Watching Barack Obama, at last night’s Al Smith Dinner – all alone like a bachelor – as he was mercilessly mocked by host Al Smith IV (“President Obama, it’s never good when your opponent has produced more sons than you have jobs.”) and guest Mitt Romney (“As President Obama surveys the Waldorf banquet room, with everyone in white tie and finery, you have to wonder what he’s thinking: so little time, so much to redistribute.”) we could not help but wonder if David Axelrod has had “the talk” with Barack and Michelle Obama.
“The talk” is that conversation between campaign manager and candidate, typically held on the Monday before election day, when the campaign manager says “it’s over”. Perhaps that explains why Michelle’s scowl face was not at hubby’s side last night. “Why bother with them, why talk with them, why take their barbs, when we are going to lose?”
Michelle Obama has a lot to scowl about. Newspaper endorsements have less punch to them than in days of yore but the important Orlando Sentinel in the important I-4 Corridor of the important state of Florida, the paper that endorsed Obama in 2008 has today endorsed Mitt Romney and that surely bought a scowl unto the lantern jawed face of Michelle Obama:
“Economic growth, three years into the recovery, is anemic. Family incomes are down, poverty is up. Obama’s Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, highlighted these and other hard truths in this week’s second debate.Campaigns and Elections magazine in an article called “The 10 counties Romney needs to win” explains why the I-4 Corridor is the second most important county area in the country in presidential races:
Even the September jobless numbers deserve an asterisk, because more than 4 million Americans have given up looking for work since January 2009.
And while the nation’s economy is still sputtering nearly four years after Obama took office, the federal government is more than $5 trillion deeper in debt. It just racked up its fourth straight 13-figure shortfall.
We have little confidence that Obama would be more successful managing the economy and the budget in the next four years. For that reason, though we endorsed him in 2008, we are recommending Romney in this race.
Obama’s defenders would argue that he inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, and would have made more progress if not for obstruction from Republicans in Congress. But Democrats held strong majorities in the House and Senate during his first two years.
Other presidents have succeeded even with the other party controlling Capitol Hill. Democrat Bill Clinton presided over an economic boom and balanced the budget working with Republicans. Leaders find a way.“
"Diamonds Are Forever" is a James Bond film. It's Sean Connery's return to the role after George Lanzby replaced him for "On Her Majesty's Secret Service."
Like "Live and Let Die" (Bond film starring Roger Moore), this is set in the US.
I wonder how many have? Offhand, I can also think of Connery's "Goldfinger" and Daniel Craig's "Casino Royale."
I think they work better in England and Asia, then in Europe. I actually think the American aspect is the weakest. In "Goldfinger," that's really where I lose interest -- when they come to America -- about the last third of the film.
International audiences may see it as exotic but I just tend to think, "Oh. Hmm." Japan and England are great settings for me. "Diamonds Are Forever" starts out in England for the intro and the 'your mission' and then James goes to Holland which is a nice locale and then is in the US for the bulk of the film.
The primary Bond female in this film is Jill St. John's Tiffany Case. In her first three scenes (or three entrances in one scene), she has three different hair colors. There's not really a character, but she's a good sport.
That's not a slam at her acting, even Connery doesn't really get a good role. The villians are cartoony -- especially the two who seem to show up over and over, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd. You'll probably be glad, like I was, that they die. Some villians you want to return, you want to see them go after Bond again. These guys? Nope.
Lana Wood plays Plenty O'Toole which is a smaller role than Jill St. John's. Two things there, if you just listen to her voice, you'll think it's her sister Natalie. But they don't look alike -- to me, anyway. Natalie had that princess beauty. Lana, in this film anyway, has more of a cheerleader beauty. In fact, I'm kind of surprised with such American beautiful looks that they didn't use her in more films.
Like everything else in the film, Plenty's poorly written.
But Lana plays the role with a sort of humor. She's not sending it up but you know Plenty wants to have fun. That and the way she exits a hotel room ensures that Plenty O'Toole will be remembered long after many Bond 'babes' are forgotten. (I really think Lana walks away with every scene she's in. And if she were in a few more, she'd walk away with the movie.)
The script never even tries to make sense so it's not like the characterizations suffered because the screenwriter was devising an intricate plot. For example, on an oil right, James get a cassette tape out of machine and slams it into Tiffany's bikini bottoms. He makes some cryptic remarks. She thinks he wants her to change the tapes. (We think that too.) She does and he calls her a "stupid twit." Was she or is he saying that for the benefit of the henchman?
The script and the director could care less.
I don't think "From Russia With Love" is a great film, but it's a good caper and I prefer it to "Diamonds Are Forever."
Shirley Bassey sings the theme song, by the way.
And why they use a cat, I have no idea.
The action sequence ends, we zoom in on a white cat then the collar then the song starts playing.
This is probably the most poorly thought out James Bond film of all time.
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"