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Directed by: Menahem Golan
The Cannon Group struck gold with its first martial arts film, 1981's Enter the Ninja. Though Western audiences had seen ninjas before, most notably in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice, this movie changed how these shadow warriors were portrayed on the screen.
Transplanting martial arts mayhem into a gunslinger plotline, the ninja gained near-superhuman abilities and a more heroic disposition. The resulting film was successful enough for Cannon to launch two franchises (Enter the Ninja and American Ninja) and embedded the art of Ninjutsu into American pop culture.
The film opens as Westerner Cole (Franco Nero) is completing his final test in Ninjutsu, thus earning the right to practice and teach the art. But Hasegawa (Sho Kosugi), a high-ranking ninja in the dojo, isn't happy with »
- Chris McMillan
Sleep Little Lush
This follow-up to the previous soundtrack mix, Hyper Sleep, is very much the same animal: a chance gathering of mesmerizing music tracks, carefully arranged to focus on the interstitial character of film music—its ability to distill into hallucinatory moments, the most sensual or emotional qualities of a film’s nature, and amplify these sensations to increase their temporal impact. With this idea of music as intoxicant in mind, the passing this year of John Barry was a loss of one of the great “perfumers” of film composing (for more on music as perfume, see Daniel Kasman’s “Herrmann’s Perfume”). The beautiful themes that Barry scored for the world of 007 that open this collection set the spell for a kaleidoscopic (largely) 60s and 70s sample of some of the best film music written by Ennio Morricone, »
It is, some say, a Roger Moore Bond movie without Roger Moore in it. That’s because Diamonds Are Forever — which celebrates its 40th anniversary this week — is as camp as Glastonbury in June.
Camp? Yes. Camp. Look at the evidence: it has saucy innuendo galore (“You seem to have caught me with more than my hands up”); a Shirley Bassey-delivered title track with Don Black’s ‘ooh-er’ lyrics; a gaudy Las Vegas setting; gay hit men; a moon buggy chase; plus Ernst Stavro Blofeld holding the world to ransom with an outer-space death ray. You know. That kind of camp.
It might have been different had George Lazenby returned for a second bite at Bond, or if American actor John Gavin (from Psycho) had played 007. In fact, Gavin had already signed a contract but, at the last minute, due to studio jitters, Sean Connery was made an offer »
- Tony Greenway
The veteran composer left millions of movie fans moved by his death in January at the age of 77, writes his friend and successor as Bond composer
I was eight when I heard John Barry's music for the first time – at a children's birthday party in a British Legion hall when they showed You Only Live Twice. The opening just about took the top of my head off: a giant, alien-like spaceship consumed a smaller spaceship while John's music pounded underneath. It looked exotic and sounded incredible.
Then, in 1995, I was introduced to him by Sir George Martin. I was doing a cover record of some of John's Bond songs, for the album Shaken and Stirred. He was really friendly. We just yakked about the industry and about his experiences working with Cubby Broccoli (the Bond films producer), Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford among others.
He was an amazing storyteller and could be very cutting. »
- David Arnold
It’s official, Bond 23 is called Skyfall and filming is already underway for a release in cinemas next October (November in the U.S.) on the 50th anniversary of the film franchise. So as we all start to get hyped up with the series again (yes, a year to go is Not too early to get excited!), it couldn’t be a better time to chart the greatest moments from the Bond films so far…
The James Bond series has been a staple of the cinema-going population’s calendar for the past 49 years! Bond has become a character so ingrained within popular culture that there’s barely a human being alive in the world who doesn’t know who he is. He gets the most beautiful women, drives the best cars and travels to the most exotic corners of the globe. Men want to be him; women want to »
- Stuart Cummins
In the first of a two-part feature, Gary Collinson looks at 23 actors who could have found themselves uttering the iconic line, "The name’s Bond. James Bond..."
Despite the fact that Daniel Craig is only just gearing up for the production of his third outing as 007 in Sam Mendes’ oft-delayed Bond 23 (a.k.a. Skyfall), this year has already seen talk shifting towards Craig’s eventual successor, with actors such as Christian Bale, Michael Fassbender, Clive Owen and Sam Worthington all linked to the coveted role. Of course, such rampant speculation is nothing new and these are just the latest names to join an extensive list of actors said to have been under consideration for James Bond at one time or another during the superspy’s illustrious screen career. Here, we look at twenty-three stars who found themselves in contention for Bond and give our verdict on how they »
With production set to start on Daniel Craig's next James Bond outing soon, David wonders if it's time for 007 to hang up his tuxedo for good...
“When you can’t tell your friends from your enemies, it’s time to go”
- M to Bond, Quantum of Solace
Last year, it seemed bland financial difficulties would spell the end for the man many had tried to shoot, stab, drown, torture and generally just beat up. Thankfully, even boring old bankruptcy has failed, as James Bond will be back in 2012, fifty years since the first film, and sixty since the first book.
