Sunday, November 23, 2008

Book Review


(Men, highlight below to read the review. Women, well, please ignore the following as just a random rambling of a drunk geologist. Sorry ladies, I'm just keeping Article 4 fulfilled.)

Awesomeness abounds.

After being reccommended by The Reva I couldn't not read the new book out by Barney Stinson (and Matt Kuhn) based off of Barney's rules for life from How I Met Your Mother. (Note, by "couldn't not read," I clearly mean "Brandy awesomely bought so I decided to read it because it looked AWESOME.) It's definitely hilarious, and fits in with the personality of the show and Barney. Is it offensive? Yes. Is it demeaning? Duh. But it's also friggin' great. Just spend the 10 bucks and 2 hours to read it. You won't regret it.

And remember Article 43: A bro loves his country, unless that country isn't America.

Also, if you aren't watching HIMYM, do so. Like, post haste. In fact, come over to my place and I can put in the DVD of the first two seasons to catch you up.

Quantum of Solace Review

So I saw the new James Bond movie Quantum of Solace last weekend when it opened with Brandy. I know that my reader(s) fall into two categories: those with short attention spans, and those with longer ones. So let me split my review into two - a short one and a long one!

First, the short answer: It was a good movie - but not as good as Casino Royale. Go see it anyway.

So, now for the long one...

First, let me disclaim that I like Bond movies. A lot. Even when they aren't particularly good, there's something about them that I really like. And Quantum is no exception. And perhaps that is the problem - it felt like all the other Bond movies. Casino Royale was different from other Bond movies. Way different. It was darker, grittier. It relied less on cool gadgets and more on a cool Bond. And I think this difference made the movie stand out so much. In contrast, Quantum felt like every other Bond movie (to a large extent). I could see Pierce Brosnan as Bond in Quantum, where I couldn't in Casino Royale. So if you go in expecting Casino you're probably going to leave with Goldeneye. And that's not entirely a bad thing.

So specifically (and spoiler-free... mostly) what did I like? Well, first enough cannot be said about the awesomeness of Daniel Craig and Judi Dench. I've thought that Dench was the best M since she showed up, and Craig is quickly rising on my favorite Bond list. Most people feel Sean Connery is the ultimate Bond - and I am not going to argue that - but Craig may be usurping the second slot previously held by Pierce Brosnan (although I'll be watching Goldeneye again this weekend, so we'll see how that holds up). The other major plus I give the movie is the attempt to give Bond an actual recurring villain in the evil group Quantum. I've been hoping for this for years, ever since Bond brought down SPECTRE long ago. I think it gives James a much better motive, and builds some continuity and development to the series.

Now the negatives. My biggest problem can really be summed up by pointing to the change in Director between Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. I think this change ended up altering the atmosphere of the movie, which I think lessened the drama. Additionally, the director Mike Forster tried to get too cute with the cinematography. Every Bond has a few chase scenes, but I felt that Quantum had one chase scene, followed by a short conversation, followed by another chase scene. Instead of adding tension, it bored me. These types of directing choices I think hurt the movie.

One other thing this impresses upon me is the writing ability of Ian Fleming, the creator of Bond. The early Bond movies were based upon his novels, but the later ones - including all of the Brosnan movies - were not. Casino Royale was. Quantum of Solace was not. Noticing a pattern? I think I will start searching out these books to try and figure out why Fleming's novels have adapted so well to the big screen.