Is Daniel Craig the Best Bond Ever?

For some, the latest James Bond movie, Spectre, was another triumph for the franchise. For others, it was a bit “meh”. However, for Daniel Craig, it appears to have been a harrowing experience.

Earlier this year, the British actor stated that he would rather do anything than reprise the role. Naturally, with Craig on the verge of handing in his gun and locking away the Aston Martin, the big wigs at the production company were forced to take evasive action and reportedly made an uncharacteristic play for Craig.

According to reports, Craig was unhappy at the amount of time it takes to shoot a Bond movie so, in a bid to keep him on board, the bosses apparently offered him a back-to-back deal which would have cut down the amount of time he was away from his family.

As yet it’s unclear whether or not Craig has acquiesced to any modified deals, but that hasn’t stopped the bookies from setting lines on the most likely man to replace him. Idris Elba and Damian Lewis are currently the hot tips among Bond fans and industry insiders, but it looks as though they’ll only get to don the famous tuxedo if Craig heads off into the sunset.

So why the love for Craig? With Casino Royale set to turn ten years old later this year, we thought we’d take a look at three reasons why he could be the best Bond ever.

Craig Made Bond Modern

One of the main reasons Craig is lauded by Bond fans is that he helped bring the character into the 21st century. Pre-Craig, the franchise had become stale and outdated. Although Pierce Brosnan embodied the charm and charisma of Bond, he didn’t have the rugged edge that many modern movie heroes have.

This rugged edge was then expertly combined with the always cool casino motif. Images of slick gamblers in flashy suits wagering huge sums of money on games such as poker and blackjack has always captivated the imagination of audiences, so when Bond took on Le Chiffre in a high stakes poker game it became an instant hit.

To make the poker scenes as believable as possible, director Martin Campbell hired professional players such as Casper Berry to help make Craig’s moves authentic. This ability to capture the moment, give off an air of authenticity and still make James Bond an aspirational figure was a major reason for Casino Royale, moreover, Craig’s success as Bond.

In fact, the connection between Bond and the casino world has lived on ever since. When the film was released in 2006 the online gaming boom was at its peak and, spurred on by the popularity of Casino Royale, a host of operators decided to use Bond imagery to enhance their products. James Bond-themed slots such as Double 0 Cash and Spy Game sat alongside classics such as blackjack and roulette.

With everyone wanting to become the next James Bond and bring down the house, online casinos like Titan Casino Online are giving new players a chance to join the action without spending their own money. Today, the online gaming industry is still going strong and even though Craig’s Casino Royale is a decade old, his image is still be used to show off the “cool” aspects of the industry.

Craig Brought in the Big Bucks

Despite initial fears that people wouldn’t take to Craig in his role as Bond, the numbers don’t lie. After breaking box office records in its opening week, Casino Royale went on to gross $594 million in movie theatre revenue and a further $210 million in home movie sales.

As if that wasn’t enough, Quantum of Solace went on to take $591 million in box office sales. However, as impressive as those figures are, Skyfall managed to almost make more than those two combined with a staggering $1.1 billion in international box office sales.

To top it all off, Spectre banked an impressive $879 million back in 2015 to take Craig’s box office earnings as Bond beyond the $3 billion mark.

Craig’s Body Did the Talking

At 5 foot 10 inches, many said Craig was too short to play bond. However, following his famous beach scene in Casino Royale, many quickly changed their tune.

Craig was not only buffer than the average Bond, but his frame actually made his fight scenes a lot more believable. Although many male fans will deny that this changed their opinion of Bond, there’s no denying that he was one of the more athletic Bonds in recent years and that helped turn the tide.

Is Craig the best Bond ever? Quite possibly and even if he doesn’t reprise the role, we can certainly look back at some impressive performances as the world’s greatest spy.

CD Review “Best of Bond…James Bond: 50 Years – 50 Tracks”

Artists: Various
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Number of Discs: 2
Label: Capitol/EMI

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic James Bond film franchise. While we are all highly anticipating the release of the 23rd Bond film “Skyfall”.  Capitol/EMI is releasing “Best Of Bond… James Bond”, which is a collection of 50 years of music over 50 tracks, all digitally remastered. If you are looking for all the memorable theme songs from all 22 official Bond films, then this is the release for you! I am not sure why Adele’s new song from “Skyfall” is M.IA., since it is being released during the 50th anniversary celebration.  I have always loved these themes, they also perfectly set the stage for the films and were always fun.  If you are a Bond fan this is a must though if you own these already from previous editions, then there is no real draw for this otherwise being a collector.

