James Bond: Top 10 Vehicles

In anticipation of SPECTRE, FilmDungeon.com editor Jeppe Kleyngeld lists his favourite things about the James Bond series in 12 unique features. Enjoy!

10. BMW Z3
BMW Z3 2

Film: GOLDENEYE
Why Great? Who can explain it better than Q? Agile, five forward gears, all-point radar. Self-destruct system. And, naturally, all the usual refinements. Behind the headlights, Stinger missiles. It is a shame that this blue beauty is mostly driven by Bond’s CIA-buddy Jack Wade, and 007 told him ‘not to touch any buttons.’

9. British Balloon
British Baloon 1

Film: OCTOPUSSY
Why Great? This balloon is used to attack villain Kamal Khan’s hideout. Why is it great? We get to see Q in action for one thing. And it has her majesty’s flag, which is the best flag in the world, so thumbs up for this one, Q.

8. BMW 750iL
BMW 750Li 2

Film: TOMORROW NEVER DIES
Why Great? The look of the 750 is not the best BMW ever came up with, but the gadgetry Q came up with is. All the usual refinements – machine guns, a roof-mounted rocket launcher, self-sealing and re-inflating tires, a cable cutting device in the front hood emblem and a caltrop dispenser – are there. Add to that a GPS-tracking system with remote control. Bond uses it during a chase sequence in the Atlantic Hotel parking garage. Despite its armour that can easily withstand sledgehammer blows, the car sadly doesn’t make it to the end of the film.

7. Q’s Fishing Boat
Q's Fishing Boat 1

Film: THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH
Why Great? Hey, it’s Q’s boat, need we say more? Well it’s green for one thing, and it can achieve 80mph on the water. During the making of THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, it was discovered only by accident that its 350 horsepower engines could literally force the bow of the boat under water. The move was subsequently written into the film.

6. Acrostar Jet
Acrostar Jet 2

Film: OCTOPUSSY
Why Great? The Acrostar Jet, also known as BD-5 Micro, is the world’s lightest jet aircraft. It has remarkable speed and Bond does the handling fantastically in the opening sequence of OCTOPUSSY. He manages to outmanoeuvre a heat seeking missile that he then uses to destroy the enemy base. He then takes it to the gas station. ‘Fill her up, please.’ Now, that’s James Bond.

5. Lotus Esprit
Lotus Esprit 1

Film: THE SPY WHO LOVED ME
Why Great? Another great car with a few amazing accessories, very suitable for this marine oriented entry in the Bond series. It is a small submarine as well as a super fast sports car. And naturally, it is loaded with missiles for uninvited guests.

4. Aston Martin Vanquish
Aston Martin Vanquish 1

Film: DIE ANOTHER DAY
Why Great? Bond’s favourite car now has adaptive camouflage. Tiny camera’s on all sides project the image they see onto a light-emitting polymer skin on the opposite side. Furthermore is has all the usual features PLUS added target seeking shotguns. Not bad for a new Q (John Cleese took over from Desmond Llewelyn in this movie).

3. Jetpack
Jetpack 1

Film: THUNDERBALL
Why Great? Bond uses the jetpack during an escape from gunmen in the pre-credit sequence of THUNDERBALL. It just comes so unexpected, which makes it surprising besides spectacular. The Jetpack is actually a Bell Aerosystems Rocketbelt model, a fully functional rocket pack device. It was designed for use in the army, but was rejected because of its short flying time of approximately 21 seconds. Powered by hydrogen peroxide, it could fly about 250 meters and reach a maximum altitude of 18 meters, going 55 kilometres an hour and providing 1000 brake horsepower. Despite its impracticality in the real world, the Jetpack makes a spectacular debut in THUNDERBALL.

2. Little Nellie
Little Nellie 2

Film: YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE
Why Great? Little Nellie and her father Q arrive in Japan halfway YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE to aid Bond in his mission. Once Little Nellie is put together, it appears to be a toy helicopter, but it’s certainly not. She is equipped with two machine guns, two rockets launchers that fire heat seeking air-to-air missiles, two flame throwers firing astern, two smoke ejectors and a bunch of aerial mines, only to use directly above target. Little Nellie is ready for action and she gets some soon after. Nice.

1. Aston Martin DB5
Aston Martin DB5 2

Films: GOLDFINGER, THUNDERBALL, GOLDENEYE, TOMMOROW NEVER DIES, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, CASINO ROYALE, SKYFALL

Why Great?
The Aston Martin is perhaps Bond’s most famous ride. It is just a fine and classy automobile. Off course, Bond’s model usually features some Q modifications. As described in GOLDFINGER: Windscreen bulletproof, as are the side and rear windows. Revolving number plates valid in all countries. A tracking device. Smoke screen, oil slick and left and right front wing machine guns. The highlight according to ‘Q’: The passenger ejector seat, which Bond puts to good use in GOLDFINGER. The car gets an occasional upgrade in later films.

