Club Lounge Departure Movie Musings.
So after yesterdays rather bleak post, I'm going to chat quickly about my other love, Film.
Just read Garth Franklin's review of the new Bond Flick, Quantum of Solace on his exec lent Dark Horizons site. To say our Aussie reviewer savaged it, would be like saying I'm about to enjoy the next 27 hours sat on a 747 on an airline with a rather patchy serviceability record at the moment. Garth rips it a new one. Which I found surprising, because all the things he hates, are the things I love about Daniel Craig's return as Bond. If you've not seen it, please do as it's an excellent Bond film, in my humble opinion. Garth, and others I might add, liken it to the latter Timothy Dalton movies, but that's unfair. QOS is the third act of Casino Royale. Picking up five minutes after Casino Royale finishes, with a truly heartbreaking scene where Bond, coldly and only partially unjustified, ruins two lovely Alfa 159's. The film is a shade under two hours and moves at a fantastic pace. The bit that has most people confused is what Bond is after. He is after revenge for Vesper and to achieve that, Bond knows he has to crack Quantum and cut off his head, as a means to an end. The best qualities of QOS is the "mcguffin" that Quantum is after, not Oil people, what they are after will soon be far more important than that. Which gives us the required "Bad Guy" ingredient, that they are always one step ahead. The film is summed up by it's final scene, which I won't ruin. But after Bond does his thing in the Bolivian desert, he meets the man truly responsible for Vesper's death. It's a cold scene and true Bond.
The Bond Girls are ok. Olga Kurylenko is interesting, but I found her rather dull. She is far hotter and more interesting in her 10 minutes opposite Mark Whalberg in Max Payne, playing the doomed Natasha. Gemma Arterton is far more fun in her brief appearence on screen and will probably have a better career than the Ukrainian for it. On the whole, you have to watch it for what it is, the end of Casino Royale and not a stand alone Bond movie. I think this final act of Casino Royale is better than the preceeding ones, neatly wrapping up the story that this rebooted Bond has given us so far.
The other news that grabbed my eye on Dark Horizons, and subsequently published in Variety, is that the Director of Quantum of Solace, Marc Forster, has been signed by Brad Pitt and his Plan B shingle to direct the long in gestation World War Z adaptation. For the uninformed World War Z is a novel by Max Brooks, son of Mel, about the great Zombie war. Not here I can see most of you clicking off, but please read on. The Zombie film, since perfect by George Romero in "Night of the Living Dead" and "Dawn/Day of the Living Dead", has been used as a vessel to talk about the social and political mind of the world at the time of making. Night was ultimately about Race, whereas the films Dawn and Day were direct Socio-political comments on Government and Commercialism. Since then, the Zombie movie has become a joke stock for Horror movies. Max Brooks first take on the genre, in the hilarious "Zombie Survival Guide", which, as an aside, is the most stolen book from my collection (I've had to buy it 5 times now...) is a seriously funny dissection of how to survive a Zombie pandemic. World War Z is another kettle of fish altogether. Using his "Survival Guide" as a base, e creates a world recovering from a global uprising of the living dead. Brooks using real life events to reference this rising, Ground Zero being The Three Gorges Dam in China. But the real genius of the story is placing him as the narrator and compiling an "Oral History" of what happened. In the story, Brooks is a UN Investigator tasked with writing the Official Story of the war. When it's published, it has been butchered and no blame accounted for. So what follows is Brooks falling out with his bosses and returning to his subjects to get the whole truth, the real experience of what happened. The book is layed out as a series of interviews, and is at the same time both fascinating and terrifying, as you journey with him through the world he creates. The staple of the original Zombie movies return, slow, "crap", Zombies and a large does of Socio-political-environmental comment seeps through. It is a massive piece of work and has been written for the screen by J. Michael Straczynski, who created Babylon 5. Its also been made into an amazing audio book starring Brooks himself and a star studded cast of the books fans; Mark Hamill, Alan Arkin, Rob and Carl Reiner, Jurgen Prochnow and Timothy Rollins. I was worried when I heard about the film, as there are far too many stories to cram into two hours, and HBO mini series would be perfect, but Forster showed he can direct action with QOS and mood in The Kyte Runner so it bodes well. The script is supposed to be great and includes the Submarine story, the Ship Breaker Yard scene and the Japan story line. Good stuff. I would recommend giving the book a chance as it is epic, in every sense of the word.
Right, I have a plan to catch, see you from a Down Under Summer.