Tag Archives: James Bond

Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel Book Review

Spying is rarely as glamorous or simple as it appears to be in film and on television. It is often dangerous, requiring those who take up the charge of spying to potentially put their lives on the line for their cause and their country.

In the new non-fiction book, Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel, author Matti Friedman tells the true story of four young men of Sephardi Jewish descent (Jews who come from the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa and the Middle East) who pretended to Muslim to spy for the newly born Israeli state in the late 1940’s.

Spy novels, whether they are fiction or based on fact are usually not my go to genre. However, this book is one heck of a read. It had the narrative of a James Bond movie combined with the true stories of four young men who put their own needs aside to protect their country and their people.

I recommend it.

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Black Panther Movie Review

*I have no knowledge of either the narrative and characters in the Black Panther comic book, so this review is strictly based on the movie.

Comic books, especially the ones based around superheroes have become our modern-day fairy tales. There are heroes, villains, difficult journeys and life lessons that leave a lasting imprint long after we have read the final page.

Black Panther hit theaters this weekend.

The film starts off where Captain America: Civil War has ended. T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), is stepping into the role of King of Wakanda, a fictional country in Africa, after loosing his father. He is supported by his ex/best friend, Nakia, (Lupita Nyong’o), his younger sister Shuri (Letitia Wright), the Q to his James Bond, his widowed mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and his general, Okoye (Danai Gurira), who is the head of Wakanda’s Amazon-esque army.

When Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) threaten T’Challa/Black Panther and his kingdom, our hero must fight for his thrown and his country.

I loved this movie. I loved this movie. It has heart, it has humor, it has action, it has bad ass female characters and most importantly, character and actors of color who are proudly representing their heritage.

This movie is worth every word of praise and every dollar that has been spent to see it.

Black Panther is presently in theaters. 

 

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Throwback Thursday-The Avengers (1998)

In the wake of The Cold War and the success of the James Bond films, The Avengers hit our televisions in the 1960’s.

In 1998, the big screen adaptation of The Avengers was introduced to movie audiences. Taking the places of Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg as John Steed and Emma Peel were Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman. They have to stop Sir August De Wynter (Sean Connery) a villain who plans to use the power of nature to destroy the world.

Before I continue with the review, I have to warn that I have not seen the original television series, so my knowledge of the narrative and the characters is strictly based on the movie and the general pop culture references from the series. Based on what little information I have, the problem I see with this film is that it is a superficial reboot without the substance or style of its predecessor. I have a feeling that fans of the original series would like to forget that this reboot was ever made.

Do I recommend it? No.

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Idris Elba As The Next James Bond? Yes Please

With the release of Spectre, the most recent James Bond film, rumors have been circulating about who might play the world’s most famous spy when Daniel Craig decides to move on with his career.

My vote is for Idris Elba and this is why.

  1. If one of the requirements to play James Bond is to be easy on the eyes, Idris Elba has it in spades.
  2. Bond is more than a bed hopping spy with saucy one liners who with little trouble, can defeat his latest nemesis. The more recent Bond films have shown him to be a man who is dealing with internal turmoil. Considering Elba’s work in Luther, I don’t think he will   have a problem playing that internal drama.

3.  It’s about time to see Bond played by an actor of color.

Happy Saturday!

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Flashback Friday- Counterstrike (2002)

The subject of spies, espionage and government has long fascinated audiences. It explains why James Bond has been around as long as he has.

14 years ago, author Richard P Henrick published his novel, Attack On The Queen. It told the story of two brothers, both working for different government agencies, who must stop a nuclear clock from exploding under a cruise ship where the Chinese Premier and the American President are meeting for a G-7 Summit.

In 2002, the book was adapted for screen and renamed Counterstrike. Starring Joe Lando and Rob Estes as the brothers, they must put their past animosity aside to the prevent the bomb from going off and killing two of the world’s power powerful leaders.

To be fair, this is a TV movie. And the actors are not huge A list stars. But it is entertaining and the producers, knowing that the fans of the Lost World would be watching, were very wise in their casting decisions.

I recommend it.

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Flashback Friday- Austin Powers: Man Of Mystery

In the 1997, Mike Myers created one of the most unique and unforgettable characters ever to appear on the big screen: Austin Powers.

In Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery , Austin Powers ( Mike Myers) is internationally known as a spy in the 1960’s. When his nemesis, Dr. Evil (also Mike Myers) is frozen, Austin is frozen. Warmed up and woken up 30 years later, he finds that the world has changed.  His former partner, Mrs. Kensington (Mimi Rogers) has long since retired. But her daughter, Vanessa (Elizabeth Hurley) has followed in the family business. Dr. Evil has also woken up and is eager to continue on where he left off. It’s up Austin and Vanessa to stop Dr. Evil once more.

This movie is the perfect send off of the just a little too serious James Bond movies of the 1960’s. While respecting the groundwork that the James Bond series created, Myers also delivers a perfectly timed pie in the face satire of the spy movies of the era. After 17 years, this movie still holds it’s own.

I recommend it.

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