Previous Joints

Friday, 22 March 2013

Agent Smith Got HMV

I grew up in a smallish town in the middle of this great country (Britain). I lived in the town from the time I got off the plane from Malawi, when I was 5 years old. I met my future fiancé/ baby mama in the town, who funnily enough hates it to pieces and would love to see it burn, despite being born and raised there. Me, I love it. I will always see it as home.


Unlike Woolworths, when it was announced that HMV was going into administration, I took notice. It wasn’t to say that I cared. I remember speaking to one of my guest bloggers on twitter, Nil, and she put it perfectly: “High-street shops need to adapt or die.”

HMV failed to adapt quickly or adequately enough. Listening to past leaders of the company before their crisis, I don’t think they understood how much this internet thing changed stuff.


I didn’t feel much sympathy for HMV because it sort of feels like Karma. I’m not saying that all of those people losing their jobs had it coming – really I’m not. What the internet, or more specifically Amazon has done to HMV, HMV did to the mythical independent CD/ video shops. I say mythical because I’ve never actually been in one.

I didn’t care until I went to the HMV in my home town. The high-street in my town was dying a slow and embarrassing death for literally years, with near identical discount shops taking over outlets like retail Agent Smiths – but HMV was that one store that always endured – until now.


I used to spend all of my allowance at my HMV, mostly to buy singles. This should tell you both how old I am and how much my allowance was.

All my wages from my paper-round and later on, as a supermarket zombie, was spent at my HMV.

I bought Illmatic at my HMV. I bought the Marshal Mathers LP at my HMV. I bought my first The Godfather boxset at HMV. These are things that I cherish above some family members.

And then I grew up, went to University and money became a little bit tight. This was about the same time I discovered Amazon and and realised HMV were burning me. Everything was substantially cheaper online and they delivered my shopping to my door --- at no extra cost.

After that discovery, I don't think I bought anything at HMV ever since, except from the occasional DVD that happened to be within a £1 margin of Amazon's price. And a PS3 (*Kanye shrug*).


I buy all my media products online. Mostly at Amazon, but a surprising amount of downloaded media (Apple have me by the bollocks I think). I didn't give my change of shopping habit any thought until I visited my now dying HMV. For 5 years, I don't go out to the town centre for much at all. And damn, if I did, what would be there (I'm talking to people that don't live in big cities)?

What was once a vibrant, busy and (I’m sorry) hip store, was just dead when I stepped foot in there today. They were having one of those “everything must go sale” which left the majority of the shop's shelves bar.

With that said, there were bargains to be had; I bought the films Shame and Brick on BLU RAY for £13. Ironically this was cheaper than what Amazon were offering for the films (ain't that a bitch?).

What got me is a couple of school kids who walked into the store, looked around and one of them said: “Come on, lets go, it’s dead in here.”


The point is, that small HMV store was a huge part of my life - I spent hours in there. It played a big role in fostering my love for music and film, and I'm not in the least bit ashamed to say that I was actually sad to see it on its death bed.

Ultimately, I believe, as a consumer, I am better off without HMV. At the end of the day, it's all about the economy and if you don't believe that is the case, then you are stupid. HMV failed to meet the challenge posed by Amazon and other online retailers. HMV prices were far to high and it paid the price in the end.

End of Season One

I remember having a conversation on Facebook with Ellen W, my very first guest blogger on this site. She asked me why I started this blog. I gave her and everyone else who asked me the same question the same line: It was a way to keep my mind off my new family, who I was living away from and missing like hell, thanks to work.

That wasn’t a lie, it just wasn’t the whole truth.

I used to talk for hours with my former boss about how soul sapping our jobs were and how it takes something that should be liberating, like writing, feel like a chore. Now I wasn’t that downbeat, but I’ve only been doing this PR thing for a short period of time – but in my mentor I saw a warning (he’s probably going to kill me when he reads that last line).

