Category Archives: Movies

David Arnold

David Arnold rose to worldwide recognition thanks to his rousing score for the box office smash hit “Independence Day”, though he was hardly an overnight success. His first work of note was for the 1993 film “The Young Americans”, which spawned the hit “Play Dead”. His next big break came from the release of “Stargate”, a 1994 box office hit. His collaboration with Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich on their film “Stargate” led to his job scoring their next film “Independence Day”. That film would earn him a 1997 Grammy for “Best Instrumental Composition Written For A Motion Picture Or Television”.

In 1998 EastWest Records released “Shaken, Not Stirred: The David Arnold Collection”, a compilation album that featured remakes of some of the most beloved standards in the Bond musical legacy. He also scored the next Devlin/Emmerich production “Godzilla”, as well as the Freddie Prinze flick “Wing Commander”. In 1999 Arnold returned to Bond to score “The World Is Not Enough”. He is expected back for the next James Bond film.

Born: Luton, England

Charles Gray (1928-2000)

LONDON (Reuters) – Charles Gray, the British actor best known for his portrayal of the cat-loving but otherwise villainous Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the James Bond film “Diamonds Are Forever,“ died on Tuesday, his agent said on Wednesday.

Gray, who was 71, specialized in smooth, unsympathetic roles and played Blofeld to perfection. Of the four actors who have played Blofeld, which include Max Von Sydow, Donald Pleasance, Charles Gray and Telly Savalas, only Von Sydow remains alive today.

Blofeld was the head of SPECTRE, the Special Executive for Counter Espionage, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion, a shadowy private organization which specialized in holding the world to ransom and devising increasingly more intricate ways of trying to kill Bond. Gray also played Dikko Hendeson in the 1967 Bond film “You Only Live Twice”.

Gray, who died in hospital, also starred in “The Mirror Crack`d“ an Agatha Christie adaptation, and the wartime drama “Night of the Generals.“

He also gained a curious type of fame when he provided a voice for actor Jack Hawkins, who had his larynx removed in an operation for throat cancer.

His death follows that of veteran actor Desmond Llewelyn, who played the gadgetry expert known as Q in a series of Bond films. Llewelyn, 85, died shortly after appearing in his last Bond film — “The World is Not Enough.“

“World” Smashes All Records

Great news for Bond fans: The World Is Not Enough took in an estimated $37.2 million over its opening weekend!

In a fitful box office weekend with “Sleepy Hollow” nailing $30.5 million, (the first time two films have ever grabbed more than $30 million each in their openers)

Mr. Bond is not “in the shadows but on top.” Even better for MGM`s new owners, TWINE has been the best opening weekend for any film in their 75-year history. That is great news for MI-6 as 007 prepares for battle against his new archrival this month, Toy Story 2.

The Bonds always do well with Canadian fans, and the Montreal Paramount scored an estimated take of $100,000 for Bond XIX.
It seems as though TWINE will not only recap MGM`s estimated $100-$130 million dollar investment for Brosnan: Part III, but will be a “Moneyraker” joining the top twenty box office films in the US, ever!

The World Is Not Enough also grabbed $12 Million in its opening night, demolishing “Pokemon” with five times its take. Sleepy Hollow ran second to Bond with a little over $10 Million. Box Office Mojo estimates Bond peaked at $12,130,000 for a rousing start. For a comparison, Dr. No, which opened in the US in May of 1963, grabbed $16,000,000 for its entire run in the States. “You’ve come a long way, Mr. Bond.”

Bond worldwide has taken over two billion dollars at the box office since its humble beginnings.

Today, the US. Tomorrow, “worldwide domination” as Elliot Carver might say. Cheers, EON!

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Box Office Mojo

“World” Scores $12 Million Opener!

TWINE opened on 3,165 theatres this weekend to demolish “Pokemon” with five times its Friday night take.

Sleepy Hollow ran second to Bond with a little over $10 Million in theatres.

Box Office Mojo estimates Bond peaked at $12,130,000 for a major start to am estimated $30,000,000 opening weekend. For a comparison, Dr. No, which opened in the US in May of 1963, grabbed $16,000,000 for its entire run in the States. “You’ve come a long way, Mr. Bond.”

James Bond worldwide has taken over two billion dollars at the box office since its humble beginnings.

Forever will continue to keep you apprised of Bond box office developments worldwide.

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, Box Office Mojo

“World” Fends Off Arnold…

In a not too terribly suprising box office set of events, Toy Story 2 shot straight to #1 with an estimated $80.8 million dollars in North American markets since it`s roll out Wednesday. Over the 5 day holiday period, Bond held steady at $35 million dollars for the #2 slot. Newcomer “End of Days” failed to overtake 007, but still would up with an impressive $31 million dollar, 5 day haul and the #3 position.

Nothing lasts forever, especially the top spot at the box office. But Bond`s bounty looks to be plentiful this holiday season, with `World` tracking to an all time box office high in the United States, somewhere between $140-160 million dollars.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Box Office Mojo

“Toy Story 2” Scores Easy Box-Office Victory

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “Toy Story 2“ remained on top of the North A merican box office in its second weekend of release as overall ticket sales slid in the traditional post-Thanksgiving slump, according to studio estimates issued on Sunday.

The comedy starring animated dolls, which Walt Disney Pictures produced with Pixar Animation Studios Inc., earned about $28.3 million for the Friday-to-Sunday period, a 50 percent decline from its three-day haul one weekend earlier.

The rankings of the top four films were unchanged from last weekend, and there were no new entries in the top 10. The 1999 box office champ, “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace“ reentered theaters on a limited basis in a one-week charity run. It grossed an estimated $1.2 million from 832 prints, said Twentieth Century Fox. The film`s total now stands at $430 million. The latest James Bond movie, “The World Is Not Enough“ (MGM) held the No. 2 spot with $10.6 million, followed by Arnold Schwarzenegger`s “End of Days“ (Universal) with $9.7 million and “Sleepy Hollow“ (Paramount) with $9.0 million. “The Bone Collector“ (Universal) moved up one place to No. 5 with $3.1 million.

“Toy Story 2“ has earned $117.3 million after two weekends in wide release. It passed the $100 million mark on Saturday, its 11th day of release, matching the pace set by Disney`s 1994 “The Lion King.“ Disney said its current weekend haul was the fourth highest for any weekend in December, after “Scream 2“ and two rounds of “Titanic.“

It also beat the original 1995 “Toy Story“ to claim the title for the first weekend in December.

While a 50-percent slide in ticket sales sounds precipitous, it is normal for the weekend following a huge holiday period. Ticket sales for the studio`s 1998 Thanksgiving champ, “A Bug`s Life,“ fell 48 percent the next weekend.

“The World Is Not Enough,“ which fell 54 percent from last weekend, has grossed $90.4 million after 17 days in release. “End of Days,“ off 53 percent, has picked up $45.9 million after 10 days; “Sleepy Hollow,“ down 51 percent, has reached a 17-day tally of $45.9 million; and “The Bone Collector,“ off 43 percent, has corralled $58.1 million after one month.

Walt Disney Pictures is a unit of Walt Disney Co. Universal Pictures is a unit of Seagram Co. Ltd. Paramount Pictures is a unit of Viacom Inc. Twentieth Century Fox is a unit of Fox Entertainment Group Inc.

Copyright © 1996-1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.

Lion Roars As Bond Helps Turn Loss Into Profit

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Reuters) – James Bond had the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lion roaring again Tuesday as the movie studio`s fourth-quarter earnings beat Wall Street estimates, proving Agent 007 still has a license to kill at both the box office and in the video store.

MGM reported net income of $15.2 million, or 8 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with a net loss of $43.7 million, or 41 cents per share (based on fewer average shares outstanding), in the prior year`s fourth quarter. Wall Street analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial had expected earnings of 7 cents per share. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were $47.7 million in the quarter, compared with a loss of $15.6 million for the same period last year, it said.
MGM`s stock fell 1/16 to 23-1/8 in late trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company, known for its familiar roaring lion at the start of feature films, said it was the second consecutive profitable quarter under new management and its strongest quarterly operating results in 12 years. It attributed the results primarily to a series of successful films in theatrical release, including the latest Bond blockbuster, “The World is Not Enough,” which has so far taken in over $320 million at the box office. In addition, a special boxed set of seven James Bond films on video and DVD exceeded 3.1 million units worldwide, helping DVD sales to more than triple in the fourth quarter.

