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One Of Skyfall’s Most Impressive Moments Only Happened After A Very Important Last-Minute Phone Call

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One Of Skyfall’s Most Impressive Moments Only Happened After A Very Important Last-Minute Phone Call

It’s amazing what one phone call can do when it’s between the right people. In the case of director Sam Mendes’ big James Bond debut Skyfall, one such moment between him Chris Corbould, the longtime special effects coordinator for the Bond franchise. Thanks to a last-minute phone call between the two men, one of the most impressive moments in the fan-favorite Bond film ran off the rails and into 007 history.

During the No Time To Die home video press junket in London last month, I was able to speak with Mr. Corbould about his work throughout the James Bond movies at large. Working in the special effects department since The Spy Who Loved Me, his talents have constantly given the Bond franchise its flair of visual artistry. But as he shared in the story that saw him literally throwing a train at Daniel Craig’s Bond, such thrills aren’t merely crafted to wow audiences with spectacle. Explaining how he created an iconic moment at the request of Sam Mendes, here’s how Chris Corbould designed the tube scene in Skyfall

I was in L.A. finishing off The Dark Knight Rises or something, and Sam Mendes rung me up one day and said, ‘I’ve got the really great foot chase going through the Underground of London.’ But he said, ‘I need one jaw dropping moment,’ and that night I came up with the Tube train coming through the scene, and everybody loved it. And hence it’s back in the film. You’re always striving to get that magic part of the sequence.

Magic definitely seems to be part of the equation, as the balance between where the story should go and what thrills are required isn’t always an easy feat. That sort of pressure is only greater when the series in question happens to be the world of James Bond, where the words “over the top” mean an entirely different thing. In the case of Skyfall’s foot chase through the tunnels of London, a crashing train was the cherry on top of the intense person-to-person action. 

As Daniel Craig’s 007 chases the villainous Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) through the London Underground, there’s a moment where it looks like our hero has caught his prey. Of course, since Silva is one of the best James Bond villains to have ever been, the former MI6 asset gets crafty with how he avoids capture. This results in an entire train falling into an abandoned station, distracting Commander Bond with the task of running for dear life. That process culminated in the following moment, which you can watch from the film itself:

Chris Courbould’s work, particularly as described above, almost sounds like it appeared to him out of thin air, but naturally that’s not the case. As with anything in the James Bond legacy, there’s a process that’s in place to plan things out at the start of Skyfall or any installment in the longest running series in cinematic history. Further committing to the heart of his efforts lying in the DNA of what makes up any given film, Mr. Corbould laid down the essential beats for every new Bond movie’s effects work:

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It’s not about topping yourself. For me, it’s really important that special effects dovetail into the characters and the storyline. I don’t want to do big explosions or special effects just for the sake of it. It’s really important to me that it’s part of the movie, it doesn’t stand out on its own. So, you know, the first thing is we get the script, we talk about it with Barbara [Broccoli] and Michael [G. Wilson,] and the director. And then we set about how we can make it better, how can we improve it, how can we make it more original?

While he may not necessarily plan to top himself, Mr. Corbould’s special effects wizardry has done just that with the last two Daniel Craig Bond films. Breaking a Guinness world record for the largest explosion in the history of film was the first title that his work had brought home, thanks to the destruction of Blofeld’s lair in Spectre. But then, after some slight prodding by a colleague, Chris Corbould saw himself break another record with the most high explosives in one take for No Time To Die’s gigantic finale. Neither instance robbed the story of any meaning, but gave one hell of a kick to the moments they punctuated in this modern run of stories. The world records just happen to be rather huge perks.

The series is currently at an important junction, as the Craig era of James Bond will now give way to whomever gets cast in the next iteration of the role. What won’t change is the precision that Chris Corbould and the rest of the 007 franchise team will bring to the table, whenever that new chapter begins to unfold. Built on that solid foundation, who knows what sort of adventures Mr. Corbould will cook up in the name of challenging the next Commander Bond? 

No Time To Die can be rented or bought through physical and digital media. If you’re looking for a larger than life experience, you should check your local theater listings, as an IMAX re-release is currently underway for the 25th James Bond movie. As for the upcoming movies throughout the year, you’ll have to board the official listing of 2022’s cinematic landscape at the next convenient station.

Interviews

Quentin Tarantino Reveals His Pick For ‘The Greatest Movie Ever Made’

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Quentin Tarantino Reveals His Pick For ‘The Greatest Movie Ever Made’

It may not feel like it sometimes, but any upcoming movie has the chance to be named “the greatest movie ever made” by someone out there. However, that honor does have some specific caveats if you’re someone like filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. Not only has the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood director chosen a Steven Spielberg classic for that very distinction, Tarantino also explained just why that title is very specific. 

In an upcoming interview with our in-house podcast ReelBlend, Quentin Tarantino made his fourth appearance to talk about all things movies; the first since the big live show at the New Beverly Cinema. Promoting his new co-hosting gig on The Video Archives Podcast, Tarantino had yet another spirited discussion about cinema, which led to his pick of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws as  the greatest “movie” ever made. That distinction is important, as the Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood director made that perfectly clear through the following remarks: 

I think Jaws is the greatest movie ever made. Maybe not the greatest film. But it’s the greatest movie ever made. And then there are other movies that can get in its rarefied air. But as far as a movie, there’s no making it better than Jaws. There’s no ‘better’ than Jaws. It is the best movie ever made. And it shows how badly timed most movies made before Jaws were.

