In Defense of Roger Moore as James Bond Or, Why Is Chris MatthewsFantasizing About Blowing Up Rush Limbaugh's Head?

Via Instapundit comes this Hotair/Ed Morrissey vid and transcript of Hardball host Chris Matthews musing about someone "jam[ming] a CO2 pellet into [Limbaugh's] head and he’s going to explode like a giant blimp." You know, just like Yaphet Kotto at the end of the Roger Moore Bond flick Live And Let Die. Seriously. Morrissey notes:

No surprise here from the classiest cable network to drag anchor in the ratings, but consider if someone on Fox had offered this kind of fantasy musing on air about a liberal show host — say, Keith Olbermann or Matthews himself. The Left would have screamed about fascism and brownshirts, and of crypto-signaling for assassinations and the like.

That's all true, but then Morrissey goes too far:

Live and Let Die?  Matthews is into the Roger Moore Bond films?  That explains a lot, actually.

Au contraire: I am surely not the only filmgoer - or even libertarian - who agrees that when it comes to Bond, nobody did it better than Roger Moore (and possibly his epigone Pierce Brosnan). I understand that this is a minority position, though not as extreme as the George Lazenby gambit, but I'd rather watch Moore suavely ham his way through, say Octopussy than Sean Connery sleepwalk through Thunderball. Indeed, I'd rather catch Escape to Athena than virtually any Connery movie, although there's no denying that late Connery efforts such as Medicine Man and Rising Sun are pure comedy gold.

And incidentally, I take it all back after watching the trailer for Live and Let Die:

Update: Regarding some of the comments, below: Yes, it's always time for Zardoz!

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  • Colin||

    I wouldn't necessarily say Moore was the best Bond, but he is way underrated in the role.

    But then again, I also liked Timothy Dalton.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Everybody knows David Niven was the greatest Bond ever.

    He even made Woody Allen look good in that movie.

  • The Chad||

    I find it quite the coincidence that today is Roger Moore's birthday, perhaps I'll celebrate by watching Live and Let Die, with a preview like that how can it not be the best bond flick?

  • ||

    Have we all seen that the Predator remake sequel reboot will star Adrien Brody and Topher Grace?

    Does that mean they will both become governors one day?

  • Nipplemancer||

    i'm sorry, wha? every dude in the original movie was frickin huge, how can they cast such scrawny actors in the remake?

  • ||

    Cast Jason Schwartzman as the Predator. Problem solved.

  • BlogDog||

    Or Dustin Diamond.

  • Billy!||

    "I'd rather catch Escape to Athena than virtually any Connery movie..."

    What?! Zardoz destroys all.

  • smartass sob||

    (sigh) Something went very wrong with the Bond films after From Russia With Love....or perhaps it was after Goldfinger.

  • ||

    That is rather embarassing of Mathews. But, hey it is not like anyone watches his show or anything.

  • Mike M.||

    Poor Blondie Matthews. In the clip he openly displays his petty jealousy over the fact that Limbaugh makes hundreds of millions of dollars.

    It's sad, because I can remember back in the day when the guy was a serious news analyst, before MSNBC became the province of the unhinged left.

  • Thelonious_Nick||

    Well, On Her Majesty's Secret Service is the single greatest Bond film, although I'm not sure it's quite enough to put Lazenby at the top of the list. Live and Let Die is another favorite of mine. The scenes of Bond in Harlem are classic.

    Really, Connery only had two good ones--Goldfinger and Dr. No.

  • ||

    Word. OHMSS was probably the best movie of them all until the Casino Royale remake, despite Lazenby. Telly Savalas was a great Bond villian.

  • ||

    "Indeed, I'd rather catch Escape to Athena than virtually any Connery movie"

    Gillespie you are such a pathetic philistine. The Man Who Would Be King. The Name of the Rose. A Bridge Too Far. The Untouchables.

    If no one else, where the hell are the Highlander geeks coming to whack off your head?

  • smartass sob||

    The Man Who Would Be King is one of Connery's best flicks.

  • peachy||

    You're bloody right is is, mate. (He should have listened to Caine and made tracks with the gold, though.)

  • peachy||

    You're bloody right is is, mate. (He should have listened to Caine and made tracks with the gold, though.)

  • ||

    Highlander geeks are like Dire Straits fans: they only exist in Europe.

  • Franklin Harris||

    Don't lose your head.

  • BlogDog||

    There can be only one.

  • alan||

    I going to take this opportunity to admit that I hate Highlander. The premise is boring, and so is the movie.

  • ||

    I'd rather watch Moore suavely ham his way through, say Octopussy than Sean Connery sleepwalk through Thunderball.

    Or Thunderball II, The Wrath of Never Say Never Again.

    My non-scientific analysis is that your favorite Bond is whoever was playing the role when you first came to know the series.

  • ||

    Sometimes. I like Connery because the 60s were just generally cooler and had better looking women than the 70s. For this reason the Connery Bond seems so much cooler than the 70s Moore Bond.

  • ||

    And that's Roger Moore for me.

  • D-FENS||

    I'll give you a +1 on the theory. I grew up during the Moore as Bond era, and thought he was the best. My father said, "No, son, Sean Connery is the best James Bond." He also thought the drug war was a waste, and was in favor of legalization, which I also disagreed with.

    As I have matured, I have come to realize that he was right on both counts. Rest in peace, pops.

  • Hanyou||

    I grew up with Brosnan as Bond, and was introduced to the series with Goldeneye (the game and movie, in fact). The second Bond movie I saw was Tomorrow Never Dies.

    Connery's definitely my favorite, though.

  • ||

    I was introduced to the series with Brosnan, find Connery to be one of my favorites, and am slowly thinking I prefer Daniel Craig in the role.

  • ||

    I'd rather catch Escape to Athena than virtually any Connery movie

    What?! Zardoz destroys all.

    Yes, and what about Outland? The Name of the Rose? The Hunt for Red October ("one ping only, please")?

    I'd say Dragonheart ("I AM the last one!") and Highlander, but you might not realize I was joking.

  • GILMORE||

    I would like to have seen Montana

  • Alex||

    He slipped in his tea.

