Sam Smith Unveils Spectre Theme Song

James Bond 24 Spectre

British artist Sam Smith has unveiled the theme song to the next James Bond film Spectre.  The track is titled “Writing’s on the Wall.”

Yes, I realize that this has no direct connection to the world of G.I. Joe.  However, one of the privileges of owning your own website is that you get to talk about the topics that you find interesting and I’m a HUGE James Bond fan!

On this morning’s episode of NPR’s Morning Edition, Smith previewed “Writing’s on the Wall” and discussed his inspiration for the theme to the 24th installment in the world’s longest running franchise.

“I tried to put myself in the shoes of Bond,” Smith explains. “My music is a diary and it’s a recap of my life, and I wanted to bring that kind of honesty. In the lyrics — “How do I live, how do I breathe? / When you’re not here I’m suffocating” — I wanted a touch of vulnerability from Bond, where you see into his heart a little bit.”

The theme song came together in a whirlwhind demo session that lasted under thirty minutes.  In fact, the vocals in the final song were recorded during that initial session!  The song itself harkens back to some of the older ballads that have been a hallmark of the series with a powerful brassy intro and a soulful performance

You can preview the track using the embed below:

Spectre opens on October 26, 2015 in the United Kingdom and will debut in theaters worldwide on November 6.  For more information visit 007.com!

New Pulp Fiction from Larry Hama!

adventures of basil and moebius

Larry Hama may be known as the “godfather of G.I. Joe” but he’s also an accomplished  author as well.  He’s also the co-author of a brand-new graphic novel that was released today!

Check out this synopsis:

Alaric Moebius and Basil Fox are two lovable scoundrels looking to make a quick fortune. Basil is a former SAS trooper turned Queen’s Guard by day and thief by night. Moebius is an Oxford-educated charmer with a knack for getting into trouble. Together they chase adventure under the patronage of “The Collector,” a mysterious billionaire with a taste for rare and valuable supernatural objects of the occult. This first volume contains the first three adventures in their career together, introducing the unlikely duo for the first time in a highstakes chain of pulpy high adventures! Written by the legendary Larry Hama (G.I.Joe, Wolverine) with creator Ryan Schifrin, these wild adventures have the thrills of Indiana Jones, the wit and banter of the best buddy-cop pairings, and the globe-hopping wonder of James Bond. An exciting thrill ride from cover to cover!

Okay, let me get this straight— “Indiana Jones” and “James Bond” are used in analogies to describe this?  I’m sensing some pulp adventure of the highest order coming from this book which is, fortunately, on its way to me already from Amazon!  I’m a sucker for good pulp adventure novels as well as classic spy thriller.  Considering that this is written by one of my favorite writers, this purchase was a complete no-brainer.  If you’re a fan of high adventure novels or the spy genre, you might consider giving this one a read.  Even better– the second graphic novel in the series is due out on July 28, 2015!

If the description above isn’t enough to whet your appetite or if you’re curious about the world of Basil and Moebius, check out this short film by the series creator Ryan Schifrin and featuring the talents of Ray Park, Malcolm McDowell, and Kane Hodder.

No Rest for the Wicked — A Basil and Moebius Adventure from Neurobellum on Vimeo.

You can find more information on the entire series at WhoIsTheCollector.com

Spectre teaser trailer released!

James Bond 24 Spectre

The teaser for the newest James Bond film “SPECTRE” is here!

Okay, this actually dropped earlier in the week but it’s been a bit crazy here at JBL HQ and this is the first chance I’ve had to get it posted.  Yes, it’s not G.I. Joe but this is one of those times where my other interests and “admin powers” align.   So, without further adieu:

I’ll just go ahead and say it now: “WOO HOO!!!”  I was a big fan of director Sam Mendes’ entry into the Bond franchise with Skyfall and it looks like Bond 24 will deliver much of the same cinematic experience.  From the opening shot of the ruined MI-6 headquarters and Moneypenny passing Bond the forensic evidence from his now-destroyed family home, it looks like SPECTRE will be picking up right where its predecessor left off!

I’ll be blunt– this film looks to be bringing SPECTRE back to the status that it enjoyed in the early Connery films like From Russia With Love and Thunderball.  It’s once again portrayed as a shadowy secret organization that prefers to manipulate events from behind-the-scenes as opposed to taking direct action..  Its members are everywhere and one never knows who to trust when SPECTRE is involved.  It’s everything that the writers attempted to do with the Quantum organization in both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace but utterly failed to accomplish.

I realize that this is just merely a teaser trailer but consider this long-time Bond fan’s anticipation set to “11” for this latest entry!

SPECTRE opens on November 6, 2015.

James Bond

 

Bond 24 is revealed as SPECTRE!

James Bond 24 Spectre

Disclaimer: This has absolutely nothing to do directly with G.I. Joe.

Today in London, Eon Productions made the official announcement for the 24th installment in the James Bond franchise.  At a star-studded media event, audiences were introduced not only to the cast and the new car but also to the title for this landmark film.

SPECTRE

Just one word and it sends chills up and down the spine of long-time Bond fans everywhere.  Not seen in any real capacity since 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever, this shadowy organization bent on global domination is poised to make its debut in the 21st century!

