Saturday, May 3, 2008

JAMES BOND / IAN FLEMING QUIZ!



JAMES BOND / IAN FLEMING QUIZ!

So, you think you know your James Bond / Ian Fleming trivia. Here’s a little quiz from Random House to test just how good you are:

QUESTIONS


1) Although James Bond is regarded by many as the quintessential English hero, he is actually not English. What is his nationality in the books?


2) Bond has had many famous incarnations on the big screen but, prior to these, he was first played on the radio by which British actor and game show host?

3) Which Bond villain shares a birthday with his creator?

4) Which American President was a big fan of the Fleming novels?

5) Which famed children's author helped Ian Fleming adapt his children's adventure story Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the big screen?

6) Where did Fleming write all his Bond books?

7) Although Ursula Andress wears the most famous bikini in cinema history in her iconic performance in "Doctor No," in Fleming's novel of the same name the character Honeychile Rider wears even less. What does she wear?

8) The first Bond novel, Casino Royale, originally had a different title when it was published in the US. Under what title was it initially published in America?

9) What is James Bond's favorite meal?

10) Who is Miss Moneypenny named for?

ANSWERS

1) He is half Scottish and half Swiss. He also hates that most English of drinks, tea - and describes it as 'mud'!

2) Bob Holness of Blockbusters fame

3) Ernst Stavro Blofeld. On Her Majesty's Secret Service reveals that Blofeld was born on 28 May 1908. Ian Lancaster Fleming entered the world on the same day at 7 Green Street in London.

4) President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was known to be a big fan of Fleming and listed From Russia With Love as one of his top 10 favourite books. Bizarrely, both Kennedy and his assassin Lee Harvey Oswald are believed to have been reading Bond novels the night before Kennedy was killed.

5) Roald Dahl.

6) At Goldeneye, his Jamaican home. Although now part of a luxurious holiday resort, the house was very basic in Fleming's time - so much so that his friend and neighbour Noel Coward referred to it as Goldeneye, Nose and Throat!

7) She is naked save for a knife-belt.

8) The initial title in America was Too Hot To Handle.

9) Breakfast. He has a particular penchant for scrambled eggs, and the short story "007 in New York" even includes his own recipe for them.

10) Miss Moneypenny was named after a character in an unpublished novel written by Ian Fleming's brother, the travel writer Peter Fleming.

QUANTUM OF SOLACE ON NBC!


QUANTUM OF SOLACE ON NBC!

The Today Show on NBC intends to report from the Quantum Of Solace set in Austria this Monday, May 5.

Check local listings for times in your area.




Friday, May 2, 2008

ZULU!

ZULU!

Film critic James Rocchi of The Huffington Post recently took in a rare big screen showing of the classic 1964 flick Zulu (ONE OF MY TOP FIVE ALL TIME FAVORITE FILMS) and recounts its virtues.

To read
click here



RIDE THE WILD SURF!


RIDE THE WILD SURF!

Cinema Retro has a great article on Ride The Wild Surf – calling it the best beach movie ever…

Ride the Wild Surf stands head and shoulders above all the sixties beach-party movies. This was an earnest and ambitious attempt by Hollywood to capture the surf culture and what attracted young men to the sport. There are no singing surfers or goofy motorcycle gang members in this film as it opens with a narrator explaining why young men from all over the world come to Hawaii to surf. Then the wave action takes over never letting up making Ride the Wild Surf the best Hollywood surf movie of the sixties. Kudos to a excellent cast, stunning photography by Joseph Biroc, and one of the all-time best pop surf songs “Ride the Wild Surf” sung by Jan and Dean over the closing credits.

To read more go to:

TOM LISANTI: WHY "RIDE THE WILD SURF" IS THE BEST BEACH MOVIE EVER

JULIE EGE – R.I.P.


HAMMER STAR AND JAMES BOND GIRL JULIE EGE DIES AT AGE 64

Julie Ege, the former Miss Norway of 1962 who parlayed her fame into a career as an actress, has died at age 64. She had been battling breast cancer since 2002. Ege appeared as one of the "Blofeld girls" at the Swiss mountaintop headquarters of SPECTRE in the1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

She received widespread attention as a promiscuous au pair girl opposite Marty Feldman in the hit 1970 British comedy Every Home Should Have One. Ege was being groomed by Hammer to be their next big star, but her debut film for them, Creatures the World Forgot flopped and helped usher in the declining days of the studio's influence.

Ege went on to star in other exploitation films such as Up Pompeii and It's Not the Size That Counts. She also posed as a Penthouse pet.

For more
click here

A tip of the fedora to
Cinema Retro

HELL DRIVERS!


HELL DRIVERS!

A critic once wrote that the only value of Hell Drivers would be to those who wish to study the status of the British trucking industry in the 1950s. Yet, the intense, black-and-white low budget movie has come to define the epitome of what cult movies are. It's built quite a following around the world, primarily due to it's distinguished cast that boasted Stanley Baker, Herbert Lom and cinematic super spies-to-be Sean Connery, Patrick McGoohan and David McCallum.


Writer David Cairns takes a sentimental road trip back in time to analyze the pluses and minuses of this testosterone-fueled macho drama - and to also extoll the often overlooked contributions of Stanley Baker to the British film industry.

To read
click here



SIR ROGER MOORE PAYS TRIBUTE TO SINATRA!


SIR ROGER MOORE PAYS TRIBUTE TO SINATRA!

In a lengthy and extraordinarily personal essay, Sir Roger Moore recalls his friendship with Frank Sinatra. Sir Roger relates that he was astonished that, upon meeting Sinatra and then-wife Mia Farrow in the 1960s, they told him they were big fans of The Saint. From that point on, they became close friends. Sir Roger recalls Sinatra's penchant for charity work, though the iconic singer rarely took credit for his acts of kindness. Among the good deeds carried out by the Chairman of the Board: paying for the destitute Bela Lugosi's funeral and shouldering the extensive medical expenses of Lee J.Cobb, a man he had never even met. For the full essay from The Times of London,
click here.

A tip of the fedora to
Cinema Retro

RECENT READING!

RECENT READING!

Snakehead is the sixth and most ambitious Alex Rider novel to date. It is also the first time the teen spy moves outside of the plots with ties to the original James Bond novels and into original turf.

Author Anthony Horowitz fully realizes the key to the success of these novels is rooted his over the top plots in the very centered character of the fourteen-year-old Alex Rider.

At times in Snakehead, Horowitz appears to be struggling to keep the time frame for his series believable. Having one world domination plan destroyed by a fourteen-year-old boy is one thing, but having six individual major villains taken down in six months is a threat to any reader’s suspension of disbelief.

In reality, the series has been hit with the Jessica Fletcher/Murder She Wrote curse – any function Jessica Fletcher attended, or location she visited, was bound to have a murder victim turn up within minutes. In the case of Alex Rider, megalomaniac villains appear to cross his path no matter how hard Alex tries to be just a normal kid.

It’s almost better not to address the time frame issues presented by the adventures – asking the reader only to suspend his disbelief for each individual book as opposed to the series as a whole. Despite this misstep, Snakehead is still my favorite book in the series and the most accomplished.

A Prisoner of Birth, Jeffrey Archer’s latest potboiler, makes much of the fact it is a modern retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo. This is a great idea and it plays well through the last two thirds of the book. The problem is in getting there.

Jumping the hero through the hoops of being unjustly accused and into jail becomes almost interminable, despite Archer’s accessible prose. The court scenes covering the same ground over and over, corrupt witness after corrupt witness, drag on and on. Most of the readers in Archer’s demographics are going to have at least a working knowledge of the original Count of Monte Cristo story model.

The story would have been better served if Archer had started his story with the hero in jail. The set-up could have been handled through brief flashbacks, keeping the more interesting action moving and helping the reader get right into the meat of the story. Despite this flaw, the book is entertaining and will be another best-selling feather for Archer to add to his cap.

The most entertaining literary experience I’ve had lately came from a surprising source. I’d turned a friend on to Jim Dale’s marvelous performance on the audio versions of the Harry Potter books. This friend discovered Dale was also the reader on the trilogy of Peter Pan sequels, written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, and suggested I give them a try.

