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The best polo shirts — 14 tested
Polo shirts are possibly the most ubiquitous clothing item of the 21st century, undergoing a long journey from aspirational 1930s sportswear to becoming the default smart-casual option for millions of men. We’ve researched and tested 14 of the best polo shirts and think that the best polo is the Sunspel Riviera with its great fit, unique fabric and strong range of over twenty colours. If you’re looking for an elevated take on the polo then the John Smedley Adrian Polo is incredibly soft and will smarten up your wardrobe. Finally, if you’re on a budget the H&M Cotton Polo Shirt is a good quality take on the classic item at an affordable price point. The original garment as we know it was based on a design worn by French tennis star René Lacoste aka “the Crocodile” in the 1930s as a practical, flexible, comfortable sports shirt. Unfortunately, from the 1980s onwards, creeping “casual Friday” dress codes made the polo shirt with badly fitting chinos an American business-standard. Later, it was the uniform of golfers and delivery drivers, security guards, and coffee chain staff not to mention the sometime uniform of the American far-right, in almost a parody of conformity. What saves the polo shirt from fashion irrelevance is its potential for reinvention. Its been reclaimed by subcultures ranging from punks to skinheads and mods. As the tie disappears and the suit becomes increasingly relaxed, the polo shirt has become a place to experiment with shirting alternatives and continues its long tradition of reinvention, molding itself to the zeitgeist. For our review we tried to cover this range, from semi-activewear to knit-fabric classics to find the best polo shirt overall, looking as always at specialists who’ve produced these styles year after year in an attempt to find an ideal.
Sunspel Riviera Polo With a smart fit, retro-inspired basket weave fabric, and a huge range of tasteful colours, the Riviera is on its way to becoming a contemporary classic. $105
The Riveria was introduced by Sunspel in 2006 after a design by Linda Hemmings for the James Bond film Casino Royale. The Riviera became something of an instant classic for a brand which up until then had been known largely for its undergarments. The references here (as the name suggests) are much more Talented Mr.Ripley than contemporary sportswear but it doesn’t feel like a period piece either. There has been some clever thought put into taking the best of that golden era and updating it. The fabric has a looser, wider weave than most piqué polos, and a nice spongy texture with none of the coarseness that some piqué can have. After researching I found that the brand created the fabric with a vintage lace making machine in Sunspel’s HQ in Nottingham, and none of the competition I tried have a similar quality. The fit is trim but not overly slim. The sleeves fall flatteringly halfway down the bicep, the length is standard and it has the classic split tail. The sleeves didn’t pull up into my armpits and I still had movement through the body. The collar is a fairly small point collar that sits well when buttoned up but also folds down easily into a camp collar shape when undone which allowed it to be worn cleanly both ways. The buttons are a discreet tonal plastic and the placket is a simple 2‑button design. I’m a fan of the pocket design though in a practical sense it’s not good for much and makes the shirt much more of a casual style. Colours are another area where Sunspel gets it just right. They always have a strong seasonal palette which this year covers 20 options including a deep chocolate brown (seen above) an intense Yves Klein blue and a great brick red. Compared to their competitor’s depressingly basic ranges of pastels and neons, this quiet tastefulness is refreshing and it means that season to season it will be easy to update your wardrobe with some new additions. Through washing and wearing over a number of weeks, I noticed no noticeable shrinkage or discolouring and the fabric kept its softness (which wasn’t always the case, especially if a garment has been chemically softened). I also kept an eye out for loose threads and buttons but found no faults. Which brings us to the final question of value. Polo shirts are an interesting category in this sense as they are so tied up to a certain idea of aspirational dressing — and priced accordingly. Our testing found that the general quality and feel of a £10 polo from H&M didn’t massively improve when compared to its £80 Lacoste equivalent. But that’s to ignore the fact that you are paying for what that £80 polo says about you, what it represents in our culture, and the semiotics of that logo — a francophile or a football causal, a preppy or a punk. That said, if you’re like me and the branded polos aren’t your niche but you want something that feels premium, then, for the cost, you will have a beautifully fabricated, European-made polo shirt of notably better quality than its competitors in the same price bracket and that’s enough for us to award it the top spot.
The downsides for the Riviera really come down to preference. I could imagine if you want a more classic fitting polo you may find it too slim or if you want one without a pocket that could turn you off. But as for the construction of the shirt itself or its fabric I couldn’t find any faults. Even the plastic buttons which might in other brands seem like a cost-saving measure feels more like a thoughtful design choice. It’s also more sportswear-adjacent than actual sportswear, but that feels like a quibble and true of any of the major polo brands at this point.
John Smedley Adrian Polo Made from incredibly soft sea island cotton, this knitted polo is perfect if you want a softer, more formal style of polo. $298
The Adrian Polo from John Smedley comes a close second to the Sunspel Riviera. The main attraction is the sea island cotton fabric which is incredibly soft with the best hand feel of any polo I reviewed. The placket length and knitted collar means it feels much more like the elegant mid-century polo shirt than something that would be mistaken for a 21st-century corporate uniform, albeit with some nice updates that make it feel more contemporary than other knitted polos. Smedley is to fine knitwear what Burberry is to trench coats, or John Lobb is to shoes and considered to be the best in the world in the category (it’s where the Queen gets her knitwear). The Adrian genuinely felt like a luxury. Everything from the feel of the fabric to the way it fitted just right with substantial ribbing on the waist and sleeves (near the bottom of the bicep) with just the right amount of tension spoke to the care and attention that had gone into making it. It’s also versatile, working just as well under the lapels of my suit when I got married a few weeks ago as it did in our 35 degree London heatwave when worn with a pair of shorts although, it is a bit too formal to work with tracksuit bottoms. Out of all the styles I reviewed it felt much more like a smart option. What the Adrian definitely isn’t on the other hand is a piece of grab-and-go sportswear that can be washed and thrown on like a t‑shirt or folded up at the bottom of your bag for destination holiday. I found myself hand-washing the delicate fabric to avoid rips and the collar, though it stands well, needs shaping with an iron after washing. Like a lot of luxury items, it’s delicate and requires a bit more care and attention than most and at £145 it’s not quite affordable enough to be a staple. That’s not saying it’s bad value necessarily, you can see the care and attention that was put into it and it’s UK manufactured but it’s probably not what most people are looking for when it comes to an everyday polo shirt, and those not quite the all-rounder that could hold the top spot. If you’re more likely to wear smart trousers than jeans and prefer a knit jumper to a hoodie then this is the polo for you.
H&M Cotton Polo Shirt A great price paired with good fabrication and quality, the H&M polo offers the best value for money with their straightforward take on the classic polo shirt. $12.99
If you’re unconcerned with logos and just want a classic polo shirt as a wardrobe staple you could do a lot worse than the H&M Cotton Polo Shirt. The piqué is soft and drapes well, the fit is classic, and straight (though as is often the case with H&M group, a bit long for me). In a blind test, I’m not sure I could tell the difference easily between this polo and the Lacoste L.12 which it’s clearly based it’s detailing on. And at £9.99 it’s extremely good value. Ethical clothing site Good on You’s review gives the brand an “It’s a start” rating for it’s environmental and ethical credentials noting that it’s environmental record is consistently improving while some issues with it’s supply chain labor remain.
What to look for
Range of colours: More than most sportswear, polo shirts are about colour, and we wanted our staple pick to have a good range of quality seasonal colours. Flexibility: We wanted a Polo that looked good with a range of clothing from the formal to the ultra-casual (a pair of shorts or sweats) Fabric: Has to work well in the heat, for most people a polo is a summer item and anything too heavy or coarse wasn’t going to cut it for us, we tried a range of synthetics and cottons of different qualities. Fit: Piqué and knitted cotton are unforgiving fabrics so having a good fit is key to making a polo shirt work. Collar: Does it stand up well, does it look okay when unbuttoned? is it easy to fold down or does it look sloppy. Length: Long enough to wear tucked in but not long enough to look sloppy on its own. Sleeves: We wanted the sleeve length to flatter the bicep but not ride up too high into the armpits, we also wanted easy movement as you’d expect from sportswear. Easy Care: The best polos, like all good sportswear, should be easy to wash and care for. Aesthetics: We wanted a polo that was more than a billboard for logo’s or an anonymous boxy t‑shirt alternative, the best would have a strong aesthetic quality.
The Fred Perry M12 & M3's are the most solidly constructed of all the branded polos I tried, and I was particularly keen on the thick ribbing on the sleeves and collar and the wide, reinforced placket. The collar had a slightly wider spread than most and which I found more flattering. The fit is trimmer than Lacoste and the hem is square so overall it has a neater, less sporty look. It's also nice that it's been continuously made in the UK since its introduction in the 1950s. The M12's aesthetic with its twin tips on the collar and sleeves have deep roots in the mod, Britpop, punk and skinhead subcultures in the UK and it can be a bit overpowering if you're looking for something more casual, but I love the simplicity of the M3's laurel crest and it has the same fit. Our favourite if you're looking for a logo. We ordered from Lacoste as they're the originators of the style. The Lacoste L.12.12 is their staple and comes in a huge range of colours. It's hard to judge it fairly as it seems to be the most duped of all polo styles—the Ralph Lauren polo is said to be a copy of their pre-60s model after the designer was disappointed with the synthetic blend polos they produced in the 70s. It has a straight fit, flattering sleeve and fairly flat collar. The fabric is softer than most piques and the split tail is nice but there is nothing particularly stand out, though the mother of pearl buttons are a nice touch. In terms of transparency, they were probably the most disappointing of the branded styles as there was absolutely no place of origin for manufacture, not even a "made in" on their label (though I believe they are produced in Peru). The Lacoste Paris Polo Shirt is their more contemporary update to the classic style and it features a slightly smaller collar, a bit of elastane in the fabric (6%) and a longer, narrower hidden placket and tonal crocodile patch. It's an interesting update, but if you're going for something so subtle I'm not sure why you wouldn't go for something completely unbranded. The Ralph Lauren Classic Fit Mesh Polo Shirt was an interesting variant. Its piqué was solid and soft feeling, It had a really thick placket and nice mother of pearl buttons, but it was largely indistinguishable from the Lacoste L.12 and its dupe status makes sense. It has a slightly lower stepped hem and a surpassingly slim fit for a "classic" style. It comes in a huge range of colours (some pretty dubious) and is the most expensive of the branded options we tried, coming in at £85. It's also shorter than most of the polos we tried so could be a good option for smaller guys. Kent Wang is one of menswear's best-kept secrets and we're a big fan of the Kent Want polo shirt. It splits the difference nicely between the more casual sportswear elements and smarter styles like the Adrian with thick quality pique, mother of pearl buttons and a high spread collar designed to look good under a suit jacket or jumper. If you want something with the formality of the Smedley and the easy-care of a classic polo then this is probably your best option and it has some of the most tasteful colours of any brand we reviewed (as well as a wide range of long sleeve options). It should be noted that the fit is quite slim and it's worth sizing up. The Uniqlo Airism Jersey Polo is sleek and technical without seeming dorky. It kept me from sticking to the sofa when the heat in London got to a high of 35°C (95°F). It would be the ideal choice for a warm-weather tech enthusiast and looked pretty cool and sleek worn with my black running shorts. The other Uniqlo style I tried was the Uniqlo DRY PIQUE polo, which I was less of a fan of. It was fine but not particularly interesting fit wise and has a slightly coarse plastic-y feel to the fabric. I tried ASKET's Pique Polo and while it has the brands great fit range (you can choose the length from small to large) was a disappointment overall. The piqué was soft and mercerized but also the most transparent of all the ones we tested which meant nipples showed through. The collar was strangely floppy and unstructured so looked messy when buttoned up but also had trouble sitting flat when opened and the placket looked visually off centre. As usual with the brand, the environmental and social tracing is excellent and I hope they can perfect the style. Finally, I also gave the H&M COOLMAX Polo a try and while I might appreciate it if I lived in a much warmer country, the texture just suffered in comparison to the pure cotton pique of their standard polo. This is a new guide from Typical Contents, the “wirecutter for clothes”. It’s by the team behind Epochs, a now defunct menswear blog. *We’re reviewing categories of clothing in hopes of finding the best item(s) in that category. All items tested in this guide were purchased with our own money. This post does not contain affiliate links. Check out our previous guides on boxer briefs, plain t-shirts, low top canvas trainers, and summer socks.
Prince Rainier III (1923-2005) Rainier’s mother, Princess Charlotte, was actually illegitimate. Her father Louis II, getting older and with no legitimate children, legitimized her and made her his heir. She never took the throne, and in fact renounced her rights to her son, Rainier, the day before his 21st birthday. Rainier became the Sovereign Prince of Monaco upon the death of his grandfather in 1949. During WW2, Rainier served in the Free French Army. During the 40s and 50s he was in a long term relationship with the French film actress Gisele Pascal. Rainier’s sister, Princess Antoinette, wanted her own son to ascend to the throne, and spread rumors that Pascal was infertile. The rumors along with her treatment by the press and public ended their relationship. After the war Monaco, a country who made its money primarily as a gambling origin, was in crisis as wealthy Europeans found their funds diminished after the war. To restore Monaco’s treasury Rainier decided to promote Monaco as a tax haven, and he personally took control of SBM (the company who owns the Monte Carlo Casino, Opera, and Hostel de Paris) in 1964. Prince Albert still retains a large share of the company and profits from it today. Marriage: Everyone knows this one. Rainier married American film star Grace Kelly in 1956. Their marriage is rumored to have been turbulent. It is said that Grace struggled with adjusting to royal life, regretted ending her film career, and that Rainier had extramarital affairs. Her children have stated that though she was a loving mother, they spent more time with nannies than with their parents. Grace's dress is iconic, but here you go if you want to revisit some photos from that day. Rainier smoked up to 60 cigarettes per day, and in the last years of his life his health steadily declined. On March 8th, 2005 he entered the hospital for a lung infection and by the end of the month he was on a ventilator suffering from renal and heart failure. On March 31st he officially announced his son Albert, as regent, and on April 6th he died. The Constitution Monaco’s constitution stated that Monaco is a constitutional monarchy ruled by the hereditary princes of the Grimaldi. If the reigning prince were to die without leaving a male heir, Monaco, according to the treaty, would be incorporated into France. In 2002, realizing he had a 43 year old bachelor son, Rainier amended the constitution to allow the crown to pass to his daughters should Albert not marry. Grace, Princess of Monaco (1929-1982) Grace was born in Philadelphia to an affluent and influential family. Her father was an Olympian and a Democratic nominee for Mayor of Philadelphia and was appointed by President Roosevelt as National Director of Physical Fitness. Her mother taught physical education at the University of Pennsylvania and coached women’s athletics at Penn. Her Uncle, George Kelly, was a Pulitzer prize winning dramatist, screenwriter, and director and used his influence to gain Grace admission to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Grace became one of the biggest movie stars of her generation. In 1955 she was sent to the Cannes Film Festival and invited to appear in photos with Prince Rainier. After a year-long courtship, they were married in 1956. Grace was not allowed to continue her acting career after her marriage. She instead devoted herself to her role as Princess, become heavily involved with the Red Cross of Monaco and the Rainbow Children Coalition. On September 13, 1982, Kelly was driving back to Monaco after spending time at her country home. During the drive she had a stroke, lost control of her vehicle, and drove off the mountainside. She died a day later. An article on their relationship Prince Albert II (b. 1958) Prince Albert is one of the wealthiest royals in the world with a net worth at more than $1B. He attended Amherst College in Massachusetts, studying political science, economics, music, and English literature, and completed his education with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He toured Europe in 1979 as part of the Amherst College Glee Club. Albert competed in the bobsleigh for five consecutive Winter Olympics on behalf of Monaco, and was their flag bearer at the 1988, 1994, and 1998 Olympics. He is also a judo black belt. He became Prince of Monaco when his father died in 2005. Marriage: Prior to his marriage his status as a bachelor was a hot topic of discussion. He was known to date well-known fashion models and actresses, however at age 53 had never married. It was rumored that Albert was gay, something he expressed great frustration with in the press. In 2006 he attended the opening ceremony of the Torino Olympics with South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock. They were engaged in 2010, and married in 2011. There are rumors that Charlene tried to flee the country the day before their wedding. It is reported that the future bride, after discovering Albert may have fathered yet another child during their relationship, attempted to flee as many as three times before their wedding, however was always intercepted at the airport. It is also said she attempted to seek refuge at the South African embassy, and that officials in Monaco ended up hiding her passport so she could not leave the country. Moreover, during their wedding, Charlene openly cried at parts, and Prince Albert was caught on camera begging her to kiss him. Honestly, she looked pretty miserable the whole time. The palace has denied all of these claims. During their honeymoon, they stayed in separate hotels Here's everything you ever needed to know about their wedding Watch it Prince Albert is passionate about the environment and an avid sportsman. Prince Albert speaks French, English, German, and Italian. He speaks English with basically no accent thanks to his American mother. Illegitimate Children In 2005, the day before Prince Rainier died, Albert publicly acknowledged he had fathered a son out of wedlock. In 2006, he confirmed he had also fathered a daughter. These children were barred from the line of inheritance because of a 2002 constitutional amendment requiring an heir’s parents to be married. Alexandre (b. 2003) Alexandre’s mother (Nicole Coste) was a flight attendant for Air France and met Prince Albert when he was a passenger on a flight. He asked for her number, the beginning of a years-long affair. The relationship ended at the insistence of Prince Rainier. Albert visited Alexandre and Nicole often, however when he refused to acknowledge Alexandre publicly, Nicole sold an interview and pictures to the media. Albert was in mourning for his father and made no public comment, but later did acknowledge paternity. Alexandre and Nicole live in France at an estate given to them by Albert. Jazmin (b. 1992) Jazmin’s mother, Tamara, met Albert while working as a waitress. Albert knew of Jazmin and visited her, however did not acknowledge her publicly until she was in high school to protect her identity. In 2006 the French magazine Voici published photographs of Jazmin and her mother on a visit to Monaco, outing her as Albert’s daughter. She has attended events with Albert and Charlene, and is listed as a sponsor for her father’s royal foundation. An interview with Jazmin Princess Charlene (b. 1978) Born in Zimbabwe, Charlene’s family relocated to South Africa in 1989. She represented South Africa at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, finished fifth in the 4x100 meter relay. Albert and Charlene met at the Mare Nostrum swimming competition in Monaco in 2000, however were not seen together until 2006. Charlene converted to Roman Catholicism for her wedding, and has learned French and Monegasque after her move to Monaco. She is an ambassador for the Special Olympics, patron of the South African Red Cross, and is passionate about sport. In recent news, she completed “the crossing” water bike challenge, a 180 kilometer water bike race for charity. An interview with Charlene and Albert on the 1st birthday of their twins Albert and Charlene have 2 children: Hereditary Prince Jacques *twin* (b. 2014) Princess Gabriella *twin* (b. 2014) Gabriella was born 2 minutes before her brother, however because of the constitution her brother will inherit the throne. They are super sweet together and you see them at events often. Princess Caroline of Hanover (b. 1957) Caroline is the eldest child of Rainier and Grace Kelly, however because of the constitution her brother, Albert, sits on the throne of Monaco. She served as de facto first lady of Monaco until the marriage of Albert and Charlene. Until the birth of her niece and nephew she was heir presumptive to the throne, although she had only held that title since 2005 after the change of the constitution to include female heirs. Caroline received her French baccalaureat in 1974, and received a degree in Philosophy from Sorbonne University. She is fluent in French, English, Spanish, German, and Italian. Her hobbies include horseback riding, swimming, and skiing. Marriages:
Marriage 1: Philippe Junot
Married Phillippe, a Parisian banker, in 1978. The couple divorced in 1980 with no children.
