With seven days left until North American moviegoers finally get their chance to see the latest James Bond movie, “Skyfall,” we here at It’s Just Movies are hoping to make the wait a little easier for you by bringing you “7 Days of 007” this week. Each day we will deliver a different Top 5 Bond list all the way through Friday, when “Skyfall” opens in North American theaters.
Bond lists that will be included during the next seven days include “The Top 5 Greatest Bond Films,” “The Top 5 Worst Bond Films,” “The Top 5 Bond Moments,” “The Top 5 Bond Girls,” “The Top 5 Bond Villains,” “The Top 5 Bond Theme Songs” and today’s first list, “The Top 5 Bond Movie Opening Sequences.“
We hope you enjoy reading our Bond lists during the next seven days and please feel free to post your comments and your own personal lists on the comment section on the right.
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One of the most exciting parts of any Bond film is the “opening sequence.” These are usually action-packed, intriguing opening scenes that may or may not be related to the movie that follows. But they have become essential to the movies and most fans really look forward to them.
My personal favorite opening sequences are the ones that involve multiple arenas of action. For instance, it starts on land and moves onto air or sea, or vice versa. Throw in a beautiful starlet and it only makes it better. Some opening sequences are shorter than others, but what they all are supposed to be is a taste of what’s to come.
With “Skyfall” hitting the big screen here in America next week, I’m already hearing it contains an amazing opening sequence, one to add to our top favorites. But which opening sequences are amongst the most remembered and praised?
Choosing just five is no fun task because there are 23 Bond movies and I personally love a great deal of them. So, I will do my best, but I also don’t want to use the same choices we read about over and over.
Here is my Top 5 list of opening sequences:
5. “Die Another Day”
“Die Another Day” is one of my least favorite Bond movies, but I’ll be dammed if it doesn’t have one of the best opening sequences. As a matter of fact, all of Pierce Brosnan films had amazing opening sequences. They seemed to go out of their way to make them epic. From sneaking into a military camp to an all-out battle on hovercrafts like never before filmed, this deserves top five in my opinion. But what makes this one especially unique is that it works itself into the theme song. During the theme song’s visuals and effects, we continue to get glimpses of where the opening sequences left off. It’s very different and that’s why it made my list as No. 5.
Unfortunately, the opening sequence isn’t available on YouTube, so we have the credits scene for you.
4. “The World is Not Enough”
Here is another Pierce Brosnan opening sequence that really impressed the fans. Personally, I love it because it never stops giving. Just when you think it is over, the most amazing boat chase scene follows, one that spans land, air, and sea. But let me be more specific: we get “Q” and we get “M.” We get cool gadgets, and explosions. We get a beautiful model/actress; we get fast boats and torpedoes. C’mon, this opening sequence is a Bond movie in itself. I love it and I hope you do, too.
The “Goldeneye” opening sequence needed to be big, for it was Bond’s big comeback, and Pierce Brosnan’s initiation as Bond. There was a lot of pressure ridding on the movie, but they got the right man for the job, Martin Campbell. We start off with an incredible bungee jump from a tall dam. Followed by a terrific shootout and followed by Bond surviving a near death nose dive into a precipice in a Cessna. This was a terrific beginning for Brosnan’s long Bond career and one of my favorite opening sequences.
This may as well be the best James Bond opening sequence, because once again it is a short movie all in itself. We start off in Cuba, with Bond infiltrating a military base in the company of a beautiful agent. He disguises himself as a general, with the mission to destroy — or should I say explode — some new satellite technology the Cubans either stole or developed. He is discovered, but he escapes. It appears he must switch to plan “B.” He hits to the skies, get chased by heat-seeking missiles, he slickly eludes those and manages to use those same missiles to finish his original agenda. He completes his mission and it queues the music. Fantastic opening sequence!
“Goldfinger” is my No. 1 choice for the James Bond opening sequences. Allow me to explain. What they put together here is the epitome of an opening sequence. It set the bar so high that other movies simply and bluntly copy it unapologetically. He surfaces out of the water wearing all the correct dive gear. He shoots a grappling hook over a tall wall and zips up using technology we only see now in “Batman” movies and “Mission: Impossible.” He then places explosives on some drums and removes the dry suit and gear to reveal he is wearing his tuxedo, wow. The tuxedo under the dry suit has been copied in so many movies, but Bond did it first. He then composes himself, walks into a club, meets the girl, fights the bad guys and sets off explosives. All this in an opening sequence filmed in 1964. This is impressive to me. The movie was directed by Guy Hamilton, who went on to direct various other Bond movies like “Live and Let Die,” and “The Man with the Golden Gun.” This opening sequence was once again a short film at in itself, and had all the elements I described before as my favorites.
“The Spy Who Loved Me” — Everyone was blown away by the surprise sky jump into the sky with the British flag parachute. Fantastic.
“Thunderball” — I can only imagine how blown away people must have been by the compressed-air jetpack getaway. Still to this day, it is impressive and ahead of its time.
“Moonraker” — A skydiving battle opening sequences? I love this and still think we don’t see enough skydiving in movies.
“For Your Eyes Only” — This is the opening sequences that finished the SPECTRE era. So it deserves a mention – especially an honorable one.
I hope you agree with most of my choices, but I know that are so many other fan favorites and popular choices. Tell us your favorite James Bond opening sequences in the comment section to the right.
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