A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Movie 571 – The Hobbit (1977)

The Hobbit (1977) – September 22nd, 2011

I’m not sure which we bought first, this or the 1978 Lord of the Rings. This we have on VHS, so I suspect we’ve owned it for a while but I can’t say for certain. I know I bought Lord of the Rings at a library book sale, but I forget when. Regardless, we’ve been holding on to them for a while, waiting for today. Because today? Today is Hobbit Day. And since the first part of the new version is still over a year away, well, we started with this one. Happy Hobbit Day. Now, let’s sing some songs!

No, really, I’m totally serious. The songs are what I remember the most from this version. I suspect that the new one will have far less singing, even if Tolkien himself was prone to putting songs in his books. When my father read them to me he’d always skip the songs. “And then they sang a song… about breaking plates.” That’s what I got until I saw this. The song from the beginning of the movie really is in the book. I don’t think all of the songs in the movie are in the book, but they’re not all just tossed in there to make this into a musical. And hey, I have to admit, it was a successful thing for the movie if I remember the songs so clearly so long after last seeing this. It has to have been at least fifteen years.

If you are unfamiliar with the story, it’s a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, telling the story of Bilbo Baggins and how he came to have the One Ring in his possession at the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring. The story begins with Gandalf showing up in the Shire, maneuvering Bilbo into joining a group of Dwarves who are going on a quest to claim a huge pile of treasure from a dragon named Smaug. Gandalf claims Bilbo is a burglar, though he is no such thing, and off they all go. They have a number of little adventures on their way to the Lonely Mountain including Bilbo getting split off from the rest of the group and finding himself playing a game of riddles with a creature named Gollum. Up until then, Gollum had been the Ring’s owner, but Bilbo finds it on the ground in Gollum’s cave. Since wearing it renders one invisible, Bilbo finds it quite useful indeed as the rest of the story progresses. Eventually he faces off against Smaug, using his invisibility to make himself seem more formidable.

Towards the end there’s a big battle between the Men and Elves and the Goblins and it’s always felt a little lacking to me. I’d need to look at the book to determine if it really is, but if I’ve got three armies on a field I want grandeur and I’ve never quite gotten it from this movie. Also, I’m not entirely thrilled with the visual depictions of the Elves and Goblins. The Elves were supposed to be the first residents of Middle Earth, wisest and most beautiful and graceful. And instead we have these blueish-green dudes with spindly arms and legs, knobbly joints and oddly bulbous heads. The Goblins all remind me a little of Snarf from Thundercats, which is also a Rankin and Bass production so I suppose that at least makes sense. Come to think of it, that likeness also applies to Smaug so now it makes sense that I’ve always considered him somewhat feline in looks. Now, the Dwarves and Bilbo? I can totally get on board with all of them. Gandalf too, and Gollum. So I suppose I shouldn’t get too bogged down by the Goblins and the Elves, since the movie’s focus is on Bilbo and the Dwarves.
Overall, I do enjoy this movie. It’s cheesy and it’s got some questionable visual depictions, but it’s also got some serious nostalgia for me. I’m afraid I don’t have much more to say about it aside from that. It’s not masterfully made and despite having had the Fifteen Birds song stuck in my head since we watched it, I’d probably have to say I prefer my father’s way of dealing with the songs better. But I do like Bilbo and the Dwarves. And I do like Smaug, likeness to Snarf notwithstanding. It hits the major plot points that I remember and does do decently enough. I don’t think I’d use it to introduce any kids to the story these days, and I’m glad I was introduced to it through the book well before I watched this movie. But all that being said, I’m glad we own it.

September 22, 2011 Posted by | daily reviews | , , , | Leave a comment

Movie 569 – Danger: Diabolik

Danger: Diabolik – September 20th, 2011

As with most of our done-by-MST3K movies, this is probably my fault. I don’t know why, but every time I see a movie MST3K featured in an episode I feel like I need to buy it and have an unaltered copy. I don’t know that I ever truly planned to watch things like this and The Deadly Mantis. I just liked knowing I had them. I grabbed this one from the video store we used to work at in Pennsylvania. Can you imagine, they were selling this off? How could they?! But there it was, getting shrink wrapped to go in the used VHS bin. So we snapped it up, and regardless of who initially picked it up – me or Andy – I will take the blame here. I’m always willing to take the blame for non-MST3K versions of MST3K movies. Always.

Now, I will say that this one was special. It was featured in the very last MST3K episode and consequently, I think we’ve seen it twice. Most of the other episodes out there, well, we’ve seen them oodles of times. But it was hard to watch the last episode. I’m veering away from the movie a bit, but I’ll come back to it. I just think it’s worth explaining that MST3K was incredibly important to me when I was in my teens. I didn’t make friends easily and suddenly I had a bunch thanks to the online fan forums. Andy and I started talking because he saw a couple of tapes I was letting a mutual friend borrow. So when a bunch of the people I knew online all got together to watch the end of the show together (I think there were about 30 of us) it was hard. I cried, and I wasn’t the only one in tears. Consequently, we never put the episode featuring this movie into our VCR. Ever. I can remember tons of specific moments because I associate them with watching the episode in a room full of my friends and fellow MSTies. The line “Is that stud coming?” caught us all by surprise and I will never forget it. But while this movie is precisely the sort of cheese I adore, I do not know it nearly as well as I would like.

And what sort of cheese would that be? Why, a 1960s romp with a super suave master thief named Diabolik! It’s based on a long-running comic serial from Italy and oh, oh does it show. Diabolik himself is played by a young John Phillip Law (this came out the same year as Barbarella to give you an idea of how young) and he’s basically a criminal but the hero at the same time. He has a super secret lair where he lives with his sexy girlfriend, Eva, and he drives fast cars and has lots of gadgets and is generally incredibly clever and smooth. He steals from anyone he likes, whenever he likes. Watching this I am put in mind of a combo of spy movies like Bond the newer Mission: Impossible movies (since I don’t know the older show) and then also the show It Takes a Thief, where the hero is a master thief working for the government (a plot which has been recycled more than a few times). The big difference here is that Diabolik is really just out for himself. He hasn’t been given assignments by anyone. His illegal actions aren’t sanctioned by some secret organization. Nope. He just likes stealing stuff.

Does it really matter what the specific plot is in this movie? Diabolik steals stuff! People try to stop him! He gets away! He and Eva roll around in a spiral-shaped bed covered in money! He tries to steal more stuff! He almost gets caught! He does get caught! But maybe he’ll still get away with it! The particulars aren’t so much a concern to me. But I suppose they might be a concern to someone else. We begin with Diabolik stealing an enormous sum of money from the government using a smoke screen. An actual smoke screen, not a metaphorical one. The government and police are pretty ticked off, so they up the stakes and crack down on every criminal and illegal business they can find. Crime lord Valmont gets ticked off by that and makes a deal with the police to deliver Diabolik to them. He kidnaps Eva and uses her to try and get Diabolik (and some emeralds Diabolik had stolen for Eva) but Diabolik gets the better of him and escapes with Eva. And the emeralds. This only escalates everything and after destroying all tax records with a bomb, Diabolik is able to try and steal molten gold that the government is selling off. This proves to be his undoing and the movie ends with him trapped in his heatproof suit, having been sprayed with molten gold when the police raided his hideout.

Look, don’t try to make sense of it. It’s all ridiculous and over the top. But that’s the point. It’s supposed to be outrageous and unbelievable. After all, what good would the story of a regular thief and his not-so-daring exploits be? The character is meant to be larger than life, with his underground lair and all. Not that it makes it a truly high quality film, but a lot of the stranger stuff in it is clearly informed by the comics it’s based on. What I find strange about that is that there’s a lot of talk about dollars in the movie and when Eva and Diabolik are rolling around in their ill-gotten gains the money looks like US currency. But the movie was filmed in Rome and it’s clearly dubbed, not to mention it’s based on a series of Italian comics that weren’t in wide circulation in the US at the time. While personally, I think the movie is fantastic and fun, I can see how it might be a hard sell, given the lack of anything explaining the character’s motivations and his thoroughly anti-establishment nature. Still, I’m not complaining that it exists. I do enjoy it, after all. Not enough to put in the MST3K episode more often, but maybe since I own it un-MSTed, I’ll put that in once in a while.

September 20, 2011 Posted by | daily reviews | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Movie 566 – Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir Dogs – September 17th, 2011

One of the really fantastic things about this project is that it’s made a reason for me to put in movies that I’ve always meant to watch but never got around to. I’ve mentioned more than a few like that since we started the project and there are a couple more on the list. This movie is one of them and I cannot for the life of me pinpoint a reason why I hadn’t seen it before now. It’s not that I have an aversion to Tarantino or to movies with lots of blood or violence. I love the first volume of Kill Bill after all, and that’s a Tarantino movie that had to have a scene done in black and white because of the rating it would have gotten had the blood in it been in color. No, I haven’t liked all of his movies and yes, I think he’s gotten a little too far up his own ass in recent years, but that isn’t why I haven’t seen it. I haven’t seen it simply because I’ve just never made the time. And that’s part of what this project is for: Making the time to watch what we own.

Of course, I’m watching this while visiting the same friend I mentioned in my review for The Ninth Gate yesterday, so I’m not watching the copy I own. But still, at home Andy is watching our copy and I’m watching the same thing, so it works out in my mind. Anyhow, this was a new experience for me and at the same time not as new as many of the other things I’ve watched for the first time for the project. Mostly because this movie is a bit of a pop culture touchstone by now. You don’t need to have seen it to know the whole “men in suits walking with purpose” thing. You don’t need to have seen it to know the Mr. [color of choice] thing. These are frequent references now. They show up all over the place. They are, in a word, ubiquitous.

After watching this I commented that this movie is almost ur-Tarantino. It has everything I expect from him except a foot fixation. Slightly retro pop culture? Yup. Catchy soundtrack? Yup. Badasses discussing something slightly nerdy? Yup. Non-linear storytelling? Oh yeah. A bit of the old ultraviolence? Of course. What’s amusing is that it’s so early in his work. It’s like every time he makes a movie he looks back at this and says “How can I incorporate a touch of Reservoir Dogs into a new setting?” And then he does it. I’m not saying he makes the exact same movie every time, but watching his movies, you can get a definite sense of common themes. So while I’d never seen this before, in a way I’d seen it in every other movie of his I’ve ever seen before. Which is pretty funny, when you think about it.

It’s a simple movie, plotwise. It’s a heist movie, but with everything on screen taking place either before or after the heist, never during it. In fact, you never see the heist actually happen and it takes most of the movie before you even get to see the events immediately after it that caused what’s going on when the movie starts. And I do have a fondness for nonlinear storytelling and starting in media res. Tarantino seems to like it too. He does it a lot. So we begin with the heist about to happen and a breakfast conversation on the meanings of song lyrics and an argument over social rules like tipping waitstaff. It’s not made clear at the time who these people are or what they’re about to do. We can tell they’re mostly not closely associated but they’re mostly dressed alike and they’re clearly about to do something together. And then the heist is in the past and two of our main characters, Mr. Orange and Mr. White, are in a car. Mr. Orange has been shot in the gut and Mr. White is assuring him that he’s not going to die. They arrive at a warehouse of some sort and are soon joined by Mr. Pink. White and Pink discuss Orange’s status and the botched heist. They agree there must be a rat amongst them.

The rest of the movie bounces between various members of the crew at the warehouse, discussing the heist and arguing about what to do now that it’s all gone south and trying to figure out who the snitch was and flashbacks introducing us to the characters more and showing how they all came to be working this job. Two of them don’t figure in much. Mr. Blue and Mr. Brown are dead by the second scene and their backgrounds aren’t explored. But we do get some backstory on Mr. White, who has a long history with Joe (the man in charge). We get backstory on Mr. Blonde, who it seems has worked for Joe in the past and did time when he was caught and wouldn’t give up Joe’s name. And after we watch the surviving members of the crew argue and threaten each other and torture a cop Mr. Blonde has kidnapped and see Mr. Orange kill Mr. Blonde, we get Mr. Orange’s backstory.

Mr. Orange’s backstory is unique in two ways. One, he’s the snitch. He’s an undercover cop on loan from one jurisdiction to another after getting an associate of Joe’s to vouch for him. So we find out all about that. But then because he isn’t what he appeared to be we also get his attempts to get in good with Joe and the rest along with his talks with the cop he’s working for who gives him what he needs to work undercover. So he gets a good deal more time on screen than anyone else. After seeing him shot, slowly dying on the floor of the warehouse, we get to know him and see how he got there. After all, he didn’t get there because he was a criminal trying to steal diamonds. He got there because he was trying to stop criminals stealing diamonds and things didn’t go as planned.

I have to commend both Tim Roth and Harvey Keitel here. Because the two of them are really the heart of the movie, if this movie can be said to have a heart. Keitel as White reassures Roth as Orange, giving him tips and pointers, helping him run through the plan to make sure he knows his part in it. He assures him he’s going to be okay after he gets shot. He argues that they should take him to a doctor. He’s taken Orange under his wing. Which is what makes the climactic shoot-out all the more effective. For all its shooting and torture and blood and dark humor and catchy music, this movie does have a serious core to it. But since it’s Tarantino at the helm, that serious core is surrounded by everything else. It’s what makes a Tarantino movie a Tarantino movie. I think what makes it clearer that this is early work of his is that the serious core does often take a back seat to the heist plot and the soundtrack and the joking around. But even so, it’s certainly an impressive early work.

September 17, 2011 Posted by | daily reviews | , , , | Leave a comment

Movie 563 – Thor

Thor – September 14th, 2011

I have read in a few places that Natalie Portman’s reaction to the concept of of this movie was something akin to “This is too bizarre to pass up.” The ‘this’ in question being a Marvel comics-based movie, directed by Kenneth Branagh, with Anthony Hopkins as one of the leads. And I would have to agree. Aside from being more than happy to watch another Marvel movie leading up to The Avengers there was no way I was going to miss something like this. After all, even if I wasn’t all that familiar with the character of Thor outside of the more, shall we say, traditional mythos, I hadn’t been too familiar with Iron Man prior to its big screen debut and now I’d put the first movie up amongst my favorites. And I greatly enjoy Branagh’s work. So. Sure thing, right?

Now, I know reviews were mixed, but I loved this movie. It’s got flaws, sure, but what movie doesn’t? Aside from Iron Man, of course. The very concept of Norse mythology as done by Marvel tickles me, I admit. Powerful aliens inspiring myths of gods and giants and all? I love that idea. So I’m not fussed over the depictions of traditional Norse figures. And I’ve made my feelings known when it comes to Marvel and continuity and alternate realities and books vs. movies and the things done in the process of adapting a written work for the screen. So I won’t be wasting my time quibbling over anything like that. And not to put too fine a point on it, but anyone who’s bent out of shape about things like Heimdall being played by Idris Elba (who was fucking awesome) needs to do some serious introspection about just what their problem with that is.

This movie does feel a little divided to me, and consequently I found myself remembering it being longer than it actually is. The story is mostly Thor’s, of course, but because it takes place in two worlds – ours and his – and because before he arrives here he has to get kicked out of his world it all ends up having some very distinct sections to it. There’s an attempt to alleviate this effect by beginning with Thor’s arrival on Earth, whereupon he’s hit by a van driven by some of our other main characters. Then we head off into flashback territory to learn about the background of Asgard, Odin, Thor, Loki, the frost giants of Jotunheim and see the events that brought Thor to Earth. Eventually, once we meet Odin and his sons, Thor and Loki, and see Thor go to Jotunheim and start a war because he’s got an out of control temper and some fairly strong battle lust, Odin banishes him from Asgard. And we’re back to the beginning, with a naked Thor crash landing on Earth in just the right time and place to meet astrophysicist Jane, her mentor and her grad student assistant.

I don’t think it’s particularly important to go into the hows and whys of Thor ending up with Jane, Erik and Darcy. That section of the movie is good for some laughter and humor, but from a plot standpoint it’s not anything unusually interesting. Their reactions to him are fun, but the real good stuff begins when Thor tries to get his hammer back. Odin had cast Mjolnir down after banishing Thor, making it sort of like a less pointy Excalibur. Only someone worthy of it will be able to pick it up out of the ground it landed in. Of course S.H.I.E.L.D. shows up (as foretold at the end of Iron Man 2) and sets up camp around it and takes all of Jane’s research. It is a pivotal moment to see Thor try and fail to pick up Mjolnir. This is his lowest point, there in the S.H.I.E.L.D. camp. Mortal, unable to claim his hammer, told by a visiting Loki that his father is dead and his mother wants nothing to do with him, he really has nowhere else to go but up. That’s the arc here, showing his rise, his hubris, his fall and his rise again. It’s not a terribly original plot arc, but I think it suits the subject matter. After all, it’s an arc used by many heroic quest stories. Take a look at Hercules and his twelve labors, for example.

Back in Asgard Odin has fallen into a deep sleep and Loki, upon discovering that he’s actually a frost giant, takes the throne for his own nefarious purposes. Now, I know that the mythology here is very much a Marvel interpretation, and they’ve never really tried to claim that their version is “real” or whatever. So I can run with this version of Loki being evil as opposed to just a trickster (a cruel trickster who gets people killed, but still). But I think it’s worth pointing out that the traditional Loki is indeed a frost giant and was invited into Asgard by Odin. Anyhow, Loki’s now gotten rid of Thor and he’s sitting pretty on his throne (seriously, pretty, and bearing an eerie resemblance to figure skater Johnny Weir) and off go Thor’s friends (Lady Sif and the Warriors Three, all of whom are awesome) to find him and bring him back. Upon getting to Earth they find themselves attacked by a big metal dude sent by Loki and Thor saves a bunch of people and gets Mjolnir back and gosh there’s a lot that happens in this movie.

Because, see, after that battle, there’s even more in Asgard again, with a showdown between Loki and Thor and the breaking of the Rainbow Bridge and all. The distinct acts, the changes in location, the multiple action scenes, they all make this movie feel very full. Which is almost certainly why I thought it had to be longer than two hours. Well, that and I’m probably biased when it comes to Branagh and expect everything he does to be like his Hamlet. Anyhow, it’s not. And that amazes me. Not only is all the story and moving back and forth fit into a fairly short running time, but there’s a lot of characterization too. In my opinion, a lot of it is very elegantly done. Take Jane, for example, who gets instant backstory with a convenient change of clothes she has for Thor, left by an ex-boyfriend whose name they later use as Thor’s alias. The movie has lots of little things like that, seemingly throwaway bits and pieces that end up forming a cohesive whole.

I honestly don’t care what other people think of this movie. I found it highly entertaining, well cast, amusingly written and visually gorgeous. My only criticism is that the romance between Jane and Thor seems a little rushed. It’s not like they have a love at first sight sort of thing going, but by the end there’s a sense that this is supposed to be an epic love for the ages and there’s just not quite enough in the movie to support it. It’s entirely possible that the support ended up on the cutting room floor. But really, that’s it. That’s my only negative. Otherwise I love this movie and I think it’s more than worthy of being in the Avengers list. I do feel back for poor Clint Barton, sidelined into an uncredited (though lengthy) cameo, but them’s the breaks. At least he’s in here. And having seen it again, with the promise of Captain America in the near future, I’m absolutely pumped to see the whole team together.

September 14, 2011 Posted by | daily reviews | , , , , | Leave a comment

Movie 561 – Up

Up – September 12th, 2011

Andy and I went to see this one in the theater when it came out. And I had been warned. I was told beforehand, by multiple people that not only would it make me cry, it would make me cry within the first twenty minutes. And they were right. This movie is explicitly built to tug – hard – at your heartstrings. And unlike, say, the Toy Story movies, it doesn’t wait for the climax or the ending to do it. Nope. It starts out with a gut punch before it lets you start enjoying yourself. I was warned. I brought tissues. And I needed them. The thing is, the nature of the story makes it more likely to make an impact on adults than children. I can see kids getting that it’s sad, but really, it’s adults who’ll feel like the movie is out to get their delicious salty tears. I swear, Pixar runs on them. Like Tyra Banks.

There are two stories in this movie, telling a larger story. There’s the majority of the movie, which is the story of an elderly man named Carl and a young boy named Russell and their adventure together in South America, where they find a rare bird and meet an adventurer who wants to capture it. And then there’s the story of Carl and his wife, Ellie, and their life together. Really, the story is all Carl’s. He’s the link between the two. And to be honest, I love that. I love that this movie spends so much time on his character. The grumpy old man is a movie staple but rarely do you get to see where that grumpy old man came from. It’s like they’re hatched, full grown, dug up from the earth like Uruk-hai with walkers and dentures and gout.

I remember when we saw the notes Andy’s uncles sent us about working on the Ewok movie they mentioned that George Lucas had just watched Heidi with his daughter and liked the idea of a gruff old man with a child, so that’s what they went with for the movie. The thing about those movies is that they focus on the kid. They leave out the question of why the old man is so grouchy and consequently they leave out the answer too. But those old folks are people who were young once. And while I know plenty of grumpy young people, there are always reasons. In Carl’s case, he’s lost his wife. The entire first quarter of the movie is devoted to showing how Carl and Ellie met as kids, discovered their mutual love of adventure, got married, worked near each other, bought a house and made a life together. They wanted children, but Ellie found she couldn’t have any, and even as a happily childless woman, that’s a heartrending scene. But they forge on, making their lives full in other ways. They try to save up for a trip, but the money always seems to be needed elsewhere. Until Carl realizes they’ve grown old and purchases two tours of South America. Which they never use, because Ellie falls ill and dies. And Carl retreats, the tickets unused and left on the mantle with his and Ellie’s collected treasures. And that is the beginning of the movie.

See what I mean? Punch in the gut! And the thing is, if you paid any attention whatsoever to the ads and marketing for the movie, you know Carl is in the rest but Ellie is nowhere to be seen. When they couldn’t have kids? When they grew old together? I knew where it was headed. It makes it all the worse, knowing. Just writing the summary made me choke up, and I was writing it on a bus, in public, without the movie actually playing. It’s a good thing Pixar is making kids movies. If they turned their hands towards world domination through emotional manipulation they’d be ruling us all in as long as it takes to put a movie like this together. It’s not terribly hard to make me cry, granted, but Pixar seems to be able to turn on the tears for almost everyone I know. Interestingly, this movie gets the tears out of the way before the main plot starts. There are some emotional moments later, but it’s not on the same level as the beginning and there’s plenty of fun to be had in the main plot too.

To escape having to move into a nursing home, Carl lifts his house up off its foundation with a huge bunch of helium balloons and takes off for South America. It’s a wonderfully fantastical scene, with the balloons popping up out of the chimney and Carl blowing a raspberry at the two nursing home attendants who’d come to get him. And if this were only Carl’s story, then he’d be on his way. But it turns out that a local Wilderness Explorer, Russell, has accidentally joined him. Russell had only wanted to help Carl out and earn his Assisting the Elderly badge. Now he’s in a flying house on his way to South America. And when they get there, it’s Russell’s enthusiasm that gets them in trouble, but also what gives Carl more purpose than he’s had in years.

While trying to float the house from one end of a gorge to another Russell and Carl encounter a large bird and a talking dog. And let me say, I am unashamedly in love with Doug the dog. He has a special collar, made for him by his owner, that lets him talk. And he loves Russell and Carl. He loves them so much. Turns out his owner is Charles Muntz, a famous explorer who was disgraced when he claimed he’d found a previously unknown bird but had no proof. And he’s been in South America ever since, camped out in his zeppelin with his dogs, looking for the bird. The same breed of bird who is now following Carl and Russell. From there you can likely figure out the basic plot. Carl and Russell have to protect the bird from Muntz. Carl has to deal with his childhood hero being a total evil jackass. Russell goes off on his own to try and save the bird and Carl has to follow them. And in doing so he has to say goodbye to his house and, at the same time, Ellie.

Now, I’m not really one for “a child teaches a grouchy old person the true meaning of life” type plots, because really? You have to spend time around kids to lead a meaningful life? But in this case I think it works and it works for a couple of reasons. First, Carl isn’t just some old coot. He’s got a character and he’s got a background. This is a man who did enjoy life. He enjoyed life for decades and he did so without a child. It’s not the age of the person that matters here, it’s the attitude of wanting adventure and seeing new things. And that is certainly not a quality that’s limited to kids. It also works because we can see that Carl isn’t necessarily changing as a person. Instead he’s coming out of a long depression. And finally, it’s not Russell on his own. Sure, he’s a great character and he’s instrumental in it all, but it’s also Doug and the bird and the realization that Carl’s childhood hero isn’t who he thought he was. It’s the adventure that gives Carl the true meaning of things. And since this is Carl’s story and Carl’s adventure (and you can’t convince me otherwise) that’s the way it should be.

September 12, 2011 Posted by | daily reviews | , , , , | Leave a comment

Movie 560 – Godzilla, King of the Monsters!

Godzilla, King of the Monsters! – September 11th, 2011

Given that the running time for this and the original turned out to be so very much shorter than we’d been counting on, it really ended up being not a big deal to watch them back to back. And Andy really wanted to see them together. So we popped it in the night after watching the original. It really does qualify as its own movie, given the nature of the editing done to it. Which I find kind of fascinating. It’s the same story, but restructured a tiny bit and with a brand new character added in. Oh, it’s not a seamless addition. Whenever new guy Steve Martin talks to Emiko, for example, it’s painfully obvious that he was cut into other scenes of her talking, or that he’s speaking to a double whose back is always kept to camera. But that aside, there was an obvious effort to make him a part of the story instead of just a bystander narrating it all.

Now, making this new guy, Steve, the center of the human story is not without problems. For one, he’s a big white American lunk (sorry Raymond Burr fans, it’s true). For two, in order to make him central to the plot he has to be inserted into the relationships that were in the original. Instead of Emiko, her suitor, Ogata, her father, and her friend, Dr. Serizawa, you’ve got the four of them and Steve. And he just seems so out of place. I kept thinking grumbly thoughts about him, like “Why are you there? Leave Emiko alone! She has enough to deal with without worrying about some random American reporter! They figured it all out just fine without you in the other version!” And really, he’s not that bad. He just feels shoehorned into the plot, perhaps because in the original there was no need for a fifth main character. His purpose really seems to be to provide a US “voice” and presence in the movie to make US audiences more comfortable with it somehow.

Otherwise, the movie’s story is largely the same. The monster still attacks boats first, then the villages on the island before moving on to the mainland. People still testify as to the monster’s destructive powers. The monster still kills many and the results of its rampages are still shown. There are still the same main characters – no one’s missing. No one was excised in order to make room for Steve. The major plot points are all in there too. The various attacks, the determination of how old the monster must be. The professor’s desire to study the monster to learn about how it’s survived this long and adapted in the ways that it has. The insistence of others that it must be stopped. The eventual answer – the horrible weapon that might kill it, but also cause untold horrors as a side effect. It’s all there. But truncated.

It should be noted that this movie is a full 16 minutes shorter than the original. And that’s with all the extra US reporter stuff added in. I’m sure someone has done a scene by scene comparison between the two movies but there’s no denying that there’s material that’s been cut out. I suspect a large part of it is in the editing of each scene. Where the original lingers over shots, letting the visuals have time to speak for themselves, the US edit flips between shots much faster. It doesn’t change the pacing of the whole movie all that much, since everything still happens in the same order. But it is noticeable. What does change the pacing more for me is the addition of scenes of American reporters talking to Steve and trying to get details on the story. Those made me feel like the movie was both rushed and interrupted at the same time.

While the US edit didn’t shy away from showing the horrors of the monster’s attacks, it did feel as though less time was spent on it all. What’s frustrating about that is that it diminishes the power of the allegory. I suspect that these edits were done strategically, but I don’t have to like them just because they were done with purpose and intent. That being said, there were things I did like about the movie. Amazingly enough, it really does serve many of the same purposes as the original and I’m very glad that the allegory wasn’t lost in the editing room. Yes, it was diminished a little, but not lost. And that could easily have happened if the additional character had been handled clumsily or if key scenes were removed without much thought. But that didn’t happen.

A whole hell of a lot was kept the way it was in the original, such as the fantastic music. Bizarrely enough, they even kept the large majority of Japanese dialogue, but didn’t dub or subtitle it. Not that I like dubbing or think it would have been a good choice for this movie, but I could have seen it happening. But no, there’s a lot of Japanese, and left with no translation. What strikes me as odd there is that there was an effort to make this movie relate-able to a US audience but then vast swaths of Japanese language lines were left in without any way for people who only speak English to know what, specifically, is being said. I suppose it could have been because it was all deemed not quite important enough to subtitle for, it just struck me as odd. Still, even with that and Steve and the editing, it’s a far better and more serious monster movie than most that came after it.

September 11, 2011 Posted by | daily reviews | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Movie 558 – X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class – September 9th, 2011

Let me just say, this summer was pretty good for superhero movies. Or rather, it was good for Marvel superhero movies. We did go to see Green Lantern and we’ll probably buy it, but that doesn’t mean it was all that good. Poor DC. Marvel, on the other hand, had this, Captain America and Thor in theaters this summer. And we loved all three. This is the first to hit DVD, so we watched it right away. How could we not? After all, I am, first and foremost, an X-Men fan. Cap, Iron Man, they’re great and all, but I say bring on the mutants.

As I’ve said before when it comes to comic book movies, people can piss and moan all they want about continuity but it doesn’t mean a damn thing. Comic books, and Marvel in particular, have been mucking with continuity for decades. Marvel’s even numbered their various AUs and made up extra ones for kicks, like Earth-1002, where everyone’s a canine and the team is called the Rex-Dogs. I’ve mentioned before that the Summers family is a perfect example of what happens when you cross AUs, so I don’t see the big deal in changing up the specific first members of the X-Men, or having Alex Summers older than the other movie-verse versions of Scott Summers. So what you will not find in this review is a nitpick on continuity or canon. Yes, things deviate from the other movies. Emma Frost being the best example there. Yes, things deviate from the comics. No, I do not care.

I love this movie. I don’t love everything about it (and I’ll get to that) but I love a lot of it. I love seeing Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr before they became Professor X and Magneto. I love seeing the team grow and train. I love seeing little hints at the future, like General Stryker and the proto-Cerebro. I love the use of the time period for clothing styles, slang and most of all, plot. Because this movie is set in 1962, right on the cusp of the Cuban missile crisis, into which the mutants are thrown. It makes the team an integral but secret part of an event that truly happened in our own world. Really, I think the set-up for the team and the overarching plot are really nicely done, leading to a fantastic climax where not only is the team battling against what they perceive as their enemies, but also against the humans and then we get changes in loyalty too. Very nicely orchestrated.

Really though, in my heart my favorite bits of the movie are just the whole building of the team. Also, Erik and Charles. I don’t care who knows it: I honestly think this movie was Erik and Charles’ epic love story and breakup. And it’s not just me. Ian McKellan and James MacAvoy both agree, so I stand firm on this. Even if you don’t want to go with the love story aspect, they are certainly very close friends. The closest of friends. And their worldviews just aren’t compatible by the end. It’s tragic. And what I think this movie does excellently is present both sides as being potentially valid and potentially flawed. We know Magneto turns out to be “evil” later on, but the background they gave him here? It’s difficult to deny that his views are, at least in part, accurate for the world he’s lived in. Same for Charles, who has a much easier childhood and adolescence. Where this movie’s real strength is for me, is in its character arcs. Charles, Erik, Raven? They’re all given some truly good material to work with that makes what we know of their eventual futures that much more interesting.

