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A double dose of spy films

I was finally able to watch Quantum of Solace earlier tonight at the Podium. Being a fan of the James Bond franchise, I obviously wanted to see the film for myself.

While the action sequences in Casino Royale blew me away, I thought Quantum delivered enough action to keep me satisfied. There was no “wow” factor for me on this movie with regards to the action. I still appreciate how realistic the sequences were–I felt every punch, kick and fall. The best sequence was probably when James and a bad guy fell through this glass roof. That was one heck of a scene to direct. Unfortunately, I already saw it in the trailer so I was already expecting it.

Olga Kurylenko is the most boring Bond girl ever. Granted that Denise Richards was laughable as a nuclear scientist, Olga as a Bolivian Secret Service agent did not sell. I was expecting more from her character after reading her interviews about how this particular Bond girl was different from the rest. Apart from the fight scene with the sleazy general, she was constantly being saved by James. She was no different from the other Bond girls who swooned after James and who used their feminine wiles to get what they want. Despite the “I’m-tough-don’t-mess-with-me-exterior”, she couldn’t seem to make a smart decision (nor survive!) without James backing her up. But she didn’t sleep with Bond–maybe that’s what she meant by “different”.

Funny that some fans were griping about the lack of gadgets while I didn’t even notice it. I’m still undecided whether that’s a good thing or not.

I still like Daniel Craig. Some people may think that he doesn’t really fit the Bond typecast but I like the rougher, tougher Bond. I’d pick him over Pierce Brosnan to win a fist fight any day.

I give claps to whoever did the sound design. It was just so good. The scoring’s also one the best I’ve heard in a while. As for the theme song, I still love Cornell’s “You Know My Name” but I was bowled over by the Jack White and Alicia Keys duet. It’s one of those things that you never expected to mix–a hard core rocker and an R&B diva. “Another Way To Die” is probably among the better Bond theme songs.

Another spy film that premiered this week was Burn After Reading. I was able to watch the premiere at Robinson’s Galleria for free last Monday (thanks Arlene!). How can a film go wrong when it’s directed by Academy award winning directors (Coen brothers) and stars John Malkovich, Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Frances McDormand?

I just love character driven plots and Burn After Reading did not disappoint. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a movie that much. Pitt and Clooney were such a joy to watch–they were such believable idiots. Frances was just brilliant; she made her shallow, manipulative character endearing (which was tough!). I was also psyched to see Malkovich on the big screen again. His role as an angry and frustrated CIA agent seemed to be tailor made for him.

I want to watch this again to find out what I missed on the parts where I laughed too much. 🙂 I couldn’t say anything more without posting spoilers. But take my word for it–if you want to watch a film that offers something away from the norm, then this one’s for you. You just wouldn’t be able to predict what will happen next.

If made to choose between these two spy films, I’d choose Burn After Reading hands down. There’s never anything wrong with a good laugh plus it has more eye candy.

And you can never have too much of both.



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  1. November 22, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    I love “Burn After Reading”. It’s hilarious. It’s superb acting by all the actors. Tilda Swinton was also good. Brad Pitt was good as the simple-minded hunk fromthe gym. Frances McDormand is a joy to watch. And of course, John Malkovich.

  2. clare
    November 22, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    ewan ko ba, i never really got the appeal of the james bond movies…

  3. November 23, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    @Ellen: Tilda’s my new favorite bitch. 🙂 Just loved her in that movie. I’ve been recommending it to my friends. 🙂

    @clare: I like the Bond franchise because of the action scenes and the gadgets–never because of the plot. It’s one of the most testosterone-y franchises out there but it never fails to entertain. 🙂

  4. islandmystik
    January 13, 2009 at 9:16 am

    As a avid bond fan and one who has seen honestly every Bond flick at least ten times each I am quite enjoying the direction they are going with it. Most complain because of the lack of gadgets and action. remember the Bond flicks now are just after he acquired the 00 status and he is following the case of Vesper.
    @ psycho Tilda Swinton is awesome. I just love the Coen Brothers.

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