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55 Years of James Bond

It’s been 55 years since James Bond made his debut 55 years ago, when the first Bond film “Dr No”, premiered on the big screen in October 1962.

Ian Fleming wrote the original novel in 1958, which set in motion a multi-billion-dollar film franchise that is still going strong today and is arguably bigger than ever.

From the beginning, it was planned to be a series of Bond films. Fleming had written several novels featuring the character and options that had been taken out to adapt all of them. The first print debut wrote by Fleming was “Casino Royale” but the producers chose “Dr No” to be the first film because of its fast-moving plot, it’s exotic location in sunny Jamaica and it’s topical theme of space rocket launches.

Bond is sent to Jamaica in “Dr No”, which he investigates a disappearance of a fellow British agent. Following up leads and teaming up with local allies,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

How Hans Zimmer changed modern film scores

Mark Allison Oct 11, 2017

Big film scores have changed over the past decade - and Hans Zimmer may be the reason why...

For every movie-going generation, there is a film score composer who ascends above all others and comes to encapsulate the sound of their era. In the 1940s and 1950s, the brooding and mysterious tones of Bernard Hermann would define a generation of suspense cinema. Decades later, it was John Williams who ushered in the blockbuster era with a series of bold and iconic melodies, from Jaws through to Superman, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Jurassic Park. Today’s cinema has its own musical zeitgeist. When future archaeologists uncover the buried ruins of our civilisation, they may well refer to it as the 'Hans Zimmer period'.

Hans Zimmer is a movie composer of singular acclaim. He is one of the only such artists with the clout to fill concert arenas across the world,
See full article at Den of Geek »

James Bond Fans Celebrate At Pinewood Studios: Mark Mawston Reports

  • CinemaRetro
Bond girls Jenny Hanley, Caron Gardner, Francesca Tu.

By Mark Mawston

The ultimate “Bonding” session once again took place at the home of the 007 franchise, Pinewood Studios, on Sunday 24th September. Those lucky enough to attend were treated to a dealer’s room, a 50th Anniversary 4K screening of You Only Live Twice, at which organizer Gareth Owen read a message received from the e Prime Minister herself, Theresa May, which touched on the amazing feats of ingenuity and sheer technical mastery that went into the construction of the films famed volcano set; a three course lunch and afternoon tea and of course a "who’s who" from the world of Bond from both in front and behind the camera. These included:

Peter Lamont - Assistant Art Director - Art Director and Production Designer of 18 Bond films, Terry Ackland-Snow - Art Director on two Bond films, Alan Tomkins - Art director on five Bond films,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Review: "Rampage" (1963) Starring Robert Mitchum, Elsa Martinelli And Jack Hawkins; Warner Archive DVD Release

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

I recently wrote in relation to a review of "The Big Show" that circus movies have gone the way of the Model T. You can add to that another genre of film that used to be a Hollywood staple- the safari movies in which the hero was a great white hunter. Changing social attitudes make it unlikely we'd ever again cheer some rock-jawed leading man as he unloads some hi caliber bullets into a grazing elephant or a lazing hippo. The last word on such films was Clint Eastwood's woefully underrated (and woefully under-seen) 1990 film "White Hunter, Black Heart", which was loosely based on the hunting obsessions of director John Huston during production of "The African Queen". Nevertheless, jungle-themed adventures are still the stuff of cinematic thrills in the minds of retro movie lovers. One of the best is "Rampage", a 1963 opus directed by Phil Karlson
See full article at CinemaRetro »

How Iconic Themes for ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Rocky’ and ‘Charlie Brown’ Get Reboots

How Iconic Themes for ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Rocky’ and ‘Charlie Brown’ Get Reboots
John Williams’ themes from “Star Wars” and “Jurassic Park.” Bill Conti’s “Rocky” fanfare. Vince Guaraldi’s music for TV’s “Charlie Brown” cartoons. The John Barry arrangement of Monty Norman’s “James Bond Theme.” Lalo Schifrin’s “Mission: Impossible.”

These are iconic film and TV themes, and viewers of today’s sequels, spinoffs and franchises might well feel cheated if they didn’t hear the music that is so indelibly associated with these franchises. But where to use them? And how to adapt them into a larger, original score?

That was the challenge faced by several composers this past year, only one of whom was actually working with his own themes: the venerable John Williams, who has been composing for more than half a century and whose original “Star Wars” music was written 38 years ago.

Williams returned to George Lucas’ sci-fi mythology for a seventh time in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Best James Bond Films

Back in 2012, our staff decided to group together and come up with a list of the best films in the 007, James Bond franchise. With Spectre rolling out this weekend, we decided to republish the article. Let us know which is your favourite, and be sure to check out our review of Spectre here.

#1: From Russia With Love

Directed by Terence Young

Written by Richard Maibaum and Johanna Harwood

1963, UK

50 years later, and with twenty three “official” entries, From Russia With Love represents the very best of the Bond franchise. Skyfall is the closest to be considered, at best – almost equal to what was achieved in ’64 – but From Russia With Love is still unparalleled. Although it is the second in the series, and although it feels like no Bond film that followed, it is the film that solidifies all the Bond elements into a formula – a template that carries on,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

For Your Ears Only: Ranking the songs of James Bond

Let’s face it. The songs are the best parts of the James Bond movies. Throughout 007’s five decades, the title tracks are each film’s one hope of rising above dubious casting choices, retreads of old villains, and grandiose plots for world domination that will inevitably be foiled. And like all that other stuff, we like the songs because they’re another expected element in a series that’s filled with them, a pop cultural barometer for measuring the secret agent’s standing in the zeitgeist.

Bond songs can be aged bygones of their time with poetically vague lyrics that don’t add up to much, but the best ones rise above their period trappings to comment and reflect on their respective films. With Spectre set to hit American theaters this week, let’s look back at each and every title song in Metro Golden Mayer’s canon:

24. Rita Coolidge
See full article at SoundOnSight »

‘From Russia With Love’ remains sans pareil

From Russia With Love

Directed by Terrence Young

Written by Richard Maibaum and Johanna Harwood

1963, UK

50 years later, and with twenty-three “official” entries, From Russia With Love represents the very best of the Bond franchise. Skyfall is the closest to be considered, at best – almost equal to what was achieved in ’64 – but From Russia With Love is still unparalleled. Although it is the second in the series, and although it feels like no Bond film that followed, it is the film that solidifies all the Bond elements into a formula – a template that carries on, even today.

Spectre’s Persian-stroking nemesis/mastermind Ernest Blofeld makes his first appearance and so does Desmond Llewelyn’s gadget-friendly Q (starting a run that continued until his death in 1999). Screenwriters Richard Maibaum and Johanna Harwood return, as does director and editor Terence Young and Peter Hunt. John Barry supplies the fine score by utilizing Monte Norman’s theme,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

23 best and worst Bond theme songs ranked: Which are classics and which need their 00 status revoked?

23 best and worst Bond theme songs ranked: Which are classics and which need their 00 status revoked?
James Bond is finally back in Spectre and, like all Bond films, it boasts a high-profile theme tune from an artist-of-the-moment. But where does Sam Smith sit in the illustrious ranks of Shirley Bassey, Paul McCartney and Rita Coolidge (!)? We've gone back through every single 007 song to find out which ones are earworms and which need their 00 status revoked.

A quick point to note: we've discounted instrumentals so the opening credits pieces from Dr No and On Her Majesty's Secret Service are not on the list.

23. 'Another Way to Die' - Jack White & Alicia Keys (2008)

The first and only duet in the entire Bond theme back catalogue, on paper this sounded great but what emerged was a sludgy, lifeless and unremarkable track that went in one ear and out the other.

22. 'Die Another Day' - Madonna (2002)

Compounding the horror of her on-screen cameo in this stinker of a
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Rated: the best James Bond films – and the ones that die another day

As cinemas gear up to release the latest 007 film, Spectre, the Guardian’s film critic looks back at how its predecessors measure up

Sean Connery’s first outing in the Bond role. It gave us the gun-barrel titles and the Monty Norman theme. There was Ursula Andress in the bikini and the exotic Johnny Foreigner villain with an outrageous island lair. What’s not to indulge? Rating: ★★★★★

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Rated: the best James Bond films – and the ones that die another day

As cinemas gear up to release the latest 007 film, Spectre, the Guardian’s film critic looks back at how its predecessors measure up

Sean Connery’s first outing in the Bond role. It gave us the gun-barrel titles and the Monty Norman theme. There was Ursula Andress in the bikini and the exotic Johnny Foreigner villain with an outrageous island lair. What’s not to indulge? Rating: ★★★★★

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

James Bond 007: revisiting Casino Royale

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Daniel Craig took over as James Bond 007 in Casino Royale. It was very nearly the best Bond movie of the lot...

This one? Very nearly the best Bond of the lot. Building the entire film around one card game is a masterstroke: the simplicity of the premise allows room for the Bond legend to grow. Umpteen moments of inspiration clamour for attention; Bond inventing the Vesper Martini is a personal favourite. Meanwhile, makers of blue swimming trunks must bow down before the DVD every morning - the collective 'phwoar' as Daniel Craig emerges from the sea echoed around cinemas across the world. Someone doesn’t skip the gym.

The Girl: Okay, I’ll say it - Vesper’s the best Bond girl of all. Honey Rider is a bikini, Pussy Galore a silly name; Tracy and Anya are pretty great but Vesper takes the crown. She’s
See full article at Den of Geek »

‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E’ could learn a thing or two from ‘Rogue Nation’s’ nostalgic score

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Joe Kraemer

Paramount Pictures

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Daniel Pemberton

WaterTower Music

In his score for Kingsman: The Secret Service, Henry Jackman wants you to know he’s a James Bond fan. He just doesn’t want to tell you. Monte Norman’s iconic guitar riff pops in and out of his score, and brassy John Barry flourishes pepper the background music of Matthew Vaughn’s latest pulpy indulgence. Vaughn and comic book brute Mark Millar’s spy thriller struck a chord with audiences in February with gaudy, gory violence and in-jokes to the Ian Fleming novels it draws from. Strangely though, Jackman’s half-baked music never follows suit, tiptoeing around its homages rather than fully committing to its Roger Moore era obsessions.

