BOND GADGETS

Dr._No_-_Bond,_James_Bond

The Name is Bond, James Bond

Just a year after I was born, Sean Connery starred as British agent 007 James Bond, adapted from Ian’s Fleming’s book, “Dr. No.” It is well-known that Ian Fleming had worked for the CIA in its early years during the beginning of the cold war. He stole Bond’s name from an English writer of the same name. The rest is history, as they say, as 007 became an enormous icon in pop culture. I have seen these movies so many times that I can almost recite them word for word, which annoys my wife. But to me, they’re that good!

ga006-walther-ppk-collage

Before I start my blog series this week, I ‘d like to share a rather ironic anecdote, concerning the whole Bond phenomena. Back in November, I was attending a combined local writer event, along with five other writers. As we all took our appropriate spots, I noticed the name tag next to me, which read Sean Connery. I said to myself, “No way!” It, of course, was not him, but I still shared a laugh as we met. To make things more interesting, a writer next to me on the far left, at the next table, gathered some of his information for his novel from a man who worked for Scotland Yard. He claimed to have served with Ian Fleming during the war. I was pleased to have met both of them; my only regret was not buying a book from each of them. How many people can say they have a book signed by Sean Connery, even if it’s not the real one! To me, he was Bond, and nobody does him better!

700dnobsemajyrennocnaes

Anyway, this week will be looking at some of the high-tech gadgets used in each movie, and whether they have basis in fact or not. Bond always was on the cutting edge of science, using the newest and most inventive devices of the day.

200px-DrJuliusNoga006-walther-ppk

It all started in Dr. No, a tale about an evil scientist determined to show the world that he means business. I always felt Jack Lord was a great sidekick for Bond as Felix. Unfortunately, he didn’t return for any other Bond films. I always felt this was an oversight; he’s a great actor. The most memorable gadget of this movie is perhaps Bond’s trademark the Walther PPK. It was the only gadget used by every single Bond actor, and was given to him by “M” because it was a more superior gun to his previous Beretta. It wasn’t the original choice by Ian Fleming, however, who chose a Beretta .22 instead. He changed this when he was sent a letter by a reader who showed him that the Walther was more effective at assassinating people.

54cfd17fe7097_-_bond-gadgets-19-1012-deRosa_Klebb's_deadly_weapon

Next, came From Russia With Love, which I have to admit was one of the most boring, if not the most boring of all the films. Except for a couple good fight scenes and the woman with the poison shoe, this one really blows. What made it interesting was the introduction of famous gadgets, namely the briefcase which emitted tear gas when opened wrong. The tear gas was disguised as talcum powder, and set to discharge with the wrong combination. Booby trapped suitcases were real, like the one in the movie “Valkyries,” based a true story about an attempted assassination on Hitler.

250px-Emilio_Largojet_pack_main54cfd180a2b16_-_bond-gadgets-23-1012-lgn200px-From_Russia_with_Love_video_game_screenshot

In Thunderball, we got our first glimpse at a jet pack, which was used again in the later Die Another Day. The actual flying was done by Gordon Yeager and Bill Suitor. The Bell Rocket, as it was formerly called, was originally to be used by the army, but was rejected because of its short flying time. Although this has continued to develop over the years, it never caught on due to the enormous amount of fuel needed, and the danger to the pilot.

121109100056-gallery-hagertys-bond-cars-aston-martin-db5-gallery-horizontal54cfd18074ef0_-_bond-gadgets-22-1012-de200px-Goldfinger_by_Gert_Fröbe

In Goldfinger, we were mesmerized by Bond’s new car, an Aston Martin DB5, equipped with revolving licence plates, tire-slashing spinner hubcaps, a passenger ejector seat, rear bulletproof shield, head light machine guns, and smoke screen/oil slick. It also had a primitive form of a GPS system. It sold in 2010 for a record 4.6 million. Daniel Craig recently drove an updated version in Skyfall. Although vehicles have been developed with onboard weapons, it is generally unwise as a spy to draw this kind of attention to one’s self.

au032-wallis-wa-116-autogyro_james_bond_little_nellie-2au032-wallis-wa-116-autogyro_james_bond_little_nelliethchickie
Finally, who could forget “Little Nellie” in You Only Live Twice, which was based on the Wallis WA-116 Agile, developed in the early 1960’s. Ken Willis went on to develop later versions, and also flew it in the movie. A man recently flew a homemade version onto the White House Lawn, assuming he wouldn’t be shot down for making a political message, He’s just lucky they didn’t-what an idiot! The Bond’s Little Nellie was equipped with machine guns, Aerial mines, rockets, flamethrowers, and heat seeking missles.

chickie 2

So most of what we’ve seen in the early Bond movies was either based on fact, or loosely based on fact. Most real spies, however, wouldn’t draw attention to themselves the way Bond does, because they would be dead if they did. But that’s Hollywood! Tomorrow, we will continue the series with a whole new line of ingenious devices. Until then, here are today’s links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_James_Bond_gadgets

http://www.popularmechanics.com/culture/movies/g985/23-most-memorable-james-bond-gadgets/

http://www.jamesbondlifestyle.com/

James_Bond_(George_Lazenby)_-_ProfileJames_Bond_(Roger_Moore)_-_Profile

                                              Transition of Bonds and Gadgets

As the sixties were coming to an end, so was Sean Connery’s James Bond.  After trying to do other projects, and not having much luck, he decided to return for one more film.  During his absence, George Lanzenby took over as a rather reserved version of Bond, although he was just as effective as a killer.  After Connery, Roger Moore took over as a combination of the two.

Honeymoon_CarBlofeld_(Telly_Savalas)_-_Profile54cfd17c9254f_-_bond-gadgets-04-1012-lgn

George Lazenby, an Australian actor, was chosen for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but quit his contract after the film did not live up to expectations of what Bond should be like.  Telly Salves was nothing less than perfect as the sinister Blofeld, head of Spectre.  In this movie, there weren’t many gadgets, and Bond relied mostly on his own ingenuity.  This is also the movie where he takes a wife, Diana Rigg, who later starred in The Avengers series, and also loses her in the same movie.  Her grave is revisited in several later Bond films.  The one main gadget, a safe cracker-photocopier, contained a long cable fitted on a typical safe combination lock in order to determine the combination.  The photocopier was a Olivetti wet type that copied secret documents.  This particular gadget, however, would be impractical in field missions due to possible leakage of the toxic fluids inside.

Diamonds Are ForeverDiamonds Are ForeverBlofeld_Profile_(Charles_Gray)Diamonds-Are-Forever-08e1fe374a-7075-4d68-aa27-c6d3c95968e8.jpg

In Diamonds Are Forever, the one movie Sean Connery returned for, we saw a transition of gadgets towards the villains.  Bond still had his share, but Charles Gray as Blofeld had his share as well.  From a diamond laser, to a voice duplicator, to a get away sub,; he seemed to be just as resourceful.  My favorite gadget in this one for Bond, however, is the grappling piton gun and his suspenders.  It allows him to dangle from the top of the Willard White building until he can reach the top and drop in on Blofeld.  There are several other gadgets he uses, such as bug detector as well.  He also has the creepy homosexual henchman who try to kill him, delivering one of his best lines:  “I smelt that aftershave before, and both times I smelt a rat!”

ui1nxvssnvf5mcprlibctee-hee-live-and-let-die_bond-villainbaron-samedi_live-and-let-die_bond-villain

After Sean Connery, the logical choice was Roger Moore.  He had starred before in the televison spy series “The Saint”, and had also done a few war movies.  His debut was in my favorite of them all: “Live and Let Die”.  Not only did he have a famous co-star, Jane Seymour, the theme song was sung by Sir Paul McCartney himself.  The best thing about this movie was the villain and his henchmen.

05_Flatbed_1 OCTOBER175px-Rolex-Submariner

Mr. Big/Kananga was surely psychotic, and the guy with the claw was chilling and deadly.  The Baron Simeone was absolutely spooky, and a nice touch at the end.  But the gadget that was the most ingenious was Bond’s Rolex Submariner watch, which contained a miniature saw blade and a high-powered magnet.  When it doesn’t work at the alligator farm, he takes a gamble and runs across their backs.  Let’s consider that fiction, but he does have to come up with something.  He also uses it to attract one of the gas pellet cartridges from the dart gun and blows Kananga into smithereens.

GGTopGG6GG5vi016-solex-agitator-golden-gun-636

Moore returned to star with another famous actor, Christopher Lee, who has always been one of my favorite villains.  He was just as evil, as The Man With The Golden Gun, Scaramanga, stating that once he killed someone for money, he couldn’t think of doing anything else.  The big gadget in this one belongs to the villain hands down.  It is the Solex Agitator, a device that is said to be designed by a British scientist named Gibson, and was created to harness solar energy as a solution to the energy crisis.  This, one at the time, was fiction, but today such a device wouldn’t be out of the question, just not as powerful.  Solar panel technology does this, and there are solar lasers. but their power is considerably less than Scaramanga’s weapon.  In the end, however, it is his trusty PPK that saves him, and his superior reasoning.

