Anyone remember when the world was supposed to end last Christmas?
Well, I figure today for a change of pace that I will do a written movie review blog instead. And it’s also about time I did a review of a James Bond movie. And what better movie to do a review on than the new Bond film Skyfall. Skyfall is the 23rd installment in the 50-year-old franchise that is directed by Sam Mendes, the man who won an Oscar for directing the 1999 film American Beauty but is probably better known as one of Kate Winslet’s ex-husbands. He seems like an odd choice to direct a Bond movie, but he pulls it off really well and the end result is one of the best Bond films ever.
But before we begin, let’s take a look at the last film, Quantum of Solace. Though while I thought the movie was good, I did have a couple of problems with it. For one thing, it was too short and the theme to that one was uninteresting. Nevertheless, it was still pretty good despite its flaws. Daniel Craig was just as badass here as he was in Casino Royale (his debut movie as 007) and the acting was still pretty good. However, Skyfall is a big improvement.
The movie begins with Bond (once again played by Craig) nearly getting killed while on a mission to obtain a document that has the identities of MI6 agents who have infiltrated terrorist organizations around the world. If the document falls into enemy hands, their identities would be compromised leaving them vulnerable to assassination attempts.
The enemy hands this time around is Silva (Javier Bardiem), an ex-MI6 agent who is out for revenge against M (again played by Dame Judi Dench) for betraying him to the Chinese government years earlier where he was subsequently tortured by the Chinese (apparently someone was pissed he married Penelope Cruz. :D) And when MI6 agents begin getting killed after being exposed by Silva, M is put under an investigation headed by Ralph Fiennes, who starts out as your typical arrogant bureaucratic jerk but plays a much bigger role by the end of the movie (I won’t spoil it here.)
Meanwhile, Bond who had been in hiding since his “death” resurfaces to resume his duties. However, his gun arm is kind of shaky as a result of a shoulder wound he got at the beginning of the movie. Despite that, M clears Bond to pursue Silva. And here is where we are introduced to the new Q (played by Ben Whishaw) who is a quiet, sarcastic 20-something computer geek as opposed to a cranky old man that he was in the original movies. And yes, folks. This Q does make some new toys for Bond though not as extravagant as they were in olden times. This time, 007 gets a customized Walther PPK gun which can only be fired by him. “What did you expect? An exploding pen?,” Q quips to Bond during their first meeting. Points if you can guess which Bond film the exploding pen appears in.
Back to Javier Bardem’s portrayal of Silva. I got to say that he is one of the best Bond villains to come out of the franchise in years. He plays the character as really creepy and psychotic that you got to take him seriously. In short, he is basically the franchise’s version of Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. Among some of his highlights includes a scene where he interrogates Bond and he’s checking to see if he has a wire and well, I’ll let the picture right next to this paragraph speak for itself. And when he does allow himself to be captured by MI6 agents (and the movie ventures into Chris Nolan territory) and where he masterminds yet another terrorist scheme from the confines of a glass cell (which seems to be the in thing for big movies these days.) Hey, it worked for the Joker, Loki from The Avengers, Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, and for the main villain in the upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness.
What ensues after that is some real suspense-filled edge of your seat thrills as Bond and Silva play a game of cat and mouse that ultimately ends up at Bond’s childhood home, Skyfall presided over by Albert Finney (in a role that was rumored to have been offered to Sean Connery which would have been the icing on the cake commemorating the 50th anniversary of the franchise by seeing the original Bond interact with the current Bond.)
The Bond girls this time around are Naomie Harris who starts out as Bond’s partner at the beginning of the movie and also has a major twist at the end of the movie which I will not spoil and Berenice Marlohe as the mysterious Severeine who has a secret past and is actually the girlfriend of sorts of Silva.
This movie is nothing short of awesome. This definitely ranks among the best of the Bonds that deserves to be named along with movies like From Russia With Love, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Casino Royale. It’s also one of the best spy thrillers ever. And that’s saying something. Plus I love the awesome theme song from Adele which is actually a drawback to the Shirley Bassey themes from previous films. Craig is still as badass here as he was in his previous two Bond movies and here’s hoping he still has his edge being that he is signed on for at least two more Bond movies. And if those two are as good as this movie was, then the Bond franchise will definitely have potential to make it to its 100th anniversary.
