Just a brief post in tribute to Paul Baack, a remarkable man that I never met but knew of through my movie reviews here. More than ten years ago I first heard from Paul through his best friend Tom Zielinski, together the creators of a James Bond webzine called Her Majesty’s Secret Servant. They got a kick out of my DIE HARD 2 review where I described John McClane as the American and superior version of James Bond, and they thought it would be funny to have me review some actual 007 movies for them. If I remember right they sent me a DVD of THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH and a Blockbuster gift card to rent something better? They definitely sent me a large HMSS mug, because I use that to this day.
Paul – who was the namesake for a villain in the 1999 Bond continuation novel High Time to Kill – was left quadriplegic after a car hit him in 2003. He designed HMSS using voice-activated software, which amazes me. Occasionally over the years I would hear from Tom and Paul about a particular review, or thoughts on the latest Bond, and it always meant alot to me.
So here’s to Paul. I wish I could’ve met him and that he could’ve heard one of the times I sang “Thunderball” at karaoke. But at least I got to write him this review of THUNDERBALL and GOLDENEYE, which was a fun time for me.
My thoughts today are with Tom and the rest of Paul’s friends and family.
Here is a nice obituary from one of the regular HMSS contributors.
And from his family: http://www.countrysidefuneralhomes.com/obituary/paul-baack
November 3rd, 2017 at 2:16 pm
This is an extraordinary piece to have put on your page. Thank you.
Paul found your site circa 2000, and quickly came to appreciate your wit and wisdom on the films of cinema and writings in general. He in turn introduced me to your website and I have been a regular reader since. “VERN TELL’S IT LIKE IT IS #49 – Man Stuff” in particular is a brilliant piece and touched me personally and I have shared it many times and have had a copy saved on my computer since.
That we have corresponded over the years and even traded film reviews is a huge kick, Vern. Paul loved it all, as do I.
Paul was an exceedingly intelligent, witty, and talented guy. My best friend for 40 years. Best Man at my wedding. My kids called him Uncle. I am a better person for having had him in my life. I have been unbelievably fortunate to have known him. Paul will be deeply missed.