James Bond

Sinister Supercriminial Organizations in Pop Culture

We couldn’t be more excited for the new James Bond film Spectre, announced earlier this week, which promises to be a villain-heavy movie. First mentioned in Ian Fleming’s novel series about the super spy, the international criminal organization SPECTRE — which stands for SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion — was made popular in the long-running film series, headed by cat-loving Ernst Stavro Blofeld (first played by Donald Pleasence). Initially, SPECTRE was a way for Fleming to comment on the real-life political chaos happening during his day. “I invented SPECTRE as an international crime organisation which contained elements of SMERSH and the Gestapo and the Mafia — the cosy old Cosa Nostra — which, of course, is a much more elastic fictional device than SMERSH [the Russian version, essentially], which was no fictional device, but the real thing,” he told Playboy in 1964. “But that was really the reason I did it, so as not to rag the Russians too much. But if they go on squeezing off cyanide pistols in people’s faces, I may have to make them cosa mia again.” With supercriminals and all their naughty shenanigans on the brain, we revisited other organizations run by the biggest baddies in pop culture. … Read More

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Here’s the Deets on the New Bond Movie

It says something about the continuing drawing power of the James Bond franchise that the announcement of a new… Read More

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Léa Seydoux May Be Your Next Bond Girl

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10 Ridiculous Action Movie Scenes You Might Have Missed

This weekend marks the American wide release of the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. The movie is famous for 007’s getaway car — a Lotus Esprit, which transforms into a submarine. It even has the ability to launch torpedoes and set land mines. During one chase scene, Bond makes a seamless escape into the water, eventually emerging on land to the amazement of a group of gawking sunbathers. It’s one of the film’s funniest moments and certainly one of the most ridiculous scenes in action cinema. Movie heroes like Bond are thrust into death-defying situations for our entertainment, but sometimes these scenes elicit a bit of laughter, too. Here are ten ridiculous action scenes in films that require us to really suspend our disbelief. … Read More

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10 Unforgettable Pop Culture Bikinis

The Vatican declared it sinful. It was even banned by the Hollywood’s Hays Code for a time. Fashion magazines said it was tasteless. When the first “itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie” bikini first appeared 68 years ago, the two-piece swimsuit made waves across the world. “People were craving the simple pleasures of the sea and the sun,” French newspaper Le Figaro wrote about the daring new fashion trend. “For women, wearing a bikini signaled a kind of second liberation. There was really nothing sexual about this. It was instead a celebration of freedom and a return to the joys in life.” Hollywood stars like Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, and Marilyn Monroe turned American heads with their two-piece pinup photos, while celebrities like Sophia Loren and Anita Ekberg made the bikini a mainstay on European shores. Here are ten other cultural icons who helped popularize the bikini. In some cases, their flesh-baring swimsuits contributed to important discussions about race, sexuality, and gender. … Read More

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London’s “Books About Town” Turns Iconic Literary Works Into Public Art

As of yesterday, the citizens of London can take a breather on one of 50 “Books About Town,” a collaboration between the National Literacy Trust and public art organization Wild in Art. Each book-shaped bench is decorated with an artist’s rendition of works such as Alex Rider and War Horse, running the gamut from contemporary subway reads to longtime favorites. Click through for a sampling of our favorites, including tributes to Charles Darwin and Bridget Jones. … Read More

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10 Clever Parody Films Worth Your Time

Quirky, indie girl meets a corporate guy. They fall in love, break up, and get back together. This is the premise for the Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd film They Came Together — but the basic narrative can be found in dozens of romantic comedies. The parody film opens in theaters this weekend. It just so happens that this weekend also marks the birthday of comedy legend and renowned producer Mel Brooks, whose works combine pop culture parody, vaudevillian gags, and frenetic farce. While masters of the parody film like Brooks found a formula for success, the genre has its share of stinkers. Here are ten big-screen parodies that are actually worth your time. … Read More

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