Friday, September 11, 2015

Short Break for Long Beach Comic Con

Hello Everyone!

This weekend, I will be attending the Long Beach Comic Con where I will be moderating a couple of panels as well as working as a freelance writer for Bleeding Cool. If you are in the Southern California area and have some time to spare Saturday and/or Sunday, you should think about heading to Long Beach Convention Center. There are passes for the weekend or single day still available as I write this and parking is conveniently close by for about $10.00 for the day.

I have attended the past three or four years and LBCC is one my favorite cons. Although growing and expanding each year, it still has a small town, friendly family feel. This year, they have garnered some interesting media guests, but the focus is on the comic book creators while being very cosplay friendly. Because of the proximity to Los Angeles, there are panels that will likely include one of your favorite actors from small or big screen on hand. This year, the organizers have added Space Expo, which is a phenomenon gaining a presence at the cons this year. I attended one at San Diego International Comic Con and had a blast. I hope to attend a couple this weekend.

Anyway, with all this fun and work I'll be doing at LBCC, I'll be taking a short break from Bond 365. I'll be back on Monday, so catch you on the flip side!

LBCC 2013 con floor (MBrittany)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Remembering Richard Kiel One Year On…Day 253 of Bond 365

Richard Kiel
Passed away this day in 2014
Jaws in Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me

Richard Dawson Kiel was a difficult person to miss. Born in Detroit in 1939, Kiel got his start in acting as an Ugly Marine (uncredited) in the military drama The D.I. in 1957. At 7’ 2” tall, he often placed characters focused on his tall stature. He was cast in several televisions and movies that included The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Gilligan’s Island, The Monkees, and The Wild Wild West.

He got his break in 1977 as Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me, opposite Sir Roger Moore and returned in 1979’s Moonraker to reprise his role. Although he was well recognize as that character, after the Bond films, Kiel went back to guest appearing on television and in films. Apparently, Kiel declined the role of Chewbacca because he felt he more opportunities in the Jaws role.

In 1991, Kiel wrote and produced The Giant of Thunder Mountain, a family film that garnered he quite a bit of viewer praise. However, the following year, Kiel was in an auto accident that affected his balance, so thereafter he needed assistance with walking.

Kiel’s attachment to the Bond franchise as Jaws was rejuvenated through a newer medium: the video game market. In 1997, his likeness was used in GoldenEye 007. In 2004, he lent his voice in James Bond 007: Everything or Northing. In all, he was involved in six games.

I met Kiel a couple of times at Bond reunions hosted by the Hollywood Collector’s Show in Burbank and Los Angeles. On both occasions, he was exceeding kind and friendly. It was very sad to hear the news last year when he passed.

© Copyright. Michele Brittany. 2011 - 2015. All rights reserved. All text, graphics, and photos are protected by US and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted, or otherwise distributed by any means without written permission.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

If Game: Maniacal Villains…..Day 252 of Bond 365

I have no Bond history today, so I thought I would short list some individuals that I think would have been or could be fascinating villains if cast in a Bond film.

Klaus Kinski

He starred in a number of films directed by Werner Herzog, who solicited some of his best performances in Fitzcarraldo (1982), Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) and Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979). If he had been Blofeld’s second in command who eventually became the head boss, instead of trying to take over the world, he probably would have set off the bomb that would have destroyed the world.

Jurgen Prochnow

This German actor has an intriguing face and I have enjoyed his performances in Das Boot (1981) as Capt.-Lt. Henrich Lehmann-Willenbrock, The Keep (1983) as Woermann, The Seventh Sign (1988) as David Bannon, and In the Mouth of Madness (1994) as Sutter Cane. Even though Christopher Walken’s approach emphasized an appropriate amount of unbalance and unease, having Prochnow portray Maxillium Zorin in A View to a Kill (1985) would have lent more seriousness to the villainous role. I think it would have made the character more formidable against Sir Roger Moore’s James Bond.

Roger Rees

Englishman Roger Rees came from the same cloth as John Hurt (Alien, 1984) and Alan Rickman (Die Hard, Harry Potter series) who I think I first saw in the comedy series Cheers (1989 – 1993) as Robin Colcord. Most recently, I watched him in the Survivor (2015) in which Rees played a darker, shifty character named Emil Balan. As I write this, I think that perhaps he would have played a second-in-command, hungry for power and being the second to last man standing against Bond before Bond goes against the main villain.

Health Ledger

He nailed it as the Joker in The Dark Knight (2008), but this Australian actor showed his flexibility for roles. He was here and sadly, gone much too soon. Portraying a young millionaire turned villain through an obsessive greed for a particular resource has a nice ring to it and would have fit in with the other Bond bad guys nicely.

William Fichtner

William Fichtner is one of those contemporary actors that can slip into a character and embody someone well. He’s been in a lot of roles over the years, but he unfortunately has not become a household name. Some of the roles I have enjoyed him in: Strange Days (1995), Albino Alligator (1996), The Amateurs (2005), and Crossing Lines (2013-2014). I think that any back-story given to Fichtner’s villain, he would take hold of it and make it his own. He just needs the opportunity.

Bonus Round:

James Purefoy

Purefoy is another actor who has been in the business twenty years, but usually in smaller roles. Loved him in Solomon Kane (2009), Ironclad (2011) and The Following (2013 – 2015), where he definitely proved he has the stuff to be the penultimate villain. We need more Purefoy!

There are many others that would be great villains - who's on your shortlist? 

© Copyright. Michele Brittany. 2011 - 2015. All rights reserved. All text, graphics, and photos are protected by US and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted, or otherwise distributed by any means without written permission.