Flickchart continues to attract new members and it occurs to me that perhaps a nice catch-up introduction is in order. Since this is the 50th year of James Bond and Skyfall is now in theaters, we’ll use 007 to illustrate the different ways you can Flickchart.
It’s a safe assumption that if you’re here, you already understand that Flickchart presents two movies from which you choose and that you can request a replacement for either movie if you haven’t seen the movie(s) at hand. Did you know you can filter your pool of movies, though?
Though Michael G. Wilson wants Daniel Craig to set the record for most appearances as James Bond, as of right now the two most prolific actors to inhabit the role are Sean Connery and Roger Moore. Connery starred in the first five Bond movies for Eon from 1962 through 1967, then returning in 1971 for Diamonds Are Forever. Twelve years later, he starred in and co-produced the non-canonical remake of Thunderball, Never Say Never Again, in 1983. He also later reprised the role for EA Games’ video game version of From Russia with Love in 2004, but for all intents and purposes, Diamonds Are Forever was his official farewell. Moore starred in seven official movies for Eon, taking over from Connery in 1973’s Live and Let Die through 1985’s A View to a Kill. In this Reel Rumbles, we take a look at their respective official Eon swan songs.
What makes Diamonds Are Forever an interesting film is that it’s removed from the storytelling aesthetics of the Connery era. Many fans tease that, despite starring Connery, it was really the first of the Moore era, with its emphasis on stunt pieces and Bond as more of a superhero than a spy. At one point, Bond passes off his own Playboy Diner’s Club card to a felled adversary in order to maintain his cover. Tiffany Case freaks out, clearly knowing who James Bond is. That kind of global reputation would not be appropriate for a real spy, but that’s part of the Moore era conceits. In this manner, then, this Reel Rumbles is as much about the beginning and ending of an era as it is about contrasting the final bows from Connery and Moore. Read the rest of this entry »
“THE SCENT and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. Then the soul-erosion produced by high gambling – a compost of greed and fear and nervous tension – becomes unbearable, and the senses awake and revolt from it.”
This is how Ian Fleming introduced us to the world of James Bond in his 1953 debut novel, Casino Royale. We learn throughout the novel of Bond’s background; he served as a naval intelligence officer during World War II where he proved himself more than capable. Fleming explains the basic machinations of MI-6, embellished of course with lots of cloak and dagger stuff borne of his own imagination. Read the rest of this entry »
Dragons. Are there any cooler creatures in all of mythology? Unfortunately, in the world of celluloid, these great creatures of imagination have not really gotten their due. (At least, not in live-action cinema; why I have not yet seen How to Train Your Dragon is still beyond me.)
Is there any live-action film in which dragons have truly come off as cool as they deserve? Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire wasn’t too bad, but the dragons aren’t the stars. As I impatiently await the day when Peter Jackson brings his vision of the ultimate dragon, Smaug, to life in The Hobbit, I think about other dragon-themed movies that I have enjoyed in the past. None of them are deserving enough to be called “great”, but I’m very forgiving of movies I want to like. In one of these cases, I was the perfect age to see a dragon with real presence brought to life on the big screen – even if the movie he inhabited was far from perfect. Without further adieu, I present, in ascending order on my Flickchart, my picks for Guilty Pleasures starring dragons.
You can go crazy sorting through the convoluted legal history behind this match-up, but suffice it to say that Never Say Never Again is a remake of Thunderball and that it was not made by the same production company as nearly every other James Bond movie (the other exception being 1967’s Casino Royale). It was released in 1983, just four months after Octopussy, the thirteenth “official” Bond movie. The question on everyone’s mind in 1983 was, “How does the remake compare?” It’s time for an answer. It’s time for Thunderball vs. Never Say Never Again.