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Casino Royale by Skywalker.

This is my first post on this forum, so I thought I might as well get the big one out the way.

When Daniel Craig was cast as Bond, I like many others were surprised at his appointment. Craig was introduced to us via the Thames River on a speedboat. He appeared wearing shades and lifejacket (Oh dear) and commented that he was scared sh*tless by the boat journey. Not a great start, I thought to myself. The press had a field day and many tabloid papers commented on the arrival blunder. Despite this I felt Craig could deliver something different to the role. DAD had been a bit of a disaster (Not in terms of admissions) and had left an ugly stain on the franchise. I was willing to give Craig a chance and looked forward to his first outing.

I remember leaving the movie theatre with an extreme sense of frustration. After so many great reviews and positive feedback, how could this be? Perhaps my own expectations were too high? The film in my opinion tried too hard to be different, and the end result was a totally different Bond film, more akin to the Bourne series of films.

Back to the film itself and the start had me watching in awe. The film opens up with a nicely shot black and white PTS, which I feel is a joy to watch. The inclusion of this scene is to show Bond’s initiation into the OO club. Two kills are required for Bond to attain his licence to kill status. The virgin Bond is shown violently despatching an informant for Dryden (A rogue OO Agent) that demonstrates Craig’s physical presence (I wonder if the initial criticism had led to this style of Bond character) and the tone for which Craig’s Bond would continue. This scene culminates in Bond killing Dryden and delivering a nice one-liner.

The next scene containing Craig was the free running (parkour) scene. From this point on the film went downhill. For me this whole scene epitomised the desire for Hollywood (Jerry Bruckheimer) action, with no real point or benefit to the film. Many people enjoyed it, but I just felt this did not belong in a Bond movie. Why did Bond climb into the demolition vehicle just to drive it into a wall? This is supposed to be a top class operative, not a Rambo wannabee.

The free running itself was like an episode of Extreme sports, another pointless part of the movie. Why did the villain decide to climb up the crane when surely a hiding place or the nearest car would have been better option? This whole scene makes me cringe and the site of Craig running through walls is a joke.

Yes Craig gave a tougher, more brutal edge to Bond, something that was evidently missing in the Brosnan years, but he seemed to me, to be a standard Hollywood action hero, in the same way the film was full of stereotypical needless Hollywood action.

The poker scenes were steady at best. I actually felt is was very drawn out and failed to deliver the required tension that surely should have been evident.

The inclusion of Dame Judi Dench was an extremely poor decision by EON to include her as M. As we all know, the Dame has played M throughout the Brosnan era and was introduced as the replacement M in Goldeneye with Brosnan playing the seasoned Bond. In Casino Royale it was a case of role reversal. Dame Judi was playing an experienced M with an ageing Rookie Bond in Craig. Are we supposed to accept Dame Judi is a different M to the one she has previously played? Don’t get me wrong I like The Dame and consider her to be a fine actress and a good M, but this role should have been given to someone else.

All in all I feel Daniel Craig could be an excellent Bond if directed correctly. When smooth and refined like at the start and end he showed glimpses of the cinematic Bond that I am accustomed too, but this just wasn’t enough to persuade me he is Bond as there were too many instances in the film where he looked too brash. This style of film could have perhapsed worked with a younger looking actor, not someone who clearly looks his age.

For me Casino Royale was a gamble that did not pay dividends.
_________________
“I'd like to thank the Royal Marines for bringing me in like that and scaring the s--- out of me,” Bond Hardman Daniel Craig.

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Welcome aboard Skywalker!

I must say that was a very honest and respectable review.  While I loved CR as a whole and thought Craig was amazing, I do agree with some of your criticisms of the film. 

I agree with some of your criticisms of the action scenes early in the film, however, while you criticize the free running scene, I had more of a problem with the airport chase, a little too "Die Hard" or "Speed" for my tastes.  The free running scene was so amazing on the big screen and opens the film with such a bang that I really have a hard time complaining about it, but you may have a point about the bulldozer. ajb007/lol

Furthermore, I can't help but agree with you on Dench's M as well, although I have less of a problem with it than most of her CR detractors.  Before the film came out I thought it might work out, but after a few viewings I couldn't help but feel that her schtick has grown pretty tiresome and probably should have been laid to rest after DAD like Pierce.

