Trailer Tracks: GoldenEye (1995) – Martin Campbell

To tie in with the 007 documentary, I thought I would post one of my favorite Bond teasers. After waiting for 5 long years, 007 was returning to the screen, with a man who seemed destined to play the role, Pierce Brosnan.

This trailer just got me going everytime I saw it…

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Everything Or Nothing (2012) – Stevan Riley

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Bond… James Bond.

I’ve been a fan since I saw the trailer for For Your Eyes Only on SuperChannel, and tried to buy a James Bond book for the road trip to New Brunswick, though my father did not approve.

Once we relocated to Bermuda and finally had to break and buy a VHS machine, I got to work my way through all the films, all of which I love passionately, some more than others. I’m also familiar with a lot of the behind the scenes stuff, because that’s the kind of movie geek I am. I’m passionate about how films get made, from the production design, to the stunts, to the politics that sometimes come into play when these films are created.

As such, there was nothing really new for me in this documentary, though I certainly did enjoy how Riley presented it all within an hour and a half, not to mention the interviews he got to fill it out! Nice.

There was the creation of the books by Fleming, the horrid television adaptation of Casino Royale, the joining together of Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to bring the film series to the screen.

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From there it’s a whirlwind romp through the films, some are completely glossed over without mention, though there are clips from all of them present throughout.

It mentions briefly the shooting of You Only Live Twice in Japan and Sean Connery’s decision to leave the series after that, the casting of George Lazenby and the mistakes off-screen that he made. Roger Moore talks about the worry he had following in Connery’s footsteps, as Saltzman and Broccoli fall apart.

The moment that Pierce Brosnan (who laughs at some of the ludicrous things that happened in his last Bond film) was so close to making The Living Daylights before Remington Steele was brought back for a final season.

Broccoli’s daughter, Barbara and stepson, Michael Wilson, stepping in to take the reins from their father to continue the epic series… and the battles with Kevin McClory over control of Thunderball and James Bond himself.

All of this is covered up to and including the 50th anniversary Bond film, Daniel Craig’s 007 in Skyfall.

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As a documentary, this thing could easily have run three hours, and been completely engaging, I point to the fantastic Never Sleep Again as a prime indicator of a brilliantly made behind the scenes documentary, and that only covered seven films and clocked in at 240 minutes!

Still, for true Bond fans, there isn’t going to be much here that you don’t know or haven’t seen before on the extensive extras that have been packaged with each film. Still, it serves as a brilliant introduction to the films for some who may be a little wary about them, or don’t know their history like die-hard fans.

Having said that, it certainly did fire up my desire to watch the films again, and even now, Doctor No is roaring away on my blu-ray player.

A series that after 50 years is still going strong, changing with the times, and the actors who have portrayed him.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need a martini.

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Trailer Tracks: Alien (1979) – Ridley Scott

Another classic trailer! This one runs for only 2 minutes, and the first minute doesn’t even include any footage from the film, but it so sets a creepy tone for what is essentially a sci-fi riff on the old dark house routine…

I love this movie, and after having watched THIS trailer, I think it’s time to go back and watch this one again real soon!

Tales of the Gold Monkey (1982) – Legends Are Forever & Escape From Death Island

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Jake Cutter (Stephen Collins) flies into danger in this week’s installment of the Bellisario gem, Tales of the Gold Monkey.

The first episode, Legends Are Forever, aired 20 October, 1982 and saw the introduction of an old flying buddy of Jake’s, the legend seeking Gandy Dancer (William Lucking). It was penned by Bellisario, Reuben Leder and Milt Rosen, based on his story.

Jake gets ‘persuaded’ to help out a relocated tribe of Watusi who are suffering from malaria. His old buddy Gandy, however, may have ulterior motives, as it seems this tribe may hold the treasures of King Solomon’s Mines.

Gandy bears an uncanny resemblance to a character that shows up in Magnum in Season 3, apparently Bellisario liked the character idea and was hoping to create a backdoor pilot for him…

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It also features the song Yellow Rose of Texas, which recurs in another Bellisario series, my favorite, the premier episode of Quantum Leap.

Jake, Jack, Gandy, Corky (Jeff Mackay) and Louie (Roddy McDowall) all fly to the island inhabited by the Watusi, as well as more hostile tribe they are at war with. Corky and Jack stay with the Goose, but the rest make the ascent to the village, but not all of them will be coming back down.

This episode perfectly married the 1930s sense of high adventure and melodrama with a real sense of loss.

And I often find myself wondering how amazing this series would have been if it had been allowed to continue.

Escape From Death Island, which aired 27 October, 1982, was written by Stephen Katz and Peter Elliot, shows that despite the series trappings, it’s not afraid to deal with heavier material.

