It is Sunday afternoon and for the first time all week I have the time to dedicate to my web site. Believe me, it has been a roller coaster week, not just with work but in my own strange world. Here I am, with so many things to write about and with little idea of where to begin. To make life easier I will go back as far I can and work my way back to the present. I think it will make sense, just bare with me.
I am not the biggest James Bond fan in the world. My Dad is, but even he has not seen any of the films after A View To Kill (which was the last outing for his favourite 007). I am sure I have mentioned before, but until very recently the last Bond I had seen was A Licence To Kill. Nowadays I have to catch the movie at the big screen, fully appreciating why my Dad went to see Live & Let Die in the cinema (in India all those years ago). This would only be my second trip to see James at the cinema, but I can confirmed that I have seen every single official Bond film to date. I drove from my mate’s house to the Vue cinema in Oxford. Regular readers will know that I tend as a rule go to the cinema on a Friday night, the weekend a movie opens. As my friend was busy we opted to go to the Saturday afternoon screening at 2pm. We would have gone in the evening but he was busy and I was going out in Reading, so the time slot was a happy compromise. However, rather than being a master stroke of decisions, it turned out to be a mistake. We arrived a good half an hour before the screen would open, to find firstly a massive queue at the food counter. I counted four, yes, four tills out of use and only three members of staff serving. What a joke! There were two big queues forming, the busiest day of the weekend and yet half the staff are off on lunch. In any case, after getting our popcorn, we were shocked to discover the queue for the screen one, trailing all the way down the corridor. The majority of those in the queue were families and young children mainly boys the age of eight to ten. The film was a 12A certificate. We had learnt our lesson before even the Pearl and Dean trail played. I blamed my friend, it was his decision really and he had booked the tickets. In any case, we got in side and luckily got some good seats in the middle tier. After a little wait, the commercials and trailers, the 21st Bond adventure began.
Daniel Craig was never in my eyes a good choice for Bond. I am not doubting his acting ability, particular Munich which I saw earlier in February. He is not in the mould James Bond. Personally I wish they had taken a risk and played by Colin Salmon. It would have been refreshing to see a black but nevertheless accomplished actor take the role. Perhaps the fact he was in the background in three Bond movies previously they did not want to use him in a title role. However, in the movie Craig proves he has the ability to take on such a difficult role, showing both the grit and in places the dry comic humour that are synonymous with double 0 seven. Does he look the part though? No, on screen he never truly comes across as James Bond and that is a shame. The film firstly is too long, which is a big negative in my opinion from the producers. Never do you want your audience looking at their watches, wondering when the movie will come to a conclusion. Although there is a struggle between James and his nemesis, Le Chiffre, the Secret Service Agent does not get the chance to turn the tables on him and instead the result, is rather pathetic to say the least. There is also a love story of sorts, which just does not have a place in a Bond film. Well not to the extent here, but there is method in the madness. You have to consider this not as Bond 21, but Bond 0.5 prior to Dr. No but this will only make sense just before the title roll. Another bug to bare is the soundtrack and opening titles. The theme, is not like any other Bond theme before and I just do not like it. You can view the music video on You Tube and just for yourself. You Know My Name does link in with the final line of the movie but still does not create the same feelings as Bond songs previously. The open titles to, go away from the silhouette of dancing girls, to a more colour, animated story relating to gambling which links into the title.
Bond fans go and watch this movie and let me know what you think. For the average cinema goer, I am not sure if it will really hit the nail on the head. The action and set pieces are amazing and once again, James Bond dares to do the unthinkable for Queen and Country. However, the plot is over complex, particularly for our audience of young children. I can fully appreciate the need for the filmmakers to establish this new Bond and give a back story but I think at times, too much time is spent on this than other aspects of the story. The gadgets are stripped down to a bare minimum, which is a good thing and the DB5 looks awesome and very much a Bond car. I think we will be better able to tell how good Craig was as a choice for Bond after the next movie. We should consider this just an introduction and the second chapter will be decisive. Roll on Bond 22.
I had an ultimate objective. To have Windows reinstalled on my machine, fully working, with internet access (MSN etc) and be in a position to watch Torchwood. I started much later than I had anticipated on Sunday afternoon last weekend, using nLite to create a deployed Windows XP SP2 installation CD. I had searched around online and found a web site that had all the Windows updates since SP2 was released in a single download ready for integrating into my deployed CD. Magic. I missed a few steps in the configuration for nLite which meant my install was only partially unattended. However, I must say that whole process worked like a dream. The longest process was formatting my C drive with a full format. I used this time wisely by going for a quick power nap. Having the ability to tune and fully customise my installation of Windows XP, I was able to remove 100mb worth of needles drivers and programs. Fantastic. By 7.30pm I had Windows back up and running and then by 9pm, everything was running and the majority of my software had been installed. The main thing was my digital television card was up and running so I could tune into BBC3 for my weekly dose of Captain Jack and the rest of the gang. I was even able to fit in burning a auto play CD for work, so was glad to accomplish everything I needed to on my machine within the space of a few hours. It was also refreshing to know that in less than a week I had got my machine back to normal, having spent four to five days working on a test account. I have learnt my lesson do not worry. Do not let anyone tell you that no good comes out of bad.
A quick round up on other issues (a bit like the section on the news bulletin when they say, “in other news…”). Although it has not been great being an Arsenal fan over the past few weekends and particularly last night, I received my official membership pack for the season on Monday evening. Good timing, I went to the Hamburg game on Tuesday night. In yet another one of my firsts for 2006, this was my first official Champions League game and I had a great time. I could go into the major details but just do not have the time. You will by now, now the score and how le Boss praised the boys for a great comeback. When the visitors scored I thought, here we go again. The feeling was further cemented when Hleb hit the bar and Van Persie hit the post. Was it going to be yet another one of those European nights of missed opportunity? It was for part of the first half but in the second half Arsenal turned around the game. Walcott’s introduction was the catalyst for both the winning goals to put the tie beyond the Germans. The best atmosphere at the new stadium surpassing my four previous visits, particularly in the second half when the crowd got behind the Gooners.
In the post last week, I finally received the invoice for my archive supplies which had been delivered to work on Tuesday 7th, earlier this month. To my surprise the name on the invoice was incorrect, well technically no. It was just the Spanish version of my first name. Proof as if it was ever needed that my surname does give the impression of Hispanic ancestry. My cousin, Susan, many years ago researched the surname and discovered it originated from Portugal. Maybe one day, I will try and dig that bit deeper.