James Bond Films

I’m doing something a little different today and writing about my favorite Bond film to enter Bayard & Holmes’ Spy Bride Challenge contest to win their new book.  They have a great blog.   These folks are entertaining (although they do address some serious issues) and have common sense, which sadly there seems to be a shortage of these days.  Here’s a link.

http://bayardandholmes.com/2014/10/22/new-release-and-the-spy-bride-contest/

I like all the Bond films on some level, and all the actors who have portrayed Bond have contributed to the films in their own way.   It isn’t an easy choice, but I’d have to say my favorite Bond is Pierce Brosnan, and my favorite Bond film is Die Another Day.

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Other than the obvious (and totally gratuitous) fact that Pierce Brosnan is a hunk, he brings a  special charm to the character.   Die Another Day has all the elements of a Bond film:  Bad guys plotting evil, Bond stepping in to battle the baddies, women, and all the challenges Bond faces in the process of defeating the antagonist and saving the world.  I even like Madonna’s theme song, and I’m not a Madonna fan, although some of her songs are catchy.

Bond travels the globe to several exotic locations, including North Korea, Hong Kong, Havana, and Iceland.  While some of the action is over-the-top, it’s still entertaining, and the sets and filming locations are gorgeous.  The movie was filmed mostly in the UK, Iceland, Spain and Hawaii (for the opening surfing sequence).  Die Another Day marked the 40th anniversary of the franchise, and there are a number of references to the earlier films.

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I think the main reasons this particular movie stands out for me is that first of all I could empathize with Bond when he was captured in North Korea, and also because Halle Berry’s Jinx character and Bond have a good chemistry.   I really like the fact that Jinx is a strong character.  Too many movies have whiny female characters who sit around waiting to be rescued; Jinx takes steps to help herself and doesn’t wait for Bond.  Bond does help her, but she helps him also; the characters are reasonably equal.

Of course, the Bond films wouldn’t be complete without M, and as usual Judi Dench’s performance is outstanding.  She’s another good strong female character.  The others characters (i.e. Q) are important, but I love M.

Favorite quotes:

James Bond:
So you live to die another day.

Jinx:
Giacinta Johnson. My friends call me Jinx.

James Bond:
My friends call me James Bond.

James Bond:
What are you, CIA?

Jinx:
NSA. Hello, we’re on the same side.

James Bond:
Doesn’t mean we’re after the same thing.

Jinx:
Sure it does. World peace, unconditional love, and our little friend with the expensive acne.

James Bond:
You know, you’re cleverer than you look.

Q:
Still, better than looking cleverer than you are.

Graves:
Are you a gambling man Mr. Bond?

James Bond:
If the stakes are right.

Mr. Kil:
I’m Mr. Kil.

James Bond:
Now there’s a name to die for.

M:
Knowing who to trust is everything in this business.

James Bond:
I know the rules, and number one is “no deals’.

Good stuff, and always fun to watch.