It’s finals week at HCCC and I cope with that by filming Christmas decorations and showing off yet another local band. This time it’s the Birdseed Bandits.
Well, here it is, my latest Q & A vlog is now up. This is my first original video since going on my year-long hiatus from video making. I was in the process of writing this video when the computer I was using ended up losing its sound which rendered me unable to make videos. But now that I’m back with a new camcorder and new editing software, get ready because I’m back and ready to hit the Interwebs hard. So if you have 20 minutes to spare, hope you enjoy this. So without further ado, here we go.
Q: Would you rather date a lot of different people, or be in a committed relationship?
A: At this point in my life, I think it would be best if I was with a lot of different people as opposed to being in a committed relationship with a girl who is absolutely wrong for me.
Q: If you were given the money to start a new business, what business would you open?
A: A film studio.
Q: How many languages do you speak?
A: Primarily I speak English but I also took Spanish in high school. I’m at least 14 years out of practice. lol
Q: What’s your favorite season of the year?
A: Summer. Hot weather, hot chicks, awesome times.
Q: If you were offered the job of U.S. president would you take the job?
A: No. In fact, right now it looks like I may not be voting in this year’s elections for the first time since 1996. It’s shaping up to be one of those “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” elections.
Q: What was your favorite TV show as a child?
A: There was so many. I was a fan of Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider, Garfield, the 60’s Batman series, The A-Team, Greatest American Hero, Star Trek (both original and The Next Generation)… list goes on and on. I was a child of the 80’s. It was the best decade for TV, the best decade for movies, and the best decade for music. 80’s FTW.
Q: Have you ever been fired? If so why?
A: Not yet. I quit a couple of jobs though. I worked at McDonald’s as a second job for a month in 2001. I quit because they didn’t give me enough hours and I quit Stop and Shop in 2002 because I was moving up to the Mohawk Valley.
Q: What does your average day consist of?
A: Sleep, work, Internet, school and whatever else happens.
Q: What’s your favorite genre of music?
A: Top 40 music and 80’s music. Once again, 80’s FTW.
Q: If you had a personalized license plate what would it say?
Q: Butter side up or butter side down?
A: Butter side up.
Q: Would you rather own a luxury yacht or a private jet?
A: If I had the money, I’d take both.
Q: Do you consider yourself athletic?
A: Well I do work out with weights and walk, but I don’t really play sports. So I guess you can say I’m sorta athletic. lol.
Q: What would be your favorite Charlie Sheen-inspired cocktail? Would it be made by a Warlock with Tiger blood? Whatever your choice make sure it’s a winning one!
A: It would be a Major League Wall Street Special w/ a 2 1/2 Hot Shot lemon twist. Is that winning enough for you? lol.
Q: If a genie granted you three wishes, what would you wish for?
A: To be rich, to find true love, and to be successful.
Q: What’s your favorite memory from this past summer?
A: I haven’t really have too many memories from this summer since this summer has officially started but my favorite memory from last summer was when I went to the Boxing Hall of Fame.
Q: Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?
A: Haven’t seen her in eons. Must’ve retired or something. lol
Q: If you could immediately change one thing about current affairs, social policy, and so on but it had to be something that didn’t directly benefit you, what would it be?
A: The economy.
Q: Do you believe in karma?
A: Yes I do.
Q: How would you tell your crush that you like them?
A: Best just to say it flat out.
Q: What’s your favorite saying?
A: “One lone cat against a big bad world,” which as many of you already know (unless of course you’re new to my videos) is the very definition of my username.
Q: What is the most difficult job you can think of?
A: My current job. lol
Q: How do you like your eggs cooked for breakfast?
Q: Who are your top 5 favorite rappers of all time?
A: Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Tupac.
Q: Where’s the best place in your hometown to get a great burger or milkshake?
A: Outside of Mickey D’s or Burger King, I would have to say Empire Diner. Not sure if they serve milkshakes or not. lol.
Q: If you have kids, are you gonna let those little bastards play video games?
A: Depends on what video games I let them play. lol.
Q: If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?
Q: Which do you like better – football (NFL) or football (soccer)?
A: Not a fan of either, but I would have to go with the NFL on this one.
