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Bill Altreuter

Best: The Thin Man series.

Walter

Favorite Bond movie: On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Runners Up: For Your Eyes Only & From Russia with Love

I prefer Timothy Dalton as Bond.

Least favorite movie series: Friday the 13th. Not that I've actually seen any of them but how many of them are there? 10? And that's for a cheap slasher flick.

velvet goldmine

The Perils of Pauline.

Just kidding. I'll have to totally geek out on this one and say the Harry Potter series, although Bill is certainly right in citing Thin Man as a great collection of movies.

I had the same reaction to Clive Owen in Pink Panther that Lance reports -- to such an extent that I researched it to see if his scenes were meant as a giant, splendid FU to the Bond-makers for choosing Craig.

Apparently not. Steve Martin said he thought it would be fun because Owen was under consideration for Bond at the time. And Owen himself reportedly turned down the Bond franchise. I think I hate him a little for that.

I pick Brosnan for my favorite actual Bond, perhaps because of the element of surprise. He's so suave an actor in general that I was pleased to see an unexpected toughness to his Bond, which played beautifully against his good looks and his light touch with the dialogue. (One wishes the screenwriters would emulate him, but I guess Bond wouldn't be Bond without the lead-pipe wisecracks).

The Powers that Bond were so very, very stupid to let him go.

Kevin Wolf

Gee, I don't think I can argue with your series picks, Lance. I'm glad Star Wars didn't top the list. (Have I mentioned I hate Star Wars?)

Re Bond, James: No question Connery is the best and he appears in what has to be the archetypal Bond flick, Goldfinger. But I do agree with you that each Bond had his moments. I think Moonraker is terrible (sorry) but The Spy Who Loved Me is definitely tip top Bond.

I'm willing to wait and see what Craig brings to the role. I did see one promo pic of him in which he appeared very Bondly. We shall see.

Cryptic Ned

I've seen 8 Bond movies - the first 7 plus "Octopussy". I liked "Diamonds Are Forever" the best for its sheer wealth of cool stuff going on, and "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" for its surprisingly serious plot and restraint to only a couple settings. Of course, one of those settings was an ice fortress filled with beautiful young women being brainwashed to release biological warfare agents in their home countries, but I still think "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is the Bond equivalent to "Batman Begins".

The one I least enjoyed was "Thunderball". What the hell is the point of the 30- or 40-minute underwater fighting sequence? I can't tell which character is which, or what they're doing.

Dave Schuler

I'm with Bill Alreuter: the Thin Man, hands down.

norbizness

Least favorite series: Police Academy.

"We live in a society of laws! Why do you think I took you to all those Police Academy movies? For fun? Well, I didn't hear anybody laughing, did you?! Except at that guy who made sound effects. Heh heh heh. Where was I? Oh yeah — stay out of my booze."

Favorite series: Fritz Lang's Dr. Mabuse movies.

Favorite Bond: Connery, overall. My favorite movie is still Goldfinger, starting with the premise that Bond is hella-interested in breaking Mr. Goldfinger's gin rummy scam on Miami Beach to the extent that he's willing to blow his cover 12 A close second is On Her Majesty's Secret Service because of the grown-up plot and Diana Rigg, but Lazenby is a little too much of a pretty-boy to really pull it off.

Matt

Even though it feels like I'm being unfaithful to Star Wars, I have to go with Bond, with Connery as the one true Bond. Indeed, if you look at only his films, it's a very strong bunch (You Only Live Twice notwithstanding, even though it's got ninjas). What always struck me about Connery's portrayal was the sense that below his suave exterior beat the heart of a genuine psychopath. It's not about the ladies, or the gadgets. It's about the state-sanctioned murder.

I always found the baby-blue onesie he wore in Goldfinger extremely troubling, though. It's a testament to Connery's Olympian coolness that he almost makes it work.

burritoboy

Pfft, Bond and Thin Man. Thin gruel. Try some Tora-san or Les Vampires on for size. Norbizness wins for mentioning the Dr. Mabuse trilogy (though the Mabuse series continued on long after Lang's death in inferior versions, and even includes an entry from Claude Chabrol in the 1980s).

Mike Schilling

Do the Marx Brothers movies count as a series? Same cast playing the same characters, if under (slightly) different names.

And Lazenby, on the grounds that every one of his Bond movies co-starred Diana Rigg.

