Sunday, November 23
double o seven
Last night we saw Quantum of Solace. A very vague title combining big words that I'm pretty sure don't normally go together, and don't mean much when combined. Despite being unable to understand what the name of the movie means, I enjoyed it.
Daniel Craig's James Bond is definitely my favorite Bond. All the other Bonds are so stiff and clean, so British proper. Daniel Craig's Bond seems to always give the impression that he barely has any idea what is going on, that he's winging it, and hasn't learned how not to muscle through everything. He seems to always be thinking "Dammit!"
I like that.
I thought the movie was entertaining, though not as much as Casino Royale. I couldn't really follow the plot that easily, not sure what was motivating the characters, etc. But that doesn't really matter. You go to a Bond movie expecting some specific things: great fight scenes, pretty girls, fast cars, etc.
This installment delivers all that. I especially like the lack of corny puns. This Bond isn't a witty,intellectual Bond. His actions speak for him. Loudly.
The Bourne Ultimatum had a lot of shaky camera work, where I couldn't really make out all the action. Quantum of Solace dabbled in that a little bit, but not as severely. I hope that's not the direction of the action movies. I like to see what's going on and be able to pick apart the fight scenes.
Speaking of which, Bond's techniques in this latest favored Katate Tori Ichi (Aikido practitioners know it as "KotaGaeshi"). This is definitely a more difficult technique to get when facing a resistant adversary, but Bond used it to disarm a knife attack, and also to take a gun away from a baddie.
This technique can be seen in this clip from the Bourne Ultimatum around the :35 mark. There is a pause in the action, enough time for the bad guy to fancily maneuver out of it. That is such a hard lock to get, but once you've got it, if you know what you're doing, the fight is over.
It's pretty cool, the way you twist the wrist that it becomes very difficult to close the hand in that position, so it's a great technique for disarming someone since they have a hard time holding onto their knife, gun, spatula, etc.
Keep your eye out for this lock in Quantum of Solace.
Another thing I really liked about this movie was the continuity. Every other Bond movie begins with a sense of induced amnesia regarding the past. There are constant characters like M, but never any mention of the past. This movie is more involved in carrying on the story. I don't know if any other Bond movie has made reference to any of the ladies of Bond's past.
This is probably as realistic as a James Bond movie will ever get. (I am, of course, overlooking the parachute scene in the desert, and the scaffold fight...)
Hollywood is making a bunch of crap. This is comparatively a diamond. Go see it.