Archive for the ‘Past Films’ Category

40th Anniversary ::: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

December 22, 2009

40 years ago this month, an Australian actor/model by the name of  George Lazenby had stepped into the role of the world’s greatest secret agent – James Bond, after Sean Connery had retired from the part [for the first time] in 1967.

Directed by Peter Hunt (the editor of the earlier Bond films) and written by Richard Maibaum, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service put 007 face-to-face with his arch-nemesis, Ernest Stavro Blofeld, and his plan to use biological warfare to threaten the world. During the mission, Bond meets Tracy di Vicenzo, a countess whose courage and charismatic spirit earns her the title of  Mrs. James Bond.

At its premiere on December 18th, 1969, at the Odeon Theatre, Leicester Square in London, UK, the film proved to be  faithful to Ian Fleming’s original novel. With a budget of $7 million, and a run time of 140 minutes, George Lazenby’s first and last James Bond outing ended up grossing around $87 million worldwide.

You can read my review of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service here.


Life Magazine: Unpublished James Bond Auditions

December 20, 2009

Who Would Be James Bond?

In the early ’60s, movie producers adapting Ian Fleming’s novels about a suave British spy named James Bond plucked a relative unknown, Sean Connery, out of obscurity and offered him the role of a lifetime. And when Connery left the franchise after five movies, the hunt for Bond was on again. LIFE sent photographer Loomis Dean to the final casting sessions for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (released 40 years ago this week), and the magazine published a handful of those photos. But some of the choicest frames — Bond wannabes suiting up, holding guns, drinking martinis, wooing women — have never been seen…until now.

UNPUBLISHED: James Bond Auditions

This is a very interesting piece by Life Magazine. It’s fun to see who could’ve been Bond #2. Of all the candidates, though, I’d only choose one above George Lazenby, and that’s Robert Campbell. He really looked the part, but I’ve no idea if he was a good actor. It would be great if they’d release the photos in a book.

The World Is Not Enough – 10th Anniversary

December 4, 2009

Late November 2009 marked the 10th anniversary of Pierce Brosnan’s third James Bond film, “The World is not Enough”. In the nineteenth official James Bond adventure, the legendary secret agent is assigned to protect an oil heiress, played by the wonderful Sophie Marceau. Through out the film, he is thrown into another “shoot ’em up” adventure that pits him against a seemingly deadly, yet rather boring, adversary named Renard, played by Robert Carlyle. This Bond flick ended up raking in over 352 million dollars worldwide.

To commemorate the anniversary of the film’s release, I’ll be writing up my official review of the film later this weekend.

Stay tuned!

Celebrate Thanksgiving weekend with James Bond…

November 25, 2009

The SyFy Channel will be airing a total of sixteen James Bond films this Thanksgiving weekend. Below is the full schedule:

Thursday – November 26th 2009

8:00 AM –  Dr. No
10:30 AM – Licence To Kill
1:30 PM –  Live And Let Die
4:00 PM – The Spy Who Loved Me
6:30 PM – Tomorrow Never Dies
9:00 PM – Casino Royale

Friday – November 27th 2009:

12:00 AM – For Your Eyes Only
2:30 AM – The Man With The Golden Gun
08:00 AM – Thunderball
10:30 AM – From Russia With Love
1:00 PM – You Only Live Twice
3:30 PM – Diamonds Are Forever
6:00 PM – Casino Royale
9:00 PM – GoldenEye

Saturday November 28th 2009:

12:00 AM – Goldfinger
2:30 AM – Never Say Never Again


All times are EST.

Moonraker — 30th Anniversay

June 27, 2009

It was thirty years ago yesterday that Moonraker was launched to the big screen.  The eleventh film of the series, and the fourth to star Roger Moore, was the highest-grossing Bond film up until GoldenEye. There’s a lot to like about Moonraker and a lot not to like. Though, none the less, it was worth mentioning this milestone.

Here’s my review of the film:

Licence To Kill — 20th Anniversary

June 19, 2009

Twenty years ago, “Licence To Kill” graced silver screens all over the world.

The 16th James Bond film premiered in the UK on June 13th, 1989. The US were given “Licence To Kill” a month later, on July 14th, 1989.

For me, “Licence To Kill” is a very important film, in regards to the world of Bond.

If you’ve read the “About” section of this blog, then you’ll know that “Licence to Kill was my first James Bond film experience. I was in 6th grade when I saw the film – around 11-years-old or so. I ended up taping it on TBS because it was aired past my bed time. The day later, which I believe was a Saturday, I watched the film, and became an instant fan of James Bond. From this point on, I began buying the films on VHS. My second film viewing was Dalton’s first adventure, “The Living Daylights”. Within months, my Bond film collection was complete, and I moved on to conquer the music of the Bond universe. On the topic of Bond music, during the past twenty years, composer of the “Licence To Kill” score, Michael Kamen, sadly passed away at the age of 55.

Coincidently, “Licence To Kill” was released not-too-far after my date of birth, also.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of “Licence To Kill”, I’ll be providing an in-depth review of it next month, on the anniversary of the film’s US premiere (July 14th).

James Bond at the Oscars…

November 18, 2008

According to the LA Times, James Bond is trying to break his way into the Academy Awards.

Article Link: ‘Quantum of Solace’ is running for several Oscars

Personally, I can’t see “Quantum” snagging anything at the Oscars, even if it does get a few nominations- and that’d only happen if they were lucky. I believe someone from the Academy once stated (and don’t quote me here) that nominating or selecting a Bond film for a category at the Oscars would be something of a joke. In a way, this isn’t fair. If a film’s top-notch, then it deserves recognition at any awards ceremony, including the Academy Awards.

As for “Quantum”, as I wrote in my review, I think it’s a pretty solid Bond film. Certainly, it’s nothing like the classics, but it holds up pretty well next to  them. Does Forster deserve a Best Director Oscar for the film? Eh… I’m not sure, as I’ve not seen many films this year. Most of them have been crap, other than “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (that was entertaining, at least), “The Dark Knight”, and “Quantum of Solace”. I saw “The Ruins” in May, and that was so terrible that it was cringe-worthy. I enjoyed Forster’s direction in this film, so if he got a nomination, I wouldn’t complain. Actually, I’d be quite happy for him.

For the other categories, I’m really not sure. Daniel Craig did a fabulous job of acting, but maybe he’ll trump himself with that “Defiance” picture, and end up snagging a nomination or award for that. The Haggis-Purvis-Wade screenplay wasn’t Academy Award-worthy gold, and I expect that to win nothing, nor get nominated. There were plot holes, cheap/cliche scenes, and limited dialogue – after all, half of the film was action. The art direction was great, as was the cinematography. Arnold’s score was promising, for a Bond film, but overall weak. The film editing was quick, fast-paced, and well-done, in my opinion. As for that White/Keys theme song… give me a break. If that gets nominated, I know a few people who are going to be pissed.

Best of luck to “Quantum” at the Oscars. While I don’t think it deserves much in some categories, it was still one of the high-quality flicks of this year. Also, good luck getting past the snobs at the Academy, Bond. Although, with their low standards (“Lord of the Rings” and its multiple wins?), a quality film like “Quantum” may have a decent chance.

We’ll see…