  • ||

    Every time I see that line, I realize afresh that it takes the experience of living under a real dictatorship to truly appreciate America.

    O!s well on his way to providing the necessary experience.

  • ||

    That was intended for "I would have like to have seen Montana."

  • EJM||

    Somehow I think that Mr. Morrissey also believes that Ian Ogilvy made a better TV "Saint" than Mr. Moore.

  • @||

    Moore's shallow, unserious characterization of Fleming's hero marked the middle of the beginning of the end of that franchise. It was all downhill after Dr. No, in my opinion.

  • ArkhamOutpatient||

    Then you should be pleased by Daniel Craig's Bond, yes?

  • ||

    "unserious"

    Agreed. Fitzgerald once said "Show me a hero, and I'll write you a tragedy."

    That was the way all the heros used to be. There was suffering involved. Nowadays, normal people all of a sudden inherit or obtain abilities that allow them to become heros...look at most of the superheros from DC and Marvel (though Batman would be an exception). There's an accident or they're bitten by something, and all of a sudden they're heros. The most recent example is Kirk from the newest Star Trek movie - "Oh, I'm just naturally good at everything and never make any mistakes" - it's an extremely shallow character.

    In contrast, look at Batman (parents murdered, friends die, etc); Paul from Frank Herbert's Dune (Father assassinated, friends murdered, outcast, intense suffering through training, etc); D'Artagnan from The Three Musketeers (the woman he loves is assassinated, heroic deeds are never rewarded, etc); and the list goes on.

    James Bond should be the same way and I think the newer films reflect that. Bond is an orphan, the woman he loves dies, friends die, he's incredibly isolated.

    The older Bonds were too concerned with being cute and chasing tail to be realistic.

  • Hanyou||

    Connery's my favorite Bond from an acting standpoint, but the story in Casino Royale was probably one of the best in the Bond mythos.

  • Morris||

    "The Left would have screamed about fascism and brownshirts, and of crypto-signaling for assassinations and the like."

    Gillespie likes to think that's true, but it isn't. The left would pointed out that the right have screamed about commies and the Red Guard, and of crypto-signaling for assassinations and the like.

    Nick Gillespie is about as original as the Baltimore Catechism.

  • Morris||

    Mom caught me fucking the dog again. Anyone have a couch I can crash on until this blows over?

  • ||

    In the end, all of the Bonds are just substitutes for who should have played Bond; David Niven. If you have ever read the books, Niven was Bond. I also think Richard Burton could have done a great Bond if he had ever wanted to.

  • smartass sob||

    Who was Bond in Casino Royale?

  • EJM||

    Barry Nelson, of course. ;)

  • smartass sob||

    Telebizhun don't count. ;-)

  • John Tagliaferro||

    David Niven

  • ||

    David Craig

  • ||

    You fail at Craigs.

  • ||

    < connery brogue >"Losers always whine about their 'best'. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen."< /connery brogue >

  • kinnath||

    What, no love for the blonde, blue-eyed James Bourne?

  • ||

    And as far as James Bond goes, Daniel Craig and George Lazenby have played him most like the actual book character. Connery was just...Connery, in all his awesomeness, and Moore was kind of goofy. Dalton should have stuck to Prince Barin and Broson should have stuck to Remington Steele.

  • ||

    Craig is pretty close to the books. But Craig is a lot like Niven.

    If you like Craig, watch the DVD miniseries "Sword of Honor" sometime. It is based on the Evelyn Waugh books about a British Officer in World War II. Craig is awesome in it.

  • ||

    Make that BBC miniseries

  • ||

    None of them man-up and give him the big dueling scar.

  • wingnutx||

    Craig was quite good in 'Layer Cake'.

  • JB||

    More of that 'tolerant' Left we hear them keep screaming about.

  • Mike||

    The Left would have screamed about fascism and brownshirts, and of crypto-signaling for assassinations and the like.

    Chattering-class outrage has become so boring and meta. That's really the response? Next time it happens to liberals, they should say, "If this had happened to republicans they would have said that if it happened to a liberal the left would have screamed about fascism and brownshirts, and of crypto-signaling for assassinations and the like."

    The right could then respond two weeks later to a similar outrage with, "when this sort of thing happens to the left they would say, 'If this had happened to republicans they would have said that if it happened to a liberal the left would have screamed about fascism and brownshirts, and of crypto-signaling for assassinations and the like.'"

  • EJM||

    If you have ever read the books, Niven was Bond.

    Don't forget that he did play Bond in one movie.

  • ||

    Yes. He never wanted to play Bond even though they begged him to take the part. Then as a final "no I will never play Bond", he agreed to do the Woody Allen written Bond satire.

  • smartass sob||

    Yup. Thought I remembered that.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Ooops, ignore all of my Johnnie come lately comments about Niven above.

  • Barney Rubble||

    Gotta disagree- Sean Connery was the best Bond, though Moore was a close second. My, Betty, says that if I had an brogue like Connnery and told her to "take off your panties", I would be laid every night...

  • ||

    I just assumed you were going to say Rock Hudson or Stone Phillips or something.

  • ||

    Announcer:

    "Hardball, with Chris Matthews; brought to you by Depends ultra-absorbent and leakproof adult undergarments. If they work for Chris, they'll work for YOU."

  • Old RPM Daddy||

    I dunno, I thought Live and Let Die was the second or third silliest of the Moore Bond films (gotta shoehorn Man with the Golden Gun and Moonraker in there somewhere). As for Lazenby: I agree. He was a good Bond. Of the two films apiece for Dalton and Craig, Dalton had about half a good one, and Craig one good one.

  • Isaac Bartram||

    Live and Let Die was certainly silly, but frankly I found most Moore Bond films that way. I usually just chalk it up to 70s awfulness.

    I found Man with the Golden Gun simply unwatchable. It's the only movie I've rented that I couldn't even be bothered to watch after about ten minutes.

  • 00-nonymous||

    "As for Lazenby: I agree. He was a good Bond."

    George Lazenby was good as Bond.

    The problem with "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was that for what felt like most of the movie, George Lazenby wasn't playing James Bond. He was playing Sir Hilary Bray.

    Either that, or the movie was ski chase scenes, where any stunt man could play Bond.

