Look, let’s be clear. The fact that Han shot first is absolutely essential to understanding the Solo character and his actions and motivations for the rest of the trilogy and you Lucas bootlicking naysayers probably liked Jar-Jar.
Oh, yeah, I’ll go there.
But today we’re talking about another Solo, much cooler and more black and white.
I must confess I had a mad English teacher that thought The Magnificent Seven was the best picture ever and devoted 6 weeks of independent study to it’s intricacies (which I could bore you with, but I got a 98 so whatever). Among his favorite story arcs is Robert Vaughn’s Lee, the gunslinger that has lost his edge and lives in constant fear of both dying and being exposed as a coward.
“There was a time when I would have caught all three.”
Vaughn’s career has sunk so low that his must memorable current stuff is standups for Mall Lawyers, but there was a time when he was the next Bill Shatner (I remember the 5th season of The A-Team). You’d be surprised to know he was a recurring character on Coronation Street as Milton Fanshaw.
Number One of Section Two was a mini-Bond created by Ian Fleming for the show. Looking at the episodes is instructive in an early ’60s Feminist sense of demonstrating many of the common tropes and memes of that time. Remember, while tongue-in-cheek, the character is supposed to exude an inescapable charm of wit and elegance. Vaughn brought a perfect edge of arrogance, ennui, and superficiality.
If you were a brainiac like me though the one you totally dug was Illya.
He holds a Master’s degree from the Sorbonne and a PhD in Quantum Mechanics from the University of Cambridge, though he admits to not keeping up-to-date with the field. He appears to have been an undergraduate at the University of Georgia in Tbilisi, where he practiced gymnastics. Kuryakin is a polymath. He is well-read in English literature, he has an in-depth knowledge of music and plays the bass viol, the English horn and guitar. He also sings, and he speaks many languages, including French, German and Japanese.
His technical skills are also well honed. He is an explosives expert who stayed on at the U.N.C.L.E. Survival School a month after he graduated to teach a class on the subject.
David McCallum is now known as “Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard” from NCIS which is just as ridiculous a name as I can possibly imagine but he’s still a heart throb at 80, which is not so bad for the guy they used to call “the blond Beatle”.
Now neither the cinematic reboot’s box office or critical reception are as bad as you might think although it’s already generating negative buzz so it’s unlikely to be Warner’s summer blockbuster. I’ll probably watch it as I did the Avengers (no not that one) on free TV when it comes around.
Zaki’s Review, not the worst one, from Huffington Post
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is less about any particular surprises the script (by Ritchie and Lionel Wigram) may offer — though, admittedly, there are a few. Instead, it’s similar to the Bond formula in that it’s all about the simple pleasure of knowing things have to come to a preordained conclusion, and watching it done well. Stylistically, U.N.C.L.E. is very much of a piece with Ritchie’s two Sherlock Holmes flicks (the first of which I enjoyed quite a bit, the second less so), so I suspect one’s appreciation for it will depend greatly on their tolerance for the Snatch helmer’s specific tics.
Of course, the real joy of the film is in watching the game cast (which includes Hugh Grant and Jared Harris) go through their paces. Cavill in particular is a lot of fun as Our Man Solo, adopting an exaggerated affect to his delivery that neatly mimics Vaughn’s staccato style and also feels like the character’s sly commentary on the genre itself, as if he’s standing to the side and winking at the audience. Hammer arguably has the tougher job: trying to make his character seem sympathetic and understandable all while speaking in a Russian accent that could very easily tip into Boris Badanov territory. Luckily, he manages to pulls it off admirably.
From Kingsman earlier this year and Mission: Impossible last month to the 007 epic Spectre in November, 2015 is proving quite the fertile year for big screen spying (and that’s not even mentioning Melissa McCarthy in Spy!). Though The Man From U.N.C.L.E. lacks the wit of Kingsman and the spectacle of Rogue Nation (any comparisons to the new Bond will have to wait, natch), it nonetheless sits comfortably alongside its spy movie siblings.
- Straight Outta Compton: Black Lives Matter, By Deborah Nesbit, Crooks & Liars
- This New TV Show About The Robot Uprising Reminds Us How Complicated It Is To Get Out Of Housework, by Kay Steiger, Think Progress
- ‘Key & Peele’ Ends While Nation Could Still Use a Laugh, By DAVE ITZKOFF, The New York Times
- NBC Confirms Plans For ‘Xena’ Reboot, by Kevin Melrose, Comic Book Resource
- Exclusive: George R.R. Martin Says ‘Game of Thrones’ Ending Will Be ‘Bittersweet’, By Sean T Collins, The Observer
- Orlando Bloom Is Officially Back In ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ 5, by Bill Bradley, Huffington Post
- ‘Frozen 2′ Details: Director Teases a Different Side of Elsa, by Angie Han, Slash Film
- Hannibal Recap: season three, episode 11 – And the Beast From the Sea, by Eric Thurm, The Guardian
- Beetlejuice 2 is really happening, confirms Winona Ryder, by Nancy Groves, The Guardian
- Syfy’s new “Childhood’s End” could be the perfect show for our quasi-populist, government-hating times, by Scott Timberg, Salon
On Thursday Little League Baseball starts its World Series (which is really worthy of the name involving, as it does, other countries).
- Caribbean (Los Bravos de Pontezuela, DR) vs. Europe-Africa (AVRS Secondary School, Uganda)
- Southwest (Pearland West, Pearland, TX) vs. Northwest (Wilshire/Riverside, Portland, OR)
- Latin America (Cardenales, Barquisimeto, Venezuela) vs. Australia (Cronulla, Sydney)
- Great Lakes (Bowling Green Eastern, Bowling Green, KY) vs. West (Sweetwater Valley, Bonita, CA)
- Canada (White Rock South Surrey, BC) vs. Mexico (Seguro Social, Mexicali)
- New England (Cranston Western, Cranston, RI) vs. Southeast (Northwood, Taylors, SC)
- Japan (Tokyo Kitasuna) vs. Asia-Pacific (Tung Yuan, Taipei)
- Midwest (Webb City, MO) vs. Mid-Atlantic (Red Land, Lewisberry, PA)
Saturday is the Semi-Finals (two teams will emerge) of the National and International Championships, I’ll probably tell you about the finals next wee.
Mets 4.5 games up after a miserable series.
Damn Yankees, still half a game in front.
Bonus Baseball- We’re in a golden age of hitters who can pitch – but some guys are better than others.
The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
Obligatories, News and Blogs below.