This release is available in a 23-track single-disc edition and 50 track deluxe edition.  Both editions feature all the themes  22 Bond films released since 1962.  The cover art is a really cool looking Bond “Golden Girl” and the official 50th anniversary logo.  The expanded edition adds several score pieces from The John Barry Orchestra and other original songs heard in the films by Dame Shirley Bassey, Marvin Hamlisch, The Pretenders, Moby, k.d. lang, David Arnold, and others. Honestly, I had a real issue with the second disc.  The tracks were not that sharp and overall the songs didn’t really put me in the mood for Bond. The first disc is really where the best tracks are for this release, I wouldn’t give the second disc even a second listen. But I am sure that mega-Bond fans would be excited to get all these tracks in one place for the first time.

 Track Listings: 

DISC ONE
1. James Bond Theme – The John Barry Orchestra [from Dr. No, 1962]
2. From Russia With Love – Matt Monro [from From Russia With Love, 1963]
3. Goldfinger – Shirley Bassey [from Goldfinger, 1964]
4. Thunderball – Tom Jones [from Thunderball, 1965]
5. You Only Live Twice – Nancy Sinatra [from You Only Live Twice, 1967]
6. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – The John Barry Orchestra [from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1969]
7. We Have All The Time In The World – Louis Armstrong [from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1969]
8. Diamonds Are Forever – Shirley Bassey [from Diamonds Are Forever, 1971]
9. Live And Let Die – Paul McCartney & Wings [from Live And Let Die, 1973]
10. The Man With The Golden Gun – Lulu [from The Man With The Golden Gun, 1974]
11. Nobody Does It Better – Carly Simon [from The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977]
12. Moonraker – Shirley Bassey [from Moonraker, 1979]
13. For Your Eyes Only – Sheena Easton [from For Your Eyes Only, 1981]
14. All Time High – Rita Coolidge [from Octopussy, 1983]
15. A View To A Kill – Duran Duran [from A View To A Kill, 1985]
16. The Living Daylights – A-Ha [from The Living Daylights, 1987]
17. Licence To Kill – Gladys Knight [from Licence To Kill, 1989]
18. GoldenEye (Single Edit) – Tina Turner [from GoldenEye, 1995]
19. Tomorrow Never Dies – Sheryl Crow [from Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997]
20. The World Is Not Enough – Garbage [from The World Is Not Enough, 1999]
21. Die Another Day – Madonna [from Die Another Day, 2002]
22. You Know My Name – Chris Cornell [from Casino Royale, 2006]
23. Another Way To Die – Jack White & Alicia Keys [from Quantum Of Solace, 2008]

DISC TWO
1. Dr. No’s Fantasy – The Monty Norman Orchestra [from Dr. No, 1962]
2. Under The Mango Tree – Diana Coupland [from Dr. No, 1962]
3. 007 – The John Barry Orchestra [from From Russia With Love, 1963]
4. Opening Titles (Medley): James Bond Is Back/From Russia With Love/James Bond Theme – The John Barry Orchestra [from From Russia With Love, 1963]
5. Into Miami – The John Barry Orchestra [from Goldfinger, 1964]
6. The Laser Beam – The John Barry Orchestra [from Goldfinger, 1964]
7. Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – Shirley Bassey [submitted for Thunderball but not included in film, 1965]
8. Switching The Body – The John Barry Orchestra [from Thunderball, 1965]
9. Capsule in Space – The John Barry Orchestra [from You Only Live Twice, 1967]
10. Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown – Nina [from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1969]
11. Bond Smells a Rat – The John Barry Orchestra [from Diamonds Are Forever, 1971]
12. Fillet Of Soul-New Orleans/Live And Let Die/Fillet Of Soul-Harlem (Medley) – The George Martin Orchestra featuring B.J. Arnau [from Live And Let Die, 1973]
13. Underground Lair – The John Barry Orchestra [from Live And Let Die, 1973]
14. Hip’s Trip – The John Barry Orchestra [from The Man With The Golden Gun, 1974]
15. The Pyramids – Marvin Hamlisch [from The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977]
16. Cable Car And Snake Fight – The John Barry Orchestra [from Moonraker, 1979]
17. Make It Last All Night – Bill Conti featuring Rage [from For Your Eyes Only, 1981]
18. The Chase Bomb Theme – The John Barry Orchestra [from Octopussy, 1983]
19. Snow Job – The John Barry Orchestra [from A View To A Kill, 1985]
20. Where Has Everybody Gone – The Pretenders [from The Living Daylights, 1987]
21. If There Was a Man – The Pretenders [closing credits song from The Living Daylights, 1987]
22. The Experience Of Love – Eric Serra [from GoldenEye, 1995]
23. James Bond Theme – Moby (Moby’s Re-Version) [inspired by the UA motion picture Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997]
24. Surrender – k.d. lang [closing credits song from Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997]
25. Only Myself To Blame – Scott Walker [from The World Is Not Enough, 1999]
26. Vesper – David Arnold [from Casino Royale, 2006]
27. Time To Get Out – David Arnold [from Quantum Of Solace, 2008]

