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  1. So what is Project X, Mr. Higson?

    As Charlie Higson’s U.S. made its stop in St. Louis, Missouri, CommanderBond.net took the opportunity to ask the author straight out about Ian Fleming Publications’ secret project, and if Mr Higson was involved. Higson laughed. Then after explaining to the near-full meeting room at St. Louis County Library Headquarters that Project X was the IFP’s new, secret project that would be announced later this week, Higson boasted, “I know what Project X is.” He then explained that he knew that Project X was one of two projects that Ian Fleming Publications have in the works, but, he added, “I am sworn to secrecy.”

    Higson said he will be meeting with the people from the IFP when his book tour takes him to New York and he would then know for sure which of the two is Project X. As for Higson’s future with Bond, the author stated that he would like to write a trilogy when the time is right, but that it would mean researching an entirely new school.

    While not exactly shedding much light on what Project X is—in fact, probably just deepening the mystery—Higson’s comments raise new questions. Such as, did the IFP chose between two concepts or are we to expect a Project Y?

    In addition to discussing James Bond, Higson read a quite exciting and quite frightening passage from his latest children’s horror novel, The Enemy.

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    Evan Willnow @ 2010-05-25
  2. Quantum of Confusion

    quantum
    noun [C] plural quanta SPECIALIZED
    the smallest amount or unit of something, especially energy:
      quantum theory
    solace
    noun [S or U] LITERARY
    help and comfort when you are feeling sad or worried:
      When his wife left him, he found solace in the bottle. (= drank alcohol)
    Music was a great solace to me during this period.
    of (AMOUNT)
    preposition
    used after words or phrases expressing amount, number or particular unit:
      a kilo of apples
    loads of food
    hundreds of people

    Since yesterday’s announcement of the new title of the film that was formerly and temporarily called Bond 22, Evan Willnowthe educated press have been running to their dictionaries to find the meaning of ‘Quantum of Solace’. They have decreed confusion, ran to physisists, and simply pegged it as possibly the worst Bond title ever. It is also interesting that the media has even proclaimed that the title ‘has left many 007 fans baffled and confused’. We, as fans ourselves, are wondering who these baffled fans are. Yes, there are at least two, so far, of the first 231 who have voted in our forum poll that have said they do not understand. And yes, some Bond fans at CommanderBond.net do not like the title (about 6% according to our poll at last check) and some think and hope the title will grow on them (15%-ish). A solid three-quarters admit to liking the title. Judging by their comments that may be a better showing than Tomorrow Never Dies.

    So how can the press immediately declare the title unsuitable for Bond? It is simple; they just don’t get it. No, not the definition of Quantum of Solace—they have looked that up by now—but the meaning of Quantum of Solace. They ask themselves, How can this be a Bond title when it doesn’t include the sex, death, or greed included in most all of the other Bond films’ titles? Well, before I spell it out for them let us look at others’ explanations.

    Here is Daniel Craig explaining the title:

    We could have gone for a snappier title, but that sort of suggests we’re insecure about what we’re trying to say. The statement is an Ian Fleming statement. It comes from the idea that in a relationship, if you don’t have a quantum of solace left in your relationship, then give up. Where Bond is left at the end of the last movie his heart’s been broken and he doesn’t have that quantum of solace, he doesn’t have that … closure on what happened in his life and he needs to find out. What is great about it is it also applies to something very important in the plot.

    Just a Minute With: Daniel Craig &ndash Yahoo News

    Since Mr Craig was good enough to bring up Mr Fleming, so shall we with a snippet of the original story.

    The Governor paused and looked reflectively over at Bond. He said: “You’re not married, but I think it’s the same with all relationships between a man and a woman. They can survive anything so long as some kind of basic humanity exists between the two people. When all kindness has gone, when one person obviously and sincerely doesn’t care if the other is alive or dead, then it’s just no good. That particular insult to the ego—worse, to the instinct of self-preservation—can never be forgiven. I’ve noticed this in hundreds of marriages. I’ve seen flagrant infidelities patched up, I’ve seen crimes and even murder forgiven by the other party, let alone bankruptcy and every other form of social crime. Incurable disease, blindness, disaster—all these can be overcome. But never the death of common humanity in one of the partners. I’ve thought about this and I’ve invented a rather high-sounding title for this basic factor in human relations. I have called it the Law of the Quantum of Solace.”

