Action Nerd: One Hundred Pushups

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one hundred push ups

As my Nerd Lunch buddies may recall, there was a time not long ago when I worked out six days a week and watched my diet pretty closely. Then I became a dad a couple of years back and got busy and got lazy. But I'm working on that.

And that's why I started the Hundred Pushup Challenge last week. This is a six-week program designed to take me from my current max of 30 all the way up to the magic number of 100.

I'm trying to work in some additional exercise --- pullups, cardio, maybe some lower body lifts --- but if all else fails, I'm still doing those pushups three mornings a week.

When I'm done, I'm going to use my giant pectoral muscles to fight crime and to help kids stay in school.

G.I. Joe, A Real...Cartoon!

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G.I. Joe seems to have been a pretty popular topic. The three of us are all right in that age range to have maybe collected the toys or been around others who had. And, we saw the cartoon and maybe collected the comics.

As a kid, I found the cartoon enjoyable but looking back on it, I just don't enjoy it without the nostalgia factor. And, as mentioned previously, the new live action movie doesn't look to be shaping up to be what I really want either. But maybe the movie will help bring to me something that will be what I want.

Hisstank.com has reported that a new G.I. Joe cartoon with a more serious tone, aimed to reach guys just like us, is being produced. Written by Warren Ellis, these should be more serious in tone dumping laser rifles for bullets and amping up the suspense by showing deaths.

Just imagine a Cobra Commander who is a serious threat and not a bumbling buffoon. Isn't that what you always wanted to see?

[Side note: Has anyone seen the 25th Anniversary action figures? I quit buying action figures a couple years ago, but if there was something that would tempt me to get back into action figures, it'd be that line.]

I wonder if they'll still end these cartoons with some sort of short where Dial-Tone shows up to teach kids to eat healthy or Shipwreck tells kids to not play on construction sites.

00Walrus #9: The Man With The Golden Gun

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THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN
Bond: Roger Moore - 1 tusk
As a whole, I like the Roger Moore in this movie better than in the previous, but I still had problems. He did loosen up a bit. But just a bit. He's got a couple of good fight scenes and just looks more comfortable in the role. However, I don't understand why they decided to turn Bond into an android. Twice in the movie he starts spewing out information like he's Kryten or C-3P0. I think they want him to sound cool, but he just comes off like a nerd. (Not a cool nerd like the three of us.)

Moore wanted to show Bond as someone who didn't like to kill but would if he had to. His scene of disgust with Scaramanga at the dinner table and his line, "I admit killing you would be a pleasure," was very forced in trying to show this aspect of Bond. I also think they took the "Bond doesn't like women" thing too far with the way he treated Goodnight. He's rather rude with her and it's mostly unfounded. She handled the big janitor guy on her own but then Bond yells at her for not reading the signs. But it was exactly the kind of thing Bond has done in any number of previous movies. He loses his charm around her and is just a big jerk. Eh...that interaction bugged me. But I suppose in some ways it mimics the way M mistreats Bond.

Girl: Britt Eckland as Mary Goodnight - 2 tusks
First I like Mary Goodnight because she proves her worth right off the bat by helping Bond track down Andrea Anders. She holds her own against the big janitor guy. And although she got kidnapped, she did so trying to help. She's treated like she's a dumb blond, but she's actually quite an asset if Bond would just let her be. Second, I probably start liking her just because Bond is so mean to her. And her biggest flaw is that she just takes it. I guess Goodnight was a character throughout three of the books. I would have been in favor of more appearances by her except I couldn't stand seeing her get yelled at anymore.

Special shout-out to Maud Adams as Andrea Anders. She's a great "other" Bond girl.

Gadgets: None - 2 tusks
Bond didn't really sport any gadgets this go around. Scaramanga has his Golden Gun and a car that turned into a plane, but neither one of those were Bond's gadgets. Closest we came was Goodnight's tracking device built into the button of her shirt. (I looked it up to double check I hadn't missed a gadet. There was some camera gun thing used in the background in one scene. I'm not counting it.) As I've said before, I like little to no gadgets so I'll give it the full tusk rating here.

Opening Theme: "The Man With The Golden Gun" performed by Lulu - 0 tusks
The only way to follow up McCartney is with this awful song. Except for the return of J.W. Pepper, this was the worst part about the movie.

