Posts tagged “James Bond”

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

For Your Wednesday Listening Pleasure: “A View to a Kill” by Duran Duran

Duran Duran: A View to a Kill

Face to face in secret places, feel the chill…

The fact that they released a brand-new James Bond theme a couple of weeks ago plus the news that they decided to delay the new Bond flick until Fall has got me thinking quite a bit about James Bond themes. So here’s one of my all-time favorites. Partake and be pleasured by the 80s blacklight goodness:

You have now been pleasured.

CAPTION

Categories: Movies, Videos, Wednesday Listening Pleasure.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

For Your Wednesday Listening Pleasure: “No Time to Die” by Billie Eilish

No Time to Die: Billie Eilish

Fool me once, fool me twice…

There’s a new James Bond movie coming out this year! And that means there’s a new James Bond theme song. This is all rather exciting for me; I’m a bit of a James Bond aficionado. The Bond films were my go-to comfort films in my teens and early twenties. I’m also a connoisseur of Bond theme songs. If you meet me at a party, you could ask me to recite the title and artist of all the Bond themes in chronological order and I could probably do it.

Bond themes are a fascinating genre of music all their own. There are a few clunkers (*cough* Quantum of Solace *cough*), but they’ve also produced some of my favorite songs of all time (*cough* Skyfall *cough*). There’s also fun side-branch of secondary Bond themes: original songs that appear either during the movies themselves (á la the Pretenders song “Where Has Everybody Gone” in The Living Daylights) or alternate theme songs played over the end credits (á la k.d. lang’s excellent Tomorrow Never Dies alternate song “Surrender”).

But I digress. As you can see I can go on and on about Bond minutiae.

For No Time to Die, the 25th Bond film, they’ve roped in up-and-coming dark-pop musician Billie Eilish and her producer/brother Finneas O’Connell. The two are apparently as much fans of Bond as I am. Here is the result—partake and be pleasured:

Y’know what? I quite like it! It fits in the progression of the latter half of Daniel Craig bond films, Skyfall and SPECTRE. In fact it has a lot in common with Sam Smith’s “The Writing’s on the Wall” from the latter film. “No Time to Die” is darkly lush, a song ultimately about betrayal and defeat (which seems to fit what little we’ve seen of the film from its trailers). There are some great moments: the wet, Bond-ian brass that creeps into the background for a moment around the 1-minute mark; the guitar that comes in on the chorus about 1:35; the full orchestration that starts building up around the two-minute mark. In all it’s a great variation of a “building” song, where over time more and more elements seep into the initially sparse presentation. But “No Time to Die” is interesting in that it undercuts moments of possible cathartic crescendo, like the way Eilish hits the climactic high-note about 3:20, only to slide down into a lower note before it ends, as if resigned to defeat. And then all the building cuts out and the song ends as sparsely and darkly as it began.

Am I reading too much into it? Probably. But it is well done. I hope you have been pleasured by it.

Categories: Movies, Music, Wednesday Listening Pleasure.

Monday, 20 March 2017

The James Bond Dance Dream, Co-Starring Charlize Theron

Theron… Charlize Theron.

Theron… Charlize Theron.

You know those dreams where you’re supposed to do something really important, but you didn’t know about it or prepare for it? The most common instance being you’re supposed to take a test or give a presentation in school but you’re completely unprepared for it. Y’know?

That was the kind of dream I had a few nights ago. There was some big Hollywood awards show—not the Oscars or anything, but big enough to have in a huge theater like that. There was going to be an interstitial between awards that featured a “James Bond-Themed” dance set to Duran Duran’s Bond Theme, “A View to a Kill.” In case you’re unfamiliar with that song, here it is:

The dance was to be performed by Charlize Theron wearing a black gown. My job was to operate the spotlight. At the last minute, the producer and director of the show called me over to the side of the state and told me that they’d decided I should get in a tux and go up on stage and join Charlize as James Bond. Charlize’s part of the dance had been completely choreographed, but the producer of this awards show literally told me to “wing it!” Hilariously, since they hadn’t planned on throwing me up there until the last minute, I was not given a prop gun, just a laser pointer that I was supposed to pretend was a Walther PPK.

The dance started out excellently. I was manning the spotlight. The stage went dark, and I turned on the spotlight. As the opening strain of the James Bond theme started playing, Charlize walked out into the spotlight, spun and fired a prop pistol directly at the spotlight, which flared bright and then went dark, mimicking the “gun sight” openings of the James Bond movies.

As “A View to a Kill” started playing, I had to rush down from the spotlight perch and head up the main aisle in my tux and climb up on stage.