  • ||

    Outland High Noon in Space was a pretty good movie.

    I thought Connery was pretty damn good in The Untouchables, too.

  • ||

    Untouchables? More like Unwatchable.

    Kevin Costner touting the great struggle of government imposes morality. Throw in Sean the Scot playing a Mick. It's almost blaspheme.

  • Russ 2000||

    Kevin Costner owes his career to the closing of state psychiatric hospitals.

  • a||

    Wow, already two Gillespie posts taken from Instapundit.

  • ||

    High Noon in Space even had sudden-decompression cranial explosions.

  • Cal Lipigian||

    You're the man now, dog!

  • MattXIV||

    I'd rather watch Moore suavely ham his way through, say Octopussy than Sean Connery sleepwalk through Thunderball

    But when Moore's Bond films went bad, they went sureally bad. Moonraker works better as self-parody than played straight and The Man with the Golden Gun's disjointed tale of midgets and 3rd nipples unintentionally approaches David Lynch's territory.

  • ||

    Right on, with Golden Gun. They shouldn't have pussied out and just gone ahead and made the movie that Christopher Lee was perfect for... Bond vs. Dracula!

  • Franklin Harris||

    Satanic Rites of Dracula is rather close to Dracula vs. The Avengers.

  • tekende||

    Man, that movie was awful. Just unbelievable.

  • Isaac Bartram||

    I'm afraid that for me Moore's Bond films went bad just about every time.

    I found Man with the Golden Gun simply unwatchable. It's the only movie I've rented that I couldn't even be bothered to watch after about ten minutes.

  • ||

    Which Bond was in the one where Riddler and Two-Face team up to create a mind-control machine?

    That one sucked.

  • Sean Connery||

    The others were a bunch of pushies.

  • ||

    1. Goldfinger
    2. Casino Royale
    3. You Only Live Twice
    4. Live And Let Die
    5. From Russia With Love

    Not best, just favorites. And my favorite classic Bond girl is Daniela Bianchi. As for modern Bond girl, Eva Green. Oh, Eva Green.

  • ||

    Eva was the hotest Bond woman in 40 years. She is just unbelievable. And she is French and has made lots of euro porn movies. What is not to love?

  • ||

    She has a fraternal twin sister that doesn't act. That is France's nation shame.

  • Skid Marx||

    Famke Janssen in Golden Eye was the hottest chick in a Bond film ever. The hot smile she maintained while she beat the shit out of people was teh awesome.

    http://media.photobucket.com/image/%2522Famke Janssen%2522 %2522Xenia Onatopp%2522/sr3116/Random/famke_janssen_004.jpg

  • ||

    But The Avengers was great, wasn't it, folks?

  • ||

    Wasn't there a Bond film where 007 is gay and trying to get it on with Horatio Sanz?

  • ||

    You know, just like Yaphet Kotto at the end of the Roger Moore Bond flick Live And Let Die.

    BAH The correct outdated movie reference is; Carter Wong in Big Trouble In Little China.

  • ||

    You can't go wrong with Wong!

    I love that movie. David Lo Pan--one of the best bad guys ever.

  • ||

    I agree with you on the Eva Green, NutraSweet, but couldn't you have found a better picture?

  • ||

    Well, the best ones are a little NSFW.

  • ||

    My favorite Fleming based movie is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

  • ||

  • ||

    Oh, well, That's different. I was thinking of screen-caps from that silly Bertolucci movie.

  • ||

    You philistine. Any movie that shows that woman's body in its full glory can never be considered silly.

  • ||

    All the incest and menstrual blood and communism didn't do much for me. I watched the whole damn thing, though. And certain parts over and over.

  • ||

    It was a terrible piece of filth. But I still watched it just to make sure I could say what a piece of filth it was in good conscience. Or something like that.

  • Warty||

    Like Irreversible?

  • Nipplemancer||

    Connery at his best isn't even Connery, it's him being spoofed on SNL's Celebrity Jeopardy. "I'll take The Rapists for 200 Alex."

  • Marc||

    the pen is mightier...

  • Franklin Harris||

    Ha! That's what your mother said!

  • ||

    We are forgetting the other great Bond woman, Jill St. John. They just don't make women like that anymore.

  • ||

    Considering that Connery had the first mover advantage and became immensely popular, Moore must be considered the better Bond, since he was just as popular and played Bond more often in the 'official' series.

    Can you imagine what would have been if Connery had to fill Moore's shoes? Moore gave Bond class that a strategically shaved Scottish gorilla with tattoos never could have redefined.

    Pierce Brosnan is Irish. George Lazenby is Australian. Sidney Portier would have made been a more credible James Bond, as would have Walter Matthau in blackface.

    Prinz Barin can't be Bond for the same reasons Chasey Lain cannot be a Bond-girl.

    Daniel Craig is too early to judge, but considering the last turkey, it's 100:1 that Moore will still be #1 James Bond 10 years from now.

  • ||

    You can't blame Craig for bad writting. If you are going to hold the actor responsible for the script, Moore is diqualified by Moonraker alone.

  • ||

    Moonraker was a great film. The ladies were insanely hot*, the key-pad played 'close encounters', the score was fantastic (especially "Flight into Space", reminiscent of the 2nd Movement of Dvorak's New World Symphony).

    Plausibility is not something to expect when watching a movie.

    *Even the one that is not supposed to be attractive. http://thighswideshut.org/imag.....avalec.jpg

  • MJ||

    Moore's Bond does have the faint aroma of an upper class twit about him though.

  • ||

    All this is moot, as no one can deliver lines like "I guess he got the point" after shooting a guy with a spear gun like Connery.

  • ||

    Best James Bond
    1 Daniel Craig
    1a Sean Connery

    There are no other entries of statistical merit.

  • ||

    @Epi

    [While shoving Hugo Drax into an airlock]
    "Take a giant step back for mankind."

  • BakedPenguin||

    We are forgetting the other great Bond woman, Jill St. John

    Um... Ursula Andress? (SFW)

  • ||

    Take Jill over her anyday.

  • BakedPenguin||

    John, FYI Jill fucked Henry Kissinger. If you want sloppy seconds of that, have at it.

