A new Bond girl, and a taste of Philly

"Skyfall," Adele's new James Bond theme, hit No. 1 on iTunes.
"Skyfall," Adele's new James Bond theme, hit No. 1 on iTunes.
Posted: October 06, 2012

Adele does 007:

James Bond theme 'Skyfall' debuts

From Dan DeLuca's

"In the Mix" at www.philly.com/inthemix

James Bond routinely saves the world, and Adele has saved the music industry, or at least kept it on life support by selling more than 20 million copies of her Grammy-winning sophomore album, 21.

So it stands to reason the two British belters would wind up in each other's company. Adele's theme song to the Daniel Craig-starring Skyfall, which opens in theaters Nov. 9, was released Thursday.

That means you can hear the classy "Skyfall" and buy it at iTunes (by Friday it had become the No. 1-selling single). On a couple of listens, the song cowritten with Paul Epworth sounds pretty memorable and Bond-worthy to me, as it earns its grandeur and rises to a cut above, say, Madonna's "Die Another Day" or Jack White and Alicia Keys' regrettable "Another Way to Die" from 2008's Quantum of Solace - even if it's not up to Shirley Bassey's "Goldfinger." (See the video at philly.com/inthemix.)

You done good, Adele.

'Top Chef' Sbraga makes Esquire's best-new list

From Michael Klein's "The Insider" at www.philly.com/theinsider

Esquire mag's list of the best new restaurants in America appears in the November issue, and Philly's Sbraga makes the field of 20. It's the first Philly entry since 2008, when Zahav and Distrito made it. Author/critic John Mariani has been combing the country to cull the annual list since most of you were in knee pants.

"This is great for us and great for the city," said chef Kevin Sbraga. (The restaurant, at Broad and Pine Streets, also scored a very respectable 27 for food in the 2013 Zagat Survey, on the newsstand Oct. 8.)

The Esquire Sbraga blurb: "At Sbraga, you are served a four-course dinner you won't soon forget for the remarkable price of $49. How does Chef Kevin Sbraga do it? Backward. 'Everywhere else I've worked, they decided on what they wanted to serve, then set the price,' he says. 'Here we decided on the price first, then figured out what we could offer without sacrificing creativity or quality.' "

Restaurant of the year is The Optimist in Atlanta. Chef of the year is Roberto Donna of Al Dente in Washington. Dish of the year is the roast chicken at the NoMad in New York.

BFI Film Classics celebrates 20 years

From Steven Rea's "On Movies Online" at www.philly.com/onmovies

One of the longest-running and most illuminating series of film-studies books hails from the British Film Institute: Its "Film Classics" paperbacks offer critical and historical appraisals of many of filmdom's finest endeavors. And to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series, BFI and Palgrave Macmillan have released a dozen of the books, each focusing on a single, and singular, film, with newly designed cover art, and, in several cases, new material.

Among the reissues: Laura Mulvey's take on Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, Salman Rushdie on The Wizard of Oz, and Charles Barr on Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo.

New to the series, and released with the twelve 20th-anniversary titles: Eric Smoodin on the Disney classic Snow White, Christopher Wagstaff on Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist, and V.F. Perkins' survey of Jean Renoir's The Rules of the Game.'

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