The Many Lives of James Bond By Mark Edlitz Lyons Press, 300 pages, $27.95
Now that No Time To Die’s April release feels imminent, now may be a good time to catch up on some past James Bond history. Always remember that the past is prologue for the James Bond series. Prolific interviewer Mark Edlitz is back, this time with the recently released book The Many Lives of James Bond.
James Bond has been explored in just about every manner imagined and yet, Edlitz comes through with a collection of discussions that is unique in its breadth. Subtitled “How the Creators of 007 Have Decoded the Superspy”, he offers insights from not just the actors, but the directors, songwriters, novelists, artists, designers, and more.
The book is broken into five parts: Bond on Film, Bond in Print, Being Bond, Designing 007, and Bond Women with an appendix on the Quotable Bond. It’s interesting to read how directors Martin Campbell, Roger Spotiswoode, and John Glen each saw the elite spy and the challenges of maintaining the nearly 60-year-old franchise’s consistency.
Edlitz nicely looks under rocks and deep into the shadows to bring little known aspects of the legacy to light. For example, did you know Big Band leader Hoagy Carmichael was Fleming’s model for the look? His son, Hoagy Bix Carmichael, shared some anecdotes. Similarly, there are quotes from Bob Holness, who portrayed Bond on a South African radio adaptation of Moonraker in the 1950s.
The print section shines a little-seen spotlight on the novels that followed Ian Fleming’s death as Anthony Horowitz dishes on dealing with the film producers and Eon Productions while John McLusky reviewed his work on the British comic strip, and Mike Grell recounted his work on writing and drawing a Bond adventure for Eclipse Comics.
Several of the actor interviews may seem familiar if you had read Edlitz’s 2015 How to be a Super-Hero which takes a similar in-depth and out of the box approach to the subject. While he couldn’t get to Sean Connery directly, Edlitz has a long piece with Glen A. Schofield who clues us in on what it was like to work with Connery, who recorded Bond’s voice for the video game From Russia with Love which has proven to be the actor’s final time in the role.
Lan Wood represents all the women who wooed and were wood by the spy while Lisa Funnell, who edited For his Eyes Only: The Women of James Bond is on hand to take the long academic view.
Being an unauthorized book, Edlitz is limited in illustrations using a handful of fair use images and a series of adequate illustrations from Pat Carbajal.
The nice thing about a book like this is you can read an interview or two and come back for more, a very nice way to pass the winter until the new feature arrives.
Young Justice has two overlapping, somewhat rabid, fan followings. First, there are those who delighted in Peter David’s energetic take on the young adult team, which led to the animated series on Cartoon Network.
In the hands of former DC assistant editor Greg Weisman, Young Justice developed a very unique voice of its own, carving an animated continuity all to itself, enjoying two seasons on cable before vanishing. Weisman, Brandon Vietti, and their team were rehired by DC Universe to produce a 26-episode third season, dubbed Young Justice: Outsiders, which aired in two sections throughout 2019.
The entire season is now a four-disc Blu-ray set from Warner Archive so if you don’t want to spend for the service, you can see what you’ve missed. We pick up some two years after season two and Meta-human trafficking is rampant, with the people turned into WMDs. Meanwhile, the UN in their infinite wisdom imposes strict guidelines that prompt many of the heroes to quit the Justice League.
The animation looks about as good as we got the first two times around along, on a par with some of the direct-to-video offerings from Warner Animation. They also took the time to rethink the looks of several characters, redesigning Arrowette, Thirteen and Spoiler.
So, who are the Outsiders? Promo art told us they would be Tigress (Stephanie Lemelin), Black Lightning (Khary Payton), Superboy (Nolan North), Katana, Geo-Force (Troy Baker), Forager (Jason Spisak), Halo (Zehra Fazal), Metamorpho and Nightwing (Jesse McCartney), a very mixed bag.
The team, which has continued to morph throughout the seasons, remains although the first episode shakes up the status quo so they’re still active as is the League and even Infinity, Inc.
Many characters have entirely different personalities, relationships, and professions from the comics so you do need to be somewhat steeped in the 2010-13 series to make sense of where things stand. For example, good old Lex Luthor is now UN Secretary-General, which explains why he’s made it tough on the JL.
There is plenty of episode to episode continuity with the usual assortment of prolonged fight scenes and explosions. Overall, though, the pacing works nicely and there are good character bits throughout the season.
