When Sean Connery starred as Commander James Bond in "You Only Live Twice," his Ninja army could get away with incredible tricks of the eye. "It was because our film was of such poor quality back then," Sean says. "Hundreds of Ninjas were able to sneak up and invade a giant underground spaceship base, inside a volcano. Now, with HDR's improvements in color resolution, the Ninja's would be nailed right away." Then Sean adds with his wry smile, "anyway, directors these days don't know how to make good use of Ninjas any more."

You Only Live Twice, shot in analog film, made it easy for Ninjas to blend in the background
You Only Live Twice, shot in analog film, made it easy for Ninjas to blend in the background

Chuck Norris agrees with Sean Connery. "It was much easier to sneak around on analog," Chuck says, "and it's not just improved video, its the new digital audio quality too. For example, in Zito's 'Missing in Action,' I was sneaking down an old wooden staircase. With new digital-audio quality, someone would have heard the steps creaking. But in 1984, all I had to do was dress in black, and no one could hear me! Even without a facemask I could get away with it."

But Clint Eastwood disagrees. "It's radio control rooms that are the real problem," Clint said. "The moment you find one, you get caught. It happened to me in 'Where Eagles Dare.' And it happened to Bruce Lee in 'Enter the Dragon' too. Sean got caught in them for years. Ever since, we keep getting caught in larger and more complicated control centers. We usually have to blow up the whole place to get away." Clint adds, "you may have noticed, since I started making my own movies, none of them have radio control rooms. I hate the damn things."

Keannu Reeves says it's not HDTV in specific, but technology advances in general. 'In the Matrix, we couldn't even get through a metal detector without setting it off," Keannu points out, "even though the metal detector was in a dream world. Since then, it's only been getting more difficult. The USA has invested billions in more body-scanning technologies for building and airport security. These days, we even have to buy more guns every time we fly somewhere new."

Tom Cruise strongly objects to Sean Connery's statements about new directors not being able to make good use of Ninjas. But Tom has been too busy running for President to reach for comment, as shown in JJ's "Presidential Campaign Announcement" (the two are still good friends since Cruise paid for his directorial big- screen debut, "Mission Impossible 3"):

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Tom Cruise's Presidential Campaign Announcement

With Tom busy running for President, maybe we won't be seeing so much of Ninja spies any more. After all, iMax 3D makes Ninjas even easier to spot than HDTV, and new screen gems are usually filmed in 3D too. Maybe the 21st century will not be filled with so many Ninja 'peekaboo' nightmares.

OKAY I made up the actor quotes above, lol, but please allow me to conclude with an editorial comment. Instead of lowly ninja tricks, perhaps we can look forward to more amazing feats, such as Chow Yun-Fat's in 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'–But not from Yun-Fat himself, who has given away the millions of dollars he made on the movie to charity, and has withdrawn into private seclusion. Interestingly enough, Keannu Reeves, and my old neighbor in NYC, Richard Gere, also give away their fortunes to charity; Richard Gere has since retired, but Keannu could still give Tom a run for his money.