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Category Archives: Box Office

State of Cinema

Can you recall any picture in the last 3 years that was wildly popular that didn’t include things getting smashed or blown to bits?

Have you gone to a movie or rented one that featured clever or charming dialog, let’s say in the past 24 months?

It’s OK, I can wait for your answer . . .

NO?

la-la-land-poster-small

Click for video

Surprise, I can think of one! La La Land which did – Worldwide: $439,020,154 (£424.7m)

That’s nothing compared to the Faster & the Even More Furious, OK, real title – The Fate of the Furious. Worldwide: $532,481,640 That’s just in the first (opening) weekend. It broke the previous record of $529m (£421.8m) taken in by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

That kind of money gets attention, which means the type of films I might find more interesting, or have longevity, are not likely to be made in the foreseeable future. That’s kind of shame, because the independent films are constantly trying to break into a market that is walled off from the public.

Why is the Fast & Furious franchise so popular?

fate_of_the_furious_opening_box_office

BBC Entertainment & Arts

That’s a question which seems easy to answer, at least on the surface. Some may say it has universal appeal to young & old, because people like to see escape fantasies of things destroyed. The protagonists and antagonists are people over the top, escaping doom or creating disasters on a grand scale with seemingly little consequence.  Have you ever picked up a sledge-hammer to help demolish a car for charity? Imagine 100’s of times greater smash, with none of the work but all of the fun.

There are other reason(s), I believe which increase its appeal. The actors in the film, identify well with an audience. Paul Walker was one of those people who seemed universally liked. Actors, Tyrese Gibson, Nathalie Emmanuel, Vin Diesel and Ludacris, all have large followings. Dwayne Johnson has starred in four of this franchise movies, and he’s brought new energy to it. Still, they’re not adverse to bringing in other major names, and stirring the pot.

Kurt Russel has been a big action adventure star for years. This time he even has a name that most of us can relate to…  Mr. Nobody.

The Fate of the Furious won’t be a movie I will pay to see, but the next film Kurt Russell will be in, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, is going to be at the top of my screening list. If I’m not there opening day, I will be soon thereafter. The last Guardians of the Galaxy anticipated their audience, adding humor to an imaginative story that grabbed a lot of eyes. This one looks to be every bit the right follow on, in one I’m least familiar as a published graphics novel.


 

Resistance is Futile

A young Bela Lugosi photo

Bela Lugosi – Dracula

The OSCARS may be the buzz that Hollywood would like us to focus on, but only momentarily. They really want us to take them seriously. There will be many brows furrowed, scoldings issued, and appeals made.

This means we’re likely going to hear more speeches on, Donald Trump outrage, immigration, civil rights, racismhuman created environmental changes (our shame – not theirs). We may be hoping to see which cinematography, musical score, writers, actors, graphics, scripts, receive awards, but rest assured, that’s not all they have planned for us.

In many ways, they’ve become an interest group concerned with moral causes and how they continue to portray themselves as super citizens.

comedy - dramaThere are changes in the making. I’m not talking about the continuing inflation of egos, rather many ‘stars’ are getting older, their expenses are going up while box office receipts are going down. Their demands for increased salaries may actually set them back.

=-=- Biggest World Wide Box Office Releases Not From Hollywood -=-=

The news for Hollywood, just like American manufacturing, it can be done elsewhere, and often for less cost with greater profits. China & Japan are having a good year for film making and box office revenue.

Joan Fontaine Cary Grant  Suspicion 1940

Joan Fontaine & Cary Grant

La La Land is a one of the movies nominated for awards, but the title and the ending suggests a bit more reality than many might immediately recognize about the traditional film industry.

A couple of last-minute notes… Greg P. Russell had his Oscar nomination rescinded on Saturday, for 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.

Bill Paxton has died from complications from heart surgery. He was 61.

 
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Posted by on 26/02/2017 in Academy Awards, Actors, Attitude, Awards, Box Office, Entertainment, Finance, Hollywood, Movies, Popular Culture

 

No More Bond – Well Maybe?

the word is BondWe’ve heard this before from Daniel Craig. He said he wouldn’t want to do another movie, after his success in portraying, Bond – James – Bond in Skyfall. He came back swinging and blowing things up in Spectre. Now, according to the Daily Mail, he’s turning down a two picture reprise of the role for somewhere in the vicinity of $100 million. That’s a very nice vicinity to be in.

