Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “James Bond”

The James Bond Archives: SPECTRE Edition

IMG_6086Three years ago I reviewed the original version of The James Bond Archives, which is a gargantuan book filled with terrific photos and behind-the-scenes information about all of the James Bond films. I recently received the new version of this book from Taschen. It’s more compact and affordably priced, and it has been updated for the new 007 film SPECTRE. Below is my video review of The James Bond Archives: SPECTRE Edition. Enjoy!

Blood, Sweat And Bond: Behind The Scenes Of SPECTRE

2CC2DBA000000578-3247907-Blood_Sweat_And_Bond_Behind_The_Scenes_Of_Spectre_curated_by_Ran-a-9_1443346701744If you’re a James Bond fan looking to learn about all of the behind-the-scenes details from the latest 007 film, SPECTRE, DK Publishing has a new book out you might be interested in picking up. It’s called Blood, Sweat and Bond: Behind the scenes of SPECTRE. Check out my review of the book below to determine whether or not it’s worth the price of admission:

Book Review – Bond By Design: The Art of the James Bond Films

BondbyDesignWith newest James Bond film, Spectre, about to hit theaters, several new 007 books are hitting the market, including Bond By Design: The Art of the James Bond Films by DK Publishing. For a look what’s inside this big, beautiful book, check out my video review below:

 

Die Another Day – Live Tweet

Die Another DayI recently contributed an article about the James Bond film Die Another Day to the 007 fansite www.007hertzrumble.com. You can read the article here.

Wednesday, January 15th at 9 p.m. EST I’m participating in a live tweet about the film, so make sure to stop by and join the discussion by using the hashtag #Bond_age_ on Twitter.

Labor Day Weekend

Reading the final chapters of The Doll on the beach.

Reading the final chapters of The Doll on the beach.

For those of you in America, I hope you took time to enjoy the Labor Day weekend. Despite the unpredictable weather, I fit in a variety of activities – everything from feeding a goat at the zoo to making my girlfriend watch Casino Royale with me, which, as far as I’m concerned, is the best James Bond film in the franchise. And, of course, I made time for reading. Speaking of which, make sure to check out my book review of The Doll and stay tuned for my interview with the author, Taylor Stevens.

50 Years Of James Bond: The Movie

James Bond 50th AnniversaryI recently discovered a great James Bond video on YouTube that I had to share with you. Below is the official description and the video. Enjoy!

Approximately five minutes from each of the 22 Eon produced James Bond films have been cut together, in order and in sequence, beginning with the first five minutes of DR. NO (1962) followed by minutes 5-10 of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963), minutes 10-15 of Goldfinger (1964), minutes 15-20 of Thunderball (1965), continuing on through each of the remaining 18 Bond features (accounting for variables in each title’s running time) culminating with the final five minutes of 2008’s Quantum of Solace.

This fresh look at the “James Bond Formula” provides a new exploration of the evolution of the series into a filmmaking genre uniquely its own. With few exceptions, each title’s transition into the picture that follows it is nearly seamless, creating a viewing experience that at first might serve to remind us “if you’ve seen one Bond film, you’ve seen them all,” but looking more closely it is in fact an endearing homage to a character who single-handedly shaped modern cinema’s action/adventure formula and who continues to leave an indelible mark on generations worldwide.

James Bond – Moonraker

MoonrakerLast 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.

Review – The James Bond Archives

The James Bond ArchivesThis is my 100th blog post! Can you believe it? I’d like to thank all of you for checking out my content on a regular basis and helping me reach new highs each month. I appreciate your support and look forward to providing you with at least another 100 blog posts.

Speaking of things worth celebrating, it’s the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise. And one of the many ways the owners of the iconic film series decided to pay tribute was through the creation of a massive, 15-pound book: The James Bond Archives. Check out my video review below to learn more.

Movie Review: Skyfall

20121112-080815.jpg

I saw Skyfall on opening night and it was very good. As expected, it kicked off with a wild chase scene involving motorcycles, trains and, of course, guns. Then the film’s opening sequence, featuring Adele’s great new song, played. The score for this movie, by Thomas Newman, has been getting a lot of flack from Bond fans, and rightfully so. While it featured a good track here and there, it lacked a cohesive feel. It’s serviceable, just not impressive.

The plot surprised me, as it’s very different from previous films in the franchise. It focused on Bond, M and MI6 being “old dogs” that are out of touch with reality. According to the screenplay, today’s villain isn’t threatening the world with nuclear missiles, he or she is systematically taking it down from behind a keyboard. This point is driven home by the main antagonist Raoul Silva, brilliantly acted by Javier Bardem. Anytime he was onscreen, he had my rapt attention.

Judi Dench played a big role in this film and did a fantastic job, as usual. Daniel Craig also deserves recognition for clearly conveying the inner turmoil suffered by James Bond, especially in the beginning of the film. He’s grown into this role and made it his own. I’m glad Craig is sticking around for at least two more films.

Skyfall had the biggest U.S. box office opening for any Bond film, bringing in nearly $88 million. While I don’t consider Skyfall to be as good as Casino Royale, it is superior to Quantum of Solace. It’s a refreshing take on a film franchise that’s running 50 years strong. Here’s to another five decades of 007 reporting for duty.

Dionne Warwick: Now

20121106-014531.jpg

James Bond isn’t the only one celebrating a 50th anniversary this year. Dionne Warwick’s new album, Now, marks the five-time Grammy Award winning music legend’s 50th year as a performer. Considering she’s had more than 60 hit songs and sold more than 100 million records, Warwick has plenty to be proud of.

Now features 12 songs, old and new, by Burt Bacharach and the late, great Hal David. As if that wasn’t enough, the album was produced by the legendary Phil Ramone. What sets Now apart from Warwick’s previous albums is while she covers a few of her biggest hits, she also offers beautiful renditions of lesser known songs that are sure to please longtime fans as well as those that enjoyed Warwick’s recent foray into Jazz with Only Trust Your Heart.

This week I plan on celebrating two 50th anniversaries: James Bond’s and Dionne Warwick’s. It may seem like an unlikely combination. However, in the 1960s Warwick recorded her own version of “Mr. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.” This song was first recorded by Shirley Bassey and was supposed to be the theme song for Thunderball prior to Tom Jones’ classic song being chosen for the film.

Below you’ll find two videos. One is of “Mr. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” and the other is a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Now. Enjoy!

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: