Agent Carter episodes 2 and 3 musings

Ok, I managed not to write a post about episode two. So instead this post is not going to be a complete recap on episode two and three. Instead I’m just going to write some general musings about the two latest episodes.

Episode two did have an amusing little conceit where at various points in the episode the viewer gets to look in on the making of a very 1940s Captain America radio play. We see Peggy annoyed at how tacky and unrealistic the show is, although Jarvis seems to enjoy it. The joke pays off when Peggy goes to question the driver of the milk truck containing the stolen Stark weapon from the first episode. The visuals of her fight are set again the sound effects produced by the people on the radio show.

Episode three in particular included quite a great deal of Jarvis. In fact the show is quickly developing into the “Peggy and Jarvis Adventure Hour”. And it is amusing to me that two so very English characters are heading a very American show about the origin of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

We also get a little bit of back story about Jarvis when it is revealed that apparently he was accused of treason. Peggy later insists he tells her the details if she is to work with him. It turns out that, against orders, he used a forged document to get a Jewish woman to safety in the war. Stark used his influence to get Jarvis out of trouble. So this tells us about Jarvis’s character and also his loyalty to Stark.

At one point in episode 3 Peggy and Jarvis find a boat filled with Stark weapons. Peggy tells Jarvis to make an anonymous phone call to alert the SSR. His attempt at being American is a highlight of the episode.

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Lyndsy Fonseca as Angie. Borderline annoying, but I think it’s good acting.

Outside of the secret agent shenanigans we get to see Peggy move into a “women only” residence with her waitress pal Angie.

I have to say that Angie is borderline annoying and at this point it could go either way. If I didn’t know better I’d think the actress was just, well, annoying. But I’ve seen Lyndsy Fonseca in Nikita and she wasn’t annoying in that. In fact I grew quite fond of her character Alex. So I’m putting the annoyingness down to Lyndsy’s, well, good acting.

Throughout the two episodes we get hints about the organisation called Leviathan that employed the no-voicebox assassins. One surprise moment comes when a fellow agent of Peggy’s is assassinated along with a potential witness to the Stark theft, presumably by Leviathan agents. This will obviously have repercussions for Peggy’s secret missions as her SSR colleagues close in on her.

So I am continuing to enjoy the show. It’s the highlight of my weekend TV viewing.

James Bond Spectre Full Trailer Musings

This morning the first full trailer for the new James Bond movie Spectre arrived. Here are some of my first random musings.

Assume that spoilers follow.

Oh, before I start, I’ve read comments from folk online saying the trailer spoils the movie. Actually I think the opposite. It doesn’t tell us much more than we already knew from the previous teaser trailers.

Anyway…

The trailer starts with a grumpy M telling off Bond for going rogue in Mexico City. First of all I’m starting to loose count of the times Bond has gone rogue. I’m pretty sure that means he’s gone rogue in all four Daniel Craig movies plus Die Another Day and Licence to kill. Never mind.

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To the best of my knowledge the Mexico City scenes will form the pre-credits sequence so it’s interesting that Bond has his own agenda that early in the movie. Also in the trailer there appears to be a spectacular helicopter-set action scene over Mexico City.

Elsewhere we see Q present Bond with his new Aston Martin in a tastefully designed shot.

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And we get a little glimpse of a spectacular looking car chase alongside the river Tiber in Rome. I had read that the state of Rome’s roads meant they couldn’t drive very fast while shooting the movie. Well, it sure looks fast to me.

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In another shot we can see a memorial wall (presumably for other agents?) in what looks to be a ruined building. Someone has added Bond’s name in a very taunting Joker style.

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There are a few more moments with Mr White from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Now here is a spoiler so beware. I read in the official plot blurb released today that Lea Seydoux’s character is playing Mr White’s daughter. We see shots of a spectacicular looking plane/car chase with Bond trying to rescue her from some bad guys, presumably from Spectre. Apparently Lea has information about Spectre that Bond needs.

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Wow. Love that shot above.

Plus. Lea Seydoux. Gosh. She is rather attractive…

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Plus more vehicular mayhem as Bond’s plane looses its wings.

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Plus more Lea looking stunning.

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There’s also more more shots of Bond infiltrating the mysterious meeting that we saw in the teaser trailers. This time we get an added moment where Christoph Waltz’s character looks up at Bond, well aware of his presence.

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Officaly Waltz is playing a character called Oberhauser but everyone on the planet is assuming that he is Blofeld. Certainly he must be the villain, right?