Lotus_Esprit_Spy_Who_Loved_MeKarl_Stromberg_(Curt_Jürgens)_-_ProfileJaws_(Richard_Kiel)_-_ProfileThe 007 Lotus Esprit 'Submarine Car', used in the James Bond movie "The Spy Who Loved Me" is pictured in this handout photo.original

In The Spy Who Loved Me,  we again saw a transition in the Bond films, this time in the area of gadgets.  Karl Stromberg, an egomaniac who strives to build a city under the sea, has several gadgets, including a table gun, a floorless elevator, and a henchman with steel teeth named Jaws, played by Richard Kiel.  There are also sharks, which were also used in Thunderball and a few other Bond films.  What makes this movie unique is the Lotus Espirit which transforms into a submarine.  It had missile launchers in the front, a smoke screen in the rear, and a mine hatch on the bottom.  It was fully functional, and cost $100,000 at the time to construct.  It is also my favorite sports car, even though I’ll probably never be able to afford one, or be able to get in it.  If I could, I’d like a nice green one.

Tomorrow, we will return with more gadgets, and this time, we’re entering the space age.  Until then, here are today’s links:

 

http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2012/11/the-50-coolest-bond-gadgets/explosive-pen-gun

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolex_Submariner

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_Esprit

 

 

James_Bond_(Roger_Moore)_-_Profile

The Age of high tech gadgets

Today we will primarily focus on gadgets used in the remainder of the Roger Moore Bond era.  Roger Moore needed a follow up film for his success in The Spy Who Loved Me, so Moonraker came along.  The real star of this Bond film was the high tech gadgetry used in the film, including a space station, laser guns, and a dart equipped wrist gun.  The villain was Drax of Drax Industries, and was a personal friend of Stromberg in the previous film.  He hired Jaws when Stromberg was killed to help him eliminate Bond.  My favorite scene in this one was the opening scene, when Jaws comes after Bond from the air.  Bond strategically steals a parachute after being pushed from the plane.    But the thing that really saved Bond throughout this film was his wrist activated dart gun, once when he was in the Centrifuge, and later when he has to kill Drax.  To me, Drax was a rather dull and lame villain, and  the film was too similar to its predecessor.   Laser guns that were in the movie are purely fictional, but the watch is based on realistic technology.  Lasers are mostly used to guide a shooter to his target, and not as the main source of power of a weapon.

220px-Moonraker_zero_gDrax_Space_Troopsdttb3w1rmul11wmtMoonraker_laserJawsandDollyGadgets_-_MR_-_Dart_Gun

Its followup wasn’t much better, and is one of the lesser popular Bond films.  For Your Eyes Only premiered in 1981, and there was a contest staged to find its female costar.  The villains in this one are not overly fond of gadgets, using just basic ones, and are barely memorable.  It is a simple Bond movie, mostly going back to using his own ingenuity to solve problems.  The main gadget in this movie is his Seiko wristwatch, equipped with a two-way transmitter for communication, a homing beacon, and a few other extras.

MV5BMjA4MDg3MjA2NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjAxNzczNA@@._V1_SX100_CR0,0,100,100_AL_MV5BMjI4Nzg3Mjk4NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjAxNzczNA@@._V1_SY105_CR14,0,105,105_AL_MV5BMTk4MDgzMDczNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTAxNzczNA@@._V1_SX99_CR0,0,99,99_AL_e MV5BMTM1MjAzODUyNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzAxNzczNA@@._V1_SY317_CR18,0,214,317_AL_220px-FYEO_Watch

Louis Jordan became the second villain in a Bond movie who recently died.  Odd Job, or Harold Sadaka died back in 1982.  Recently Richard Kiel died, as well as Jordan.  Although their were many gadgets in Octopussy, the one that stands out is the Acrostar BD-5J, a mini jet used at the beginning of the film, which is disguised in a horse trailer.  Maude Adams returned to star in this film, about an island of women who help a man named Kahn to steal a fabrege egg, only to realize they have been double-crossed by Kahn and a Russian General who has world domination in his mind.  This movie has its moments, with knife throwers, circular saw wielding henchmen, and a nuclear bomb, set to go off in a cannon at a circus.  The jet is equipped with the standard defenses, but it is the enemy’s own missile that does them in.

