Friday, June 18, 2010

Daniel Craig is James Bond in... GOLDENEYE?

Without question, RARE's Goldeneye 64 from the 90s is one of the great video games. A hugely popular title on the old Nintendo 64 platform, it is widely-regarded as the definitive first-person "shooter" of its era and not only sold millions of game cartridges, but Nintendo consoles as well. It also kicked off a series of 007 shooters from different developers, none of which matched its smooth gameplay, immersive environments and superb storytelling. And although the version of Bond in the game didn't possess the specific likeness of film star Pierce Brosnan, it was clear that it was based on him physically.

Well, the N64 system is long-gone (although I still play mine every once in a while), and apparently, someone feels that it's time to revisit the Goldeneye franchise and update it for the mega-popular Wii platform. From the trailer below, it appears to be the same basic game, with the same levels and story, just enhanced with more detailed graphics and some improved AI. Oh yeah, and the character of Bond is portrayed by Daniel Craig.


Maybe it's my nostalgia for the original game, or maybe it's because I remember how Brosnan was so instrumental in the success of the 007 franchise back in the 90s, at a time when many people thought the character was irrelevant in a post-Cold War world, and many were speculating that the franchise itself had run its course... but I find it personally offensive that the powers-that-be seem to want to erase Pierce from the history books. (Of course, it may simply be that I prefer Brosnan over Craig as Bond anyway.)

Thanks to fellow C.O.B.R.A.S. HMSS for the head's up.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Video: Before He Was Bond Redux

Another Diet Coke commercial from 1988 pitting a very James Bondian Pierce Brosnan against some nasty ninjas in a scenario reminiscent of a major sequence in Octopussy.

Monday, June 7, 2010


The third season of the USA Network action series, Burn Notice is new on DVD, once again delivering for fans and collectors sixteen hours of some of the best escapism on television.

In this third season, "burned" ex-spy Michael Weston (Jefferey Donovan, Blair Witch 2) finds himself still stuck in Miami, but now completely unprotected. He and his "team" - gunrunning lover Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar, If Looks Could Kill), ex-SEAL Sam (Bruce Campbell, Evil Dead) and his mom, Madeline (Sharon Gless, Cagney & Lacey) - are soon under scrutiny by a tenacious Miami police detective and fending off attacks by a slew of Weston's old enemies, all while continuing to help the helpless and trying to get his old government job back.

As with the previous seasons, fine casting and engaging performances make a potentially routine premise into something highly entertaining. Bright South Florida locations, lots of Miami Beach glamour (including seemingly endless background beauties in bikinis), exciting car stunts, fiery explosions, convincing fights and intriguing scripts mix smoothly into a tasty action-adventure stew.

The characters are the key, though, and the third season does a great job of keeping them fresh and the viewer genuinely interested in what happens to them. In this third year, Weston really pushes his friends to the limits of their loyalty, and has to involve his mother in his schemes to a much greater extent than before. There are a number of great guest stars this year, as well, including Tim Matheson (Animal House) making a return appearance as one of Weston's old adversaries, and Tyne Daly (The Enforcer), who shows up for a cute Cagney & Lacey reunion with Gless.

The four-disc set from Fox Home Entertainment includes all 16 Season Three episodes in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfers and Dolby 5.1 Digital audio. Image quality is bright and sharp, and the audio is robust. This set is slim on bonus features - unlike the previous seasons - containing only a short documentary on the series' stunts and video of the cast & crew's appearance at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con.

I follow this show on DVD (Season 4 is just starting on USA now, but I don't have cable and hate watching shows on my desktop), and I always burn through the seasons in a couple of days. The year-long waits between sets can be rough, but by the time the new season hits DVD, I'm really missing the characters and am eager to jump back into their world. Burn Notice is smart, fast-paced television and is highly recommended.