Q: How do you generally get around – walk, bike, drive, public transportation or some other way?
A: Usually walk. My travel is very restricted.
Q: What’s your favorite Christmas cookie?
A: I know it’s a bit late for Christmas (or early depending on your point of view since we are already halfway through the year) but I’ll answer the question anyway: Chocolate chip.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about staying in a hotel over the holidays?
A: I don’t usually stay in hotels over the holidays but it would be really nice if I did.
Q: If you could kiss any celebrity at midnight on New Year’s Eve, who would it be?
A: So many, but I think this year I’d have to go for Scarlett Johansson.
Q: What fast-food restaurant do you visit most often?
A: I usually visit McDonald’s and Burger King most often.
Q: What would you do if you saw that a friend had a piece of food stuck between his or her teeth?
A: Offer a toothpick?
Q: What is the first word that you said as a baby?
A: Not sure. Can’t really remember too much until I was 2. And that reminds me of a quote that I learned during my first semester at HCCC. My writing professor said that no matter how bad of a day you have had and you go around thinking that the day you had was the worst day of your life, keep in mind that you already survived the worst day of your life: The day you were born. Thankfully a lot of us don’t have memories of us being born. If we did, chances are we’d all be in therapy.
Q: Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer?
A: I think it was my senior portrait waaaaaaay back in the 1996-97 school year at Red Hook High School.
Q: Could you eat a pizza right now?
A: There’s always time for pizza.
Q: And this is a Twilight question, folks. Breaking Dawn: Part 1 came and went in theaters and of course I did not go and see it and I’ll take your word for it that it sucked and it’s safe to say that I’m definitely not going to see Part 2 when it comes out later this year. Then again, it’s not really required to see the Twilight movies to know they suck. But I will answer this age-old question for you since I know you like it when I rip on Twilight: Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?
A: Neither. I’m Team Blackcat. However, since I’ve heard about how badly Jacob (supposedly the nice guy in the franchise) has been portrayed throughout the franchise and the fact that the girl would choose the sparkly emo whatever he is over over the nice guy is so disturbingly like real life it’s not even funny. And since I’ve been in that situation many a time, I guess you could say I’m Team Jacob.
Q: Is masturbation cheating?
A: No. In fact, some people are aroused by that.
Q: Do you eat dairy products?
A: Some dairy products. Not that I’m vegan or anything like that. I just don’t like certain cheeses and not a fan of milk.
Q: Do you use Google Plus?
A: Yes. I’m on Google Plus. The link is in my Links/Contacts section on this blog.
Q: Between “The Hunger Games,” “Harry Potter” and “The Twilight Saga,” which is your favorite?
A: I’m not too familiar with the Hunger Games series and I’m pretty sure you know by now how I feel about Twilight, so I have to say Harry Potter all the way! Although I do think in all fairness that the Hunger Games movie looks very interesting and I might check it out but I’m gonna wait till DVD for that, not to mention Jennifer Lawrence (the hot girl who stars in the Hunger Games is much hotter than Kristen Stewart. I’m sorry, but Kristen Stewart doesn’t really do anything for me. Just sayin’.
Q: What was your best subject at school?
A: In high school it was English and Spanish. So far in college I think it was my writing class during my first semester last year.
Q: Rock, paper or scissors?
Q: What do you put on your French fries?
A: If it’s store-bought French Fries or fries at a restaurant, I usually put ketchup on them, but if it’s at Mickey D’s or BK, I just eat them plain.
Q: Have you ever been a victim of bullying?
A: I’m pretty sure everyone at one time or another has been bullied. Yes, I have been bullied before but looking back, it wasn’t as bad as the cases of bullying that affect the world today.
Q: Zombie, werewolf, or vampire?
A: Zombie. The werewolf and vampire genre is pretty much dead now, thanks to a certain franchise that will remain nameless. (sneezing) Twilight!
Q: Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? If so, have you stuck with them so far?
A: Yes. One of my resolutions is to get back to making videos in 2012 and now that I have my new laptop and HD camcorder, I am actually meeting that goal. As far as the working out resolution goes, I’m definitely not having a problem with that one since I had gym last semester and I have access to the Fitness Center during the summer. I also have another gym course next semester since I need two credits in gym to graduate. So that will definitely not be a problem.