For those of you who are unaware of SPECTRE, it’s the Special Executive for Crime, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion.  It’s the mother of all secret terror organizations– and quite possibly the basis for other fictional organizations like HYDRA or even Cobra.  Led by the shadowy #1 (who was later revealed to be Ernst Stavro Blofeld), SPECTRE was revealed to be the organization behind most of the the Connery Bond’s cinematic foes.  From Dr. No, to Rosa Klebb, to Emilio Largo, SPECTRE provided the resources and the manpower for all manner of plots destined to throw the world into chaos.  It’s the stuff of classic spy thrillers and nobody did global secret organizations better than Bond.

Seriously, as a long time Bond fan, this news is incredible!  It shows that the series is maintain ties to its past while putting a fresh new spin on a cinematic franchise that has endured for over a half century.   November 6, 2015 cannot come soon enough!

You can watch an official video of the cast announcement below.

20 days until G.I. Joe Retaliation – the Cobra satellite

Twitziller continues his Countdown to G.I. Joe Retaliation with today’s reason to anticipate the film– the Cobra satellite!

day-20-cobra-satellite

I’m a huge fan of the James Bond films.  As such, seeing Cobra using a space-based super weapon to threaten the world is nothing new– but it evokes images of the classic film You Only Live Twice.  In that film, SPECTRE is using their own space capsule to capture those of the Russians and the Americans in an attempt to start World War 3.  The trailers for G.I. Joe Retaliation also conjure up images of both Goldeneye and Die Another Day in which satellite weapons were the primary threat used by the protagonists.  For a super secret global terrorist organization such as Cobra, this makes perfect sense.  It’s a weapon that can’t be defended against easily and it can strike anywhere.  Even just a few years ago, Cobra was using a sub-orbital cluster of strato-lites to maintain their communications network in G.I. Joe Resolute.  So, the precedent is there and the action as revealed by the trailers thus far looks to be pretty intense.

Plus, who doesn’t love seeing a Cobra logo on the side of a satellite.  That just screams out “this is going to get good!”

Check out the entire series below as the countdown to March 28 continues!

Today is Skyfall day!!!

James Bond 007 Skyfall

Skyfall is here!

This isn’t entirely related to G.I. Joe but I just had to point out that the 50th anniversary installment in the James Bond franchise drops on DVD and Blu-Ray today.  Why is this important to fans of America’s first action figure?  Simple– the Bond franchise is the longest-running film series in history and has set the bar for so many elements of modern action cinema!  From the use of practical effects and world record-breaking stunts to exotic locations and dynamic villains, the Bond films have entertained millions for the past 5 decades!  Plus, the 007 series has had more than a “passing influence” on many aspects of G.I. Joe.

Years ago, a  young Joe fan who happens to be writing this article was introduced to the world of 007 by his father, thanks to ABC’s frequent airing of the films on Sunday nights.  As a kid, I was floored by the similarities between the early appearances of Cobra in both the Marvel Comics and the first Sunbow mini-series and the use of SPECTRE in the Sean Connery films.  From the incredible lairs that evoked memories of the design of Ken Adams to the elaborate plots to disrupt the western world, Cobra was the kid-friendly version of a Bond villain.  Heck, look at the Sears exclusive Missile Command Headquarters and you’ll see an homage to the volcano base in You Only Live Twice.  

Even the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club is utilizing a Bond vibe in this year’s AMAZING 12″ Joe Con set Secret Mission to Dragon Island.   One has only to look at the villain Sebastian Gorman in the set to see the uniform worn by Ernst Stavro Blofeld in two of his three cinematic performances.  (I don’t count the beginning of For Your Eyes Only.)  Plus, many of the sets applicable to the Man of Action are right out of James Bond films.

Regardless, the Bond films left a strong impression upon me and really have shaped my view of what makes for a good spy/action movie.  It’ll be this bar that will be measured against when I watch G.I. Joe Retaliation in just a few weeks.  Yes, the Bond movies have evolved over time– from the secret organizations of the 60’s, the near-parody of the 70’s, and all the way to the grim realism of the new Daniel Craig era.  Like G.I. Joe, Bond is a product of his time reflecting the realities of the world in which he finds himself.  He just happens to do it with style and flair.  This past Christmas, my father surprised me with what has become my favorite gift in years – the Bond 50 Blu-Ray set.  For days afterwards, I poured over the special features and the films like a relapsed dieter at the last Twinkie warehouse.  The marketing department behind the set was clever, however.  They left one empty tray in the box for the latest film in the franchise– a spot that will finally be filled tonight!

So, if you’re so inclined, run out today and snag a copy of Skyfall.  Sit back in your favorite chair, pop in the disc and be prepared to watch 007 prove that “nobody does it better.”  It’s a great way to relax and prepare for the arrival of G.I. Joe: Retaliation in just a few short weeks.

I’ll step off my soap box now and let you resume your regularly schedule G.I. Joe website.   However, if you’re so inclined, here’s the trailer for Skyfall followed by the “mother of all Bond compilations” to watch.  Enjoy!

 50 Years of James Bond: The Movie