    “Quantum of Solace” – Ian Fleming

    You see, our journalistic friends, the vast majority of Bond fans approve of this title because they not only understand the definition of Quantum of Solace, they understand the heart of it. There is no sex, death, and greed in this title, but that was the pre-Casino Royale Bond. There is love, grief, mystery, intrigue, introspection, and poetry within these three words Mr Fleming put together nearing on a half century ago. Bond fans know these are elements of this Bond that the team of Broccoli and Wilson finally have brought back in to sync his literary namesake. You see with this re-thought James Bond character it is not necessary to understand title going in—just as you weren’t expected to understand Silence of the Lambs—the understanding should be on the way out of the theatre.

    Now if you in the press will be will be so kind to not use the phrase ‘007 fans’ as a replacement for ‘a very small amount of 007 fans’ (We haven’t forgotten two years ago), we might just stop using the phrase ’the press‘ in a similar fashion.

    Evan Willnow @ 2008-01-25
  3. Video: The 'Quantum of Solace' B-Roll

    CBn is happy to bring you the complete ‘B-Roll’ footage for Quantum of Solace. While much of this video can be seen in the various news coverage of the film’s press conference. We wanted to make sure our readers could catch every second of the footage.

    QuickTime is required to view the footage.

    Evan Willnow @ 2008-01-24
  4. The CBn Christmas 2007 Podcast

    It’s Christmas time for Bond fans, but Mr. Dunphy has a cold, so this go around is a short one; pretty much Bond 22 and the announcement of the winner’s of last month’s competiton. Evan WillnowPaul DunphyThere are some good bits in the podcast this month. And, yes, it is Paul rather scratchy voice hosting (bless him). Plus there is some Christmas-time Willnowvision.

    But be honest, you still have shopping to do anyway.

    If you’re not sure which version of the Podcast you should know download, may we recommend the Podcast in the “Enhanced” format, as listeners have the added benefit of links to the related stories and “Willnowvision”, where I spend the day pulling together pictures I think you might like to looking at while listening to Paul’s usually dreamy voice.

    If you’re subscribed via iTunes under your Podcast section, click the ‘Update’ button to have the new episode downloaded automatically. If you have iTunes installed Click here to subscribe, or you can find more details on how to do this here.

    We ask that you take a few seconds whilst you’re downloading to review the podcast on iTunes or Digg this article (link at the bottom of the page in with a snazzy new graphic button), to spread the word to other 007 fans. And it makes me feel all warm inside!

    Download Enhanced version (Presented in Willnowvision).

    Download Standard version.

    All of the episodes can be downloaded directly from the bottom of this page or through iTunes.

    Evan Willnow @ 2007-12-22
  5. Young Bond 5's Working Title Steps From The Shadows

    Our friends at The Young Bond Dossier have dug up a secret source to give them the working title of Young Bond book number 5.

    The working title is:

    The Shadow War

    As most fans know working titles can possibly and may likely change—such as the title Double M becoming Blood Fever—but even if the title is changed a working title can give insight and spur imaginations of the upcoming book. Certainly more than a working title like Young Bond 5.

    Evan Willnow @ 2007-10-10
  6. Paul Haggis Returns

    Paul Haggis

    Paul Haggis

    The Los Angeles Times is reporting the that screenwriter Paul Haggis is returning for a second go at Bond. Haggis who penned the final script of the widely heralded Casino Royale will now take script duties from Neal Purvis and Robert Wade for much to the delight of waiting Casino Royale.

    Haggis is currently finishing work on In the Valley of Elah, a film based on a true story of a career officer searching for his soldier son after he returns from Iraq. The LA Times speculates that Sony must have made Haggis a quite lucrative offer in order to take his time from the multitude of other projects Haggis has in the works.

    Many Bond fans who have been praying for Haggis return have now had those prayers answered with this announced return of the Oscar winning writer.

    Evan Willnow @ 2007-05-23
  7. April 007th CBn Podcast Online

    While Paul is away the Sergeant will play—April’s podcast episode is now online. This month—I stand in for Mr Dunphy and talk about The 007 Stage, Bond 22, some Casino Royale, Young Bond and Moneypenny Dairies. And Edward Fox.

