If you've paid any attention to my Anniversary Review series, you'd notice that "Dr. No" turns 50 this month. You'd also notice that I selected it as a "Not a Full Review" category. You'll also notice that there are no other "Not a Full Review" items slated for this month, making the point rather moot.
So, instead, I'm just going to comment on 50 years of Bond. James Bond.
Here's my take on the film franchise:
I grew up with a father who was a Bond fanatic....as long as you only counted Connery (he tolerates Brosnan and Craig, but not the others). I watched the old films, and then became aware when Brosnan took over and saw most of those films as well as Craig's in the theatres. I've only seen bits and pieces of Lazenby, Moore, and Dalton, but that's enough for me.
I do want to watch some of the older films again to get a third opinion, but it's difficult for me. Much as I agree that Connery is the best Bond, there's a level of blatant chauvinism in his films, especially "Goldfinger", that makes me uncomfortable (I'm sure one could argue for the other leads, but this one didn't even try to hide it).
Again, what little I've seen of Lazenby/Moore/Dalton doesn't seem bad per say, just not my cup of vodka martini. Brosnan, in my opinion the second-best, has some good adventures and I can watch "Goldeneye" over and over again due to the great supporting cast. Craig is entertaining, if slightly forgettable.
In fact, that's my opinion of the series as a whole: entertaining, if slightly forgettable. Now, granted, there are unforgettable moments as evidenced by the enormous effect they've had on pop culture, but I dunno...I seem to remember the satires and parodies more than the original moments.
For me, the best part of any Jame Bond film is the theme song and the opening credits sequences. I love the James Bond theme songs. At worst they're decent and at best they're exceptional. But that's far too early a climax for me and in each case the rest of the film doesn't quite measure up.
They're hardly my favorite films in the world, but I get a kick when I watch them, and I've since tried to make a point of seeing each new one. "Skyfall" is being released on my father's birthday, so his present is taken care of.
One last thing I want to mention, and it's back to the subject of the people who played Bond. One fan theory that I really like is that, as far as the films are concerned, James Bond is just a title, a code name tying in to 007 that any number of agents can and have become over the years. This clears up so many continuity errors perfectly! Like how the world kept changing, but Bond stayed roughly the same age. How Bond had a nearly completely different personality with each actor. How the newest "Casino Royale" was supposedly Bond Begins and yet M is still Judi Dench - who was newly appointed M in "Goldeneye".
Oh yeah, expect an Anniversary Review of the 60's spoof "Casino Royale" when it comes time. Hoo boy...