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Entries in Sam Mendes (8)

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?  

 

Monday
Apr072014

Stage Door: Michelle Williams in "Cabaret"

Jose here. I have a confession to make that might make me very unpopular around here: I don’t get Michelle Williams. I understand the reasons why she’s beloved and acclaimed and why she’s earned three Academy Award nominations so far, but I can’t bring myself to declare myself as part of her fanclub. The reason behind this is that I can’t fully fathom her as a true sexual being, yet time after time she’s asked to portray characters for whom sex is an essential trait. For instance, as much as she aced the moves, comedic timing and picaresque tone of Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn, she played the most famous sexual icon of all time as a timid porcelain doll, whose internal turmoils kept her from having an emotional life. What is the point of having Marilyn onscreen if you’re not having at least mildly naughty thoughts about her?

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May292013

Sky Falling For A Second Time

JA from MNPP here, with the word that Sam Mendes is back in talks to direct another James Bond movie, after having removed himself from the conversation back in March. I found the news that he wasn't doing it earlier this year more surprising than this news today that he is - Skyfall was the biggest moneymaking Bond ever, not to mention scoring the franchise its first Oscar since 1965, and it seemed pretty cut and dry that he'd want to help Daniel Craig back into his blue trunks for another go-round (wouldn't we all). 

 

Personally I had sort of a weird reaction to Skyfall - I loved it the first time I saw it, only to sense a precipitous decline with subsequent viewings - it didn't hold up for me at all, once that initial thrill wore off. But it sure was beautiful to look at, the cast was great, and with it ending right where the first Bond movie Dr. No began maybe Mendes can make a slightly less bloated, less self-serious movie this time. And maybe give the terrific Naomie Harris something real, besides Daniel Craig, to chew on!

 

On the real down-side, I totally want Kate Winslet to be a Bond girl, and I don't think it's going to happen with Mendes leading the charge (I don't care what their pr people tell me - nobody's post-marital relations are that good). What do we think about Mendes heading back into Bond waters? are we sad that Nicolas Winding Refn isn't happening?
.
Tuesday
Nov202012

The Link is Not Enough

Thompson on Hollywood 5 things you won't learn about the making of Psycho from Hitchcock
Animation Mag GKids, that indie distributor who is bringing us great foreign animated Oscar contenders has even better news for 2013: A 25th anniversary rerelease of Grave of the Fireflies. You MUST see this movie.
I Need My Fix the motion poster for Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Fancy.
Variety ohmygod Pedro Almodovar wants to make a sci-fi movie. I'm living for this. Please do. 

The Playlist seems as if Sam Mendes might do another Bond picture post Skyfall
NY Post on exciting BluRay news for Gypsy, and many other classics
Anna Kendrick proves to her fans that she's tweeting 
Pajiba is very unhappy with Barbara Walters '10 Most Fascinating People' list. Particularly with the selection of our new Oscar host and this memorable bit on EL James of "Fifty Shades of Grey" fame:

I am sick of the way that criticism about this book has somehow morphed into derisively calling it mommy porn... My problem is the same problem I have with Twilight: the national obsession with terrible fucking writing interspersed with a cursory at best and hungrily timid notion of sex.

BadAss Digest the Marvel Studios "Phase One" box set has new features. I read through them and there's no full length documentary of Chris Evans training shirtless to get Captain America's body so there's no way I'm paying $220!
NY Post Watchmen -- you haven't heard that title in awhile, have you -- is getting a collector's edition with a super long cut and more Dr. Manhattan nudity. Too bad the movie is so stiff.
Vanity Fair Amanda Seyfried in couture... and on her relationship with Hugh Jackman in Les Miz and Dominic Cooper's eight-pack. No really.

 Off Cinema
Huffington Post Fiona Apple cancels the South American leg of her tour due to her dying dog. This is so incredibly sad and Fiona Apple is so awesome. Fact.
Gawker Anderson Cooper gets catty with a obnoxious twitter follower 

Happy Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching and big Oscar contenders are celebrating with connections both very real and carved (haha) out of thin air. Here's a Happy Thanksgiving from Dreamworks Lincoln 

 

...and one from Fox Searchlight's Hitchcock which you can e-mail to friends and family here.

I'm really disappointed that in this day and age of abundant web animations -- I mean even I can make little animated gifs of my drawings! -- this card didn't have movement. Hitch actually stabbing the turkey would have been sickening.

 

Monday
Nov122012

Review: "Skyfall"

This review was originally published in my column at Towleroad

Skyfall arrived on US screens Friday with such multiplex flattening hype that you'd be forgiven for thinking the title literal. The Cubby Broccoli estate, which controls the adventures of the super spy, was pulling no stops for the 50th anniversary installment of the granddaddy of film franchises. We've been inundated with Bond Mania for months now. So you'd think at this point that the actual film would be an afterthought. Not so.

The 23rd official Bond film delivers… and not just the five mandatory goodies no Bond film is complete without: Action (Particularly the Opening Setpiece), Theme Song, International Villain, 007 Himself and the Bond Girl. Unlike most modern franchises, the Bond series favors stand-alone storylines with only the five-pronged Bond template uniting them. Even Bond himself changes though Skyfall happily sticks with Daniel Craig's impossible zombie handsomeness and dangerously erotic icy blues.

Five mandatory goodies and Daniel Craig's sexual pull AFTER THE JUMP...

Click to read more ...