Gadgets_-_OP_-_Yo-Yo_SawMV5BMjAyMDE0MTU4MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTYyMzY0NA@@._V1_SX100_CR0,0,100,100_AL_MV5BODY5MDkwODcxM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjYyMzY0NA@@._V1_SX100_CR0,0,100,100_AL_TAotopussy-louis-jourdanop_19_280octopussy_s_13_500

In View To A Kill, Christopher Walken stars as Zorin, an ex Soviet spy who has gone on his own to destroy Silicon Valley so he can mine the silicon.   He was best known then for The Dead Zone, an interesting Steven King story about being able to see in the future.  He was one of my favorite villains, and psychotic in nature, even killing his own men.  Grace Jones starred as his heman-woman, giving Bond a run for his money on the Eiffel tower.  Patrick McNee,  the other half of the Avengers team is also in this film.  The best scene is the climax when Bond and Zorin engage in a battle on the Golden Gate Bridge with an axe. Some of the gadgets, such as drug injecting cane, a blimp, and even a background checker belong to Zorin.  One of Bond’s most  ingenious devices is his checkbook/Billfold, which uses ultra violet to read previously written material by picking up the indentation marks on paper.  There is also a surveillance dog that spies on Bond and Stacy Sutton at the end, sent by Q.  All but the blimp are, of course, fictional.

MV5BMjE5ODgxNzI3OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTgwMzc3NA@@._V1_SX100_CR0,0,100,100_AL_viewtoakill28viewtoakill15viewtoakill31970128_023May_Day_-_Profile

This was Moore’s last Bond movie and the end of an era for the franchise.  The hope for a replacement was diminished when Pierce Brosnon initially turned down the role.    It would be a new era of more and more gadgets, and new actors playing Bond.  Tomorrow, we’ll explore some of that era.  Until then, here are today’s links:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moonraker_(film)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octopussy

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082398/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_View_to_a_Kill

James_Bond_(The_Living_Daylights)

                     A New Bond evolves

Timothy Dalton took over for Roger Moore in 1987 as the new replacement for 007, in the movie The Living Daylights.  In this film, we see Joe Don Baker as General Whitaker, an army general who is dealing with the soviets, by trafficking drugs and arms.  As Dalton emerges as the new Bond, we see a more realistic spy story, about realistic problems.  He seems almost human to us, and has feelings for the Russian celloist he must save from Whitaker’s henchmen.  The real gadget in this one is Dalton’s ingenuity to solves problems.   The end scene with Whitaker, when Bond uses his key finder to explode plastic explosives, and Whitaker is killed by a bust of Wellington which falls on his head.

Kara_Milovy_2_-_ProfileBrad_Whitaker_ProfileGeneral_Koskov_(Jeroen_Krabbé)_-_Profile190px-Aston_Martin_Volante

The gadget in this one, of course, again is the car, an Aston Martin V8 Vantage Valante, equipped with a police band radio, hubcap laser, forward missle launcher, a concealed rocket propulsion system, outrigger retractable skis and spikes, and a self destruct mechanism.  The propulsion system comes in handy when the car lands on its roof on the ice.  Bond uses it to flip the car right side up.

ltk_31_280Franz_Sanchez_-_ProfileLeiter_(Hedison)_Profilelicence-to-kill-1352393558

Licence To Kill, was a much better movie than its predecessor.  The return of David Hedison as Felix Leiter was a major plus, as well as Robert Davi as the villain, Frank Sanchez .  Again, the villain is a psychotic character, a major drug dealer of cocaine, and Bond takes a personal interest when his friend Leiter’s new wife is raped and killed.  Leiter himself barely survives after being fed to a shark by Sanchez.  Bond disregards orders and sets out on a personal vendetta against Sanchez, with the help of a female CIA agent.  Also costarring is Anthony Zerbe of Harry O fame, as the boat captain of the Wavecrest, Milton Krest, who suffers a pressurized fate.

ltk_s_04_280Pam_Bouvier_(Carey_Lowell)_-_Profile601px-Ltk-cam1Ltkfinale

The main gadget in this film is a signature camera gun used to assassinate Frank Sanchez, which can only be fired using Bond’s fingerprint.  Q boasts that it has a .220 high velocity.  this type of gun was also used in the new film Skyfall.  There are also other gadgets in the film, such as the plastic explosives contained in a tube of toothpaste with the detonator in a cigarette pack, and the lighter-flamethrower Felix gives Bond as a present, which he uses to torch Sanchez at the end.

