13 items from 2016
Mark Harrison Oct 14, 2016
With the question of who's playing James Bond in James Bond 25 unresolved, we look back at the casting conundrums 007 has faced before.
Since 1962, fewer men have played James Bond than have walked on the moon. Despite the relatively long turnaround of the role, the subject of who might follow in the footsteps of Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig in the future has fuelled many column inches and tabloid splashes.
It feels as if speculation about the seventh 007 in Eon Productions' long-lived spy franchise has been at fever pitch since this time last year, when Craig was doing the promotional rounds for Spectre and commented that he would rather “slash [his] wrists” than play Bond again. It's only after a year of constant reports on the subject that his far more optimistic comments at last weekend's New Yorker Festival »
Simon Brew Oct 10, 2016
There’s little sign of a new James Bond film yet, and Spectre has left lots of questions behind. So what now, 007?
Update: here's a story that landed this morning, of relevance to this article.
This article contains light spoilers for Spectre.
At the end of October 2015, the 24th James Bond film, Spectre, enjoyed its global premiere. Following the massive success of Skyfall, hopes were understandably high for Spectre, and it quickly notched up some strong – and not so strong – reviews. Originally rumoured to be the first of a two part story (with a suggestion that it be filmed back to back with James Bond 25), Spectre would prove to be a big box office hit too. As Bond drove off into the sunset at the end of the film, the next adventure was surely an inevitability.
But something wasn’t quite right. And one year later, »
For a while it looked like Matt Damon had left the action-packed life of rogue operative par excellence Jason Bourne far behind. Jeremy Renner starred in 2012’s The Bourne Legacy and was set to continue in the visceral vein of his predecessor. However, fans got a surprise when Damon announced his return to Robert Ludlum‘s butt-kicking chronicle, bringing regular collaborator Paul Greengrass along for the ride.
The star’s reappearance in one of his defining roles is a bit out of left field, but certainly not unprecedented when it comes to celluloid heroes and heroines resurrecting themselves for that extra sack of box office loot. So as Damon comes back to Bourne, let’s check out some other notable names who decided the show wasn’t quite over yet…
Sean Connery: James Bond
The rugged Scotsman made his name wearing the tuxedo of Ian Fleming‘s infamous superspy. »
- Steve Palace
On this day in history as it relates to the movies...
1905 Lillian Hellman, playwright and screenwriter is born.
1909 Swashbuckler supreme Errol Flynn is born
1915 Director Terence Young is born. Goes on to kick off the Bond franchise with Dr. No, From Russia With Love, and Thunderball and direct Audrey Hepburn to her last Oscar nomination for Wait Until Dark (1967)
- NATHANIEL R
In not surprising news, Sam Mendes is moving on from the 007 franchise after Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015). Daniel Craig is probably moving on, too, but rumors about who will replace him are, as ever, premature. The names floating about this time are Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston (wishful fan thinking, maybe, since the internet has been suggesting these two names forever) and 30 year old Jamie Bell which is an interesting idea and probably not a bad one. If chosen he'd be the youngest Bond since Sean Connery (who was 30 when he was cast for Dr. No (1962) though most subsequent Bonds have been around 40 when they started. Plus Bell is super charismatic but underused in cinema.
Though Bond films are largely regarded as producer driven and leading actor focused pictures, rather than directorial feats, the man in the chair is important. In the past the franchise has generally relied on mid level directors rather than auteurs, »
- NATHANIEL R
Part of the fun in rounding up recent books about (or connected to) cinema is the sheer diversity of releases. This latest collection features a dive into this history of Hollywood legends, lots more Force Awakens, compelling reads from two fascinating critics, texts highlighting the art of Batman v. Superman and The Little Prince, and more. Plus, if you’ve been coveting Constable Zuvio mentions, you’re finally in luck.
Movie Freak: My Life Watching Movies by Owen Gleiberman (Hachette Books)
My favorite book of 2016 thus far has arrived, and it’s Movie Freak by former Entertainment Weekly critic Owen Gleiberman. For many a nineties teen, EW was something of a pop culture bible, and Gleiberman’s incisive writing was a key reason. In Movie Freak, his unguardedly personal memoir, he talks of films loved (Blue Velvet, Manhunter), friendships dashed (with the likes of Oliver Stone and Pauline Kael), and »
- Christopher Schobert
It's a genuine forgotten gem: American student Jean Seberg's five-year adventure in Paris is mostly a period of romantic frustration. Irwin Shaw and Robert Parrish's look at the problems of an independent woman is remarkably insightful; the chronically miscast and underused Ms. Seberg is luminous. In the French Style Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1963 / B&W / 1:66 widescreen / 105 min. / Ship Date April 12, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Jean Seberg, Stanley Baker, Phillippe Forquet, Addison Powell, Jack Hedley, Maurice Teynac, Claudine Auger, James Leo Herlihy, Ann Lewis, Barbara Sommers. Cinematography Michel Kelber Original Music Joseph Kosma Written by Irwin Shaw from his short stories Produced by Irwin Shaw, Robert Parrish Directed by Robert Parrish
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Talk about elusive movies: on must keep an eye on the TCM logs to catch many of the films of director Robert Parrish. I had to wait for the advent of »
- Glenn Erickson
Reel-Important People is a monthly column that highlights those individuals in or related to the movies that have left us in recent weeks. Below you'll find names big and small and from all areas of the industry, though each was significant to the movies in his or her own way. Sir Ken Adam (1921-2016) - Production Designer. He won Oscars for his work on Barry Lyndon and The Madness of King George and was nominated for Around the World in Eighty Days, The Spy Who Loved Me and Addams Family Values. He also worked on Dr. Strangelove, Ben-Hur, In & Out, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Sleuth and the other James Bond movies Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, Dr. No, Diamonds Are...
