Top 15 Daniel Craig’s JAMES BOND Moments

Craig-Bond

I’m a longtime Bond fan and it feels like ages ago since I saw a new Bond movie. Can you believe it that SPECTRE was released in 2015? That’s SEVEN years ago! Thanks to this ongoing pandemic, this film just kept getting delayed. Well, Bond has been on my mind the past week as NO TIME TO DIE is finally coming to theaters! It marks Daniel Craig‘s fifth and final appearance as James Bond, and even he seems quite emotional saying goodbye to the role and regretted his rather blasé response about returning to the franchise after Spectre wrapped. 

I personally think Craig has done a phenomenal job as Bond and proved me wrong in my early assessment of his casting, as I mentioned in my review of Casino Royale. So in honor of his last outing as Bond, my pal Ted and I are listing our favorite Craig’s Bond moments. Nice to finally have a new post for FC’s 007 Chatter category 🙂

Let me start with Ted’s top 5 list:

1. Casino Royale – Bond broke into M’s apartment

Craig-CasinoRoyale-M-apt

Fans of Bond films knows that the relationship between M and Bond has always been professional, but I really appreciate the filmmakers decided to come up with this scene and showed us the real relationship between the young 007 and his mentor. I love the back-and-forth performances by Craig and Judi Dench in this one. Too bad we never find out with M stands for.

2. Quantum of Solace – Opening car chase and climatic shootout/fight scenes

In rare case in the Bond franchise, this film was a direct follow up to the previous one. Unfortunately, the film was not well received by fans of the franchise, but I still thought it’s a good sequel. The film came out around the time another spy franchise was dominating the box office, Jason Bourne. Most of the action scenes in the film were pretty much carbon copy of action scenes from The Bourne films. I thought this opening car chase was great way to start the film:

The shootout and fight scene for the climax was quite intense, just wish Bond was fighting a formidable foe here. Mathieu Amalric was a total miscast as the main villain and in this scene, it looked like Bond was fighting a little kid. I still thought it was well shot and edited: 

3. Skyfall – Kincade introduction

Some Bond fans probably know that Kincade was originally written for the late Sean Connery, it’s supposed to be a surprise cameo. But Connery turned down the part and we can only imagine what would’ve been like to have seen Connery came out of the dark and utter the famous lines “Bond, James Bond.” I thought Albert Finney was great in the role but man it would’ve been great to have seen Connery back in the Bond franchise one last time. 

In any case, the scene I’m referring to starts around 3:05 below:

4. Skyfall – The Shanghai scenes

The entire sequence in Shanghai was beautifully shot by Roger Deakins. This scene starts with Bond following his target and ended with a big fight in a empty office building:

5. Spectre – The opening of action scene

This is my least favorite of Craig’s Bond films and this Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City is probably the best scene in the entire film:


I love the five scenes Ted listed above. In fact, I was going to include the SPECTRE opening scenes too, as I think it’s the best part of the entire movie. I just learned from the Being James Bond documentary that Craig actually did that scene with a broken leg, what a trooper!

So I’m listing mine in order of the film’s release. The Quantum of Solace‘s opening car chase scene is my favorite from Craig’s second outing as Bond, so I’m not listing that again.

In any case, here are my top 10 picks:

6. Casino Royale – Opening Parkour Chase Scene

Craig-CasinoRoyale-parkour

Bond movies are known for their bombastic and action-packed intro scenes. In Casino Royale, it’s even more crucial to have a memorable sequence as it’s the first time we see Daniel Craig in full-on action and boy did he deliver! The parkour chase is what’s on-trend at the moment but even re-watching it over a decade later, it doesn’t feel dated and I’m still in awe of Craig’s physical prowess in this scne.

