The History of James Bond on Screen Part 1

Dr. No Movie Poster

In less than two weeks, James Bond returns to the big screen to rekindle audiences’ love of the popular action franchise. Daniel Craig plays everyone’s favorite British spy for the third time, passing George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton for fourth on the list of most Bond appearances. Given the success of the latest films, he may have a chance to steal third with two more appearances to pass Pierce Brosnan. While the franchise has become a staple of the action film genre, it wasn’t always a foregone conclusion that Bond would be on the screen. Bitter legal battles, casting indecisions and economics almost did what no evil villain could do, kill James Bond.

Ian Flemming’s James Bond novel series found success in the mid 50’s, sparking the author’s interest in bringing his debonair character’s exploits to the big screen. This enthusiasm was not shared by many producers who saw the James Bond novels as “too blatantly sexual.” Famous filmmakers such as Alfred Hitchcock turned down the initial screenplay, which would later become Thunderball, due to the series’ persuasive nature. It wasn’t until Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman came on board that the Bond franchise truly took shape on screen. The two purchased the film rights to nearly all of Ian Flemming’s novels and quickly began a search for the first actor to play the role of James Bond. Continue reading

Project 366: Week 41

Another week and another group of photos. The leaves are starting to change color and we’re starting to stay indoors just a little bit more. Let us know which photo is your favorite from this week’s group.

October 7, 2012

Fuzzy Snake by Jen Gallardo

Black Mouse and Babushka by Anthony J. Merced

Continue reading

Movies by the Numbers: October 29, 2012

Argo Movie Poster

Good reviews and even better word-of-mouth helped Ben Affleck’s latest film Argo take first place at the box office. In its third week in theaters, Argo becomes the first movie since True Grit to claim the top spot without having held it at any point before during its release. Weak competition was also a factor as the much criticized Cloud Atlas and notoriously weak video game film Silent Hill: Revelation 3D were the only major debuts. Argo has enjoyed sustained success in October, bringing in $67 million to date. At this point Affleck’s latest film is already ahead of his previous work The Town but probably won’t finish as strong considering the impending November competition. Specifically the latest installment of the James Bond franchise, Skyfall.

Cloud Atlas set a few terrible records for certain parties involved. This was the worst debut for a Tom Hanks film since his 1996 work That Thing You Do. The difference here was that Cloud Atlas was certainly more expensive, had more marketing dollars pumping it and a better cast. While some would argue that the running time of the film, well over two hours, may have scared some people away, it was probably the loose nature of the narrative that hindered the film from catching anyone’s attention. This also marks the lowest opening for the Wachowski Brothers who are more known for their sci-fi action films than fantasy dramas. Continue reading

Movies by the Numbers: October 22, 2012

Paranormal Activity 4 Poster

It was a weekend of good news with some ominous information stuck between the letters. Paranormal Activity 4 dominated the box office as expected with a $30 million opening. The series has notoriously been a huge money maker for Paramount and continues its track record with the latest installment. The only cause for concern is how well this film did compared to its predecessors. Paranormal Activity 3 opened to $53 million setting the October box office record one year ago. This disparity shouldn’t be too much of a shock, especially considering how the franchise has followed a “rinse & repeat” game plan each year. In fact, a fifth film is already slated for next October. As long as the series continues to pull in impressive numbers for its extremely low budget, it’s a foregone conclusion that the studio won’t be too concerned with the wavering box office take.

Tyler Perry suffered a severe blow to his box office status this weekend with his lowest opening ever. His action-thriller Alex Cross pulled in a meager $11 million making it the smallest debut for a film from the titular franchise. Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider pulled in more but were in a completely different era. It has been over ten years since an Alex Cross film has made it to the big screen and it was obvious that audiences didn’t remember the franchise. Tyler Perry’s audience made up a majority of the weekend moviegoers which is shocking considering James Patterson’s popularity. Even if the spin machine can place the heavy part of the blame on an old franchise, Tyler Perry might find it hard to step out of his usual films in the near future.

Continue reading

Project 366: Week 40

Post vacation, we settled back into our normal routines. These pictures may be less exciting than those from our trip to Europe, but we still think you might find some favorites. As always, let us know in the comments which ones you like.

September 30, 2012

Space Invaders on Rose Street by Jen Gallardo

Welcome Home by Anthony J. Merced

Continue reading

Project 366: Week 39

London, Dublin, Liverpool and Manchester in less than one week. Our trip to the Europe went by too fast for our liking but we’re happy to be home. Let us know what you think of our select images from our trip.

September 23, 2012

Breakfast Benedict by Jen Gallardo

Beloved Albert by Anthony J. Merced

Continue reading

Movies by the Numbers: October 9, 2012

Taken 2 Movie Poster

October hasn’t disappointed as strange occurrences and the unusual have become the norm at the box office. Taken 2 becoming number one with 50 million isn’t the real shocker. It is the horrific start for Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie that has left most industry people in terror. Pulling in a dreary 11 million on opening weekend, the newest Tim Burton animated film falls far below expectations. Hotel Transylvania held up well in week 2 falling to second while dealing a severe blow to the competition. Some felt that Frankenweenie should not have opened so close to the Adam Sandler horror themed children flick. However it is hard to argue that Tim Burton’s name shouldn’t have had the strength to push through. It has been quite some time since Tim Burton’s name has not been associated with Johnny Depp and this may be the first sign of who really had the box office drawing power in that relationship. Not only did Frankenweenie perform poorly, it didn’t even crack the top four. On top of that only one of the top four films was a new release, leaving Frankenweenie with little excuse for failure.

Liam Neeson proved to be a strong draw this weekend, pushing Taken 2 above similar films like Bourne Legacy and Safe House. Similarly, both of those films had heavy star power but couldn’t muster the 50 million start of this action/kidnap drama. Older audiences flocked to theaters to see Taken 2 on a weekend that seemed destined for families. One drawback is that it appears that Taken 2 may have drawn a large portion of its audience during the opening weekend. Where the original film had a lingering effect, reaching 145 million total, Taken 2 may find it much harder to achieve that figure. Having been released in the middle of a busy October schedule and with several other R-rated films on the horizon, Taken 2 will have a difficult time holding ground in the ensuing weeks. Continue reading

Movies by the Numbers: October 3, 2012

Hotel Transylvania Movie Poster

It was a good weekend for the business given the success of two new arrivals to theaters. Sony’s Halloween-themed animation film Hotel Transylvania opened with 43 million, setting a record for best September opening weekend ever. The previous record was held by 2002’s Reese Witherspoon film Sweet Home Alabama. Hotel Transylvania pulled in nearly 8 million more than the September rom-com and shockingly set a personal record for the star actor Adam Sandler. This release marked the second best opening he’s ever had behind the remake of The Longest Yard. How it will hold up in the coming weeks will be interesting to watch. October is not normally a time for heavy competition but Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie will look to take a majority of Hotel Transylvania‘s second weekend audience.

Sony wasn’t through this weekend as their second release, Looper starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, finished in second place with 20 million. This wasn’t as impressive as previous sci-fi films from the company but good enough to claim a strong start. R-rated genre films with no previous history are always hard sells. However, the marketing leaned heavily on the peculiar concept and star actors. The film’s budget also helped to brace for a lighter opening. With 30 million to recoup, Sony can be much more patient and examine whether the film has legs to be developed into a series. Continue reading

Project 366: Week 38

A week of preparations for our trip to Europe! We were super excited but still found some exciting things to photograph while we packed.

September 16, 2012

Beer, Cake and Candles by Jen Gallardo

Fun in the Pool by Anthony J. Merced

Continue reading