- Christopher Campbell
By Lee Pfeiffer
Cinema Retro mourns the loss of Sir Ken Adam, the ingenious, Oscar-winning production designer who has passed away at age 95. Adam's work helped redefine films in terms of the elaborate and creative designs he invented, particularly for the James Bond franchise. Adam's work on the first 007 film, "Dr. No" in 1962 was deemed to be nothing less than remarkable, considering that the entire film was shot on a relatively low budget of just over $1 million. His exotic designs so impressed Stanley Kubrick that he hired Adam as production designer on his 1964 classic "Dr. Strangelove." For that film, Adam created the now legendary "War Room" set which many people believe actually exists at the Pentagon. In fact when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as President in 1981 he asked to see the War Room, only to be told that it was a fictional creation. Reagan acknowledged that he had been intrigued »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Oscar winning production designer Ken Adam died today in London at the age of 95 according to The BBC.
Adam is most famous for creating the iconic and sprawling lairs of the supervillains who populated the Sean Connery and Roger Moore-era James Bond films. His designs included the Crab Key complex in "Dr. No," the Fort Knox interiors on "Goldfinger," the volcano lair of "You Only Live Twice," Stromberg's supertanker and Atlantis sets in "The Spy Who Loved Me," and Drax's space station in "Moonraker". He also did the production design on "Thunderball" and "Diamonds Are Forever".
Adams' work extended well beyond the Bond franchise though, such as two films in the anti-Bond Harry Palmer film series with Michael Caine - "The Ipcress File" and "Funeral in Berlin". He was a favorite of Stanley Kubrick following his design of the famous war room for "Dr. Strangelove". He was offered "2001" but turned it down, »
- Garth Franklin
The historic Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge, Il, will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Thunderball with the screening of the classic James bond blockbuster film on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 7:00pm.
Hosts Matthew Hoffman and Elizabeth Rye of the Classic Film Series welcome as special guests, representative of the Ian Fleming Foundation Colin Clark, and 007 continuing novelist and film historian Raymond Benson, who will introduce the movie and sign books.
Iff board member Colin Clark will have on display from the Foundation the five foot model of the Raf Vulcan Bomber use in the filming of the picture, restored to its original condition.
The evening's festivities will include discussion of Thunderball's history and behind-the-scenes stories, several Bond-related raffles, and photo ops with Bond movie props and theater standees.
Pickwick's Classic Film Series presentations often draw fans in costume. Attendees are invited to dress as their favorite Bond, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Daniel Craig’s fourth or Roger Moore’s eighth? The former of course but you get the point. The almost-realistic stylings of early Craig have given way to the full blown pantomime excess of mid-Moore (or late Connery, in fairness). Desert lairs, endless car chases, free-wheelin’ helicopters and indestructible airplanes are all very much back in vogue. The result is a largely enjoyable, extremely silly film which attempts to tie previous Craig outings together at the expense of consistency and logic. There isn’t a plot: more a succession of scenes stitched together. And it still can’t manage a decent finale! Fun but ultimately frivolous. Now who does that remind me of?
The Villain: It’s Blofeld! »
Do you love movies about cute animals? The original pet-lion-in-Africa romp is actually a well balanced nature film about the separation between wild animals and those raised by humans. Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers winningly play the Adamsons, game wardens that dedicate themselves to the well-being of Elsa, the lioness they raise from infancy. Born Free Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1966 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 96 min. / Ship Date December 8, 2015 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers, Geoffrey Keen, Peter Lukoye, Omar Chambati Cinematography Kenneth Talbot Film Editor Don Decon Original Music John Barry Written by Lester Cole from the novel by Joy Adamson Produced by Sam Jaffe, Paul B. Radin Directed by James Hill
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Savant normally becomes sullen and anti-social around overly committed animal lovers, I suppose because I think the world gets a little out of balance when people seriously consider their domestic »
- Glenn Erickson
13 items from 2016
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