These past 6 weeks have been an effing revelation for me. This blog is an outlet – possibly a crucial one. I finally understand why so many people do this blogging thing.  It’s not an ego thing (well, it’s got a little bit to do with ego), it’s a way to express yourself creatively – especially if you write for a living and can’t get that outlet at work. It keeps you sane.

Another thing – it kept my mind off of Arsenal’s season. That damn team nearly broke me.

I want to thank everyone that has taken the time to read this thing. It means a hell of a lot and I’m not saying that just to say it. It’s seriously touching to have people contact me on Twitter, Facebook, Email or on some site I repost my blog, not to tell me how great I am, but to tell me I’m wrong and why that is. I get more of a kick from those conversations than the ones that stroke my ego.

I also want to thank the guest bloggers: Ellen, Luke, Jess, Kayleigh and Nil.

I’ve got to take a short break though. I have a new job in London and have to move just outside the great rip-off capital of our country with my fiancée and my 5 month year old princess.

So I’m thinking of this in TV terms – it’s the end of season 1 of Chocolate Teddy Films. I’m planning to get back writing season 2 in a month or so and mauling over some changes to the site. I’m still looking for guest bloggers so if you’re interested, get in touch at or
In fact, if you have any suggestions on how I can improve the site, get in touch.

Anway, till next time.


Friday, 15 March 2013

Family and The Sound of Music

I write a lot about my late father and that’s because a lot of my tastes, not only in film, but music and television shows stem from him. My father had an eclectic cultural pallet; my earliest happy memory is of him playing me Bob Marley’s Stir it Up - but I also remember him constantly playing Kenny Rodgers.

But my mother has influenced on my love of film. I can only think of one film that my mum cares about and that’s the focus of this post – The Sound of Music.

If there was one thing you could depend on at Christmas is the fact that The Sound of Music would be on the telly. Our whole family would be gathered around the TV to watch the musical whether I liked it or not. I protested, but looking back now, once the hills appeared on the screen, I didn’t complain much.

You could depend on The Sound of Music being on at Christmas until you couldn’t depend on it anymore. And after noticing that we hadn’t watched it for a couple of years, I decided to buy it for my mum on DVD for Christmas.

We might be down a member in our family, but I make sure that during the Christmas period I sit down with my mum and watch a film that feels like part our family.

It’s stupid doing a summary of The Sound of Music, but here is one anyway. It’s about a young misbehaving nun, who is sent to a large estate house of a military commander to look after his 22 (it could be 12, or 7) children. Chaos and hilarity ensues.

I don’t want to get bogged down into a serious deconstruction of The Sound of Music, but I would just say there are some deep things bubbling underneath the surface of this film. As I discovered in my days as a drama student, a lot of these musicals in the 50s and 60s (stage or films) have some sort of social commentary laced within their make up.

Watching this film with older eyes, I realised that I missed the compelling way they told the story of the Nazi invasion of Austria. It’s actually pretty sinister and unnerving the way the subject matter creeps into the film. It’s still damn right heartbreaking to see how various characters deal with Nazism.

What makes this film special though, to my mind, is the unadulterated joy present throughout it. Every shot, every set piece and every song feels masterly and just makes you smile. You appreciate it throughout the years because you know that the film makers gave a damn about this film.

To this day, the landscape shots are utterly awe-inspiring. Jaw droppingly so.

But yes, it’s the music that has made this film what it is – and I love it. This is coming from a Dr Dre fan. This statement does nothing for my name in the streets.

Importantly, for me, the music doesn’t feel out of place among the dialogue. It’s not telegraphed (if you know what I mean) and that’s one of the main reasons why I don’t like many musicals.

Who I'm I kidding, I love musicals.

Again, there is joy in the music which many stage shows and movies find hard to recreate. If the first tune doesn’t get you, it’s highly likely that many of the others within the film will. My personal favourite is Edelweiss– it’s hauntingly beautiful (I’m still gangster, don’t get it twisted).

I’m thankful to this film and the memories it has provided me. There’s a little bit of sadness now when I watch this film with my ma. But we still smile, still laugh and still sing along to the all too familiar scenes.

I can’t wait to introduce this film to my little girl.


Thursday, 14 March 2013

El laberinto del fauno – Pan’s Labyrinth

I genuinely adore the next guest blogger. She's one of the smartest, funniest and most passionate people I've met on this internet thingy. To top it all off, she's been kind enough to write a post about a film which I think is an absolute masterpiece. Ladies and gentlemen, Nilli Williamson.


The moment I see the words ‘dark fairy-tale’ describing a film, in my head I have already decided I will watch it. Pan’s labyrinth is exactly that. It addresses some truly deep issues, in particular violence and a complete lack of respect for innocent human life. Not to mention how it manages the encapsulation of a bully, albeit in a setting of war, but still gets to possibly the darkest side of the issue. Set in the Spanish Civil war, I didn’t really relish the fact it was going to be a film with subtitles however, this film drew me in right from the outset with the fairy-tale start: 

“A long time ago, in the underground realm, where there are no lies or pain, there lived a Princess who dreamed of the human world. She dreamed of blue skies, soft breeze, and sunshine” 

For me that was enough to grab my attention, I was in.
I often wonder about the writer of a film or a book, and when it comes to the horror genre Guillermo del Toro simply fascinates me - its like he is in this film offering a beautiful escape from hell. An escape that requires effort nonetheless. 


The little girl, Ofelia, is the heroine of the story and she is an astute and feisty creature, who will do whatever it takes to remove the wickedness from around her and those she loves, and fights to protect her unborn brother. She is offered 3 challenges that she readily accepts all of which have an end result of death should she fail, yet she forges on with them all in the hope that success awaits. 

The character of the faun is the kingpin, the constant in the film, he is for Ophelia the guiding light. However, what is fascinating is that he is initially quite scary, as you would expect for a young girl who has descended down a secret path away from her mother, yet she very quickly realises that he is offering her a way out of the hell she is living. Ophelia has the smarts to go with her gut and put her complete trust in the creature. His voice and gentle temperament, despite his scary face, I think offers the viewer comfort and reassurance that she will be okay in his hands. 


It’s no wonder this film won 3 Oscars, not only the amazing storyline but the exquisite graphics and creatures in the film are truly captivating. From the faun himself to the pale man who raises the hairs on the back of the neck once he starts to move, placing his eyeballs into the palms of his hands, he could quite easily be a character from the Silent Hill horror movies. The fairies too are not in any way like Tinkerbell from the Peter Pan story, they too have the horror effect and whilst they help Ophelia, they are not cute nor sweet.
The story is ultimately one that describes pain and the battle to escape it, the character of Mercedes is a sad one as she fights so hard to defy the Captain, and I think you will her on and hope beyond hope that she is successful in her fight, but also deep down you just know the inevitable will happen. This is yet another pivotal character in the film and I have the greatest admiration for this brave woman of whom so many of us can probably relate to. 


The other element in this film is the ‘lessons’ we can learn - such as not choosing the obvious and simplest path, learning to fight the battles you can win, keeping enemies close and protecting those you love. It’s a film that whilst dark and delves into the sadistic, also offers hope and reminds us that our childhood is probably the driver for everything that we do.
I have watched this film over and over and will keep watching.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Better Bond

It didn’t take long to break one of my blog rules, did it? I’ve only seen Skyfall once.

There are so many things wrong with Skyfall that I’m going to try and make this post about something other than that film. I’m going to apologise from the off about this post because it may come off as angry. I don’t mean to be, believe me - I’m just bitterly disappointed.

James Bond isn’t only an important British institution, the franchise is important in my family. I know I talk about my late father a lot and for good reason, he introduced me to the movies and one of the first films he and I saw together was Goldfinger. Like many people in the UK, I’ve probably seen every Bond film at least once and although that doesn't make me a Bond expert, it at least gives me a foundation of knowledge to roughly assess where new Bond films land in the “best of Bond” list.

I know and I truly appreciate that film can be a very personal experience and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but every time I see, read or hear something about Skyfall, I’m constantly being told that it is one of the greatest, if not the greatest Bond film. God help me, I find this insulting.

I’m one of those obnoxious idiots who eats up all the hype of a big blockbuster film. I'm usually one of the first in line to watch these movies, but for one reason or another, I wasn’t for Skyfall. This gave my friends the unique opportunity to give me their opinion on the film and recommend it to me before I had eyes on it.

To a man/woman, they all compared Skyfall to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. I thought nothing of this, in fact, I took it as a positive thing. How can it be a bad thing for a film to be compared to a modern day classic like TDK?

The problem is, Skyfall takes more than just notice of TDK, it damn near ripped it off. Skyfall does not feel like a Bond movie at all – it feels like a bastard child of the Nolan Batman franchise and this is just sad. I'm not only basing this on the dark tone of the film, but mostly on Javier Bardem’s character Silva. Everything about Silva screams Heath Ledger’s Joker and it gets erksome real quick.

Skyfall is a deeply confused film; I mean, ask yourself what it is actually about? Is it about recovering the hard-disc that can compromise undercover secret agents? Is it about Silva’s vendetta toward Bond and M? Is it about Bond being old? Bond’s back-story? I know a film can and often are about more than one plot point, but when a film can’t keep all their balls in the air, it’s a problem.

I think what the makers of Skyfall tried to convey is a changing of the guard; a new Bond for a new age - hence the killing of M which was telegraphed for most of the film. We get a new Q, a new M, a new Moneypenny and an invigorated and vindicated Bond. All of this is fine apart from the fact that they did a better job of achieving this two movies ago.

The most frustrating thing about Skyfall is how fast and how far they run away from Casino Royale – a much superior reinterpretation of Bond.

Casino Royale is utterly fearless. I think this is born from the fact that it was made with a clean slate and hardly anyone had any high expectations. The idea of Bond in the 21st century was almost laughable. We had Bourne and Jack Bauer – both of them could have kicked Bond’s ass in a fight. This low expectation allowed the producers to get away with hiring a “blonde Bond”.

Daniel Craig, unlike his performance in Skyfall, is eye wateringly brilliant. He’s just not being broody, miserable and dreary, there is an actual intensity to his performance in CR. He’s also gets the point across that Bond is essentially a ruthless assassin, which for me is absolutely key. You actually believe that the Royale Bond will stop at nothing to kill his target, regardless of any diplomatic/ political implications – just look at the embassy scene near the beginning of the film. You really don’t get this impression with Bond in Skyfall. He feels like a neutered killer which doesn’t sit well with me.

Despite effectively portraying Bond as a cold blooded killer, Casino also manages to humanize this man – something that I feel no Bond has ever managed to do. The love story in this film is absolutely brutal and it refreshingly takes an essential element of the Bond experience, Bond’s womanising, on its head. It’s a clever way to establish why Bond is cold and mistrustful of women.

It’d be criminal not to mention Casino Royale’s villain who is a chillingly simple but effective Character. Mads Mikkelsen’s Le Chiffre doesn’t have a convoluted plot to rule the world or a plan to kill X character – he is simply some bloke in financial difficulty. Those difficulties may involve owing money to terrorists, but that’s besides the point.

He doesn’t have a secret layer, he doesn’t speechify, and he doesn’t leave the torturing of Bond to some henchman or super machine. He really is some bloke, with an eye impediment and this makes him believable.

It’s frustrating because as well as being an outstanding film; Casino Royale could have been the start of something special. The film could have been a vehicle to deliver a radically different Bond, who isn’t shackled by the older Moore and Connery films. Yes they botched it up with Quantum of Solace but that isn’t reason enough to get lazy and unoriginal like they did in Skyfall.

Casino Royale is the real gem of the new Bond series. All that Skyfall did was remind me how good Royale is and how its is Casino Royale that should be considered the best Bond of our, or maybe anytime.    


