Quantum of Solace (2008, First- and Third-Person Shooter Game, 360) – 7/10 review

Daniel Craig: James Bond 007
Olga Kurylenko: Camille
Mathieu Amalric: Dominic Greene
Mads Mikkelsen: Le Chiffre
Judi Dench: M
Senior Producer: Garrett Young

Quantum of Solace Quantum of Solace (2008)

Bond follows a lead into the organisation who were manipulating Vesper Lynd. Though when I say ‘follow a lead,’ I mean Bond kills hundreds of gun-toting henchmen. Which has got to help a bit, at least.

7/10

There is a complete absence of iconic action in the movie Quantum of Solace, a complete lack of Bondian swagger and attitude in both that movie and Casino Royale and a largely bland flow to the game’s levels but with these elements accepted, this remains a highly playable shooter with some agreeable cover-based action. It doesn’t fall into the typical Bond-game trap of trying to do too many things, nor does it supply ridiculously over-powered bosses (some are quick-time events, some take one or two judicious shots) or non-standard control layouts. Multiplayer offers a good selection of game modes which work well and are fun. So while, like parent movie Quantum of Solace, this simply doesn’t feel like Bond, it is a smooth, solid, easy-to-play shooter in its own right.

This Quantum of Solace game contains mild swear words and extended gun violence, strong melee violence.

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997, Movie) – 8/10

Mike Myers: Austin Powers, Dr. Evil
Elizabeth Hurley: Vanessa Kensington
Michael York: Basil Exposition
Mimi Rogers: Mrs. Kensington
Robert Wagner: Number Two
Producer: Suzanne Todd
Producer: Demi Moore
Producer: Jennifer Todd
Producer: Mike Myers
Writer: Mike Myers
Director: Jay Roach

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

Frozen in the Sixties, thawed in the Nineties; Austin Powers is brought back to combat a man so evil he is called Dr. Evil. He is assigned the beautiful Vanessa Kensington as his assistant but quickly finds that the Sixties’ values of free love and drugs has no place in the modern world.

8/10

Austin Powers is, perhaps, the first ever film to spoof the Bond franchise and be funny at the same time. It works from the first strains of Quincy Jones Soul Bossa Nova and thanks, not just to Myers’ Dr. Evil as traditionally attributed, but to the charm of Myers’ Austin Powers. He’s an entirely cheerable, self-effacing hero with surprisingly recognisable humanity. On the minus side, Mindy Sterling’s Frau Farbissinia absolutely does not work at all at any point in any way, Seth Green isn’t the comedy genius he thinks he is and Elizabeth Hurley is incapable of acting (though she compensates by looking lovely and having a nice smile).

This movie contains mild swear words, strong adult dialogue and violence, unpleasant scenes and mild sensuality, mild nudity.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Continue reading “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997, Movie) – 8/10”

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Lotus Esprit V8 – Bond theme


Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Lotus Esprit V8 – Bond theme

Lotus Esprit? Got to be a Bond theme.

My first idea was to have a bash at reproducing the classic “For Your Eyes Only” legs artwork on the bonnet. While I got quite far with reproducing the tanned skin tones for the legs, as soon as the car was on track it looked awful. Part of the reason is that the texture mapping used on track looks to be about half the resolution of that used in the car painting screens but most of the reason is my lack of artistic ability.

I still wanted a Bond theme and decided to make it a bit more subtle. A giant 007 logo on the side should do the trick. :) I made the logo in a light colour despite the predominantly white paint job. I really like the way that you only see the 007 logo at certain times in the replays.

After doing the 007 I had another go at decorating the bonnet, this time with iconic the gun barrel. This one proved rather trickier than anticipated and in the end I had to settle for what I could achieve. Hopefully, the overall effect works but it is not a very accurate facsimile at all. To create the thin black lines I used offset overlapping circles of the same size – white over black. The trouble was that the white (invisible) circles were necessarily overlapping areas I didn’t really want them to. I couldn’t find any way around that.

After a while with the car I came back and added a little Bond to the gun-barrel. The reference photograph was a Daniel Craig promo for Casino Royale. While he is certainly crude, you get the idea and that, frankly, is the limited of my artistic ability. I probably over-reached myself by adding the bonnet design and the car would still have looked great with only the subtle 007 logo on the side.

In driving, this turned out to be a surprisingly competitive car which came as a nice surprise. In most other racing games, the Esprit looks brilliant but is slow and difficult to control.

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Aston Martin DB9 Coupe – World Is Not Enough Bond theme

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Aston Martin DB9 Coupe – World Is Not Enough Bond theme

Probably the best artwork for any Bond movie of recent years is the Flame Girl / Bond motif used for “The World Is Not Enough”. On the left is a silhouette of Bond in a classic pose. On the right an inverse silhouette reveals the body of a woman in the flames in-between. Very striking, very clever.

My first attempt was to create the motif on the side of the car. The Aston Martin DB9 Coupe presents a minor problem to this in that part of the door is accessed via the roof painting section and part of it via the side painting section. An inconvenience, certainly, but one that can be got around. I principally wanted to see how close I could get as quickly as possible. I wasn’t going for pinpoint accuracy but the general feeling.

The principle was quite straightforward. The car would be black. I would place a block of colour where I wanted the girl and chip away the edges using black primitives leaving only the girl visible. I then replaced the block of colour with a couple of gradients. To my delight, things came together pretty quickly. I was using a lot of the rounded rectangles spun to different angles to create the legs and not leave sharp edges. I didn’t quite get the proportions right and I never quite got the transition from her breasts to her shoulder to her head right. However, the effect was there and on track it looked surprisingly cool.

On top of that, I enjoyed racing this car.