be doing whatever it is he's doing.  He may have been just as confused by the intent as I am; that, at least, might explain the performance.


#23 -- X-ray spy specs (The World Is Not Enough)




If you can explain to me how X-ray spy spectacles work that have the ability to see through clothes BUT ONLY IN A PG-13 MANNER, then you may deserve some sort of university fellowship for scientific research.

Everything about this little bit of The World Is Not Enough is idiotic.  Why not just have Bond wear the glasses plus a big smirk and let us imagine what he's seeing?  So we could see the weapons, I guess.  Which mattered ... why, again?


#22 -- Jaws can't steer (Moonraker)




Alright, look: I love Moonraker.  Truly.  It's an idiot of a movie, but a grinning idiot, like a tame bear.  It's operating on a kid's-movie level, and as such, I think it's a blast.

But Jaws...?  Man, Jaws bums me out.  Not AS much in this movie as in the comparatively more serious The Spy Who Loved Me, but a good bit.  This is perhaps his worst moment in Moonraker: in hot pursuit of James Bond, Jaws is stupid enough to just keep chasing him right up to the edge of a waterfall.  Then he's stupid enough to just yank the entire steering wheel off, condemning his boatload of henchmen to a certain death as they are dashed to bits at the bottom of the waterfall.

The scene is sure to make kiddies laugh.  And it kind of still makes me laugh, too; but it's really kind of embarrassing.


#21 -- Jaws meets Dolly (Moonraker)




Everything about this subplot screams WTF.  The acronym "WTF" may as well have been invented specifically for this subplot.

Honestly, I have no actual words to say about this scene.  Instead, I shall resort to a modified screencap of what we cut to in the movie right after Jaws and Dolly go walking off hand in hand:




As much as I love Moonraker, you could probably have made a 25-worst-Bond-moments list strictly from that movie.  Bless its heart!

You could quite possibly do the same from our next movie:


#20 -- "Yo mama" (Die Another Day)




I know, I know: I said I wasn't going to list things here simply because they were terrible (or great) lines of dialogue.  And indeed, that's not the only reason this moment is making the worst-of cut.  Halle Berry is pretty bad here, which is one of the only places in the film that's true.

See, Jinx Jordan is actually quite a good Bond girl; arguably, she's a GREAT Bond girl.  But this one moment -- in which Jinx's reply when asked who sent her is "Yo mama" -- is so horrendous that I think it is all a lot of people remember about the character.  Berry says it with no real conviction; if she had put it into Jinx's mouth with a hint of real fuck-you in on her lips, it might have come off as bitingly ironic.

Instead, it is a dead fish, lying limply on the table and stinking up the entire room.


#19 -- Tiffany Case with a gun (Diamonds Are Forever)




Throughout Diamonds Are Forever, Tiffany Case is (allegedly*) portrayed as being a tougher-than-nails dame who can handle any situation.  So why, toward the end, does she turn into a complete dunce?

The worst moment is this one, in which she is using a rapid-fire weapon to shoot at some henchmen, and is so overpowered by it that (A) she only fires into the air and (B) shoots herself right off the oil rig.  Is this supposed to make Bond look cooler in comparison or something?  It doesn't work.

*I say "allegedly" because let's face it, Jill St. John doesn't exactly sell this aspect.  In her hands, Tiffany Case seems like a bit of a weakling for most of the movie.


#18 -- Bond commands a tiger to sit (Octopussy)




I love Octopussy, but it's not without its flaws, and seemingly about half of them show up during the sequence in which Bond tries to escape Kamal Khan's palace via the jungle.  I could easily have chosen several things from it for this list, but managed to restrict myself to one: the moment in which 007, faced with an angry tiger, looks the big cat right in the eye and says "sit!"

It's not merely that this is inane (DOGS respond to "sit!", not cats, especially fucking tigers), it's that Roger Moore's delivery is garbage.  In no way does he seem to James Bond at this moment.  If he'd done something persuasively Bondian to get out of this jam, I'd be inclined to overlook it.


#17 -- gondola assassin foiled (Moonraker)




Again, it's not so much that this scene is ridiculous -- though it certainly is -- but moreso the manner in which it is performed.  Bond is being ferried down a canal in Venice, and a funeral gondola (?!?) passes by with a knife-wielding assassin inside the coffin.  It pops open -- and by "pops" I mean "unenergetically" -- and the assassin promptly kills Bond's gondolier.  He throws another knife at Bond, but misses, so 007 grabs the knife out of the side of the boat and throws it right into the assassin's chest.  The "actor" playing the assassin grabs his chest in a manner not even as convincing as a Red Foxx special, calmly lies down, and the coffin closes again.

Awful.

And, by the way, don't be surprised if that "actor" was not in fact a stuntman, employed more for his knife-throwing skills than his thespianism.  If so, it's understandable, but the end result was not worth it.


#16 -- Jaws versus the scaffolding (The Spy Who Loved Me)







Can I be honest?  I don't much care for Jaws.  I know people love him; and in a way, I do too.  But I love the idea of him more so than the actuality of him, and if you want to know why, I'll tell you: the series put him to stupefyingly poor use at times.

I would argue this is the absolute nadir of that side of the character.  You would have to be mentally incompetent not to see this coming from a mile away.  So how does that do anything beneficial for the character, this scene, or the movie overall?

Answer: it doesn't.  But The Spy Who Loved Me is a garbage movie in general, so I shouldn't be surprised.

Yeah, that's right!  I said it!  And I meant it!

By the way, don't think I wasn't tempted for one of the items on this worst list to simply be "Barbara Bach."


#15 -- "You've just killed James Bond!" (Diamonds Are Forever)




After killing the real smuggler Peter Franks, 007 swaps identities with him.  Tiffany Case checks the dead man's wallet, and finds identification.  "You've just killed James Bond!" she says, incredulously, as though she had just witnessed the despatching of Iron Man. 

Three reasons why this moment made the cut:

(1)  The mere idea that Tiffany Case would know who James Bond is appallingly idiotic.
(2)  Jill St. John's delivery of the line is annoying.
(3)  The stupidity of having the form of identification be a Playboy Club card.