Then too, you have the rest of the recruits. I love the recruitment montage, with Charles and Erik traveling to find mutants and make their case for joining the CIA. I love the little displays of power and quick character introductions. They’re not terribly heavy-handed but they give an idea of who’s who and who does what. And the cameo at the end of the recruitment montage? Perfect. Well played, good sirs. The recruits hanging out and goofing off together? Also fun, and a nice way to show off their powers. Training montage? Better than most montages because there are pauses for dialogue and context. I especially enjoy the interactions between Sean and Erik. They make the characters a little deeper and a little more real. And the chemistry between the various cast members is great. It seems like they had fun making the movie together, which translates well on screen.

What I find most frustrating about the movie is how piss-poorly it handles the races and genders of its characters. As ensemble casts go, it’s got a decent (but not great) assortment of genders and races. There are two women on the team, one of whom is Hispanic. One of the men is African American and while I’d love to see more diversity there I will give them credit for not having an entirely pasty white crew. The thing is, by the end? The team is Professor X and the three white recruits. Okay, one is blue by then, but he started out white. Granted, the divide between sides is made out to be very grey here and I can see how the justification might have been made for Angel switching over, I cannot for one second excuse how they handled Darwin. Okay, so you don’t want an overpowered character mucking up your main action scene. Then why introduce him in the first place? It’s not like Alex ends up being super useful (Sean’s more useful in the final battle and the poor guy gets left off every poster), so if you want to up the ante for the characters by killing off an ally, go for it. But why him?

Similarly, I totally understand Mystique’s character arc. And as an individual character, divorced from the larger cast issues, her story carries a hell of a lot of weight. To be honest, I don’t blame her one bit for leaving Charles on the beach. Charles is a privileged douche for much of the movie, spouting “mutant and proud” when it suits him but expecting his adopted sister to hide her true nature. So when she walks away, I get it and I do not question it and I think the writers gave her a wonderful arc. But taken in the larger context, when she switches sides, that makes all three female mutant characters on the “evil” side. And again, while I like the individual stories (Emma Frost being with Sebastian Shaw as part of the Hellfire Club is a wonderful little callback to the comics and Emma herself has switched sides numerous times) when put together as a whole they paint a picture full of unfortunate implications. And when you’re going to change the origin story for the team, adding in characters who weren’t there in the comics and using canon characters for new roles, you’ve really got a shitload to choose from. This particular team, with these particular issues, did not happen by accident. And it could well have been done differently.

I don’t mean to harp too much on my issues with the movie, but I feel they warrant saying. They certainly didn’t make the movie unpleasant for me to watch and I’ll gladly watch it again. And as I said, each individual choice and action makes sense on its own. They just add up to something that makes me heave a heavy sigh. But I can focus on the good and hope that future installments (or any future X-Men based movies) will handle things better. Certainly, I think this movie handled the universe better than, say, Wolverine or X3 did. I enjoy the character arcs and I like the decision to go back to the beginning and reboot the whole thing, starting a new continuity. I just wish I didn’t have anything negative to say. I wish I could applaud everything. I’ll just have to be content, for now, with applauding the majority of it.

September 9, 2011 Posted by | daily reviews | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Movie 557 – The Master

The Master – September 8th, 2011

Among our MST3K episodes from back when I was recording them off of Comedy Central we had one titled “Master Ninja 2.” And we watched it fairly frequently. Enough to know a bunch of the jokes. The thing is, we knew there was also a “Master Ninja 1” that they’d done before, but I’d never managed to catch it. I’d never seen it, though I’d certainly heard about it. And then Shout Factory released both episodes on professional DVD and we snapped them up. I do not recall if we bought this before or after we’d finally seen Master Ninja 1 with the MST3K treatment. All I can say is that if we bought it after, it was probably my fault and I am duly ashamed.

I admit, it’s not really a movie. It’s a pair of episodes of a martial arts television show from the 1980s. But after the show was cancelled pairs of episodes were released as movies, which is how MST3K did them. The conceit of the show is that a US soldier named McAllister stayed in Japan after the war and became a ninja. Then he gets a letter from his long lost daughter, heads for the US and meets up with Max Keller, a well-meaning troublemaker who drives around in a van with his hamster and gets (literally) thrown out of bars. Keller convinces McAllister to take him on as a student and off they go to get involved in super spy plots and labor disputes and corrupt police forces while they search for McAllister’s daughter. It is exactly as horrible as it sounds.

The first episode in this pair is the first episode of the series. So we get an introduction to Keller and we get an introduction to McAllister and we get the rundown on the premise for the show. It’s all horribly contrived, but I will give the movie credit for not trying to claim that Lee Van Cleef, who played McAllister, was Asian. Granted, the way they explain the whole ninja thing feels terribly forced, but there’s at least a little effort there! They work it into the plot, such as it is! So, that’s something. And that’s about all this has going for it. Well, that and a few of the single episode cast members ended up having actual acting careers or had already had careers. In this first installment we have a young Demi Moore, for example, and in the fourth episode George Lazenby showed up. But that’s about it.

The first installment has the obligatory introductions, then promptly tosses Keller and McAllister into a dispute between a family that owns an airfield and a land developer who wants their property. There’s a skeezy police officer who assaults Demi Moore, the airfield owner’s daughter, and there’s a lot of fighting and corruption and arson. Honestly, the plot just isn’t that interesting. None of the plots are that interesting. They’re stock conflicts, usually with a pretty young woman for Keller to flirt at (I’d say with, but it’s not like any of them are sticking around so the chemistry doesn’t matter much). Someone will threaten them. Someone will underestimate McAllister. Then there’ll be a fight where McAllister uses his ninja skills to save the day. There you go. This first episode totally sets the tone, if the four episodes I’ve seen are an indication of what the other nine are like.

The second section follows right along, with an extra dose of McAllister’s mysterious past. From what I could tell, he seems to have defied ninja tradition and now his former student is out to kill him? I could be getting it wrong. I usually watch this through a filter of riffing and when we started the second part on the un-MSTed version we have we realized something was very wrong with the disc. First, our DVD player refused to play it, continuously defaulting back to the menu. Second, the XBox refused to play it too. We were finally able to get it running on Andy’s computer, but the sound was about three seconds behind the action. Turns out this makes a movie hilarious in some moments, when the dialogue ends up matched to the wrong person, and incredibly hard to watch for the rest. Now, to be fair, I’m sure we paid pennies for this and the old “you get what you pay for” axiom holds true, so I’m not mad that the movie’s out of sync. On the other hand, whereas I might have been willing to put in some effort to pay attention to a decent movie if it was out of sync, this movie just isn’t worth the bother. So I payed the barest minimum attention necessary.

I’m pretty sure the plot involved a club where drinks are served and talented dancers dance getting shaken down for protection money by a Yakuza gang who actually want to own the club and therefore force the former owner’s daughter to rake in money for them by dancing. Also, there’s a sister in a wheelchair who is of course not at all jealous of her dancing sister except she totally is. I would expect no better of a show this sloppy and dated. McAllister and Keller get involved, have the sister in the wheelchair deliver the ransom for the dancing sister, then there’s the obligatory martial arts fight. Oh, and the sister in the wheelchair takes a few steps at the end. Why was she in the wheelchair? Why did McAllister’s “just buck up and believe in yourself” crap work? Who knows! It’s not like the show cared or anything. It’s all there for the big poignant moment at the end anyhow.

Having seen this much of the series, some of it without the humor that makes it bearable, I’ve got to say I wonder how it lasted even thirteen episodes. I do prefer the third episode over all the others, but that’s really neither here nor there when it comes to what we watched just now. With a pilot like that first section with Demi Moore, how did this get greenlit? I guess martial arts were a thing at the time and Keller was played by Tim Van Patten, son of Dick Van Patten, so presumably the combo of family contacts and Lee Van Cleef convinced someone it was worth taking a shot on. But what’s even more unbelievable is that it was ever repackaged as movies and released. And we bought one! I don’t find this as gut-twistingly offensive as some things we own, but I do apologize. I’m sorry. I don’t know if it was really me who put it on the pile, but I’ll take the blame. It’s the least I can do.

September 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Movie 556 – The Host

The Host – September 7th, 2011

I have probably asked Andy what this is every time I’ve looked at our movie list. It wasn’t something I recognized and his description of it wouldn’t stick in my head. Probably because I’m pretty sure his description was usually something very short, like “It’s a Korean monster movie” or “It’s a Korean horror movie.” And to be honest, that just doesn’t grab me. Nothing about that tells me what the movie’s story is or how it’s done. Really, that’s a very generic description, and as I’m not a horror fan and he didn’t give me much in the way of details about the monster, it had very little to set it apart in my mind. I thrive on details. Telling me something is “a period drama” or “a musical” isn’t going to get me excited either. There had to be a reason why this Korean monster movie and not another, right? But without details, how am I supposed to know that reason?

Turns out the reason is that it’s a very well done monster movie with a sense of humor I’m beginning to consider a staple in Korean movies. It’s not a comedy. Far from it. But it has comedic aspects to it that would feel bizarrely out of place in most other serious monster movies. And make no mistake, this is also a serious movie. It has Things To Say about the government and pollution and the United States military. And the monster kills people. This isn’t some goofy monster that just causes panic or something. It doesn’t destroy buildings but leave the people unharmed. No. It kills people and eats them and saves some to savor later. It belches out the bones of its prey after digestion, leaving no doubt that it’s a killer. It is a malicious force and the movie sets that out right at the beginning. There is no question.

Still, there is humor here. Mostly from the main cast and their interactions. The Park family runs a snack cart near the river, serving up fried squid, instant ramen and beer to people relaxing on the riverbank. The family consists of the owner of the cart, Park Hee-bong, his three adult children (unemployed college grad Nam-il, archery champion Nam-joo and lazy eldest son Gang-du) and his eldest son’s pre-teen daughter, Hyun-seo. The whole family loves Hyun-seo, but derides Gang-du for always being asleep and for not even attempting to do anything with his life. Really though, the whole family has problems. There’s Gang-du, obviously, who spends all his time working at his father’s cart and sleeping. Nam-il finished college (paid for by his father’s tireless work at the snack cart) but all he’s done since is drink. And Nam-joo has the makings of a gold medalist, but hesitates every time and always lands lower than she should. Hyun-seo obviously loves her family, but is exasperated by her father and uncle and saddened by her aunt’s failure to live up to her potential. And the movie takes the time to introduce all these characters to the audience and make them at least a little sympathetic as individuals and more sympathetic as a family. And then it has the monster kidnap Hyun-seo.

The monster is created early in the movie, well before we meet the Park family. An American military doctor tells a Korean assistant that the formaldehyde bottles in the morgue are too dusty and to dump all of it. The assistant argues that dust on the bottles doesn’t mean they have to dump it all and that the chemicals are dangerous and shouldn’t just be dumped. But the doctor insists and so the formaldehyde is dumped down the drain and into the Han river in Seoul. I suspect it’s meant to be more than just formaldehyde. I have a vivid recollection from high school of being told to be careful mixing formaldehyde with other chemicals. And given the results, it seems like it would make sense for it to be a combination of noxious chemical liquids that produces the giant fish monster that is the basis for the movie. Formaldehyde alone just doesn’t work for me, so even though it’s the only chemical mentioned by name in the English subtitles, I’m going to run with “formaldehyde et. al.” to describe what gets dumped. Formaldehyde alone would be boring.

So this big fish monster with legs comes up out of the river one day and attacks a ton of people hanging out on the shore. Gang-du runs, tries to fight it along with a American dude, sees it kill people by the dozen, then tries to grab his daughter to keep her out of harm’s way and finds that he’s grabbed a similarly dressed stranger by accident. The monster has Hyun-seo. Everyone who was present for the attack gets quarantined, especially Gang-du, who was in direct contact with the creature. And in the middle of all of this somewhat serious monster movie drama the entire Park family engages in over-the-top hysterics and slapstick fighting while grieving for Hyun-seo. It is one of the stranger things I’ve seen in a movie recently because it just seems so unlike what I expect from the tone of the rest of the movie. And it’s not the first or last time there’s a bit of slapstick comedy tossed into an otherwise serious plot. I’ll just have to make a point of watching more Korean movies to see if it’s a cultural thing I’m just not personally familiar with. I like it! I’m just a little bemused by it.