Aston Martin DB5 1

 

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James Bond: 10 Best Title Sequences

In anticipation of SPECTRE, FilmDungeon.com editor Jeppe Kleyngeld lists his favourite things about the James Bond series in 12 unique features. Enjoy!

10. The Man with the Golden Gun
Song: ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’
Artist: Lulu (performer) and John Barry (composer)The Man with the Golden Gun 1
Golden guns and bullets and beautiful (naked) dames make for a very cool opening sequence, even though the opening song by Scottish singer Lulu is somewhat forgettable. The theme tune is considered by critics to be among the weakest of Barry’s contributions to the series. He agrees himself. ‘It’s the one I hate most… it just never happened for me.’

9. Tomorrow Never Dies
Song: ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’
Artist: Sheryl Crow (writer and performer) and Mitchell Froom (writer and producer)
Tomorrow Never Dies 1
Bond really enters the digital age with TOMORROW NEVER DIES. The title scene represents that transition perfectly with the usual images of guns and girls morphed into digital transformations. It has a relaxed pace, features a melodic song by Sheryl Crow and perfectly fits the media theme of the instalment.

8. Moonraker
Song: ‘Moonraker’
Artist: Shirley Bassey (performer) and John Barry (composer)Moonraker 1
High velocity, blue moons, the earth seen from space, lunar experience, dames flying… The Moonraker title sequence features the third and final Bond-song performed by Shirley Bassey (following GOLDFINGER and DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER). Very pleasant title sequence that feels a bit like floating in outer space…

7. Licence to Kill
Song: ‘Licence to Kill’
Artist: Gladys Knight (performer) and Michael Kamen (composer)Licence to Kill 1
John Barry was not available at the time of production for LICENCE TO KILL, so Michael Kamen (LETHAL WEAPON, DIE HARD) got the composing job. The song, performed by Gladys Knight, became one of the finest and most popular title songs of the series. It remains a classic song to this day, really beautiful. The title design is the last one by Maurice Binder. He died in 1991.

6. Dr. No
Song: ‘The James Bond Theme’
Artist: Monty Norman (writer) and John Barry (composer)Dr. No 1
The first ever title sequence is a pretty basic, but colourful and atmospheric animation sequence. What really makes it work is the exciting and cool surf rock style guitar riff. This ‘James Bond theme’ would return in every Bond flick. Since this is the first time the theme music is used, a position in this list is obligatory.

5. Casino Royale
Song: ‘You Know My Name’
Artist: Chris Cornell (writer and performer) and David Arnold (writer and composer)Casino Royale 1
‘You know my name.’
Yes, we do. The CASINO ROYALE animation is a stunning piece of art work. In designing the credit sequence, designer Daniel Kleinman was inspired by the cover of the 1953 British first edition of CASINO ROYALE, which featured Ian Fleming’s original design of a playing card bordered by eight red hearts dripping with blood. The scene ends with Bond’s double 0 status being confirmed. New Bond Daniel Craig walks up to the camera, slowly revealing his face. Yes, this is Bond allright.

4. GoldenEye
Song: ‘GoldenEye’
Artist: Tina Turner (performer), Bono & The Edge (writers) and Nellee Hooper (composer)GoldenEye 1
Tina Turner’s GoldenEye is one of the coolest opening songs ever. It rightly became one of the highest-charting hit singles of Turner’s career in the UK and Europe. The images of the credit sequence mostly revolve around the destruction of the old USSR, one of the main themes of GOLDENEYE. It also has a gun popping out of a girl’s mouth; a combination of the two most frequently used elements in Bond title sequences. Fantastic first design job by Daniel Kleinman, who succeeded Maurice Binder who had died in 1991.

3. You Only Live Twice
Song: ‘You Only Live Twice’
Artist: Nancy Sinatra (performer) and John Barry (composer)You Only Live Twice 1
Bitter sweet Asian style credit sequence featuring one of the most beautiful James Bond title songs. Nancy Sinatra sings a song that could easily be her fathers; romantic and spellbinding. Maurice Binder created another visually impressive intro featuring volcanos, Japanese hand fans and off course pretty Asian girls. We like.

2. Goldfinger
Song: ‘Goldfinger’
Artist: Shirley Bassey (performer) and John Barry (composer)Goldfinger 2
Beautiful golden images combines with the greatest James Bond title song hands down. Shirley Bassey’s vocals give us goose bumps every time. Interestingly, the theme was almost taken out of the film because of its producer’s (Harry Saltzman) opinion. He hated it, saying ‘That’s the worst fucking song I’ve ever heard in my fucking life’. Luckily, there was no time to record another song, so the theme song stayed. During the opening, we get to see many clips of the movie we are about to see moulded in golden shapes. It has the same effect gold does; it makes us greedy for more. Great job!

1. Skyfall
Song: ‘Skyfall’
Artist: Adele (writer and performer) and Paul Epworth (writer and producer)Skyfall 1
‘This is the end…’
A fascinating play of shadows and dark underwater worlds, and tokens of death… Designer Daniel Kleinman’s best so far. And Adele’s title song really has the classic sound to it. An unparalleled beauty of a credit sequence.