Villain: Christopher Lee as Francisco Scaramanga, The Man With The Golden Gun - 2 tusks
For most of the movie I couldn't decide if he deserved two tusks or just one. It was like he didn't really do enough to merit that second tusk. But when he starts giving Bond the tour of his island, he just becomes so likable. His best line is when Bond starts spouting off some stat about the temperature of the laser beam and Lee just says, "If you say so" as if to say, "Don't over-analyze this nerd. You don't impress me." Lee just appears to be having fun in the role and could have made an interesting recurring villain since Blofeld has disappeared for now.

Henchman: Herve Villechaize as Nick Nack - 1 tusk
Nick Nack was a fun character who had a little bit of complexity to him. Once you find out that Scaramanga's fortune is his upon Scaramanga's death, he becomes interesting to watch.

Pre-title opening sequence - 1 tusk
It's an intro that reminds me of the intro in From Russia With Love. No real Bond, just setting up the villain.

Story:
Interesting to watch this movie from 35 years ago and see that they're saying the same things about fuel and energy then that we are now. Not a perfect movie by any means, but a step up from Live And Let Die. It's a slight variation on the Bond formula. Bond becomes the star of his own movie again. The villains are worthy. Overall, I had fun watching this again.

The major weak points in this movie:
- Some of Bond's new quirks (as mentioned above)
- The return of J.W. Pepper
- A lackluster final battle between Bond and Scaramanga. There should have been more there.
- How did M have Scaramanga's personal yacht's phone number?


Previous Bond Movie Reviews
Dr. No
From Russia With Love
Goldfinger
Thunderball
You Only Live Twice
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Diamonds Are Forever
Live And Let Die

Time Is Tight

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I had to do some driving this weekend, and I decided to just bring my Booker T. and the MGs collection. That stuff is water from the well.

When I was sixteen, I started listening to the old sixties soul music, especially Stax Records from Memphis ---- Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave. Booker T. and the MGs were both the house band at Stax and a popular instrumental group in their own right. Organ, guitar, bass, and drums --- always tight, always tasteful.

A couple of the guys went on to play with the Blues Brothers and appear in the movies . . . guitarist Steve Cropper also has a weird cameo in the movie "Amazon Women on the Moon."

I'm primarily a saxophonist, but I've also tooled around on guitar for years now. I just found a couple of books that teach "soul guitar" in the style of Steve "The Colonel" Cropper, and I've gotten the weird notion to learn some of those old tunes and figure out a little bit of that style. I'd need a Telecaster to do it right . . .

00Walrus #8: Live and Let Die

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Of all the James Bond disagreements Jeeg and I have, this is probably the biggest. So, potentially good times ahead in the comments section.

LIVE AND LET DIE
Bond: Roger Moore - 1 tusk
Roger Moore debuts in this one for a seven film duration. Though not typically at the top of anyone's list of favorite actors to play Bond, he is largely respected for his run with the character. I admire the approach to get away from the Connery-type as to avoid a Lazenby situation, I don't particularly care for Roger Moore as Bond for the most part. His Bond is much more stiff, uppity and comical than what I like to see in the character. Despite that, I think this was a tough movie to begin with for a variety of reasons. He holds his own in this atypical Bond movie that breaks some ground as far as moving away from the norm a bit.

Girl: Jane Seymour as Solitaire - 0 tusks
Though I want to like Jane Seymour as a Bond girl, I find the character underdeveloped and mostly annoying. Like other Bond girls, she starts out interesting and then once she gets together with Bond, she melts into a whiny, whispy mess.

Gadgets: Magnetic Watch - 1 tusk
The magnetic watch was the big deal here. I actually liked that he tried to use it on the boat and it didn't work for him because the boat was tied to the tree. Although, I really didn't like the scene where he uses it to unzip the zipper.

Opening Theme: "Live and Let Die" performed by Paul McCartney and Wings - 2 tusks
Probably the only really great thing about this movie, but it almost seems out of place in the context of the story. But, this stands out as one of the best Bond theme songs ever.

