10 hotels featured in James Bond movies

Prima Cinema has an answer, with the minor requirement of $35,000 (and a few other details) to get your home theater ready for first-run movies. Just as we’d heard when it first popped up a couple of years ago , that large setup fee buys the Cinema Player, a rack-mountable box loaded with a 2TB hard drive and enough DRM to keep the studios happy, plus a wired fingerprint reader used to ensure the owner’s identity. Movies download automatically to its hard drive in the background so they’re already there when the owner chooses to unlock them for viewing. That privilege costs $500 ($600 for 3D), good for one showing within 24 hours. Check after the break for more of our impressions after a quick preview at Prima’s CEDIA 2013 booth, then prep your black card for the pricey purchase. We saw a bit of Ron Howard’s new flick, Rush, a movie that popped up on Prima’s systems last week even before it was available at most theaters nationwide. The movies play in 1080p/24 and are encoded in “higher than Blu-ray quality” with lossless PCM or Dolby TrueHD audio. In our brief viewing it certainly seemed on-par with a theater experience, although at this price we’d hope a 4K option arrives sooner rather than later. Of course, other than the steep entry fee there are a few other hurdles to jump before you can obtain one of these. It’s only for home use in theaters that seat fewer than 25 people, with a check of the purchaser’s background to weed out pirates, and the box requires a public static IP to make sure it stays where it’s registered. Past that process, once it’s all set up owners enjoy the kind of access usually restricted to the well-connected studio elite, screening the newest flicks at their leisure. Or, almost at their leisure, because while there’s a pause button and a five minute skip, the usual playback controls aren’t present here. The other fly in the ointment is a relatively short list of available titles. Universal is an investor and its movies are among those listed, with selections also popping up from others like Millennium Films. Currently viewable options include movies like Rush, Riddick, Kick-Ass 2, The World’s End, Despicable Me 2 and 2 Guns.

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“Here’s the thing,” says the filmmaker, on the couch in a swanky hotel on the morning after the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of his Sandra Bullock/George Clooney survival thriller. “It is unlike any other movie set that you have seen. You would go to Shepperton Studio, where we were shooting, and you would enter and it didn’t look like a set at all. It looked like a weird giant science experiment – because at the end of the stage you would see this cube, 9 feet by 9 feet, an empty cube, in which all the walls inside were LED lights. And the cube was elevated six feet high and there was a long track leading up to to the cube, with one robot, like the robots that they use for car manufacturing, carrying a camera . . . that would go in and out of the cube all the time. More coverage “And in both wings of the stage, it was just rows and rows and rows and rows of geeks on computers. . . . “It was an amazing experience, but it’s not what I consider ‘moviemaking.’ ” The reason for all the geeks and gizmos was that for much of Gravity, its two characters – NASA astronauts played by Bullock and Clooney – are floating in orbit around Earth. Zero gravity inside their space craft – and outside the craft, spinning and cartwheeling in the vast, empty, silent void.

On Movies: Defying gravity, embracing technology

In 1967’s “You Only Live Twice,” the New Otani hotel is the headquarters of Osato Chemicals, the Japanese front for Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s SPECTRE operation. The hotel was built in 1964 by former sumo wrestler Yonetaro Otani, and is famous for its revolving restaurant and enormous Japanese gardens. In “Casino Royale,” Bond girl Solange is seen arriving at the resort before checking into Villa 1085. The property appears throughout the film: Bond is seen walking through the reception area, playing poker in the library and exploring the Versailles-themed gardens. Daniel Craig’s James Bond moors his yacht at this hotel’s private marina in “Casino Royale.” The crew took over the Cipriani’s restaurant to film this scene, and parts of the terrace appear throughout. In “GoldenEye” — the first James Bond film not based on Ian Fleming’s novels — this London hotel doubles as St. Petersburg’s Grand Hotel Europe. The Langham was constructed in 1865 and is one of London’s first purpose-built hotels. Bond scrambles over the iconic, globe-adorned rooftop of the Atlantic Kempinski in “Tomorrow Never Dies,” and the hotel’s exterior also appears throughout the film. Played by Pierce Brosnan, Bond stays in the hotel’s Atlantic Suite and several scenes were filmed there. This Indian hotel doubles as Octopussy’s lair in the film of the same name, with the dining room, terrace and hotel barge appearing in various scenes. The hotel’s lily pond is also featured in the film, when Bond girl Octopussy is shown enjoying a naked swim. In “Goldfinger,” this enormous hotel appears in the sweeping aerial shot which follows the opening credits. In the film, Bond girl Jill Masterton is found dead at the hotel after being covered in gold paint.

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