Jake, Jack and Corky are flying to a remote island that is under French rule. They’re flying a distraught gentleman, Arthur Fromby (Gerry Gibson) to the location because the island now serves as a prison, and his son, Eric (the always sadly underused Xander Berkley).

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Once there, they discover that Eric is in a deteriorating condition due to being locked in a low box, and left out in the sun all day. Arthur tries to help him escape, with Jake and Corky helping, but they are all caught, and made prisoners.

Working all day in the blistering sun, everything seems to be set up to sap anyone of their will to live, let alone their desire to escape, but Jake and company aren’t giving up hope yet. They’re going to escape, and get Eric out if they can.

Of course, the heroes escape, but none of them are unscathed, and even Louie, is unable to help them despite his position as the French Magistrate in the islands.

The pair of episodes show that the series could tell a variety of genre of stories within its world, and with such a likeable cast, it’s desperately sad that ABC cancelled it at the end of the season. Not due to ratings, but the show, at the time, was just too expensive for them.

… you know, maybe it’s time to relaunch it… There could be something there…

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Trailer Tracks: Superman The Movie (1978) Teaser Trailer

Superman The Movie… that cast, that score, that perfect moment when it all comes together and you will believe a man can fly.

This is a teaser that gives nothing away at all, instead just lets you know about the star power involved, and the fact that it’s coming soon…

Some Like It Hot (1959) – Billy Wilder

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Marilyn Monroe stars alongside Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in this hilarious film that is the next title in Great Movies – 100 Years of Film.

Curtis and Lemmon are Joe and Jerry, respectively, a sax and bass player in a speakeasy in 1929. Unfortunately, they’re both rather broke, and have just witnessed a gangland massacre.

They take the first opportunity to get away from town and make money, playing for three weeks in Florida, all expenses paid. The only problem is… it’s in an all-girl band.

Donning drag, Joe becomes Josephine, Jerry becomes Daphne, and they clamber aboard a train south with the rest of their new band mates. What follows is a hilarious series of sequences as the boys strive to control their libido surrounded by lovely women, including the stunning Sugar Kane (Monroe).

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Right off the bat there’s a bit of a rivalry between the two men for Sugar’s attention, and the party in Jerry’s bunk becomes downright hilarious.

In a quiet moment, Sugar reveals the type of man she’s looking for to Josephine, and Joe has it all mapped out on how to win her over when they arrive in Florida. Donning a suit, and his best Cary Grant accent, Joe works to win Sugar over, making her think she’s doing the wooing, while Daphne flirts and dances with Osgood Fielding III (Joe E. Brown), who has the last line of the film and it’s a great comedic moment.

Curtis and Lemmon are in top form, wandering about in dresses and heels, working to keep their figures together, avoid flirtatious bellboys, and keep their secrets safe. Add that in to Curtis changing clothes constantly as he switches into his millionaire persona, and you have tons of laughs brought on by the physical comedy and the brilliant dialogue.

Monroe is simply stunning, and looks fantastic, wooing the audience as much as she woos Curtis’ Joe. She has some great moments, and while not always the strongest actor in the film, it’s arguably one of her best performances.

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Things take a turn for the worse when the gang members who were responsible for the massacre show up in Florida, led by Spats (George Raft), and he’s the one who sees through their disguises right off the bat, and the chase is on again.

As most comedies of the time did, we end with a chase that sees all of our stars reunited at its end, the revelation to Sugar that Joe is Josephine and the millionaire (but not really that rich) and Jerry tires to make the same revelations to Fielding with laugh out loud results.

I was absolutely delighted to settle in and revisit this film, as I cannot recall the last time I saw it, and hazard to guess it may have been back when VHS ruled the world, so coming to it now, with more knowledge and appreciation for film, I loved it all the more.

What did you think of it? What is your favorite Marilyn film? Happily the recommendations for this film include a couple more of her films… stay tuned!

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Death Do Us Part (2014) – Nicholas Humphries

deathdousAnchor Bay releases this slasher thriller today on DVD.

Kennedy (Julia Benson, Stargate: Universe) has dreamed about her wedding day ever since she was a little girl, and now it’s only a short time away. Sensing she needs a get away, her husband-to-be Ryan (played by real life hubby Peter Benson) arranges a get away weekend, for them to party with the core members of the bridal party.

Along for the ride on Kennedy’s side is her sister, Hannah (Christine Chatelain) and her bestie, Emily (Emily Ullerup). Tagging along with Peter is his best man, Chet (Kyle Cassie) and Peter’s cousin, Derek (Benjamin Ayres).

Heading to a remote rental in the middle of the wilderness, with a very creepy groundskeeper, Bo (Dave Collette), the weekend is off to a dubious start as it becomes apparent fairly quickly that despite being friends, not all of these people like one another, in fact some of them have or will be given motivation through the course of the film to hate one another.

Add in some unnerving stares and appearances from Bo, and some strange moments, and the setting is prepared for when things go pear-shaped.

The film never seems to fully embrace the exploitative nature of the slasher films it is using as it’s launching point, the kills are fairly basic, and there isn’t even the added factor of a lot of blood and gore to delight horror hounds, and of course there is a lack of sex and nudity that seems to go hand in hand with these types of films.  Both are hinted at, but it’s more like the filmmakers are simply dipping their toes into the shallow end of Crystal Lake without taking the full plunge.

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I do like that every single one of the characters is suspect. Someone is killing them all off, one by one, and it could be anyone. Each character has secrets, each character isn’t as clean as they seem, except for Kennedy who is pushed to the extremes and forced to become something she hates.

This film felt, to me, like a primer for slasher films, as if, chronologically, it could be set before any of the others had been made, before we knew what the genre was, what it could be, and how it could be turned on its ear. It’s a step backwards, instead of forwards, and like I said, seems to try to shun the very nature and rotes that have become a groundwork for any slasher film.

There are a couple of nice moments, and it was fun to see fan favorite Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica, Hemlock Grove) make an appearance, but overall, it just wasn’t all it could have been. There are some nice ideas, and some really well-played red herrings that helped to flesh out the characters and their motivations, but in the end, it just felt like it was holding back. I think if they had totally embraced their inner slasher film, this could one could have been something…

Have a look at let me know what you think!

Death Do Us Part is available now from Anchor Bay.

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Trailer Tracks: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

This is one of my all-time favorite westerns, and I love the pairing of Paul Newman and Robert Redford.  Directed by George Roy Hill, who would later reunite with the duo to make the equally enjoyable The Sting.

The trailer is too long for my tastes, and definitely shows too much of the story, but it also conveys the sense of fun, and I may be settling down to watch this one again real soon!

 

The Rockford Files (1975) – The Four Pound Brick, Just By Accident & Roundabout

rockford_files_large The first season of Jim Rockford’s (James Garner) private investigations comes to a close with these three episodes.

The first, The Four Pound Brick, was penned by Leigh Brackett(who had her pen in Rio Bravo and The Empire Strikes Back) and Juanita Bartlett and aired 21 February, 1975.

The phone gag features a call from the bank, turning him down on a loan, letting him know he’s overdrawn, and that the teller who is calling, well, she finishes at 4:30 if he’s around.

This episode sees Jim hired by his dad, Rocky (Noah Beery Jr.) to help out Kate (Edith Atwater), whose son, a rookie cop, was killed and his death was ruled an accident. Kate, who can’t afford Jim, believes her son was murdered, and Rocky wants him to find out what really happened.

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As Jim dives into the case, we find a world of drugs and bad cops, but there are familiar faces to guide us, keep us safe and provide some laughs. Tom Atkins is back as Lt. Diel, Joe Santos’ Becker is around, both of whom warn Jim off the case, and Angel (Stuart Margolin) gets wrangled into helping out.

This one is a lot of fun for the interactions between Jim and Rocky, as they are together for almost the entire length of the episode, and it’s fun to watch them together. Especially after Jim learns Rocky lied to Kate about his job, saying he drives a rig and only does this private investigating thing to make some extra cash.

The next episode, Just By Accident, written by Charles Sailor and Eric Kaldor, aired 28 February, 1975. The phone gag is a very troubling message about some research he was doing for a family tree, and the female caller believes Rockford and she may be kin.

Jim is called in by another mother, though this one can afford him, to investigate the death of her son, which was ruled an accident, but considering his career, as a derby driver, that sounds questionable.

As Jim investigates he uncovers an insurance scam involving accidents, birth certificates and unpronounceable names.

When his own car gets totaled (again) as in the shop (again) Jim has to borrow a loaner… and I laughed aloud when I saw how the car lot/garage owner was… WKRP’s Gordon Jump.

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The final episode of the first season, Roundabout, aired 7 March, 1975 and was written by Mitch Lindemann and Edward J. Lasko and features Ron Rifkin!

The final phone gag of the season features a woman who, once she realizes she’s talking to an answering machine hangs up, because she doesn’t talk to machines.

Jim is off to Vegas, to deliver a $10,000 cashier’s cheque as a pay out to a dead woman’s long-lost daughter, Nancy Wade (Jesse Welles).

Once there, the mystery gets deeper, as they go to the bank to deposit the money into a bank account for Nancy, who claims she’s broke, only to learn, from one of the bank managers, played by George Wyner, she has one already, and it has $300,ooo in it.

As the investigation progresses we find that she has a lounge act and that her manager, Tom Robertson (Rifkin) is keeping the money for himself, and faking and padding his books, in one big moneymaking con.

The episode, the season, ends with a foot chase through Hoover Dam, and an exhausted Rockford catching his man at the bottom.

So ends season one, I wonder what familiar names and entertaining moments await in Season 2?

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