But after nearly dying out with a whimper, shouldn’t the producers end the Bond series on their own terms?
We are now in the third serious gap we’ve had between Bond films in less than twenty five years. Between 1989 and 1995, there was no new movie, as »
I thought I’d feature this trailer as a contrast to the upcoming spy spoof Johnny English Reborn, but danged if it isn’t as funny as Rowan Atkinson as a secret agent. “You only live twice, and twice is the only way to live”? I think even the announcer has no idea what that’s supposed to mean. “Bond rises in the East”... and then the suggestive pan up the, ahem, erect rocket ready to blast off? Hilarious! »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Unless they’re based on one of Ian Fleming‘s novels, the plot for a new Bond movie is mysterious and secretive, just like its invincible hero. That doesn’t mean snippets don’t come out here or there, but it’s never clear until the actual film is seen. (And, it’s often still unclear after you’ve seen it and try to figure everything out.) This newest detail is more of a hint or suggestion by one of the creative voices behind the next installment, and therefore shouldn’t be taken as fact. However, if true, it’s pretty exciting to consider.
WhatCulture! (via /Film) was present for a screenwriters’ lecture held by BAFTA, where Bond 23 scribe John Logan was asked about a quote he gave ten years ago — he’s apparently expressed the opinion that “Bond should always fight Blofeld.” Logan was said to have given “a wry smile, »
- email@example.com (thefilmstage.com)
Is Spectre back? John Logan, scriptwriter for the upcoming James Bond film, hinted Ernst Stavro Blofeld will be introduced in the upcoming Bond film. During the BAFTA Screenwriters lecture, an audience member asked about Blofeld. With a smile, Logan replied, “Bond should always fight Blofeld.” It’s not known on whether Logan was joking about his answer or it may be expected the Bond film may return to its iconic villains. According to WhatCulture!, Logan did reveal that “the production has two weeks rehearsal time scheduled into it which is unheard of in the film industry these days and even more so on a big budget action movie such as the Bond franchise.” Blofeld character has appeared in three novels and six official James Bond films, including “From Russia with Love,” “Thunderball,” “You Only Live Twice,” On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” and “Diamonds Are Forever.” He made his final »
James Bond isn’t always smooth. James Bond isn’t always cool. As a lifelong fan, it pains me to say it — but, sometimes, James Bond = total pants. Over 22 films (oh, all right, Bond geeks: 23 including the non-Eon produced Never Say Never Again) there have been some excruciating hands-over-the-eyes moments that make you go (for want of a better word): “Bleh.”
I don’t mean continuity errors or bloopers. I mean those scenes which make you slap your forehead in disbelief and shout ‘No, no, No!’ at the screen.
You know what I mean: Roger Moore snowboarding to the sounds of The Beach Boys; Roger Moore climbing into a submarine that’s disguised as an iceberg. Roger Moore climbing into a submarine that’s disguised as a crocodile. Roger Moore in space. Roger Moore (do you sense a theme here?) driving a motorised gondola. Grace Jones doing anything. Eric Serra »
- Tony Greenway
The Australian Film Television and Radio School is to receive a bit of a shakeup from new director of screen content Neil Peplow. Due to the ever-changing nature of the screen industry, there is a constant need for innovation and change in curriculum. That's something that British-born Peplow.obviously believes.. From next year, one of the major changes to the school is the introduction of a documentary graduate diploma. Ruth Cullen, who last year received an AFI Award for doco You Only Live Twice . The Incredibly True Story Of The Hughes Family . will run the 32-week course, offered in both semester 1 and 2. .The fact that we didn.t have a separate documentary course I think was a big hole,. Peplow tells If during a conversation »
- Sam Dallas
Netflix has revolutionized the home viewing market for movies with their instant streaming service. Netflix Nuggets is my way of spreading the word about films of all genres worth holding a spot on your instant viewing queue. (Release dates are subject to change.)
Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Streaming Available: 09/01/2011
Synopsis: When he discovers that his evil nemesis, Blofeld (Charles Gray), is stockpiling the world’s supply of diamonds to use in a deadly laser satellite, secret agent James Bond (Sean Connery) sets out to stop the madman, with the help of beautiful smuggler Tiffany Case (Jill St. John). Connery’s final turn as Bond (until 1983′s unofficial outing, Never Say Never Again) boasts the gadgets, gunplay and girls that symbolize the heyday of the 007 series.
