Friday, 1 July 2016

July 2016 - The subject of favourite films, plus Ab Fab, Finding Dory, Ghostbusters Reboot, Star Trek Beyond, and The Legend of Tarzan

Hi Everyone,

    As the media has been abuzz lately with speculation as to who will play James Bond when Daniel Craig hangs up his Walther PPK, this got me thinking about Bond films in general and what it is to have a favourite movie! Yes, I am a big James Bond fan, and many of the films in the franchise are among my favourite movies. But what is a favourite movie? Is a favourite movie the same as what is considered the best movie? Here's what I mean - using the Bond franchise as an example:-

    In my opinion the best James Bond film of them all is Goldfinger. (Don't write in complaining, this is just my opinion). But, if a Martian in a spaceship landed on earth and you wanted to show them just one quintessential Bond film that perfectly captures the feel of the series – Goldfinger, for me, is the one. It has everything! A brilliant (Shirley Bassey) theme tune (and title sequence by Robert Brownjohn), Sean Connery at his best, the stunning and miraculous Aston Martin DB5 car, two or three really great baddies, awesome Bond girls, some terrific one-liners, some of the best Ken Adam set-designs, not to mention an iconic finale set in Fort Knox, and the right mix of humour, action, threat, character, pathos, outlandishness, and much much more! Who could forget Bond tied to a table with a laser slowly burning its way towards his precious nether regions. “Do you expect me to talk”? enquires Bond, nervously (as the devious Auric Goldfinger starts to leave the building) “No, Mr. Bond”, he retorts, “I expect you to die!”. Yes, folks! This is imho the best Bond film ever made. (Close runners up include, of course, From Russia With Love - also with Connery - and the Daniel Craig outings Skyfall and Casino Royale.

Goldfinger - Laser scene excerpt

    Having said all that; it's not my favourite! It's the best Bond film but not the one I love the most. That honour goes to the thoroughly camp and unbridled Diamonds Are Forever. Right from the get-go, Diamonds is more salacious, violent, audacious, sadistic, comedic, and cheesy. But it's my favourite of all the Bond films – and (of all the thousands of movies I've ever seen in my life) it's even a candidate for my favourite film of all time. So, why do I dig it so much? Well, it has the other great Shirley Bassey tune (lets forget Moonraker) – but this one is sensual and seductive and (along with the gorgeous women in the movie) this was a real knock-out for me (a hormonal 11 or 12 year old boy the first-time I saw the film). The movie also features two brilliantly creepy “gay” baddies called Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd as well as a pair of homicidal female wrestlers nicknamed Bambi and Thumper. This film is simply nuts! 

    The movie also has some amazing action set-pieces (such as a savage fist-fight in an elevator) and a “car” chase involving a moon-rover (as well as a brilliant traditional car chase set in Las Vegas). Another great location for the film was the city of Amsterdam – with it's 17th century buildings and famous canals. The debonair Charles Gray made a terrific Blofeld, I recall, and unforgettable scenes included Bond trapped in a coffin - about to be burned alive; cremated by hot jets of fire! How over the top and hedonistic can a film get. It was (and is) a feast for the senses. And, the best thing of all, it was my first ever Bond film – viewed in the cinema with my father (who took my brother and I to see the picture) only a year or so before his untimely death. So, the film has a unique emotional significance for me, as well as being (on my first viewing) unlike any film I had ever seen before - at once both infantile and very adult in tone; a real eye-opener. Gloriously fun and very memorable. I drank it in and (perhaps for the very first time) I really knew I was alive! So, yes, Goldfinger may be the best Bond film, but my favourite is Diamonds Are Forever – and it's interesting to note that “best” and “favourite” don't always have to coincide. 

    There are quite a few good movies coming out in July 2016. See the newsletter for details of them all. But, perhaps, of special note are the Disney-Pixar release Finding Dory - which goes head-to-head with Ice Age: Collision Course. We also have the reboot of Ghostbusters . The first trailer for this was not well received. Maybe folks will enjoy the actual movie somewhat more. If you prefer your adventure in more “classic” style, we have The Legend of Tarzan starring Margot Robbie and Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd. For sci-fi fans, the third film in the J.J. Abrams Star Trek franchise also opens in July. Star Trek Beyond co-stars Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella. The action-spy genre sees the release of Jason Bourne – starring Matt Damon as the titular Robert Ludlum character, and this promises to be a real treat for moviegoers. If not the best July ever, there's still some good stuff here. 