Marriage 2: Stefano Casiraghi
Married Stefano in 1983, the sportsman heir to an Italian industrial fortune. The two had to marry in a civil ceremony rather than a religious ceremony because Caroline, a Catholic, was divorced. Caroline was 3 months pregnant at the time of their wedding. They have three children:
Note: The Casiraghi’s are all very beautiful and very fashionable but I don’t want to go much into them here because they are so far down the line of succession. They’re fun to follow for their fashion if you have the time to check them out.
Marriage 3: Prince Ernst August of Hanover
Married Ernst August, a Prince, in 1999. They have one daughter, Princess Alexandra. Caroline is thus a Princess twice-over, through her family and through her husband. She and Ernst August have been separated since 2009 however are still legally married, thus she retains the title of Princess Caroline of Hanover. Read about all of her weddings here See her speaking in English around 12:00 here Princess Stephanie (b. 1965) Stephanie was in the vehicle with her mother when Grace died. She suffered a fracture of the neck. She has studied classical dance and piano, and competed in gymnastics and horse riding. She interned at Christian Dior and debuted as a model in 1984. She has a swimwear and perfume line, and owns cafes and stores in both Monaco and Barcelona. She also has sold more than 2 million copies of her song, Ouragan, and sold 1.5M copies of her album Besoin. She recorded “In the Closet” with Michael Jackson, however is listed as “mystery girl” in the credits. Marriages/Relationships:
Marriage 1: Daniel Ducruet
Stephanie married her former body guard, Daniel Ducruet, in 1995. When Rainier learned of their relationship Daniel was not only still his employee, but had a pregnant girlfriend too. Stephanie gave birth to their two children “out of wedlock” because Rainier refused to grant permission for them to marry, however eventually relented. The two divorced a year later after Ducruet was photographed naked with a stripper. Read more They have two children:
Stephanie met elephant trainer (yeah, you read that right) when she presented him with the award for “best animal tamer” at the Monaco Circus Festival in 1997. Franco, a decade older than Stephanie, was married with two children at the time. Franco left his family for Stephanie, moving her and her three children into his circus caravan in Zurich. Marrying in 2001, their relationship lasted 18 months until their divorce. An interview with Stephanie in English in 1990 Why is he a Prince and not a King? From vogue: It goes back deep into the history of Monaco. Monaco has always been a tiny nation, and, for protection, allied itself with (or, at some points, was flat-out annexed by) big powerful countries, with big powerful rulers—aka kingdoms, or, a nation ruled by a king or queen. So Monaco’s rulers styled themselves as prince and princess. That, by definition, made the nation a principality, or one ruled by prince or princess. Regardless, Albert actually plays a bigger role in the day to day operations of the country than most of his European peers. Legislative power is divided between the Prince who initiates the laws, and the National Council who votes on them. Executive power is retained by the Prince, and he has full judiciary powers. Jewels See their tiara collection I think the Ocean Tiara, gifted to Charlene for her wedding, is particularly interesting. You either love it or you hate it. The Grimaldi Curse What do you think?
Best run in terms of anything Stanley Kubrick: Lolita, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Spartacus, and Dr. Strangelove. Robert Wise: The Sound of Music, West Side Story, The Sand Pebbles, The Haunting, Two for the Seesaw, and Star!. Jean Luc Godard: Breathless, Contempt, My Life to Live, Two or Three Things I Know About Her, Pierrot le Fou, Bande à part, A Woman Is a Woman, Le petit soldat, The Carabineers, A Married Woman, Alphaville, Made in U.S.A, Masculin Féminin, La Chinoise, Weekend, One Plus One, Joy of Learning, A Film Like Any Other, and British Sounds. David Lean: Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago Francois Truffaut: Stolen Kisses, Antoine and Colette, Shoot the Piano Player, Jules and Jim, The Soft Skin, Fahrenheit 451, The Bride Wore Black, and Mississippi Mermaid. Alfred Hitchcock: Psycho, The Birds, Topaz, Marnie, and Torn Curtain. Billy Wilder: The Apartment, Irma la Douce, The Fortune Cookie, One, Two, Three, and Kiss Me, Stupid. Federico Fellini: 8 1/2, La Dolce Vita, Juliet of the Spirits, Satyricon, Spirits of the Dead, and Boccaccio '70. Ingmar Bergman: Persona, Shame, Hour of the Wolf, The Passion of Anna, The Rite, All These Women, The Silence, Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, The Devil's Eye, and The Virgin Spring. Mike Nichols: The Graduate Teach me!, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Sidney Lumet: The Fugitive Kind, The Appointment, The Hill, The Deadly Affair, Fail Safe, Bye Bye Braverman, The Group, A View from the Bridge, The Pawnbroker, and Long Day's Journey into Night. Luchino Visconti: Rocco and His Brothers, The Damned, The Leopard, Sandra, and The Stranger. George Roy Hill: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hawaii, The World of Henry Orient, Period of Adjustment, and Toys in the Attic . Roman Polanski: Knife in the Water, Repulsion, Rosemary's Baby, The World's Most Beautiful Swindlers, and Cul-de-sac. John Huston: The Unforgiven, The Misfits, The Night of the Iguana, The List of Adrian Messenger, The Bible: In the Beginning..., Freud, Reflections in a Golden Eye, A Walk with Love and Death, Casino Royale, and Sinful Davey. Sergio Leone: The Dollars Trilogy, Once Upon a Time in the West, and The Colossus of Rhodes. Michelangelo Antonioni: Blowup, L'Avventura, L'Eclisse, La Notte, and Red Desert. John Ford: How the West Was Won, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Sergeant Rutledge, 7 Women, Cheyenne Autumn, Two Rode Together, and Donovan's Reef. Akira Kurosawa: Yojimbo, Red Beard, Sanjuro, The Bad Sleep Well, and High and Low. John Frankenheimer: Birdman of Alcatraz, The Manchurian Candidate, The Train, Seven Days in May, Seconds, Grand Prix, All Fall Down, The Fixer, The Young Savages, The Gypsy Moths, and The Extraordinary Seaman. Vittorio De Sica: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Woman Times Seven, Marriage Italian Style, After the Fox, Un monde nouveau, Il giudizio universale, The Condemned of Altona, and Two Women. Blake Edwards: Breakfast at Tiffany's, Days of Wine and Roses, The Party, The Great Race, A Shot in the Dark, High Time, Soldier in the Rain, Experiment in Terror, and The Pink Panther. John Sturges: The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, Ice Station Zebra, Marooned, Hour of the Gun, A Girl Named Tamiko, By Love Possessed, and Sergeants 3. Stanley Kramer: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Ship of Fools, Inherit the Wind, Judgment at Nuremberg, and The Secret of Santa Vittoria. Robert Aldrich: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte, The Flight of the Phoenix, The Dirty Dozen, The Killing of Sister George, The Last Sunset, 4 for Texas, and Sodom and Gomorrah. Mario Bava: The Girl Who Knew Too Much, Black Sunday, Kill, Baby, Kill, Hercules in the Haunted World, Knives of the, Erik the Conqueror Avenger, Danger: Diabolik, Black Sabbath, Blood and Black Lace, and Planet of the Vampires. Elia Kazan: Wild River, The Arrangement, America America, and Splendor in the Grass. Samuel Fuller: Shock Corridor, The Naked Kiss, Shark!, Underworld U.S.A., and Merrill's Marauders. Robert Bresson: Au hasard Balthazar, Mouchette, The Trial of Joan of Arc, and A Gentle Woman. Andrei Tarkovsky: Andrei Rublev and Ivan's Childhood. Sam Peckinpah: The Wild Bunch, Major Dundee, The Deadly Companions, and Ride the High Country. Yasujirō Ozu: Late Autumn, The End of Summer, and An Autumn Afternoon. Robert Altman: Countdown and That Cold Day in the Park. Francis Ford Coppola: Tonight for Sure, The Bellboy and the Playgirls, Dementia 13, You're a Big Boy Now, Finian's Rainbow, and The Rain People. Jean-Pierre Melville: Léon Morin, Priest, Army of Shadows, Le Samouraï, Magnet of Doom, Le Doulos, and Le deuxième Luis Buñuel: The Milky Way, Belle de Jour, Simon of the Desert, Diary of a Chambermaid, The Young One, The Exterminating Angel, and Viridiana. John Cassavetes : Faces, A Child Is Waiting, and Too Late Blues. Roberto Rossellini: The Taking of Power by Louis XIV, Uno sguardo dal ponte, Escape by Night, Garibaldi, Les Carabiniers, Vanina Vanini, Les Carabiniers, Anima nera, and Benito Mussolini. Pier Paolo Pasolini: Mamma Roma, The Gospel According to St. Matthew, Accattone, The Hawks and the Sparrows, Pigsty, Theorem, Oedipus Rex, and Medea. Howard Hawks: Man's Favorite Sport?, Red Line 7000, El Dodrado, and Hatari!. John Schlesinger: Darling, Midnight Cowboy, Far from the Madding Crowd, A Kind of Loving, and Billy Liar. Martin Ritt: Hud, Paris Blues, Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, The Outrage, Hombre, Five Branded Women, and The Brotherhood. Jack Clayton: The Innocents, The Pumpkin Eater, and Our Mother's House. Robert Mulligan: The Rat Race, The Great Impostor, The Spiral Road, To Kill a Mockingbird, Love with the Proper Stranger, Inside Daisy Clover, Baby the Rain Must Fall, Up the Down Staircase, and The Stalking Moon. Satyajit Ray: Nyak, Two, Teen Kanya, Kanchenjungha, Devi, Rabindranath Tagore, Abhijan, Mahanagar, Aranyer Din Ratri, Chiriyakhana, Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, Charulata, and Mahapurush. Tony Richardson: Tom Jones, The Entertainer, A Subject of Scandal and Concern, A Taste of Honey, Sanctuary, Hamlet, Red and Blue, Laughter in the Dark, The Loved One, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Mademoiselle, The Sailor from Gibraltar, The Charge of the Light Brigade, and Laughter in the Dark. Bryan Forbes: Séance on a Wet Afternoon,Whistle Down the Wind, King Rat,The L-Shaped Room, Deadfall, The Wrong Box, The Whisperers, and The Madwoman of Chaillot. Richard Brooks: Elmer Gantry, In Cold Blood, The Happy Ending, Sweet Bird of Youth, Lord Jim, and The Professionals. Claude Chabrol: Les Biches, The Unfaithful Wife, The Champagne Murders, Les Bonnes Femmes, Wise Guys, The Third Lover, Landru, Ophélia, Le Tigre aime la chair fraiche, Marie-Chantal contre le docteur Kha, Our Agent Tiger, The Road to Corinth, and This Man Must Die. Mario Monicelli: The Passionate Thief, Casanova 70, Caprice Italian Style, The Girl with the Pistol, Organizer, L'armata Brancaleone, High Infidelity, and Sex Quartet. Norman Jewison: In the Heat of the Night, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Cincinnati Kid, The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, Gaily, Gaily, 40 Pounds of Trouble, The Thrill of It All, Send Me No Flowers, and The Art of Love. Gillo Pontecorvo: The Battle of Algiers, Burn!, and Paras. Ken Russell: Song of Summer, French Dressing, Women in Love, and Billion Dollar Brain Ken Loach: Kes and Poor Cow. Costa-Gavras:Z, Shock Troops, and The Sleeping Car Murders Jacques Demy: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Young Girls of Rochefort, Lola, Bay of Angels, and Model Shop. Carol Reed: Oliver!, The Running Man, and The Agony and the Ecstasy. Fred Zinnemann: A Man for All Seasons, The Sundowners, and Behold a Pale Horse. Arthur Penn: The Chase, Alice's Restaurant, Bonnie and Clyde, The Miracle Worker, and Mickey One. Agnes Varda: Cléo de 5 à 7, Le Bonheur, Lions from love, Les Créatures, and Loin du Vietnam. Masaki Kobayashi: Harakiri, Samurai Rebellion, The Inheritance, A Soldier's Prayer, Hymn to a Tired Man, and Kwaidan. Otto Preminger: Advise & Consent, Exodus, The Cardinal, Bunny Lake Is Missing, In Harm's Way, Skidoo, and Hurry Sundown. Stanley Donen: Charade, Two for the Road, The Grass Is Greener, Surprise Package, and Once More, with Feeling!. Nicholas Ray: The Savage Innocents, 55 Days at Peking, and King of Kings. Luis García Berlanga: Long Live the Bride and Groom, Three Fables of Love, The Executioner, Plácido, and La boutique. Walerian Borowczyk: Mr. and Mrs. Kabal's Theatre, Renaissance, and Goto, Island of Love. Karel Reisz: Isadora, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Night Must Fall, and Morgan – A Suitable Case for Treatment. Joseph Losey: Eva, The Criminal, The Damned, King and Country, The Servant, Boom!, Accident, Secret Ceremony, and Modesty Blaise. Mark Robson: Daddy's Gone A-Hunting, Von Ryan's Express, The Prize, Valley of the Dolls, The Inspector, Nine Hours to Rama, Lost Command, and From the Terrace. Richard Fleischer: Che!, Fantastic Voyage, The Big Gamble, Barabbas, The Boston Strangler, Doctor Dolittle, and Crack in the Mirror,
Daniel Craig’s debut – Casino Royale – has always been my favorite Bond film. We have the best lead actor, actress, and villain performances of his era (sorry, Silva), and a script that stays true to the original while reestablishing the original character after several increasingly silly films. However, what is probably my second favorite Bond film – Licence To Kill – also manages to stay true to the character while also providing some of the best thrills in the franchise. Timothy Dalton is in top form with this film. It is hard to tell which of his two performances is superior; this film was tailored towards his interpretation, which gives it a slight edge over his debut performance. His darker portrayal of the character gets criticism, but I think his staying true to Bond’s roots works in his favor. Carey Lowell is fine as Pam Bouvier. She may be no Pussy Galore or Tracy Bond, but she is definitely better than most of the other Bond girls from the preceding films, with the exception of Melina Havelock. Talisa Soto is not the best actor, but she does good enough as Lupe Lamora. Robert Davi is fantastic as Sanchez. He is more charismatic than Dalton’s moodier Bond, and the comparisons between the two is similar to Bond and Scaramanga. The two even dress similarly in several scenes to highlight this. Benicio Del Toro is also memorable as Dario, thanks to his psychotic nature. Desmond Llewelyn's largest role as Q is a highlight of the film and adds some much needed humor to a darker film. The plot makes use of elements from Live and Let Die and The Hildebrand Rarity, a short story from For Your Eyes Only. The film has received criticism for lacking a Bondian film and for making use of eighties tropes such as a drug lord as a villain and a rogue hero. However, the film tailors these tropes to the Bond style so successfully that I disagree with the lack of a Bond feeling. The sets are not the best in the franchise and like the other eighties films, has a cheap feel to it thanks to Moonraker’s high budget. However, I would argue that this film feels more Bondian than A View to A Kill due to its use of elements from the novels, as well as the creative action scenes. As I have said before, John Glen was at his best when directing action scenes and this film has some of the best in the franchise. The pre-title sequence racks up the tension before triumphantly playing the Bond theme as Bond goes fishing; the “water-skiing without skis” scene is as Bondian as they get; and the climactic tanker chase is easily my favorite finale to a Bond film. The bar and ninja scenes get criticized for being out of place in an otherwise serious film, but I do not think they hurt the film as bad as the sillier scenes from Octopussy do. Michael Kamen’s distinctly “eighties action movie” score is another source of contention for the film. I had watched Road House recently, which was also composed by Michael Kamen, and noticed some similarity in instruments between films. However, the frequent use of the Bond theme makes up for the rather generic score. I think the score fits the film and the experience is enhanced thanks to it, but the score is not as listenable on its own. Gladys Knight's theme is fantastic and definitely overlooked. "If You Asked Me Too" is a fitting sendoff for the eighties era, and perhaps the classic era, with the Brosnan and Craig films having different crews and being post Cold War films. In terms of tone, the film is the darkest yet. The more gruesome scenes are a bit hard to watch for some, but they bring back some of the nastiness Bond had lost in the increasingly sanitized films. Bond is also shown as a bit unhinged in this film. Like in Goldfinger, he makes mistakes, but this film really emphasizes how reckless Bond is. A great aspect to this is that Bond probably snapped from reliving something similar to Tracy’s own death. He might have felt that Sanchez deserved a worse death than falling down a chimney. Licence To Kill may feel like too much of an attempt to veer away from the campier Moore films, but it was going to happen eventually. The Bond films always had violent deaths, but this one lacked the campier elements that distracted audiences from them. For Your Eyes Only set the precedent for a more realistic, faithful to the source material Bond film, but Octopussy brought back the camp and A View to A Kill tried too hard to appeal to the MTV era, ultimately feeling less like a Bond film. The Living Daylights was a more serious film, but it was written with no specific Bond in mind. Licence To Kill was made with Dalton in mind and committed more than its predecessors did in creating a film that personified the novels. From Russia With Love has one of the best casts and plots in the franchise. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is the best directed and scored Bond film, and certainly classier than Dalton’s films. The Spy Who Loved Me takes the cinematic elements of Bond and brings it up to eleven, delivering a product that manages to thrill without veering too far into the excesses of the other Moore films. However, Licence To Kill is paced perfectly, has a strong plot, and some of the best action scenes in the franchise. As a result, it is my second favorite Bond film.