Y’know how dreams like this are usually panic-inducing? Well, image instead that you embraced the whole “winging it” philosophy and had an absolute blast. Instead of trying to dance, I acted like the silhouette of Roger Moore in his James Bond opening numbers, striding around and posing and pointing my laser-pointer “gun.” Then I realized I could actually tell a story with this whole thing.

There was one part where Charlize was choreographed to head way off to one side of the stage, then quickly dance across to the other side. When she moved off to the side I was in focus on centerstage. I quickly spun around like I just noticed someone behind me, then slam, sprawled on my back as if I had been shot dead. Charlize started her dance across the stage to the other side, and right at the moment where she crossed behind me, I spasmed as if I had been hit with a defibrillator. When she reached the other edge of the stage I sat up, groggy, and instead of going back into Roger Moore posing, I started acting dazed, stuttering around Charlize as she danced, studying her every move.

Charlize, like a trooper, started playing to me instead of to the audience at this point, and the dance became a story about a man who was killed and then brought back to life as James Bond by Charlize’s femme fatale. By the end of it I was acting in full-on confident James Bond mode again.

It was hecka fun and funny. The audience of celebrities seemed to enjoy it as well.

Categories: Dreams, Music.

Monday, 15 April 2013

“Of the Month” April 2013

Link of the Month:
My Birthday Wish List!
My birthday is next month. Just sayin’. Y’know. *Cough*

Album of the Month:
Nanobots Nanobots by They Might Be Giants
Still as prolific as ever, They Might Be Giants have put out another “adult” album. This one has one of the strongest starts of any album; the series of the first nine songs is absolutely top-notch. That might seem like a lot of songs; many albums only have 10-12 songs total. This is They Might Be Giants, though, so there are actually about 25 songs on the album. The middle section flounders a bit, with a series of short songs that aren’t quite self-contained, but aren’t quite in the “Fingertips” style. The final stretch is much stronger, with songs like “Replicants” and “Icky.” It’s one of the better “adult” efforts by TMBG in the 21st Century.

Movie of the Month:
Everything or Nothing Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of James Bond
A fascinating documentary that chronicles the behind-the-scenes, making-of antics of the James Bond series, including Ian Fleming himself, Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, the undying specter of Kevin McClory, George Lazenby’s insane meltdown, the bizarre twist that kept Pierce Brosnan from becoming Bond for almost 10 years, and much more. This documentary has a trick of inserting footage from the Bond films when talking about real-world events. For example, when talking about the lawyers getting involved in the Broccoli/Saltzman turmoil it intercuts with Bond footage of various boardroom meetings and people passing papers around. It’s a very clever technique. I knew most of the information contained in this documentary already, but seeing it all in one place in chronological order is a treat. Plus, this has perhaps the greatest opening of any Bond movie ever: the six-gun sniper shot. So badass. You’ll see.

Categories: Of the Month.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

New Review: Skyfall (2012)

Skyfall (2012)

Breaking Bond

There was a point early on in Skyfall when I realized that I was watching something special. And steadily throughout the rest of the film a certain feeling steadily grew. Skyfall is an astonishing movie. Not just astonishing for a James Bond movie, but astonishing, period. It is the epitome of a four-star movie and by leaps and bounds my favorite film of 2012. [Read My Full Review]

Categories: Movie Reviews.

Monday, 12 November 2012

The Most Amazing James Bond Compilation Movie Ever

I’m planning to see Skyfall soon. I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this site that I have an unnatural affection for all things 1960s spy-related, and in particular the James Bond films. I know that a lot of them are pretty crappy, but I just can’t bring myself to care. I kinda heart them and the weird genre they spawned that became its own thing.

So to study up for Skyfall, I really wanted to re-watch some of the Bond flicks. But who has the time? Fortunately, someone has come up with a genius idea. With a little editing, they have created their own James Bond movie out of ALL of the previous James Bond movie. In their own words:

Approximately five minutes from each of the 22 Eon produced James Bond films have been cut together, in order and in sequence, beginning with the first five minutes of DR. NO (1962) followed by minutes 5-10 of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963), minutes 10-15 of GOLDFINGER (1964), minutes 15-20 of THUNDERBALL (1965), continuing on through each of the remaining 18 Bond features (accounting for variables in each title’s running time) culminating with the final five minutes of 2008’s QUANTUM OF SOLACE.

The effect is simply astonishing. Even though it makes no literal sense, the sequences flow brilliantly into one another in a sort of surreal, super-distilled way. Some of the transitions are jaw-dropping, especially the switch from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service to Diamonds Are Forever, and the switch from License to Kill to Goldeneye.

But don’t take my word for it. I urge you to watch it in all of its two-hour glory.

There is something kinda magical about it, how the Bond Films have created their own cinematic vocabulary and formulas.

Categories: Movies, Videos.