Film and TV

Cinema Slap Fight: James Bond Vs. James Bond...Times Three

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The Movies: Whatever your opinions of each particular Bond, each has made at least (and, in some cases, only) one better-than-average flick.

Connery -- Arguably the strongest catalog, with Goldfinger (popularly regarded as the best of the bunch), Thunderball (my favorite of his) and Dr. No. NSNA was pretty damn good, too.

Lazenby -- For all the breaking of the 4th wall and Austin Powers-esque costumes, On Her Majesty's Secret Service is a superior film. Poor George quit on his contract because, in the words of his agent, no one would care about spies in the '70s. Hope he fired that dude.

Moore -- A long track record as 007 that produced three legitimately good entries (Live and Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only) and three of the worst (Moonraker, Octopussy and A View To a Kill). Still, to my generation, he was Bond for most of our formative years.

Dalton -- His movies represent a transition between the goofball antics of Moore's stuff and the bigger budget, semi-serious Brosnan era. The Living Daylights is the best example, as it also had Bond dealing with more down-to-earth problems than cartoon supervillains.

Brosnan -- The former Remington Steele was tasked with bringing Bond out of the Cold War, which he did by...taking on a former Soviet general (and his old colleague, 006). Goldeneye is damn good, everything else...not so much.

Craig -- I'll point out I was one of the only people optimistic about Craig's version of 007, and Casino Royale is legitimately one of the top films in the franchise. I've warmed up to Quantum of Solace, but will reserve overall judgment until "Bond 23" comes out next year.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar