Wednesday, September 15, 2010

James Bond Part 3 - Goldfinger

Goldfinger has the distinction of being one of the James Bond movies that I recognize the theme song for.  Beyond that, it's where Pussy Galore and the "No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die!" comes from.

Now this is a super villain with probably one of the most insane ideas ever.  I'm going to say spoiler alert, even though it came out in 1964.  At the heart of the character, we have a guy that loves gold - or at least that's what he claims.  It's easy to see why he was parodied in Goldmember, the guy is a certifiable loony.  He has huge amounts of gold stashed all over the world, and his theory is that he can make his own gold worth more by making all the gold in the US radioactive.

To do this, he intends to blow up a nuclear warhead inside of Fort Knox.

Honestly, it's the kind of plan that a gang of ten-year-old's get when they've had too much Coke and are trying to stay up all night.  Here's a better plan: ANYTHING ELSE.

And really, the guy's name is actually Goldfinger. Auric Goldfinger.  All I can say is that he must have paid REALLY well for all those guys to follow him dressed up like that, cause I can't imagine what he paid them just to not laugh at him.

Does it hold up?  Yes, it's an interesting theory.  But more interesting in the way that a Jackson Pollack painting is interesting until you realize that it's really just a bunch of ketchup packets that have been squished on the table at a McDonald's.

But, then again, Pussy Galore.

Oh, and then there's the whole "James Bond is guilty of sexual assault".  Wow, is he ever.

Final Decision
Goldfinger is a good movie, so long as you keep telling yourself that the bad guy is mad.  And kind of a douche.  His henchmen probably called him "Golddouche" behind his back.  I would have.

One more thing I almost forgot!  When Bond walks into Q's office, Moneypenny throws his hat onto the hat-rack.  It was a little corny when it happened, but it makes sense: it's the third time people would have seen him do it, so the producers changed it up a little for a laugh.  And, oh, how I imagine the audience would have laughed...

Friday, September 10, 2010

James Bond Part 2 - From Russia with Love

I think I was maybe 12 the first time that I saw this movie.  I know for sure that I didn't get it.  I'd been watching the Roger Moore James Bond movies by this time, so From Russia with Love was just...weird.

Watching it today, I am much more impressed by it.  It introduces the gadgets in the form of the trick briefcase (which you spend the rest of the movie just waiting for him to use), and it steps up the ol' Bond sexuality.  Not that it was missing in Dr. No, it just feels like they upped it a little in the second one.  If you know what I mean.  (No, that didn't make any sense, but it seemed like something you have to say when talking about Bond sexuality).

The plot of From Russia with Love is, I think, superior to Dr. No.  It introduced the concept of a mysterious power player in the quest for world domination in the form of SPECTRE.  More importantly, the mysterious leader of the group who you never see except for when he's stroking his cat.  Heh heh.  But seriously, you don't see him.

Fun fact - looks like they did a Darth Vader with him - a guy named Anthony Dawson played him in the movie (though he's credited with a "?" - ooooh, mysterious!), but his voice was a guy named Eric Pohlmann.

Getting back to the plot, it is fairly straight forward. There are no twists like there would be if this movie had been filmed today.  But it's interesting enough that it drew me in.  I think maybe the mark of a good James Bond plot-line might be "Would this plot work if there was no James Bond?"  In this case, yes.

Another fun fact - Daniela Bianchi, who plays the Russian Bond girl that is defecting but is a spy but is actually being played by SPECTRE, is Italian who spoke almost no English.  Her voice was dubbed by Barbara Jefford.  Dubbing seems to be a fairly popular method of movie making back in the day...

Does it hold up?
I say yes, it holds up.   Connery seems a lot more comfortable in the Bond skin.  The Bond Ladies are cute.  There's a nice belly dancing scene, which while completely unnecessary was entertaining.  Even with the incredibly dated technology, this was a great movie.

Final Decision
I recommend it for anyone that likes James Bond movies.  From Russia with Love is plain old fun.  Yes, it also predates the moon landing, but it's believable, even with the old fashioned technology.  And styles.  And attitudes.

I should probably figure out some kind of rating system of some kind.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

James Bond Part 1 - Dr. No

For no other reason than we have them, we watched Dr. No last night.  Then tonight we were looking for something new to watch and settled on From Russia with Love.  This may be a little premature, but we appear to be watching them in sequence now, so I thought I'd better write something about it.

Dr. No is the first James Bond movie, starring an illustrious Sean Connery.  Okay, yes, for you film geeks out there I know that Dr. No was not supposed to be the first movie, but this is me watching and writing about it so shut up, sit down and keep reading. Or go away.

Here's a few impressions of Dr. No.
  • Wow, Sean Connery looks really young.
  • This movie is pretty old.  Holy crap, this movie is 48 years old?  FORTY-EIGHT YEARS?!
  • I don't think that all of these Chinese people are Chinese.
  • Are any of these Chinese people Chinese?
  • Okay those guys are Chinese.
  • Why would this guy build such a huge underwater complex with the intention of blowing it up later?  He must be...INSANE!
Does it hold up?
I will give this movie some points because it is the first one and they haven't quite got the swing of things.  It's good, maybe not great.  I also give it some points for blowing my mind with how incredibly old it is.  Lawrence of Arabia came out the same year as this.  Lawrence-of-frigging-Arabia.  When this movie came out, we hadn't walked on the moon yet.  Think about that.

It all looks a bit campy now, but there are still some pretty great locations - something that Bond movies do well.  Ursula Andress stands out as hot.  Also, as it turns out, we share the same birthday.  Just, you know, 40 decades apart.

Final Decision

I recommend this movie for people who are already James Bond fans.  It does hold up, but you have to keep in mind how old it is. It's interesting to see how the character was first captured on film, but I wouldn't ask someone who'd never seen a Bond flick before to watch it first.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pontypool - A Review

Pontypool came out back in 2008, but I missed it in theatres.  Dang it.

As a Canadian, I have to like this movie due to its CanCon. As a geek, I have to like this movie due to its zombies.  So as a Canadian geek, the CanCon Zombies (or CanConBies - my god, I just made up my first word for a genre) were outstanding.

There was no horde to be seen, the entire film takes place in a radio station.  The closest to a horde that we get is maybe a few dozen grouped together - but even that is enough. Truthfully, the scariest things that happen in this movie aren't pictured at all.  It's all audio, practically a radio play on the big screen.

This film had great suspense, excellent production values, and great performances by the entire cast.  To put it another way, it made me want to hear and see more from Stephen McHattie, and I haven't been able to look at him in the same way since I had to watch Life with Billy (shudder) in my Grade 12 Canadian Law class.  If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about.  If you haven't, let me just say that there are scarier things out there than CanConBies, and unfortunately they're real.

I would recommend this movie for people who love zombie movies that have significant others that don't like zombie movies.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Outlander - A Review

You are a terrible movie made worse somehow by your innate ability to also give me a migraine.

Seriously, I got a migraine.  I don't get migraines, but watching this movie made my brain hurt more and more with every passing moment.  Then, when you thought it couldn't get worse...well, it didn't get worse, it just got LOOOOOONG.

This movie is almost 2 hours long.  Now, if this was something like Shawshank Redemption, or perhaps a Wes Anderson movie (while I don't gush over everything he does, he does make a movie that really warps time for me), then I can appreciate the extra minutes of getting to really know and explore the characters and the story from different angles.  This is a 30 minute episode of the Twilight Zone, and not one of the good ones, extended unnecessarily to a point where my brain saved my soul by deciding it'd had enough of that thank you very much, go to bed right now and sleep for 9 hours and maybe don't try this again.

I recommend this movie to people I do not like.