From The Halls of Montezuma to the Depths of Outer Space: The Long Deployment (conclusion) submitted by
The rear ramp on the gunship shut with a clang just as the torpedoes detonated. The gunship was still in a nose dive to the ground when the concussive force of the blast created a shockwave which knocked the gunship off its terminal dive angle. Warning lights and alarms screamed inside the cockpit, but the rugged little gunship held together, despite the battering she had just taken. With one last heave, Jennifer pulled up on the stick with every ounce of strength that she had left. The gunship shot up, narrowly missing the black, jagged, landscape which seemed to rise up to meet them. Jennifer pulled the stick to the left, attempting to get past the periphery of the blasted black landscape and over to where the land was alive and green and beautiful.
“We’re clear of the anomaly!” Warrant Officer Nasri’s voice boomed into the intercom over the rising pitch of the thrusters. “Is everyone okay back there?”
“We’re a little banged up,” said SSgt Talley into the intercom speaker, looking down and frowning at the wet spot on her armor where Seashell Killary pissed herself. “But we’re fine. The medic is handing out boo-boo band aids and lollypops.”
“Okay,” chucked Nasri. “Where’s Lieutenant Gabriel?”
“Oh, uh, he’s hanging around, ma’am,” said Sgt. Hernandez.
“I see,” said Nasri. “Well, when he’s done farting around, let him know that we have comms with the Galveston City. They’ve got freedom of maneuver and are in orbit waiting to retrieve us. We should be docked in fifteen to twenty mikes.”
Lieutenant Gabriel hung upside down six feet above the deck of the cargo bay, his mag-locks holding him in place. His arms were wrapped tightly around Pfc. Chensi and he looked down at her, surprised to see her crying.
“You okay, Hitchiro?” he said. “Are you hurt?”
Chensi looked up at her platoon leader, wiping a tear from her eyes. “No, sir! I lost my flame-rifle! You know how much those things cost? I’ll never be able to pay for a new one with the shit that the corps is paying me!”
“You saved our asses down there,” said Gabriel. “We’ll buy you a new one!”
Chensi smiled weakly. “I’d rather have a promotion. Maybe a few days to hang out with you and Warrant Officer Nasri in Vegas?”
Lieutenant Gabriel rolled his eyes. “Will someone get this little turd off my hands so that I can get down from here?”
The USS Galveston City remained on station for an additional 48 hours over Willow’s World as the members of 4th Platoon underwent decontamination procedures. In that time, all of the platoons vid-cam footage was sent to the Fleet to be scrutinized and examined extensively by scientists, geologists, biologists, astrophysicists, and the clergy. The opposition politicians also wanted to examine the vid-cam footage as well to see if they could find evidence in which to convict the Marines (and, by association, their Commander-in Chief) of any heinous war crimes real or imaginary. With the USS Galveston City’s sensors functioning normally now that the entity had been weakened and its ‘beam-horn’ (as the Marines called it) was destroyed, the Galveston City was able to peer down into the dead area anomaly. The entity was still alive, alive being a relative term, and still stumbling around within the dead space which it presumably was responsible for creating. Apparently, the horned entity could not leave that area of dead space to set foot on the surrounding lush, living landscape. The prevailing theory was that the entity was not originally of this planet, having arrived sometime in the past and probably buried itself into the ground where it slowly began draining the life energy of its surroundings which, over time, expanded the deadness to over one hundred twenty miles in circumference. In the meantime, the entity had used its weird beam to snag any star ship which came into range and dragged it to its doom on the blasted rock formations below where the entity again fed off the life forces of those it had ensnared, reanimating the corpses whenever they were needed to do its bidding. Basically, it was a giant parasite.
Commander Travis had suggested using one of the Galveston’s tac-nukes on the creature, just in case it had the power to re-grow its beam horn again. But that was quickly shot down by the globo-corporations and their R and D departments who wanted to investigate the numerous wrecks of alien vessels which had been brought down in the dead space. They feared that a tac-nuke might damage the alien vessels which were no doubt holding advanced weapon development secrets that could benefit mankind.
For his part, Lieutenant Gabriel couldn’t care less. After they leave orbit and the K-Hawk gets underway for earth, Willow’s World and everything associated with it would be the USS Ranger’s problem. He was just happy that this deployment was finally over and that he would be returning with his entire platoon safe and intact. Oh, and that the two snot nosed VIPs were also safe and sound also, he guessed. They were both tucked away in Commander Travis’s own crew cabin since the corvette didn’t have an executive VIP suite. Groaning, Gabriel looked down at his data pad. He was sitting in the galley, enjoying a moment of alone time with a nice hot mug of coffee. He hadn’t even finished his report on the Mont Caberu mission and now he had to write a report about this one. Pfc. Chensi strolled up and sat across from him, setting down a tray of cereal on the metal table.
“Man, sir, these fleet guys know how to live,” she said, cutting up a fresh banana and strawberries to put in her cereal. “Maybe I joined the wrong branch?”
“You most definitely did not join the wrong branch, killer,” said Gabriel.
“I know,” said Chensi. “Oh, by the way, your eyebrows are growing in nicely, sir. Maybe you won’t look so hideous by the time we get back.”
Gabriel rolled his eyes up at her. “Is there a reason you’re sitting here picking on my eyebrows, Private?”
Chensi scooped a spoonful of fruit laden cereal into her mouth. “Yes, sir! Are you writing your report on our mission on Willow’s World?”
