The space race is filled with so many amazing real-life stories of courage, valour, and danger, it’s no wonder that so many amazing films have been made out of the moon landing and the events surrounding it. Just recently we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon landing so we put together some of our favourite films that celebrate space exploration.
Duncan Jones directed this brilliant 2009 film which is from screenplay writer Nathan Parker. In a genre where special effects and amazing shots are the norm. However, “Moon” shines for having been made on a shoestring budget. It’s a one-man show, though not necessarily a one-character show, in which Sam Rockwell gives a brilliant performance as an astronaut, Sam Bell, who’s near the end of a three-year tour of solitary duty on the moon.
The story starts as Sam Bell is supervising machines that mine helium for fusion power on Earth. Suddenly, however, he falls sick, and discovers, to his surprise, he’s not alone. Another Sam Bell has appeared, an apparent clone who insists very convincingly, that he isn’t a clone at all and that the original Sam Bell is the real clone.
“First Man” is a biopic story of the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong, an intensely private man. The story behind Damien Chazelle’s film was to tell the story of mankind’s boldest adventure but telling it through an emotionally closed-off hero, Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. The casting is ideal as Ryan Gosling plays Neil Armstrong (only that Gosling is Canadian not American), as an extremely brilliant problem solving engineer. The film is ultimately not about the trip to the moon but instead about human experience and the emotional cost all those who were involved in the voyage.
A Trip to the Moon
The famous French filmmaker Georges Méliès made this film in the world’s first movie studio, a greenhouse-like structure that he built in a Paris suburb. As we watch the nine-minute trailblazer now, 117 years later, the science is a little bizarre and silly for a modern audience. Six astronomers, wearing coats and carrying umbrellas to protect them from the gamma rays, climb into a shell which is shot by a giant cannon. The shell is rocked forwarded and hits the man in the moon smack in the eye. This is, of course, one of films most astounding and memorable scenes that is still recognizable by today's audiences.
This is definitely one of the best space films of all time, only to be rivalled by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film follows the story of the space disaster that befell three American astronauts on their way to a lunar landing in 1970. Directed by Ron Howard, the script is brilliant written by William Broyles Jr. and Al Reinert, as the perfect American story of heroism and bravery. Very rare is a film this perfect –from acting, lighting, camera work to direction. While the story is fairly well known, it brought a new understanding to the entire real life drama.
While Daniel Craig is set to reprise his role as James Bond in the 25th Bond film, the franchise is set for a shake-up, with reports that British actor Lashana Lynch of Capital Marvel fame, has been cast as 007. Originally from London, Lynch, made her film debut in the film Fast Girls and has gone to make a name for herself in the Marvel Universe.
As the scene is reported to play out in the new Bond film, James Bond is taken into the M16 office where he meets the new 007, not the new Bond, but the new holder of the licence to kill alias, a black woman named Nomi, played by Lynch.
This is a daring move for a film franchise that has largely relied on plot formulas to make money both with on-screen sponsorship and box office tickets. The big question is will people take to a female James Bond? So far the reaction has been positive on social media where the producers have been praised for taking Bond out of the dark ages.
There has been much debate over the years whether Craig’s successor could be female, or a person of colour – or both. Executive producer, Barbara Broccoli whose father, Albert R Broccoli chaperoned the franchise since its inception, said in an interview last year that Bond was created male and she intended to keep it that way. What it was that changed her mind is anybody’s guess at this moment as its’ still tightly under raps.
Lynch’s appointment signals major progress for a franchise that has for a long time felt behind the times. Up until this point, the role of the world’s greatest secret agent has been played exclusively by white men. But it sounds like in Bond 25, the classic character will have to wrangle with the #MeToo movement.
Even the current James Bond, Daniel Craig, has acknowledged that Bond’s misogyny is out of touch. The first in the Daniel Craig era, 2006 Casino Royale, ultimately amounts to an origin story for Bond’s misogyny: He softens when he falls in love with Vesper, only to be betrayed. As a result, he reverts to his previous state as an emotionless, untrusting secret agent. It’s not just that Bond is bitter toward humanity, but toward women in particular, who, he calculates, make him weak.
What has changed in the 13 years since Casino Royale? While the setting may be 2019, but Bond is still very much a man of the 1950s. Casino Royale is a brilliant film exactly because it offers the personal backstory to Bond’s misdirected hatred towards women — though the audience shouldn’t take it as a justification for his behavior.
This is a Bond for the modern era who will hopefully appeal to a younger generation while sticking true to what we all expect in a Bond film such as spectacular chase sequences and fights, and Bond is still Bond just in female in form.
Hollywood budgets are sometimes the size of a small country’s GDP and can quickly bloom upwards if things go wrong – which can happen fairly often when you deal with the unpredictability of a film set and all the moving parts.
Most of the time, if a mistake is made while filming, the director will say cut and the entire scene will be done again. While this costs time and money, it is an expected part of filmmaking. Unfortunately, occasionally some mistake won’t be caught until much later when the film has wrapped which can mean costly reshoots or extensive edits.
We have put together a list of some of the biggest Hollywood bloopers that were made, some of which even made it into the final cut.
Battlestar Galactica: model destruction
The television show Battlestar Galactica proved to be a big hit with sci-fi fans. It ran for four seasons and in one expensive blooper in an episode in the third season Admiral Adama has a very old model ship in his office. The actor playing Adama smashed the model in an impromptu piece of acting, thinking it was a prop. It wasn’t. The model was actually worth $200,000. Ouch!
The Bond adventure Skyfall had to deal with some unplanned expenses because star Daniel Craig wore a pair of leather gloves at the wrong moment. Craig asked director Sam Mendes if he could wear the gloves in a particular scene and Mendes agreed, not thinking anything about it. The cast and crew got down to work filming a sequence. However there was a pickle. In the sequence of scenes Bond uses his handprint to test his gun's fingerprint scanner in a car, then rides up an elevator, still gloveless. When he spots an assassin, 007 hides his gun and continues the scene wearing gloves.
Months later in the editing room, the editor noticed a problem: how would Bond himself have used his fingerprint-activated gun while wearing gloves? After considering the costs of a reshoot, the filmmakers decided it would be cheaper to digitally remove the gloves from Craig's hands for the entire sequence.
Brad Pitt suffered a nasty injury on the set of Seven while playing a detective. During one scene that called for Pitt to chase the suspect in the rain, he slipped and smashed his hand into a windshield, severing a tendon. Making the best of a bad situation, the director, David Fincher managed to incorporate Pitt's injury into the story of Seven. It added time and expense to the production schedule, but it was probably cheaper to explain why one of the film's main characters was suddenly wearing a cast than it would have been to delay shooting long enough for Pitt to recover.
Hateful Eight: broken guitar
In the film, outlaw Daisy Domergue plays a guitar. While she was playing, co-star Kurt Russell was supposed to grab it. The scene would cut and the vintage guitar would be traded out for a cheaper prop guitar, which Russell would smash when the cameras started to roll again. But that isn't what happened. Instead, Russell grabbed the vintage guitar from Leigh and smashed it, all in one fell swoop. That take was used in the final cut of the movie, and Leigh's horrified cries of "Whoa!" are real. How much was the vintage guitar worth? A cool $40,000.
Jack Reacher: injury
In the 2012 blockbuster Jack Reacher, Tom Cruise plays an investigator tracking a deadly serial sniper. As in many of his other movies, Cruise performed many of his own stunts in Jack Reacher, including one that would end up costing the production money.
In one scene he had to kick a man in the groin, but for some reason the filmmakers made Cruise shoot the scene over 50 times. It was actually Cruise who had to stop filming as he had kicked the guy in the groin so much he hurt his foot, needing time away from the set to recover after his foot became swollen. The delay while Cruise’s foot healed cost the movie thousands of dollars.
Apocalypse Now: replacing an entire village
Apocalypse Now is now considered a classic but at the time it was plagued with delays and budget overruns. Part of the problem was that Director Francis Ford Coppola insisted on filming everything in the Philippines instead of building a village in a film studio in Hollywood. The film was forced to stop after a typhoon hit, causing major damage to the village. It would cost around $1.5 million to rebuild the set, probably winning (or losing) as the most costly mistake ever made.
In the sixties, moviegoers fell in love with the sexy British secret agent James Bond. Part of the public’s infatuation with the spy came from his charm, wit, and sex appeal. At the time, film merchandising and sponsorship was almost no existent. However that all changed with the classic Goldfinger film where James Bond first drove the Aston Martin DB5. It was the beginning of film merchandising, a way for films to boost revenue before they even hit theaters.
Since Goldfinger, Aston Martin has become ubiquitous with the 007 movie franchise. Bond has since then had an abundance of endorsement deals from Omega watches, to Tom Ford, to Heineken, just to name a few.
Bond’s first All-Electric Vehicle
Now, nearly 60 years later, James Bond is adopting an eco-friendly approach to his spy car with the Aston Martin Rapide E which has been designed to enhance and build on the classic V12 Aston Martin. Essentially it will be an electric version of the trademark car Bond first drove in the 1963 classic film. The Aston Martin Rapide E is one of only 155 zero-emission electric cars being built by the British manufacturer. In-line with Bond’s life of luxury, the supercar is expected to retail for a cool $400, 000.
Although it’s electric, the car still packs very impressive performance specs under the hood. The Rapide E’s twin-motor drive system channels about 600 horsepower to the rear wheels, getting it from 0 to 100 km/h in about four seconds. With a top speed of 250 km/h, Bond shouldn’t have trouble escaping from any of his enemies.
The first Aston Martin Rapide E is expected to be released to the public the same year as the 25th Bond instalment, which is set to star Daniel Craig which is scheduled to premiere on April 8th, 2020. Aston Martin confirmed that the partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering resulted in a new 800V battery with 65kWh installed capacity using over 5600 lithium-ion, and powered by two rear-mounted electric motors producing a combined target output of just over 610PS and a colossal 950Nm of torque. It is also equipped with an on-board charger. While Aston Martin didn’t specify the charge rate, it should be fully charged the battery pack in as little as 3 hours.
A newly designed underfloor streamlines airflow from the front splitter right the way through to Rapide E’s new larger rear diffuser, a feature that is now wholly dedicated to efficiency due to the removal of the exhaust system required before. The model’s forged aluminum aerodynamic wheels have also been redesigned to give greater efficiency, without compromising brake cooling capability.
Inside and out, Rapide E is equipped with the materials and technology befitting of the marque’s first EV model. Gone are the analogue displays of the past. In true James Bond fashion, the driver will have a 10” digital display now sits in their place, delivering all key information to the driver while on the move, including the battery’s state of charge, current motor power levels, regenerative performance and a real-time energy consumption meter. Swathes of carbon fibre have been deployed throughout, assisting in delivering the strict weight targets set by Aston Martin’s engineering team from the outset. The vehicle is now available to order and pricing is only available on application but unless you’re as sneaky on Bond, good luck with that.
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