Resident Evil "battle royal" game idea/suggestion?
Hello everyone ! First post here - I don't know where to post this, so I hope it will be welcomed here. So I heard about the possibility for a "Battle Royal" themed on R.E. and the few of reactions I witnessed about it were pretty negative - and I could agree as R.E. isn't well known for its PvP content... But I think I have an idea for something that people could enjoy - with originality, re-playability, difficulty and keeping a game close to events happening in the R.E. universe (based on the last "remake" version of the games). So, let me start: - date & place : 2X september 1998 ; Racoon City - Casino-Hotel Yes, "again Racoon City"; but this time you won't live the last days of the event, but one of the hot-spot at the begining of the outbreak. Umbrella, to test the virus on a bigger scale, tried different methods to spread it in the City. One of them was to infect a good number of patient within the City to release them all at once. The Casino-Hotel, was selected. Opening a good number of events, the building-complex is currently hosting hundreds of people. The Casino-Hotel: An impressive complex, with several floors of apartments, a great looking casino, a party-room (which is today for a wedding) and an opera-theater. There is also a specific floor for the security & direction of the Hotel; an underground facility & hidden corridors for the maintenance. - players : 2 to 20-ish? Each player wil incarne a random NPC - like this, no one is supposed to recognize who is a player or not at first glance. Everyone start in their appartment (1 playeroom); equiped with a combat-knife (no durability), on ordinary map of the hotel (no indication of back-doors, restricted areas). But there is still some customisation possible: the dressing allows you to change your clothings to hide better on some areas (tuxedo; tourist outfit; ...). - objectives : (1) survive the event (duh) - (2) escape by completing one of the multiple-routes. Once the game start, the phone in your room will ring : if you are new / beginer or want informations as a reminder, you will use it. The HUD will show you 3 main faction-quests - you can choose to "select" one (the quest will remain apparent on your HUD) or not. But here's the twist : accepted or not - you can choose to stick with this faction, or to betray it! The factions: (1) Umbrella's agency - find the spreading devices (2-3 existing on the map); select a way to use it (different possibilities as water-tanks (infect apartments & lodges) & fire sprinkler systems (infect a specific room)); once you get a critical number of infected : rendez-vous at the rooftop for extraction by helicopter (2) RCPD - find clues of Umbrella's terrorist activity; try to catch the devices or to sabotage Umbrella's agents; as the virus will spread anyway (slowly or quickly depending on players' actions) : call the RCPD to quarantine the buildings & for extraction (a timer will be set and you need to defend the exit that some Players will try to open. (3) Mercenaries - your objectives are to get a sample of the virus, steal Umbrella's document and use all the chaos made to exit (the underground should be the best bet) - working alone or in group, you are without any assistances from the outside. Remember: whether you succeed or not at your quests, the Casino-Hotel will fall to the virus. Gameplay: If people didn't formed a squad before the game, you start as a lone-wolf without any indication if your neighbor is a player, or not, and what could be its faction/intentions. Some areas are overcrowded (and with a type of outfit; wedding-hall = tuxedo), for you to hide, infect. In the first part of the game: all players want to get to restricted areas; and you decide your strategy : open-violence, taking a Casino's security outfit, stealing a key or simply following an other Player doing the dirty work for you. If you succeed to sneak behind someone, you could have a special 1vs1 melee interaction : during the animation, you will have to smash some buttons to execute the performance. But if you are on the defensive position, it isn't an insta-kill as you will have yourself an interaction to resist. Sadly for both of the player struggling : the animation could be stopped by a third-party, killing one or both. => this sneak-attack will then play a lot in the first stage of the game, but could also create epic moments. For the gun-gameplay: not much to say. All Casino's security is equiped with stun-gun, or 9mm pistol; some rare Hotel's clients could also have a weapon on them / or apartment; the security-floor is also well-equiped and a secret cache in the underground could provide Hunk's style of equipment. Add to that: you should have the ability to barricade doors; sabotage elevators to stop the Players & Zombies, but it would only slow things down (for them to get in, or you to get out...). End result: who win? First - the ones who survived ; then you get a result for each Faction's accomplishments: if you're route is linked to the ranked #1 one, you get a bonus in your Total Score. My guess on the Time per Mission : between 20min to 40min? Rewards: you should be able to buy with your scores, additionnal clothes, custom appearances for your weapons -------------------- tl;dr : a 3rd person-shooter, on a big Hotel-Casino map; playing like a spy-game at first, you end-up fighting for your survival while innocents are trapped and become part of a zombie-crowd. Help, make alliance, or use & betray other players to get a better score. Hope you had a good read at my engrish and that you like my idea/concept.
Casino Royale: Why It Worked (Retrospective on the Franchise)
One of the most critically acclaimed Bond films. It truly revived the franchise in a way that it had not been since the Connery days and while I strongly disagree with the comments about Craig being the best Bond since Connery, he debuted under the best circumstances. Casino Royale gets a lot of praise from the media for being “different” from other films while some fans deride it for the same reason, calling Daniel Craig’s Bond an emotionless thug. The latter group is somewhat correct, if referring to Quantum of Solace. The former group, is a bit overblown in their praise, forgetting that changing too many things could run the risk of losing what made something great in the first place, which happened in some areas with Craig’s subsequent films. In my opinion, however, Casino Royale is not a “deconstruction” of the Bond films that stripped back the gadgets, girls, and humor that defined the films, but a reconstruction that stayed true to the original novels and simply improved upon the many great things its predecessor did while getting rid of the fluff. Looking back, Connery started out perfectly in his first two films. He added his own charm and wit to the original character, making for a perfect lead actor while keeping the more dubious aspects of the character. Unfortunately, Goldfinger marked the beginning of Bond becoming a caricature, a perfectly dressed gentleman who saved the day as effortlessly as he displayed charisma. While some of the original Connery returned in Thunderball, his last two films doubled down on Goldfinger’s success and felt like a pale shadow of his former self. George Lazenby, despite only appearing in one film, managed to remain unobscured because he appeared in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, a crowning moment for the franchise that stripped back the gadgets, girls (kind of), and humor. Rather strange, considering Casino Royale was adored for doing the same thing, but gets a better reception from audiences (critics and fans have given Lazenby’s film its due for decades now). Roger Moore, despite the silliness of his films and the decreasing credibility the franchise had because of his age as the films progressed, deserves credit for allowing the films to develop differently rather than just copying the Connery films. Moore could never compete with Connery’s rugged macho persona and instead became more suave and gentlemanly, with even more emphasis on the humor. The franchise had been heading down a path where the films could not be taken seriously and Moore allowed them to embrace it. Say what you want about films like Moonraker, but that was the direction the producers wanted to take and much of how one perceives it is based on how silly or serious they want their Bond films to be, a testament to how Moore allowed the films to vary in tone. For Your Eyes Only, despite not being a particularly strong film in my opinion, stripped back the gadgets, girls, and humor (kind of). Casino Royale gets praise for being more realistic and grounded than Die Another Day, but For Your Eyes Only did the same after Moonraker, albeit to a lesser extent. Moore proved that he could still portray a more serious Bond and the result was one of his best outings. Unfortunately, the silliness still lingered and Bond faced competition from other heavy-hitters in the eighties. While I enjoy Octopussy and think A View To A Kill deserves to exist because of its awesome score and Christopher Walken, Moore should have left earlier. Timothy Dalton still remains underappreciated by critics and audiences (“Mainstream” media sites still rank his films in the twenties) despite having a cult following among fans. While I am not the most knowledgeable of the novels, I remember enough from the ones I read that Dalton fit the literary version almost perfectly and I still maintain that he is closer than even Craig or Connery to Fleming’s Bond. The Living Daylights and Licence To Kill are both extremely well-done films, that while suffering from a lackluster director far better at executing action than story and poor production values, managed to be the closest in spirit to Connery’s early films. It is rather unfair that Dalton is labelled the “proto-Craig” when he was closer to the novels, a bit too close. One area where Craig is superior to Dalton is the charisma. Dalton lacked the “it-factor” that his predecessors had and while he was not beholden to following what Connery started, the public perception about the larger-than-life Bond hurt his era. People began rejecting the caricature Bond had become with the Pierce Brosnan era, which had the worst scripts in my opinion. GoldenEye was a pop-culture hit and its legacy as the “only good Brosnan” film was aided by a video game that I would rather go back to than the film itself. It was a well-rounded out film, though I would argue that it is not one of the best since several others were less derivative and excelled in some areas more than it did. Brosnan’s era dropped in quality with films even more derivative than his debut, repeating GoldenEye’s mistake of ultimately wasting interesting plot-points in favor of falling back on the tried-and-true tropes. I still love Tomorrow Never Dies though. The end result was Die Another Day, which saw the producers in the same situation they found themselves in after Moonraker. They had to return to Bond’s roots, and for the first time in its history, truly delivered an almost flawless product that learned from everything the films had done. Some look back on the pre-Craig films and scoff at them, finding them too cheesy and not serious enough. However, quite a few Bond films were serious and faithful to the source material; they just happened not to do it as well as Casino Royale, with the exception of From Russia With Love, which is the closest in reception to it. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service suffered from a rather lackluster star, who despite the arguments from people such as myself who enjoyed his vulnerability compared to Connery and acting during the ending, hurt the reputation of a great film. For Your Eyes Only set the tone for the eighties films, but still had some of the Moore silliness. The Living Daylights and Licence To Kill also suffered from tonal issues, to a lower extent in my opinion. Dalton gave very committed performances, but the other members of the production were not quite as willing to commit to such a radical change and never went the extra mile like Casino Royale despite delivering two top tier Bond films. Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli finally realized that they had to give the character justice after they restricted Pierce Brosnan from reaching his full potential. The one-liners worked with Connery and Moore, but they did not with Dalton and Brosnan, showing a lack of confidence in their lead actors’ acting ability that they did not with Craig. Rebooting the franchise meant the producers could start a clean slate, take all the great things of the past twenty films, and put it in one film. I prefer Dalton overall, but Craig’s debut performance was the perfect combination of the literary and cinematic Bond. He retained the cold nature Dalton brought to the role while keeping some of the wit Connery brought into focus. Craig gets some praise for being more brutal with the bathroom opening frequently highlighted, but I think that it rather misses the point of the plot. Bond went from being a reckless, violent gunman to being a cold man who tries to hide it with charm and witty lines, closer in personality to the previous Bonds. It has even been brought up that Vesper influenced Bond’s dress style, going from wearing casual clothes to a three-piece suit in the ending. Bond holding the machine gun in such fancy clothes showed how far he had become since the prologue, no longer wearing his Oxford-styled suits with disdain. Even Craig’s hair, which is flat down throughout the film, is a bit sharper in the end, showing that Bond now puts more thought into the way he appears. Getting some input into the character also meant Craig had the freedom Dalton and Brosnan were unfortunately never afforded. Only Craig could have pulled off the torture scene. Connery and Moore were too untouchable; Lazenby and Brosnan were not the best when it came to dramatic scenes; Dalton lacked the humanity that made Craig more relatable, though their interpretations are two sides of the same coin. Casino Royale was inspired by the Bourne films and Batman Begins, but still feels very Bondian. The tropes Goldfinger introduced may be gone, but those from the novels and first two films remained. The film adds scenes set in the Bahamas, which reminds one of Dr. No and Thunderball. The Aston Martin DB5 returns, continuing the nostalgia for the Connery era which the producers had been milking since GoldenEye, and exacerbated in future Craig films. Bond’s characterization is also close to Connery’s first two films and Lazenby and Dalton’s films. The film does not feel like a complete departure from its predecessors, but more of a return to form. For me personally, I like the films like From Russia With Love and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which retain the cinematic Bond thrills while adding more depth to the plot and characters. Craig’s debut set the bar high and I think his follow-ups learned the wrong lessons from it. After being praised for departing from Bond’s roots, the writers went further and made a film that does not feel Bondian at times. Criticize Licence To Kill for being an eighties action film all you want, but the story felt more like classic Bond than most of its predecessors. While Quantum of Solace had great action, cinematography, interesting plot points (holding the water of a country ransom does not seem so funny now?) and had some parallels between Dalton and Craig (Dalton snaps and rejects MI6 to become a rogue agent hellbent on revenge, Craig never actively seeks revenge and despite the brutal moments he finds himself in, keeps his composure), it badly-edited and suffered from an undercooked script. On the other hand, Skyfall is a beautifully shot film that like GoldenEye, has a meandering plot focused on meta-commentary discussing Bond’s relevance. I would still put Skyfall in my top 10, but it is not as original or groundbreaking as the critics would have you think. Finally, Spectre repeated the same mistake the Brosnan films did: fall back on good old nostalgia. This time, the writers tried to fuse a Connery era plot with Craig’s darker aspects, making for a charmless bore with some really misguided intentions (Brofeld, anyone?). I eagerly await No Time To Die like everyone else and hope that it manages to end off the era of one of the best Bonds with a bang.