“I could be,” said Gabriel.
“Are you at the part when I dragged those two idiots… I mean, VIPs… up to the top of the wreckage and flamed all them dead things?”
“As a matter of fact,” said Gabriel, “I’m just getting to that part.”
“Great!” said Chensi. “Because I just wanted to make sure that you spelled the word ‘incinerate’ correctly.”
Jennifer Nasri stepped out of the shower, wrapped in one of the thick, soft, luxurious towels which made The Ultra Luxorious Hotel and Casino Complex towels the most stolen towels on the Las Vegas strip. It had been over forty days since they had successfully completed their mission to Willow’s World and three weeks after the USS Kitty Hawk docked at San Diego Orbital Naval Base before she and Samuel could finally start their three week vacation to Vegas. Yes, originally it was two weeks, but Seashell Killary had stunk up the cockpit of Jenn’s gunship again on the way back. Apparently, they only had caviar, sardines, and boiled eggs in that pantry they were trapped in for over a week. So naturally, Sam would have to cough up another week in Vegas. Secretly however, Jenn was hoping that by their third week in Vegas, Sam might get the hint that Jennifer Nasri-Gabriel had a nice ring to it. She walked from the steaming bathroom across to the Ultra Luxorious king sized bed with the thick, comfortable mattress.
Sam was lying in bed, already dressed in a red polo shirt and his favorite well worn faded blue jeans, waiting for Jenn to get out of the shower so that they could partake in what was fast becoming their favorite pastime since returning from over a year out in space: attacking the dinner buffet. Sam had the 74” vid-screen turned on to Galactic News Network. The image on the screen showed Seashell Killary wearing a tight fitting light blue pant suit combination standing together with Hunter Hyding, who was wearing a sharp looking black suit. The couple was on a large stage inside a crowded arena receiving medals, accolades and praise from their party leadership while thousands of people clapped and cheered. Red, white, and blue confetti fell from the rafters as veteran GNN senior reporter Runt Wolftard, the ‘most trusted news anchor in the galaxy’, sat at a desk and gave a glowing story of Seashell Killary and Hunter Hyding’s successful mission to Willow’s World.
“… and after taking a commanding position atop their crashed star cruiser,” Runt continued, “… Hunter Hyding and Seashell Killary rallied the platoon of panic stricken Marines which, ironically, were sent to rescue them. Though the Marines were wracked with fear at the sight of the unnamed danger, Hunter and Seashell used their natural born leadership gifts, undoubtedly passed to them by their parents, and led the Marines on a dangerous mission which successfully averted a tragedy on that planet. And even though the nature of the mission and the nature of the potential tragedy is considered classified,” Runt smiled knowingly into the camera, “some anonymous sources high up in government claimed that the unnamed potential tragedy was caused by none other than President Helania herself! Voters should keep this in mind when the elections roll around. I’m sure that if those thankful Marines were present here today, they would encourage all citizens in the galaxy to vote accordingly since clearly, this was all President Helania’s fault.”
Hunter Hyding was joined by his father on the stage, former Vice President Bunker Hyding and Seashell Killary was joined by her father, Senator William J. Killary as they announced their intention to run as president and vice president to defeat President Helania in the next election by any means necessary.
“Really, Sam?” said Jennifer, removing her towel and using it to dry her hair. “Eight thousand channels on cosmic-cable, one thousand of them porn channels, and this is what you’re watching?”
“It’s on all the channels, Jenn,” shrugged Samuel. “Even the porn ones.” He sighed, as if he had stepped boot deep into a steaming pile of xeno-droppings. “Still though, none of that galactic pomp and circumstance bullshit can compare to the little ceremony we had on the deck of the K-Hawk where we got to promote Sergeant Hernandez to Staff Sergeant and Pfc. Chensi to Lance Corporal. It’s nice, really. Forty-two of us deployed. Forty-two of us returned. Banged up. Probably scared for life. But drunk and happy, just the way we Marines like it.”
“Well, yeah, that’s true,” said Jenn, climbing on the bed and straddling Sam. With an aggravated groan, Jenn grabbed the remote out of Sam’s hand and pointed it at the vid-screen. “Just do me a favor,” she said, pressing the ‘off’ button. “For as long as we’re on earth, turn that GNN shit off!”
Marine Corps Rank Pronunciations
SSgt- Staff Sergeant (read as ‘staff sergeant’)
Sgt- Sergeant (read as ‘sergeant’)
Pvt- Private (read as ‘private’)
Pfc- Private First Class (read as ‘PFC’)
LCpl- Lance Corporal (read as ‘lance corporal’)
Cpl- Corporal (read as ‘corporal’)
1LT- First Lieutenant (read as First Lieutenant or Lieutenant)
4th Platoon, Delta Company
Platoon Leader- 1LT Samuel Gabriel (m)
Medic- LCpl. Chapman (m)
CommSpec- LCpl. Maggas (m)
Sqd- Ldr-SSgt. Boyer (m)
Tm Ldr- Sgt. Barlow (m)
Tm Ldr- Cpl. Hatcher (f)
Automatic Rifle Gunner- Pvt. Houser (m)
Asst. Automatic Rifle Gunner- Pvt. Barner (f)
Sqd. Ldr- SSgt. Talley (f)
Tm Ldr- Cpl. Cotto (m)
Tm Ldr – Cpl. Parker (m)
Sqd. Ldr- Sgt. Hernandez (m)
Flame-Rifle Gunner- Pfc. Chensi (f)
Tm Ldr- Sgt. Watson (f)
Tm Ldr- Cpl. Palkovic (m)
Rifleman- LCpl. Mixley
Warrant Officer Nasri
USS Kitty Hawk- assault carrier
USS Ranger- assault carrier
USS Galveston City- patrol corvette
CSNS Sydney Point- colonizer ship
CSNS New Castle- luxury cruiser
CSNS Mont Caberu- science freighter
During quarantine, I've had the opportunity to rewatch every movie in relatively short succession. I've seen them all 2-10 times and have been a lifelong Bond fan. I enjoy every Bond film, even the "bad" ones, but I wanted to try and rank them. I used a scoring system to help me, but ultimately went with my gut (e.g. License to Kill MUST be better than The World is Not Enough). I thought a tier system of ranking was useful, because it really is splitting hairs to rank some of these. Feel free to critique my ratings, my ratings weightings, and opinions!