  • ||

    NFW. I don't beleive it. How dare you try to steal my innocence like that.

  • ||

    Diana Rigg. C'mon, she's what made In Her Majesty's Secret Service, not Lazenby.

  • ||

    Did that involve a spear gun, Team America? Huh?

  • I, Kahn O'Clast||

    Moore films were overly silly. Connery films had some class and style. The drift from plot and suspense to nothing but action scenes (car chases and fights) seriously harmed the franchise for me.

  • ||

    You have to be joking. You can not possibly prefer Roger Moore's James Bond (I can hardly even say it!!!) to Sean Connery's.

  • BakedPenguin||

    The drift from plot and suspense to nothing but action scenes (car chases and fights) seriously harmed the franchise for me.

    I was going to say, it seemed like in the Moore years the Bond films set the groundwork for films like Transporter and directors like Tony Scott and Michael Bay.

  • ||

    Man you really know how to hurt a guy. I don't like the Moore movies as well as the Connery or Craig ones. But to hold Moore in any way responsible for Michael Bay is really going after the guy.

  • ||

    in the Moore years the Bond films set the groundwork for films like Transporter and directors like Tony Scott and Michael Bay

    Whoa. WHOA. No one--NO ONE--is responsible for Michael Bay except for Satan, and possibly Jimmy Carter.

  • ||

    To be fair to Carter, his administration was doomed by Bush sr. running the CIA.

    Yes, it was Bushes fault back then too.

  • ||

    the CIA was behind stagflation, national malaise and the Soviets invading Afghanistan? If you want to look for someone to blame for Carter's miserable Presidency, besides the overly miserable Carter himself, blame Nixon for completely fucking up the economy before Carter ever got there. Of course Carter did little to fix it.

  • ||

    Damn. I knew I should have said "Satan was framed" instead.

    It was a joke John. I'm sort of mental, but not that much.

  • ||

    Vader was framed. Satan cannot be framed.

  • ||

    Darn straight. It was all Tarkin's fault. The man was a nut-case.

  • ||

    Sorry. I am still in shock over the Jill St. John lie. My sense of irony isn't good right now.

  • ||

    the Bond films set the groundwork for films like Transporter and directors like Tony Scott and Michael Bay.

    Are you referring to the triumph of pyrotechnics over plot?

  • ||

    @Epi

    Close: Wrist-Mounted Dart Gun with cyanide.

    Look, the spear gun thing was cool, but the henchmen only unintentionally looked like Jake & Elwood Blues.

    The guy with the bowler was cool as were Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd, but Robert Shaw without someone saying "Mr. Blue, I think we need a bigger boat", is as memorable as whatsisname.

    The henchmen in Moore's movies were much more memorable, as were the supporting characters, such as Sheriff J.W Pepper - "Secret agent? - On whose side?", who should have had a cameo in all James Bond movies.

  • Warty||

    Broson should have stuck to Remington Steele.

    I read those names as Bronson and Lexington Steele. Time to go lobotomize myself.

  • ||

    Again? I thought it sort of had little effect after a few times.

  • Isaac Bartram||

    A couple of years ago, i tried to watch every Bond film in order from Dr No onwards.

    Ten minutes or so into The Man with the Golden Gun I gave up but they had been getting increasingly silly before that.

    Actual I've seen a couple of the Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan efforts and I must confess they are better.

    And after years of hearing critics pan George Lazenby (and hearing the gossip about how much Dianna Rigg hated him) I was struck by how good he was in On Her Majesty's Secret Service and how good the film was as well.

  • ||

    How were you able to suspend your disbelief during the 'non-silly' Connery films?

    Super-Solex, flying cars, Nick-Nack & 3rd-nipple prosthetics are just as reasonable, but much more enjoyable than e.g. volcanoes with fake tops, rocket-eating rockets and secret subways with 1000 miles of tracks.

  • Isaac Bartram||

    It's not the suspension of disbelief that I have a problem with, it's the suspension of all other critical faculties.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Are you referring to the triumph of pyrotechnics over plot?

    Exactly. The "We need an explosion! It's been three minutes and we haven't had an explosion!" type of filmmaking.

    And John, I don't blame Moore for what happened, he was just around at the time. Anyway, after what you heard about Jill, I'd hate to scar you any further...

  • ||

    Watch the movie Bullet sometime, specificall the famous chase scene through San Fransisco with McQueen in the mustang fastback. That scene has tremendous tempo and timing. It starts our slow with McQueen following the mobsters and then builds. To me that scene shows everything that is wrong with action movies today. No way would they film that scene now. If that movie were ever re-made (God help me I will kill someone if the current Hollywood hacks ever redo it), it would have no timing, no artistry and would be nothing but an assault on your senses that would end with Will Smith jumping out of his Ford GT40 just before it hits a gas truck and explodes destroying a skyscraper.

  • BakedPenguin||

    NO ONE--is responsible for Michael Bay except for Satan, and possibly Jimmy Carter.

    Carter, maybe. I don't think Satan would associate with such a crappy filmmaker, if his taste in rock music is considered.

  • ||

    Yeah. I am thinking Satan would make a decent porn movie if nothing else.

  • Attorney||

    Nick thinks Moore was better than Connery? I'm having major cognitive dissonance.

    Connery ish movie Bond, period.

    That being said, On Her Majesty's SS is still one of my favorite Bond films. Best girl (Diana Rigg) and best song (delivered by Satchmo).

  • ||

    Sean Connery was the best Bond, period. But Moore wasn't bad. I also though Dalton was okay.

    If I were doing the reboot, I'd do the books in their proper period. They wouldn't have to be completely true to the novels--the history of the franchise being what it is--but set in the Cold War with baddies that are at least quasi-plausible would be good.

    Live and Let Die was Moore's best Bond movie, and, of course, it had Geoffrey Holder. Crisp and clean and no caffeine. Never had it, never will [insert rich, deep Trinidadian laugh].

  • ||

    What was the first truly stupid large budget action film? I mean the kind that really insulted your intelligence aggressively?

    My vote is The Rock, but I will entertain earlier suggestions.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    I will put Armageddon right up next to that. But I did like Bruce Willis in it.