Friday, 8 March 2013

Re-discovering Terminator 2

There are films you watch when you are far too young to ever appreciate how good they are. Terminator 2 is such a film.

The Terminator films seem to have ubiquitous in my life. The very first time I watched the first film, I was at my uncle’s house with my dad - a man that never really cared about me watching films that were far too violent for my young eyes (god rest his soul). The scene where the T800 (Arnie) is repairing himself in the motel was so gory that I had nightmares for months. Shit, I remember for a good number of years fearing that a Terminator might be after me. In retrospect, I was a strange little boy.

I watched T2 for the first time shortly after the first film and remember being just as scared of Patrick’s T1000. This thing could mimic your mother and you wouldn’t even know about it until she stabbed you.

It was through these pre-teen, fear laden experiences that I started my relationship with the Terminator films. As I re-watched the films and slowly came out from behind the sofa pillows, I realised that: a) they were not nearly as scary as I thought they were; and b) They are special special films.
Terminator 2 was made in 1991. I’m not writing that to be informative, I just think that is an incredible bit of information which illustrates how ahead of its time the film was.

I recently re-watched T2 and realised that it’s much simpler stating what's wrong with the film because there’s not much.

A small part of the CGI in this film looks horribly aged, but that’s to be expected.

The opening sequence where the miniaturisation is obvious is a prime example of this. The terminator machines, planes hovering around and lazer warfare taking place during the opening looks pretty embarrassing through the eyes of a 2013 film watcher. There is also a dream sequence half way through the film where Sarah Conner sees Los Angeles get nuked and, once again, it is obvious that miniature models were used and it looks pretty bad. But you forgive these little quibbles simply because the rest of the film is extraordinary.

Terminator 2 is the best action film I have ever seen. And remember, it was made in 1991. Despite CGI technology and film techniques improving measurably over the past 20 years, there hasn’t been a film that Ihave seen in that time that tops the action sequences in this film. Not one.

T2 is essentially a chase film and the chase sequences are relentless. It is this relentlessness that makes you buy into this world. You know that Arnie and his crew are going to survive, but in the middle of their numerous dash for survival against the T1000, you just don't know if they will. This is the case regardless of how many times you've seen the film.

You don’tappreciate how dangerous Robert Patrick’s T1000 is at the beginning of this film until you see the very first motorbike/truck chase scene. Seeing the T1000 chase John Conner on foot while John is on his motorbike is scary enough, but watching it drive a truck over a bridge to carry on its pursuit drives the point home that this thing is a machine.

And although I had a go at the films CGI, it’s not all bad. In fact, most of it works well and this is probably because it’s used sparingly. Watching Robert Patrick shape shift still gives you the desired chill and doesn’t take you out of the world of the film.

What’s probably most impressive about Terminator 2 is the fact that its themes have become more relevant as time goes on.

I recently watched a documentary about Google and its Book Search project, called "Google and the world brain". A couple of years ago, Google approached some of the world’s most prestigious libraries and offered to scan their books for them. Most libraries agreed because scanning books is usually an expensive endeavour and Google were offering to do it for free. Authors got up-in-arms because it turned out that Google were scanning copyrighted books and there was this big legal battle.

According to the documentary, Google said they pursued their Book Search project to make books, especially out of print books which are harder to find, available to whoever wanted them. They wanted to make knowledge accessible to everyone, regardless of whom or where they were.

What got to me was the reverse argument; Google’s detractors argued that their Book Search project was the monopolisation of knowledge. In fact, the documentary hints at the fact that Google's aim is to use this knowledge to better their search algorithm and essentially build an A.I.

First thing that came to my mind was Skynet. And then I watched this little video.

We are living in a world where large organisations horde our personal information and we let them have it. I’m pretty sure that in 1991 the very thought of artificial intelligence was fantastical, but in 2013, it doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to see it happening. And you know what, that scares the shit out of me.