    If you’re subscribed via iTunes, under your Podcast section, click the ‘Update’ button to have the new episode downloaded automatically for you. If you have iTunes installed correctly Click here to subscribe. Or you can find details on how to do this here.

    Download Enhanced version.

    Download Standard version.

    You can download all episodes directly from the bottom of this page.

    If you enjoy the podcast, be sure to Digg it! and leave some lovely reviews on iTunes!

    Evan Willnow @ 2007-04-07
  8. Win one of ten copies of 'The Young Bond Rough Guide to London'

    Win one of ten copies of 'The Young Bond Rough Guide to London'

    CommanderBond.net and The Young Bond Dossier are proud to give their readers a chance to win one of ten copies of The Young Bond Rough Guide to London. Those in Southern England can get a copy of The Rough Guide within the 7 April edition of The Guardian. Those outside that area who want a copy are pretty much out of luck.

    That’s where the Young Bond Dossier and CBn come in. We’re giving away 10 copies of The Young Bond Rough Guide to London to our readers—no matter where they live.

    Brought to you by The Young Bond Dossier and CommanderBond.net

    What you need to do to enter:

    First, be or become a member of the CBn forums. (You can register for the CBn forums at this link.) Then send a Communiqué (Private Message) to ‘CBn Competition’ titled ‘Rough Guide’ with the answers to these questions:

    1. What make of car does young James Bond drive in SilverFin?

      1. Bentley
      2. Bamford & Martin
      3. Stutz
    2. Who saves James Bond from the mosquito torture in Blood Fever?

      1. Vendetta
      2. Zoltan
      3. Pritpal
    3. What is the name of Kelly Kelly’s all-female street gang in Double or Die?

      1. The East End Birds
      2. Kelly’s Flying Circus
      3. The Monstrous Regiment
    4. Which London location does James Bond not visit in Double or Die?

      1. Royal Collage of Surgeons
      2. Tower Bridge
      3. Regents Park

    Be sure to include your real name and postal address in the communiqué.

    'The Young Bond Rough Guide to London' Cover

    Winners will be chosen randomly from those with the correct answers. Answers must be submitted by Noon GMT, 12 April, 2007.

    Of those who enter, all that answer question correctly will have their name put into a drawing to choose the ten winner. Winners will be sent a Communiqué/Private Message via the CBn Forums to their Screen Name to inform them of their winning. The winner must respond to this PM within three (3) days with and verify that their post information is correct. Another drawing will be held for the remaining books if any winners fail to respond. Winners will be announced once shipping information has been verified. The item will be shipped from the UK. In the event that a prize has been stolen or mishandled during shipment, CBn will not be able to replace the specific item—this has yet to be a problem.

    Evan Willnow @ 2007-04-02
  9. 'With a delivery like a brick through a plate glass window.'

    Evan Willnow

    It was Major Boothroyd who gave James Bond his trademark PPK before Bond set off to face to villainous Dr. No, For builders of LEGO® James Bond models like myself, we finally have an armourer of our own to similarly equip our James Bond LEGO mini-figures.

    PPK Spy Pistol

    PPK Spy Pistol

    PPK Tactical Spy Pistol

    PPK Tactical Spy Pistol

    That armourer is Will Chapman, owner and operator of BrickArms, a small toy company specializing in original, custom designed LEGO-compatible weapons and custom minifigs.

    BrickArms’ big news this week is the addition of their take on the famous Walther PPK. Or more accurately their two takes on the PPK, as BrickArms now offer the PPK Spy Pistol and the PPK Tactical Spy Pistol which is the regular PPK with a silencer. Both are the perfect weapons for the well-armed plastic British secret agent.

    BrickArms recently sent us one of the prototypes of the PPK Tactical Spy Pistol for our opinion of it.

    And my opinion: Wow! It looks fantastic. The PPK shows Mr Chapman’s knack for putting just the right amount of detail into his weapons to make them look just as if LEGO had made them.

    The PPK is not the only weapon BrickArms offers that would fit in to a LEGO James Bond builder’s arsenal. Other weapons include: SW500 Magnum Revolver for those San Monique models, the PSG1 Sniper Rifle that’s sure to scare the living daylights out of any one, the M47 Shotgun (rock salt not included), and the M1911 .45 cal Handgun which is handy for keeping those French free-runners from escaping the embassy. Just to name a few of their 20 or so LEGO-compatible weapons.

