‎‘No Time to Die’: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2: Definitely one of the top two Daniel Craig Bond films (along with Skyfall), and a good end for his arc. His hasn’t been my favorite tenure (on the whole, too many of his entries went too far into the “gritty and realistic” approach), so it was nice for the final one to be one of the more enjoyable entries. I particularly appreciated the coherent and well-lit action scenes, all too often a rarity these days (particularly noticeable just after watching The Matrix: Resurrections, which had confusing and underlit action scenes that were often difficult to follow).

With No Time To Die, or even wash his hands, James Bond’s travel hygiene fails:

From his questionable sexual behavior to his unsafe eating habits to his risk-taking with regard to insect- and animal-borne diseases, it’s remarkable that the famous fictional secret agent has repeatedly lived another day.

In a new paper, published in the journal Travel Medicine and Infectious Diseases, researchers report numerous examples of 007’s shaky approach to travel health and safety throughout 25 films produced by Eon Films from 1962 to 2021.

Last Christmas, Prairie got me the 50th anniversary James Bond collection, and over the year, we worked our way through the entire canon, all the way through Skyfall. On the whole, Bond movies are a lot of mindless fun (some more mindless than others, to be sure), but boy does the quality vary. At the end, we were glad that we undertook this project after Skyfall was released, because it ended up meaning we went out on a high note.

We hadn’t been terribly impressed with the first two Daniel Craig films — Casino Royale took Bond too far to the modern, gritty style, and devolved into a nonsensical mess by the end; Quantum of Solace…well, I barely even remember what that one was even about — but we both felt that Skyfall was easily the best Bond film since Goldfinger (or, arguably, The Thomas Crown Affair). It was the first one in years that felt actually felt like a “real” Bond movie (that is, the Connery era) in the modern era: exciting action pieces, neat spy games, and an undercurrent of humor. Realistic without having to be ultra-violent or ultra-serious, and recognizing the inherent silliness of the spy genre without playing so far to that side that it devolves into farce (the Moore era).

So finding this quote from a two-year-old interview with Craig impressed me. It sounds to me like he and the team behind Skyfall had some of the same thoughts…

I think we set a good tone [in Skyfall], I think we set a real tone, but I am happy for fucking exploding volcano lairs. Obviously I am joking but what I love and what I really wanted to achieve with Skyfall was a level of fantasy, it’s one of the less violent ones, there’s less blood, and people aren’t dying in a horrible way, and it feels like much more of a family movie, and they should be family movies. I don’t want to go ludicrous and we’ve got to keep them in reality, but Christ almighty, the world’s fucking weird and there’s plenty we can start mining and taking out. If Blofeld turned up again, it wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Given the recent announcement that the next film is titled SPECTRE, this does sound promising indeed.

(via iO9)

One of the gifts I got for Christmas was the 50th anniversary James Bond collection on Blu-ray. Prairie and I have started watching our way through the series, and while it will take a while to get through them all, I figured I’d start ranking the films as we watch. Here’s where we’re at so far, in order by how I like them:

  1. Goldfinger
  2. Dr. No
  3. From Russia With Love
  4. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
  5. You Only Live Twice
  6. Thunderball

I’ll continue updating this list over the upcoming months as we continue through the series.

Unless, well, I didn’t actually do that.

Got a good-sized paycheck at Suncoast today, so decided to finally finish my James Bond collection by adding The James Bond 007 Collection, Vol. III to my movies. I’d held off on buying this one for a while, as there had been a lot of reported problems with some of the movies in the set, but as I’d just read word on the ‘net that the movies are going on moratorium (not being sold) as of early March, I figured I’d better finish the series while I could. So, I’ve now got a collection of all 19 official Bond movies to feed my testosterone fix when I need it…woohoo!