7. Casino Royale – Bond Meets Vesper Train Scene

I’ve included this clip so many times on this blog, I think it’s a record, ahah. Those who have been loyally following my blog knows how much I LOVE Vesper, my favorite Bond girl, and her intro here is my absolutely fave Bond moments. Craig’s got a sexy but playful chemistry with Eva Green, which makes this scene so delightful to watch over and over. 

8. Casino Royale – Shower Scene

I’ve already been on board with Craig as Bond at this point but THIS scene makes me LOVE his portrayal. He manages to be tough, almost thug-ish in his action scenes, but he’s also got a sensitive, emphatic side that’s displayed beautifully here. It’s Bond like you’ve never seen him before, and THAT’s sexy.

9. Casino Royale – Card Game, Bond meets Felix

Given the title, obviously the card game has to be one of the main highlights. I enjoy the banter and dynamic between Bond and Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), but what I think is underrated is the interaction between Bond and Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), his on the staircase. I LOVE Wright’s casting as Felix and definitely the strongest actor to portray Bond’s ‘brother from Langley.’

Bonus: We also got Craig uttering the brilliant ‘do I look like I give a damn’ line when asked if he wants his drink ‘shaken or stirred.’

10. Casino Royale – Ending scene

Craig’s Bond debut is just filled with so many wonderful moments from start to finish. Oh what a triumphant ending it is! Of course fans expect all Bond actors to utter this famous line, but here it doesn’t feel like fan service at all. In fact, it’s a perfect cap to a phenomenal Bond movie and perhaps even Craig’s way to say ‘screw you’ to naysayers.

11. Skyfall – Bond meets Q scene

I’m really fond of Ben Whishaw‘s casting a Q and this whimsical intro of them practically insulting each other is wildly amusing.

12. Skyfall – Bond takes M on Aston Martin DB5 ride ‘back in time’

Director Sam Mendes did a wonderful job in Skyfall, and I love that the plot of Judi Dench’s final Bond film appropriately centers on her character. After ‘kidnapping’ M after Silva’s attack at the court house, Bond took M to a garage where he’s been hiding his precious Aston Martin DB5… I LOVE M’s comment when he saw the car! 😛

13. Skyfall – Bond & Silva interaction

Javier Bardem is definitely one of the most memorable Bond villains ever, and perhaps the best in Craig’s tenure to date. This interaction may come across homo-erotic at first glance but the way Silva tantalize/manipulate Bond to see if he would crack is simply brilliant.

 

14. Spectre – Rome car chase

I’m with Ted in that I find Spectre underwhelming overall. I think Christoph Waltz is such a weak villain here (such a contrast to his work in Inglourious Basterds) but his henchman Hinx (Dave Bautista) does have some memorable moments with Bond. I love this beautifully-shot car chase scene (by DP Hoyte Van Hoytema) through Rome, and the ending with Bond parachuting down with a smirk on his face is a classic!

15. Spectre – Train fight scene

I actually rewatched this clip right after I watched Craig’s documentary Being James Bond that he broke his leg doing this stunts. Bautista is such a big guy, I cringe watching this now, Craig could’ve been seriously hurt! Interesting to learn from another interview that Craig actually broke Bautista’s nose doing this scene, so I guess they’re even! 😀


Hope you enjoyed our Daniel Craig tribute. I know he’ll be missed!

So what are YOUR favorite Craig’s BOND moments?

Groovers & Mobsters Present: JAMES BOND – The Living Daylights

Groovers & Mobsters event is upon as again and this time it’s all about the world’s most famous super spy.  Just a bit of background, this monthly event was started by Heather from Movie Mobsters and Andy from Fandango Groovers where various bloggers join them in exploring a select genre in the only way we know how, talking about our favourite movies. This is the first time I join on the fun, and my pick for the Bond genre (yes I think it’s the only franchise that can double as a genre) is:

THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS

Stuff my orders! I only kill professionals. That girl didn’t know one end of a rifle from the other. Go ahead. Tell M what you want. If he fires me, I’ll thank him for it.

