Well I’ve managed to find another three picoseconds in my diary which aren’t currently accounted for so I thought I’d throw together another blog entry.  Though to be honest, the main thing I can think about blogging is the fact I went to see Skyfall on Sunday. Might as well give my €0.02 on that. 

I’m not the best cinema-goer – I get antsy, always order the largest Diet soft drink so need the toilet about two-thirds the way into the film and the slightest noise or flash of a mobile phone screen is enough to wish grizzly death on fellow cinema patrons.  I had hoped to catch a screening where there’d be few people around but late Sunday evening at Stratford Vue isn’t one of those times.  

It’s quite a change in how James Bond’s career was fifty years ago when Sean Connery introduced himself to Daniel Craig tearing through Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar on a motorcycle.  Back then, Bond was extremely independent and had a great deal of autonomy whereas now, many of his moves are micromanaged.  A comment on the 24/7 connectivity of our society? 

The film is the usual Bond fare – gadgets n technology, girls, guns and product placement.  There isn’t much brought to the character which we didn’t already know or expect – except perhaps the extent of his personal relationship with his boss was.  Judi Dench is Queen and County, not Brenda.  There was an interesting question about what would James Bond do during retirement.  The portrait of the character is that he’s a career officer who is reluctantly dragged out time and again for just one more mission.  This time, one can see that he’s bored shitless by the prospect of a quiet retirement – banging hot chicks, getting twatted on Heineken (or so advertising would have you believe…vile brew) and generally having a lousy time in a muggy climate.

Structurally, the film was quite…inorganic.  There didn’t seem to be a cogent flow to it or not at least in context from what you expect from a Bond film.  The plot was “stop the assassin, stop the assassin again, find the man who hired the assassin, stop the man who hired the assassin, stop the man who hired the assassin again.  As Orwell wrote – I understand the how, I do not understand the why.  Even when it is revealed that Javier Bardem’s character was burned by M, he’s already depicted as a lunatic so any sympathy you might have for him has already been burned.  He’s a man sans redemption. 

The film also suffered from nitpickitis – there were a number of holes that one could pick at for several days.  For me as a Londoner, the tube scenes were gold.  I never knew Jubilee Line rolling stock went on the district line and it’s funny how the former Charing Cross station looks exactly like Temple…why didn’t Javier Bardem’s character station snipers outside Skyfall to eliminate Bond… 

However, one could also see that Skyfall did a “Die Another Day” in the way that it seemed to pay homage to previous films by subtle nods and winks.  The woman who wants Bond to get her evil boyfriend – Maud Adams in The Man With the Golden Gun.  The former rogue agent – Sean Bean in Goldeneye.  Bond tears through Istanbul ending up on a train – From Russia With Love.  Bond steals 4 Million – Licence to Kill (where he inadvertently steals 4 million from Sanchez).  I won’t name any more – you the viewer can spot the rest of them yourselves. 

It’s well worth watching though as the Bond Brand allows you to overlook the intrinsic flaws in the plot.  Many friends have said it’s a return to form following the confused mess that Quantum of Solace was.  

Quiz last Tuesday, we came third overall.  But Science weren’t in the top three so fingers crossed, we’re on course for next week’s finale.  And the aubergine bake was AWESOME.  Thank-you VG for listening to my moaning and giving us another veggie option.