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The parameters, mutually agreed upon by my editor Danny Kasman and myself, are these: A bi-weekly (every two weeks) column, entitled "On Mubi / Off," covering two films—one currently available on the Mubi streaming platform in the United States, the other screening offsite (in theaters, on VOD, Blu-ray/DVD, etc). The movies may share some similarities in approach, execution and theme, or they may not. Mostly, my own interests and curiosity will dictate what films are covered and in what way, and I hope you'll find the prose, the pairings, and/or the analysis compelling enough to follow along.On MUBITerminal Island (Stephanie Rothman, 1973)Sight unseen, I thought Stephanie Rothman's 1973 exploitation cheapie Terminal Island would make for a good inaugural article lead-off—something Z-grade disreputable to complement the A-level sleaze (not necessarily a criticism) of the other movie covered in this column. (We'll get to you momentarily, Mr. Bond. »
- Keith Uhlich
Following up the most successful entry in the James Bond franchise, Skyfall, wasn’t going to be easy for Spectre, the 24th big screen adventure for Ian Fleming’s suave, super spy. While it is sitting on a $545 million worldwide box office gross after only three weeks, the response from audiences and critics alike has been mixed to say the least (you can read our review here). One person who has a less than favourable view on it is a man who knows a few things about Bond: Pierce Brosnan, who saw his tenure as the character cut short in favour of rebooting the series with Daniel Craig. Speaking to Hitfix, the actor, who has gone on record calling Skyfall ‘magnificent’ seemed to find the same problem everyone else had: I was looking forward to it enormously. I thought it was too long. The story was kind of weak — it could have been condensed. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom White)
Pierce Brosnan was the fifth James Bond overall but he made history in his own way, becoming the first 007 of the 1990s and therefore turning a whole new generation onto Ian Fleming's suave secret agent. GoldenEye, the first of the four Brosnan Bond films, came out 20 years ago today if you can believe it, and the fact that there's a Bond movie in theaters right this minute only hammers home just how unusually enduring (not to mention, hard to kill) the character remains. While Brosnan's Bond reported for duty in the relatively evolved year that was 1995, he was still very much of the old-timey, bed-the-babes, not-a-hair-out-of-place Bonds that came before. But his in-on-the-joke version combined the »
“Spectre” was full of nods to Agent 007’s past. A new video created by a very dedicated James Bond fan outlines every reference to the super spy in his latest big screen adventure. Apparently, director Sam Mendes‘ blockbuster makes multiple references to Daniel Craig‘s previous Bond movies, and even author Ian Fleming‘s novels. For starters, Craig finally took a sip of the classic vodka martini Bond has ordered throughout the franchise, and he gets to drive the DB5 — a classic Bond car. Also Read: 'Spectre' Takes Record $48 Million in China, Nears $550 Million Globally The corkscrew helicopter stunt seen in the. »
- Beatrice Verhoeven
20 years later, Pierce Brosnan's first Bond movie is still his best.
After a six-year absence from the big screen, 007 returned with the very-90s, but very action-packed, "GoldenEye." Despite headlines in the press asking if the world needed James Bond anymore, audiences seemed to think it did -- they helped the film become a huge hit at the box office, spawning three more films for Brosnan and a popular Nintendo game.
In honor of the film's 20th (?!) anniversary on November 17, here are 20 things you may not know about one of 007's most popular missions.
1. Legal issues prevented MGM from getting a new Bond movie out after the tepid reaction to 1989's "License to Kill," grounding 007 for six years -- the longest wait in-between films in the franchise's history.
- Phil Pirrello
Our month-long focus on James Bond continues with a look at the ten best Bond screen villains. Check it out!
A good Bond villain does not always make for a great Bond film, but it doesn’t hurt. It’s common knowledge that a film with good conflict will be more engaging to watch, and the conflict between the protagonist and antagonist is the driving factor of the James Bond franchise. Therefore, along with one of the most well-known and legendary protagonists of all time, the franchise is also home to some of the most well-known and legendary antagonists as well. This is a list that honors the best antagonists in the Bond franchise. They’re the ones that are the most creative, memorable, or relentless, all characteristics which help make their respected films that much better. They’re the ones that left the biggest impact on audiences and the franchise as a whole. »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
Die With My Boots On
Written by Jim Lawrence
Art by Yaroslav Horak
Published in the Daily Express from March 1st 1973 to June 18th 1973
Bond is sent to the city that never sleeps, New York, in order to finish a case that a recently deceased colleague left outstanding. It begins with a daredevil rescue of one Voyle, a blonde bombshell, caught in the clutches of a gangster that is demanding to know about a new drug called Nopane. After a very Bondian and unorthodox stunt to get Voyle to safety, the two go on the trail for Nick Morgan, Voyle’s boyfriend and someone Bond portends to know well. As far as the production of Nopane is concerned, nobody does it better than Nick Morgan it seems. Their adventure takes them to a small town in upstate New York, to the lavish residence of Benny Pignelli, yet another gangster with »
- Edgar Chaput
Bond is back. After months of hype, and a couple of weeks after it arrived in other international territories, “Spectre,” the 24th official big-screen adventure for Ian Fleming’s spy hero (read our ranking of them all here), opened in North America. And financially, at least, it’s been successful: the film’s already made $100 million in the U.K alone, and took an estimated $73 million this weekend in the States, the second-biggest Bond opening of all time. But critical and audience responses have been more mixed: an initial wave of mostly glowing reviews from Britain (excluding this disappointed correspondent) gave way to some fairly poor reviews in America, and the film now has a lower Rotten Tomatoes score than the much-loathed “Quantum Of Solace.” Much of the film’s highs and lows involve late-in-the-game spoilery stuff we didn’t want to get into until people had a chance to see the film, »
- Oliver Lyttelton
And finally, philipphilip99 asks:
Have you ever given up on a novel? If so, why?
