Yeah, but will Madonna sing the theme as well as Shirley Bassey?
April 9, 2002 3:42 PM   Subscribe

Yeah, but will Madonna sing the theme as well as Shirley Bassey? In a surprising turn of events, it looks like the third Austin Powers movie will indeed get to use the name "Goldmember", a spoof of the 1964 007 flick named "Goldfinger" (follow-up to this thread).
posted by WolfDaddy (20 comments total)
Madonna isn't singing the theme song for the next Austin Powers flick, but she *has* signed on in that capacity for the next Bond flick. What goes around...
posted by donkeyschlong at 4:16 PM on April 9, 2002

Sorry, I was mixing my pop-culture metaphors trying to be snarky ... and obviously failing. ;-) Thanks for pointing out the real deal...
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:17 PM on April 9, 2002

Arck. The first Austin movie was moderately & surprisingly good...but the second one suffered from being way too self-referential, and the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink "naughty stuff" thrown in for the teens nearly sank it altogether. It ceased being a satire of a satire, and edged into pure teen-flix-dom. I don't have high hopes for AP3, but I suppose I will see it...there's bound to be one or two scenes worth the price of admission. Bonus: one of the highlights of AP1 was the inclusion of The Cardigans' "Carousel" (briefly, during balcony scene).

And since WolfDaddy brought it up, what's everyone's favorite Bond theme song? I'm torn...too many good ones to choose from.
posted by davidmsc at 4:54 PM on April 9, 2002

I too only liked the first Austin Powers movie. As far as best Bond theme song... I not sure. I got that cd with all the songs on it up until Goldeneye, I sorta like them all. I guess I like the one Garbage did, but that maybe because its the newest one.

It features Myers in four roles, including that of the villain Goldmember.
I think Myers is starting to overextend himself in these movies...
First one he did Powers and Dr Evil
Second Powers, Evil, and Fat Bastard
Now will all three of these plus another be coming back?
posted by Keen at 5:13 PM on April 9, 2002

what's everyone's favorite Bond theme song

I'd have to say my favorite theme song is either "Diamonds Are Forever" or "Live and Let Die". I love Bassey's voice, but the theme by Wings has sentimental value :)

I think Myers is starting to overextend himself in these movies

Agreed. I'd love to see less jokes about fat people and poop and more hilarity concerning Scott Evil's parentage. I WORSHIP FRAU FARBISSINA!

I also think Mr. Myers should do more dramatic roles. His performance was the only good thing about 54.
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:24 PM on April 9, 2002

I'm actually partial to "All Time High" and "A View To a Kill." No accounting for taste, I know. :)
posted by donkeyschlong at 6:49 PM on April 9, 2002

I have AP1 and AP2 on dvd and think they're hilarious. I've started watching the original Bond movies as a result of seeing Myers' spoofs. But, I think I only watch them for Seth Green.
posted by sadie01221975 at 6:59 PM on April 9, 2002

Agree with Myers doing more dramatic roles. I can't imagine being too amused by the third in this series. He gets less funny every time I see him.

Also, the only other good part of 54 was Andy Warhol.
posted by Settle at 7:03 PM on April 9, 2002

Just the name Scott Evil makes me giggle all over again. Good'un.

I've always wished Dr. No could have been redone with a title theme. He'll burn you and trap you ... entirely enrapt you .. he won't let go .... Doctor No. Anyway.

GF is the classic, not to be surpassed. (On the double CD collection you can hear it sung by the writer, Anthony Newley, giving it a weird gender-bender vibe.) I like the theme to OHMSS best, though it's not a song. LALD is the best ever of the rock'n'roll themes -- and seems to capture the character of Bond better than any of the other songs. TSWLM's Nobody Does it Better is another classic. One overlooked candidate theme is kd lang's Surrender which was used in the end credits of Tomorrow Never Dies. Thunderball is terrific period material, but it sounds more like a way to use the title in a song than something that makes sense.

