20 items from 2015
So does this count? Never Say Never Again stirs many arguments by shaking up the official order, splitting fans on the issue of its legitimacy. Ruins pub quiz questions such as ‘How many actors have played M?’ due to the inevitable argument whether Edward Fox should be numbered. Put such issues aside and enjoy what remains: a sly, witty semi-pastiche that doesn’t attempt to recapture past glories but can easily hold its own alongside Diamonds Are Forever and Octopussy. And with much less swimming than Thunderball.
The Villain: Ignore Emilo: Maximillian Largo is his own maniac. Short, tubby, lanky blond hair receding, Largo is Draco Malfoy gone to seed. Easily visualised shuffling around Comic Con, accompanied by Mr Kidd and the reformed Jaws. Yet Largo is one of the film’s strengths. »
We've arrived at Roger Moore's penultimate Bond. But isn't it about time somebody fought Octopussy's corner?
After the comedown of For Your Eyes Only, the series is back on a high. A very good-natured, occasionally thrilling escapade that boasts an impressive roster of villains, a finely developed heroine, unusually meaty roles for series stalwarts General Gogol and Q, a nuclear bomb and a gloriously stupid title. Yes, Roger Moore has aged to the point where counting the wrinkles is a legitimate distraction. And many valid criticisms can be levelled about plot and credibility. But the good outweighs, or certainly overwhelms, the bad in Octopussy. Still, he really should have quit after this one.
The Villain: Kamal Khan got his break by winning the talent competition Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Singing Superstar - and that was just the beginning. 2012 hit Ishk Sufiana launched Khan into stardom and he bagged »
In 1969, James Bond appeared on screen in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but he didn’t look anything like Sean Connery. Because he looked like George Lazenby. Fans who had grown to love Connery’s schpecial appeal over the series of five films, in a role he originated for cinema, were asked to accept this new guy parading around in the movie as “Bond.” Many didn’t. Even the critics who liked the film pointed out that it was in spite of Lazenby — an actor who had been promoted from making candy commercials to fill the fantastically large loafers. Lazenby was gone by the next entry — 1972’s Diamonds Are Forever — and Connery’s return definitively labeled the one-timer as something to forget. A mistake. Don’t worry, everyone, the real Bond is back. Then he was gone again. Connery packed up his massive paycheck and made room for the longest-running Bond actor, Roger »
- Scott Beggs
Since 1962, the James Bond franchise has come to define the spy genre, for good or ill. More broadly, every thriller and action film that comes out now either uses them as inspiration, or attempts to ignore or re-work the tropes that have come to be associated with the series.
Coming off the release of Kingsman: The Secret Service, and with the release of a new Bond film this year, now seems like the perfect time to take a look at a sample of the films which have been inspired by James Bond — either as homages, parodies or reactions.
The Ipcress File (1965)
Produced by James Bond producer Harry Saltzman as a more grounded alternative to the largesse of Bond, The Ipcress File is more concerned with the intricacies of real spy-work — the endless paperwork, »
There's a good case to be made for this being the silliest Bond of them all, but Moonraker's still a lot of fun...
Well, we’ve come a long, long way since From Russia With Love. Moonraker: a film that redefined the possibilities of the Bond franchise if only by sheer scale of stupidity. The space bits are relatively by-the-numbers (other than being in space). However, the script was probably written in crayon. Chases happen without explanation, people randomly bump into each other, the utterly implausible is presented as mundane. Purists think of Istanbul and weep. But treat the whole thing as a comedy – perhaps a gentle spoof – and you’ll actually enjoy yourself. A plot-hole drinking game will get everyone plastered.
The Villain: Weirdly good. The master of the dry putdown – “James Bond. You defy my attempts to devise an amusing death for you” – Hugo Drax almost steals the film. »
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
“We Love Movies,” an original video series celebrating the joys of moviegoing, will be the centerpiece of Fandango’s largest promotional campaign ever, the online ticket broker said Monday. Cultural influencers outside the film industry will be featured in the series, which begins on May 6 and will be shown on Movieclips, the No. 1 content channel on YouTube; and Hulu, Roku and Samsung’s Milk Video Service. Athletes, musicians, TV personalities, innovators and others share meaningful movie memories in the series. Among the films spotlighted are “The Sound of Music,” “Rocky,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Spy Who Loved Me,” “The Naked Gun, »
- Todd Cunningham
The underwater car, the terrifying henchman and perhaps the most iconic opening scene of all time. The Spy Who Loved Me is a cracker...
And so we arrive at the best Epic Bond of the lot. A great big chocolate fudge sundae of a film with extra waffles and butterscotch ice cream. It begins by making a parachute iconic and cracks on from there. Boasts a henchman, car and girl to rival Goldfinger, and a villainous scheme even more deranged than You Only Live Twice. Nuclear Armageddon meets Finding Nemo – what’s not to like? Hops around the globe without losing its direction. Never once stops trying to please the audience. Never fails to.
