‘Spectre’ Looms: Best James Bond Scenes 0 71

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James Bond is one of the cinema’s most iconic characters – one who is always finding himself in tight spots but always manages to find a way out of them. Six actors have now played 007 throughout the 23 films and we have a new one due this year in the form of Spectre. In honour of this, here are five of his best scenes.

Note: Spoilers ahead!

Thunderball (1965) – Jetpack James

This Sean Connery Bond film revolves around the recovery of nuclear warheads that have been stolen by SPECTRE and one of the most memorable moments sees Bond leave a chateau in France using a jetpack rocket belt – surely one of his coolest gadgets ever?

Live and Let Die (1973) – Crocodile Hopscotch

The first of Roger Moore’s Bond outings, this has Bond trying to defeat a drugs kingpin called Kananga and in one scene he is left on an island surrounded by waters full of alligators. Being Bond, he simply escapes by skipping over the backs of these potential killers, without losing even a single toe.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) – Don’t Marry Bond

If Bond never seemed the marrying kind – it’s probably just as well when you see what happens to his wives. Australian George Lazenby plays 007 in this film and takes on Blofeld, who is planning to blackmail the world through germ warfare. He also falls in love with Tracy Di Vicenzo, only for her to be shot through the head moments after the wedding.

GoldenEye (1995) – Baccarat Beating

It’s not often Bond is a loser in the casino, but this 1995 outing where Pierce Brosnan’s 007 has to save the world from a deadly space weapon, sees him soundly beaten at baccarat in Monte Carlo – by Xenia Onatopp. Of course, being Bond he responds by winning the next round comprehensively, but still…

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Casino Royale (2006) – Opening Chase

Daniel Craig’s first Bond movie saw him taking on Le Chiffre, who funds terrorism, but the opening scene where he chases a bomb manufacturer sums up the new Bond. While his prey is nimble and agile, Bond bludgeons everything in his path, before administering the kill shot. Not subtle, but effective.

Whilst his casino skills could benefit from a few games at a casino online, James Bond is set to remain an iconic figure, with the new film sure to enhance his appeal even further. Spectre is due for release in November 2015 and promises to be another action packed adventure for Bond.

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I'm a freelance film reviewer and blogger with over 10 years of experience writing for various different reputable online and print publications. In addition to my running, editing and writing for Thoughts On Film, I am also the film critic for The National, the newspaper that supports an independent Scotland, covering the weekly film releases, film festivals and film-related features. I have a passion for all types of cinema, and have a particular love for foreign language film, especially South Korean and Japanese cinema. Favourite films include The Big Lebowski, Pulp Fiction and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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Deadpool and the Anti-Hero 0 51

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While the concept of the anti-hero is nothing new, the popularity of this archetype in recent decades certainly seems to be. Found as far back as ancient Greece and Rome, the anti-hero is simply someone who operates under some sort of moral ambiguity or who has some character flaws that keep him or her from being seen as a traditional hero.

Yet, for all of these flaws, we as an audience are drawn more and more to this type of character in everything from a watered down version in Disney films such as Tangled to hardcore offerings through television shows such as Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Game of Thrones – just to name a few. With the movie Deadpool currently in cinemas, we can give some new love to this most recent inductee of the anti-hero club.

Television, in particular, has offered up some of the darkest and scariest places and storylines of its history, with audiences eating it up and screaming for more. An anti-hero such as Walter White in Breaking Bad is someone we are simultaneously repulsed by and drawn to. Being forced to deal with a flawed healthcare system is something most of us can relate to fairly easily, and we applaud a character for fighting back in what he sees as the only means available to him, even while disagree with the lengths he goes to within the series. We sympathize with Walter, even when we don’t always agree with his choices.

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The same holds true for anti-heroes of past decades, with audiences embracing the concept of “The Man with No Name” from the Clint Eastwood spaghetti western Dollars trilogy of the 1960s and Michael Corleone of The Godfather fame. These characters are accepted along with their flaws because there is something about them and their situation that we can relate to and sympathize with. It’s the same reason that Han Solo tends to score higher on lists of the most popular Star Wars characters than Luke Skywalker, the series’ traditional hero, and why the original trilogy often tops lists of the best of the franchise.

Apparently, the double standard is alive and well within the anti-hero popularity phenomena, though, with audiences much more willing to accept men with flaws than women with them. We expect our female characters to support their flawed male counterparts and be instrumental in their development, but to not need someone else to develop themselves. Catwoman is one of the few exceptions to this idea, remaining a popular female anti-hero and thankfully still available for viewing through Netflix and DTV.