Villain: Yaphet Kotto as Dr. Kananga/Mr. Big - 2 tusks
The first movie of many to get away from the typical "take over the world" mastermind and get the movies down to simpler stories dealing with things like drugs. Yaphet Kotto commands the screen when present. He's actually an interesting villain despite the movie he's in.

Henchman: Julius Harris as Tee Hee Johnson - 1 tusks
I have no real particular feelings about him one way or the other. I did enjoy the scene with him and Bond at the alligator farm. And mechanical arms always add a bit of fun to the menace mix.

Pre-title opening sequence - 0 tusks
I would have preferred to return to the mini-adventure concept used in Goldfinger and Thunderball and had the pre-title sequence to give Roger Moore a proper entrance into the franchise. Instead, we see three guys we don't know and don't care about get killed. Although, this plays into my idea that this really isn't a movie starring James Bond, so why focus on that character so early?

Story:
Ultimately, this movie is not so much a Bond movie, but a blaxploitation film that features a guest-starring role by Roger Moore as James Bond. And I do mean guest-starring. Bond, as a character, is trumped by Kotto's character, Solitaire, and even Sheriff Pepper. It seems like Bond isn't given much to do that's "cool." Once he does have a chance to shine, the light is moved and someone steps in and steals his scene. The boat chase near the end, a scene that could have salvaged this movie, is absolutely ruined with the introduction of Sheriff J.W. Pepper.

Speaking of Pepper, what an absolutely annoying character. And I guess that was the point. In a movie where almost every black character on the screen is a villain, there has to be some sort of balance attempted. At least, that's how the screenwriter explained it in the extra feature. There was probably a better way to solve this problem than the introduction of this character. Like, make more black people not evil.

Quarrel, Jr. and a CIA agent wind up being the only two black characters who aren't evil in this movie. I found it quite a stretch for there to be such a vast network that no matter where the good guys go, there's someone there who's working for Mr. Big. Just got far-fetched.

Finally, I'm not a fan of the introduction of the mystical/supernatural element to Bond. The tarot cards and the Voodoo don't really mesh well for me, but I suppose they were a part of the original novel. Although, from what I've read, they were downplayed and attributed more to feeding on a myth rather than reality. Maybe someone has read the book and can enlighten me.

But hey...props to the producers for using Quarrel, Jr. and not just renaming the character. I liked the nod to Dr. No.

Previous Bond Movie Reviews
Dr. No
From Russia With Love
Goldfinger
Thunderball
You Only Live Twice
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Diamonds Are Forever

Star Wars Holiday Special

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shudder In our recent discussion of the latest Indiana Jones movie, CT mentioned that he's no fan of George Lucas. I know we both have stronger feelings about him, but we haven't had many opportunities to riff on that theme over the past year. In short, I think the guy is a hack. Return of the Jedi, Temple of Doom, and the three Star Wars prequels are all the evidence I need, but the piece de resistance has to be the Star Wars Holiday Special. If you haven't seen it and think you have the stamina to endure nearly 2 hours of awful dialogue, wookie sexual innuendos, and Bea Arthur, head over here.

I bring up a Christmas special in the middle of June not only because it's fun to bash George Lucas, but also because there is an opportunity to own this piece of history. WrestleCrap's RD Reynolds is selling his copy of the Holiday Special as part of a garage sale to unload some of their more "interesting" acquisitions from over the years. So if you're a hard core Star Wars fan, a masochist, or just enjoy watching Mr. Lucas fall flat on his face, get your bid in before Tuesday.

Micronauts!

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I got a little shout out today from Brian Cronin who writes the "Comic Book Urban Legends" column at Comic Book Resources. I sent him some notes about the never-published Micronauts relaunch comic that I worked on over ten years ago back when I interned at Marvel.

This would have been a great series and makes you wonder about all the other comics that never come to fruition that would have been great.

I posted a bit more on this at my Stormspeed blog for those interested.

D&D 4.0: Get Your Geek On

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Just got my 4th Edition rulebooks. Being 34 has its perks, but sometimes it's nice to feel 14 again.

I'm going to DM an adventure for my brother-in-law and my two nephews, ages seven and nine. The boys are both playing dragonborn - - - that's the big guy on the left.

