Dec 6, 2019

SOME GIRLS DO (1969) Comes to Blu-Ray!

Eurospy fans, your collective prayers have been answered! The Sixties Bond knockoff (a term I use with great affection) title I've heard most often requested is finally coming to Blu-ray! In the UK, anyway. So American Eurospy aficionados who don't yet have all-region Blu-ray players (and you really ought to), add them to your Christmas lists! On February 17, 2020, Network will release the Bondified Jet Age Bulldog Drummond movie Some Girls Do (lesser sequel to the greatest Eurospy movie of all, Deadlier Than the Male) in Region B high-def. On the same date the title will also make its standalone DVD debut (Region 2). Both releases are quite notable, because they mark the first time ever that this title has been available in its native 1.66:1 widescreen aspect ratio. It was previously available only on a Region 2 double feature DVD from Network paired with Deadlier Than the Male (which the company has offered on its own on Blu-ray for some time now). While that title came in widescreen, the Some Girls Do on offer was a panned and scanned 4x3 version--and transferred from a rather iffy source. Hopefully (and presumably, given the new aspect ratio), Network have uncovered a better source print for the new 1080p HD transfer. So even if you don't have an all-region Blu-ray player, but do have an all-region DVD player, you'll still have a way to finally see this movie the way it was meant to be seen!

Some Girls Do (1969) stars Richard Johnson (Deadlier Than the Male, Danger Route), Daliah Lavi (Casino Royale, The High Commissioner), Beba Loncar (Fuller Report, Lucky the Inscrutable), James Villiers (For Your Eyes Only, Otley), and the great Robert Morley (Hot Enough For JuneTopkapi) in a scene-stealing role as cooking teacher "Miss Mary." Here's Network's description of the movie:
Richard Johnson returns as Hugh 'Bulldog' Drummond in this action-packed take on the exploits of H.C. McNeile's famous fictional hero - this time with an added dose of late '60s whimsy when Drummond comes up against a gang of armed, gorgeous fembots! Some Girls Do is presented here as a new High Definition transfer from original film elements in its original aspect ratio.
Drummond is hot on the trail of his nemesis, the devious Carl Petersen, who is hell-bent on sabotaging the new British fighter airplane. Peterson must be stopped - whatever the cost - but this time he's protected by a bodyguard of murderous female androids!
Special features are limited to the theatrical trailer and an "extensive image gallery," but just having this title in its proper aspect ratio is reason enough to buy the disc! And to have that great, great poster art on the cover! (My own Some Girls Do UK quad with that key art hangs in a place of pride in my apartment protected by UV-coated museum glass.)

Pre-order the Blu-ray from Network here.
Pre-order the DVD from Network here.
Read my review of Deadlier Than the Male here.

Dec 4, 2019

James Bond is Back in the NO TIME TO DIE Trailer!!!

It's here! The trailer we've been waiting so long for! And our first lengthy look Daniel Craig in action as James Bond since SPECTRE in 2015. (I'm a little surprised at how direct a sequel to that movie No Time To Die appears to be.) Check it out:

Dec 3, 2019

NO TIME TO DIE Character Posters

In anticipation of tomorrow's trailer debut, MGM have released six new character posters for No Time To Die. They include Ana de Armas as Paloma (above), her Knives Out costar Daniel Craig as James Bond (sort of channeling GoldenEye Pierce Brosnan in his combat gear), Lashanna Lynch as Nomi, Ben Whishaw returning as Q, SPECTRE's Lea Seydoux returning as Madeleine Swann, and Rami Malek as Safin. No Time To Die, the 25th official James Bond movie (and Craig's fifth) opens in April. The first trailer will debut tomorrow morning on Good Morning America.

First Trailer: Marvel's BLACK WIDOW Movie!

Black Widow will be the first of Marvel's superspies to get her own movie (preceding Shang Chi by a year), and today Marvel released the first trailer. And it looks pretty cool! I'm honestly surprised about how many images come directly from the various Black Widow comics over the years. Clearly, the character's first standalone film will contain some flashbacks to Natasha Romanoff's early days as a child raised to be a KGB assassin in Moscow's infamous Red Room. Scarlett Johansson has played the role in seven Marvel movies (most recently the all-time box office champ Avengers: Endgame), but this will be her first solo feature.

If you want to play catch-up on the comics and see where some of those images in the trailer come from, there are some collections out there that make that possible. (And even more are due next year in the lead up to the movie!) Three beautifully prodcued Marvel Premiere hardcovers collect this secret agent's most essential adventures in matching volumes. Black Widow: The Sting of the Widow presents the character's first appearance (in a silly costume in an issue of Iron Man) and earliest solo adventures from the early Seventies, after she'd gotten an Emma Peel makeover, ending up in the black catsuit with which she's still most closely associated. These early Black Widow comics will surely be of interest to collectors and hardcore fans, but casual fans looking for a great introduction to the character are better off picking up the second volume in the series, Black Widow: Web of Intrigue first.

Black Widow: Web of Intrigue offers an excellent primer on the character containing some of her classic appearances from the early Eighties, including an excellent comic drawn by my second-favorite spy artist (after Steranko), Paul Gulacy.  (Look for a cameo appearance by Michael Caine!) Black Widow: Web of Intrigue contains this and several other seminal tales of the red-haired Russian superspy. A third volume, Black Widow: The Itsy Bitsy Spider collects a pair of Marvel Knights stories from the late Nineties (including one by Queen & Country scribe Greg Rucka).

My two favorite modern-day Widow storylines have yet to receive the hardcover treatment, sadly, but are available in a pair of out-of-print trade paperbacks. (They'll also, happily, be collected in a new single volume next year!) Richard K. Morgan's Black Widow: Homecoming and Black Widow: The Things They Say About Her put the focus on espionage above superheroics and are among the very best Marvel spy stories of this century. Other recent Widow stories include Black Widow: Deadly Origin, Black Widow and the Marvel Girls, Black Widow: The Name of the Rose and Black Widow: Kiss or Kill. Most of the character's adventures with Daredevil from the 1970s are included in Essential Daredevil: Volume 3. as well as the color Daredevil Epic Collection: A Woman Called Widow.

Trailer for Bravo Reality Competition Show SPY GAMES

EW shared the first teaser today for Bravo's upcoming reality competition series Spy Games. According to EW, the show "features 10 contestants living together in a large house and attempting to gather intel on their fellow players while competing in challenges designed by three former spies, alumni of the CIA, Secret Service, and FBI. Players will be eliminated until one remains to claim a $100,000 prize." Apparently the format is in some ways based on a real-life World War II-era scheme known as Station S, "in which civilians were recruited and relocated to a 'remote estate' to be trained as spies." Spy Games, which is hosted by model and martial artist Mia Kang, premieres on Monday, January 20, 2020, at 10/9c. I tried to embed the video, but Bravo's own awful, awful video platform (which is really quite terrible) automatically plays a Real Housewives promo instead. So check out the trailer here.
Thanks to Jeff for the intel alert!

Dec 1, 2019

NO TIME TO DIE Trailer... Trailer!

The first actual movie footage of the next Daniel Craig James Bond movie, No Time To Die! Not the actual trailer yet (that's due on Wednesday), but the trailer for the trailer! And it looks amazing! Consider my appetite whetted. This premiered during football tonight in the U.S.