CommanderBond.net
  1. BOND 24 will be shot by Hoyte van Hoytema

    With Roger Deakins unavailable Sam Mendes seems to have offered one of the most celebrated new talents to take over as director of photography for BOND 24.  Hoyte van Hoytema recently filmed Christopher Nolan´s upcoming sci-fi film “Interstellar” and received international acclaim last year for his breathtakingly beautiful work on Spike Jonze´s “Her”.  He also shot Tomas Alfredson´s “Let the right one in” and his LeCarré adaptation “Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy”.

    While these news are not yet officially confirmed, you can read all about the industry mumblings here: http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention/her-cinematographer-hoyte-van-hoytema-to-fill-roger-deakins-shoes-on-sam-mendes-bond-24

    Also, thanks to our valued Shrublands for the heads up.

    Stefan Rogall @ 2014-09-17
  2. EON developing an Edward Snowden movie

    EON obviously wants to branch out (and fill the longer gaps between Bond films) by producing other films.  The latest project mentioned as a production for Sony is a movie about whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    Does that mean that after BOND 24 there will be another three-year hiatus?

    See more info here: http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/edward-snowden/30527/james-bond-team-to-bring-edward-snowden-story-to-the-screen

    Stefan Rogall @ 2014-05-15
  3. BOND 24 will feature a new Aston Martin

    During the opening of the exciting new exhibition of 007 automobiles,  “BOND IN MOTION”,  at the London Film Museum in Covent Garden, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, of course, were asked questions about the upcoming successor to “Skyfall”, the as yet untitled “BOND 24″, directed by Sam Mendes and written by John Logan.

    Apart from repeating the official line of “we´re still working on the script with Sam, John and Daniel”, Wilson at least offered something definitive: There will be a new Aston Martin for Bond in the next film.  Well, the original Aston was blown up, of course, and the one Bond won during “Casino Royale” is probably still not out of the shop, due to the damage that was caused by flip-flopping away from Vesper.

    Thanks to our valued “Shrublands” for the heads up to this!

    See: http://www.itn.co.uk/UK/98125/largest-collection-of-james-bond-vehicles-goes-on-display

     

    Stefan Rogall @ 2014-03-19
  4. Breaking News: John Logan can´t say anything about BOND 24

    Hey, what did you expect?  He would endanger the whole enterprise and his job security if he were to give away anything at this stage.

    Still, John Logan was interviewed by Empire Magazine and reportedly said that the first draft of the script is almost finished.  He probably meant to say: the first draft that goes out to actors and gets used to plan the production – since the film is about to start shooting in October.

    But any news about Bond are good news, right?

    See the interview here: http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=40356

    Stefan Rogall @ 2014-03-05
  5. BOND 24 scheduled to shoot in October

    During a recent interview Ralph Fiennes stated that the new Bond film will start principal photography this October.  He allegedly has not read the script yet (and, of course, would not have been allowed to say anything if he had) – but his statement seems to be the first genuine news about the film really moving forward in the fall of 2014.

    So, let the speculations begin:  The director (Sam Mendes) is in place and the script seems to be in good enough shape to hire the actors now for a particular time frame.  The recent news of cinematographer Roger Deakins not returning mean that EON is looking for a replacement right now (if they haven´t found him/her already).

    Will there be a kick-off press conference like they did for SKYFALL on the eve of its first shooting day?  Or will they announce something much earlier – during the Cannes film festival maybe?  In any event, news will be forthcoming during the next couple of months – even if they are only rumors.  Which, in the case of SKYFALL, mostly turned out to be true (the title, the demise of M, the casting of Moneypenny).

    Source: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1723135/bond-24-filming-start.jhtml

    Stefan Rogall @ 2014-02-28
  6. Thomas Newman wins Grammy for “Skyfall”

    And, finally, Thomas Newman wins the top prize for his spectacular score of the latest James Bond film.  No, not for the upcoming BOND 24 but for “SKYFALL”. (The beginning of the eligible time period for a Grammy was starting in late 2012.)

    This might also conclude “Skyfall”´s run in the awards race.  Although… there might be that odd online festival looking back at the current decade.

    In other news, Adele´s title song also got a Grammy.  Good thing, since Adele was in desperate need of another one.  Just kidding, of course.

    Stefan Rogall @ 2014-01-27
  7. Out of the blue: Skyfall’s 007th Minute

    original artwork by Mike Mahle/mikemahle.com (c), used with kind permission

    original artwork by Mike Mahle/mikemahle.com (c),
    used with kind permission

     

    So here we are, in the end, reaching our destination after a journey of 14 months, countless blunders on my side and a few prematurely published ‘drafts’. The water surface is coming nearer most rapidly. This is now definitely the moment to make an impact. If not now, when?