  • ||

    Liv Tyler. MMMMMMMMMMMMMM

  • MJ||

    I hate the bad, no, atrocious science and predictiable plot in Armageddon but I love the characters in it.

  • ||

    C'mon guys. Bay & Emmerich are pure genius, you only have to pick the right comparison.

    Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever with Antonio Banderas & Lucy Liu (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0308208/) had a $70.000.000 budget and is without a doubt the worst of its kind.

    After you have managed to sit (or FF) through that, you'll even consider Armageddon to be a little gem of a highly personal, emotional and realistic Auteur Film.

  • ||

    Independence Day comes to mind, but there were earlier travesties, I just can't think of them. I mean, what was Roland Emmerich's first film? Bay's?

  • ||

    Die Hard II and Total Recall were both big budget and getting into the really insulted your intelligence area. I think the decline started to happen in the early 1990s. The 80s films, the original Lethel Weapon and Die Hard films to name two at least had some decent dialog, some interesting characters to make up for kind of crazy plots.

  • ||

    Con Air was pretty bad. When did that come out?

  • ||

    The year after The Rock. And yes, bad, bad, bad. And they didn't have any clue of how diabeetus works.

  • ||

    Bay's was Bad Boys, a movie that was hollow inside, but not stupid, per se. And Emmerich's two before ID4 were Stargate and Universal Solider. Neither were good, but they weren't the implausible retardanity of The Rock.

  • ||

    Roland Emmerich's first big budget action film was The Universal Soldier in around 92, which supports my point that things started to go to shit in the early 90s.

  • ||

    John bringing up Arhnuld reminded me of Red Heat. Ugh.

  • ||

    See, NutraSweet, everything you listed there, I found retarded. Stargate was watchable.

    And John, Total Recall is a classic from Verhoeven. You need to go watch some of his earlier stuff, though skip Spetters.

  • ||

    Well, I'm wondering if there is a difference between a poorly made movie and a (technically) well-made movie that relies on the audience being close to as brain dead as possible but still able to make it to the theater.

    And is there a hair to be split between Bay, who makes my soul whither, and Tony Scott who makes pretty but completely hollow movies without rubbing your face in it?

    For example, I saw ID4 in the theater. I sort of enjoyed it while watching it, but after leaving the theater I felt dirty for that enjoyment, shame.

    The only Scott movie that ever got me close to that was Domino, although I really didn't enjoy it while I was watching it, I still felt like a sucker, even watching it off HBO.

  • ||

    Can I throw Broken Arrow in the shit movies heap?

  • ||

    Fuck yes.

  • ||

    But it reunited Pump Up the Volume leads! The fans demanded it!

  • ||

    How did Samantha Mathis manage to look like she aged 12 years in only 6?

  • ||

    The problem with movies like the Rock and various other Bay and Emmerich type productions is that they take themselves so seriously. They have no kitch factor or irony to redeem their awfulness. A movie like They Live is so cheesy and awful in so many ways, but is so kitchy and over the top you have to love it anyway. A movie like The Day After Tommorow, with all its environmental earnestness, has none of that and is just as awful as any Ed Wood B movie.

  • Warty||

    John, don't leave out all the glorious 80s action-one-liner flicks.

    What happened to Sully?
    I LET HEEM GO

  • ||

    One of my favorites, from Stallone of all People

    "Drop the gun or I will blow up the store.

    I don't care. I don't shop here"

  • ||

    Cobra would have the honor of being the first bad movie I didn't enjoy, it if wasn't for the fucking travesty that is Conan The Destroyer.

  • ||

    I think to qualify as "the worst" the movie has to take itself seriously and try to be a serious movie. For that reason a movie like "The Mummy" which freely admits and plays on its cheesiness and implausability doesn't count. Only movies like the Day After Tommorow or Outbreak or The Rock can be in the running for worst.

  • ||

    Totally agree. That seriousness is the key to a truly terrible movie.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Rambo: First Blood Part II comes close, although it's not as moronic as some of the films above.

    According to imdb, one of Bay's first directorial credits was a video centerfold for Playboy Playmate Kerri Kendall. I wonder how he f*cked that up.

  • ||

    He probably cut away from all the actual nudity. I cover it up with a lens flare.

  • ||

    "Or cover" Sigh.

  • ||

    In retrospect, the Second Terminator Movie may have been the begining of the end. Think about that movie in comparison to the first. In the first, you have a simple, straight forward plot, machine comes back from the future to kill woman and man chases machine from the future to stop it. That simple. In the T2 you get all this BS about destiny and this wierdo anti-violence theme where they only shoot people in the leg while grabbing the lost terminator chip from the lab. The first movie was an implausable premise well executed. The second one is just rediculous.

  • ||

    Like the 3rd Mad Max, they tried to make the sequel a kid's movie. I like T2, but it did have some dumb parts. And I wanted to smack the teeth out of Edward Furlong during the whole thing. Still do, actually.

  • ||

    Everything is a kids' movie now. They don't write adult dialog. Hell, kids movies from 30 years ago have better dialog than adult movies now. Watch Caddyshack or Animal House sometime. Even though they are farces, the dialog is more clever and adult than any "oscar winning drama" they are making now. And those were the horney teenager movies of their day. Movie making is in a sad state.

  • ||

    I have to admit that I love all three Porky's movies.

  • ||

    Eh, one and a half. The vomit scene in 2 saves the whole thing.

  • ||

    The first one was funny.

  • MJ||

    That's what happens when you have a simple standalone sci-fi/fantasy that's becaomes unexpectedly popular and becomes a franchise. The sequels start exploring the parts of the story's universe marked "here be plotholes".

  • ||

    The problem, as I see it, is that at some point Hollywood decided that if you take enough special effects and wrap them around a big enough star, the movie will be a blockbuster. They forgot about a good story and strong character development. Music has gone the same route.

  • ||

    That is a big part of it.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Or at least strong characters, even if they don't develop. I watched Trainspotting all the way through, and was fascinated by the characters, even though they absolutely refused to develop or learn anything.

    Of course, I was actively rooting for at least two of them to die, so...

  • ||

    Or Goodfellas. You can't stop watching that movie. The characters are so interesting. I have seen that movie God knows how many times and will still watch it when I see it on cable.