You could say I have too much time on my hands Tier 7: The Worst
- Die Another Day: Best Sword Fight
- Why it's not irredeemable: For being the lowest ranked film on this list, it's not without its moments. Bond getting caught, tortured, then escaping from MI6 was interesting and novel. The ice hotel was neat, as well as the chase scene. I'll even defend the much maligned invisible car, as the Aston Martin Vanquish is quite a car.
- Why it's not higher: Personally, I think Halle Berry is a terrible Bond girl, alternating between damsel in distress and super woman as the plot demands it. Moreover, Graves and the plot in general is pretty cheesy and boring. Perhaps most damaging is the deadly serious tone of the movie, which doesn't even provide the fun and excitement Brosnan's films generally provide the viewer.
- Most under-appreciated part: The fencing scene is the best action scene of the entire movie. It's surprising it took Bond this long to fence, but seeing them go at it across the club was a blast.
Tier 6: Disappointing
- Quantum of Solace: Best Car Chase
- Why it's this high: The action is quite good, likely meriting the distinction of the best car chase in the entire series (the pre-credits sequence). Mathis is a good ally and it is sad to see him go.
- Why it's not higher: My biggest beef with Craig's Bond films is that they are too serious, so when the plot and script isn't top-notch, the movie watching experience is just kind of dull. Quantum of Solace takes a bold risk in making the first Bond sequel, but unfortunately it's just not that good. Greene seems like a rather pathetic Bond villain, and his henchman (the worst in the series?) ends up in a neck-brace after getting tripped by Camilla. Also, the shaky cam is distracting and exhausting.
- Most under-appreciated part: I actually thing the theme song is pretty good! Maybe I'm just too much of a Jack White groupie, but I think it rocks.
- Moonraker: Best Locales
- Why it's this high: I'm pleased to see Jaws making a return, as he is an amazing henchman. On that note, the pre-credits sequence with Bond and Jaws falling out of the plane is exhilarating. Holly Goodhead is a very good Bond girl, beautiful, smart, and competent. Roger Moore always does an excellent job playing the role with suavity and wit.
- Why it's not higher: Gosh it's cheesy. Particularly egregious is Jaws' love story. The theme song is terrible and Bond doesn't have any solid allies besides Goodhead and Jaws.
- Most under-appreciated part: They really go all out with the settings here. Obviously, space is pretty polarizing, but I think Bond clearly should go to space at SOME point during the series. In addition, Italy and Brazil were gorgeous views, while Drax's estate is magnificent.
- Spectre: Best Shooting
- Why it's this high: Rewatching this for the second time, I realized Lea Seydoux does a good job as the Bond girl, and it's actually quite believable she and James could work out, as she is the daughter of an assassin and can understand him (as Blofeld points out). Seeing Bond show off his marksmanship was quite satisfying, especially that one long shot during the escape from Blofeld's compound. Bonus points for Bond's DB10 and resurrecting the DB5.
- Why it's not higher: The fatal flaw of this film is making Blofeld Bond's adopted brother. How did Bond not recognize him? How is Blofeld able to keep himself secret from British intelligence yet every criminal worth his salt knows of him? The worst part is that it actually cheapens the plot of the other Craig movies. I believe the Bond franchise should stay clear from sequels from here on out. Yes, they can weave a great story if done correctly, but it's so much more difficult to make great sequels (e.g. Star Wars only made two worthy sequels in seven tries) than to do one-offs. As usual for a Craig film, Bond has little charisma (save for his surprisingly good rapport with Moneypenny) and little in the way of jokes to lighten the mood.
- Most under-appreciated part: The train fight scene with Dave Bautista is great! Gosh it was awesome to see them go at it, break through walls, and a priceless expression on Bautista's face when he knows he's done. Bautista is the first decent henchman since the 90s, so glad to see the series go back to this staple.
- The Man with the Golden Gun: Best Potential, Worst Execution
- Why it's this high: This Bond movie frustrates more than any other, as it has the potential to be an all-time great. Bond's debriefing starts off with promise, as it turns out the world's top assassin is gunning for Bond! For the first time in the series, Bond seems vulnerable! M makes a hilarious quip as to who would try to kill Bond ("jealous husbands ... the list is endless"). Furthermore, the legendary Christopher Lee is possible the best Bond villain, a rare peer of 007.
- Why it's not higher: Unfortunately, the movie opts to change course so that it's just Maud Adams trying to get Bond to kill Scaramanga. Goodnight is beautiful, but maybe the most inept Bond girl of all-time. They used a SLIDE WHISTLE, ruining one of the coolest Bond stunts ever (the car jump).
- Most under-appreciated part: Nick Nack is a splendid henchman, showing the role can be more than just a strongman.
- Diamonds Are Forever: Great Beginning and Ending, but Bad Everywhere Else
- Why it's this high: Is there another Bond with such a great contrast between the beginning/ending and everything in between? Connery shows his tough side, as he muscles his way through the pre-credits scene. Particularly good was the part where he seduces the woman, then uses her bikini top to choke her. At the end, Bond expertly uses his wine knowledge to detect something is amiss, then dispatches Kidd and Wint in style. Other cool scenes include Bond scaling the building to reach Blofeld and Bond driving the Mustang through the alley.
- Why it's not higher: This is one of the films that I find myself liking less and less over time. Vegas, and especially the space laboratory scene, just seem cheesy. Connery is officially too old at this point, and Jill St. John just isn't a very compelling Bond girl. I would've preferred to have seen more of Plenty O'Toole, but alas 'twas not meant to be. Leiter is uninspired as well. Having Bond go after Blofeld for the millionth time just seems tired at this point.
- Most under-appreciated part: Mr. Kidd and Wint are the creepiest henchmen in the Bond universe, but I'd argue they are some of the best. Their banter and creative modes of execution are quite chilling and thrilling.
- A View to a Kill: Best Theme
- Why it's this high: Is it a hot take to not have View
in the bottom five? Let me explain. I contend Duran Duran's theme is the very best. The ending fight scene on the Golden Gate Bridge is actually one of the most iconic ending set pieces in the series. The plot is stellar on paper, as the horse racing part was a very Bondian side story, and the idea of an attack on Silicon Valley actually seems even more plausible today.
- Why it's not higher: It's self-evident that Moore is way too old for the part. Some parts are just mind-blowingly ridiculous, such as the fire truck chase scene through San Francisco and the part where Stacey is caught unaware by a blimp
behind her. Speaking of Stacey, she may be beautiful, but she spends most of the movie shrieking whenever something goes wrong.
- Most under-appreciated part: The scene with Bond and Ivanova is cool (I always like it when he interacts with other spies) and quite entertaining how he fools her with the cassettes.
Tier 5: Below Average
- Octopussy: The Most Characteristically Roger Moore Bond Film
- Why it's this high: Maud Adams has great screen presence as Octopussy, and her Amazonian-like women are cool to watch fight. Bond's deft swipe of the egg was nicely done. On a related aside, I wish Bond films would emphasize Bond's intellect more, as it seems the 60s and 70s films would allow Bond to showcase his vast knowledge more frequently than he does today. Gobinda is a fierce henchman, while India in general is a cool location. The plot is realistic, yet grand (war-mongering Russian general tries to detonate a nuke to get NATO to turn on itself).
- Why it's not higher: This is the first Moore film where he simply was too old and shouldn't have been cast. Yes, it's too cheesy at times, most infamously during the Tarzan yell. Bond also doesn't use any cool vehicles.
- Most under-appreciated part: People tend to focus too much on Bond dressing as a clown, but the scene where Bond furiously tries to get to the bomb in time to defuse it is one of the tensest moments in the series. Moore's "Dammit there's a bomb in there!" really demonstrated the gravity of the situation (I get goosebumps during that part).
- Tomorrow Never Dies: Most Tasteful Humor
- Why it's this high: Brosnan really settles into the role well here. He gives the most charismatic Bond performance in 15 years or so. His quip "I'm just here at Oxford, brushing up on a little Danish" is an all-time great Bond line. Teri Hatcher is stunning as Paris Carver, delivering a memorable performance with her limited screen time. The plot is original and ages well, highlighting the potential downsides of media power, while Carver is an above average villain.
- Why it's not higher: Wai Lin is good for action, but the chemistry between her and Bond is non-existent. By the end of the movie, Pryce just seem silly (especially the scene where he mocks Wai Lin's martial arts skills). There aren't any good Bond allies, as Jack Wade doesn't impress in his return to the franchise. In general though, the movie has few things terribly wrong with it, it just doesn't excel in many ways.
- Most under-appreciated part: Dr. Kaufman is hysterical. At first, I thought "this is weird," but by the end of the scene I'm cracking up. I genuinely wish they found someway to bring him back for World
, but c'est la vie.
- The World Is Not Enough: Less than the Sum of its Parts
- Why it's this high: According to my spreadsheet, this is a top 10 Bond film, while on my first watch on this film I thought it was bottom five. I think the truth is that it's somewhere in between. I like the settings, everything from the temporary MI-6 headquarters to Azerbaijan. Elektra is an all-time great Bond girl, with a nice plot twist and character arc. The glasses where Bond sees through women's clothing are hilarious. The sense of danger is strong, with everyone from Bond to M being in danger. The return of Zukovsky is a nice plus.
- Why it's not higher: I think two things really doom this film. First, Renard is totally wasted a henchman. The idea of him not feeling pain is a cool one, but he just seems boring and extraneous. I don't even think Carlyle acted poorly, he was just misused. Secondly, the ending (after Bond killing Elektra which is quite good) is rather terrible. The whole scene in the sub just isn't entertaining or engaging.
