Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Review of Quantum of Solace

The review is in! Quantum of Solace, which means a "measure of peace" meters average with other Bond movies but does not surpass Casino Royale which raised the bar in 2006. It does little to bring peace of mind. But Daniel Craig saves the film in his stellar Bond attitude.

While Daniel Craig is still captivating, his mesmerizing gaze and muscular and precise stunts are the only Bond elements in the movie. The directing and plot are weaker than a diluted Bond martini.

The opening chase scene is frenetic that I reached for an invisible seatbelt to prevent whiplash. Closeup shots and a jolting camera in nanosecond speed, left me asking, "Where's the movie? I can't see anthing". The director was Marc Jacobs (The Kite Runner). Someone forgot to tell Mr. Jacobs that a Bond car chase in the hills of Italy doesn't require a jockeying camera like kite racing in Afghanistan. Thankfully the pace slowed down that I could follow the rest of the movie.

Bond Girl, Camille, (played by Olga Kurylenko) fits the bill. Feisty, independent, and spellbindingly beautiful. Some critics would argue James and Camille lack chemistry. But this is intended given the plot of Bond's avengeance for the death of his Royale love, Vesper Lynd. This standard is lost when he beds agent Fields after meeting her for an entire twenty minutes. What happened to getting to know the girl before bedding her?

The multicultural backdrops of Austria, Italy, Colombia, Haiti and Russia were filmed in four different countries, the most of any Bond movie. But a new twist in traditional Bond disappointed loyalists. James never utters those sexy four letter words "martini, shaken not stirred". Instead when asked what he was drinking, the bartender rattles off the ingredients. Well the secret is out now.

While the movie plot is held together by a thread, Daniel Craig is the bonding agent that keeps the movie alive with his own sheer intensity absent the usual wit and playboy charm.

Another notable void is Q, the elderly, quirky inventor of Bond gadgets, although the touch-screen table screen for tracking known villains is Q quality. His supervisor M, played by Judy Dench, tries to rein in Bond from revenge but the matronly M trusts her number one agent and looks the other way. "Try not to kill anyone along the way" suggests M at the beginning and end of the movie. Lost words throughout the bodily populated action scenes.

Overall I give the movie four out of five stars. And I still love Daniel Craig!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Victoria's Secret Angels in Miami

While Miami's Angels (me and my girlfriends) descended on South Beach in October, the Victoria's Secret Angels flew into Miami this weekend for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. The annual runway show coincided with the regrand opening of the beautifully $1 billion renovated Fountainbleau Hotel in Miami Beach, just north of South Beach.

Did I attend? For some reason, my invitation was lost in the mail? Imagine that! So once again Sean Diddy Combs, and other A-list celebrities were in town so I guess we'll have to catch up another time.

But I made time to follow the previews online. The show, hosted by singing sensation Usher, was eyecatching but not so much for the lingerie which was absorbed by the mammoth size butterfly wings and other accessories. Rather than draw attention to the bra and panties, the angels-wings-turned-dragon-wings sent your imagination to a fantasy place unlike any fictional movie--an adult version of Harrietta Potter.

Click here for the first clip of the runway show. Note: Accessories not included including the clear string to hold up the panty.

The finale was a diamond-studded show stopper. Were the diamonds real? Can't remember. Let me ask my buddy Sean Combs.

The Fashion Show was filmed this weekend and will air on CBS on Wednesday, December 3rd. See a video highlight below of the new lines of lingerie. Accessories not included.

As a woman, I wasn't studying the lingerie. In my younger years, I used to work at Victoria's Secret every Christmas season back in the time period when elegant lingerie lined the satin hangers and shelves. As a matter of fact, I still have a book of poems in a lovely box that pictures a fair maiden sitting in an English rose garden reading a love letter. This was a gift from a Victoria's Secret store.

Now when I walk into the bright pink and black striped decor stores, I often walk out to look up at the signage wondering if I faultered in my shopoholic state into Vicky's or Trixie's Secret store. No, same name, just different lingerie and obviously different target--younger girls. Hence my collection has gone done a cup size, no more!

However, I do enjoy fashion shows and the Victoria's Secret models are beautiful--it motivates me to keep exercising and watch my eating habits.

Where do you primarily buy lingerie and other bedtime wear? You can tell us--we'll keep it a Secret!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Bond Girls DeClassified

With one week remaining until Quantum of Solace reaches theaters in the U.S., we declassify all the Bond Girls. Who's your favorite and why?

There were memorable names like Pussy Galore and Plenty O'Toole.

My favorite was the first Bond Girl, Ursula Andress who played Honey Ryder. She had a natural beauty and looked great in a white bikini.

Then Carole Bouquet (For Your Eyes Only) with the entrancing blue-green eyes and mermaid long hair. She was smart and beautiful.

But Halle Berry probably had the best body, brains and athletic skills of all the Bond Girls.

Although best chemistry goes to Eva Green as Vesper Lynd in the most recent Bond movie, Casino Royale with Daniel Craig. True love has a way of doing that.

Check out this photo gallery of all the Bond Girls and tell us who is your favorite Bond Girl and why! POST A COMMENT BELOW!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween in Miami

Halloween in Miami is a spooktacular event everywhere you turn. The cool, not-so-balmy weather unleashes an outdoor costume ball. It's less about ghosts and goblins and more about freaks, geeks, and the average Joe, coming out of their inhibited closets and becoming one with the not-so-shy socialites. On Halloween, behind masks and costumes, everyone is the same. The big difference is that the former group is covered from head to toe while the latter group exposes more flesh and less costume. That's more nighttime.

For the daytime, at work, I threw together a homemade outfit last minute. In the spirit of the election frenzy, I transformed into Joe the Plumber. A plaid shirt (borrowed from mom--you'll never see me in plaid), jeans, Timberland boots (I used to wear in Maryland for hiking), a tool belt stocked with a J bend PVC pipe, clear plumbing tubing, tape to seal to tighten the threads of screw-on metal pipes (People were more frightened by my knowledge of these items--yes I actually repair minor plumbing leaks in my home) and a plunger in hand. Does this make me a geek? No--remember the title of this blog--the next BOND GIRL!

Frank the Monk & Joe the Plumber

My workers in Halloween costumes

More coworkers in Halloween costumes. In the front row, Zamir (in green shirt) is dressed as Carlos, the guy to his right. He took a color photo of Carlo's face to use as a mask.

At night, I morphed into ISIS--the goddess of the underworld dripping in gold. This is actually a home made costume. Well the dress belonged to my mother in the 1970's and I used to play dress up in the black and gold thread dress as a little girl. Then about 10 years ago, I adopted the dress as my permanent ISIS costume for Halloween events. The cape is hand sewn by mom.

Our first stop--The Forge. That night was SWOON night and gothic candles illuminated the normally, dark dining room. SWOON is a new dinner event, hosted every other Friday night. A pre-fixed three course dinner is only $50 and accompanied by an infusion of culture--opera singing, a collection of original artwork...

Cecilia as the Hippy and Christine as ISIS

That same night, there was a large group of 20 people, mostly tall, skinny, young models in barely clad costumes. This customer shows her racer's costume and superhero boyfriend.

Sarah Palin and ISIS

Next stop: SEGAFREDO

On our way back to my condo, we decided we needed to dance off the martinis. We stopped at Segafredo in Brickell, a quintessential Italian cafe. Segafredo converts into a discotheque at night, only a handful in Brickell, my neighborhood. Walking up to the entrance we ran into my neighbor Peter Smalley on his way out and thus he returned for his second bout of dance fever.

A butterfly, nurse, evil goddess, and hippy

DJ Lemoch rocks the house

70's nurse and retro boyfriend

Hippy sandwiched between two Peters

(Peter Smalley, Cecilia Paz, and Peter from El Paso, TX)

Martial artist defends his goddess

Overall we recommend Segafredo for Halloween. It was not too crowded, with elbow room to dance-- a requirement when I go dancing. We stayed until 3am. I can't remember the last time I partied that late. By the way, we only drank water after The Forge, so we could dance!