  • ||

    I always come back to Slingblade.
    Made on a very tight budget. Damn good movie. I've watched it many times and it gets deeper every time.

  • ||

    I do a very good "You shouldna done that, he's just a boy."

  • ||

    That is another good one. Who would have thought Dwight Yokum, good time party Mr. Cool country singer, could play the biggest redneck asshole imaginable so well. And who thought John Ritter could actually act? The casting in that movie is brilliant.

  • BakedPenguin||

    And is there a hair to be split between Bay, who makes my soul whither, and Tony Scott who makes pretty but completely hollow movies without rubbing your face in it?

    If Tony Scott could get off crystal meth when he did his editing, I think it's entirely plausible he might create a decent film. The same cannot be said for Bay.

    Tony Scott > Roland Emmerich > Michael Bay / Ed Wood (tied) > Uwe Boll

  • Uwe Bollz||

    Step up in to the ring, if you dare!

    What, BakedPenguin is Rick Flair's nick? Fuck me!

  • Attorney||

    For that reason a movie like "The Mummy" which freely admits and plays on its cheesiness and implausability doesn't count.

    OT -- I like The Mummy quite a lot.

  • ||

    C'mon guys. Bay & Emmerich are pure genius, you only have to pick the right comparison.

    Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever with Antonio Banderas & Lucy Liu (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0308208/) had a $70.000.000 budget and is without a doubt the worst of its kind.

    After you have managed to sit (or FF) through that, you'll discover that Armageddon is actually a little gem of a highly personal, emotional Auteur Film, with critical social undertones.

  • kinnath||

    Basic economics. At some point in the transition from the 80s to the 90s and beyond, profits switched from being driven by lots of adults heading out to see a film to being driven by lots of repeat business of teenage boys that wanted to see nipples and explosions.

  • ||

    Leave out the nipples part. Neither of Emmerich or Bay's big budget action movies has had even a brief nude scene.

    PG-13 was one of the worst things to ever happen to American film making in the modern era.

  • kinnath||

    Put a good looking actress in a tank top or a t-shirt, and there is enough nipple to keep any 14-year-old boy busy at night for weeks to come {prior to the Internet of course}.

  • ||

    GOD BLESS The Internet for all the good work that do in some of America's horniest neighborhoods.

  • ||

    Yeah? Name one movie featuring exploding nipples.

  • ||

    Do machin-gun jubblies count?

  • ||

    No. It has to be an assasin, who's an ex-pornstar trying to assassinate the prez with shaped charges in her implants, by firing depleted uranium nipple mock-ups trough 2 ft. of concrete.

    During a car chase.

    In slow-motion.

  • ||

    Maybe with a name like Barb Wire?

  • ||

    But the really bad ones never make much money after the first weekend. I think it is more about playing to overseas audiences who can't understand the dialog anyway and just want to see explosions.

  • Isaac Bartram||

    If I were doing the reboot, I'd do the books in their proper period. They wouldn't have to be completely true to the novels--the history of the franchise being what it is--but set in the Cold War with baddies that are at least quasi-plausible would be good.

    Sorry to disagree, for even the novels to be credible the idea of the British Empire being remotely relevant has to be credible.

    And, frankly, the British Empire wasn't even relevant when the books were written.

    The one thing most of the films get right is that whole sense of ridiculous parody.

  • ||

    Obilgatory.

    Baysplosions!!!

  • BakedPenguin||

    kinnath, that transformation happened a long time before the 1990's. Also, DVD sales and rentals account for more sales than box office.

    I think part of it is increasing worldwide sales - explosions and special effects don't need subtitles. Still, the film industry has also been worldwide for many decades.

    Ultimately, I think it comes down to people thinking that you "don't go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public", and the people who are thinking this are the retards in suits that run movie studios. So, take a moron who is dismissive of and condescending to others' intelligence, and you get films like Independence Day and Transporter 2.

  • ||

    The irony is that the audience really isn't that stupid. Movies that have good plots and dialog make millions. Look at the Pixar movies. Adults flock to those because they are some of the only movies being made with decent scripts. Or, Slingblade you mentioned above. Every year there is some small budget movie that bothers to have interesting characters and a plot that makes a fortune. Yet, these fucktards keep making the same crap.

  • kinnath||

    Ironically, some of the best writing today is on the non-big-four cable networks -- dramas or dramedies that have low budgets and rely almost exclusively on the dialog.

  • ||

    Yeah if audiences are so stupid and just want explosions, why did The Sopranos and Mad Men do so well?

  • kinnath||

    Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire, Dexter on the premiums.

    Too many to count and TNT and USA.

  • ||

    I like Independence Day. It is a fun ride and isn't (hopefully)supposed to be serious. I like I Robot as well. Haven't read the book so it's just a movie to me.

  • ||

    GO FROM THIS PLACE!

  • ||

    I don't read Sci-Fi. It never held my interest.

  • ||

    I've just finished reading Heinlein's The Moon is a harsh Mistress

    Shotgun when first ship leaves for Luna, and prepare for some incoming large rocks, Earthworms!

  • ||

    "I don't read Sci-Fi. It never held my interest."

    Judging from your first comment, I'd say you don't watch Sci-Fi movies, either.

    Neither one counts.

  • ||

    Now, we were talking about first, but I will say that Face/Off is the worst. Stupid premise, bad acting, bad directing, bad writing.

    Trivia: It was written originally as a Arhnuld and Stallone vehicle.

  • ||

    Any movie that has both Nick Cage and John Travolta in the leads, has a huge headstart in suckatude. That movie had to be made if only to see how bad a movie with those two would be.

  • ||

    It was some sort of physics experiment to achieve absolute zero in movie quality.

  • ||

    Awesome, and now stolen. Thanks!

  • ||

    I know I'm repeating myself, but unless you've suffered through Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, you have absolutely no idea how bad, really bad movies can be.

  • mega-anonymous||

    You're obviously too young to remember Mega-Force.

    Now get off of my lawn.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yet movies about taking another's face aren't inherently sucky. Franju's Eyes Without a Face and Teshigahara's The Face of Another both have this as their main plot point. They both use the creepiness of the idea, and wind up with different ends - Franju's film is more straitforward horror, while Teshigahara's is surrealistic, with a heavy emphasis on the meaning of identity and its moral implications.

