11 items from 2015
It took 44 years and 20 big screen outings before the Bond films even began to acknowledge its protagonist's origins, but if anything's going to define Daniel Craig's tenure as 007 it's the echoes from the character's past.
In the years between Roger Moore's departure and Timothy Dalton's arrival with The Living Daylights, screenwriters Richard Maibaum and Michael G Wilson explored the idea of taking Bond back to his roots with the Royal Navy and his induction into MI6.
How times change.
Since Daniel Craig's dramatic entrance in Casino Royale, Bond has been a vulnerable tortured soul, carrying this through in Quantum of Solace and Skyfall. The latter turned back the clock as 007 returned to his family home in Scotland, giving »
"You're a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr. Bond." Last week, the boys finally saw their second James Bond movie. They'd previously seen "The Spy Who Loved Me," which was a huge hit, and this time, they selected "You Only Live Twice," which played better for the older movie nerd. It bored Allen silly, which is no surprise. I love the Connery era Bond films precisely because of the more measured pace and the way they take place in a button-down world where Bond is the splash of color. The Moore films are cartoons from start to finish with few exceptions, so they're easier for kids to enjoy. I was glad they saw "You Only Live Twice" because it also introduced the idea of Spectre to them, and it's been clear since the moment Sony won the legal rights back to use that organization in their films that they were »
- Drew McWeeny
Bond is back. Though the flick is still filming, Sony just released the first teaser trailer for their next James Bond film, "Spectre." Picking up after the events of "Skyfall," the film will follow 007 as he tangles with the terrorist group mentioned in the title. Here's the official synopsis: "A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind Spectre" For the unitiated, Spectre stands for SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion ... and was seen in early Bond films like "You Only Live Twice" and "Thunderball." The group was led by Ernst Stavro Blofeld in those films -- and the character is rumored to return for this new flick in the form of Christoph Waltz. He's at »
- tooFab Staff
You wouldn’t think Björk would come up during a panel discussion about Mad Men, but that’s just what happened at the Film Independent at “Lacma: A Tribute to Mad Men,” when Matthew Weiner and Jon Hamm chatted about the season-five finale episode “The Phantom.” The episode ends with Nancy Sinatra’s “You Only Live Twice” playing over a gorgeous tracking shot.The song became a hit when the Nancy Sinatra version was used in the 1967 James Bond film of the same name. Weiner noted that he almost used Björk’s cover of the song in the season-one pilot, and when the audience laughed at this notion, he said, “You can laugh. It’s amazing.” Jon Hamm quickly jumped in: “Björk was originally going to be Peggy. You laugh — she’s amazing.” Weiner explained why he waited to play the song in season five: We were listening to this all the time, »
- Diane Gordon
A strange offering this one, sandwiched between two considerably more significant films. Undoubtedly a lightweight outing, despite featuring a heavyweight star in more ways than one. The cartoonish tone is sharpened by lashings of violence and a surprisingly high body count. A moribund Connery and garish Las Vegas add to the sense of a series going to seed. Implausibilities abound through Diamonds Are Forever. Yet its dysfunctional parts create a film that, while far from a classic, has a certain battered panache – and a wry smile throughout. I rather like it.
The Villain: Like buses, Blofelds come in threes. After Donald and Telly, here’s Charles – utterly estranged from his predecessors in appearance and manner. This Blofeld has hair, a penchant for crossdressing and a rather winning air of bonhomie. Plus there’s three of him. »
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 »
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, »
There were stories and rumours that the new James Bond movie Spectre was going to be the first of a two-film story at least since the time of Skyfall’s release. Lately, this had been denied, or at least downplayed, but I’d always heard conflicting things on the grapevine.
Now, though, the well-connected Film Divider have said that it’s so, and convinced me, for once and for all. They say Spectre is going to lead directly into another Bond film.
Adding this to what I’ve heard over the last couple of years, that means this first film is going to establish Ernst Stavro Blofeld, put Bond in a great position of weakness, shake things up at MI6 and then leave us all hanging for a couple of years until they can get the gang back together and make the next movie.
I assume that Sam Mendes »
- Brendon Connelly
By Lee Pfeiffer
I have seen virtually every James Bond clone released by major studios during the 1960s but "Assignment K" had eluded me until it was released as a burn-to-order title by the Sony Choice Collection. I was expecting another low-brow effort done on a small budget and perhaps affording some guilty pleasures throughout. However, "Assignment K" was a pleasant surprise. It's an intelligently written, well-acted espionage yarn that goes to some lengths to avoid Bondisms in favor of a realistic scenario populated by realistic characters. The film was directed by the woefully under-rated Val Guest, whose talents were generally dismissed at the time as workmanlike competence but which today seem much more impressive. (Guest had some spy movie experience, having previously directed key segments of the multi-director farce "Casino Royale".)
Stephen Boyd stars as Philip Scott, a high-powered executive of a London-based toy company. When we first meet him, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
By Mark Cerulli
For fans of movies of the 1960s and ’70s, his name ranks up there with the stars who made the major studio films of that era. Even though he didn’t actually “make” movies, his work most definitely did. Best known as the artist behind the “classic” James Bond posters, McGinnis worked for almost every publisher and major magazine for decades, putting his distinctive stamp on a huge, well, body of work, which is fully (and gloriously) represented in The Art of Robert E. McGinnis, a lush 176-page hardback now on sale from Titan Books. Since McGinnis is one of the most influential and iconic movie poster artists of the 20th Century, Cinema Retro was pleased to see him honored in this way.
The book starts with McGinnis’s journeyman beginnings in the 1950s Cincinnati and New York advertising scenes, where he toiled away on »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
11 items from 2015
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