4 items from 2012
Directed by John Glen
United Kingdom, 1983
1983 presented a unique challenge for the Bond franchise. For the first time since Ursula Andress strolled out of the water, there were going to be two Bond films in theatres in the same year. As if that wasn’t enough, Never Say Never Again was also going to see Sean Connery, the first man to ever play Bond and who had handed the reigns off to the current incarnation, reprise the role once again, pitting the two men most known for playing Bond, Connery and Roger Moore (George Lazenby’s one-time outing as the agent notwithstanding) against each other. It is against these conditions that Octopussy was made, with the necessity of having to prove itself anew. Fortunately, the movie delivers on several fronts, making for a thrilling film, albeit one with a curious third act. »
- Deepayan Sengupta
For moviegoers growing up in the last 20-30 years, big is the new normal. I’m talking about those big-budget, over-produced, effects/action-packed extravaganzas that are as expected and routine an arrival as a commuter bus, and never more so than during the summer months. Come a rise in temperatures, there’s an almost ceaseless parade of these megabuck behemoths through multiplexes starting in May and continuing until the kids go back to school, one rolling out almost every week.
Consider these May-August releases and their eye-popping price tags:
5/4: Marvel’s The Avengers — $220 million
5/11: Dark Shadows — $150 million
5/18: Battleship — $209 million
5/25: Men in Black 3 — $250 million
6/8: Prometheus — $120-130 million
7/3: The Amazing Spider-Man — $220 million
7/20: The Dark Knight Rises — $250 million
7/31: Total Recall — $200 million
8/5: The Expendables 2 — $100 million
For those of you who haven’t been keeping count, that’s a little over $1.7 billion in productions »
- Bill Mesce
To mark the 50th Anniversary of one of the most successful movie franchises of all time and with filming almost complete on James Bond’s 23rd official outing in Skyfall due for release later this year, I have been tasked with taking a retrospective look at the films that turned author Ian Fleming’s creation into one of the most recognised and iconic characters in film history.
For Octopussy, the thirteenth official James Bond film, 1983 proved to be rather unlucky. After a lengthy court battle with the co-writer of Thunderball, Kevin McClory, Albert R. Broccoli’s Eon Productions had lost the right to use Bond’s nemesis Blofeld and his organisation Spectre in any of their films. McClory had been trying since 1974 to get his own rival Bond film made but due to a lack of financial backing and legal action from United Artists and the Fleming Trustees his project »
- Chris Wright
Plus: Do any films get the history right? How many angels can dance on a pinhead?
Which British town is furthest from the sea?
The distance from the sea depends how you define "sea". Here in Ilford, tidewater – the River Roding – is just a mile away, but we are 34 miles by rail from Southend-on-Sea, the nearest resort. However, that is an estuary resort, shown by the wide expanse of glorious mud. The nearest good, sandy, seaside beach is Clacton-on-Sea, 63 miles by train.
Towns and cities in the West Midlands conurbation are likely to be furthest from the sea. Though Birmingham is only about 40 miles from tidewater (at Gloucester), the nearest resort is at least twice as far.
Residents of my hometown of Kington, Herefordshire, considered their nearest resort to be Aberystwyth, 60 miles away. This did not stop them contributing generously to lifeboat appeals, and supporting two fried fish shops.
Roger Backhouse, »
4 items from 2012
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