Also contributing to the reverse from loss into profit was “the favorable impact of a corporate restructuring implemented by the new management team,” MGM said.

“Our continued profitability should reinforce to everyone that the `new MGM` is not only back in business, but is fully committed to bottom-line performance,” Chairman and Chief Executive Alex Yemenidjian said. “Beyond the company`s substantial accomplishments over the past few months, we believe that the initiatives we have in place in all areas of the company will sustain this improvement as we look ahead.” He noted MGM`s recent new movie channel in Israel, an agreement with Blockbuster video rental chain to develop digital streaming and downloading for selected MGM titles, and successfully reclaiming rights to 426 classic MGM films in Germany.

Sharon Williams, an entertainment analyst for CIBC World Markets, said she believed the launch of MGM-branded cable networks remained highly likely and will create significant long-term value.
“Management suggested two additional parties have joined in cable network discussions in recent months,” she said in a report. Additionally, she said, she expects MGM to comfortably reach her $75 million EBITDA estimate for 2000. “Upside to our $75 million estimate could come if a modest hit emerges,” she said.

MGM has a library of more than 4,100 movies such as “Gone With the Wind” and “West Side Story” and the “Bond,” “Rocky” and “Pink Panther” series, representing the world`s largest modern film library. Its operating units include MGM Pictures, United Artists Films, Orion Pictures, United Artists Ltd., MGM Television Entertainment, MGM Distribution Co., and MGM Home Entertainment, among others.

James Bond and the Oscars

1964 Goldfinger- Winner of Best Sound Effects (Norman Wanstall )

1965 Thunderball- Winner of Best Visual Effects (John Stear)

1971 Diamonds Are Forever – Nominated for Best Sound

1973 Live And Let Die – Nominated for Best Song (Lyrics by Linda and Paul McCartney; Sung by Paul McCartney and Wings)

1977 The Spy Who Loved Me – Nominated for Best Song (Music by M. Hamlisch; Lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager; Sung by Carly Simon)

1977 The Spy Who Loved Me- Nominated for Best Score (Music by Marvin Hamlisch)

1977 The Spy Who Loved Me -Nominated for Best Art Direction/ Set Decoration (Ken Adam, Peter Lamont, Hugh Scaife)

1979 Moonraker – Nominated for Best Visual Effects (Derek Meddings; P Wilson; J. Evans)

1981 – For Your Eyes Only Nominated for Best Song (Lyrics by Mick Leeson; Music by Bill Conti; Sung by Sheena Easton)

1982 Irving G. Thalberg Lifetime Achievement Award- Albert R. Broccoli

James Bond and The Golden Globes

1970 George Lazenby nominated Most Promising Male Newcomer for On Her Majesty`s Secret Service

1978 The Spy Who Loved Me nominated for Best Original Score
Marvin Hamlisch Nominated for Best Original Song “Nobody Does It Better”.

1985/86 Duran Duran and John Barry nominated for Best Original Song: “A View To A Kill”

1998 Sheryl Crow nominated for Best Song in “Tomorrow Never Dies”

James Bond and MTV… Entertainment Weekly… and more

Blockbuster Awards 1996 Pierce Brosnan nominated for Best Action Hero in “GoldenEye”

MTV Movie Awards 1995/96 Goldeneye nominated for Best Fight Sequence (Steam Room Scene) Nominated for BEST ACTION SEQUENCE : Motorcycle/helicopter chase, “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1998) Nominated for BEST FIGHT : Michelle Yeoh/bad guys, “Tomorrow Never Dies”(1998)

Entertainment Weekly Named Goldeneye as the Best Marketed film of 1995, saying the marketing dept. “made Bond seem like new”. Named Tomorrow Never Dies as one of the 5 Best Marketed Films of 1997.

The Razzies 1985/86 Tanya Roberts Nominated Worst Actress for her role as Stacy Sutton in “A View To A Kill” (she may have picked up a Golden Turkey award for the role as well)

Saturn Awards 1997/98 Pierce Brosnan wins Best Actor Award for James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies.

Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association (LIMA) 1996 Winner for Goldeneye 1998 Winner for Tomorrow Never Dies

BAFTA In 1989 The British Academy of Film and Theater Arts awarded Cubby Broccoli the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the Bond series. The award was presented to Cubby by Timothy Dalton.

Going For The Gold

The World Is Not Enough is one of the seven Oscar nominee finalists for Best Special Effects. The other contenders are Stuart Little, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Wild Wild West, The Mummy, The Matrix, and Sleepy Hollow.

About 200 board members of the Academy will be viewing 15-minute reels of hand picked scenes from each F/X house responsible for the movie`s effect. The list of seven nominees will be trimmed down to a list of the three final nominations. Criteria includes technique, execution, creative use of existing technology, how pioneering the work was and whether it pushed the boundaries of visual f/x. The special effects team from Cinesite is represented by Chris Corbould, Alex Bicknell and Mara Bryan.

So what scenes will the Academy be viewing from The World Is Not Enough? The `fireball sequence`, the pipeline sequence where Bond and Christmas defuse a bomb on a rig moving 70 mph, the implosion of Renard`s submarine and the destruction of Zukovsky`s caviar factory. The caviar factory used a combination of miniatures and computer work to give the illusion that Bond, Christmas, and Zukovsky were under attack. Much like the `helicopter blades sequence` in Tomorrow Never Dies, the chainsaw blades sweeping out from underneath the helicopters in `World` were digitally inserted into the scene.

The World Is Not Enough is somewhat of a surprise among the nominees, since it is not special effects heavy in the obvious sense that `Phantom Menace` or `Matrix` are, and thus is considered a longshot for a nomination, much less a win.

What MGM should really be pushing for are Best Supporting Actor/Actress nominations for Sophie Marceau and Robert Carlyle. Both performances were exceptional, particularly Marceau`s. And Garbage`s title song is worth a nomination to. But without any momentum from the Golden Globes to speak of (the movie was locked out of every category), it looks like the cast and crew of The World Is Not Enough will just have to be happy with box office records, instead of little gold statues.

BMW To Premiere 007 Spots On Ally McBeal

Monday, November 1st, 1999 BMW offers the world their first glimpse of the new Z8 Roadster with a campaign trumpeting its role in MGM`s latest Bond film “The World is Not Enough”

The Z8, a high performance two-seater with a six-speed transmission and a 400 horsepower V-8 engine, gets Bond more than just around. It saves his life quite a number of times. For `World`, Bond uses his trusty BMW to evade seventeen foot circular saw blades suspended from helicopters and eventually downs one with a surface to air missle.

This isn`t the first time 007 has Bonded with BMW. The first BMW product placement was the Z3 for “Goldeneye”, which was roundly criticized for blatant commercialism without adding anything to the story (Bond did nothing with the car but just drive it) “Tomorrow Never Dies” feated the 750iL and R1200c motorcycle, this time making them more intregal to the plot.

The two new advertising campaigns will debut on FOX`s Ally McBeal (9pm EST), with print ads in Forbes, Fortune and USA Today. On the Web, Duffy Design and Interactive unit has created a BMW Z8/Bond section on the BMW site ( Visitors can crack a secret code and virtually test drive the car against most obstacles Bond would face himself.

007`s Next Target: Pokemon!

The first thing any good secret agent wants to know when setting out on his assignment is: “Who is my target?” This weekend has clarified who Bond must target and knock off in the United States next weekend, when The World Is Not Enough is set to debut Friday, November 19th. Based on preliminary data from Exhibitor Relations and Friday`s box office performance of the top ten grossing films, it`s clear Bond`s next big challenge is Pokemon!

