Fantastic Female Friday- Camille Montes (Quantum of Solace)

I know a ton of blogs do this sort of thing. Jack Flacco has “Women who Wow Wednesday” Kiss My WonderWoman has “Strong Female Character Friday” but I decided I wanted in on the action, a weekly post to celebrate overlooked or out of genre characters that I wouldn’t usually blog about.

For our first episode: Quantum of Solace Bond Girl Camille Montes 

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Her path crosses with that of 007 while he is trying to get revenge on those responsible for the death of Vesper Lynd and she’s on a personal mission to avenge her family. For his part he’s blood thirsty and out of control, he kills someone sent to kill Camille and almost catches a bullet from her gun in return. Camille had been shacking up with Dominic Greene to get closer to her target former head of the Bolivian army, General Medrano. Greene finds her out and serves her up to him. But she’s got a secret weapon. This is unbeknownst to Bond who rides in on his high horse to save her and she gets mad and fights him, he over powers her and “saves” her. He even “saves” her again later (at a party where Dominic threatens to throw her off a balcony after she drunkenly swaggers over to investors and tells them in no uncertain terms that Dominic is a con artist) and Bond earns a big eyeroll as a thank you. She makes it clear he’s a pain in the ass.

Later, after they crash land in the desert, falling into a sinkhole (surviving because she grabbed the parachute, mind you) she spills her guts about why she was on the boat with Medrano. Says she had been waiting 20 years for that shot. He apologizes. She doesn’t accept. But when they get back to the hotel and M has Bond captured for disobeying orders she double backs to extract him. And together, sans resources they go after Dominic Greene, Quantum, et al.

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After take 2 with her target (who was ready to victimize another woman) in which she fights with all she’s got to take him out, biting kicking and clawing her way to victory. Bond does eventually get to be her hero, blasting a hole in the wall and saving her from a burning room.

She asks him if she’ll be different. If she’ll sleep better. He tells her the truth, probably not. She’s sweet to him, knowing he’s afflicted with the same thirst for vengeance. He kisses her… she’s not that into it and he leaves her all dirty and badass back in town. She doesn’t need him to tell her it’ll be alright, Hell, she doesn’t really even need it to be alright. She just moves on.

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No sleeping together, no shower scene, but to keep it 007 they had to throw in Agent Strawberry Fields to get sexed up and fridged because Camille was too damn unstoppable. Camille and Bond save each other and then she leaves to figure out what to do with a life that’s her own, not fueled by rage.

For the role actress Olga Kurylenko did her own stunts in the Bond film to boast the most violent incidents (250) and was pumped not to be playing a love interest.

Now, this is about a character, not the entire movie or the opinions of casting directors, actors or producers. Which would be irresponsible for me not to elaborate: are flat out terrible. The actress who plays Camille is Ukrainian, apparently they had intended to cast a South American actress but we’re blown away by her performance and noted her confidence as a deciding factor- of this point there is no argument she’s disarmingly assured. However her decision to “tan for two days to look more Bolivian” was encouraged by producers, she also worked with a dialect coach who left her sounding like she had a mouth full of marbles. Instead of “brown-facing,” the nationality of the character could have been left vague, or not since there are white people in South America -it was settled by white Europeans who spread the Spanish language.Or they could have found another actress who actually suited their desires instead of encouraging Kurylenko to alter her look and play on stereotypes in a vain attempt and fitting the character’s ethnicity. Historically, this happens A LOT and everyone should know better and stop being so damn naive and ignorant

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Book Review #28- Exodus Towers by Jason M Hough

The second book in the Dire Earth series picks up where the first left off. Skyler, Tania and other “traitors” are building their colony in Belem, Brazil. Skyler, now enjoying a role as a decisive man of action and Tania is the colony’s leader. As such, she spends a ton of time in orbit away from Skyler and doing important bureaucratic things like debating with Zane and Tim. Skyler and Tania fell in “insta-love” in the first book and now they’re dealing with the aftermath. They really didn’t know each other, and now the distance and differences in opinion drive a wedge between them. It’s very nuanced and well written in that aspect. Skyler, often off scavenging, researching and adventuring, isn’t there for Tania the way Tim and Zane are and the orbitals are egregiously out of touch with what’s happening on the ground. That all come to a head when the camp is taken by a gang/cult/bunch of freaks who are all immunes who refer to orbitals as spacemen and believe that immunes are meant to inherit the Earth. Extremists who believe that they are the chosen-ones.

