Sree's Stories

TAKING IN THE SITES / SREENATH SREENIVASAN

With a Film Due, Homage to Bond. James Bond.

Monday, December 15, 1997
Pg. D10

The latest installment of the James Bond series, "Tomorrow Never Dies,"
reaches theaters this week, and Bond mania -- building through weeks of
incessant marketing -- is bound to reach fever pitch. The World Wide Web
offers sites aplenty for true Bond aficionados as well as the merely
curious.

MGM/UA has two sites aimed at fans impatient for the new movie. One is
the unsubtle www.tomorrowneverdies.com, filled with trailers, photos,
movie-related information, a Bond role-paying game and links to companies
that have made deals to have their products featured in the movie.

The other is a disappointing "Official James Bond Home Page," which
seems nothing more than a brochure to sell Bond-related merchandise.

"The Web's amazing -- the tremendous amount of Bond sites out there
cover all things Bond," said John Cork, a director of the Ian Fleming
Foundation in Burbank, Calif., an organization dedicated to preserving the
legacy of the author and his most famous creation. "The best part is that
most of the best sites are made by fans."

The foundation's site features the Web magazine "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang
Bang" (Mr. Fleming is said to have described his novels as being of the
"bang-bang-kiss-kiss variety"), and updated information about the movies
and other aspects of Bond lore. It has a set of frequently asked questions
about James Bond, along with the answers. (Among them: "Just who is this
James Bond guy anyway?" and "Some of these actors look awfully old. When
were they born?")

While the perception is that Bond is popular mainly with males, one of
the best starting points for Bond sites is run by a woman. Kimberly Last,
a fan in Chicago, started her site in December 1994 and has since built a
fan following of her own.

"I was not much of a Bond fan until Pierce Brosnan took over," Ms. Last
said, referring to the actor who assumed the role of the dashing spy in
"Goldeneye," the last Bond film. "But now I really enjoy putting
everything I can find in one place."

Her site, James Bond, 007 OHMSS (On Her Majesty's Secret Service), has
some obvious resources (a profile of Mr. Brosnan, for example) and some
not-so-obvious ones (the lyrics of most Bond movie songs). One section,
the Literary Bond, has extensive information about Bond's creator and the
authors who continued the series after his death. Ms. Last also has an
exhaustive set of links to other Bond sites.

Another comprehensive fan site, Nuvs' 007 Shrine, is a tribute to James
Bond. The site, which is run by Navin Jain, a college student in Buffalo,
uses plenty of multimedia resources and also something rare in the world
of Bond sites: negative comments about the newer films. A fan in Britain
who saw a press screening last week reported on the site that the new
movie was "not a Bond film but a 90's parody of a Bond film."

A more detailed negative look at the movies is available at the James
Bond Movie Faults site, which is dedicated to finding "all the faults,
blunders, mistakes, bloopers, errors and flaws" in the films.

A serious approach to the subject of Bond is taken by a Web magazine,
Her Majesty's Secret Servant. It includes articles, interviews and some
intellectual content.

Guns, cars and gadgets all play important roles in the series, and most
sites feature a section on them. One site, run by a high school student in
Ireland, has details on the toys that make Bond tick.


And anyone who nearly flunked out of school because of a Bond
obsession, or just wants to obtain college credit for their interest in
the character, should look up the site of Eastern Caribbean University on
the island of St. Kitts, which offers Bond studies courses over the
Internet. Among them are "Geo 30071: Economic Geography of Bond Films and
Their Impact on Countries," "Bus 30074: Marketing of Bond Films
Worldwide" and "Eng 300710: Comparisons of Bond Films/Novels."

Those who think they know their Bond trivia can test themselves at
Quizland's Bond site. It even provides rankings of the top scorers among
recent players. Sample questions: What rank does James Bond hold? (Royal
Navy commander). What children's book did Ian Fleming write? ("Chitty
Chitty Bang Bang").

Copyright appears to be something easily ignored in the world of Bond,
as most of the sites contain photographs and articles that are obviously
taken from elsewhere and are often not credited. Almost every site seems
comfortable acquiring such material.

Fans who want to go beyond vicariously enjoying Bond in movies and
books can check out the Commanders Club, the site of a group "dedicated to
the preservation and celebration of the lifestyle of a Scottish peasant
named Bond, James Bond." Members of the San Francisco-based group dress up
in tuxedos, go to casinos and pay attention to their "007 Day Planner,"
which marks Bond dates and anniversaries. The first listing: Jan 4, 1900,
the birthday of a Philadelphia ornithologist named James Bond, after whom
Mr. Fleming named his character.

A site that includes an extended discussion of the late ornithologist
is run by William E. Kelly, who reports that Mr. Bond's widow wrote to him
to say that her husband had always resented the invasion of his private
life through the "theft" of his name by Ian Fleming.

"He wishes he could be left alone to do his work, which means
everything to him," she said, "and put 007 behind him."

"WHERE TO GO"

  • TOMORROW NEVER DIES OFFICIAL SITE
    http://www.tomorrowneverdies.com

  • MGM/UA'S BOND PAGE
    http://www.mgmua.com/bond/index.html

  • IAN FLEMING FOUNDATION
    http://www.ianfleming.org

  • KIMBERLY LAST'S JAMES BOND, 007 OHMSS
    http://www.mcs.net/klast/www/bond.html

  • NUVS' 007 SHRINE
    http://www..nuvs.com/jbond

  • JAMES BOND MOVIE FAULTS
    http://www.hj.se/ed95frma/pages/faults.html

  • BOND LITERATURE
    http://www.mcs.net/klast/www/literary.html

  • QUIZLAND'S BOND TRIVIA QUIZ
    http://www.quizmaster.com/jamesbond.htm

  • BOND GUNS AND GADGETS
    http://www.iol.ie/jchew/bond

    COMMANDERS CLUB
    http://www.commanders.com

  • JAMES BOND COURSES AT EASTERN CARIBBEAN UNIVERSITY
    http://www.ecaribbeanu.com/JamesBond.htm

  • HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVANT
    www.hmss.com

  • THE MYSTERY OF GOLDENEYE (James Bond, ornithologist)
    http://www.clever.net/wwwmall/goldeneye