die_another_day_ver9Die Another Day

  • Year:  2002
  • Director:  Lee Tamahori
  • Series Rank:  #20
  • Year Rank:  #137
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Bond Girl:  Halle Berry  (Jinx)
  • Bond Villain:  Toby Stephens  (Gustav Graves), Rosamund Pike (Miranda Frost), Rick Yune  (Zao)
  • Bond Support:  Judi Dench  (M), Samantha Bond  (Moneypenny), John Cleese  (Q)

The World is Not Enough was a decent action film that was almost sunk by the worthlessness of the Bond girls, both in terms of ability in the film (not much) and ability on screen (completely absent).  Yet, it’s a better film than Die Another Day, which is saved from almost Roger Moore levels by how good the Bond girls are, both in terms of their ability in the film (considerable) and ability on screen (both more than solid for Bond girl performances).  By a generous count, there have been over 75 actresses who have played Bond girls and only three of them have ever been nominated for an Oscar in their careers and two of them are right here (Kim Basinger is the other). (more…)

The World is Not Enough

  • world_is_not_enough_ver4Year:  1999
  • Director:  Michael Apted
  • Series Rank:  #19
  • Year Rank:  #97
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Bond Girl:  Denise Richards (Christmas Jones)
  • Bond Villain:  Sophie Marceau (Electra King), Robert Carlyle (Renard), Maria Grazia Cucinotta (Cigar Girl)
  • Bond Support:  Judi Dench (M), Samantha Bond (Moneypenny), Desmond Llewelyn (Q), Robbie Coltrane (Zukovsky), John Cleese (R)

In Tomorrow Never Dies the plot and major villain were weak and the Bond girl was great.  The plot here is decent enough, the villains are not particularly good and the Bond girl is a complete disaster.  So what is it that saves this film itself from being a complete disaster?  Partially it’s Brosnan himself, so determined and athletic, preventing the film from falling into the almost-parody of the later Roger Moore films.  Partially it’s the supporting cast, really stepping up.  And partially it’s the presence of some good action sequences, including one of the best ever done in a Bond film on some very unfamiliar territory. (more…)

tomorrow_never_dies_ver3Tomorrow Never Dies

  • Year:  1997
  • Director:  Roger Spottiswoode
  • Series Rank:  #16
  • Year Rank:  #58
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Bond Girl:  Michelle Yeoh (Wai Lin), Teri Hatcher (Paris Carver)
  • Bond Villain:  Jonathan Pryce (Elliot Carver), Gotz Otto (Stamper), Ricky Jay (Gupta)
  • Bond Support:  Judi Dench (M), Samantha Bond (Moneypenny), Desmond Llewelyn (Q), Joe Don Baker (Jack Wade)

“She looks good,” I said about Teri Hatcher once Veronica saw who the Bond girl would be.  “But then, she’s only in the film to look good.”  Veronica knew that, of course.  She would.  I don’t know how much I knew about Michelle Yeoh when this film came out in 1997.  This was still three years before Crouching Tiger, of course.  But it was also two years before I met Veronica and she introduced me to two kick-ass Hong Kong action films called The Heroic Trio and The Executioners.  So, Veronica always knew that Yeoh would end up as the primary Bond girl and that she was going to kick some serious ass. (more…)


  • Year:  1995
  • Director:  Martin Campbell
  • Series Rank:  #11
  • Year Rank:  #39
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Bond Girl:  Izabella Scorupco (Natalya Simonova)
  • Bond Villain:  Sean Bean (Alec Trevelyan), Famke Janssen (Xenia Onatopp), Gottfried John (General Ourumov), Alan Cumming (Boris Grishenko), Robbie Coltrane (Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky)
  • Bond Support:  Judi Dench (M), Samantha Bond (Moneypenny), Desmond Llewelyn (Q), Joe Don Baker (Jack Wade)

It had been six years since the last James Bond film.  The Dalton films were great for Bond fans like myself, but they had not been as financially successful as had been hoped and there were many who weren’t ready for that kind of colder, harder Bond after the years of Roger Moore.  So, in comes Pierce Brosnan, who everyone had been agreeing for years should be James Bond (and was actually supposed to be back before Dalton was hired), and we get a bit of a hybrid.  He’s got a bit more of that Roger Moore charm (although, as Veronica points out, he has the looks to pull it off – I agree, as when I ran Freshman Orientation at Pacific my senior year, instead of using a picture of myself for my bio, I used a picture of Brosnan) and a little bit of those silly lines keep crawling in, but he’s a bit harder-edged as well.  When he’s asked, at the end of the film, “For England, James?”, he replies “No.  For me.” (more…)

license_to_kill_ver2Licence to Kill

  • Year:  1989
  • Director:  John Glen
  • Series Rank:  #6
  • Year Rank:  #24
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Bond Girl:  Carey Lowell (Pam Bouvier), Talisa Soto (Lupe Lamora)
  • Bond Villain:  Robert Davi (Sanchez), Anthony Zerbe (Milton Krest), Benicio del Toro (Dario), Wayne Newton (Joe Butcher)
  • Bond Support:  Robert Brown (M), Caroline Bliss (Moneypenny), Desmond Llewelyn (Q), David Hedison (Felix Leiter)

“We have all the time in the world.”  That was what Bond said to his wife as she lay dead in his arms.  It was a moment of genuine emotion for Bond, even if George Lazenby wasn’t really a good enough actor to pull off the line.  That was it for emotional moments for Bond.  Yes, he would occasionally get angry, but in all of Roger Moore’s time, except for when he kicked Locque’s car down the cliff, we never really saw much in the way of emotion from him.  But now we have Timothy Dalton, and we get this line: “Don’t you want to know why?” (more…)

living_daylights_ver2The Living Daylights

  • Year:  1987
  • Director:  John Glen
  • Series Rank:  #9
  • Year Rank:  #30
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Bond Girl:  Maryam d’Abo (Kara Milovy)
  • Bond Villain:  Jeroen Krabbé (General Koskov), Joe Don Baker (Brad Whitaker), Andreas Wisniewski (Necros)
  • Bond Support:  Robert Brown (M), Caroline Bliss (Moneypenny), Desmond Llewelyn (Q), Art Malik (Kamran Shah), Thomas Wheatley (Saunders), John Rhys-Davies (General Pushkin), John Terry (Felix Leiter)

I have found most people tend to think that Timothy Dalton is either one of the best or one of the worst Bonds.  They don’t seem to be neutral about him.  I fall on the “best” side of the fence.  This is James Bond as he was written by Ian Fleming, not the ridiculous aging punster that Roger Moore had become. (more…)

view_to_a_killA View to a Kill

  • Year:  1985
  • Director:  John Glen
  • Series Rank:  #23
  • Year Rank:  #126
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Bond Girl:  Tanya Roberts (Stacey Sutton)
  • Bond Villain:  Christopher Walken (Zorin), Grace Jones (May Day), Patrick Bauchau (Scarpine)
  • Bond Support:  Robert Brown (M), Lois Maxwell (Moneypenny), Desmond Llewelyn (Q), Patrick Macnee (Sir Godfrey Tibbett), David Yip (Chuck Lee)

We were a few minutes into the film when Veronica asked me about something that was going to happen.  “I don’t remember anything about this film that isn’t in the Duran Duran video,” I told her.  I like the song a lot; it’s my favorite Duran Duran song and I grew up with it.  It might seem odd then that it doesn’t earn a Nighthawk nomination for Best Original Song, especially since I rank it as the best Bond song ever.  That’s because 1985 is a great year for original songs and it doesn’t make it higher than 7th.  And that’s a shame because the song is the best thing about this film, by a long way. (more…)


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