Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style

November 26, 2012 at 9:36 am

Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style | James Bond Exhibit Bell LightBox Toronto


I saw Skyfall in an IMAX theater just around from the corner from Bell Lightbox.  The Lightbox is a fantastic theater where the Toronto International Film Festival calls home.  There is always something new to experience.

XTRA | A Conversation with Tim Burton

It just so happens, the latest Lightbox experience is a special exhibit dedicated to 007 himself.  So immediately following our Skyfall viewing we strolled down the road to check out:


Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style | James Bond Exhibit Bell LightBox Toronto

What a great way to compliment a movie I highly enjoyed.  James Bond Day!

Naturally, I couldn’t take any pictures inside the exhibit but I can say that it was pretty spectacular.  The first room was a tribute to M and featured the classic look of his office.  In addition to that, we were also treated to a brief history of Bond creator Ian Flemming.  It’s hard to believe 007 has been around so long.

The next few rooms featured famous sets.  It was fascinating to see sketches from Auric Goldfinger’s laser room among others.  Nearly all of the famous locations were there with actual models and props that were actually used on set.

Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style | James Bond Exhibit Bell LightBox Toronto

The detail in this exhibit was great with full size models of famous characters scattered throughout.  I was already giddy and then we entered Q Branch.  Now that is something every Bond fan should see.  There were so many famous gadgets on display.  The best gadgets!  A section devoted to Bond’s watches, a section devoted to vehicles, exploding pens and more famous spy equipment we adore.

Next up, an exhibit dedicated to the exotic locations around the world where Bond has appeared.  (Including space.)  They even had a section dedicated to the legendary opening credit sequences.  It was phenomenal stuff.

Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style | James Bond Exhibit Bell LightBox Toronto

Finally, the villains.  Ernst Blofeld, Goldfinger, Odd Job, Jaws, Octopussy and more classic villains are there complete with costumes and props.

All this while surrounded by images of the famous actors who brought 007 to life.  The James Bond franchise has brought us some of the most memorable moments in the history of film.  Walking through the rooms at Bell Lightbox was a great way to compliment one of my favorite Bond adventures to date.

Click here for my review of SKYFALL.

It was well worth the trip down memory lane.  It’s been a long time since I saw a classic Bond movie.  I think it’s about time I look a couple up again.  In fact, in the days that followed, I spent some time online searching for Bond memories.

XTRA | It’s always nice to see a couple Oscars up close thanks to Paul Haggis.

Skyfall, James Bond & The Characters We Love

November 19, 2012 at 8:15 am

Skyfall, James Bond & The Characters We Love


Casino Royale is one of my favorite movies period.  James Bond was back and better than ever.  That movie also introduced us to a super secret organization that operated with complete anonymity.  Quantum of Solace further explored the group known as Quantum as James Bond tried to discover more information about the sinister organization.  In my opinion, Quantum of Solace movie forgot to be a James Bond movie.  Thankfully, Skyfall came along to remind us just how much we love 007.

Honestly, Skyfall felt more like a reboot than Casino Royale.  It featured so many classic references and major characters that were absent from the first two adventures.  Indeed, Sam Mendes delivered a worthy sequel that earns it’s thrills from the opening frame.

“007 reporting for duty”

I saw Skyfall in an IMAX theater and it was worth it for the opening chase alone.  Where else will you find a secret agent pursuing a target on foot, in a car, on a motorcycle, on rooftops with the aforementioned motorcycle, in a bulldozer, in a train AND on top of the train?

Legendary movie characters are a sum of the the little details we love about them & Skyfall delivers the details we’ve been missing.  Thanks to Q (Welcome back!) Bond gets his hands on a custom made Walther PPK.  A personal statement topped only by the beautiful Aston Martin he keeps in storage.  Daniel Craig is brilliant here as the titular spy and feels more like Bond than ever before.

Beyond the elements we missed there are also plenty of references to classic Bond moments we’ll never forget.  I loved Q’s quip about the exploding pen.  Not too mention including the classic James Bond score.

However, what I loved the most about Skyfall was Skyfall itself.  Home.  The film’s final act is full of intimate moments and reminders of James’ childhood.  It’s a side of Bond you rarely see and it elevated the final action sequence to legendary status in the vast 007 universe.

Of course, you can’t get to that level without a worthy foe.  Here Javier Bardem silences anyone who felt his brilliance in No Country for Old Men was a one off.  Silva is ruthless, complicated, charismatic & destructive.  But in his eyes there is also sorrow.  A sadness that ignites a thirst for revenge.  It takes a long time to meet him in the film but once he appears, he steals the show.  The entire sequence on the deserted island was awesome but it got better.  While sitting in a prison cell that looks like it was built for the Hulk, Silva confronts M and pours his heart out.  We are also given a brutal back story revealing a horrifying physical flaw so common amongst Bond villains.  Scars, teeth, eyes that weep blood…  These are the subtle details that Quantum of Solace forgot about.

Skyfall, James Bond & The Characters We Love | Skyfall Review (2012)

Never before has a Bond villain’s vendetta felt so personal.  Silva isn’t out to take over the world.  He makes that perfectly clear when he demonstrates how easy it would be for him.  What he’s after is a much simpler & that’s what makes him dangerous.  He’s willing to send armies complimented by armored helicopters to achieve the revenge he craves.  Unless James Bond can stop him.

Skyfall is Bond’s return to brilliance.

Click here for more reviews.

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XTRA | What’s your favorite James Bond title?

Skyfall, James Bond & The Characters We Love | Skyfall Review (2012)

Skyfall, James Bond & The Characters We Love | Skyfall Review (2012)

What’s the all time best James Bond movie title?

October 6, 2011 at 9:47 am

All Time Best: James Bond Movie Titles

With news breaking this week that the James Bond 23 could be called SKYFALL, it’s time to look back at some of the best and worst James Bond movie titles.

XTRA | Previously Viewed: Casino Royale

All Time Best: James Bond Movie Titles Ranked | Best James Bond Movies

22. Quantum of Solace

21. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

20. Diamonds Are Forever

19. From Russia With Love

18. For Your Eyes Only

17. The Living Daylights

16. Tomorrow Never Dies

15. The World is Not Enough

14. The Spy Who Loved Me

13. A View to a Kill

12. Die Another Day

11. Moonraker

10. Live and Let Die

9. Dr. No

8. Octopussy

7. Thunderball

6. Casino Royale

5. You Only Live Twice

4. Goldfinger

3. The Man with the Golden Gun

2. GoldenEye

1. Licence to Kill

Personally, I think Skyfall is a pretty sweet title depending on it’s meaning.  I adored Casino Royale and while Quantum was a slight disappointment, I couldn’t be more excited for another Bond.  We’ll see where Skyfall ranks in the end!

XTRA | All Time Best: Movie Character 20 Years Later…

All Time Best: James Bond Movie Titles Ranked | Best James Bond Movies