No Time To Die – Trailer #1 Thoughts

Back in 2015, I devoted pretty much half a year of my life to covering the Bond films for The Mary Sue (except the last one, somehow). I made that franchise my life and it was, for the most part aside from how I didn’t get paid to do any of it, pretty awesome.

My interest in Bond fandom comes and goes depending on what content is coming out. I got hyped for the comics from Dynamite (so good, for real) and then that waned because I have a short attention span. When news of No Time To Die started coming out and it looked like we were finally getting back on track, I was like “okay, let’s do it”.

Everything about No Time To Die has me hyped up so far. The cast – new and returning – looks wonderful. The director – Cary Fukunaga – is both talented and a major babe. My anticipation for this film is pretty high and the trailer does an excellent job of returning me to my Bond Babe roots.Read More »

My kingdom for a Bond-of-Color

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Image found here

I’m not going to call myself a James Bond expert or anything so very trite, but I did spend most of last year (and a huge chunk of this year) both having intense opinions on the James Bond film franchise to anyone that would listen and writing an in-depth article series for The Mary Sue about the movies. It’s pretty fair to say that I get the film franchise better than the average non-Bond blogger.

That’s why I’m pretty uninterested in the idea of casting yet another vaguely attractive white guy in the role.

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Five things that I learned during the “Year of the Spy”

Sometimes, when it’s very quiet and I close my eyes, I swear that I can hear the brazen, brassy tones of the James Bond theme song playing in the silence. At first, it was a bit worrying. But now, I’m kind of used to it. It’s all part and parcel of what comes with diving headfirst into “The Year of the Spy”.

I’m not sure how this happened, but 2015 officially became “The Year of the Spy” thanks to several major blockbusters, comics, and shows that centered around international espionage. If there were spies in it, chances are that I watched it, read it, and generally was obnoxious about it on twitter. I couldn’t help myself.

It’s been a long year of spies and immersing myself in almost everything to do with this genre of fiction. I’ve learned and noticed a lot. Much of it was… kind of negative, but there were a few standouts.

So instead of giving y’all a twenty thousand word recap of my year of the spy, I’ve written up five things I’ve learned or had reaffirmed over my year being ridiculously invested in all things spy-related!


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“A product of their time” – Observations on racist (but lauded) writers after Octopussy

Octopussy CoverYesterday I decided to use my last Audible credit on a collection of Ian Fleming short stories.

I’m working through Fleming’s original canon very slowly and when I saw that the audiobook for “Octopussy and The Living Daylights, and Other Stories” was read by Tom Hiddleston, I just had to have it. Tom Hiddleston reading James Bond seems like the perfect combination of my interests and I have been talking about how badly I wanted to see Hiddles in a Bond movie. I figured that this was the closest I’d get.

Here’s the thing though: as much as I have complained about the racism in the James Bond films, the books are much worse.

The audiobook does not help. In fact, hearing Tom Hiddleston narrate Fleming’s weird and clunky prose on top of the racism that the first story is rife with is pretty terrible.Read More »

[Film Review & Recap] Spectre

Here you have it, almost 5000 words on Spectre that looks at the film’s plot, its shortcomings, and my expectations for the film. All of the photographs in this monster baby of a post come from antovolk‘s trailer screencaps on flickr .

James-Bond-Spectre-Poster

It feels like almost everything I’ve done has led up to this point.

For me (and many fans), 2015 was the year of the spy. I’ve seen most of the spy films and television shows that came out this year and of course, I spent most of my year watching and rewatching James Bond films so that I could write my column over at The Mary Sue. From Dr. No to Skyfall (with a few unofficial films along the way), I made my way through every single James Bond film made between 1962 and now. Most of these movies I watched a minimum of three times. Others? Yeah, I went way overboard.

I think that after a year of spy comics, movies, and shows, it was inevitable for Spectre to fall short of the hype that I had built up, a crashing force of momentum born from the moment that they announced the title of the film. I’ve spent close to a year of my life eating, breathing, and dreaming about James Bond. I may be behind on Fleming’s original canon, but I am nearly one with Eon Production’s slightly softer canon.

Here’s the thing though: maybe all of that time worked against me. Maybe I was destined not to completely enjoy Spectre because it had been built up to Leviathan-like proportions in my head thanks to this year. I don’t know. What I do know is that I saw Spectre twice – first on November 7th with my Skyfall partner Rob and then on the following Tuesday with my trusty notebook – and it has yet to move me the way that Skyfall did.

