Tag Archives: james bond

It was a Bond, James Bond Day

Friday, Sept 16, 2016 – Day 3 of London

<– Previously, we’d been bussed all around Southern England!

This was a fun day.  We were able to sleep in a little bit (not much), as we had tickets to the London Film Museum’s exhibit “Bond in Motion” – a collection of Bond cars and vehicles from throughout the movies.  Started at 10am, which was our window (although from having visited there now, I don’t think it was quite necessary to buy the tickets in advance; better safe than sorry).  So we got a quick breakfast in at the nearby Starbucks, then walked over to the museum.  Yeah, walked, as our hotel is so centrally located.  Walked through the West End, seeing the theaters for Aladdin and Harry Potter on the way there.  It was also raining slightly, which was about time as London is supposed to have some rain! It also was nice for it to be cool a little as it’s been pretty damn hot/warm here and in Paris!

Anyway, we got to the exhibit and it was absolutely amazing.  Everything was laid out in a great fashion and there were so many important cars to the series present, from the Aston Martins, the Rolls Royces, Jaguars, etc.  Quite amazing, and I took lots of pictures.  Larry bought lots of cool things too, including the guide book.  We also got a few shots with the life size Connery mannequin up front.  Just spectacular the whole thing.  Well worth coming to London for!!!! 

So….let’s try to break these pictures down in some kind of order…first, getting to the London Film Museum via the route shown above:

The Foyer of the Exhibit:

MI:6 Mock-up from The World Is Not Enough:

You Only Live Twice:

Heading down into the main exhibit…

Heading down into the main floor of the exhibit

The main floor of what was shown was simply spectacular.  Almost every vehicle you’d expect to see was there, seriously.

A View To A Kill:

Goldeneye / Goldfinger:

The Aston Martin DB5s shown here had a model version based off of the Goldfinger one, as well as a real car that was used in Goldeneye.

Die Another Day:

Octopussy:

The Living Daylights:

The World Is Not Enough:

Quantum of Solace:

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service:

Diamonds Are Forever:

The Spy Who Loved Me:

Spectre:

For Your Eyes Only:

The Man With the Golden Gun:

Casino Royale:

Various Odds & Ends:

Just saying – this was the best collection of James Bond cars you could ever hope to see.

The James Bond Walking Tour

But that wasn’t the end of our James Bond adventures today.  So after the London Film Museum exhibition, we came back to the hotel to drop off the new goodies we’d just bought, then headed back out to Charing Cross Station as at 2pm, we were joining up for a James Bond Walking Tour!!!  Holy crap, this is quite an amazing and somewhat grueling walk, as you walk a LOT.  Starting at Charing Cross, you get some insight into how the underground sections were used quite frequently, especially for the chase scenes in Skyfall. 

We then meandered through London to various locales that were used in Spectre and Skyfall before heading to the National Gallery Museum right near Trafalgar Square.  Got a lot of backstory on the filming there as well as the use of art, especially in Skyfall.  The use of the various paintings, combined with the accounts of Admiral Nelson in the battle of Trafalgar and how those were analogous to James Bond and M’s demise….holy shit, it was amazing.  Then when in the National Gallery (didn’t know we’d be going in there!), we saw not only where Q and James Bond meet for the first time in Skyfall, but also the painting that James Bond notices in Dr. No, which at the time in the 60s had just been stolen.   AWESome.

Heading to Charing Cross for our James Bond Walking Tour

In Charing Cross’ Tube Station & Outside Rules

Off to Trafalgar Square

And Inside the National Portrait Gallery

After leaving the museum, we walked through Trafalgar Square and over to the Admiralty Gate which faces Buckingham Palace.   These were the scenes of other M:I6 locations in the movies, which was a lot of fun.  The guide was just such a great source of knowledge and energy!   

We then walked over through the Whitehall street area which is a huge place for Skyfall, passing 10 Downing Street too.  After getting a great shot in the middle of the street that matches Bond’s chase of Silva down the street, we all then hopped on a red London Bus (which I’d been wanting to do!!! Score!) and rode the route down to a station right across the Thames from where the MI:6 building actually is and what you see in the movies.  That was where the tour ended, and it was just a blast to have gone on it.  Seriously.  Amazing!!!   

Through Trafalgar Square to the Admiralty Gate

Walking Around the Whitehall Area:

And then near 10 Downing Street, with some Action Shots:

The double-decker red bus took us down the Thames so we could get the across-the-river view of MI:6.  It was awesome.

MI6 along the Thames

The day wasn’t over yet!