Book Rey Mysterio If He Never Joined WWE in 2018 - Part 2: Booyaka
Part 1 here In this part, we saw Rey Mysterio jump onto the scene of NJPW. He started off hot, taking on his two amigos in Jushin Thunder Liger and Hiroshi Tanahashi respectively. At King of Pro-Wrestling, he defeated Liger - but fell to The Ace in a match for his G1 Climax briefcase. He then won the IWGP United States Championship off of Cody to end his offspring of Bullet Club, and would embark on a title reign. He successfully defended against Bandido last time we saw him, and now he moves onto his next challenger. Book Rey Mysterio If He Never Joined WWE in 2018 - Part 2: Booyaka G1 Supercard: Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Tomohiro Ishii - IWGP United States Championship Rey Mysterio skips out on the New Japan Cup, and instead prepares for the G1 Supercard. It will be the biggest show NJPW have held in America, and since he’s the United States Champion he will be defending. Rey ventures off to GCW for Joey Janela’s Spring Break, taking part in the Clusterfuck as a surprise entrant. On Night Two, after Janela faces off with Jungle Boy - he calls out Rey to a match for a later date. Mysterio doesn’t respond, instead he’s in Madison Square Garden to face off against a New Japan semi-finalist, Tomohiro Ishii. He lost to Okada in the semis, and is angry. He wants to take his anger out on someone, and the IWGP United States Champion is his next victim. He fought in the inaugural title match but came up short to Kenny Omega, but now he has his chance to become the first Japanese man to hold it. After seeing Mayu Iwatani retain the Women of Honor Championship, we move to our next match - as Tomohiro Ishii walks out to a loud MSG pop. In the front row are Mysterio’s daughter, Aalyah and his wife. Then we see his son, Dominick, as a young lion at ringside. He got kicked in the head by Minoru Suzuki earlier so he’s just having a great time. They’re dad then enters out in the same gear he wore to the actual WrestleMania that weekend, as the villain “Mysterio” from Spider-Man Homecoming. He walks out with the gold Tomohiro lusts for, and rolls inside to pose with it on the second rope. The bell is rung and Mysterio goes to lock up - BUT ISHII GRABS HIM INTO A RELEASE GERMAN SUPLEX!! HE FOLLOWS WITH A BRIDGING GERMAN!! 1.........2.....KICK OUT BY REY REY!!! Mysterio is shocked at the sudden attack, and scurries up in the corner. ISHII GOES FOR A CLOTHESLINE BUT REY TURNS IT INTO A CRUCIFIX PIN!!! 1........ISHII KICKS OUT AND IS HIT BY A ROUNDHOUSE KICK!! REY WITH A HEADSCISSORS TAKEDOWN!! Rey regains and takes a moment to intake what’s happening, and GOES FOR A SHIRANUI!! ISHII COUNTERS WITH A SPIKE DDT!!! 1..............2..........KICK OUT INTO A POWERBOMB!!!! 1.............2..........TOMOHIRO LOCKS IN A BOSTON CRAB!! There is no escape for Mysterio from this rabid dog - who is hungry. Ishii locks in the hold and cinches it tighter. REY GOES TO FLIP HIM OUT, BUT ISHII GETS RIGHT BACK UP AND HITS HIM WITH A BOOT TO THE HEAD!! ISHII LIFTS HIM UP INTO A SNAP SUPLEX!! Tomohiro Ishii is now on the hunt, as he starts to unleash chops. OPEN HAND TO THE CHEST!! Rey falls to the mat, but is scooped back up into OVERHEAD CHOP!! Rey crumples to the mat again and starts to cough. ISHII THROWS HIM OUTSIDE INTO THE ARMS OF HIS SON!! ISHII THEN WITH A BIG BOOT ON THE FLOOR TO DOMINICK, AND THROWS HIM INTO THE APRON!! Ishii looks down at the fallen young boy - BUT IS THEN HIT BY A ENZIGURI FROM REY!!! MYSTERIO HITS A FRONT DROPKICK INTO THE RING POST!! HE THROWS HIM BACK INSIDE AND DIVES WITH A FROGSPLASH!!! 1.............2..........KICK OUT!!! ISHII ROLLS THROUGH AND LIFTS MYSTERIO UP INTO A VERTICAL SUPLEX!!! 1...........MYSTERIO GETS OUT!!! The crowd are going nuts at these two guys fighting spirit. ISHII GOES FOR A GERMAN SUPLEX, BUT REY FLIPS OUT AND HITS A HEADSCISSORS!! HE GOES FOR A 619 - BUT ISHII SPINS HIM TO THE OUTSIDE!! TOMOHIRO RUNS THE ROPES, BUT IS HIT BY A SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY!! He lifts Ishii up and runs the ropes, TO HIT A BULLDOG!! INTO A TORNADO DDT!! He calls for a 619, as Ishii crawls to the ropes. HE HITS IT!! HE DIVES FOR THE SEATED SENTON - BUT NO NECK TOM CATCHES AND HITS A BRAINBUSTER!!! 1...............2..............MYSTERIO KICKS OUT!!! Everyone explodes that Rey kicked out, and Ishii is still that angry dog - but he just got a whiff of a juicy steak. Tom lifts him up, looks him dead in his dead eyes - AND HEADBUTTS HIM TO SHIT!! ISHII FURTHER TARGETS THE HEAD WITH AN ENZIGURI!! HE RUNS FOR A LARIAT, BUT REY DUCKS AND HITS A MYSTERIO-RANA!! ISHII KICKS OUT AND ROLLS INTO THAT LARIAT!!! ISHII GOES FOR A BRAINBUSTER, BUT MYSTERIO EVADES AND HITS THE MYSTERIO-EXPRESS!! ISHII NO SELLS AND IS HIT BY A ENZIGURI!! ISHII NO SELLS AND HITS REY WITH A THREE AMIGOS!! He mocks his fallen friend Eddie with those moves - and that fuels Rey’s fire. REY WITH A SPRINGBOARD SEATED SENTON!! HE HITS A HEADSCISSORS AND CALLS FOR A 619!!! HE CONNECTS!!! SPRINGBOARD SPLASH!!!! 1...........2........KICK OUT!!!!!! ISHII LIFTS HIMSELF UP WITH A PRIMAL ROAR, AN HITS THE ISHII DRILLER!!!!! 1................2................3!!!! TOMOHIRO ISHII WINS AND BECOMES YOUR NEW, AND FIRST EVER JAPANESE, IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPION!!!! Tomohiro Ishii defeats Rey Mysterio (12:51) PROGRESS Chapter 88: Super Strong Style 16: Marty Scurll vs. Rey Mysterio With his United States Championship lost, ending his 92 day reign, Mysterio heads away from Japan for a while to regain himself. He’s confirmed to show up at PROGRESS‘ Super Strong Style, but later revealed that he won’t actually participate - instead wrestle on the last night in a standard singles match with no prizes but merit. Meanwhile, his opponent is scheduled to be...Marty Scurll. A man who hasn’t appeared in PROGRESS in a long while, mainly because he’s in the middle of a ROH World Championship reign. Having begun his reign in June of 2018, Marty still holds it. He’ll return to PROGRESS for this night however, as he wants to face Rey…badly. After Dominion last year when Rey lost to Marty, he’s wanted to defeated him one on one. A year of wait, and he finally gets his chance. The ultimate hero vs. The ultimate villain, it’s like a comic book finale. In the lead up, Marty cuts a promo on Mysterio. In it he is as snivelling as ever, offering his wife Angie a night with him and calling Dominick “a giant lummocks“. Then when the third night of the Super Strong Style 16 arrives, we hear Rey Mysterio’s entrance music for the first time in PROGRESS history, as he enters to a raucous pop from the Alexandra Palace. Alexandra Park in London lose their minds for the Lucha Libre legend, who comes out in Black Knight attire (a Marvel superhero from Britain). The fans love him and he shakes hand with Jim Smallman as he enters. Marty Scurll’s reception is mixed, but he certainly wants it to be vocally harsh. He takes beer out of fans hands and spits it at them, which certainly turns their reactions around. The two men stare down after the bell is rung, a seismic stare. Rey puts his hand up with two fingers, but so does Scurll. They then both do the “2-0-5” taunt in sync. The crowd laugh, which Marty doesn’t like. He taunts on the second turnbuckle to earn their ire. Rey does the same and receives a good response. Scurll then jumps off and walks over to Rey - WHO DIVES AT HIM WITH A HURRICANERANA! They then run the ropes, AND MARTY CATCHES HIM WITH AN ARM DRAG HANDSPRING! MYSTERIO HITS HIS OWN ARM DRAG! Marty runs the ropes but Rey goes for a FRONT DROPKICK - but Marty halts so Rey misses the boat. SCURLL THEN DOUBLE FOOT STOMPS ON THE LUCHADORS FEET!! He lifts him up and starts to chop his chest. Marty finishes the chops, AND THEN HITS A ROPE-ASSISTED ENZIGURI!! He stomps on Rey while he shouts at fans who boo him, telling them to be louder. He smashes his knee into a kneeling Rey, and then lifts him into a Gory Special!! REY ESCAPES WITH A SUNSET FLIP!! HE RUNS THE ROPES AND GOES FOR A SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY, BUT SCURLL CATCHES WITH A SITOUT SUPLEX SLAM!! HE RUNS THE ROPES AND HITS A PENALTY KICK!! HE LOCKS IN AN OCTOPUS HOLD!! He wrenches on it, but Rey shuffles to the ropes. Scurll then slides outside to shout at a fan who insulted him. SCURLL IS THEN HIT BY A SUICIDE DIVE INTO A HEADSCISSORS BY MYSTERIO!! REY THROWS HIM INSIDE AND HITS A FROGSPLASH!!! 1................2............KICK OUT!!! MARTY DOESN’T DIE AFTER THE SURPRISE ATTACK!! Rey is now out of his trance of being beaten down and is back in the fight. Scurll goes for a Wheelbarrow Bodyscissors but Rey counters with an Arm Drag! HE GOES FOR A SUNSET FLIP PIN BUT SCURLL BREAKS OUT WITH A LANZA!! SCURLL THEN LIFTS REY UP FOR A GERMAN SUPLEX!! HE CONNECTS, AND GOES FOR ANOTHER! BUT MYSTERIO FLIPS OUT AND HITS A HEADSCISSORS!! HE THEN CONNECTS A BASEBALL SLIDEFOLLOWED BY HEADSCISSORS!! Rey is on a roll as he dances like Eddie outside. Scurll goes to push him into a fans seat, but Mysterio ducks and PUSHES HIM INTO THE APRON!! They then fight there. Scurll knocks Rey off and CONNECTS A SUPERKICK FROM THE APRON!! HE THEN DIVES OUT WITH A MOONSAULT TO THE FLOOR!! Now they’re both on the ground. Scurll is dead and so is Rey. They crawl up by the fans laps. Scurll asks a fan to hold Rey in place as he lines up a Penalty Kick. MYSTERIO EVADES BEFORE THE KICK CONNECTS AND PUSHES HIM ONTO A GROUP OF FANS SEATS!! HE THEN DIVES OFF THE SECOND ROPE WITH A CROSSBODY - OVER THE FANS HEADS TO SCURLL!! They’re both even more dead than before and spend time climbing out of the wreckage, through fans and bent and fallen chairs. Rey navigates his way back while Marty writhes in the agony. Once back in the ring Mysterio dives for a Seated Senton - BUT IS HIT BY A SUPERKICK!! SCURLL HITS THE BLACK PLAGUE AND ROLLS INTO THE CROSSFACED CHICKENWING!! REY GETS HIS FOOT ON THE ROPES!! Scurll angrily lets go, throwing the luchador to the mat. They’re back up and the contest is still on. Rey knocks Scurll down with a SUNSET FLIP INTO A ROUNDHOUSE KICK, AND THEN HITS THE DROPPIN DA DIME!!! 1.............2...........KICK OUT!!! MYSTERIO LIFTS SCURLL UP AND GOES FOR A BULLDOG, BUT MARTY HITS A BACKBREAKER RACK DROPPED INTO A FACEBUSTER!! SCURLL JUMPS FOR A TORNADO DDT - BUT MYSTERIO CATCHES WTH A DROPKICK!! HE THEN FLIES WITH HIS OWN TORNADO DDT!! 1...........2.........SCURLL ROLLS OUT AND GOES FOR THE TORNADO DDT, BUT MYSTERIO CATCHES HIM WITH A SUPER HURRICANERANA!! MARTY LANDS ON HIS FEET AND HITS THE PARTY’S OVER!! HIS OLD FINISHER BUSTED OUT ON THIS OCCASION!!! HE COVERS, 1...............2...............MYSTERIO KICKS OUT JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME!!! They roll outside to recover after the big rush of counters. Scurll is first up and walks over to Rey’s daughter and wife. He tries to chat them up, BUT REY TURNS HIM AROUND INTO A THROW INTO THE RING POST!! HE HITS A BIG BOOT INTO THE STEEL!! Rey then sets up a wooden table, and brings Scurll up to the apron. They both trade forearms there. Marty jumps to the second rope, possibly looking for a TORNADO DDT!! REY BRINGS HIM DOWN AND HITSMA HURRICANERANA OFF THE APRON!! SCURLL CRASHES DOWN THROUGH THE WOODEN TABLE ONTO THE WOODEN FLOOR!! Scurll grabs his back in utter agony, his spine crushed by the wooden table and floor. Rey then picks him off the mat and rolls him inside. Rey is looking to end it now, as he climbs up for a SPRINGBOARD SPLASH!! HE THEN LOOKS FOR A 619, BUT SCURLL HITS A EUROPEAN UPPERCUT!! SCURLL THEN GOES FOR A KNEELING REVERSE PILEDRIVER!! MYSTERIO COUNTERS WITH A ROLL UP FOLLOWED BY A FRONT DROPKICK AFTER THE KICK OUT! REY THEN CLIMBS UP FOR A DIVING WEST COAST POP!! 1............2.........KICK OUT!! REY GOES FOR ANOTHER - BUT ITS CAUGHT!! MARTY CATCHES HIM INTO A BIRD OF PREY!! HE HITS A TORNADO DDT!! HE FINALLY LOCKS IN THE CROSSFACED CHICKENWING!! REY ESCAPES AND SWINGS AROUND THE ROPES IN A 619 BUT IS HIT BY A SUPERKICK!! SCURLL THEN LOCKS IN THE CROSSFACED CHICKENWING WITH A BODYSCISSORS!! REY TAPS OUT!!! Marty Scurll defeats Rey Mysterio (19:58) Dominion 2019: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Rey Mysterio - IWGP Heavyweight Championship At Wrestling Dontaku, we see Kazuchika Okada and SANADA face off for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in Night Two’s main event on May 4th. Afterwards, Rey Mysterio appears on video where he says he will return to New Japan at Dominion to take on Okada for his IWGP Heavyweight Championship. The Rainmaker then states that in his post-match press conference, that he’s always wanted to face Rey Mysterio and that he’ll be happy to do it. Rey is a good and honourable man who deserves this title match after 25 years of wrestling. Okada is happy to give him the opportunity but makes sure Mysterio knows, he won’t win. Later in the month is AEW’s Double or Nothing. The highly anticipated show features a plethora of talent and star studded match ups, after the Jacksonville and Las Vegas rallies individually. Rey Mysterio appears at neither however despite heavy rumour and speculation. However, to open the show we see the Casino Battle Royale. In this we get a bomb dropped on us - the debut of Mysterio in AEW. Entering as the Joker, he comes and cleans house. It comes down to him and Adam Page, who face off in a 5-minute long battle. The winner will face either Kenny Omega or Chris Jericho at All Out for the AEW World Championship so the stakes are high. In the end, Hangman eliminates Rey after a Buckshot and Superkick combo. Then two weeks later is Dominion. For the first time ever, Rey Mysterio will challenge for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. After a hell of the show we reach the main event. We’ve seen Dragon Lee vs. Will Ospreay, and Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito, and now we’re here. Rey Mysterio cuts a promo earlier in the show about how this means the world to him, this opportunity, and that he needs to win. He will never get a chance like this again, and can’t waste it. Mysterio represents is no-nonsense ordeal, as he comes out dressed as The Punisher. He’s got the navy singlet, with a skull across it. His mask then has the skull as well on it. Mysterio taunts on the second rope, but then Okada comes out. It’s the same thing he felt against Tanahashi and Liger, just being in the presence of someone on another world. When the bell rings, they don’t lock up straight away. They take in the magnitude of the stage and suck it all in. About a minute passes of this, before they lock up. They get into a collar and elbow, and Rey spins into a waist lock. Okada arm drags him off and cinches in a chinlock. Rey tries to flip out but Okada simply lowers down with him. HE THEN HITS A BELLY TO BACK SUPLEX!! Okada cinches in another chinlock. Rey gets up and Irish whips Okada to the ropes. The Rainmaker rebounds and connects a Shoulder Block to take Mysterio down. Rey gets up while Okada runs the ropes, and hits a HEADSCISSORS! Mysterio ducks under a clothesline and cinches the waistlock. He takes Okada down and applies a nerve hold, then hits a Spinal Tap! Okada lifts himself up and runs the ropes for a Short-arm Lariat! Rey stumbles back and rolls into a VICTORY ROLL!! 1........2.....KICK OUT!! OKADA GETS UP WITH A SHOULDER BLOCK, AND THEN RUNS THE ROPES FOR A RONT DROPKICK INTO THE CORNER!! Mysterio takes a Bret Hart sell of falling on impact. OKADA LIFTS HIM FOR A FLAPJACK BUT REY FLIPS OUT AND HITS AN ARM DRAG!! HE RUNS THE ROPES BUT IS CAUGHT IN A WHEELBARROW !BODYSCISSORS, THAT IS COUNTERED WITH A BULLDOG!! FLYING HEADSCISSORS BY MYSTERIO!! HE RUNS THE ROPES BUT OKADA HITS THE FLAPJACK AND FOLLOWS WITH A MILLION DOLLAR DROPKICK!! Okada then lifts Mysterio up and throws him to the corner, and starts to apply shoulder blocks. Okada Irish whips Mysterio who LEAPFROGS THE RAINMAKER AND HITS A MYSTERIO-EXPRESS!!! 