Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I Never Look Classy: A Florida Travelogue in 33 Parts: Part 18: What? I'm Back in Canada?

Oh. Okay. I guess I'm back in Canada now.


Well... I guess that's it for the travelogue! Thank you to everyone for following along.

There wasn't really a whole lot that happened in the last few days while we were there, nothing to write home about. Or write on the internet, either. I did watch "The World is Not Enough" which wasn't the greatest, but whatever.

I'm glad to be back on this side of the border.

We ate at a Waffle House on the way back because I wanted to see if it was the same as I remember (it was: relatively okay).

Then we drove.




Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I Never Look Classy: Part 17: From Florida With Thunderballs

In the past couple of days I have watched a bunch more of the earliest James Bond movies and here are a few more thoughts about them.

From Russia With Love:

Following James Bond's defeat of Dr. Julius No in the previous film, the terrorist organization SPECTRE is out for REVENGE AND SUCH. So far I think that this might be my favourite of the James Bond films that I have seen of the early films.

The film continues with Sean Connery and it feels almost like an episode of television instead of a movie. The stakes in this film seem very low-key and almost against the formula that the rest of the James Bond films were made from, including Dr. No.

Even in the very first movie there is an underground lair, miles of henchmen and large contraptions such as the fire-breathing dragon swamp buggy thing. In From Russia With Love there is very little aside from James Bond, an alluring Russian agent, a bunch of nefarious characters, a train, and ESPIONAGE (not the kind of espionage that you do with machine guns attached to your car.)

The fight sequence between Bond and his villain near the end of the movie is superb, and even myself was surprised at the rough nature of some of the licks thrown out by both of the two men. Apparently the scene took three weeks to film.

All in all a very solid film that is, in my opinion, much more of a "spy" film than any of the other large and flashy movies in the series.

Goldfinger: Speaking of flashy, here we are. That's not to say that Goldfinger was a bad movie, but it definitely set the mold from which most films in the series would be cast from.

Auric Goldfinger (HILARIOUS NAME) likes gold and is doing stuff to get more of it. He is helped by Pussy Galore (what was Ian Fleming thinking of?).

One of the things that I think is just bizarre about the first few films in the series is, as I've mentioned, the pacing. In Goldfinger the "heist" part of the movie starts about 20 minutes from the beginning, and things run along until 60 seconds before the end, then Bond and his surviving Bond Girl smile and drop out of frame while "THE END" is displayed.

The set designer is in top form, bringing back the "underground lair" style of design from Dr. No, this time used in Goldfinger's ranch in the United States, and the interior of Fort Knox.

I kind of wish they still made the sets like this, three walls with a missing 4th wall like old film sets, plays and sitcoms. Something about it is really interesting, but maybe that's just me.


I also watched Thunderball, but I'll get to that another day. I'm having quite a bit of fun relaxing and doing a bit of writing.

In the meanwhile, Slainte.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I Never Look Classy: Maybe Now I Get Boring While You Get Jealous

So for the past few days, nothing has really happened of importance. Nothing really to write about, nothing really to comment on.

Except that American Netflix is awesome :)

I've been watching James Bond movies with the guys down here, having some laughs and I figured maybe I'd share a few thoughts about the ones we've watched so far.

Goldeneye: Pierce Brosnan is my favourite James Bond, but I wonder why this is. I grew up during his era of Bond films; I even saw 'Tomorrow Never Dies" and "The World Is Not Enough" in theatres when they came out.

Do people who grew up during Roger Moore's tenure as James Bond regard him as the best Bond? I wonder.

Goldeneye feels very much like an older movie to me, and that's one of the things I like about it. It feels like it has succeeded from the cinematic lineage that had been moving forwards from that time. They certainly don't light movies the same way any more and the way the film stock looks is interesting.

Tomorrow Never Dies: Bond gets to use his car this time. I specifically remember loving this film in theatres, but I think I was 11 or something at the time, so what did I know.

I don't know if the film stands up as well as it could have, but I still liked it, even now.

Dr. No: I watched this movie last night and there was one thing that I found remarkable about it: it was one of the slowest, strangely paced films I had ever seen. I tried my darndest to put myself in the mind of someone seeing it in the 60's when the style of film making was very different, and after some time I found myself relaxing and my brain matching the pace of the film, which in comparison to todays films is very slow.

Have films increased in Tempo over the past 50 years? Maybe so.

I do admire the way the film was made, the camera angles, the reliance on the acting as opposed to camera cuts. I kind of wish movies were still made like this, as if they were almost stage plays that somebody filmed.

I watched it on Netflix and it was an HD transfer, so it looked amazing. On the screen some of the shots looked almost as if they had been filmed fora  contemporary movie taking place in the 50's or 60's.

I also had to remember my history to figure out a part of the plot; this movie was made before the moon landing, in a time when NASA was doing rocket tests, and that one thing was important to remember. It also took place in a time when Atomic and Nuclear energy probably wasn't understood by the general public, and seemed fantastical.

One of the things I am going to enjoy about watching the older bond films is the set design for the various lairs that belong to the supervillains. Something about the way people used to think the future would look like is awesome.


So not much has been happening, but I've been relaxing and the weather outside is pretty good :) I hear that it has been snowing for realsies this time up in Canada, and the only thing I can say to that is:

*singing* It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....


Friday, December 2, 2011

I Never Look Classy: Part 16-and-a-Half


It's 28 degrees or something here.


I Never Look Classy: Part 16: 48 Slaughtering Hours

I've gotten into "Dead Rising" in a big way. It's a vidja game about killin' your self some zombies, and that's about all I've been doing in the past couple days.

It's a relatively solid game, with a couple of minor technical issues. The thing I like the most about it is that it isn't a short game, I've sunk at least 30 hours into the thing by now and I don't think I'm more than 60% done. Which is a good time to dollar spent ratio on the entertainment.

When not doing that there has been a lot of reading "The Count of Monte Cristo," which is a LONG ASS BOOK. I've been reading pretty solid for a couple weeks now and I'm about 40% through. I might get it done by the end of the trip, and if that is the case I'll probably post a critique or something about it here.


The one thing we did find in the past two days was an awesome Cuban restaurant with authentic and delicious and cheap Cuban food. The name?

Cuban Restaurant.

I don't get business names down here.

It was there that I had my first Medianoche Sandwich (translates to Midnight Sandwich. It is quite similar to a Cuban sandwich, but the bread is a sweet and soft egg bread which is crisped in a press before serving.

The awesome and large sandwich was $4.99. That plus a beer and fries came to a total of $9.



Regarding the time-scale of these blog posts, each post is approximately one day, save for this entry which covers two boring days where we just relaxed and ate cuban food and swam.