Anyhow, it turns out that Hyun-seo isn’t dead. She’s been stashed in a sewer for the monster to snack on later. So the family breaks out of the hospital and cashes in everything they have to pay for weapons and a map of the sewer system so they can go find her. Things escalate and one member of the family gets killed. The government bans people from the whole river area and news comes out of the US that the monster transmitted a deadly virus to the American guy Gang-du fought the monster with. It all turns out to be a smokescreen for the Americans to save face after being the cause of the monster’s existence in the first place and the movie’s pretty clear on that. There’s a whole lot going on in this movie, and I’m not just talking about the monster and the action and the family drama. Reading over some analysis done by people native to Korea, it makes me wish I knew more about the culture and country. There’s some very obvious messages, such as the dumping of the formaldehyde (et. al.) in the river and the US lies about the creature. But then there’s some subtle stuff I didn’t pick up on at all. It was an interesting movie, and a well made movie. It also wasn’t at all what I was expecting, which is a good thing, because I was expecting something generic and forgettable and that’s not what I got.

September 7, 2011 Posted by | daily reviews | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Movie 553 – James Bond: Goldfinger

James Bond: Goldfinger – September 4th, 2011

When discussing what Bond movies to get to fill in my Bond education a bit, we decided on an earlier one and a later one. And let’s face it: Sean Connery is very much the classic James Bond. I know everyone has their personal favorite but without having seen much Bond, Connery is the one I think of when I think of the name. So! I figured a Connery Bond movie was probably a requirement. Faced with which one to get, Andy went with this one. And I understand why. It’s iconic, really. The gold-covered woman, the death-by-slow-moving-laser bit, it’s all been done and done again and done to death by everyone who wants to refer to a Bond trope. And now I’ve seen the source for all of that.

Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it that much. Oh, I enjoyed parts of it, and I enjoyed the very young Sean Connery as Bond. Until he forced himself on Pussy Galore and the movie treated it like romance. Ick. Ick ick, a million times ick. For future reference, if a woman says no, and then says no again, continuing to kiss her will not make her actually want it. Acquiescing is not romantic. And it’s not consenting. I was aware that Bond’s a total player. I had not quite realized the womanizing went to this point. And to be honest? It ruined the movie for me. No matter what else I think when I look back on it, I cannot get that scene out of my head. As it happened I watched with a sort of dawning realization that it was not going to get better. She wasn’t playing at saying no to tease him. He wasn’t going to leave off and let her go. And then apparently he has a magic penis that makes it all okay. It’s presented as seduction, but it sure didn’t look that way to me.

I will try to put that scene aside for the moment and review the rest of the movie without its incredibly squickful effects in my head. Because without that scene? Or if it had been handled a little differently? I would have enjoyed the movie a hell of a lot more. It still wouldn’t be my favorite of the ones I’ve seen, but it wouldn’t be below the others and every single other Bond movie that I haven’t seen. Because it’s got a ridiculous over-the-top villain! And it’s full of ridiculous plots and Bond being suave and there are gadgets! Yay gadgets! And I like Pussy Galore and her eminently capable character. Honor Blackman is one of two Bond girls who was also in The Avengers with Patrick Macnee, making three Avengers main cast who’ve also been in Bond movies. And I’m totally up for that. Maybe it’s because I grew watching that show. Maybe it’s because I’m looking for touchstones here. And I will note that this movie is referred to in The Avengers episode Too Many Christmas trees, when Steed gets a Christmas card from Cathy Gale and wonders aloud about what she’s up to at Fort Knox.

It was an interesting experience, watching this for the first time through the past experiences of everything I’ve seen that’s referred to it, from Austin Powers to MST3K movies to Mythbusters. It was almost like overhearing a story, then seeing it play out in front of you later. I felt like I could predict the plot and its basic points regardless of not having seen the actual movie. What I didn’t predict was that Bond’s kind of a dick. And I don’t just mean the scene I mentioned above. As Andy noted later on, Bond spends a lot of his time just prodding Auric Goldfinger because he can. Goldfinger is the villain here. He’s a bombastic sort of guy, but not in the cheerful Brian Blessed way. He’s got a big temper and a big love of gold and he’s willing to kill a heck of a lot of people in order to get more and make it more valuable. The plot follows Bond as he taunts Goldfinger, tails Goldfinger, gets captured by Goldfinger, conspires against Goldfinger, thwarts Goldfinger, saves the day, then is kidnapped by Goldfinger again before Chekhov’s Handy Plot Point sends Goldfinger out the window of a plane.

Goldfinger’s plan is a novel one, or it was at the time I suppose. Really though, I kind of like how ostentatious it is: He plans on gaining manpower from a variety of different criminal organizations from all over the world by promising them money, convinces them to help him rob Fort Knox, then kills them off and keeps their dudes because his real plan is to detonate an atomic bomb in Fort Knox, making the gold untouchable until the radioactive cobalt and iodine aren’t radioactive anymore. Now, I’m not a nuclear physicist, but I suspect that the science here is a little wonky and about as reliable as the movie’s other scientific assertions. Unfortunately, while the Mythbusters have proven that covering oneself with gold paint won’t cause “skin suffocation” and that shooting a hole in the side of an airplane won’t cause a person to be immediately sucked out, I doubt they’ll be testing to see how long a cobalt and iodine bomb cause gold to be too radioactive to go near. It’s the idea of it that I like. It’s a nice twist on both a “let’s steal lots of money” plot and use of nuclear weapons as a threat.

I really do wish I could have enjoyed this movie more. It had some really fun moments and while it wasn’t gunning for my top spy movie, it was certainly holding its own in the middle range up until the so-called seduction. It was good to finally see a lot of the sources for things that show up all over the cultural landscape now, and I’m glad I’ve seen it in that it was definitely a hole in my pop-culture knowledge. It had a lot of positives. I just can’t forgive that one huge negative. And what makes it worse is that I can think of a few minor adjustments that would have changed the tone of the scene enough to make it less creeptastic. But alas, it was not to be. I probably won’t be running out to go buy more classic Bond, but perhaps it will be telling that when the next Daniel Craig Bond movie comes out I’m looking forward to it.

September 4, 2011 Posted by | daily reviews | , , , | Leave a comment