MARK O'CONNELL

Writer, Author, Bond Fan

Tag: 007 (page 1 of 3)

FOREVER AND A DAY – Anthony Horowitz’s new Bond prequel novel steps out of the Riviera waters

 

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THE OTHER FELLOW’S CHOICE – Catching BECOMING BOND on DVD

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REMEMBERING ROGER and celebrating the golden spy we loved at Pinewood Studios

Original Roger Moore Stage photo © Mark Mawston / 2017

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CASINO ROYALE IN CONCERT – A triumphant Bond debut at the Royale Albert Hall

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BOND, BECOMING BOND – Catching George Lazenby’s second 007 movie

Who needs white dots and a John Barry guitar overture? Continue reading

THE 007th MAN FOR THE JOB

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THE CARS OF SPECTRE – Catching BOND IN MOTION’s new SPECTRE collection

THE CARS OF SPECTRE Launch - 17-11-15 - Photo © Mark O'Connell (11)

Since Bond In Motion‘s launch in March 2014 (full review and galleries), EON Productions and the London Film Museum’s collection of Bond vehicle gems has been attracting fans, tourists, kids and petrol heads alike from across the globe. Masterminded by the London Film Museum’s Jonathan Sands with EON Productions and its Archive Director Meg Simmonds on keen godparent duties, Bond In Motion celebrates those magnificent 007 men and women of Bond and especially their flying, driving and diving machines. Catching Bullets’ Mark O’Connell was invited to take the new display for a spin. And yes, he got to sit in an Aston. And yes, there were buttons to press.

THE CARS OF SPECTRE Launch - DB10 - 17-11-15 - Photo © Mark O'Connell (12)

 

Hot on the heels (or tyre tracks) of 007’s newest bullet, SPECTRE, the London Film Museum has now just launched its first special exhibition celebrating a new 007 movie – The Cars of SPECTRE. Since its 2014 launch where producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson first announced Bond’s newest Aston Martin, this new exhibition helps makes the welcome statement that Bond In Motion will be continuing indefinitely – much to the pride of Jonathan Sands and his museum team who have thoroughly enjoyed the ride, feedback and public enthusiasm so far.

“We are so excited to be presenting our first exhibition dedicated to SPECTRE. We regularly update Bond In Motion with never-before-seen gems from previous adventures but this is the first time we’ve been able to display vehicles from a film that is currently in cinemas around the world”

Jonathan Sands, London Film Museum founder & CEO

Sited in a brand new space amidst 007’s greatest vehicles (which in turn have had a great bout of feng-shui which has refreshed the whole exhibition in the best way – and sees the entire exhibition really using that underground space), The Cars of SPECTRE has now opened its bespoke car doors for the public with apt timing for cinemagoers.

THE CARS OF SPECTRE Launch - Rolls Royce Silver Wraith - 17-11-15 - Photo © Mark O'Connell (10)

As other SPECTRE exhibits are added to EON’s other two exhibitions (Washington DC’s Exquisitely Evil and the touring Designing Bond), The Cars of SPECTRE‘s main four-wheeled stars are the gleaming triumvirate of Hinx’s Jaguar C-X75, Oberhauser’s 1951 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith and of course the uber exclusive, Aston Martin DB10. Only around ten DB10s were reportedly commissioned but Bond In Motion in fact has two already. Well, one and a very cool half. The DB10 ejector seat stunt rig and a Land Rover Defender (straight from a mountain in Austria) are on display too and testament to the wizardry of Bond, the mathematics of such stunt sequences and the sheer effort that goes into making 007 look effortless. Though there is no Frank Sinatra CD left over in the DB10 by 009.

Montage 2

Added to that is a rich array of SPECTRE storyboards, clapperboards, props and costumes. Easily the coolest cabinet aptly flanking the DB10 is Daniel Craig’s Tom Ford Windsor three piece suit from the Rome funeral scenes and subsequent car chase (complete with collar pin, Tom Ford tie and Crockett & Jones Camberley boots). Yet equally striking is Hinx’s black on black suit on sentry duty by the fire damaged Jaguar and costume designer Jany Temime’s Moroccan trouser suit for Dr Madeleine Swann. Q gets his own display with his ID card, spectacles (SPECTRE-cals….sorry), Q Lab production models, the Omega Seamaster 300 watch and already iconic SPECTRE ring complete the line-up.

The Cars of SPECTRE opens on the 18th November 2015 as part of Bond In Motion. There is no extra charge for the new exhibition (beyond the normal admission price) and the gift shop is certainly stocked with SPECTRE goodies….but no cat food. And be sure to check out the cutest SPECTRE exhibit already making itself at home at Covent Garden – namely Blofeld’s Bath-o-Sub from Diamonds Are Forever.

For a full gallery of photos go to Catching Bullets Facebook page.

THE CARS OF SPECTRE (from left) The Jaguar C-X75, The Day of the Dead skulduggery & the Rolls Royce Silver Wraith. Photo © Mark O'Connell / 2015

The Cars of SPECTRE

Bond In Motion, 45 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, London.

Full price – £14.50

Child Ticket – [5-15years] £9.50

Concession Ticket – £9.50 [Students, 65 + and freedom pass holders]

Family Ticket – £38

Under 5 – Free

THE CARS OF SPECTRE Launch - DB10 - 17-11-15 - Photo © Mark O'Connell (15)

With thanks to EON Productions, Meg Simmonds, Jonathan Sands, White Ltd and the team at Bond In Motion.

 

Catching Bullets joins THE TIMES & it’s BEST BOND EVER experts poll

TIMES Bond Poll - 15-10-15Catching Bullets – Memoirs of a Bond Fan author Mark O’Connell joins a formidable SPECTRE boardroom table of Bond experts including David Walliams, Edgar Wright, Raymond Benson, Ajay Chowdhury, Andrew Lycett, Matthew Parker, James Bond Radio, Ben McIntyre, Steve Cole and Alan J Porter to try and compile the definitive list of Bond movies, good and bad.

The Times (October 15th 2015) declares this to be “most comprehensive poll of Bond experts” and has pinned a top movie which is certainly a surprise – as are many of the Top Ten and even the bottom eight.

The pull out supplement is certainly worth a buy of the paper (there is a lot more to it than the list and the reasonings) … but as The Times is only subscription only it seems only fair to at least let fans see how “the experts” voted……

Thanks to Dominic Maxwell and The Times.

The Times - Bond Countdown

OFF THE WALL – Sam Smith is announced as SPECTRE’s title song performer

smith 2The official writing is finally on the wall with the announcement that British singer Sam Smith is performing  Writing’s On The Wall– the title song to the 24th Bond movie, Spectre.

Just like Adele before him, the multi-Grammy award winning British singer is a natural choice, a very current and high-selling choice and do not be surprised if Sam Smith is performing Writing’s On The Wall at next year’s Academy Awards ceremony. Just sayin’.

However, Smith of course strenuously denied such Bond associations, citing Ellie Goulding in a scent-diverting tactic. Other names were touted too – including the rather delicious prospect of Radiohead getting involved.

But the upshot was it was always Smith’s gig. Co-written very quickly with Smith’s co-writer Jimmy Napes (Stay With Me), the track allegedly took barely twenty minutes to structure with the end result being one of the proudest moments in Sam Smith’s career thus far.

He is the first British male solo artist in fifty years to perform a Bond tune, the first out performer and one of the youngest too.

For my fuller thoughts on Sam Smith’s casting as the Spectre title song artist :

OUT MAGAZINE : Off The Wall – Why Sam Smith entering Bond’s Thunderball of Fame is good news for Bond

BBC 5 LIVE :  Sam Smith ‘obvious choice’ for theme tune says Mark O’Connell

Writing’s On The Wall is available to buy and download from September 25th 2015.

CD and vinyl pre-orders are being taken here

FOR YOUR EYES WIDE SHUT – SPECTRE and Team Eon win 2015’s teaser war in 97 seconds

 

“And anticipation is a big part of the appeal. To this day, the arrival of the Bond teaser trailer is a red letter day for me”

(Mark Gatiss, Catching Bullets – Memoirs of a Bond Fan)

Going viral round the globe quicker than Moonraker 5 or a Telly Savalas flu jab, the newly premiered trailer for SPECTRE hits the snow/water/gravel running and is surprisingly chaste for what could have played out as Skyfall II – Back To The Chapel.

SPECTRE

Simply pitched and lushly shot by DOP du jour Hoyte van Hoytem, this online teaser pre-title sequence to a further media campaign demonstrates an early sense of cool and story precision as well as a refreshing lack of falling masonry, arched eyebrow raising, car and lady jousting.

A destroyed MI6 building below The Fighting Temeraire’s oily horizon, Naomie Harris’s Moneypenny doing her subtext best with a flight recorder box of Bond’s salvaged memories and holiday selfies (though shouldn’t photos of a young Craig/Bond skiing show a bit more colourful 1980s exchange student ski-wear?), Bond at home and no doubt digging out his 1973 dressing gown (with his Live and Let Die coffee maker in one of those packing boxes), Bond being taken on a Who Do You Think You Are journey (there may be tears to camera before bedtime) and finding Catweazle – sorry, Mr White – hiding in an Austrian lodge not totally dissimilar (and wilfully so) to the interiors of Dennis Gassner’s 2012 Skyfall Lodge.

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Though despite the obvious leanings to Ian Flemings’s Hannes Oberhauser (Octopussy and The Living Daylights, 1966), climbing accidents, parental loss, orders of “Temporary Guardianship” and Monica Bellucci marked out in a sort of Bertolucci-framed grief there is a delicious additional sense of baroque villainy already in place in this newest 007 bullet. No doubt taking the tonal baton started by writer John Logan (who wrote the arched dialogue between Silva and Bond in Skyfall) SPECTRE looks to have an apt and shadowy sort of medieval sense of occasion guided by secretive, enclaved traditions (not totally un-removed from how Bond trailers themselves step out from the online wings). There is also that deliciously arched sense of dialogue and statement, in part from Logan’s pen. Oh, and Judi Dench’s M looks to be all over this film. Just sayin’.

I always knew death would wear a familiar face, but not yours

– Mr White, SPECTRE

No three pronged Walther PPK’s, no Thunderball droids, no CGI Aston Martins cascading through a signature theme. This ain’t The Sith Who Loved Me. This is pared down Bond, the Masters Year of Daniel Craig’s four film tenancy (so far). And is this the fully fledged return of Ernst Stavro Blofeld (after all he’s had 34 years to escape Beckton Gas Works – or the McClory legalities as they are also known) or have Eon Productions, director Sam Mendes and the writers got a few white cats of intrigue up their Mao sleeves (and yes, that is a Mao collar on Christoph Waltz there, no?). Well it better be!

One thing that is less evident as the trailer concludes with Bond stepping into a cultish invite-only Eyes Wide Shut territory is that the seated silhouette of Christoph Waltz about to do The Voice on 007 (“you owned that song, Mister Bond“), is we cannot yet see the rugs of surprise that are about to be pulled from under James Bond 007.

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“Welcome James. It’s been a long time. And finally here we are”

SPECTRE is released in the UK in October and around the world from November.

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