Moore vs. Craig Bond movies

chrisisallchrisisall Western Mass, USAPosts: 9,055MI6 Agent

Back when Moore was making movies like Moonraker I yearned for a far more serious Bond.

40 + years later that far more serious Bond has just ended his tenure, and I realize that I was not careful what I wished for.

Bond was, for ME, always a balance between the realistic & the absurd.

Moore's films leaned towards absurd more frequently than I liked.

Craig's films leaned towards realism more frequently than I liked.

Both had long tenures.

Both were well loved by fans.

I invite discussion here, but I'll sum up for myself by comparing my favourite & least liked films from each actor...

TMWTGG vs. QOS

I like them almost equally.

MR vs. NTTD

I dislike them almost equally (but MR I'd watch again before NTTD).

These Bonds are two sides of the same coin IMO.

Moore was the Saintly Bond; Craig was the blunt Bond.

Thoughts?

Dalton & Connery rule. Brozz was cool.
#1.TLD/LTK 2.TND 3.QOS 4.GF 5.DN/GE 6.FYEO 7.FRWL 8.TMWTGG 9.TWINE 10.YOLT/SP

Comments

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,596MI6 Agent

    I like the fact your two favourite films are generally the least-loved for each actor!

  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,908MI6 Agent

    Great points. I miss the fun, too, though I haven't minded the seriousness, either. I've nothing against the tone of the Craig films, per se. I just found the films after CR wanting and the arc, overall, disappointing. The writing for the past four films has been unremarkable, and Craig's Bond was rarely happy and never could catch a break, which is just the other side of the coin to the other films (or perhaps nearly all of them). CR had some balance, but the rest did not.

  • TonyDPTonyDP Inside the MonolithPosts: 4,162MI6 Agent
    edited November 16

    I think it all comes down to what you're looking for out of a Bond movie. I was a fan of the cinematic Bond long before I read any of the books; I discovered the movies in the early 1970s and didn't read any of the books until many years later and that definitely influenced my expectations of a Bond movie. The Bond movies I grew up on were generally lighter affairs that focused more on the the gadgets, the stunts, the girls and the larger than life plots (that really applies to most of the Connery, Lazenby and even Brosnan movies BTW). When I finally got around to the novels they were entertaining reads but, the dated plots notwithstanding, they just didn't resonate with me the way the movies did and I never pined for that more "authentic" literary version to be brought to the screen.

    So, surprise surprise, I prefer Moore's movies overall. Many of them have elements and passages that I could do without and he was starting to show his years in Octopussy and was clearly too old for the role in View To A Kill. On balance though, I find them to be more fun, generally more well paced and above all more re-watchable. I've watched most of Moore's movies countless times and can still derive a lot of entertainment from them. FWIW, even though Connery is my favorite Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me is my favorite movie. I find it a spectacle that's just overflowing with great stunts, great gadgets, beautiful Bond girls and Moore himself is at his most confident. It's everything I want in a Bond movie.

    With the Craig tenure, I thought the movies were just too self-absorbed and took themselves way too seriously. Bond himself was often shown as a depressed loner with chronic trust issues who repeatedly failed at his assignments and his amorous attempts mostly ended in failure. I will say that the Sam Mendes entries, especially SPECTRE, did pivot somewhat back to something a bit closer to that traditional formula and for that reason those are really the only two Craig movies that I've ever gone back to. Overall though, Craig's run did very little for me.

  • StrangewaysStrangeways London, UKPosts: 1,443MI6 Agent

    I find it fascinating how some of us are now criticising Craig's films, having once lauded him as the "saviour" of the series. This happens, most notably with Pierce Brosnan who back in 1995 was hailed as single handily rescuing the series from itself, after a long long break. It will be interesting how history, time and fans will judge Craig overall.

    I am 51yo, so grew up on Moore - he is for me the ultimate Bond. TSWLM was the first 007 movie I saw in the cinema and to this day it has a special place in my heart. That said, by my mid-20s I was ready for Brosnan and loved his entries (TND my fave). Craig's films were released after I'd moved to London so I just love them too. I think we all grow and develop over time.

    Like many of us I am facing the prospect that the next actor to play Bond will be younger than me! Let's see how I feel about him in 4-5 years time!

  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,908MI6 Agent

    To me, Craig’s performances overall are fine, among the best in the series, though he was a little more uneven in parts of NTTD. Sometimes instead of his Bond he seemed to be channeling Edward Woodward, for example, a fine actor but not Bond. It’s the writing that his films mostly suffer from. Now, if Craig is largely responsible for what I consider the deconstruction of Bond, I’m not enthusiastic, but then it worked on millions of people, including those who don’t see it that way. He must get credit for being so compelling in his performances people still saw him more or less as the traditional Bond. But something to keep in mind is that the 5-film arc is now intended to be viewed as one long story, which changes perspective.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,983Chief of Staff

    Edward Woodward- exactly! If Craig had instead got the part of David Callan in a big-budget series back in 2006, the way he's played Bond would have fit Callan perfectly without a change. Good spot.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,983Chief of Staff
    edited November 16

    For those unfamiliar, here's a pic of Edward Woodward as Callan-

    And one of Craig


  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 3,487MI6 Agent

    I could have written this, almost word for word. Apart from the fact that I did not move to London, this is pretty much my exact trajectory through the Bond series (of note, I'm 51 and TSWLM was also my first theatrical Bond film).

    Current rankings:
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>YOLT>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>OP>DN>
    TWINE>TND>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,505MI6 Agent


    That's uncanny.

    @Strangeways I understand your points re: Craig and retrospective criticisms. I've always been aware that Craig is not a Bond I particularly like. He was very good in CR and I've always maintained it is his best Bond film, also his best performance. Curiously, I've grown to enjoy QOS more as I can see the very clear emotional journey his character takes from one movie to the next. This is an unexpected change and a challenge for Bond fans not used to either a direct sequel or much introspection. On a personal level, I've never been over keen on SF or SP and NTTD is not hitting the marks for me; the films feel over wrought and very slow. Like you I grew up in the 70s, MR was my first cinema Bond, although I'd seen Connery and Lazenby on TV, and because of that my inbuilt expectation is to be thoroughly entertained. Even the poorest Bond films of Cubby's realm entertain me. TND was an almost perfect encapsulation of what made Cubby's productions so good - the only thing missing was an attack on the stealth ship by the S.B.S. - and it's far and away the film I've enjoyed most since 1989. The sense of fun has been missing entirely since Brosnan departed. For all CR's good points, it is a grim affair, and I believe this is why people are reassessing CraigBond. Generally, people admire films, art, music which is serious, sullen and dark, but they don't always love them. We want to be taken away from all that, we get enough of it in real life. Unfortunately, CraigBond is emotionally too close to reality. I do prefer Sir Roger's take on Bond, that he's a slightly ridiculous character whose silliness needs to be kept in check by dramatic storylines / incidents. That's what made the sixties, seventies and eighties movies so much fun. Craig's attempts to make him not-ridiculous have just turned him into any old other dour hero. While I see the spend, if you like, and the intent, I simply can't spread the love and maybe others are beginning to see it also, worn down and out by the perpetual pessimism.

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,365MI6 Agent

    ABBA's new album is crap too, I reckon, seeing as this thread is the 'I'm 51 too club....'

    Anyway, this did touch on an inconsistency in my views that's hard to rationalise. It's just, with a hokum film like Moonraker or A View to A Kill, I tend to find it as credible and serious as its most serious moment. So, the centrifuge scene, Corinne mauled by dogs, the Drax genocide speech, all these stand as as serious as the film gets, whereas the gondola hovercraft is what undoes it for others, quite understandably.

    A film like Never Say Never Again falls flat as it seems to really have no great serious scene nor anything too outrageous in stunts, it's just a bit tepid all round.

    Other movies pitch themselves as serious - For Your Eyes Only, The Living Daylights, GoldenEye, Die Another Day, most of Craig's.... These don't work for me because it goes like this: right, you're gonna give me a serious Bond film, fine. I'm up for that. Then, oddly, it gets thrown away with a silly joke or innuendo, something really naff that just wrecks it. Bond joking to Blofeld before dropping him down a chimney, Bibi the seductress ice skater and so on, most of the jokes that fall flat in Dalton's tenure. I can't always pinpoint it but these films bring out the pedant in me because they set themselves up to be serious then drop the ball. They almost seem to go out of their way to develop potholes too, stuff you really notice first time round.

    But from an objective angle, there's no plausible reason for me going along with absurd stuff in Moore's films and not in Craig's, except you do sense you know what you're getting with the former, and get mis-sold on the latter.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,908MI6 Agent

    Hey, thanks, @Barbel . Big Callan fan (well, except Wet Job) and its American revision, The Equalizer. To me, after Casino Royale, Bond basically became Callan/Alec Leamas/Harry Palmer/Robert McCall, etc. Each of those revised the common thinking about the spy business along similar lines, where the agent is a tool of a government or organization hardly more moral or ethical than its enemies, and the spy business is dirty business, generally with low pay, high risk, and no rewards. NTTD just seemed to cement that thinking. Along the way, there were throwbacks to the former Bond universe, with the cars and gadgets, for instance, but Craig's Bond went from being a reasonably believable prototype for the originals in Casino Royale to very much the anti-hero in an anti-hero if still somewhat fantasy spy universe in the four films that followed.

  • mynameisbond007mynameisbond007 Posts: 31MI6 Agent
    edited November 16

    craig is the best Bond imo and has saved the series, however I love Roger more as he didn’t take himself seriously and he was a naturally funny and charming man, the ideal Bond needs to be a mixture between serious and humourless like Connery was in his first few films . Moore had more bad films than Craig , TMWTGG was an absolute shocker of a Film, Craig did nothing anywhere near as bad as that, QOS and spectre not great but still not as putrid as TMwTGG

  • OrnithologistOrnithologist BerlinPosts: 512MI6 Agent

    "Bond was, for ME, always a balance between the realistic & the absurd."

    Spot on! What I want is a unique mixture of a somewhat realistic spy thriller (think FRWL) and the sheer escapism and fun of exotic locations, food, drink, one-liners and some crazy gadgetry (YOLT, for example). I think that Brosnan gets far too little credit for trying (and largely succeeding) to balance all of these established and expected elements without leaning too far in one direction. To me he is the "composite" Bond (meant in a positive way), who (admits to having) looked up to his predecessors as well as the literary character... I think it worked very well in all of his movies except DAD and even there the silly parts weren't his fault.

    "I'm afraid I'm a complicated woman. "
    "- That is something to be afraid of."
  • chrisisallchrisisall Western Mass, USAPosts: 9,055MI6 Agent

    My first Bond as a kid was DAF, so I was kind of imprinted to want a certain level of absurdity to my Bond movies. When I watch DAD, I kind of see it as Brosnan's DAF. I have an absolute blast with it every time, even though TND is Brosnan's gold standard for me.

    Dalton & Connery rule. Brozz was cool.
    #1.TLD/LTK 2.TND 3.QOS 4.GF 5.DN/GE 6.FYEO 7.FRWL 8.TMWTGG 9.TWINE 10.YOLT/SP
  • OrnithologistOrnithologist BerlinPosts: 512MI6 Agent

    For me, YOLT was the first one I saw (on TV) just about when Goldeneye hit the cinemas. I was still too young to watch it back then but that might have had an impact as well, since it's one of my favorites. I can't truly enjoy the second half of DAD no matter how hard I try, but never in a million years would I give up a single second of the Goldeneye tank chase for an attempt at more "realism" 😁

    "I'm afraid I'm a complicated woman. "
    "- That is something to be afraid of."
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,505MI6 Agent

    Virginia Bottomley - not my favourite columnist or politician - write a column in the Daily Express and wrote this for today's edition:

    "There are rumours, vigorously denied by the studio Metro Goldwyn Mayer, that No Time To Die has made a £75m loss. Can't say I'm surprised. Since when did the world's most famous spy get so downbeat?

    "Channel-hopping with my support bubble the other night, we came across the 1983 offering Octopussy. Much has been made of the recent Bond's grittiness and rebooting the franchise, but after a couple of hours watching Roger Moore's charm incarnate, let me tell you this: I wold far rather hang out with that OO7 than Daniel Craig's any day of the week."

  • Smithers500Smithers500 Spectre IslandPosts: 1,105MI6 Agent

    Amen to that!

    Japanese proverb say, "Bird never make nest in bare tree".
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,596MI6 Agent

    Well that is a point. Like the polling question of which presidential candidate youd rather have a beer with, I think MooreBond would by far be most fun to hang out with out of all six.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,505MI6 Agent

    I think I'd rather hang out with any of them above DC. I get the impression he'd constantly be seeking fault in my behaviour and probably tell me how to hold my pint or throw a dart in a particular way; he'd certainly tell me my suit was too loose. I don't think the others would care as long as I bought a round in The Silencer and Black Garter.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,596MI6 Agent

    CraigBond is Doc Martin with a gun, and a close-talker. Itd definitely be awkward, and I'd be making up excuses to cut conversation short.

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 3,487MI6 Agent

    honestly, the one I'd like to hang out with the most would be Lazenby. I bet he'd be a hoot.

    Current rankings:
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>YOLT>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>OP>DN>
    TWINE>TND>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
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