Fuck you, Diamonds Are Forever.


#14 -- burly henchman on Zorin assembly line (A View to a Kill)




The scene in A View to a Kill in which Bond and Tibbett fight a couple of Zorin's henchmen near the assembly line is quite probably the worst fight scene in the entire series.  And the worst bit of that fight comes when, after Bond has finished off the burly henchman, the scene cuts from a rattled Tibbett to a shot of the burly stuntman in the act of lying down on the conveyor belt.  The editor, Peter Davies, has clearly had a dilemma: tasked with making sure the audience understands why the henchman is on the conveyor belt in the first place (and therefore understands why he is crated up as though he were a bunch of microchips), he has seemingly snipped off every possible frame of the stuntman lying down in the hopes that nobody would notice.

Somebody noticed.


#13 -- "gassed" soldiers play dead (Goldfinger)




Oh, you thought all the GOOD Bond movies were exempt from the worst-moments list?  No sir!

It doesn't screencap very well, but I hate the moment in Goldfinger in which the airplanes fly over the military base and spray what they think is nerve gas.  A line of soldiers "falls down" "dead."  In fact, the soldiers are merely playing dead; and in fact, the actors playing the soldiers merely lay down en masse.

You don't see fakeness of this magnitude every day.


#12 -- Lupe Lamora's "I love James so much!" (Licence to Kill)




Another line of atrocious dialogue, but it's not merely the dialogue that has put this moment on our list.  The best actor ever to live would have been hard-pressed to make it work, but Talisa Soto -- who was not the best actor ever to live -- comes nowhere close.

"You know," she says to Pam, as though she were casually mentioning having a headache, "I love James so much!"

And, like ... there's been no indication of that being the case; so that's bad.  What's worse is that Lupe's confession sends Pam into a fit of jealousy, which itself has not been hinted at very well.  Both of these are fairly good characters, and this one moment ruins them both.

It's almost impressive.

Speaking of unearned passion:


#11 -- "...and I'll do anything for you!" (For Your Eyes Only)




I swear, I haven't forgotten my rule against opting merely for awful dialogue.  This moment is cringe-inducing for any number of reasons.

And yes, the dialogue is key among them.  Bond wants to know how Bibi got into his hotel room, and she answers by saying she bribed a porter, who is a fan of hers.  "He'll do anything for me ... and I'll do anything for you!"

But what puts this moment on our list is Lynn-Holly Johnson's nonverbal coda to this line.  She closes her eyes in a reverie, shrugs, and grins widely.  She honestly seems about four years old in this moment.  And yeah, the joke is that Bibi is much too young for Bond, but still.

Man.  How did this miss the top ten?

I'll tell you how...


#10 -- inflatable Kananga (Live and Let Die)


Before we proceed, I must caution you NOT to look into this thing's eyes.






I suppose there was no way for this moment to win using 1973's special effects.  And if so, this arguably means that I'm being judgmental less of a moment here than I am of a special effects, or perhaps of a plot point.

Ah, but not really!  I mean, yes; both of those things.

But what really and truly sinks this moment is the editing, which is seemingly zoomed in and is therefore incredibly grainy.  So not only is it a horrendous plot point executed via a shoddy special effect, but the literal film quality takes an incredible downward leap for these few seconds.

Imagine being Yaphet Kotto and having to live with the fact that this is how your villain -- the only black main villain for a Bond villain even to this day in 2018! -- goes out.  Tears would I be weeping, every god damn night.

We are going to transition from one lousy effect to another:


#9 -- CGI para-surfing (Die Another Day)







Alright, I confess: this moment really IS here almost entirely due to it being poor visual effects work.  Which arguably makes this a bit of a cheat.  (So does the fact that it's arguably more of a scene than a moment.)

Here's the thing: it's not just that it's bad.  It's that it's SO INCREDIBLY bad that I am convinced it single-handedly ruined this movie's reputation.  Don't get me wrong: there's plenty of other stuff to complain about (the invisible car, Madonna, Madonna's song, etc.); but I think people were mostly still with the movie at this point.

Then, it happens: a scene in which James Bond uses a piece of metal and a parachute to surf along, over, and away from a tidal wave caused by a laser beam from outer space.  It's a big ask, even for a Bond movie.  If it had somehow been accomplished primarily via real-life stuntman, I think people might still have rolled their eyes at it, but they'd have accepted it and moved on.

Here, though, what we get is about (seemingly) twenty minutes of piss-poor CGI, intercut with shots of Pierce Brosnan trying valiantly to (A) appear as if he is actually steering this contraption and (B) appear as if he is actually in the scene.  It doesn't work, I am sad to say.

And I really am sad to say it, because not only do I think this moment/scene tanked people's feelings about the movie, I strongly suspect that it indirectly led to Pierce Brosnan's unceremonious firing by the producers of the series.  What a shame!  He had, by any standard of measurement, had a commercially successful run as 007, up to and including this film.

He deserved better.  And I blame the CGI in this scene, which looks awful in 2018 but looked shoddy even in 2002 when it was brand new.


#8 -- fake-moon-landing gravity (Diamonds Are Forever)




I've been accused in the past of being too hard on Diamonds Are Forever, which I might well be.  I strongly considering removing this moment from my worst-of list at the last minute and trying to find some acceptable substitute, not because I fear that I'm being too hard on the movie -- fuck that movie! -- but because I have to admit to being pretty damn amused by this oddball scene.

However, I think that by any semi-objective standard, this whole thing is just awful.  So in deference to that, I'm leaving it in.

And to be clear, what I'm saying gives it its place is not the conspiracy-theorist fake-moon-landing angle, but the fact that the "astronauts" opt to continue moving as though oppressed by the lighter gravity of the moon when their jobs in this moment are clearly to subdue the infiltrator in their midst.

Which really does make me chuckle, against my better judgment.  Still, this moment is sheer swamp ass, and I hope its ranking here reflects that.


#7 -- Goodnight rear-ends the Solex controls (The Man With the Golden Gun)




Just incredible.

