Tuesday, November 22, 2005

what is wrong with the world - part 1: filtered through the lense of James Bond

Since I had the most amusing stomach bug last night (oh, how I laughed) I decided to take the day off and spent some time sleeping, reading and watching movies. And before you ask, no, the stomach bug wasn't related to my chicken dish - I last prepared that a week ago, so it's not guilty.

The movie I watched was Goldeneye - directed by Martin Campbell, who is coincidentally a New Zealander (Martin's film list is pretty light, but among the possible gems is one called "The Sex Thief" and another whose aka is "Sex Games of the Very Rich". Who knew a boy from NZ had it in him? Ahem). Goldeneye is, in my humble opinion, the best Pierce Brosnan bond-flick (unfortunately, they pretty much seem to have gotten worse as they went along, although you can't really fault Pierce for that), and definitely one of the better ones in the bond canon. It is very nicely shot, the action scenes are decently exciting (especially the beginning jump from the dam), and has a nice turn from Sean Bean as the villan, Alec Trevelyan - and as a bonus has one of the more delectable bond love interests, Izabella Scorupco. The main complaint I have is that the villan's plot ends up being pretty small cheese - hacking into bank computers and then setting off an EMP aimed at london to cover your tracks seems pretty small cheese compared with, say, trying to spark a nuclear war by space-jacking US and Russian spacecraft from your base in a Japanese mountain.

Anyway, Goldeneye, whilst a good film, has an interesting moment in it. Right at the end we have the obligatory bond-vs-villan-hand-to-hand-fight, where Bond gets his ass kicked until the very last second when he manages to get the upper hand. He kicks
Trevelyan, who then proceeds to fall off the very-high-off-the-ground antenna-array. Only Bond catches him. They exchange a few words (Trevelyan: "for England, James?"; Bond: "No. For me.") - and then Bond drops him.

I mention this because I think it violates one of the rules of being A Good Guy In A Movie. The first rule of being a good guy is: when you have your mortal enemy at your mercy, your mortal enemy who has very recently plotted the end of the world, killed your mother, eaten the hearts of several children, and, without sufficient cause, kicked your cat - when you have him/her at your mercy you do not summarily execute him. Nope, you take him/her back for a fair trial by a jury of their peers. Of course, all going well, your mortal enemy will reach for his hidden knife/gun/blunt instrument and try to kill you while your back is turned, at which point you can spin round and cap his ass with a clean conscience.

This has a point.

I am going somewhere with this. Tomorrow.

Interesting Discussions:
UK Independent: US forces 'used chemical weapons' during assault on city of Fallujah
cf No Right Turn's White Phosphorus in Fallujah and White Phosphorus is a chemical weapon
The snopes discussion brings up an interesting point about is it morally worse to die one way or another which is something I'd like to come back to at a later date, so this is just to remind me ...

You always wanted to know, but were afraid to ask:
Operation Able Archer: Were the United States and the Soviet Union on the brink of nuclear war?

Recommended DVD:
Le Pacte des loups (The Brotherhood of the Wolf), directed by Christophe Gans (I know, I'd never heard of him before either). Makes the Matrix fight scenes look positively amateurish; fighting in the rain has never looked so damn cool. Add in crazy catholic cults, a weird monster, a Native American martial-arts practitioner? ... and the most beautiful girl in the entire world, Émilie Dequenne. Two words of warning: 1. some of the moster attacks are rather graphic and brutal - not for the faint-hearted; 2. Watch it in French with subtitles. The English dubbing is incredibly shit.

Book I'm Re-reading:
Sleep Walking Through History: America in the Reagan Years, by Haynes Johnson. George W. Bush learned alot from Reagan ...


Josh said...

"... and the most beautiful girl in the entire world, Émilie Dequenne."

You mis-spelled "Monica Bellucci".

span said...


does tomorrow indeed never come?

Herr Dummkopf von Kranken-Brainen said...

sorry span, events have conspired to make me fall asleep before I could collect my thoughts enough to post. Events are still conspiring, so post until Friday night ...

As for Monica Bellucci ... well, she's very nice, but I guess my tastes run to a more subtle woman. I've seen M Bellucci in Brotherhood of the Wolf and Matrix et al - can you recommend any other titles?

span said...

look if i can work 13 hour days and still post you bloody well can too. i am artificially inflating your hit count because i keep checking to see part 2! (bloglines doesn't update reliably enough for my internet addiction)

btw are you going to that thing tomorrow night?

span said...

and where's my comment on post number 1?? it still hasn't appeared! (i never said 13 hour days didn't make me cranky)