Saturday, November 24, 2012


 I saw this movie in Orlando and I loved every moment of it.  It is to acapella groups what SCREAM is to the horror genre - in mocking the culture it is better than the original.

And, yes, I am an acapella nerd.  In fact, it's hard for me to even type the word "acapella" since it's really supposed to be "a capella" (which refers to the "little chapel" in catholic cathedrals, smaller rooms for smaller services which normally lacked organs and therefore forced the singers to sing without accompaniment.)

See? Nerd.

This movie calls all acapella singers nerds, and demonstrates just how nerdy and amazing it can be by setting everything in an imaginary world where there are national acapella competitions at a collegiate level and where competing groups at the same college meet in secret, in the night, to have "sing-offs" Zoolander style.
This is what college is like, right?
I laughed a lot, cheered out loud after the musical numbers, and enjoyed every moment of this film.     The stand-out star of this movie, though, is Rebel Wilson who plays Fat Amy.  She is the one with most of the memes you may have seen.

 Really, see it for her.  Unless you are an acapella geek.  Then, just see it.

SKYFALL -- 8 (for being pretty)

SKYFALL opens with a man in silhouette walking towards us through a tunnel, gun in hand.  The figure gets closer and closer and then POW! - this happens:

That right.  The most perfectly placed chunk of light blazes into the steely blue eyes of our protagonist and tells all of us that this film is GORGEOUS! Since every single moment of this film is beautiful I became mesmerized with the visuals and didn’t pay so much attention to the plot.  Seriously, though, ya gotta see this stuff.  Here, I'll help you by attaching some screen shots...

This is how you fight a spy on top of a train.. with STYLE.

 Eve shows us how you walk over a dude you've knocked in the head with a case full of three million dollars while looking glamorous.

Here we see a homage to Blade Runner in a building that ACTUALLY EXISTS somewhere in Asia.

Here's how you go to the museum with your IT staff.

And, here is Bond and M looking at the most desolate bit of Scottish grandeur they could find to shoot with a vintage Aston Martin behind them.

Oh, right, about M -  She is in trouble and has to go up before a Congressional Committee (or whatever they have in England) to explain why she let someone get a list of EVERY SINGLE UNDERCOVER SPY THERE IS and to answer for the deaths of these spies who are being killed off very publicly.
"What? Why wouldn't I keep my list of secret spies on the hard drive of a random laptop?
Is that a security problem?"
It's the beginning of the whole movie and it's a bit silly.  I mean, if corporations like Citibank won't let someone walk into their buildings with a flash drive in order to protect the information of all those folks who owe them money, the idea of MI6 just casually making a list of the identities of all their undercover operatives is ridiculous.

Voldemort agrees with me but is totally sweet and British about it.

Anyway, Eve shoots Bond because M tells her to
"I'm not sure this is the right way to solve our security problems, M.
Couldn't we just get a new secretary or something?"
but Bond survives and goes on to meet the "bad" Bond girl.
"I'm the bad one because I have long pointy fingernails which freak Susan out."
Anyway, blah blah, there's a Komodo dragon, sex happens, and then we FINALLY get to meet our villain, Javier Bardem, whom I LOVED!
"What's not to love?  I'm stylish, blond, funny, and far less crazy than this Bond dude!"
He's known as Raoul Silva in this movie, and he is an ex-MI6 agent who got left behind in a sacrifice play made by M which is exactly like the one she just made on Bond a few months before.  Silva doesn't really care about Bond so much as he wants revenge on M but of course, since he's got the spy sitting there all tied up and looking cute, he might as well make a pass.

Wouldn't you?
Really, the moment is there only because it means Silva is somewhat gay and therefore it's alright to kill him at the end.  Because if someone is gay in a movie, they die. (No, for reals.)  But, death aside, I liked him much more than Bond.  James Bond is a psychopathic thug who looks alright in a suit and has governmental permission to kill anyone he feels like killing.  Raoul Silva is an emotionally ravaged victim of war crimes who feels the system needs some chaos introduced into it in order to highlight the absurdity of nationalistic "security".  But, more than that, he is upset with M and wants her to understand the results of the decisions she makes.  If I saw Bond walking down the street, I'd cross the street to avoid him because he's scary and he makes moral decisions based on idealistic abstractions.  Silva I would totally walk by because he's random.  He might kill me, he might not, but whichever decision he made, it would be personal.

I know, it's a totally un-American attitude.  It's like the difference between tornadoes and earthquakes.  Earthquakes happen suddenly, without warning, and mess up EVERYBODY.  You have moments to deal with them and the effects are non-negotiable.  Then, 24 hours later, they come back just to make sure you didn't forget about them and to make sure everything is awful. Because, really, the needs of the tectonic plates are FAR more important and we puny humans should just understand that some sacrifices are totally necessary.
Earthquake says: "Oh, I missed that minivan there.
 I'll just open a sinkhole right under it. "

Tornadoes might get ya or they might not.  When the tornado sirens go off in Texas, people finish their jogs, meander into their closets, call their friends, whatever.  Because it might utterly destroy your neighbor's house and leave yours untouched.  Or, you might die.  You don't know and you can't control it so.. whatever.  The clouds go green and everyone knows the sky is gonna fall on the ground (hey! sky... falling.. skyfall? ha!) but there's a chance that it won't hurt anyone at all.  And, really, when it comes to natural disasters or movie villians, I prefer to take that chance.
Plus, tornadoes are far more stylish!