007 Magazine’s new issue is out

Our buddy Graham Rye’s 007 Magazine has a new issue out, and it deals with the Daniel Craig era of James Bond films. The issue is devoted to Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace and suggests “Bond 23″‘s ultimate title may be Property of a Lady. The latter is a title of a 007 short story by Ian Fleming; the plot informed part of the 1983 Bond film Octopussy.

You can try to access the magazine’s Web site BY CLICKING HERE but you’ll need a password to access the site.

Craig says Quantum of Solace may not have been that good

Daniel Craig has acknowledged that Quantum of Solace, well, may not have been the best James Bond movie.

At least this how he described it in an interview with the U.K. newspaper The Telegraph:

After a period of not doing it, Craig will soon be doing it again – a prospect he’s genuinely excited by: “The hiatus may prove to be a good thing, because I’m itching to have another crack at it, particularly after Quantum of Solace. We had to cobble that one together because it was made in the midst of the writers’ strike, and it had an effect on the finished product, no doubt.”

For readers of this blog, that’s not exactly shocking news. We wrote about how the 2008 James Bond movie doesn’t hold up well. Still, that hasn’t stopped fanboys from opining on 007 message boards that Quantum of Solace is a great triumph of the cinema and if people don’t like it, well, it’s their failing, not the film’s.

Will Craig’s comment cause fanboys to re-evaluate? Highly doubtful. Fanboys, once they’ve made up their minds, refuse to acknowledge the obvious.

In our opinion, Craig’s comments are pretty conservative. It’s easy to blame the writer’s strike of late 2007. That gives a pass to Quantum’s confusing editing and even more confusing logic. Quantum was supposed to take place shortly after 2006’s Casino Royale. But the 2008 sequel has multiple continuity gaffes.

And the gaffes aren’t little things. They’re big things such as Mathis was being interrogated at the end of Casino and Bond said MI6 needed to keep “sweating him.” Yet, in Quantum, we’re told MI6 has cleared Mathis and supposedly bought him a villa *mere minutes* after the end of Casino. Even if there had NEVER been a writer’s strike, Quanum was a big fat mess. Fanboys, though, refuse to accept that.

In any case, you can read the entire Telephgraph story BY CLICKING HERE.

UPDATE (AUG. 14) — Over on the MI6 James Bond fan Web site, there’s a THREAD ON THE DISCUSSIONS GROUP that reproduces a page of the Esquire story on Daniel Craig. This quote is part of that story:

Quantum of Solace, he says, was a difficult film to make. It was shot without a finished script because of a Hollywood writers’ strike, “which is never a good fucking thing, especially on a movie of that size.” The film “wasn’t as satisfying experience as I’d have liked it to have been.”

Daniel Craig says Bond 23 will be a `classic Bond’

Daniel Craig, in an interview with Cowboys And Aliens director Jon Favreau, ventured into a few comments about Bond 23. Among them:

— “I read the script the other day and I’m more excited about this than Casino (Royale),” the actor said, “because we’ve got a classic Bond movie plus lots of other things.”

— Bond 23 director Sam Mendes “has a sort of fervor and energy to really direct a Bond movie with a capital ‘B.'” Mendes, Craig said, “has read every book and soaked up everything about it.”

Take a look for yourself:

In a different section of the interview, Craig tells Favreau what it was like to be cast as Bond in 2005:

A 007 actor and his fanboys

If you were to believe rabid fans of Daniel Craig and his two films as James Bond, this video would be quite significant:

The video was taken during the premier of Cowboys and Aliens. To those who believe Daniel Craig is the *very best* James Bond ever (never mind Connery, never mind Moore, never mind any other 007 actor or *potential* Bond actor), this video is proof of that.

To that we offer a few observations:

1) The only obligation an actor has to fans is to deliver the best performance he or she can deliver. Nodding to fanboys is something to endure, not anything more significant than that.

2) Actors have multiple obligations; chances are he/she is not a particular fan of the character he/she is playing. Actors have their own careers to take of and portraying a character in a movie, TV series or play is just a job. In Daniel Craig’s case, do you really think he cares more about Bond than his Cowboys and Aliens character? Here’s the breathless description of the YouTube video above: “Amazingly, at the premiere of Cowboys and Aliens, Craig notices three fans wearing perfect Madagascar outfits from Casino Royale and gives his approval not once but THREE times!”

3) For those actors who are playing a well-known character played by multiple actors previously…well, it will probably take years before any one actor’s performance can be properly evaluated compared with the others. To cite an extreme case: Ricardo Cortez played Sam Spade a decade before Humphrey Bogart did, yet ALMOST NOBODY (to be kind) would cite Cortez’s portrayal to be superior to Bogart’s version. Are 007 fanboys really in a position to evaluate Craig compared with the other five actors who’ve played Bond in films?

Put another way: is Craig’s portrayal of Bond closer to Bogie’s as Spade or to Cortez’s as Spade? Does anyone *really* know at this point? Would Craig himself even care as long as the paychecks clear?

The hair salon for 007 fans?

Two readers included the video link below in response to posts. Since they’re so eager to share, we just thought we’d make a separate post. Presumably the proprietor is a fan of the Daniel Craig version of 007

Daniel Craig briefly talks about Bond 23 to IGN

Daniel Craig, while promoting the upcoming Cowboys and Aliens movies, did a little ducking and weaving when asked by IGN about Bond 23.

“You’ll just have to wait and see,” Craig told IGN. Director Sam Mendes “is so on top of this, it’s great.”

The interviewer asks if traditional elements will be back while having a darker take. We suspect you shouldn’t read too much into Craig’s comments but see for yourself. The exchange about Bond 23 is not long and was at the end of the interview:

UPDATE: EW.com, Entertainment Weekly’s Web site, hypes its interview with Craig and Harrison Ford. Craig is quoted as saying he didn’t like either Sean Connery or Pierce Brosnan much as 007. You can CLICK HERE to see the item.

Peter Graves’ unanswered Call to Danger

Call to Danger was an idea that refused to go away. It never became a series but it affected one show that did.

The notion behind Call to Danger was that the U.S. government would maintain information on citizens with unusual abilities and talents. Such people would be enlisted to provide help for investigators on important cases. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. would end up using a variation of this idea with the “innocent” characters who would become involved (sometimes by design, sometimes by accident) in assignments Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin carried out.

CBS commissioned a half-hour pilot of Call to Danger in 1961. That version starred Larry Blyden (later an U.N.C.L.E. episode innocent), according to Patrick J. White’s 1991 book, The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier. While it didn’t sell, it remained on the minds of CBS executives.

In 1967, CBS tried again, this time commissioning an hour version starring Peter Graves. It sported a theme by Morton Stevens, who ran CBS’s West Coast music operation. Stevens had the choice of hiring composers or assigning jobs to himself. Once more, it didn’t sell although CBS managed to get the pilot on the air as part of something called Premier (which appears to have been a way to broadcast unsold pilots). Here’s how it started:

Meanwhile, Steven Hill had been fired after the first season of Mission: Impossible. No replacement had been lined up. According to White’s book, CBS liked Graves’ performance in Call to Danger. The network, according to White’s book, suggested to the brass at Desilu (the maker of Mission) that Graves would be just the man to take over as the mastermind of the Impossible Missions Force. That, of course, is exactly what happened, with Graves filling the new role of Jim Phelps.

CBS and Stevens also found other uses for the Call to Danger theme. For one thing, it was put on the 1969 Hawaii Five-O soundtrack. Also, a much-shortened version would be used as part of CBS specials:

After Mission: Impossible completed its run in 1973, a third Call to Danger pilot was made, once again starring Graves. The call went unanswered yet again. It started like this:

New York compares Rupert Murdoch to 007 villains

New York magazine’s editor, Adam Moss, and its star essayist, Frank Rich, engaged in a dialogue on the publication’s Web site about the unfolding phone hacking scandal involving News Corp. and its chief executive, 80-year-old Rupert Murdoch. Inevitably, there were comparisons between the media mogul and the adversaries of a certain gentleman agent.

Here’s the key excerpt:

Adam: There really is no one like Murdoch in the world — and no company like his, which manages to be both a rogue operation and a hugely successful corporate behemoth at the same time. That’s a neat trick to pull off. (snip) And News Corp. — what a name! Could have been coined by Ian Fleming (or a whole host of more conspiratorial fantasists). In fact, Murdoch has always seemed to me more like a James Bond villain** — with their placid exteriors and raging interiors — than any other corporate executive I know. He revels in it. Most corporate cultures are bland as a matter of strategy. But not his.

Frank: To me, the Rosebud** that animates Murdoch is the “me-against-the-world” chip on his shoulder — he is indeed a Bond villain to the core.

To further make the point, the Web site includes a still of Gert Frobe playing the title character of Goldfinger, the third James Bond film. New York, though, passed up the chance to include an image of Elliott Carver (Jonathan Pryce) from 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies, a character who was a media baron. This clip begins with a scene of Carver addressing his underlings, one of whom was played by Eon Productions co-boss Michael G. Wilson.

Hawaii Five-O season 11 DVDs go on sale Sept. 20, CBS says

CBS has started running ads saying the Hawaii Five-O season 11 DVD set will be out on Sept. 20. Here’s one of them:

For the ad, CBS uses the 1:30 version of Morton Stevens’s theme music from the 1968 TV movie pilot. Anyway, we we’ve noted before, season 11 includes appearances by one-time TV spies Robert Vaughn and Ross Martin as well as former James Bond George Lazenby. Star Jack Lord, of course, was also the first screen Felix Leiter.

Here’s the introduction (with German titles) for the first episode of season 11, “The Sleeper”:

UPDATE: Mike Quigley’s Five-O Home Page says, based on a version now available on Netflix, that one season 11 episode, The Execution File, has been stripped of a Rod Stewart song (presumably for music rights reasons). You can check out his report BY CLICKING HERE and scrolling down to the July 4 update. The Web site also has a comparison of the original and Netflix version that you can check out BY CLICKING HERE.

Quigley’s report says the two-part episode Number One With a Bullet, based on the Netflix version, does retain a number of disco songs. They’re actually important to the story, which is about a conflict between Hawaiian and Mainland gangsters for control over Hawaiian discos. Here’s the start of that story, once again with German titles and this time with German dialogue dubbed in.

UPDATE II: Mike Quigley’s site says the original disco music was DROPPED for Part II of Number One With a Bullet while retained for Part I. For details, just CLICK HERE.

Bond 23’s cast is coming together — or is it?

Supposedly, Bond 23’s casting is coming together. But if you to check out the source of this information, prepare to be a little frustrated.

A Web site called ScreenCrave says Javier Bardem and Ralph Finnes are definitely joining Bond 23’s cast. However, THE POST ON SCREENCRAVE doesn’t have any original reporting. Instead, it cites another Web site called A.V. Club.

However, THE A.V. CLUB POST doesn’t have any original reporting, either. Instead, it cites a Web site called /Film.

Well, as you have probably guessed by now, THE /FILM POST has no original reporting, either. Instead, it cites a story in the U.K. newspaper Daily Mail.

Now, THE DAILY MAIL STORY does claim to be in the know. The newspaper, though, doesn’t bother to tell the reader how it obtained the information. Here’s an excerpt:

Miss Moneypenny, 007’s tart-tongued, flirtatious foil, is returning to the James Bond movies in the shape of Naomie Harris.
The actress is poised to appear alongside Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes and Judi Dench when filming begins later this year.

Not a hint whether the Daily Mail got this informtion from Eon Productions, which will produce Bond 23, or from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer or Sony Corp.’s Columbia Pictures, which are co-financing it. No hint whether it came from anyone associated with the actors. In short, you got to take it on faith.

Maybe it will all come to pass. But so far, there’s been more pontificating than hard reporting.

UPDATE: The Daily Mail story has been updated to include this tidbit at the end:

A spokeswoman for Eon said that Naomie had met with producers but stressed it had not been confirmed she would be in the film.

It might help if the Daily Mail actually named the spokeswoman involved. Then again, if transparency isn’t important to the Daily Mail, why start now?