Neville_Sinclair_Rocketpack

Dalton was a fairly good actor, having appeared in Disney’s The Rocketeer, he just didn’t appeal to me as Bond.  I’m not saying his performance was bad; I just was more used to Sean and Roger, being brought up on the movies.  The public must have echoed my opinion, as he didn’t return for any more Bond films.  Tomorrow we will move on to the Pierce Brosnan era, the story of a tv series actor who became a superstar.  Until then, here are today’s links:

http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Licence_to_Kill

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Living_Daylights

 

600px-Goldeneye_900

                                      THE AGE OF BROSNAN

I can remember growing up watching a show about a private investigator who didn’t exist called Remmington Steele.  Pierce Brosnan played the part of a thief and a con man who assumed the name, and Stephanie Zimblast played the real detective, Laura Holt.  Pierce Brosnan played a suave and sophisticated man, which ended up launching his Bond career.  He is a rather unique Bond, with a serious side like at of Dalton or Moore, and also a humorous side, like that of Connery.  In my list of Bonds, he would have to be No. 4 out of the six that have played Bond.

600px-Tnd-ppk3600px-XaniaAk74601px-GEm163601px-Goldeneye_38

He first starred in Goldeneye, which later became a model for a video game.  Released in 1995, it was the 17th in the series, the third movie to have “gold” in the title, and wasn’t debuted until legal issues over Timothy Dalton resigning were final.  The name for the story was derived from a mission Ian Flemming was consulting on with the American OSS to monitor developments in Spain.  Flemming used  the name for his estate in Aracabessa, Jamacia.  Alec Trevelyan,(Sean Bean) formerly 006 of MI6, is the main villain in this one, a rouge agent who has sold out to the Russians.  His plan is to rob the Bank of England electronically, using the Goldeneye satellite to conceal the robbery, and destroy the British economy.  He is a great actor, usually playing a bad guy, as he also did in National Treasure.  Joe Don Baker returned for this Bond film, this time as Jack Wade, a veteran CIA officer, similar to the character Fe lix Leiter.

Skyfall_-_M_attends_a_public_hearing_to_defend_her_tenurelow-cay-beachXenia_Onatopp_(Famke_Janssen)_-_ProfileNatalyaSimonovaArchivesBond_and_TrevelyanGadgets_-_TND_-_PhoneJack_Wade_(Joe_Don_Baker)_-_Profile350444_030Gadgets_-_GE_-_Pen

Another change was the main field agent M, who was previously played by Robert Brown, was replaced by Judi Dench, the first and only woman to play the part.  In the film, a soviet base is destroyed by an electromagnetic pulse weapon, which is a very real weapon that the military has worked on, but on a smaller scale.  Other gadgets used in the film are a grenade pen which is activated by three clicks, which the geeky programmer Boris almost detonates, and a wristwatch with a laser cutter.  The pen is a possible device, but a watch with a laser is still purely fictional.

Elliot_Carver_(Jonathan_Pryce)_-_Profile225px-Wai_Lin_Tomorrow_Never_DiesLet_him_ripGadgets_-_GE_-_Watch280px-BMW_7er_(E38)_20090314_front

Tomorrow Never Dies was the first film to be made after long time Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli died.  His daughter took over as the main producer, and continued to produce the series.  Media baron Elliot Carver(Jonathon Pryce) is head of the Carver Media Group Network, who claims to print the news as it happens.  Bond later discovers that he is the one actually making the events happen, by sinking American ships, stealing missiles, and attacking Chinese fighter jets.  He uses a stealth ship, which also a very real possibility using mirrors and bending light, to achieve his dirty deed.  This movie has the usual six feet, blond haired henchman, and a climax which is rather comical, as Bond says to Carver,”I’m giving the public what I think they want.”   He then forces the grinding drill into his adversary.  Bond teams up with a Chinese agent named Wai Lin, played by Michelle Yeoh, who has starred in several Chinese and American kung fu films.

600px-Tnd-p229aParis_Carver_Profile_(2)Jonathan Pryce, after Glengarry Glen Ross, London's West End, October 24th 2007

Terri Archer, of The Adventures of Lois and Clark, is simply stunning as Carver’s wife, as beautiful as any other Bond girl.  The main gadget, and there are many in this one are a mobile phone Bond has equipped with a stun gun, a fingerprint scanner for opening fingerprint memory locks, a lock pick, and a remote control for driving his BMV 750 il, which also has a rocket launcher, and a defense mechanism for anyone who tries to break into it.  This device is possible, as remote cars, stun guns, and fingerprint locks are all devices of reality.  It is doubtful, however, that one device can do all of these things that were done in the film.