The boys aren't allowed to play warlocks. I explained to their dad that warlocks get their powers from pacts with demonic entities . . . and as I said it, I thought, hey, that sounds bad, doesn't it?

One new class, the warlord, focuses on tactics and leadership. I've always wanted to play a sage-type character . . . a real scholar-adventurer . . . and that would be an interesting class for that concept . . . a high-Intelligence character who is always thinking several steps ahead of the monsters.

Season Three Trifecta

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Jeeg gave a little insight a while back into how he watches some of his TV. I have been appointment television-free for a couple years now. Once DVDs hit it big, soon after came the advent of season sets of television shows. I'm a huge TV boxed set junkie and have watched hours and hours of TV this way.

There are several advantages to this. The first and most obvious one is no commercials. Definitely a time-saver there. Second, you can pause the show. So, if your kid starts crying in the middle of a show, click pause and then get back to your show later. Granted, both of these things are covered with DVR these days. But I like so many serialized shows that I like watching my shows is large chunks rather than a week at a time over the course of nine months.

The disadvantage with this is that I'm one of the few who seem to go about watching TV this way. So, when I choose to watch shows that are still currently airing, I have to...no...get to be rude to people and tell them to stop talking because I'm a year or more behind.

My wife and I recently started a season three viewing spree that ended last night. Here are some thoughts to begin some discussion if anyone's up for it. Although, please keep your discussion limited to season three or before, or give spoiler warnings.

Battlestar Galactica
This season began meandering a bit for me and knowing that the show will be wrapping up in season four makes me happy. Beginning with a great story arc out of the gate, there were several filler episodes this season. I enjoyed watching them all to some degree, but some just felt flat. Carl Lumbly's episode was a let down. The episode with Adama spending the day with the memory of his ex-wife seemed too much like Baltar and Number Six.

Speaking of which, the bumbling Baltar who was so easy to love in the first couple seasons makes a huge transition here. It was bound to happen, but I miss the old Baltar. On the flipside, I found Col. Tigh to be a character I had no use for in the first two seasons, but salty, bearded Tigh from the occupation was great and I liked how he transitioned back into his role on Galactica.

Some editing caused truncated exposition so some storylines were hard to follow at first. Helo was in charge of some refugees, but it's never really explained all that clearly who they are. Helo was a character they seem to have no idea what to do with, but I really like him regardless. When he stood up to Adama, I found myself rooting for him. I see him as the most together guy on the whole crew. (Looking forward to seeing him in Joss Whedon's new show.)

The show ended on a huge cliffhanger and I'm not sure what I think about it. At this point, it all seems far-fetched, but I'm definitely looking forward to the DVDs for season four so I can get some answers.

Lost
I can't imagine watching this show weekly. I would probably not have lasted past the first year. But in season chunks, I get so much enjoyment out of it. The show is intricately put together. When it started, I doubted that there was a plan in place for where the show was going. But now, I believe there to be one as they finally answer questions and put huge pieces of the whole puzzle together. Granted, each answer just opens up more questions to be answered later. But now, I don't mind so much because we're not stockpiling so many questions anymore.

I felt there was a drop in quality during season two. So much so that I wasn't all that excited about watching season three. But about two episodes in, I was glad I had started. The introduction of The Others as main characters proved quite interesting and characters we've been following grew in new ways over the course of season three.

The big thing that I absolutely loved over the course of the season was the Damon/Charlie subplot. I loved Damon and the introduction of an old sci-fi standby that rooted this show deeper in genre television than before. My biggest disappointment has been the character of John Locke who I felt was such a great character at the start, but has been torn down piece by piece into someone I'm almost embarrassed to watch.

Doctor Who
Quite possibly the most fun I've had watching TV in a while comes from Doctor Who. Though I have watched various episodes of the Classic Doctor Who and appreciate it for its place in sci-fi culture, I have not typically enjoyed the show. When they brought the show back a few years ago, they took everything about Classic Who that didn't work out and filled it in with things that do work. It seems to ape a style reminiscent of Buffy and capitalizes on not only the sci-fi elements of the original, but the horror and humor as well. David Tennant is fun as The Doctor and quite possibly ranks as my favorite of all time.

