Quantum Of Illness

Man-flu has but one benefit. It forces me to do something which I only do when ill: stop working and relax. Sweet lord, when I'm working in TV, execs will love my in-built routine of working, sleeping and precious little else. And this afternoon I'm outrageously excited, because I'm watching the first three episodes of the new series of Spooks, which hits BBC One on Monday week. Spooks and Doctor Who are shoulder-to-shoulder as my favourite UK TV shows, so to get a triple-pack of eps to view is sheer luxury and a privilege. Why, it makes being ill worthwhile. I also have some episodes of top US cop show The Shield to watch, but since this is the seventh and final season, I'm treating them as a nervous crack addict might treat their last few remaining rocks.

On Friday night, there was further spy-related action at the world's first screening of the new Bond movie. Quantum Of Solace's title has been amusing me since it was announced in January, but at least there's a rollicking movie behind the multiplex-unfriendly monicker. A high-ranking Sony exec made a pre-screening speech, including the words, "I would thank you for coming, but frankly you should be so bloody lucky".

There'll be no spoilers in this mini-review, partly because I had no idea what was going on at any point. This might have taken the edge off the experience, were it not for the sheer exhilaration of the action scenes. State-of-the-art is a good way of describing them - superbly directed, they excel in the kind of take-your-eye-out mayhem which makes you physically respond by ducking and gasping. Tremendous. As with Casino Royale, the 12A certificate is being pushed to its limit, as Daniel Craig's cold-hearted take on Bond murders his way through a small army.

As I say, the plot seemed overly complex and I really disliked the ending. But at least, unlike Casino Royale, Quantum knew when to end. I'm no Bond buff, but Craig's Bond has definitely piqued my interest: this 007 is more like an '80s action hero. He doesn't say much, is driven by revenge and is a violent bastard. Which I like - at least, in fictional action protagonists.

While I hate to sound ungrateful in any way, having been invited to such a great screening, the event's sole downside was the film industry's ongoing OTT piracy paranoia. Entering Leicester Square's Odeon was like going through an airport, complete with handheld metal detectors, bag searches and demands that we display any metallic contents of our pockets. Thank God they bagged and took my Blackberry away before the screening, or clearly I would have used it to take low-res stills of every second of Quantum, then animated them together, added my own homemade soundtrack and sold it to the Russian mafia. Phew! Close one.


Helen Smith said...

They bagged your blackberry! (titter). Hope you get better soon xxx

John Soanes said...

Did they also have people walking round the auditorium with night-vision goggles on. They did that at the 'Total Film Red Carpet Preview' thing a few months ago - after confiscating everyone's phones - which struck me as a little excessive.

Elinor said...

In my local cinema, the Peckham multiplex, people order pizza and Kentucky Fried Chicken on their mobiles. Obviously they didn't want to lower the tone for quantum of paranoia.

CK TheJunction said...

your end-comment is hillarious! high five for that!

Helen Smith said...

Ah, I think Elinor might be right on this one.

Riddley Walker said...

You know, the “stitched together stills with your own soundtrack” sounds like it could be a spot of comedy gold in the making, young man... ;-)