Skyfall

So as the title says, I went to see last night on the Tuesday matinée the newest James Bond film, Skyfall. As shown above, is the poster that was featured at the theatre I went to. I like its design, it works for me; reminds me of a comic book cover. So with the way the films mechanics work in this movie, despite the modern technology presented in the film, like modern cars, modern weaponry, and computers, etc, etc. The movie at its very core elements, are prequel, where as Quantum and Casino Royale, they had this core element too, it was lost in the action scenes. Don’t get me wrong, I love Casino Royale, it was a great movie.

Quantum however, I like in some regards, it’s just way too action heavy, and I can understand why. Unlike Casino Royale and other books, Quantum was a short story, there just isn’t a whole lot to it. The idea of Quantum as a story is to tie up loose ends with Casino Royale, what we got in terms of a movie, while connected to it, kinda left us with more questions than answers.

To sweep all the confusion away with Quantum, Skyfall is the best of the 3 films, it’s also the strongest with its plot, and action layout. Now because these are technically prequels, in this move we see a transition from the action heavy Bond that Craig is previously known for, to that of a more plot driven Bond, like that of Sean Connery. You will definitely see this in the film, because all the big, gigantic chase scenes with big explosions and big establishing shots, are all done early into the film.

Rightly so, as to illustrate a spoiler, that’s shown in the trailer, Bond is shot, and presumed dead. As such, he lets himself go a bit, drinks heavily, and no it’s not ALL Heineken, only one scene shows the bottle, and its only when Bond is in the middle of nowhere with a woman, while in voluntary exile, where Vodka Martinis are scarce. One note, they mention painkillers, but we don’t actually see them… Kinda odd, why mention them, if they don’t show them.

Putting that aside, we get more core characters that we would normally see in the franchise. Q is introduced as a young technician whom invents things that are mostly software in this movie, but he does give Bond a couple of gadgets, but they’re minor. Both of which are shown in the trailers, a Walther PPK, with a hand print scanner in the grip, and a radio frequency transmitter, much like the one in Goldfinger, just a bit bigger.

The other key character introduced, is Moneypenny, whom we don’t really know until the end of the movie. Some other characters we get, that are important to this story are: Mallory, with a long title, which I’ll just sum up to as a Defense Minister, but with a specific task of overseeing the more secret operations of the government, as played by Ralph Fiennes, whom we all know from Harry Potter, and Red Dragon. The other is our villain, and god damn Javier Bardem is awesome in this role. I don’t want to say too much about his character, as its integral to the story, so go see the movie to know more about him. I’ll say this about him though, the trailer only shows a small taste of what he’s like.

Special effects are grand as always, one nitpick. If you as a filmmaker, are going to have Komodo dragons in the movie, don’t CGI them, they look so fake. The only other CG you can tell is in the movie, is when Bond is in the first chase scene of the movie, and due to the extreme danger of this part of the chase, they had to CG Craig’s face onto the pro dirt bike rider. That I knew about before hand, watching Top Gear’s Bond 50th special, but could see the CG in the movie. Other than those two instances, any CG used in the movie, you really can’t tell, unless its computer software, because most of the time, software looks like that.

Story is rock solid in the movie, we have a clearly defined villain, we have our hero, we have the consequences of both of their actions, and the choices they make in the movie. It definitely feels like a Bond movie, which is a good thing. It’s rightly deserving of its high rating on Rotten Tomatoes. We have supporting characters that don’t feel useless and shoed in. Everyone in the movie has a purpose. Granted the computer hacking in the movie is a little exaggerated, but the basic ideas and principles are there. Definitely a great story overall.

What I like most about the movie, other than Javier Bardem’s awesome job as the villain, is that it bridges the gaps between the action heavy plots of the previous Craig films and the Sean Connery films, where it was more about the story driven elements, rather than the action. Also, they bring back the DB 5 from Goldfinger, with all its toys, although its role was short, it’s definitely memorable.

I wholeheartedly would like everyone who reads this, to spend a little cash and see the flick, not necessarily the usual 10 bucks for tickets, go for a matinée, whether it’s the weekend afternoon, or the Tuesday evening, like I went to. The nice thing about seeing this movie, no 3D to pay for, so its only 5  bucks at the theatre. Also, the intro feels like one of the traditional Bond introduction sequences, with the women in it, and Adele does a fabulous job singing the theme song. I’ve been hearing it on the radio, and I got a copy and its easily one of my favourites for Bond themes.

