Saturday, November 15, 2008

Quantum Of Solace and Casino Royale

Remember the scene in Fight Club where movie projectionist Tyler Durden splices frames from dirty movies into the reels of family films?
Last night I went to see "Quantum Of Solace", the new James Bond movie. Somewhere in all of that racing, fighting, exploding, and shooting, they may have spliced in a plot.
I'm not sure, since my eyes have a tendency to blink.

In the opening chase sequence (a Bond movie trademark), the editor only allows each scene to last for .09357 seconds. I had no idea what I was watching, which angle I was watching it from, or who things were happning to. But then, I'm old.....
Every now and then someone would pop in and mumble something about exploiting the workers to make T-shirts.
M's headquarters had a really cool screen that could almost do as much as CNN's Election Night map. Ever since Tom Cruise first used a similar screen in Minority Report, all government headquarters in movies are equipped with blue tinted glass walls where projected data can be manipulated with Leonard Bernstein-ish conductor gestures.
There was a lot of broken glass in this movie. Perhaps more than in all the other Bond films combined. Good subject for further research.
The bad guys had a hotel in the middle of the desert. Yes, a hotel in the middle of the desert, roughly modeled along the same lines as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. How does the hotel get power, you ask? From highly explosive hydrogen. (HINT: FORESHADOWING).

Remember the infamous scene in Goldfinger where the Bond girl is flea-dipped with so much gold that it doesn't allow her skin to breathe, and it kills her? Well in Quantum Of Solace, it happens with oil ! Motor oil ! Black Texas crude ! Get it? Get it? They're making a political statement ! OIL IS THE NEW GOLD !

It was nice, though, to see a Bond villain hiding behind a bunch of phony Green "Save The Planet" virtue. I don't know who that reminded me of.

But enough about Quantum Of Solace. I'd only give it a 4 on the 10 scale.
This is an email about what happened a couple of years ago when I went with my daughter to see "Casino Royale", the previous James Bond film. I've cleaned up some of the grammar and deleted a few names. Other than that, this is what really happened.....

1) Late Monday afternoon, I was in our main office talking to our company President and one of the owners. They mention that one of our factories is missing a box truck that was being used on an installation job in Mississippi. This is the factory that could lose The Concorde if it didn’t make a lot of noise, so I figure the box truck will turn up. I don’t worry about it, although it’s part of my job to worry about it. The factory in question is bi-polar, and has family of origin issues. (In case you're wondering, the factory mentioned here has been cleaned up, straightened out, and has new management. The manager who presided over this mess two years ago went on to be an Involuntary Guest Of The State. Huntsville Prison, I think.)

2) Later that night, my daugher, The Future Aggie, decides she’s willing to go see Casino Royale with me. This is a rarity, since she’s reached the age where she wants all her friends to think she was raised by wild dogs in the forest, or that she was conceived like Athena springing forth fully formed from the forehead of Zeus. I’m excited by the opportunity to go with her. She makes me put on different clothes and she also invites a friend, so as to inoculate herself against any un-coolness should she be seen by any of her other Paschal High School friends.

3) The opening credits - where the Bond silhouette is shooting the playing card people, and they bleed hearts and spades and clubs - that was impressive.

4) The flashbacks to his 1st two kills were well done. It apparently takes two kills to achieve Double-O status in the British Secret Service.

5) The chase scene through the snake/mongoose gambling pit, the aerobic workout in the construction site, and the fight in the embassy were all way cool. I can’t imagine Pierce Brosnan pulling that off.

6) Judi Dench starts chewing on James Bond for getting caught on film at the embassy. Then I get a call from the Yazoo City, Mississippi police department. (Of course, I had politely turned my phone on vibrate.) I leave for the lobby of the theatre. They want more info on the truck. They think they’ve seen it. We converse, and I tell them things they already know.

7) I come back into the theatre. Bond has apparently won a sportscar and the sportscar’s former owner’s wife. Bond works on bedding the wife, but gets a phone call and has to leave the wife. I get another phone call and have to leave the movie. It’s our Plastic Shop plant manager, who shouldn't have anything to do with this mess. He says the Hood County Sheriff’s Department has been trying to get in touch with me. I explain that I was on the phone with the Yazoo City police department, and Yazoo City thinks they’ve seen it. What the hell is Hood County doing in the picture? Isn’t Hood County what surrounds Granbury, Texas? I take the phone # and go back to the movie.

8) I get back into the theatre. Bond has moved onto another hottie, and this one is supposed to be an Accountant (sorta like the Bond move where Denise Richards was supposed to be a Nuclear Physicist…..snicker snicker.) They’re going to defeat terrorism by winning at Texas Hold’em, which makes about as much sense as defeating terrorism by invading Iraq, I guess.

9) The cell phone rings again. I’m mad enough at this point to achieve Double-O status in the British Secret Service. Two kills would be just the beginning. It’s the Hood County Sheriff’s department. They think they have our company’s truck. But the make and model don’t match. Then the lieutenant I’m talking to has to hang up to handle an emergency call. I leave the lobby for the theatre again. My child is pissed. She will no longer catch me up on what’s been happening in the movie. I turn my phone off, because the battery is dying.

