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This week I continued my binging of "The Wire" as I'm now through the third season and a couple episodes into the fourth. So far the first season was solid, the second season was just a'ight, the third has a great ending and I'm not far enough into the fourth to have much of an opinion. Verdict thus far... good show. I also re-watched the season three premiere of "Hannibal" and am going back and watching the final three episodes of the second season in preparation for covering this upcoming third season. I want to make sure I'm all caught up and not in the least bit confused as to what's going on. As far as movies are concerned, in theaters I only saw Tomorrowland much to my chagrin, but at home I watched the new Criterion Blu-ray edition of Charlie Chaplin's Limelight and I'll have a review of »
- Brad Brevet
It’s been 53 years since Dr. No first introduced cinema-goers to James Bond, author (and former Oss agent) Ian Fleming’s incredibly English secret agent. At this point, there have been 23 official Bond movies made since 1962 (there’s another on the way in November – you’ve probably heard), with six different actors playing 007 through six different decades.
Obviously it’s difficult to maintain consistency over 53 years, and not every Bond film has been totally successful. 007’s is a strange franchise in that it goes through periods of apparently immense cultural importance as well as periods where it seems like the character’s day is done, and through those times the series has been responsible for as many dire moments as great ones.
Thankfully, the Bond franchise’s best movies more than make up for the weaker ones. It’s the longest-running movie series for a reason, and the reason »
- Brogan Morris
By: Jay Dyer
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, there »
- Jay Dyer
From ampersands to The Apprentice, from dinner ladies to Dirty Den, here's a selection of nerdy in-jokes from Doctor Who series 2...
Last month we took a look at Doctor Who Series One as it celebrated its 10th Anniversary. Specifically, we delved deep into the murky world of in-jokes and sweet nerdy references.
Let’s take another trip back in time and have a look at the more notable and interesting references and in-jokes from Doctor Who Series Two, starring David Tennant and Billie Piper, where the credit of “Doctor Who” had been changed back to “The Doctor”. Pfft, party poopers.
Old-skool fans would have been forgiven for being excited at the prospect, given that “New Earth” was a planet mentioned in the 1974 classic Invasion Of The Dinosaurs (though it didn’t actually exist in that story, it was a fake world). But all fans could get excited at »
Code number 007 is on the mind of fans as they anticipate the new Bond film which is expected to be released this year.
Commander James Bond, Cmg, Rn is a fictional character created by novelist and British journalist Ian Fleming in 1952. Bond is a Secret Service agent who is a composite based upon a number of commandos known by Ian Fleming during his service in the Naval Intelligence Division during World War II. The character’s name was appropriated by Fleming from American ornithologist James Bond. The code number 007 is from one of the key achievements of British naval intelligence, breaking the German diplomatic code in World War I.
Fleming’s fiction character appeared in a series of twelve novels, two short story collections, a number of continuation novels, and over twenty Bond films. Spanning more than half of a century, there have been several actors who played James Bond on the big screen. »
- Gary Collinson
Three movies for me this week and one Q&A (with Ex Machina writer/director Alex Garland following a screening here in Seattle) as I saw Unfriended earlier in the week (read my review here) and at home I watched the new Criterion edition of Preston Sturges' Sullivan's Travels (review coming soon) and I also watched Dr. No. In fact, I came close to watching Dr. No twice as my first attempt late Friday night ended with me having to turn it off with about 30 minutes left because I couldn't keep my eyes open. Last night I started it over again and almost had the same issue, but I got up, walked around a bit and was able to compose myself and finish it. Of course, that means I woke up early this morning to write this up and get to work on box office and I'm a bit tired. »
- Brad Brevet
Two of director Philippe de Broca’s earliest renowned titles get new restorations and are available for the first time on Blu-ray, That Man From Rio (1964) and Up to His Ears (1965), the first two titles from a loose James Bond spoof trilogy featuring Jean-Paul Belmondo. Certainly ahead of his time, de Broca’s amusing adventure films are much more than the kind of lowbrow entertainment that would come to typify the genre known as spoof, and this became a notable inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones films, particularly 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Inspired by the adventures of Belgian cartoonist Herge’s Tintin adventures (which also provided the basis for a 2011 Steven Spielberg adaptation), a prized Amazonian statue is stolen from a Parisian museum. Three such statues left South American on an expedition that involved the late father of Agnes (Francoise Dorleac) and and two colleagues. Professor Catalan »
- Nicholas Bell
You’ve heard the old adage, “clothes make the man,” and by reviewing the latest infographic by Shade Station, you can actually see the evolution of James Bond’s statement of style through the years of 007 and his adventures around the world.