(The irony isn’t lost on me that I am publishing this blogon a Google owned site)

It has been a long time since I’ve re-watched a film which has floored me as much as Terminator 2. There should have been no surprises, especially over a film I've seen so many times. But there I was, jaw on the floor when the T-1000 rode his bike out of a building window and jumped on topof a helicopter.

My only regret is never seeing this film on the big screen because Terminator 2 is what cinema is all about.


Thursday, 7 March 2013

500 Days of Romance

I've known Kayleigh for a deceptively long time and with all due respect, she is the most unashamedly "girly girl" person I've ever met. As well as being a pretty awesome person, she's also a wonderful photographer who runs her own business. Go and check out or follow her on twitter

Here is her cool little piece on romance movies. 


So I have a degree in Media Production, but if you asked whether I’d seen a certain film, chances are, I haven’t. I’ve seen films you’ve probably never heard of, or films that are, well let’s say, crap. 

Right now, I feel like Carrie Bradshaw, typing away on a Mac laptop - talking rubbish. That’s a joke - Carrie never talks rubbish - I love her. Sex and The City is my bible.

Why? Because girls love a bit of romance. In fact boys do too but it’s not cool is it?

One film I love for romance is 500 Days of Summer. If you haven’t seen it then you should. If I have seen a film, then you should of too!

This film flips the traditional love story on its head and has one of the coolest split screens in a film. And here it is… 

Why I like this film is because it’s not traditional. We see a guy, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, deal with heartbreak, instead of the other way round. We almost feel angry at Summer (played by Zooey Deschannel) for what she does, but why? Technically, she did nothing wrong. I like how this film keeps you on your toes; you expect a happy ending, because that’s what the history of films have taught us should happen (Unless its horror, that never ends well).

I love this film because it makes you feel sad, but happy. It makes you feel what each character is feeling and that’s what I love most about films. I want to empathise with a character. In a way, that why I hold up my hands and say I’m not a massive fan of sci-fi – I want to a film I can relate to – and that’s why I love romance.


Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Boy Wonder: Close to Greatness

There is this small little film which surprised me a couple weeks ago – Boy Wonder. I don’t know if I can recommend it, simply because I’m not sure if it’s actually a good film. What I can say about Michael Morrissey's debut film is that it wasn’t far off being something special. I know that doesn’t make sense – how can I not recommend something but say that same film wasn’t far from being special?

Boy Wonder is about a mild mannered but troubled teenager called Sean, who saw his mother murdered when he was a child. Now, in his teenage years, he tracks down violent and despicable criminals to dish out his own brand of justice.

I’m pretty sure this may sound familiar.

I love Batman, but I’m not a Batman expert. My knowledge of the character stems from my love of the Nolan films, my admiration of the Barton films, my secret affair with the Joel Schumacher and my recent experience with the excellent Long Halloween comic series.

But, with that said, the core of the Batman mythos just doesn’t ring true to me – at least the Batman stories that I'm aware of. If you saw both your parents murdered and you believed it to be your fault, how doesn’t that send you crazy? You can argue that running around in a rubber costume in the dead of night is crazy, but in the Batman stories that I have experienced, that tragic event is treated as a plot device to turn Bruce into the caped crusader.

Boy Wonder on the other hand treats a similar event very differently. The death of Sean’s mother is at the centre of everything in this film; that event touches every character in this film in some way. Its effect on Sean is the reason why I buy into this world and it's also why I get so frustrated about the films short comings.

Caleb Steinmeyer is excellent as Sean Donovan (and to be fair, so is Bill Sage who plays Sean’s dad). Sean could have been as clichéd as most of the characters in the film, but he does his quite, shy, silent broody thing with a menace that I have never seen in a comic/teenage action film before. There is a rage bubbling inside of Sean and when it first explodes it's all the more shocking and believable as anything in the Batman series.