Laertes

I like Dalton best. Then it occurred to me that this is because I don't like Bond movies.

If you want a smart, tightly-plotted picture that's realistic and plausible by hollywood standards, Dalton's grim and serious Bond is as close as you're gonna get. But he's still wide of the mark, and if that's what you want, you should go watch Ronin a few times, because Bond isn't even trying for that.

I hate the campiness. The silly plotting, the over-the-top villains, and most of all the dumb one-liners. Dumb, dumb, formulaic, painfully un-funny (which is fine unless you're trying to be funny, which they are), and dumb.

After a Bond movie I feel like I've been insulted. It'll take a whale of a review from a writer I respect before I'll go see another, and I don't care who'll be flirting with the redhead.

coturnix

Connery is the best, Moore is the runner-up. I think I've seen them all, though I was really young when I saw some of them, so I loved them even if they were awful. I cannot make up my mind on which one is my fave...perhaps For Your Eyes Only (which I saw in Odeon on Leicester Square, London, during its first release), perhaps On Her Majesty's Secret Service, perhaps Dr.No....

Now let me put a monkey-wrench into this thread - my favourite series: Godzilla - all the Japanese installments and offshoots (e.g., Gillala). Cheezy but nonetheless masterful!

Linkmeister

I posed a question over at Shakes Sis's place when the thread first began that I'd like to see answered here, too:

What one-shot movie cries out for a sequel?

Confession: I stopped going to see Bond movies when Connery quit. I've seen dozens of clips with Moore as 007, but I don't think I've ever watched an entire Bond movie with him as the lead. It's not out of dislike for Moore, either, although I did think he fit Simon Templar's character better than Bond. Maybe I just felt the Bond movies got more and more outlandish after Connery left the franchise.

Mike Schilling

What one-shot movie cries out for a sequel?

The Princess Bride, as soon as Goldman completes Buttercup's Baby.

Mudge

Two of your favorites are the result of making movies about books, the other is a TV show. Add in the Thin Man and they all benefit by having developed, (and in most cases)very identifiable characters aforehand. Bond has been transported across actors, as has Tarzan (you diplomatically do not mention the Bo Derek version and also, sadly, fail to note Cheetah's birthday, oldest living chimp). Star Trek cannot be done that way, Nimoy is Spock, period. It suffers, as you note, from the need to develop new blood.

All that being said, I always enjoyed The Saint movies. Sort of film noir with George Sanders. Roger Moore did a nice job in the TV series (too seldom seen). The 1997 movie with Val Kilmer was not as good; you need a suave Saint. Clooney could have pulled it off. The Saint was obviously Roger Moore's audition for Bond, as Remington Steele was for Brosnan. Suave roles.

Philip Marlowe films are often excellent, especially Murder My Sweet (Dick Powell) and The Big Sleep (Bogart) and the ones Robert Montgomery did. I exclude Elliot Gould.

helmut

Connery wins, but I actually liked Lazenby (yes, with bonus Diana Rigg!). He's a bit nondescript, but he had a Cary Grant way with humor, and that's the one movie where Bond seems to have a real emotion. I would have preferred Owen too, one of my favorite actors since The Croupier. But I recentl saw some crappy UK film starring Daniel Craig, and he also has that darker side that Owen would have brought to the role. The series needs a more sinister side. Surprisingly, for all his camp and goofiness, Roger Moore was capable of the occasional nastiness. The Bond movies all look alike since Lazenby. Brosnan strikes me as too physically slight - I couldn't help thinking of Dukakis riding around in the tank in the scene in which Brosnan rides through Berlin or Moscow (?) in a tank.

Chanwoo Park's loosely-tied vengeance movies, with Old Boy the most recent and the new one being released in the US this month. Preposterously great.

Exiled in New Jersey

You can say that again, Helmut!

I am anti-series. I fear the next installment of Pirates will be a letdown. Anyone want to watch Indy and the Temple of Doom? Anyone recall what they did with Rocky?

Bond had the luxury of many books to use, which is sort of cheating. After Russia with Love and Goldfinger, Thunderball was such a letdown that I only have seen the rest on AMC or TNT or whatever cable commerical outlet is having a Bond weekend.

And I am someone who cares not one wit when the detective is killed off.

Shakespeare's Sister

This surprises me, Mannion. I always figured you for a Nightmare on Elm Street, parts I - ∞, kind of guy.

KathyR

Who the hell is Timothy Dalton?

Matt

Do Yojimbo and Sanjuro count?

mac macgillicuddy

I don't have a favorite movie series to report, but I couldn't let this post go by without acknowledging that Cheetah the chimp from Tarzan just celebrated his 74th birthday.

Adorable Girlfriend

Don't be silly, why it's National Lampoons Vacations. Especially when the kiddies are keep changing.

Campaspe

Favorite: The Gold Diggers series of backstage musicals, from Warner Bros. in the 1930s. I would argue that I can include Footlight Parade, 42nd Street and Dames in that. :)

Runner-up: the Thin Man series, if only for the peerless stars.

Best Bond: From Russia With Love. Marvelous atmosphere, great score, amazing villainess in Lotte Lenya.

Best Bond: Connery. I also like Brosnan a lot. Dalton was just too dour, despite his beauty and marvelous voice. You felt it would kill the man to crack a smile.

Roxanne

The Razor's Edge cries out for a sequel because I'm dying to know what happens to Larry when he returns to the US.

Exiled in New Jersey

Until he was recruited to fight the Nazi's, Basil Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes films were lots of fun.

velvet goldmine

Mike Schilling, I'm calling you out. "Mike" obviously stands for Michelle.

While most of my female contemporaries can recite endless streams of dialogue from Princess Bride, most men, gay or straight, usually say "Princess Who? Is that a thing now?"

I'd look further into this identity fraud of yours, but I've got my country's 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it. I'm swamped.

Gray Lensman

How about Alien and Aliens? I can take or leave the others, but I have watched the first two several times. Great bug eyed monster.

From Russia.. is my favorite Bond. Connery is the best.

Keith Demko

How about Kevin Smith's New Jersey chronicles ... I'm probably the only one who would include them, but I think they're great

Sandals

Goooooldeneye, you ol' farts.

;)

Mr. Shakes

Connery's early Bond was probably the best Bond. In Dr. No and From Russia with Love he gave the character a very hard, morally ambiguous edge, which was closer to how Bond was in the books and made for a more interesting protaganist. Ironically, I thought Goldfinger was the beginning of the end for Bond as a serious character, since although the movie is generally considered to be the best of the whole series, it was in this film that Connery began to really camp up his performance. This campiness then rose to near farcical levels over the remainder of his reign, as he became increasingly bored with the character, and the producers increasingly enamored of the larger box office the more simple tongue in cheek, happy go lucky hero was able to generate.

Roger Moore was pretty good, too. Live and Let Die, A View to a Kill and The Spy Who Loved Me count as some of my favorite Bond movies ever, and are certainly better than the later Connery efforts. I liked Moonraker, but the BBC played it so incessantly when I was growing up that I became tired of it. The only thing I really didn't dig about Moore was the total lack of athletic ability that he brought to the character. The guy looked like he could put his back out just from chewing gum. That magical karate chop he would always do drove me crazy. It was the most feeble blow imaginable, and generally landed between his opponent's shoulder blades, rather than the nape of their neck, but I suppose there must be some crucial nerve ganglion down there, since despite the fact that has hand would strike with all the force of a falling feather, it would never fail to knock em' out cold (unless he was fighting Jaws, in which case he'd gaze oh so comically at his bruised hand, as though it were a gun that had failed to go off, and then get layed out).

I don't think Brosnan never lived up to the promise he showed in Goldeneye, which was a shame, since he was great in that movie.

Oh, and Mannion, a factoid that may or may not interest you: Geroge McDonald Fraser wrote the screenplay for Octopussy.

Bulgy

As far as Bond goes, he has to wear a hat, smoke and have a Rolex Oyster. The real James Bond was fond of smoked bacon and a supercharged Bentley, but that didn't make it into any of the films.
Other film series: Godfather. Even III was beter than the average movie, but just looks bad when comapared to the first two.
The Sellers Pink Panther films. the post Sellars movies are crap.
Eastwood's Dirty Harry and "Man with no name" movies.

Never watched an American Pie or Porkey's movie. Never will.

Bulgy

One other thing!
I have a copy of one of those little AR7 breakdown rifles that was used in "From Russia". It's a 22, and unsuitable for shooting down helicopters, even flown by the most incompetent henchman.

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