Q: What do you do to stay fit?
A: I walk and lift weights at the HCCC gym. And when I go outdoors from spring to fall, I go for walks on the Canal Trail. Not to mention as I said earlier that I walk pretty much everywhere.
Q: “Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming.” In case you don’t know, that’s a quote from Matthew Arnold. Do you think it’s better to be and become?
Q: Do you think a movie or restaurant makes for a better first date?
A: Either one would work well for me.
Q: What message would you want to put in a fortune cookie?
A: What a wise man (Clint Eastwood) once said: “You’re shit out of luck!”
Q: What piece of clothing in your closet will you never throw away?
A: My leather jacket.
Q: What song do you sing in the shower?
A: I don’t sing in the shower. Can’t sing to save my life.
Q: Do you watch Glee?
A: Nope. I could care less about Glee. It’s pretty much a less kid-friendly rip-off of High School Musical done in TV series format.
Q: Is there such a thing as too much chocolate?
A: One can never have too much chocolate. lol.
Q: Do you ever think that you have a “calling” that you are supposed to answer?
A: Yes I do. I’m kinda doing it right now.
Q: Who is your favorite Sesame Street character?
A: Cookie Monster.
Q: What is your favorite comeback story?
A: When Michael Jordan left basketball in the early 90’s to pursue a baseball career and then deciding to come back to basketball over a year later and led the Bulls to another 3 NBA championship titles.
Q: Do you have a special diet like vegetarian, halal, kosher, gluten-free, etc? How long have you kept it for?
A: Nope. I still eat what I want. But I am starting to eat a little healthier.
Q: See any good movies?
A: Last one I saw in theaters was The Avengers. There’s a few coming out this year that I wanna check out. And no, Breaking Dawn: Part 2 is not on the short list. More like the Spider-Man reboot, The Dark Knight Rises, Expendables 2, the new Bond movie “Skyfall…” I could go on.
Q: Frogs: Friend or foe?
A: I don’t think frogs are that bad actually.
Q: How old is too old for a teddy bear?
A: I guess never.
Q: Have you ever been horseback riding?
A: Yes, when I was a kid.
Q: Have you ever been to San Francisco? What’s your favorite spot in your hometown?
A: Nope. Haven’t been anywhere in Cali yet. Don’t really have a favorite spot in my hometown.
Q: Do you have the moves like Jagger?
A: I haven’t danced since 8th grade so I have no idea.
And now let’s move on to the Meetme questions:
Q: What’s the most expensive gift you’ve ever got for someone else?
A: I haven’t really bought anything expensive for anyone to tell you the truth.
Q: How do you learn to love again when the one you loved the most has betrayed you?
A: Very hard question to answer. Sometimes you can’t. Something like that is never easy to get over.
Q: Are you left-handed or right-handed?
Q: What is one trait you could not put up with in another person?
A: Being controlled by them.
Q: What’s your favorite flavored Pringles?
A: Ranch. Basically I don’t discriminate against Pringles. I can down a whole can of those in one sitting without gaining weight. It’s one of those few products that actually live up to its tagline: “Once you pop, you can’t stop.”
Q: What are the best relationships based on in your opinion: Friendship or physical attraction?
A: Either one is about the same to me.
Q: Do you chat on Yahoo?
A: Not really, although I am on Messenger.
Q: What’s the most played song on your iPod?
A: Actually I don’t have an iPod. I can’t afford it.
Q: Have you ever had a crush on a coworker? And if so did it work out?
A: Yes, several times between two different jobs. And neither one of them worked out. Long story on both of those and I don’t really want to make this longer than it needs to be.
Q: If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?
A: Whatever I want.
Q: You’re eating alone and you look across the room and there is a girl sitting alone. You think you might know her. Do you approach the girl or shrug it off?
A: Depends on the situation. She may want to be alone.
Q: If the Pope poops, is it holy crap?
A: It could be.
Q: Your boyfriend or girlfriend says “I love you” first. How do you respond?
A: With the words, “I love you too.”
And like I said earlier, now that I’m back making videos, I have a lot planned for this coming week. Among them is the long-awaited episode of The Adventures of Blackcatloner, which I am hoping to start up again sometime soon.