The Villain: Overshadowed by his henchman. Stromberg isn’t a terrible antagonist but he hardly sets the pulse racing. Comes across a bit Blofeld-lite: (I Can’t Believe it’s not Blofeld!) Spectre were supposed to »
After making blood-splattered summer memories at Camp Arawak, the Sleepaway Camp franchise pointed its cameras at two new seasonal spots: Camp Rolling Hills and Camp New Horizons. Crackling bonfires, burned flesh, and slice-and-dice slayings wound their way into the busy camp curriculums in both Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers and Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland, and to help kick off their Summer of Fear: Part 2, Scream Factory will release both Pamela Springsteen-starring sequels in bonus features-packed Blu-ray / DVD Collector's Editions on June 9th:
Press Release - "This summer, Scream Factory™ invites horror enthusiasts and movie collectors to further venture into the great outdoors and experience what Camp Rolling Hills and Camp New Horizons have to offer – nature walks, randy campers, puritanical camp counselor, murder and a feast of gory goodness! Fans of the popular Sleepaway Camp movies rejoice as the collector’s editions of Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers »
- Derek Anderson
So much of movie magic these days is green screen and CGI — the work of animators and special effects artists. Given the fakery we’ve come to expect, when a movie comes along that pulls off some spectacular visuals on-set without a lot of post-production tweaking, that kind of movie magic makes us take notice. The latest wowing practical stunt: “Furious 7.” The “Fast and Furious” franchise has always made its mark with impressive action sequences done practically. If the seventh installment was trying to top the previous six in that department, it succeeded. This time featuring Dominic Toretto and his team drive skydiving cars out of a plane. To shoot the critical scene, the “Furious 7” stunt team actually dropped real live cars out of an airplane. Aerial cameramen followed the jump, doving with their own parachutes. The cars dropped first from an altitude of 12,000 feet in Colorado mountains, »
- Emily Rome
"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
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 »
Let's not beat about the bush: Empire's Spectre covers are here, and you want to see them. So what are you waiting for?Skyfall, the 23rd official Bond film, came out way back in October 2012. With over a billion dollars at the box office and Britain's finest espionage asset back in the hearts of minds of the world, the 24th Bond film can't come soon enough. So with "October 23, 2015" the all-important release date circled (with a thick black pen) in every 007 fan's calendar, Empire took one for the team and visited Eon's Pinewood set - and the snow-covered Austrian Alps to which Bond will be returning for the first time since The Spy Who Loved Me - to speak to Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, the producers behind it all, as well as some of the new characters in Bond's life. Tidbits from the feature will appear here on EmpireOnline. »
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
Spoilers for Kingsman: The Secret Service, obviously…
Kingsman: The Secret Service is certainly doing better than many expected, having pulled in around $88 million worldwide amongst several praising reviews from critics and moviegoers. But if there is one thing that has split audiences, it was that joke at the end of the movie.
As a reminder, at the end of the movie Eggsy discovers the captured Princess Tilde who promises him anal sex if he comes back to rescue her. Which, he later does. While it has upset quite a few people who have seen the movie, Matthew Vaughn has defended the joke.
“If you’ve noticed, this is my Spinal Tap of trying to find 11 with every scene,” Vaughn told EW. “What happened there was I studied all the old movies, especially the Bond ones. At the end of Moonraker, he’s floating around in space on Dr. Goodhead, and they say, »
- Luke Owen
This post contains a spoiler for Kingsman: The Secret Service. But not until after the picture of a squirrel.
Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman: The Secret Service will break through the $100m mark worldwide over the next day or two, as the film continues to be a strong box office performer. For an R-rated comic book movie without a Marvel or DC logo on it, nor anywhere near the level of budget such productions attract, it's fair to call if a sizeable success.
It helps, of course, that the film is really good too.
However, there's been one particular area of controversy, which we're going to talk about after the picture of Daphne the Spoiler Squirrel. If you've not seen Kingsman: The Secret Service, don't scroll down unless you want the ending spoiled for you. »
Be warned, there will be Spoilers below for Kingsman: The Secret Service if you haven't yet seen it in theaters, so read on at your own risk. The adaptation of Mark Millar's comic more than held its own against the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey, taking second place with a healthy $35.6 million, along with high praise from the nation's critics. There is one point of contention among several fans, a sexual joke at the very end of the movie, that hasn't been received nearly as well as the movie itself. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, director Matthew Vaughn addressed these criticisms and defended the scene. This is your last chance to avoid spoilers, so don't read any further if you haven't seen Kingsman: The Secret Service.
Towards the very end of the film, young Eggsy (Taron Egerton) approaches Princess Tilde (Hanna Alström), who is one of the »
Warning: This article contains plot spoilers for Kingsman: The Secret Service which some readers may wish to avoid.
Vaughn, who co-wrote the film with Jane Goldman, defended the sequence saying that he wanted to subvert Roger Moore-style 007 innuendos.
"If you've noticed, this is my Spinal Tap of trying to find 11 with every scene," Vaughn told Entertainment Weekly. "What happened there was I studied all the old movies, especially the Bond ones. At the end of Moonraker, he's floating around in space on Dr Goodhead, and they say, 'Bond is attempting reentry'.
"In The Spy Who Loved Me, he says he's 'keeping the British end up'. The innuendo »
It seems appropriate that Matthew Vaughn and Guy Ritchie began their film careers working together, and that they each seem to have helped define the British film industry now for sixteen years, because this year, both have decided to take on the most British of all British subjects… James Bond. To be clear, neither of them is actually making a film about James Bond, but there is absolutely no doubt that both of them have Bond on the brain. This Friday, Matthew Vaughn's "Kingsman: The Secret Service" will open in theaters, kicking off a year that should have filmgoers thinking about James Bond from one end of the calendar to the other. After all, Vaughn's film, which I liked quite a bit, is a loving tribute to the fetishistic totems of the Bond franchise, re-imagined by Mark Millar, then re--re-imagined by Vaughn and his co-writer, the fiendishly clever Jane Goldman. »
- Drew McWeeny
Unfortunately, Craig has apparently sprained his knee on the set of upcoming movie Spectre, and with every day of shooting costing a fair whack, there's no time to waste.
Fortunately, Roger Moore has a particularly eyebrow-raising proposition...
— Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) February 6, 2015
Moore played James Bond in 007 films between 1973 and 1985 - more than any other actor to date.
Replacing Sean Connery, he was Bond in Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy and A View to a Kill, before Timothy Dalton took the role.
Moore recently described Craig and »
20 items from 2015
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