I’ve been a major fan of the James Bond franchise for as long as I can remember. In the last couple decades even more so, despite their respective decline in quality over the same period. I have them all on bluray, and even own a James Bond encyclopedia. I am a god of Bond trivia.
It struck me as I was watching some irrelevant film financed and distributed by 20th Century Fox, that while some Bond films are very hokey, and a few so campy as to be unbearable to suffer through (Moonraker comes to mind), they almost never wade into social issues or policy. They’re all too international to even apply to one or two nations. However, one not only touched on a real political issue, it locked a missile on and fired directly at one man. The writing is terrible, acting not so good, but in this one England clearly wanted to express their disdain for the evil Australian. I speak of course of Tomorrow Never Dies.
The plot really isn’t too important. Just download it or something. But the supervillain is named Elliott Carver. He owns Carver Media Group, a corporation that owns just about all of British newspaper, tv, satellite and various other media outlets. His media empire pretty much covers the globe. He makes his own news to sway governments, crush opponents, etc. Sound familiar? Anyway he tries to nuke Beijing to install a rogue Chinese general as leader in exchange for exclusive broadcasting rights in China for 100 years. Apparently the English are about as fond of Murdock as we are.
Rupert Murdock dominates Australian, British, and increasingly American media through his gargantuan creation News Corp. Faux News, 20th Century Fox (whose subsidiary film companies are too numerous to list here), plenty of cable companies, and the thing just keeps buying anything it can. And although the film outfits are left alone to do what they’re supposed to do (make money), the man obviously has a strong interest influencing the outcomes of American elections via his most ingenious creation yet; FoxNews. Now he doesn’t own MGM/UA (the production company behind the Bond franchise) or they’d likely never have been allowed to launch a direct assault on the man’s character. Anyway, shitty movie, hilarious attack on one man. Worth a viewing. Oh, the incomparable Jonathan Pryce plays the movie version of Murdock. They got that part right.TTitle song done by Garbage if memory serves. That’s appropriate. At the end during the credits there’s a far better version of basically the same song done by K.D. Lang. The woman in the tux delivers her usual fantastic voice. Trés bien.
UPDATE: If you’ve seen Ronin, that was done by United Artists. The UA in MGM/UA. They took over the Bond franchise sometime in the 70s, I believe, and thus are VERY good at car chase scenes. Which is why Ronin has two of the top ones in cinema history. They’re also like James Cameron: they like to reuse actors. So in Ronin, along side DeNiro, you’ll find 3(!) former Bond supervillains: Sean Bean (Goldeneye), Michael Lonsdale (*shudder* Moonraker) and … Jonathan Pryce! I still want to know what’s in that goddamned case!!!
Now back to whatever less bullshit my colleagues have on the burner.