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Spooky ghost stories read by Christopher Lee  

It's Halloween - an odd time of year that sees people dressing up in shabby clothes, drinking, and asking other people for food. But while people play hobo for the night, I treat the macabre occasion the same way I treat the rest of life: as an excuse to watch more films.

But everyone already knows that The Exorcist and The Shining are probably the two scariest films ever made, so who needs to read yet another list of the "top horror films of all time"? Instead, I like to play Scream: The Video Game or something equally gruesome.

But if point-and-click MS-DOS games based on Wes Craven films aren't your thing, here's something a little more old-school: some actors doing what they do best when they're out of work in the winter season: reading terrifying ghost stories.

Inevitably, most of these are by Edgar Allan Poe, but there's a special treat in there for vampire fans: Dracula read by Michael Fassbender.

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Seven Psychopaths still 

After Six Shooter and In Bruges, I've long suspected Martin McDonagh is one twisted fuck - in the very best way possible. The Seven Psychopaths trailer seems to confirm this. In the words of his sophomore effort, if it doesn't impress you, you're probably retarded and grew up on a farm.

Colin Farrell returns (as a troubled screenwriter called Martin) to join Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell in a dog kidnapping business - a con that runs pretty smoothly, until they steal Woody Harrelson's pooch. And he's none too happy. He's also a psychopath. Obviously.

So that's four so far. The trailer counts down the rest, along with some seriously snort-inducing dialogue. There's no point in me going on about McDonagh's stage work and his play due in the West End next year, or about the serious post-modern existential drama that will no doubt rear its head in between his new film's blackly comic violence.

Instead, let's just recap for a second: Colin Farrell. Christopher Walken. Tom Waits. Abbie Cornish. Olga Kurylenko. Martin McDonagh. AND Sam Rockwell. You. Retarded. Farm. Etc. 

Read on for the Seven Psychopaths trailer - it's out in the US in October, so expect it to be at the London Film Festival ready for a wintery release. (Update: Read our Seven Psychopaths review here.)

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A View to a Kill titleBlogalongaBond. One Bond film a month until Skyfall arrives in November.

WHY WON’T ROGER MOORE DIE? That was the question that haunted me throughout the last six Bond films. No matter what people threw at him - coffins, snakes, octopodes – he just refused to go away.

In A View to a Kill, a Bond film so bad that even Roger himself didn’t like it, the wrinkled old codge somehow survived the onslaught of horses, a machine gun AND a 5'10" black woman.

That’s when the answer hits you: it's not because he’s invincible or amazing (or because his stuntman does all the work); he won't die because he’s already dead. Underneath that wig, he probably has less hair than Bruce Willis.

He looks more like a shrivelled onion now than a secret agent. When he sleeps with a girl at the end of the opening sequence, it’s not just awkward, it’s psychologically traumatic. (Either that girl has one hell of an Elektra complex, or she’s being paid a LOT of money.)

So why bother with A View to a Kill at all? Certainly not for Christopher Walken’s dreadful villain, who spends his time shooting people and wearing sunglasses (he’s German AND French, the script explains). Not the clunky Silicon Valley storyline, desperate to appear up to date with the cool kids. Not even John Steed’s appearance as a jovial sidekick, which begs for a spin-off series, or Grace Jones’ intimidating May Day can make things fun. 

The answer is, of course, the inimitable John Barry.

The film may be a pile of gubbins, but with his tenth soundtrack, Barry’s rarely been better. How did the musical maestro do it? Well, this pamphlet stuck inside my copy of the A View to Kill soundtrack has a few answers…

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So over the weekend, we all heard about how Javier Bardem was lined up to play Q in the now-definitely-on-its-way Bond 23. Bardem has now spoken to the LA Times about this reported offer of a major role in Sam Mendes' Bond film, and confirmed it all: "I’d be playing Bond's nemesis, yes... but it's not that obvious. Everything is more nuanced. It's very intriguing... They're changing the whole thing, the whole dynamic."

Which means one of things: either Q is now the bad guy, which is a direction I'm surprisingly comfortable with, or Javier Bardem will be the second Academy Award winner to play a 007 villain after A View to a Kill.


What could possibly go wrong?

Ok, I promise I'll stop posting stuff about James Bond films from now on. Except, you know, for every single month of the next two years...


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