- Most under-appreciated part: I'm going to defend Denise Richards as Christmas Jones. Although no Ursula Andress, Richards is absolutely gorgeous and did not actively make Bond's mission more difficult, which is more than some Bond girls can say *cough Britt Ekland. In particular, I found her introductory scene to be quite memorable and convincing. Also, the Christmas quip at the end is quite cheeky.
Tier 4: Solid
- The Living Daylights:
- Why it's this high: Dalton brings a breath of fresh air to the franchise here. His more serious take makes for interesting movies that seem more unique than most. I'm happy to see this subreddit appreciate Dalton more than the casual fun does, but I wouldn't go as far as the Dalton fanboys and say he's the best Bond or anything like that. I do wish he got the role sooner and did more films. Moving on to Daylights
, it's got a good intro for Dalton and good plot in general. Surprisingly, Bond's fidelity doesn't bother me one bit, as it actually makes sense that Kara falls in love with James by the end, given all they've gone through.
- Why it's not higher: The biggest reason is that the villain is just terrible. Whitaker seems silly and pathetic, a terrible contrast to Dalton's serious nature. I think Whitaker might be the worst in the series, and a Bond movie can't be great without a good villain. Also, Dalton doesn't have much charm and is abysmal at one-liners, which, in my opinion, IS a facet of the perfect James Bond.
- Most under-appreciated part: The Aston Martin Vantage is a beautiful car, and the chase scene across the ice is great! It's both exciting and funny! Not sure why people don't talk about this chase scene and this car more; it's arguably the highlight of the movie for me.
- Thunderball: The Most Beautiful
- Why it's this high: Thunderball used to be top five for me and here is why. The underwater scenes, the setting, the score, and the Bond girls are beautiful even to this day. Domino is excellent, while Volpe is a tour de force, oozing sexuality and danger. I think the underwater parts are interesting and novel, creating a staple of sorts for the franchise. The DB 5 is always welcome, and the jetpack use was quite cool for the time (and to some extent now).
- Why it's not higher: Some would say it's boring, while I would more generously admit the plot is slow. Furthermore, the theme song is all-time bad (apparently they could have used Johnny Cash!!!), and there is no great henchman for Bond to dispatch.
- Most under-appreciated part: Two plot ideas I liked a lot: Bond being injured and needing rehab, plus the part where all the 00s meet up and then are sent to the corners of the globe.
- Never Say Never Again: Guilty Pleasure
- Why it's this high: Rewatching Never
for the third time, I was struck by how fun this movie is. It's exciting, funny, and fast-paced. Basically, it's a more exciting version of Thunderball, with better pacing and better humor. I think Irvin Kershner did a great job managing this star studded cast. Carrera is a firecracker as Blush, Sydow is a convincing Blofeld, and Basinger is a classic Bond girl. Connery clearly has a blast returning to the role, doing a great job despite his advanced age. If anything, this one might not be ranked high enough.
- Why it's not higher: The music is terrible. Normally I don't notice these things, but one can't help but notice how dreadful this one is. The theme is awful as well. I'd argue this is the worst music of any Bond film.
- Most under-appreciated part: The humor! This is one of the funniest Bonds, as I found myself laughing out loud at various parts (e.g. Mr Bean!).
- The Spy Who Loved Me: Best Intro
- Why it's this high: There's a lot to love about this one, so I get why this ranks highly for many. It is simply the best introduction, starting with Bond romancing a woman, followed by a skii chase, then jumping off the cliff and pulling the Union Jack parachute! The Lotus is a top 3 Bond car. Jaws is a superb henchman. Triple X was an excellent Bond girl, deadly, charming, and beautiful. Of course, Moore is charming and the locations are exotic (Egypt was a cool locale). If I had to pick one Moore movie for a newcomer to watch, it would be this one.
- Why it's not higher: The theme song is bad, and Stromberg is a below average villain. I also think the last 45 minutes or so of the movie kind of drags.
- Most under-appreciated part: The whole dynamic between Bond and Triple X is great. Whenever Bond movies show Bond squaring off against other spies (see View to a Kill, Goldeneye) it's just a pleasure to watch.
- Live and Let Die: Most Suave
- Why it's this high: Roger Moore superbly carves out his own take on Bond in an excellent addition to the franchise. The boat chase is my favorite in the series, and Live and Let Die is my second favorite theme. Jane Seymour is a good Bond girl, while Tee Hee and Kananga are a solid villain/henchman duo. Unpopular opinion: I find J.W. Pepper to be hilarious.
- Why it's not higher: The introduction isn't very good, as Bond isn't even included! The second climax with the voodoo isn't great. Bond blowing up Kananga has aged terribly.
- Most under-appreciated part: When Bond is visited in his apartment by M and Moneypenny, Bond rushes to hide his girl from his coworkers. Finally, when they leave and he unzips the dress with his magnetic watch is one of the best uses of a Bond gadget in the series, showcasing why Moore might be the most charming Bond of them all.
- You Only Live Twice: Best Blofeld
- Why it's this high: Just your classic, fun Sean Connery Bond movie. It was a great decision to send Bond to Japan for his first Asian visit, giving the movie a fresh feel. The ending set piece battle is potentially the best of this staple of 60s/70s Bonds. Tiger Tanaka is one of Bond's cooler allies. Pleasance killed it as Blofeld; when I think of Blofeld, I think of his take. In what could have been cheesy, he is actually somewhat frightening.