I am by no means the world's biggest fan of The Man With the Golden Gun.  I used to not like it at all; that changed during the course of writing this blog, but despite that, I have to admit that it is a very flawed film.

One of its worst flaws is the manner in which it treats Mary Goodnight, its ostensible female lead.  I believe this film -- to the extent that it is a living and breathing entity of its own -- hates Mary Goodnight and/or Britt Ekland, the actress who played her.  Throughout, seemingly every opportunity is taken to demonstrate that hatred.

Or if not hatred, perhaps contempt.  Whichever, the fact the movie asks her to literally back into a big red button that can and does activate a destructive laser beam is next-level bad.


#6 -- Blofeld in drag (Diamonds Are Forever)


Drink THIS motherfucking nightmare fuel in, y'all:







I should remember that it's 2018, and I might possibly be accused of being insensitive (if not downright homophobic or transphobic) by ranking this here.  Hey, look, I got virtually no homophobia in me; maybe a wee touch of transphobia, I can't lie about that.  But not enough to make it necessary for anyone in that community to worry about my thoughts and/or feelings; y'all do what you want to do, it ain't gonna hurt me none.

But if all of y'all looked like what Charles Gray's Blofeld looked right in drag, I would be younameit-phobic.  I will own that shit right here and now, proudly, defiantly; and I feel certain that at least half of y'all queens are right there with me, if only in secret.

*shudder*


#5 -- double-take pigeon (Moonraker)


This moment doesn't screencap well at all, so let's have a look at the actual moment.  And you know the one already, right?




I actually love everything about this silly-ass scene.  Is it ridiculous that Bond has a hover-convertible gondola?  Oh, you bet it is!  Is it ridiculous that a pigeon is so flummoxed by it that it responds in human fashion, like it's Don Knotts or something?  Of course it is!  It's also hilarious.  And despite that, I'm including the moment here.  I am a beneficent and reasonable blogger, so I yield to the demands of the worldwide Bond-loving populace, who would likely insist that this HAS to be here.

And my rationale is this: the reason I include this moment despite loving the overall scene is that the editorial manner in which the double-take was achieved is awful.  Just dreadful. 

The best part of that clip, by the way, is the judgmental-looking dog, who is squinting at everyone involved in these decisions and -- correctly -- finding them to be lacking.

We've got another video coming up, since this moment also proved to be highly screencap-resistant.


#4 -- Elliot Carver's sarcastic kung fu (Tomorrow Never Dies)




I sometimes forget this moment.  In fact, when I compiled this list initially, I forgot it entirely.  I wasn't happy with some other thing that I'd listed and decided to remove it, and was trying to figure out what to put in its place.  I had a vague sense that some of the movie were perhaps under-represented, so I went on a hunt through a few of them...

...and landed squarely on this, which I immediately vaulted into the top five (even though what I'd been looking for was a replacement #25).

I loathe everything about Elliot Carver.  And about the performance Jonathan Pryce gives in the role, for that matter.  But this moment in which he mocks Wai Lin is so wackadoo that you almost have to tip your hat in its direction.

Some people may well do so.  Shit, man, remember that one speech in which a certain prominent U.S. politician bold-facedly mocked a disabled reporter?  If THAT guy can get away with that in the real world, then I suppose I have to admit that what Carver/Pryce does in this scene is perhaps (A) entirely realistic and (B) permissible as (a) fictional or (b) actual villainy.
 
It is thus admitted.  Still, this is handily one of the very worst things that happens in any Bond movie.


#3 -- confused dudes versus the DEA (Licence to Kill)


Gotta set this one up a bit before bringing in the screencaps.

In the pre-titles sequence of Licence to Kill, Bond and Felix Leiter -- who suddenly works for the DEA and not the CIA, but whatever -- are on their way to Felix's wedding.  Felix receives a tip that a most-wanted drug dealer is nearby, so they cheese off to try apprehending him.  When they arrive at the airfield, Felix and the other DEA agents go running across the runway in slow motion.  It's the most serious thing you have ever seen in your LIFE:




It goes on for what seems like about an hour, and when we cut away, what we cut to is this:




These two hapless a-holes are presumably Sanchez's getaway pilots.  They appear to have NO fucking idea what is going on here.  They appear to have just wandered out of a Burger King to find that their car has been shit on by Godzilla.

They respond in the only way one imagines they are able:




It's bad acting in any sense of the idea, but what makes it a truly godawful moment is the juxtaposition with the furious pursuit of the DEA taskforce.  This is Ed Wood-level bad.


#2 -- Secret Asian Man (You Only Live Twice)




Let's forget about whether You Only Live Twice is racist or not.  That's a toilet full of snakes of a conversation.

This moment is here not because it is racist as fuck -- it might be, it might not be; I really don't know what even counts anymore, if you want to know the truth -- but because of how incredibly poorly the film sells the concept of what is actually supposed to be happening here.

James Bond, you see, has been attended to by the Japanese Secret Service and given a makeup job designed to have him pass as a local in a fishing village.  The result is so unconvincing -- in our real world, if not within the story itself (where it apparently works like a fucking charm) -- that I did not even realize what was happening for the first two and a half(ish) decades of seeing the movie.

I don't remember what year it was, but the Alabama Theatre in Birmingham hosted a three-day Bond series one weekend in which the six Connery films were screened, two per night.  The final one, of course, was You Only Live Twice followed by Diamonds Are Forever.  I was in heaven seeing these movies on a big screen.  A friend -- hi, Brian! -- tagged along with me; he was not a Bond fan beyond having seen maybe one or two of the Brosnan-era films.  But we went to the Alabama all the time, so he was down for this.

He hated these two movies, though.  In retrospect, I don't blame him one bit.  As we were driving home, he dropped a bomb on me: "What was up with them doing such a bad job of trying to make Sean Connery look Japanese?" he asked indignantly.

"What are you talking about?" I responded, somewhat indignant at his indignation.

"The surgery scene or whatever that was...?" he clarified.  "What the fuck was that?!?"

