Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Favorite Films: Spies Unlike Us

I'm a little late getting this post out there today, and I have The Store to blame for that. And if you don't care for today's genre, you can blame The Store for that too because my co-workers unanimously requested that I not post anything today that would require me to sing the Magic Dance song from Labyrinth on an endless loop while performing my own (slightly terrible) version of the actual dance. Normally, I don't much care what my co-workers want, but I'm hoping if I take this request seriously, they might do the same with my request that they stop discussing #1 Boss's cellulite ad nauseum. Apparently, the new crop pants do absolutely nothing for her figure. And I'll stop there because I don't want you to have the same nightmares I'm now having.

Anyway, so to appease my co-workers, I'm going to turn from 80's fantasy films and the silly music that accompanied them in favor of globe-trotting intrigue, deception and violence. Lots and lots of violence. (That's right, co-workers. Go ahead and talk about cellulite now!)

And just in case none of that intro was clear, today I'll be sharing some (again note the 'some') of my favorite spy/secret agent movies. And there are a lot of them (but I don't talk about all of them, I swear). I just love the action, I really do.

Hello, Salty Goodness!
1. Casino Royale/Skyfall

I have made no secret that while I love Bond movies in general, I think Daniel Craig is the Best. Bond. Ever. And it's not just because of pictures like the one found on the left (although it definitely doesn't hurt. Hellooooo, Nurse!). It's because I like a Bond who doesn't solely rely on gadgets. I like a Bond who can take out the bad guys with his bare hands if he needs to. The opening fight sequence of Casino Royale (released in 2006) followed by the crane/embassy fight followed by every other fight in this movie just really hammers home the point that this is a new breed of Bond. Skyfall (released in 2012) was equally, if not more so impressive. It was just a damn cool movie. And I may or may not have a crush on Q because he's freaking adorable (and awesome. Very, very awesome).

My favorite line from Casino Royale comes early on, just preceeding the aforementioned crane/embassy fight. Bond's incompetent partner repeatedly touches his earpiece and Bond finally says, "Stop touching your ear." And, for whatever reason, that line is often quoted in my house.

My favorite line from Skyfall belongs to Q:

Q: What did you expect? An exploding pen?

My favorite exchange from Skyfall is between Bond and Q:

Q: I'm guessing this is not official.
Bond: Not even remotely.
Q: So much for my promising career in espionage.

2. The Bourne Identity/ Supremacy/ Ultimatum
A man with amnesia and a bullet wound learns that he is a serious ass-kicking superspy-soldier-assassin guy with a killer apartment (no pun intended) in Paris.

The first movie is, by far, my favorite, (and henceforth will be the focus of this segment) but I have a hard time watching the first one without feeling compelled to watch the other two soon after. Again, this is another movie with an awesome fight scene at an Embassy. Consulate?  (note to self: avoid embassies...) And I swear the entire series contains some of the craziest chase scenes ever. The kind one needs Dramamine to be able to enjoy.

One of my favorite scenes, though, doesn't involve any fighting or stunt driving. It's in the first movie between Jason and Marie after she's retrieved a hotel bill Jason needs without going through the endless amounts of trouble Jason was setting her up for. It goes a little something like this:

Jason: What happened?
Marie: Nothing.
Jason: Did something go wrong?
Marie: I've got the records. This guy at the front desk was smiling at me, so I thought, all this trouble, maybe it's easier to just ask for them.
Jason: You have the bill?
Marie: [pulling paper from pocket] He made me a photocopy.
Jason: [incredulous] You just asked for it?
Marie: I said I was Mr. Kane's personal assistant.
Jason: [pause] Oh. Okay. Good thinking.

3. Undercover Blues

This movie, released in 1993, stars Dennis Quaid and Kathleen Turner as Jeff and Jane Blue—ex-spies vacationing in New Orleans with their baby girl. While there, they're harassed by one inept but determined mugger (played by a hilarious Stanley Tucci), a pair of local police detectives, and then the FBI who needs them to help with just one more job. 

The Man and I find this movie to be absolutely hilarious and endlessly quotable, as evidenced by the fact that we can't stop quoting this movie. Here are a few of our favorite lines:

Jane: You took our child into a knife fight?
Jeff: It was a fair fight. Two of them, two of us.

Ted: Cute baby. Boy or girl?
Jeff: Gosh, I hope so.