    SW500 Magnum Revolver

    M1911 .45 cal Handgun

    PSG1 Sniper Rifle

    MP5 9mm SMG

    RPG Rocket Grenade

    M23 Pistol

    The well armed plastic spy

    To top it all, BrickArms will even sell you the Spy. BrickArms’ custom Spy figure includes: Black Minifig with custom printed dinner jacket decal with color and metallics inks, the black BrickArms PPK Tactical Spy Pistol (the one with the silencer), a brown briefcase with hidden modified BrickArms Uzi and spare magazine.

    Okay, you may ask yourself as a LEGO snob and a bit of a purist, (never shall that other block company’s merchandise ever cross my door) how can I look you in the eyes and recommend using a custom part? For me, it all comes down to the goals of my models. My goal is to make James Bond models how LEGO would make them had they the rights. If LEGO did have licencing rights for the James Bond series, I am sure Bond‘s gun would look very much like that of BrickArms.

    That is better than good enough for me.
     

    Each of of BrickArms weapons are $1US each. The Spy is priced at $20US. See BrickArms website for more details on pricing and shipping. They do ship nearly worldwide.

    Evan Willnow @ 2007-02-09
  10. Casino Royale. A New Classic.

    Goldfinger.

    I never saw Goldfinger on the big screen. Evan WillnowPerhaps if I had I would have something to reference my experience watching Casino Royale last night. As a James Bond fan seeing Goldfinger on opening night in 1964 is probably the only experience that might have come close. Only if I had been there could I say for sure what I now believe; Casino Royale is by far the best James Bond film ever made.

    Let me give you a little bit of information about myself to qualify this opinion. Since The Living Daylights I have walked out the theatre after every new James Bond film with the feeling that I had just seen the best James Bond film, then after a few months and a few more viewings I have come down to earth and the movie slides down into its position in my list of favourite Bond films. Graphic: CardsThis effect, I believe, is because of the excitement of seeing a new James Bond film gigantic, for the first time up on the big screen, just outweighs seeing the other films for the umpteenth time on the television. Hence, the virgin viewing of Tomorrow Never Dies trumps the seventy-fourth viewing of Goldfinger.

    Casino Royale, however, is different. I’ve never left the theatre with this great of a feeling about a new Bond film. Never.

    You see, Casino Royale is a complete experience. It not just a great Bond film. But also a great film. Casino Royale has achieved something the no other Bond film has achieved; it has three dimensions.

    The Creature From The Black Lagoon.

    I never saw The Creature From The Black Lagoon on the big screen in 3-D. But I did see a trailer for it when I went to see another lousy 3-D film. The Creature’s trailer in 3-D blew me away with the depth of the three dimensional effect. This was the same way that Casino Royale affected me, only Casino’s depth was of character and plot, and not of special cameras and glasses.

    I’ll start with Daniel Craig’s portrayal of James Bond. Craig made James Bond a real person rather than a character. Craig let me feel Bond’s emotions, amazingly even when he was suppressing them. Craig showed me how James Bond could truly fall in love. Craig made me feel the danger and the fear, and made me see how this man Bond could stand up to them.

    Now I love Sean Connery’s James Bond, but the depth just isn’t there. Nor is it there for Lazenby or Moore. The depth Dalton added was a mere embossing. And Brosnan’s attempts to add depth to the character were less The Creature From The Black Lagoon and more Sharkboy and Lavagirl, a movie that would flash on the screen in big text, ‘Put your 3-D glasses on we’re going to add depth now’.

    Graphic: CardsEva Green’s Vesper Lynd was more than three dimensional. I don’t know how many of you have had higher maths, but I recall in some calculus class or another being taught about four dimensional objects moving through three dimensional spaces, and while the object would be of one solid shape in four dimensions, in three it would appear to be a fluid, changing object that could be only truly understood if viewed in four dimensions. Such was the character of Vesper, only at the end of the film, when we knew all of Vesper’s dimensions, did her character’s actions through the film truly take shape. Enigmatic is the word that has been used to describe Vesper, and Miss Green’s complex yet simple approach to Vesper plays perfectly to the word. You see Vesper is a character of… shall we say ‘burdens’ to keep this review spoiler free. Her burdens dictate how she interacts with Bond. And only when seen with that extra dimension is her character’s form fully understood. Until then its concept and its beauty is just a wonder to behold. Miss Green’s own beauty on the other hand is obvious through the whole film.

    Mads Mikkelson turned one of Ian Fleming’s most ordinary villains into the James Bond series’s most fascinating. It has been pointed out that that Le Chiffre is not the megalomanic, ‘let’s start World War III’ type Bond villains, but Le Chiifre unlike all Bond main villains is not even the most evil person in the film. While he is not the greatest evil, he is the centre of evil. Mikkelson plays this near perfection. The fear, the fearlessness, the confidence, the desperation, the sadism, the creepiness (with some points going to the makeup department) each flow steadily from the villain.

    Casino’s lesser players each are displayed in Glorious 3-D Characterisations too. Judi Dench’s M is surprising. Let’s get this straight right now, this is not the same M that gave orders to Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond. This time M is the relic of the Cold War and this time she really does ‘have the balls’.

    Giancarlo Giannini as Mathis makes the best Bond ally ever. His character comes straight from the novel, yet his story improves on the novel.

    Felix Leiter as played by Jeffery Wright manages to do as much with Felix as any of those who had taken the role before him, but with barely the screen time of John Terry.

    Die Hard, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The French Connection, anything Jackie Chan.

    Okay, now these films I saw on the big screen and action-wise, Casino Royale is in these films’ league. More French Connection in Casino’s grit and ability to weave the action into the artistry. More Die Hard and Lost Ark in adrenaline. And Jackie Chan because… well, I’m a big Jackie Chan fan precisely because with every stunt and every action set piece you truly believe that Jackie could get seriously hurt or maybe killed. Casino takes that a step further, while you may know that Jackie Chan might get hurt, you believe his character will survive just fine. (That makes the action greater, but downgrades the film). In Casino you believe that James Bond may not survive. Craig’s Bond may sustain more injuries in this film than a Jackie Chan blooper reel, and definitely more than the previous Bonds had combined.

    Ian Fleming.

    Never has Fleming’s writing been given this much respect. The movie actually felt like the novel. Graphic: CardsNow Msrs. Purvis, Wade, and Haggis may have updated every inch of the story contained in Ian Fleming’s first novel yet still managed to make the only Bond film that felt like the novel it was adapted from. Sure, From Russia With Love and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service are very true content of the novels. Casino Royale is true to much more. It is true to its novel’s spirit. It is true to its novel’s soul.

    A few Bond fans and so-called Bond fans predicted this new film would have Ian Fleming making one of his famous turns in his grave that they seem to think he performs regularly; if true, this roll will be only because Fleming realised the changes that could have been made to improve his first novel. One twist added to a Fleming-sacred character was such an improvement to the story that if the late Mr Fleming’s casket were ever to stir, it surely would have been when that missed opportunity was penned on to the script.

    Casablanca

    I wasn’t born yet. But Casino Royale’s love story set against mystery, intrigue, and danger is near or on this level. Craig’s James Bond and Bogart’s Rick Blaine each in love with Green’s Vesper Lynd and Bergman’s Ilsa Lund respectfully. The parallels are there, only Casino is absent its Victor Laszlo, which surprisingly only makes its love triangle more compelling. And Bond’s final line about Vesper bites harder than ‘We’ll always have Paris’.

    A Classic? I’m really comparing Casino Royale to a Classic? Yes, I am, and I am going to state right here and now that Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson have finally stepped out of the shadow of the James Bond series’ great patriarch, one Albert R ‘Cubby’ Broccoli, and in doing so have finally surpassed him. In doing so they have given us a new Classic.

    Now, I must tell myself that after a few months and a few more viewings I may very well come down to earth and Casino Royale will slide down below Casablanca into its position in my list entitled Best Films Ever Made. It will, however, undoubtedly forever remain atop my list of Best James Bond Films.

    At least, until Bond 22 arrives.

    Casino Royale Rating:Five Stars out of Five

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    1. Daniel Craig is James Bond. Suave and sophisticated. Simply James Bond.
      CBn’s Dave Winter reviews Casino Royale.

    2. Member Reviews: Casino Royale (2006)
      CBn forum members review Casino Royale

    Evan Willnow @ 2006-11-19