So, with that, I’ll end this off. There maybe another Christmas movie review towards the end of the year, like I did with Sherlock Holmes 2, when I started this blog, it all depends on what I see. Also there maybe another review next week, depending on what I see on Tuesday for a matinée. If you’re a Bond fan, go see this movie!

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Novellette… A Different Sort Of Life by Finnian Valko

So, I read a novelette, and due to it being a science fiction story, it’s right up my ally.  This is just a shorty, as I don’t want to spoil anything, I also enjoy helping others out with exposure to their work, as this is the only published work so far by the author.

Today, I read “A Different Sort Of Life” by Finnian Valko. It’s a science fiction story about humans being at the point in which where technology has become the norm, much like it is today, but probably a little bit further along the evolutionary scale in some regards. As such, there is an underground movement of people who rebel against the rise in technology. The story delves into some common themes of science fiction, and some while not as common, have been seen before. Although it does handle them well, I liked the story, even though at first it was a little drab, as things moved along, it drew me in further. It has some good twists here and there, although being a writer myself and having absorbed a lot of story material, I could see some of it coming, that’s not to say its boring or anything. In fact its the opposite, engaging, thought-provoking in some ways, it’s definitely more interesting than a lot of what Hollywood puts out these days. This is definitely worth a read, check it out on Smash Words, and since February, it’s now free to download.

Here’s is his page on Smash Words, check it out sometime!

http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/FinnianValko

If you like his work, follow him on Twitter. http://twitter.com/FinnianValko

Excerpts from my own written work. Enjoy!

So, as the title suggests, I’m going to post an excerpt from something I’ve been writing for a while. The main character is something I created, for a much larger universe of characters in an already established medium. Although I hope one day, he’ll be added to that community later, with approval of that particular company, some of the stories I have written, do not specifically relate to said community. This is one of those that does not relate to it specifically. I’m sorry if this sounds vague, but I don’t want to reference any big names in fear of copyright lawsuits.

Anyway, here is an excerpt from one of my stories… it is told in first person, although not all the stories involving the main character are told this way. I am experimenting with different styles to showcase the character and my own self for writing purposes.

And to save myself any issues down the line, if you can forgive the legal statement below, I thank you in advance.

*All copyright of characters, events, and things therein are on the sole copyright of myself, the author. No infringement is intended or implied of any other properties contained therein*

“”

. The next fight was even more brutal than what I did to the Russian. Both fighters drew so much blood out of one another; they had to get a hose to clean it up. I was declared the winner by default, as both of the other fighters had nearly killed one another and could not continue. “Unfortunately due to our last two competitors beating the shit out of each other, and crippling themselves, The Shroud will continue by default to face Ryan ‘The Fury’ Wilson, our reigning champion.” He said. The crowd booed for a moment, before he resumed. “We will have a short 1 hour break, while we clean up and prepare for the final match of the night.” He said. I sat at the bar, drinking some water. “He’s going to kill you… you know that right?” The bartender said. “He can try.” I replied.

“Ooohh, someone is cocky.” The bartender said. “Well, I came here to face him in combat, I know that one of us will be walking out, just don’t know who yet.” I said. “You warrior types always intrigue me.” The bartender said. I drank some more water, and iced my fist some more. “Russian was tough?” a patron asked. “Hard jaw; bruised my knuckles, just icing them down before the final bout.” I said. “Ah.” He said. I sat there, for most of the hour, surveying the place with subtle glances, while my hand healed. As the hour neared to a close, the Announcer came up to the stage, after the ring was cleaned. “Alright, Ladies and Gentlemen, we’re just about to start the final match, between our reigning Champ, Ryan ‘The Fury’ Wilson, and our finalist ‘The Shroud.’” He said, as he sipped his drink. I stood, and stretched, as my muscles had started to stiffen from sitting. I walked up to the stage, as Wilson also stretched.

This fight would be similar to the Russian, except for the facts, Wilson is faster, and can drill his fist a lot harder. The announcer did his hype up before we started, once finished, we took our places. I decided to switch things up, and used a mix of moves from both my martial arts training, and some tactics I learned in CQB combat training from the Military. Wilson came forward, and performed a high kick, I ducked, and grabbed the back of his calf, and drive my foot into his back. Wilson fell to the bottom of the ring, and got up quickly. He charged at me with his fist, running and yelling as he did so. I grabbed his wrist, and fell backward, using my foot as a lever, and my back as a fulcrum, sending him flying into the cage wall. Getting up, and getting more agitated, Wilson came up and started living up to his nickname. I tried to block one of his kicks, but he moved quicker than I could counter, and I took his barrage of kicks to my arm and chest.

I was knocked back, he had cracked one of my ribs, and I spat blood onto the mat. I had to finish things before Wilson turned the tables and would annihilate me. I got up, and saw Wilson punch, I jumped up as I grabbed his wrist, and drove my fist into his elbow, smashing the joint, ruining the muscle mass on it. I would be swollen later, but I figure some pain would go a long way to victory. Wilson grabbed his arm, as it fell dead at his side. I ran to the cage wall and jumped off of it and swiftly kicked Wilson in the face, causing him to spin into the opposite end of the cage. Wilson stood and leaned on the wall. I could hear voices from the private bar behind me, Marshalls was talking to Warsaw. “Who the fuck is this guy, he’s making mincemeat out of Fury?” She asked. “I don’t know, but he’s using what looks like CQB, Close Quarters Combat, US Military guys use it.” Warsaw said. I had a keen sense of hearing, and could filter out a good part of the crowd. I didn’t have time to sit there and contemplate, as Wilson charged his other arm, while still partially using his broken one.

I dodged the fist, but he brought his knee up, I grabbed it, but it still carried some momentum and hit me in the cheek. I bounced into the cage wall with my feet planted, I pushed forward, knocking Wilson back, as we fell, I planted my foot into his knee cap. We landed in a pile; his knee shattered the cap, just as the Russian’s had. I rolled and got to my feet. Wilson held his leg, and stood, now 45% of his body damaged, he wouldn’t last much longer, but could still deal some bad hits to me. He charged and drove his good knee into my hip, bruising the muscle. I grabbed it and twisted his leg, causing him to do a face plant into the mat. Wilson stood on the bad knee, hobbling, as his other leg was twisted. He swung his good arm out; I moved to the side and swept his feet. His momentum sent him into the cage.

He grabbed the twisted leg and reset it with a rage of hatred. He ran at me, with his good fist aimed at my skull, time seemed to slow, as I took a moment to analyse what part to hit him on next. I ran up the cage wall, and used his head as an apex, bouncing off of it and landing behind him as he drove his fist into the cage. In creating a hole in the mesh, his arm became trapped, metal digging into the flesh. With his good arm now out, I took the advantage. Running around and up the cage wall again, and brought my knee down to him, as he yelled, trying to free his pinned arm. “Good bye, Fury.” I said as my knee came into contact with Wilson’s face, driving his nose in, and cracking the forehead. His body fell down, and hung for a moment from the cage. He was done, if he survived, he would never fight again.

“”

*All copyright of characters, events, and things therein are on the sole copyright of myself, the author. No infringement is intended or implied of any other properties contained therein*

Hope you enjoyed this excerpt, as I said its a work in progress and is a part of a larger work I’m in the process of writing. I just posted this to help generate some exposure to my work, other than my usual ramblings about games, comics and movies. Also, I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed 3, and its truly awesome, and I’m really enjoying it, but more on that later.  On a side note, I may see Skyfall in theatres,  hopefully yes. (No promises, as I’m broke and still unemployed.) If I am able to, I will write a review, as I’m hearing good things about it from other reviewers, such as Rotten Tomatoes with its ratings and with Brad Jones of http://thecinemasnob.com and Noah Antwiler (Spoony) of http://spoonyexperiment.com.

So, with that, I’ll sign off, enjoy your time here and Godspeed.

Help Out Those on the East Coast.

I read Lindsay Ellis’ blog posting today about her time helping out on in the Rockaways, along with Mara Wilson (As some of you may know from the movie Matilda, and featured in a few of the TGWTG videos). This won’t be my usual long posting, but just a link to help spread the word. Lindsay says it better than I can. Check out her blog over on tumblr.

http://chezapocalypse.tumblr.com/post/34999606958/whats-going-on-in-the-rockaways-and-nyc

For more info on Lindsay, you can check out her blog above, or on http://www.thatguywiththeglasses.com

For more on what Mara has been doing lately, you can check out her blog at http://marawilsonwritesstuff.com/

 

Hope everyone is getting warm and dry after the events of Sandy, and I hope this gets resolved soon so those who didn’t fair as well as some of us, can get back on their feet and get warm and dry.