1..........2.......KICK OUT!! OKADA WITH ANOTHER SHORT-ARM LARIAT!! Okada connects a European Uppercut to a kneeling Rey! This is the cut off, and The Rainmaker starts to stomp down on him. He lifts Mysterio up and Irish whips Rey, who jumps to the second rope AND DIVES OFF WITH A DIVING HURRICANERANA!!! OKADA ROLLS THROUGH AND CONNECTS A OPEN HAND CHOP!! DROPKICK!! HE LIFTS REY UP FOR A BACKBODY DROP BUT MYSTERIO EVADES AND HITS A SPINNING WHEEL KICK!! Rey is back in the fight, and runs the ropes for a RUNNING CROSSBODY!! HE HITS A TILT-A-WHIRL TORNADO DDT!! 1..........2........KICK OUT!!! Rey pulls himself up by the ropes, hoping the comeback got him. He punches the air, but lifts The Rainmaker up. He heads to the apron and awaits Okada - BUT SUNSET FLIPS OVER! REY ROLLS HIM AND HITS A ROUNDHOUSE KICK!!! Mysterio then runs the ropes but OKADA WITH A BIG BOOT!! HE HITS THE HEAVY RAIN!! 1........2.........KICK OUT!!! REY PULLS HIMSELF UP AND HITS A LOU THESZ PRESS!! HE GOES FOR A SHIRANUI - BUT OKADA DUMPS HIM ONTO THE MAT!! Rey doesn’t get up from that one, feeling the pain. Okada stomps on him and kicks the head, THEN GOES FOR A DDT!! MYSTERIO SLIDES OUT AND HITS A HEADSCISSORS!! HE RUNS THE ROPES AND CONNECTS THE 619 OUT OF NOWHERE!! He climbs the ropes and points to the crowd - DIVING SPLASH!! 1.........2.........KICK OUT FROM THE RAINMAKER!!! Rey gets desperate to end it and HITS A BASEBALL SLIDE TO THE OUTSIDE!! HE FOLLOWS WITH A SUICIDE DIVE INTO A HEADSCISSORS!! Okada falls into the guardrail both times, feeling the steel on his back. Rey goes to Irish whip but Okada reverses into his own. Rey then hops the guardrail and awaiting to see what Okada does. OKADA THEN DIVES OVER THE GUARDRAIL WITH THE SCOOBY DOOBY DOO!!! They both lay dead, as the referee counts down from 20. Eventually they get back up, after a lot of stumbling and tumbling. They get back in and REY DIVES WITH THE WEST COAST POP!! 1.........2.......OKADA ROLLS OUT OF IT WITH REY ON HIS BACK!!! ALABAMA SLAM!!! KICKOUT!!! HE LOCKS IN THE DEEP IN DEBT BUT REY GETS OUT!! HE RUNS TO THE CORBER BUT SO DOES OKADA WHO HITS A RUNNING BACK ELBOW!! HE THEN CONNECTS THE AIR RAID CRASH NECKBREAKER!!! 1...............2.............KICK OUT!!!! Both guys have kicked out a bunch of times, but now they’re down to the last minute. They’ve gone over 20 minutes and start to trade forearms. They double down after their fifth blows. They crawl by the corners - AND REY HITS THE AIR MYSTERIO!! HE RUNS UP FOR A MYSTERIO-RANA!!!! 1...........2........OKADA ROLS OUT AND HITS A SCOOP SLAM!! HE THEN CLIMBS THE ROPES - AND DIVES WITH A DIVING ELBOW DROP!! HE LIFTS HIM UP FOR A RAINMAKER - BUT MYSTERIO DUCKS UNDER AND HITS A POISONED RANA!!! HE DIVES IN WITH A SPRINGBOARD SITOUT FACEBUSTER!! REY GOES FOR ANOTHER MYSTERIO EXPRESS, BUT OKADA COUNTERS AND LOCKS IN THE DEEP IN DEBT!! MYSTERIO ESCAPES, BUT IS LOCKED IN WITH A COBRA CLUTCH!!!! REY REACHES THE ROPES!!! HE GOES FOR A 619 BUT OKADA CATCHES AND HITS THE RAINMAKER!!!! 1................2.................3!!!!!! Kazuchika Okada defeats Rey Mysterio (26:13) Fyter Fest 2019: The Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) vs. Rey Mysterio and The Lucha Brothers (Fénix and Pentagon Jr.) - Six-man Tag Team Match With the launch of All Elite Wrestling, many peoples attention have been grabbed. Double or Nothing as we know saw Rey Mysterio make his shock debut to open the main show as the Joker slot in the Casino Battle Royale. Him and Hangman Adam Page had a war as the final two, ending with Page winning. Now comes Fyter Fest, however this scheduled match between The Elite and The Lucha Bros/Pac has been altered. Pac pulls out and so the replacement is revealed on The Road To Fyter Fest, where Rey Mysterio is interviewed and then he announces he will be the partner of the Lucha Bros. This is the official main event of Fyter Fest, as the actual last match is Unsanctioned. The Young Bucks enter first dressed as Ryu and Ken each, both posing on the stage until…the lights go down. A fan walks on stage, but then they go down again. KENNY APPEARS AS AKUMA’S RAGING DEMON!! He holds the finger gun over the fans body and makes his way down to the ring with his Elite stablemates. Then comes The Lucha Brothers. On the stage are Fénix and Pentagon dressed in their skull masks and hoodies. They both walk out but point to the centre, WHERE OUT COMES REY MYSTERIO!! Rey unhoods from his blue cloak to reveal his normal mask. He is dressed as Death from the Castlevania series in line with the whole skeleton aesthetic as well as for the video game tie-in. “Round 1 – FIGHT!” yells Justin Roberts as Nick Jackson and Rey Mysterio start us off. They go into a lockup and start to push forward and back. Nick lifts himself to the second rope and tightropes it, before jumping down with an Arm Drag. Rey rolls through with that but jumps back in a Rana. They both run the ropes but Nick leapfrogs and Mysterio rolls under, then springboards off with a Crossbody. A cover goes nowhere and Nick kips up for his own arm drag, followed by a Back Body Drop that Rey flips out of. They then go to a stalemate at this point and reposition in their respective corners. Kenny whispers to Nick while Mysterio stretches on the ropes. They both then move forward to the centre. Rey hits an Overhead Chop and follows with an Open Hand to the chest. He does this while maintaining wrist control. He then hits a Roundhouse Kick and an Enziguri, and runs up the ropes, then dives off with a CROSSBODY! Nick goes for a Superkick once up, but Rey spins him into a Spinning Wheel Kick attempt, which Nick spins and they HIT STEREO SUPERKICKS!! THEY THEN DOUBLE DOWN WITH CLOTHESLINES!! While their down, in come the others. EVERY TRIO IS IN THE RING AND A BRAWL BREAKS LOOSE! Kenny and Penta are going at it while Matt and Fénix do battle. They trade slaps and chops and kicks, until Mysterio and Nick are back up. REY HITS A AIR MYSTERIO TO NICK JACKSON!! The Lucha Bros then hit Superkicks to Kenny and Matt to take them outside. ALL THE LUCHADORS THEN DIVE OUT AFTER THE ELITE!! They all enter the ring and isolate Matt. The Bros hit Superkicks and hold him in place for a MYSTERIO EXPRESS!! Nick comes inside but is hit by a Hook Kick, and then with a SEATED SENTON FROM REY!! FÉNIX WITH A DOUBLE SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT TO NICK!!! 1……..2…..KICK OUT!!!!! The Bros roll out and Nick and Mysterio keep going. They trade forearms, until Rey tags in Fénix. Fénix comes in hot with a Springboard Front Missile Dropkick to Nick. He looks for a double team with Pentagon, BUT NICK HITS THEM BOTH WITH A DROPSAULT!! HE TAGS IN MATT! MATT COMES IN WITH A TOPE CON HILO TO BOTH GUYS!1 HE HITS A NORTHERN LIGHTS ON PENTAGON WITH AN O’CONNOR ROLL ON FÉNIX!! 1………2……KICK OUT!! HIM AND NICK THEN HIT DOUBLE SLINGSHOT SITOUT FACEBUSTERS!! Matt then gets a tag to Kenny Omega. OMEGA IS IN! Kenny runs straight forward with a Dropkick to Pentagon sending him outside. He hits a Backbreaker to a tagged in Mysterio , 1……2….KICK OUT!! HE GOES FOR THE YOU CAN’T ESCAPE!! BUT IT IS INDEED ESCAPED! MYSTERIO DIVES OFF THE TOP WITH A MOONSAULT!! Kenny recovers himself, BEFORE DIVING OUTSIDE WITH A RISE OF THE TERMINATOR TO PENTAGON!! PENTAGON CUTS HIM OFF! Cero…Miedo – AND THEY START TO FIGHT ON THE OUTSIDE!! They go to the apron where Pentagon lays in some chops, BUT OMEGA WITH A KOTARO KRUSHER ON THE APRON!! THE BUCKS THEN SEND FÉNIX TO THE FLOOR WITH A BACK BODY DROP + CANNONBALL SENTON COMBO!! Now all The Elite are inside and isolate Rey Mysterio. The Elite triple team him, with Matt and Nick holding Rey in place for A V-TRIGGER!! FOLLOWED BY A GERMAN SUPLEX!! KENNY HITS THE YOU CAN’T ESCAPE!! MATT FOLLOWS WITH A TOP ROPE ELBOW AND NICK WITH A SWANTON!!! 1………2……KICK OUT!!!! They pick him up and The Bucks try to double team. MYSTERIO MOVES AND MATT SPEARS NICK!! ENZIGURI FROM MYSTERIO TO OMEGA!! HE TAGS IN PENTAGON!! Pentagon comes in and chops everyone, and then hits a Double Japanese Arm Drag on Matt and Nick! SUPERKICK TO KENNY FOLLOWED BY A LUNGBLOWER!! Kenny rolls out, but then FÉNIX SPRINGBOARDS TO THE OUTSIDE WITH A TORNILLO TO OMEGA!! REY FOLLOWS WITH A SUICIDE DIVE!! PENTAGON THEN HITS A LANZA TO MATT BACK IN THE RING AND COVERS! 1………2…….KICK OUT!!! MATT FIRES BACK!! RUNNING CANADIAN DESTROYER TO PENTAGON – FOLLOWED BY A SPEAR!! Omega tags in and fights off all the luchadors, AND HITS DRAGON SUPLEXS ON ALL OF THEM!! Pentagon cuts him off again, AND SUPERKICKS NICK! HE TOSSES FÉNIX ONTO HIM WITH A MOONSAULT!! REY THEN HITS A WEST COAST POP ON KENNY!! 1…….2…..KICK OUT!!!! Mysterio then picks him up and hits THREE ROUNDHOUSE KICKS!! THE WHOLE MATCH THEN BREAKS DOWN INTO A SUPERKICK PARTY!! The Elite rally, BUT EAT SUPERKICKS!! THEY FIRE BACK WITH HADOKENS!! EVERY LUCHADOR HIT BY LIGER BOMBS!! NICK THEN WITH ASSISTED 450 SPLASHES ON FÉNIX AND MYSTERO!! PENTAGON MAKES THE SAVE! NICK WITH A SLINGSHOT X-FACTOR!! PENTAGON WITH A SLINGBLADE! OMEGA WITH THE V-TRIGGER!! FÉNIX THEN FLIES IN WITH A CUTTER!! NICK CUTS HIM OFF WITH A NECKBREAKER!! FÉNIX THEN HITS THE SPANISH FLY TO NICK, OFF THE ROPES, INTO MATT AND PENTAGON ON THE FLOOR!! This takes those guys out but we still have Mysterio and Omega. KENNY HITS A V-TRIGGER OUT OF MIDAIR, AND THE TIGER DRIVER 98!!! 1………..2………KICK OUT!! KENNY WITH ANOTHER V-TRIGGER AND GOES FOR THE ONE-WINGED ANGEL – BUT REY HEADSCISSORS OUT!! HE CALLS FOR THE 619 AND CONNECTS IT!! HE THEN FLIES HIGH WITH THE WEST COAST POP TO FINISH OMEGA!!!!! 1……………..2………………3!!! THE LUCHADORS WIN THE BOUT, AND REY MYSTERIO PINS KENNY OMEGA CLEAN!! The Lucha Brothers and Rey Mysterio defeat The Elite (20:20)
Best run in terms of anything Stanley Kubrick: Lolita, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Spartacus, and Dr. Strangelove. Robert Wise: The Sound of Music, West Side Story, The Sand Pebbles, The Haunting, Two for the Seesaw, and Star!. Jean Luc Godard: Breathless, Contempt, My Life to Live, Two or Three Things I Know About Her, Pierrot le Fou, Bande à part, A Woman Is a Woman, Le petit soldat, The Carabineers, A Married Woman, Alphaville, Made in U.S.A, Masculin Féminin, La Chinoise, Weekend, One Plus One, Joy of Learning, A Film Like Any Other, and British Sounds. David Lean: Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago Francois Truffaut: Stolen Kisses, Antoine and Colette, Shoot the Piano Player, Jules and Jim, The Soft Skin, Fahrenheit 451, The Bride Wore Black, and Mississippi Mermaid. Alfred Hitchcock: Psycho, The Birds, Topaz, Marnie, and Torn Curtain. Billy Wilder: The Apartment, Irma la Douce, The Fortune Cookie, One, Two, Three, and Kiss Me, Stupid. Federico Fellini: 8 1/2, La Dolce Vita, Juliet of the Spirits, Satyricon, Spirits of the Dead, and Boccaccio '70. Ingmar Bergman: Persona, Shame, Hour of the Wolf, The Passion of Anna, The Rite, All These Women, The Silence, Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, The Devil's Eye, and The Virgin Spring. Mike Nichols: The Graduate Teach me!, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Sidney Lumet: The Fugitive Kind, The Appointment, The Hill, The Deadly Affair, Fail Safe, Bye Bye Braverman, The Group, A View from the Bridge, The Pawnbroker, and Long Day's Journey into Night. Luchino Visconti: Rocco and His Brothers, The Damned, The Leopard, Sandra, and The Stranger. George Roy Hill: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hawaii, The World of Henry Orient, Period of Adjustment, and Toys in the Attic . Roman Polanski: Knife in the Water, Repulsion, Rosemary's Baby, The World's Most Beautiful Swindlers, and Cul-de-sac. John Huston: The Unforgiven, The Misfits, The Night of the Iguana, The List of Adrian Messenger, The Bible: In the Beginning..., Freud, Reflections in a Golden Eye, A Walk with Love and Death, Casino Royale, and Sinful Davey. Sergio Leone: The Dollars Trilogy, Once Upon a Time in the West, and The Colossus of Rhodes. Michelangelo Antonioni: Blowup, L'Avventura, L'Eclisse, La Notte, and Red Desert. John Ford: How the West Was Won, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Sergeant Rutledge, 7 Women, Cheyenne Autumn, Two Rode Together, and Donovan's Reef. Akira Kurosawa: Yojimbo, Red Beard, Sanjuro, The Bad Sleep Well, and High and Low. John Frankenheimer: Birdman of Alcatraz, The Manchurian Candidate, The Train, Seven Days in May, Seconds, Grand Prix, All Fall Down, The Fixer, The Young Savages, The Gypsy Moths, and The Extraordinary Seaman. Vittorio De Sica: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Woman Times Seven, Marriage Italian Style, After the Fox, Un monde nouveau, Il giudizio universale, The Condemned of Altona, and Two Women. Blake Edwards: Breakfast at Tiffany's, Days of Wine and Roses, The Party, The Great Race, A Shot in the Dark, High Time, Soldier in the Rain, Experiment in Terror, and The Pink Panther. John Sturges: The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, Ice Station Zebra, Marooned, Hour of the Gun, A Girl Named Tamiko, By Love Possessed, and Sergeants 3. Stanley Kramer: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Ship of Fools, Inherit the Wind, Judgment at Nuremberg, and The Secret of Santa Vittoria. Robert Aldrich: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte, The Flight of the Phoenix, The Dirty Dozen, The Killing of Sister George, The Last Sunset, 4 for Texas, and Sodom and Gomorrah. Mario Bava: The Girl Who Knew Too Much, Black Sunday, Kill, Baby, Kill, Hercules in the Haunted World, Knives of the, Erik the Conqueror Avenger, Danger: Diabolik, Black Sabbath, Blood and Black Lace, and Planet of the Vampires. Elia Kazan: Wild River, The Arrangement, America America, and Splendor in the Grass. Samuel Fuller: Shock Corridor, The Naked Kiss, Shark!, Underworld U.S.A., and Merrill's Marauders. Robert Bresson: Au hasard Balthazar, Mouchette, The Trial of Joan of Arc, and A Gentle Woman. Andrei Tarkovsky: Andrei Rublev and Ivan's Childhood. Sam Peckinpah: The Wild Bunch, Major Dundee, The Deadly Companions, and Ride the High Country. Yasujirō Ozu: Late Autumn, The End of Summer, and An Autumn Afternoon. Robert Altman: Countdown and That Cold Day in the Park. Francis Ford Coppola: Tonight for Sure, The Bellboy and the Playgirls, Dementia 13, You're a Big Boy Now, Finian's Rainbow, and The Rain People. Jean-Pierre Melville: Léon Morin, Priest, Army of Shadows, Le Samouraï, Magnet of Doom, Le Doulos, and Le deuxième Luis Buñuel: The Milky Way, Belle de Jour, Simon of the Desert, Diary of a Chambermaid, The Young One, The Exterminating Angel, and Viridiana. John Cassavetes : Faces, A Child Is Waiting, and Too Late Blues. Roberto Rossellini: The Taking of Power by Louis XIV, Uno sguardo dal ponte, Escape by Night, Garibaldi, Les Carabiniers, Vanina Vanini, Les Carabiniers, Anima nera, and Benito Mussolini. Pier Paolo Pasolini: Mamma Roma, The Gospel According to St. Matthew, Accattone, The Hawks and the Sparrows, Pigsty, Theorem, Oedipus Rex, and Medea. Howard Hawks: Man's Favorite Sport?, Red Line 7000, El Dodrado, and Hatari!. John Schlesinger: Darling, Midnight Cowboy, Far from the Madding Crowd, A Kind of Loving, and Billy Liar. Martin Ritt: Hud, Paris Blues, Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, The Outrage, Hombre, Five Branded Women, and The Brotherhood. Jack Clayton: The Innocents, The Pumpkin Eater, and Our Mother's House. Robert Mulligan: The Rat Race, The Great Impostor, The Spiral Road, To Kill a Mockingbird, Love with the Proper Stranger, Inside Daisy Clover, Baby the Rain Must