Great last question. Generally I don't start a book until I know everything about it, including the fact that it's probably worth writing. Frankly, life's too short to write ten or twenty thousand words and then throw them away. I'm currently writing a new novel, Magpie Murders, and I'm 90,000 words in. In fact, I'm off now to write the next chapter (my biggest fear being that I'll be run over by a bus on the way home).
Can I thank everyone for these great questions - it's been a real pleasure doing this with the Guardian. And thanks also to the fastest typist on the planet »
- Guardian Staff
Chicago – James Bond is back in his latest adventure, “Spectre,” but what about his movie life before this film? Spike Walters of HollywoodChicago.com ranks the 24 official James Bond films from worst to first, an overview of 007’s movie and cultural presence from 1962 through today.
The legacy of James Bond began in 1953, with the release of the first in a series of novels detailing the spy’s escapades, written by Ian Fleming. The British agent with a “license to kill” designation (007) was featured in 12 novels and two short story collections. In 1962, the first of the 24 official films – “Dr. No” – was released, starring Sean Connery, and began a series that maintains its popularity to this day. Many fans of the series consider Connery the essential James Bond, but many other actors followed him as Bond in the official film canon – George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and the current 007, Daniel Craig. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published May 5, 2015.
Ian Fleming’s James Bond is one of the most recognizable and successful characters in modern popular culture. The novels have sold over 100 million copies, and the film franchise is the second most successful in history, having been recently displaced by the Harry Potter series. For most readers and viewers, 007 is merely a Western pop icon. However, there is much more at work in the novels and films than appears on the surface. In fact, there are deeper undercurrents, themes, symbols, and messages that operate as psychological warfare propaganda and an in-depth semiotic analysis of the novels and films yields an interpretation that confirms this thesis. Much has been written on the subject of Ian Fleming’s James Bond. From Umberto Eco’s older essay “Narrative Structures in Fleming” to Christoph Linders’ modern collections The James Bond Phenomenon and Revisioning 007: James Bond and Casino Royale, »
- Jay Dyer
Directed by Sam Mendes
*Those sensitive to spoilers should be wary with the following article. Certain key story elements are revealed.
Time and time again the legendary James Bond film franchise has learned to adapt and survive. Survival of the fittest, if you will. Whether the reasons for concern were changes in the actor playing the part, the loss of a producer, turbulent waters for the studio’s finances, changes in screenwriters or the lack of anymore Ian Fleming material upon which new adventures can be penned, the series has always quickly learned to get back on its feet to thrill and amuse audiences the world over. Even within the films themselves, the plots have almost always reflected new geo-political paradigms, as well as cultural morays and trends in pop culture. James Bond is always recognizable, »
- Edgar Chaput
This new feature film brings up an interesting question: are literary icons timeless? Aside from science fiction tales, are they strictly a part of the era in which they were created? Ian Fleming’s James Bond began in the midst of cold war paranoia, but has been re-imagined and re-booted countless times to conform to more current concerns. This is certainly the case with Arthur Conan Doyle’s master sleuth. Sherlock Holmes, Victorian-era detective, has had great acclaim in modern times via not one, but two TV incarnations: “Sherlock” on the BBC and in the Us with “Elementary” on CBS. Well, how about a couple of American grown literary icons, hey maybe the most American duo? Of course, that’s Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, creations of Mark Twain. Oh, and to make things a bit more interesting, let’s see how they fare in their early twenties. Such is »
- Jim Batts
The latest James Bond film, Spectre, isn't just notable because it could be Daniel Craig's last outing as the famous British spy - it's also a big deal because it features a villain whom any James Bond fan would know. However, if you're not a diehard fan and simply want to know why half the theater cheers when Christoph Waltz reveals his character's real name, we can help. If you haven't seen the film and don't want to be spoiled, stop reading now. Waltz plays the main villain (not just the skull-cracker portrayed by Dave Bautista), and we first meet him as Franz Oberhauser, the head of titular organization Spectre. The shadowy figure is intimidating in his own right, but in the third act of the movie, Oberhauser reveals his real identity - and it will throw Bond fans into a tizzy. As was rumored, Oberhauser reveals himself to be Ernst Stavro Blofeld, »
- Shannon Vestal Robson
On June 28, 1961, Variety ran a three-sentence news story: “A.R. (Cubby) Broccoli and Harry Saltzman have joined forces in a production setup. As a start, they have acquired screen rights to all the Ian Fleming yarns on James Bond, and plan to put the first into production in Britain this fall. Initial one will be ‘From Russia With Love.’”