Jeff: I don't know what brand of vacuum you're currently using, but the Electrolux is the biggest sucker of them all.

Bad guy: Don't make any sudden movements.
Jeff: Why? Is there a bee on me?
Bad guy: I want you to get up from the table very, very slowly.
Jeff: 'Very, very'? Not just 'very'?

And.... I'm out of time because I've got to get to work, so I'm going to end this list here (please hold your applause). But here are a few

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order)

1. Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
2. Taken (2008) starring Liam Neeson
3. Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol starring Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner and Simon Pegg
4. Haywire (2011) starring Gina Carano and Ewan McGregor
5. Hanna (2011) starring Saorise Roanan, Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett
6. North by Northwest (1959) starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and a crop duster plane

Told you I loved this genre. Tune in tomorrow to find out my favorite superhero/comic book movies! I'm guessing you already know my all time favorite, but the rest might be a surprise!

Until next time...


  1. I love the James Bond films, but I still need to see Skyfall. I know. I'm late in watching it.

    I haven't heard of Undercover Blues before.

    1. I only watched Skyfall last month when the DVD was released so you're not that late in watching it.

      I don't think a lot of people have heard of Undercover Blues before. Which is too bad, because it really is very funny.

  2. I like Craig as Bond, but he still comes in third after Moore and, the man, Connery :)

    1. Connery and Moore make up the rest of my top three.

  3. Good call on the Bourne movies. And for mentioning Hanna. Excellent art house action film.

  4. There is no cellulite on Daniel Craig!! :)

    And I am a HUGE fan of the Jason Bourne movies but only if they star Matt Damon. Haven't even watched the new one.

    1. Definitely no cellulite to be found there. =)

      I did see the new one, but I didn't like it nearly as much as the Matt Damon movies.

  5. I think Daniel Craig is an excellent Bond, but Sean Connery is still my favorite. And I really liked TAKEN (the first one) but the second one was just okay for me.

    1. Sean is my #2 Bond.

      I haven't seen Taken 2 yet. I'll get around to it one of these days though.

  6. I feel the same about the Bournes. I have to check out Undercover Blues.

    1. It's very funny. Less of an action film and more of a comedy, which is fine by me when it makes me laugh as much as this movie does.

  7. I agree with you about Daniel Craig. As much as I adore Sean Connery, Craig has that hard, dark edge. I actually just received Skyfall today from Netflix. I'm eager to watch it!

  8. I'm pretty sure I have seen Undercover Blues, but, it's been so long, I don't really remember it.

    If you saw my review of Skyfall, you'll know how I felt about it. My wife thought it was too long in that she kept thinking "now it's over," but it would go on again.

    I still need to see the new Bourne movie.

    1. I missed your Skyfall review. I guess I'll have too go and look for it.

  9. I have seen Undercover Blues. I've seen all sorts of strange movies from the early '90s. Haven't seen Skyfall, though. As soon as it hits the pay cable...

  10. I didn't ever think I'd read the phrase 'I have a crush on Q'! I watched Skyfall the other day. I'm not a fan of Bond films, so my kids were watching while I was writing. I have to admit, I chuckled a couple of times, and - yes - mostly when Q was on screen!

  11. For some reason, I prefer Sean Connery as James Bond. ***shrugs*** Loved the Bourne Identity.

    Anyway, I'm supposed to be working on my new draft. Working something out in my head. And some how I found myself on blogger.

    Hugs and chocolate,

    1. That Blogger thing happens to me all the time. It's actually happening right now.

  12. Daniel Craig is quite sexy, isn't he?

  13. Good call on the Bourne Movies... didn't like that one from last year with Hawkeye in it though. I don't really flip out over the genre though. I say that because if it's not well done then I can't watch it, I'm more forgiving of sci-fi or something.

    1. I didn't much like the one with Hawkeye either. It had a few decent action scenes, but the end was lame and the motorcycle chase leading up to it left me wishing it was over. Never a good sign.

      Which is too bad because I do like Jeremy Renner an awful lot.

  14. Q was the best!
    and its been a while since we had a super cool Bond!
    excellent choices!

    1. I hope he's in the next one. Or maybe gets his own spin off franchise.

  15. Agreed. Daniel Craig. Best Bond ever.

  16. Bond, Bourne, and Hunt - most definitely (and my other favorite, although on TV, Jack Bauer).

    1. I sadly never made it through the first season of 24. I just kind of got...bored.