Fall, Up the Down Staircase, and The Stalking Moon. Satyajit Ray: Nyak, Two, Teen Kanya, Kanchenjungha, Devi, Rabindranath Tagore, Abhijan, Mahanagar, Aranyer Din Ratri, Chiriyakhana, Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, Charulata, and Mahapurush. Tony Richardson: Tom Jones, The Entertainer, A Subject of Scandal and Concern, A Taste of Honey, Sanctuary, Hamlet, Red and Blue, Laughter in the Dark, The Loved One, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Mademoiselle, The Sailor from Gibraltar, The Charge of the Light Brigade, and Laughter in the Dark. Bryan Forbes: Séance on a Wet Afternoon,Whistle Down the Wind, King Rat,The L-Shaped Room, Deadfall, The Wrong Box, The Whisperers, and The Madwoman of Chaillot. Richard Brooks: Elmer Gantry, In Cold Blood, The Happy Ending, Sweet Bird of Youth, Lord Jim, and The Professionals. Claude Chabrol: Les Biches, The Unfaithful Wife, The Champagne Murders, Les Bonnes Femmes, Wise Guys, The Third Lover, Landru, Ophélia, Le Tigre aime la chair fraiche, Marie-Chantal contre le docteur Kha, Our Agent Tiger, The Road to Corinth, and This Man Must Die. Mario Monicelli: The Passionate Thief, Casanova 70, Caprice Italian Style, The Girl with the Pistol, Organizer, L'armata Brancaleone, High Infidelity, and Sex Quartet. Norman Jewison: In the Heat of the Night, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Cincinnati Kid, The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, Gaily, Gaily, 40 Pounds of Trouble, The Thrill of It All, Send Me No Flowers, and The Art of Love. Gillo Pontecorvo: The Battle of Algiers, Burn!, and Paras. Ken Russell: Song of Summer, French Dressing, Women in Love, and Billion Dollar Brain Ken Loach: Kes and Poor Cow. Costa-Gavras: Z, Shock Troops, and The Sleeping Car Murders Jacques Demy: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Young Girls of Rochefort, Lola, Bay of Angels, and Model Shop. Carol Reed: Oliver!, The Running Man, and The Agony and the Ecstasy. Fred Zinnemann: A Man for All Seasons, The Sundowners, and Behold a Pale Horse. Arthur Penn: The Chase, Alice's Restaurant, Bonnie and Clyde, The Miracle Worker, and Mickey One. Agnes Varda: Cléo de 5 à 7, Le Bonheur, Lions from love, Les Créatures, and Loin du Vietnam. Masaki Kobayashi: Harakiri, Samurai Rebellion, The Inheritance, A Soldier's Prayer, Hymn to a Tired Man, and Kwaidan. Otto Preminger: Advise & Consent, Exodus, The Cardinal, Bunny Lake Is Missing, In Harm's Way, Skidoo, and Hurry Sundown. Stanley Donen: Charade, Two for the Road, The Grass Is Greener, Surprise Package, and Once More, with Feeling!. Nicholas Ray: The Savage Innocents, 55 Days at Peking, and King of Kings. Luis García Berlanga: Long Live the Bride and Groom, Three Fables of Love, The Executioner, Plácido, and La boutique. Walerian Borowczyk: Mr. and Mrs. Kabal's Theatre, Renaissance, and Goto, Island of Love. Karel Reisz: Isadora, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Night Must Fall, and Morgan – A Suitable Case for Treatment. Joseph Losey: Eva, The Criminal, The Damned, King and Country, The Servant, Boom!, Accident, Secret Ceremony, and Modesty Blaise. Mark Robson: Daddy's Gone A-Hunting, Von Ryan's Express, The Prize, Valley of the Dolls, The Inspector, Nine Hours to Rama, Lost Command, and From the Terrace. Richard Fleischer: Che!, Fantastic Voyage, The Big Gamble, Barabbas, The Boston Strangler, Doctor Dolittle, and Crack in the Mirror,
/r/QOTSA Official Band of the Week 8: ARCTIC MONKEYS
So yeah, I threw a TON of shade at our Frigid Ape friends last week (but maybe not as much as I did at Meg White - but she deserves it. She knows what she did.) So if you had not guessed it already, this week we will focus on Alex Turner and some other guys. Yes, you might say that we have come crawling back to them. I even contemplated telephoning them after I was imbibing. Yes, I only made that call while I was somewhat elevated. It is rumored that these Wintry Orangutans may have established a taco-exporting lunar base (it actually had a high local Yelp rating, or so I’ve heard). Yes, these Chilled Hominids are our focus. They have 7 Brit Awards and 6 studio albums. (Side note: Robbie Williams has 18 Brit Awards so I’m pretty sure you can buy them at the airport kiosk.) They also, according to reliable sources, appear handsome on surfaces upon which you rhythmically gyrate. They are this week’s featured artist. About Them One of the defining characteristics of JHo and the Boys can also be found with this group of Frosty Baboons: They never make the same record twice. Consequently, they are tough to define. They are a mash-up of influences and styles and each new album veers off in wildly different directions. Are you dressed up in a jean jacket with lots of buttons? You’ll love their sometimes Indie vibe. Just smoked a bowl? Yep, they have that desert groove. Feel like a night out with the lads? Their earlier, more up-tempo stuff is for you. Thinking more Billy Joel/Elton John? Yes, they have piano-based music. Want hip-hop? Screw you, I did the Run the Jewels post already. Go back there. These Bitter Mandrils hail from Sheffield, England. The band was formed in 2002 between a group of close friends. They initially had Andy Nicholson on bass, but after a series of conflicts on a North American tour, he got the boot. His replacement was Yellam’o Salochin - or as he’s better known, Nicholas O’Malley. The other core members of the band are Jamie Cook on guitar, Matt Helders on drums, and the one and only Alex Turner on just about everything (but most typically the microphone). Although initially lacking in confidence, Turner would soon be pushed to the front of the band for his way with words. The reason for this would eventually become clear, as Turner revealed in 2013 that all band members are actually Alex Turner. Lets not deal with that Game of Thrones-esque plot twist yet though. Stylistically, these guys are about as British as they come. You know how when people from England sing, they almost always sound like they have no accent? Turner is the exception. No, I don’t mean that he’s like John Lydon from The Sex Pistols, because part of that band’s rebellion was to sound quintessentially British instead of like manufactured pop. And no, I don’t mean that he is like Liam Gallagher from Oasis, because let’s face it, that guy barely sings anyway. In his early work, Turner decided to double-down on his roots and perform his songs with his regional dialect. You can literally hear the Sheffield twang in his music, and the band would exemplify this British charm in all the tracks leading up to their first album. After much practice, and several gigs, the band recorded some demos and began handing them out for free at their concerts. This eighteen song collection, dubbed Beneath the Boardwalk, would garner them a fair bit of fame, and was soon popping up on various file sharing and social media websites. That’s right. The number one lesson you need to take away from this is: if you want to get famous, MySpace is the way (even though they didn't even make their own page). Soon they released an EP named Five Minutes with Arctic Monkeys on their own label. The success of this led to them playing the Reading and Leeds festival, where they drew an unusually large crowd for such an “unknown” band. In 2005 they signed with Domino Records, and released their debut single I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor to great success, reaching No. 1 on the UK singles chart. By September of the same year, the band’s first album, Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m Not was done. Upon release, it became the fastest selling debut album in UK history, with over 360,000 copies sold in the first week. This album was (and still is) the epitome of British indie punk, and is pretty much the national anthem of North England night clubbers. No, not that kind of clubbers - clearly, I mean something more like this. After this album, and a few singles / short EPs, “Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?” was the question on everyone’s mind. This was answered in the release of their follow up album, Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007), which also hit No. 1 on the charts shortly after release. Much like it’s predecessor, it drips with Sheffield character, but in a slightly different manner. The song writing on this record gives a range between blistering speed and raw emotion. Tracks like Do Me a Favour and 505 demonstrate prowess and dexterity in Turner’s writing, and hinted at darker, more serious tones for the band’s future. This came to fruition on what some may view as the band’s most important record: Humbug (2009). Our boy Josh took the young lads under his wing, producing and co-writing this album in the one and only Rancho de la Luna. When you listen to it, it shows. This record is dark, moody, and full of beautifully weird metaphors and winding riffs. There is still a good amount of energy in this album, seen in tracks like Pretty Visitors, but the dark moody undertones of the desert are strongly on display in songs like The Jeweller’s Hands and My Propeller. All in all, this album was one that saw an amazing level of evolution in the band’s song writing (and I swear, all that Josh touches turns to gold.) Oh and this album also soared to No.1 on release. Go figure. A few years later, they released the album Suck It and See (2011), a record that was a pure ray of sunshine compared to Humbug.The album features a considerably lighter sound, not that it lacks that signature Turner flair, but the tracks generally lean towards a slightly more accessible sound. All in all, it’s still a great album, and an important step in their musical development. Also, please expect to see somebody write a 4 page essay on why Brick By Brick is the best song they have ever written over on their subreddit by next week. Oh and it also reached No.1 on release. Noticing a trend maybe? Anyway, these Glacial Lemurs then released that squiggles album in 2013. It became marginally popular. Something something also reached No. 1, something something popular in America, something something Alex Turner’s greaser haircut was SO cool and I want it back. It is also worth noting that our boy Ginger Elvis made a cameo on this record (so I mean, it’s gotta be cool). Moving on, their most recent album saw Turner embark on a Taco-Powered mission to the Moon. Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino (2018) was originally going to be released as a Turner solo album. However, upon hearing it, his band mates decided to join in and make it into a fully fledged Numb Chimpanzees record. Moon-Tacos can be persuasive. This album is chock full of alluring and idiosyncratic lyrics that conjure up wonderfully unique aesthetics. It has a laid back, piano-centric melancholy feel that is found nowhere else in their discography. It is so different from their previous albums that many have mixed views on it, but in my opinion, it’s the ultimate grower - I only started enjoying it on maybe the 5th listen. Overall I give it a solid 80% (unheard of, I know!) Oh and of course, it also hit No. 1. And notice how I never returned to that Game of Thrones Plot twist? Yep, just like the final season. No, I am not bitter...why do you ask? That puts a neat bow on their discography, give or take their numerous B-Sides, which are a whole other rabbit hole. I have also neglected some other important Alex Turner records, such as Submarine (his only solo album) and both albums by The Last Shadow Puppets, which are also important stylistic stepping stones for the band. This also explains why Alex Turner’s shoulders are so strong, since he has to carry Miles Kane’s career on both of these records. All in all, Turner is also a lot like our very own Baby Duck in that he has done multiple projects with multiple artists above and beyond his core band. A self-described “control freak” and reluctant frontman - yet he seems possessed by a desire to constantly explore, create and collaborate on new music. There’s nothing quite like these Arctic Monkeys, even if their name is really easy to mess up. Links to QOTSA Queens of the Stone Age and our featured Polar Simians first met at a rather disappointing gig in Houston in 2007. Josh described them as a ”down-to-earth, earnest group of people that grew up together and somehow made a bubble to protect themselves from the explosion that is their band.” He also remarked that, ”They’ve been playing this most dangerous game of changing every record and reaching like a rock climber for the next grip.” It is clear that Josh saw his own musical journey reflected in the band, so much so that Homme co-produced and co-wrote their 2009 third studio album, Humbug. That album was recorded in large part out at Rancho de la Luna. Queens have even done a cover version of Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High? Alex Turner did guest vocals on If I Had a Tail. Josh reciprocated by doing guest vocals on Knee Socks. During the recording of AM, Turner said of Josh: ”He came down and sort of got us out of a little rut. It’s just fun, it’s friends, extended family now...His contribution to our record is really exciting, it’s probably my favourite.” Josh has stated about Turner that ”he has a special gift for the gab” and that Matt Helders is ”one of the best drummers in rock ‘n’ roll.” Helders joined Josh, Dean Fertita and Iggy Pop to record Post Pop Depression at Rancho de la Luna in 2015. Their Music Fluorescent Adolescent R U Mine? Brick by Brick 505 Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High? Knee Socks Pretty Visitors I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor Mardy Bum Four Out Of Five Show Them Some Love /arcticmonkeys Previous Posts Tool Alice in Chains King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Rage Against the Machine Soundgarden Run the Jewels Royal Blood
My Very Long Take on AEW. Please Share Your Thoughts