Brosnan was a perfect choice for a replacement for Dalton.  He had much more charisma for the role, and having done a tv role as a detective helped prepare him for the role.  Monday we will continue our Bond gadget series, as we continue the era of Brosnon, and take a look at my third favorite Bond, Daniel Craig.   Until then, here are today’s links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remington_Steele

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GoldenEye

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomorrow_Never_Dies

 

au025-sunseeker-superhawk-34-2

                                THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH

The title was taken from a  line in a previous Bond film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and came out in 1999.  It was the third film starring Pierce Brosnan, and the only movie where he shoots his own lover, Elecktra King, played by French actress Sophie Marceau.  I always felt this one was one of the worst Bond films due to the uninteresting and non charismatic villain, Bernard, a KGB agent turned terrorist who is immune to pain, played by Robert Carlyle.  The plot is no less uninteresting, as he has plans to control steal a nuclear weapon to hold the world ransom(like that hasn’t been tried before.)  What makes this movie unique is the subtle changes we see in Brosnan’s character in his security in the role.  By this film, he is comfortable in his role as 007, and has developed in his own style in the role.

GW200H150220px-PierceBMW9918817220_w434_h_q80GW200H1501GW200H1502GW200H1503q-boat_main

John Cleese as R replaces Q is this one, and Bond steals Q’s retirement project, the Q boat, to chase a saboteur who has blown up MI6 headquarters.  The boat boasts dual heat seeking torpedoes, an on board navigational computer, and a dive feature.  The engine is a Chevy 350 V12.  Although Q claims in isn’t finished, it proves vital in catching the Cigar Girl, the boat he is chasing.

GW209H167GW265H265

Die Another Day was a pivoting point for the world of James Bond.  It was the twentieth in the series, and the last one for Pierce Brosnan.  After fulfilling his contract, he was looking to move on to other projects, and he didn’t want to be typecast in the role as Sean Connery and Roger Moore were.    It was the highest grossing Bond film to date, and co-starred Hale Berry, as Jinx, a NSA agent who ends up working with Bond.  She is best known for her work as Storm, in the X-Men series.  This is the first movie to feature a woman who is almost equal to Bond’s ability, as the final sequence shows in dog fight, cat fight sequence.  The theme song is sung by Madonna, a popular singer during the 80’s and 90’s.

GW262H171

This is also the first film to feature two separate actors playing the same villain.  He starts out as the North Korean General Tan-Sun Moon, played by Wil Yun Lee, who Bond supposedly kills.  Bond is captured and must spend a long stay in a North Korean prison.  He is retrieved by MI6, and violates orders to go after the person in the MI6  who sent him up.  Gustuv Graves, played by Toby Stephens, is the revived General who has undergone constructive surgery, along with the side effect on sleeplessness.  His master plan is to hold the world at bay by producing a powerful satellite controlled laser called Icarus.  This last movie put the future of Bond in jeopardy, unsure of who will take the role.  There were rumors that Hale Berry might continue as a sort of Jane Bond, but that option never materialized.

GW231H155GW212H141

The most notable gadget in this film is again, a car, but  just any car.  The Aston Martin Vanquish has adaptive camouflage, making it appear invisible, using the same stealth technology the military uses.  It also sports a V12 engine capable of reaching speeds of 190 mph, 450 hp, has shotguns and machine guns mounted inside, rockets, tire spikes, ejector seats, radio thermal imaging, and is bulletproof.  Both the Q boat and the camouflage are not science fiction, and the military has its own versions of each currently in production.

GW249H166GW295H119

Tomorrow, we will explore the reinvented world of Bond; a world where 007 goes back to its roots.  An Australian actor known for his previous action adventure roles would soon take over as the next James Bond.  Until then, here are today’s links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_World_Is_Not_Enough

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Another_Day

http://jamesbond.wikia.com/wiki/Gadgets

 

Casino_Royale_(152)

 A NEW ERA, A NEW BOND

After Pierce Brosnan’s departure as Bond, over 200 actors were screened for the part, including Sam Worthington, of Avatar and Terminator: Salvation.  MGM, who recently took over the Bond franchise, chose Daniel Craig, of Lara Croft:Tomb raider and Cowboys and Aliens, as the next 007.  The franchise needed a fresh start, so it decided to choose the story of Casino Royale, going back to Bond’s beginnings as a secret agent for British Intelligence.  It was the third adaptation of Ian Flemming’s novel; it had been previously produced as a 1954 serial television episode, and later in 1967 a comedy with David Niven in the title role.

