November 15, 2006
Thought for the day

"Most petitions for annulment are successful... the Church can barely keep up with the case loads it has."

--from a Religion and Ethics Newsweekly report on Catholic divorce

November 14, 2006
Thought for the day

"Given the choice between accomplishing something and just lying around, I'd rather lie around. No contest."

--Eric Clapton

Best in Bond

For your viewing pleasure: the five best Bond girls of all time and the ten worst. There seems to be a fair amount of agreement -- no women appear on both lists. Entertainment Weekly names the former Mrs. Charlie Sheen as the worst of the worst, saying, "Denise Richards played Dr. Christmas Jones, a nuclear physicist who wore a tank top and hot pants." But isn't this a cliche now? "Scientists" in movies these days are always played by hot chicks wearing tight outfits, reality be damned.

But I'm more interested in the best Bond songs. A Google News search quickly turns up this poll at a Chicago Tribune blog. No ranking, but the post has what looks to be a complete list. It's a tough call. Shirley Bassey has to be near the top, and she does have three entries -- I'd go with "Goldfinger." Tina Turner does her best Shirley Bassey with "GoldenEye." But I can't ignore my fondness for Paul McCartney; "Live and Let Die" is a classic. But I'll be honest. When I think of Bond, I often get in my head Duran Duran's "A View to a Kill." It's just one of those "Bond songs." Carly Simon's "Nobody Does It Better" might be a good song, but it just doesn't sound Bond, does it?

I haven't seen the new Bond film yet -- I should be at a Thursday night screening -- but I heard a clip of the theme, Chris Cornell's "You Know My Name." The song seemed fine, but not classic enough for a franchise with such a long tradition.

November 08, 2006
Thought for the day

Because time itself is like a spiral, something special happens on your birthday each year: The same energy that God invested in you at birth is present once again.

--Menachem Mendel Schneerson

November 06, 2006

I had a few movie pieces in The Washington Times last week:

  • A review of Driving Lessons, a British coming of age film starring Rupert Grint and Julie Walters.
  • An interview with Jeremy Brock, writer-director of Driving Lessons and co-writer of The Last King of Scotland. (All you Brideshead Revisited fans -- and I know you're out there -- take note: Brock is co-writing the screenplay for the upcoming feature film, and I have some of his comments on this in my piece.)
  • A review of Babel, the ensemble pic starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett alongside international unknowns.
  • I also wrote this week's Beyond Hollywood column, which features my interview with Babel director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, as wells as briefs on the EU Film Showcase and a new DC movie tour.

November 03, 2006

It's nice to see that some authors have a sense of humor when it comes to reviews.