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Occupation: Girl

Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

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[Insert an apt title here]

Horoscope of Eerie Aptness: Someone who is relatively new to your life has more admiration for you than you might have thought. Have you noticed any lingering glances -- or any coincidental meetings that might not be so coincidental? Play this situation however you wish. If you want to drag out the drama and act like you have no idea about what's going on, feel free! But if you are ready to explore things a bit more, today is the day to meet that lingering glance and see what happens.


I didn't intend to take the day off from LJ yesterday, but for some reason I just really wanted to read. It felt good to take a break and not fool with it for a while, although I checked my email (which has top headlines on the inbox page and comment notifications from LJ) a couple of times. After I finished Order of the Phoenix, I went back and reread Goblet of Fire and then Half-Blood Prince--over three or four days, mind you--mostly because I'd only read them each once, when they first came out, and couldn't remember what actually happened. I think part of the reason I was so frustrated writing was that I'd run out of output and needed some input--any input. Sometimes the well just goes dry and you need to go read a book or see a couple of movies or something to recharge. Unfortunately, I have now run out of Harry Potter books.

Speaking of which, Casino Royale was awesome. One of my dirty secrets is that I've never actually seen an entire Bond movie. My mother always had the TV on HBO and Cinemax all day (when my father wasn't home watching golf) on when I was a kid, while she was cooking or cleaning (both of which she seems to do recreationally), so I grew up with all these movies playing in the background. I'd come through to ask her something or sit down to eat lunch or whatever, and someone would be chasing someone else in a spaceship or a speedboat or something else would be blowing up and I'd be like, huh, okay. The Empire Strikes Back was on 24/7 for a while. Lots of snow, that's all I remembered. A lot of Temple of Doom. One night I came downstairs and she was watching The Princess Bride, and I got scared because it was the big torture scene and I didn't see the entire movie until I was in sixth grade. She actually tried to get me to sit down and watch Aliens with her (she loves that one), which is a fantastic movie, except that I was seven. And James Bond movies were always on--probably on some of the basic cable channels as well. So it was one of those things where you hear about something so much, and you kind of see bits and pieces, to the point where you feel like you've seen them. I mean, I still got all the jokes in Austin Powers. But what I'm telling you is, because I never sat down and intentionally watched these movies from start to finish, I don't really have any emotional attachment to what a Bond movie "should" be. Casino Royale was what I would have hoped a Bond movie would be like--glamorous, witty--not cheesy--and completely badass.

What I liked about this one was the underlying idea that the job is actually a real, horrible, dirty one. I'm thinking specifically of the fight in the stairwell, where he ends up covered in blood and choking a man to death, and Eva Green ends up in the fetal position in the hotel room shower five minutes later. I mean, the man still has some flair--"That last hand nearly killed me"--but you get more of a sense that all this glamour is a veneer. Which, I mean, it is--this card game is about whether $150 million will go to fund terrorism or not. It's got to have real stakes, real consequences, for an MI6 agent to even be involved in the first place. That's what espionage is about--secrets being stolen or exchanged, people being saved or assassinated, things being protected or destroyed, while everyone else goes about their lives, unaware of what's going on right under their noses. The genre can still have the enjoyable fantasy aspect of all of this happening in the playgrounds of the wealthy, but when you start putting spies up against cartoon-character villains, you're basically cribbing from the superhero genre. It's the same thing, really, isn't it? Only the superhero genre is more fantastic and thus has more room for ridiculous incredible powers and lairs and henchmen and things. Which is why I'd rather the superspy genre stay a bit grittier, the way Casino Royale does.

Which is why I really liked Le Chiffre--here's a villain who was getting his own ass kicked by people coming after him, to the point where Bond was actually doing him a favor by killing those two guys in the stairwell. I tend to dislike villains who are just all, you know, MOO HA HA--I want them to want something, to be trying achieve something, and the fact that they're "evil" is simply that their interests are opposed to the general good. Le Chiffre is the banker of terrorists--and even apart from that, he's screwing around with their money, and he's going to be in deep shit if he doesn't recover an equivalent amount. He's not delivering one-beeeeeellion-dollar ultimatums to world leaders, is what I'm saying.

Also, I still can't get over that scene with the rope. "TO THE RIGHT!"

Backlog of linkspam:

News from the home office: Ala. bus crashes nose-first; 3 teens die; 4th student dies after Ala. bus crash.

Comedian's slaying hikes Iraq death toll.

Woman's family sues CNN, Nancy Grace. I don't know if y'all remember this, but basically, Grace accused the woman of being at fault in her own son's disappearance, and the woman then killed herself. The son has still not been found, but apparently police believe he may still be alive.

Bush's daughter robbed in Argentina. While Secret Service were watching. Good job, you guys.

Ethiopian lions poisoned to save money.

Jamestown skeleton still a mystery.

Survey: U.S. is most unfriendly country to visitors.

Michael Richards apologizes for racial slurs.

O.J. Simpson book, TV special canceled; News Corp. accused of hush money offer. Also: Simpson tells AP he did book for money, which is what I've been saying all along.

Lawyer: There's no Federline-Spears tape.

The Hobbit-Jackson thing thickens. "The [fans] are very upset.... We are seeing calls for everything from letter writing campaigns to a boycott of the studio." Also: "All of this has riled MGM [who has the Hobbit rights], which in recent weeks has been openly touting the fact that the newly revamped studio is serious about making The Hobbit -- with Jackson."

Screen grabs of the writing on Harry's hand, which has been changed from "I will not tell lies" to "I will not break rubs rules." Also, new BTS videos from E! and HBO.

New stills: 300, Apocalypto, OOTP (nothing that isn't in the trailer, but official and hi-res).

Orlando and Kirsten hook up. Well, I'm a total Keirlando tinhat, but I thought they were really cute together in Elizabethtown, so godspeed.

What happens after the last panel in For Better or Worse. The second to last one will explain to you exactly why everyone's so fed up with that storyline. (It was attempted, actually.)

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For future linkspam, I thought maybe you could post something about viggorlijah's website shop for Riverkids going live. Proceeds go toward stopping child traffiking. The entry about it...


I didn't intend to take the day off from LJ yesterday, but for some reason I just really wanted to read.

This has been happening to me a lot lately; I just want to read--all of the time.

I know that you posted about this recently, but did you see that the Brazilian cat that supposedly gave birth to puppies, um, didn't? The geneticist dude debunked the fambly's story. I just found the link from Defamer. ^_^

ps Happy Thanksgiving! ♥

No big surprise there. ;)

Yarha, Unbelievable Things are Usually Not Worth Believing

I'm really curious as to how Apocalypto's going to do. And, for the record, the torture scene from Bride STILL scares me.

Glad you're feeling better (it sounds like). My dad loved this Bond movie too, although he thought Craig should have played the villain. I haven't seen it yet, but it's on my list.
What exactly is happening at the end of that FBOW comic? I've sort of vaguely been following it since the wank began, and I gather she had to go to court to testify against the would-be rapist, but I can't remember what he looks like, so I wasn't sure if that was him in the last panel.

I don't know who the silhouetted person actually is, but I imagine it was grabbed out of context, so it's probably just meant to be some friend/family member she's talking to.

(Deleted comment)
Loved it! I got 13 out of 20. Couldn't even figure out a guess for 8, 9, 10, 14, 16, 18 and 19. Personal favorite had to be "The Usual Suspects" (ROFLMAO). Any ideas on the ones I missed?

I must agree-- "Casino Royale" rocked! It is now my favorite Bond film ever. Cleo, do you plan to watch the rest of them, now? Or, at least, some of the older ones, begining-to-end? I think that we could put together an awesome list for you; my recommendation is to stay away from Pierce Bronsan's Bond films, if you like the grittier feel of CR. The Bronsan films are too smooth-- it's all abandoned by your own side to be tortured for months, swimming to safty, and then champagne and scantily-clad girls, later that same night. Unreal.

PS: God, those poor lions. They're so rare-- why didn't another, richer zoo offer to take them?

...it's all abandoned by your own side to be tortured for months...

Well, in that one movie, yes. It's just about the coolest thing they did to the Brosnan Bond, too, and is also most of what I like about that particular movie, the rest of which doesn't quite live up to its first chapter. But, c'mon, "Goldeneye." You have to give it up for that one. Hell, it's got Boromir in it!

I like "Tomorrow Never Dies," but I sort of understand the general fan-hate toward it. I don't understand why anybody likes "The World Is Not Enough," though, which is the first Bond flick I came to the end of and felt naught but rage toward the producers and writers. Different strokes, I guess.

Agree with you on your general review of Casino Royale - as a person who has seen several James Bond films from start to finish, this is like watching the genre be reborn.

And I do agree that creating multiple layers of villains by showing Le Chiffre as a victim of other villains. Same thing in Lord of War.

But even with that layering, I still thought that Le Chiffre was a bit too cartoonish. I mean, besides the gimmicky tears of blood and that his physical appearance involved a scar, and a sickly, seedy overall look, I thought linking him to real world events - of terrorism (9/11) and of humanitarian crisis (the LRA) - was questionable. I suppose they did that in order to lend him some real world evil and make him more hateable by association, but well...I've always been wary of plots that use real world events as filler. Because people are already familiar with real world events, or if they're not then at least because these events are already complex and have a serious impact, I think referencing such events in the plot without fully engaging them is well, cheap. They're giving these events the short shrift and their full impact instead of being imparted by omission is rather cheapened.

E.g., it wasn't, "Oh my God, Le Chiffre is funding Joseph Kony, the guy who kidnaps children and has terrorized his community for two decades, and I can't bear to even look at Le Chiffre now."

it was, "Oh. Le Chiffre's funding some African warlord. I guess he's evil."

Which, anyway, still provides an interesting point of view - that villains (Le Chiffre) act and look (aside from the BLOOD TEARS OMG) remarkably normal in real life (or that people in real life find it easier to become evil than we give them credit for).

I'm not sure if you already saw this, but, from imdb:

'Lost' Star Up for X-Men Role?

Lost star Josh Holloway is being tipped to star in the next X-Men movie as fan favorite Gambit. Holloway, who plays Sawyer on the hit TV show, was set to star as Gambit in X-Men: The Last Stand but pulled out because of TV commitments. But it's reported the model/actor will star in the next installment, which will not feature many of the film's original stars, including Hugh Jackman, Sir Ian McKellen and Halle Berry. The film's producer Lauren Shuler Donner tells Moviehole, "Remember in Lost? There was a guy in there that was the perfect Gambit, the guy with the straight hair, good-looking, the bad boy… Sawyer. The reason we didn't use Gambit was because in a sense his persona is a bit like Wolverine in that he's got attitude and his power is not quite as exciting as the others. That's why we went to Nightcrawler on 2 because he looked different than everybody else and he had a great power. So yes, I think we would weave Gambit within our story, (but) it wouldn't be The Gambit Movie." Gambit possesses the ability to charge objects with energy, causing them to explode.

I heard that Holloway turned it down originally because he didn't want to be typecast as the Sawyer/Gambit character.

The only Bond movie I've seen all the way through is Die Another Day, and when I was watching it, I actually fell off of my chair. The real reason was because I was horribly tired that day, and the chair didn't have any arms on it, but it's still fun to tell people "The first time I watched a James Bond movie, I fell off of my chair!"
I want to see more of the movies though. Maybe I'll rent a couple of them some weekend.

And since the Christmas shopping season is about to begin, do you think you can link this in your next linkspam?
(Product) RED is a new initiative to fight AIDS in Africa. Various companies are making and selling RED products (which are not necessarily red in colour), with up to 50% of the profits going to The Global Fund. Products include a RED iPod Nanos, Motorola RAZR phones, Armani sunglasses, Converse shoes (some made from African mudcloth), an American Express card (only available in the UK), and a line of clothing from The Gap, (including shirts made in Africa, from African cotton, by African workers, who recieve full wages and free AIDS treatment.)

If you're looking to see more Bond movies, I would suggest "Dr. No", "Goldfinger", "Thunderball", and "Goldeneye" all as good choices. The first three all feature Sean Connery, and "Goldeneye" was my favorite Brosnan Bond film. I also like both of the films with Timothy Dalton, but that's not a popular opinion.

*Sheds a tear for the lions* If there's one mentality I hate it's "we haven't enough money for these animals/they're not making us enough. They're better off dead." That truly ruffles my feathers. Why don't they see if they can't put them back in the wild, or give them to another zoo for fuck's sake. GAH! *brains animal killing idiots with a sharp piece of metal*

HP related...so he's left-handed now? I got the impression it appeared on the hand he was writing with. I also thought it would look less like ink and more like blood. I'm just thankful they're keeping that part in the movie though.


I thought he was always left handed. Doesn't the fifth book say something about the scar?

Hm. Variety's website informs me that the article I requested does not exist.


Recommending a pimpage of christmasongs - it seems they're posting at least one christmas song a day, and they're taking contributions if anyone has anyone. Looks fun.

Unfortunately, some of the Bond movies are cheesy... this one was kind of non-traditional. The others are still good, but that last one--Die Another Day--was a bit out there. This one was a lot more realistic than the others I've seen (mostly Connery and Moore), but those are still VERY good.