Tag Archive: James Bond


 

Dynamite has announced its next James Bond comic book series.  Promising more focus on 007’s spycraft, the monthly series Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 will be coming to comic shops this summer.  This time writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson partners with artist Marco Finnegan to adapt the latest tie-in for the long-running British spy franchise.  Bond finds himself outplayed on a Russian excursion, forced to eliminate an asset he was meant to extract.  A shootout with his enemy counterparts leaves Bond with more questions than answers… questions about their American accents, their cutting-edge technology, and most importantly, how they seem to know so much about him.

Check out some covers and interior art below, courtesy of Dynamite.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Streaming service Paramount+’s 2021 release Infinite has elements of Fast & Furious, Doctor Strange, Bloodshot, Captain America: Winter Soldier, New Mutants, The Adjustment Bureau, and Mortal Kombat.  Lots of tropes are blended into this expensive, giant, sci-fi action fantasy mash-up.  Infinite isn’t as good as any of these movies, but if you subscribe to Paramount+ you’ll find worse ways to spend a few hours.

The biggest surprise is Infinite is not derived from an existing property like a video game or comic book.  At the center is Mark Wahlberg as a man named Evan McCauley, raised to believe he was schizophrenic (a la Moon Knight) only to find he is part of a supernatural truth where 500 people have the power to recall their reincarnated pasts, and he’s one of them–only he doesn’t remember.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Thunderball–the word itself conjures James Bond–the meaning of the word as an atomic bomb mushroom cloud has taken a backseat to Ian Fleming’s ninth spy novel from 1961, and the fourth Bond movie that filled theaters for Christmas 1965.  The novel is primarily Fleming’s own detailed, descriptive Bond character study, but with a twist: The story ideas are a combination of scenes created and introduced in screenplay drafts by two other writers.  Thunderball was eyed initially among the first nine novels as the one worthy of becoming the first movie adaptation.  But conflicts among who created what in a writers room before Fleming wrote the novel would be the source of a lawsuit that sidelined the movie and ultimately resulted in five writers (including Richard Maibaum, John Hopkins, Jack Whittingham, and Kevin McClory) named in the movie credits.  It also resulted in the quirky, additional film adaptation, Never Say Never Again, in 1983.  The novel, with its external inputs, is still among Fleming’s best–it’s a combination of all the best elements of Fleming’s adventure and action man writing, a one-stop shop of sorts for anyone looking for a single Bond story that has it all.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

TCM’s film reference library of books has looked at the best sci-fi and horror movies, dynamic actresses, Christmas movies, summer hits, noir and war movies, plus it’s highlighted more than 100 movies that are the best of the best–with another book that looks at the best of a century of movie directors.  Tomorrow movie fans finally get the first exploration of the greatest stunt work from a century of film and the people behind it all in Danger on the Silver Screen: 50 Films Celebrating Cinema’s Greatest Stunts (available for pre-order now here at Amazon).  From an icy peril in 1920’s Way Down East to a harrowing drive through Atlanta in 2017’s Baby Driver, readers will see how it’s done from contemporary accounts and new interviews.
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Review by C.J. Bunce

The 355 is the latest spy movie, a team-up of agents from different nations, starring three-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain, Oscar winners Lupita Nyong’o and Penélope Cruz, and Bingbing Fan, winner of comparable Chinese awards.  It’s not a serious suspense thriller, and easier to compare–at least on paper–to the big-budget, all-star actress team-up of Ocean’s 8, but you may find The 355 more fun and executed better.  And although it boasts a lot of Academy Award street cred, it’s the co-star without the Oscar nods who really steals the show.

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When I was a kid the only place you could find Playmobil toys was as giveaways in McDonald’s Happy Meals.  But that was then.  A year ago Playmobil was promoting a high-end line of Ghostbusters tie-in toys along with a new DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future (check them out here).  With its latest releases of movie and TV tie-ins, Playmobil is upping its game.  That includes a giant Star Trek starship Enterprise playset chock full of figures (including the original series’ nicely detailed Mid-Century Modern Burke bridge chairs!).  It also includes James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5–the one from Goldfinger and brought back for No Time to Die And their van and figures from The A-Team is being promoted with a slick commercial that is not to be missed.  Check them all out below, including links to be the first to nab yours from Amazon or Entertainment Earth, with Amazon currently running a 25% discount promotion on the Enterprise playset.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

No Time to Die It’s the 25th official James Bond movie and the 27th if you include the independent movie Never Say Never Again and the first version of Casino Royale, all part of the longest running movie blockbuster franchise that began in 1962 with Dr. No.  For those hoping for just one more Daniel Craig Bond movie: note that they should have quit while they were ahead, and rolled Spectre into a Daniel Craig finale.  No Time to Die is a slow, plodding retread of the Spectre plot.  It has a new main villain and several minor ones, but it’s missing all the style of previous Bond outings.  That’s thanks to the studio selecting movie director Cary Fukunaga for his first foray into big-budget cinema and using an over-long script that took five writers to create.  After a long wait–it’s been six years since Spectre and this was initially set for an April 2020 release–No Time to Die is finally streaming on Vudu and other outlets at sell-through prices.  But you may want to save your money and wait until it comes to Netflix or cable.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

You’ll want to check out the end of the first issue of Titan Comics and Hard Case Crime’s new series Gun Honey to learn how writer/creator Charles Ardai came up with the title.  Gun Honey is a new comic book series about a woman who can get the weapons you want for the right price.  The series is a mix of international locales a la James Bond, with the style movie audiences saw and heard in Guy Ritchie’s 2015 movie The Man from U.N.C.L.E.–you can almost hear the soundtrack.  She’s the latest of a long line of anti-hero, badass femmes fatales in comics dating back to Miss Fury.  And artist Ang Hor Kheng does the character and the genre justice, providing a sexy new character in a world of intrigue, duplicity, and the need for an alter ego.

Check out a preview of the first issue below, along with a preview of several of the series’ incredible cover variants from the likes of Bill Sienkiewicz, Robert McGinnis, Adam Hughes, Kendrick Lim, Jay Anacleto, Chris Wahl, Kendrick Lim, Ivan Tao, Warren Louw, Lesley Li, Fay Dalton, Andrea Camerini, and more.

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Beast of the Stapletons

Review by C.J. Bunce

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1902 story The Hound of the Baskervilles finds a sequel 120 years later in the latest Sherlock Holmes spin-off novel from writer James Lovegrove.  Readers will find further adventures of not only that novella, but more connections to past works in Sherlock Holmes and The Beast of the Stapletons, a novel in the same series as the author’s Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon, previously reviewed here at borg.   The question for readers of Lovegrove’s other works, including his Cthulhu Casebook novels and other stories from Titan Books, is: Will he or won’t he? That is, will the beast of the title be something out of the real world (as in Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon) or, as in his Cthulhu tie-ins, something from the world of fantasy?  The best part of this story is the absence for the bulk of the tale of Sherlock’s right arm, Dr. John Watson, who tends toward the whiny and needy in past recent retellings.  A new, interesting foil steps in for this mystery, taking Holmes more in the direction of another famous British franchise.

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It was only a little more than six years ago that we were discussing here at borg the first trailer for the first reboot of The Equalizer What would become two major action blockbusters starred Denzel Washington as Robert McCall, a role originally cast in the 1980s by British actor Edward Woodward in a successful four-season television series.  Denzel proved exactly what we believed:  What made McCall’s character had nothing to do with the color of his skin.  In fact Washington’s retired former special ops operative was one of the best badass action characters to hit the big screen in the past decade–Washington truly made the character his own.  Next month the series gets its second reboot as Queen Latifah fills in the shoes as lead heroine, playing not Robert but Robyn McCall in the new network TV series The Equalizer Check out the trailer for the series below.

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