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Entries in Bond James Bond (71)

Tuesday
Nov012016

Now Streaming (Prime): Rocky, Bond, and Brad as "Joe Black"

It's that time of the month again. Streaming! Here are the new titles on Amazon Prime. As is our practice we'll freeze frame some at random to see what comes up -- no cheating! Will you be watching any of these? Do you remember them?

Russian Coach: He's nothing, he's soft
Swedish Dolph Pretending to be Russian: He's not a man. He is like a piece of iron.

Rocky IV (1985)
Remember when America was totally obsessed with Dick-Measuring with Russia. Oh wait... we're back there again only with a really gross twist (sigh). Side note: Most but not all of the Rocky films are avaiable for streaming but the not all point kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it? See also: James Bond movies.

Speaking of...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jul112016

The Furniture: The Spy Who Loved My Supertanker

1977 is our "Year of the Month" for July. So we'll be celebrating its films randomly throughout the month. Here's Daniel Walber...

Looking back at the films of '77, the clear production design stand-out is Star Wars. It won the Oscar and changed the world, though not necessarily in that order. Science fiction was crossing over, pushed even further by fellow nominee Close Encounters of the Third Kind. But why talk about harder sci-fi when you could focus on the futuristic gadgetry and technological excess of the James Bond franchise?

The Spy Who Loved Me is a remarkable showcase for legendary production designer Ken Adam, who passed away earlier this year. He built models of the Pyramids, a cavernous office for the head of the KGB and a decadent underwater lair for nefarious shipping magnate Karl Stromberg (Curt Jurgens). But the real showstopper is the interior of the Liparus supertanker, the site of the film’s climax. Or, rather, the liveliest of its many climaxes. This is a Bond film, after all.

This was Adam's sixth contribution to the franchise, and he made a point of outdoing his prior work. The set for the Liparus was to be an entirely new sound stage, among the largest ever constructed. 

The final product was gigantic, 334ft by 136ft. Cinematographer Claude Renoir couldn’t actually see from one end to the other. Adam had to call in Stanley Kubrick, with whom he had worked on Dr. Strangelove and Barry Lyndon, just to figure out the lighting...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jun112016

Swing, Tarzan, Swing! Ch.5: Mike Henry gets his 007 on in the "Valley of Gold"

As we approach the release of The Legend of Tarzan (2016) we're ogling past screen incarnations of the Lord of the Apes...

Tarzan aficianados will cry foul that I've skipped ahead to 1966 in this retrospective but the awesomely named actor Jock Mahoney wouldn't mind. He only made two Tarzan films in the mid sixties... and barely finished those. He got deathly ill on the second, lost 40 lbs during the picture, and couldn't get out of the jungle fast enough. The first of those pictures lost money, too.

You see, in the wake of the phenomenal success of Dr. No (1962), From Russia With Love (1963) and Goldfinger (1964), James Bond was the new #1 adventure hero and Tarzan was old news. The Tarzan franchise took note and tried to combine the two with Tarzan and the Valley of Gold (1966), introducing the closest thing they could find to Sean Connery's swarthy dimpled masculinity: Mike Henry.

Mike Henry was a professional football player with the Los Angeles Rams but he left sports for the actor's life and donned the Tarzan's loincloth.

...Or, should we say his suit.

In addition to introducing Tarzan as a jet-setting perpetually-endangered looker in a suit, this new 007 style adventure also begins with a kitschy mod score over colorful credits, an opening action sequence that's somewhat disconnected from the movie that follows, and an intelligent international criminal with a taste for booby-trapped gifts. So, you know, we're definitely in Bond territory...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
May282016

Who should direct / star in the next Bond? 

In not surprising news, Sam Mendes is moving on from the 007 franchise after Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015). Daniel Craig is probably moving on, too, but rumors about who will replace him are, as ever, premature. The names floating about this time are Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston (wishful fan thinking, maybe, since the internet has been suggesting these two names forever) and 30 year old Jamie Bell which is an interesting idea and probably not a bad one. If chosen he'd be the youngest Bond since Sean Connery (who was 30 when he was cast for Dr. No (1962) though most subsequent Bonds have been around 40 when they started. Plus Bell is super charismatic but underused in cinema.

Though Bond films are largely regarded as producer driven and leading actor focused pictures, rather than directorial feats, the man in the chair is important. In the past the franchise has generally relied on mid level directors rather than auteurs, the two with the most success outside the franchise are Oscar winner Sam Mendes and Oscar nominee Lewis Gilbert. Once the franchise even handed the reigns to a Bond editor who graduated to the director's chair (John Glen) for his directorial debut.

Directed the Most Bond Films

  1. John Glen - 5 Bonds: For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, License to Kill (and he edited a few more before those); Key Picture Outside the Franchise: Not really
  2. Guy Hamilton -4 Bonds: Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die, The Man With the Golden Gun; Key Picture Outside the Franchise: Force 10 From Navarone
  3. [TIE] Terence Young - 3 Bonds: Dr No, From Russia With Love, Thunderball; Key Picture Outside the Franchise: Wait Until Dark AND Lewis Gilbert - 3 Bonds: You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker: Key Picture(s) Outside the Franchise: Alfie (Oscar Nomination), and Educating Rita
  4. [TIE] Sam Mendes - 2 Bonds: Skyfall, Spectre; Key Picture Outside the Franchise: American Beauty (Oscar win), and Road to Perdition AND Martin Campbell - 2 Bonds: GoldenEye, Casino Royale; Key Picture Outside the Franchise: The Mask of Zorro

 If you could bend producer Barbara Broccoli's ear...
What would you whisper to the woman behind the franchise who makes those final hiring decisions?  

 

Friday
May202016

For Your Tweets Only: Wonderstruck, Herzog, and the Next 007 

As you may have heard rumors are swirling again (do they ever stop?) that Daniel Craig absolutely will not, won't, refused to, no matter how much you pay him, play Agent 007 again. The most frequently suggested future Bonds are Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston but there are so many worthy ideas.

Who would you suggest?

Lots more tweet fun after the jump (Clue, Ben Foster, Werner Herzog, etcetera) but first check out another intriguing photo of Julianne Moore in Wonderstruck. First we had her in Marie Antoinette mode and now this? Bless you Todd Haynes!

Click to read more ...