With the newest James Bond film, "Skyfall," set to be released tomorrow, I figured I'd list my favorite and least favorite things related to Bond. So far, the buzz about the newest movie has been very positive, so I'm eager to see how it stacks up against the rest of the franchise.
BEST BOND: Sean Connery, Daniel Craig (tie): It's hard to separate the two, with Connery defining the role and Craig bringing it into the 21st century.
WORST BOND: Timothy Dalton: It'd be easy to pick George Lazenby here, but Dalton almost ended the franchise with his charmless turn as 007.
BEST VILLAIN: Goldfinger (Gert Frobe): Goldfinger was a perfect foil for Bond, a genius who didn't want to rule the world, but rather to only steal all of its gold. Because, you know, he really loves gold.
WORST VILLAIN: Georgi Koskov (Jeroen Krabbe): Do you even remember who this villain is? If you said, the guy from "The Living Daylights," then you have a better memory than I do. A Bond villain should be memorable.
BEST HENCHPERSON: Xenia Onatopp (Famke Jansen): Sure, Oddjob was a guy you didn't want to mess with, and Jaws' sheer size and steel teeth were pretty intimidating, but honestly, who WOULDN'T want to die at the hands (or rather, legs) of Onatopp? That's how I want to go, for sure.
WORST HENCHPERSON: Dario (Benecio Del Toro): Considering how great of an actor Del Toro is, this early role is something of a disappointment as he was clearly no match for Bond in "License To Kill."
BEST SONG: "Live and Let Die," Paul McCartney & Wings: Honestly, I could have gone with "Goldfinger," the best of Shirley Bassey's Bond themes; "A View To A Kill" by Duran Duran, the first Bond song to top the charts at No. 1; or "You Know My Name" by Chris Cornell, from "Casino Royale." But "Live" has had a sort of timelessness to it that has lasted three decades.
WORST SONG: "Goldeneye," Tina Turner. Seriously, like fingernails on the chalkboard.
BEST BOND GIRL: Daniela Bianchi, "From Russia, With Love." This was a really tough call -- when you consider the likes of Ursala Andress, Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg, Jane Seymour, Carole Bouquet, Barbara Bach, Eva Green and others, how does one pick among such perfection?
WORST BOND GIRL: Denise Richards, "The World Is Not Enough." Let's face, most American chicks don't seem to work as Bond girls -- Jill St. John, Lois Chiles, Tanya Roberts, etc. have all been pretty awful. But Richards stands out because a) she looks young enough to be Pierce Brosnan's granddaughter; b) we're supposed to believe she's a nuclear physicist; c) her name is Christmas Jones; and d) she definitely pales in comparison with Sophie Marceau.
BEST BOND MOVIE: "Goldfinger." For me, it narrowly edges the Craig version of "Casino Royale" and "From Russia With Love," but when one considers it has arguably among the best villain, henchman, Bond girl, song and gadgets, there's a reason it has remained among fan favorites for all this time.
WORST BOND MOVIE: "Never Say Never Again." The lone movie not produced by the Broccoli family, it stars a way-to-old Sean Connery and a way-too-young Kim Bansinger in a plot that's a rehash of "Thunderball."
What are your favorite Bond elements?
THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: Speaking of great spies, "Burn Notice" (USA, 9 p.m.) returns tonight with back-to-back new episodes. When we last left the team, they were trapped in Panama with zero resources and on the run from just about everyone. BTW, USA has already renewed the series for another season.
Plenty of other new stuff tonight. CBS has a new "Person of Interest" and "Elementary" following "The Big Bang Theory" and "Two and a Half Men" from 8-9 p.m.
NBC goes to "The Voice" well once more, running an hour-long show before new episodes of "The Office" and "Parks & Recreation."
Fox airs two hours of "X-Factor," while the CW has "Vampire Diaries" and "Beauty & The Beast" from 8-10 p.m.
On cable, there are new episodes of "It's Always Sunny" and "The League" from 10-11 p.m.