Friday`s Top Ten Box Office Performers (USA)

(average indicates per-theatre average)

1. Pokeman: The First Movie – $9 million, 2,901 screens, $3,127 average
2. The Bone Collector – $3.8 million, 2,587 screens, $1,477 average
3. Dogma – $3 million, 1,260 screens, $2,409 average
4. The Messenger -$2.9 million, 2,147 screens, $1,393 average
5. Anywhere But Here — $1.9 million, 1,673 screens, $1,136 average
6. The Bachelor – $1.7 million, 2,524 screens, $677 average
7. The Insider – $1.5 million, 1,833 screens, $837 average
8. House on Haunted Hill – $1.4 million, 2,350 screens, $555 average
9. Double Jeopardy – $980,000, 2,110 screens, $464 average
10. The Sixth Sense – $810,000, 1,418 screens, $571 average

(info provided by exhibitor relations)

Based on this information, we predict Pokemon to come out of the three day weekend with a cumulative box office take of $27 to $30 million dollars. Can Bond overtake the Pokemon juggernaut before doing battle with “Toy Story 2” and Arnold Shwarzeneggar`s “End of Days”? Absolutely.

In context, Goldeneye opened up it`s initial USA 3 day weekend run back in 1995 with $26.2 million dollars and went on to gross an estimated $105 million dollars. In 1997 Tomorrow Never Dies opened up against Titanic with slightly more than $25 million dollars but stayed strong and went on to gross an estimated $135 million dollars in the United States. With better reviews and a better, more high profile cast, The World Is Not Enough should have no problem beating both records held by Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies to become the box office champ in North America, if only for a week.

007Forever is forecasting a total box office take for The World Is Not Enough somewhere between $140 and $160 million dollars. Be certain to check this site out Saturday evening, November 20th, for news updates on The World Is Not Enough`s box office take and performance across the country.

Which Bond Games Spinoff The Films?

Some of Bond`s greatest adventures happened not in the movies but in video games. And though many of the games are now old and archaic by todays standards, they are still available for purchase or emulation if you know where to look. Here is the most complete list we have for each 007 video game developed along with what was known about each game:

Developer: Parker Brothers
Release date: 1984
Systems: Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Colecovision, Sega SG-1000, Atari 400/800/XE/XL, Commodore 64.
Synopsis: The first James Bond game ever made. It is basically a shoot them up in which you drive, what seems to be the famous Lotus. So you’ll drive this car through several levels each one corresponding to a different film.

Title: Octopussy
Release date: Unknown
Systems: Atari 2600, ZX Spectrum.
Synopsis: This game is actually a mystery. It was designed for the Atari 2600, but it has never been released. A prototype of this game exists, but no one has ever played with it.

Title: Lord Bromley’sEstate
Release date: n/a
Systems: ZX Spectrum.
Synopsis: Information unknown.

Title: Q’s Armoury
Release date: n/a
System: ZX Spectrum
Synopsis: Information unknown.

Title: Secret Mission
Release date: n/a
System: ZX Spectrum
Synopsis: Information unknown.

Title: Diamondsare Forever
Release date: n/a
System: Commodore 64
Synopsis: Information unknown.

Title: A View To A Kill
Developer: Mindscape
Release date: 1985
System: PC
Synopsis: This is an old Text Adventure game, or what we call now Interactive Fiction. Basically you take the role of Commander BOND and type what you want to do. This game follows the events of the movie of the same name.

Title: Goldfinger
Developer: Mindscape
Release date: 1986
System: PC
Synopsis: This is an old Text Adventure game, or what we call now Interactive Fiction. Basically you take the role of Commander BOND and type what you want to do. This game follows the events of the movie of the same name. The game begins with the famous Aston Martin chase sequence.

Title: A View To A Kill
Developer: Domark
Release date: 1985
System: Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, PC
Synopsis: This game is divided in three sequence: The Mine Game, The City Hall Game and The Paris Game. In the first one, you must prevent a nuclear charge from exploding in the Silicon Valley mines. In the second one, you must escape from a building on fire. In the last one, you must chase Mayday in the street of Paris. The first and second game are more adventure games, while the last one is more oriented towards action.

Title:The Living Daylights
Developer: Domark
Release date: 1987
System: Amstrad CPC, Atari 400/800/XE/XL, BBC Model B, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum 48/128 PLUS 2/3, Amiga
Synopsis: This game is somewhere between a shoot’em up and a platform game, but it is definitely an action game. You take control of 007 during several events following the movie of the same name.

Title: Licence to Kill
Developer: Domark
Release date: 1989
Systems: ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, MSX, Commodore 64, Atari ST, Amiga, PC
Synopsis: You can’t classify this one, because each sequence is different from the other. In one part, you’ll pilot a helicopter, in the other, you’re trying to catch a plane while diving. You take control of 007 during several events following the movie of the same name.

Title: Live& Let Die
Developer: Domark
Release date: n/a
Systems: Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Atari ST, Amiga, ZX Spectrum.
Synopsis: This game takes place during the famous boat chase sequence of the movie. So in this one you’ll pilot a boat, while attacking several enemies.

Title: The Spy Who Loved Me
Developer: Domark
Release date: n/a
Systems: ZX Spectrum, Atari ST, Amiga, Commodore 64.
Synopsis: An action game divided in three part. In the first part, you’ll drive 007’s Lotus through the streets of Sardinia. The second part is more like a shoot’em up, where you’ll pilot the Lotus underwater and fight Stromberg’s troops. In the last sequence, you’ll fight your way through your enemy’s fortress.

Title: TheStealth Affair
Developer: Delphine Software & Interplay
Release date: 1990
Systems: Atari ST, Amiga, PC
Synopsis: A graphic adventure where you take the role of 007, exceptionally working with the CIA. A stealth fighter has disappeared somewhere over the country of Santa Paragua and you must find who stole it and eventually retrieve it, or destroy it.

Title: James BOND Jr.
Developer: n/a
Release date: 1992
Systems: Nes & Snes.
Synopsis: This game is taken from the cartoon of the same name. This game is divided in several parts. In some, the game is a platform one. In others, it is a Shoot’em up. Take control of 007’s nephew and fight against the SCUM organization. Title: The Duel
Developer: Domark
Release date: 1993
Systems: Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, Sega Master System
Synopsis: This a platform game. It takes place in a remote island, where a mad professor has cloned all the old James BOND’s nemesis, like Jaws, Mayday etc…

Title: James Bond
Developer: Saffire
Release date: 1997
System: GameBoy
Synopsis: This game could have been called when James BOND meets Zelda. It’s basically an adventure game, but action is omnipresent. Like Zelda, you’ll have to talk to a lot of persons and fight a lot of enemies. Try to stop the evil plan of an ex-general of the Soviet Union.

Title: Goldeneye
Developer: Rareware
Release date: 1997
System: Nintendo 64
Synopsis: The most famous Bond game of all time. Take the role of Agent 007 in this 1st person action game, where you’ll have to shoot (almost) anything that moves. It includes also some minor adventure plots. The game follows the events of the movie of the same name.

Title: Tomorrow Never Dies
Developer: Electronic Arts
Release date: 1999
System: Playstation
Synopsis: This game is in a third person perspective. Except from that, it is very similar to Goldeneye. Some ski and driving sequences are also included. The game follows the events of the movie of the same name, however some missions are original.

Title: 007 Racing
Developer: Electronic Arts
Release date: 2000
System: Playstation/Nintendo 64
Synopsis: This game allows you to drive all the famous Bond cars, from the Aston-Martin DB-V to the BMW Z8. The game follows a scenario which is completely original.

Title: The World Is Not Enough
Developer: Electronic Arts
Release date: 2000
Systems: Nintendo 64, PC-CDROM, Playstation, Playstation 2.
Synopsis: The real sequel to the game Goldeneye. A 1st person action game, but the adventure plots are more important. Like the other, this game follows the event of the movie.

For more on 007 role playing games:

Tomorrow Never Dies Playstation

In development for Playstation. This game, being developed by Black Ops, is due to be released November 18th,1999. The game will be different from Goldeneye007 in that there will be much more variation in the type of action. Not just guns and explosions in this one. The game is viewed from the third person perspective, with Bond driving, skiing, flying and scuba diving. It`s less a remake of the film than it is a sequel. The plot deviates from the film by allegedly having Carver`s insane brother continuing with Elliot`s plan for world domination of the news market.

MGM Interactive decided that kind of game it wanted Tomorrow Never Dies to be was a game that recreated some of the best moments from all the Bond films. While Goldeneye007 has been universally praised for it`s goal of being more than just a shoot `em up, in essence it still is a “Doom” style game, albeit with more sophistication. Black Ops won`t just be using what it has created in the past for it`s other titles. No, instead, John Botti , CEO and President of Blacks Ops has promised that Tomorrow Never Dies will only incorporate about 30% of the currently existing technology that goes into it`s other games. thus making for one of the most technologically advanced, sophisticated and challenging Playstation games yet.

As previously mentioned, 007 will snow ski, SCUBA dive, fly, and fight enemies on foot like Goldeneye007. But he`ll aslo be able to eavesdrop on the conversations of other characters. The goal of Black Ops and Playstation are several: create a fresh, new 007 game that stands alone and apart from the movie and create a successful video game that will equal the sales of Goldeneye007, which was the hottest “toy” of the Christmas `97 buying season.

James Bond and Wai Lin Are Back!

In development for Playstation. This game, being developed by Black Ops, is due to be released November 16th,1999. The game will be different from Goldeneye007 in that there will be much more variation in the type of action. Not just guns and explosions in this one. The game is viewed from the third person perspective, with Bond driving, skiing, flying and scuba diving. It`s less a remake of the film than it is a sequel. The plot deviates from the film by allegedly having Carver`s insane brother continuing with Elliot`s plan for world domination of the news market.

MGM Interactive decided that kind of game it wanted Tomorrow Never Dies to be was a game that recreated some of the best moments from all the Bond films. While Goldeneye007 has been universally praised for it`s goal of being more than just a shoot `em up, in essence it still is a “Doom” style game, albeit with more sophistication. Black Ops won`t just be using what it has created in the past for it`s other titles. No, instead, John Botti , CEO and President of Blacks Ops has promised that Tomorrow Never Dies will only incorporate about 30% of the currently existing technology that goes into it`s other games. thus making for one of the most technologically advanced, sophisticated and challenging Playstation games yet.

As previously mentioned, 007 will snow ski, SCUBA dive, fly, and fight enemies on foot like Goldeneye007. But he`ll aslo be able to eavesdrop on the conversations of other characters. The goal of Black Ops and Playstation are several: create a fresh, new 007 game that stands alone and apart from the movie and create a successful video game that will equal the sales of Goldeneye007, which was the hottest “toy” of the Christmas `97 buying season.

In addition to playing Bond, gamers can also portray Bond Girl Wai Lin. Published by Electronic Arts, Tomorrow Never Dies is developed for PlayStation and will be available November 16. This title is rated T (for teens ages 13+). ($50)

Fall Brings New Bond Playthings

Now that the days are getting shorter, the nights longer and the temperatures cooler, Bond fans need new playthings to keep them occupied. October finds Johnny Lightning releasing Wave 2 of their signature James Bond series of racing cars while MGM gives us the final wave of Special Edition James Bond DVDs.

The new series of Johnny Lightning cars include the Corvette from A VIEW TO A KILL, the 1957 Chevy Convertible from DR.NO, the Aston-Martin from GOLDFINGER, the Ford-Mustang from THUNDERBALL and both BMWs from GOLDENEYE and THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH. is just one on-line outlet that is selling the JL cars.

Meanwhile…the Special Edition DVD of THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS answers one lingering question: Who was the third solid contender for the role of James Bond in 1986? Michael Wilson mentioned in several interviews at the time that they had narrowed down the list to three: Brosnan and Dalton would seem obvious, so who was the other pick? Wilson refused to elaborate any further, but names thrown around included Finlay Light and Antony Hamilton. Now the documentary that goes into the making of THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS reveals Sam Neill`s test footage. It would seem that Sam Neill was the third contender for the role that Wilson had refused to name. Additionally, Mr. Neill probably gave permission for this test footage to be used, since generally the studios do not own it, but the actual star does.

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER has five deleted, or “lost” scenes. Included is the infamous “Sammy Davis, Jr. scene” (see THE EYE THAT NEVER SLEEPS for more details on all “lost scenes”), Bond having dinner with Plenty, Plenty returning to Bond`s room after being dumped in the pool (she reads Tiffany`s drivers license to see where she lives, thus answering the age old question of why Plenty ended up in Tiffany`s pool), the correct version of the Mustang on two wheels and an alternate ending of Wint and Kidd killing the dentist with the scorpion. Incidentally, Bruce Glover still owns the scorpion used in that scene. By the way, as it was mentioned among fans at the Bond Collectors Weekend…does anyone wonder if Wint and Kidd ever knew who they were working for? They never crossed paths with Blofeld or anyone associated with him.

Nintendo64 has pushed up the release date on THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH to October 17th, possibly to coincide with the release of the 3rd wave of DVDs. The Gameboy, Playstation and Playstation2 versions of THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH are all slated to debut in retail and on-line stores throughout November.

–Craig Chenery and Ad2Music assisted with this article.

Tomorrow Never Dies Score: Part Two

There will be a companion CD soundtrack, Tomorrow Never Dies: The Original Score to the Video Game, available later this month from Chapter III Records.

The CD will consist of a total of 17 different Bond-themed “electronica“ tracks, all of which are original Tommy Tallarico scores from the game. Tallarico is a game industry veteran best known for compiling video game soundtracks. The CD will be available for direct purchase via the product web site at, followed by retail outlets starting on January 12, 2000.

The website for Tommy Tallarico is Sonic Mayhem also helped Tallarico score the music to the game. Their website can be found at

The James Bond Story

Five Bonds, 19 Films, Over 30 Years …the Girls, the Gadgets and more!

NEW YORK, NY—Bond, James Bond. Perhaps the greatest fictional cinema icon ever. He first appeared on the big screen in 1962 in Dr. No, and has remained the most powerful action hero ever since. The secret to his success is his adaptability. No matter what tight spot he finds himself, he always appears to be suave, sophisticated and cool. Now, for the first time, avid fans can own the ultimate and essential collector’s companion with THE JAMES BOND STORY. Fox Lorber CentreStage is releasing the comprehensive documentary day and date on video and DVD April 25. DVD special features include interactive menus, filmographies, production credits, scene access, trivia game and enhanced letterbox format.

As the 007 spy, Bond is constantly reinventing himself. And on the big screen, he has done this five times, as Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan. This documentary takes an up close and personal look at the different characterizations each actor has brought to the role to discover the elements that make up Bond…James Bond. It also traces the character back to its origin, the Bond novels by Ian Fleming, whose creation was semi-autobiographical.

From the gadgets to the girls (and they were plenty of both – the signature of all Bond films), THE JAMES BOND STORY also features interviews with Q (the late Desmond Llewelyn), Maud Adams, Jane Seymour, Terence Young (director), Cubby Broccoli (producer), Ian Fleming and more, along with extensive film clips from Dr. No to The World is Not Enough. This action packed documentary presents an in-depth look at the quintessential spy who has a license to kill.
Fox Lorber CentreStage will offer trade and consumer support for promotion of THE JAMES BOND STORY, including a national radio campaign in 20 top markets; post street date advertising in Premiere Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and more. Additionally, Fox Lorber CentreStage is conducting an exclusive online promotion at (trade site launch – 3/20/2000, consumer site launch – 4/25/2000), which will offer sweepstakes, contests and prizes to help drive customers in store.

Fox Lorber CentreStage distributes non-theatrical programming focusing on performance and the arts. It is a branded label of Winstar TV & Video’s home video division, a Winstar New Media Company. Other labels include Fox Lorber Films, Wellspring Media, Mystic Fire, and Winstar Home Entertainment.

Winstar New Media, a unit of Winstar Communications, Inc., is a diversified entertainment and information services company. The New York-based company produces and distributes business and consumer content through both interactive media and traditional media, including television, video, and radio.

Consumers can order directly by calling 1-800-414-1690 or by visiting Winstar’s website at

# # #

PRE-ORDER DATE: April 5, 2000 GENRE: Documentary
STREET DATE: April 25, 2000 VHS SRP: $14.98
RATING: Not rated VHS CAT #: WHE71236
RUNNING TIME: 52 minutes SCREENERS/ART: Avail. upon request
DVD CAT #: WHE73083 DVD SRP: $19.98

Real TWINE Track Listing Revealed

Beginning November 9th, US consumers can begin buying the soundtrack to The World is Not Enough. And what they may find is that the tracks are a little different in title, length and order than previously thought.

Here`s the original track list:

1. World Is Not Enough, The – Garbage
2 .Show Me The Money
3. Q Boat Chase
4. Bonding At The Computer
5. M`s Confession
6. Baku
7. Ski Chase
8. Elektra`s Theme: The Bedroom
9. Spying In Baku
10. Going Down
11. Pipeline
12. M And Renard
13. Caviar Factory
14. Garotte
15. Elektra Upstairs
16. Submarine
17. Christmas In Turkey
18. Only Myself To Blame – Scott Walker

Now here is the revised track listing as of 11-4-99 with old titles and chart positions in parentheses:

1. The World Is Not Enough – Garbage 3:55
2. Show Me The Money 1:28
3. Come In 007, Your Time Is Up (Q Boat Chase) 5:19
4. Access Denied (Bonding At The Computer) 1:33
5. M’s Confession 1:32
6. Welcome To Baku (Baku) 1:41
7. Casino (9.Spying In Baku) 2:55
8. Ice Bandits (7.Ski Chase) 3:52
9. Elektra’s Theme (8.Elektra’s Theme:The Bedroom) 2:06
10. Body Double (12.M And Renard) 3:00
11. Going Down: The Bunker (10. Going Down) 6:27
12. Pipeline (11.Pipeline) 4:15

Track 13 seems to be a new addition.

13. Remember Pleasure 2:45
14. Caviar Factory (13.) 6:01
15. Torture Queen (14. Garotte) 2:22
16. I Never Miss (15. Elektra Upstairs) 3:32
17. Submarine (16.) 10:19
18. Christmas In Turkey (17.) 1:27
19. Only Myself To Blame – Scott Walker (18.) 3:37

Netiher Scott Walker`s track nor Garbage`s theme song will accompany the closing credits. Instead, a techno version of the Bond theme, not unlike Moby`s, will usher movie goers out of the theater.

Oldies But Goodies

Dame Shirley Bassey will be back in music stores September 19th, 2000 with DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER:THE REMIX ALBUM. Bond afficianadoes will be interested in the song line up, which features the best of Shirley Bassey`s work re-mixed by some of the hottest DJs on the club scene. THE REMIX ALBUM includes the following songs:

-Where Do I Begin (awayTEAM)
-Goldfinger (Propellerheards)
-Light My Fire (Kenny Dope)
-Diamonds Are Forever (Mantronik)
-Easy Thing To Do (Nightmares On Wax)
-Never, Never, Never (Groove Armada)
-Big Spender (Wild Oscar)
-Spinning Wheel (DJ Spinna)
-Light My Fire (Twelftree)
-If You Go Away (DJ Skymoo aka Moloko)
-Moonraker (Superfunk)

Dame Bassey`s first Bond hit, “Goldfinger”, is on the new WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE? soundtrack.

Guitarist/composer Vic Flick (The James Bond Theme with the John Barry Seven and featured guitarist on many of the James Bond films) is now in production on his latest CD entitled “James Bond Now”.

“Shaken Not Stirred,” “Nobody Does It Better” and “Live and Let Die” are three of the covered and original titles Flick is updating for this new compilation, now underway at Castle Oaks and Reseda Park Studios in California.

This title has been scheduled to be released as early as next month with Vic debuting the CD in person at Bond Weekend 2000 in New Orleans.

–Special thanks to Rebecca Schraner for her “heads up” on the new Shirley Bassey album.

License To Chill

Chromatic Records is getting set to release an album entitled “Licence to Chill”, a trip-hop tribute to the James Bond series. “Licence to Chill” is the brainchild of two musicians, Christoph Bull and Larry Washington, along with a host of guest musicians. The album is inspired by James Bond and the music that has transpired from his movies to enrich us all.

Track listing:

001. Introducing: JB
002. Diamonds Are Forever
003. Martini-Mix
004. Live And Let Die
005. Diamond Shake (Medley)
006. Concerto for G
007. License To Chill
008. Martini Dry
009. Diamonds R 4 Evah (Medley)
010. In The Hood Alone
011. Forever
012. You Know You Did (Live And Let Die – Reprise)
013. Moonraker – Streng Geheim
014. Outroducing: JB

Street date: Feb
Internet Date: Jan (check back with us here at

Release dates, retailers, and other album information can be found at:

For suggestions or questions on the album, email: or phone (310)-281-6274

For submissions write:
Chromatic Records
8391 Beverly Blvd. Suite 226
Los Angeles, CA USA 90048
or fax:

Jeff Marshall (Cyber) Studio Now Online!

For several years now, artist Jeff Marshall has been the point-man for a series of beautifully illustrated lithographs that not only recreate the world of 007, but harken back to the glory days of Bond poster artwork.

Now Jeff cordially invites you to visit Jeff Marshall Studio ONLINE, an “electronic gallery” showcasing his latest projects as well as past creative efforts. will go “live” October 1, 2000 as a celebration of his ongoing love affair with graphic arts, and a gathering spot for friends, fans and fellow artists. The centerpiece of the site will be an ever-growing display of his work for books, packaging,websites, private collections, posters and lithographs, and thoughts on his approach to the creative process.

Just as importantly, the site will help connect the artist to the ever-growing online community. Please take a moment to bookmark the gallery at In the meantime, you can familiarize yourself with some of his work by reading an interview he did with David Morefield at

Hollywood Expo & Toy Show to Feature Mr. Bond

The next Hollywood Expo will host an amazing assortment of celebrities from everyone’s favorite movie and TV shows and an incredible array of movie memorabilia!

Bond fans buckle up: Meet 007 actor George Lazenby from “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. Meet famous James Bond Villain Richard Kiel (Jaws). Bond girls Caroline Munro and Gloria Hendry will be on hand to keep the guys in line. And don’t forget, this may be your only chance to see the new Q-Boat from “The World Is Not Enough” (courtesy the Ian Fleming Foundation). This working jet powered boat was the most expensive Bond gadget built to date costing a cool $5,000,000! Also appearing, the slightly more affordable BMW Z8 (Bond’s newest car) costing Bond fans a mere $130,000. But don’t worry, Bond fans will be floored at the selection of all of the 007 merchandise and spy goodies from top national retailers. Don’t miss SPY GUISE’s own Lee Pfeiffer (author of “The Essential Bond”). Also appearing: the regional BMW Z3 rally of more than 100 cars, and the Lotus Club of America! Bond fans unite!

The truth is out there…

X-File fans – the government is out to get you. (but you already knew that) William B Davis, best known as the Cigarette Smoking Man will entertain the audience with a self written :45 minute sketch of his best X-Files moments. Later Lone Gun Man Tom Braidwood will set the record straight as he shares his behind the scene moments. These two seasoned regulars will be joined by X-File guest stars Agent Spender – Chris Owens, Claire Stansfield – Jersey Devil, and William Sanderson (of Newhart and Bladerunner fame)

Sci-Fi fans prepare for a jump to light speed! Join us as we welcome the beautiful Claudia Christian of Babylon 5, Walter Koenig – Star Trek’s Chekov, Star Wars actors Peter Mayhew – Chewbacca, Jeremy Bulloch – Boba Fett, Tim Rose – Admiral Ackbar, Star Trek Klingon sisters Barbara March and Gwynyth Walsh, and many others still pending.

Over 150 exhibitors will bring there finest old and new collectibles, movie memorabilia, toys, comics, cards and more.

If that isn’t enough, let the kids duke it out in the Pokemon card tournament, or Nintendo 64 Pokemon Stadium demos. Other video games will be at hand for demo, and sale.

