Archive for May, 2007

Most Powerful Film Franchises

Posted in James Bond on May 31, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

Neil Miller of Film School Rejects has written an article on “The Ten Most Powerful Movie Franchises in History.”

how do you say what is the most powerful movie franchise in history? Is it the one that has grossed the most money at the box office? Is it the franchise with the most longevity? Is it the one with the most marketing prowess or the largest fanbase? I say it is a combination of all of these things; the cult followings, the major blockbuster releases and yes, even the marketability play a part. When these franchises crank out a new film, fans storm the gates, camp out and sacrifice members of their families to be the first to behold their favorite characters on the big screen.

The list places James Bond at #2, behind Star Wars. Because, I guess, intense geeky devotion (the “camping out” factor defined above) trumps total gross (Bond is the highest grossing franchise in film history), number of films, longevity, or quality of films (the author admits that three of the Star Wars films are weak; that’s half).

Yep, I disagree.

They also put up a poll so you can vote for your favorite. Guess who I voted for?

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For the DVD “extras” enthusiast

Posted in James Bond on May 30, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

Here’s an article about David Naylor, creator of DVD features, featurettes, and bonus materials.

It was when he directed a Fox TV special with Elizabeth Hurley called “The World of James Bond” that he caught the attention of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., which hired him to co-produce “The James Bond Collection.” The set includes about 20 feature-length commentary tracks and documentaries on the making of 13 Bond films, from “Dr. No” to “License to Kill.” Naylor counts spending the day with Roger Moore in Monte Carlo among the highlights of his career. “He was a great raconteur,” Naylor said.

This article is unclear, but it seems they’re referring to the new Ultimate Edition DVDs. Most of the Special Edition DVD extras (for the first 16 movies, anyway) were created by Bond author and expert John Cork. I haven’t seen the Ultimate Edition DVDs (and therefore the Naylor features) yet, but the Cork features on the first 16 Bond movies, (up to and including Licence to Kill) are outstanding.

Ian Fleming is 99

Posted in James Bond on May 28, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

Happy Birthday to the man who started it all.

Ian Fleming

UPDATE: That’s would have been 99.

Ian Fleming 1908–1964.

“Props” to David Zaritsky

Posted in Collectibles on May 27, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

Memorabilia collector David Zaritsky was kind enough to invite me to a Bond fan party at his home yesterday. First of all, what a home! A beautiful, spacious house with high ceilings, lots of light and space, and lovely furnishings.

But for a Bond fan, the highlight of the home is the basement, where David’s lavish collection of props, mementos, posters, and reproductions boggles the mind. Most of the props are reproductions (like his Thunderball “rebreather”) or acquisitions of like productions (for example, he has the exact sunglasses and perfume worn by Eva Green as Vesper Lynd). Some are actual on-screen props or costumes. The collection is beautifully laid out, each movie having a little section, with wall mounting and a shelf (or more). For example, here is a great shot of the FRWL display; with a poster, a reproduction of the magnificent trick shoe, a lamp as used on the Orient Express set, a reproduction of Tanya’s compact, complete with her map of the Russian embassy, a repro of the photo that Bond signs (“From Russia, With Love”) and more.

Two items thrilled me. First and best, a fabulous reproduction of the golden gun from TMWTGG. These are almost impossible to find, and this one works perfectly. I even put it together myself.

The second was a jar of Zukovsky caviar. This was a real prop, not a reproduction. This sort of thing blows my mind; that I didn’t even realize that the movie showed caviar jars with Robbie Coltraine’s image on them. These tiny, minor details; you think to yourself, “Why do they do it?” because after all, you never notice such things when you see the movie. Thing is, on a subliminal level, you do notice. Movies without these sort of detailed props look hollow somehow. You can’t put your finger on it, but they just don’t have flesh. And every outrageous stunt, every unbelievable plot device, is supported and made more believable by a beautifully-constructed mis en scene. The caviar jar was like the quintessence of that for me.

Anyway, it’s not just about the fabulous props, the beautiful setting, the amazing action figures, the signed posters, and the extraordinary costumes on display. It’s mostly about the people; how much fun we all have meeting each other, discussing the trivial, delighting in the gorgeously unimportant. David, like I said, is a terrific and warm host. The other collectors were all equally interesting and entertaining. It was a great day. I wish I could have stayed longer.

Fangirl Project

Posted in James Bond on May 24, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

Via Amy, I found out about The Fangirl Project. I think it’s so cool that someone is noticing that many obsessive fans have vulvas. I’m delighted to learn that I’m their “first Bond fan” and will become a part of the project.

Any fangirls reading this site should click through and participate in the survey.

Paul Haggis for Bond 22! Hurray! Hurray!

Posted in Quantum of Solace with tags , on May 23, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

CBn is reporting that Paul Haggis is returning for a second shot at script-polishing. His superb work on CR gives this fan high hopes for Bond 22.

I love this quote from Evan Willnow:

Many Bond fans who have been praying for Haggis return have now had those prayers answered with this announced return of the Oscar-winning writer.

I think it’s the religious angle that tickles me so much.

Clapperboard from TSWLM to Sell

Posted in Collectibles on May 21, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

This is a great story for collectible enthusiasts:

A clapperboard used during the filming of James Bond’s The Spy Who Loved Me, starring Roger Moor and released in 1977, is expected to sell for between £10,000-12,000 in the regular quarterly sale of Music and Film Entertainment Memorabilia at Cameo Auctioneers, Berkshire and online at http://www.the-saleroom.com on June 5th, 2007.

You know, I’m not a mad collector, but how much would I love this?