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To quote Jack Chick's WHY NO REVIVAL?, "Hear, hear! That's wonderful news!" Chick might be an appropriate subject for your column--as the ultimate self-publisher, you can present him as doujinshi's Great General of the Darkness--the fact he was a Marine at the Battle of Okinawa is a bonus--and moreover, several of his tracts are available in Japanese, including BIG DADDY?, where the answer to "How many of you believe in evolution?" is a classroom full of Weathermen, Black Power activists, and what appears to be Phineas from the Freak Brothers shouting "はい、先生!!!"

But as you introduced me to Outrageous Cherry (another thing about Patrick is that he's got the best taste in music of anyone I've ever met), I hope that you'll be able to let more people know in Japan about this plastic fantastic band. I'm even hoping that at the Kinokuniya in Avignon, France, The Strawberry Smell will read your article on the OC and say, "Sacre bleu! We are--how do you say--abashed, no?--at ze Detroit work ethic. We must finish ze album deuxième!"

Matthew reminded me during the interview that he produced Yuji Oniki's first LP. He flipped out when he came across everyone's names (namely, mine and Yuji's) in the pages of TokyoScope. But I guess it was Ian who first sneaked in a copy of Outrageous Cherry's Stereo Action Rent Party CD into the Viz Comics office for me to hear.

You'll be pleased to hear that Smith is already "Big in France." You can usually find at least one OC record at the big chain stores in Tokyo, usually filed away behind Outkast.

On an unrelated note, I just saw CASINO ROYALE and will repeat what everyone else is saying--this seems the closest to Fleming's Bond of any of the films (including Connery's). The stakes are relatively low-key (a number of reviewers have pointed out the money being played for in the game is actually less than the film cost to make and market)--however, New York magazine phrased it well:

"No, this is not a design for all Bond pictures. By all means, let’s have the gadgets, the super-villains, and the hero who can tell you not just the vintage but the side of the château where the grapes were grown. But let’s also have the joy of rediscovering all that."

This is the first Bond film since the 1960s that deliberately leaves plot points unresolved in anticipation of the next film, and, if I may dare hope, there seems a possibility they are setting up a return of SPECTRE.

Connery will always be Bond to me, but I'll give the new guy his chance. I do wonder how Dalton would have done with a script and such of this quality.

A *few* logical gadgets and SPECTRE, I'll be in heaven.

However, I still think the best route to take is make Bond films period pieces set in the '50s and '60s. Back when he could check onto his BOAC flight and carry his Walther PPK *onboard* and nobody would even check....

Patrick's good influence cured me of any sex, sadism, and snobbery I might have felt against Moore's films (at least, I should say, the first four). It's not that they're as good as Connery's, but he wasn't coming back, and times had changed. Even in 1969 they were saying that the Bond films were too 60s in essence, and that they wouldn't last for that reason (this is why Lazenby thought he shouldn't stick around).

The 70s required a different style, and Moore brought that style, with the fly safari jacket and creased permanent press pants (he also achieved the seemingly impossible feat of being more arrogant and patronizing than was Connery). You can enjoy either the low-rent period charms of LIVE AND LET DIE and THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (come on, Yaphet Kotto and Christopher Lee!) or the return to countdown-to-destruction epics of THE SPY WHO LOVED ME and MOONRAKER. Anyway I exerted too much effort bicycling to the movie theater to see Moore's films to disown them now.

Aside from Goldeneye and a little more than just half of The World is Not Enough, the Pierce Brosnan films were such weak shit that I would have been happy to see anyone (Riki Takeuchi, Michael Richards, Momus) taking his place for Our Man’s next adventure. Thing is, I can’t get Steve McQueen out of my head whenever I look at Daniel Craig. A good thing, I guess, especially when compared to Remington Steele re-runs, but a pretty slim reality tunnel nonetheless.

The film itself went down fine. Kind of dried up for action there in the second half with all that card sharking and five different endings. Bond books are one thing, but I tend to like my 007 films to err on the side of SF. I'm with Steve. A single goofy gadget, maybe just one set built in homage to Ken Adam, would have sent me over the top. At this point, I’m merely pleased and looking forward to the return of Q and banana orbital satellites.

SPECTRE? Can we even dream of it? But isn’t there some lawsuit ensuring it can never happen again?

I believe Hollywood has a saying:

"Money salves all wounds"

yeah, the 'Thunderball' lawsuit is a messy, messy thing. But in a way, it fits the subject and the time, eh? Thing is, I do NOT want the next picture to be "Birth of Blofield" because then we're in Austin Powers land again.

I never hated Roger Moore, I just...some of the stuff...the scripts..argh. As good as most of 'Live and Let Die' is, there's such unspoken racism and stuff going on that makes Connery's offhand "fetch my shoes" in Dr. No seem tame.

And as much as Connery will forever be my favorite Bond, he *did* make that sad, sad 'Diamonds are Forever' that not even vintage Las Vegas and super slutty sexy Jill St. John can save...