Ok, so i am sure this gets posted all the time, probably multiple times a week, but I would love to discuss this with some others. Ok, so I am sure this gets posted often, probably weekly, but I really wanted to share my opinions on AEW, and hear some opinions. Maybe people can change my mind. Let me start off by saying, I am in my mid 20s, I really enjoy Chris Jericho, Dustin, and Kenny Omega, I grew up on the Attitude Era and my favorite style of wrestling is the AJPW King’s Road Style. I cannot STAND AEW. The thing that bothers me the most is that I really really want to like it. I have given it a chance multiple times and just do not like the product one bit. Pardon my inner Cornette, but he goofy promos and skits, the silly characters, ridiculous indy spot after spot after spot, overly choreographed sequences, “not finished” belts, constant attacks towards WWE/NXT while saying they aren’t worried about them or care about them, the severe lack of heavyweights, having tough, trained professionals selling for someone that looks like a 12 year old boy, and an absolutely God awful women’s division makes this a very hard show to watch. I don’t see the appeal. If they would have advertised this as a goofy independent show with a billionaire’s backing, I wouldn’t be so upset. But they didn’t. They promised so much and have failed to deliver. They started off great in my opinion. The first PPVs were awesome. They felt real, exciting, new, and different. Cody vs Dustin was AMAZING, Jericho becoming the first champion was perfect, Omega’s future looked bright and looked to be a top player, and the Young Bucks, well, I could never stand them anyway, so they did nothing for me from day one. Back to the promises, we were lead to believe that the women’s division would be a highlight of the show. As a fan of the incredible women’s division that NXT has had for years, and the amazing Stardom promotion, I was excited for this. Khan promised that the Women’s division would be handled like the old WVW cruiserweight scene, specifically with regards to the incoming Joshi wrestlers and how they would interact with other performers on the roster. We assumed it would be an awesome, action packed division, with awesome stars that would deliver great in ring action every week. But we haven’t even gotten a fraction of that. We have gotten a very spotty, very hard to watch, botch/mish-mosh of “wrestling”. They pushed Nyla too fast in my opinion. I love the fact that they have a transgender on the roster, I just feel they needed to continue to build her as a dominant monster heel, then once she gets the strap, do not take it off her for years. That would be much more believable. The division does have some decent talent, Shida, Baker, Statlander, and some that look promising, but they need a reboot, better booking, and more time/action in the ring. They just haven’t really gelled at all. Hopefully this tag tournament thing will help. Hopefully it will bring in fresh talent that will elevate these women and not turn this into a botch-fest sh*t show. Another big issue with a failed promise is that Tony stated there would be no silly storylines. On Wade Keller’s podcast, Khan stated that the company’s storylines wouldn’t be lacking in drama, but they would stem from what happens in the ring, personal issues, and grudges. There would be lest focus on what he called “preposterous, ridiculous” angles. This was music to my ears. I was so excited for something different. An alternative to WWE. Action minus the silliness. Then they just end up doing the goofiest sh*t I have seen in years. The Bubbly Bunch? Dark Order shenanigans? A girl playing an alien on national TV? A dinosaur man and a tiny boy that looks 12? A guy who wrestles with his hands in his pockets and would get annihilated if he did that in a real match? Football stadium matches? Trust me I could go on for hours. The Inner Circle could’ve been a current version of the NWO. Jericho (like Hogan) a major player that jumped ship and expects to be treated like a God, young future talent (Sammy) a tag team (Santana and Ortiz) and the muscle (Hager). But they have turned into a complete joke. Guevara terribly singing Jericho’s entrance theme, Jericho overacting like a goof to everything, yelling at Tyson, getting involved with Matt Hardy’s goofy “broken” gimmick. Jericho, a top talent who just a year ago was serious and speaking in a monotone while holding the company’s title making it seem prestigious, is now acting as a drone and orange juice are his number one rivals. Selling a teleporting Matt Hardy and a guy who wrestles with his hands in his pockets (also a guy who Jericho would murder if they were to fight like that). There is also way to many factions I can’t even keep them straight. Who is with who? Who are buddies? Everyone is a part of a team or faction, and who the hell are heels and baby faces?! This brings me to my next point. They promised to be different. We wanted an alternative to WWE and some of their silly storylines. But what we have gotten is the worst of WWE amplified by lesser talent and inferior production. AEW has been slipping into some of old wrestling’s bad habits since day one. Silly comedy, which most isn’t funny at all, to unexplained changes in storylines, AEW is just as flawed as WWE is. But fan will continue to bash WWE for something and turn right around to praise AEW for the same thing (most of the times something that is even worse!). Allie was managing Butcher and the Blade as Bunny, one week she came to ringside during a match with QT Marshall and now she has nothing to do with Butcher and Blade, and she is no longer the Bunny and is in love with QT. They never told us why. They pushed so hard that they would be an alternative to WWE but have taken the worst elements of WWE and injected it directly into their show. Not to mention a good amount of their main event players are WWE rejects, or older WWE stars. As I mentioned in my intro, I am a HUGE fan of 90s AJPW/early Pro Wrestling NOAH and the King’s Road Style of wrestling. Giant Baba was an absolute genius booker. Jumbo Tsuruta/Tenryu laid the ground work for the Four Pillars and what I consider the greatest wrestling ever. If you watch these matches, you get so sucked in. You believe everything that is happening. There is no wasted movement, everything makes sense and has purpose. You believe 100% that these guys are trying to win and giving it their all. It is so easy to forget that it is pre-determined. There is incredible selling, passion, hard hitting offense, prestige, high risks, high rewards, it is all so believable and so sport like. And this is my NUMBER ONE gripe with AEW. They promised us a sports-based program. They promised a “real sport feel”. They do have the win/loss records which is cool and sport like, (I still don’t get how someone could be undefeated and not the number one contender) but on the other hand you have acts like the Dark Order, Orange Cassidy, Marko Stunt, Bubbly Bunch, and stadium matches, just some of the silliest stuff I have seen. None of the in-ring action appears real. The high spots are hard to watch, (Young Buck 1 holding on to Young Buck 2’s leg while their opponents attack his partner, SERIOUSLY?!) They treat tag team rules as a joke (to the point JR has called them out). The few big men they have (aside from Cage) like Hager and Wardlow, would wreck the rest of the roster in real combat sports, seem like backseat players who don’t add much at all. This is a fun quote from Mr. Khan that hasn’t aged well AT ALL; “We are going to provide a serious, sport-based product with the best wrestling. Something you’re going to notice more and more in our shows is they’re going to take place in and around the ring. Like, we’re not going to go out of the arena, we’re not going to spend half the show backstage in dressing rooms, or backstage choreographed segments.” I feel like every time I turn AEW on, it is a goofy backstage segment or match. Watching things like the Casino Battle Royale or the Stadium Match I think to myself “so this is supposed to be the serious, sports-based company?” I think that the disconnect comes from Khan not really knowing the wrestling business or how to book a promotion. He is a SUPER MARK with deep pockets. He gave the power to the wrestlers, he gave them creative control. You could have a great vision for a story and for character development, but if you give too many characters be more open with how they want to present themselves, it’s going to cause issues. A real sport would not have athletes that are too lazy to compete, it wouldn’t have a teleporting “Broken” Matt Hardy, it wouldn’t have Chris Jericho having a pep rally for himself as the main event for a ton of its shows. When it comes to sports-based NXT is actually doing a far better job than AEW, while NJPW is the king at the moment. To sum up, I just don’t get it. I want to, but I can’t. It is an odd thing to me. Fans complain about WWE being too silly and doing stupid things, then turn around and cheer the silly, cartoonish, comic-bookish stuff that AEW does as if it’s the greatest thing going. Khan at one point stated that he loves the more realistic stuff but knows that others, prefer silliness like Hardy and Cassidy’s characters. I probably would have preferred the show if Khan had more control, which he probably did those first few shows and why I enjoyed them way more than today’s product that is run by Cody, Bucks, Omega and their buddies. I read an article where AEW’s eyes must have been bigger than their stomach on this one, and wanted many. I know many people hate Cornette and his views, but i agree with 95% of things he says about AEW. At this point, I will just continue to watch NXT weekly and not give AEW much thought. I will try to follow it, but wont go out of my way to watch it. It is just not what I wanted, not what I was promised, and not the product I like. Also, I want to use this to encourage more people to watch classic AJPW. Misawa, Kobashi, Kawada, Taue, Akiyama, Hansen, Tsuruta, Steve Williams, Terry Gordy, those guys knew how to put on a sports-based wrestling program and their matches still hold up today. Seriously the greatest in-ring action of all time! Thank you for taking the time to read this rant/essay and I would love to hear your thoughts.
Film Rankings with Explanations, Ratings, and Tiers
During quarantine, I've had the opportunity to rewatch every movie in relatively short succession. I've seen them all 2-10 times and have been a lifelong Bond fan. I enjoy every Bond film, even the "bad" ones, but I wanted to try and rank them. I used a scoring system to help me, but ultimately went with my gut (e.g. License to Kill MUST be better than The World is Not Enough). I thought a tier system of ranking was useful, because it really is splitting hairs to rank some of these. Feel free to critique my ratings, my ratings weightings, and opinions! You could say I have too much time on my hands Tier 7: The Worst
Die Another Day: Best Sword Fight
- Why it's not irredeemable: For being the lowest ranked film on this list, it's not without its moments. Bond getting caught, tortured, then escaping from MI6 was interesting and novel. The ice hotel was neat, as well as the chase scene. I'll even defend the much maligned invisible car, as the Aston Martin Vanquish is quite a car. - Why it's not higher: Personally, I think Halle Berry is a terrible Bond girl, alternating between damsel in distress and super woman as the plot demands it. Moreover, Graves and the plot in general is pretty cheesy and boring. Perhaps most damaging is the deadly serious tone of the movie, which doesn't even provide the fun and excitement Brosnan's films generally provide the viewer. - Most under-appreciated part: The fencing scene is the best action scene of the entire movie. It's surprising it took Bond this long to fence, but seeing them go at it across the club was a blast. Tier 6: Disappointing
Quantum of Solace: Best Car Chase
- Why it's this high: The action is quite good, likely meriting the distinction of the best car chase in the entire series (the pre-credits sequence). Mathis is a good ally and it is sad to see him go. - Why it's not higher: My biggest beef with Craig's Bond films is that they are too serious, so when the plot and script isn't top-notch, the movie watching experience is just kind of dull. Quantum of Solace takes a bold risk in making the first Bond sequel, but unfortunately it's just not that good. Greene seems like a rather pathetic Bond villain, and his henchman (the worst in the series?) ends up in a neck-brace after getting tripped by Camilla. Also, the shaky cam is distracting and exhausting. - Most under-appreciated part: I actually thing the theme song is pretty good! Maybe I'm just too much of a Jack White groupie, but I think it rocks.
Moonraker: Best Locales
- Why it's this high: I'm pleased to see Jaws making a return, as he is an amazing henchman. On that note, the pre-credits sequence with Bond and Jaws falling out of the plane is exhilarating. Holly Goodhead is a very good Bond girl, beautiful, smart, and competent. Roger Moore always does an excellent job playing the role with suavity and wit. - Why it's not higher: Gosh it's cheesy. Particularly egregious is Jaws' love story. The theme song is terrible and Bond doesn't have any solid allies besides Goodhead and Jaws. - Most under-appreciated part: They really go all out with the settings here. Obviously, space is pretty polarizing, but I think Bond clearly should go to space at SOME point during the series. In addition, Italy and Brazil were gorgeous views, while Drax's estate is magnificent.
Spectre: Best Shooting
- Why it's this high: Rewatching this for the second time, I realized Lea Seydoux does a good job as the Bond girl, and it's actually quite believable she and James could work out, as she is the daughter of an assassin and can understand him (as Blofeld points out). Seeing Bond show off his marksmanship was quite satisfying, especially that one long shot during the escape from Blofeld's compound. Bonus points for Bond's DB10 and resurrecting the DB5. - Why it's not higher: The fatal flaw of this film is making Blofeld Bond's adopted brother. How did Bond not recognize him? How is Blofeld able to keep himself secret from British intelligence yet every criminal worth his salt knows of him? The worst part is that it actually cheapens the plot of the other Craig movies. I believe the Bond franchise should stay clear from sequels from here on out. Yes, they can weave a great story if done correctly, but it's so much more difficult to make great sequels (e.g. Star Wars only made two worthy sequels in seven tries) than to do one-offs. As usual for a Craig film, Bond has little charisma (save for his surprisingly good rapport with Moneypenny) and little in the way of jokes to lighten the mood. - Most under-appreciated part: The train fight scene with Dave Bautista is great! Gosh it was awesome to see them go at it, break through walls, and a priceless expression on Bautista's face when he knows he's done. Bautista is the first decent henchman since the 90s, so glad to see the series go back to this staple.
The Man with the Golden Gun: Best Potential, Worst Execution
- Why it's this high: This Bond movie frustrates more than any other, as it has the potential to be an all-time great. Bond's debriefing starts off with promise, as it turns out the world's top assassin is gunning for Bond! For the first time in the series, Bond seems vulnerable! M makes a hilarious quip as to who would try to kill Bond ("jealous husbands ... the list is endless"). Furthermore, the legendary Christopher Lee is possible the best Bond villain, a rare peer of 007. - Why it's not higher: Unfortunately, the movie opts to change course so that it's just Maud Adams trying to get Bond to kill Scaramanga. Goodnight is beautiful, but maybe the most inept Bond girl of all-time. They used a SLIDE WHISTLE, ruining one of the coolest Bond stunts ever (the car jump). - Most under-appreciated part: Nick Nack is a splendid henchman, showing the role can be more than just a strongman.
Diamonds Are Forever: Great Beginning and Ending, but Bad Everywhere Else
- Why it's this high: Is there another Bond with such a great contrast between the beginning/ending and everything in between? Connery shows his tough side, as he muscles his way through the pre-credits scene. Particularly good was the part where he seduces the woman, then uses her bikini top to choke her. At the end, Bond expertly uses his wine knowledge to detect something is amiss, then dispatches Kidd and Wint in style. Other cool scenes include Bond scaling the building to reach Blofeld and Bond driving the Mustang through the alley. - Why it's not higher: This is one of the films that I find myself liking less and less over time. Vegas, and especially the space laboratory scene, just seem cheesy. Connery is officially too old at this point, and Jill St. John just isn't a very compelling Bond girl. I would've preferred to have seen more of Plenty O'Toole, but alas 'twas not meant to be. Leiter is uninspired as well. Having Bond go after Blofeld for the millionth time just seems tired at this point. - Most under-appreciated part: Mr. Kidd and Wint are the creepiest henchmen in the Bond universe, but I'd argue they are some of the best. Their banter and creative modes of execution are quite chilling and thrilling.
