007/Hawaii Five-O part III (the end, we hope)

OK, we’ve milked this for all it’s worth. But how in heaven’s name could we have forgotten this one?

Harold Sakata 007: Played Oddjob, Goldfinger’s lead henchman in the 1964 movie with the villain’s name as the title (and just to be clear it was called Goldfinger not Oddjob). Five-O: Played a thug in a fifth-season episode called “I’m A Family Crook — Don’t Shoot.” The lead guest star is Andy Griffith who, in effect, plays the dark side of his Andy Taylor character, the father of a family of grifters.

The resemblance to The Andy Griffith Show isn’t a coincidence. The episode was directed by Bob Sweeney, who helmed many of the early Andy Griffith Show episodes. By this time, he was supervising producer on the Five-O series. The script by Jerome Coopersmith combines humor with some very serious violence (which consumes, among others, the Sakata character).

Quentin Tarantino: ‘Daniel Craig shouldn’t be James Bond’


Daniel Craig wouldn’t be playing James Bond — if director Quentin Tarantino had his way.

The eccentric movie maker said he would like to have directed Casino Royale — but with Pierce Brosnan as the suave British spy.

“The reason they did Casino Royale all comes down to me,” Quentin said.

“I made it a point, I said I wanted to do Casino Royale. They were already on record as saying the movie was unfilmable but then after I said it and talked about it for a little bit — then the big thing on all the internets was that that was what all the fans wanted to see and so that’s when they said, ‘Oh, maybe it’s not so un-filmable.’

“Actually if I had done the film, I wouldn’t have done it with Daniel Craig, I would have done it with Pierce Brosnan.”

007/Hawaii Five-O part II

A few connections we forgot with the previous post:

Anthony Zerbe 007: Played Milton Krest, lead henchman to villain Franz Sanchez in 1989’s License to Kill. The character was actually taken from an Ian Fleming short story. Five-O: Played a vigilante who wants to “assist” Five-O in the sixth-season episode “Mother’s Deadly Helper.”

Don Stroud 007: Played Heller, another one of Franz Sanchez’s underlings in License to Kill. Like Krest, Heller perishes after Bond sows the seeds of doubt in Sanchez about the loyalty of his thugs. Five-O: Appeared in three episodes.

Triads of Hong Kong 007: Part of Raymond Benson’s first James Bond novel Zero Minus Ten. Five-O: A key part of the series ninth-season opening episode “Nine Dragons,” arguably the most Bond-like story with Wo Fat again the main villain.

The Huffington Post celebrates Goldfinger!

Sean Connery, Shirley Eaton, and Ian Fleming on the set of GOLDFINGER

Sean Connery, Shirley Eaton, and Ian Fleming on the set of GOLDFINGER

We’re not sure how many of our readers are also readers of the politically-left website The Huffington Post, but political analyst William Bradley has posted a quite nice tribute to the James Bond film Goldfinger, on the occasion of its 45th anniversary.

Mr. Bradley is clearly a long-standing and knowledgeable fan, and writes quite lovingly of what obviously is his favorite 007 picture. The (rather lengthy) post is loaded with embedded YouTube videos which will spark your nostalgia, and is followed by a spirited discussion in the Reader’s Comments section.

Another ’60s Anniversary: The Ur-Action Blockbuster Goldfinger is a happy way for a Bond fan to while away a little time, and is certainly deserving of your attention.

A James Bond museum near Chicago?

Dateline Momence, Illinois, as chronicled by http://www.mytimesweb.com:

A former Momence auto dealership is being eyed by the Ian Fleming Foundation as a potential location for a James Bond museum that would display many vehicles used in the fictional British secret agent movies.

Doug Redenius, a Momence post office employee and the vice president of the Ian Fleming Foundation, addressed Momence aldermen about using the former Case Motor Sales dealership near the intersection of Illinois Route 1 and Illinois 114 on the city”s south side to display the vehicles valued at $5 million.

Momence is about a 90-minute drive (depending on traffic) south of Chicago (part of 2002’s Road to Perdition was filmed there). The town is already home to many 007 vehicles. There seem to be a lot of issues to be resolved (like who would run such a museum) and no timetable set for anything.

To read the entire story just CLICK HERE.

To read a previous HMSS story about Doug Redenius, CLICK HERE.

007/Hawaii Five-O connections

Some James Bond connections to television shows are natural. There are ties between 007 and The Avengers TV series because both were filmed in the U.K. There are a lot of ties between 007 and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. But there are surprising number of connections between James Bond movies and the Hawaii Five-O TV series that ran from 1968 to 1980.

