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No Time to Die – and a Great Time to Binge

November 8, 2021


Written by Bill Brioux

TV columnist Bill Brioux, heard each week at Brioux.TV the podcast, is back with more viewing suggestions that are only a command away on Rogers Ignite TV. The theme, in celebration of the at-home premiere of “No Time to Die,” is The Best of Bond, James Bond.

“No Time to Die” is the fifth and final Bond film to star Daniel Craig. So far, it has grossed over $609 million worldwide in theatres. The two hour and 43-minute movie opens with 007 retired and living in Jamaica. Not for long, however, thanks to a request from his old CIA pal Felix Leiter.

The film’s streaming release date is set for November 9th.

Here are the ultimate 007 films you need to watch to get ready for Daniel Craig’s final mission. All are, like the legendary  agent himself, just a command away. Say the name of each of these movies or “James Bond” into your Rogers Ignite voice remote. As M16 gadget ace “Q” might say, don’t be shaken or stirred when they instantly pop up on your screen:

“Goldfinger” (1964). Sure, the spy spoof “Austin Powers” made fun of Goldfinger henchman “Odd Job” by naming a cloned character “Random Task.” The reason this movie is so spoof-able, however, is because it is so iconic. You’ve got the real James Bond (in my opinion), Sean Connery. You’ve got the original Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell). Gert Frobe, as Auric Goldfinger, is arguably the best Bond villain ever. Then there’s the car, the silver Aston Martin DB5. It is still popping up in the Daniel Craig Bond movies. Talk about rustproofing. Best of all, this film is so ‘60s – from the blaring Shirley Bassey theme to the gigantic bomb cart that looks like an ice cream freezer at the end. For me, “Goldfinger” never gets old.

“Diamonds are Forever” (1971). Not on everyone’s “Best Bond” list but hear me out. The first half of this film contains some of the most original scenes in the entire franchise. Connery, who had quit the series and skipped the previous outing, is back and better with age. The film has one of the most realistic fight scenes ever, where 007 and a villain fight to the death aboard an antique elevator. Bond getting just about burned alive at a crematorium is also a nail biter. And a pair of creepy bad guys add a very sinister spin to the spy genre. The second half? Too many gadgets, although Jill St. John kind of makes up for them.

“The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977). Must admit, I’m still a little partial to the Carly Simon sung theme song. Roger Moore, in his third outing, hits his stride as the more charming, less rugged special agent, almost winking his way through each mission. Villain Curt Jurgens is OK, but far more memorable is Barbara Bach – who later married Ringo Starr – as the Russian agent who gets a tad miffed once she learns that this British spy just offed her Russian boyfriend. The cherry on the cake is Richard Kiel as “Jaws,” a tall man with a mouth full of metal who tries to make a meal out of the M16 agent. The late actor sunk his teeth into the role a second time in Moore’s next entry.

“The Living Daylights” (1987). Timothy Dalton made two Bond films, one very good, one very bad. This is the good one. The British actor and fourth movie Bond demanded the producers stick more closely to the grittier Bond of the original Ian Fleming novels. The result was Bond as more of a burned-out killer than Moore’s glib, tuxedoed spy master. The plot finds Bond killing and saving Russian spies, but watch this one for Dalton, Timothy Dalton.

“GoldenEye” (1995). Pierce Brosnan’s first outing as 007 seems to grow in stature over the years, especially among those who grew up with the “GoldenEye 007” video game. It was Judi Dench’s first as M16 head “M,” with Sean Bean as a former double-O agent-turned crime syndicate boss. Alan Cumming, Famke Janssen, Joe Don Baker and Robbie Coltrane all made an impression, with the last two held over in the next Brosnan Bond movie.

“Casino Royale” (2006). For me, still the best Bond since “Goldfinger.” Daniel Craig’s first of five outings gets off to the fastest start of them all. The opening chase sequence high atop spinning cranes is a mastery of stunt work and effects. Craig’s more vulnerable Bond still manages to cut like a knife. Mads Mikkelsen’s Le Chiffre is a sadistic, ruthless villain and Eva Green was electric as Bond’s weakness. Judi Dench is once again excellent as “M.” And can we talk about the animated, opening theme song? The late Chris Cornell nails the vocals, the graphics are loaded with Easter eggs and that defiant, slow-build close-up of Craig as the titles end just screamed, “you know my name.”

“Skyfall” (2012). I take it back. Javier Bardem as ex-spy-turned-psychopath Raoul Silva is the deadliest Bond villain of them all. A new, younger “Q” (Ben Whishaw) and Miss Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) are both upgrades. Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney bring heft to the work, and Dench especially shines in her final turn as “M.” Director Sam Mendes, while still delivering on the action, brought welcome depth to all of thee characters. Adele’s theme song won an Oscar. Add the return of the Aston Martin DB5 and dozens of references to Bond’s past and this 50th anniversary edition of the series is one big valentine to fans of the series.

Starting today, “No Time to Die” is now available for rent on Rogers Ignite TV for $24.99