And here is the thing, although it is obvious that Sean is well trained, intelligent and focused; his rage is, well… messy. His rage is actually brutal and importantly, it’s deadly. Yes, Sean kills his victims. As stupid as this sounds, this was another thing that shocked and surprised me about this film, because once again, I was so used to the rules set out by the Batman stories.   

While Batman works outside of the justice system to ultimately aid it, Sean simply doesn’t believe in the system at all. He believes that the system is complicit in the injustice surrounding his mother's death. If you get a change to see this film, take note of his speech about due process.

What is frustrating about this film is that apart from Caleb Steinmeyer and Bill Sage, everyone else in this film sucks. It’s poorly acted and I’m not convinced that this is all because of the script, because I’ve heard many clichéd things said in Nolan’s Batman films that sounded very cool. This thing is littered with very bad actors.

What I will blame Michael Morrissey for is the inconsistency in his directing. There are parts of this film that are jaw droppingly good, such as the opening sequence – but there are other parts where the camera work is student film poor. You can hardly follow the action scene because the camera is so damn shaky and the cutting so damn quick that you don't know who's shot who.

Also, did I mention how bad the acting is? It really is bad.

But, I really don’t want to get bogged down on the negatives, because this is a great story stuck in a poor films body. It really is.

Sean is what Bruce Wayne could have been if he didn’t have all that money. And it’s this element which makes this film worth while to me. I bet Bruce got a lot of psychological help when he was younger.

This film asks a really interesting question at the end: Has the lack of psychological help and support to deal with his mother’s death left Sean mentally unstable? 


Friday, 1 March 2013

No to Black Bond... Unless It's Idris

I wanted to find an excuse to write about the best television series of all time, The Wire, but I couldn’t find one. This is the next best thing.

Whatever the case, if you haven’t seen The Wire, I envy you because you have the opportunity to freshly experience one of the greatest things put on the small screen.

But this blog isn’t about television.

Firstly, I don’t think there should ever be a black James Bond. I personally find the whole concept offensive. Ian Fleming had a clear vision of who Bond was and although the modern day interpretation bares almost no resemblance to that vision, a black Bond would be pissing on the man's grave.

But with that said, the idea of the black Bond refuses to go away and recent conversations have had a champion to promote the cause – Idris Elba.


Do you remember that ‘what the hell’ moment, the very first time you heard David Beckham’s speaking voice? The likelihood is that you’ll have that same experience if you’ve only ever heard Elba speak in The Wire.


Idris Elba is the most talented black British actor that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. In fact, scrap the black, I truly think he’s one of the best young(ish) British actors around.

And, yes, a lot of my opinion is based on his performance as Russell “Stringer” Bell in The Wire. The man was so good and so convincing in that show (to be perfectly honest, everyone is great in The Wire) that I thought he was a Baltimore native. But no, he’s a Londoner (and an Arsenal fan).

He has presence, charisma and is more than capable of convincing people that he’s a charming, intelligent and ruthless killer – with a hint of that modern day Bond element, vulnerability. He showed all of this in The Wire.

And to be fair to Idris, he showed this in his other standout performance as the psycho policeman protagonist in Luther. As John Luther, Idris shows that he can do the on-the-edge, solve-the-case-by-any-means stuff with aplomb. In fact, unlike The Wire, it’s he alone that keeps Luther from descending into a silly cartoon of a murder mystery show. He carries the whole series on his back.

Elba is a star and has the potential to rival some of the biggest leading men out there - but I do have one fear. Idris has a uncanny talent of picking unchallenging roles in terrible films. To be fair to him, there is a dearth of black leading male roles around in Hollywood that he'd be insane to turn down work where he is the main man. In any case, roles such as the one he plays in the film Obsessed, co-staring Beyonce, are so beneath him that it hurts. He deserves better. And the less I can say about Takers the better. 

Despite the above, I still think Bond should stay white. It's bad enough for some that he’s blonde. I mean, what’s next, a white Shaft?

But if very soon in the future there was a decision made to make James Bond a brother, Idris should be right at the top of the producers list.