Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I know I have been seriously slacking on my own blog here, but there are so many interesting blogs just to read. Will you people please slow down so I can write too?

I will offer a little anecdote here, just so people know I am still alive.

As some of you may remember, I took my first trip to the UK in October. It was a fantastic holiday. I saw so many things and met some great people. I wanted to blog about my experiences there a little, and perhaps I still will someday, but work is kicking my arse right now. Year-end deadlines are looming. Holiday shopping has to be done. There are many many parties to attend and drinks to be drunk. Woe is me.

Anyhow, one of the highlights of my vacation was seeing the new James bond movie Quantum Of Solace 2 weeks before anyone back at home. I had made a plan to go before I even left Edmonton because I thought it would be so fitting to see this particular film on its opening night in Blighty. It was difficult getting tickets for the show as it was selling very well, but after about an hour on the phone, I was rewarded and looking very forward to it.

There were a lot of differences that made the evening interesting, including the fact that you can drink alcohol at the theatre. What a brilliant idea. I'm not sure if there is such a thing as a typical theatre in London, or England, for that matter, but I chose the closest one to my hotel, the Odeon on Kensington High Street. It was a rather small theatre compared to the kind I am used to at home, with a rather small screen, but that was the only disappointment of the night.

For one thing, people dress well in London. I could go on and on about this, but I can't tell you how pleasant it is to go out to a restaurant or to a show and not see people in pajamas or track suits. Even the teenagers dress nicely. And people are so polite. I don't know if it was the fact that everyone was jazzed to see the film, or excited because they had got tickets to the biggest opening in a good long while, or if it was the alcohol, but people were just very pleasant to be around.

Maybe it has more to do with people in the UK being used to queues, but people actually speak to each other in line, or in the elevator, or down the pub. Imagine, complete strangers speaking to each other. This is quite rare in my hometown. People tend to walk around pretending that no one else on earth exists. Whatever it was, it made for a very convivial atmosphere. Everyone arrived early to get a good seat, and there were a lot of helpful staff around to help with that. By the time the show began, the whole crowd was buzzing in anticipation.

And contrary to the opinion of *some* other bloggers, I actually enjoyed the new theme song. I like Jack White. I have seen the Whitestripes live at a smallish venue, and I was blown away by the sheer talent of that 2-man band. I think it was a great choice by whomever actually gets to pick the artist.

I quite liked the film itself. I am not a huge Bond fan, though I have seen a few of both the old and newer ones. I thought Casino Royale was far and away the best Bond movie ever, until I saw Quantum Of Solace. It was all action, all the time. We got to see a lot more of one of my favourite actresses, Judi Dench. She is one of the sexiest women in film, with a power and grace that leaps off the screen. Daniel Craig was even more convincing than in his previous turn at the role, which I didn't think was possible. He is just a ball of pure energy that you can't take your eyes off of. I liked the action, I liked the story, and I loved the OTT of it all.

One of the best things about seeing this film in London, though, turned out to be that there were no children under the age of 16 in the audience! I have been to a lot of movies, in theatres in Canada and in the US, and even if the film is rated R and full of nudity, violence and harsh language, there are always a few idiots who bring their kids along. They ruin it for the entire crowd, what with the crying, the loud talking, and the kicking of the seat backs. I think this is the first movie where not a single soul left their seat during the entire flick. Yay for grownup bladders. It was just such an adult evening overall.

It's virtually ruined me for movies back home. I think there may be a good investment opportunity for an adult-only movie theatre that has a liquor licence. I know I'd be there a few times a week.

Doubtless, I will remember this film-going experience for a good long while.