Marketing behind Deadpool plays on our sympathies and our curiosity by playing up the flaws in conjunction with the strengths. We can sympathize with the idea of someone previously used and rejected making a comeback with witty and sarcastic humor and some serious fighting skills. The character Deadpool gets to say and do what many of us would like to have the nerve to say and do to those that abuse, reject, or ignore our potential, turning his Special Forces skills to a mercenary lifestyle.

From Mad Max to Deadpool, our love for the anti-hero continues to grow as we’re given more opportunities to vicariously live out our fantasies of living in a complicated and conflicted world by acting according to our own flawed moral code – regardless of the legal or moral expectations. As long as we continue to fight the current structures of our society, the anti-hero will likely remain our favorite hero of choice, taking a stand and doing things we wouldn’t dare do ourselves but wish that we could.

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How Eco-Horror Movies Portray Energy Crisis, Pollution and Climate Change 0 34

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This is a guest post by regular contributor Maria Ramos.

More often than not movies reflect interests and fears of the current times back at us, either directly or veiled in metaphor. This is especially true in the past few decades, as humanity as a whole has started to become more aware of our influence on the environment and this has consistently been echoed back to us on screen.

In the 1950s, the threat was nuclear weapons and its hazardous effects. Today, the threat is climate change, particularly since we’ve become more aware of the global troubles that will ensue should we allow current consumption of fossil fuels to run rampant. However, no matter what the current danger, the silver screen has become an interesting funhouse mirror to amplify, distort, and reflect them, making a statement all its own.

After the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan in 1945, the world became aware of the hazard of both large-scale destruction and the wrath of nuclear fallout. Both Japan and the United States released nuclear creature-features in 1954, Godzilla and Them!, though their approaches reflected each country’s point of view.

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The Godzilla franchise may have become known for its camp nature, but initially it was a metaphor for a godlike force of destruction, with director Ishiro Honda using scenes that purposefully evoked Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Them!, on the other hand, viewed its gigantic ants as an unintended side product of mankind’s meddling who turned about and attacked the very forces who had created them.

The 1970s and 1980s brought increased awareness of the effects of pollution and toxic waste into the public eye, and so environmental horror changed as well. 1984’s C.H.U.D. served double-duty as a warning against both toxic waste pollution and 1980s corporate greed that led to the dumping of the waste into the sewers. In the 2000s, water pollution became the pollution du jour to fear, and films like 2012’s The Bay were caused not by toxic waste, but by agricultural runoff.

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Found footage eco-horror movie “The Bay”

With the advent of rapid global travel and high populations, epidemics are another on-screen threat that Hollywood has not shied away from. 2002’s 28 Days Later and 2013’s World War Z couched their epidemic through the ever popular zombie metaphor, while 2007’s I am Legend displayed its epidemic in more of a vampire variety. 2012’s The Crazies combined a few issues, with a polluted water supply infecting a town’s population with a virus that sent its residents into a frenzy.

Climate change issues of today have been especially well represented lately in environmental horror. This category is particularly topical given recent issues like the 2015 Paris Agreement. With a global increase of 80 percent between 1970 and 2004 alone in carbon dioxide, according to Direct Energy, the situations proposed in the following films seem less and less outlandish. 2004’s The Day After Tomorrow took a lot of flack for being an overblown special-effects fest, but as the general public has become more familiar with terms like “superstorm,” it has begun to seem less far-fetched than it did a decade ago. 2006’s The Last Winter, while featuring a ghost-heavy plot, also centered around the idea of destructive drilling practices being largely at fault.

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The effects of climate change in disasterbuster The Day After Tomorrow.

Increasing temperatures are a major factor in the destruction at the heart of 2009’s 2012 – though the temperature is of the Earth’s core and not the atmosphere and oceans, such as we are seeing today. And in 2014’s Into the Storm, shifting weather patterns due to atmospheric warming causes unprecedented tornado activity, similar to activity that has been seen in recent months.

People are influenced by the media that they consume, even something as seemingly diverting as horror movies. With the combination of awareness of issues as plot points in environmental horror and visibility in the news, the possibility of the public taking these issues seriously may become much more likely. If it is real enough to fear onscreen, it is real enough to fear in real life – and real enough to do something about.