Leave it to Quentin Tarantino to separate his tastes in movies into those two separate, important camps: “movies” and “films.” In this case, the designation of a movie almost sounds like it’s shorthand for the blockbuster opuses that Steven Spielberg made a name for himself with. Which means that “films” are presumably more of the independent/art house titles that have higher pedigrees, and usually end up on the lists of best picture nominees every year.

Strangely enough, Jaws is one of six horror movies to have Best Picture nominations, so the line could blur just a bit in that respect. Putting aside the “movies” versus “films” debate, Quentin Tarantino isn’t using that separation to be a snob. Later on in the conversation, he explained how spectacles such as this are their own form of art, and how Steven Spielberg came to be someone who perfected it: 

What I meant by that, to one degree or another, is that Spielberg and a lot of his cohorts grew up seeing those kinds of movies in the theater. Henry Levin’s Journey to Center of the Earth, he’s gonna run to go and see that. Richard Fleischer’s Fantastic Voyage. He’s going to run and go see it. Gordon Douglas’s Them! He’s going to run and go see. Now… most of them weren’t directed that well. They were assignments given to journeyman directors who did their best with them. That was how we were used to seeing comic book — that kind of movie experience. As opposed to a Spielberg, who was like, ‘No, this is exactly the kind of movie he likes. This is exactly the kind of movies he was put on earth to make. And he’s going to make it, within an inch of his life, as effective as it possibly can be. And, you know, Michael Anderson, isn’t putting that kind of work in Logan’s Run.

Spielberg, and “cohorts” like George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, and Francis Ford Copolla all latched onto genres that were pulpier entertainments in their childhood, only to make them into something new. Through films like Jaws, Star Wars, Taxi Driver, and The Godfather, we saw a generation of directors taking movies they loved and reviving them through their own personal lenses. Which is exactly what Quentin Tarantino would do when he stepped onto the scene with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction; and it’s also why he’s such a staunch supporter of the cinematic experience. 

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If this conversation boils down to anything, it’s game recognizing game. Much as Steven Spielberg idolized the movies that helped make Jaws, Quentin Tarantino has reverence for the bearded director and his dedication to making the movies that sparked his love of cinema. Though considering the history his collaborator Samuel L. Jackson has had with sharks, you have to wonder if this has already sparked any sort of humorous conversations between the two?

You’ll be able to watch, and listen, to Quentin Tarantino’s latest appearance on ReelBlend, as it’s set to hit YouTube tomorrow. Meanwhile, Tarantino may not have his tenth and final film in the works just yet, but you can still enjoy the man’s gift for words in two very cool ways. 

Tarantino’s Video Archives podcast, which he co-hosts with friend and collaborator Roger Avery, is currently streaming wherever you find fine listening material. However, if you also want to read the man’s thoughts on ‘70s filmmaking in his upcoming book Cinema Speculation, which you can currently preorder on Amazon (opens in new tab); or any other fine bookseller.

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‘Prey’ Interviews With Amber Midthunder, Dan Trachtenberg And More!

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The stars of “Prey,” Amber Midthunder (“Naru”), Dakota Bevers (“Taabe”), Dane DiLiegro (“The Predator”), director Dan Trachtenberg and producer Jhane Myers discuss their new “Predator” movie in this interview with CinemaBlend at San Diego Comic-Con 2022. They discuss the “Prey” audition moment that landed Amber Midthunder her role and more!

You can stream “Prey” on Hulu on August 5.

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‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ | Marvel Comic-Con Interviews with Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan & More

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‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ | Marvel Comic-Con Interviews with Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan & More

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” stars Chris Pratt (Peter Quill / Star-Lord), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Will Poulter (Adam Warlock), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Sean Gunn (Kraglin / On-Set Rocket), Chukwudi Iwuji (The High Evolutionary) and writer Director James Gunn discuss their upcoming Marvel film and conclusion of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” trilogy in this post-Hall H interview with CinemaBlend at San Diego Comic-Con 2022.

Video Chapters

  • 00:00 – Chris Pratt on Finding “Your Side”
  • 00:35 – Chris Pratt Teases What’s Ahead For Star-Lord and Gamora In GOTG 3
  • 01:24 – Karen Gillan LOVES ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Fan Reactions
  • 02:00 – Karen Gillan Weighs In On Nebula Unaliving Nebula in ‘Endgame’
  • 02:32 – James Gunn Teases a “Darker” ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Movie
  • 03:20 – Sean Gunn on Baby Rocket’s Difficult Backstory
  • 04:30 –  Pom Klementieff on Welcoming New Marvel Actors to the ‘Guardians’ Family
  • 05:15 – Pom Klementieff Teases A More Badass Mantis In ‘Guardians 3’
  • 05:35 – Will Poulter Teases Adam Warlock Origins in ‘GOTG 3’ 
  • 06:32 – Chukwudi Iwuji on The High Evolutionary and His Motivations
  • 07:20 – Chukwudi Iwugi Praises James Gunn’s Dialogue
  • 08:15 – Chris Pratt Recalls His Last Day of Filming the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Trilogy
  • 08:55 – James Gunn Is Literally Always Writing and Rewriting Scripts
  • 09:49 – Will Poulter Wants to Play Adam Warlock Again “If Marvel Will Have Me”

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