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Bondanomics: The Latest 007 Rankings From Around the Web

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by Matt Singer
November 6, 2012 5:51 PM
2 Comments
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"Dr. No."
"Dr. No."

Obviously I like Bond. Obviously I enjoy writing about Bond. Obviously you're just going to have to put up with several more days of this stuff until "Skyfall(Current Criticwire average: A-) opens in theaters on Friday. But look, it's not like I'm the only one. Bondmania has taken over the web this week -- and just about every website on the Internet has its own list of the best Bond songs or girls or villains or gadgets (I'm on Team "From Russia With Love" briefcase, personally). If my endless analysis of 007 isn't enough for you, here's a whole bunch of Bond rankings -- all new for "Skyfall." We'll keep updating the list as more get published, too.

Bondanomics: The Latest 007 Rankings From Around the Web

LAST UPDATED: November 7th, 3:45 PM

The A.V. Club Names 10 Bond Gadgets That Have Become Readily Available Technology:

"Bug detectors aren’t just for spies anymore; now they’re for everyone who’s curious whether they’re being monitored for some reason. The low-end ones are surprisingly cheap, particularly the camera-detector variety, but maybe that’s because chances are that these days, wherever you go, there’s a security camera or two pointing at you. Possibly some of these devices just have a battery-powered 'Yeah, you’re being watched' light that never goes off."

Badass Digest Debate the Best of Bond (Video):

Cinema Blend Ranks Every Bond Film in Order (Part 1):

"'Moonraker' is the standard go-to movie people use when they talk about what was wrong with the Roger Moore era, but it’s actually better than a lot of the other films for one simple reason: it has a consistent tone. It realizes it’s a shameless exploitation of 'Star Wars,' and it never tries to be anything but over the top. There’s no blending of gritty realism and fantastical action. It’s all utter nonsense, and in a way, that’s a good thing. It’s certainly better than being outlandish and then trying to shoehorn in real emotion."

Dark Horizons Names the Best Bond Theme Songs:

"One of Carly Simon's most famous songs, and one of the few Bond theme tunes that's had a real life outside of the franchise, Marvin Hamlisch composed ['Nobody Does it Better,' from 'The Spy Who Loved Me,'] which was unsurprisingly a massive hit. With its incredibly catchy chorus and memorable music, it's a power ballad but with an upbeat and even cheeky tone at times. It also has probably the singularly cleverest use of a Bond title in the lyrics. The opening titles are a bit more generic with lots of nude female silhouettes, the most notable being one which uses a pistol as a gymnastics bar."

E! Online Ranks the Entire Bond Series from Worst to Best:

"Roger Moore's fifth turn as 007, ["For Your Eyes Only'], loses the gadgets (but not the puns) in favor of action stunt work, mostly in the snow. The plot is restrained and semi-plausible (by Bond standards): a race to recover a sunken missile defense controller. And that's its problem: It lacks that epic Bondian scope."

Fandango On the Top 40 Bond Girls:

"It is a rare and extremely beautiful woman who can be welcomed as a Bond girl with simply the label 'Cigar Girl.' But so it is with this Italian actress, who made a splash as the object of love and desire in 'Il Postino,' and in her few moments here [in 'The World is Not Enough'], makes one wish for a whole lot more. As the saying goes, there are no small parts, only small... wait, how does it go?"

Film.com Ranks All 23 Bond Films:

"Considered by many to be a classic, the 1965 Connery effort 'Thunderball' is indeed a great film, assuming you need a nap. That’s because it’s basically two hours and ten minutes of underwater footage from a lost Jacques Cousteau expedition. One highlight: 007 uses a cool jet pack. Unless you’re really into fish, we suggest getting out your pillow before you turn this one on."

Forbes On the Top (and Bottom) Bond Films:

"Let’s be honest, even a bad Bond movie has some good things in it, and it’s rare that I’d turn a channel away from any Bond film to something else. But some are definitely better than others, and most of them are straight-up awesome."

HitFix's List of the Ten Best Bonds:

"The first non-Sean Connery Bond film EON made, 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' showed everyone that the franchise would keep going even without its star. From the pre-title sequence's damsel in distress, fisticuffs, and breaking of the fourth wall, it was clear that while some things would remain the same without Connery, others would be terribly different. Telly Savalas may not have been the best Blofeld in the Bond movies, but the Teresa "Tracy" di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) storyline offered a weight not present in many of the outings to that point (and many that followed). The mountain top setting is beautiful and the brainwashing bit is completely wacky, but the ending will stay with you long after the credits finish. Just keep telling yourself 'we have all the time in the world.'"

Movie Fanatic's Top Ten Bond Themes:

"Recalling Shirley Bassey’s booming voice, Adele scored the best Bond theme in years with her theme to the latest Daniel Craig Bond film, 'Skyfall,' landing in theaters November 9. The track deserves to be nominated, and win, an Oscar for Best Song, but the Academy is currently discussing whether it is eligible given the small sampling of the iconic note run the track uses from 'Dr. No.'"

Moviefone Picks the 25 Best Bond Girls:

"It's hard to top the original Bond Girl [Ursula Andress as Honey Rider in 'Dr. No']: Her iconic introduction in a white bikini with a knife strapped to her belt set a new standard for sexy. If only Bond weren't such a globe-trotter (and not so fickle), we imagine he'd have been quite happy spending his days -- and nights -- with Miss Ryder."

Movieline on the James Bond Theme Songs:

"Don’t listen to anybody who says Bono never did anything decent after 'The Joshua Tree.' The shades-loving frontman, along with longtime bandmate The Edge wrote the title song to ['GoldenEye,'] the film that brought James Bond out of the relative dark age of the 1980s (Pierce Brosnan and Tina Turner didn’t do too shabby a job either). This is the first opening sequence audiences saw in the digital age, and though it’s still a beautiful piece of cinema now, I remember being blown away when I first laid eyes on this beauty back in 1995."

MSN Movies Rank the Bond Films From Worst to Best:

"While Rosa Klebb and her minions were great, they were playing second fiddle in 'Russia' to an unseen No. 1 bad guy. With Auric Goldfinger, we get a master villain who's formidable and vulgar, more credible than the sci-fi-inflected Dr. No, one who gives a really good catchphrase (as in 'No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to DIE'), and one who's his own boss. The set design, while not as gargantuan as that in 'You Only Live Twice,' shows Ken Adam at his most imaginative. Who doesn't want Goldfinger's pool room? The three Bond women, played by Shirley Eaton, Tania Mallet and Honor Blackman, are engaging and beautiful. The strongman henchman, Odd Job, is weirdly formidable. The globe-trotting, from the Swiss Alps to Kentucky horse country (one shot even shows an early KFC restaurant) is awesome. And it has the best theme song of any Bond film ever."

The Playlist Picks the Best Bond Villains:

"Bond movies have, at least since the Connery era, been of a somewhat inconsistent quality and it sometimes felt that for every decent entry, you'd then get two disappointing ones. As such, there's a few terrible films in the series with entertaining villains -- think Christopher Walken in 'A View To A Kill,' or the enjoyably hammy Jonathan Pryce in 'Tomorrow Never Dies.' But perhaps the best example of this sub-set is Christopher Lee's Scaramanga in 'The Man With The Golden Gun.' Generally, and probably correctly, deemed to be one of the worst films in the series, it's the start of the slip into out-and-out silliness and zeitgeist chasing that would make up the rest of the Roger Moore era. But it's dominated, as the title might suggest, by Hammer Horror legend Lee, as the legendary never-misses assassin Scaramanga, who's out to kill Bond."

The Playlist Also Picks the Best Bond Action Sequences:

"Bond has duked it out over the years with hundreds of villains, but no fights have been as thrilling or as brutal as the one that Sean Connery's Bond had on board the Orient Express with Robert Shaw's SPECTRE agent Red Grant [in 'From Russia With Love']. Bond, Soviet cypher clerk Tatiana Romanova and Istanbul station head Ali Kermi Bey are on board the train with a Lektor cryptography device when Grant, posing as another agent, kills Bey, and gets the upper hand on Bond. But fortunately, Q branch have booby-trapped 007's briefcase, setting off tear gas in Grant's face, and what follows is a brutal three-minute bit of mano-a-mano combat, the two agents kicking, strangling and gouging at each other. It's still a little shocking in the extent of its violence, and for all the best efforts of the following 21 films, hasn't yet been bested in the series."