Daniel_Craig_stirred_from_being_shaken

Daniel Craig – Spectre

Daniel Craig may be tired of playing the part, but as good as he is as an actor, it’s difficult to get the roles which allow you continuing success or anywhere near the perks.

He might want to look back to the first Bond, played by Sean Connery. He too was dissatisfied with the roles he was given, even more than playing Bond, and came back to play him one last time in, Never Say Never Again. That unofficial Bond, was a less than stellar outing, it didn’t have near the behind the scenes support or the authorization to use the theme music or opening of the Eon Productions films.

As a reminder, how many went to see the film Cowboys and Aliens with the two big A listers of Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford? How many viewers want their money back?

For some unexplainable reason IGN gave this movie 3.5 stars out of 5. That’ being generous.

idris-elba

Idris Elba

There’s always a flurry of guesses of the next actor, when someone has brought this much success to a movie role. It’s an interesting idea to speculate who might land the role. Idris Elba might be a good choice, if you’ve seen his acting in film and television, especially Luther, the crime drama TV series, you will know he has to be considered.

Tom_Hiddleston_Jaguar_ad_February_2014

Tom Hiddleston – Jaguar Ad

 

 

 

Tom Hiddleston is also under consideration, and for those who have seen him play Loki, in the Thor and Avengers movies, you realize, this is someone with screen presence.

 

 

 

 

So what do you think? Is it time for Daniel Craig to hang up those tuxedo’s or as many may remember, his swim trunks? He’s certainly given a huge boost to ticket sales of a movie franchise more than 50 years old.

Daniel-Craig-Bond-With-Car

Daniel Craig as James Bond with Aston Martin DB5


 
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Posted by on 22/05/2016 in Actors, Box Office, Entertainment, Hollywood, James Bond, Movies, Popular Culture

 

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice – review

Kal-El-symbolI’m going to start this by explaining about any review you read of a film, don’t take anyone’s word for it. There’s only going to be the slightest hint of spoilage in this review. I’m going to try and explain my opinion without revealing too much detail.

The critics of this latest DC film have been all over it, like vultures on a carcass. Well, I’m not a vulture, and the latest film directed by Zack Snyder, isn’t an old dead carcass. It’s far from that, and if you insist these iconic comic characters must conform to an older style of behavior, you’re going to be disappointed. They may resemble and look vaguely like what you remember from comics or older movies, but as suggested in this movie, this isn’t 1938.

From the moment this film starts, you’re shown images, ever so briefly of a familiar Batman childhood traumatic experience. If you saw the others, dating back to Tim Burton’s film, you know the story. This is there for a reason, and if you’re quick to criticize why it’s included, then you’re missing a larger point. I’ll explain that later. Just know this about this particular film, it’s not your Tim Burton or Christopher Nolan version of Batman. It’s also not your Richard Donner or Bryan Singer Superman movie. This is a movie that stands on it’s own, whether you like it or not, this is a solid story with bold themes and excellent cinematography. What Zack Snyder does with this movie is eschew the chains of past actors and authors. As good as Christopher Reeve was, Henry Cavill has crafted an image which he now owns. He’s not just the red – white – blue boyscout set out for truth, justice, yada-yada-yada.

After those brief introductory moments of a childhood Bruce Wayne, there’s a lot going to happen and you better set down the popcorn, and strap yourself in, because this is not only a fast journey, it’s also intense. Here’s where I really have to give credit to Zack Snyder, because he’s taken a big risk in telling a set of stories, condensed, modified, and brought together to create highly developed imagery backed by an equally intense musical score from Hans Zimmer. I’ve read the criticism, which I shouldn’t have before I saw the film; they say he combined too many story elements. This could also be viewed as part of its strength. Each of the film’s participants contributed in a meaningful way.  It’s not  a Sean Connery 007, it’s more like a Daniel Craig film.

BVS_confrontation_smallZack Snyder wants you to understand this film on several levels. Sure, there’s the obvious titled physical confrontation between Batman and Superman, but he’s introducing us to the idea there’s a lot more to this world than just one or two exceptional people. Batman being the least among equals, possessing no super powers, his role is a subset of the entire movie. An excellent subset I might add, because Ben Affleck nails his dual role.

The introduction of Wonder Woman in this movie, isn’t news to the audience, or a way just to introduce another meta-human. She’s integral to the plot, and if you look at these players, as individuals, not just a timed screen presence, you can see the most interesting aspects of this drama.

Allow me to step back for a writers moment. Just accept this as a way of explaining how well crafted this film is when you look at it in the context of graphic novels (comics). I was one of those youth who read and possessed many of the 1st Marvel Comics dating back to the early 60’s. They were imaginative and drawn in colorful action poses for the era. What attracted myself and many other young people to Marvel at that time, was the introduction of the characters having real personal problems. I’m not talking about acne or dating, they had serious character flaws, and these imperfections showed frailties and a sense of reality for the reader. DC Comics, continued to turn out strong characters, but they were barely two-dimensional. For this reason alone, I think that explains the success of the Batman TV show of the 1960’s. Even young people saw this show as stupid, cartoon characters. I think the creators saw comics as serial nonsense and decided to make fun of it through campy behavior.

For a number of decades afterwards, it seemed no created TV or film could adapt the comics essential fantasy, drama, and core plot lines, without looking plain stupid. Hats off to Richard Donner and Tim Burton for making a strong popular showing, but aside from a lack of today’s technology, they failed to transcend simple child like stories. I think the big break came when Sam Raimi introduced us to his version of Spiderman (2002). That was soon followed by Jon Favreau directing Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man (2008). Audiences went to these films in vast numbers, and for the most part, the follow up films were successful. Then, almost everyone explained frustration with the 2007 release of Spiderman 3. No longer was there a story with singular continuity of a villain. Now there were several villains, and the biggest faux pas, the brief but silly Peter Parker dance moves. Sony dropped Raimi and after a pause, rebooted that franchise. Frankly I’m more exhausted from the reboots.

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Zack Snyder and company have developed a complex drama, and taking a page out the early Marvel handbook, given us extraordinary insight on how these main characters think. Unlike simpler, earlier, graphic novels brought to film, he’s assuming there’s enough for younger people and the older comic book fan. He’s allowed the writing and fast pace imaging to weave an intelligent story. All people, no matter if they’re “super heroes” or villains have a background story. There’s recognition of the emotional complexity and the trauma of former conflicts for both protagonists. The casualties are real, not brushed away or watered down as if they don’t matter. Any active combat military veteran recognizes they don’t know all the reasons why they’re in the conflict. Each one has their own purpose for their presence in the confrontation. Even their reactions afterwards, aren’t the same. The film helps the viewer see some of that inner turmoil from each persons perspective.

Two people can share the same experience but have an entirely different reaction and memory of the events. Examining the individuals past experience, especially in their formative years, coupled with present time, gives each person a unique perspective. When you know Bruce Wayne suffers from a traumatic & turbulent childhood, Clark Kent comes from a stable Midwestern background, and Diana Prince is a much older and perhaps wiser soul, then the multiple stories coming together shared through each person’s eyes, becomes much more flavorful and interesting.

Speaking of flavorful, I’ve seen a lot of criticism of Lex Luthor as portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg, and frankly I went in with the idea this is going to be another Jim Carey (Ridler) act. Wrong! Why? Once again we’re reminded of Zack Snyders revision of a very well known and established villain. This is somlex_corp_logo_signeone who is intelligent, willing to use that intelligence to intimidate and be disarming. We see the beginning of a young psychopath, with all of the money to back up his quest to humble those he feels have too much power. Oddly enough, in his own twisted mind, he can never acquire too much for himself.  If people insist on wanting a young person to play the same role the way it’s been done before, get over it, this isn’t your grandfather’s Buick.

The final confrontation is through a creation of Lex Luthor, in a last ditch effort to gain the upper hand over Superman and anyone else bold enough to get in his way. This not only creates another conflict, it opens the door to what each of these super heroes begin to realize, there are many battles which lay ahead. This is where we see Wonder Woman in her full regalia, and the theater audience cheered when she joined in. Her back story is of someone much older than either Batman & Superman, and we see snippets of how her experience has taught her to remain in the background, avoid conflict when possible, find a way to cooperate. This is another example of the sophisticated underpinnings infused throughout this film.

I give this film a 9 out of 10 stars, because of it’s sophisticated, multiple complex stories woven well together and a critical examination into the psyche of each of the main players. This isn’t your casual, short attention span film. Watch carefully and enjoy! I know I will have to go back a second time just to see how much more I can pick up from the various things hinted, as well as the main story. wonder_woman_icon.jpg

 
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Posted by on 27/03/2016 in Action, Actors, Aliens, Box Office, Director, Emotional Awareness, Entertainment, Fantasy, Hollywood, Icons, Movies, Plot, Popular Culture, Soundtrack, Stories, Writing

 

Last Evening Television

So many of us now have better image and audio in our homes than what you can experience in a theatre. This has pushed the envelope for better set & sound design as well as image quality. Clearly each of us has our own opinion on what we find interesting or entertaining. spotlights right

Lets review last nights Oscars. What did you like about the show?

Did the issues about diversity get addressed, or is this an attempt by the pampered elite to stay culturally relevant? How do they make sure the right films or people get recognized based on a proportional contribution?

How do you think Chris Rock did in hosting the Oscars? Did he also fall into the stereotype of racial slur?

Oscar_statue_sml.jpgHighest paid actors of 2105.

What did you think about the environmental message Leonardo DiCaprio gave in his acceptance speech?

Actor Mark Ruffalo has declared certain questions off limits to the media, regarding the sincerity of the actors who advocate a low carbon footprint. Ruffalo was asked in a one-on-one interview with Climate Depot if celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, who boasts that he will fly around the world to fight global warming and former VP Al Gore, are the best spokesmen for global warming, given their huge carbon footprints.

Last nights Oscars amassed a 15-block-radius of limos; “.. chauffers are captains of a sleek, passing fleet of more than 1,200 cars and SUVs that will navigate police perimeters, barricades, bomb squads, helicopter searchlights, hundreds, maybe thousands of fans and probably a few stalkers lingering beyond the paparazzi flash.”

Lady_Gaga_thumbnailMany attendees were moved by Lady Gagas song from Spotlight. After her musical presentation, many former victims stood hand in hand with the entertainers, but in light of all the revelations about actors, producers, directors and agents who have been accused of numerous sexual abuse crimes, do you think this was another of Hollywood’s attempt to be perceived on the right side of this issue?

High profile Hollywood power players accused of being paedophiles, include Bryan Singer.

Stephen Collins’ Wife Calls Him a ‘Pedophile’.

Molestation Scandal: Hollywood’s Child Sex Abuse Coverup.

Bill Cosby’s accusers tell their stories.

In a recent (2016) movie role, “Dirty Grandpa“, Robert De Niro plays a lecherous former Army Lieutenant-Colonel, a despicable grandfather, for comedic effect. Quite a different message than that of the Academy award winner, Spotlight.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.


I Am Not What Happened to Me. I Am What I Choose to Become ~ Carl Jung

 

 

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It’s Oscars Time – You choose

It’s Oscars Time – You choose

Well that time of year has come again, It’s Oscar time. Look over this list and you choose. You can reply down below this post.

The nominations for the 88th Academy Awards are:

Performance by an actor in a leading role

• Bryan Cranston in “Trumbo”

• Matt Damon in “The Martian”

• Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Revenant”

• Michael Fassbender in “Steve Jobs”

• Eddie Redmayne in “The Danish Girl”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

• Christian Bale in “The Big Short”

• Tom Hardy in “The Revenant”

• Mark Ruffalo in “Spotlight”

• Mark Rylance in “Bridge of Spies”

• Sylvester Stallone in “Creed”

Performance by an actress in a leading role

• Cate Blanchett in “Carol”

• Brie Larson in “Room”

• Jennifer Lawrence in “Joy”

• Charlotte Rampling in “45 Years”

• Saoirse Ronan in “Brooklyn”

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

• Jennifer Jason Leigh in “The Hateful Eight”

• Rooney Mara in “Carol”

• Rachel McAdams in “Spotlight”

• Alicia Vikander in “The Danish Girl”

• Kate Winslet in “Steve Jobs”

Best animated feature film of the year

• “Anomalisa,” Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson and Rosa Tran

• “Boy and the World,” Alê Abreu

• “Inside Out,” Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera

• “Shaun the Sheep Movie,” Mark Burton and Richard Starzak

• “When Marnie Was There,” Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura

Achievement in cinematography

• “Carol,” Ed Lachman

• “The Hateful Eight,” Robert Richardson

• “Mad Max: Fury Road,” John Seale

• “The Revenant,” Emmanuel Lubezki

• “Sicario,” Roger Deakins

Achievement in costume design

• “Carol,” Sandy Powell

• “Cinderella,” Sandy Powell

• “The Danish Girl,” Paco Delgado

• “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Jenny Beavan

• “The Revenant,” Jacqueline West

Achievement in directing

• “The Big Short,” Adam McKay

• “Mad Max: Fury Road,” George Miller

• “The Revenant,” Alejandro G. Iñárritu

• “Room,” Lenny Abrahamson

• “Spotlight,” Tom McCarthy

Best documentary feature

• “Amy,” Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees

• “Cartel Land,” Matthew Heineman and Tom Yellin

• “The Look of Silence,” Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen

• “What Happened, Miss Simone?” Liz Garbus, Amy Hobby and Justin Wilkes

• “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom,” Evgeny Afineevsky and Den Tolmor

Best documentary short subject

• “Body Team 12,” David Darg and Bryn Mooser

• “Chau, beyond the Lines,” Courtney Marsh and Jerry Franck

• “Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah,” Adam Benzine

• “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness,” Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

• “Last Day of Freedom,” Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman

Achievement in film editing

• “The Big Short,” Hank Corwin

• “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Margaret Sixel

• “The Revenant,” Stephen Mirrione

• “Spotlight,” Tom McArdle

• “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey

Best foreign-language film of the year

• “Embrace of the Serpent,” Colombia

• “Mustang,” France

• “Son of Saul,” Hungary

• “Theeb,” Jordan

• “A War,” Denmark

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

• “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin

• “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared,” Love Larson and Eva von Bahr

• “The Revenant,” Siân Grigg, Duncan Jarman and Robert Pandini

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

• “Bridge of Spies,” Thomas Newman

• “Carol,” Carter Burwell

• “The Hateful Eight,” Ennio Morricone

• “Sicario,” Jóhann Jóhannsson

• “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” John Williams

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

• “Earned It” from “Fifty Shades of Grey”
Music and Lyric by Abel Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephan Moccio

• “Manta Ray” from “Racing Extinction”
Music by J. Ralph and Lyric by Antony Hegarty

• “Simple Song #3” from “Youth”
Music and Lyric by David Lang

• “Til It Happens To You” from “The Hunting Ground”
Music and Lyric by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga

• “Writing’s on the Wall” from “Spectre”
Music and Lyric by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith

Best motion picture of the year

• “The Big Short,” Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, producers

• “Bridge of Spies,” Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger, producers

• “Brooklyn,” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, producers

• “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Doug Mitchell and George Miller, producers

• “The Martian,” Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer and Mark Huffam, producers

• “The Revenant,” Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent and Keith Redmon, producers

• “Room,” Ed Guiney, producer

• “Spotlight,” Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin and Blye Pagon Faust, producers

Achievement in production design

• “Bridge of Spies,” production design: Adam Stockhausen; set decoration: Rena DeAngelo and Bernhard Henrich

• “The Danish Girl,” production design: Eve Stewart; set decoration: Michael Standish

• “Mad Max: Fury Road,” production design: Colin Gibson; set decoration: Lisa Thompson

• “The Martian,” production design: Arthur Max; set decoration: Celia Bobak

• “The Revenant,” production design: Jack Fisk; set decoration: Hamish Purdy

Best animated short film

• “Bear Story,” Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala

• “Prologue,” Richard Williams and Imogen Sutton

• “Sanjay’s Super Team,” Sanjay Patel and Nicole Grindle

• “We Can’t Live without Cosmos,” Konstantin Bronzit

• “World of Tomorrow,” Don Hertzfeldt

Best live-action short film

• “Ave Maria,” Basil Khalil and Eric Dupont

• “Day One,” Henry Hughes

• “Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut),” Patrick Vollrath

• “Shok,” Jamie Donoughue

• “Stutterer,” Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage

Achievement in sound editing

• “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Mark Mangini and David White

• “The Martian,” Oliver Tarney

• “The Revenant,” Martin Hernandez and Lon Bender

• “Sicario,” Alan Robert Murray

• “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Matthew Wood and David Acord

Achievement in sound mixing

• “Bridge of Spies,” Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Drew Kunin

• “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo

• “The Martian,” Paul Massey, Mark Taylor and Mac Ruth

• “The Revenant,” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Randy Thom and Chris Duesterdiek

• “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson

Achievement in visual effects

• “Ex Machina,” Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett

• “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams

• “The Martian,” Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence and Steven Warner

• “The Revenant,” Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith and Cameron Waldbauer

• “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould

Adapted screenplay

• “The Big Short,” screenplay by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay

• “Brooklyn,” screenplay by Nick Hornby

• “Carol,” screenplay by Phyllis Nagy

• “The Martian,” screenplay by Drew Goddard

• “Room,” screenplay by Emma Donoghue

Original screenplay

• “Bridge of Spies,” written by Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen

• “Ex Machina,” written by Alex Garland

• “Inside Out,” screenplay by Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley; original story by Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen

• “Spotlight,” written by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy

• “Straight Outta Compton,” screenplay by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; story by S. Leigh Savidge & Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff

oscar-deadpool-whyGo here for a printable Oscar ballot.

 

Have you been Bonded?

What is the Bond formula?

License to thrill

Bond, James Bond. One of the most iconic names in cinema. Why has this series lasted for over 50 years? What sets it apart as a franchise that can almost always be counted on to be a box office success?

Here are the top movie franchise numbers:

Franchise No. of Movies Total Domestic Box Office Total Worldwide Box Office First Year Last Year No. of Years
Marvel Cinematic Universe 21 $3,593,035,726 $9,064,124,991 2008 2019 11
Harry Potter 10 $2,389,091,642 $7,726,174,542 2001 2018 17
James Bond 25 $1,995,428,818 $6,502,989,456 1963 2015 52
Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings 6 $1,852,429,850 $5,895,819,745 2001 2014 13
Star Wars 12 $2,252,377,758 $4,486,158,822 1977 2019 42
Spider-Man 7 $1,578,645,759 $3,963,173,282 2002 2017 15
Fast and the Furious 8 $1,288,761,483 $3,899,849,616 2001 2017 16
Transformers 5 $1,324,862,942 $3,778,297,170 1986 2014 28
Pirates of the Caribbean 4 $1,279,211,336 $3,710,254,215 2003 2011 8
Batman 16 $1,895,558,266 $3,702,844,521 1989 2016 27
Jurassic Park 5 $1,458,040,584 $3,692,144,312 1993 2018 25
Shrek 7 $1,412,794,900 $3,540,580,419 2001 2018 17
Early graphic of James Bond, commissioned by Fleming.

Early graphic of James Bond, commissioned by Fleming.

The James Bond series were authored, beginning in 1953 by Ian Fleming, who wrote twelve novels and two short-stories, featuring this now world known spy. The first film release in 1962, Dr. No, introduced the character by simply uttering his name in a reoccurring setting, the casino. Although James Bond wasn’t hugely different from the standard American western, pitting a hero against great odds, exotic locations, beautiful women, elegance in fashion, all established a popular theme. The franchise repeats a formula, often imitated or spoofed, but largely successful in spite of some overly dramatic acting, relying on gadgets to save Bond, and the bevy of Bond women with sexually suggestive names. Although chase scenes have always been a feature, the placement of unrelated action sequences in the beginning of each film, set these movies apart from other movies in the 1950’s and 60’s.