Season Three's major arc was the return of an old villain known as The Master. The Master is a rival Time Lord and originally conceived as a Moriarty to The Doctor's Sherlock Holmes. It was great to see the return handled in such a way that didn't require any real previous knowledge of the character. Everything you need to know was given to you within the show.

This season also saw The Doctor take on a new companion in Martha Jones. She proves herself quite capable and avoids the Lazenby Effect that could have occurred in being Rose's (Season 1 & 2 companion) replacement.

All in all, some great TV viewing over the past few weeks.

Incredible Hulk: Ferrig-yes or Ferrig-no?

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Who's going to see the new Hulk movie? I'm intrigued, but due to my "movie theater boycott," I will not be seeing this until DVD.

If you see it, post a comment and let us know what you thought of it.

Also, just set up a new poll in the sidebar about the Avengers movies. Let us know which characters you think should have a movie. And if you select "Other," come back here and tell us who you choose.

00Walrus #7: Diamonds Are Forever

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DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
Bond: Sean Connery - 1 tusk
Sean Connery comes back one more time in order to make a lot of money to set up a scholarship fund in Scotland. His return probably saves the franchise by preventing a super-Americanized reboot from happening. For that, I'm glad he returned. Beyond that, I could have done without his return here. He's older, tired, and just isn't having the fun with it that he used to. He seems like a much more cranky Bond in this particular movie.

Girl: Jill St. John as Tiffany Case - 1 tusk
By this point in the series, Tiffany Case is my least favorite Bond girl. While she has some intrigue surrounding her when she first appears, she quickly loses her coolness factor and doesn't live up to her potential as this great diamond smuggler. She shows ineptness and I don't really get what Bond sees in her other than the fact she's a woman. Plenty O'Toole seemed like a much more interesting character. Too bad she didn't really get to do anything.

Gadgets: Variety of items including fake fingerprints and voice changer - 1 tusk
I didn't really mind the grappling hook gun and I could live with the voice changer and fake fingerprints. But the gadget Q used to win at gambling was just silliness and the kind of thing I don't like to see in Bond gadgets.

Opening Theme: "Diamonds Are Forever" by Shirley Bassey - 1 tusk
Since they were trying to recapture the success of Goldfinger, I see why they went back to Shirley Bassey. But like most of the rest of the movie, this retread doesn't capture any residual magic. It simply says "been there, done that."

Villain: Charles Gray as Ernst Stavro Blofeld - 1 tusk
This is Blofeld doing his best Auric Goldfinger impression, right down to using the same line regarding the lift. Or should I say elevator? This Blofeld lacked the "mastermindedness" that the previous two Blofelds possessed. Not really a slight against Charles Gray but more so the way he was written.

Henchmen: Bruce Glover and Putter Smith as Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd - 2 tusks
These guys are some quirky henchman. I like the humor contrasted with the seriousness of the characters. The worst part about these guys was their demise at the end. They deserved a better way to go out.

Bambi and Thumper should also get a mention here as well-known Henchwomen from this movie. It was fun to see Bond out of his element a bit and having to take a beating. Although, I couldn't help but wonder where his ninja training from You Only Live Twice had disappeared to.

Pre-title opening sequence - 1 tusk
Following the emotionally powerful closing of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, this opening falls flat by not directly addressing the reason Bond is dedicated to finding Blofeld. It also made no sense to kill off Blofeld just to have him come back. It made Bond seem incompetent.

Story:
While trying to capture the glory of Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever winds up going in different directions. Trying to set a new Americanized tone but bringing back Connery in the role confuses the movie.

The strength of the script is in the Howard Hughes gone awry aspect of the story. Jimmy Dean is a fun Willard Whyte. The henchman are fun characters. The moon buggy chase is kind of funny. By this point in the series, watching the movies are better served by simply sitting back and having fun with them. The serious, plot-driven stories are gone for awhile.

Next time: Roger Moore and the reopening of the biggest disagreement that Jeeg and I have regarding the Bond movies!

Previous Bond Movie Reviews
Dr. No
From Russia With Love
Goldfinger
Thunderball
You Only Live Twice
On Her Majesty's Secret Service

(Nerd) Lunch Special: Frosty Shakes

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"Quality Is Our Recipe."

Sure, for the most part, I've agreed that Wendy's had long been one of the best fast food/quick service places for a long time. So much so that I didn't mind working there for a time while in college.* And even after I worked there, I would still eat at Wendy's. But ever since the passing of Dave Thomas, I feel like Wendy's has lost it's way a bit. So these days, it takes a lot to actually convince me to go.

Well, when I saw they had new Frosty Shakes, I knew I had to try these. From what I can determine, a Frosty Shake is Frosty + additional flavor + mixing...then, topped with whipped cream and a cherry. Since a Frosty is already very much like a thick milkshake, the "Frosty Shake" is like a genetically engineered Super-Frosty. It's a Frosty, but it's "on the jazz."

On a hot summer day in Florida, a milkshake sounded good. And apparently four of my co-workers thought so as well. So, I made a Frosty Shake run and I was impressed. I got the chocolate, but was able to sample the strawberry due to the inability of the Wendy's server to keep the shake in the cups. By simply carrying the cups, I got Frosty Shake all over my hand. Usually that would annoy me, but today I didn't mind.

It was still spoon-usin' thick like a regular Frosty is...even after driving back to work. The Frosty flavor was there, but it was infused with even more flavor. Wonderful way to spruce up an old favorite.

They have three flavors...Chocolate Fudge, Vanilla Bean, and Strawberry. Though I wasn't too impressed with the regular Vanilla Frosty, I'm anxious to try the Vanilla Bean next time.

Wendy's really has tried to expand on this Classic Dairy Dessert in recent years and now offer an additional flavor (vanilla), a float, and a Twisted Frosty. While I still value just the simplicity of a normal, regular chocolate Frosty, the Frosty Shake is a great alternative to jazz things up.



* There are great perks to working at Wendy's. I won't go into all of them now, but one perk was being able to drink the Frosty mix before it had been turned into a Frosty. It's an incredibly thick, sweet, creamy chocolate milk-type drink. The version of it before it has been frozen is phenomenal.

00Walrus #6: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

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ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE
Bond: George Lazenby - 1 tusk
On Her Majesty's Secret Service has long held the top spot as my favorite James Bond movie. A good villain, a great Bond girl, thrilling locations, and an awesome story make this one step away from being the perfect 007 movie. The weak link is George Lazenby.

It's not really his fault. He does a decent job in the role and could have continued on and made the role his own. As I've mentioned before, he was the much needed buffer between Sean Connery and anyone else who would play the part. Connery couldn't play the role forever. He was already looking a bit weary in Thunderball and even more so in You Only Live Twice. It was time for him to depart.

That said, OHMSS could probably have been perfect had Connery stayed in the role one more time with that exact script, director and supporting cast. Or, had Lazenby stayed with the franchise longer, his movie wouldn't stick out like it does.

Upon rewatching it this time, I tried to really focus on how Lazenby did in the role without comparing him to any of the others. And, I say for the most part, he does pretty good. There are parts though where I feel I'm watching someone just pretend to be James Bond rather than actually be James Bond. He lacked the instant charisma and a lot of the beginning portion of the movie was spent trying to assure viewers that this is the same guy, just a new face. The difference is downplayed when Roger Moore takes over and that might have been the way to go here.

Girl: Diana Rigg as Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo - 2 tusks
Maybe it's my affinity for Diana "Emma Peel" Rigg speaking, but I'm not sure there's been a better Bond girl. She's got tons of personality and can hold her own in many situations. I would like to have seen more of her backstory. And I felt great loss when she was killed at the end. Only she was worthy of being the wife of James Bond, even if only for a few minutes.

Gadgets: Safe Cracker/Photo Copier - 2 tusks
This movie was light on the gadgets which made me happy. The most prominent was the large device that cracked the safe and photocopied files. Radioactive lint was mentioned, but not really used.

Opening Theme: "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" by John Barry Orchestra - 2 tusks
Getting away from the opening theme songs, this great instrumental score and set the pace throughout the movie.

Villain: Telly Savalas as Ernst Stavro Blofeld - 2 tusks
Who loves ya baby? Who doesn't love Telly Savalas? While I would like to have seen the Blofeld consistently cast, that didn't happen. And Telly's Blofeld is another great villain who is in the thick of the action, much like I had mentioned with Largo in Thunderball. He's right in the thick of it with two of the major chase scenes. He commands a great screen presence.

[As I was watching it, I was reminded that Lex Luthor from Superman: The Animated Series was based heavily on Telly Savalas. I have no ill-will towards Gene Hackman, but why didn't Telly Savalas get that part in Superman: The Movie?]

Pre-title opening sequence - 1 tusk
The only weakness here is its lack of clarity. Tracy is apparently suicidal, but we don't easily get that from the scenes we're shown. She walks into the ocean three feet and Bond jumps in to save her? And the guys who were after her...who were they? With an improper set-up, it loses a tusk. But it retains a tusk for some good fights and a clever line at the end of the opening.

Story:
Beyond the things mentioned above, this movie has great strength in its script. One of the major things we see is Bond's character fleshed out a bit more. He goes through a bit more angst in this one and shows some vulnerabilities, something Connery hadn't really shown in the previous two movies. I love the scene where Bond quits and Moneypenny keeps that from happening.

The plot is complex and I love the entire sequence of scenes where Bond has had to go undercover. From a continuity standpoint, it doesn't make sense that Blofeld doesn't recognize Bond since he had seen him in You Only Live Twice. But Bond was wearing glasses, so maybe the Clark Kent trick really does work.

My only complaint would be that we don't get more with Diana Rigg. As I mentioned above, I felt like her set up needed more and I would have welcomed a truncated chase scene if it meant expanding her backstory.

Speaking of chase scenes, this movie has the best Bond chase sequence beginning on the skis, picking up with a car chase, and then ending on skis again. For the time period this was made in, these were incredibly well put-together.

Had Lazenby and Director Peter Hunt returned for Diamonds Are Forever, the movie would have ended with the Bonds driving away and then the end sequence of the movie would have been the opening of Diamonds. But, I like the way it ended. This movie wouldn't have near the power that it does if it didn't end with Tracy's death.

Previous Bond Movie Reviews
Dr. No
From Russia With Love
Goldfinger
Thunderball
You Only Live Twice

"We named the blog 'Indiana!'"

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In the comments section of Jeeg's chicken post, Fitz pointed out that we've overlooked a major nerd event here lately. Indiana Jones returned in his fourth movie adventure. I am a fan of the first and third movies and enjoyed the Young Indy shows for the most part. For some reason, the new movie doesn't entice me.

Maybe it's Harrison Ford's age, but as a fan of the Star Trek movies where the cast had aged considerably throughout the series, I don't think that's it. Maybe it's Shia. I liked him in Even Stevens and thought he was fine in Transformers, but I don't see him being a suitable successor to Indy. Mostly, I think it's George Lucas. Having seen what Lucas did with the Star Wars prequels, I just can't get on the jazz about anything he touches.

I imagine I'll see it at some point, but quite frankly, I just don't see a need for another Indy movie in my life. Others have different opinions so Fitz, this post is for you and for any others who want to comment on the movie.

(Nerd) Lunch Special: McDonald's Southern Style Chicken Sandwich

4 comments
Yard bird - Southern style

McDonald's newest additions to their national menu are a pair of "southern style" chicken sandwiches which had previously only been offered regionally: a biscuit for breakfast and a dinner/lunch sandwich. As I've mentioned before, McDonald's is not my favorite fast food joint, but some free sandwich coupons from our friends at Amazon were enough to lure me in. Touché, Ronald, your ploy worked.

I've never lived in the South, but apparently "southern style" is a euphemism for plain. My dinner sandwich consisted of the bun, a hunk of chicken, two pickle slices, and nothing more. From the marketing materials, the breakfast sandwich appears even more basic: a piece chicken on a biscuit. McDonald's is touting the sandwiches as so perfect in simplicity that no adornment is needed. I'll give them credit, the chicken was very tender and juicy as advertised. The seasoning was surprisingly reserved and nothing like the MSG overkill that I was expecting (I'm looking at you KFC).

Despite the positives, this Northern boy needs some of those aforementioned adornments. I'd suggest adding mayo and lettuce, but that would turn this sandwich into a $3.50 variant of the Dollar Value Menu McChicken. All in all not a bad sandwich, but not something worth passing over a Big Mac for.

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