Blogathon

Bond…in a different light…

In light of the 007 Blogathon, I though I’d give you something slightly different of probably the least known James BondGeorge Lazenby who did only 1 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Filming took place in Grindelwald, Switzerland where my mother was working at the time. She’s let me share these photos taken of her and James Bond in 1969 during Fasnacht (Carnival in Switzerland).

007_04

007_01

007_03

 

Bond. James Bond…

Ah, finally, a reason to write about Daniel Craig‘s blue swimming trunks role as James Bond. In my favourite one of the lot…Casino Royale (2006). I know die-hard fans don’t like the latest rendition of 007 but for me, he’s given the Bond movies a lift. I’ve enjoyed 3 of the 4 he’s been in but Casino Royale is my favourite. And it doesn’t have only to do with the actor in question. I feel the latest Bond movies have a different “feel” to those that came before. To be honest, I quite like this “feel”. They come across more realistic. More believable. But then I’m no Bond expert.

The story takes place during Bond‘s early days as an agent and has him trying to take down Le Chiffre (played by wonderful Mads Mikkelsen) during a high stakes poker game at Casino Royale, Montenegro. Of course there are events leading up to this tournament. As well as resulting events (one of which is Bond falling for Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), the treasury employee providing the finances for the poker game). But, as is to be expected, things are not what the seem.  We’d have no story otherwise, would we?

Casino Royale had me hooked from the opening with the Chris Cornell piece “You Know my Name” (if you haven’t heard it yet, listen to the version featured in the movie – it is slightly different to that found on the single/album. Actually, scratch that, both versions are great (click here to have a listen)). Oh, and that chase scene in Madagascar must be one of the best. Accompanied by the perfect music which I listen to fairly often. If you aren’t engrossed by this stage…

Mads Mikkelsen makes for a great blood-crying villain financing terrorists (actually, he’s great in any role). I’ve just read that it is a genuine condition called Haemolacria where tears may be blood-tinged. Le Chiffre even states that it isn’t witchcraft when a business associate is a bit creeped out.

This has got to be my favourite scene (well, after the swimming costume scene…oh gosh, did I type that aloud?):

Just look at him. There’s a special tenderness that Bond shows here. A never-to-be-repeated moment. I’m convinced he genuinely feels for her here. Well, part of the Bond‘s story is that he’s still a young agent, vulnerable to his feelings which, from here on out, will never be the same.

On a totally different, more personal tangent…there’s something else about this movie. There have only been 8 movies I’ve watched (from what I can remember) that have had me emotionally hooked. I can’t explain…other than: after watching these, I’ve had my head in the clouds, had the scenes go over and over in my head as I fall asleep at night, had this strange feeling of almost having lived the story, a dazed feeling that won’t repeat on second watching. Crazy, right? I can’t say why or what but they just resonate so deeply. They trigger something. And no…it has nothing to do with the leading men. It doesn’t even come down to the romance or drama genre. It is totally random. Casino Royale is one of these 8. There’s nothing that stands out for me as a reason why. In fact, I can’t imagine a movie like this having such a profound, inexplicable effect on me but it does. Yes, yes…I’m a total nutter.

Casino Royale is directed by Martin Campbell and also stars, amongst others,  Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Giannini, Tobias Menzies (you’ll recognise him from Rome), Simon Abkarian, Jesper Christensen and many more.

For some more 007 posts head on over to Maddylovesherclassicfilms. And for my addendum to this post…go here.

Swashbuckling with dragons and a princess (of course)…

I don’t know any swashbuckling movies. Really I don’t. Note to self: come back to the Swashathon for the joy of reading entries.

Then Realweegiemidget, you came along and told me I’m being silly and that I have the perfect entry. And there you have it…or, rather…here you have it…may I present my entry for Swashathon, a Blogathon of Swashbuckling Adventure: George and the Dragon (2004).

Don’t roll your eyes. Come on…it isn’t that bad. I think it such a cute movie that has you smiling (at both the good and the silly jokes/lines/actions).

We have George (played by one of my favourite actors James Purefoy), a knight returning from the Crusades with his friend Tarik (Michael Clarke Duncan). Tarik is keen for the two to track down mercenary El Cabillo but George just wants to settle down on a parcel of land with two head of cattle and possibly even a wife. King Edgaar (Simon Callow) can provide this small request but is in a tizz because his lovely Princess Lunna (Piper Perabo) has gone missing. George agrees to find her and joins up with the princess’ betrothed Garth (Patrick Swayze) on this search. However, all is well with the Princess – she’s simply decided to guard a dragon egg. Possibly the last of its kind. Tarik has his own path that ties up at one point. You’re in for horse chases, battles, galantry, thugs, knights, nuns, priests, the works with no bloodshed (other than some pinotage burgundy) and the odd swashbuckler being knocked over the head with a humongous bone (the remnants of dragon dinner). That’s about all I’ll reveal.

I always enjoy watching George come to terms with the “gentle as a lamb” Lunna, fight off loads of enemies, compete with Garth for status and be the tough man who will “do the dirty work” in dispatching a dragon egg. James Purefoy is great in these roles and perfectly balances the light comic moments with trying to be the serious knight.

George and the Dragon works well because it doesn’t try to hide the mix of American and British accents or the combining of modern mannerisms and props (think “skateboard” and “licorice” – yes, you read that right). It is what it is (I hate that expression but yes…) and shouldn’t be taken seriously at all. It sure looks like lots of fun was had on set. And so you, dear viewer, should also have fun. Definitely don’t overthink this one. In fact, don’t think at all. Watch. Laugh. Enjoy.

 

 

Summer Splashes…The Way Way Back

It is freezing right now I’ll have you know. Winter. Cold. Brrr…❄ Ok, fine, no snow, but cold nonetheless. And I have to write about summer…how cruel. Hee hee…

But, nothing like a nice warm and fuzzy movie to add to some summer spirit. Let me present…The Way Way Back (2013). A lovely movie set during the summer holidays and to top it off, at a water park (to a degree).

WayWayBack

Duncan, brilliantly played by Liam James, is a shy teenager who doesn’t really fit in, especially within the dynamics of his mother Pam (the ever brilliant Toni Collette), her new boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell) and his daughter. They all head off to Trent‘s beach house for a summer holiday. Trent constantly has a go at Duncan and more subtly at Pam, although she doesn’t notice it. During the course of the holiday, needing to keep busy as well as escape the adults, Duncan finds himself at Water Wizz, a local water park. Here he meets outgoing Owen (Sam Rockwell, awesome as usual) the park manager and other staff members. Although Owen seems to be a carefree and sometimes irresponsible adult, he knows exactly how to get Duncan to come out of his shell without being blatantly obvious. It is just beautiful watching Owen and Duncan‘s interaction, always with respect yet with just enough guidance from Owen. While there were some serious and sad moments (yet never heavy), I thoroughly enjoyed watching Duncan‘s growth and relationships with fellow Water Wizz staff, family (family-to-be) and neighbours.

TheWayWayBack3

As the summer progresses, so do the relationships (some regress). The ideal place for personal growth is often during those breaks away from the everyday routine. Summer holidays bring people out and therefore are perfect settings for finding friends, yourself and some fun.

Directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who also have small but great roles, The Way Way Back also stars Maya Rudolph, Amanda Peet, AnnaSophia Robb and Rob Corddry amongst others.

A fellow blogger once made a comment that “The Way Way Back is like a big hug in cinematic form”. Absolutely.

 

Play to the Whistle…Bend it like Beckham

This next review comes from Catherine, the owner of the Thoughts All Sorts blog. Thanks for your contribution Catherine, it was brilliant as always to hear from you when you signed up for the blogathon. Bend It Like Beckham

Bend it Like Beckham (2002) is one of those fun, feel-good British comedies. I remember […]

via Catherine’s Entry For The Play To The Whistle Blogathon — Film and TV 101

Or read it here:

(more…)

Sexy crush…Peaky Blinders’ Tommy Shelby

I’d pretty much written this post (albeit unconvincingly)…then I went to Switzerland…

PeakyBlinders5My sexy crush was obvious from the very start – Tommy Shelby from Peaky Blinders. Yet somehow, I just didn’t know why. Last year’s choice for this Blogathon (here) was easy – a look back on a straightforward teenage crush. But now, 20 or so years later, what’s the appeal in a bad boy? I should be more mature than that. Actually, maybe that’s exactly it…as a teenager, the crush is probably more superficial, more about looks and visual appeal. Now, sexy (which goes hand-in-hand with a crush for me) is much, much more than that. It took me a week of time-out from the everyday with some awesome people* together with great conversation to realise this (I probably knew it anyway – I just hadn’t formalised it in my mind). In fact, one of the topics (co-incidentally) we contemplated one night was exactly that – what makes a person sexy and appealing? We’d agreed (I think) that it was more than just looks. While we didn’t chat about it long, it did get me thinking…

So…I consider myself a good girl who doesn’t really fall for bad boys but ooh, oooh, oooooh, I just couldn’t help falling head over heels with Tommy Shelby. From the opening scene of Peaky Blinders I was totally smitten. Whwwwwew…it isn’t easy trying to write up a post while totally swooning over the character in question. Moving along swiftly…but hey…he’s just sooooo sexy…

Yes…sexy. What is it that makes a man sexy in the first place? Why do you fall for him? Why do we have that crush? One that almost wrenches your heart out? Because crushes are infatuations we have with the unattainable.

What draws me to Mr Shelby (and yes, that’s “Mr” to you or anyone else he encounters who isn’t family or exempt from formalities)? I don’t know. I really don’t. Maybe it’s that he’s always well dressed. Maybe it’s that se… that was pre-mini-break…
Now, I think I know. It has something to do with his presence…definitely. He’s the first person I notice in the room on the screen. The only one who draws me in. Inexplicably. Immediately. Some sort of combination of charisma, outward confidence and yes, naturally (because I’m human), looks. Not the society-conditioned-hot-hunky look but a mature, sophisticated, yet very attractive look. And outwardly, he acts and dresses that way too:

PeakyBlinders3

I’d never consciously noticed eyes on men before, but strangely enough, the eyes seem to be a striking trait found in the men I’ve found sexy. Don’t take me wrong….I don’t often have crushes, but those few I’ve had, now thinking about it, have something about their eyes. Just look at these:

PeakyBlinders2

And the crush in question has some “rough” edges…he’s definitely not a boyish man…no, he’s a manly man but never old man. Oh just look at him:

PeakyBlinders12

There’s some ruggedness about him yet at the same time he has a softer way with women. What makes Tommy Shelby attractive is that Grace never needs to go out her way to attract his attention. He goes about doing his job and whatever else he deems important and the relationship just happens – a natural “gel”.  He’s also able to hold a good conversation.

PeakyBlinders10

And…it is not about the “deed”, the “s” word…not at all. Tommy Shelby has all the appeal without that. The ultimate for me, the defining moment, is where he (spoiler alert) “rescues” Grace from the men who want their own way with her (even though the “off-putting, totally un-crushable” part should be that he led her to them but I’ll just file that away for now).

PeakyBlinders6He has a history that has shaped him. Hidden daemons. Depth. Dimensions. But he’s not scared to admit it. Through this, he makes me feel alive. There’s a sense of living dangerously (of course, glamourised, it being a series). And that gives even more flutters. Re-ignites something that the day-to-day life doesn’t have. In fact, one of the people I spoke to overseas said something along the lines of falling not for the person but for the euphoric, electric feeling one experiences from the person in question. A high.

Realistically, I know I shouldn’t like him. I mean, who likes a guy who’s every move, every action has an underlying motive? Tommy Shelby never, ever does anything “just so”. Absolutely everything is calculated and for the good of him (and his family – which is totally sexy in the right context) or his business ventures. And he’s mean, cold and pure work, no fun. He’s a gangster.

While crushes and sexiness are far more than just this, I’ll ponder those thoughts some more. In the meantime, my tummy flutters. I’m totally aloof, struggling to think straight. There’s been some profound effect on me.

PeakyBlinders7.jpgOk, ok, fine…I’ll admit it, I’m shallow – he just looks so damn good. There. Happy?

On a less shallow and infatuated note…if you haven’t seen BBC’s Peaky Blinders, I highly recommend you give it a go. Yes, it is gritty, dark and violent but it is really excellent with superb performances from all involved. They include Cillian Murphy, Sam Neill, Paul Anderson, Joe Cole, Helen McCrory, Sophie Rundle, Ned Dennehy, Ian Peck, Annabelle Wallis, Tom Hardy, Iddo Goldberg, Noah Taylor and many more.

Gosh, I could go watch Peaky Blinders right now…I think I will.

*To L and S (Ihr wisst wer Ihr seid), thank you for putting my post into perspective and for some good conversation last week.

Thanks to Silver Screenings and Font and Frock for hosting this hot, hot Blogathon. Head on over to Reel Infatuation to read more…and…for my teenage infatuation with Lucky Luciano and Will Scarlett have a look at my entry from last year’s Reel Infatuation Blogathon: Crushing on Will Scarlett and Lucky Luciano.

Heated Lust – Duel in the Sun 

Of course writing about Gregory Peck is going to come with a certain amount of bias from my side. But, hey…whatever…

The 3rd Annual Sex! (now that I have your attention) Blogathon asks for movies that imply rather than show. And not just a single sex scene (there are loads of movies with those) but oozing (maybe that’s not such a sexy word) sex appeal right through. While many movies fit the bill in a scene or two, I think Duel in the Sun (1946) is filled with sexual tension from beginning to end. So much so that it was apparently referred to as “Lust in the Dust” by critics.

Flirtatious dancing by Pearl‘s mother in the very first scene sets expectations for what is to come. Disguised as a western, we know this is going to be more than that. Circumstances have Pearl (Jennifer Jones) move to the McCanles ranch. She’s met in town by responsible Jesse (Joseph Cotton) and not a few miles later she’s already fluttering her eyelashes at him. She even offers to change her dark clothes right there and then. Admittedly, I doubt she knows the hormones she inadvertantly stirs by just suggesting this. Or maybe she does, as she does boldly ask Jesse if his brother is as nice as he is with almost dreamy eyes. Little does she know about the other, less gentlemanly brother waiting at the ranch. That he’s the one who would love nothing better than have her change clothes right there and then.

That’s where the real sizzling tension is. The bad, bad, baaaaad boy Lewt (Gregory Peck). But, make no mistake, he’s not all to blame. Pearl is just as guilty, for sashing around, fluttering more eyelashes and generally holding a tantalising posture and stirring wild dreams in the poor cowboys on the McCanles ranch.

Most of the time she acts as if she doesn’t want anything to do with Lewt but we know exactly that she does. He unsettles her but she likes it and she definitely wants more of that feeling. She denies it, oh, but she wants it. It is so obvious during the scene where she is helping count food stock – her mind is clearly elsewhere. And, what does she  expect to happen cleaning her bedroom floor on hands and knees with the door wide open? She slaps Lewt alright…but…well…that slap…it is more sex than the ensuing kiss and the lightning storm outside tells us all we need to know.

Even Jesse has his eye on Pearl and while he’s less direct and definitely less mean (Lewt lets her freeze in a pond just because he’d love to see her get out naked) there’s definitely a gesture here and a look there to show he has the same ideas as his brother.

There are so many scenes that I could write about but ultimately, they only make sense in context of the visuals. Besides, I’d hate to spoil this horrid but oh so good (don’t ask, I can’t explain) movie by giving away more than I already have. Let me just say…you haven’t seen bad boy until you’ve seen Lewt

Save