Thighs Wide Shut Thighs Wide Shut

Friday, November 14

For Mathieu Amalric's
Eyes Only

Quantum of Solace
Finding Ever Bland
Trailers & Mo | Official Website

Casino Royale (w/o cheese) ushered in a new era for James Bond, and for all its welcomed freshness, it ruled hard mostly cause it reminded us of the ye olde Connery Bond days that started the world's love affair with the double 0 snapper. There wasn't much glamor or glitz or explosions or car chases (OK, there was that one hamazin bit where the car tumbles for an entirety) or really any need for it cause Royale was juss Bond, gold bond (and not juss the fair-haired version, but a gold medal winner that keeps on gettin better and better with each viewing... thank you Showtime!). One would expect that more of the same straight-laced/forward awesomeness would be in store for Daniel Craig's second adventure in a Tom Ford tux, but in this world, especially the film world, nothing is certain and tomorrow never knows, or dies. Yet no one would expect that the first ever Bond sequel, Quantum of Solace, which picks up on the action one hour after Royale ended with Bond shooting the mysterious Mr White in the leg, would return the franchise right back into the dark ages of convoluted storytelling and frivolous frivolity. There's no gimmicky gadgets to be found, but it seemed to be the only thing missing from this mos disappointing misstep in the wrong direction. Don't worry though kiddies, cause Craig still totally rocks and owns the Bond character, and we hope he continues to do so beyond his 4 film contact. So much so that it's a lil hard to picture the former front-runner, and our top choice, Clive Owen, or anyone else for that splatter taking over that coveted license to kill

The main problem with Quantum of Solace is... everything. Well that's not entirely true, since the 1st half of the film is somewhat enjoyable to watch, but after a certain point, it all starts to drag and drag and drag and finally reaches a conclusion that's not really a conclusion and if it was a real conclusion you don't feel like anything needed concluding cause you don't know what the frak is going on or why it's going on more than this sentence is running on! Wasn't this suppose to be all about avenging the death of Vesper? Was her death avenged? We saw the movie and we still don't even know. The poor directing (from the man that brought you Billy Bob Thorton and Halle Berry bangin raw on the floor, and Afghan kids loving dem some kites, but hating dem some being raped!) and very very sloppy editing didn't help, and probably the fact that at least 3 people took a stab at the script. Also this henchman's hair didn't help, and we pray that no one dresses up as him for Halloween next year... or, while wees at it, Sarah Palin (who sullied good people who have similar last names), and come to think of it, she'd make an amazing Bond nemesis

We think there's a plot in Quantum somewhere, but haven't a firm clue as to what it is so we're gonna tell you what happened (skip this paragraph if you don't want to know jack... or jill). It starts out with something about James Bond in Italy interrogating Mr White and then not and then going to Haiti to randomly meet a hot chick (Olga Kurylenko, juss one of the fappable Quantum girls) where he also meets his villain (Mathieu Amalric) who's not very villainous (what a waste of great great talent, so czech out the movie review below to read about his talents not being wasted), even though he has the bestest stare mt everest, yet we know he's evil cause they tell us he his and cause he works for the mysterious Quantum organization, but there's no mention of solace, or what the fraz Quantum is or does cept that he and his pals buy up land or something for some reason from other shady characters around the globe, and Bond finds this out at an opera in Austria or something so he wants to follow them to Bolivia but his credit cards are frozen so he goes to Italy to drag poor Marcus Mathis into this and then they finally go to Bolivia, where we also meet a new MI6 agent who is also hot (Gemma Arterton, yet another one of dem fappable Quantum girls) and they all attend a party where the villain is talking to people (in English!) and then the hot chick pops up again and then like more stuff happens and there's a dusty old plane ride in the desert and then water's discovered and stuff and its boring and then Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright, who should always appear in every movie with a beard) shows up and talks to Bond for like 8 seconds and then they watch the movie 8 Seconds Bond and the first hot chick go into a different desert where some stoopid fat Generalissimo or Colonelissimo or hater of Col Mustard is signing the papers our villain wants him to sign, and then gunshots are fired and then explosions are exploded and then there's some desert desertion and then the basic story of Solace is dunzo. After that we finally get some sorta kinda closure on the Vesper stuff, but not really, and Bond and M (whose matriarchal relationship with her young agent is by far the bestest aspect of the film) talk in the snow and then the credits roll and at the end of the credits they say 'James Bond Will Return', but no mention of the return being bigger and badder and munch better than what we juss saw

Wowzer, that hexplanation almos give us more of a brain melt than Synecdoche, NY did, cept S, NY came from the genius mine of Charlie Kaufs and Solace didn't (hmmmm, there's an idea). Seriously, WTF is with the plot? We had to read three different Wikipedia pages to even sorta figure out how it all fits together and how all the characters relate to each other, but after absorbing that knowledge, we still don't know nothing, and as time passes from our screening, we're starting not to care. Doesn't really matter though cause ye gonna see this flick even if we told you that Solace is nuttin but 2 hours of Dame Judi Dench writing in her diary about her fantasies of friendships with teachers. Actually that movie was already made, a damn fine one at that, but these words are (about) Bond! Guess the poor writing was on the wall after our initial lukewarm listenage of Jack White/Alicia Keys' theme song, 'Another Way To Die'. It's fine, but it coulda been mo mo better, right? Hopefully Bond 23 will find another way to tell a story

München To Do About Something: although they don't share a single scene together, you may want to find some solace by watching, for the first or hopefully zillionithethith time, Daniel Craig and Mathieu Amalric do some real dirty revenge work in the BRILLIANT Señor Spielbergo flick Munich

Verdictgo: sadly, Sum Merit But No Stinkin Badges

A Christmas Tale
(Un conte de Noël)

Family Fatale
Trailers & Mo | Official Website

Yer bestest Mathieu Amalric bet at the movies this tweakend (for those in NY/LA... sorry everyone else) is actually not Quantum of Solace, but Arnaud Desplechin's udderly delightful A Christmas Tale, which is basically the French equivalent of A Family Stone, with juss as many family feuds and foods, good looking peoples, but luckily, with 100% less horseface (wethinks this equined-face rule should be an amendment added to the Constitution). Amalric is the erratically behaved black (and blue) sheep of his family, having been forcefully estranged years ago from anyone in the brood by his bitter (for no reason ever explained) sister (Anne Consigny, the grown up Emma Watson lookin beauty who joined Almaric in Diving Bell/Butterfly). But when it's revealed that their mother (Catherine Deneuve, luminous as always) has cancer and a bone marrow transplant from one of her kin can possibly save her, it brings everyone together under one roof for the first time in a long time

Rounding out the cast is a who's who of French cinema: Almaric's lady friend Emmanuelle Devos (this is one of 7 films they've been in together!), Jean-Paul Roussillon as his warm father, hottie pie Melvil Poupaud as his peacemaking youngest brother, Deneuve's real life daughter Chiara Mastroianni as Poupaud's wife and thus Deneuve's daughter-in-law on screen, and their painter cousin Laurent Capelluto, who's been holding back his feelings for his cousin-in-law Mastroianni. There are plenty of other fine characters and actors to be found within the family/flick, but we can't mention everyone cause this isn't Cahiers du cinéma

Anywho, A Christmas Tale seems and is absurdly long, clocking in at 2 and 1/2 hours, but we'd be hard pressed to say that any of part of it is unnecessary. By the time Christmas day and it's tale comes and goes and the nest returns to empty, we feel a bit sad to say goodbye to our new found friends and family, regardless of how dysfunctional they are. Luckily you can revisit them anytime you like, juss like we do every year with Ralphie and the rest of the fragile (pronounced Fra-gee-lay, since it must be Italian) Parker clan

A Hot Chip Off The Olde Block: step aside Eva 'daughter of Susan Sarandon' Amurri, cause we're totally more hot these days for Deneuve's fille Chiara Mastroianni

Verdictgo: Jeepers Worth A Peepers

Tale opens today in limited release, while Quantum leaps to a theater near Jews

until next thyme the balcony is clothed...