Trailers for James Bond “Spectre”

We still have to wait until 6 November 2015 for the new James Bond film Spectre to be released, but here is a first teaser:

I am not too happy to see the storyline from Skyfall being continued and characters from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace popping up again. All of the older James Bond films did have minor references to other films, but they were completely comprehensible to a newcomer. With this continued storyline and the overload of references, I fear that people who aren’t huge fans won’t enjoy the film as much. Not everyone can be expected to watch the last three films in one session before going to see Spectre. Also, is Mr White trying to copy my hobo look?

Ever since I saw Inglourious Basterds in 2009, I was hoping for Christoph Waltz to play a villain in a James Bond film, so I am looking forward to that.

The part in the trailer about James Bond’s past and the shot of a “temporary order of guardianship” fills me with dismay. The films used to benefit from James Bond being the guy without an interesting past. I don’t want to hear any more about his parents, his siblings and whether he had a dog or a cat when he was a young boy. I want to see contemporary plots with interesting twists. If it will turn out that James Bond is somehow connected to the villain and this connection dates back to his childhood, I will yawn out loud in the cinema.

The second trailer doesn’t give reason for much hope either.

Plenty of darkness, mindlessly put together action sequences and then again the superfluous personal storyline about the Bond-Oberhauser family. Bond films more and more remind me of the countless Marvel comic adaptations. Where are the cleverness and wit of earlier Bonds? Instead we see a simple-minded James Bond who seems to experience more than just a professional burnout. “Is this really what you want? Living in the shadows? Hunting? Being hunted? Always alone?” one of the Bond women asks. “I don’t stop to think about it,” he replies. We don’t expect MI6 to employ philosophers – although I would be available -, but the savior of the free Western world doesn’t need to be quite so dim-witted.

(Hier gibt es den Trailer und meinen Kommentar auf Deutsch.)

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A Party for Bashar al-Assad

Dictator, mass murderer, war criminal. That’s Bashar al-Assad.

In a European capital city, a celebration is held in his honor. That’s freedom of speech. Thus observed by me in Budapest in April 2015, on “Heroes’ Square” fittingly, between the Palace of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Already as I was approaching the square, I was wondering why I heard the sound of happy and Arabic dance music that evening. First I suspected a harmless party, but when I spotted the flags of Venezuela and of Syria, the cake- and juice-enriched activity did seem a bit more suspicious. And indeed: framed photos of Bashar al-Assad had been put up.

AssadFest1AssadFest2

Now, I can comprehend that some Syrians long for the time before the Arab Spring when they weren’t yet bombed by their own government or beheaded by terrorists. It’s natural that during a civil war, the preceding time of stability is being glorified, even if it was sustained by repressive means. But this view overlooks cause and effect as well as possible alternative courses of events. If Bashar al-Assad hadn’t gunned down the peaceful protests in 2011, civil war might never have broken out. If the world was just a bit more interested and inclined to get involved, the civil war might even have been stopped or at least contained.

But even if one wants to have such sympathy for the adherents of the “everything used to be better in the old days”-theory, this does not explain why Dr Dr al-Assad (one Dr for the ophthalmologist, one for the certified dictator) should be celebrated like a hero.

There were a few young men among the fans of the slaughterer of Syria, in perfect age for military service. Just odd that they aren’t in Syria to support their idol in murdering other Syrians. Well, in some ways life in free and relatively liberal Europe does have its advantages, I guess.

(Zur deutschen Fassung dieses Beitrags.)

Posted in Hungary, Military, Photography, Politics, Syria, Travel | Tagged | 1 Comment

Easily confused (49) Minions

Minions:

minions

Rominions:

rominions

Thanks to Allexinno & Starchild for the photo and to Joseph Ricafort for the idea!

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Patriotic Reforestation

“If the forest grows, the motherland will prosper” or something like this is written on this sign in Transnistria.Hirsche

Posted in Environment, Language, Photography, Transnistria, Travel | Tagged | 4 Comments

Cabbage Car

“I don’t need a pick-up truck.”Kohl-AutoPhotographed in Kitskany, Transnistria.

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Patriotism in Venice

The Italian flag, plus some other stylish textiles, in Venice:

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A Bus into the Past

Taking the bus in Transnistria, you are not only going from A to B, but also back to the 1950s or 1960s. With beautiful old curves and colors, for which you otherwise have to turn to Hitchcock films.

bus vorne

bus orange

bus hintenAnd some Europeans fly all the way to Cuba to marvel at old cars, when they have these exotic beauties next door in Eastern Europe.

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