It is often said that there's never a bad year for cinema and 2014 emphatically proved that. In a year when cinema admissions were down on the highs of the last few years and no single film crossed the £40m mark for the first time since 2003, it would be easy to be pessimistic about the current state of cinema.
All these items are being auctioned off to raise funds for Anno's Africa, a UK based charity whose focus is on providing creative arts education to orphans and vulnerable children in some of the biggest city slums in Africa.
You won't get a review here of the Aston Martin Rapide S - I leave that to expert petrol heads with their 0-to-60s (incidentally 5.1 seconds) and their bonnets full of ponies. What you will get is a delighted response to an extraordinary car that brought back buried family memories and was a treat to drive.
Sam Mendes' return to the James Bond canon bodes well for a franchise which has struggled for successive successes since the Sean Connery era. Not commercially, of course, but critically... However excellent Skyfall was it had plenty of flaws, so here are five ways for Mendes to make Bond 24 a better Bond outing.
As long ago as 2006 President Bush acknowledged (after lengthy rumours) that the US had transported to Guantánamo 14 "high value" detainees previously held by the CIA in a secret location. Now, seven years later, it's noticeable that Department of Defense's updates on the hunger strike at Guantánamo systematically exclude the high value detainees.
Ever since I recovered from a comma, double comma, people started suggesting new phrases to me all the time, thinking I'm some sort of a dialect-oracle and meme-prophet capable of coining anything into ฿itcoins. The question is - could I really make money by just tweeting axioms and aphorisms? That's ridic. In any case I went ahead and wrote this series of state-of-the-art youthemisms to all the youngsters out there who need a bit of a turd polish.
After the film's BAFTA and SAG awards, there should be no need to convince you that this is a film worth checking out, Bond fan or not.
In our age where life mimics art, you can be sure that each new gadget Hollywood dreams up will not remain a dream for very long. As technology catches up with imagination, the coolest devices move very quickly from the big screen into our own hands.
With JJ Abrams responsible for both Star Trek and Star Wars there's a lot of pressure on his shoulders, not least the pressure of keeping fans of both franchises on track and the fans happy and on side.
This week, snow lies across the country, suppressing mirth and stilling the air. The land is quieted, as is our national spirit, for it occurs to me that something is amiss in these isles. What became of English rumbustiousness, what Jacobson has called an 'obdurate independence'?
Live And Let Die is hands-down my favourite Bond movie. I love those menacing scenes shot in New York when the city was at its seediest; I love the conveniently-aligned alligators and the mental boat chase in Louisiana.
What the hell's going on? Is Bond working for Silva? Because if he is, he couldn't have done a worse job of protecting poor M. Who'd've thunk that a private army equipped with state-of-the-art helicopters and weaponry could get the better of one MI6 agent and two pensioners?
If you'd only read the reviews the gushing reviews of Skyfall, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the character of Bond is no longer a sex-crazed misogynist without a conscience.
The fact that Judi Dench's M is certainly a match for the intelligence, professionalism and cunning of Daniel Craig's Bond should mean the producers have greater license to provide for Bond girls like Miss Goodnight, from The Man with the Golden Gun.
Ultimately, I think it might just not be permissible to make an old-school Bond movie in today's social climate. A movie where women are objects of desire, men are either baddies or assistants, and emotions are drowned out by gunfire and martinis. It's sad, because in my eyes Bond is harmless male fantasy, nothing sinister or threatening. I hope the tempering of the franchise's escapist edge is just down to the whim of a certain group of sensitive filmmakers.
Popular cinema will not let Bond die. Given his prowess for survival 007 may live even beyond the end of times!