Extraordinary. Films just do not get booked up in these days of twenty-screen multiplices. Not wanting to go home disappointed, I suggested the UCI at Surrey Quays, though this meant forking out for a One Day Travel Card (I had anticipated just two bus and two DLR journeys, which would be cheaper paid for separately).
Surrey Quays, BTW, is completely bloody godforsaken. It might be OK if you drive, but get there by tube and you face walking up pavementless roads with no crossings, hoping you're heading in the right direction for the cinema because there aren't any signs for pedestrians.
Anyway, it's now quarter to six and the next two showings are full, but we buy tickets for the 18:40 performance and slope off to Wetherspoons for an hour. Back at the cinema there's a queue to get in to the screening, so I break off for popcorn. The cinema queue immediately starts moving very quickly, while my queue is dead slow due to the server's poor command of English and the inability of the couple in front of me to get their tongues out of each other's mouths for long enough to decide what to order. My companions have disappeared and I am frantic at the thought of missing a Bond pre-credit sequence for the sake of exploded grain products. At last I get served and against all odds am reunited with Neil and Pablo, in the second row, before the trailers start.
Madonna's theme song is a complete embarrassment. Really, really bad. Good credits though; better than all that surreal falling Communist paraphernalia in Goldeneye anyway.
Disturbed occasionally by the mews and yaps of an unexpected very small baby in the row in front - oh well, start 'em young.
Villains: check. Girls: check. Weapons: check. Car: invisible. WTF? Have to admit this stretched my credibility a little. And virtual reality simulations? Puh-lease. They're just so 1993, y'know?
I'm afraid the villain's Icelandic lair and attached biosphere just reminded me of Center Parcs. Besides, how does one get away with inviting international delegates to overnight in an ice palace without very thorough Health & Safety checks?
I also got very hacked off with the constant homages to, or as some of us say, 'rip-offs of', earlier Bond films. Hats off to the scriptwriters for working in an original way round 'shaken not stirred', but why not just admit you've run out of ideas rather than dress up recycling the climax of Goldfinger as irony? There were times when it all went a bit Matrix, too, but everyone's at it these days.
Carp, carp, but actually I loved it of course. Halle Berry rocks, though she has nothing on Judi Dench's M for sexiness as far as I am concerned. Villains suitably outlandish and scary - I'm not entirely sure what they were planning to do with their giant space mirror, but it was definitely bad news for the Free World. An excellent fencing match, a hovercraft chase and Bond behaving like Bond (apart from a couple of dire Mooreish one-liners); check the scene where he walks into a swish Hong Kong hotel dripping wet in a hospital gown and fourteen months' beard growth, to be recognised and fawned upon by the management. Superb.
Right. I'm going to bed to continue my re-reading of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, a James Bond novel by one Ian Fleming. Because nobody does it better.