Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday Morning Miscellania

• It's snowing. Which is actually preferable to the record cold snap which we had last week. As I've mentioned before, I live in my late grandfather's old farmhouse, which was built ages ago. It's poorly insulated, drafty, and has a kitchen that was a late addition with no insulation or heating at all. In the winter, it's like a giant walk-in refrigerator and last week, it was a walk-in freezer. Thursday morning, we had an icicle hanging from the faucet, and the jugs of drinking water and every bottle of my Pepsi cache (which we keep on the floor out of the way) were frozen solid.

Oh yeah, winter's so much fun. Because I won't be able to get out and shovel out the mailbox tomorrow, we won't get our mail. Which normally wouldn't bug me too much, since it's usually just bills and threats anyway, anyway, but since I've rebooted my DVD Late Show column (new installment tomorrow), I've been getting some cool screeners... and those I look forward to. :)

• Remember a year or so ago, when I posted about some Star Trek fans, led by a fellow named James Cawley, who were making their own episodes based on the original series and offering them over the 'net for free? Well, according to Ain't It Cool News, the same group of folks have actually made a deal to produce their own version of Buck Rogers. This project is officially licensed from the rights holders, and I'm guessing that I'll like it better than the proposed Frank Miller version.

• After reading about it all year over on Tanner's Double-O Section blog, I finally rented the French Eurospy spoof, OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies, from Netflix.

It was awesome! Jean Dujardin plays French secret agent OSS 117, who's sort of a cross between Maxwell Smart, Inspector Clouseau and a Gallic Sean Connery. He's sent to Cairo – a "nest of spies" – to investigate the death of another agent, his "close friend," Jack. Set in 1955 (with a hilarious WW2-set prologue), OSS 117 is a dead-on parody of the Eurospy genre. In fact, it's directly spoofing an actual, long-running series of films from the early Sixties.

The jokes and sight gags are funny, the characters are great (I especially enjoy how the filmmakers were willing to let their hero be a complete and utter ass sometimes), the girls are gorgeous, and the production and costume designs are incredible. I especially dug the swinging, loungy musical score.

I'll definitely be adding this one to my collection as soon as possible – it was vastly funnier than the Get Smart remake and smarter than the Austin Powers films. Here's the trailer:

Apparently there's a sequel in the works. I hope it makes to America quicker than the first one did!


Craig Zablo said...


Never heard of the spy film, but the trailer and your description make it look like fun.

Stay warm, boss!

Charles Gramlich said...

LOL. That does look excellent. Will have to check it out.

Tanner said...

I'm glad you checked it out! And even gladder (but not surprised!) that you liked it. This was such a gem. Everyone I know that's actually seen it has loved it; I just wish more people heard of it in America.