1. SPECTRE – The Tour

    SPECTRE Poster

    After the spectacular success that was SPECTRE – The Motion Picture and in preparation to the spectacular success that SPECTRE – The Auction will no doubt turn out to be (just as SPECTRE – The DVD, SPECTRE – The Blueray(™) and SPECTRE – The Streaming Experience, amongst others…) there is one more spec-tacular event for fans to crave and rave about and for me to report to you. It’s SPECTRE – The Tour! Never heard of it? Why, it’s a secret, dummy; people are not supposed to hear about it!

    That’s why it came as a sort of surprise to us when, contrary to all intentions and every rule of clandestine operational procedure, we finally did hear about it, though. Albeit too late for Glasgow, that was yesterday. And too late for Manchester, that was this morning. Sorry, ladies and gentlemen, this time they really kept mum about it.

    Anyway, here goes the schedule of the ballyhoo:

    SPECTRE ON TOUR will stop at each of the following locations:

    Monday 15th February – George Square, Glasgow (007 hours from 9am)
    Tuesday 16th February – The Lowry Plaza, Manchester (8.30-11.30am); Centenary Square, Birmingham (2-6pm)
    Wednesday 17th February – Churchill Way, Cardiff (007 hours from 9am)


    Well, now you know when and where, only the what is still a bit nebulous, much like the spectral nature of the entertainment this is supposed to somehow secretly promote. By way of osmosis or something equally sticky…

    SPECTRE – The Tour will bring to you a display with an Aston Martin DB10; a real, genuine, made-for-the-screen-only toy car for millionaires. Supposedly there is also some other small fry, I would have to research on that. Only since it’s already a bit late I suggest you just stop reading this piffle and go into the great outdoors, preferably in Birmingham or Cardiff and just find out for yourself.


    Good luck with that…


    Helmut Schierer @ 2016-02-16
  2. SPECTRE – The Auction



    From time to time even a 00-agent has to go beyond the vulgarities of casinos and roulette tables to make some serious money in style, all for the good cause of Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), a number of other charities and the United Nations Mine Action Service. And what better way to do this than taking 24 absolutely unique lots – from EON as well as  donations from Daniel Craig, Sam Mendes, Jesper Christensen, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli – to the halls of Christie’s to sell them off to the highest bidder?


    Can’t think of any, really.


    Of course there is a little, well, let’s call it hurdle, namely the price tag. Serious money here really does mean serious. On this occasion one of only two Aston Martin DB10 show cars will change hands, currently the only one to do so. It’s expected to earn the cause anything between 1 and 1.5 million sterling. So it will not surprise you to hear the live auction is an invitation-only affair, although bids by internet and telephone will be accepted. However, there also is to be an online-only auction from Tuesday 16 February to Tuesday 23 February where you can bid on 14 of the lots. For further information please visit Christie’s site here.


    The life event will take place on 18 February at Christie’s London. If you think you belong into the relevant target audience – some of us do – and haven’t received yet your invitation you may want to contact your personal assistant at Christie’s and raise an eyebrow.


    Oh, I almost forgot. There is of cause also a reason for this I should inform you about. The reason being that 18 February 2016 is a Thursday. What, you need more than that to spend a few million? How about that this event incidentally also is supposed to mark the release of SPECTRE in various trademarked formats, Blue-ray, DVD and whatnot. Now that should really open your cheque book.


    Tremendous thanks to source “Surrie” for digging this up and letting us know.


    Helmut Schierer @ 2016-01-21
  3. Sam Smith strikes again…

    Is this Smith's Writing On The Wall...?

    Is this Smith’s Writing On The Wall…?

    As some Irishman – during an English adventure – once said, the wonders never cease. In fact 2016 starts with surprise after surprise; and by far not all of them are bad ones. After winning a Golden Globe a mere few days ago, to his own astonishment, Sam Smith supposedly may find himself once more caught off guard by today’s news. It seems that his main title song for SPECTRE, Writing’s On The Wall, has been found worthy of an Oscar nomination.


