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So this is the anti-Bond. Stripped of the requisite wit and mischief. Short of temper, heavy of touch. The SPECTREs of yore replaced by a drugs cartel. World domination downgraded to a heroin monopoly. Glamour smothered by grit. Joy drowned in the bloodshed. The icon of British cinema reduced to an American cop show – MI6 Vice, Hawaii 007 – timeless style swamped by the vulgarity and cash of the late-1980s, a case of ‘Sayonara, Mr Bond’ and everything you stand for. Derivative, needlessly violent, no identity, no soul – it’s just Not Bond, dammit! All nonsense, of course. The open-minded know this brutal, brilliant outing is about as good as the series can get.
The Villain: Franz Sanchez is unquestionably the great forgotten villain of the franchise. He possesses all the vital characteristics: charm, »
This one's strong, if uneven. The Living Daylights has a lot going for it, not least a lean, sharkish Timothy Dalton, tight of smile and cold of eye. Other strengths include a plot that actually goes places (even if they aren’t always the right ones), a great soundtrack, a palpably menacing hitman and the enjoyably retro prominence of the Cold War. All well and good. However, the central villains are a weakness, neither really working alone or as a duo. The girl is admirable but a little trying. The pace sometimes flags and the stakes never rise. Despite a standout fight aboard an aeroplane (as good as Bond gets) the film never quite takes off.
The Villains: A three-in-one deal. Never a great sign: quality is rarely offered in quantity. Georgi Koskov is a cheerful, »
British action stars Craig Fairbrass and Mem Ferda are set to square up in the ultra-violent crime flick Gunned Down, which is set to be directed by Mark McQueen and is described as “classic British crime meets hard hitting cinematic swagger.”
Gunned Down takes places in the sun-kissed city of Marbella and the shadowy streets of London’s dark underworld and follows career criminal Jack Cregan (Fairbrass), who embarks on a vendetta to solve the mystery of his father’s murder and reclaim a stash of stolen heist money. Soon Cregan, his cousin Sammy and fellow gang members Eddie and Frank start to suspect that there is more to the mystery than originally thought. As Cregan starts to dig he must face the fact that his life is changed forever. Brains, brawn and firearms collide as the men take on a gritty world of gangland criminals, corrupt police and vindictive cover ups. »
- Gary Collinson
Roger Moore bows out as James Bond 007, in A View To A Kill. It's a film with a few problems...
This one's an unworthy last hurrah for Sir Rog. Yet such is life. Received wisdom pegs A View To A Kill as a lacklustre final outing in which an inspired song, villain and Grace Jones are smothered by slack plotting, a not-at-his-best Moore, weak characters and a general sense of weariness. Received wisdom is a terrible thing. But occasionally it has a point.
The Villain: To waste one great villain on a rubbish film may be classed as unfortunate. To waste a second is damned careless. Max Zorin is Exhibit B to counter the hoary old adage that a Bond film is measured by its antagonist. Zorin is fresh, vibrant, energetic – the inverse of the film he terrorises. He’s played by a Hollywood legend in his prime: good for the character, »
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 »
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
He said it before and he's saying it again. Despite the teaser suggesting as such, actor Christoph Waltz has once again denied that he will play classic Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the upcoming James Bond film "Spectre".
Speaking with British GQ, Waltz says: "That is absolutely untrue. That rumor started on the Internet, and the Internet is a pest. The name of my character is Franz Oberhauser."
Potential Spoilers Ahead
It is indeed confirmed that Waltz is playing Franz Oberhauser in the film, but many suspect this will be a cheat ala Henri Ducard/Ra's al Ghul in "Batman Begins" or John Harrison/Khan Noonien Singh in "Star Trek Into Darkness". This franchise saw it as well in "Skyfall" with Naomie Harris saying only pre-release that she was an agent named Eve. This was despite rumors to the contrary she was Miss Moneypenny, rumors that turned out to »
- Garth Franklin
Sorry it’s been so long since the last column, dear readers. I’ve been very busy these last couple weeks, doing things such as finishing up a book I’m writing, celebrating my birthday, and getting to see Heart and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts in concert. But I have returned to Trailer Trashin’, with our first look at the next James Bond movie, Spectre.
Premise: In the aftermath of the bombing of MI6, a cryptic message sets in motion events that will see James Bond (Daniel Craig) come face-to-face with a sinister organization known as Spectre. As Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), the newly-appointed M, continues fighting political pressures that threaten the future of MI6, Bond is drawn into a confrontation with an enemy who knows him better than he knows himself and holds a dangerous secret that will force Bond to question the value of everything he has fought to protect. »
- Timothy Monforton
After letting the sky fall when it crum-balled to the tune of a billion dollars at the global box office, Spectre may be the most anticipated James Bond movie since the last one. Daniel Craig's fourth feature as 007 won't arrive in UK cinemas until October, but the response to the teaser trailer released over the weekend has been very positive.
Four is hardly a magic number for Bond actors. Sean Connery's fourth outing was the less-than-stellar Thunderball, Roger Moore's was the all-too-interstellar Moonraker and Pierce Brosnan closed out his four-movie tenure with the infamously poor Die Another Day.