Popular Mechanics Selects 23 Best Bond Gadgets:

"If your spying duties dictate going undercover (as Bond's often do) you can't assume that just taking a false name is going to do the trick. When 007 hands over a glass to diamond smuggler Tiffany Case (Jill St. John) [in 'Diamonds Are Forever'] he takes it as a given that she's got a home fingerprint-recognizing device in her bedroom. (Although back in 1971, wasn't exactly an app -- it took up a lot of real estate.) Luckily, Bond's nifty stick-on fingerprints make his story check out. He's fellow smuggler 'Peter Franks' and absolutely not a British agent with a license to kill."

The San Jose Mercury-News Lists the Top 5 Bond Movies:

"2) 'From Russia With Love' (1963): Fans of Ian Fleming's novels consider this fast-paced thriller to be the best, and its seduction scene between Bond and Daniela Bianchi's Tatiana Romanova is still used to screen test potential 007s."

Slate Ranks EVERYTHING Bond: The Novels, the Films: the Villains, etc:

"Bond Books From Best To Worst: 1. You Only Live Twice; 2. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service; 3. Dr. No; 4. Casino Royale; 5. For Your Eyes Only (short stories)."

The Telegraph Names the Best Bond Films:

"'The Living Daylights' - Is it the best? Perhaps not, though I’d certainly say top five. Still, the ongoing neglect of Timothy Dalton’s Bond debut has long installed it as my personal favourite, like the unpopular but secretly brilliant student at the back of the class. It’s the most Le Carré-ish outing in the series, using the old Stalinist directive of 'Smiert Spionam' ('Death to Spies') to power up a far more intricate espionage plot -- arms war, KGB defection, very New World Order -- than most... Dalton’s often accused of humourlessness, but his gritty, gentlemanly Bond has far more refined charm here than Craig will ever have."

Time Out New York Ranks the Bond Films:

"Timothy Dalton came into his own with his second and final take on Bond. 'Licence [to Kill]' follows our determined operative as he goes rogue, hunting down a Latin American drug lord (Robert Davi) who literally fed Bond’s FBI confidant to the sharks. Dalton’s agonized performance (fueled by the character’s undying loyalty to his friend) anticipates the darker turn the series would take with Daniel Craig; this is one of the few entries where Bond seems truly physically and emotionally vulnerable as opposed to a pun-toting cipher. Almost every action scene -- from the opening skydiving sequence to the finale’s gobsmacking truck-convoy assault -- is cream of the crop. And a young Benicio Del Toro (playing a henchman) too? It’s a sorely underrated entry."

USA Today On the Best and Worst Bond Films:

"This is the 50th anniversary of the first 007 flick, 'Dr. No,' so it's a time for retrospectives, special DVD sets, limited edition cologne, and best/worst lists. I've seen all of the Bond flicks approximately 57 times, and creating a list in my head of the best and worst Bond flicks is something I do whenever a new adventure is released. If you're a Bond fan too you're probably the same way."

What Culture Ranks the Bond Films:

"Craig just owns the role from the second he utters his first lines. There’s a healthy amount of globetrotting, one of the series’ best Bond girls in the vein of Teresa di Vincenzo, and very unsettling villain who weeps blood, and the best action the series had seen in years -- the construction site chase, the Aston Martin flipping, the chase on the Miami international runway, the fall of a house in Venice... There’s a reason it’s the most successful entry in the series so far, and was universally adored."

Read a great Bond rankings piece? Written one of your own? Leave a link in the comments below.

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2 Comments

  • areacode212 | November 7, 2012 2:26 PMReply

    The AV Club has this:
    http://www.avclub.com/articles/be-your-own-bond-10-bond-gadgets-that-have-become,88418/

  • Joey Magidson | November 7, 2012 2:07 PMReply

    Just throwing it out there that we're doing Bond Week at The Awards Circuit as well, featuring articles, lists, and reviews of Skyfall as well!

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