Newest Never Say Never Again DVD release

Besides the DVD release of Quantum of Solace, this week will also see a new DVD issue of Never Say Never Again, a non-official 007 movie and Sean Connery’s last bow as James Bond.

The DVD will include commentaries by director Irvin Kershner and Steven Jay Rubin, author of The Complete James Bond Film Encyclopedia. Extras include featurettes called The Big Gamble and Sean Is Back.

Never Say Never Again draws mixed reactions from Bond fans. Many love it because of Connery’s participation. Others feel it’s uneven, possibility because its script was a committee job. The official scripter is Lorenzo Semple Jr., who wrote the pilot for the Adam West Batman series but also dramatic movies such as The Parallax View. In addition, the writing team of Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement did an uncredited revamping job on the screenplay.

Whatever your feelings, you can check out the press release about the newest NSNA release by clicking RIGHT HERE.

Quantum of Solace DVD on Tuesday, reviews out already

The DVD for Quantum of Solace, Daniel Craig’s second outing as 007, is coming out on Tuesday. The reviews are in already. Here’s one from Scotsman.com:

(W)hen Paul Greengrass unleashed The Bourne Ultimatum… it exposed new Bond for the posing, pouch-wearing pretender he was and the franchise for the relic it had become.

That should have been the Bond producers’ cue to ratchet things up, especially since the bewildering success of Casino Royale proved there was still an enormous audience out there for 007 movies. Alas, with a mandate to do whatever they wanted, with Quantum of Solace they chose to try and outdo The Bourne Ultimatum – simply by replicating everything in that film with even more breakneck intensity.

It’s exciting, sure, but so much of it has been seen before that it doesn’t leave you scraping your jaw from the floor. Only when Bond is escaping from the Bergenz Opera House and the sound of gunfire falls away to be replaced by Puccini’s Tosca does Quantum display the kind of sophisticated blend of high culture and gutsy violence that should characterise an ultra-modern Bond film.

To read the entire review, just click RIGHT HERE.

A somewhat nicer review, giving it 8 out of 10:

Quantum of Solace is no Casino Royale, but then it never could be that. What made Casino Royale not only the best James Bond film to date but also a great film in its own right was its emphasis on Bond the man, its retelling of how he became 007, and his tragic relationship with the treacherous Vesper Lynd. Those are all unique to that particular story and can never be duplicated. Instead, QoS is content with being an extended but action-packed epilogue to its more thoughtful and romantic predecessor.

To read the rest, including technical details about picture quality, etc., just CLICK RIGHT HERE.

“Bond girl” rumors began already!

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston

From the “Take It for What It’s Worth” rumor mill department:

Jennifer Aniston is being considered for the “Bond girl” role in the next 007 film, according to The Insider and other show-biz gossip outlets.

Coupled with this “news” is the tidbit that Freida Pinto, late of Slumdog Millionaire, is also being given a screen test opportunity.

Freida Pinto

Freida Pinto


The down time between Bond pictures, usually about halfway between, tends to be “the silly season” of news, rumor, and gossip. It’s comforting to know that the studio’s marketing department is already starting to do their job.

Let the booshwa fly!

Read all about it RIGHT HERE.

A salute (sort of) to the 007 parody Alligator

There have been a number of parodies of Ian Fleming and James Bond over the years. But one that resonates decades after its publication is Alligator, a Harvard Lampoon send-up of Goldfinger.

It’s easy to see why. First take a look at the cover. The Lampoon, which published Alligator in 1962, modeled it after the New American Library paperback versions of Fleming’s novels. The novel’s hero, J*mes B*nd consumes seemingly even more alcohol than Fleming’s Bond did.

The parody’s supposed author was I*n Fl*m*ng. In reality, it was co-written by Michael K. Frith and Cristopher B. Cerf. Cerf’s father was book publisher Bennett Cerf (1898-1971), perhaps best known as a panelist on the long-running (1950-1967, in its CBS incarnation) game show What’s My Line?

As it turns out Christopher Cerf’s brother, Jonathan, also appeared on the game show. Jonathan Cerf worked at the Harvard Lampoon along with Peter Gabel, the son of WML? panelist Arlene Francis. We wish the connection were closer but it’s an amusing clip:

UPDATE: Of course, Arlene Francis’s husband, Martin Gabel, was in the Sean Connery-Alfred Hitchcock movie Marnie. On another occasion, it was Martin Gabel who figured out that Connery was the mystery guest on What’s My Line?

UPDATE II: We would be remiss if we didn’t note that Christopher Cerf went out to a career in writing for children’s programs such as Sesame Street and The Electric Company. You can get the details by checking out Mr. Cerf’s IMDB.COM PAGE.

Vic Flick update: James Bond Now

Wes Britton advises us of the following about Vic Flick, the guitarist on the original rendition of The James Bond Theme:

James Bond Now, a wonderful collection of Vic’s reworkings of classic Bond tunes along with original compositions, can be ordered from Vic himself for $15.00 including shipping and handling by E-mailing Vic direct at: Flight007@aol.com.

You can get it autographed by the “Guitarman” himself! (Guitarman is the name of Vic’s memoir that came out from Bear Manor Media last year—something for book and music aficionados alike!)

Information on the book can be found HERE or HERE

Some family business to take care of

copyright Great Lakes Artists Group

© Great Lakes Artists Group

From the Hey, Sometimes You Gotta Help Your Brudda Nepotism Department:

This has absolutely nothing to do with James Bond. On the other hand, my brother, James Baack, would qualify as a “friend of HMSS,” so this kind of squeaks in under the threshold…

The Bloody Rage of Bigfoot is a film project James has been working on for some time. It combines his interest in cryptozoology with his passion for Grade-Z cheapo monster movies. I worked up a poster for him (mostly just for fun), which he put on his website, along with some behind-the-scenes photographs of the production.

Of course, you never know what could happen with things thrown willy-nilly onto the Web. Somehow, some European horror film websites glommed on to the poster image, leading to some Internet chatter, which was eventually picked up by the more-or-less reliable JoBlo Movie Network! You can read the full story in their “Arrow in the Head” section: Bloody Bigfoot in 3D?! .

So, stop by JoBlo’s site to express your support and enthusiasm for this upcoming classic of the Cinéma du Sasquatch. Now that the marketing campaign has begun, it’s coming time for James to actually make the movie!

— Paul Baack

“The Rarest Of the Rare”

golden-gunIf, during these terrific economic times, you’ve got an extra fifteen-and-a-half thousand dollars burning a hole in your pocket, then Bauman Rare Books has got just the item for you.

“THE RAREST, BY FAR, OF THE BOND BOOKS” is the 1965 Jonathan Cape first issue of Ian Fleming’s The Man with the Golden Gun, with a gilt-embossed golden gun on the front of the binding. “Octavo, original gilt-stamped black cloth, patterned endpapers, original dust jacket… housed in a a custom clamshell box.”

High production costs for this particular edition led Cape to switch to an edition without the gilt-stamped gun. They have no record of how many copies were produced with the gun; expert’s estimates are less than 300. This is most likely something you’re not going to stumble over at your local swap meet, or at your neighbor’s garage sale.

The complete details can be found RIGHT HERE, as well as your opportunity to place your order for it. Bauman has a nice collection of rare and first edition Fleming; as well as, no doubt, some other authors, if anybody cares.

So, wax up your credit card and pay them a visit. Tell ’em HMSS sent you; they’ll no doubt be impressed.

Return of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. out on DVD

The Return of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., the 1983 made-for-TV movie, came out on DVD this week. It wasn’t included when the original series came out on DVD in 2007. So here’s a look, starting with the main titles:

Gerald Fried, the veteran composer who did more MFU episodes than any other composer, was hired for the ’83 TV movie and did the arrangement of the Jerry Goldsmith theme. While OK, some fans aren’t happy with it. However, Mike Post was the choice at one time to be the composer for Return. Fried ended up being one one of two U.N.C.L.E. crew members on the film. (Director of photography Fred Koenekamp being the other).

The U.N.C.L.E. TV movie also featured George Lazenby (sort of) reprising his role as James Bond. It was filmed at the same time Roger Moore was going before the cameras in Octopussy and Sean Connery in Never Say Never Again. Thus, it was the only time all of the actors playing Bond were doing the role (sort of, at least) at the same time. Take a look:

Of course, it should be remembered that Ian Fleming helped (in a small way; Sam Rolfe did the heavy lifting) to create the original show.

The biography of Auric Goldfinger?

At HMSS, we’re not much into James Bond fan fiction. Why would you put all the time and energy into something you (legally) wouldn’t be able to publish? And, as any aspiring James Bond writer should know, Ian Fleming Publications is not looking for any new Bond authors, or looking at any unsolicited manuscripts.

Having said that, however, we’ve tripped over somebody who’s come up with a pretty cool idea. Roland Hulme, on his Militant Ginger blog, has posted his idea for, and prologue to, a fictionalized biography of one Mr. Auric Goldfinger. Called The First Edition Death Warrant, it examines Goldfinger’s obsessions, his personal drives, and his history. As Mr. Hulme puts it,goldfinger

I imagined the story of this man’s life. It was exciting, erotic and macabre. As a young man, I envisioned him as a noble sort, outwitting Nazis and Russians during World War II. However, as his obsession with the ‘purity’ of gold increased, Goldfinger himself became more and more corrupt.

We think this is a novel (no pun intended) idea, with some degree of merit. Ian Fleming’s villains are such terrific characters, and loom so large in our imaginations, that we think something like this could be a fascinating read. Hulme says he’s contacted the estate of Ian Fleming to see if they’d be interested. We wish him luck!

Read all about it at the Militant Ginger.

Penguin UK 007 reissues Designer speaks

penguincr FaceOut Books is a blog dedicated to the celebration of book cover design. It’s March 9 update features an interview with designer and illustrator Michael Gillette, who created the covers for the Penguin UK Ian Fleming reissues.

He offers some interesting insights on the reissue’s raison d’être and some of the marketing thought behind them:   “…Penguin wanted to tap into the giant audience that watches the films but has had no interest thus far in the literature. The mandate was always to keep them in the tradition of the films rather than the fiction.”

Read the whole shebang RIGHT HERE.