24 films. 3,235 tweets. 75,291 words (including this post and tomorrow’s ranking). A number of hours I probably should not calculate if I do not want to go through some kind of existential crisis. It’s all led to a final ranking, coming tomorrow. But before I just shove a list of 24 movies in your beautiful faces, I wanted to give you a peek into the logic that leads to the ranking. I think a fair amount of it makes sense. Others are a bit more suspect, but whatever, I’m not getting this published in an academic magazine, so fight me.
(Please don’t fight me. If you are reading this, I am so grateful for you being willing to read something that has the word “Spreadsheets” in its title, and the word “Math” in its description. You are the real hero.)
As the name implies, I crafted a spreadsheet for this project (this post’s cover photo is an actual shot from my spreadsheet). I want to tell you, it’s when I created this spreadsheet when this whole project felt real to me, and when my excitement for the project exploded. I am very proud of it, and the stupid math that supports it, and the final rankings that it has created. Now you get to read about it. Again, thank you for the patience.
What are the categories?
For those of you who have read all the articles that have led to this moment, you will have noticed each one has designated sections: James Bond, Song, Villain, Girls, Henchpeople/Sidekicks, Gadgets, Story, and Rating. Most of these have some kind of representation on this spreadsheet. James Bond is pretty obvious, as are the Song and Story sections. Villain, more often than not, was an easy decision, although on a small handful of occasions, I (and by I, I, of course, mean the James Bonding podcast, who selected the villains of each film) had to choose one to be the main villain (Rosa Klebb over Red Grant in From Russia with Love, Kamal Khan over General Orlov in Octopussy, General Koskov over Brad Whitaker in Living Daylights, Elektra King over Renard in The World is Not Enough). Similar processes went through for the Female Leads and Henchpeople (Female Leads I chose, as the podcast has yet to do any kind of ranking for them, Henchpeople were named by the podcast). After I realized how little I cared for gadgets, I removed them from the ranking. And then the rating category is kind of included, but tweaked, when I crafted a separate Rewatchability ranking, which corresponds pretty well to the final ratings I gave, which a couple of exceptions.
So, the final categories are James Bond, Song, Villain, Lead Girl, Henchperson, Story, Rewatchability.
What went into the rankings of each category?
James Bond: The three things that really went into this: the performance of the actor, the competence of the spy, how much do I want him to succeed. It’s this last section that ends up hurting Sean Connery in a lot of his films because he’s either misogynistic or is just an outright rapist. I understand that the 60’s were a different time, and I appreciate that. I still wanted him to drown throughout most of Thunderball.
Song: This one is pretty simple. It’s just how much I enjoy listening to it. I mention in a couple of reviews, even songs that I’m just meh about are world’s better than the last four or so songs on this list. For the most part, this franchise has done really well when it comes to crafting interesting/fun theme songs.
Villain: This boils down to the performance of the actor and how captivating of a character he/she was. I would say of the categories, this is the one that left me the most disappointed, just because I had always heard about the James Bond Villain as if the very idea of his antagonists deserved to be put on a pedestal. Most of these people, at best, are deeply average. Don’t get me wrong, there are a handful of truly, truly great villains. But I would say most of them fall into a “meh” category.
Lead Girl: Although performance played into this, a big part of this category is on how much they felt like a person, and how much they just felt like a sex object. I actually ended up pleasantly surprised at how many of these characters felt real to me, although when these characters are bad, they are truly bad. The bottom five on this list is shameful.
Henchperson: This one is almost entirely memorability/how much fun I had watching them.
Story: This one is probably the most suspect because it requires me to remember the most about the movie, and almost all of these plots are silly. But here is a list of things I considered as I updated my rankings after each movie: How easy is it for me to understand it/explain it to someone else, how interesting it is, how plausible the villain’s plan is. I don’t know, this doesn’t play a huge hand in the film’s final score, leave me alone.
Rewatchability: It’s just how likely I am to rewatch the movie over the others. This is where some deeply, deeply stupid movies get a boost for just being a damn joy to watch *stares lovingly at Octopussy, while saying “I’m stupider for having watched you”*.
Are the categories evenly weighted?
Nope. Certain things seem more significant in determining how good a James Bond movie is. James Bond, for example. If the lead character is weak in any way, that should hurt the movie more than, say, the choice to have Madonna write your song.
How much each category’s ranking impacted the final score is reflected below:
James Bond – 25%
Lead Girl- 15%
Story- 10% (Most of these stories fall apart when you start asking even the simplest of questions, so I didn’t want this to be too big)
What is the full equation to calculate a film’s final score?
I ranked each of these categories as described above. After that, I subtracted that ranking from 25 (one more than the number of movies, ensuring that even the worst of a category got 1 point). From there, I multiplied that score by the appropriate weight and added each score to come up with the final score. So the full equation for each movie is:
.25(25-JB) + .15(25-V) + .15(25-G) + .15(25-R) + .1(25-St) + .1(25-H) + .1(25-So)
Where JB= Rank of James Bond, V= Rank of Villain, G= Rank of Lead Girl, R=Rank of Rewatchability, St= Rank of Story, H= Rank of Henchperson, So= Rank of Song, and the highest score a movie could get is 24.
This seems like a lot of work for something so deeply silly.
That’s not really a question and is actually kind of hurtful.
What’s wrong with you?
I mean, probably lots of things but I don’t see the pertinence of that in terms of this ranking.
Will you do this again?
Also, this has been about 60% of my blog, so, yeah I should probably keep doing similar things in order to validate this blog’s existence. To all four of you readers.
So, yeah. I just made you read about a bunch of nonsense math that has almost no grounding in logic or reality. See you tomorrow!
Photo Credit Math Lady https://media1.tenor.com/images/fb3f2d1e814190100a4ae401b1660d5b/tenor.gif?itemid=6081931