    This final 007th Minute comes to you with original artwork by designer & illustrator Mike Mahle. Further works from Mike can be found at his own site. Grateful acknowledgements for the kind permission to use this marvellous image.

    Oh, opinion. Jim’s. Yours can be aired here. Thank you for flying with CommanderBond.net.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This is the end. Beautiful friend.

     

    Hold your breath and…

     

    No, don’t. Asphyxiation might be your jolly – not judging (I am a bit) – but you’d be tucked up in dead before you finished this; it has girthbloat. If bidding for oblivion, bore yourself to death reading it. Still, I don’t want your sticky end on my hands (fnarr). The guilt I’ll cope with, via the medium of indifference; it’s that I’ve always found grinding my heel into an upturned face far more satisfying. Or, as I age, paying someone else to do it. It’s murder on the knees.

     

    Judi Dench snuff movie Skyfall is where we start. A billion-dollar Bond behemoth, so one little prick on the internet (hi there) isn’t going to burst it. Still, all that tremendous, oddly heartwarming success (albeit having had no stake in the film beyond “going to see it”) does lead me to contemplate blockbusters. Or, more precisely, Blockbusters.

     

    For those blessed with ignorance, Blockbusters was a tiffin-time British quiz programme of the 1980s, broadcast via the harlotry of commercial television, aimed at a beteenaged audience. One could tell that because of the prizes, habitually a “programmable” ZX Spectrum (48K “ram”, no less), a box of coloured pencils or a cultural weekend in tropical Cannock (go for the pencils). Doubtless a modern equivalent would have to dole out fake tan, mobile telephones or Tablets. Can’t help feeling tablets in those days were more fun: when one dropped them, it wasn’t the machine that got itself shattered. Halcyon days. If only I could remember them.

     

    continue reading…

    Helmut Schierer @ 2013-11-22
  8. Quid pro Quantum – DRAFT, THIS TIME REALLY DO NOT PUBLISH!!!

    image (c) ‘Mitwa17′

    After the fuss about last 007th Minute’s headline (see here), I decided to just try the same trick a second time. It’s a good deed in a bad world and everyone will be happy about it.

    Or maybe it’s a not-so-good deed in a less-than-fabulous world and nobody is going to notice it…

    Anyway, here goes. CommanderBond.net’s resident ‘No Precious Oil for Bleak Water!’ expert examines the 007th minute of ‘Quantum of Solace’. Opinion aplenty, all of it Jacques Stewart’s very own – though you may share a slice of his – and none of it without the odd grain of irony.

     

    Debate the veracity of his observations here

     

     

     

     

     

    Revolution, evolution, resolution. Revelation.

     

    Perhaps.

     

    The origin of the specious, Casino Royale misled some that what was to follow would be as previously begat. A mild dabble in black & white, realism (pfft) and moody mirrorstaring now out of Eon’s system, the Bonds would surely settle into comfy routine, the backstory done. Casino Royale wasn’t as startling as the demented fire & brimstone trollpreaching lead anyone simple enough to believe, to so believe. Bond was complete – must have been; said his name, earned his theme – so steering complacent passage beckoned. We’d seen it before.

     

    We knew.

     

    We were the Bond-Knowers, a tremendous way to use up the only life one lives. To do anything else but give us “a Bond film” would be heretical and lead to purges or at least be anonymously commented on most tartly with brave spelling solutions and voluntary exposure of the quality of one’s education. If creating Bond was what Eon was now up to, we were entitled to see the creation come forth in the way oodles of films and umpteen books had taught us. If I’ve understood it correctly – questionable – creationism manifests itself in a variety of ways. The Word that is Bond was written by Fleming in the 1950s. The Word that is Bond was written by Fleming in the 1960s. The Word etc was the Connery films, or at least the ones where he’s not morbidly obese. If undereducated, the Word – word, bro – is something with the Pierce Brosnan gentleman. It appears that creationism is as susceptible to evolution as anything else. The Bond series not having been overburdened with originality since the 1960s, there was an understandable view that the first Craig having created the world, all would then come to pass as given and bode well in 00-heaven. Amen.

     

    Until one encountered the Anti-Bond.

     

    At which juncture, “persons” were upset, gnashing teeth, mashing keyboards, their heads spinning as they wrote in tongues, vomiting us a “view”, blaming the convulsions on trying to follow the editing. Expressing themselves in a way that witchburning used to satisfy, Quantum of Solace shook various clashing faiths in Bond, whichever version one considered gospel.

