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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Daniel Craig says he may give up his licence to kill so who will be the next 007

Tom Hardy is the current favorite but this doesn't stop suggestions from the realistic to the outlandish. However it must be clear that Daniel Craig is still the current Bond but it is looking more and more unlikely that he will play the part again. Craig recently told Esquire magazine that the forthcoming Spectre will likely be his last Bond film.

The character of Bond, James Bond was created  by Ian Fleming, who employed him in twelve novels and two short story collections. The character has also been used in the longest running and most financially successful film franchise to date, starting in 1962 with Dr. No when Bond, James Bond was Sean Connery.

For the record Bond was NOT English, his father was Scottish and his mother was Swiss.

So Connery (so far) had the best lineage for the role, being a Scot.
Connery despite being a former milkman and body builder could actually act, so that’s a gauntlet thrown down to Clive Owen (at 10/1) and Jude Law (at 33/1) besides anyone who has seen Repo Men will know that Law can’t fight for toffee.

Since Connery, Sean Connery on screen we’ve had an Australian, a Brit, a Welshman, an Irishman and a blond one who often resembles Gollum….

So geography-wise the net is wide open. That means we can’t count out Hugh Jackman (Australian) and Goran Visnjic (Craotian -Chicago-ese) who are both at 18/1 and Aussies Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe who are both at 50/1 (between the two, Crowe would win in a fight, basically he could kill you with a phone).

Other people on the recruitment list of Universal Exports are Orlando (Please don’t mention Johnny bloody Depp) Bloom at 14/1, Julian (there will never be a Bond called Julian) McMahon at 18/1, Gerard (I will appear in ANY film) Butler at 20/1 and Eric (would actually be quite good) Bana (possibly a good money bet, as he did play a very good spy in Munich (the film not the city)) at 40/1.
Also there is Colin (quite a good actor now) Farrell at 50/1, but maybe he’s too “oirsh” (and boy-ish) and I can’t really see him asking for a Martini, shaken OR stirred.

Contenders for the role from years past include Oliver Reed (too pissed), Tom Jones (too busy with the ladies), Lewis (the Professionals) Collins (not to be confused with Lewis Carroll who wrote the Alice books and who would have been a rubbish Bond) and Sam Neil (unfortunately was the Devil). Clint Eastwood was even offered the role in the mid 70's so anyone can be considered.

Further beyond the realms of likelihood (where the big odds live) we have Hugh (too bumbling and camp) Grant at 100/1, Rupert (too gay) Everett at 150/1 and Mike (unknown quantity) Richardson at 2,000/1. Peter Andre also has no odds because he can't act. And Wayne Rooney is contractually obligated to the Shrek franchise so there are no odds available on him being Bond.

And just to round out the field, the true wild cards are Angelina (surely too female) Jolie at 500/1, Russell (surely too feminine) Brand at 600/1, Barrack (no you can’t) Obama at 1,000/1 and David Beckham isn’t REALLY in contention, no matter what you hear, he’s at 500/1.

Fleming thought that Bond should be a “gentleman thug” someone who was equally at home ordering a martini in a dinner jacket and fighting down a darkened alley (in a dinner jacket). This is why Tom Hardy is the Current favourite (plus he did himself no harm by his “audition” role in Inception) he’s at 6/1.

Cary Grant was (would you believe it) one of Flemings first choices for the role, so maybe a smart bet would be on Michael Fassbender at 18/1 who looks the part and also looks like he’d be equally at home, coldly following orders, sweeping an Uzbekistan Beauty called Sofia off her feet, sending food back in a posh restaurant or fighting a couple of Latvian thugs in the street (and winning).

Mind you Daniel Craig saying he will step down could be just a ruse for the actor to get more money to once again don the tuxedo.

Rise of the Krays Review

It's quite a remarkable performance by Simon Cotton as Ronnie Kray that drives this movie, while Reggie Kray, played by Kevin Leslie, doesn't get the same screen time or memorable scenes. Of course the Krays movie everyone is waiting for is Legend in which Tom Hardy play both twins but if this low budget, straight to DVD effort has one thing going for it - it is the fact that it shows the Krays as they must have truly been. There is nothing glamorous about them, they are a nasty, truly evil pair of bastards.

“The reality is the Krays were horrible pieces of work and in our film they come out as horrible pieces of work.” Simon Cotton

The quote on the DVD, comes from the Sunday Sport Newspaper and tells us this is the best British gangster movie ever made - it's certainly not that. Mind you the fact that one of the movie's financial backers was David Sullivan who these days is the largest shareholder in West Ham Football Club and until 2007 was the owner of both the Daily and Sunday Sport newspapers might have something to do with the newspaper's accolade. So maybe the film critic of the Sunday Sport was lent on and made an offer he couldn't refuse. Just maybe he feared waking up in the morning with a horse's head instead of a sexy strumpet beside him.

Still it's not a bad movie, just not a really good one  and could pass the time nicely if you want a gangland fix before the release of Legend next month.