It isn’t that Spectre is a bad movie. It’s not. It’s full of lush scenery and pretty people and the most brutal fight scenes. Craig is a good Bond and I’ve got to admit that even his least popular Bond film (coughcoughQuantumOfSolacecoughcough) is better than like ninety percent of the worst Bond films out there.

Spectre is almost entirely my thing.

Except for where it’s not.Read More »

Bond Girl: GoldenEye

never had me

This week’s Bond Girl post is about my favorite Bond film in Pierce Brosnan’s run: GoldenEye.

Here’s an excerpt:

Alec Trevelyan betrays Bond (and MI6) while his own feelings of betrayal drive him. Of course. He has the requisite tragic backstory (the death of his parents at his father’s hand in what Trevelyan sees is a direct relation to British betrayal of the Lienz Cossacks to the Russians after World War II.)

Following the dramatic reveal that Trevelyan is in fact alive and well, James Bond feels betrayed because his close friend not only faked his death, but also has decided to betray the country that they grew up in. It’s such a mess.

Add to that how Trevelyan is certainly dealing with jealousy of Bond and you’ve got this tangled web of emotions and everyone’s inability to communicate before going off to enact their massive plans for revenge.

Seriously, there’s a point where Trevelyan sneers at Bond about finding forgiveness in the arms of willing women “for all the ones you’ve failed to protect.” I feel like it’s an especially cutting dig because Trevelyan most certainly would’ve known about Bond’s wife so this perhaps is a way that we’re getting an oblique reference to James Bond’s dead wife Tracy.

Either way, Trevelyan isn’t playing fair.

If you liked this and want to read more about what I liked and disliked about the film, check out Bond Girl: Re-Watching and Re-Evaluating GoldenEye on The Mary Sue site! And comment (if you want) or feel free to chat me up on Twitter about everyone’s slightly sleazy favorite man of international espionage!

A few of my favorite Bonds

favorite-thingsTrying to choose your favorite James Bond actor is like trying to pick your favorite child or your favorite book.

Too many options.

Too many chances to get the whole thing wrong.

It’s not as if the fate of the world hinges on that decision or as if there’s any way to be wrong, but still, when it comes time to pick that one top Bond, I stall.Read More »

Bond Girl: Octopussy

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This week’s Bond Girl post is about the awkwardly-named Octopussy. 

Here’s an excerpt:

I love how take-charge Octopussy is in this. She’s powerful in this film, her gang of smugglers immense enough to fill an entire palace. I think that while her character is superficially similar to that of Pussy Galore, she gets to do more. She’s not just a smuggler.

She takes care of the women that come to her and has an empire built up that has many avenues for them to be successful. These avenues range from owning hotels to carnivals and her famous circus. After the death of her father – a man that Bond went after on orders from his superiors for stealing gold – she turned what could’ve been a chance to spend her life trying to get revenge into a successful life that has her as a powerful, wealthy, and feared name in the world. She made smuggling her profession and proved that crime really does pay if you’re good at it.

If you liked this and want to read more about what I liked , check out Bond Girl: Re-Watching and Re-Evaluating Octopussy on The Mary Sue site! And comment (if you want) or feel free to chat me up on Twitter about everyone’s slightly sleazy favorite man of international espionage!

Is a James Bond Musical really in the works?

"Dr No trailer" by Danjaq and United Artists - Dr. No trailer. Licensed under PD-Pre1978 via Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dr_No_trailer.jpg#/media/File:Dr_No_trailer.jpg
“Dr No trailer” by Danjaq and United Artists – Dr. No trailer. Licensed under PD-Pre1978 via Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dr_No_trailer.jpg#/media/File:Dr_No_trailer.jpg

Um yeah?

I hope you’re prepared for me to squee about this for as long as it takes for it to come out. I literally didn’t know I needed this sort of musical until the Independent announced it. Now it’s all I can think of.

It’s like the universe remembered how much I love musicals for things that really shouldn’t be musicals (Bring It OnLegally Blonde, and The Vampire Lestat to name a few recent book/film franchises that got the musical treatment).

I can’t figure out how I feel about this aside from the ear-piercing squee from two of my major interests colliding. I love musicals no matter what they’re about and um, hello, I can’t get enough of the Bond franchise. Even though nothing will ever be better than the original Legally Blonde show, I’m so excited to see where this goes.

What’s cool about this development (aside from how it probably pisses off everyone that hates musicals but loves James Bond), is that it could possibly count as an official entry into the official James Bond canon because the daughter of Eon Productions’ original producer Harry Saltzman is working on it. Sure, it’s a stretch, but okay it’s my kind of stretch.

How do y’all feel about our international ham-fisted man of mystery taking it to the stage and singing his heart out?