Sean Connery

These 20, alongside hundreds of others, redefine what it means to be a movie veteran.

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Culture Warrior: James Bond

Warning: this post contains mild spoilers for Skyfall. At some point during the middle of the first decade of this century, it felt like the practice of rebooting franchises would not see an end anytime soon. A gritty, realist new Batman origin story was followed quickly by a new blonde James Bond who, supposedly modeled after the new spy paradigm of the Bourne series, seemed as messy as he was vulnerable.

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The Ingredients is a column devoted to breaking down the components of a new film release with some focus on influential movies that came before. As always, these posts look at the entire plots of films and so include SPOILERS.  The James Bond series is something of a hub in the course of film and pop culture history. As iconic as it is on its own, it tends to be informed by other material as often as it does the informing. In the beginning, for example, the movies were highly influenced by the works of Alfred Hitchcock. Author Ian Fleming even wished for Hitch to direct the first movie adapted from his 007 novels. And Cary Grant was famously sought for the part of Bond, which would have been interesting had he continued with the second film, From Russia With Love, given how much it calls to mind North by Northwest. Instead, little-known Sean Connery embodied the character, and after the first two installments made the actor famous, Hitch cast him in Marnie. As usual, the director capitalized on a movie star’s pre-existing notoriety, his screen value, which makes it quite difficult for us to see Connery’s Marnie character, Mark Rutland, as anything but James Bond as a wife-raping publisher. Hitch went another step with his next film, Torn Curtain, which was an admitted direct response to the 007 films. He wrote to Francois Truffaut in 1965: “In realizing that James Bond and the imitators of James Bond were more or less making […]

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The James Bond Files

After wading through the MGM bankruptcy hiatus, pre-production, principal photography, marketing and release anticipation, the latest James Bond adventure is finally upon us. (If you live outside of the U.S., there’s actually a good chance that this wait ended a week or two ago, but we’ll let that go.) Skyfall hits theaters early in IMAX on November 8 and then in wide theatrical release on November 9. Now you have a chance to finally see the brand new, completely original Bond. Sort of. One of the great things about Bond movies is they have a certain level of familiarity. If made well, you can expect some common elements that make it feel like a quintessential Bond film. Sure, we all like originality, but you can trust almost any James Bond film to cover familiar territory. Here’s a James Bond history lesson and how it relates to the upcoming film.

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There are now 23 official James Bond movies, so coming up with only six clips from the entire series for this week’s Scenes We Love was difficult. But where do you draw the line? One scene per film is too many, and if I picked all the scenes I truly love the most from the films, it would add up to even more. There would also be an imbalance, with multiple scenes from some films and no scenes from others. There’d be no focus. So, the best and simplest way to do this (in terms of clarity; I reiterate that choosing the clips was not simple) is to pick one scene I love from each of the six actors’ run as 007. In making the selections, I had to remind myself, and I should remind you, that these are not meant to be the best scenes or even necessarily my personal favorites. They’re simply some scenes that I love that I’d like to spotlight for your pleasure in viewing and discussing. Also, Bond fans are all so different, so it’s very likely that some of these scenes that I love might be scenes that you hate. Let me know your own favorite scene — or just a scene you love — from each Bond down below.

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Bond 50 Blu-ray

James Bond has been outwitting bad guys and bedding the ladies onscreen for half a century, and even as the films’ tones, quality and lead actors fluctuated the character of Bond has remained an icon of cinema. Six actors have played him across twenty two films, and there are folks who champion each and every one of them. The key to calling a favorite seems to depend on which ones you saw first and at what age as well as your individual constitution for puns, crazy action sequences, talkative villains and films ending with lifeboats floating at sea. For the record, before digging into this set and watching all 22 films Daniel Craig was my favorite Bond and Casino Royale my favorite Bond movie. But also for the record? I quickly came to realize I had only seen a fraction of the Bond films. One of 2012′s biggest and most anticipated Blu-ray sets is Bond 50 which celebrates fifty years of Bond with special feature-filled Blu-rays for each film. Most have already seen HD releases, but the set includes Blu debuts of You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Diamonds are Forever, The Spy Who Loved Me, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies. The set breaks the 22 films into two halves, twelve from 1962-1981 and ten 1983-2012, each in their own sturdy book. Due to the sheer volume of material this Disc Spotlight will be broken into two halves […]

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“Movie House of Worship” is a regular feature spotlighting our favorite movie theaters around the world, those that are like temples of cinema catering to the most religious-like film geeks. This week, with help from guest cinephile Ellen Bliss, we look at an historic landmark cinema currently run not for profit. If you’d like to suggest or submit a place you regularly worship at the altar of cinema, please email our weekend editor.   Name: The Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre Location: 54 Journal Square, Jersey City, New Jersey Opened: September 28, 1929, as one of the state’s largest movie palaces. Reopened in 2001 for its current operation as a restored landmark and not-for-profit cinema and special event venue. For a history of the ups and downs of the building, see the theater’s website. No. of screens: 1 (with a balcony-adorned auditorium seating more than 3,000) Current first run titles: None. The Loew’s Jersey is no longer a first-run movie theater. Repertory programming: Classics and second-run independents are the usual fare for the cinema, such as this weekend’s special showings of Marnie, Dr. No and Goldfinger. However, the programming appears to be on special occasion at the moment rather than daily. Special Events: Movies are not the only offering here, and one highlighted special event of the future is a weekend-long festival of live theater and other performance pieces called STAGEfest, which happens in March of 2013. Concerts, weddings and other events are held here on a special or rented-out basis.

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The James Bond Files

Not only are FSR’s resident Bond nerds (specifically yours truly and my partner in espionage, Brian Salisbury) gearing up for the release of Skyfall in November, but we are also rubbing our hands together with anticipation of opening our new Bond 50 Blu-ray box sets that came out this week. Since we’re in the movie news business, we can watch all 22 of these films, we can chalk up the 40+ hours of movie watching to a full work week. We bet you’re feeling an extreme amount of jealousy right now (or an extreme amount of pity for us… not quite sure which). But as we prepare to watch all the James Bond movies again, we’ll also reflect upon the different actors who have played James Bond in the past. Here’s a quick breakdown of the legendary (and one not-so-legendary) Bond actors over the years. Fortunately, since Daniel Craig has signed on for some additional post-Skyfall movies, this piece should still be relevant for a while, and that’s a valuable commodity in the ever-changing world of the Internet.

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Daniel Craig Skyfall

The James Bond franchise has been going on for so long now that it’s started to look like an ever-changing monstrosity of different corporate influences, creative strategies, and leading men. But, in its current star Daniel Craig, its current, grittier creative direction, and its current co-financing deal between Sony Pictures and MGM, this series of spy films has seemed to have found a moment of stability; and a report from Bond-centric site MI6 says that a deal has been struck that will keep that stability going, at least for a little while longer.

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Merch Hunter - Large

I invite you to imagine a scene for a minute: a handsome man, with the kind of chiseled chin you could sharpen spoons on in an embarrassingly fine suit whose intricate detail blinded three tailors in the making sits at a Texas Holdem table, sucking daintily on a Vesper and with a cigarette lit for ornamentation. A gun presses into his ribs, another comfortably into his calf, and about his person are secreted millions of pounds worth of the British Intelligence Service’s most impressive, and most secret inventions. His smile cuts knowingly across an impeccably handsome face, eyes taking in infinitely more than his lush demeanor lets on as he imperceptibly stalks his prey. He is Bond, and no matter what you do about it, he is always going to be cooler than you. So, why the hell wouldn’t you want to make your life as close to his as possible? Your paunch might say more Gandalfini than Bond, and your social awkwardness would probably be the first, largest stumbling block in your application to MI5, but through the magpie-like acquisition of many fine pieces of James Bond merchandise, you too could pretend like a boss. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s precisely what this week’s Merch Hunter column is devoted to…

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema: if you don’t leave now, it’s consensual. This is the part of the internet where your intrepid host (or, in this case, your intrepid host’s wife) dons her finest Middle Age-y costume, unsheathes her silver Nerf sword and just starts whaling on an awful, maleficent movie. And yet–probably as a consequence of some ambiguous plot device early in my childhood–I check the killing stroke, throw down my weapon and extend my hand in peace to this humbled, repentant film. I cement our bond by throwing a feast in its honor and invite our reader (yes, singular) to indulge in a snack specially tailored to the film: not only not fit for a king, but probably not legal in any monarchical government. This week’s mistake of draconian proportions: Dragonheart

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema: we have come here to chew bubblegum and worship bad movies…and we’re all out of bubblegum. Pursuant to our mission statement, hastily written in soy sauce on the wrapper of a Zagnut bar, every week we will tempt your cerebral taste buds with all the most decadent, delicious treats it doesn’t want to admit it craves. We will slice, dice, chop, and screw the movie; basting it in its own faults along the way. But then it will lovingly bake in our hearts at 98.6° for 3-5 paragraphs until it becomes golden brown with our misguided affection. We will then transform metaphor into substance by offering an actual snack food item paired with the film in order that no part of your insides remain unaffected by this odious column. If losers are always whining about their best, we achieve the complete opposite effect by lauding the worst with a barbaric yawp. Today’s Blue Plate Special: The Rock

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Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. What does it take to destroy Camelot? Apparently love and Richard Gere pausing in the middle of every line. Sean Connery playing King Arthur was a stroke of genius, which makes it even more heartbreaking that the thrust of the plot is about him being awesome and his wife betraying him. Damsels, AmIRight? This is a fantastic movie with internal struggle in the form of forbidden romance that comes perfectly timed with the external struggle of fighting off a huge army of invaders led by a man that says, “I am the law!” Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. John Barry passed away yesterday. One of the best film composers of all time, he was hailed as a classically-rooted but diverse talent that won a few Oscars and composed his themes into the minds of movie fans everywhere. Today’s trailer is from one such movie, and it’s not hard to guess which one. It’s Bond, baby. James Bond. In his very first outing, no less. Think you know what it is? Check the trailer out for yourself:

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Science Fiction is, sadly, not always seen as high art. However, there are some brilliant acting talents who have dared to slum it in the world of science fiction. Here’s the 15 most notable ones.

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We take a look at the hundred-year history of Robin Hood in film and discover that Sean Connery seems to be the common thread.

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ff-mandrill

A hitman who kicks unprecedented amounts of ass gets an assignment to kill the man who he believes killed his parents. The plot thickens when he falls for the man’s daughter and must decide between leaving her an orphan or forgoing the revenge he’s waited for his whole life.

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highlander-header

We keep an eye on remakes in development so you don’t have to, and there are a lot of them. You might be a major fan of this latest victim of the re-creation machine, but try not to lose your head over it.

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SeanConneryHenryJones

There’s a baseless rumor that’s not even going around the internet at all that Dr. Jones might be written into the next Indiana Jones movie. I don’t believe it at this point, but that doesn’t mean we can’t sound off on whether it’d be a good idea or not.

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outland-header

So the guy who gave us Clive Owen banging Monica Bellucci while simultaneously shooting bad guys is directing a remake of Outland. Can Sean Connery’s artificial hips handle that kind of swiveling action?

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