The music of Kingsman wants its both ways, retro while still feeling fresh enough for modern box office, a shared paradox with The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

22 best and worst Bond theme songs ranked: Every single's here, but which are classics and which need their 00 status revoked?

22 best and worst Bond theme songs ranked: Every single's here, but which are classics and which need their 00 status revoked?
According to Spectre director Sam Mendes, we'll soon find out who'll be joining the illustrious ranks of Shirley Bassey, Paul McCartney and Rita Coolidge (!) in belting out a James Bond theme.

To mark the occasion, we've gone back through every single 007 song to find out which ones are earworms and which need their 00 status revoked. A quick point to note: we've discounted instrumentals so the opening credits pieces from Dr No and On Her Majesty's Secret Service are not on the list.

22. 'Another Way to Die' - Jack White & Alicia Keys (2008)

The first and only duet in the entire Bond theme back catalogue, on paper this sounded great but what emerged was a sludgy, lifeless and unremarkable track that went in one ear and out the other.

21. 'Die Another Day' - Madonna (2002)

Compounding the horror of her on-screen cameo in this stinker of a film is Madonna's
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Pierce Brosnan: The Hollywood Flashback Interview

I interviewed Pierce Brosnan in conjunction with his third outing as James Bond, in Michael Apted's The World Is Not Enough, in 1999. Brosnan was alternately charming, erudite, thoughtful and intense during our two hour chat. His native intelligence shone through it all, as did a sense of decency which many people seem to acquire after enduring and surviving hardship in their formative years.

Bonding With Brosnan

By

Alex Simon

There are several dangers in becoming a cultural icon, not the least of which is the stigma that your public will forever keep you imprisoned in the mold of your iconography, allowing the recipient a privileged, if imprisoned, existence, particularly if that person is an artist. Sean Connery faced just such a dilemma during the height of James Bond-mania in the mid-60's. A serious actor, Connery desperately wanted to break out of the action hero mold that was British Superspy James Bond,
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

James Bond 007: revisiting Octopussy

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
See full article at Den of Geek »

James Bond 007: revisiting The Spy Who Loved Me

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
See full article at Den of Geek »

See The First Teaser Trailer For The 24th James Bond Adventure Spectre; To Be Released in IMAX Nov. 6, 2015

IMAX, Albert R. Broccoli’s Eon Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment today announced that Spectre, the twenty-fourth installment in the James Bond franchise, will be released in IMAX theatres globally on November 6, 2015.

A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. 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.

Cue Monty Norman’s 007’s theme song and watch the first trailer now.

Sam Mendes returns to direct Spectre, with Daniel Craig reprising his role as 007 for the fourth time.

Joining Craig are returning cast members Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny and Ben Whishaw as Q, along with a new cast, including Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux.

Spectre is produced by Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, from
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Star Wars, Jurassic Park, more: 9 original trailers for classic movies

Star Wars, Jurassic Park, more: 9 original trailers for classic movies
The huge level of hype surrounding movie trailers doesn't seem like it's going to subside anytime soon. "First looks" and teaser premieres seem to have more currency in film fandom than the actual movies themselves these days.

With the big unveiling of the Jurassic World teaser this week and the incoming promo for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Digital Spy has decided to look back through the archives to see how the art of cutting a trailer has changed over the years.

1. Star Wars

"Somewhere in space... this may all be happening right now!" This opening voiceover doesn't quite have the same ring to it as "a galaxy far, far away", and without the John Williams score or polished sound mix it just doesn't really feel like Star Wars at all. Still, this first-ever trailer didn't put off audiences from seeing the finished film in the summer of 1977.

2. Jurassic Park
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Goldfinger 50 years on: How the 1964 classic shaped the 007 films

Goldfinger 50 years on: How the 1964 classic shaped the 007 films
The James Bond series - based on Ian Fleming's spy novels - is one of cinema's biggest ever film franchises, thrilling fans now for over half a century.

1962's Dr No and the following year's From Russia with Love lay the groundwork, but it was with 1964's Goldfinger that the 007 movies became a true global phenomenon.

A 50th anniversary Blu-ray re-issue of the Sean Connery classic is available to buy from today (Monday, September 22). To mark the occasion, Digital Spy explores how Goldfinger shaped Bond as we know and love him.

1. The Extravagant Pre-Titles Sequence

The previous film, From Russia with Love, was in fact the first Bond to feature a pre-titles sequence. But that scene, which saw Robert Shaw's Red Grant stalk and kill a 007 impersonator, was short and simple - and didn't even feature the real Bond.

Goldfinger was the first film to take full advantage
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »
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