That's about all I can complain about however, because once Bond hops on the train towards Casino Royale I feel the movie starts hitting on all cylinders, and the poker scenes were really good IMO, and were broken up nicely with some of my other favorite scenes, including: the stairwell murder, Bond downing a stiff drink and changing his bloody shirt (I thought that was pure Fleming), the shower scene with Vesper, the martini order at the bar, the introduction of Felix and Bond's rebuy, and of course the poisoning scene. 

After a few viewings I also really felt like the romance between Bond and Vesper is developing well in the aforementioned scenes, which doesn't make it seemed rushed later on, as was my original impression and also one of my few complaints.

Glad you think Craig has the potential to be a great Bond, I certainly agree with that, and I can't wait to see how Craig will play Bond in 22. As Loeffelholz (another member here) often says, "See you in line for the next one!" ajb007/cheers

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Thank you for the feedback.

The free running scene on the crane did look spectacular on the big screen, but at no time did I feel tense. I actually felt the scene on the goldengate bridge had far more tension in AVTAK.

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Welcome skywalker, I agree with all your points (the demolition vehicle confused me though - you mean the bulldozer, right?)

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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Napoleon Plural wrote:

Welcome skywalker, I agree with all your points (the demolition vehicle confused me though - you mean the bulldozer, right?)

I was trying to be politically correct.;)

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Skywalker wrote:
Napoleon Plural wrote:

Welcome skywalker, I agree with all your points (the demolition vehicle confused me though - you mean the bulldozer, right?)

I was trying to be politically correct.;)

Welcome to the board, Skywalker. I don't believe that Craig is Bond, but just like you, I believe he could be better with the right talent around him. BTW - Are you the same Skywalker who has a review on alternative007 site? If so, that review was great also.

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Jermaine76 wrote:

Welcome to the board, Skywalker. I don't believe that Craig is Bond, but just like you, I believe he could be better with the right talent around him. BTW - Are you the same Skywalker who has a review on alternative007 site? If so, that review was great also.

Thanks for the feedback. BTW I am the same Skywalker.

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Although new to the forum, just thought I would post my thoughts:

Overall Casino Royale is a fantastic film, BUT I would like to make it clear that this is NOT a Bond film, or true to the book.

The lack of Sir Mile Messervy as M, the lack of smoking from Bond (I know it's not PC to smoke but Bond does), lack of Q branch, pandering to the popularity of Poker rather than using the original Bacharrach, the list goes on a Blonde Bond etc etc etc etc etc.

The problem I feel is that they will either have to remake the other Fleming books to adhere to the ending of CR or put on further to the story. They made a mistake going for CR, and should have kept the Bond stories moving.

I enjoyed Pierce Brosnan as Bond, and felt he brought out the Bond that Fleming wrote about in the later books.

Rating for the Film: 003

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wollastonblue wrote:

rather than using the original Bacharrach

ajb007/smile Freudian slip? Or do you too prefer "The Look Of Love" to "You Know My Name"?

Only joshing, wollastonblue, and playing with words. Baccarat is the card game; Bacharach was the composer for the '67 CR.

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Since I am reading these posts might as well toss in my 2 cents....

I knew DC would work as oo7 at the end of the credits with the close up. Liked the opening chase, amazed by the jumping about and wondering how long the stunt men spent at the doctor with their knees. I felt the airport chase was too long - and would have preferred to see more of a chase after Vesper was "kidnapped"

For the rest, as stated above - once they got on the train Ian Fleming's "Casino Royale" was on the screen and they did a great job. Still can't say enough good things about the supporting cast!

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Agree about the supporting cast, just watched it again and every support role is so very strong, excellent casting all way 'round. ajb007/cheers

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Hi guys.

Have you seen this Casino Royale opening sequence spoof on You Tube?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry2hUWHFduQ

It's priceless!

