Friday, October 14, 2005

Things to do with a blond Bond.

- The producers of the next James Bond movie, CASINO ROYALE, revealed today that the main character will now be played by British actor Daniel Craig. Craig's a good choice, even though I believe his hair is usually blond. He's ruggedly handsome and able to play suave, like he did earlier this year in LAYER CAKE. (Were you reading my "Things to Do ..." list when I mentioned LAYER CAKE six months ago?) In real life, he's been rumored to romance Kate Moss and Sienna Miller. Onscreen, he's played a love interest to Gwyneth Paltrow in SYLVIA and Angelina Jolie in TOMB RAIDER. Craig apparently said he'd take the part, additionally, after reading the script for CASINO ROYALE, which I think is a good sign for the movie. CASINO ROYALE was Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel, and there's been talk that this movie may be faithful to the original book, which showed Bond as a conflicted, troubled man - not just some superhero.

- In preparation for the new biopic CAPOTE starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, I picked a copy of Truman Capote's true-crime novel IN COLD BLOOD a couple weeks ago, and it's a compelling, good read. (The fact that it was an instant classic upon its release and essentially created the true-crime genre should speak to its value far more than I can, though.)
- SOMETHING WICKED continues at the Center for Puppetry Arts through October 29, and I'm annoyed that, because I had to work, some people who read this site got to see the show before me and told me how good it was. I intend to check it out sometime this week, though I feel that the ultimate ticket may be to the show's final performance, which will be a late-night affair where Halloween costumes are encouraged.

- Lupo and I caught the new Curtis Hanson film IN HER SHOES on Sunday, and its really good script and really strong performances from Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette and Shirley MacLaine made the movie much better than I expected it to be. It's really entertaining and smart, even though it looks like another chick movie.

- THE COMPLETE CALVIN & HOBBES is available on display in my bookstore now, and it's proven to be a distraction for me. It's hard to go to the information desk and not read a couple strips, even though I'm supposed to be helping customers or doing shelving. CALVIN & HOBBES was my favorite, moreso than PEANUTS or THE FAR SIDE. I want that book.
- John Banville's THE SEA won the 2005 Man Booker Prize this week. It's pretty much the highest honor a British or Canadian author can receive for a book, equivalent to the National Book Award or the Pulitzer. The winners, like Yann Martel's LIFE OF PI, are usually good reads. THE SEA hasn't been released in the United States yet, but you'll be able to find it in November.

- After hearing one of their songs in the movie preview for THE ICE HARVEST, I'm tempted to buy The Eels' latest album BLINKING LIGHTS AND OTHER REVELATIONS. The song was called "Trouble With Dreams," and for some reason I'm the sort that can't just download a song.
- Tomorrow, as planned, a group of my high school friends and I will converge upon the Cagle's Dairy Corn Maize, and I'm sure we'll be lost within it for hours. I expect a good story to come out of this.
- Finally, UNICEF's Belgium chapter released a brief anti-war ad showing the effects that warfare would have on the world's children this week. However, instead of stock footage, the people at UNICEF thought it would carry far more impact to employ animators at Peyo to show footage of the beloved Smurfs celebrating happily until bombs rained upon them from the sky, killing them all and destroying their little mushroom village. The message is effectively communicated, of course. Baby Smurf is crying after shrapnel rips apart Smurfette and the gang. Thus, war is bad. But this ad also triggers this week's question. If you could kill off any of your beloved childhood TV characters, who would you choose to kill, and how would you do it? Would you have the Thundercats spayed and neutered? Napalm Fraggle Rock? Tell me about it.

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