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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; home of Her Majesty’s Secret Sauce. This is the movie column with the license to grill…terrible movies. We fry everything else. Every week we moon-rake a bad movie over the coals, shaking it, stirring it, and a third Bond pun as well. We mock the living daylights out it, but just when it seems we have a view to a kill, we offer the movie a quantum of solace in the fact that we actually do harbor an affection for it. At the end, as we’ve never been a proponent of the idea of live and let diet, we serve up a disgustingly delicious snack food themed to the movie and sure to add a few double chins to those double-0 agents. One of the problems with being a diehard fan of the James Bond franchise, is that it’s impossible to then be a JamesBond fan of the Die Hard franchise. Wait, no, that’s not what I was going to say. The real problem is that your fandom often prevents you from avoiding some of the series’ worst entries even though you really ought to. Sure, Skyfall was tremendous, but does that mean I can finally resign myself to never again watch Die Another Day? No, it’ll still be there, impossible to resist; like a burn at the roof of your mouth that you can’t stop tonguing while watching Die Another Day. It’s so bad, that I’ve actually had to come up with new methods […]

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The James Bond Files

No single character that spans more than twenty films can do it on his or her own, and James Bond is no exception. While James Bond is unquestionably the focus of the Bond films, he is supported by various key characters over the years. Some of these characters have been essential in setting him up on his missions, while others have been there to offer comic relief or general background. While James Bond is the only character who has appeared in every single James Bond movie ever made, certain characters have helped in out in almost every one. In fact, if you’re talking the legacy of James Bond, some of the actors behind the supporting characters have been featured in the most movies over the years. When the Bond franchise was rebooted in 2006 with Casino Royale, some of these characters were lost completely while others were left to be introduced in later films, but they have been as essential to the franchise as the gadgets, guns and girls that change from film to film

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Culture Warrior

Buried deep within this sentence (Doritos are delicious) is an advertisement. Did you catch it? You probably didn’t because it was so subtly subliminal, but that’s exactly how product placement has worked for a century to varying degrees of success. After all, there’s a thin line between using real-life products in a film to create a sense of verisimilitude and using them to promote the product in question. Where that line is drawn is up to each person. One person might see a kid reading “National Geographic” in It’s a Wonderful Life and think it’s quaintly appropriate while another person might find it craven and conspicuous. To the same extent, different film productions have delivered brands with means ranging from the slyness of near-imperceptibility to almost Doritos-Scorchin’-Habanero-Flavor levels of obviousness. It’s far from new, and even though sold items have sneaked their way into movies for almost one hundred years, there’s been an explosion in recent decades, seeing a new revenue stream for studios and a new annoyance for film fans.

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The Criterion Collection rebooted two of their early releases these past two weeks, re-releasing Nicolas Roeg’s Walkabout on DVD and Blu-ray…and bringing us another amazing restoration of Fritz Lang’s M on Blu-ray. One of these films, I had never seen before. The other film, I have seen…but I have never seen it look or sound so good.

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In case you were wondering where all those spy film elements come from, it’s this film – the Grandfather of Modern Spy Thrillers. James Bond owes Fritz Lang his life.

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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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