Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quantum of Solace (A brief movie review)

Opening Sequence

One of the most anticipated moments in a Bond movie is its opening sequence. In Quantum of Solace (QoS), the opening sequence is a continuation of where Casino Royale (2006) left off. As it played out, I yawned. Then the opening credits and the song accompanying it came on. The main reason why I developed a liking to Chris Cornell's You know my name was because I enjoyed how the visuals in the opening credits for Casino Royale played out. That eventually led me to develop an ear for Chris Cornell's track. Not so here. In QoS, I didn't even attempt to figure out who the singer was. The visuals were rather flat and so I sat back with pursed lips. This has got to be the worst opening in a Bond movie. I yawned again.

Bond Girls

Gemma Arterton is forgettable. Her time on screen is so brief that I don't even remember if I had a chance to observe points. Her destiny, in the same mold as a former Bond girl from a much better Bond movie, isn't as impressive. The other Bond girl, Olga Kurylenko, impresses to an extent. She is more in the mold of Maryam d'Abo from The Living Daylights (1987) except Kurylenko knows what she is getting into once she is, figuratively speaking, in bed with Bond. Her accent, playing a South American character, is slightly uneven but admirable given Kurylenko is East European.

The Baddies

The baddie from Casino Royale has hardly any screen time and is forgettable. We just want him dead and done with so as to be able to see what the movie can do after that. Another baddie, a corrupt South American General (how original) is on-and-off menacing. The main baddie is a pussified version of a villain from any action movie and I was sorely disappointed.

The Plot

After a point, I stopped caring.

The Stunts

An airplane chase over no-man's land is the highlight of the movie. The other stunts are cursory, badly edited and didn't stay in my mind.

Daniel Craig

Craig had a memorable presence in Casino Royale. In QoS, his character is severely lacking and he speaks no memorable one-liners. I think that Daniel Craig will be a Bond who is only as good as the script and its pacing. Otherwise, a distinct lack of charm with his leading ladies (think Roger Moore) and flair for a playful sense of humour (Pierce Brosnan) stand out rather painfully.


It is obvious that the filmmakers were unsure as to how to continue with the franchise from where Casino Royale left of. Without the Bond brand, QoS would have been just another piece of disposable action entertainment.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

RIP M.N.Nambiar

Know anyone who has acted with 7 generations of actors and starred in more than a 1,000 movies?

From the BBC:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Anatomy of a scene

This is a repost of a post originally published on Crossroads back in June 2007. I am so busy at the moment at the office that I have not had much time to write.

"It was late afternoon as I pulled into my driveway and climbed out. The sun was warm and making its way toward the horizon. On a whim, I walked across the huge yard toward the rolling fields beyond the property line. I scurried over the freshly painted white fence and, with my hands on my hip, stood there taking in the lazy scene. The sky was a deep blue with wisps of milky white clouds passing by at a snail's pace. They had all the time in the world. A cockchafer went flying past me. I craned my neck to follow his flight path. He was moving fast and soon he was out of sight over a small hill overflowing with dandelions that were swaying gently to the breeze. It was a calm day but then it was always calm out here.

As I sunned, I slowly became acclimatized to the smells and sounds of the field. A slight but angry rustle nearby indicated that my presence had disturbed the slumbers of a small animal, perhaps a field mouse. Two butterflies were in earnest conversation a ways off. They seemed to tumble down a bit. They were in combat. Were they fighting for the love of a lady then? The distant warble of a purple martin seemed to add a layer of melancholy to their battle. One of them was destined to lose. I hoped that they were not brothers.

The sun was sinking lower in the sky and the breeze had picked up. The light had turned to a cooler blue. There was a faint hint of a familiar scent wafting down from a small hill yonder to my right: the fragrance of bur marigolds that I could not see. Maybe that cockchafer had a cousin who made her home amidst those marigolds. Had he been taking tea with her before he said his goodbyes and so ended up flying past me on his way home? Maybe it was time for me to be getting home too. I took one long earnest look around. Everything seemed to indicate that it was time to start settling in for the night. I turned and started waddling my way back home."

Monday, November 3, 2008