It was reported today that Sir Sean Connery died at the age of 90. He will forever be remembered as the original James Bond, playing a pivotal role in launching the pop culture phenomenon that is still going strong today. As a lifelong Bond fan, I’m thankful for his immeasurable contributions to the series. Moreover, I appreciate Sean Connery for the countless roles he played outside of 007. He wasn’t a one-trick pony. Rather, this skilled Scottish actor was a chameleon who could embody a wide range of characters that swept us away with wonderful stories for nearly 60 years.Continue reading
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.
Three 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!
If 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:
With 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.