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TWO OPINIONS ON MAPS TO THE STARS
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Entries in Bond James Bond (47)

Monday
Dec312012

Reader Rank: 2012's 007 Mania featuring the Bond Girls

Though we've really just begun our Year in Review of 2012 no such survey would be feel complete without at least a perfunctory visit to the shadowy world of super spy Bond, James Bond. Skyfall, the 23rd official James Bond feature released to coincide with the franchise's 50th anniversary is already the top grossing Bond of all time with $1 billion at the global box office. That's enough cash to get any Bond Villain (or Bond Villain parody) rubbing his fingers together with greed "one beeeeeeeiiiillion dollars"

Bérénice Marlowe as "Severine" in SKYFALL

Just before Skyfall came out I asked readers to submit their own rankings of the Bond films. It's such a big tallying project that I think I'll have to save the main results for the Skyfall DVD release (so if you still want to submit your ballot email it to me with "Bond Rank" in the title line and make sure to rank every Bond film you've seen in the email). I have finished the less strenuous task of tabulating the numbers for your favorite Bond Girls. How does the newbie Bérénice Marlohe as Severine stack up for all of you? I personally thought she was sensational with a lethal mix of smooth outer beauty and deep inner terror that had me imagining the feeling of skating on dangerously thin ice that's cracking loudly underneath your feet. I've included her in my "sexpot of the year" nominees. Pity that she has to share that new Film Bitch Awards page with her captor/lover Silva (Javier Bardem) who is nominated in the "villain of the year" category. 

cue theme music....

READER'S RANK: THE BEST BOND GIRLS

Maud Adams has the Trivia Bonus distinction of having played two different Bond Girls in her career. "Andrea" in The Man With the Golden Gun (1974) and the title character in Octopussy (1983)

Honorable Mentions (aka 007 More Women Who Scored Well With Readers): Natalya (GoldenEye), Tatiana (From Russia With Love), Elektra King (The World is Not Enough), Malina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only), Fiona Volpe (Thunderball) and Maud Adams as Octopussy. I love this comment about the latter from Andrew:

The character is not that much fun in the movie itself, but just the fact that she's basically a brothel madam named "Octopussy" is pretty great."

The 007 Top Girls with a few key reader quotes after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec112012

Original Song Eligibility List = Lots of Opportunities For Oscar Night Celebrity Live-Singing!

Now that Skyfall has been declared eligible can Adele finally break the unofficial NO NOMS FOR BOND thing that's been going on forever?As you may have heard, 75 songs have qualified for consideration for Oscar's Best Original Song Category...and not just from animated films. I love this category in my more imaginary moments neither because of what's been nominated over the years (ewww) nor any belief that songwriting is a particularly valid "filmmaking achievement". I only love it for its potential to provide my favorite night of the year with some entertaining interludes -- I love acceptance speeches but you gotta break the night up for variety's sake. Sadly, Oscar has been mucking with this category for so long that it almost never reaches its potential of providing 5 awesome short breaks from people standing at podiums, preferrably while also letting various celebrities sing live to us. In the year of Les Miz it will be a great shame if there isn't live singing on Hollywood's High Holy Night.

But I keep the dream alive and pray that one day some Academy executive will realize that the only thing the category is good for is putting celebrities on stage in a different context than acceptance speeches or merely to introduce yet another mind-numbing montage of something that has nothing to do with the films we happen to be celebrating this annum. So with that in mind, I'm placing in ALL CAPS the performer of the song if it's somebody who it would immediately enrage if they chose not to invite them to sing it to us so that they could shove all the songs into one medley for, like, Miley Cyrus to sing or something (remember how obsessed the Oscars were with having Miley Cyrus present there for awhile?! Yeah, that was... well, let's not dwell.)

LIST AND MORE AFTER THE JUMP

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov232012

Thanksgiving Linkovers

Good afternoon! I only had one piece of pumpkin pie last night so it absolutely cannot be counted as an unqualified success of a Thanksgiving. So, desperate for leftovers (I wasn't even sent home with any spare pie!), I turn to good blogs, the whip cream of this internet pie.

Film Dr. a pictorial primer on Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
MNPP JA's living vicariously through Amanda Seyfried fixation continues unabated
Towleroad homoerotic Skyfall poster 

In Contention the first of countless top ten lists, Cahiers du Cinema finds Holy Motors at the top
DP/30 Jake Gyllenhaal talks End of Watch. Which I still haven't seen. I am a bad Gyllenhaalic this year. (I also missed Won't Back Down
Awards Daily Sasha interviews Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
LA Times Tracy Letts says he didn't alter much about August: Osage County for the screen in his screenplay. So... it's three hours long then? 
MovieLine Noomi Rapace does her best Mick Jagger in a new music video. But is it Mick Jaggery enough? 
Empire Marisa Tomei may co-star in a new Hugh Grant romcom. I can see that pairing totally working.

Finally...
Timothy Brayton, easily one of the best (and most completist-friendly) online film critics, has ranked every single Bond film (with each link going to a new review) the Bond Girls and each James Bond. That's a lot of 007. 

Yes yes. I'll post the results of the readers poll here soon -- sorry for the holiday delay -- but before we are totally Bonded out, knock back a martini with Tim's reviews and lists.

Sunday
Nov182012

Is Skyfall's Oscar Buzz Real or Just Really Convincing Hype?

Though each new James Bond film lands with a media frenzy of sorts, Skyfall's box-office crushing tour of the Globe has even come with Oscar buzz. As an Oscar pundit, at first I felt I needed to do my killjoy duty and remind Bond-fans that the Academy has never been eager to have a martini with Bond, no matter how he orders it. But lately I've begun to wonder if, should the hype not subside much, the world's favorite super spy might finally win a nomination or two again. Two nominations would be a major win for Team Skyfall though the current hype would have you perceive that as a disappointing haul since it suggests that multiple nods and even a Best Picture citation are just around the corner. 

It's this overreaching by fans and the more excitable pundits that keeps forcing me back into Killjoy Corner. But let me repeat: a Best Picture nomination is not happening; Ten spots is not Twenty. And Bond Films aren't even close to the top of Oscar's Favorite Franchises heap anyway. Even with the fast Oscar-dream fade of The Dark Knight Rises and the artistically suspect decision to make The Hobbit into three films, history suggests that AMPAS is more likely to join Bruce Wayne or Gollum in the shadows again than James Bond. 

I should explain with facts (after the jump) before they go out of style again...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Nov182012

Breaking Box Office Part Two

The big and unavoidable story this weekend was that the Twilight series finely came to an end with Kristen Stewart vamping out and nobody using red eye autocorrection on their cameras. I've also heard that the story ends in a stupid way that satisfies both Team Edw---  anyway, I've heard how the last book ends and I'm as incredulous as this elephant. 

WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME LEE PACE WAS IN THIS MOVIE?

Box Office Top Ten
01 THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PT. 2  $141.3 *NEW* 
02 SKYFALL $41.5 (cum. $161.3) Review
03 LINCOLN  $21 (cum. $22.4) Podcast
04 WRECK-IT RALPH  $18.3 (cum. $121.4)
05 FLIGHT $8.6 (cum. $61.3) Review

Skyfall's global gross of 669 million (thus far) makes it the most successful Bond ever. All that and it's only in its second American weekend with a big holiday weekend just around the corner (Happy Thanksgiving in Advance!). Of course if you adjust for inflation, as you should with such a long running franchise, the picture is different and the mid sixties Sean Connery entries (particularly Thunderball and Goldfinger) are still the peak of Bond's popularity... though the series has an uncanny ability to gross in the same-ish ballpark pretty much every time out.

In other box office news: Anna Karenina (or whatever you want to call it) and Silver Linings Playbook both opened on a dozen plus screens to solid business; Argo tied The Town's final $92 million domestic gross in its sixth weekend but it's still going pretty strong and it took The Town twice as long to hit that total; The Sessions expanded considerably but is no longer playing to packed houses. 

Which film did you see and was the ticket price worth it?

Wednesday
Nov142012

You Only Link Twice

Broadway World the SNL cast does "One Day More" from Les Miz to celebrate their lame one-day weekend. With Anne Hathaway as host. For the third time, bitches.
Vulture Joaquin Phoenix's apology (of sorts... if you stretch the definition of the word) for his comments about the Oscars
Cinema Blend Joe Wright talks about restored confidence and directing Anna Karenina. Calls the release of The Soloist "heartbreaking" 
Film Drunk on Channing Tatum the "Sexiest Man Alive" ... and other prizes
Awards Daily Ben Affleck to receive the "Modern Master" award at Santa Barbara Fest after only three films. (I think it's time you all bowed down to my stunning predictive powers about Monsieur Affleck. I predicted his ascendance to Eastwood Jr. status years and years ago!)

In Contention Skyfall's amazing un-Oscared tech team 
The Envelope overhears a "Who is that?" question in relation to... Jennifer Lawrence?!? Also: The Best Actress race.

Retro
Criterion Collection Ira Levin on the origins of Rosemary's Baby and what he worries about in terms of the film's legacy 
MNPP on the infamous and still-censtored 'Rape of Christ' sequence from Ken Russell's The Devils.  

Off Cinema For Fun
Fantagraphics Illustrator Wilfred Santiago illustrates Victoria Jackson's Election Night tea-party addled tweet meltdown
i09 studies suggest that mankind is getting dumber and dumber
The Advocate the internet's fascination with gay geek / political prophet Nate Silver of "Five Thirty Eight" fame
Boy Culture a new wax replica of Madonna for Madame Tussauds  

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