 The Sunday Sport - covers and invents the stories the others won't touch...loads of tits too.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Wes Craven RIP

For a period from around the early 80's to the mid 90's director Wes Craven was, at least in horror movie terms, considered one of the best movie makers in the world. As  a teenager I lapped up his output with flicks such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills have Eyes and even The People Under the Stairs. These movies fulfilled a teenage need for celluloid thrills. Craven became a superstar in genre terms and he was always sought after for interviews in film magazines. His best known movie was probably the original Nightmare on Elm Street though ironically his highest grossing was 1996's Scream - that particular movie was a clever post modern parody of the type of movie that made him famous in the first place, and kick-started a franchise to rival the Elm Street series.

On August 30, 2015, Craven died of brain cancer at his home in Los Angeles. He was 76 years old

Monday, 24 August 2015

RIP Melody Patterson - a true Western rose.

Melody Patterson, a well known name to western fans, has died at the age of 66. The California-born actress was best known for her portrayal of the spirited Wrangler Jane in the 1965-67 ABC sitcom F Troop . Her passing was announced by her F Troop co-star Larry Storch, who posted Friday on his Facebook site: “It’s with a heavy heart that we can let you know our beloved Wrangler Jane, Melody Patterson passed away today. Our hearts are sad today. RIP Sweet Melody. We love you.”

F Troop was set at Fort Courage — a fictional United States Army outpost in the Old West—from just at the end of the American Civil War in 1865 to at least 1867. There is a town of the same name adjacent to the fort. Fort Courage was named for fictitious General Sam Courage (portrayed by Cliff Arquette), who has been in the Army for forty years The fort itself is in the stockade style stereo typically found in most American westerns.

Much of the humor of the series derives from the scheming of Captain Parmenter's somewhat crooked but amiable non-commissioned officers, Sergeant Morgan O'Rourke (Forrest Tucker) and Corporal Randolph Agarn (Larry Storch). They, in league with the local (fictitious) American Indian tribe, the Hekawis—led by Chief Wild Eagle (Frank de Kova), are forever seeking to expand and conceal their shady business deals covertly and collectively referred to as "O'Rourke Enterprises". Initially, rations and pay were drawn for 30 men at Fort Courage, even though only 17 are actually accounted for (the other 13, according to O'Rourke, are Indian scouts who only come to the fort at night and leave before dawn). The pay of the fictitious scouts is apparently used to help finance the dealings of O'Rourke Enterprises. Although O'Rourke and Agarn try to take full advantage of Captain Parmenter's innocence and naïveté, they are also very fond of and fiercely protective of him, and woe be to anyone attempting to harm him.

Following her time in F Troop Melody appeared in many other TV series and more recently wrote a regular column for Wildest Westerns Magazine. Her first  marriage was  to JamesMacArthur famed for playing Danno in the original Hawaii Five-O.

Patterson died in a nursing home on August 20, 2015, at age 66. Multiple organ failure was the reported cause.

 RIP sweet lady - below we have embedded a full episode of F Troop

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Tainted Stats

Weekly Stats Report: 17 Aug - 23 Aug 2015


  Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun Total Avg
Unique Visits7787747695828457582
First Time Visits7583697292808255379
Returning Visits2454322223

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Keep Calm and Read On

Following the success of my book, Cardiff and the Valleys in the Great War , the publishers commissioned a follow up to be entitled Cardiff at War 1939 - 1945. As you can imagine the book requires a lot of careful research and recently while going through news archives I found a newspaper article from January 1940 that I'd like to share here.

It seems that during the early years of the war there was a spike in reading - I'm not sure if this was nationwide but Cardiff library found itself incredibly busy. So much so in fact that the library collected together its data and told the South Wales Echo of its most popular titles.

Black Out Makes Cardiff Read More, the newspaper headlined. which means there must have been a lot of candles burning behind those black out curtains. Though as of yet I've not found an article on the spike in candle sales  - Escapist fiction was understandable extremely popular, as was Richard Llewellyn's beautiful How Green was my Valley - apparently people who saw the hardships of the coal mining industry first hand also enjoyed reading about them. The public were also very keen to educate themselves on the background of the crisis in Europe and books about Germany and Hitler in particular were hired out often. Hitler' s Mein Kampf was eagerly read, as was Hitler Speaks which reproduced a lot of the mad little Charley Chaplin impersonator's speeches.

There was also a revival in classic literature and Wuthering Heights was particularly popular.

As a book lover myself, a constant reader I took great pleasure from reading the article, and it's nice to think of all those people hunched over a book in the dimness of the black out - I wonder what they would have thought of the Kindle Paperwhite?

Cardiff and the Valleys in the Great War (Pen and Sword Books) is available now in both print and electronic formats. Check it out by CLICKING HERE

Cardiff at War 1939 - 1945 is scheduled to be published in 2017.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Tainted Stats

Weekly Stats Report: 3 Aug - 9 Aug 2015


  Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun Total Avg
Unique Visits78665760657810851273
First Time Visits70644955657610648569
Returning Visits8285022274