Vanity Fair Salutes Half a Century of James Bond

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Vanity Fair has a gorgeous tribute to 50 years of James Bond in the movies in the current issue.  Despite the fact that his business partner told Bond creator Ian Fleming that “these books are not even good enough for television,” Albert “Cubby” Broccoli persisted and all of the “official” Bond films have been produced by Broccoli or his heirs.  When President John F. Kennedy listed one of the books by Fleming as among his current favorites, the series took off.  The glamorous and exciting Cold War-era spy sagas captivated readers around the world and inspired many imitations and parodies from “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” to Matt Helm, “Our Man Flint,” and “Get Smart.”

The story of how Sean Connery was discovered in a little-remembered Disney movie (“Darby O’Gill and the Little People”), the impact of the first film, “Dr. No,” with its shoe-stabbing villain and spectacular Bond girl beauty, Ursula Andress, rising from the ocean like a bikini-clad Aphrodite, and the ups and downs of the Bonds who followed makes for a great story that will make you want to watch the films all over again. Fortunately, Bond 50, the new DVD set, is coming out next week.

Related Tags:

 

Understanding Media and Pop Culture
ir.gif

The Man Who Would Be King

Posted on June 6, 2011 at 8:00 am

B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Profanity: Mild language
Alcohol/ Drugs: Drinking
Violence/ Scariness: Characters in peril, injured and killed, some graphic and disturbing images
Diversity Issues: Reflects the racial and cultural prejudices of the era
Date Released to Theaters: 1975
Date Released to DVD: June 6, 2011
Amazon.com ASIN: B0045HCIZE

Director John Houston’s “The Man Who Would Be King,” released this week for the first time on Blu-Ray, is a magnificent spectacle, based on a story by Rudyard Kipling.  Michael Caine and Sean Connery star as British sergeants and adventurers during the colonialist era of the British Raj.  They travel to Kafiristan (now Afghanistan) and are briefly able to persuade the indigenous people that one of them is a god.  Caine’s real-life wife co-stars in one of those they-don’t-make-them-like-that-anymore adventure sagas.  Indeed, Houston had hoped at one time to film it with Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart.  I would love to have seen it, but I am certain it could not have been any better than this thrilling and touching story.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNb6SxXcD7g
Related Tags:

 

Action/Adventure Based on a book Classic Drama DVD/Blu-Ray Pick of the Week Epic/Historical

Entrapment

Posted on December 13, 2002 at 5:16 am

A heist film is one of Hollywood’s most reliable plots. “Entrapment” has caught the look and feel but not the heart of classics like “Topkapi” and “To Catch a Thief.” Sean Connery plays “Mac” MacDougal, a dashing (if somewhat creaky) thief who cannot help responding to a challenge. Catherine Zeta Jones plays insurance investigator Virginia “Gin” Baker, who is out to trap him – or is she? Connery, who also co-produced, delivers the goods in true movie star fashion, making wooden dialogue seem deliciously roguish, and Zeta Jones has appealing grace and spirit as well as breathtaking beauty. Three separate heist scenes are fresh and stylish. There are some cool gadgets. But the plot has holes that leave you walking out of the theater saying, “Hey, wait a minute.” The characters never create any real chemistry with each other, in part because he is decades older than she is. Worse, they never create any chemistry with us. There is something a little chilling about characters who steal without any consideration whatsoever for the impact on others. In some heist films, the characters gain our sympathy by stealing from someone who stole the money in the first place (“The Sting,” “$,”) or in order to protect someone (“How to Steal a Million”). But in “Entrapment,” they seem to be doing it for no particular reason other than a sort of Everest-like “because it’s there.”

Parents should know that there is some relatively discreet nudity, the usual swear words, and brief drug use. Families may enjoy talking about the challenge of making the audience root for a thief. And they may want to watch some of the classics listed above that inspired this one. Heist movies are terrific examples of problem solving, as they lay out exactly what the obstacles are, come up with strategies to address each one, and then, as Mac points out, come up with back-up strategies for the inevitable problems and mistakes.

Related Tags:

 

Not specified
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 1995-2024, 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.

Website Designed by Max LaZebnik