Sunday, January 18, 2009

Inexpensive Italian White Wine & Gordon's Gin ( 6 ) Martinis In Very " Real " James Bond Movie " Quantam Of Solace " / Perhaps My Favorite Ever ?!?

Wow, I was expecting to only perhaps like this "new " installment of James Bond's movies " Quantum Of Solace " partially and yet I think it may be my favorite ever. I liked it's realism ; I liked the few moments when this new James Bond actually appeared to be real and genuine and tender with the lead female character? Is that possible, was he actually protective and tender beyond the usual Bond and Hollywood stereotypes? He actually held and shielded/protected the young brunette in one of the last scenes. He lent her his coat. He had blood on his shirt for a lot of the movie without changing into a clean one. He and this young brunette looked like a mess in many scenes, not made-up, sweating, dirty, exhausted : real, they actually looked like you and me. Yes, they were both handsome, but aren't we all deep, down inside?!?

I saw it with my son at the University City Mall Theaters here in northern Virginia this Sunday, January 17th, 2009 at 2:45 PM We paid $4 each for our tickets and $7 for a large popcorn and a bottle of water. Not bad, really. It was grand to share this experience with my son. That, too is very real and special.

I had been hearing how depressing it was and I was wondering how much if at all I would enjoy the movie. It was great to see it on a large screen and not at home on our television.

As my son pointed out a few minutes ago I should have had more hope and faith in the movie. He's right. You should never prejudge or go into things if possible with an opinion already. I agree wholeheartedly in this and do try and apply it to life and all enjoyment : including enjoyment of wine. That's why I blogged earlier here in the start of January 2009 about the wine world thirty years ago and today. Always try and approach things with a clean slate so that you and your feelings, emotions, gut and intellect can operate and express themselves fully without the hindrance of others and so many preconceived notions.

The theatrics, stunts, action shots and breathtaking scenery in " Quantum Of Solace " were superb. I loved it all : the filming and the transposing of two different sets of scenes simultaneously playing out was brilliant and vivid , shocking, exciting and often hard to follow completely. It always leaves me somewhat in a tail-spin and trying valiantly to catch-up before another one starts.

The picture of the young British lady on the white sheeted bed covered in oil was ghoulish and irresistible wanting me and others I suppose to get " more " of a look at it.

I did not like the introduction scenes where the title song is played and all the credits are given , etcetera. It really looked tired and dated ; at least half of it. Some of the scenes and pictures worked beautifully - especially those that made me think of millions of grains of sand swirling and quicksand and being swept up in all this motion. They should have made it all more cohesive : and not like it was fifty percent new and fifty percent old. Of course these are only my humble opinions as an artist for life and a person that has watched all the Bond movies over the years and as they were first released.

I was not depressed or finding the movie to grim or too morbid. In fact I warmed to it almost immediately and really enjoyed it's entire flow and feel and power. It picked me up and carried me along with it and I liked the transitions and believed more in the movie, the characters/actors and story of the movie more this time than perhaps any other time. I was unprepared for this. I complement everyone that worked on it and look forward now to seeing the next installment.

Being an artist myself and thinking of myself as I wine-educator/enabler I was happy to see James Bond drinking some Italian white wine looking out over beautiful scenery while he did it. There was water and sunshine and it made me want to be there, even just as an observer drinking some of the wine as the scene was shot. Was it actually shot in Italy?

It really caught my attention when the bartender mentioned that James Bond had had six martinis made with GORDON'S gin. Wow! How much did they have to pay to get GORDON'S gin mentioned and not BEEFEATER'S or BOMBAY'S or HENDRICK'S or OLD PLYMOUTH'S? That was big, really big : one of the " sell-outs " - inevitable and seemingly inconsequential and yet quite big in the full context and now inching in on sacred Bond myth and history and magic. I mean, GORDON'S gin at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 where I manage the wine department ( and sell lots of Italian white wines besides just Pinot Grigio. I want to keep many if not all of the two-three hundred white indigenous Italian grape varieties alive and thriving ) is pretty much a starter, less-expensive gin that is often eclipsed by the others I already mentioned. It's even shadowed by our own American " new since 2006 " Pennsylvania gin called " BLUECOAT " that we sell a lot of. Of course, this is not an indictment of GORDON'S gin. It is less-expensive and it's interesting to see that James Bond was drinking it. Of course, his credit cards had been suspended by Q and so his Italian colleague was footing the bill here. And because as his girlfriend said to him in Italian that he did not own,serve or drink expensive wine that the same can be said for his gin?!? That's enough, I've said enough. This was such a small point but I felt it important to include because , after all, this is CHATWINE ( where I also include alcohol and spirits and beer ).

Anyway, I'm glad I saw the movie. It renews my faith once again in James Bond and the whole fantasy, glamor, worldly- spectacular scenes and settings, fast-pacing, beautiful girls, etcetera and just gives me a bit more " real feel " and perhaps " real emotion " as well as people/characters in perhaps also " a little bit more real plot " than many of the past ones. I like this " realness " that I feel more connected to : which I feel I can touch more easily and respond to more easily in a " real " sense. Bravo to you all.

You could have perhaps had a reference to champagne - BOLLINGER here but considering that this James Bond had to put certain of his demons to rest before continuing his life it might not have at all been appropriate here. I also liked as I realized when leaving the University City Theatre mall that James had not slept with this beautiful young brunette that he left off at her home ( just by a graveyard where perhaps her father, mother and sister were all buried ? ). That, too was a very " real " and sobering scene and ending for now between the two of them.

Of course the way they left it James might have to stay and help her explode the dams to return the water to her and the Bolivian people? I'd like that , another " real and tangible " connection and continuation of a " new " direction for James Bond to head in ?

Only time will tell. And for the meantime there is our inauguration coming in two days to look forward to and get through as I have to return to Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits this Tuesday by bus and metro to be there to sell lots of beer, liquor and wine for the celebrating that will be going on.

It's all so exciting, I can feel it - " real and tangible " - all in the air and around us. Tonight I think I will drink with my wife some JADE white Picpoul de Pinet indigenous French white wine from the southwest as we enjoy our take-out meal from the Hunan West Chinese restaurant from our very own King's Park local restaurant. I would drink some Italian white wine if I had some chilled or even some Bolivian as I like trying " new " things but I don't know of any that is currently available here in this area. I enjoyed some years ago : reds made from the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. Nice.

Cheers, hope you liked this my comments. Happy New Year 2009 here on Sunday at 6:07 pm at home now where it is snug and warm. TONY

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