Note, by the way, that this title dispute is within the arbitration process of the MPAA. It isn't a trademark dispute, let alone copyright, both mistakes made in the previous discussion.
posted by dhartung at 7:33 PM on April 9, 2002

"In exchange, the upcoming Bond picture 'Die Another Day' and other MGM titles will be trailered on both the 'Austin Powers' film and 'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.' The trailers would be spliced onto the films at New Line's expense rather than put on a separate reel, which allows the option of using alternate trailers."

Isn't this the same thing that happened last time, when The Spy Who Shagged Me came out? MGM sued, and they ended up doing a deal for New Line to include MGM trailers on their movies? Call me cynical, but it seems to me like this whole process is just MGM/UA shaking down New Line under threat of litigation.
posted by RylandDotNet at 7:51 PM on April 9, 2002

Call me cynical, but it seems to me like this whole process is just MGM/UA shaking down New Line under threat of litigation.

Excellent point, though the article also implied that the studios were waiting for ultimate approval from the Cubby Broccoli estate as to whether or not Goldmember could be used.

And that's another thing, the Broccoli estate has often thrown its weight around when things look like they're too close to Bond, James Bond. I remember a Deep Space Nine episode entitled "Our Man Bashir" that was a tribute to all secret agent flicks of the 60s. Apparently, though, it was so much like a Bond flick that the estate (prolly thru MGM/UA) called up Paramount and essentially told 'em never to broadcast the episode again, which is too bad, because the script had one of the best Bond girl names ever ... Mona Luvsitt ... and was really a loving tribute to not just Bond, but the entire darn genre.

This was in the news back when the original episode got yanked from re-broadcast, but I can't seem to find any reference to it now. If someone more skilled at coaxing information out of Google can find a reference to this flap, I'd appreciate it if you put it up here.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:33 PM on April 9, 2002

I'll go watch AP3, although I expect it to be one stupid gag after another.
My favourite Bond song has to be Live & Let Die, but I also like A View To A Kill by Duran Duran, The World Is Not Enough by Garbage, and Moby's Bond Theme remix from Goldeneye. Nobody Does It Better reminds of the BBC, because they used it for their channel promos for a while, and it's kinda burned itself as a BBC theme into my brain.
posted by riffola at 9:26 PM on April 9, 2002

Add one Bond theme song vote for "Live and Let Die" in the category of most creative and reduntant use of redundancies ("in this ever-changing world in which we live in").
posted by yhbc at 10:13 PM on April 9, 2002

Thunderball. Tom Jones. 'nuff Said.
posted by DragonBoy at 10:16 PM on April 9, 2002

I think it's

but if this ever-changing world in which we're livin'...

...makes you give in and cry,
say live and let die

I loved the first Austin Powers, but the combination of Mini-me and Fat Bastard ruined the second. I doubt I'll see the third.
posted by iconomy at 11:08 PM on April 9, 2002

My wife and I saw the trailer for the new Austin Powers. She leaned over and said, "Not even on video." I was eager to agree.
posted by diddlegnome at 12:00 AM on April 10, 2002

Goldmember: I love Mike Myers (he was brilliant as Shrek), but Austin Powers 2 was only funny on occasion. It ran with the Hollywood notion that "Hey, it was funny the first time, it should be even funnier the next two times!", instead of being only half as funny as the original film. Every memorable joke from the first AP was repeated TWICE in thse sequel, as if to wring the life out of once charming material. I might check the new one, if it doesn't totally and completely suck.

Best Bond track: I love "Live and Let Die"--that guitar hook is perfection. But you can't go wrong with Shirley Basey.
posted by Down10 at 12:37 AM on April 10, 2002

WolfDaddy: It's not really the Cubby Broccoli estate as it is the production company EON, which is run by his son and daughter and is very much a going concern. (Since the 1970s it's been half-owned by MGM/UA, which occasionally complicates things.) Danjaq, the family part of the company, has followed the pit bull principle of trademark protection, not just with "Our Man Bashir" {the word down from Lolita Fatjo, there} but with a popular Honda sports car commercial and several other less celebrated actions. Still, they've had to fight a decades-long legal battle with Kevin McClory over the rights to the franchise.

