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Tag: James Bond (61-70 of 91)

Trailer Blazer: 'Quantum of Solace'

I just have one question about the trailer for the newest Bond movie (which picks up its action directly after the end of Casino Royale): After two minutes of sexy, spy-y, revenge-y goodness, can you detect a single quantum of solace in any second of this preview?

Where we're going, we don't need roads

Squba_lCan your car swim? This amphibious vehicle, the Rinspeed sQuba (dubbed "Scubacar" over on Defamer), was unveiled at the 2008 Geneva Auto Show, and while the thought of riding in it makes me queasy — on the water, I have no seasickness problems, but underwater seatbelted into a submerged convertible? No thanks! — I like to look at it, and would love to see it action. Taking inspiration from the sportscar-turned-submarine in 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me (the infamous Lotus Esprit), I think we PopWatchers should craft a film or TV plot worthy of "Scubacar." Should she join the newest gadgets in the Daniel Craig-era 007 arsenal? Save lives on a revamped Baywatch? Become a love interest for Knight Rider‘s KITT? Dive in and tell us what kind of adventure you envision for the car that swims.

Beat This Tagline: 'Quantum of Solace' teaser poster edition

Quantumofsilence_l"Out of the shadows, and into the fight."

Oh, snap! That’s pretty good, if I do say so myself! But what do you think? Should the Sony marketing department (which, let’s face it, has the unenviable task of trying to sell a film called Quantum of Solace) grant me a license to shill, or are you heading down to the comments section to show me who’s the boss?

Standing up for 'A Quantum of Solace'

Newbondcast_lAm I the only James Bond fan who doesn’t hate the name of 007’s next movie (starring, left to right, Mathieu Amalric, Olga Kurylenko, Daniel Craig, and Gemma Arterton)? I’m starting to think so, after scanning the reactions to today’s announcement that the franchise’s 22nd entry will be titled A Quantum of Solace. The way bloggers are crying foul, you’d think the Broccoli family had served them some sort of vicious personal insult. “[I]t’s so bad we think we might cry,” spat Hecklerspray’s Stuart Heritage. “Worst Bond title ever? It makes no sense. It sounds like a blancmange,” hisses the U.K. Guardian‘s Xan Brooks. “What in god’s name were [the] producers thinking??” wept Best Week Ever’s Dan Hopper.

I get that this is an easy target — and each of those posts, to be fair, is pretty funny. Still, I gotta say, I really think A Quantum of Solace (which was originally the name of an obscure Ian Fleming short story) is a cool-sounding name for a brooding action flick. So what if it’s hard to figure out exactly what it means? (An advanced particle physics allusion? Some Victorian ethical concept?) Maybe it’s just the geek in me talking, but I dig it. The phrase A Quantum of Solace is lean, smart, mysteriously menacing — just like Craig’s Bond. And what’s the alternative? Heritage, perhaps inadvertently, proves my very point when he sardonically sums up the typical Bond film-naming process: “Everyone knows that all James Bond movie titles should be based on a popular saying with the word ‘Die’ where the word ‘Live’ should be.” Whatever its flaws, A Quantum of Solace is definitely way better than whatever lame proverb-puns the producers could have dredged up.

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One Boxed Set to Rule Them All

Uadvd_lTell me, do you like movies? Do you really like movies? How about lifting weights? Well, the new 90-disc United Artists 90th Anniversary Prestige Collection Gift Set is the product you’ve been weighting for! (The puns… they never stop.) Coming in at a hefty 22.5 lbs (as verified by an elaborate series of experiments involving 10 DVDs and my bathroom scale) and costing a coronary-inducing $869.98, the set boasts an assortment of MGM/UA’s classic flicks of the past almost-century.

As for which films are in this boulder of a box, the selection is puzzling. While you get a whole mess of undeniable classics — like Some Like it Hot, West Side Story, The Manchurian Candidate, Dr. No, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Midnight Cowboy, Rocky, Raging Bull, Leaving Las Vegas, and Hotel Rwanda — there are a couple of puzzlers. Instead of giving us, say, Goldfinger, we get Dalton’s Bond dud, The Living Daylights? Does one need both Red Dawn and Road House? And does anyone truly need to watch Baby Boom again?

Hey, if you’ve got almost a grand lying around and nothing better to spend it on, go for it. Then again, you could also buy a crapbox car… that could, you know, take you places.

Happy 80th birthday to the best Bond ever!

Rmoore_lA big Monday shout-out to my main man with a license to kill, Sir Roger Moore, who turned 80 — 80!! — yesterday and finally got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last week. Good on ya, James… I mean, Rog! (And, yes, PopWatchers, that’s right: Dude got frickin’ knighted by the Queen of England before he was bestowed the high honor of seeing a slab of concrete on one of the crappiest streets in L.A. embossed with his name. Oh, and, also, yes: He is older than Sir Sean Connery, go figure.)

Anyway, time’s right to re-raise that age-old question to which, in my opinion, "Roger Moore" is the only correct answer: Who’s the best James Bond? I think we children of the ’70s and ’80s have allowed those older folks/Connery groupies to own this debate for too long. First of all, just because SeanCon was the first, doesn’t mean he was the best. Honestly, I’ve had this conversation many times over the years, and all I’ve ever really heard from Connery fans is a lot of whining that the guy left the 007 franchise. Well, boo hoo. That still doesn’t change the fact that The Spy Who Love Me (pictured) is a trillion times better than Diamonds Are Forever, suckas. Second, the Scotsman may have an Oscar, but he doesn’t have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the loser.

addCredit(“The Spy Who Loved Me: Everett Collection”)

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Remembering Lois Maxwell

Moneypenny_lSure, Lois Maxwell had a 60-year career and acted in dozens of movies. But the Canadian-born actress, who died Saturday at 80, will best be remembered for one role that, though she played it in 14 movies, amounted to only a few moments of screen time. Maxwell played Miss Moneypenny from the first James Bond movie, 1962’s Dr. No (pictured) through A View to a Kill 23 years later, flirting fruitlessly with three 007s (including Sean Connery, pictured with Maxwell). I paid homage to Maxwell’s Moneypenny recently in EW.com’s Secretary’s Day gallery, noting that she was Bond’s most steadfast romantic foil over the decades. Alas, nothing ever came of the saucy banter between the spy and the secretary, but we still have all those sparkling double entendres, delivered unflappably and preserved forever.

addCredit(“Dr. No: Everett Collection”)

What's the biggest film franchise ever?

Potterbop_l_2Warner Bros. is gloating that, with five films so far grossing $4.47 billion to date all over the world, Harry Potter is the biggest movie franchise ever, bigger than the six Star Wars films or even the 22 James Bond films. A daunting achievement, to be sure, but it always irks me that box office boasts like this one are never corrected to adjust for inflation or actual number of tickets purchased. Give me those figures, and then I’ll be impressed.

By the way, if you were to assess a franchise based on its overall impact — on the box office, on other filmmakers, on the imaginations of viewers around the world — would it be one of these three or something else? Lord of the Rings? Star Trek? Superman? Go with your gut, PopWatchers.

addCredit(“Murray Close”)

Bourne vs. Bond: Who ya got?

Jamesbourne_lWith The Bourne Ultimatum set to become an instant blockbuster when it opens on Friday, it’s about time we at PopWatch deal with the question that everybody’s been talking about since Matt Damon’s series started five years ago: Which JB do you prefer — Jason Bourne or James Bond? Simple.

Or is it? Sure, for a long time, Jason was the hands-down winner. After all, The Bourne Identity introduced a much more visceral, energetic, edgy kind of spy thriller to audiences in 2002 — the same year in which my man Pierce Brosnan’s 007 went out with a whimper in Die Another Day. But then, all of a sudden, unexpectedly, as if out of nowhere, Daniel Craig thoroughly reinvigorated the James Bond franchise last year with Casino Royale, a film that certainly owed a huge debt to the Bourne flicks — but, in my opinion, exceeded them.

So, that’s right, my vote’s for James. What about yours?

The name's Faulks, Sebastian Faulks

Faulks_lDuring the late ’80s and early ’90s, in the throes of a fanatical preteen James Bond obsession, I started reading Bond novels when I got tired of watching the movies over and over. I dutifully made my way through a few of the Ian Fleming originals — but what I was really into were the flashier and trashier contemporary Bond spinoffs by English spy writer John Gardner. Looking over the list of the Gardner Bonds on Wikipedia, I fondly recall tearing through For Special Services; Nobody Lives Forever; No Deals, Mr. Bond; Scorpius; Win, Lose or Die; and a few others — I just wish I could remember the one where Bond makes love to a woman with one breast (who maybe later turns out to be a Blofeld’s daughter, or something else along those villainous lines).

Given all that, the news this week that another English novelist, Sebastian Faulks, has been recruited to write a new Bond novel for early next year was rousing enough to get me to pick up a phone and make some old-fashioned telephone calls. Before I knew it, I had Sebastian Faulks himself on the other line, game for a few questions about James Bond. Faulks, who lives in London, is the highly-successful author of On Green Dolphin Street and Charlotte Gray (the basis of a 2002 Cate Blanchett movie), and his Bond novel, Devil May Care, comes out on May 28, 2008 — Fleming’s 100th birthday. After the jump, the interview!

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