Did you know that Ian Fleming’s James Bond was inspired by a real-life James Bond who was an ornithologist from Philadelphia? As a fellow Philadelphian and a massive Bond fan, I found this to be incredibly interesting. Well, apparently I’m not the only one because there’s an entire book dedicated to this topic. The Real James Bond: A True Story of Identity Theft, Avian Intrigue, and Ian Fleming by Jim Wright is a fascinating and informative book all about the man behind the pop culture icon.
Last week I read Moonraker by Ian Fleming and watched the film of the same name. The book was better than the movie – big surprise – but neither were spectacular. The novel was a straightforward old-school thriller that, unfortunately, lacked mystery. It’s plot was more cohesive and believable than the film’s, but it didn’t keep me guessing. While I’ve yet to read them all, Fleming’s Casino Royale is still my favorite in the series and coincidentally it’s also my favorite Bond film. But back to Moonraker the movie. The opening scene, where Bond is fighting another man in mid-air for a parachute, is one of the greatest in cinematic history (check it out below). And the movie’s theme, written by Hal David and sung by Shirley Bassey, is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. For your viewing and listening pleasure, I’ve also included the opening title sequence from Moonraker below. The bottom line is this: If you’re a James Bond fan, you should read the book and see the movie. Just don’t expect either of them to blow you away.
October 5 was Global James Bond day, marking the 50th anniversary of one of the most popular film franchises ever. One of the ways the occasion was celebrated was with the world premiere of Everything Or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007 on EPIX, a documentary chronicling the tumultuous history of Bond on and off the screen. It’s a well done production that had my rapt attention for the entire 98 minutes, and I highly recommend you see it. While it will more than likely be released on DVD/Blu-ray in the future, you can watch it for free by going to EPIX’s website and registering for a free trial. To give you a taste of what’s in store, below is the trailer and a couple of clips.