Average Netflix Rating: 3.8
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Streaming Available: 09/01/2011
Synopsis: In the 12th film in the series based on Ian Fleming’s short stories, British »
- Travis Keune
The title is one of the most memorable things about many Bond movies, as much as I hate to say that. I don’t know if there’s a general consensus as to what the best is, but you probably know quite a few. (I think You Only Live Twice is my favorite of the bunch, if that means anything.) Almost everybody has been referring to this newest installment as Bond 23 for the time being, and many of us have been curious as to what it would actually be called. A lot of people hated the name Quantum of Solace (and merely disliked the actual film), so a rebound of sorts would be a nice thing to see.
Thankfully, BlicOnline (via BleedingCool) talked to cellist Jelena Mihailovic, and she told them that her performance at this year’s Cannes Film Festival was seen by Bond 23 director Sam Mendes and the it’s producers, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (thefilmstage.com)
Anyone that knows anything about the world of movie stuntmen surely knows the name Vic Armstrong. He's been working in the biz for nearly 50 years, first doing all the dangerous leaps, falls, shimmies and fights that actors can't (or won't) do in front of the camera. The movies that he's worked on, and the heroes that he's stunt-doubled for, are icons of cinema, like James Bond, Indiana Jones and Superman. He's moved up from being a stuntman to a competent second unit director to a stunt coordinator. Can you imagine the stories this guy could tell you about working with Sean Connery or Harrison Ford or Christopher Reeve?
This is why I was looking forward to reading Armstrong's memoir of his professional career. The True Adventures of the World's Greatest Stuntman: My Life as Indiana Jones, James Bond, Superman and Other Movie Heroes is a helluva wordy title but it's »
- Patrick Sauriol
Nelson Page, owner/operator of the Lafayette Theater, in Bondian mode to greet hundreds of attendees at the You Only Live Twice screening.
By Lee Pfeiffer
Last Saturday, the Lafayette Theatre in Suffern, New York offered James Bond fans a big screen presentation of the 1967 007 epic You Only Live Twice. As Cinema Retro readers have probably seen the film countless times, this article is less about the movie's merits than the theater in which it was presented. I've often said that, as a movie fan, it is truly amazing how many theaters in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area show classic and cult movies on the big screen on a regular basis. In fact, it would be virtually impossible to attend even a significant number of these screenings and still maintain anything like a normal personal life. I am constantly being tempted by friends to join them in attending »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
The success of Dr. No proved to be no fluke when its more adventurous followup became one of the biggest international boxoffice hits of the decade and set in motion a worldwide avalanche of 007 imitations. John F. Kennedy’s favorite spy went on to spearhead the longest lasting movie franchise in history, though Kennedy didn’t live to see the next installment, Goldfinger.
Click here to watch the trailer, then keep reading for some bonus stuff.
I think I’ve had my say about how cool the original Sean Connery-as-Bond movies are, but From Russia With Love really is the one that cements the series. All of the goodies that became associated with a Bond movie show up here: a pre-title sequence, a secret weapon/gadget, a “James Bond will return” postscript, »
Vic Armstrong is something of a movie legend. You may not know the name, but you’ve undoubtedly seen his work. Armstrong started out as a movie stuntman, working on the Gregory Peck film Arabesqe, before he began his longstanding association with the James Bond franchise in You Only Live Twice (he was the first ninja down the rope into Blofeld’s volcanic lair). He also doubled for Christopher Reeve in Richard Donner’s Superman before moving on to become a stunt co-ordinator and then second unit director. Armstrong is also a director in his own right, with an episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and the Dolph Lundgren film Joshua Tree to his credit.
Over the years Armstrong has worked with many of Hollywood’s greatest; from old school directors like David Lean and Stanley ...
Click to continue reading Interview: Legendary Movie Stuntman Vic Armstrong (Part 1)
- Niall Browne
There will be a big screen 35mm showing of the James Bond classic You Only Live Twice starring Sean Connery at the Lafayette Theatre, Suffern New York on June 11. The program will be dedicated the late composer John Barry, whose score for the film was one of his best. There will also be a display of rare memorabilia and collectibles pertaining to the 1967 film. Based on the feedback we've been getting, we expect there will many Cinema Retro readers joining us for this one. For details click here »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Matthew Vaughn Interview – 22 May 2011 – The Dorchester Hotel, London
Part 3 (of 3… Part 1 and Part 2) of the roundtable interview Owf took part in with X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn. The following is the last 12 minutes of our interview where Vaughn spills on the James Bond influence on his film, misogynism in the 60′s, which Oscar winning Brit actor he considered to play Sebastian Shaw before choosing Kevin Bacon, how Take That ended up providing the end credits track and a little word on what he might make next.
Q: Xavier’s quite arrogant at the start of the film at university..
Mv: Yeah, cocky…
Q: …and it’s the relationship with Erik that does start to mellow him.
Mv: Yeah, and I also think when he realises there are other mutants out there, and because of Shaw, realising that the worst that can happen is mutants getting a bad press, being hated, »
- Mark Clark
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