    And neither had Cage or Travolta, so the acting is better.

  • ||

    I think part of it is increasing worldwide sales - explosions and special effects don't need subtitles.

    This is a big part of it, and Bay and Emmerich deliver in this framework. You can't fault the studios for trying to make money, unfortunately.

    And I'd like to see the horror of a Uwe Boll film with a real budget. This doesn't mean it can't be done well; look at Peter Jackson.

    ...AND never, ever forget the wonder that is Battlefield Earth.

  • ||

    Or Starship Troopers, which gets bonus suck points for destroying a good book.

  • ||

    I thought it was a good example of B movie sci-fi cheesecake.

  • Robert||

    No way. Starship Troopers was different from the book, yes, but there's no way it could destroy the book, which continues to exist as a separate product. I think Heinlein would've appreciated the movie -- and not just for the money, but for its sensibility. I know I sure did.

  • ||

    For the horror of all those assembled, I'd like to remind the group I have read Battlefield Earth. Twice.

  • ||

    What, were you a member of the cult? Were you kidnapped by them and forcing you to read it part of the brainwashing effort?

    I have read the first five novels of the invasion earth Decology. That is right decology. That is 10 books for those of you scoring at home. I was young and didn't know who L.Ron Hubbard was. After book three it was just a challenge to finish. After book 6, I got a life and moved on.

  • ||

    Same for me. I picked up a copy of BE when I was about 13. Never read the decology though. [shudder]

  • ||

    I did the same thing. Gave up after book 7 I think ...
    It became a kind of masochistic challenge to finish them all.

  • ||

    Yeah, but you have mental problems, so it sort of makes sense.

  • ||

    Holy shit, Sug. Why?

    This probably explains where you get the sheer perversion shown in some of your more horrifying literary adventures.

  • ||

    Actually, the first half of BE is not all that bad. A fairly straight forward "humans under the leash" SF novel. The 2nd half is real bad, like "illiterate humans take over the galaxy" bad.

    As a novel, it might be the best example of Campbellism in SF. John Campbell, editor of Astounding Science Fiction, had one editorial rule. Humans always win. Even in the face of the most ridiculous odds. BE is the most ridiculous odds and therefore the height of the Campbellian strain of SF.

    Heinlein was a favorite of Campbell, obviously.

  • ||

    Asimov topped that--nothing but humans! And he did it just to avoid Campbell's rule.

    You know, Dune involves a humanity-only galaxy, too. There are nonterran species, certainly, but no nonterran intelligences.

  • ||

    I recently read all four books in the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. Top that bitches.

  • ||

    I've read the first 79 Remo Williams books.

  • ||

    I have listened through all John Sinclair radio-plays.

  • ||

    No kidding? I liked the first one.

  • ||

    Oops. I meant the first Remo Williams book. I haven't read any others.

  • ||

    Wheel of Time. Full stop.

  • ||

    I like Battlefield Earth because this makes me a scientologist, in the same way not liking Michael Moore makes me a racist.

  • ||

    I can laugh at things like "manimal" now, but at the time, they just hurt me.

  • ||

    It's "man-animal". "Manimal" was a TV show with Simon McCorkendale.

  • ||

  • NeonCat||

    I loved that show. In my defense, I was 13. Airwolf was awesome, too, even if it was completely retarded. "I'm stealing this top secret helicopter until you find my POW brother but I'll do missions for you."

    At least it had Borgnine. All Street Hawk had was the guy who went on to be in Murphy Brown.

  • ||

    Oops. Sorry, supergeek. See how badly it hurt me?

  • ||

    Fuck. Rick James in my head now. Thanks a lot buttmunch.

  • ||

    He's not that geeky. It's MacCorkindale, after all.

  • Attorney||

    I don't read Sci-Fi. It never held my interest.

    Same here, with a few exceptions.

  • ||

    Au contraire: I am surely not the only filmgoer - or even libertarian - who agrees that when it comes to Bond, nobody did it better than Roger Moore (and possibly his epigone Pierce Brosnan).

    Nick, stop posting when you're drunk.

    1. Connery
    2. Craig
    3. Lazenby
    4. Dalton (even though he always looks like he's about to vomit)
    5. Niven
    6. Brosnan
    7. Moore

  • ||

    Roger Moore was great in The Saint, of course.

  • ||

    Well, this sermon ain't gonna write itself. Ya'll have a fine evening.

  • Robert||

    I first saw Connery in the role, but although Connery may be the better actor in general, I agree that Moore was the better Bond.

  • anon||

    "I've got him in my shights"

  • Ted S.||

    200+ comments and nobody's suggested Connery in Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie yet.

  • ||

    I've seen only two of the movies, one SC (You only live twice) and one RM (Live and let die) ... but from that limited exposure, I am somewhat partial to Moore.

  • ||

    I haven't read this thread, so forgive me. If you haven't seen Connery as the Green Knight in the Golan-Globus mangling of Sir Gawain, you haven't seen Connery.

  • Ted S.||

    The Fox Movie Channel just showed Prince Valiant the other day, which has Sterling Hayden as Gawain. Yikes.

  • ||

    What was the first truly stupid large budget action film? I mean the kind that really insulted your intelligence aggressively?

    Last Action Hero? Speed? Maybe Rocky IV?

  • M o n k e e||

    "In the end, all of the Bonds are just substitutes for who should have played Bond; David Niven"

    The role was offered to Patrick McGoohan first who would have probably have done a better job than any bond

    Luckily he went on to make a far superior spy drama The Prisoner :)

  • ||

    Didn't he turn down The Saint, too? He was a fine actor. It's a shame for us that he didn't do more film work.

  • ||

    Roger Moore as James Bond? He was just 'OK' as his mannerisms seemed a wee bit effeminate.

  • MattXIV||

    What was the first truly stupid large budget action film? I mean the kind that really insulted your intelligence aggressively?

    I'm going with Tango and Cash as being a milestone. The whole thing is a mess of ever increasing ridiculousness but the scenes at the drug lord's hideout are particularly glaring examples of substituting explosions and gunplay for making any kind of sense.

