Monday, June 25, 2007

The Bond That Never Was

I came across this interesting article today dealing with Warhead, the Bond move that never was. Bond fans know about the legal battle between Bond producers and writer/director Kevin McClory over the script of Thunderball and some of the characters therein. Because of this, the Bond producers stopped using SPECTRE as villains around For Your Eyes Only. The legal battle provided McClory with the rights to the Thunderball story, but not much else. This lead to the 1982 non-cannon Bond film Never Say Never Again, basically a remake of Thunderball. The new book The Battle For Bond: The Genesis of Cinema’s Greatest Hero by Robert Sellers has now been released and details how close Warhead actually came to being filmed.

After a quick search, I found this posting on about the book and this one (also with some never before seen photos.

It doesn't look like the book has been published in the US, but I'll be keeping my eyes out for it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

AFI's Top 100

Once again, it's time for AFI's list of the Top 100 American movies. And once again, Citizen Kane came out on top. I may be a bit biased, my name is WellesFan, but this time around I agree with the ranking. Ten years ago, I hadn't seen Citizen Kane. I thought that Casablanca should've been the top one. Now, I think that Casablanca would be the only film I could accept as taking the #1 spot over Kane.

I know some people may have issues with this list since they can't stand black and white movies, but to me it doesn't matter if it's b&w or color. What matters is the art of the film. Citizen Kane deserves the top spot because it has something for everyone. A great story, rich characters, fantastic performances, and innovative direction by Orson Welles. Not just every scene, but every shot had something extra jammed into it. A lot of this we take for granted now. Shooting from all angles, overlapping dialog, a non-linear story, all this was groundbreaking in 1941. Director/actor Peter Bogdanovich brought up something I hadn't thought about before. Orson Welles, at 25, played the character of Charles Foster Kane from age 25 to age 85. And was believable at every age.

Like I said, Casablanca is the only film I could take over Kane. The direction by Michael Curtiz isn't flashy like Welles, but he allows the words and actions of the characters to tell the story. It has the perfect script and tremendous performances by all the actors, especially the stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Any movie that has the likes Claude Raines and Peter Lorre in supporting roles has something going for it.

So even if you don't like old (or black & white) movies, do yourself a favor and watch both Citizen Kane and Casablanca.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Weekend Update

After a brief delay, I've started writing again. I got feedback from an editor friend of mine on PI#1. He caught a couple of the hack writer shortcuts I did, and it was good to see what worked and what didn't work. I sent him PI#2 this morning, so I hope to get feedback fairly quickly.

As for Handsome Rob #3, it's moving along fairly well. I had the structure and the general plot pretty much in my head when I came up with the idea, but actually filling in the gaps was proving to be more difficult. After writing the opening scene, I stalled for about a week and a half. There's a bit more story to go, but right now it sits at 2,271 words. To put that in perspective, The Auction was a lean 2,217 words and The Heist was 2,094. Number Three is shaping up to be on the order of my current word counts. PI#1 is about 5,000 words and PI#2 is about 6,000.

When Rob#3 is finished (hopefully this week), I'll do the same as with the other two. The story will go up on a Monday with a behind-the-story post on Wednesday.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Congrats Ducks!

Last night, the Anaheim Ducks beat the Ottawa Senators to take the Stanley Cup 3 games to 1. Ottawa surprised me this post season with the ease they dispatched both the New Jersey Devils and the top seeded Buffalo Sabres. But, they ran into a brick wall in Anaheim. Anyone who knows me knows that I said the Ducks would be tough this year. Last summer they acquired Chris Pronger and ended up with two of the best defensemen in the league with him and Scott Neidermeyer.

Congratulations Ducks!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Faulkner or Fake?

I stumbled across a site the other day that gives you a dozen sentences and you have to determine if they're actual prose from William Faulkner or a machine translation from German into English. I didn't do too well, but I don't feel bad because an English major I know only got 48% correct. Check it out.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Fixing A Hole in the Ocean

I've been listening to a lot of The Beatles recently. Turns out that today is the 40th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonley Hearts Club Band. I'm sure there'll be a lot of tributes to what many call the greatest rock album of all time. New York's Q104.3 is playing the album in it's entirety starting today at noon. There's a pretty good write-up here and CNN's article is good too. Sgt. Pepper isn't my favorite Beatles album, but it's my favorite of the Beatles ones that are usually ranked in the top 10 of best albums.