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It's been a couple of weeks since I've been to the theater. (It's been a few weeks since I've done anything but schoolwork.) The last two movies I've had time for were the latest 007 installment and the controversial penguin flick, Happy Feet.
Stacy and I caught Casino Royaleon our last date night. I am a huge James Bond fan. I have loved the spy flicks since seeing Moonraker as a kid. As I grew older, I found that my taste for Bond matured from the cheesy Roger Moore movies to Sean Connery's more serious fare. The Timothy Dalton years were depressing, but who was better equipped to save us than Pierce Brosnan? He has by far been my favorite of the latest batch of Bonds. I was saddened when I heard that the Powers-That-Be dumped him for a new agent.
When they made the Daniel Craig announcement, I was ready to leave my beloved Bond movies behind, living in the past with my Bond DVD collection clutched to my chest. Have you seen the guy? He's blond, blue-eyed, and craggy. How could he fill Connery and Brosnan's shoes? Not to mention the fact that they wanted to reboot the entire series by making this Bond's first mission as a double-0 agent, with the current Dame M no less. The world stopped making sense. Okay, the world hasn't made sense for a long time, but you get the picture.
I decided to give Daniel "Cragface" Craig the benefit of the doubt. The reboot might work in his favor, who knows? Besides, the critics loved him as Bond, not that I've paid much attention to critics in the past.
I was blown away. The thing about low expectations is that they can be truly shattered by a good performance. I was not prepared for Cragface to not only nail the Bond character (and not nail the Bond girl, what's up with that?) but to add another layer to my favorite spy. If you are a Bond fan and avoiding the movie because of the actor, don't. If you don't watch the Bond movies, check this one out. It's a great jump-in point and many elements that turned off people in the past, such as unrealistic gadgets and over-the-top villains, are virtually non-existent. The movie was great and I can't wait to add it to my DVD collection. A word of warning for those averse to scenes of intense pain, shut your eyes for the torture scene, I still feel sympathy pain for poor Bond weeks after the movie.
What about Happy Feet? Meh. It was a cute movie. I liked their use of a wide selection of popular music to make it a pseudo-musical. The voice acting was forgettable, besides Robin Williams, of course. The problem with his voice acting is that no matter what voice he does, you know it's him. That doesn't stop his characters from being funny, though. I really didn't mind the environmental message they pound into the audience during the last half-hour or so. I have noticed that CNN has had experts and pundits on the weeks following the movie to remark on the horribly inappropriate underlying message of the movie. Apparently, some people are outraged that the creators could be so underhanded as to include an environmental message in a movie about friggin' penguins. Give me a break, people. It's about penguins. I would have been surprised if there wasn't a message included.
"How dare they bring this environmental problem to our attention, in front of our kids, no less! Now I have to explain to my kids that we have to kill the penguins so we can eat their delicious fish in high-scale restaurants! They oughta be ashamed!"
Chill, people. Eat fish from the temperate Pacific. Mahi mahi, now there's a tasty fish. Besides, I'm sure Disneywillcomeoutwithanotherschlock-festforyour kids anytime now that won't prompt them to ask inconvenient questions about society's excesses.
Oh, and before I forget, school sucks, database classes suck, professors that give nine assignments every week suck.
Thanks to Jon and BestWeekEver.tv, I have been thoroughly addicted to Regina Spektor. She's all that's been in my car stereo and my mp3 player all week. I have loved female singer/songwriters that play piano since Tori Amos made the scene in the early '90s. There have been a couple lately that have caught my eye, like Vanessa Carlton (she wants me,) but none have caught my ear quite like Spektor. If you haven't heard her yet, check out the smorgasbord of Spektor videos below. If you have heard her, then you know how good she is and you'll probably watch the videos below. If you don't like her, then there's no accounting for taste, but you should still watch the first video below. I dare you to get the refrain from Hotel Song out of your head for the rest of the day (Little bag of cocaine, little bag of cocaine...)
(I know it's not an official video, but the song quality is good and the video is tolerable.)
(Another unofficial video, but this one has some professional production values.)