Archive | June, 2012

The Kids are Alright…and very inspiring: Inspire ’12

15 Jun

No apologies for plugging a very local event connected with my work place, but some of today’s creative students deserve to be seen. If you’re in the area, check it out.


“Vodka martini, plenty of ice… if you can spare it.” The James Bond blogs: ‘Die Another Day’ (2002)

13 Jun

During the pre-credits sequence of Die Another Day, I realised just how pleased I was to be seeing Pierce Brosnan in the role for a fourth time. He had proved himself a worthy addition to the ranks of Bond actors before him, and there had been none of the perceived failure (from certain quarters) associated with some earlier Bonds (Lazenby especially). Bond can be a fairly ridiculous character in some of the films, but Brosnan had never been anything but convincing, even if  his version of the character was far more removed from Fleming’s original creation than say Dalton or Connery’s interpretations. Perhaps his popularity lies in the ability to combine a bit of that grittiness with some of the light hearted quality of Roger Moore. Die Another Day is the 20th outing in the official series. Although Bond now transcends time and place (as you are not expected to consider this to be a spy who has been on Her Majesty’s secret service since the 1950s and ’60s), Die Another Day goes to some great lengths to celebrate the series’ past, as evidenced by a scene in Q’s workshop where various gadgets from earlier films are in evidence, including the jet pack from Thunderball. The female lead, Halle Berry, also emerges from the sea in homage to Ursula Andress in Dr. No, which is subtle enough to be welcome. All these nods to the past threaten to interfere with the rest of the film but never do, I’m glad to say. The problem with Die Another Day IS the rest of the film. Continue reading

The Dracula Movies #8: Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (Werner Herzog, 1979)

10 Jun


Melancholy and visually captivating, Herzog’s re-make of Marnau’s seminal 1922 classic Nosferatu, certainly sits head and shoulders above the average vampire picture in it’s stylish expressionistic presentation. A far more European take on the tale than most are perhaps used to. Rather than a shot for shot re-make of the earlier film though, Herzog takes the style and content of the 1922 picture and presents it fresh, in colour and with sound. Whereas the earlier film could not explicitly reference Stoker’s novel, here all the character names and events are generally in place, although the look is undeniably Marnau. Continue reading