Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

It's the kiss of death! From Mr...

Today I flicked through "500 best films ever made" (good, conservative list - also quite old, methinks. It contained both Rififi and BCSK, and was trying too hard to be nice. There were a lot of classic American films in there.) and "1001 movies you must see before you die" (really good list - very balanced between different times and countries) in the hope of spotting four more films to put on my own list.

No luck. Surely this should be easier than I'm making it out to be? I started writing a bit about the films currently on my list, but it'll be a while till I finish it.

So I leave you with my own ordering of the 19 James Bond themes, after seeing what Channel 4 viewers voted for last night.

16 Die Another Day
What was that?! The video was very cool indeed, but I just didn't like the song, nevermind the fact it was highly un-Bondy

15 All Time High
I like the odd moment, but really it's just not my thing.

14 Nobody Does it Better
I quite like this one. It's nice to scream along to.

13 Diamonds are Forever
It's not about diamonds, you know. I made the mistake of telling Friend 2 what they were singing about. Probably a mistake.

12 We Have all the Time in the World
Ah, love his voice. His songs are just wuvvy.

11 For Your Eyes Only
I like her voice as well.

10 Live and Let Die
You have no idea how fun this is to play on piano.

9 Living Daylights
"living's in the way we DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE" Ooooh, I do like this one.

8 Moonraker
A bit You only Live Twice with the violin part here. Question - why do so many Bond songs have great verses, then throw it away at the chorus?!

7 Licence to Kill
The chorus is a tad limp, but as ever with my faves, they pinch those horns from Goldfinger and the verses are fantastic. It's almost the perfect Bond song, I'd say - big diva singing doublebig, a
chorus from the ballady ones...

6 A View to a Kill
I like it, ok?

5 Tomorrow Never Dies
OK, so it's not Bond, but I do like it. And plus...with a scratchy, waily vocalist, it sounds pretty good when I sing along.

4 From Russia...with LOOOOOVE
I just like this one. It's good to mumble along to.

3 Goldeneye
This is how a modern Bond song should be written. It's definitely a 90s tune, with the cool beat and stuff, but it's also a throwback to ye golden days of Bond, referencing the theme and starring a decent beefy diva.

And now, for a four way tie, because basically I can't choose between them.

=2 Dr No
Bond is not Bond without the Bond theme. Period.

=2 Goldfinger
Shirley Bassey has a voice I would kill for. It'd look pretty strange if I could sing like that (I'm kinda puny), but it'd be worth it. She just makes it look so easy. I'd collapse if I even attempted some of those notes. It's a good tune as well.

=2 Thunderball
The words are just great, and the music features a bit of the Bond theme which always sounds fab.

=2 You Only Live Twice
Those violins just come in, and instantly you're transported. Fantastic to sing along to - it's nowhere near as technically challenging as some of the rest, but still sounds good. It was sampled in Millenuium (Robbie Williams, savvy?).

1 On Her Majesty's Secret Service
You know, the ski chase music! Absolutely fantastic, and probably the reason why I like this film best.

Trends - these songs are fantastic for the shower, when there's no one else listening. And almost all of them have fab beginnings, and throw it away for a lame and predictable chorus.

The thing about Bond, is that it's personal. Everyone will tell you who they think was the best Bond, the best girl, the best baddie, what weapon he should be carrying and what car he should get to drive. Friend 2 despises Daniel Craig already: "He's BLONDE!" I, for one, don't mind him - his English accent is very nice. What I do mind is the things they appear to be doing with the plot.

I haven't seen it, so this may be unjust, but the words "gritty" and "realistic" keep being used. Hmmm...lets get this straight. James Bond is a chauvanistic British agent, who goes around saving the world from evil masterminds (usually foreign). He's so charming he can even hook lesbians. Now how on earth do you keep that, and still use those words. Bond's escapism - it doesn't need to be updated for a post-9/11 audience. Perhaps it's truer to the book, but then in the books Sherlock Holmes doesn't wear a deerstalker and Arwen doesn't make a single appearance. Bond-on-screen is a different animal entirely. It needs to be a little tongue in cheek.

The two most widely accepted "best Bonds" are Connery and Brosnan (forgive me if I generalise). Now I like all of them (even Lazenby!), but I can see why they're most popular. They're a perfect blend of Bond's two sides, which I'll call the Moore and Dalton. On the one side, he is a trained killer and he can be very very cold. But he's also got a silly side. What I personally worry, is that they'll have taken that. The humour will be lost from whatever cheesy one liner he's given.

The things people groan at Bond for - the big explosion at the end, the dastardly plan, the chase in an unlikely vehicle - are also the first things to miss when they go.

The new one shows some promise - Vesper Lynd is the girl, and joins the ranks of Plenty O'Toole, Pussy Galore, Christmas Jones, Bambi and Thumper as possibly the silliest name ever. But herein lies the other problem. Bond falls in love. With Tracy. Period. NO ONE ELSE dammit! Feel free to explore Bond's human side, yes, but please stop pretending him and Vesper are in love...I told you people get personal over what they think Bond should be like.

Finally, I found this little spot:

It's a nice site! They're a husband and wife team who discuss directors - best film, worst film and even try scoring them. Although, the individual casts are only interesting if you're very familiar with the director's work. I found myself a little lost when they were talking about Tim Burton, and I'm a pretty big fan.

Speaking of him, I managed to find a hardback of "The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy, and other stories" in Oxfam, which is totally fantastic. And for those with shockwave, there are also a series of animated adventures from Stain Boy, at the bottom of this page.


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