By visiting the website Shade Station you can find interesting graphics that beautifully illustrate how Bond’s suits and accessories changed as the fashion industry evolved. From suits to tuxedos to eyewear to casual wear, you can take a look at how sleeves, the width and styles of ties, and even the briefcases that he carried changed from decade to decade. Whether your favourite film is Dr. No, Goldfinger, or Skyfall you can see how the cuts of suits changed, eyewear took on new frames and colouring, and swimming trucks took a more modern approach in 2006 with the release of Casino Royale.
Fashion for men of good taste »
- Gary Collinson
The world received its first glimpse of “Spectre” on Friday with the release of a teaser trailer for the 24th James Bond film on 007.com.
The teaser went live at 23:45 GMT, or at the very end of the work week in the United Kingdom. The worldwide release is set for Nov. 6.
The trailer opens with Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny giving Daniel Craig’s James Bond personal effects from Skyfall, his boyhood home — which burned to the ground at the end of the movie of the same name.
“You’ve got a secret — something you can’t tell anyone because you don’t trust anyone,” she adds.
As usual with Bond films, most of the plot details of “Spectre” have been kept under wraps. The official description: “A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces »
- Dave McNary
Spectre, the title of the next 007 film, is actually a callback to S.P.E.C.T.R.E. – the Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion – an anti-MI6 (with a pretty great acronym) that made its first appearance in Dr. No (1962). Honestly, as much as we love James Bond (Daniel Craig) and all of his one-letter friends, you have to get behind an evil corporation with the word “Revenge” in their name.
Even though Dame Judi Dench won’t be reprising her role of M, the cast for Spectre is still stacked, boasting Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Monica Belluci, Léa Seydoux (Blue is the Warmest Colour), Andrew Scott (“Sherlock”), and Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy).
Watch the »
- Sasha James
'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' star Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' trailer: Movie stunt combo "Desperate times. Desperate measures," says Tom Cruise aka Ethan Hunt in the Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation trailer aka the Mission: Impossible 5 and/or MI5 trailer. Whatever you call it, that particular line could be read in a number of ways: Tom Cruise's superstardom is in the doldrums – at least that's what we hear from those who see reality only through U.S.-focused lenses – and he needs all the box-office help he can get. Hence, MI5. Hollywood is in dire need of a mammoth domestic blockbuster following a year of mediocre-performing tentpoles at the U.S. box office. Hence, MI5. The world's socioeconomic fabric is about to unravel. Hence, MI5 – so humankind can go with a bang. Not only with a bang, but with mirth as well. »
- Andre Soares
St. Patrick’s Day is another fun holiday to celebrate with a few good movies between gulps of green beverages and hunts for that one person who forgot what day it was and will get your full wrath in one hard pinch. I wanted to take a little time to list a few films which will help you rewind after a hard day at work or at the local Irish pub. These are just a few of my favorites and a couple suggestions that give horror fans and family folks an alternative to the usual fare they’re bombarded with every year around this time.
Dan O'Grady (Shay Duffin) steals 100 gold coins from a leprechaun (Warwick Davis in a role far from his cuddly one as Wicket the Ewok) while on vacation in Ireland. The leprechaun follows him home, but Dan locks the murderous midget in a crate, held »
- email@example.com (Eric Shirey)
This one's big. So big it exerts a gravitational pull, orbited by numerous pop culture satellites, sketch shows and 90% of Austin Powers. Has some nice little moments and memorable big moments. Shame about the bits inbetween. A film that I loved as a child and find increasingly flawed. Characters so two-dimensional you could stick them to the fridge, writing that dips into laziness and is occasionally outright indolent. Plus Connery looks bored by the whole thing.
The Villain: It seems perverse to label one of the great villains of cinema a disappointment. And, despite several incarnations, there’s no denying this Blofeld, Pleasance’s Blofeld, is still seen as the archetype. The cat, the baldness, the scar, the lack of stature have all entered into (pop) cultural lore. Yet I find »
One week ago today, producer Adi Shankar released the latest entry in his Bootleg Universe short film collection, Power/Rangers, which ended up being ensnared in legal complications and was removed for a short period of time, before returning online over the weekend. Today, Adi Shankar keeps his Bootleg Universe going by tackling the James Bond franchise with his new fan film In Service of Nothing. The short is actually presented as an animated pre-visualization for a live-action movie, set in the present day but following Sean Connery's 007, with Christopher Gee voicing/impersonating Bond, decades after he retired and MI6 forgave his transgressions. Here's how the short is described on Adi Shankar's YouTube page.
