James Bond at Washington DC Madame Tussauds

Posted on May 30, 2018 at 8:39 pm

I admit it. I feel shaken and stirred. Washington DC’s Madame Tussaud’s now has all six James Bonds, elegantly attired in tuxes designed by Oscar-winner Lindy Hemming, the wardrobe, poses, guns, and roguish charm all re-created, standing in front of an iconic swirl from the movies’ opening credits. They are so realistic you can almost hear each of them say, “Bond. James Bond.”

Copyright 2018 Nell Minow

That would be: Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig, and Roger Moore. It’s 007 times six.

The elegant spy figures from the movies based on Ian Fleming’s agent with a license to kill took a team of twenty artists four months to complete at a cost of almost $200,000 each. Hundreds of layers of oil paint were used to build up accurate skin tones and each hair on their heads was inserted individually by hand, taking six weeks. I spoke to General Manager of Madame Tussauds Washington DC, Therese Alvich, who told me each figure was delivered in a separate crate from London. Although packed with as much care as an Old Master painting, a few minor touch-ups were needed before installing them amid some of the other celebrity figures, including Miley Cyrus, Brad Pitt, and Jennifer Lopez. The six Bonds will be on display through the summer, so Madame Tussauds has been able to coordinate with Washington DC’s Spy Museum, just a few blocks away, where a special exhibit of Bond villains is a popular attraction. It’s good to know that the various cat-loving Blofelds, lethal sidekicks, and assorted megalomaniacs at the Spy Museum will be under the watchful eye of six 007s.

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National Cartoonists Society 2018

Posted on May 30, 2018 at 8:36 pm

I had a blast as always at the annual meeting of the National Cartoonists Society, which includes comic strip artists, gag/one-panel cartoonists, animators, web comic artists, caricaturists, political cartoonists, and greeting card artists.  The top award, the Reuben (named for Rube Goldberg) went to Glen Keane, animator of Disney classics like “Tangled, ” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Rapunzel.”  His dad created one of the all-time comic classics, “Family Circus,” now drawn by his brother, Jeff (yes, that’s Jeffy from the strip.)

I wrote about it for Medium.

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Saturday Night Live: The Experience!

Posted on May 21, 2018 at 9:50 am

Tina Fey hosted the season finale of “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend, which means many months until the next opportunity to see their take on the news. If that seems like a very long time to wait, you can visit the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago to see the SNL Experience, a wildly entertaining interactive exhibit that takes visitors through a week of creating an episode and the 41-year history of the show as well.

The exhibit, which covers two floors of the museum, includes iconic props and sets from the show’s history, taped interviews, and clips.  It is a lot of fun to see items that bring back memories of classic SNL moments but it is fascinating to peek behind the scenes (literally) and see interviews with the writers, costume designers, and set designers who start with a blank page every week and somehow put together 90 minutes of material.  Highly recommended!

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Auction: Collection of Disney Artist Rolly Crump

Posted on April 15, 2018 at 9:12 am

Copyright Disney 1960
Rolly Crump is a true Disney Legend, an artist and designer who helped create some of Disneyland’s most iconic images in attractions like the Tiki Room, the Haunted Mansion, and It’s a Small World. His lifelong collection of Disney treasures is being auctioned April 28, 2018 by Van Eaton Galleries and the gorgeous catalogue can be viewed online. It includes animation cells, drawings, posters, correspondence, props, and Crump’s own stories about the objects.

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Moviepass — Improved and Disrupting

Posted on December 28, 2017 at 10:16 pm

Netflix co-founder and former president of Redbox Mitch Lowe and Ted Farnsworth, chief executive of Helios and Matheson Analytics bought a controlling stake in MoviePass in August for $27 million and have made improvements that have led to (1) a surge in participation and (2) fury from theater owners.  For $9.95 a month, customers get an app that gets them as much as a movie ticket a day.  The new owners reduced the monthly fee and membership skyrocketed.  But theater owners are not happy, refusing to sign up, and have even threatened a lawsuit — it’s not clear what the basis would be as they get paid full ticket price when a member uses the app.  And it’s not clear Moviepass can sustain the new price if, as one happy member told the New York Times, the app has increased his monthly movie-going from once to 12 times.

 

 

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THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2018, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at Rogerebert.com, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

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