2013.01.05

Bond Fifty

I’m making my way through the Bond 50 Blu-ray box set, which was an unexpected and beautiful Christmas gift. The movies look and sound absolutely gorgeous in high definition, so it’s been a real treat to see them again. Of course, there are some really bad films, and most of the rest are at least a little cheesy. Rather than flooding twitter with snark, I collected some random outbursts here.

The Spy Who Loved Me

AGENT TREEPLE X AGENT TREEPLE X

This movie sparked 1: A lifelong desire to visit Egypt, and 2: A lifelong fear of elevators, and/or Mozart.

Did we used to think the Lotus Esprit was pretty? It looks like a Pontiac Fiero, if you could imagine a Fiero not turning to red dust on contact with water.

Casino Royale

Watching Casino Royale after Skyfall, it’s amazing how young Daniel Craig looks here.

Best. Opening. Titles. Ever.

I’ve decided to add life goal #44: Ride a horse on a beach wearing a bikini.

I keep expecting James Garner to show up as security at the card game.

WHOA TESTICLES

Die Another Day

This may be the prettiest looking pile of shit ever made. I remembered the shitty but had forgotten the pretty.

Bikini entrances, ranked in order of rewatchability: 3. Halle Berry, 2. Ursula Andress, 1. Daniel Craig

Wait, dude is getting his entire DNA replaced but they can’t extract a few diamonds from the skin on his face??

I love John Cleese, but he is not doing it for me as Q.

Aghglhlh invisible car

Goldfinger

Holy crap, this movie looks good on Blu-ray.

It’s amazing how much of the film is dedicated to a round of golf.

Ummm, hello rape-based conversion of implied lesbian with cutesy soundtrack. Helpful commentary reminds us this used to be a common plot device.

You Only Live Twice

“Why do Chinese girls taste different from all other girls?”
“You think we better, huh?”
“No, just different. Like Peking Duck is different from Russian Caviar. But I love them both.”
“Darling, I give you very best duck.”

What the what? And also, SEAN CONNERY DOES NOT LOOK THE SLIGHTEST BIT JAPANESE NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO WITH HIS EYEBROWS YOU GUYS.

There is nothing else I can write about this movie after that.

Licence to Kill

This isn’t as bad as I remember. It’s still pretty bad.

Drugs Bartlet is my Wayne Newton Cover Band.

I keep expecting Sam Waterston to appear as Pam’s handler.

Worst Bond hair, ranked: 3. Licence To Kill, 2. A View To a Kill, 1. Diamonds Are Forever

Jesus, Benicio del Toro was hot in this movie. Benicio del Toro. Benicio del Totoro.


2013.01.08

Bond Fifty: Two

There continues to be an incomprehensible number of discs in this box.

Tomorrow Never Dies

Tired cunnilingus pun … saved by M and Moneypenny’s “Don’t ask”, “Don’t tell.”

I can’t tell if Teri Hatcher is terribly acting the part of a good liar or brilliantly acting the part of a terrible liar.

It says something when the Rupert Murdoch caricature who wants to start World War III comes off as nicer than the real Rupert Murdoch, amirite? Relatedly, this Mac keeps insisting I mean “emirate” when I write “amirite.”

I’m sorry I made fun of you, Lotus. Come back! Bond should not be driving a BMW!

K. D. Lang’s end theme is so much better than the official theme song! Wtf, people?

… and this has been TOMORROW NEVER DIES, starring MICHELLE YEOH and PIERCE BROSNAN’S STUNTMAN.

Moonraker

I have to say, the opening stunt sequence is amazing. Even if Stunt Jaws looks like he’s four feet tall with paper teeth in high definition.

This movie is totally more fun if you imagine that Hugo Drax is being played by a young James Lipton.

“Moonraker” may be the most stunningly gorgeous of the opening themes, and nobody remembers it. Say it with me: Shirley Fucking Bassey.

First it’s a clown, and then it has Jaws in it. THIS IS NOT HELPING.

Half of the scenes in this movie need to end with Yakety Sax playing. So ridiculous.

Pew! Pew! Pew!

Thunderball

JETPAAAAAACK

Telling us that someone strikes “like thunderball” has absolutely no meaning if you don’t tell us what the hell a “thunderball” is.

Unless it means this?

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Incidentally, there’s a Marvel super villain named “Thunderball” who apparently gained super-strength by holding a magical crowbar that was struck by lightning, and who uses a wrecking ball as a weapon. This has made the whole re-watching project worth it.

Apparently Bond is bedding women for “King and Country,” despite the fact that Elizabeth II has been on the throne for thirteen years. I guess it wasn’t very proper to do the nasty in the name of the Queen.

HE…. KNOWS THE MEAAAAANING… OF SUCCESS…

Omg, another underwater fight scene. Somebody get the bends already.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

This opening theme kicks ass. I like how the imagery keeps trying to remind us that, yes, this is in the same series as those Connery flicks.

I feel like I’ve watched an hour of baccarat scenes in all these movies now and I still have no idea what’s going on or how this is a game.

George Lazenby’s head looks like it’s made of Sculpy. But he makes up for it with a passion for frilly and ruffled shirts. No, really, he actually looks pretty good in most of these suits, but this brown-orange golf outfit is — OH MY GOD YOU DID NOT JUST SLAP DIANA RIGG IN THE FACE

Something tells me Draco is not going to win father of the year anytime soon.

Ernst Stavro Kojak!

You know, this movie is actually not bad. It even has curling! Bobsleds! An epic ski chase! And this stuntman… does not look at all like Diana Rigg.


More later! And did you know there’s a whole blog dedicated to The Suits Of James Bond? Omg.


2013.01.13

Purple sweet potato KitKat

Returning to the motherlode after a short break. This time our KitKat is from Okinawa!

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Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato KitKats

So. I have to be honest here, I’ve never been a fan of those orange sweet potatoes that get roasted at holiday time with syrup and marshmallows and whatever else goes into that nasty casserole dish. I know, I know, I may need to turn in my midwesterner card for this. Yellow sweets? I love. Okinawan purples? Maybe even better. If you’ve not had them, they look pretty much like other sweet potatoes, only their skins are light-greyish or greyish-brown with marbled white and purple flesh. When they’re roasted, the flesh is moist, slightly gummier than other varieties but delicious. Their earthiness sits somewhere between yellow and orange. I put them in the oven, wrapped in foil, until they’re done, cut them in half and just scoop out bite by bite with a spoon — no other ingredients needed. Yum! And they’re so, so pretty. You can find them at Asian markets; I totally recommend them.

But.

Oh yes, KitKats. Tearing open the wrapper reveals a pale purple, white chocolate coating, melty to the touch. The fragrance has a nice hint of earthiness. I’ve had sweet potato KitKats before — Satsuma imo, based on a snack made from yellows, candied, and sesame seeds. The purples have a purer flavor, with a good amount of that earthiness coming out in the flavor, which seems quite accurate. They are somewhat sweeter than I like, which may either be Nestle being Nestle or a reflection of how Japanese people like to eat purple sweets. I’ll admit I have no idea what that is.

As far as a straight comparison, I think I really liked the Satsuma imo KitKats, while these are enjoyable but mostly just okay. But it’s been quite a while. As for the specific tuber I’d like to taste, I’m still hoping someone will send me those elusive baked potato KitKats someday. A girl can dream!

More KitKats


2013.01.14

Hōjicha KitKats

Was going to work on something else tonight, but I was in a car accident and I don’t really want to do much thinking at all. KitKats, I can do, however. So!

Moving on to Kyōto:

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Hōjicha KitKats

I love tea. And consequently, I also love tea KitKats. You may recall we’ve covered a large number of matcha-based flavors here, as well as Jasmine. This time, we have a regional flavor based on hōjicha. Hōjicha [/ hojicha / houjicha] is a tea which is roasted over charcoal and has a pleasant, toasted flavor and distinctly brown color. Needless to say, I was excited to try it.

Things didn’t start well when I opened the package. The color of the bars is… not appetizing, sitting somewhere between Japanese curry roux and baby poop. Getting past that, though, things immediately started looking up. The flavor is really reminiscent of the tea, with nice grassy overtones but distinctly toasty. The bars are sweet, with a white chocolate base, but the bitterness of the tea balances the sweetness quite harmoniously. If you’ve ever had the straight matcha KitKats, you’ll know what I mean. They’re really delicious.

This is the first of the motherlode flavors I’m really sorry I don’t have a ton more of. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for them in the future. And I’m really sorry about mentioning the baby poop. Just close your eyes!

More KitKats


2013.01.16

Phantoms

It’s amazing the lengths to which a human body will go in order to regrow a connection to a misplaced smartphone.


Le Lectier Pear KitKats

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Le Lectier Pear KitKats

Le Lectier pears are a variety of European pear, grown in and associated with Niigata Prefecture. As far as I can tell, they’re only called “Le Lectier” in Japan, named after a 17th-century French pomologist who collected and grew hundreds of pear varieties in his orchard. In other news, that the word “pomologist” exists & that I could use it in this review makes me very happy.

We’ve covered several varieties of apple KitKats to date, but never pear. I actually like pears quite a lot, so I was excited to see these in the Niigata drawer. Opening the package reveals a milk-white coating, with a strong, somewhat strange fragrance that’s a little pear and a lot butter. The smell wasn’t promising to me at all — there was something a bit off about that combination. I think I was afraid it would translate into a heaviness of flavor, but I needn’t have worried. Biting into the bar, the flavor is purely fruit, and quite reminiscent of a real pear. Quite sweet, too, but fitting for the flavor.

I don’t think I could ever eat any reasonable quantity of any fruit KitKat I’ve tried so far, but they’ve mostly been quite good as one-offs. I’m glad this wasn’t an exception. There’s a few more fruit flavors in the box, but I’ll probably change it up a bit for next time.

More KitKats


Wikipedia says: “The science of Pomology has somewhat dwindled over the past century, with the number of accredited Pomologists at less than 200 worldwide, 12 of whom are in the US.” OMG THEY’RE DYING OFF.


2013.01.17

That Dirty Hobbit Meme

On plurk:

Vanlal: Dildo Hairymuff reporting for duty!
Eden: “Bummo Crabrash.” Crabrash? Really??
Vanlal: I hear you and i are going extinct.

It’s true:

Pubic lice, the crab-shaped insects that have dwelled in human groins since the beginning of history, are disappearing. Doctors say bikini waxing may be the reason. […]

Incidentally, Dwelled in Human Groins is going to be the title of my first album, which is why I should never be allowed to record music. Ever.


Bond Fifty: Views & Kills

A one shot! Now I feel like I shortchanged the last eight movies.

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A View to a Kill

(Isn’t that teaser poster great? I like it a lot more than the official one, with Bond and Stacey on the bridge. Features artwork by Dan Goozee.)

Oh, look, another ski chase. I mean, another one-legged ski chase. I mean, another snowmobile chase. Ah, snowboard! We haven’t done that, right?

I find it hard to believe the British government would fund the development of a luxury sex submarine shaped like a giant grey dildo. But okay, I’ll let this one slide.

And then we DAAAANCE INTO THE FIIIIIIRE!!! Omg, this song is still great. I feel like I’m in grade school again.

EVERYBODY IS SO OLD. I get it now. They’re trying to make Roger Moore look youthful by surrounding him with OLDER PEOPLE.

This is the least subtle hit job I’ve ever seen. She might as well just have walked up to him and shot him.

I kind of want to be dressed like everybody at this chateau.

I’m still kind of pissed at them for what they did to poor Patrick McNee’s character in this film.

It’s comforting to know that dicey hot tub places look super-tacky even in James Bond movies.

“Stock. James Stock.” I… see what you did there.

Whiskas product placement? Really? And does the cat’s bowl say PUSSY on it??

This romance seems more believable when you consider that Stacey does seem to think about her granddad a lot.

Oh, look, an Apple //c. Don’t trust her, James, she said she didn’t have any money!

FIRETRUCK CHASE

Now they’re in the egg chamber from Alien only all the eggs are dynamite.

And that is how you make a proper “Fuck you, motherfucker” face. Thank you, Grace Jones.

Sneaking up on someone with a blimp: the preferred abduction method for psychopaths.

Say whatever else you will about the movie, but fistfight on the suspension cables of the Golden Gate Bridge is a set piece worthy of Hitchcock.

Oh! It does say PUSSY! And Q is kind of a dirty old pervert, isn’t he?

JAMES BOND WILL RETURN (AFTER REGENERATING INTO DAVID TENNANT)


2013.01.18

Strawberry Cheesecake KitKats

I might as well just rename this site The James Bond Kit Kat Blog. Come to think of it, I could use a redesign around here. But!

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Yokohama Strawberry Cheesecake KitKats

Strawberry cheesecake! We’ve tried a bunch of cheesecake flavors before (pumpkin, raspberry, blueberry and strawberry), as well as at least four other strawberry varieties. The ones that haven’t been too sweet have been very good. How do these measure up?

These are another regional specialty from the motherlode box. I’m not exactly sure how Yokohama is known for strawberry cheesecake, but it seems like their variety is probably not too different from your standard version, at least if the flavor of the KitKats are to be trusted. I’m not sure these aren’t exactly the same as the other strawberry cheesecake bars from four years ago. The chocolate coating is very pale pink — almost white — with a slightly tangy fragrance that doesn’t really translate to the flavor. There is just the tiniest hint of tartness, and I don’t know if that’s supposed to be from the cheese or the fruit, and it doesn’t really remind me of strawberry at all. And mostly, it’s just sweet. Too sweet.

Guess that seals the deal?

So far the winner of the cheesecake KitKats is not even a cheesecake at all, but European Cheese, which is also still the weirdest flavor I’ve ever had. And for strawberry, I think I put the Takagi Strawberry Tarte on top, although there’s still a strawberry something-something in the ‘lode. We’ll see that soon enough, promise!

Also, may I just say I appreciate that Nestle’s packaging these things in 69-calorie servings? My waistline is grateful.

More KitKats


2013.01.21

Gone too far

Omg, you did not just refer to your childbirth footage as an “unboxing video.”


Golden Citrus Blend KitKats

Omg creamsicle.

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Golden Citrus Blend KitKats

Shikoku is a region known for producing mandarins and sour citrus fruits like sudachi, and yuzu. This limited edition KitKat highlights sudachi and mandarin orange, as well as lemon. The fragrance and flavor, combined with the white chocolate base, pretty much exactly resemble a creamsicle. Was I complaining about fruit flavors the other day? Because if you know me, I’m a cheap date if you’ve got orange cream.

Ew, that sounds about a thousand times grosser than it was when I thought it.

ANYWAY. The bars are pale orange, like you might expect, and the initial flavor is quite sweet, but smooth. What really wins is the aftertaste, which is subtly tart with bitter overtones, very much reminiscent of zest or candied peel. The effect is almost effervescent, without being as in-your-face as the Lemon Squash KitKats from a couple years back. And I’m kind of glad there’s some exotic fruit in here. I’ve been wanting to try a yuzu-based KitKat for a while, and sudachi is a nice substitute.

I’ve only got two more left to try in the motherlode. I’m already worrying about finding a new source! But it’s been a nice run.

More KitKats


2013.01.24

Bond Fifty: Plenty Of Tool

A. Trying to process this poster art literally is either madness, or the basis of an infinitely better movie than this one.

B. Omg, ladies. That cannot be comfortable.

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Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

It only takes one minute for Sean Connery to basically destroy all of the authenticity of character built up by the end of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Sorry, Mrs. Bond.

Oh Jesus, it’s these two. The bad hair twins. Can I stop the movie now?

Hmm, Tiffany Case has Peter Franks’s thumbprint to compare against, but not a photo of his face? Really? OVERTHINKING IT.

“That’s quite a nice little nothing you’re almost wearing.” Yes, it is.

But seriously, Jill St. John wears some crazy-ass outfits in this movie, and she makes them work. Damn her.

Plenty. Plenty O’Toole. This may be the worst Bond name ever. Also I can’t believe this is Natalie Wood’s sister.

Sean Connery, you are so old. So, so old.

Oooh, but the typography nerd in me LOVES the ’70s signage inside McCarran Airport.

That’s a radiation shield. Right.

These astronauts trying to take Bond down understand they’re not actually in a low-gravity environment, right? Why are they moving so slowly?

I’m pretty sure all of my childhood conceptions of Las Vegas were created by this movie, plus those casino ladies from Koyaanisqatsi.

Of all the stupid plans to kill Bond, this “let’s bury him in a pipeline” is the worst ever. Him coming out of the hatch in a tuxedo is a nice gag, though.

Yay, Bambi and Thumper. I hate this movie because whenever I hear the names Bambi and Thumper I think of these two in the woods with a skunk.

OMG WHY ARE THEY MOVING THAT WAY IT’S WEEEEEIRD

Wait, maybe they’re the ones who were in the space suits from before.

Okay, I’m really not sure Jill is carrying off this blue and beige thing.

Parachuting down in a giant shiny inflatable ball would only work if they’re not going to shoot you, and that would be ridiculous. Oh, they’re not going to shoot you? At all? Joke’s on me, I guess.

This ending is so bad. If Blofeld had shot him we wouldn’t have this stupid ending. I hate Blofeld.

I am totally putting on the Rocky Horror Picture Show after this. It’ll be a Charles Gray double feature. (Oooh-oooh)


2013.01.26

Impolitic

I’m pretty sure I should not just have said “My tongue thinks things it feels are bigger than they are” out loud.


Amaou Strawberry KitKats

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Amaou Strawberry KitKats

Amaou strawberries are super-premium strawberries grown in Fukuoka province, plump, round, and apparently delicious. The name means “Sweet-Large,” which I guess is really on the nose, but hopefully not ironic in the way “Red Delicious” seems to be. I’ve never been lucky enough to try these strawberries, but I have tried a ton of different strawberry KitKats, so I was really curious about these.

The bars are coated in a light pink, flavored white chocolate. The fragrance is very candy-strawberry — that is, a lot like most of the other strawberry KitKats I’ve had. Flavor-wise, they’re nice. I had been hoping for some acid, especially after reading some articles about Amaou strawberries, but these are not even remotely tart. Let’s not beat around the bush — they’re quite sweet. But they also have a round, very fruity flavor that lingers in a pleasant way for a good while after you eat them. They’re probably most comparable to the old rich strawberry KitKats from 2009, or 2012’s Takagi Strawberry Tarte.

Long story short, they’re good. And for some reason, I really want to have a glass of red wine now.

Speaking of regional luxury foods, they haven’t made a Kobe Beef KitKat yet. As far as I know! But I would totally eat that. Once.

More KitKats



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