For more information, to schedule interviews at the show with the celebrities, to inquire on show sponsorships or booth space, contact Ben Stevens at 972-578-0213 or email him at Plano Show. For up to the minute celebrity additions, tickets, schedules, etc. check out

Heineken Launches Ad Campaign Supporting “The World is Not Enough”

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 8,1999–James Bond might be known for his martinis (shaken, not stirred, thank you), but in a national television ad breaking this week, Bond`s gadget man “Q” affirms his preference for Heineken.

The campaign, supporting Heineken`s sponsorship of the November 19 launch of the new James Bond film, The World Is Not Enough, features Desmond Llewelyn (a.k.a. “Q”) in :30 television spots and radio ads describing gadgets he`s concocted to help him enjoy a bottle of Heineken beer. A corresponding print ad, which will run in November publications such as Sports Illustrated and TimeOut New York, includes a photo of a cold Heineken with the tagline “Some things shouldn`t be shaken or stirred,” and a teaser for the new film. Llewelyn is a veteran of Bond films, appearing in more than any other actor since the inception of the series in the early `60`s.

“Heineken prides itself on staying on top of the latest in movies and popular trends,” says Dan Tearno, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Heineken USA. “We`re very excited to be supporting The World Is Not Enough, showcasing James Bond, the most successful film franchise of the century!”

The campaign marks the second time Heineken has supported the James Bond franchise, after having sponsored the last Bond film, 1997`s Tomorrow Never Dies. Heineken also created a major ad campaign and sponsorship program for last summer`s Austin Powers The Spy Who Shagged Me hit. Heineken`s support of The World Is Not Enough also includes point-of-sale items, such as table tents, standees and banners, along with a consumer offer for a Heineken/James Bond leather jacket.

Lowe & Partners/SMS (New York), Heineken`s advertising agency, created the campaign. Heineken USA, Inc., the nation`s largest beer importer, is a subsidiary of Heineken N.V. (Netherlands), which is the world`s second-largest brewer. Brands imported into the U.S. include: Heineken Lager, the world`s most international beer brand; Heineken Special Dark, Amstel Light, the largest-selling imported light beer brand; Murphy`s Irish Stout; Murphy`s Irish Amber, the only authentically Irish amber imported to the U.S., and Buckler non-alcoholic brew.

Bond Poster Licensed To Thrill

Before he joined the Kiwanis family in its fight to save the world from iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), Roger Moore saved humanity from nuclear destruction in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me. Moore, who starred in the movie as British agent James Bond, now fills the role of honorary chairman of Kiwanis’ Worldwide Service Project.

Barbara Bach and Richard Kiel as “Jaws” join Roger Moore on a movie poster with 007 appeal. The memory of the 007 production is preserved in a limited edition poster, which is being sold in support of the project to virtually eliminate the leading, preventable cause of mental retardation, IDD. Officially licensed by the 007 producers, the autographed lithograph is available at the Spy Guise Web site catalog ( for $100. Thirty percent of each sale will be donated to the Kiwanis family’s IDD campaign.

For more details visit The Kiwanis Organization.

Best Buy Creates Bond Theme World For Collectors

MGM Home Entertainment (NYSE:MGM) and Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) today announced a long-term strategic alliance to promote the most successful franchise in film history, James Bond. Beginning in 2002, North America’s leading electronics retailer, Best Buy, will team up with the ultimate technology gadget guru, James Bond, to celebrate the impending release of the 20th film in the series on November 22, 2002.

Best Buy Co., Inc. stores, including Best Buy, Sam Goody, Media Play, Suncoast, On-Cue and Future Shop, will create special Bond-themed environments within the stores to provide one-stop-shopping for consumers and establish the retailer as a premiere Bond retailer. Merchandise will include Bond DVD box sets, soundtracks, the James Bond interactive product line, as well as licensed product and related merchandise from promotional partners. Best Buy will support the effort with a multi-faceted marketing campaign including advertising circulars featuring James Bond that will be distributed to 50 million consumers, a Bond-themed sweepstakes and a Best Buy “Fun Zone” technology truck outfitted as a mobile Bond activity center. In addition, Best Buy stores will host the exclusive retail launch of the Bond 20 trailer.

“As the premier retailer of technology and entertainment products, Best Buy was our first choice for an alliance in support of our biggest film property,” said Blake Thomas, executive vice president of marketing – MGM Home Entertainment. “The Best Buy management team is known for its marketing prowess, and we are thrilled to be working with them on a campaign celebrating the imminent release of the 20th film in the Bond Franchise.”
“The high-tech gadgets and all-out action found throughout the James Bond series perfectly fits the interests of our customers, especially when delivered on DVD,” said Jeff Maynard, vice president of marketing services for Best Buy. “The enduring popularity of the James Bond franchise and the marketing savvy of MGM sets the stage for an exceptionally successful retail campaign.”

About EON Productions Eon Productions/Danjaq, LLC, is owned by the Broccoli family and has produced nineteen James Bond films since 1962. The Bond films make up the most successful franchise in film history and include the recent blockbuster films GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, and The World Is Not Enough, produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. Eon Productions and Danjaq, LLC, are affiliate companies and control all worldwide merchandising of the James Bond franchise.

About MGM Home Entertaiment MGM Home Entertainment controls the home video and DVD rights to the largest modern library of filmed entertainment in the world. The Company manages worldwide home video and DVD distribution rights to United Artists and current Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer theatrical releases, as well as titles from Orion, Goldwyn, and PolyGram libraries, totaling more than 4,100 films. For more information about MGM Home Entertainment, its products, and services, access MGM online at

MGM Home Entertainment is now offering access to publicity artwork through a new image database website located at After initial registration, users may log in at any time and have access to downloadable, high-resolution images including DVD and VHS box and key art, title treatments and a wide variety of publicity stills. Artwork is available for all MGM titles that are currently in the marketplace.

About Best Buy Co., Inc. Minneapolis-based Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) is North America’s number one specialty retailer of consumer electronics, personal computers, entertainment software and appliances. The Company operates retail stores and commercial web sites under the names: Best Buy (, Future Shop (; Magnolia Hi-Fi (, Media Play (, On Cue (, Sam Goody (, and Suncoast ( The Company reaches consumers through more than 1,800 retail stores in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Collecting with A View To A Kill on James Bond

“A long time ago and far away,” Bond author Raymond Benson created a text adventure for the personal computer that allowed Bond fans to enter the world of A View To A Kill. Recently I asked Mr. Benson about this historic piece of Bond memorabilia, not commonly seen today… see below the interview our extensive listing detailing the many other “View” collectibles sought after today…

Matt Sherman: “Do you have any insight for us on the “A View To A Kill” text adventure you authored? Could you give us a brief rundown of the creative process involved? Were there interesting tie-in considerations to the MGM film that added to the creative process? Was it ever re-issued in a format that modern MAC and IBM users could play on today?”

Raymond Benson: “Wow, that was a long time ago. I had been hired by a software firm in White Plains, New York, called Angelsoft, which had been contracted by Mindscape to develop a series of text adventure “interactive fiction” games along the lines of the Infocom games (Zork I, Zork II and III, etc.). I remember that all we had to work with was the shooting script for “A View to a Kill”. (I also did the “Goldfinger” game, and a game based on Stephen King`s short story “The Mist”.)

My job was “designer and writer” and so I came up with the plot, locales, characters, dialogue, descriptions…everything one reads in the game as text, as well as how the game was played, what the player had to do, etc. We were limited in size and scope in those days, and the game probably seems pretty crude by today`s standards. It originally was published in the fall of 1985, for the IBM, Mac, and Apple IIc platforms. I`m not sure, but if you could get your hands on an IBM format, it might work on today`s PC. I only have Apple IIc copies, myself, and of course they`re dinosaurs.

I didn`t have any communication with EON on the game…perhaps Angelsoft did. I`m pretty sure EON had approval over our final game design, but I don`t remember having any problems. As I recall, the game is pretty faithful to the final film. (We also got to see a “rough cut” in New York…the film without the score or sound effects…which was very weird!)

There was a producer working with me and a lead programmer. There were probably one or two other programmers working under the lead person, but I`m not sure now. I do remember that no one was credited at all! I think that was the standard back then unless you were Richard Garriott or one of the early superstar game designers. (Oh yeah…the president of Angelsoft was a guy named Mercer Mayer, a famous children`s book writer who created “Grandpa and Me”, “Grandma and Me”, etc. I think the company folded two or three years later and he went back to doing what he does best…writing children`s books.)