"He's not supposed to look Japanese," I patiently explained, "they're just ... uh ... they, uh, just ... gave him a wig and stuff.  He wasn't supposed to look Japanese," I repeated, suddenly unsure of my position.

"Yes the fuck he was!" Brian insisted, quite correctly.  "Yes the fuck he was and it was awful!"

"Holy shit!" I said.  "Is THAT what that scene is all about?  Man, I've been confused by that all these years and didn't even know it!"

If you're going to take a swing at something like this in a movie -- and under very few, if any, circumstances should you do such a thing -- then you've got to take a better swing than this.  I'm sure that if they had, it would make the movie downright infamous in a Breakfast At Tiffany's sort of manner, and so maybe it's for the best that they settled for what seems to have been a shrug.

But the mere fact that in the moment depicted above, when James Bond steps into the room and says "konbanwa," he is supposed to actually look Japanese...?  Stunning failure.  I'm still reeling, all these years later, as finding out that that is what was up in that moment.

And yet, I did NOT vote that as my #1 worst Bond moment.

You didn't really think it would be from anything other than Diamonds Are Forever, did you?


#1 -- Bambi and Thumper subdued (Diamonds Are Forever)


And now, a visual ode to Bambi and Thumper, the worst characters in any Bond film.  I have purposefully found the most awkward screencaps of them I could find:










  
   
You may think I'm lying about this, but I had not realized until just now that I both opened and closed my worst-of list with tag-team characters from Diamonds Are Forever.  If I had thought of it, I would have done it; both Wint and Kidd AND Bambi and Thumper were always going to be on this list in some manner, and it was easy for me to pick what THE worst moment would be.

It's this:




We've gone through one of the absolute lamest action scenes in all of Bond ... a scene filled with poorly-looped dialogue, inane gymnastics, criminal overacting from Thumper, criminal underacting from Bambi, and an extended period of time in which we are asked to accept that these two women would get the upper hand on James Bond physically.

Okay, sure.  If I absolutely HAVE to buy that, here's my wallet; take a single and let's call call it a day.

But no.  YOU motherfuckers want that hundred that's been in there since my gramma gave it to me for Christmas.  You insist that I then accept the notion that Bond, having been flung into the pool after getting his old ass whupped by two gymnasts, would regain the upper hand by merely putting his hands on top of their heads and shoving the two of them under the water.  A few seconds before, these two were beating everloving fuck from Bond the way you know M wishes he could; now, they can't swim out from under his hands.

Fuck you, Diamonds Are Forever.

That rejoinder issued for one final time* (*it won't be the final time as long as I am alive and operating a Bond blog, rest assured), we move on to greener pastures:


The 25 Best Moments In James Bond Films


This list was brutal to compile.  In selecting my picks for best Bond-film moments, I have done my best to accurately represent my own Bond-fandom personality, by way of making selections I've never seen on lists like this one.  That's not to say that I'm about to foist upon you a hipster-ish, look-how-smart-I-am type list (at least, I hope not!); but to say that while there are certain highly-prized moments which I 100% agree with, and have consequently placed here, I have by no means shied away from stepping outside what might be considered conventional wisdom.

I stand by it, and yet am sure it is a complete failure by virtue of not having managed somehow to include at least 50 entries.  I am aware that that math does not add up; you simply CANNOT squeeze 50 into 25 without cheating, but I feel it was nevertheless incumbent upon me to somehow, in defiance of logic and fact and the universal language of mathematics, manage to do exactly that.

Complete failure.
  
Sorry about that, y'all.  I really did try!

With that mea culpa issued, let's begin with a pair of inclusions that might well shock you.


#25 -- Fatima detonates bomb (Never Say Never Again)




That's right!  Never Say fucking Never Agoddamgain!  I omitted it from consideration in the worst-of list, but I see absolutely no reason to do with the best-of list, given how incredibly bad the movie is.

AND YET...!

And yet, I have always loved this particular moment.  Fatima Blush has rigged a bomb underneath James Bond's bed, and sits in the courtyard beneath his room, staring into space with her cold, dead shark's eyes.  She flinches only the tiniest bit as the bomb explodes; this is as implacable and ruthless a killing machine as any in any Bond film.

I celebrate her for it, if only for this single moment.  She's got other great moments in the movie, too, and some dreadful ones; but this one truly shines.


#24 -- Moneypenny selects a 007 (Casino Royale)




Casino Royale '67 has it merits.  Its demerits are more voluminous by a factor of, like, ten ... but that doesn't mean there aren't things in it to like.

One of them is this terrific moment during a scene that is fundamentally silly, but successfully silly in a manner that indicates what the entire movie could have theoretically been like if it had worked.

What's happening is that Moneypenny (as played by Barbara Bouchet) has been tasked with making a recommendation as to who the new 007 ought to be.  The manner in which she is evidently going about this is ascertaining their kissing ability.  The first two would-be agents she tests out are duds, but the third is a big old hit.  It's dumb as a post, but the idea of turning the lighting red for a few seconds so as to indicate Moneypenny's favorable natural responses is funny and effective.

The thing that really sells it, though, is the music by composer Burt Bacharach, which syncs up ith what is happening onscreen perfectly.  I'm not recognizing merely the music, though; everything works in this moment, from the music to the lighting to the performances by the two actors.

Imagine if the whole movie had been like this!  We'd have very different feelings about it, I think.

And hey, here's another movie I don't like all that much:


#23 -- trick floor (You Only Live Twice)




When I was a child, there was very little in all of James Bond that I thought was cooler than this moment with the trick floor in You Only Live Twice.  Proof that danger lurks around every corner in the world of 007!

As an adult, I still think it's pretty damn cool.


#22 -- Bond raises a glass to henchmen (Skyfall)




Like several other films on this list, Skyfall is so littered with great moments that I could quite possibly have filled out the entire top 25 using that film alone.

One of the very best comes when Bond, having been informed by Severine that the bar's thugs are going to try to kill him when she leaves, looks in the direction of the goons and raises his martini toward them.  Rarely in Bond films has there been a more blatant "fuck you" from our hero.