Timothy Dalton made his 007 debut in the 15th Bond film, introduced in one of the most memorable Bond opening sequence of training exercise in the Rock of Gibraltar. Set in the post cold war era, Bond starts his mission by assisting the defection of Russian KGB General Koskov (Jeroen Krabbé) who revealed there’s a Soviet plot to kill British spies. Upon the general’s recapture from his hideout, Bond is assigned to kill Koskov’s boss, Pushkin (John Rhys-Davies) which leads to a conspiracy involving an American arms dealer (Joe Don Baker).

Though I grew up with Roger Moore as Bond, I love Dalton’s darker and tougher take of the superspy, which was a refreshing change from Moore’s campy and droll portrayal. This is the reluctant agent who ‘trust instincts, not orders’ and he doesn’t always enjoy the assignment he was given. As widely reported, Dalton is a big fan of Ian Fleming’s novels, thus his insistence on remaining true to the author’s vision of the literary character.

I realize TLD isn’t the best Bond movie, what with a weak villain and the least intriguing Bond girl ever. But Dalton more than makes up for it with his sophisticated approach combined with the right amount of danger. This is a guy with a license to kill and he’s got no qualms to use it. But yet he’s not heartless. The scene right after his MI-6 contact Saunders was killed showed Bond displaying a genuine emotion of real grief and seething rage, as he crushed that “Smiert Spionem” balloon with his bare hand. John Rhys-Davies also turns in a compelling and memorable performance as Pushkin, also a nice change from the stodgy General Gogol in the previous installments.

The action sequences are what you’d expect in a Bond movie, and it’s nice to see an actor who look believably bad-ass as Dalton did a lot of his own stunts, including the vigorous stunts in the opening scene as well as the awesome mid-air battle on a cargo airplane. It was fun and exhilarating, and yet not devoid of humor. When his girl Kara asked him what happened, Bond answered matter-of-factly, ‘he got the boot.’ That’s not the only comical one-liners in the movie, though I’m glad the writers didn’t pile them on as they did in Moore’s versions.

All in all, it’s a really underrated film that deserved a second look, especially if you appreciate Casino Royale. As I said here, both Daniel Craig and Dalton epitomized that merciless grit and ruthlessness like no other Bond before them. Clearly, Dalton was way ahead of its time.

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Head over to MovieMobsters blog to read the rest of the Bond event.

The Flix List: Top Five Bond Girls, Villains and Title Songs

This post is in honor of the upcoming James Bond event coming up on Saturday. Heather at Movie Mobsters and Andy at Fandago Groovers have made this a week-long event with all-things-Bond lists … definitely a must for every Bond fan and amusing for everyone else (after all, who hasn’t watched at least one Bond film?).

Now, you probably already know who my favorite Bond is and who would be good as the next super spy), but just for fun, I figure why not do three 007-related lists in one. Please keep in mind that I deliberately exclude movies of the Connery era as I haven’t seen them all and my memory are pretty hazy on those. So these three list are only from Bond movies from Roger Moore all the way to Daniel Craig. Here goes, the lists are in no particular order:

TOP FIVE BOND GIRLS:


  1. Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) – Casino Royale
  2. Octopussy (Maud Adams) – Octopussy
  3. Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh) – Tomorrow Never Dies
  4. Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell) – License to Kill
  5. Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet) – For Your Eyes Only

Honorable Mentions: The Spy Who Loved Me – Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach), The World is Not Enough – Elektra King (Sophie Marceau),
Least Favorite:
Christmas Jones (Denise Richards)

Obviously Bond girls are mainly for eye candy, but these girls are definitely no bimbos. In fact, they’re each a force to be reckoned with and in some cases, they’re equal if not better than Bond himself (Wai Lin definitely comes to mind). One thing for sure, all five of these beautiful women not only get Bond weak in the knees, but they also command his respect for their power, intelligence and/or fighting skills.

Btw, I just realized that four different Bond actors have their girl represented in this list, well two for Roger Moore, lucky bloke 🙂

TOP FIVE BOND VILLAINS:


  1. Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale) — Moonraker
  2. Aristotle Kristatos (Julian Glover) — For Your Eyes Only
  3. Kamal Khan (Louis Jordan) – Octopussy
  4. Jaws(Richard Kiel)
  5. Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi) – License to Kill

Honorable Mentions: Goldeneye – Alec Travelian (Sean Bean) & Xenia Onnatop (Famke Janssen), Casino Royale –LeChiffre (Mads Mikkelsen)
Least Favorite: Goldeneye – Boris Grishenko (Alan Cummings)

What makes a great Bond villain? Well, according to this Independent article for Ian Fleming, it was all in the names, hence we’ve got monikers like Scaramanga, Blofeld, and perhaps everyone’s favorite, Goldfinger. Now, to me, a good villain is one that brings a cool menace with a sense of humor, or those with a with somewhat classy, elegant persona to contrast their big, preposterous, evil schemes. I agree with that same article that says ‘Bond himself has many of the qualities of the traditional movie villain … cold-hearted, violent and cynical…’

Moonraker might be a Star Wars rip-off, but the piano-playing, cultured and elegant Hugo Drax possesses a certain mystique about him that makes for an interesting villain. Now, Jaws is more of a henchman, not the main villain, but I grew up watching him with his indestructible metal teeth (he could even bite a shark to death with ’em, for crying out loud!) so I have a soft-spot for the 7’2″ creature. His fight scenes with Bond are fun to watch as they’re quite funny as Bond has to be extra creative to survive, and he’s the only adversary Bond can’t seem manage to kill which ends up becoming his ally in Moonraker.

TOP FIVE BOND SONGS:

  1. You Know My Name (Chris Cornell) – Casino Royale
    Also count as my favorite Bond opening title sequence… refreshingly free of the scantily-clad silhouetted dancing women, replaced by a cool casino-theme animation that feels modern and innovative.
    ….

    ….
  2. Nobody Does It Better (Carly Simon) – The Spy Who Loved Me
  3. For Your Eyes Only (Sheena Easton)
  4. Tomorrow Never Dies (Sheryl Crowe)
  5. The World Is Not Enough (Garbage)

Honorable Mentions: All Time High (Rita Coolidge), The Living Daylights (a-ha), Live and Let Die (Paul McCartney)

Music is such a personal taste, so I’m not saying these are the BEST Bond songs ever, they’re just my favorite. I must have had nearly half a dozen Bond soundtrack CDs and there are a whole lot from the Connery era that I love as well (We Have All the Time in the World and From Russia with Love, among others), but to be consistent with the other list, I’m only listing the movies from Moore era and on. I love four out of five of these the first time I heard it, but initially I didn’t care for Tomorrow Never Dies as I’m not into Sheryl Crowe’s music, but it grew on me.Part of what makes Bond songs great is the lyrics, and Nobody Does It Better definitely has one of the best 🙂


TOP FIVE BOND FILMS from five different Bond actors:

  • Sean Connery: From Russia with Love
  • Roger Moore: For Your Eyes Only
  • Timothy Dalton: Licence to Kill
  • Pierce Brosnan: Goldeneye
  • Daniel Craig: Casino Royale

Ok, now your turn… pick a top-five list or do all three. While you’re at it, tell me, who is your favorite Bond?

Next 007 film canceled – lamenting the fate of my two favorite Bonds

Even if you’re not a fan of the Bond franchise, you probably heard about MGM studio’s money troubles, which inevitably led to the next Bond movie being in limbo. Well, as of this week, the movie is permanently canceled. UK Newspaper Daily Mirror reported that the 23rd Bond film that was scheduled for release by 2012, is axed due to a serious cash crisis. “MGM is drowning under a reported £2.4 billion of debt as it desperately searches for a buyer,” the paper says. It’s a pity really, as for a brief period, Bond 23 sounded so promising with reports of talented director Sam Mendez (American Beauty, Road to Perdition) possibly at the helm, and acclaimed screenwriter Peter Morgan’s (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) penning the script.

Well, this isn’t the first time MGM studio halted productions of one of the world’s most famous movie franchises. After Timothy Dalton’s Licence to Kill was released in 1989, there was a six year gap between that and the next one, Golden Eye in 1995, with Pierce Brosnan as his replacement. Dalton was quoted in IMDb saying “I was supposed to make one more but it was canceled because MGM and the film’s producers got into a lawsuit which lasted for five years. After that, I didn’t want to do it anymore.” Now, of course there were also reports that given the dismal box office take of Licence to Kill, the producers were ready to replace him. But I tend to believe Dalton’s take on this one and that it was indeed MGM’s financial woes that prevented him to do his third outing as Bond.

Dalton in The Living Daylights

If you read this blog long enough, you know Dalton is my favorite Bond before Daniel Craig came along. In fact, as I said here, both Craig and Dalton epitomized that merciless grit and ruthlessness like no other Bond before them (as well as after because Brosnan was sandwiched between them). Dalton was clearly way ahead of his time as Craig took all the credit for doing what he had started. So, it’s ironic that now they seem to share the same fate after all. Licence to Kill wasn’t nearly as well-received as Dalton’s first Bond flick The Living Daylight, just as Quantum of Solace didn’t quite live up to its predecessor Casino Royale (though Quantum was still quite successful at the box office).

Craig in Casino Royale

All this makes me wonder: why is it that the gritty Bonds don’t last? Of course I’m not saying that these setbacks are the fault of the actors, but still, it’s a curious predicament, isn’t it? Curious and sad as well, as I’d love to have seen each of them do at least 3-4 Bond movies! Ideally Brosnan would do just two, and erase the last two movies he did from our memories!

So, what’ll happen to the franchise? Many theories are swirling that perhaps this is the end of the road for the world’s most famous spy. Guardian UK posted an article weighing the pros and cons of ditching vs. keeping the franchise, though its title suggests that the writer is probably in favor of ending it. Rubbish I say, this franchise has been around for so long and so profitable that I doubt it’s going anywhere. I’d say they should just take their time, what’s the rush anyway, it’s not like we HAVE to see a Bond movie every other year. I don’t mind waiting a few years until they can come up with a real solid script, a skillful director, and of course a worthy actor to play Bond, as this delay inevitably means we’ve seen the last of Daniel Craig as the suave superspy.

Fellow Bond fan Andy @ Fandango Groovers Blog suggested Colin Farrell as Bond, which is a nifty idea, but I’d like to throw a couple other names out there: Henry Cavill and Tom Hardy. I think they’re both talented British actors who can tackle the role. If looking great in a suit is the pivotal test, methinks Henry passed with flying colors, as you can see in the Dunhill commercial pics. He is on the young side at only 27 however, so Hardy at 33 might be the better pick of the two. Having transformed himself into Charles Bronson (the British criminal, NOT the Deathwish actor) in the biopic Bronson, we know the dude can be a gritty tough guy who can kick even Jason Bourne’s arse. And his role as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights proves he’s got that ‘vulnerability’ factor, too. Speaking of Fandango Groovers blog, perhaps the producers should listen to Andy’s two excellent suggestions for a ‘re-imagining’ of the 007 flick: check ’em out here and here. I’m definitely keen on the idea of an older Bond figure (Dalton) acting as a mentor to a younger spy. While they’re at it, why not get Alan Rickman as the dastardly villain, since Hans Gruber is pretty much everyone’s favorite bad guy. Alas, the idea of Dalton ever coming back is obviously zilch to none. But we fans can dream, right?

So what do you think folks? Any thoughts about this whole Bond franchise fiasco?