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Too bad "Mr. Bond" got snuffed at the end, he could have taken over from Daniel Craig! ajb007/smile

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MY RATING: 000 out of 007

"Casino Royale": 007's Film Franchise Obituary

Ever notice that the 007 films produced after “Goldeneye” seem to get worse and worse in significant critical, creative respects like screenplay quality, casting decisions, etc.? With “Casino Royale,” the franchise hits rock bottom. “Casino Royale” is, objectively, the worst James Bond film in the history of the 007 film franchise. Why?

1)    Story: Based, more or less, on Ian Fleming’s original novel, this unskillful adaptation/update is communicated with a disdain for clarity. The audience is fed too little information, too late (or not at all)—about both character motivations as well as the stakes involved in various action sequences—to remain emotionally engaged and genuinely interested in what’s going on.   
2)    Casting/characterization: lacks conviction and appeal
•    Daniel Craig (Bond). Craig’s characterization of Bond is charmless, worthless, and disturbingly nihilistic. At one point in the script, Craig’s Bond responds to a question with “Do I look like I give a damn?” The answer in “Casino Royale” is overwhelmingly NO. Why on earth, then, should the audience care about him? At another point, he tells Vesper “I have no idea what an honest job is.” Is this a credible (or creditable) moral statement to hear from a top-level government secret agent? Craig’s monotonously stoic performance is by no means compensated for by his (atrocious) line readings: he articulates rarely, mumbles often. As a result of Craig’s hollow Bond interpretation, what should have been the film’s ultimate impact moment—007’s “Bond, James Bond” confrontation with villainous Mr. White—is surprisingly anti-climactic, prompting a shrug rather than a cheer from this reviewer.
•    Eva Green (“Bond Girl,” Vesper Lynd). Green’s Vesper characterization comes across unwittingly as awkward, unsophisticated. Green looks and acts like a teenager playing at “grown-up.” What’s missing is the mature presence/feminine poise that typifies the best Bond Girl actresses (e.g. Ursula Andress, Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg, Barbara Bach, Maud Adams, Izabella Scorupco, et al). A self-confessed “complicated woman,” Green’s Vesper remains maddeningly inscrutable to the end, and her romance with Craig’s Bond is ineptly developed and unconvincingly consummated.
•    Judi Dench. Her “M” is more unsympathetic than ever. No other actress has ever contributed less charm and more unfemininity to the Bond series than Dame Judi Dench.
•    Mads Mikkelsen (Le Chiffre). In Ian Fleming’s novel, Le Chiffre is skillfully characterized as an odd, sinister presence. Onscreen, Mikkelsen’s version of Le Chiffre is unimpressive—an effete villain with a blood-weepy eye, but without the twisted charisma that typifies the best Bond screen adversaries (Goldfinger, Blofeld, Mr. Big, Max Zorin, Janus, et al).
3)    Script/dialogue. Both in content and tone, the screenplay—like the novel—overwhelmingly projects malevolence: the power of evil; the stress on the tragic and traumatic; all events taking place in a world where no one can or ought to be trusted. And notice how the script flagrantly undercuts James Bond, the ultimate fictional egoist, with the inclusion of damning “anti-ego” lines thrown at him by M and Vesper. The dialogue is cynical, tasteless, and witless.
4)    Original Music: Chris Cornell’s unmemorable opening-credits theme song—“You Know My Name”—lacks color, drama, and excitement. David Arnold’s unremarkable score sounds melodramatic and overly derivative, like a cheap John Barry knock off.
5)    Producer infamy/creative poverty: Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, the film’s producers, lacking the vision and ingenuity to advance Bond’s personal timeline onscreen, reveal their creative bankruptcy by bringing 007 back to the beginning of his secret service career, presenting him in his most unflattering incarnation yet. Out go Bond’s cinematically-cultivated charm and conviction. The new Bond is an uninteresting, expressionless, muscle-bound nihilist and a disgracefully vulnerable “hero.” The producers deliberately emphasize Bond’s vulnerability by subjecting him, incredibly, to cardiac arrest(!) as well as a horrific trial of torture (this latter was a rotten, graphic part of Fleming’s original novel). Putting obstacles in a purposeful screen hero’s path makes for good drama; but these shocking “Casino-Royale” examples are an extremely sick way to challenge a hero and are certainly artistically unworthy of depiction onscreen.

Considering all these points, it is clear that “Casino Royale” is neither value-driven art nor fan-pleasing entertainment. The proof is in the picture. 

“Casino Royale” is the highest-grossing Bond film to date. But consider:
1.    This fact merely indicates the degree of public curiosity about or interest in James Bond and owes virtually everything to the franchise’s longstanding cinematic appeal and reputation (earned by much better films and performances in the series and betrayed dramatically by “Casino Royale”).
2.    This fact confirms nothing about public satisfaction with or approval of this latest installment.
3.    High box-office numbers neither reflect nor establish this film’s merit.

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Did we see the same film? ajb007/confused

Vox clamantis in deserto

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has he only just seen Casino Royale recently or has he seen it and has been trying to put into words his horror ever since?

I disagree with everything you just said =D

I think even the strongest CR haters on this site would say your being a teeny tiny bit strong there.

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CR isn't my cup of tea (and I don't think it really does credit to Ian Fleming's original novel) but I don't rate the film a 'zero'. Saw the film once in the theatres, have watched the DVD twice, so I will say there is some entertainment value in it, but not enough to keep me coming back to it.

Last edited by darenhat (13th Jul 2007 16:24)

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I read all the negatives about CR'06 and am a little surprised of the level of dislike for this film.

It is NOT a perfect movie, but there has yet to be a Bond film made that did justice to the original material. A prefectionist could nit-pick even the best of the Bond films to death.

Seems to me that many fans came to this particuliar film either determined in advance to HATE it, or with unrealistic expectations based on a favorite Bond film of the past - starring an actor who was for them the "best" oo7.

Based on my past expierence with Bond films, I should have HATED this flick myself. I suffered through the worst dreck Bond has to offer up to and including the wretched DAD!

I wanted a reboot set in the 1950's, absolutely faithful to Fleming!

What I got was a film whose first half has nothing to do with IF and whose second half kept many of IF's set pieces, but radically changed them. Not to mention the lead actor does not resemble Hoagy Carmichael one bit.

But CR'06 while a compromise of modern filmaking brought a fresher interpetation of oo7 as an ambitious, reckless adventurer who forces himself onto his assigned target, and while damn near getting killed manages to win despite his own shortcomings. Much closer to Fleming's charecter than ever before.

Gone were the moronic one liners that started in 1961 with "Sergeant, Don't let him get away" and reached the apex of vulgarity with "I thought Christmas ...." This kind of cr*p was blessedly replaced with an ocassional silent, sardonic look.

While the chases were repetitive, never before has a Bond film had such well written charecters/dialog. Only FRWL has better friends and villians - but they are played straight - no traitors or badstabbers there - bad is bad and good is good. In FRWL there was no "big picture" to confuse us with the possibility that Bond could win at the Casino, but end up choking on his own mahood. While "loser" LeChiffre is wined and dined by the CIA or MI6.

Eva Green may not be Ursula, but she looks like a real woman, and is the first Bond girl who can look Bond in the face and tell him "No" and mean it.

I could go on, but will sum it up like this ...It's not perfect, but possibly for the first time ever, this film is at its core a "serious" movie. For that it comes about as close as any Bond film will ever be to what Mr. Fleming had in mind when he first sat down at Goldeneye in 1951.

For me that makes this a four star film!

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I've decided to contribute a review to this thread, be it late, if simply for the sake of having it in the vaults of AJB's webspace.  But seriously, this is an important movie (to me anyway), and so here are a few paragraphs offered as a thanks and tribute. 

Casino Royale (2006)

4 out of 4 stars

Roger Ebert, having recovered (welcome back!) enough to begin reviewing movies again, mentioned in his take o Casino Royale that "reviews aren't a list of favorite scenes." (or something to that effect)  I agree.  And it also happens to make this review a letter-grade nudge easier to write.  You see, the level of a Bond film's amalgmate quality is usually measured by the quality of its formula scenes.  This doesn't mean we want to watch and review the films like action/sex montages, only that often there simply is not much else to there to work with. 

Casino Royale is an actual MOVIE, which is only worth mentioning because only about 1/5 of the Bonds from the last THREE decades have met the criteria.  It is a movie because it sports character development and theme.  Or to put it another way, Casino Royale is a story about people who change and learn things, and is a story which interacts with its audience on a personal level.  Not that James Bond (or even this film, for that matter) could or should be considered interpretive literature.  Part of what makes the films what they are intrinsically is escapism.  But escapism and quality cinema are not mutually exclusive. 

By some miracle, this series has survived hundreds of millions of dollars worth of awful films.  Movie after movie, sometimes three, four, five in a row have drawn and highlighted the thought that maybe James Bond should turn in his gun.    What maintains this eclectic series of films and perpetuates them forward are films like Casino Royale.  You may not like it, you might love the misogynistic overman represented in so many of these films (and there is a real appeal, I'm not removing myself entirely), but if this series is to move forward then movies like Casino Royale need to be made. 

Casino Royale is not only a real movie.  It is also a very good one, and (to move even further down this path) is also one of the best Bond films.  Daniel Craig plays a VERY good Bond by our decade's standards, and if you aren't willing to blend Bond and present culture than you aren't talking about James Bond.  007 and the NEW, the present, the pertinent are essential to James Bond, and any fan should know this.  God didn't create a James Bond cookie-cut.  The producers did.  And there cannon, or rules of fair play, or whatever you call the limits the Bond team is required to follow CANNOT be based on a 1970's understanding or interpretation of who Bond is.  Bond is meant as a cultural ideal, someone men want to be and women want to be with.  He is meant to be attractive, smart, strong, possessing savoire faire, current.  CURRENT.  Alive.  Understandable.  Believable.  The world today judges attraction, strength, understanding, all these things differently than they did a decade ago, or the decade before.  Bond must be fluid, like society.  Anything less is failure.  The modern James Bond, in his truest form, is not a tribute to his past.  He is ever growing and evolving.  You may not like the evolution, but Bond as he stands today is a success by our cultural standard. 

The meat of this film is found in the relationship between Vesper and Bond.  If you don't see this, you probably won't understand the novelty or praise the film has received since its release.  Bond's brush with love opened him (briefly) to a worldview encompassing hope and trust.  Near the beginning of the film, Bond replies to M's harsh corrections "Well, I understand 00's have a very short life expectancy, so your wish will be short-lived."  Whatever his values were then, they weren't personal.  They didn't involve redemption or hope of some kind of self-actualization.  As he said of vodka martinis so goes life, "Does it look like I give a damn?" 

Vesper changes all this, for a time.  And while he is hurt, and likely more guarded emotionally than ever, I have a feeling that those couple moments of existential beauty for Bond won't stay hidden forever.  No one who has tasted such things could live out the life of a gloried sociopath.  As these films continue, so long as they remain in capable hands, I am optimistic of Bond's development.  He'll find love again, or die trying.

It's all right. It's quite all right, really. She's having a rest. We'll be going on soon. There's no hurry, you see. We have all the time in the world.

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[i]My Casino Royale review


It only seems like yesterday that Daniel Craig paddled down the Thames and was pushed out of his dinghy in a rubber-ring by Michael G Wilson. I was thrilled because Daniel Craig has always been my favourite actor. When I say favourite actor I'm not being entirely truthful. To be honest I had no idea who he was. But anyway he was the new James Bond. He seemed a bit short for the role and his fair hair and craggy features seemed better suited to a Robin Askwith biopic than tall, dark and handsome 007. For some reason he was wearing enough eyeliner to stock a small beauty saloon. But anyway he was James Bond. He looked a bit scrawny at the press conference but when shooting began he seemed to have packed two years worth of body-building into three months. He looks like he can kill or do some damage said his supporters. Why has he done all that body-building? said the sceptics. He looks like even more of a shortarse now. But anyway he was the new James Bond. As more footage from the film was released positions became more entrenched. I became more pessimistic with every new terrible photo of Daniel Craig and his one facial expression. On the plus side I was relieved to see someone had given the poor man some eyebrows. On the minus side he looked a bit like Roger De Courcey without Nookie the Bear. But anyway he was the new James Bond.



You could tell that old Bigmouth himself, the reliably unimaginative Martin Campbell was directing the new James Bond film. He managed to insult the other Bond actors before he'd finished. After proudly trumpeting the fact that Casino Royale would feature a 28-year-old Bond who has just earned his Double-O status he ended up with 53 year-old Daniel Craig as his young rookie Bond. The young Bond contenders were just too young he said later. Yes, 22 year-old Henry Cavill was too young to be James Bond. What a turn up for the books. Makes sense really with him only being, you know, 22. Perhaps they should have tested a few more actors who were old enough to shave.

Casino Royale is seventeen hours long. It begins with a B/W sequence and then moves into a title sequence involving a very small Daniel Craig and a theme tune that was rejected by Finland when David Arnold offered it to them as their Eurovision song contest entry. Then we have the free-running sequence which is too long and a bit silly. Yes, Pierce Brosnan is still roasted for his underwater tie-adjustments and radio controlled BMW but Daniel Craig running through walls and jumping off girders is somehow humane and realistic. Then he kills three-hundred soldiers and shoots the man he was chasing for reasons that escape me at the moment. The villain of Casino Royale is Le Chiffre played by the great Madge Nicholson. He wears a black suit and looks a bit oily. And that's it. Vesper is played by the French actress Eva Green. She doesn't have an awful lot to do in this film and her acting skills suggest that wasn't such a bad move.

After the chase we get a lot of product placement and cellphone nonsense. Cell phones received enough screen time to virtually be placed on the cast list. Craig plays cards and drives a Ford Mondeo. Judi Dench gives her 'just happy to be here' performance as M. The Airport sequence, which I feel like I've seen two hundred times in other movies, felt shoehorned in to give the film another set-piece and then we move into Montenegro and the second half of the film. It won't come as a huge suprise to know that I disliked the second half of the film too. Why? In no real order:

1) The Bond/Vesper train sparring was woeful.
2) The poker scenes were drab.
3) Clunky dialogue.
4) Drink wobbling.
5) Drink wobbling.
6) Drink wobbling.
7) Contrived ending.


Daniel Craig in the lead role wanders around looking miserable and talks in a flat, monotone voice. He runs a lot and purses his lips. At no time did I think I was watching James Bond. His looks are laughably wrong for Bond and he lacks charisma, charm and a sense of mischief. I'd rather be locked in a room with a double-glazing salesman than watch Craig's Bond. James Bond is a joyless character in CR. Gone is the escapism and fun, replaced by laborious psychology and dreary production design.

I miss the panache, the wit, the charm of Bond.[i]

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Capt Dominic Flandry wrote:

a Robin Askwith biopic

Somebody Please Make This Movie. ajb007/lol  For the benefit of non-British members, here's the opening sequence to one of the cinematic masterpiece's that Askwith graced in the 1970's.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=2cc1yoRC_QM

Daniel Craig is probably ten years too old for the part, so Capt, I'm afraid we'll have to look elsewhere for a leading man.  But Emilia Fox would be perfect casting as the landlady's daughter who takes her clothes off at every opportunity with hilarious consequences.

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And here is the great man himself.


http://www.stuart.cann.freeuk.com/robin_askwith.JPG

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Didn't really know where to put this. Based on world wide reviews CS was the best film of 2006. Go figure

"Casino Royale disposes of the silliness and gadgetry that plagued recent James Bond outings, and Daniel Craig delivers what fans and critics have been waiting for: a caustic, haunted, intense reinvention of 007. But scribes also note "Casino" is hardly morose, with enough stunning action sequences and in-jokes to please the diehards. Some pundits even go so far as to say that Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Sean Connery."

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/features/ … amp;type=w

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Krassno Granitski wrote:

(quoting rottentomatoes.com)"Some pundits even go so far as to say that Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Sean Connery."

Couldn't have said it better, myself---oh, wait, I did (see signature)  ajb007/biggrin

ajb007/bond

"Blood & Ashes"...AVAILABLE on Amazon.co.uk: Get 'Jaded': Blood & Ashes: The Debut Oscar Jade Thriller
"I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
"Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM

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When I first watched CR, I was quite disappointed. I hated it and the idea of a reboot. But I just viewed it for the second time and it was magnificent. I do not know what I was thinking the first time. I enjoyed almost every second of it. I have definitely misjudged this movie. I brought it way up on my favorite films list also. It seems to get better and better after each viewing. I may just watch it again . ajb007/martini