Monthly Archives: November 2012

Bardem Mayhem

A few weeks before Skyfall was released I bought the complete James Bond series on Blu Ray, which is by far one of the coolest packaged box sets yet – sleek and slim, with handsome slipcases for each individual disc laid in chronological order corresponding with a picture of each movie’s associated Bond Girl. With a space cleverly left empty for this upcoming movie, I noticed that there was no accompanying picture alongside the slot which made me wonder…only to soon realize after seeing Skyfall that the Bond Girl this time around is not the usual sexy, no name actress, but the frumpy lame dame Judi Dench! Of course Bond didn’t shag her, but who would’ve guessed he had a mommy complex?

Then again, there was a lot of Bond’s character and childhood revealed, along with introductions to Miss. Moneypenny and Q, that set this movie apart from the majority of others – and in turn makes it uniquely better. Of course it helps to have top-notch director Sam Mendes, and an artist like Roger Deakins as the DP to shoot stunning silhouettes in Shanghai and combat scenes through ice, water, and fire – unlike the usual hacks that they hire.

While Daniel Craig stunts are impressive the most outlandish feat is how he runs so fast in those flat shoes – jumping atop from one train car to the next.

But it’s the cat and mouse game between Bond and the villainous and flirtatious Javier Bardem that is really impressive – combining his charm from Vicky Christina Barcelona with a hair cut that rivals his No Country for Old Men, with the worst bite since Jaws.

Though with the technology and foresight to hack, relocate, and destroy British Secret Service I was hoping to see a subterranean lair made up in Lex Luthor fashion too.

Other than the minor foible of a weak opening credit montage and a 143-minute running time that put 2nd place Nobel Peace Blogging Award winner James Franco to sleep, I was wide awake in this long days journey into night that fits the puzzle of the innocence lost like what Rosebud was for Kane as Skyfall is for Bond.

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Lincoln Log

In case you didn’t know, Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. And Steven Spielberg’s latest turd is here to tell all you kind folks out there how it all came to pass. But I’m here to tell you’s otherwise and just how Spielberg transformed Doris Kearns Goodwin’s The Team of Rivals from a fascinating book about the formation of Lincoln’s administration, and how he had the uncanny ability to delegate the various responsibilities to his formidable contentious cabinet members during the crisis of the Civil War, into a fucking children’s book about the fight for freedom for all mankind. Gross.

Now I’m definitely not saying I advocate slavery but aren’t we all still enslaved by the almighty dollar? Or at least by T.V. anyway. I mean, don’t even get me started about the shenanigans going on over Breaking Amish! While Daniel Day Lewis looks the part, talks the part, feels the part, but is not tall enough for the part, Spielberg deftly manages to Gandalfize him whereby cutting short the height of tables, chairs, doors, and Sally Fields’ legs – who is the epitome of the nagging fugly wife and gives General Petraeus wife a run for her money. Perhaps taking the Whig party too literal, the best prop goes to Tommy Lee Jones’ head rug while the rest of the cast proves to be the ugliest Hollywood crowd hem hawing like a bunch of kids playing with judge hammers.

Given that I’m a Lincolnite, (my handle is Honestabel if you haven’t noticed) as every time I walk by the Cooper Union building in New York City I never fail to salute and acknowledge that this was the place where he stood and coined the phrase “right makes might”, I was really looking forward to this movie to be right – but I had trepidations knowing that Spielberg has a tendency to schmaltz things up and appeal to the worst angels of my nature. This is definitely not one for the ages.

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Skyfail

A fucking moron could have told you don’t drink and fly before wasting 2 plus hours watching Robert Zemeckis’ Flight. But maybe it’s still worth the price of admission for the first 30 minutes alone which are riveting. And I’m not just talking about that spectacular plane crash but also the opening shot of the flight attendant’s T & A, Denzel’s butt crack, and the bump in the morning that proceeds the wreckage before this movie literally takes a nose dive.
In the wake of this, Denzel, who plays an alcoholic commercial airline pilot, struggles to pick up the pieces and along the way picks up a strung out woman (Kelly Reilly) recovering from an overdose of hillbilly heroin in one of those hotspot hospital stairwells. But this subplot romance is just an excuse to have somebody count all the fucking empty bottles of booze Denzel consumes and nag him to attend AA before his upcoming criminal liable investigation – where because of a defective mechanical part he saved the majority of the passengers, drunk as skunk, by using the old flying – the plane – upside down – trick. Though what was really defective was the old alkie father – estranged  from his son – trying to repair the relationship – trick. I mean we’ve all seen that before, and being that it is a big budget Hollywood movie we all know that corny redemption ending of course. As well as the loveable comic relief drug dealer, John Goodman, for all those pinheads in the audience still hung up on the silliness of such make believe characters in Argo. But maybe Goodman is on to something, with shades of Walter Sobchak, in that he’s able to be more animated than the other supporting cast that just read as a bunch of uptight corporate stiffs that represent the airlines interest in Denzel. At least his co-pilot was memorable as a Jesus freak.
If I was in Denzel’s shoes when asked who drank the vodka, I would’ve just simply said, “I don’t know” to the prosecutor – and rather than be behind bars, hit the bars after instead. And then order me up a vodka martini shaken, not stirred, to get myself in the mood to see Skyfall in IMAX this Friday! So fuck y’all!

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