    How is it possible Smith sings about things written on walls since the end of last September and nobody bothers to check out even once what it actually is that’s scribbled there? Turns out it might be a name…

    Helmut Schierer @ 2016-01-14
  4. Writing’s on the Wall secures Golden Globe 2016

    Now awarded with the Golden Globe

    Now awarded with the Golden Globe

    Entirely unexpected and mostly out-of-the-blue Sam Smith’s main title song for SPECTRE, The Writing’s on the Wall, earned itself a Golden Globe yesterday evening. Smith himself said at the occasion he “genuinely didn’t think” he’d get this – and he certainly wasn’t alone in this belief. Be that as it may, crew and members hereby congratulate on this surprising turn of events. Here’s to you, Mr Smith!

    Helmut Schierer @ 2016-01-11
  5. Merry Xmas from

    Heiko Baumann @ 2015-12-24
  6. The 007th Chapter: For Special Services – Invitation by Force



    A literary meditation by Jacques Stewart – cunningly presented out of sequence…











    Contains huge spoilers. Of a book over thirty years old. Isn’t it terrible, that news about The Titanic? Bet you can’t guess who Darth Vader really is. I think I’ve drunk wine younger than this book. Once, with regret. 


    I’m thinking… Ronseal.


    I haven’t succumbed to product placement (yet) but as I age, I dwell on how to keep wood. If none-the-wiser, or just aghast at the squalor of that joke, Ronseal is a creosote (this won’t get more exciting). Other brands are available but Ronseal stands out for possessing a bouquet that smacks-up dead quick dirt cheap, and having been advertised with the slogan “it does exactly what it says on the tin”, a phrase that has entered the wider lexicon, like those “Keep Calm” things – Keep Calm and Drop Dead – and “A Mars a day helps you work, rest and cultivate Type-2 diabetes”.


    This springs to mind not through an urge to paint the fence – one engages the little people for that, how charming they are with their “vans” and their “views” – but because I hold a-mitt a 1987 Coronet UK paperback of For Special Services. It looks chewed. There’s a distinct – dog?  – toothmark at the moment Bond eats a tuna sandwich and drinks Perrier. I might be blaming the hound unfairly; could have been me, enraged at this dumbing-down / plebbing-up of 007. There’s another incision just as Bond crams his gut with “chicken pie” and Apple Jonathan – presumably not Sir Jony Ive, although since Bill Gates gets an oblique reference in Role of Honour one can’t dismiss the thought. Fair’s fair, both meals are comforting beige stodge, so I might have been trying to join in. “Beige stodge” seems apt, somehow.


    Back to the “point” – the selling (or selling out) of Gardner Bond. Can’t judge a book by its cover, say “they”. Codswallop: the cover has “James Bond” in letters larger than both title and author, there’s a silhouette of a dinner-jacketed man taking aim and the base has “007”, big and bold. Little else upon which to judge it, frankly. It does exactly what it says on the tin. The book has James Bond 007 in it, although moot whether it’s ectually Ken Spoon (or Ron Seal). For Special Services might be open to many criticisms – on their way, lovey – but terminal ambiguity is not one. There is nothing else this could be. Anyone spotting you reading it – once they’ve stopped pointing fingers and whispering (although that’s nothing to do with the book and you know it) – would be in no doubt about what it was; similar absence of doubt in their deciding to flee, chop-chop quick.


    The back cover risks undermining this single-mindedness, instilling anxiety whether such tin-based-promise will come true. Things start “well”, boasting that Bond comes armed “with a new pair of Sykes-Fairburn commando daggers and a new Heckler & Koch VP70 hand gun”, as if that can impress non-mental people, and evidence of a burgeoning trend that hardware gets top billing. Still, the book delivers, narrating inanimate serial-numbered murder-things in greater detail than its characters. Possibly the point is that 007 is just an inanimate serially-numbered murder-thing too. Mr Gardner, you scamp. As if that wasn’t enough tedious name-checking of story-hijacking objects, the “turbo-charged silver SAAB 900” clanks back. The author’s note thanks SAAB (GB) Ltd for “proving that the James Bond SAAB really does exist” even if they don’t any more. Karma caught up with them. Because it wasn’t driving a frickin’ SAAB.

