Skyfall is the 23rd official James Bond movie, and over the years filmmakers have made many good choices as well as some bad ones. For example, the new movie features the first Oscar-winning director of the entire series, Sam Mendes, but it also features James Bond reaching for a Heineken rather than his shaken-not-stirred martini, thanks to some pricey product placement. Here's a list of our favorite -- and least favorite -- things about Bond.
1. Best Bond Car
Bond's silver Aston Martin was so cool it kept re-appearing in the series, driven by Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig (though in slightly newer models). It's one of those cars with lines so beautiful it just seems to have sprung up directly in accordance with Bond's DNA. It's so cool that even if anyone who wasn't Bond drove it up to a hotel casino, it would get lots of stares and whistles.
2. Worst Bond Car
The invisible Aston martin in Die Another Day is, admittedly, still pretty darn cool, but it gets an equal number of groans from audiences as it does oohs and ahs. The tone of the scene is also rather silly, thereby diminishing the impact an invisible car might have had. A close runner up in this category is the ridiculous moon buggy Connery uses for a quick escape in Diamonds Are Forever
3. Best Bond Gadget
The watches are nice, but it's no contest: Sean Connery's jet pack in Thunderball. Of all the gadgets in all the Bond films, this is the one that would be on the Christmas wish list of every boy in the Western world. And nobody looked cooler than Connery operating it, wearing his suit and tie, no helmet or anything, just as if he were commuting to work. Scientists of the world, please get on this!
4. Worst Bond Gadget
The radioactive lint in On Her Majesty's Secret Service is a terrible idea. Apparently, a spy simply sprinkles it in an unsuspecting person's pocket -- where it mingles with ordinary lint, chewing gum, old receipts and who knows what else? -- and the person can be tracked anywhere. Being 1969, guess nobody bothered to think about what radioactive lint might do to one's skin.
5. Best Bond Weapon
We're cheating a little bit here, because this weapon isn't Bond's. Oddjob's deadly bowler hat in Goldfinger is a gadget that's hard to forget, even if you've seen all the films. It looks like an ordinary hat, until Oddjob (Harold Sakata) flings it at a statue; some kind of razor sharp, ultra-hard steel lining in the brim simply slices the stone head right off. And of course, when Bond and Oddjob have their showdown, it's a good one. Bond even looks a bit worried.
6. Worst Bond Weapon
If you think about it, the ski pole gun in The Spy Who Loved Me is pretty useless in most normal situations. You can't exactly bring it into a casino or a secret hideout and look inconspicuous. According to experts, it held four shots, and it required not only superb balance and aim -- while skiing -- but also the ability to hit a moving target. To make matters even more interesting, Roger Moore manages to use the weapon effectively while skiing backwards.
7. Best Bond Villain
Goldfinger is up there, and so is Blofeld, who was in so many of the movies (portrayed by many actors). And Jonathan Pryce's evil, world-dominating media maven in Tomorrow Never Dies is eerily prophetic, but Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) in The Man With The Golden Gun is the winner. Not only did Lee have enough class and style to appear in a Bond film without becoming a cartoon character, but also his Scaramanga could hold his own in a fight with Bond.
8. Worst Bond Villain
Ah... there are so many, and Joe Don Baker in The Living Daylights is one, but our hearts go out to Christopher Walken, who -- even in his worst moments -- is at least capable of delivering some campy weirdness (see Gigli for the ultimate example). But in A View To Kill he's just bad, bad, bad. He's even given the job of uttering (together with Grace Jones), the movie's awkward title, as if it made sense.
9. Best Bond Outfit
In a time when most of our movie heroes are unshaven and wear jeans, Bond's black tuxedo, with black tie, are still a sign of class and style. Sure, you might call it a "monkey suit," and maybe times are changing and maybe ties are becoming a thing of the past, but when Bond walks into a room -- or even chases a bad guy -- looking like that, no one complains.
10. Worst Bond Outfit
Roger Moore's clown suit in Octopussy used to escape West German police, was a huge low point in the series. For many it even signaled the end of it all. Surely if Bond could sink this low, then he had no more place in society. To make matters worse, Bond wears a gorilla suit -- and yodels a Tarzan-like yell -- in this same movie. Couldn't there have been a subtler disguise? Is there no shame?
11. Best Bond Girl
Here's where the gloves come off, and it's a tough choice. It's hard to pass up "Pussy Galore" (Honor Blackman), or the original, Ursula Andress, not to mention Diana Rigg and Britt Ekland. But voting with our hearts, we have to choose French beauty Carole Bouquet in For Your Eyes Only She's got long, silky hair and features that are still appealing, and she's a badass assassin, every bit an equal -- and a strong opposite -- to Roger Moore's Bond.
12. Best Bond Girl (tie)
Halle Berry in Die Another Day deserves a special mention as well, not only for blurring color lines, but for emerging from the ocean in that astonishing orange bikini, challenging none other than Ms. Andress herself. As "Jinx," Berry slid right into a perfect chemistry with her Bond (Brosnan), and brought a proud combination of strength, sexuality, and confidence to the movie, making the whole franchise look good.
13. Worst Bond Girl
Two come to mind: first Lynn-Holly Johnson as a bubble-headed blonde who throws herself at Roger Moore in For Your Eyes Only, but perhaps even worse is the bizarre Grace Jones as "May Day" in A View To Kill. As a pop star, we have never understood her appeal, and even less so as an actress. It's so baffling when Bond beds her that even Moore looks confused.
14. Best Bond Song
This is another tough contest, with Shirley Bassey at a close second with her trio of bluesy theme songs. But Paul McCartney is the clear winner with "Live and Let Die." McCartney was at the height of his solo songwriting career; while never a great lyricist (the grammar troubles in this song make scholars crazy), its driving power is ageless. (Third place: Jack White and Alicia Keys' "Another Way to Die.")
15. Worst Bond Song
Most of the older songs have grown in appeal over the years, thanks to the weird way they sound so similar, but so much of their time. Certainly "The Living Daylights," by a-ha, is one of the odd ones, with its clunky synthesizer beats, but frankly, Chris Cornell's yowling "You Know My Name" from Casino Royale is abrasive and annoying. Sure, they were trying to re-invent the series with a tougher Bond, but... there were better ways.
Did we hit some nails on the head? What are your favorite (and least) things about Bond?