A View to a Kill: Best Theme
- Why it's this high: Is it a hot take to not have View in the bottom five? Let me explain. I contend Duran Duran's theme is the very best. The ending fight scene on the Golden Gate Bridge is actually one of the most iconic ending set pieces in the series. The plot is stellar on paper, as the horse racing part was a very Bondian side story, and the idea of an attack on Silicon Valley actually seems even more plausible today. - Why it's not higher: It's self-evident that Moore is way too old for the part. Some parts are just mind-blowingly ridiculous, such as the fire truck chase scene through San Francisco and the part where Stacey is caught unaware by a blimp behind her. Speaking of Stacey, she may be beautiful, but she spends most of the movie shrieking whenever something goes wrong. - Most under-appreciated part: The scene with Bond and Ivanova is cool (I always like it when he interacts with other spies) and quite entertaining how he fools her with the cassettes. Tier 5: Below Average
Octopussy: The Most Characteristically Roger Moore Bond Film
- Why it's this high: Maud Adams has great screen presence as Octopussy, and her Amazonian-like women are cool to watch fight. Bond's deft swipe of the egg was nicely done. On a related aside, I wish Bond films would emphasize Bond's intellect more, as it seems the 60s and 70s films would allow Bond to showcase his vast knowledge more frequently than he does today. Gobinda is a fierce henchman, while India in general is a cool location. The plot is realistic, yet grand (war-mongering Russian general tries to detonate a nuke to get NATO to turn on itself). - Why it's not higher: This is the first Moore film where he simply was too old and shouldn't have been cast. Yes, it's too cheesy at times, most infamously during the Tarzan yell. Bond also doesn't use any cool vehicles. - Most under-appreciated part: People tend to focus too much on Bond dressing as a clown, but the scene where Bond furiously tries to get to the bomb in time to defuse it is one of the tensest moments in the series. Moore's "Dammit there's a bomb in there!" really demonstrated the gravity of the situation (I get goosebumps during that part).
Tomorrow Never Dies: Most Tasteful Humor
- Why it's this high: Brosnan really settles into the role well here. He gives the most charismatic Bond performance in 15 years or so. His quip "I'm just here at Oxford, brushing up on a little Danish" is an all-time great Bond line. Teri Hatcher is stunning as Paris Carver, delivering a memorable performance with her limited screen time. The plot is original and ages well, highlighting the potential downsides of media power, while Carver is an above average villain. - Why it's not higher: Wai Lin is good for action, but the chemistry between her and Bond is non-existent. By the end of the movie, Pryce just seem silly (especially the scene where he mocks Wai Lin's martial arts skills). There aren't any good Bond allies, as Jack Wade doesn't impress in his return to the franchise. In general though, the movie has few things terribly wrong with it, it just doesn't excel in many ways. - Most under-appreciated part: Dr. Kaufman is hysterical. At first, I thought "this is weird," but by the end of the scene I'm cracking up. I genuinely wish they found someway to bring him back for World, but c'est la vie.
The World Is Not Enough: Less than the Sum of its Parts
- Why it's this high: According to my spreadsheet, this is a top 10 Bond film, while on my first watch on this film I thought it was bottom five. I think the truth is that it's somewhere in between. I like the settings, everything from the temporary MI-6 headquarters to Azerbaijan. Elektra is an all-time great Bond girl, with a nice plot twist and character arc. The glasses where Bond sees through women's clothing are hilarious. The sense of danger is strong, with everyone from Bond to M being in danger. The return of Zukovsky is a nice plus. - Why it's not higher: I think two things really doom this film. First, Renard is totally wasted a henchman. The idea of him not feeling pain is a cool one, but he just seems boring and extraneous. I don't even think Carlyle acted poorly, he was just misused. Secondly, the ending (after Bond killing Elektra which is quite good) is rather terrible. The whole scene in the sub just isn't entertaining or engaging. - Most under-appreciated part: I'm going to defend Denise Richards as Christmas Jones. Although no Ursula Andress, Richards is absolutely gorgeous and did not actively make Bond's mission more difficult, which is more than some Bond girls can say *cough Britt Ekland. In particular, I found her introductory scene to be quite memorable and convincing. Also, the Christmas quip at the end is quite cheeky. Tier 4: Solid
The Living Daylights:
- Why it's this high: Dalton brings a breath of fresh air to the franchise here. His more serious take makes for interesting movies that seem more unique than most. I'm happy to see this subreddit appreciate Dalton more than the casual fun does, but I wouldn't go as far as the Dalton fanboys and say he's the best Bond or anything like that. I do wish he got the role sooner and did more films. Moving on to Daylights, it's got a good intro for Dalton and good plot in general. Surprisingly, Bond's fidelity doesn't bother me one bit, as it actually makes sense that Kara falls in love with James by the end, given all they've gone through. - Why it's not higher: The biggest reason is that the villain is just terrible. Whitaker seems silly and pathetic, a terrible contrast to Dalton's serious nature. I think Whitaker might be the worst in the series, and a Bond movie can't be great without a good villain. Also, Dalton doesn't have much charm and is abysmal at one-liners, which, in my opinion, IS a facet of the perfect James Bond. - Most under-appreciated part: The Aston Martin Vantage is a beautiful car, and the chase scene across the ice is great! It's both exciting and funny! Not sure why people don't talk about this chase scene and this car more; it's arguably the highlight of the movie for me.
Thunderball: The Most Beautiful
- Why it's this high: Thunderball used to be top five for me and here is why. The underwater scenes, the setting, the score, and the Bond girls are beautiful even to this day. Domino is excellent, while Volpe is a tour de force, oozing sexuality and danger. I think the underwater parts are interesting and novel, creating a staple of sorts for the franchise. The DB 5 is always welcome, and the jetpack use was quite cool for the time (and to some extent now). - Why it's not higher: Some would say it's boring, while I would more generously admit the plot is slow. Furthermore, the theme song is all-time bad (apparently they could have used Johnny Cash!!!), and there is no great henchman for Bond to dispatch. - Most under-appreciated part: Two plot ideas I liked a lot: Bond being injured and needing rehab, plus the part where all the 00s meet up and then are sent to the corners of the globe.
Never Say Never Again: Guilty Pleasure
- Why it's this high: Rewatching Never for the third time, I was struck by how fun this movie is. It's exciting, funny, and fast-paced. Basically, it's a more exciting version of Thunderball, with better pacing and better humor. I think Irvin Kershner did a great job managing this star studded cast. Carrera is a firecracker as Blush, Sydow is a convincing Blofeld, and Basinger is a classic Bond girl. Connery clearly has a blast returning to the role, doing a great job despite his advanced age. If anything, this one might not be ranked high enough. - Why it's not higher: The music is terrible. Normally I don't notice these things, but one can't help but notice how dreadful this one is. The theme is awful as well. I'd argue this is the worst music of any Bond film. - Most under-appreciated part: The humor! This is one of the funniest Bonds, as I found myself laughing out loud at various parts (e.g. Mr Bean!).
The Spy Who Loved Me: Best Intro
- Why it's this high: There's a lot to love about this one, so I get why this ranks highly for many. It is simply the best introduction, starting with Bond romancing a woman, followed by a skii chase, then jumping off the cliff and pulling the Union Jack parachute! The Lotus is a top 3 Bond car. Jaws is a superb henchman. Triple X was an excellent Bond girl, deadly, charming, and beautiful. Of course, Moore is charming and the locations are exotic (Egypt was a cool locale). If I had to pick one Moore movie for a newcomer to watch, it would be this one. - Why it's not higher: The theme song is bad, and Stromberg is a below average villain. I also think the last 45 minutes or so of the movie kind of drags. - Most under-appreciated part: The whole dynamic between Bond and Triple X is great. Whenever Bond movies show Bond squaring off against other spies (see View to a Kill, Goldeneye) it's just a pleasure to watch.
Live and Let Die: Most Suave
- Why it's this high: Roger Moore superbly carves out his own take on Bond in an excellent addition to the franchise. The boat chase is my favorite in the series, and Live and Let Die is my second favorite theme. Jane Seymour is a good Bond girl, while Tee Hee and Kananga are a solid villain/henchman duo. Unpopular opinion: I find J.W. Pepper to be hilarious. - Why it's not higher: The introduction isn't very good, as Bond isn't even included! The second climax with the voodoo isn't great. Bond blowing up Kananga has aged terribly. - Most under-appreciated part: When Bond is visited in his apartment by M and Moneypenny, Bond rushes to hide his girl from his coworkers. Finally, when they leave and he unzips the dress with his magnetic watch is one of the best uses of a Bond gadget in the series, showcasing why Moore might be the most charming Bond of them all.
You Only Live Twice: Best Blofeld
- Why it's this high: Just your classic, fun Sean Connery Bond movie. It was a great decision to send Bond to Japan for his first Asian visit, giving the movie a fresh feel. The ending set piece battle is potentially the best of this staple of 60s/70s Bonds. Tiger Tanaka is one of Bond's cooler allies. Pleasance killed it as Blofeld; when I think of Blofeld, I think of his take. In what could have been cheesy, he is actually somewhat frightening. - Why it's not higher: The whole "we need to make you look Japanese" part seems both unrealistic (who is he really fooling?) plus surprisingly impotent coming from Tiger Tanaka who seems to be a competent and connected man otherwise. Honestly though, this movie doesn't have a major weakness. - Most under-appreciated part: The fight scene with the guard in the executive's office is probably the best hand-to-hand fight in the series up until that point. Tier 3: Excellent
Dr. No: The Most Spy-Like
- Why it's this high: Nearly 60 years later, this film is still a blast to watch, due in no small part to its focus on the little things of being a spy. I adore the scenes where Bond does the little things spies (presumably) do, such as putting a hair across the door, or showing Bond playing solitaire while waiting to spring his trap on Prof. Dent. I also enjoy the suspense of Bond sleuthing around the island, while he and the viewer are completely unaware of whom the villain is until quite late in the film. It's easy to take for granted now, but this film established so many series traditions that were ingenious. My personal favorite is Bond's introduction at the card table: "Bond .... James Bond." - Why it's not higher: The film just doesn't have the payoff it deserves. Maybe it's just a result of the time and budget, but from the point Bond escapes on, it's just mediocre. Particularly egregious is the "fight" between Dr. No and Bond where No meets his demise. - Most under-appreciated part: Ursula Andress was a surprisingly well developed Bond girl, with a shockingly violent backstory (she was raped!). Obviously, she is beautiful and the beach scene is iconic, but I was pleasantly surprised to conclude she is more than just eye candy.
License to Kill: The Grittiest
- Why it's this high: On my first watch, this was my least favorite Bond film, as I thought it was too dark and violent to befit 007. By my third time watching, I've decided it's actually one of the best. Fortunately, I don't have to go on my "Ackshually, Dalton did a good job" rant with this subreddit. I liked the wedding intro and the concept of a revenge arc for Leiter (although come on he should've been killed by a freaking shark). Also, Lamora and (especially) Bouvier are great Bond girls. Bouvier is both competent and beautiful, and it's great to see Bond choose her at the end. - Why it's not higher: The theme song is atrocious, Dalton is so angry (dare I say charmless?) the whole time it's almost puzzling why Bouvier and Lamora fall for him, and Bond doesn't use any cool vehicles. - Most under-appreciated part: Sanchez is actually a sneaky good Bond villain.
For Your Eyes Only: The Most Underrated
- Why it's this high: I think Moore is a bit underrated as Bond. Yes, he was too old towards the end and yes, his movies were at times too campy, but he himself played the role admirably. He was the most charming and witty of all the Bonds, so by the time he got his first relatively serious plot to work with, he hit it out of the park. Anyhow, the climactic mountaintop assault is one of my favorite Bond action climaxes. Columbo is one of the best Bond allies, and the plot twist where he turns out to be good and Kristatos bad was well-done. - Why it's not higher: The intro is just silly. Bibi's romantic infatuation with Bond is just ...er... uncomfortable? - Most under-appreciated part: The theme song is a banger. What a chorus! Tier 2: Exceptional
Skyfall: The Sharpest Film (From Plot to Aesthetics)
- Why it's this high: One of the best plots of the entire series. The idea of an older Bond who had lost a step, along with making M the focus point of the movie, works very well. Seeing Bond's childhood home is also pretty cool. Bardem's take on Silva is delightful and a lot of fun to watch. Even the cinematography is a series peak, while Adele's them is excellent. - Why it's not higher: One thing most Craig Bond films suffer from is the lack of a Bond-worthy henchman. Skyfall is no exception. More importantly, Bond girls are mostly irrelevant to the film. Yes, Severine is both beautiful and interesting, but she's scarcely twenty minutes of the film. - Most under-appreciated part: Setting the new supporting characters up nicely. The Moneypenny backstory was well-done. Casting Ralph Fiennes as the new M is a great choice in of itself, but he also got a nice chuck of background story to help us going forward.
Casino Royale: The First Bond Film I'd Show a Series Newcomer
- Why it's this high: Craig's take on Bond feels like a breath of fresh air. In particular, his hand-to-hand combat scenes are so much better (and more believable) than any other Bond. The parkour chase scene is one of the best chase scenes in the series. Le Chifre is an excellent villain, but, more importantly, Vesper is an all-time great Bond girl. The conversation between Vesper and Bond on the train is probably the most interesting of any film. Bonus points for Jeffrey Wright as Leiter and the Aston Martin DBS. - Why it's not higher: There are hardly any humorous parts or much charm displayed by Bond in general. More importantly, the movie should have just ended when Bond wakes up in rehab. The rest of the movie feels confused and superfluous. - Most under-appreciated part: The decision to change from chemin de fer to poker makes for much better (and understandable!) cinema. The poker scenes are the best of Bond's many gambling scenes throughout the series.
Goldeneye: The Most Fun
- Why it's this high: Wow, rewatching Goldeneye I was struck by how entertaining the whole thing is. The opening jump is breath taking, the scene where Bond drives his evaluator around is hilarious, and Xenia Onatopp is a livewire. Sean Bean is a formidable villain as 006, and a great foil to James. Bond and Judi Dench's first scene together is amazing. Goldeneye feels like the first modern Bond, yet so true to the predecessors. Wade and especially Zukovsky are excellent allies. - Why it's not higher: Simonova is a forgettable Bond girl. She's not annoying, unattractive, or acted poorly, but is just below average in most regards (looks, back story, chemistry with Bond, plot). - Most under-appreciated part: the action is just so much better than any Bond before it
From Russia with Love: The Best Henchman (Red Grant)
- Why it's this high: Interesting settings, beautiful women, and an engaging story make this a classic. I'm not the first to point out that the scenes with Grant and Bond aboard the train are some of the best in the entire series. Grant is one of the few villains who feels like a match for 007. Furthermore, the addition of Desmond Llewyn as Q was crucial and Kerim Bey is one of the better Bond allies. - Why it's not higher: The helicopter scene should've just been omitted, especially when combined with the subsequent boat chase. It's just awkward to watch. - Most under-appreciated part: The gypsy scenes are quite exotic and entertaining.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service: The Most Heartfelt
- Why it's this high: James and Tracy's love story is charming, and when she dies at the end, this is the one and only time in the entire series where the viewer feels genuinely sad. Diana Rigg did an excellent job convincing the audience Bond could finally fall in love with one girl. The skiing scenes were beautifully filmed, and the score was exemplary. Personally, I quite liked Lazenby's take; however, some of his lines and jokes fall flat. To his credit, he looks and acts like Bond more than any other actor. - Why it's not higher: Honestly, it does drag at times in the first half, plus there is no theme song! - Most under-appreciated part: Bond's Aston Martin DBS is a beautiful car, combining 60's sports-car beauty with Aston Martin's elegance. Tier 1: The Best
Goldfinger: The quintessential Bond
- Why it's this high: From the opening ("Positively shocking") to the seduction of Pussy Galore at the end, this film has it all. Goldfinger is an all time great villain, while Odd Job is an exceptional henchman. Connery delivers a master performance, and drives THE classic Bond Car, ejector seat included. The reason I put it #1 is not necessarily because it is the best film (although it is great), it checks all the boxes of what a perfect Bond film should do. - Why it's not higher: I cannot think of any notable imperfections. - Most under-appreciated part: The golf scene between Bond and Goldfinger is a delight to watch, demonstrating Bond's wits for the first and only time on the golf course.
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