See, back before Dr. No, Fleming signed onto a film project with some ... amateurs. They put together a story treatment but failed to get financing. Fleming turned around and wrote a novel based on the treatment, named Thunderball; it introduced Blofeld and SPECTRE to his more-serious Cold War universe. McClory sued back then to have his name on the book and part of the profits. He got them. When EON made the movie, he was made a "producer". When he made too much noise in the 1970s, EON rewrote The Spy Who Loved Me so that Blofeld became Stromberg. Later, when they kitschily killed a Blofeld-a-like in the credits of For Your Eyes Only, they still didn't name him. Every few years McClory would pop out of nowhere with a plan to remake Thunderball as a movie named Warhead, even as the rights devolved to someone else who remade the same story as Never Say Never Again, with Connery, no less. It wasn't a serious issue, though, until somehow he persuaded Sony to back him, after MGM/UA had gone through some bad times and then revived the franchise to great effect. McClory kept on bitterly fighting to the last.

Given that context, it's not surprising they're a bit paranoid about protecting their rights.

One possible good: during this fight MGM/UA bought distribution rights to the NSNA video, and acquired remake rights to Casino Royale, which they had never had. (It had first been made into a live teleplay in the 1950s, whence the rights devolved to the parody film of the 1960s.) This has raised the hopes of hardcore Bond fans that EON might consider remaking the story, which is considered serious, quintessential Bond (if somewhat skimpy in the story department, but beefing it up shouldn't be difficult). The best suggestion is to make it as a period piece, set back in the Cold War of early 1950s France, fighting off KGB infiltration. Brosnan has expressed interest in doing both the story and the period setting. But EON isn't expected to go this way, alas.
posted by dhartung at 6:15 AM on April 10, 2002

I don't understand how MGM/UA has anything to say about Goldmember; this seems to be clearly legal parody/fair use. Did they have the same objection to Random Task?

"Thunderball is terrific period material, but it sounds more like a way to use the title in a song than something that makes sense."

One of my favorite things about James Bond movies is how they have to work the stupid meaningless titles into songs. "Thunderball" is my favorite song; I also like "From Russia with Love" and "Goldfinger." I used to really like the soundtrack to The Spy Who Loved Me, but I listened to it recently and it's really, really disco, and not in a good way. And the idea of a James Bond theme song actually being a good song is just wrong.

"Brosnan has expressed interest in doing both the story and the period setting."

How would that work? Aren't Bond movies, like most movies, set in "the present," unless they indicate otherwise through titles or visual clues? So if Pierce Brosnan is James Bond in 2002, wouldn't he be a baby Bond in the 1950s?

By the way, is there any explanation in the movies for the different actors, or are we not supposed to notice? James Bond could be an ongoing persona, like The Dread Pirate Roberts in The Princess Bride. So "James Bond" is the persona of the best British secret agent, and the actual person changes. This would explain the inconsistencies in characterization over the years, and also explain the actual greatest secret agent, master of disguise Felix Leiter.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:40 AM on April 10, 2002

dhartung -- wow! Thanks for all the info, I'm now up to speed on this type of Hollywood wheelin'and'dealin', which I love, to be honest.

I was disappointed to see Fatjo state that Our Man Bashir probably wouldn't make it to home video. I've got it home-recorded on videotape, but we all know that's no substitute for a really good DVD. Sigh.

I, too, am intrigued by a Bond movie that's set back in Bond's Cold War days, and would love to see how they pull it off with today's modern F/X :)

Thanks again for all the info, I appreciate it.
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:07 AM on April 10, 2002

« Older   |   Jay Mohr sells Pete Rose's chewed gum on eBay. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments