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2021 August

  • Quantum of Solace

    Bond film no. 22, Daniel Craig's second outing. I actually watched this back in 2008, but apparently I wasn't super impressed (and I wish I wrote more back then lol). I suspect I didn't really like it because this movie is actually a direct sequel to Casino Royale which I hadn't seen until this year. It picks up on several hanging plot threads, and some of the characters appear again, and Bond in this film is primarily motivated by anger over the events of the previous film. Not to mention I had only seen two Brosnan movies prior to watching

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2021 July

  • Some stuff I've watched lately. Spoilers for Gunpowder Milkshake and MotU: Revelation are marked. Casino Royale (2006) Bond film no. 21, and the first for Daniel Craig. The final era in this James Bond run, looking forward to it. Casino Royale is new to me, but I've seen two of Craig's Bond films, so I have an idea of what to expect: a more serious and much less campy James Bond, grim and determined. The tone here is much closer to Dalton's two films than any of the other runs. Since it's kind of a reboot, it takes place early

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  • I'm here for the tiny Stay Pufts at 1:32

    Ghostbusters Afterlife Trailer:


  • I used to do these "Watching Lately" posts to talk about movies/tv/books I'd recently consumed, but for a while I folded up the reviews into the weeknotes and sometimes via short notes but the reviews have been getting longer so I guess I'm bring the "Watching Lately" tag and series of posts back. Die Another Day (2002) Bond film no. 20 and Brosnan's final appearance. The main question for me going in was: have I actually watched this before in the theatre? My memory says no, but this movie does have the ice palace scene I originally thought was in

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  • Warning: Spoilers for the just-ended season of Loki at the end of this. I have a spoiler-free review of that if you'd like. The World Is Not Enough (1999) Bond film no. 19 and Brosnan's third. Pretty sure I saw this in the theaters when it came out, but for the life of me could not recall any of the plot details at all. Turns out it was because the plot was a bit unnecessarily convoluted. It's easy to tell straight away that Sophie Marceau is on the bad guy side, given her henchmen, so that was no surprise. Renard

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  • Saturday the 10th Movies

    A couple of movies we watched during our Saturday gaming session yesterday:

    • America the Motion Picture (2021). Alternate history retelling of American revoluion, complete and utter nonsense. Good fun and we had a few laughs, but I really hope no American takes it seriously.
    • Ice Road (2021). Random Liam Neeson action flick that we actual started last Saturday. Somehow they managed to make a two hour movie about driving a truck across the ice. I thought it would be better than it was because it had Laurence Fishburn, but I guess that's not really a good basis. One of those films where I wouldn't have minded sitting through it on cable, if I was busy doing something else.
  • Black Widow

    We finally return to the MCU films, a full two years after the last film was released! Breaking a decade-long tradition, I am unable to watch it in theaters this time (and probably won't get to watch any of the others this year in theaters either), but at least we are moving forward now, onto the next phase! Spoiler-free review first, then spoilery bits follow afterwards. incredibly good as an action movie, great fight sequences and set pieces and chases etc. Felt like I was watching something from Mission Impossible or James Bond fairly stand-alone, though some knowledge of what

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  • Tomorrow Never Dies

  • Goldeneye (1995)

    The Bond film reviews were starting to get a bit long for Twitter/notes, so a full blog post it is. Goldeneye (1995). Bond film no. 17 and first for Brosnan. The films are starting to look "modern", but might just be because this is the first Bond film to come out after I graduated high school and that's what I see as "modern". I didn't see this in theaters when it first came out though. We get that dry wit and humor back, and a bit more modern armaments. Not sure if I've ever seen Bond use an automatic weapon

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  • Under Siege (1992)

    Saturday gaming group decided to do a movie watch-along while we played and randomly settled on Under Siege (1992) for some reason. I'd never seen it before and several times I said "Isn't this just Die Hard on a boat?" and apparently that was a universal consensus. Very 90s. Unsurprisingly this is already Seagal's best-rated movie and has a surprising number of familiar and even good actors, including Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Busey, and Colm Meaney (Star Trek's O'Brien)

  • License to Kill (1989)

    License to Kill (1989): Bond film no 16, Dalton's second and last outing is much darker and yet weaker than the first one. The first one where Bond goes rogue, driven by vengeance instead of duty. Unremarkable theme song. Villain is a drug smuggler; I guess with the collapse of the USSR they couldn't have another Russia-centered plot. More actors look familiar as we near the 90s. Notable are a young Benicio del Toro playing a henchman and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (known for playing Shang Tsung. Dalton's performance is mixed, and for some reason he reminds me of Sir Patrick Stewart in some scenes. Too bad he couldn't have had a better sendoff as Bond.