    continue reading…

    Helmut Schierer @ 2015-12-24
  7. The 007th Chapter: Icebreaker – Rivke

    A literary meditation by Jacques Stewart








    A famous episode of Hancock’s Half Hour is “The East Cheam Drama Festival”. Hancock, Hattie Jacques, Bill Kerr and Daniel Craig Sid James grapple “Look Back in Hunger” and “The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven and the songs that made him famous” and, titweepingly magnificently, “Jack’s Return Home.” In a coruscating exposure of the zeitgeist, poverty-stricken Joshua (Hancock) and wife Martha (Hattie) are menaced by landlord Jasper Stonyheart (Sid). It’s complex. Their son Jack is presumed dead – impaled by “the Zulus” – but Martha claims she insured his life, so all is well. Inopportunely, Jack (Bill) returns home, penniless. So Martha shoots him. ©BBC Worldwide, amongst others (prob’ly).


    Hancock: Aha, me old darlin’, you’ve shot Jack.

    Hattie: Yes, and I took out a policy on you as well, so watch it.

    Hancock: Wait a minute, I have a surprise for you. For thirteen years, you have thought I am Joshua, your husband.

    Hattie: Well, aren’t you?

    Hancock: No; stand back while I take my wig off. There…

    Hattie: Good heavens! Frederick!

    Hancock: Yes, Frederick. What do you say to that, Jasper Stonyheart?

    Sid: I’m not Jasper, I’ve been wearing this wig and pretending to be Jasper. This is who I really am. There!

    Hancock: Good heavens! Jonathan!

    Sid: Yes, Jonathan. I didn’t trust either of you, especially you, Martha.

    Hattie: And you were right not to, Jonathan, for you see, I am not Martha!

    Hancock: Not Martha?

    Hattie: No! There, now do you recognise me?

    Hancock: Gad! It’s Gladys.

    Hattie: Yes, Gladys, the girl you wronged.

    Hancock: Then who pray is the poor wretched we’ve killed?

    Bill: Fear not! You didn’t kill me! I was saved by my silver cigarette case. There! Do you not recognise me without the wig?

    Sid: Yes, I should have guessed – Ronald!


    Welcome to Icebreaker.


    We’re in a hotel room. Again. A formula emerges.


    Some label Bond “formulaic”, usually to disparage the films and/or books as poorer endeavours than ventures that would assault their Gran to grab a tenth of Bond’s money attention money. Optimistic rivals occasionally claim to better 007 with “reality” or “pop music”, then implode into obscurity whilst Bond rumbles on, chiselling the best ideas from their lukewarm corpses but otherwise as untroubled in its way as a triple-hulled supertanker is by one sickly anchovy. “Formula” – the disdain clinging to 007 films for decades, grot from the Bond factory family, complacent and undeserving of serious critique or awards. Populist with a capital Pee, consumer goods as soulful as a hubcap in a hedge, made for a stunningly plebby denominator that can’t do hard Italian neorealist cinema and sneered at as anti-artistic crap. F’rexample, every decade Sight & Sound conducts a poll of the greatest films of all time: A View to a Kill’s never on it. Some say that’s their loss (the same some who can’t have seen any other film ever made, mind), but indicative of an attitude as lofty as the hillock of cash sat upon by those making 007.

    continue reading…

    Helmut Schierer @ 2015-12-15
  8. Vous n’êtes pas seuls




    (image © Max Braun/Flickr)

    Helmut Schierer @ 2015-11-14
  9. SPECTRE explosion sets world record

    SPECTRE has officially set a Guinness World Record for the Largest Film Stunt Explosion. Barbara Broccoli, Daniel Craig and Léa Seydoux collected the award in Beijing on behalf of special effects supervisor Chris Corbould. The explosion was filmed near Erfoud in Morocco, and used 8,418 litres of fuel and 33kg of explosives.

    Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said: “It is absolutely tremendous that the Guinness World Records have recognised Chris Corbould’s incredible work in SPECTRE in which he created the largest explosion ever in film history.”

    Kenny Stewart @ 2015-11-10
  10. TODAY!


    Helmut Schierer @ 2015-10-26
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