Tag Archives: movies

1977 redux

Last night the little dragon, the little monkey, a visiting cousin-in-law and I visited the Star Wars exhibition at Scienceworks in Spotswood.

Wow.

My Dad took my brother and I to a drive-in to see Star Wars when it was first released in 1977. It rained and we had to put the windscreen wipers on to watch. That didn’t matter. We were transfixed. We’d never seen anything like it and I doubt a movie has ever had such an impact on me ever since. I’ll never forget that night.

My brother and I soon scored toy light-sabres and battled for countless hours with each other and all manner of imaginary bad guys. Being country kids, we never got to see The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi but we read the books and were immersed in the George Lucas universe for many years.

OK, so the three prequel movies were fairly average. Great costumes, sets and special effects but wince-worthy scripting and join-the-dots storytelling. I still enjoyed them all. And I watched them with the little dragon who is as intoxicated by the Star Wars mythology as I was/am.

Which brings us to last night. After entering the exhibition we were greeted by some unrecognisable masked dude, looking a little like Boba Fett in a black cape. The little monkey freaked out and started wailing. The little dragon drew his light sabre.

With sobbing monkey in arms, I was drawn straight to Luke’s landspeeder from the first film. Man, I so wanted one of those when I was a kid.

From there it was a ripple of wow moments spreading from the size and gothic splendour of Darth Vader’s costume up close, to the Tuskan raiders, wookiees, battle droids, light sabres, medical droids, detailed model of the Millenium Falcon and various other interactive exhibits.

It took me right back to 1977. I think the little dragon and I will be heading back to Spotswood for another session soon.

No Bonding experience

My mates and I caught the new James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, last week. Very disappointing. Perhaps it’s because the flick wasn’t based on one of Ian Fleming’s novels. It just felt flat.

Despite having grown up with Sean Connery and Roger Moore as Bond (childhood flashback to seeing the actual Lotus submarine car from The Spy Who Loved Me at the Melbourne Motor Show – very cool!) I’ve got no issue with Daniel Craig’s more aggro version of the hitman. My problem is that all the elements from the books I loved as a boy and recommend to boys today are being neglected.

Quantum of Solace featured a wimpy villain, only a token nod to Bond’s womanising ways, action scenes that seemed to be there for the sake of action rather than for the (vague) plot, no suspense, little humour and characters that, apart from M, were as engaging as cardboard cut-outs. On top of all that, the heroine was fairly clueless, rather than sassy and smart-mouthed as Fleming seemed to prefer.

I’ve seen reviews that said QoS is more Bourne than Bond. Yes, sure, but at least the Bourne films had a plot and tension. QoS started with a half decent car chase and deteriorated from there.

What spoke to me was just how excited my mates were to be seeing a new Bond film. The original Ian Fleming recipe still appeals to boys of all ages, over several generations. Time to review the ingredients list, film folk.