That makes Craig the fourth actor to rack up four turns as Bond, and if you're superstitious about this sort of thing, maybe that's why this looks to be the combo breaker. »
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 »
Actors Mem Ferda (Pusher) and Craig Fairbrass (Rise of the Footsoldier) will square off in the upcoming Gunned Down. This action yarn takes place in a seedy London underworld and in Spain's vibrant south. The film also stars James Cosmo ("Game of Thrones"), Steven Berkoff (Octopussy), Nick Moran (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barels), Nathalie Cox (Kingdom of Heaven) and James Woods. As well, the film is being directed by Mark McQueen. In the film, Fairbrass plays Jack Gregan. He is a career criminal and armed robberies are his specialty. Cregan has a mystery to solve, after his father is murdered and his money is stolen. But, everyone is a threat in the criminal underworld. Actor Mem Ferda has commented on his role and the screenplay. He has stated: "Craig has written a powerful, no nonsense screenplay here." On his role: "a lot of recent action movies are contrived, but »
- email@example.com (Michael Allen)
British Action film stars Craig Fairbrass and Mem Ferda square up in uber-violent feature Gunned Down. British film stars Craig Fairbrass and Mem Ferda have signed on to come face-toface in the much anticipated, uber-violent action thriller Gunned Down, to be directed by Mark McQueen.
Gunned Down stars Craig Fairbrass (Rise of the Footsoldier) as a career criminal and armed robber Jack Cregan, who seeks to discover the truth behind his father’s murder and his stolen heist money. As Jack battles to unravel the mystery, he endangers his own life at every step.
Set in Spain’s vibrant southern city of Marbella contrasted with London’s dark underworld, Gunned Down is a thriller with brains as well as bruises. Mem Ferda (Pusher, Plastic) commented ‘ I’m elated to be back on screen with Craig, he’s a wonderful actor an real gentleman. Craig has written a powerful, no nonsense screenplay here. »
A film version of Flashman is in the works at 20th Century Fox.
The book series ran as 11 novels and one short story collection between 1969 and 2005.
Variety reports that Fox is set to develop a movie from the 1830s period novels, Flashman, based on George MacDonald Fraser's writings. Ridley Scott's Scott Free and Peter Chernin's Chernin Entertainment will develop the project.
The Flashman character appeared in a dozen of Fraser's novels and was portrayed by Malcolm McDowell in the 1975 film "Royal Flash." The character is an antihero who often runs from danger but usually winds up being acclaimed as a hero.
Presented within the frame of the supposedly discovered historical Flashman Papers, the book describes the bully Flashman from "Tom Brown's School Days." The book begins with an explanatory note saying that the Flashman Papers were discovered in 1965 during a sale of household furniture in Ashby, Leicestershire. The papers are attributed to Harry Paget Flashman, who is not only the bully featured in Thomas Hughes' novel, but also a well-known Victorian »
Marc Allégret: From André Gide lover to Simone Simon mentor (photo: Marc Allégret) (See previous post: "Simone Simon Remembered: Sex Kitten and Femme Fatale.") Simone Simon became a film star following the international critical and financial success of the 1934 romantic drama Lac aux Dames, directed by her self-appointed mentor – and alleged lover – Marc Allégret. The son of an evangelical missionary, Marc Allégret (born on December 22, 1900, in Basel, Switzerland) was to have become a lawyer. At age 16, his life took a different path as a result of his romantic involvement – and elopement to London – with his mentor and later "adoptive uncle" André Gide (1947 Nobel Prize winner in Literature), more than 30 years his senior and married to Madeleine Rondeaux for more than two decades. In various forms – including a threesome with painter Théo Van Rysselberghe's daughter Elisabeth – the Allégret-Gide relationship remained steady until the late '20s and their trip to »
- Andre Soares
Director Sam Mendes chimes in on why he came back for a "Skyfall" sequel in a new vlog, explaining that "Spectre" is the second part of a story that continues to link James Bond's childhood to his profession. It's personal, which is always a priority for Daniel Craig, but now Bond possesses a certain wisdom to deal with danger beyond his talent as an assassin. Good thing, too, since he encounters Blofeld and his eponymous terrorist organization for the first time. In fact, Mendes says it's significant that Bond is now more seasoned than his new MI6 colleagues: M (Ralph Fiennes), Moneypenny (Naomi Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw). Reading between the lines, though, we can infer that there's a personal connection with Christoph Waltz's Franz Oberhauser, since Hans Oberhauser was Bond’s ski instructor and father figure in Ian Fleming’s "Octopussy" short story. Meanwhile, Empire has a first »
- Bill Desowitz
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
Jourdan as the Bond villain Kamal Kahn in "Octopussy".
Louis Jourdan, the talented and iconic star of French cinema, has passed away at age 93. Among his major English-language films that made him an international star were Hitchcock's "The Paradine Case", the classic musical "Gigi", "Three Coins in the Fountain", "The Swan", "The V.I.P.S" and "Year of the Comet". In 1983, Jourdan also entered pop culture history by playing the lead villain opposite Roger Moore in the James Bond film "Octopussy". For more click here. For more about Jourdan and "Octopussy", visit the MI6 Community web site here. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Maurice Chevalier’s rendition of Thank Heaven for Little Girls may be the best known tune from the Best Picture Oscar-winner Gigi from 1958, but it was the romantic lead of the film, Louis Jourdan, who crooned the title song. It was Jourdan’s best-known role, but the French actor had a long, distinguished career, which began in Europe in the late 1930s. During World War II he joined the French underground and his film career came to a halt when he refused to act in Nazi propaganda films. He came to Hollywood where some of his notable film roles included Hitchcock’s The Paradine Case (1947), Three Coins In A Fountain (1954), and Can-can (1960). He played the 007 villain Kamal in Octopussy in 1983 and I remember him starring in a terrific adaption of Dracula that was filmed for the BBC in 1977. Louis Jourdan died on Valentine’s Day at his home in Beverly Hills, »
- Tom Stockman
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