That`s about all I can remember! –Raymond Benson”

More AVTAK Collectibles Besides the rare AVTAK text game by Raymond Benson, whose different boxes await your discovery in hobby shops and in garage sales in several different, now extremely difficult to find versions, there are lovely AVTAK collectibles available, if in sparse amounts and diversity compared to say, “Goldfinger” or “GoldenEye” goodies. Look for the following while you await forthcoming Grace Jones action figures and limited edition rock salt guns from…?

AVTAK Posters It is worth noting that “View” was the last Bond film to use hand drawn, “painted” poster artwork. All following films (in fact, Hollywood films in general) switched to photo stills and computer graphic montage designs in the late `80s.

I have included an 800 x 600 graphic with some of the different designs used in the AVTAK campaign. Click on the image on this page to see a blowup rendering of the graphic to download to your desktop, featuring some of the distinctive AVTAK campaigns.

More unusual poster campaigns highlighted AVTAK tie-ins to Renault cars and Michelin tires. Michelin was the brand Bond “sucks” from while underwater beneath Zorin and May Day. Shots of The Michelin Man are also strategically placed in the scene where Sir Godfrey Tibbett (Patrick Macnee) gets his Rolls washed–again. French car maker Renault gave away a new Renault 11 Turbo along with 100 AVTAK soundtrack cassettes for runners up in their big contest.

AVTAK Books “From A View To A Kill” was one of several of author Ian Fleming`s short stories featuring James Bond. “FAVTAK” (should that be pronounced “PHAV-TACK?”) first appeared in the compendium of Bond shorts entitled, “For Your Eyes Only”. This title, first printed as a complete set of five stories in 1960, was the sole Jonathan Cape book to utilize a glossy dustjacket for Bond. (Artist Richard Chopping once explained that he was fussed at incessantly by Ian Fleming. over many “re-paintings”, until he made the color of Bond`s eye visible through the peephole on the dustjacket that just-so shade of blue and gray that Fleming imagined Bond`s eyes to be.)

Completists collecting For Your Eyes Only for its AVTAK association need to grab everything from its large print edition for libraries to the two variant paperback covers by Signet, and not less than four completely different Pan covers from the UK, including the “stamp cover” and a young Melina with bow and arrow at the ready, plus British-run children`s editions with text edited down for young readers and more salacious comments lifted or changed, and countless variant covers by Jove, Berkley, Triad Granada and Coronet, and then foreign editions in at least eight languages other than English. The dustjacket artwork by Cuthill on the British Book Club is noteworthy, as is the pretty Michael J. Fein hardback edition rendered by Christoph Blumrich. (See accompanying photo collage of many of the covers on this page.)

Getting two full-length movies from one short story set including FAVTAK and FYEO is not bad, as good as even Stephen King has managed, and perhaps someday we fans can thrill to “Risico,” “The Hildebrand Rarity,” and “Quantum of Solace” on screen, lifted from the For Your Eyes Only collection. I can hear the script in my head now…”I`m going top kill you, Mr. Bond, to help ensure my quantum of solace for the afternoon.” “Not quite yet, Maximillian Risico. I was always better concerning the Hildebrand rarity.”

AVTAK Magazines and Comics Comics fans and completists can grab the two-part serial of the FYEO movie or the countless magazine tie-ins to AVTAK from the Bond fan clubs and popular media. Sharper Image catalogs of the `80s featuring Melina`s crossbow from the FYEO film and AVTAK related items are especially noteworthy.

In comic form went original artwork and fun for the four-part “Find Your Fate” AVTAK series of children`s books. You only need any one of the four movie tie-in books to fantasize and role play as Bond to help him destroy Zorin`s master plans. A very rare French version went to print of these books using a different color palate on the cover, making it look as though Roger Moore has had way too much carrot juice to drink on the set!

AVTAK Toys and Vehicles Corgi issued no Bond goodies between the release of their “Octopussy” and “GoldenEye” lines twelve years apart, but Matchbox fans can still find both the Renault taxi that Bond sliced and then diced and also the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II he used for “deep cover” with “Sir Godfrey Tibbett” assisting. Matchbox also created prototypes of a full vehicle set, an “Action Pack” with a Russian helicopter and San Francisco police car thrown in, which went unreleased.

Lone Star Toys produced a gun and holster set , sold in Europe, to tie in to the new movie. The set featured a cap shooting Walther PPK, with AVTAK shoulder holster and strap.

AVTAK Locations The Chateau Chantilly in the French countryside may be visited today by the fans desperately seeking Zorin, and no trip to Paris is complete without a spin up to the top of the Eiffel Tower where May Day caused a sensation (or should we say cause celebre instead?). Marvelous atmosphere shots and exteriors were lensed all over the San Francisco area as well. (Bond Weekend 2001, anyone? Iceland, which doubled for “Siberia” in the pre-credits sequence, is out for sure.)

AVTAK Props I don`t know how I would feel about owning a rock salt gun redo in my house or Q`s snooper pet, although a trick jockey`s whip could come in handy around the office (for keeping the British end up? Loud groan!) but “Bedlum” has some astounding AVTAK props in his catalog this month online at The Williams Collection.

Other Collectibles Chevron gasoline got into the Bond XIV act also. When Bond “protests” Zorin`s oil pumping station, in deleted scenes, (see photo and related story elsewhere at 007Forever) guess which brand of hat he wears? And when Stacey accidentally swings the fire engine ladder, with Bond on top, into a gas station, guess which corporate franchise is demolished in spectacular fashion, sign crashing down onscreen?

AVTAK scored in a box as “role playing on Her Majesty`s Secret Service module/game from Victory Games.” The artwork is fun, though I am not sure if it is a horse or the Tour Eiffel which is meant to be exploding!

A fun 45 record was run of the popular title song, which opened to reveal bullet holes inside.

The summer of ’85, of course, had Duran Duran claiming the pinnacle spot of BILLBOARD`S Top 100 Singles. The song lasted three weeks at the #1 spot, the first time a Bond tune had reached #1 in the United States (though other songs including Goldfinger came close on the charts). Duran Duran fever hit an all time high–and James Bond in our zeitgeist was all the better for it.

Some of the more unusual AVTAK LP`s and tapes are sought after, especially foreign versions. AVTAK artwork has also graced countless CD, VHS, Beta, Criterion LaserDisc and DVD versions to date with more in the works.

**In an article entitled “Hot Resurgence” by Tom Conroy and Rob Sheffield for the August 20, 1998 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, AVTAK was credited with the resurgence of snowboarding worldwide. Chris Ernst, founder of California’s Lord of the Boards series, concurred:

“The troubles started around 1985, when the James Bond film A View to a Kill featured a Grecian Formula-slickened Roger Moore busting down the slopes on a single plank. Ever since, snowboarding has been jammed down our collective throat and has brought with it such scourges as tongue studs, tattoos, baggy parkas and any number of bad bands. Though no one asked, they’ve begun to rap.”

Even musical artists have gotten in on the AVTAK action. “Shadz” of “Lingo” released the 1994 album “A View To A Kill”, while the punk/new wave band “Gob” did a thoroughly forgettable remake of Bond XIV’s title song, released in 1997.

Collecting with a “Butterfinger” on James Bond

Our exclusive interview with Craig Chenery, one of that rare breed who makes fan props in addition to owning a mega-collection.

Matt Sherman: How did you start collecting Bond?

Craig Chenery: Well, I`ve been a Bond fan for as long as I can remember. I was a wide-eyed kid playing with my Corgi Aston Martin and eagerly awaiting the release of the next movie! But my collecting has really taken off in the last five years, since I started writing my hit screenplay entitled, “Butterfinger” with my co-author pal, Dan. And, of course, the first Bond movie I saw, like many out there, was “Goldfinger”.

Matt: How did you start making your own “fan props”? Tell us about them?