Casino_Royale_(81)Casino_Royale_posterLe_Chiffré

It was directed by Martin Campbell, and written by Neal Punis, Robert Wade, and Paul Haggis.  Barbara Broccolli continued to produce the films, right up to the most recent one.  It earned over $599 million worldwide, becoming the highest grossing Bond film, until the recent Skyfall.    It begins as Bond makes his first two kills, the first one in an abrasive and violent bathroom battle, the second in the villain’s superior’s office.  After he kills him, Bond remarks that it does get easier with number two.

Casino_Royale_(2006)_-_Clip_Crane_Fight

He goes on later to chase after a suspected Bomber in Madagascar, who he claims runs like a jackrabbit, chasing to the top of a crane, in perhaps one of the best fight scenes I’ve ever seen in any Bond film, until he ends up killing him at an embassy.  This, of course, pisses off M, again played by Judy Dench, for him not following orders to bring him back alive, and she has a device implanted to keep an eye on him.  There is a chase and fight scene involving a tanker truck at an airport, a fight scene at the end of the movie involving men who had used the heroine, Vesper Lynne, played by Eva Green, to steal the money that was recovered from the poker game.  Angela Jolie was selected for this part, but turned it down because she was working on other films at the time.  The villain, Le Chiffre, is played by Mads Mikkelsen, and is a mathematical genius poker player that weeps blood.  Jeffery Wright plays Felix, the first Afro American to play the part.  Miss Moneypenny, a regular staple, is absent from this film, but there is a subtle reference to her name.

Vesper_Lynd_(Eva_Green)_-_ProfileFelix_in_tuxM_(Judi_Dench)_-_ProfileGadgets_-_CR_-_Scanner 1

There aren’t many gadgets in this one, mostly because MGM wanted to show a less experienced, clumsier Bond.  There is the explosive key chain that Carlos uses to blow up the tanker, which Bond cleverly attaches to his adversary, causing his plan to backfire.  There is a point where Bond is poisoned, and given an antidote, but goes into cardiac arrest.  Vesper pulls out a medical kit, stored under Bond’s Aston Martin DBS’ dashboard, and shocks him with defibrillator pads.  No science fiction there.

Casino_Royale_(95)Gadgets_-_CR_-_Medical_EquipmentCasino_Royale_(125)

Of all the Bonds, Craig is one of the best, and in my top three.  He has the charisma of Connery and the wit of Moore.  He is by far the best fighter of the Bonds, and his sex appeal is well known from his previous films.  He is a fallible hero, and more human than some of the previous Bonds, which makes sense, considering its a reboot of the series.   Tomorrow we will continue with the next Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, where things get a little bit more complex.  Until tomorrow, here are the links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casino_Royale_(2006_film)

http://jamesbond.wikia.com/wiki/Gadgets

 

GW296H159

An Organization named Quantum, Mr. White & Mr. Greene

In the opening sequence of Quantum of Solace, Bond(Daniel Craig) has just shot Mr. White (Jesper Christensen ), taken the briefcase of money, and thrown him in the trunk for safekeeping.  This movie starts where the other left off, and he is chased by Quantum members until he safely gets White to MI6 headquarters where he is interrogated by Bond and M.  He escapes with the help of a double agent named Mitchell.  Bond tracks down Mitchell and kills him.

René_Mathis_(Giancarlo_Giannini)_-_ProfileMr._White_(Jesper_Christensen)_-_ProfileDominic_Greene_(Mathieu_Amalric)_-_ProfileCamille_Montes_(Olga_Kurylenko)_-_ProfileCorinne_Veneau_(Stana_Katic)_-_ProfileGeneral_Medrano_(Joaquin_Cosio)_-_Profile

Bond then tracks down his contact,who was sent t kill Camille Montes ( Olga Kurylenko), Dominic Greene’s (Mathieu Amalric).  Greene is helping the Bolivian General Medrano, who murdered Camille’s family, to overthrow the Bolivian government in exchange for a piece of barren desert that in reality contains a massive drinking water supply.

The_death_of_Strawberry_Fieldsquantum-of-solace-20080905041251826-2545736_160wquantum-of-solace-20080924115351848-2574931_160wQuantum_of_Solace_-_Greene_2

This one was directed by Marc Forster, and produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.  Jeffery Wright returns as the CIA contact Felix, and Judy Dench is once again M.  This film was called the most violent Bond of them all by critics, with 250 acts of violence.  I liked this one, especially the plot, and the grand finale was as good as any other Bond film.  Greene assaults Bond with an axe, which reminded me of View To A Kill, and the agent soaked in oil was reminiscent of Goldfinger.  Daniel Craig’s more complex Bond emerges, and he finally admits at the end that he has been careless and not disciplined in his job.  M says that she’s glad to have him back, and he responds by saying he never left.

quantum-of-solace-20080905041258216-2545738_640wquantum-of-solace-20080924115345644-2574928_160wquantum-of-solace-20080905041308324-2545742_160wGW312H152

The only device he uses in this film is a modified Sony Ericsson C902 cell phone.  It has a built-in identification imager, and can also receive information about the suspect from a MI6 database.  This device is also used in the Goldeneye Wi game, which also sports Daniel Craig as Bond.  Systems like this do exist in the real world, available on police lap tops all across the country, but none on phones that I am aware of, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.  Tomorrow, we will look at the most recent Bond story, which really goes back to Bond’s roots called Skyfall.  Until then, here are today’s links:

Gadgets_-_QOS_-_Phone

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_of_Solace

http://jamesbond.wikia.com/wiki/Gadgets

 

GW375H259

       THE NEW AND IMPROVED BOND

In Skyfall, we see an older, more experienced 007, who learns that even though he likes to do things his own way, he is still under the direction of M and MI6.  He is shot by his own fellow operative, Eva Moneypenny, played by Naomi Harris, accidentally, and is presumed dead.  Bond enjoys his “death’ by disappearing and retiring, until he hears of an attack against MI6.  The villain, Raoul Silvia, played by Javier Bardem, of No Country for Old men fame, is out to humiliate, discredit, and kill M for revenge against MI6 for betraying him, and leaving him with a condition that malformed his face and jaw.

MI6_under_attack_(Skyfall)GW389H247Silva's_disfigurement601px-SkyF-rifle-1

He steals cyber information containing the details of undercover agents placed in terrorist organizations, and manages to take control of MI6’s mainframe computer system, allowing him to escape MI6 custody.  When M is attacked during a hearing by Silvia, Bond is forced to take her to a safe haven, Skyfall, the estate where he grew up.  Silvia and Bond face up at the end in a showdown on the estate, and M is killed.  Bond returns and Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), takes over and Miss Moneypenny takes a desk job.  Q(Ben Wishaw) is introduced in this film, but his work is mostly with cyberspace, and not the actual production  of gadgets.  An Aston Martin identical to the one in Goldfinger is also featured.

Eve_Moneypenny_(Naomie_Harris)_-_Profile600px-Skyfall-G17600px-Skyfall_Macau_M9600px-Skyfall_4404600px-Skyfall_4405600px-Skyfall_11

I particularly liked the climax of this one, when M has to resort to her operative instincts.  Once you get used to seeing a certain actor or actress playing a part, it’s tough to see them leave.  I do believe, however, that the Bond producers made the right choice in casting Ralph Fiennes, most notable for Schindler’s List.  It was the first Bond film directed by Sam Mendes.  He is also scheduled to direct the next Bond film Spectre.

600px-Skyfall_24Gareth_Mallory_(Ralph_Fiennes)_-_ProfileSkyfall_LodgeQ_(Ben_Whishaw)_-_ProfileSkyfall_-_Silva_firing_his_weapon_during_the_hearing600px-Skyfall-MPPKS

There were a lot of gadgets in this film, but the most notable is the Walther PPK/S 9mm signature gun, similar to the one in Licence To Kill, a radio transmitting homing device, and a police radio detonator used by Silvia.  Such a detonator was used recently in the Boston Marathon bombing, and has long been a device used worldwide by terrorists.

Gadgets_-_SF_-_Radio_DetonatorGadgets_-_SF_-_GunGadgets_-_SF_-_Radio

Will Bond ever be finally killed off?  Well, not as long as there is money to be made.  The series did fall into some rough times, and there was a gap in between, but as you can see, 007 is back with a vengeance.  When asked by Silvia what his hobby was, Bond simply answered, “resurrection.”  That’s the end of our Bond gadget series, and probably asking why I didn’t mention Never Say Never Again.  This one was simply a remake of Thunderball, and basically had the same plot.  There was, however, the nifty game Largo had of world domination…..

I’ll be taking the rest of the week off the blog to work on other projects.  I’m trying to finish a children’s book for Amazon, and having been working on the sequel to Dimension Lapse.  I will return on Monday with a new series.  Until then, here are the links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skyfall

http://jamesbond.wikia.com/wiki/Gadgets

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

SCIENCE FICTION AND SCIENCE REALITY

%d bloggers like this: