50 years worth of travels in about three weeks time.
As a household, my wife and I are James Bond fans.
I would not say we are excessively so however. We do not own any sort of memorabilia. Any affinity towards martinis tends to center around the cosmopolitan. And while I do own a tuxedo, any resemblance between myself and Bond is a matter of coincidence and poor eyesight.
But we do like the movies. So we ran out to see Skyfall on the opening weekend, daughter in tow. The reviews had been quite favorable.
However, a couple of reviews said that Skyfall was the “best Bond ever,” an opinion which put that skeptical look on my face. The movie was certainly, to my mind, the best of the Daniel Craig outings. But the BEST Bond ever? That was something that needed some thought. And some research.
So we decided to watch all the Bond films. In order. Again.
We’ve done it before.
We may not have memorabilia, but we do have all the movies on DVD. MGM put out a three-part boxed set around 2000 that included all of the Bond movies up to that point, a run that encompassed Dr. No to Tomorrow Never Dies and five of the six Bond actors from the official, EON-produced films. (Never Say Never Again and the 1967 Casino Royale do not enter into this discussion.) We have purchased all of the subsequent films on DVD or Blu-Ray since then.
And so we set out on a three week journey with a plan to watch one of the movies every night. In addition, we also watched supplemental material included with each of the movies. One of the nice things about the set is that MGM produced a “making of” documentary for each of the movies up through License to Kill that covers the trials of making the movie, the stunts, and some of the politics and justifications around what went on.
These documentaries run anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes each, and since rare is the Bond movie that runs under two hours, we were committing ourselves to quite a nightly camp on the couch.
But we made it.
What follows after the cut are some observations and lists based on the experience. If James Bond isn’t your thing, you can safely go elsewhere.