Posts Tagged ‘007

12
Jan
15

American Hustle, Everything or Nothing

American Hustle

American Cleavage.

American Hustle was one of those films everyone raved about. When this happens, the movie is usually extremely overrated with little more than coherent storytelling and passable acting, with Argo being a prime example. I figured American Hustle would be exactly the same. The 2013 movie tells the story of con-artists in the 1970s helping the FBI run a sting operation against corrupt politicians. The movie begins with a very out of shape and balding Batman who has seen better days. He has been a con-man for years, and one day meets the love of his life, Amy Adams, who is a masterful con-woman. Batman and Adams are caught by Bradley Cooper who extorts them into working for the FBI. Their goal is to run a larger operation and take down corrupt politicians and the mob. What follows is a dizzying tale of each character trying to get something for themselves. American Hustle is truly a character-driven film. Each character is almost larger than life, played expertly by fantastic cast members. Every player has a developed backstory and clear motivations for what they want in life. There are, of course, double-crosses and cons along they way to keep the film moving. What else would you expect in movie with con-artists? Fortunately, the movie does not rely on the cons, but rather the characters. The 1970s are alive and well in this movie. I didn’t live in this decade, but I can only imagine this is what it looked like, bright, flashy, and very eclectic. The movie required a lot of juggling on the part of the director to keep each character in the spotlight, to keep the story moving full steam ahead, and to not let the pacing get bogged down. Director David O. Russel delivered on every level. The movie really is as great as the hype claims it to be. It is a rare example of a big-budget, star-studded movie done right.
Verdict: Awesome
Everything or Nothing

Such Bond. So secret agent. Wow.

Anyone who frequents Awesome Shitty knows that I’m a James Bond fan. A documentary titled Everything or Nothing was released to mark Bond’s 50th anniversary. I finally got around to watching it, and I must say it was an interesting look back at the genesis of everyone’s favorite spy. The movie begins with Ian Fleming’s early life, and the events that led up to his creation of the Bond character. Bond is essentially an extension of Fleming himself with the smoking, drinking, and jetsetting. The film follows the failed first attempt to bring Bond to the screen on American TV as “Jimmy Bond,” an American CIA agent, and continues on to failed licensing attempts, and eventual success with the first film, Dr. No. We learn the behind the scenes drama of Connery leaving, returning, and leaving again, Lazenby’s hilarious story as to how he was cast as the second Bond, and more. Like a Bond villain himself, Kevin McClory pops up three different times over the years to attempt to thwart the Bond film producers because he claimed rights to the Thunderball story. While I knew the Bond franchise had its ups and downs over the years, I didn’t know how much backstage battling there really was. I suppose there had to be considering it is a 50-year-long movie franchise. The film features great intreviews with producers, writers, directors, and the James Bonds themselves. Only Connery doesn’t appear, which is disappointing, but otherwise, we get some great insights from everyone else. Brosnan in particular had a rough road to becoming Bond and had an interesting story to tell. For fans of the James Bond series, this documentary is a must watch. Even non-Bond fans will like the movie. Mrs. Brik who has seen some of the movies found the documentary quite interesting. I highly recommended checking this out.
Verdict: Good
17
Nov
12

The Sky is Falling (James Bond 23)

Since every film critic and blogger has already pledged their undying love and firstborn child to Skyfall, I feel like I need to take a different approach to reviewing it. I could do my usual complaining, but after wracking my brain, I found that I had very little to complain about. It was a solid Bond movie from start to finish, and a welcome addition to the franchise. So, I think I’ll just throw out random thoughts I had and leave it at that.

Where the fuck was the Opening Gunbarrel Sequence? Oh, at the end again. For 20 films, they always opened through the point of view of a gun, with Bond firing a shot, and blood spilling down the screen. The last movie, Quantum of Solace, which was kind of a piece of shit, inexplicably moved the sequence to the end. Skyfall does the same thing. Director Sam Mendes stated he wanted to have it in the beginning, but thought it looked ridiculous paired to the opening of the movie with Bond walking out with his gun raised. I guess that makes sense, but throwing it onto the end makes it feel like an afterthought. I have always liked the traditional opening, something that no other film series has, and to just tack it on at the end feels shameless.

The opening credits were designed by Daniel Kleinman who did the opening credits for all the Bond movies from Goldeneye through Skyfall, with the exception of Quantum of Solace, which again makes that movie stand out as kind of shitty. The credits, again, were fantastic. He has really upped his game with Skyfall, making a visual feast with beautiful girls, flashy effects, and thematic elements that tie in with the plot of the film. The only part of the opening credits that falls flat is the title song “Skyfawwll” performed by Adele. The song is a boring dud, just like its singer.

Continue reading ‘The Sky is Falling (James Bond 23)’

02
Mar
10

Things I Hate About Assassin’s Creed

Assassin’s Creed boasts a lot of cool things. It has amazing graphics, a fun concept, a unique setting, and a great parkour-like method of moving about. However, it also boasts a lot of bullshit. While it manages to do a lot of stuff right, it also manages to do a lot of other stuff wrong.

1. “Please sir, have any money?” – I am seriously sick of these fucking beggars telling me how they are “poor and sick and hungry.” In real life bums just sprawl across the sidewalk and groan out for some spare change. They don’t chase you down like they do in Assassin’s Creed. Seriously, what the fuck? Have the game designers ever interacted with a beggar in their entire lives? Apparently not. It goes to ridiculous levels when they start blocking your path. Once, after assassinating one of the main targets, I was on the run from about a million guards, and simultaneously I was being chased by two beggars, flanking my right and left sides. Those beggars have some serious cajones to be chasing after you for money when a cadre of bloodthirsty guards are out for your blood.

2. Save the Citizens again… and again… – Assassin’s Creed must have been developed by a bunch of autistic people, because never before have I come across a game so repetitive and tedious. How many times can you save the citizens of each district before it gets old? I think when I returned to Damascus for the first time, I was getting really sick of this crap. And it just goes on and on and on. It was interesting the first few times, but it quickly became idiotic. If you are an elite assassin, you aren’t going to go around picking fights with the city’s guards in broad daylight. It would draw way too much attention to yourself, and make it impossible to assassinate anybody. (By the way, wasn’t “Be Discreet” the second part of the Assassin’s Creed?) This repetition does nothing more than pad the length of the game, which is just lazy on the part of the game designers. Everything seems to be repeated ad nauseam from climbing lookout towers to collecting flags for information. Which brings me to my next point…

Continue reading ‘Things I Hate About Assassin’s Creed’

23
Jan
09

Bond…James Bond 15-22

Continuing from where I left off last time, I have since watched all the Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig films in the James Bond series. Dalton is generally reviled, Brosnan is considered to be average, and Daniel Craig is loved almost as much as Connery. Dalton wasn’t the worst Bond ever, that distinction belongs to George Lazenby. However, Dalton just didn’t have the right amount of charisma to play the famous British spy. Bond is supposed to have fun at what he does, and Dalton just sort of played it like a regular action hero. Brosnan, I think, is an excellent Bond. Unfortunately, his tenure was plagued by some of the worst scripts and supporting cast in Bond movie history. Given the right material, though, he really excelled. Craig, the current Bond, is quite good, albeit sort of rough around the edges. He is playing Bond before he became the suave super spy of Connery and Moore’s days. So, with a little luck, Craig will slowly adopt those features as he progresses from film to film.

Ranking the remaining films in order from best to worst, would go something like this:

  1. Casino Royale
  2. Goldeneye
  3. Tomorrow Never Dies
  4. Quantum of Solace
  5. The Living Daylights
  6. Die Another Day
  7. Licence to Kill
  8. The World is Not Enough

If you’re interested in why I ordered them the way I did (and how could you not be?), read on. Continue reading ‘Bond…James Bond 15-22′

02
Nov
08

Bond…James Bond 8-14

Continuing from where I left off last time, I have since watched all of the Roger Moore films in the James Bond series. Some people don’t like Moore because he infused a bit too much tongue in cheek humor, but I think it suited him well. Every actor gave Bond a unique personality. This is probably the reason why the series has been able to continue for so long. Each time we get a new Bond, we get a new personality, and not a bunch of different people trying to play the role exactly the same way.

Ranking the Roger Moore films in order from best to last would go something like this:

  1. The Spy Who Loved Me
  2. Live and Let Die
  3. Moonraker
  4. The Man with the Golden Gun
  5. Octopussy
  6. For Your Eyes Only
  7. A View to a Kill

If you’re interested in why I ordered them the way I did (and how could you not be?), read on. Continue reading ‘Bond…James Bond 8-14′

18
Sep
08

Bond…James Bond 1-7

I recently picked up all the remastered Ultimate Edition DVDs of the James Bond films from an Ebay auction. I’m not exactly careful with these types of things. I bid on a whim, and then promptly forgot about the thing. Five days later, my inbox displayed an email telling me that I won. Oh sweet. I was now out around $130. On the bright side, I got all 22 Bond films, and I consider myself a pretty big fan of the series. Over the last couple of weeks I have been watching the movies, and I thought I’d share my thoughts with both of you who read my blog.

If I had to rank the Sean Connery films in order from best to last they’d go something like this (I’m also throwing in Lazenby’s film as it falls between two Connery movies):

  1. From Russia with Love
  2. Goldfinger
  3. Dr. No
  4. You Only Live Twice
  5. Thunderball
  6. Diamonds are Forever
  7. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
  8. Never Say Never Again (an unofficial film)

If you’re interested in why I ordered them the way I did (and how could you not be?), read on. Continue reading ‘Bond…James Bond 1-7′




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