#21 -- Tracy with tears on her face (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)



 
  
Hoo-boy ... not only could I compile an entire top-25-moments list using On Her Majesty's Secret Service, I might could do it using only scenes that Tracy is involved in.  (Spoiler alert: this won't be the final one we see.)

Here, what's happened is that Bond has gone to see Tracy at her father's birthday, at Draco's urging.  He's asked Bond to court her in exchange for information about Blofeld, and Bond has agreed.  Tracy knows this, and is furious, and emotionally blackmails her father into telling Bond what he wants to know with no further obligation.  Draco reluctantly does so, and Tracy, furious, storms away.

Bond chases her, finds her waiting outside by her car with her back turned to him.  When she turns around, her fury has vanished, replaced by sheer naked despair.  Tears are on her face, and Bond, obviously quite moved by this woman who is both steely and fragile, gently wipes them away.

Never had there been a moment like this in a James Bond movie.  There have been precious few since.  Whatever Bond movies do well -- and they do plenty very well indeed -- they do not necessarily traffic in genuine emotion.  That Diana Rigg is as profoundly good as she is in this moment is so shocking -- even today, nearly fifty years later -- is truly incredible.  It is quite likely a sign of director Peter Hunt's having formerly been an ace editor that the scene remains on Rigg the entire time, and never cuts away to Lazenby; you would not want to miss a single frame of what she is doing here.


#20 -- the killing of Professor Dent (Dr. No)




One of coldest and most ruthless moments in the entire series comes when Bond exercises his licence to kill as the conclusion of his talk with Professor Dent. "You've had your six," Bond says to the treacherous professor after the man has just attempted to shoot him.  Then he fires his own weapon, putting Dent on the ground; and, for good measure, he puts one in the man's back.

It's got silly aspects to it, but Dr. No is also a remarkably realistic movie at the time, especially for a film made in 1962.  It might be the most underrated Bond film of them all.


#19 -- Bond focuses on explosive device (GoldenEye)






It's the little things.

It's the big things, too, obviously; but the little things should never be minimized or ignored.  And one of my absolute favorite Bond moments comes toward the end of GoldenEye.  Bond has infiltrated Trevelyan's compound and is making a noisy, destructive nuisance of himself.  Some guards begin firing at him, and he ducks behind a column.  His plan: to rig an explosive device on a timer, surrender to the guards, and then wait for the bomb to go off.

While he's setting the bomb up, the guards are continuing to fire at him.  He's safe, but bullets are hitting and shrapnel is flying all around him.  When one bullet hits in especially close proximity, it causes Bond to flinch a bit ... but not for one second does his focus on the the explosive device he is rigging waver.

Incredibly badass.  Speaking of which...


#18 -- Bond catches a gun (Casino Royale)










Dude tries to shoot Bond; gun is empty.  Dude decides to make lemonade out of lemons, so he throws the gun at Bond.  Bond catches the gun and throws it right back, hitting the guy squa in the face.

If I need to explain this moment any more than that, one of us is doing something wrong.


#17 -- Bond kicks car off cliff (For Your Eyes Only)






For Your Eyes Only is a relatively hard-edged Bond film, and it has what is almost certainly the most cold-blooded moment from Roger Moore's tenure as 007.  Having shot and wounded Locque, the assassin who has killed Bond's associate Luigi (and also ran down Lisl on the beach), Bond approaches the man's car.  It is teetering on the edge of a cliff.  Bond, l'homme sans merci, flicks into the open window a pin that Locque left on Luigi's body.  This begins the car sliding a bit, and Bond gives it a kick to get it going the rest of the way.

Moore spoke in interviews over the years about not liking the fact that his character had done this.  I can kind of get it; Moore was seemingly quite a gentle man, and you've got to figure a gentle man would worry about the things he was putting into the world.  James Bond, however, is not a gentle man, and I think on occasion it makes sense for him to demonstrate that fact.

In the world of James Bond, sometimes a man simply needs killing.  And if you have the opportunity to give that man a few seconds in which he knows it is about to happen, all the better.


#16 -- Bond receives ceramic bulldog (Skyfall)




It is a testament to the skill with which Skyfall was written, directed, and edited that this moment lands as successfully as it does.  But that's the power of an effective symbol being used in a piece of visual storytelling; it's practically the reason why the medium exists.

The reason why this moment made the cut for me is that it puts a bow on the entire film.  It represents both Bond's relationship with M and his relationship with job and country; these are both the same relationship and distinct ones, which makes the little statuette a more complex symbol than it might appear at first glance.

It also represents the audience's long-standing relationship with Bond himself.  The movie came out during the 50th anniversary year of the series, and had a metafictive aspect to it that reassured the audience, "Yes, this means something; and no, it's not going anywhere."  When Daniel Craig looks into that box, he's seeing the soul of the character he plays; the soul of the love people have for the films.  That's Sean Connery and George Lazenby and Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan who Daniel Craig is seeing inside that box; and, yes, it's Daniel Craig himself, as well.  Plus the next guy, and the guy who comes after that guy.  It's Britain inside that box, past, present, and future.  And it's Judi Dench's M, and it's Tiago Rodrigues, and it's the pain of that betrayal, a necessary betrayal, an unavoidable betrayal.

It's all that and more.

So of course, the sequel (Spectre) made it a mere means of M passing secret information on to Bond.

Lame.  Fuck you, Spectre.  That said...


#15 -- Bond assassinates the assassins (Spectre)


I like very little in this movie, but it does have moments.  Here's the best one: Lucia returns home from her husband's funeral, knowing her life is in severe jeopardy, but resigned to the idea that she is powerless to stop whatever is going to happen.  She walks through her house, drinking, and the camera reveals that there is a killer already inside her home, waiting for her:




She walks outside, and a second assassin is revealed:




Does she know they are there?  I think she suspects it from the beginning, and quite possibly hears the one guy's footsteps.  It just seems as if their presence is known to her.

The two killers take up flanking positions behind her.




As filmed, this is the definition of inescapable doom.  These two thugs may as well be demons sent straight from Hell; there is no hiding from them, no evading them, no bargaining with them.  This is the Grim Reaper come a-reaping at long last, as we always knew he would.





Two shots ring out, and Lucia flinches a bit ... but does not fall.

An angel has arrived to counter these demons.





Almost nothing else about this sequence works for me, sad to say.  But forget that.  This bit of it is exquisite.  Never let it be said I won't give credit where credit is due!  And the credit for this moment should be thus: this is about as omnipotently awesome as James Bond gets.


#14 -- Max Zorin laughs in the face of death (A View to a Kill)




The more time passes, the more it seems to me as if Max Zorin (as played by Christopher Walken) is one of the very best Bond villains of all.  When I ranked them, I put him at #10, and could easily have bumped him up a place or two (or three?) higher.

Walken's is an eccentric performance, but an incredibly memorable one, and, I should add, an entirely appropriate one.  Zorin is a model of barely-restrained insanity; a high-functioning lunatic whose deepest impulses occasionally bubble to the surface.

Perhaps the most notable of these comes in his final moments, when Zorin, scrabbling futilely for purchase atop the Golden Gate Bridge, realizes he is about to fall to his death.  His response?  He literally begins laughing.  "You amuse me, Mr. Bond," he said to 007 at one point much earlier in the film; here, as the final grains of sand pour from the hourglass, it seems as if Zorin has been greatly amused by life in general.  Perhaps this is the culmination of some long-held, deep-seated fear, or ambition, or suspicion.

Who can say?  Zorin goes out in enigmatic fashion, as befits him.


#13 -- bomb stopped with seven seconds to spare (Goldfinger)




Right?!?

As originally filmed, the bomb was stopped on a different number; 004, I think.   Whoever made the decision to change that to 007 deserved a very large bonus.


#12 -- Bond versus drywall (Casino Royale)

 






I've always felt the black-and-white flashback sequence is a bit overrated as Bond pre-titles sequences go.  It's fine and everything (and I considered including the "gunbarrel" moment from it on this list), but wouldn't it have been even cooler if the pre-titles sequence had been the sequence in which Bond pursues the bombmaker?

That's irrelevant to this conversation, of course.

What's very relevant is the fact that this moment is awesome: the baddie uses some parkour to simply leap through a hole in the top of a wall, and Bond simply runs right through the wall in order to continue the chase.

This, perhaps, was not the Bond we'd been accustomed to for the previous many decades; it was an expansion -- or, perhaps, a contraction -- of Ian Fleming's definition of Bond as a "blunt instrument."  And yet, this still was the 007 people could aspire to be like: a guy who is smart enough to know when he's got to turn his brain off and simply charge ahead like an angered bull.  He's instinctive enough to operate effectively in moments like this, powerful enough to make it work, and determined enough to eventually narrow the gap.

You want a guy like this on your team.


#11 -- Bond emerges from centrifuge (Moonraker)











Roger Moore's finest on-screen moment as James Bond comes in Moonraker, when 007 has been put into a centrifuge and subjected to pressure that would kill a normal man.  He uses his wrist dart-gun to disable the controls and escape from it.  He emerges shaken, barely able to walk, barely alive ... but still possessed of whatever core of inner strength makes him James Bond.  Dr. Goodhead tries to help him stand, and he -- as gently as he can given his tenuous grasp on life itself -- brushes her arm away, determined to regain his composure on his own.

As he does so, he looks into the control booth, focusing on the man who has done this to him.

Hey, say what you want about Moonraker, but this stuff right here is a knockout.


#10 -- most of all, they need love (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)


The scene: James Bond has escaped from Piz Gloria to the village below.  Blofeld's henchmen, led by Irma Bunt, have followed him to a skating rink.  He sits alone at a tiny drinking table, his collar pulled up in the futile hope of not being recognized.

During this sequence, the song "Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?" (sung by Nina, written by John Barry and Hal David) plays as source music in the background.  If one is not very familiar with the song, the editing that's about to come may not be as impactful.  So as to emphasize what I mean, here are the song's lyrics:

La la la la la la laaa!
La la la la la la laaa!

Do you know how Christmas trees are grown?  
They need sunshine.
Sunshine can't grow Christmas trees alone; 

they need raindrops.
Raindrops can't grow Christmas trees; 

here's the reason why:
In the winter, rain will freeze, 

and the trees will die.
Do you know how Christmas trees are grown?
They need sunshine and raindrops, 

friendship and kindness;
and most of all, 

they need love.
Do you know how Santa gets around?  
He needs snowflakes.
Snowflakes cannot do it all I've found; 

he needs reindeer.
Reindeer (even though they try), 

they need other things;
once a year they have to fly, 

and they don't have wings.
Do you know how Santa gets around?
He needs snowflakes and reindeer, 

sunshine and raindrops,
friendship and kindness; 

and most of all, he needs love.
Do you know how Christmas cards are made?  
They need pictures.
Pictures can't complete them, I'm afraid; 

they need greetings.
Greetings say what's in your heart, 

that's what they are for;
but when loved ones are apart, 

Christmas cards need more.
Do you know how Christmas cards are made?  
They need pictures and greetings,
sunshine and raindrops, snowflakes and reindeer,
friendship and kindness; 

and most of all, they need love...


Not exactly Shakespeare, but kind of a weirdly touching song.  It's all about how everything Christmasy runs on love; the world runs on love, is the idea.

As it appears in the film, we cut into the song already in progress, partway through the first iteration of the chorus.

I am now going to present a series of screencaps, with the lyrics playing over the moment in question given as captions:

Do you know how Santa gets around?  He needs snowflake and reindeer,


sunshine

and

raindrops,

friendship

and

kindness;

and

most

of

all,




he

needs

love.
 

The song is timed precisely so that that line -- "he needs love" -- is delivered as the camera pans up the legs of this seeming stranger who has skated to a stop in front of James, the pan revealing that it is no stranger at all but Tracy, the song trumpeting its touching message as if harmony has been restored to the universe.  I had never noticed this synchronization of song and story until I reviewed the movie a few years ago; when I did notice it finally, I found it to be utterly devastating.  
  
I still do.  There was no way this wasn't ending up on my list.
  
But, of course, the moment is even better than that.  The song has been cued up so that the line "he needs love" is emphasized, but the song itself says they need love as the resolution to two of the three choruses.  And indeed, this moment is just as consequential for Tracy as it is for James.  Though the film never spells it out, the idea is clearly that Tracy has pried the information from her father that James has gone to Piz Gloria.  She, in the mad hope of finding him, has gone to the nearby village and is simply hanging out there, hoping against hope that some miracle might bring them together.  And what do you know?  It has.
  
Here's one more screencap, from moments later:
  
  
  
Gold.
  
Speaking of which...
  
  
#9 -- golden girl reveal (Goldfinger)
  
  
  
  
Guys, there's a reason why Goldfinger sent the Bond series into the stratosphere in popularity.  It wasn't this moment alone, but this was quite possibly the biggest of the (many) moments that contributed toward it.
  
What else is there to say?
  
From one dead woman to another:
  
  
#8 -- Vesper fills her lungs (Casino Royale)
  
  
  
  
When I ranked the Bond girls, it pained me not to have Tracy at #1 ... but it would, I think, have pained me even more not to have Vesper at #1, and so that is where she ended up.
  
I was tempted to have one of the best-of moments simply be "Vesper Lynd" and/or "Eva Green," but knew that was a no-go.  So in determining which of her many fine moments to use as a representative here, I quickly determined that it had to be her death.  It could just as easily have been her kissing James' fingers; it could just as easily have been any number of things, frankly.
  
But this particular moment had to work so well that it could plausibly be seen as the motivating moment for James Bond to be James Bond for the rest of his career.  It is a heartbreaking, tragic, oddly beautiful moment, one that is completely sold by not only Eva Green but by the effects work, cinematography, music, you name it.  Nothing isn't working at 100% efficiency here, and it sent shockwaves through the Bond series like few other moments before or since.
  
I should probably have more to say about it, but it really just speaks for itself.  So does this next item on the agenda:
  
  
#7 -- Bond versus crocodiles (Live and Let Die)
  
  









  
  
#6 -- Bond gives Fiona something to put on (Thunderball)
  
  
In the long history of James Bond, James Bond has done a lot of James-Bond-ass shit.  And of all that James-Bond-ass shit, the James Bondiest may well be this:
  
  




  
  
I will never, ever, ever be that cool.  Not for one second in my life.
  
You won't be, either.
  
We move now into the top five, all five of which could stake a claim as THE best Bond moment of them all.
  
  
#5 -- bullet hole in windshield (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
  
  
  
  
This moment remains shocking, and probably always will.  It's perfectly framed; the sequence is perfectly edited, perfectly lit, perfectly acted, perfectly tracked (in terms of the sound).
  
This is the world James Bond lives in.  It is a brutish one in which joy can turn to desolation in mere seconds; it is moments like this against James Bond wages his war.  
  
This film was the first time in which the series truly played for keeps.  It did so on a personal level, foregrounding emotion and character.  I can't imagine that there are many Bond fans who are not utterly haunted by this scene; perhaps it has less impact for viewers who grew up with Casino Royale and Vesper Lynd serving a very similar (and equally effective) purpose, but for anyone whose Bond fandom flourished prior to this current era, I'd think this image is indelible.
  
We really don't have all the time in the world, you see; and it's still surprising that a James Bond movie, of all things, was able to make that point in so poignant a fashion.
  
  
#4 -- Honey Ryder emerges from the sea (Dr. No)
  
  


The sexual revolution that began (arguably -- dating these things is an imprecise business even for experts, which I assuredly am not) in the late 1950s was in full bloom in the early 1960s.  The goal: women wished to take control of their own sexuality, and do with it as they saw fit.

Dr. No explores those ideas in conscious fashion, but never has anyone come on screen and say, "Dammit, women are self-actualized now!" or something silly like that.  Instead, the film simply places its female characters in position and allows them to speak for themselves.  They are free to be as they wish to be, and they are a rather varied group.

Key among them is Honey Ryder, as played by Ursula Andress, whose carefree and affectless sexuality seemingly inspired at least an entire generation, and perhaps more.  She comes striding out of the ocean like Botticelli's Venus, but less modest.  Why be modest?  She is as she is; and it is as if the very notion of femininity had been reborn in that moment.

I suspect that the more time passes, the more lost the impact of this moment on Western culture of the sixties will become.  If you want to help combat that slide into obscurity, you could do worse than to read the outstanding book Bonds Girls Are Forever (written by Maryam D'Abo and John Cork), which not only places Andress/Ryder in proper context but does so for many of the other Bond girls of the series.

All of that sprang from this one moment, however.


#3 -- Union Jack parachute (The Spy Who Loved Me)


Every so often, the films offer up a compelling piece of evidence for why people ought to still care about James Bond.  Here's one such moment:











If that's not a stand-up-and-cheer moment, I don't know what is.

Oh, and by the way, I wanted to mention something real quick.  (I was reminded of this by the parachuting association.)  I strongly considered putting this moment on the best-of list:




That, as you may recall, is from the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, in which a Danny Boyle-directed short film included James Bond escorting the Queen -- played by the actual Queen of England! -- to her helicopter.

James Bond, in his fiftieth year of cinematic existence, was considered an important enough thing that he escorted the QUEEN OF ENGLAND to the Olympics, in a manner of speaking.

I opted not to include the moment because frankly, I wasn't sure where to put it; or whether it actually counted as an all-time-high James Bond as opposed to a Daniel Craig one.

I thought it merited a mention, though, so here it is, in an unofficial honorable-mention capacity.


#2 -- the gunbarrel (Dr. No)




The iconography of the first few moments of Dr. No is absolutely indelible: a white dot bounces across the screen, expands, takes on the metallic gleam of the inside of a gun barrel.  The gun is pointed as a man in a suit, who is calmly walking along, minding his own business; and his business, as it turns out, is the holder of this gun whose barrel we are seeing through.  The man turns and fires, and a wash of blood obscures the vision; the aim wavers, and the would-be assassin fades out forever.

There are perhaps a tiny handful of similar cinematic conventions; the plot-summary crawl at the beginning of the episodic Star Wars films comes to mind, and ... well, that's about it, actually.

What this gunbarrel sequence did for Dr. No probably cannot be overstated; but I think it can be underrated, and I think it probably has been for a long time.

Not around here.

Without this moment -- this awesome, iconic moment -- then "James Bond" is not what we think of it as being.

Same goes for this, our #1 moment:


#1 -- "Bond...JAMES Bond" (Dr. No)




What else could it possibly have been?  Oh, sure, there were some strong contenders.  But in the end, I don't think there is any more iconic moment in the entire series than Connery's delivery of that line.  It's one of the most impactful line readings in all of cinema; it helped to define a character who helped to define a generation, and remains not merely viable several generations later, but vibrant.

Why is that, do you suppose?

I think an overlooked aspect of its success is the notion that Bond is meeting Sylvia Trench on her own terms.  I referred earlier to the sexual revolution, and its significance within this specific film.  Well, Sylvia herself is very nearly as significant a character as Honey Ryder in that regard.  There she is, free as a bird in the Le Cercle club, beholden to no man in any evident way.  She gambles; she flirts shamelessly; she loses money and then risks more of it without a thought of not doing so.  This is a formidable person; a woman, yes, but clearly not content to be defined by that in the manner ones assumes her mother was before her.  She is a new breed, confident and determined.

And James Bond is in no way intimidated by her or -- and this is very important -- put off by her.  This is a man for whom the sexual revolution is not only not a problem, but is perhaps a marvelous development.

We cannot forget that when 007 gives his name as "Bond...JAMES Bond," he is merely answering his new friend, whose name he has asked for.  "Trench," she has answered; "Sylvia Trench."

But there's more to it than that.  Bond has thrown a very slight verbal dagger at her.  Having defeated her at baccarat, and heard her request for more funds to stake, he says, "I admire your courage, Miss...?"  She answers him with her name, but then also adds, "I admire your luck, Mr...?"  She is not troubled by having been beaten by him; nor is she quailed by his digging at her just a wee bit.  She's instead determined to fling that dagger right back at him, and let him know that while she might be down for a moment, she is by no means out.

Bond, of course, sees her effort; and, it might be said, raises.  So he responds to her in semi-mocking manner: "Bond," he says, "JAMES Bond."  It is the epitome of cool.  This is a man who will not be beaten under any circumstance; he has won this game, but you get the feeling that even if he had lost it, he would still, somehow, be on top of things.

Bond will introduce himself in this manner many more times over the course of the series.  Every single one of them -- with the possible exception of Daniel Craig's at the end of Casino Royale (a moment which came VERY close to making this list) -- is a mere shadow of this moment in Dr. No.  All of them are chasing it as a dog chases a car, doomed never to catch it.

It gets no finer than this moment, and likely never will.

*****
 
There you have it: the official You Only Blog Twice picks for best Bond moments on film.
  
Speaking of film, we won't be for the foreseeable future.  Not around here; at least, not mostly.  (I'll explain the qualifier in a moment.)  Instead, we are finally going to shift gears and drive our Aston-Martins into the world of the literary James Bond.  Yep, that's right: a deep-dive into the Bond novels of creator Ian Fleming will be the next phase of You Only Blog Twice.  I expect it to be an extended stay in that territory; I'll be lucky (at my rate of progress) to cover three or four novels a year.
  
Fine by me!  I've been wanting to reread Fleming for years now, and if it takes me a while to complete the project then so be it.
  
I do not currently anticipate that I will employ a modified form of the Double-0 rating system.  I'd prefer to keep that a conceit associated with the films themselves.  However, it's entirely possible that I could change my mind about that once I get into the process; we'll see.
  
Now, for the no-more-talking-about-the-movies pronouncement.  That's not gonna be a hard-and-fast rule.  There's almost no chance that my posts about the novels won't contain copious comaparisons with the movies.

Also, whenever the next Bond film comes out, there's a pretty good chance I will write about it here.  Whether I give it the old Double-0 rating treatment is another matter.  Spoiler alert: my next task once I finish the Fleming novels is going to be to return to the movies and give them all fresh appraisals, complete with a modified and revamped/fine-tuned Double-0 rating system.  Or if I'm really enjoying the exploration of the books, I might plow on through the continuation novels first; again, we shall see.
  
BUT...
  
Before I get to the Fleming novels, there will be a period in which I do something I've been wanting to do for a long time: I'm going to update my images on the initial posts (Climax! through You Only Live Twice).  See, I never screencapped those first movies; I didn't actually know such a thing was possible until sometime around beginning my Majesty's post, so I began with that movie.  It's always bothered me that I don't have a full set of screencaps for the first five movies in the series (nor the first two versions of Casino Royale).  So I'm going to rectify that, add in screencaps where they fit in best within the posts, and do my very best to resist the temptation to rewrite those posts top to bottom (which would likely lead to a modified set of rankings, which would in turn lead to chaos and, for all I know, the end of the world).
  
This also brings up another issue.  While I began screencapping with On Her Majesty's Secret Service, it took me all the way until Tomorrow Never Dies to be able to screencap the Blu-rays.  So I might well have to go back and redo Majesty's through GoldenEye in that format.  But BOY will that be a lot of work; not unpleasant work, mind you; worth it, but time-consuming.  And that's an understatement.  So I might well decide to just not do that, not until the 2.0 version of the Double-0 rating system comes around.  
  
In any case, I'm definitely going to screencap the first few movies before diving into Fleming.  There won't be new posts or anything, but I will leave a comment saying when the posts have been updated; if you're interested, just subscribe to the comments, and you will get an email letting you know when the new 'caps are up.
  
Now, Bond, please do see yourself out.  You've earned that two-weeks' leave.  Do skip the obligatory banter with Miss Moneypenny.