  • The Living Daylights (1987)

    The Living Daylights (1987): Bond film no. 15 and first of only two Dalton entries. More 80s music theme song, this time by A-ha. Much more serious in tone compared to Connery / Moore. John Rhys-Davies is here, years before Sliders or LOTR. No sci-fi mad scientist stuff this time, straight-up spy stuff (more or less). Assassinations, defections, Russia's internal politics, Afghan rebels, weapons, smuggling, drug deals, faked deaths, etc. Might be a tiny bit too long. Surprisingly, I liked this one!

2021 June

  • Downsizing (2017)

    Was stuck in a waiting room long enough to watch Downsizing (2017) on cable. Interesting sci-fi concept (miniaturizing humans to reduce consumption and avoid climate change) serving as background for a mediocre Matt Damon story.

  • In the wee hours earlier for some reason I decided to watch Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) while playing online boardgames with friends. It was the only one of the Bayverse films I hadn't seen yet, and now that I have that seemed like a good decision. Too long, ridiculous plot, and once again the Decepticons barely distinguishable from each other.

    The story needs a lot of suspension of disbelief. Lots of spectacle as you'd expect from Michael Bay. Surprised they managed to get Anthony Hopkins for this. John Turturro is still around, but serving only as plot exposition. They decided to introduce a new female lead that looked as close to Megan Fox as possible.

    The movie ends with Cybertron crashed into Earth, so you kind of have to suspend your belief in physics as well. Also, apparently Earth is Unicron! WTH lol.

  • A View To A Kill (1985)

    Watched A View To A Kill (1985), Bond film no. 14. Moore is showing his age, luckily this is his last entry. Very 80s theme song by Duran Duran. Christopher Walken is here, as a Bond villain with a plan straight out of Superman (1978). Tanya Roberts plays a young Bond girl just 14 years before playing a middle-aged mom on That 70s Show. Random young Dolph Lundgren cameo! Kind of a ridiculous street chase scene through San Francisco. Overall not the best of Moore's run.

  • Rurouni Kenshin: The Final

  • Octopussy (1983)

    Yesterday I saw Octopussy (1983), Bond film no. 13. Another grounded entry with no fantastical elements, with the plot centered around geopolitical concerns. Some interesting action sequences, but overall, but I found most of the movie unremarkable. India shown as an exotic place (w/c I suppose it was to Westerners at that time) with elephants and firebreathers and whatnot all over. There was one scene where the bad guy appears to have broken a genuine Faberge egg but no one said anything lol.

  • For Your Eyes Only (1981)

    For Your Eyes Only (1981): Bond film no. 12. After the sci-fi fantasy of Moonraker, this one is more grounded and down-to-Earth, a callback to early Connery adventures. No megamalomaniacs to defeat, just foreign agents and mercs. The opening sequence pays homage to the earlier pre-Moore films, acknowledging the death of Tracy Bond and killing off a villain that looks suspiciously like arch-nemesis Blofeld. The opening song is pretty good. The rest of the film was ok, if a bit forgettable. I liked the rock climbing scene, but the ski chase and car chases felt like things we've seen before. Also, Moore is starting to show his age.

    Melina Havelock (portrayed by Carole Bouquet) reminded me a lot of DC’s Huntress - a crossbow-wielding woman out for revenge

  • Moonraker (1979)

    Watched Moonraker (1979). Spectacular opening sequence. Villain reminds me of Tyrion Lannister. California -> Venice -> Rio de Janeiro. Mandatory canal chase while in Venice, obviously. Lots of of product placement. A bad guy tried to ambush 007 with a KENDO STICK. Have they heard of guns? Comically indestructible assassin Jaws appears again, and actually has a character arc this time. First half of the movie was kind of meh, but the last third of the film with the space station and the laser battles and the ridiculous villain plan kind of won me over with how campy it all was.

2021 May