Britt Ekland talks about “The Wicker Man” and playing Bond Girl in “The Man with the Golden Gun”

Britt Ekland is known best for her roles in 1973’s “The Wicker Man” and playing Bond girl in “The Man with the Golden Gun”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Britt about her film work and her experiences working with Christopher Lee and Roger Moore.

Mike Gencarelli: How was the experience working on the film “The Wicker Man”?
Britt Ekland: It was very difficult as I discovered during shooting that I was pregnant. I couldn’t understand why my dress suddenly felt so tight. So, took the night train to London on my day off and went to the doctor for a test. He confirmed that I was pregnant. We had a lot of exterior shooting and, of course, it always had to look sunny and warm, but we worked in October and November so it was quite cold and windy in Scotland. There were a lot of exterior shooting and a lot of walking!

MG: Can you reflect on the cult status the film has developed over the years?
BE: I don’t think any of us, at the time, thought about it, for me it was just another movie and one I hadn’t been very happy doing. But I guess it was the first time, on screen, someonewasn’t saved in the end and I think that had a big impact on the audience.

MG: What did you like most about playing a Bond girl in “The Man with the Golden Gun”?


BE: I so wanted to be a Bond Girl after seeing Ursula Andress in Dr. No and those beautiful locations, that I read the book “The Man with The Golden Gun” and called Cubby Broccoli’s office to see him. I was already an established actressthen. I had dressed as a secretary (this was early 70’s) in a plain skirt, a white blouse and my hair in twist. Cubby said that the script wasn’t finished yet and they based the story more on the title. As I was leaving, Roger More came in and said hello. Very handsome. I had to go to the States to do a movie for 6 weeks and on the plane back to Britain, I read that another Swedish girl had been cast in the new Bond film. I was devastated! As soon as I got home my agent called and said Cubby Broccoli wanted to see me, I naively thought he was going to apologize for me not getting the part. As I waited in his office he suddenly walked in and said you are “Mary Goodnight!” I asked about that other Swedish girl and he said that is Christopher Lee’s girlfriend. I couldn’t have beenhappier meeting and working with Maud Adams, we have been the closest of friends ever since.

MG: How was it working with Roger Moore and Christopher Lee (again)?
BE: When I did the “Wicker Man”, I always found Christopher Lee very quiet and distant, but when we did the Bond Film, I met his Danish wife and we all got on very well together. But he is a very serious man. Roger on the other hand was very friendly and open and great fun to be with, always looking for ways to make us laugh. Roger had his wife and children with him on location. I also had my 2 children, Victoria and Nicholai, with me.

MG: How did you feel being dubbed in the role?
BE: Yes I was dubbed in the “Wicker Man”n even though I did my own dubbing in a Scottish accent, obviously they didn’t like it. As an actress I think that is probably the worst thing that can happen to you and I was very unhappy about it.

MG: Can you reflect on your experience in the show “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!”?
BE: I was asked 2 years earlier to do the show but I wasn’t mentally ready to do it. It takes a lot of strength to “just be yourself” and not act. I also have a one-woman show and I wanted the exposure that a show like Get Me Out… gives. Even young boys on their bikes knew who I was, when I came out, amazing! To actually be in the show was quite boring as there is nothing to do all day, unless you have a task, and the rainforest set is quite small and you weren’t allowed to go outside it!

MG: You’ve done quite a bit of theatre, how can you feel it differs? Do you prefer?
BE: I went to drama school as a young woman and my first engagement was touring Sweden with a Variety show for many month, but then i was discovered by 20th Century Fox and my stage career ended. I went back to stage work in the early 90’s and had to learn all over again what it’s like being on stage. I had horrid stage fright in the beginning but slowly over the years, it doesn’t seem so frightening anymore. I very much enjoy being on stage and I love the interaction with the audience. I think you come to a certain age where your choices are limited and I now feel comfortable on stage.

