Item: Agent 007 to report for duty in 2012

Intelligence reports from the A.V. Club have it that MGM and Sony Pictures will have the next installment of the James Bond franchise in theaters by Nov. 9, 2012.

The good news here is another outing for Daniel Craig as James Bond, a role the actor played very well in “Casino Royale.” Its follow-up “Quantum of Solace,” was OK, but I share the opinion of many that it suffered a bit from the filmmakers apparent attempts to ape “The Bourne Identity” franchise’s shaky-cam aesthetic.

(For whatever it’s worth, my Top Five movies in the Bond franchise are “From Russia With Love,” “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” “Casino Royale,” “Goldfinger” and “For Your Eyes Only.” “Eyes” was my first Bond flick, and “Tomorrow Never Dies” gets an honorable mention for featuring a newspaper magnate as its supervillain.)

The weird (?) news is that “American Beauty” and “Away We Go” director Sam Mendes is still attached to direct the next Bond movie, which will be the series’ 23rd installment. Mendes’ closest venture to somewhere near Bond territory was probably “Road to Perdition,” which starred Tom Hanks as an old-time gangster raising his son while on the run.

This is on the Internet, so I am obligated to make a snarky comment about Mendes – who has made his ideas on suburban ennui a major part of his oeuvre – directing a Bond film. Here it goes. Instead of a typical Bond story about spies and sexy women with funny names, Bond 23 will tell the story of a conflicted Bond, who while spending a break from duty in his lovely Notting Hill home, realizes that Moneypenny is the only woman who he has ever truly loved and wrestles with his inability to commit to her and live a quiet suburban life with a desk job for MI-6.

 

Review: GoldenEye 007 (Wii)

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Rare’s GoldenEye was a sharp reply to PCs of how exciting the FPS genre could be on a console – especially the N64 – in 1997. It also stands out as what is probably the only movie-based game to actually expand on its own material while being good at what it set out to do.

With those two things in mind, it’s easy to see how GoldenEye became such a influential legend, one that fans would even go so far as to bring the experience back to where the FPS began on PCs with mods recreating its famous levels with Half Life 2′s engine, Source.

Those same fans had also clamored for Nintendo to release the classic game on the Wii’s Virtual Console as a downloadable game only for the idea to die a slow and license litigated death.

And then developer, Eurocom, stunned everyone when they announced their own GoldenEye game built from the ground up as a re-imagined reboot. But far from being sacrilege, Eurocom’s remake is both an unmistakable homage and a fantastic FPS in its own right.
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Review: James Bond 007 – Blood Stone

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I’m a Bond fan. I love his films. Not all of the movies were great, but at least on the whole, they’re better off than his often polarized career in gaming has been.

Blood Stone is the latest to punch and shoot it’s way onto shelves. But the question I have is why it’s begging me to buy a smartphone.
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Bond Back in 2012?

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The famous words “James Bond Will Return” at the end of his films is usually a promise kept. That is, until MGM had run into money troubles that ultimately led to the storied studio filing for bankruptcy. It didn’t bode well for the projects under its roof such as Daniel Craig’s run as Bond. But now there’s word that he could be back in 2012.

Dark Horizons reports that as a part of MGM’s plan, they’re looking to shoot a new Bond film in 2011 in time for a 2012 release. Not only that, but also plan to release a new Bond every two years after that in order to keep money wheel turning. That’s pretty ambitious.

I’ve got mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it’ll be great to see Bond back on screen but the talk that Daniel Craig may have to be replaced in order to meet this schedule isn’t that encouraging. And promises in Tinseltown are a dime a dozen.

Shaken, but not stirred.

So we might not be getting a new Bond movie in the near future – or even the next year or so – thanks to MGM’s financial fumble to the tune of $4 billion in debt, but that hasn’t stopped Daniel Craig and Judi Dench from loaning their likenesses and voices along with Joss Stone’s to Bizarre Creations’ upcoming take, Blood Stone, due later this year. Bond scribe, Bruce Feirstein, is also on hand to script the story.

Bizarre Creations is more known for the racing game, Blur, along with Geometry Wars and the shoot ‘em up gameshow hybrid, The Club. That also puts them in a position to deliver action and driving, two things that seem to define Bond’s extracurricular activities onscreen, so we might see something along the lines of what EA Redwood Shores had delivered in ’04 with Everything or Nothing.

EoN had a story so good that some would go so far as to say that it could fill in for a new Bond film during the hiatus between Brosnan’s last silver screen outing in ’99 and Craig’s debut in ’04, though Brosnan and Dench would star in the game if not the theaters.

I loved it and totally believed that it could have done the job. It also helped that the game was extremely good, so here’s hoping that Blood Stone will deliver the same punch. In the meantime, here’s the first trailer along with footage from the demo filmed via shakey cam.