GREENBEAN, PASTOR GREENBEAN (A REVIEW OF SKYFALL)

Last night I saw the new James Bond movie Skyfall.  We arrived to see the 7PM show, but it was sold out.  We were the next in the line (no exaggeration) when they put the sign up that the 7:30PM  show was sold out.  So we bought our tickets for the 8PM show and waited at Ben and Jerry’s.

SPOILER-FREE SECTION

The film is very, very good.  I rank it with two of my other favorites, From Russia with Love and Goldeneye.  Yes, I found it better than Casino Royale (But then, I’m a fan of the book, and the storyline of the movie is not as good as the book’s).  Craig’s Bond has been hailed in the media as tougher but that is not my take.  Craig’s bond in this film is simply more mature, a little slower to act because he has learned he is not invulnerable.

Javier Bardem is a great bad guy.  I loved him in No Country for Old Men and was worried I would be disappointed but alas I was not.  he ranks up there with Blofeld and Dr. No in audacity but has far more believability factor, more akin to Christopher Lee’s Scaramanga.

The film explores Bond’s psyche as both an orphan and a virtual ward of the state under the care of his surrogate mother, Judi Dench’s M.  As a person who often finds himself trying to figure out what makes people tick, I appreciated that angle on the Bond persona.

WARNING–SPOILERS BELOW

From the beginning of the reboot it has been my understanding that the goal was to show how James Bond came to be.  It is his origins.  Casino Royale lacked many of the classic Bond concepts–Miss Moneypenny, Q, gadgets, cars with machine guns and such.  Quantum of Solace was really a sequel to Casino, so, it lacked some of that as well.  But the new film gives us Q and Moneypenny as completely modern characters yet with a tip of the hat to the tradition.  Plus we discover that Bond’s Astin Martin is tricked out and ready for duty.

The film was not perfect, though (That is why From Russia With Love is still #1).  For starters, some of the plot felt recycled.  At times it reminded me of the Man with the Golden Gun and at other times it felt like Goldeneye–especially the whole business of a former MI6 Agent turning bad.  M being in danger and MI6 Headquarters being targeted was almost a direct rip off of The World is Not Enough to such a degree I kept expecting Christmas Jones (Denise Richards) to show up.  I also find it strange that, three films into the reboot, they are already pulling out the “Bond is getting too old” routine.  Yes, I know that Fleming returned to that often in the books as the constant reminder that 00’s have short lifespans but it seems a little to soon for Craig when you consider Roger Moore played Bond at near 60 years old.

CREEPY, BUT RIVETING

However, none of that kept me from enjoying the film.  My personal high point was the interrogation of Bond by Bardem’s Silva.  Bardem is such a powerful presence and Craig goes toe to toe with him.  I also enjoyed the battle scene in the Komodo dragon pit in the Macau casino and of course, the ending.  Not the ending where M dies, but the reset ending where Bond walks in, puts his coat on the coat rack, talks to Moneypenny and then is ushered into Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort now runs MI6!) office as the new M and is handed a “Top Secret” envelope.  That is when Bond becomes Bond as we know him from film (which is very different from the Bond of print).   That particular scene felt very Sean Conneryish.  Just as it should be.

GREENBEAN CRUSH

Man-crush is a funny phrase.  I understand it to be descriptive of the way a man can feel about another man in an admiring way that is totally non-sexual.  To have a man-crush is to want to hang out, have a coffee, or go fishing with another guy, but is in no way a sexual attraction.  So, here are some of my man-crushes.  Note, this list is not exhaustive, and do not be surprised to find future updates.

  • Bill Hybels—I’ve always admired Hybels as a great leader of American evangelicalism.  His church, Willow Creek, was the trend setter for reaching unchurched people in an effective way.  So, I admire him as a leader.  But that is not why I have a man-crush.  I am sure he is not perfect, but he has built his church and crafted his life as a Christ-follower being who he is.  He is true to himself and pastors his church that way—and he has a sailing boat and a great tan. 
  • Alton Brown—Alton Brown cooks the way I want to cook.  His program, Good Eats, is one of my favorites.  Alton approaches food the way any real man would—we cook because we want to eat!  What do we want to eat—preferably food that is deep fried and if we can use stuff we bought at the hardware store to do it, even better.
  • Sean Connery—he is, and forever will be, 007.  Pierce Brosnan is an acceptable second, but there is no one like Connery.  But the reason I man-crush on him is because of how he does it.  Connery started going bald in his late 30’s and he has enormous ears.  Yet, somehow, he overcame these physical problems to be the smoothest, coolest, most dangerous man you’d want to share a vodka martini with ever.  Yeah, given my own physical limitations (not the least of which is a whiney voice), he is a true hero.
  • Rand Paul—I do not mean this in a political way.  Pastor Greenbean only observes politics, and generally believes all politicians are dishonest.  But there is something about Rand Paul that I like.  I think it is that there is something attractive about someone who truly believes his or her message and says it over and over again and does not deviate based upon polls or opinion.  I don’t think he’ll make much difference, really, in the corruption of the senate.  But he does have nice curly hair, which might help.  By the way, his voice is kind of high-pitched and whiney too, so, even more hope for me!
  • The Beard Coach (Adam)—I do not know what his full name is, but he has one of the coolest websites.  As a bearded man who loves his beard, the Beard Coach is an inspiration and a digital follicle mentor.  I someday hope to sport the full, strong, masculine beard he has.  Way to go, Beard Coach. 

I would love to hear some of your ‘man-crushes’ and definitely some input from the ladies.