"In this Unauthorized "Bootleg Universe" One-Shot, an aging James Bond struggles to find his place in a self absorbed world without boarders, where service to one's nation is an antiquated concept. Presented to you as a pre-visulation motion storyboard. »
Producer Adi Shankar has unveiled a new James Bond fan film.
James Bond: In Service of Nothing tells the story of Bond - clearly inspired by Sean Connery's portrayal of the MI6 agent - struggling to hack it in the world of espionage in older age.
"I always wondered what would happen to James Bond in his old age and in our borderless world. I'm not referring to the Bond we've seen in recent films, that incarnation is closer to Jason Bourne meets Batman," says Shankar in the video description.
"I'm referring to the swanky, alcoholic, serial killer, with mommy issues that we saw in films like Dr. No and Goldfinger. How would he find a sense of purpose in a self absorbed and impersonal modern world once his license to kill has been revoked?"
Shankar teamed up with Tyler Gibb for James Bond: In Service of Nothing, which »
For many this is the Bond film. The quintessential Bond facing the ultimate villain who utters the greatest line midway through the most iconic scene. Plus you have the coolest henchman, the best car, the most memorable death, the loudest song, and the Bond girl with the silliest name. Plus Honor Blackman could easily lay a claim to being the premier leading lady. While Goldfinger can’t claim all the aforementioned categories, there’s little doubt that the film is a peak, a marrying of critical acclaim and popular appeal rarely achieved since.
The Villain: Monumental. A hugely charismatic figure and the most jovial of baddies, the Big Man utterly dominates the film. He interacts with Bond perhaps more than any other antagonist: over golf, cocktails and, immortally, beneath a laser. »
Sure, there have been countless articles detailing the debonair men that portrayed the world’s most famous superspy in Ian Fleming’s creation of Agent 007 (a.k.a James Bond). And of course there have been many debates arguing who is considered the best Bond of them all (yes…I concur with the majority of the Sean Connery census that he is the ideal licensed to kill Lothario of them all). Plus, the listing of who’s the better Bond from top to bottom is always a lively discussion among Agent 007 aficionados.
Well, here is one more list to join the fray in terms of examining the actors that carried the action-packed load in bringing Fleming’s dashing Danger Man into the forefront of adventure, mystery, travel and romance. In Of Human “Bond”-age: Top Ten Actors That Had Played James Bond we will take a look at the actors »
- Frank Ochieng
Two films in and the James Bond franchise reaches its artistic highpoint. Downhill from here? Certainly for some; others won’t see what the hype is. Yet critically, From Russia with Love remains the darling: a gritty, almost-plausible tale of gypsies, Spectre and sex tapes. It boasts a whole array of brilliant characters and a fight scene to make Daniel Craig crap his paints. Anyone who claims the film is slightly dull has my opposition and my sneaking respect.
The Villain (s): Spectre. A real team effort here. Until the release of Bond 24 (which it seems fair to bet will feature the organisation pretty heavily) From Russia With Love remains the definitive exploration of the creatively acronymed gang. (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion.) Chief of Operations Rosa Klebb is calculating, »
When people think of the world’s greatest sci-fi show, they usually think of the Daleks or the Cybermen, the thrill of traveling in time and space in a blue police box, or the charismatic Time Lord himself and whichever face he’s currently wearing. Yet, along with adventure, danger and scares, Doctor Who is also a surprisingly romantic show.
Years before Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor started the trend of handsome Doctors kissing face, romance could be seen throughout the show from companions who fall in love and leave (sometimes with each other) to characters prepared to die in order to save their loved one.
The revived show has been more overt in this with a Doctor who hasn’t properly been introduced to a new companion unless he’s snogged him/her. Someone wanting to clone, a Doctor no longer needs a meta-crisis but merely to swab »
- Terry Warner
The Interview and the geopolitical crisis it caused is arguably the most important movie-related story of recent weeks.
The story device featured in The Interview, the idea of a film featuring the assassination of the current ruling leader, is nothing new, and in fact is seen through much of film’s history. In 1941 a German-in-exile Fritz Lang shown an unsuccessful attack on Adolf Hitler in Man Hunt (this story was also told in BBC’s Rogue Male from 1976 starring Peter O’Toole). The Shaw Brothers used the actual newsreel footage of Queen Elisabeth visiting Hong-Kong (then a British colony) in their 1976 martial arts flick A Queen’s Ransom (a.k.a. The International Assassin) starring post-James Bond George Lazenby as an Ira assassin and Angela Mao as a heroine trying to stop him. In fact, the Queen of England might be the most popular assassination target among actual world leaders »
- Jakub Mejer
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