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Skyfall review: Bond resurrected

por Gabriele Rivas (2019-08-18)


The column is a dizzying and logically disjointed ramble through some well-worn tropes on China's economy that have developed during the media's concurrent green awakening and Olympic China craze in recent months.

James Bond has returned
Craig's Bond comes full-circle here: a man who can't even manage a shower and a shave without evoking the conjoined thrill of sex and death, Craig's blunt, beefy Bond is briefed not over champagne and caviar with the Minister, but while pumping out pec-bulging chin-ups.

id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> Thomas Friedman visited a wind farm near the East Asian gambling capital, Macao. But his rhetoric outsizes his quantitative skills in setting up another "dichotomy" in a "flat" world.

Premium vintage yet audaciously innovative, Skyfall is easily Daniel Craig's best outing as James Bond and perhaps one of the best in the series. Reminding us why we love this old dog while showing us some bold new tricks, Skyfall lands in cinemas on 26 October. The resurrection is complete.

The man with the golden wig
The strength of those Bond-brand elements is the only thing that can stop Javier Bardem running away with the film. Providing definitive proof after No Country for Old Men that the extent of his depravity is signalled by the silliness of his hairdo, Bardem's grotesque yet irresistible Silva is somewhere between The Dark Knight's Joker and Frankenstein's Monster, adoring yet hating his creator, burning with an all-consuming point to prove.

But as my eye drifted just to the left of that mountain, I saw Macau, with its rising skyline of casino skyscrapers. The Venetian Hotel in Macau alone has some 870 gaming tables and 3,400 slot machines. So, I did a quick calculation and figured that those 21 wind turbines together might power the Venetian's army of one-armed bandits for a few hours of green gambling.

Yet he's a less isolated and miserable figure, even cracking a funny or two -- and this more suavely rounded 007 is just one of the many of the classic Bondian elements on show, including one return that drew cheers and applause at the screening I attended.

Pacific Net's Baccarat machines, by the way, aren't your ordinary computerized gaming machines. Chinese gamblers don't like random number (and card ) generators. Instead, the machines stream video of a live dealer dealing live hands.

The problem? Read closely. Mr. Friedman did a "calculation" that 21 wind turbines "might" power some slot machines for "a few hours." But how long would the turbines need to be in operation to supply a few hours of gaming? How much electricity does a slot machine use? Is it more if it's one of those LCD ones, or does the spring-loaded wheel type turn out to be more efficient?

The rip-roaring opening sequence as Bond pursues a bad guy across Istanbul's rooftops and on to a fistfight atop a speeding train is just the first ferociously inventive set piece in a film littered with them. Where every post-Bourne action movie seems to feature a rooftop chase, Skyfall leaps from roof to roof on motorbikes, reminding us that no matter what the current cinematic trends, nobody does it better.

How about SD? The "Skyfall" Blu-ray came with a DVD copy, so game on. I picked the same scene with M. I'm sure it will surprise no one, but the image was way softer. Scalers can't work magic, but the image was still quite watchable. Soft, but not ugly. Not bad for having to create 7,948,800 new pixels on a massive screen.

Among the others appearing Friday is 48-year-old Michelle Janavs, a former executive at her family's food manufacturing company, Chef America, which made Hot Pockets before being bought out by Nestle for $2.6 billion in 2002.

It's also easily the most cinematically striking Bond film ever: from flinty London crispness to neon-drenched Shanghai, from dragonfire-lit Macau to mist-shrouded Scotland, every frame is a treat for the eye.

As you might have noticed, from the lack of "review" in the title, this isn't a full review. We only had limited time with the TV, and it wasn't at the CNET labs. Also, my name is not David or Ty. I did have access to a variety of equipment and test gear, though, so consider this a mostly-there-but-not-quite-full review.

And 53-year-old Austine Huneeus, whose family owns vineyards in California's Napa Valley and in Oregon, is accused of paying at least $50,000 to have SAT administrators correct his daughter's college entrance exam and to have USC officials designate her as a water polo recruit to improve her chances of getting into the college.

It's hard to blame a columnist charged with being interesting and insightful at a length of roughly 800 words twice a week for having some off days, but when you're staking your recent work on a concept of green innovation, and you're the international affairs columnist for The New York Times, I wish it would come out more neatly.

Big
My "TV" at home is a projector on a 102-inch screen, and even I think this is a big TV. There's something about the presence of a device-of-unusual-size that is impressive. The easel design for the stand, which I thought looked odd at best, weird at worst, at CES, actually sort of works. It makes the TV look even bigger, and makes it look different from your average television. That makes sense for something this price.

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