Tag Archives: James Bond

Roger Moore Leaves The Most Extensive James Bond Legacy

James Bond is without a doubt one of the most iconic characters in cinematic history. The film series is the longest running and consistently successful film franchises of all time and while Sean Connery will always represent the quintessential Bond, for many generations of fans Roger Moore will be the most recognizable as the famed 007. Moore played Bond 7 times over a span of 12 years which is the most for both in the history of the franchise. Despite his popularity as Bond his films have often been criticized for being too campy and never having the allure of the Connery films, but for many he IS James Bond.

Moore had big shoes to fill when he took over the franchise from Connery who had returned for one final film after George Lazenby only managed to last for one film. Moore had a great ability not to let criticism and the comparisons affect him even when Mr. Connery himself was critical of his performances. To Connery, he was just a TV star and not a true Bond, but as time would go on, we would discover that Connery has never really approved of anyone that has come after him.

Roger Moore would go on to make some of the Bond fans favorite Bond films like, Live And Let Die, The Man With The Golden Gun, Moonraker and the Spy Who Loved Me. Along with being the world’s most famous spy, the theme songs for many of his films would also be huge mainstream hits with the likes of Paul McCartney and Carly Simon.

Throughout his entire tenure as Bond and for years beyond up until his death today, May 23, 2017, he would be as classy and debonair as the man he will always be remembered for portraying. He was always available to the next actor for any advice they needed to make the role their own. He was the ideal British actor of the highest order. While he will always be remembered by most as Bond (and that’s a pretty good legacy to leave), he was much more than that, including his television career as The Saint which would also be turned into a movie starring Val Kilmer.

The James Bond family lost one of its giants today, and he is the first actor in the Eon Productions series who played Bond to pass away. His passing is without a doubt the third biggest loss the franchise has had after the iconic Ian Fleming and producer Albert R. (Cubby) Broccoli who brought Ian Fleming’s imagination to life. Fans without a doubt are mourning the loss along with remembering the thrills he gave everyone. Thank you 007.

The James Bond Franchise Comes Full Circle 

IMG_4040For the last nine years, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson have been on a mission to restore the James Bond franchise to the heights it knew When Barbara’s father and Wilson’s stepfather, Albert R. ‘Cubby” Broccoli, was the man in charge of bringing James Bond off the pages and onto the big screen. After some disappointing numbers and subpar films with Pierce Brosnan they decided to make a change. The new Bond would be entrusted with the responsibility of breathing life back into the world’s most famous spy. In step Daniel Craig, a blonde haired, blue eyed actor not enormously famous and not what every other Bond had looked like or been described like in the books. Needless to say the fan base was not happy. Jump to present day and it’s not out of reach by any means to give Daniel Craig the title of the best Bond ever. Rebooting the franchise with Casino Royale, the first of the books, fans would quickly be sold on their new Bond and the new look of the films. Casino Royale would be followed up by another franchise first, a direct sequel with Quantum Of Solace. Again fans were up in arms just with the title. Though not as strong as Royale, Quantum did successfully finish what Royale started.

Then came the crown jewel for Craig, Skyfall. Its massive success and incredible reviews, it was no question that Broccoli and Wilson were accomplishing their goal. Bond had a new look not only physically, but esthetically on film. With Oscar winners like Paul Haggis and Sam Mendes lending their talents to the franchise, there was no question Bond was back and better than ever.

On December 4th, 2014 when the title of the newest Bond film and its cast would be announced, it was the first time there didn’t seem to be any backlash from the faithful Bond enthusiasts. SPECTRE let everyone know that everything they loved about Bond was on its way back and in a big way. With two time Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz as the villain and Sam Mendes returning to direct the anticipation was at a fever pitch.

Eleven months later the time has arrived. Would it deliver? Would it bomb? Or would it be exactly what it should be? The trouble is that Bond fans are almost always split one way or another when it comes to the films on first release. In the end, though, they love them all in their own way. This will be true even with SPECTRE.

SPECTRE is the culmination of the vision Barbara and Michael set out to deliver. Where it appeared that Quantum was the end of Casino Royale and Skyfall was a new stand alone Bond like all the others, SPECTRE would prove otherwise. The re-boot truly is complete now.

In the new film Bond is on a private mission that is unsanctioned by MI6 and it couldn’t come at a worse time as the 00 division is under fire and being accused of being outdated and unnecessary. While making headlines in all the wrong places, Bond is grounded by M, played excellently by Ralph Finnes, and forbidden from leaving London. However Bond is ultimately fulfilling one last mission for M’s predecessor. With the help of Q and Moneypenny, he ventures out all over Europe to fulfill his mission without any idea what he will find. What Bond slowly uncovers is an organization unlike any he has seen before and a look into his past he never expected to find.

The return of the criminal organization SPECTRE makes true Bond enthusiasts more excited than can be described. As the filmIMG_4037 goes on, the things fans were wondering and predicting begin to unfold. I don’t consider this a spoiler because no Bond film has ever had many surprises because that’s not their goal.

I made a point to not read any critics reviews until after I experienced the film for myself. I was and yet I wasn’t surprised to see it get panned by most of the “major” or “expert” critics. They seemed to pick it apart bit by bit. Skyfall was repeatedly mentioned and one critic even mentioned Orson Welles. This is simply unfair to the film. To pick apart a Bond movie and analyze it so deeply like a piece of art is unrealistic. Bond films are not pieces of art, not to say they aren’t great, but they also aren’t Citizen Kane.

When reviewing a Bond film you need to look at the details as well as the ridiculous. SPECTRE really does deliver on all fronts. From the opening sequence, which has always been a staple of the franchise, is eye popping with every bit of action one could hope for. It will ultimately be as memorable as Goldeneye’s bungee dive off the damn and subsequent airplane dive.

The one truly great thing about SPECTRE are the very subtle and very slight recreations of moments from almost every Bond film ever. For example, a train ride is abruptly interrupted by a hand to hand combat battle with the muscle end of the villainous side. This is very much an homage to the classic battle between Sean Connery and Robert Shaw in From Russia With Love. Hardcore Bond fans will recognize many of these references.

If there is anything negative about SPECTRE it would be two things I noticed. The length of the film could have easily been cut down by half an hour. It is the longest running Bond film at 2 hours 28 minutes. The second disappointment would be the theme song which is only slightly saved by one of the most beautiful opening title sequences in Bond history. In fairness to the theme song, it did have very large shoes to fill following Adele’s theme for Skyfall which earned her the Academy Award (which had never been done before despite some memorable theme songs).

SPECTRE is one hell of a good ride and if you go into the film with an open mind and not the idea that it should trump Skyfall or Goldfinger, you will be engrossed and leave the movie feeling more than satisfied. Enjoy James Bond because he is… James Bond. He is not Hamlet and never will be.

Hollywood’s Creativity Is Dead….But It Doesn’t Have To Be

It’s been 438 days since my last article. Lately I’ve been mulling over in my mind why it has been so long. Life has taken many turns and Hollywood has also. Two years to the day that I started this blog, we lost quite possibly, my favorite working actor in Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Not long after that, on August 11 another favorite in Robin Williams was gone. This was only less than 3 months after my last post. I considered writing posts for Williams and others who have passed in between then and now. I think the reason the motivation has left me is sad, because my belief that Hollywood could produce the imagination, it had and the ability to captivate its audiences with originality and grace, was gone. Two of the most ambitious and daring actors of our time were gone. With releases shortly after, that were not totally grounded in movie originality, the business of movies just continued on.  Things have not changed in all this time. The anticipation in films are not original. Not to say that I’m not looking forward to the new James Bond film or the new Star Wars film, but where has the imagination gone? Have we become content with mediocre novels and any comic book ever written?

I’m not trying to shoot down the comic book or super hero genre. And I’m all for finding books that translate well to film, but is that the only source left? That isn’t to say that the original films aren’t being made, they are. The fame and recognition have just been small. The depth of characters and franchises is also dissipating.

Where are the Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Back To The Future and Terminator type stories and depth? Granted 2 of those involved George Lucas, who is highly regarded. But that’s not to say he was the only one. And I certainly don’t want to say creativity has disappeared. But where is it to be found?

I have one major selective group of imaginative people that could be suggested. Video game creators could be hugely responsible for the next franchise of domination in film. I’m not talking Resident Evil or even making Halo or Call of Duty into major motion pictures. I’m suggesting that before the stories are created and before the games are submitted to the gaming companies, they are considered by studios.