For a playlist of the major films being released this month in the UK (with a brief introduction) please go to the following page:

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie © 2016 20th Century Fox. All Rights Reserved.
Finding Dory © 2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Ghostbusters © 2016 CTMG, Inc. Courtesy of Sony Pictures. All Rights Reserved. 

Jason Bournes © 2016 Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved. 
Star Trek Beyond © 2016 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
The Legend of Tarzan © 2016 Warner Bros. Pictures. Character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. All Rights Reserved.

    Here's a comprehensive list of the major films released in the UK in July 2016:- Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, Central Intelligence, Finding Dory, Ghostbusters, Ice Age: Collision Course, Jason Bourne, Maggie's Plan, Now You See Me 2, Star Trek Beyond, The BFG, The Legend of Tarzan, and The Neon Demon. Please note: The Purge: Election Year has been delayed (perhaps to an August 2016 release date) in the UK.

    The films only showing in certain “key cities” or which are generally regarded as being “limited releases” include:- Author: The JT LeRoy Story, A Poem is a Naked Person, Baskin, Bayou Maharajah, Chevalier, Dishoom, From Afar, Jackson Durai, K Shop, Ming of Harlem: Twenty One Storeys in the Air, Notes on Blindness, Shajahanum Pareekuttiyum, Summertime, The Hard Stop, and The Mafia Kills Only in Summer.

    A number of limited releases have nevertheless been given their own little spot in the July 2016 newsletter, and these are:- Born to Be Blue, Keanu, League of Gods, Men & Chicken, Precious Cargo, Queen of Earth, The Colony, The Commune, Traders, The Wait, and Weiner.

    Not included in the magazine are this month's “Event Cinema” special screenings and the like. This, however, is what's happening in July 2016:-
  • 1st July 2016 – Branagh Theatre Live: Romeo & Juliet 2016

  • 1st July 2016 – Discover Arts: St Peter's & The Papal Basilicas of Rome

  • 8th July 2016 – Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg: Glyndebourne 2016

  • 15th July 2016 – Almeida Live: Richard III - 2016
  • 15th July 2016 – Secret Cinema: Dirty Dancing

  • 22nd July 2016 – Andre Rieu's 2016 Maastricht Concert

  • 30th July 2016 – World Cup '66 Live (One Night Only Event)

Here is the link to my latest newsletter (which is a download of a little under 23MB):-

    In the next few days, I hope to go to see Independence Day: Resurgence and Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie in the next few days. I hope that, if you have some visits to the cinema in the pipeline, you have a really nice time. Happy viewing!

Here are trailers for most or all of the above-mentioned films:-

 Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

A Poem is a Naked Person

Author: The JT LeRoy Story

Barry Lyndon


Bayou Maharajah

Born to Be Blue

Central Intelligence



Finding Dory

From Afar


Ice Age: Collision Course

Jackson Durai

Jason Bourne


K Shop

League of Gods

Maggie's Plan

Men & Chicken

Ming of Harlem: Twenty One Storeys in the Air

Notes on Blindness

Now You See Me 2

Precious Cargo

Queen of Earth

Shajahanum Pareekuttiyum

Star Trek Beyond



The Colony

The Commune

The Hard Stop

The Legend of Tarzan

The Mafia Kills Only in Summer

The Neon Demon

The Purge: Election Year


The Wait



Above Photo Credits for the upper section of the blog page (full details):-

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie © 2016 20th Century Fox. All Rights Reserved.

Finding Dory © 2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Ghostbusters © 2016 CTMG, Inc. Courtesy of Sony Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

Star Trek Beyond © 2016 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. STAR TREK and all related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios, Inc. Photo credit: Kimberley French


Sean Connery on location in Amsterdam:-

Official title: Sean Connery shooting the James Bond movie “Diamonds are Forever” in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 

Taken by Mieremet Rob/Anefo. 31st July 1971. 

Creative Commons Licence: (CC BY-SA 3.0 NL) 
(Noise reduced and white spots and several scratches retouched)

Picture of Daniel Craig (on page two of the newsletter):-

Daniel Craig - Film Premiere "Spectre" 007 - on the Red Carpet in Berlin.
Author: from Hamburg, Germany
Creative Commons Licence (CC-BY-2.0)

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