10) James Bond loses 10 million righteous and holy dollars, apparently because he mis-reads a bleeding eye “tell”. The Future Aggie’s phone goes off about 8 times. The Future Aggie, unlike her father, doesn’t answer her phone during movies. The calls are coming from home. From her mother. Finally, her mother text-messages The Future Aggie something like TELL YOUR FATHER TO CALL ME NOW ! ! ! ! The hottie accountant won’t give James Bond 5 million more as a buy-in.

11) I go back to the lobby (by this point, I’m quite friendly with the mentally deficient guy that they’ve hired to tear the tickets) and I call Mrs. Whited Sepulchre. She has had conversations not with the Hood County Sheriff’s department, but with The Granbury Police department, and wants to tell me about these conversations in laborious detail. I start finishing all of her sentences for her, and tell her that I’ve got it covered. Mrs. Whited Sepulchre is pissed. She wants to fully experience the True Crime Moment.

12) I go back in the theatre. Something has happened with poison, a cell phone, and a glove compartment defibrillator. Bond has somehow gotten money to get back in the game. Everybody raises the pot to ridiculous amounts. The River, The Flop, and The Other Thing I Can’t Remember are aces and eights. The large African dictator puts down a full house, two aces and 3 eights. Someone else has the same thing, but with three aces. (I’m sure I’ve gotten this wrong, because I’ve already named 5 aces.) Then Bleeding Eye puts down 4 of a kind. I’ve forgotten to turn my phone onto vibrate, and it goes off louder than an A-rab funeral. It’s the Granbury Sheriff’s Department. They have our box truck. Positive I.D. this time. Instead of politely leaving for the lobby, I discuss all of this inside the theatre. Everyone around me is pissed. They want me to return to the Trailer Park from whence I came, since I obviously don’t know how to act in a movie. But I get to see James Bond fill an inside straight, which is impossible, and can’t be done.

13) I leave for the lobby, talking to Granbury cops all the way. Some guy left our box truck on private property near Granbury. The landowner thought he recognized the driver, but not the truck. The Landowner went to question the driver. The driver put a large padlock on the back door and ran away. Drugs are probably involved. I make mental arrangements to go to Granbury on Tuesday morning, not just to get our truck back, but to have the first pick of the drugs. I return to the theatre, where three rows of people hold me in total contempt. Bond is nekkid and Bleeding Eye is beating the daylights out of Bond’s privates with a knotted rope. I can sympathize and empathize. Nobody will sit with me.

14) I settle into my chair. The phone rings. Again. Loudly. A lady three rows down reaches levels of pissed off that I didn’t think were possible. I’ve once again forgotten to turn it back on vibrate. Nobody else comments, since no one else remains close enough to my violence-plagued seat to notice.

15) I go back into the lobby. It’s the manager who runs the factory that loses box trucks. He explains that the box truck was sent with an install group on a job to Mississippi, the install group stopped at the Casinos in Shreveport (not to be confused with the James Bond Stylish Casinos in Montenegro), and everyone did well and behaved themselves except the truck driver, who lost all of his per diem money gambling. He also had a hard time getting up the next morning (drunk), and was no good as a worker for the rest of the trip. He got sent home (to Texas) early. The idea was to get him home with the truck and then fire him. But he stopped in Vicksburg and charged a lot of stuff to his Company Credit Card at the Casinos there. Shoulda been home Friday in the truck. He and the truck weren’t missed until Monday. The driver was probably just depressed. I explain that I’ve got it covered, hang up, and go in the theatre. Bond is resigning his job via email, something I considered immediately.

16) The Hood County Sheriff’s department guy returns from his emergency call, and immediately calls me. I go back to the lobby. We discuss things. I ask about his family. The Hood County guy gets my whole story. He tells me that he has relatives in Yazoo City. I tell him that my mother is from Yazoo City, Mississippi, and I’ve also talked to people from there tonight. We make lots and lots and lots of small talk. Screw the movie. I hang up, and play video games in the lobby until the movie ends. The Future Aggie and her friend liked the movie a lot. I can’t wait to see it.

P.S. – I got the box truck back this morning. No drugs in the back, but LOTS of empty beer cans in the cab. Huge disappointment.

In case you're wondering, when I went to see Quantum Of Solace I left my cell phone in my truck.


fembuttx said...
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fembuttx said...
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vampE said...

It’s a good thing I wasn’t near you in the theater. I would have gone all medieval on you. Oops, wrong movie reference.

You missed a couple more kills. And the “accountant” soon-to-be-Bond-girl getting all upset because she sees Bond kill a bad guy. What did she think he did for a living? Give them a frown and tell them to behave? (Actually, that would be very British of him.)

There is a lot more killing than sex in these new Bond movies. But then again, after what Bleeding Eye did to him, it's understandable.

I hope your company paid you back the $8 movie cost. Or you could go to Louisiana and gamble to get it back. I hear inside straights are easy to pull off.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Alas, I didn't recoup the $8.00
There were no Vicadins in the recovered truck.
All that typing, for so little payoff.