Since the dawn of film, writers have been the underpaid group. This has been proven by multiple strikes and outcry from the writing community. A little coin and recognition could really change the game. Hollywood claims to be losing billions in the theater market to pirating. There is no debating this topic. But the question is why?

The biggest franchises, action and fun films, in the last 10 years have shattered box office records. People and fans are willing to go and pay for the experience. Star Wars and Bond will once again prove this, come winter time.

It’s not impossible to bring these magical, wondrous times back to reality. Fans are not above accepting re-vamped stories, but we also want originality that we can get behind and embrace. It’s out there it just needs to be given the right voice!

*DVD/Blu Ray Release Re Post* Bond Celebrates It’s 50th Anniversary With A True Gem

Originally Posted November 8, 2012

There are very few iconic figures in film as recognizable and known as James Bond. Fresh of the 50th anniversary of Bond on film comes the release of the 23rd official James Bond film,Skyfall, meaning it is an Eon production. Not included are the 1967 David Niven, Peter Sellers comedy version of Casino Royale nor the atrocious return of Sean Connery in the 1983, Thunderball remake, Never Say Never Again.

Bond received what some would call a reboot in 2006 when Daniel Craig introduced himself to the Bond fanatic world as the first blonde haired, blue eyed Bond. Now on his 3rd installment with the newly released, Skyfall, Daniel Craig solidifies himself as quite possibly the best James Bond, not only SINCE Sean Connery but even better than Connery. Connery is without question the most iconic Bond, making a place for himself unlike any other. But it is the film quality and great similarity to the book’s and original stories idea of Bond that makes Craig the best of all to portray him.

With a perfect return to basics, Skyfall has Bond fans asking for almost everything that may have seemed missing in the last 2 films despite their phenomenal fresh prospective. We stumble upon Bond in the midst of a highly sensitive mission that produces an opening sequence unlike any other in Bond history. Chasing an assassin thru the streets and train tracks of Turkey filled with stunts to leave you unsure whats real and whats CGI and not even caring. After the lengthy chase and visually stunning opening scene things only get more amplified from there. After some time away Bond returns after a devastating attack on the headquarters of MI6. Working closely with M and having her full trust, Bond is committed to finding the man behind the attack, They both soon discover the former double 0 agent who seems to have a personal vendetta against the head of the British secret service. Forced to look at his own track record as a double 0 and his relationship with the one willing to send him to certain death, Bond makes a choice to stick with the job and country that took him in as a Scottish orphan so many years earlier.

After a look into Bond’s childhood and somewhat destruction of that childhood, the franchise of the films seems to complete what has been somewhat of a 3 film reboot of the whole series.

No director better could have been chosen than Sam Mendes who has a way of looking at the darker side of things with a most exciting way of presenting his vision. His direction and story telling is exactly the superb touch Bond has been missing for quite some time. One can only hope for several more films to be made from this seemingly perfect marriage.

The Bond name and films are quite safe with many more to come. There will come a day when Daniel Craig can no longer play the world’s most famous secret agent, but until that time fans should only soak in the best version of the character since the original was dreamed of in the wonderful mind of the great Ian Fleming. Fans can take comfort in the fact that Craig is signed on for two more films which will tie him with the iconic Connery.

The film is not without it’s flaws, but they pale in comparison to the greatness of the characters old and “sort of” new ones.

Not to be overlooked are the performances of Javier Bardem, who might be the most amusing of all villains while being the most vindictive and sinister. Bardem’s character is out for simple revenge, hatred and terror. No world domination aspirations or financial gain. During a briefing M makes mention of the fact that the worlds and countries enemies are no longer other world leaders and countries but simple rogue terrorism. This makes it much more difficult to identify therefore guard against. Playing to real life situations and making the enemies seem more real and relatable lend to the authenticity of the film while still maintaing the unrealistic life of James Bond.

Eon Productions, Michael G. Wilson and Barbra Broccoli could not have picked a better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their fathers most beloved creation. With stunts and action sequences nearly unparalleled and the continuation of the freshest look at the world’s most beloved and longest lasting film series, the future of James Bond has never looked safer than it does right now.