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James Bond: 10 Best Pre-Credit Scenes

In anticipation of SPECTRE, FilmDungeon.com editor Jeppe Kleyngeld lists his favourite things about the James Bond series in 12 unique features. Enjoy!

The 10 Best Pre-Credit Scenes 


10. Die Another Day
Die Another Day 1
Multi-dollar action sequence in North Korea, featuring terrific hovercrafts and high-tech weaponry. In his last performance as Bond, Brosnan comes surfing in on this high stakes assassination mission. The images have a very bleak colour, fitting and stylish for the North Korean setting. Most of the action consists of a hovercraft chase through a damp North Korean forest.

9. Licence to Kill
License to Kill
Felix Leiter’s wedding is rudely interrupted by the DEA. They are after a South American drug lord who is currently on the Bahamas’ and they enlist CIA-agent Leiter to catch him. Bond goes along for the ride, but ‘strictly as an observer’. Yeah right. It is too much to explain all that happens next, but it’s very good stuff. It ends in a brilliant stunt, namely a DEA helicopter that plucks Sanchez’s plane straight out of the sky. Leiter and Bond still make it to the wedding in time by parachute.

8. Octopussy
Octopussy 1
Octopussy 2
007 becomes a one man army in this adrenaline fuelled start of OCTOPUSSY. He pretends to be Colonel Luis Toro in order to enter a heavily armed enemy base in Cuba to place a bomb. But he is caught, so he has to go with Plan B. That involves attacking the base with a micro airplane, being chased by a heat seeking missile and using that to blow up the main hangar (where the enemy’s secret weapons are stored). Off course he also snugs a girl during all of this. That is how you fulfil your objectives in style.

7. Thunderball
Thunderball 3
James attends the funeral of Colonel Jacques Bouvar, an operative from SPECTRE (Number 6). On his coffin are the initials JB and Bond remarks that he would have liked killing Bouvar himself for murdering two of his colleagues. Later, Bond goes to the château of Bouvar where he identifies his foe disguised as his own widow. A spectacular fight ensues in which no piece of furniture is left unused. After Bond killed Bouvar with a fire poke, he makes a spectacular escape using a jetpack and his Aston Martin DB5. Very cool sequence that sucks you right into the movie.

6. For Your Eyes Only
For Your Eyes Only
It took a while, but James finally gets his revenge on his arch enemy Ernst Stravro Blofeld for murdering his wife Teresa in ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE. This credit sequence has no direct link with the story in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, but does fit the central ‘revenge’ theme. Bond is called away while visiting his deceased wife’s grave. As he approaches Blofeld’s hide-out, the controls of his chopper are taken over by the old SPECTRE leader. After Blofeld has toyed with him for a while, Bond manages to take back control of the chopper again, scoops up Blofeld and drops him in a factory chimney. ‘Mr. Bond’, he pleads, ‘We can do a deal. I’ll buy you a delicatessen. In stainless steal.’

5. Casino Royale
Casino Royale 1
This back-to-the-beginning entry in the series opens with a grainy black and white sequence in which Bond earns his Double 0-status. We learn it takes two kills to become a Double 0. The first one is a real die hard kill in a men’s room. But the second one is considerably easier. Nice to meet you, Mr. Bond.

4. Skyfall
Skyfall 1
SKYFALL opens with a massive pursuit through Turkey. Bond needs to get his hands on a stolen list with identities of secret agents. He chases the bad guy on foot, by car, by bike and by train. With trademark humour (‘just changing carriages’) and plenty of demolition. The perfect opening for Bond’s 50th anniversary movie.

3. You Only Live Twice
You Only Live Twice 1
It begins with the brutal space jacking of Jupiter 16, an American spacecraft. With the cold war going on, the Americans are quick to accuse the Russians, but her Majesty’s government does not agree. Their sources say the enemy’s spacecraft has landed in Japan, so all secret intelligence should look in that direction. ‘Our man in Hong Kong is on it right now’, says a British official. Cut to James Bond making love to a Chinese girl. Soon after, Bond is executed off screen and the police finds his dead body. Surely, James can not be dead? Very suspenseful opening of the fifth official Bond movie.

2. The Spy Who Loved Me
The Spy Who Loved Me
A submarine hijacking, a terrific skiing purchase, the classic British flag escape… This is how you start a Bond movie. The action is also a set-up for the plot, unlike the usual standalone pre-credit scenes. Bond kills a Russian agent who happens to be the lover of a female Russian spy (the gorgeous Triple X) who James will very soon meet…

1. GoldenEye
GoldenEye 2
It is a breath-taking moment, when James bungee jumps of a massive dam in Russia. After that comes the toilet joke (‘beg your pardon, forgot to knock’), the first we see of Pierce Brosnan’s humorous take on 007. After that it is action time with Bond and colleague 006, who are assigned to destroy a chemical weapons factory. After 006 gets killed by General Ouromov, Bond makes a very narrow escape by pulling an unbelievable airplane stunt. Spectacular opening in every way.

007

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