The writing is also good, especially with so many previous people coming back, including, thankfully, Peter David, who continues to entertain with these heroes. His “Triptych” dwells on Aquaman and Atlantis, things he knows well. Weisman and company have mined the comics continuity with abandon, including obscure people like Bash Bashford (Troy Baker), created by Frank Robbins, Bob Brown, and Wally Wood in an issue of Superboy back in1969. Weisman even plunders other animation as he uses Queen Perdita (Ariel Winter), who he created for DC Showcase: Green Arrow and has her date Gar Logan.
Watching these, you come to appreciate how the creators judiciously took advantage of the non-commercial arena, streamlining the stories without need for mini-cliffhangers to insert commercials, along with the slightly more mature themes and approaches to the characters. Things wrap up well enough although the final episode drops a Legion Easter Egg and we now know work is proceeding on the fourth season.
The fourth disc has a Bringing Back Young Justice with Whitney Moore: five Behind-the-Scenes features – Inside the Writer’s Room, The Animation Process, Voice Recording, The Post-production Process, and Recording Doom Patrol Go! – that first appeared on the streaming service, totaling over 48 minutes.
In 1997, Jamie Delano (Hellblazer), Frank Quitely (All-Star Superman, X-Men, Doom Patrol), Steve Pugh (Harley Quinn, GrimJack), James Romberger (Seven Miles A Second), and Warren Pleece (Incognegro) created a fantastic tour-de-force, following the lives of a far-flung family, struggling to survive in the morally and socially decadent United States in the far-flung future of… 2020.
Time’s up. Here we are.
How clearly did we see tomorrow– er, today?
You can find out by reading the new, remastered 2020 Visions collection, with a new introduction by Jamie Delano, in comic shops and book stores today, direct through our pages and Amazon, and available on Comixology on January 8th (you can pre-order it now).
‘Twas the night before Christmas … and DC dropped a final holiday gift.
The upcoming release of Superman: Red Son includes the all-new DC Showcase animated short, Phantom Stranger. Here are the first images from Phantom Stranger depicting the two lead characters – the Phantom Stranger (voiced by Peter Serafinowicz of The Tick fame) and the mysterious Seth (voiced by Smallville‘s Michael Rosenbaum).
Phantom Stranger has Bruce Timm (Batman: The Killing Joke) at the helm as executive producer & director, and the short is written by Ernie Altbacker (Teen Titans: The Judas Contract). Set in the 1970s, the short follows young adult Jess as she joins her friends at a party in a dilapidated mansion hosted by the mysterious Seth. When odd things begin to happen to Jess and her friends, the Phantom Stranger intervenes to try and save her from a dreary fate. In addition to Serafinowicz and Rosenbaum, “Phantom Stranger” also features the voices of Natalie Lander, Grey Griffin and Roger Craig Smith.
The Phantom Stranger was created by John Broome, Carmine Infantino, and Sy Barry for the short-lived eponymous series with Phantom Stranger #1 cover-dated August/September 1952. After a five-issue run, it was canceled, only to be resurrected in the late 1960s. While initially reprinting the original run, under dynamic Neal Adams covers, new material began to appear. The series found its footing and a growing fan following, during the run by Len Wein and Jim Aparo. The character, in various incarnations, has been a mainstay member of the DC Universe’s supernatural community ever since.
Superman: Red Son, an Elseworlds entry in the popular series of DC Universe Movies, arrives from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting February 25, 2020, and on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack on March 17, 2020.
It has been an exceptionally disappointing year for smart, serious science fiction on the screen. In a short period, we had the crash and burn of Ad Astra and Lucy in the Sky, the latter of which has been made available for streaming by Fox Home Entertainment ahead of its inevitable release on disc.
Where Noah Hawley’s Legion was a surreal character study that got you involved with the characters, this film, co-written with Brian C Brown and Elliott DiGuiseppi, keeps every character at arm’s length. We open with mission specialist Lucy Cola in space and follow her re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.
Clearly, like so many real-world astronauts, the experience was deeply affecting, but unlike the others, she is now forever altered and no one notices. Those closest to her, such as her husband Drew (Dan Stevens) and grandmother Nana Holbrook (Ellen Burstyn), seem oblivious.
At NASA, her psychiatrist Will Plimpton (Nick Offerman) and colleague Mark Goodwin (Jon Hamm) suspect something’s off, but the former does little about it while the latter embarks on a torrid affair with her. He’s been to space and becomes the only one she even attempts to articulate how being among the stars has altered her perceptions.
Over time, Lucy begins spiraling out of control with minimal efforts to help her, while Mark gives up on her in favor of Erin Eccles (Zazie Beetz), an astronaut/rival. All of which builds up to Lucy being denied a return to space so stalks Mark accompanied by her niece Blue Iris (Pearl Amanda Dickson.
The back half of the film is heavily influenced by the 2007 incident that saw Capt. Lisa M. Nowak arrested after attacking Colleen Shipman, an Air Force captain she saw as a romantic rival.
Across the 2:05 of the running time, we don’t get to know any character with any depth nor do we sympathize with Lucy as reality slips from her grasp. There’s a sterility to the storytelling that leaves you looking at your watch and wondering who thought this was a good way to make a film.
Kudos to Hawley and cinematographer Polly Morgan for playing with the aspect ratio, making it an actual part of the story, honing in and out of Lucy’s perceptions.
The streaming edition was reviewed and looks just grand on your home television screen. The film is accompanied by four Deleted Scenes (9:47), one of which attempted to show another side of Lucy and one which gave Mark some character. There are four other pieces — Directors Journey (5:12), Creating Magical Realism (6:50), Making Space (5:42), Lucy Cola (4:15) – are all too short and all too on the surface to be involving or help explain how this misfired.
Universal City, California, December 19, 2019 – With the clock ticking down, an NYPD detective is plunged into the midst of a large-scale conspiracy, while trying to bring forth justice in 21 BRIDGES, arriving on Digital February 4, 2020 and Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand on February 18, 2020 from STXfilms and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. 21 BRIDGES is a gripping thriller that keeps audiences captivated with its twists and turns as the gray area between cop and criminal becomes more apparent. Hailed as a “battering ram of a movie” (The New York Times), the suspense and nonstop action of 21 BRIDGES allows viewers to take part in uncovering the many layers of the conspiracy themselves.
Led by Chadwick Boseman (Marvel’s Black Panther, 42) as the film’s fearless protagonist, 21 BRIDGES features an all-star cast with Sienna Miller (American Sniper, Foxcatcher), Stephan James (If Beale Street Could Talk, Homecoming), Emmy Award® winner Keith David (Cloud Atlas, Platoon) with Taylor Kitsch (True Detective, Friday Night Lights) and Oscar® winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash, Spider-Man). 21 BRIDGES is directed by Brian Kirk (Game of Thrones, The Tudors) and written by Matthew Michael Carnahan (World War Z, Deepwater Horizon) and Adam Mervis (The Philly Kid, The Shakespeare Theorem). As their first major project since Avengers: Endgame, Anthony and Joe Russo (Community,Avengers: Infinity War) produce alongside Mike Larocca (Spy, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Robert Simonds (Bad Moms, The Wedding Singer), Gigi Pritzker (Hell or High Water, Ender’s Game), Logan Coles (Message from the King, Heaven), and star Chadwick Boseman.
21 BRIDGES follows an embattled NYPD detective (Boseman), who is thrust into a citywide manhunt for a pair of cop killers after uncovering a massive and unexpected conspiracy. As the night unfolds, lines become blurred on who he is pursuing, and who is in pursuit of him. When the search intensifies, extreme measures are taken to prevent the killers from escaping Manhattan as the authorities close all 21 BRIDGES to prevent any entry or exit from the iconic island.
BLU-RAYTM, DVD & DIGITAL BONUS FEATURES:
• Deleted Scenes
• Feature Commentary with Director Brian Kirk
21 BRIDGES will be available on Blu-rayTM, DVD and Digital.
• Blu-rayTM unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring 6X the picture resolution of DVD, exclusive extras and theater-quality surround sound.
• Digital lets fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can instantly stream or download.
FILMMAKERS: Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, Stephan James, Keith David with Taylor Kitsch and J.K. Simmons Casting By: Avy Kaufman, CSA Music By: Henry Jackman and Alex Belcher Costume Designer: David Robinson Edited By: Tim Murrell Production Designer: Greg Berry Directory of Photography: Paul Cameron, ASC Executive Producers: Rachel Shane, Adrian Alperovich, Mark Kamine, Todd Makurath, Wang Zhongjun, Wang Zhonglei, Felice Bee, Adam Fogelson Produced By: Anthony Russo, p.g.a., Joe Russo, p.g.a., Mike Larocca, p.g.a., Robert Simonds, Gigi Pritzker, Chadwick Boseman, p.g.a., Logan Coles, p.g.a. Story By: Adam Mervis Screenplay By: Adam Mervis and Matthew Michael Carnahan Directed By: Brian Kirk
TECHNICAL INFORMATION BLU-RAY: Street Date: February 18, 2020 Selection Number: 64202526 Layers: BD 50 Aspect Ratio: 16:9 2.39:1 Widescreen Rating: R for violence and language throughout Languages/Sound: English – DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish Run Time: 1 hour 39 minutes
TECHNICAL INFORMATION DVD: Street Date: February 18, 2020 Selection Number: 64202525 Layers: DVD 9 Aspect Ratio: 16:9 2.39:1 Anamorphic Widescreen Rating: R for violence and language throughout Languages/Sound: English – Dolby Digital 5.1 Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish Run Time: 1 hour 39 minutes
John Krasinski is hoping fans want more silence because he and Paramount Pictures have a sequel to A Quiet Place ready for 2020. In fact, they have release a teaser ahead of the first trailer, which is expected on New Year’s Day.
The official synopsis: Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe) must now face the terrors of the outside world as they continue their fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they quickly realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.
Krasinski is once more writing and directing with the film being produced by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller, and Krasinski. The film characters created by Bryan Woods & Scott Beck.
BURBANK, CA (December 18, 2019) – What if the Man of Steel was raised behind the Iron Curtain? So begins DC’s acclaimed Elseworlds story, Superman: Red Son, the next entry in the popular series of DC UniverseMovies. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC, the feature-length animated film arrives – along with a new DC Showcase animated short, Phantom Stranger – from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting February 25, 2020, and on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack on March 17, 2020.
Superman: Red Son will be available on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (USA $39.99 SRP; Canada $43.99 SRP) and Blu-ray Combo Pack (USA $24.98 SRP; Canada $34.97 SRP) as well as on Digital. The 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc in 4K with HDR, a Blu-ray disc featuring the film in hi-definition, and a digital version of the movie. The Blu-ray Combo Pack features a Blu-ray disc with the film in hi-definition, a DVD with the film in standard definition, and a digital version of the movie.
Based on DC’s famed Elseworlds tale from 2003, Superman: Red Son takes place in an alternate reality where the spaceship bearing the last survivor of Krypton crash lands – not in rural Kansas, but in Stalinist Russia. Can this Cold War-era Earth survive the coming of a Soviet Superman?
Golden Globe-nominated actor Jason Isaacs leads a stellar cast as the voice of the alternate, Soviet take on Superman. Isaacs, one of the stars of the Harry Potter film franchise, Star Trek: Discovery and more than 120 films and television series, gets his turn as a Super Hero after three memorable appearances in DC Universe Movies as famous Super-Villains from the DC library. Isaacs previously voiced Sinestro in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Lex Luthor in Justice League: Gods and Monsters and Ra’s al Ghul in Batman: Under the Red Hood.
Joining Isaacs is Diedrich Bader (American Housewife, Veep, The Drew Carey Show) as Lex Luthor, Amy Acker (Angel, Person of Interest, The Gifted) as Lois Lane, Vanessa Marshall (Young Justice, Star Wars Rebels) as Wonder Woman, Phil Morris (Seinfeld, Doom Patrol) as James Olsen, Academy Award winner Paul Williams (Goliath, Phantom of the Paradise) as Brainiac, Roger Craig Smith (Batman Ninja, Batman: Arkham Origins) as Batman, Sasha Roiz (Grimm) as Hal Jordan, Phil LaMarr (Futurama, Pulp Fiction, Justice League/Justice League Unlimited) as John Stewart, Jim Meskimen (Parks and Recreation, Impress Me) as John F. Kennedy, Travis Willingham (Critical Role, Batman: Bad Blood) as Superior Man, William Salyers (Regular Show, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders) as Joseph Stalin, and Winter Ave Zoli (Sons of Anarchy, Bosch) as Svetlana.
Superman: Red Son is produced and directed by Sam Liu (Reign of the Supermen) from a script by J.M. DeMatteis (Batman: Bad Blood, Constantine: City of Demons). Jim Krieg (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) is co-producer. Amy McKenna (The Death of Superman) is producer. Executive Producers are Sam Register and Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series).
“Elseworlds tales from DC’s vast library of stories have long electrified fans across the globe, and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has now begun to mine these fascinating stories – first with last year’s release of Batman:Gotham By Gaslight, and now with Superman: Red Son,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Senior Vice President, Originals, Animation and Family. “Together with Bruce Timm’s animated short, Phantom Stranger, this combination of unique storytelling promises to entertain in unexpected ways.”
Superman: Red Son Special Features
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital
DC Showcase: Phantom Stranger(Animated Short) – Animation legend Bruce Timm helms Phantom Stranger as both executive producer & director from a script written by Ernie Altbacker (Teen Titans: The Judas Contract). Set in the 1970s, the short follows young adult Jess as she joins her friends at a party in a dilapidated mansion hosted by the mysterious Seth … when odd things begin to happen to Jess and her friends, can Phantom Stranger intervene? Peter Serafinowicz (The Tick) gives voice to Phantom Stranger, and Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville, Impastor) provides the voice of Seth. Phantom Stranger also features the voices of Natalie Lander, Grey Griffin and Roger Craig Smith.
Cold RedWar (New Featurette) – An exploration of the Cold War through the lens of the Elseworlds classic Superman: Red Son, as Superman rises to power and tension escalates between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Two episodes from Superman: Red Son – The Motion Comics.
A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe Movie, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War – An advanced look at the next animated film in the popular DC UniverseMovies
Superman: Red Son will also be available on Movies Anywhere. Using the free Movies Anywhere app and website, consumers can access all their eligible movies by connecting their Movies Anywhere account with their participating digital retailer accounts.
Fans can also own Superman: Red Son via purchase from digital retailers beginning February 25, 2020.
4K UHD Combo Pack, $39.99 USA, $43.99 Canada
Blu-ray Combo Pack, $24.98 USA, $34.97 Canada
Blu-ray Languages: English, Spanish, French
Blu-ray Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
4K Blu-ray Languages: English, Spanish, French
4K Blu-ray Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Running Time: 84 minutes
PG-13 for violent content, bloody images, suggestive material, language, thematic elements, and some smoking.
BURBANK, CA – Viewers can’t stop talking about yesterday’s exhilarating Watchmen season finale. Starting today, those viewers – along with new fans – can relive all of the excitement of HBO’s new #1 scripted series as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment brings Watchmen: Season 1 to Digital for the first time today for $34.99 Retail in HD and $24.99 Retail on SD (in Canada $39.99 Retail HD and $29.99 Retail SD). In its series premiere, Watchmen drew 1.5 million Viewers, becoming the second-highest rated HBO original series debut of the past three years, only behind Big Little Lies. Currently “certified fresh” with a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the digital release of Watchmen: Season 1 includes all nine episodes plus over 75 minutes of bonus content, including nearly 60 minutes of never-before-seen features.
Set in an alternate history where “superheroes” are treated as outlaws, Watchmen embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name while attempting to break new ground of its own. Watchmen is created and executive produced by Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers) and reunites him with Academy® and Emmy® Award winning actress Regina King (The Leftovers, Southland, If Beale Street Could Talk) leading the cast as Angela Abar/Sister Night. The series also stars Emmy® Award winner Jean Smart (Legion, Dirty John), Don Johnson (Miami Vice), Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Leaves of Grass), Hong Chau (Homecoming), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman), Andrew Howard (Bates Motel), Jacob Ming-Trent (Ray Donovan), Tom Mison (Sleepy Hollow), Sara Vickers (The Crown) and Dylan Schombing (Sharp Objects), with Academy Award® winner Louis Gossett Jr. (An Officer and a Gentleman), and Academy, Emmy® and Tony® Award winning actor Jeremy Irons (The Lion King, Reversal of Fortune) .
Produced for HBO by White Rabbit in association with Warner Bros. Television, the series was created for television by Lindelof based on characters co-created for DC by Dave Gibbons. The series is executive produced by Lindelof, Tom Spezialy, Nicole Kassell, Stephen Williams and Joseph E. Iberti.
“There has been an overwhelming reception of Watchmen’s debut season from both fans and critics alike, beginning with the very first episode to last night’s finale,” said Rosemary Markson, Senior Vice President Marketing, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. “This is a true testament to the creators, producers and actors behind the series and we are thrilled to release Season One immediately on digital beginning today.”
Watchmen: The Complete First Season will also be released on Blu-rayTM and DVD in 2020.
9 ONE-HOUR EPISODES
It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice
Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship
She Was Killed By Space Junk
If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own
Little Fear of Lightning
This Extraordinary Being
An Almost Religious Awe
A God Walks Into A Bar
See How They Fly
Watchmen: Unmasked (New)
2019 New York Comic Con (New)
Watchmen: Masked and Dangerous
Watchmen S1: Trailer
Character Trailer – Blond Man
Character Trailer – Looking Glass
Character Trailer – Sister Night
Becoming Sister Night
Notes from the Watchmen graphic novel artist Dave Gibbons
Watchmen: Alternate History
It’s Raining Squids
Squid Shelter with Tim Blake Nelson
Andrij Parekh on Directing
Sadiqua Bynum runs, jumps and falls for Sister Night
The first season of Watchmen will be available to own on Digital. Digital purchase allows consumers to instantly stream and download to watch anywhere and anytime on their favorite devices. Digital movies and TV shows are available from various digital retailers including Amazon Prime Video, AppleTV, Google Play, Vudu and others.