Bond Review Headline Pun-Off


A new Bond movie is out, and we all know what that means: lots and lots of crass, colorful Bond puns in the headlines! I made it my responsibility to seek these out and rate them on a scale of one to five completely arbitrary Bond units, and here for you I present my findings.


1) “Review: ‘Spectre’ stirs, doesn’t shake old Bond formulas” by Jake Coyle of Associated Press Bond5

A good start to our list. I instantly know what Coyle is communicating with this headline. And plus, the line is classic…

…a little too classic. How many times have we heard the “shaken, not stirred” pun in the media? It’s such low-hanging fruit it’s got lower altitude than Sean Connery’s nutsack now. And that lack of creativity makes this feel a little mundane, which is never how a Bond headline should feel. Ultimately, I give this headline two Roger Moores.


2) “‘SPECTRE’ for true Bond fans’ eyes only” by Christopher Lawrence of the Las Vegas Review-Journal


Gotta give Lawrence credit for going for a somewhat slyer reference. “For Your Eyes Only” is much less of a 007-associated catchphrase than that other bureaucracy-inspired title, “License to Kill.” But I can’t help but feel a little disappointed. If Lawrence wanted to use a movie title, a little daring would have gone a long way. “’SPECTRE’: for true Bond fans, Bond nostalgia dies another day.” “The Movie Who Loved Me; ‘SPECTRE’ love letter to fans” “From Mendes With Love: ‘SPECTRE’ Goldfingers true Bond fans.” The lack of creativity is so blatant it ends up weighing this one down. I give this one three Timothy Daltons.


3) “Amused, not stirred – a review of Spectre” by Elliott Burton of kawarthaNOW

Here’s a headline I’m considering from a small publication from Canada. From a magical place called Kawartha. I wanted to make a joke about this Canadian region being comically out of the way and it’s silly name but I live in Oklahoma so…

All that aside, we already covered that this particular reference is pretty worn out. But worse, this headline has no spark. And why isn’t Burton even stirred? I give this headline just one George Lazenby.


4) “Spectre magic makes Harry Potter UK box office record disappear” by Charles Grant of The Guardian

Oh come on, this one’s not even a Bond joke. You’ve got the latest installment of a series known for double-entendres and flippant puns coming out, and you use the event to make a callback to a decade-old Harry Potter movie? Nothing against Harry Potter, naturally, but his goblet doesn’t runneth over the way Bond’s does when it comes to wordplay.

Still, I have to give Grant some credit. When everyone else was going for classic Bond puns, he chose to make a magic joke, and I always have some respect for those who zig where others zag. I give this headline two and a half Pierce Brosnans.


5) “SPECTRE Ruined By Contract to Thrill” Leigh Paatsch of the Herald Sun

This. Finally we have something. It’s a direct reference to Bond’s certification for government-sanctioned murder (which admittedly would have been a less catchy movie title).


Great for delivering both the reviewer’s perceived poor quality of the movie, the flaw which caused its poor quality, and the reason for that flaw. As a headline it’s unexpected, but completely recognizable as belonging to 007. Like a good Q scene, it’s equal parts explanation and commentary. I give this baby three and a half Sean Connery’s, which means we have a winner! Congratulations to Paatsch for this Bond movie release’s best pun(ish) review headline!

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