Despite my reluctance to jump into reading the trilogy – I was never a fan of the original Peter Pan stories – I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to listen to more Jim Dale performances. And I am so glad I did!

It did take me a while to stop comparing the voices Jim Dale chose to use in this book with the voices he used for Harry Potter’s adventures, but by CD two the story had my attention so completely, I forgot to even think about the voice comparisons.

Peter and the Starcatchers is a delight from start to finish with Jim Dale deftly handling the many voices required for the numerous characters. I have no idea how Barry and Pearson split the writing duties on the book, but there is never a dull moment, nor is there a time you can see the next twist coming. In fact, I often found myself wondering how in the world the authors were going to get Peter and his friends out of the deadly corners into which they consistently painted them – a sign of excellent story telling.

Long before the end of this first book in the trilogy, I was hooked. I can’t wait to get the next two books on CD and have Jim Dale’s voice transport me back to Neverland.

SINATRA ON TMC!

FRANK SINATRA ON TMC!

Start spreading the news –this month Turner Classic Movies (TMC) is screening over 40 films and rarely-seen music specials featuring Frank Sinatra. Sinatra themed nights will take place every Sunday and Wednesday in May.

Click the link to view a preview including photos and trailers and downloadable schedule!

For more Sinatra on TMC check the below link:

Thursday, May 1, 2008

MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. DVD – REVIEWED!

MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. DVD – REVIEWED!

www.cinemaretro.com gives a tip to this great review!

Adam Becvar, a writer for the web site
www.dvdinmypants.com
(no kidding!) has posted the most comprehensive review of the recently-released Man From U.N.C.L.E. complete DVD collection.

Becvar provides analysis of every episode, complete with a screen grab to illustrate every entry. He also analyzes the whopping ten hours of DVD extras. If this doesn't convince you to to order the collection from Time Life, then nothing will.

To read the review
click here

POV SOCCER!

POV SOCCER!



I’ve long been a fan of Nike soccer commercials, which only seem to get better and better.

Well, the swoosh has outdone themselves this time. Nike premiered its new ad during this week’s Manchester United v. Barcelona match, and it turns out it was directed by Madonna’s main man Guy Ritchie (with music from the Eagles of Death Metal) and features cameos from a host of futbol heroes, including Arsene “The Professor” Wenger, Cristiano “Man Bag” Ronaldo, “Let’s Talk About” Cesc Fabregas, Marco “The Headbuttee” Materazzi, Ronaldinho, and Ruud “Horseface” van Nistelrooy.

Titled Take It To The Next Level, the advert puts the viewer in the cleats of an up-and-coming professional player – sort of like Fifa 08’s Be a Pro mode, only it’s actually good.

Not ashamed to say that I’ve already watched this commercial five times today.

EDGAR AWARDS!


EDGAR AWARDS!

Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce its Winners for the 2008 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television and film published or produced in 2007.

BEST NOVEL
Down River by John Hart (St. Martin's Minotaur)

BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR
In the Woods by Tana French (Penguin Group – Viking)

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
Queenpin by Megan Abbott (Simon & Schuster)

BEST FACT CRIME
Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy
by Vincent Bugliosi (W.W. Norton and Company

BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL
Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters
by Jon Lellenberg, Daniel Stashower and Charles Foley (The Penguin Press)

BEST SHORT STORY
"The Golden Gopher ' – Los Angeles Noir by Susan Straight (Akashic Books

BEST JUVENILE
The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh (Hyperion Books for Young Readers)

BEST YOUNG ADULT
Rat Life by Tedd Arnold (Penguin – Dial Books for Young Readers)

BEST PLAY
Panic by Joseph Goodrich (International Mystery Writers' Festival)

BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY
"Pilot" – Burn Notice, Teleplay by Matt Nix (USA Network/Fox Television Studios)

BEST MOTION PICTURE SCREENPLAY
Michael Clayton, Screenplay by Tony Gilroy (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Congratulations to all!

