Did you know that 1979’s Moonraker was made into a book and record? I certainly did not until I stumbled across an auction the other day. In the interest of full disclosure, it was the Projectionist who discovered it. He was kind enough to call me into the control room, down here in the Vault. The auction was for a complete set of 1985 Kid Stuff book and records featuring James Bond. Dr. No, A View to a Kill, The Spy Who Loved Me as well as Moonraker. Not just the book and record sets but the “deluxe talking storybook” with cassette tapes too.
I, of course, wish I could tell that we won the auction. The sad fact of the matter is that someone in Germany took the prize. Outbid us by a long shot. I suppose whomever got the set was a bigger James Bond fan than ourselves. Maybe it was Blofeld?
Anyway, I am quite willing to bet you are as surprised as I was. I mean, Kid Stuff tackled all manner of popular properties, back in the day. James Bond however is a far cry from the likes of Garfield, Transformers, and Knight Rider, right?
What I would love to know is how they picked which films to adapt into “children’s stories”? Obviously A View to a Kill marked the swan song of Roger Moore as 007. In fact it was the seventh film with Moore portraying James Bond. Moonraker lends itself to an exciting tale, plus it too starred Moore. I think that Dr. No is the odd choice, breaking the trend of Moore films and of course tackling a Sean Connery version. Imagine what they would have done with 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service!
Obviously the folks at Kid Stuff have condensed much of Moonraker. They naturally had to since it had to tell a tale in a little over ten minutes. But I would point out that it’s pretty obvious it was still a little more violent than you might think.
Let us hop back to 1985 and sit back as we listen and read Moonraker on Retro Records!
I can say without a doubt that 1986’s Highlander is hands down one of my favorite cult films. Of all time. If you too count yourself as a devotee to Highlander I have some great news. Lionsgate is releasing that 30th Anniversary Edition on Blu-Ray and DVD tomorrow!
It is about a society of immortals who have hidden their existence from humanity in general. The only way an immortal can be dispatched is to remove their head from their shoulders – which involves epic sword fights. Once done the victor gains the power of the defeated immortal in what they have dubbed ‘the quickening’.
The reason for this is the immortals all want what has been called the Prize. What is it exactly? No immortal is quite sure but it is believed when only one immortal remains they will inherit limitless power. As you might imagine some immortals would use that power to better mankind – others not so much. Like the Kurgan, played wonderfully by Clancy Brown.
This secret war has played out until only a few immortals now remain. Feeling themselves drawn to New York City in the then modern day of 1985. Where Connor MacLeod aka the Highlander must battle not just to keep his own head but for the fate of mankind.
I want to point out another bright spot for Highlander which is the addition of Sean Connery playing Connor’s mentor. A fellow immortal who happens to be a ‘Spanish-Egyptian’ named Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez.
Seriously. Sean Connery is just amazing in this film. While his part is basically to set up the rules of being an immortal and the Prize – he steals the movie. Steals it.
Highlander also boasts what can only be called an incredible soundtrack by Queen. I kid you not it was in constant play – I must have listened to it thousands of times by the time Summer rolled around.
What are the special features for the 30th Anniversary Edition?
While there is no new commentary for this release that doesn’t mean Lionsgate hasn’t included worthy extras:
A 4K transfer approved by Director Russell Mulcahy
Brand-new The Making of Highlander documentary
New interviews with both Russell Mulcahy and Christopher Lambert
Archival interview with Christopher Lambert
Audio commentary by Director Russell Mulcahy (from previous releases)
You can pick up the 30th Anniversary Edition of Highlander tomorrow at most retailers. Or you can order your DVD or Blu-Ray over on Amazon.
I am probably one of the few people who readily admit they enjoy 1981’s Outland, starring Sean Connery and Directed by Peter Hyams (Capricorn One), I always kind of thought of it as sort of a intergalactic version of 1952’s High Noon.
[Via] Movieclips Trailer Vault
The other day I stumbled across a reply from the legendary Harlan Ellison from an issue of Starlog concerning an incident at a press junket covered by the magazine for its September 1981 issue. It’s obvious that he felt how Sean Connery handled a question by a reporter was not how an actor of Connery’s stature should behave, as well as the movie itself.
Thanks to the Internet Archive I was able to track down the very interview that upset Ellison so much.
I’m kind of torn on this bit of sci-fi history, friends. My knee-jerk reaction is I found more fault on the reporter’s part for trying to put Connery on the spot but not having been in the room itself I can’t judge how serious Connery or the reporter were being with any of their responses. I’m also aware though that my view on this might be a little biased as like I mentioned above I really like Outland…I’m interested in what you all think about the matter.
Enjoy this Television gem from back in 1965 featuring Sean Connery…as you’ve probably never heard him before. He appeared to promote his film, The Hill and the filming of A Fine Madness which was released the following year.