And 54 years and several billion-dollars later, No. 24 in the series, “Spectre,” opens in the U.S. on Friday, after breaking box-office records in the U.K. with an $80.4 million launch.
Four months after the initial Broccoli-Saltzman news, the producers announced they had signed Scottish-born actor Sean Connery to play the lead. They also changed plans, inaugurating the hoped-for franchise with “Dr. No,” which had most (but not all) of the Bond trademarks — lush scenery, wry humor, a diabolical mastermind and plenty of sex.
In April 25, 1962, “Dr. No” had competed filming in »
- Tim Gray
From its inception in 2006, the latest reboot of the James Bond franchise has taken some unexpected steps. Daniel Craig, blonde-headed as he is, quickly proved himself as the ideal choice to bring Ian Fleming's debonair superspy to life. That part of the 007 equation has been on solid footing this whole time. The films, though, have gone to great lengths in sidestepping the expectations that come with a franchise that's now passed its 50th year in the cultural zeitgeist. Craig is Bond yet again in Spectre, and, once again, fans of the series should immediately hit the eject button on any expectations. Any preconceived notion of what Spectre should be like will do a disservice to what the filmmakers were trying to do this time around. It's not as if those filmmakers are making it easy for us to throw out our expectations, either. Sure, Spectre carries on with the »
- Jeremy Kirk
Ever the one to uphold a sarcastic front during interviews, channeling some good old-fashioned British humor, it’s Daniel Craig. Throughout the marketing pizzaz for Spectre – in theaters today – the actor has initiated something of a ping pong match as critics and moviegoers alike attempted to nail down whether Craig would don the tuxedo and Walther Ppk one more time as Ian Fleming’s legendary agent. Indeed, as things tend to do on promotional rounds, speculation was fueled on the actor’s future holding the license to kill when Craig claimed he would only reprise his role for the money.
Going one step further, he infamously stated that, and we quote, “I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists.” Some choice words from the actor, it would seem. But as Naomie Harris later added, Craig’s knee-jerk reaction was blown out of proportion, and the man himself has »
- Michael Briers
Back in 2012, our staff decided to group together and come up with a list of the best films in the 007, James Bond franchise. With Spectre rolling out this weekend, we decided to republish the article. Let us know which is your favourite, and be sure to check out our review of Spectre here.
Directed by Terence Young
50 years later, and with twenty three “official” entries, From Russia With Love represents the very best of the Bond franchise. Skyfall is the closest to be considered, at best – almost equal to what was achieved in ’64 – but From Russia With Love is still unparalleled. Although it is the second in the series, and although it feels like no Bond film that followed, it is the film that solidifies all the Bond elements into a formula – a template that carries on, »
- Ricky da Conceição
Director Sam Mendes was never going to meet expectations following Skyfall. Never. No matter what he did, no matter how hard he tried, Spectre was never going to satisfy hungry fans after previously delivering what many rank high among the best films in the 24 film franchise. Skyfall was a huge achievement for many fans of the series. In many ways, it felt like more of a reset for the series than Casino Royale. Audiences and fans applauded the most recent outing, even if it lacked as many of the stunts and gadgets that some have come to expect from the past two decades of James Bond films after the previous reset: Goldeneye. Sam Mendes was able to give the series a sense of prestige that had not been felt since… well… the Sean Connery days. That’s a pretty lofty achievement considering the series has been going for over 50 years. »
- Michael Haffner
Directed by John Glen
With the release of Skyfall this month, critics have cited the major departures from the Bond formula taken by that film. They credit Daniel Craig for bringing a modern edge to a character that had become ridiculous in the Brosnan years. It’s easy to forget that similar claims were made about Timothy Dalton back in the late ‘80s. The classically trained actor brought grace to the role with his first appearance in 1987’s The Living Daylights. That film retained the look and feeling of the Roger Moore films while starting the shift towards a more realistic hero. The change became a lot more dramatic in Dalton’s second outing two years later. Licence to Kill pared down the excesses of the typical Bond film and crafted a more personal tale of revenge. While »
- Dan Heaton
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