# # # #

The EDGAR (and logo) are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the Mystery Writers of America, Inc.
click here

THE TOUGHEST MOVIE CHARACTERS OF ALL TIME!

THE TOUGHEST MOVIE CHARACTERS OF ALL TIME!

In keeping with the recent thread on where all the real movie tough guys have gone,
www.neatorama.com links to this great posting from www.cultcase.com/

Unlike so many lists you see on the internet, this one encompasses cinema history more than thirty years back. Cultcase looked at classic films to find the toughest (male) characters in cinema history. No special effects, just tough guys written and acted that way. Each has a video clip. You’re sure to find at least one you’re not overly familiar with, and some you may remember as awe-inspiring or nightmare-inducing.

Link




THE ILLUSTRATED POIROT!

Comics are to be Hercule Poirot's latest incarnation. It's the latest twist to crime fiction, a genre constantly reinvented in its 170-year history. Imported copies can be ordered through Amazon or directly through Amazon.UK.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Agatha Christie
Illustrated by Bruno Lachard


Hercule Poirot has to solve a fiendishly clever murder mystery in this newly adapted full-colour comic strip adventure. Roger Ackroyd knows too much. He knows that the woman he loves poisoned her brutal first husband. He also suspects that someone has been blackmailing her. Now, tragically, the news has come that she has taken her own life with a drug overdose. But the evening post brings Roger one last fatal scrap of information. Unfortunately, before he can finish reading it, he is stabbed to death!


The Man in the Brown Suit
Agatha Christie
Illustrated by Bairi


Pretty, young Anne has come to London looking for adventure, but adventure finds her when a thin man, reeking of mothballs, loses his balance on the platform at Hyde Park Corner station and is electocuted on the rails. The Scotland Yard verdict is accidental death. But Anne is not satisfied. Who was the man in the brown suit who examined the body before racing off? Anne is determined to follow him!



The Mystery of the Blue Train
Agatha Christie
Illustrated by Marc Piskic

Poirot takes a train to France and find himself embroiled in an adventure of murder and mayhem in this exciting new comic strip adaptation.

The Big Four
Agatha Christie
Illustrated by Alain Paillou

Framed in the doorway of Poirot's bedroom stands an uninvited guest, coated from head to foot in dust. The man's gaunt face stares for a moment, then he sways and falls. Who is he? Is he suffering from shock or just exhaustion? Above all, what is the significance of the figure 4, scribbled over and over again on a sheet of paper? Poirot finds himself plunged into a world of international intrigue, risking his life to uncover the truth about 'Number Four'.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

PLAYBOY JAZZ FESTIVAL FREE CONCERT!


PLAYBOY JAZZ FESTIVAL'S FREE MAY 9TH CONCERT IS TRIBUTE TO BIG BANDS!


Source: www.AllAboutJazz.com

A free community concert and dance party, sponsored by the Playboy Jazz Festival, will pay tribute to legendary big bands and showcase the next generation of jazz musicians on May 9 in Los Angeles, Calif.

The free public event, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, May 9, will be performed by the Los Angeles Multi-School Jazz Band at the Bradley Senior Center, 10957 S. Central Ave. in the Watts area of Los Angeles. The band, established in 1991 for gifted student musicians from local public and private high schools, also will include alumni. The program will feature the music of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Gerald Wilson and others dating from the 1930s to modern-day.

The concert is the second in the Playboy's free community series, scheduled in conjunction with the 30th anniversary Playboy Jazz Festival, June 14-15 in the Hollywood Bowl. "With great entertainment by some of the best young musicians in Los Angeles, an audience of seniors and community members will take to the dance floor to show they've still 'got that swing,'" said Richard Rosenzweig, festival president.

The festival, which attracts 18,000 listeners each day in the outdoor amphitheater, this year will feature a variety of jazz genres performed by celebrated and upcoming musicians, including Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, Keb' Mo', Dee Dee Bridgewater, James Moody, Dr. John, Tower of Power, RnR (Richard Elliot-tenor sax, Rick Braun-trumpet), Roy Hargrove, Hiromi, Guitars and Saxes, Ivan Lins, The Cos of Good Music and much more.

For more information about the Watts concert or the festival, call the Playboy festival hotline, 310-450-1173, or go to the website:

playboyjazzfestival.com

Festival tickets can be purchased via Ticketmaster, 213-365-3500 or 714-740-7878, or online at
ticketmaster.com.

Visit website

JONNY BLU - REVIEW!


JONNY BLU REVIEW!

Caught Jonny Blu’s set at Chocolat last Saturday night in Hollywood. It was a swinging evening made poignant as Chocolat was due to change ownership, name, and motif the next day. As a result, the crowd was friend and family heavy, creating a wonderfully intimate atmosphere.

Having seen Blu perform a number of times, I am always struck by his efforts to change up his sets with new material, and his willingness to take chances with ad-lib musical moments. Saturday night was no exception. Blu treated us to several Latin standards, including a spirited version of Babaloo, and his own swinging twist on Burt Bacharach’s (There) Is Always Something There To Remind Me. All of these were new to his repertoire, serving to show his willingness to experiment with jazz melodies in a continuing personal odyssey to define a unique style.

With the inclusion of several new sessions musicians, the band did not have the charts on hand to cover any of the Chinese hits from Blu’s previous incarnation. However, this led to the special highlight of the evening. Called out by the crowd, Jonny responded with an a cappella version of an Emile Chow composition. This was a bold move, showing a willingness to let his voice stand alone on a melody and style unfamiliar to most western ears. The audience responded to both the effort and the spontaneity with a raucous ovation.

Set for a tour of Eastern Europe – where he has a hit with the title track from his In Just That Kind Of A Mood CD – Blu is a performer on the cusp of greatness. As he continues to push himself artistically, evolving his personal sound and his world music/jazz appeal, playing to packed jazz club venues, record/radio execs will be forced to take notice.

Monday, April 28, 2008

MONDEX THE FROG-DOG!

MONDEX THE FROG-DOG!

A chihuahua in a scuba suit has won a canine fashion show in the Philippines.

Five-year-old Mondex wore a four-legged wetsuit, air bottle, four little flippers and goggles for the day.

Mondex was joined by other pampered pooches in the pet fashion show held in a mall in suburban Manila.

He faced stiff competition from Tucker, another five-year-old chihuahua, who was dressed as a cowboy but eventually emerged victorious.

Rumours that he is now set to pursue a career as a police frog-dog are understood to be wide of the mark.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANN MARGRET!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANN MARGRET!

THE UNO!

THE UNO!

What do you have when your vehicle has two wheels side-by-side? A rickshaw. A segway. And now, a motorcycle!

The Uno was unveiled at the 2008 National Motorcycle Show in Toronto earlier this month. A motorcycle with one wheel? No, it just looks that way. The Uno has two wheels. Side by side. Close together. It runs on electricity and is controlled by body language. The only controls are an on-off switch. To go forward, you lean forward. Lean further to go faster. Lean back to go backwards. The Uno has two gyros, one to control forward (and backward) motion, the other for turning.

The Uno was invented by 18-year-old Ben J. Poss Gulak. Motorcycle Mojo has the story of how the Canadian engineering prodigy built the Uno. He had been impressed by the pollution in China, which led him to come up with a workable electric motorcycle. Gulak’s ideas inspired everyone from a software salesman to a top motorcycle mechanic to help him out. The model showcased at the Motorcycle Show is his third prototype.

The electric motor and the ease of operation make this a fascinating development. But there are some questions. How easy is it to brake? How much training does it take to learn to control a moving motorcycle by shifting your body weight? And will straddling two wheels leave you walking bowlegged and sore, like a day of horseback riding?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

BEATLES - RARE FOOTAGE!



RARE FOOTAGE OF THE BEATLES ORIGINAL RECORDING OF GET BACK

THIS IS MY FAVORITE BEATLES' SONG FROM MY LEAST FAVORITE BEATLES' ERA.

LIKE SO MUCH OF THEIR SONGBOOK, IT HAS WITHSTOOD THE TEST OF TIME AND STILL ROCKS!