Speaking of chosen-ones… back in Darwin, my girl Samantha Rinn (who *score* we did get more of in this book) starts off a captive of Blackfield’s. After an attempted escape she is sent on a mission by slumlord/Jacobite leader, Grillo. And then she’s set off on more mission as Grillo has her friend Kelly Adelaide under his thumb. He brings her out into the field when he needs an immune (she is the last known in Darwin) and she runs the scavenger crews, which she hates. The Jacobites believe the Darwin Elevator is Jacob’s Ladder and they start imposing Jacobite laws on the people, no drinking, a holy day, no using the lord’s name in vain… that sort of thing, and like any good religious cult, being armed to the teeth never conflicts with their belief system. Samantha helps Grillo because she gains her freedom and because, frankly she has nothing else to do. But Grillo turns out to have bigger goals than he initially let on.

There are some new characters, one of which is Ana. One of the few problems I had with this book was that I felt like Hough couldn’t decide what age Ana should be, he wanted her to be substantially younger than Skyler and immature/maladapted and she was, but I feel like the age waffled a bit. I read the ARC copy, so perhaps it came together in the final cut, anyway. Ana falls hard for Skyler and he tries to keep her at a distance, but with Tania in orbit and a rift between them… it gets complicated. Ana is impulsive, tough, spoiled and determined. A good teammate but she escapes the overused action-chick cliches.

And throughout love triangles, violent cults and espionage we still have the evolving sub-humans (zombie like survivors of the SUBS virus get tougher in strange ways), upcoming alien events, and beyond weird alien artifacts. My favorites include Sam being trapped in alien brambles and Skyler entering a dome that pays no mind to the rules of space and time.

There’s a ton going on and frankly, it was super awesome. The second book in a trilogy always bugs me. The first is always self contained and then the second ramps up but leaves so much lying around for the third. But I’m in. There’s a good amount of book here, as you can tell. It’s worth it.

The other thing that bugged me a ton: the rift between Skyler and Tania. Tania bartered with Gabriel that she would turn in Skyler (she didn’t mean it), and he heard her, he would have forgiven her but she lied about it because she felt guilty. But she had the nerve to tell him that he started combat with Gabriel, that he should have negotiated. These guys were rapists. Seriously: Skyler needed to kill every last one, no regrets. Period. And he never said “Tania, you don’t even know what is going on down here. Shut up.” 

Last review I cast Michael Weatherly to star as main protag Skyler Luiken, this time Samantha gets a face: 

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Alexa Vega from Machete Kills As much as I would love to throw future Captain Marvel Katee Sackhoff in a time machine and pick her, I’m going with this former Spy Kid to throw punches and throw down one-liners.

and the role of Tania goes to

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Noureen Dewulf from Pulse 2 and Pulse 3 (and frankly, a bunch of movies I haven’t seen) would be great as new leader Tania, the smart scientist, the good friend and stunning love interest.

I’d love to see Demi Lovato get a little wild as our Ana

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And Peruvian model/actress Angie Jibaja should certainly play someone.

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4 Stars for sure.

Agents of SHIELD episode 2

The plot is something about a Nazi artifact (or possibly aliens) that they find in South America. Is this the plot of Indiana Jones and the cave of the Crystal Skull? Not quite. They’re in Peru, during a citizen uprising and the artifact is not extraterrestrial or German, it’s a device filled with Gamma Radiation. 

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Agent Coulson meets up with former umm… cohort… Reyes and sparks fly while the nerds fight and Skye and Agent Ward clash over political views. Ward pulls the loner card, Skye talks about common ideas, but being a team comes down to one thing… something Coulson understands… they need a common enemy.

And they get one when Reyes and her men try to take the 084, the nerds held hostage… they work together.

The 084 is too dangerous for any person or country to have so they send it up in a rocket.

 

We’re left to wonder where Skye’s allegiances lie.

Did you watch the credits? 

 

 

 

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HEY IT’S SAMUEL L JACKSON 

 

“This plane used to have a bar. A nice bar.”

Good episode, not as good as last week. Agent May breaking and …unbreaking? her own wrist and barely talking while being the ultimate weapon (the cavalry) …cliches make me snore ZzzzZzzz…

Coulson alluded toward the fact that he’s most (likely) a Life Model Decoy.

Cautiously watching… judging.

This “Government is the good guys, we just can;t tell everyone what we’re doing.” gives me the heebie jeebies. Is that just me?