Oh look. Nehru jacket.

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Now that’s all well and good, but what screen grabs of the trailer can’t show is the surprise inclusion of John Barry’s sublime theme to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The first time I watched the trailer I noticed the music but did not realise where it was from. Then it hit me. They’ve only gone and included one of the best pieces of James Bond music ever. I really hope that theme finds its way into the final movie. It certainly turns the trailer into something even more epic that it otherwise would have been.

Spectre arrives in the UK on 26 October 2015.

James Bond 007 Blu Ray Steelbooks

Today on Zavvi I spotted a banner advertising seven new James Bond Blu Ray Steelbooks. Apparently these will be a limited edition of 2000 each and will be released on 14 September.

I quickly realised that they had a “gimmick” of being based on the opening credits at the moment when the title of the movie is on screen.

The seven titles chosen are From Russia With Love, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever, For Your Eyes Only and Casino Royale.

It took me a moment to work out why those seven titles were chosen. Then I realised that they are all movies that featured Spectre in some shape or form. Well, if you ignore Dr No and include Casino Royale instead.

Here are images of the seven covers…

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after doing a bit of searching online I discovered that there are actually nine blu Rays in the series, at least in the USA and Germany. They also get Quantum of Solace and Skyfall.

The UK is not getting those two, apparently because they have had steelbook releases in the UK already.

(I know Skyfall had an Amazon exclusive steelbook but I can’t think of a steelbook release for Quantum of Solace.)

Anyway, here are the other two movies from Germany.

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Pity. I’d be interested in those.

Overall I think it’s an interesting look for the covers. Personally I’d prefer versions of the movie poster art although I do like the simplicity of the From Russia With Love cover and the Casino Royale one really appeals to me.

Agent Carter Episode 1 Now is Not the End review

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Last night I finally got to see Marvel’s Agent Carter when it arrived on UK TV screens courtesy of Fox. I had all but given up on the show arriving and I was left hoping for a DVD box set release.

So just in case you don’t know what it’s about, it is a follow up to the first Captain America movie and features Hayley Atwell’s British agent character Peggy Carter working for the secretive SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve) in the post-war world of 1946.

We get some clips from the Cap movie to remind us of her relationship with Steve Rogers.

Peggy goes to work in her New York secret office (apparently in the Bell telephone company building). Her secret way in through the switchboard room reminds me a bit of Jennifer Garner’s secret way to work to SD6 in Alias.

But while Peggy wants to continue the important work she did in the war she finds herself relegated to secondary duties because she is the only female agent in the office and she is always forced to stand her ground.

For example, she arrives at work and all the men are heading off to the briefing room. Her boss tells Peggy to cover the phones. Peggy lifts a phone and says “Rose, forward all calls to the briefing room.” She turns to the boss and says, “Covered.”

It turns out that Dominic Cooper’s Harold Stark character (also from the Cap movie and father of Tony) has gone missing. Apparently he’s making his high tech weaponry available to enemies of the USA. Peggy doubts this but her concerns are ignored by the men. Later Stark approaches her in secret and asks for her help to recover his “bad babies” that were stolen from his vault. He offers Peggy the assistance of his butler Jarvis as backup.

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Along the way we meet some seriously creepy assassin guys who have had their voice boxes removed. One of the assassin guys makes reference to something called Leviathan. Possibly a new villainous organisation?

There were a few reminders of Alias. I’ve mentioned the secret entrance to the office. Also Peggy goes undercover in blond wig disguise to a nightclub to steal back the Stark weapon design. Peggy slips into an American accent effortlessly. Also there’s the fact that Peggy is doing missions unknown to her employers.

The production design is wonderfully retro. The makers have gone to a lot of bother to source old cars and dress the sets and cast in 1940s fashion. At one point Peggy goes to look at an old file in the file room and it’s all pleasingly filled with boxes and paper files.

There’s also a 1940s diner Peggy uses to meet with Jarvis. I note that the the waitress there is played by Lyndsy Fonseca from Kick Ass and notably the TV show Nikita which also was heavily influenced by Alias.

The episode ends with the revelation that Jarvis and Stark apparently have some ulterior motive for getting Peggy involved in the shenanigans.

All good fun. I look forward to the next seven episodes.

Oh, by the way, fox have got Hayley Atwell to do these little q&a links during the advert breaks. They are also quite fun in their own right. For example when asked what Marvel character she would most like to team up with Hayley suggests Black Widow as they could both “kick arse”. Love it.