Book Review “The James Bond Omnibus 002”

Author: Ian Fleming
Paperback: 344 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: April 12, 2011

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t love James Band.  Ever since I saw my first Bond film “Goldfinger”, I was hooked.  There is just something about this character that is just timeless throughout generations.  Ian Fleming has easily created the world’s most famous secret agent.  This book is the second volume in a collection of James Bond original daily comic strips.  This book is easily one of the best in the series as well.  You can read out past reviews here for “Omnibus 001” and “Omnibus 003“.  If you love yourself some James Bond, than these books are sure win.

Bond is renowned for sipping a Vodka Martini while winning in a casino, join him today by visiting www.galacasino.co.uk

This volume contains seven of Iam Fleming’s stories and contains where “Omnibus 001” left off bringing us the comics based on the novels that inspired the movies. If you are a fan of these that you are going to love a chance to read these in the original comic format.  The stories included are: “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, “You Only Live Twice”, “The Man with the Golden Gun”, “The Living Daylights”, “Octopussy”, “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “The Hildebrand Rarity”. This is the very first time that these comic strips have been available in one format.

” Omnibus 002″ is the longest in the three volume series to date.  It matches “Omnibus 003” with seven stories but less than “Omnibus 001” with eleven stories.  James Bond has been entertaining audiences for over 50 years and this just proves that it will continue for many more.  Titans Books is well known for releasing high quality work and this one definitely does not stray from its norm.  Like its previous volumes, it has very sharp and clear black and white color and the paper feels like an old newspaper.  This is really a treat and very much recommended to any true 007 fan.

Book Review “The James Bond Omnibus 001″

Author: Ian Fleming
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: December 1, 2009

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Usually with volumized books, you would start at volume 1, or 001 in this case. I recently had “The James Bond Omnibus 003″ show up at my door to review. I was not familiar with this series but loved it, read review here.  Nonetheless, I tracked down the first volume in the series and in fact it is actually better than the later.  James Bond has always held a special place in my heart.  I though have been a bigger fan of the earlier films than the recent ones from Pierce Bronson onwards.  If you are a fan of 007, this series is a must own.

“Omnibus 001” in case you didn’t known is a collection of comics featuring our special agent 007 from Ian Fleming.  This volume contains eleven of these original daily comic strips.  The following is the reason why this triumphs over “Omnibus 003”.  This volume includes the very well known stories of: “Casino Royale”, “Live and Let Die”, “Moonraker”, “Diamonds Are Forever”, “From Russia with Love”, “Dr. No”, “Goldfinger”, “From a View to a Kill”, “For Your Eyes Only” and “Thunderball”.  If you are a fan of these amazing films, you are going to love a chance to read them in comic format.

Titan Books is really known for treating the world’s most famous secret agent 007 very well.  They have released many great collections and these “Omnibus” books are just a great item to own for all fans of 007.  As I mentioned in the review for “Omnibus 003”, the paper in the book feels like an old newspaper so it really makes it feels authentic.  Like i mentioned before I hope there are more volumes in the work for this series because I can never get enough of Ian Fleming and his crafty suave secret agent.

Book Review “The James Bond Omnibus 003”

Author: Ian Fleming
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: April 3, 2012

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

James Bond is the longest film series to date and is continuing that trend when the 23rd Bond movie hits theaters this November. Well, this book let’s travel back to the original comic days created by Ian Flemming. It celebrates James Bond and his adventures in comic strip form. If you are fan of James Bond, this is a real treat and great addition to the series.

The book is softcover but has a really strong shiny cover. I love the paper quality too since it feels like an old newspaper. Includes inside are seven of 007’s most thrilling and dangerous missions: “The Harpies”, “River of Death”, “The Golden Ghost”, “Fear Face”, “Double Jeopardy”, “Starfire” and “Colonel Sun”. These stories look glorious in black and white and are real page turners.

Personally, I have never read Bond in comic form before so this a real treat for me. It hard to believe but it is just as thrilling and exciting to follow the comic as it is the movies. Since this book is actually the third volume in the series, I would definitely recommend checking out the first two as well. I will also be looking forward to future installments from Titan Books as we get closer to November 2012 and the latest Bond film.

Be sure to check out our reviews from “The James Bond Omnibus 001 and 002“.