Craig: I`ve always loved drawing and designing things on my computer. So designing new CD cases, video boxes and toy boxes is very appealing to me. And being limited to a certain amount of display space, I am always trying to come up with creative ways to display 007 pieces. Recent items I created were several custom figures to match the rest of the Exclusive Premiere series. I did a Roger Moore in full Tuxedo and a Sean Connery with long-sleeved shirt plus a shoulder holster. Also, I once made a custom box for the wonderful BMW Motorcycle from Tomorrow Never Dies. Now, my cheaper version of the bike was released by “Road and Track”. But is an exact replica of Bond`s bike and closely matches the more expensive BMW model, for only a few dollars. I recommend it, especially when you can make custom packaging for just a few dollars more! For the “Johnny Lightning” car series out recently, I have started creating packaging and obtaining vehicles for the bond movies not in the current series. At this time I have done a GoldenEye Ferrari and Aston Martin to my own specs, plus a “Man With The Golden Gun” AMC hornet and a Mercedes Benz from Octopussy.

I have also made a “For Your Eyes Only” Roger Moore standee. See our links to the stories of Dean Williams’ fan-made props, at BackBurner Productions.

Matt: How many James Bond items do you own?

Craig: I`m not entirely sure. At last “official count” I was approaching 800 items. [Mumbles under his breath…796…]

Matt: So, your favorite item, which you own?

Craig: This is a tough question! Obviously there are some pieces that I`ve invested a lot of money into and there are others that my friends, family or my fiancee have bought for me and each of those holds special memories for me. But I think I`d have to say my very favorite is an original advertising mat for the first theatrical release of Goldfinger. An ad mat is a rubber stamp formerly used in the printing industry for creating the original impressions of advertisements in newspapers and theatrical flyers. This one dates back to 1964! Joint runner ups would be my James Bond Film Festival poster advertising Thunderball that I don`t know too much about…any suggestions from the 007Forever fans?…and a personal fave, the Variety two-page picture spread dated 1986 announcing the first day’s shooting work on “The Living Daylights.” I am currently converting this photo to a gorgeous framed display with some promotional napkins and other special Living Daylights items I own.

Matt: Any exciting “war stories” for us on how you earned a special collectible or funny stories on how a rare collectible got away?

Craig: A few years back I found a pristine set of Tarot Cards from Live And Let Die at an antique store for a very reasonable price. The store I was at had a restaurant in one corner. [Matt: A real “Collectors’ Corner.” Craig: You bet!] But I had the cards on my tray and when I disposed of my food I also disposed of my tarot cards! Of course I didn`t realize my great blunder until I was on my way home two hours later! One is probably first aware when rooting through disposed garbage that your James Bond hobby has taken on a whole new level of excitement! I`ve also had a few instances, probably like many 007Forever fans, when I discovered a choice item at a store, and then gone to an ATM machine or to walk around and think over a purchase only to return and someone else has purchased it! But that happens to the best of us collectors. I have since learned to “buy it when I see it.” I really don`t fight too hard to obtain Bond things. I have the theory that if I`m destined to own something I will get it in time…but if that is the theory, “WHERE ARE MY TAROT CARDS?” 🙂

Matt: Are you considering a trip as a dealer/fan to Bond Collectors` Weekend in New Orleans, probably September 2000?

Craig: Hmm…September…my birthday…Yep, I`m definitely considering it! It`s a long way from Phoenix though. I will more than likely go as a fan. To haul all my stuff across the country is a feat I`m not sure I`m prepared to face just yet…!

Matt: What are some of the trends you foresee in Bond collecting?

Craig: In my humble opinion, I think it`s very tough to predict at the moment. With the ever-increasing world of auction sites everything is becoming a “collectible.” I`m seeing a lot of prices go up on items for little reason. Don`t get me wrong, I have actually found some of the auction sites quite useful but mainly from a research point of view. They have been a very good resource in discovering items I hadn`t yet seen before. But in my opinion it does take a lot of the fun out of collecting. Half the fun is stumbling upon something you are not looking for when you are out. My friends have often pointed out that I must have “Double-Oh vision!” I seem to be able to find things in the strangest of places.

Matt: How have your Bond prices/inventory changed over the year?

Craig: In all honesty I prefer to do trading rather than selling. I find I get attached to items and then I find it hard to let them go. Usually I`ll trade if I get duplicates of items. But even then it can be tough. I think I`ve reached the point where collecting changes into hoarding. 🙂 My fiancee has changed from calling it a hobby to a habit to “obsession.” I don`t like putting items up for auction if I can help it. I`m not out for a profit, I like being able to share rare items when I find them.

Matt: Do you have any tips for aspiring Bond collectors?

Craig: Absolutely! The way I try (emphasis on try!) to collect is to focus on a certain area at a time. At the moment I am focusing on quality trading cards. When I feel like that area is complete I move on to the next. But the most important thing is to enjoy your hobby. Collecting Bond memorabilia is a ton of fun. It`s a great way to meet new people and make new friends also, like at your Bond Collectors’ Weekends. There are a lot of great collectibles out there and a lot of ways to discover them. Be it the Internet, toy stores, comic book stores or old bookstores (my personal favorite source from which some of my most valuable and favorite pieces have been found). One more word of advice, in my opinion the fans should be wary of auction sites. Do your homework before placing a bid on something. Make sure you are bidding what the item is worth. It is very easy to overpay on something when caught up in a bidding war. A little time researching can save you a lot of disappointment when the product arrives. Believe me I`ve been there. “Burned and learned,” so to speak. Another good tip…if you ever decide to photograph your collection, make sure the room you set it up in is on a ground floor…hauling 25 boxes up and down three flights of stairs is no joke. 🙂 Also if you happen to be in Phoenix area you can visit my collection and check out the “Empire of Toys.” My personal Bond haven.

Matt: What else do you specialize in?

Craig: There`s more to life than James Bond? Oh! Thanks, Matt!

Collecting the Asian World of James Bond

In Roger Somchai ’s own words for 007Forever (Roger is a super-collector of Asian Bond goodies):

“About myself, I was a 007 fan since I was a child, I love 007’s artwork first, then music, then movies. My favorite Bond is Roger Moore and “Spy” is my favorite film. In fact, I enjoy nonstop big scenes, new devices and exciting stunning locales more than the story, so “You Only Live Twice” and “Moonraker” are also my Bonds to love. In my homepage, every item is for sale, but I myself have many, not for sale items…maybe 1,000 items? They represent my collection since I was a child and sites like 007Forever, Lee Pfeiffer’s site, and auctions online also help me plenty.

Because I am a TV station’s supervisor and run work for a local “infotainment” program, I always have chance to know more, see more and even get more…last year when Pierce Brosnan came to Hong Kong for the Tomorrow Never Dies movie I got the chance to interview with him face to face, but I did not have courage to take pics with him! What a pity!! In fact, he had come here twice and I met him twice and lost my chances twice too! [Not good, because You Only Film Twice–Editors]

I have “good connections” in Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong so I can get official stuff so very easily for the fans of 007Forever.

In my personal collection, my favorite piece is a 007-logo shaped radio, I got it two years before now when I went to New York and visited the home of SpyGuise [Lee Pfeiffer’s shop]. The clock was made in Hong Kong and came from the early 1970’s, very Roger Moore, I love it very much! In fact, I have spent so much money in my collection, that online purchases are every night’s job…help me, I can’t stop it! I hope that my so-called Bond business can make me some money back…not profit, at least not to lose too much, anyway! Last year when I went to Japan, I bought some rare Bond items.

I got an old OHMSS poster, original “From Russia” program sheet and a nice Thunderball model, the prices were really very high and at that time I thought that the other Bond fans will be interested with them…but now the fact is that no one would like to buy them so finally they became part of my own collection. Poor me, right?

About the Bond Collectors’ Weekend in New Orleans, I will not be visiting, probably, because it’s a little too far from Hong Kong. Come here instead! [Maybe we will for BCW 2001–Editors]

I, myself, besides Bond, am also a collector of camouflage gear, I collect every possible item of camouflage color, and would like to be a camouflage man or secret agent.

I look forward to trading items with the 007Forever Bond fans. Write soon!
Yours, Roger”

You may write Roger Somchai and see his pages at Asian Bond Collectibles.