- Why it's not higher: The whole "we need to make you look Japanese" part seems both unrealistic (who is he really fooling?) plus surprisingly impotent coming from Tiger Tanaka who seems to be a competent and connected man otherwise. Honestly though, this movie doesn't have a major weakness.
- Most under-appreciated part: The fight scene with the guard in the executive's office is probably the best hand-to-hand fight in the series up until that point.
Tier 3: Excellent
- Dr. No: The Most Spy-Like
- Why it's this high: Nearly 60 years later, this film is still a blast to watch, due in no small part to its focus on the little things of being a spy. I adore the scenes where Bond does the little things spies (presumably) do, such as putting a hair across the door, or showing Bond playing solitaire while waiting to spring his trap on Prof. Dent. I also enjoy the suspense of Bond sleuthing around the island, while he and the viewer are completely unaware of whom the villain is until quite late in the film. It's easy to take for granted now, but this film established so many series traditions that were ingenious. My personal favorite is Bond's introduction at the card table: "Bond .... James Bond."
- Why it's not higher: The film just doesn't have the payoff it deserves. Maybe it's just a result of the time and budget, but from the point Bond escapes on, it's just mediocre. Particularly egregious is the "fight" between Dr. No and Bond where No meets his demise.
- Most under-appreciated part: Ursula Andress was a surprisingly well developed Bond girl, with a shockingly violent backstory (she was raped!). Obviously, she is beautiful and the beach scene is iconic, but I was pleasantly surprised to conclude she is more than just eye candy.
- License to Kill: The Grittiest
- Why it's this high: On my first watch, this was my least favorite Bond film, as I thought it was too dark and violent to befit 007. By my third time watching, I've decided it's actually one of the best. Fortunately, I don't have to go on my "Ackshually, Dalton did a good job" rant with this subreddit. I liked the wedding intro and the concept of a revenge arc for Leiter (although come on he should've been killed by a freaking shark). Also, Lamora and (especially) Bouvier are great Bond girls. Bouvier is both competent and beautiful, and it's great to see Bond choose her at the end.
- Why it's not higher: The theme song is atrocious, Dalton is so angry (dare I say charmless?) the whole time it's almost puzzling why Bouvier and Lamora fall for him, and Bond doesn't use any cool vehicles.
- Most under-appreciated part: Sanchez is actually a sneaky good Bond villain.
- For Your Eyes Only: The Most Underrated
- Why it's this high: I think Moore is a bit underrated as Bond. Yes, he was too old towards the end and yes, his movies were at times too campy, but he himself played the role admirably. He was the most charming and witty of all the Bonds, so by the time he got his first relatively serious plot to work with, he hit it out of the park. Anyhow, the climactic mountaintop assault is one of my favorite Bond action climaxes. Columbo is one of the best Bond allies, and the plot twist where he turns out to be good and Kristatos bad was well-done.
- Why it's not higher: The intro is just silly. Bibi's romantic infatuation with Bond is just ...er... uncomfortable?
- Most under-appreciated part: The theme song is a banger. What a chorus!
Tier 2: Exceptional
- Skyfall: The Sharpest Film (From Plot to Aesthetics)
- Why it's this high: One of the best plots of the entire series. The idea of an older Bond who had lost a step, along with making M the focus point of the movie, works very well. Seeing Bond's childhood home is also pretty cool. Bardem's take on Silva is delightful and a lot of fun to watch. Even the cinematography is a series peak, while Adele's them is excellent.
- Why it's not higher: One thing most Craig Bond films suffer from is the lack of a Bond-worthy henchman. Skyfall is no exception. More importantly, Bond girls are mostly irrelevant to the film. Yes, Severine is both beautiful and interesting, but she's scarcely twenty minutes of the film.
- Most under-appreciated part: Setting the new supporting characters up nicely. The Moneypenny backstory was well-done. Casting Ralph Fiennes as the new M is a great choice in of itself, but he also got a nice chuck of background story to help us going forward.
- Casino Royale: The First Bond Film I'd Show a Series Newcomer
- Why it's this high: Craig's take on Bond feels like a breath of fresh air. In particular, his hand-to-hand combat scenes are so much better (and more believable) than any other Bond. The parkour chase scene is one of the best chase scenes in the series. Le Chifre is an excellent villain, but, more importantly, Vesper is an all-time great Bond girl. The conversation between Vesper and Bond on the train is probably the most interesting of any film. Bonus points for Jeffrey Wright as Leiter and the Aston Martin DBS.
- Why it's not higher: There are hardly any humorous parts or much charm displayed by Bond in general. More importantly, the movie should have just ended when Bond wakes up in rehab. The rest of the movie feels confused and superfluous.
- Most under-appreciated part: The decision to change from chemin de fer to poker makes for much better (and understandable!) cinema. The poker scenes are the best of Bond's many gambling scenes throughout the series.
- Goldeneye: The Most Fun
- Why it's this high: Wow, rewatching Goldeneye I was struck by how entertaining the whole thing is. The opening jump is breath taking, the scene where Bond drives his evaluator around is hilarious, and Xenia Onatopp is a livewire. Sean Bean is a formidable villain as 006, and a great foil to James. Bond and Judi Dench's first scene together is amazing. Goldeneye feels like the first modern Bond, yet so true to the predecessors. Wade and especially Zukovsky are excellent allies.
- Why it's not higher: Simonova is a forgettable Bond girl. She's not annoying, unattractive, or acted poorly, but is just below average in most regards (looks, back story, chemistry with Bond, plot).
- Most under-appreciated part: the action is just so much better than any Bond before it
- From Russia with Love: The Best Henchman (Red Grant)
- Why it's this high: Interesting settings, beautiful women, and an engaging story make this a classic. I'm not the first to point out that the scenes with Grant and Bond aboard the train are some of the best in the entire series. Grant is one of the few villains who feels like a match for 007. Furthermore, the addition of Desmond Llewyn as Q was crucial and Kerim Bey is one of the better Bond allies.
- Why it's not higher: The helicopter scene should've just been omitted, especially when combined with the subsequent boat chase. It's just awkward to watch.
- Most under-appreciated part: The gypsy scenes are quite exotic and entertaining.
- On Her Majesty's Secret Service: The Most Heartfelt
- Why it's this high: James and Tracy's love story is charming, and when she dies at the end, this is the one and only time in the entire series where the viewer feels genuinely sad. Diana Rigg did an excellent job convincing the audience Bond could finally fall in love with one girl. The skiing scenes were beautifully filmed, and the score was exemplary. Personally, I quite liked Lazenby's take; however, some of his lines and jokes fall flat. To his credit, he looks and acts like Bond more than any other actor.
- Why it's not higher: Honestly, it does drag at times in the first half, plus there is no theme song!
- Most under-appreciated part: Bond's Aston Martin DBS is a beautiful car, combining 60's sports-car beauty with Aston Martin's elegance.
Tier 1: The Best
- Goldfinger: The quintessential Bond
- Why it's this high: From the opening ("Positively shocking") to the seduction of Pussy Galore at the end, this film has it all. Goldfinger is an all time great villain, while Odd Job is an exceptional henchman. Connery delivers a master performance, and drives THE classic Bond Car, ejector seat included. The reason I put it #1 is not necessarily because it is the best film (although it is great), it checks all the boxes of what a perfect Bond film should do.
- Why it's not higher: I cannot think of any notable imperfections.
- Most under-appreciated part: The golf scene between Bond and Goldfinger is a delight to watch, demonstrating Bond's wits for the first and only time on the golf course.
I was just hired as a surveillance tech for a very prominent casino in Las Vegas. As the new guy, I was tasked with going through some older video files and erasing anything that was no longer relevant to the safety of the business. I found a folder labeled as "sub basement 11" the first video shows a woman and a large man in suits interrogating an orange clad prisoner in ankle and wrist cuffs. Here's a transcription of the conversation. submitted by
Female Agent: Mr. Adams, you must realize the charges against you. The mountain of evidence that was at the scene of your… experience… will put you on the short track for lethal injection. They only reason your not there now is that your case is…of interest… so some very important people. For this reason, you are being allowed to testify to my partner and I.
Mr. Adams: SIGH OK I’ll tell you same thing I told the detectives and the judge because it’s the truth.
Scott, Rhett and I had been friends since high school. Because our lives were so busy with school, work, kids and everything in between we would always schedule a full week every year that we would get together and go hunting. We usually went during the deer hunt in the mountains near our small home town but this was out tenth year of doing this and we decided we were going to do this in style. We booked a week at a huge private ranch in Montana which was stocked with multiple large elk herds that were specifically bred to have massive bulls.
As we made our way up a rocky dirt road to our high alpine camp site, 20 miles from the main lodge, the guide was giving us a few pointers on where we might go and which areas usually had shown larger bulls on the trail cameras. We pulled up into a large clearing in a grove of aspens which housed a large heated tent and a small stable holding a few decently new ATV’s.
The guide got everything set up for us and started a large fire. We had selected a package in which the guide wouldn’t be staying with us but would set up a gps with waypoints of some of his best spots to hunt, a satellite phone we could use to call him for any reason, and an I-phone that was connected to every trail cam in the area. We thanked him kindly and watch as the dust from his jeep began to settle on the road out of camp.
We unpacked and got everything ready for the next day and hunkered down with our cots placed near the wood burning stove in the tent. We had a few shots for whiskey and told stories about past adventures and laughed until our sides hurt. We knew the adventure was just beginning.
The next day was fairly uneventful with us seeing a huge heard and following them for a while but only seeing a few smaller bulls amongst the mass of cows. The next two days were much of the same, with a few targets becoming available but not the true trophies that we were looking for. Some what disappointed, were eating dinner round the fire on Wednesday evening and Rhett was oddly quiet. He was always the first to throw out a “that’s what she said” joke and to generally entertain us with his off the cuff rambling comedy. That night however he hadn’t said a word since we had gotten back to camp. He sat a little farther away from the fire than normal and kept turning his head like he was listening to something.
When I asked him what was up, he explained that he heard something up on the mountain that day, something like far away but very deep drums. He said they made him feel…. uneasy, and that for some reason he had this tremendous fear that they would be coming back.
I patted him on the back and reminded him that being up at this kind of altitude can mess with your head sometimes. I joked that even if we did hear drums, we should probably send out some smoke signals that said “bring more beer”. Rhett gave a half-hearted chuckle and nodded and we all headed to bed.
The next morning Scott and I awoke to a wide, open tent flap and no sign of Rhett. We began yelling for him and searching nearby. After a few minutes we found one of his boots, then another, then eventually a trail of his clothes and belongings that wound through the trees and brush. The trail ended at the base on a large pine tree that had invaded the stand of aspens. With no other signs we thought the trail had gone cold when all of the sudden I heard a gasp and subsequent gagging from Scott. When I asked him, what was the matter all he could do was point up.
There, halfway up the trunk was Rhett. He was naked and obviously dead but the most terribly puzzling thing was that he was stuck IN the trunk, not stuck ON to, but IN to the trunk. The top half of his torso came out the side of trunk like it was a large fleshy branch and the bottom half came out at an odd angle as if his two rigor mortised legs were reaching up for sunlight like the rest of the tree’s limbs. As soon as I saw it I wretched just as Scott had and we both decided to head back to camp and get on the sat phone immediately.
Back at camp we found that things had been ransacked. The tent was in shreds, our food was splayed out in the dirt and some of the ATV’s were over turned. As I searched for our valuables, I noticed that all three of our guns were gone and my hear sank when I found the sat phone. pieces of it were pressed into the muddy forest floor in an odd pattern that looked to be two wavy lines surrounded by a circle.
We were inspecting the one ATV that looked the least damaged when Scott said “It was drums that Rhett heard right?” “I think I’m hearing them now”
I strained to listen but all I could hear was the rustle of aspen leaves.
“Arhhggggg!” Scott cried and he knelt down in pain holding his ears “it’s so loud make it stop!”
In a panic I pulled Scott onto the ATV and miraculously it started. Scotts limp body bobbed in front of me as I flew down the rocky pass. I knew we were only twenty miles from the lodge. At this rate we would have help in no time. The road was criss crossed with braking bumps and rain ruts and it was getting so rough I almost didn’t feel Scotts body start to twitch. Suddenly a white hot pain exploded at my face as the back of Scotts head slammed into my nose. I instinctively let go of the controls and the quad began to roll. Scott and I were both thrown free of the vehicles path but my head hit the road with a dull thwack. Black crept into the periphery of my eyes as I began to lose consciousness. The last thing I saw was Scott halfway crawling towards me.
I awoke next to a roaring fire in a tight clearing. My eyes began to come into focus and I saw Scott sitting against a tree hunched over. He seemed to be holding something and eating it ravenously. He soon looked up with his round bespectacled face and said “oh good your up, I was so worried that you had expired”. He smiled and I saw the edges of his mouth stretch literally ear to ear showing a blood covered rows of jagged sharp teeth. It was then I saw what he had been eating, It was his own hands. Where they had once been the two bones off his fore harms jutted out like grotesque spears. He leaned over to the nearest rock and began to sharpen them and began to chuckle.
“To think, all this time I had no idea was real love was, now that I’m with them its glaringly obvious how much I didn’t know” It was then I noticed the beat. It was quite soft at first but it was increasing in volume. Thud Thud Doom, Thud Thud Doom. The drums seemed to come from a long way off, Thud Thud Doom,Thud Thud Doom, then they seemed to spread out until they fully encircled the clearing THUD THUD DOOM, THUD THUD DOOM. “They are here!” a crazed and elated Scott screamed raising his bloody stumps to the sky.
Just as he said this his lips began to curl and almost crawl up the front of his face and down his neck. The flesh sizzled as the lips looked to be melting to the rest of the skin.
Eventually his entire head was nothing but a mangled mess of indistinct flesh and a gapping smiling mouth full of rows and rows of needle like teeth jutting out at odd angles. THUD THUD DOOM!! THUD THUD DOOOM!
The shadows between the trees began to shift and I began to see figures that mirrored the thing that used to be Scott exactly except their clothes seemed to be from all different eras. They all smacked their bony hand less arms together in time with the drum.
The beats were so loud now I couldn’t think straight, blood began to trickle out of my eyes, ears, and nose. DOOM! DOOM! DOOM! DOOOM! DOOOOOOOM!
The edges of my vision shook with each beat and the I began to see the forest in front of me begin to distort and curve and growing within the center was a blackness. The growing abyss was so dark that it seemed like all the sadness, pain, and feverish insanity that could ever be contained in this world radiated from it. Trying to focus I realized the inky lightlessness was a mouth, a great, gaping, maw that emanated the sounds of the drums. The body around the mouth was… difficult to conceptualize. I could recognize a pulsating mass of fur, bone, horn, and feathers but it seemed like it was all held together by what I could only describe as a pure unaltered rage.
The drumming was so loud now that it encompassed my entire being. It was all that there was in the world. Everything else was empty. So empty. Empty and black.
Next thing I knew I was locked up at the sheriffs office, was found guilty in court, and then woke up here in this stupid plexi-glass room of yours. You have to believe me I did not murder my friends.
Female Agent: So, your saying that someone else force fed you your friend Scott’s hands? The DNA test after your stomach was pumped was a match. And your hand prints were all over the inside of your tent stamped in Rhett Wilsons blood. The amount that was there would show that there is no way that he is still alive. Mr. Adams: Please… I’m not a cannibal. You have to help me, all you have done so far is tell me what everyone else thinks I’ve done. And does your partner even speak?
Male Agent: I do, Mr. Adams. If we took you back to the ranch do you think you could retrace your steps to where this all happened?
Mr. Adams:Maybe, but I’ll never go back there.
Male Agent: You don’t have a choice Mr. Adams. And were not with the Government. Agent Johns get the car ready. We’ve got work to do.
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