     

    Some raged at the lack of explicit/explosive “closure” (ugh) of the Vesper “arc” (ugh ugh), others at the milky villainy or the inconclusive approach to Mr White and chums. For many, jiggycam confused (James Bond is in a chase and he wins; is this hard?) and for a select bunch, the undergraduate realpolitik didn’t appeal. The song’s apparently dreadful, the ‘plane fight crashlanded in from another film, Bond shoving Mathis in a skip epitomises what should happen to the film and what goes on, goes on too quickly to engage. And the gunbarrel’s all done wrong, inevitably. For a few hardy troglodytes, Mr Craig remained a problem, but most evolved people seemed to have pushed themselves up by their hairy knuckles and overcome this. Many told the world that it wasn’t could have been better (surely the fate of all Bonds once the glee erodes) but should have been better. Should of. Or longer (albeit plumped with what has never been satisfactorily fingered).

     

    However, it seemed rare to dislike all these (and other) allegedly negative attributes, and the gnawing seemed not so much between those who liked it and those who didn’t, but between those who loathed it for X seeking dominance over those disliking Y. For the poor sods who admired it (hi), all one could do was watch. Not in (much) superiority but, for one’s own part, in bewilderment at how vicious it became, humanity and consideration of one human for another, gone. How apt.    

     

    Now easily (too easily) perceived as the go-between of two “bigger” Bond films, Quantum of Solace undoubtedly establishes that each unhappy Bond fan is unhappy in their own way.

     

    Good.

     

    continue reading…

    Helmut Schierer @ 2013-10-26
  9. From Russia With Love – 50 Years

    image (c) Mark O'Connell, used with kind permission

    image (c) Mark O’Connell, used with kind permission

     

    Celebrating a film’s ‘birthday’ is a bit of a silly idea, isn’t it? After all it’s not as if a film could actually ‘die’. So making it, say, 50 years down the road isn’t so much a feat as a simple sign that time moves in one direction, and one direction only.

     

    But today we do not just celebrate an ordinary film. This evening it’s 50 years since a true classic found its way onto the silver screen of London’s Odeon theatre. And from there right into the hearts of an army of Bond fans. The Bond phenomenon shaped modern pop-culture’s surface like few other trends and ‘From Russia With Love’ can justifiably be regarded as part of its cutting edge. It went deeper into early sixties sensibilities and the mindset of the Cold War than any other Bond film. And it was more serious about its business, influencing the entire spectrum of the spy genre. Terence Young’s landmark did not just teach audiences to tell the true Englishman by his choice of wine to go with fish. It also moved the action into dark corners where telling friend from foe wasn’t always easy. Where fights were tough, deadly serious business, bloody in the truest sense. Where Bond’s enemy’s enemy was decidedly not his friend, regardless how many times 007 profited from the silent killer in his wake. And where the beautiful woman is indeed an enemy agent, out to lure the hero – though unwittingly – to his doom.

     

    ‘From Russia With Love’ today is regarded as one of the great classics of both British cinema and of Eon’s Bond series. It is a favourite with many fans and critics and keeps coming up on top places with many rankings. It was indeed a marvellous cast of fortune that combined Ian Fleming’s original novel – a treasure in its own right – with the talents of Maibaum, Harwood, Barry, Hunt, Moore and countless others in the production team and in front of the camera. On top of this it was Pedro Armendáriz’s last role, enriching Eon’s Bond world with a character unsurpassed to this very day. Kerim Bey IS the epitome of Bond’s ally: shrewd, resourceful, charismatic. Many came after him, only few came close.

     

    So it is with a sense of deep gratitude for this gem that I raise CommanderBond.net’s imaginary glass and toast to 50 years of ‘From Russia With Love’. I have no doubts this film will still be celebrated many more years from now.

    Here’s to you, old friend!

     

    Grateful thanks to Mark O’Connell for the kind permission to use marvellous above image. Mark O’Connell is the author of CATCHING BULLETS – MEMOIRS OF A BOND FAN “co-starring” Barbara Broccoli, Mark Gatiss and Maud Adams. Available now; for more details see www.markoconnell.co.uk

    Helmut Schierer @ 2013-10-10
  10. Wing Commander Ken Wallis, MBE, dies at 97

    Wing Commander Kenneth Horatio Wallis, MBE, died on last Sunday. A passionate aviator, veteran of WWII and an enthusiastic developer of the autogyro design, Wallis became most famous for his stunt work on 1967’s  ‘You Only Live Twice’. His work in aerial reconnaissance continued well past his retirement from active RAF duty in 1964 and involved various missions for police and scientific research.

    R.I.P.

    Little Nellie will have to find her own course now.

     

    Helmut Schierer @ 2013-09-04
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