We walked across the Vauxhall Bridge to the Tube station there, taking it back to the Westminster area as we had a Champagne Experience on the London Eye at 7.  But that wasn’t for a few hours, so we ended up finding a place called Slug & Lettuce to eat at, which was a bit of a more corporate looking place to eat.  It worked for us, although the food wasn’t anything special to write home about.  After that, we got checked in at the London Eye for the Champagne Experience, which was okay.  The time was good as the twilight was ending and the lights were coming on, and we got a glass of champagne and the host was very helpful with taking pictures of us.  It was a good time but we were definitely getting tired. 

Heading Back to the London Eye Area

The Champagne Experience on the London Eye at Sunset

We’d been on our feet most of the day, but that didn’t stop us from walking back to see what’s what.  We crossed the Golden Jubilee Bridge and then meandered through the West End and SoHo again, finding Chinatown this time as well as the gay bar area.  

Oh yeah, also found a gelato place that made the coolest rose formation of ice cream in a cone for you.  It was delightful, and Delicious.

Nighttime

That was an action-packed day, to say the least.

Honeymoon Picture Pages:

SPECTRE / Bridge of Spies

Movies!  We’ve seen a few lately!  Must briefly talk about them!

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SPECTRE (2015)

Saw this on November 7, 2015 at the TCL Chinese Theater in glorious IMAX

Mixed reviews be damned, SPECTRE was pretty damn fun and was a great entry into the James Bond franchise.  The setup of the plot is that even though you may have thought Skyfall finished setting up the pieces so that James Bond can go and do some spy shit out there unencumbered by the shackles of his past, you’re not quite right.  In fact, a message from an old friend spurs James on to get to the bottom of things (coughBLOFELDcough) and learn that the last 3 movies had a throughline to them that even he didn’t realize.  Anyway, we get taken through Mexico City (the much-lauded Day of the Dead sequence is breathtaking and is one of the more tense scenes in recent Bond history), London, Rome (ah, ROME!!!  It was great to see it again even if in movies), the Austrian mountains (definitely had a On Her Majesty’s Secret Service vibe) and the Moroccan desert in spectacular fashion as James goes on the hunt for the guy behind it all.  It’s awesome.  There’s plenty of over-the-top action setpieces, good James Bond humor, bad-ass villains, and of course Bond Girls for those who care.  🙂  I know I enjoyed the movie as did Larry, and the presentation of it at the Chinese Theater was phenomenal.

Wonderfully, we also got to see the full trailer for The Force Awakens and it was absolutely magical.  There were many rounds of applause just for that trailer.

BRIDGE-OF-SPIES-Poster-e1433542435366-677x400Bridge of Spies (2015)

Saw this on Oct 31, 2015 at the Pacific Theaters in Americana.

It’s a little strange when a Steven Spielberg movie seems to have minimal buzz around it, right?  Because while there were ads for this movie on TV (I remember because what caught my attention is the super-hot guy who plays Gary Powers shown in the ads) you don’t really get the sense that this is a STEVEN SPIELBERG picture.  It looks almost generic.  But damn, that’s a really inaccurate impression to have as this movie was pretty great.  It is set  in the 50s & early 60s when the Cold War was in full swing.  Tom Hanks, amazing as always, portrays James Donovan, an insurance lawyer who gets enlisted into providing legal defense for an accused Russian spy.  He takes it on even though he knows it makes him wildly unpopular, but he believes that the US should give all accused a fair shake.  Little does he know that his work is only beginning as he gets further enlisted to help when Gary Powers gets shot down in his U-2 aircraft over the Soviet Union; also over in Berlin, Germany, the Wall is going up and an American student is caught on the wrong side and is accused of being a spy.  Donovan becomes the unofficial means for the US to figure out a way to get both Americans back from the Germans and Russians.  It’s an absolutely fascinating look at the world then.  It’s a time we don’t really get much in movies anymore, so to see the hostile and frankly now-unbelievable world of East vs West Berlin is jarring.  I don’t doubt that Bridge of Spies will get some Academy recognition but I also wouldn’t be surprised if it’s low-key nature means it gets somewhat overlooked.  But YOU should make sure to go see it.  If only just to see this hottie:

14Okay, also go see it for the amazing true-life story of James Donovan.  It’s kind of incredible it all happened.

“Writing’s On the Wall” Tease

SPECTRE comes out in November (EVERYTHING AWESOME IS COMING OUT IN NOVEMBER!) and we’re now finally approaching the point in time when the theme gets released.  Today is the preview of some music, and it’s suitably orchestral and James Bond-y!   Larry & I are both interested to see where the actual song goes – but that mystery isn’t going to be solved for a few more days.

Walk in the Park

The last few days have been fairly relaxing and wonderful.  After Christmas with Mom, Stacie and Trent, we had a very uneventful Friday, what with me mostly playing Wolfenstein: The New Order and then us watching A View to a Kill that night.  EXCITING!

A View to a Kill
A View to a Kill

The next day was a bit more productive!  After getting up, we first made our way over to an open house in the Mt Washington / Highland Park area.  The house was a good price but there was going to be a lot of work & $$$ needed in order to make it a place Larry & I would love.  If we were flippers, I bet you could do some really great things with the house.  I knew immediately that we’d have to rip out the carpet in the living room and probably tear down the rear deck / get rid of the broken hot tub.  And that’s just for starters.  The rooms were weirdly shaped, but the one thing this place had going for it was the kitchen.  It was stellar.  And the view from the back porch?  Also pretty awesome:

1-IMG_3315(2)After looking at that house and also realizing the location wasn’t quite right for us either, it was off to Mom’s to help get some of her gifts installed and built!

We had gone to IKEA with her a few weekends ago to have her look at the desk and chair she had wanted to replace the large desk that used to be in her office.  Well, she ordered the items and had them delivered, but it’s IKEA so of course you have to put it together yourself.  And you know what?  It was pretty easy to get done and now that office room isn’t nearly so cluttered!

1-IMG_3317(2)Then we installed the soundbar and subwoofer system we gave to her to replace the one that seemed to have failed.  Mission accomplished, and the sound is LOTS better in her living room.

That evening, we rewarded ourselves with a well-deserved dinner at Dim Tai Fung at Americana, enjoying the spectacle there at the shopping center at a particularly picturesque time of night:

2-IMG_3320(2)Finally, on Sunday, we took a walk around Griffith Park’s eastern, flat section as Larry and I are in the market to look for other nice places to go for a run.  The Silver Lake reservoir is awesome, but after awhile, things get boring.  So we drove over to the park and took a nice nearly-6-mile walk on a stunningly beautiful day.  I think we’ve found a great new place for runs in the future too!

28-Dec-2014 14:13, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 200
The beginning of our trek
The beginning of our trek28-Dec-2014 14:13, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
28-Dec-2014 14:15, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 160
 
28-Dec-2014 14:15, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
28-Dec-2014 14:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100
28-Dec-2014 14:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 4.736mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 200
 
28-Dec-2014 14:20, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 8.022mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100
28-Dec-2014 14:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 10.591mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 200
Will never go through this tunnel ever
Will never go through this tunnel ever28-Dec-2014 14:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 10.591mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 400
 
28-Dec-2014 14:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 160
28-Dec-2014 14:29, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
28-Dec-2014 14:30, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 200
 
28-Dec-2014 14:31, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 200
Pretty sure that's the rocky outcropping we hiked to early in 2014
Pretty sure that's the rocky outcropping we hiked to early in 201428-Dec-2014 14:31, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 17.535mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200
28-Dec-2014 14:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 100
 

This is the route we ended up going on:

Our Griffith Park routeAnd then, oh yeah, we bought ourselves a Playstation 4!!!!!  It’s pretty cool so far.

1-IMG_3321(2)A good weekend.  Here’s to hoping NYE weekend is also as pleasant.

The Arrival of Spectre

The latest awesome Movie Reveal has come today and it’s in the form of information about the next (and 24th overall) James Bond film coming out next year:

SPECTRE is hereBAD.  ASS.  It will be so exciting to see the movies delve back in to some of the awesome stories from the 1960s movies.  Although not directly confirmed, most assume that the villain in the movie will be Blofeld, the classic villain found in many of Sean Connery’s Bond films.  Most presume that Christoph Waltz will play Blofeld although what we know at the moment is his character’s name is NOT Blofeld.  Some intriguing chatter in the AV Club comments suppose that maybe Monica Bellucci will be the actual Blofeld and not “just” a Bond Girl.  Larry mentions that Blofeld’s daughter does in fact take over SPECTRE although that happens only in the Garner novels.  It would be a fantastic twist though as everyone, including me, assumes Waltz will play Blofeld as he is a fantastic actor who can always nail the villainous role, so to get that expectation subverted would be quite thrilling.

Also, it has to be said that last night while Larry & I were going to sleep, we were pondering about what the revealed title would be.  Would it be something like a turn of phrase that’s been “Bonded” like You Only Live Twice, Die Another Day, Live and Let Die?  Or would there be something like Skyfall or Quantum of Solace, which are completely random and unpredictable?  I figured it wouldn’t be a one-word title, but I really wagered that the word Spectre was going to be an element.  I couldn’t come up with a phrase involving Spectre though, so I was ready for someone to be clever about it during the reveal.  Turns out, not really any cleverness there, just BAM! SPECTRE.  I’m good with that, honestly, although I am surprised it’s another one-word title.

2015 will be an awesome time for movies!!!