So much of todays modern adaptations of heroes vs. villains borrow heavily from these ingrained cinematic motifs. These include, dangerous stunts, high speed chases (usually involving but not exclusively cars), exotic locations, beautiful fashionable women, expensive high tech gadgets, firearms, explosions, and at some point Bond is required to wear a tuxedo. He always dresses in expensive fashions, while enjoying fine dining and signature alcoholic beverages. Lastly, don’t most of us know the theme music? Title music was almost always a hit with the public, but the James Bond theme is part of the memorable moments in any of the films.

Inevitably, there’s a final confrontation between Bond and the villain du jour. The villains are compelled to confess their master plan to Bond as if he were their priest. The dialog follows this formula with slightly different words; “this is the end of the world, this is the end of civilization as you know it, Mr. Bond!” The timing of this confession couldn’t be better because, even though there’s usually not a backup rescue group, Bond has managed to find a way to escape the clever capture / trap of this evil genius. Evidently none of them have figured out, just kill him and monologue after.

Despite the predictability of the plots, and the various actors who have portrayed him, people continue to flock to the theaters rather than wait for the Blue Ray or DVD to be released.

George Baker strongly preferred by Fleming to be Bond before Connery. Screen test 1962

George Baker preferred by Fleming to be Bond before Connery. Played 2 different roles – ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ & ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’

  1. Barry Nelson played Bond in a 1954 television production of Casino Royale
  2. Sean Connery – 7 Movies
  3. David Niven in the 1967 spoof of Casino Royale
  4. George Lazenby – 1 Movie
  5. Roger Moore – 7 Movies
  6. Timothy Dalton – 2 Movies
  7. Pierce Brosnan – 4 Movies
  8. Daniel Craig – 4 Movies to date

An unknown actor played Bond in the earliest film sequences. James Bond, played by stuntman Bob Simmons, casually walks along a white backdrop and is seen through a gun barrel. Aware that he is being watched, Bond quickly turns and shoots the assassin which dissolves the backdrop into red. This sequence became a trademark of the series. 

Speaking of Trademarks.

Trademarks and copyright laws vary by country. Some of those rights are about to or have expired.

Trademarks and copyright laws vary by country. Some of those rights are about to or have expired.

Should you bother to go see the current bond film, SPECTRE?

Of course you should, if you’ve read this much of this blog, you’re likely a fan. I will say this much about this latest film, Daniel Craig is Bond. In my opinion, he’s the best one so far. I know there are thousands of critics of any film, but Craig moves, looks like a tough protagonist, and can act with the appropriate emotional context for any of the films he’s played this role. Roger Moore, when questioned about Daniel Craig after seeing ‘Casino Royale’ said, “he did more action in the first 30 seconds of the film than I did in 14 years of playing Bond.”

This film isn’t all that different when you consider my description of Bond films. This movie plays well in context of our time, something which doesn’t hold up well when you go back and look at movies such as Dr. No. They may have fit well for that era, but Craig, along with the writing and cinematography, work very well now. For long time fans, there’s nothing that will really surprise you but the villainy is good, the set pieces are shot beautifully, action is excellent, and the story line holds together, despite some people who love to criticize. SPECTRE brings together all of the elements found in the first 3 films, packages them neatly with adequate explanation, set against the changes in spy craft forced by government austerity and modern tools. Maybe it’s not riveting, if you want to compare it to the pageantry of a Marvel or Harry Potter film, but it’s certainly closer to some of the reality in a modern world, 50+ years after Dr. No.

As Marvin Hamlisch once wrote, in the Bond theme for the “Spy Who Loved Me”, sung by Carly Simon, “Nobody Does It Better.”

If you’re familiar with all of the Bond films, compare your ranking to that of someone else.
(Not mine, I disagree with the order)

Every James Bond Film Ranked.

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Posted by on 13/11/2015 in Action, Actors, Box Office, Entertainment, James Bond, Movies

 
 
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