Ya know, I am wondering why they're not tapping into any of the John Gardner Bond books..I thought overall they were reasonable and 'on message', and the whole reason for DOING new novels was to extend the franchise and create more raw material for the movies...OTOH, they could just as easily go back to the original novels and re-do them (remake the films) closer to the written word and they would seem fresh.

I would TOTALLY cast Patrick's NHK Tokyo Eye host as the current head of the Japanese secret service.

Sick soft spot here for Diamonds Are Forever. The Bond that Should Not Be. I tend to like the series wonky takes on America, beginning with the KFC cameo in Goldfinger. Carl and I used to quote Mr. Witt and Mr. Kidd all the time. Plus, Charles "Motherfucking" Gray...

Nothing wrong with that, Patrick...I'm not a playa hater. My guilty one is 'You Only Live Twice' and lo and behold, there's Charles Gray again (or..um..previously...) with that wonderful "glad you remembered which was the artifical leg, old chap"...

The one scene that sticks in my mind from YOLT is that rooftop fight. Long, long tracking shot, seems like a crane shot but NO! It's a Helicopter! One take, one side of the warehouse to the other. No matter how hard you look you can't actually spot the switch from Connery to the stuntman, you can *infer* it but it's so smooth...

Ya know, there's a LOT of Helicopter use in that film.

Right, but the look of SPECTRE parodied in Austin Powers is a creation of the films, not the novels. Not that I have any problems with the way Donald Pleasance enunciated "a-ni-hil-a-ted," but there are other possibilities to portraying the organization that won't mean the return of Michael Myers. Max Von Sydow in NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN was one possibility (My dad liked to quote his "In matters of death, SPECTRE is truly impartial," feeling this should also be Bechtel's motto). Fleming himself had several different conceptions for how Blofeld should look, none of which have been used yet (and none were bald). The urbane look of the mysterious "Mr. White" in CASINO ROYALE suggests that, if they indeed intend to revive SPECTRE, they may be going for a different look.

One thing I've wondered about is whether they're considering remaking any of the other, earlier films in a modern context. The original YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE is priceless, but just imagine a long aerial traking shot of Bond slugging his way through hordes of lumpish, insensate otaku in Akihabara as the theme song rises on the soundtrack. But is Riki prepared to talk about how his honorable mother told him never to get into a car with a strange ko-gal?

And if you're Takeuchi, then how do you feel about me?

Why, Carl..."I love you"

Yes, you're right on SPECTRE of course. It's so hard to shake the prime, main, key Thunderball image, the boardroom of terror.

International blackmail and death as big business, everything simply profit and loss...well, that part would surely find some favor with audences even today, wouldn't it? No need for 'Atomic Bomb Hijacking of the week' stories.

In a strange coda, I recently got a little money, so I promptly went out and bought the Sister Streetfigher box set, as well as Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea season 2 box 1. I don't know which has blown my mind more, the sexy Etsuko Shihomi kicking ass, or a doughy wrinkled Richard Basehart in a romantic clinch with a woman while performing yet another spy mission for the US government...

THUNDERBALL would be the only original series remake I think I could get behind.

Having already seen it several times before as NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN, and its development as a film project from the get-go, make it so.

As long as they don't forget "Hey! You ee no parking here!" and Count Lippe....

I'm reminded of what a British newspaper said when DIE ANOTHER DAY came out: "You know what happened to SPECTRE. You voted for them."

It's worth noting that as part of the "reboot," Sony (who, if you recall, had TVs everwhere the last time Bond went to Japan) Pictures has written up an extremely detailed dossier on Bond (available on the CASINO ROYALE site--his new birthday is now April 13, 1968) and that, yes, he did indeed "take a first in Oriental languages at Cambridge," although an instructor remarks that his written and spoken Japanese is in fact only "passable." I can now add this to the long list of areas in which 007 surpasses me.

Holy Mother of God...

Carl, are you saying I'm *OLDER* than James Bond?!

Cripes, that just doesn't feel right.

Don't sweat it. There's still plenty of room for you to play the sophisticated ally, a la Kerim Bey or Rene Mathis.

But, you know, looking at some of these James Bond online fansites (especially the anti-Daniel Craig ones) makes me weirdly grateful that I grew up before the World Wide Web.

Like a return after 12,000 years, I bugged out to see in this month's issue of PREVIEWS two pages' worth of ads for Bome's 8" Noriko Takaya figurine: "It takes a little lady...to pilot a big 'bot! Noriko eventually grits her teeth, finds her impressive abilities within, and pushes them forward to help the cause!" Word.

By the way, it is claimed that the dragon lady at the table during the poker game in CASINO ROYALE is the very same actress who, many years before, promised to give Sean Connery her "best duck" in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE. It was on that exact line that a girl I knew in college walked out on the feature presentation, which was a hell of a note, considering I had just lent her my Humpty Hump hat.


Was she a white girl?

Hey Uncle Carl...did you limp to the side like your leg was broken? Were you shaking and twitching kinda like you were smoking?

Weirdly enough, Chinese. American, I mean. Same exact TV on which I saw the Berlin Wall fall.

Hillsy, it was crazy, wack, funky. People were even heard to remark that I looked like MC Hammer under the influence of crystallized cocaine.

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