Here are a few:

Jack Lord: played the screen’s first Felix Leiter in Dr. No while also playing Five-O’s Steve McGarrett through the entire run of the series. Rose Freeman, widow of Five-O creator Leonard Freeman, told fans attending a 1996 Five-O convention in the Los Angeles area that Lord was cast only five days before production of the pilot began.

Soon-Tek Oh: played Lt. Hip in the 1974 007 film The Man With The Golden Gun. Five-O: appeared in at least eight episodes, including the pilot as one of arch-villain Wo Fat’s techicians and another Wo Fat episode (The Jinn Who Clears The Way) as a dupe of Wo Fat.

Yao Lin Chen (billed as Chan Yiu Lam): played badass Kung Fu guy Chula in Golden Gun that Roger Moore’s 007 is (unbeliveably) able to overcome. Five-O: appears as a doomed undercover Hong Kong police operative who gets hacked to pieces in the ninth-season episode (and another Wo Fat story) “Nine Dragons.”

Maud Adams: appeared in both Golden Gun and as the title character of Octopussy. Five-O: appears as a spy in the 1977 episode “Deep Cover.”

Luciana Paluzzi: appeared as SPECTRE hitwoman Fiona in Thunderball, arguably overshadowing the film’s lead actress, Claudine Auger. Five-O: appears as an opinionated Italian journalist in a 1978 episode, “My Friend, The Enemy.” At the end of the episode, Danno has asked her out for a date but McGarrett intends to pull rank and grab an evening with her for himself. Momma mia!

George Lazenby: The first screen 007 to follow Sean Connery in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Five-O: appears in the two-hour 11th season finale in 1979, “The Year of the Horse,” filmed in Singapore. This would also be James MacArthur’s final appearance in the series, with the actor deciding to exit the show.

Donald Pleasance: The first screen Blofeld to actually show his face in You Only Live Twice. Five-O: a German-born scientist working for the U.S. who is actually under the control of Wo Fat in the fourth-season episode The 90-Second War Part II, which had its first run in 1971.

Casino Royale still influencing the masses

With Parkour, the whole world’s a playground – Fast growing extreme sport offers thrills, raises safety concerns
By Jacqueline Stenson
July 21, 2009
Chad Bowers didn’t learn about his favorite new workout at the gym or by reading an article about it. He watched videos on YouTube, where people have posted thousands of clips of themselves jumping over benches and railings, leaping down flights of stairs, climbing up walls and fences, and swinging from playground equipment and tree branches.

They’re practicing parkour, an extreme sport rooted in French military training that has been spreading to cities across America. Parkour fans are typically people like Bowers who discover it on the Internet and then start up local parkour clubs that get together for “jams.”

Bowers, 20, a junior at Drury University in Springfield, Mo., started practicing parkour almost a year ago. He met with more experienced practitioners – known as “traceurs” (males) or “traceuses” (females) — in Kansas City and St. Louis, and he and a friend created a group called Springfield Parkour.

The group is organized on Facebook and gathers on Saturdays at a local park where activities include warming up, performing calisthenics and practicing moves such as landing and rolling. Then they go “run around downtown Springfield,” says Bowers, jumping and climbing on benches, fountains and parking garages.

Essentially, the world is one big playground for them.

Running, jumping and rolling on cement or vaulting over walls — usually without protective gear — might not seem all that appealing or smart to the average person. But parkour and a related activity called freerunning have been glamorized in videos, TV commercials and movies such as “Casino Royale,” attracting young people — mostly guys, though more women and girls are getting involved — who are seeking out new adventure and alternative ways to get in shape.

“I like that it is a great workout, a total body workout,” says Bowers. “It’s a great way to challenge yourself, to test what your mind can do, and it’s also a lot of fun.”

Sometime later this year, MTV is planning to air a special titled “Ultimate Parkour Challenge,” which will feature eight top parkour athletes competing and performing stunts such as jumping between buildings. Victor Bevine, one of the show’s co-executive producers and a co-founder of the World Freerunning and Parkour Federation, of which the eight athletes belong, says the show is “very much not ‘Jackass.’” The athletes have prepared extensively for their stunts, he says.

Parkour is often defined as getting from “point A to point B as quickly and efficiently as possible using only the human body,” says Mark Toorock, a parkour trainer who owns the gym Primal Fitness in Washington, D.C., and runs americanparkour.com.

But that definition isn’t entirely accurate, Toorock says. For example, the quickest and most efficient way to travel three city blocks would be to run straight, not climb and jump over nearly every object along the way. “We do it for training purposes because walking up the stairs doesn’t challenge us,” he says.

Freerunning is an offshoot of parkour that refers to creative moves such as flips and spins and other gymnastic-style stunts.

Risks for the overly daring
Nobody knows how many people practice parkour, but Bevine estimates the number is in the “tens of thousands” worldwide. “It is the fastest growing extreme sport in the world,” he claims.

Toorock agrees that the sport, which he says was introduced to America around 2004, is “definitely growing,” particularly in urban areas such as Miami, Chicago, Denver, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.

While parkour fans enjoy the thrills and freedom of the sport, it can carry risks, particularly for the untrained and the overly daring.

Some of the top parkour athletes, such as parkour originator and French actor David Belle and the competitors in the MTV show, might jump from one rooftop to another, but that’s not what average parkour practitioners do, Toorock says.

“Our message is very clear — you have to practice safely,” he says. At his gym, people practice their moves indoors with trainers, learning how to land and roll safely before heading outdoors. Participants are advised to take things slowly, hone their techniques and get in strong physical shape.

While there are no statistics on injuries from parkour, Jeffrey Ross, a spokesperson for the American College of Sports Medicine and an associate clinical professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, suspects there could be a significant number.

Never a dull moment
With all the jumps and falls, participants risk stress fractures, ankle and knee sprains, and ligament injuries, among other potential problems, says Ross, a foot and ankle specialist. And the sport could be quite dangerous if participants attempted over-the-top stunts such as jumping from one building to another, he says.

It would be a huge mistake for beginners fascinated by the performances of elite parkour athletes on a TV show or Web video to take the sport too far too fast, cautions Jessica Matthews, a personal trainer and spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise in San Diego.

“I fear that individuals won’t realize the amount of work and groundwork that these [top parkour athletes] have gone through to get to that point,” she says.

Above all, she advises, “Don’t just view a video and go out and try to recreate that.”

And while parkour practitioners relish the unfettered freedom of the sport, Matthews strongly recommends protective gear such as a helmet and elbow and knee pads, at the very least for beginners.

“The thrill is being out there and being free and being creative,” she says. “But the No. 1 concern for us is that it’s done safely.”

On the plus side, Matthews says, parkour may encourage physical fitness because it’s “outside of the box.” In particular, it may appeal to people who would otherwise not stay active because they don’t like exercising in “the confines of a gym.”

That was a big draw for Phil Howe, 24, who trains at Primal Fitness in Washington, D.C., and goes to local parkour jams.

“I wanted to do something that wasn’t so rules-based, or going to a gym and staying in a gym,” he says.

And with parkour, there’s never a dull moment, says Howe. “My biggest goal is to keep things interesting and definitely there’s no lack of that.”

© 2009 msnbc.com. Reprints
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31926973/ns/health-fitness/

“Young Bond” headed to the big screen?

Illustration by Kev Walker, lifted from the Young Bond Dossier website.

Illustration by Kev Walker, lifted from the Young Bond Dossier website.

According to the July 19 The Herald, a cinematic adaptation of the first “Young Bond” novel, Silverfin, might be in the works.

As hopes — although were not sure whose — for a Devil May Care film slip over the event horizon, thoughts return to a parallel film series about the adventures of a teenaged James Bond. Officially, Ian Fleming Publications refuses to comment, and a spokeswoman for EON Productions says “there’s nothing in the works at the moment.” Charlie Higson, author of the “Young Bond” series, also offers that he’s “… not really involved with that and… not privy to what goes on behind closed doors of MI6.”

Naturally, such nonspecific denials fuel the fires of speculation for fans of the juvenile series. You can read all about it at the Herald website.

HMSS advises not holding your breath.

Around the (Google) Earth with James Bond

Take a trip around the world using Google Earth to view some of the most famous locations of the James Bond film series. Just copy and paste the coordinates into the “Fly To” bar, and off you go!

British Secret Service HQ, London

British Secret Service headquarters

First off, we’ll start with, 007’s place of employment:
MI6 Headquarters/SIS Building, London, UK
51° 29′ 8.33″N 0° 7′ 36.38″W

Visit lots of other locations, starting RIGHT HERE .

Salute to Luciana Paluzzi

One of our favorite 007 femme fatales, Luciana Paluzzi, turned 72 last month. So we figured that was as good an excuse to honor her here.

Of course, most Bond fans remember her as Fiona, member of SPECTRE’s execution branch, in Thunderball. Here’s the trailer:

Here she is in a similar role in To Trap a Spy, the theatrical movie version of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. pilot. This is extra footage used to extend the story to movie length. A toned down version of this footage would appear in the episode The Four-Steps Affair.

A few years later, she re-teamed with Robert Vaughn in The Venetian Affair (based on a Helen MacInnes novel and had nothing to do with U.N.C.L.E.). Here’s that trailer:

And, finally, here’s the trailer for one of her lesser credits, The Green Slime.