Monday, November 17, 2008

A movie review!

Now that my month of posting every day has ended, I have become lazy. Politics can get tiring, after all. Sure, I've got a half-written post about how Karl Rove is a whiny little baby and how anyone who thinks he's some kind of political genius is deeply wrong, but I couldn't even bring myself to finish it.

But I did see a movie over the weekend, and I'm going to review it. Note that there may be spoilers. You're forewarned.

Specifically, I saw the new James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace.

This nonsensically-titled movie is the second with the new, "gritty" James Bond, played by gorilla-human hybrid Daniel Craig.

I am told that many heterosexual women (and presumably some gay men) find this mass of steroid-addled flesh attractive. They will be pleased to know that he spends some time shirtless in the new movie. So they should be happy, as long as they don't think about his shriveled testicles.

As you can probably guess, I am not a fan of this bulky, surly, totally humorless, and pretty-much braindead Bond.

It's not that Craig is even a bad actor, it's just that the new James Bond is just another braindead action hero. The exact same movie could have been made calling him "Bruce Meatpuncher" and nobody would ever suspect it was intended to be a James Bond movie.

Sadly, the thing that made the James Bond movies enjoyable (to me, anyway) was all the stuff that they've done away with in this gritty, post-9/11, tedious new world of Bond.

Bond isn't charming, he's boorish. He's not clever, he's heavily-muscled. He doesn't have sneaky ways of doing things, he just beats guys up. He doesn't have interesting technology, he just has a gun. And he sure as hell doesn't have anything resembling a sense of humor.

Yeah, a lot of those qualities of the old Bond got overdone, and a lot of the old movies were ridiculous. But so what? They weren't meant to be realistic, they were basically a comic book superhero version of Bond. Which was okay, because comic book superheroes are fun to watch! Just because they got out of hand and went too far with the gimmickry before is no reason to abandon absolutely everything that made Bond endearing in the first place.

About the only thing left of the old Bond is that the new Bond also has a way with attractive women.

Even then, I don't recall the woman above ever having sex with Bond, which is something I would have possibly enjoyed watching. They might have made out at some point though.

He instead had sex with some forgettable redhead whose role in the movie was ill-defined. It's probably better that this one didn't have sex with him. Bond looks like a giant chlamydia factory to me.

The "villain" is similarly lame. Some smarmy businessman whose evil master plan is to destabilize the Bolivian government and overcharge for utilities? How exciting! That's way more interesting than someone building a weather-control device or awesome space-based laser or something!


It doesn't really matter, though, because the plot is just an excuse for blowing shit up. Which they do reasonably well. Lots of shit blows up.

Hell, at one point an entire giant building blows up because someone backs a car into a wall. That's exciting!

Apparently that super-high-tech building (powered by hydrogen fuel cells!) was built without even the most rudimentary fire suppression technology. That seems like a major oversight on the part of the contractor, especially if you're going to have big tanks labeled "hydrogen" scattered about everywhere. Live and learn, I guess.

I think the fight scenes might have been well done, but since the director decided to use the shakiest camera in the world and cut to a new angle every 0.3 seconds or so, I couldn't really tell. It might have been Bond and his nemesis sitting around drinking tea very loudly.

There was some running around too, jumping on rooftops and stuff. It prompted Mrs. Unicow to wonder how Bond's ankles did not end up broken. I postulate that he had some fancy high-top loafers with excellent ankle support.

There were also cars and planes and stuff, which was more interesting than most of the other parts of the movie. Though the car chase suffered from the same "hey let's change the angle every fucking millisecond so nobody can see what's going on" disease. The plane part was pretty decent, at least.

The plot also apparently had some continuity with the plot of Casino Royale. I did see that movie, but that helped me not at all. Casino Royale didn't make any sense to me at the time, and they didn't bother to provide any further explanation in this movie. If you're going to try to have an ongoing plot element, it would help if it were actually memorable.

One thing I will give this movie, though. It was better than "Live Free or Die Hard," which I just saw recently and which was so profoundly stupid it nearly put me into a coma. But this wasn't much better.

Score: 4 "This movie sucked"s out of 5