  • ||

    Any movie that wastes Kurt Russell is a disaster.

  • Dylboz||

    Moore has always been my favorite Bond, with Brosnan a close second. They both carried off that combination of smarmy machismo and arrogant, half-drunk charm the character requires. The coolest guy in the room, the guy all the ladies want to screw and all the men want to punch out because they're jealous about that lady thing. Dalton and Craig are too hard, too serious, too scary and mysterious to relate to at all. Craig especially plays Bond almost like Clint Eastwood's man with no name in a tux.

  • MJ||

    Maybe Craig does, but that's who the Bond of Fleming's books was, and the filmmaker's were consciously trying to be faithful to the book in Casino Royale.

  • ||

    Casino Royal is the best Bond book. Casino Royal is the best Bond Movie. Daniel Craig is the best Bond.
    Eva Green is the best Bond Girl.
    The Villain in Casino Royal is not half bad..
    The traditional destroying-of-the-car in Casino Royal only the second best.

  • ||

    Does Chris Matthews feel a tingle down his leg when he fantasizes about killing a political dissident?

  • ||

    "Chris Matthews ...fantasizes about killing a political dissident..."

    And judging by the comment thread here, Americans are more interested in movie stars.

    Sums up what direction we've been heading in.

  • MJ||

    It's more fun than crawling in Matthew's brain and dissenting his perverse vengeance fantasies.

  • MJ||

    "disecting"

  • matt||

    Godzilla rules all. He's consistent, he's sexy, and he's a monster's monster.

  • Si Vis Pacem||

    Nick, man... Lazenby, or at least, that assortment of women around him. When (Lazenby) quipped "I feel a certain stiffness coming on..." I was thinking "already there, pal."

    I haven't seen Brosnan or Dalton or Craig - yet.

  • ||

    One of the best lines ever in a Bond flick, and perfectly delivered.

  • ||

    I always had a thing for Maryam D'Abo, myself, as a Bond girl.

  • ||

    I think the Roger Moore movies were very much a product of the mid 70s and early 80s. Over the top to the point of being silly/campy. And he actually managed that role quite well. If you like campy, fun movies, then Roger Moore is probably your favorite.

    The early and later James Bond movies were more serious. And definitely more boring. Thunderball really drags on, but that's nothing compared to the one set in Japan (You Only Live Twice) and From Russia With Love is really slow as well.

  • ||

    "It's more fun than..."

    Exactly. A man's rights are being violated because of his political views, a mainstream anchorman fantasizes on air about murdering him for holding those political views.

    But lets have another round of bread and circus. Its more fun.

  • Michael McNeil||

    Nobody has suggested Connery in Darby O'Gill and the Little People yet!

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    I will absolutely stand by Darby O'Gill as a legitimately great movie that should get fifty times more appreciation than it gets. To start an argument, I'll assert that Darby O'Gill is better than The Quiet Man. (Not sure it's true, though I'm pretty sure I'd rather have Darby on the desert island.)

  • ||

    Get with the program: Barack Obama is the best Bond ever.

  • ||

    Don't worry Nick I'm with ya, I think Moore was great and I love "Live and Let Die."

    I mean come on it had THE hottest Bond girl in it. And the Saint.

    Granted Moore could have did a bit better than Boat Trip.

  • ||

    My measure of Bondality is how the hero handled the prospect of losing his nuts. Sean Connery seemed a bit panicky when Goldfinger's laser neared his crotch - rather pleading in fact, no? Compare with Daniel Craig's manic laugh when an less advanced technology was applied to his Crown Jewels - Craig by a mile.

  • ||

    My measure of Bondality is how the hero handled the prospect of losing his nuts. Sean Connery seemed a bit panicky when Goldfinger's laser neared his crotch - rather pleading in fact, no? Compare with Daniel Craig's manic laugh when an less advanced technology was applied to his Crown Jewels - Craig by a mile.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    I think the whole "X is racist" joke is way tired. So I won't say anything about Live And Let Die except this: If you want to see a white guy fucking up brothers, and you've already seen Zulu, then Live And Let Die's your movie. And Yaphet Kotto roolz.

  • ||

    What was it you were going to say about Matthews and Limbaugh?

  • Hucbald||

    James Coburn was the best Bond, and the Anti-American Eagle was the embodiment of leftist evil.

    Any questions?

  • Joel Schlosberg||

    The definitive defense of Moore-as-Bond is David Morefield's classic article "Who Says Moore is Less?" from the long-defunct Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang! webzine.

    Surprised that nobody's mentioned that Murray Rothbard enjoyed both Live and Let Die ("a great delight, one of the best of the Bond series: tough, witty, exciting, uncompromising") and The Spy Who Loved Me ("marvellous ... close to the spirit and verve of the earlier Bond movies ... high and continuing action, superb gadgets, fascinating villains, and Bond triumphing coolly and elegantly through it all") at the time of their release; he preferred Connery overall but was OK with Connery being replaced since he was getting too old for the role, and thought that Moore improved between the two movies (both reviews can be found at Mises.org's Libertarian Forum archives).

    It's also funny, from a libertarian standpoint, that the villain's big scheme in Live and Let Die is a classic predatory pricing strategy, with the idea that undercutting the competition by giving away drugs would allow him to get a monopoly on the drug trade! He oughta read some Dominick Armentano...

    I also like Moore's willingness to poke fun at himself in his opinion of Die Another Day: "I thought it just went too far — and that's from me, the first Bond in space! Invisible cars and dodgy CGI footage? Please!"

  • ||

    Come on-put your personal feelings or a given actor and look at how the role was done,please! Roger Moore practically clowned his way through his Bond movies.He did not take the role seriously at all which is something George Lazenby DID do.Granted his skill acting left something to be desired,but he believed he was Bond,Sir Roger simply did not convince us he was Bond.

  • Greg||

    Say what you will about Roger Moore's campy portrayal of 007, but to say that Sean Connery did a sleepwalk through Thunderball is just silly. Sure, he may have dozed off a few times in Diamonds are Forever, but Thunderball was a top notch portrayal. And you really can't fault Roger Moore for doing what the script said! And don't even get me started on the flying car in The Man With the Golden Gun

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