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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

Went to see Casino Royale last night, totally blown away!

The action was incredible, fantastic acting, excellent musicical score, DC is an amazing Bond, every location looked stunning, the audience at the cinema were clapping at the end!

I fell a bit stupid asking but I'm not quite sure i totally got the plot at the end, am I right in thinking...

Vesper was a baddy all along, working for the unnamed organisation that Le Chiffre, the eye patch guy & the man at the end were all also working for, or was she only working for them as her boyfriend had been kidnapped (something M said) & if so at what stage did she start working for them?

Last edited by xtraterrestrial (17th Nov 2006 16:08)

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

I will keep this very brief. It was a good movie - but I only have three REAL qualms...

1. Craig did a good job as 007, but he was missing a true suave air about him.  Granted they may have been going for that, yet it takes away from some of the character we know as 007. 

2. The whole continuity thing was a real bummer. I'm a big fan of it - and this series is confusing enough at times, with many random looose connections, but having Judi Dench as M, how he wins the Aston Martin, etc. It leaves me with a sour taste. 

3. Lastly, to me, it seems like the romance between Bond and Vesper was a bit forced and sudden.  Maybe that's just my view - but their "love" sort of just happens without a real cataylist, etc... or anything that would make him love her besides her being beautiful. 

other than that - everything else was stellar. It was a very good movie, with some great lines and scenes.  006/007

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

Great review, Thomas Crown.

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

Well, I've just seen Casino Royale and am certainly impressed. The fact that an Ian Fleming story has been transferred relatively intact onto the screen makes a lovely change. The film managed to surprise me, even though I already knew the plot from the novel and had seen lots of the footage that has been floating around on the net. I also thought that the film was well paced. It had a long running time, but it went along at quite a pace that it didn't feel long at all.

The opening really pulled me in. Seeing Bond kill his first two people in cold blood was something I have imagined for a long time. In fact I was even thinking of writing this as a fan fiction at one point. I was a little disappointed by the gunbarrel sequence though. I knew that it was going to come at the end of the PTS and I quite like the concept, but the actual gunbarrel imagery didn't look very good to me. There just seemed to be too many spirals in the gunbarrel, but worst of all, the blood looked really bad. The normal blood animation that was used in Kleinmann's previous gunbarrels would have been far better.

On to Kleinmann's title sequence - well, I thought it was very good. I think it did everything a good James Bond title sequence should do, while having a very retro feel. The title song was so-so in my opinion.

The Madagascar chase scene was awesome. Sebastian Foucan's freerunning stunts were breathtaking on the big screen, as was the stuff on the cranes. Even though I had already seen much of this stuff on the various 'making of' documentaries, the scene still had impact.

I think good acting really came to the fore in Casino Royale, not just with Daniel Craig, but, even more so with Judi Dench. She was fantastic, by far her best performance as M. Her dialogue was excellent and her delivery of her lines spot on. I was surprised that she actually drew the most laughs from the audience.

While I'm talking actors, the cast on the whole was rather good. Eva Green was top notch as Vesper, as was Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre. I was very happy to finally see Mathis realised on screen, and I enjoyed Giancarlo Gianinni's performance. The only member of the cast who I felt a little let down by was Jeffrey Wright's Felix Leiter. Probably my least favourite Leiter performance, although Norman Burton wasn't great either in DAF.

The card game worked quite well I think, although I didn't really like the way it was broken up so. But the game had all the atmosphere and tension as the Baccarat game in the original novel, the only trouble though is I don't know poker very well, and had difficulty working out what was a good hand and what wasn't. The only scene in the film which didn't really ring true with me was the scene were Bond's drink is spiked and he uses the defibrilator in the DBS. The reason it didn't convince me was this: What the hell was a defibrilator doing in the Aston Martin. It just seemed a little too conveniant and I can't imagine that that sort of contingency would have been considered when equipping the car.

The torture scene was well realized, although Bond's defiant humour caught me a little off guard. And also, if I didn't know the story already I might have had difficulty following what was going on after Le Chiffre's 'blink and you'll miss it' death.

The relationship between Vesper and Bond was well handled by Martin Campbell, and the scenes between the two of them after the torture didn't drag as much as I expected them to.

Now, the score - I listened to the soundtrack before watching the film, so knew what to expect, and I thought it was good, except that the action music sounded too much like generic action music and lacked that Bondian touch. Still, I understand the reason for David Arnold's very limited use of the James Bond theme until right at the end. Good to hear the James Bond theme at the end though! Hopefully the score for Bond 22 will go back to the more typical Bondian sound.

Finally, the leading man - Daniel Craig. I was impressed by his performance in all aspects. He actually had more witty dialogue than I had expected and his delivery was very good. He is certainly a classy actor, and has plenty of potential as Bond. It is very difficult to compare him to previous Bonds, so I won't try to. He is very different, but his performance was very convincing. Long may he continue to play Bond!

So - Ian Fleming's James Bond has returned, and I think this film deserves to do very well. My congratulations to Martin Campbell, as well as Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. I think that if Cubby Broccoli and Ian Fleming were still with us they would both be very proud. The series has been revitalized and I can see it continuing to be succesful for the foreseeable future - something I wasn't so sure about a year ago. I think I can rest assured that our James is in good hands. Kudos to all involved.

Last edited by Golrush007 (18th Nov 2006 00:23)

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

Casino Royale is a 0010

There are Bond films and there are Bond films.

"Casino Royale" is a Bond film.

I know, I know -- so it's not nearly long enough. What's the matter, Eon? Never heard of an intermission? Trying to save a few lousy bucks on the budget? But the truth is even if the movie had begun with Bond on the train to Montenegro, I still would have loved it.

But that's all for now. I'll do my complete review later. Right now, I've gotta get to the gym and work that torso. I figure since Craig's detractors say he looks 50, and I actually AM 50, I got a shot of looking that good. ajb007/biggrin
Later

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

"Daniel Craig is the second coming!!!"*

...Sorry.  Couldn't resist  ajb007/shifty  Of all the many quotes mis-attributed to the long-suffering Give Craig A Chance community, this has always been my favourite---and, as near as I can tell, it's never actually been said by one of us...until now.  Glad I could be the first  ajb007/cool

Just got back from the cinema---saw it with my two sons and a life-long friend (after downing the requisite vodka martini in a long-standing pre-movie ritual)...

All right.  I'll leave the obviously tongue-in-cheek hyperbole aside (see above*), and start at the beginning:  My expectations.  As many here already know, I went into this screening with my hopes at a dangerously high level, having absorbed virtually every spoiler and CR-related tidbit my slow-ass, dial-up internet connection could retrieve:  I read the script (thanks, You Know Who!  ajb007/wink  ), saw every clip, read every article, listened to the music, etc., etc., etc.  I daresay I've never had more exposure to any film prior to its actual release.

Did Casino Royale and its star, one Daniel Craig---a.k.a. The Reviled Mr. Craig, Poor Danny, The New Guy, et al.---survive my expectations?

Well...yes, actually. 

I'm going to see it once or twice more this weekend, in order to better solidify my impression, but IMRO the franchise is in excellent health at this point.  Whomever first noted the metaphor of Bond (the character, and the franchise) getting a much-needed defibrillator-shock deserves great credit.  Many (if not most) of those who thought the franchise was doing just fine as it was, thank you, will likely not enjoy this picture.  Similarly, I predict that those who could not stand the thought of Craig as Bond, over the course of the past year, will not be swayed by what I consider to be a tour de force performance as 007.  That's too bad, and I sympathize.  No Bond pleases everyone.  The good news for those who prefer the same old, same old is that they have 20 films to watch over and over and over again.  For my own part, I can't wait to see where the franchise is going next. 

I was riveted by Craig, whom I think has turned in the best performance of his career.  His scene with Solange and the classic Aston Martin DB5 proves he can indeed be the charming rogue. 

His physicality in the role is hugely impressive, though sadly we don't see as much of it as I would have preferred, due to Martin Campbell's (and Stuart Baird's) editing choices; thank God Terence Young didn't shoot the Red Grant/Orient Express fight the way Campbell shot the stairwell battle in CR.  Not that it didn't work---it did, but I would have preferred to linger a bit more on the struggle between the antagonists without the constant cutting.

I love Eva Green---she's a bit eccentric, true, and one of her front teeth is endearingly crooked compared to the other---but she brings an earthy Continental beauty to the part (which sadly is often obscured by excessive makeup)...and the baleful look she gives Bond, underwater, through the cage bars of the lift is utterly haunting. 

Mikkelson's Le Chiffre is a far cry from what I had envisioned/hoped for, but I must say he was very good.  Dench turns in her best-ever performance as M, Giancarlo Giannini was an excellent Mathis.

Mind you, CR is far from perfect.  The film shares the book's main structural flaw---the romantic 'coda'---but I can't say I minded at all, and the running time wasn't a problem for me.  Some excellent dialogue from the script seems a bit rushed, poorly-timed or otherwise glossed over.  Other bits are missing completely: I particularly bemoan the absence of a line of Bond's from Act 3, when he interrupts the exchange between Vesper and the villains.  In the script, Bond says, "Hello, dear.  Who are your friends?"  Too bad this was excised, IMRO.

I remain convinced that CR is the right strategic move for Eon at this time, and bodes well for the immediate future.  Craig owns the part; he's my second favourite Bond, after the Scotsman, and the movie will likely crack my Top Five Bond films of all time.

I will say this, to all James Bond fans who have never given Ian Fleming's James Bond thrillers a look:  Meet James Bond   ajb007/bond

My rating:  006.75   ajb007/wink

Last edited by Loeffelholz (18th Nov 2006 03:28)

"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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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

Before I read any more reviews to cloud and bias my real thoughts on this movie, I think I will go ahead and quickly post my thoughts.

The very first thing that struck me about this movie was that it was different.  It definitely stands apart from the rest of the films.  Right away, you can tell the film is different because it starts off in black and white, there is no gunbarrel sequence, and the scenes are much more violent and cold.  Finally, the gunbarrel sequence itself is totally different than all the other official films.  I don't know if I like that they did away with the traditional gunbarrel sequence.

I really liked the intro video, especially the beginning portion.  I loved how they used card designs throughout the video.  The computer animated fight scenes were cool, but I wish they still would have used women in the intro.  That is one Bond tradition they stopped that I disagree with.

Daniel Craig plays a great Bond.  I read one critic's review who said that it was if Craig played the role without knowing how the role was played by all those before him.  I think that comment is dead on.  Craig takes a completely different approach to Bond and the only other actor who can even come close to his Bond is Timothy Dalton.  Craig's humor is so different than all the others, however.  While it is still funny and effective, it seems very dry.

I thought the women were great.  Eva Green and Caterina Murino are a breath of fresh air.  Their acting was infinitely better than the acting of Halle Berry, Denise Richards, and Teri Hatcher.  I'm glad they decided to go with some more original actresses than find another already famous movie/TV actress to fill the Bond girl roles.  Eva Green especially did a fantastic job.

The villians were good as well.  I'm glad they didn't try to go too far and put gimmicky villians in this movie (e.g. Zao in DAD with the diamonds in his face - so lame!).

The music was adequate.  I thought David Arnold's best work was in TND because it was so classic John Barry-esque style Bond.  I'm a bit surprised they keep bringing Arnold back to score the films.  There is something about his music that seems boring to me, but I can't put my finger on it.

Overall, I thought this was a great Bond film.  Definitely different than all the rest.  I give it a 006.

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

Greetings All...

Thought I would peruse the decent Bond sites after seeing the movie today.  Bond Films to me are like the Eye of World book series by Robert Jordan... have some favorites, have some that were pretty much fillers and not too much enjoyment, but in the long run, you look forward to being able to see/read the newest one every 2 years or so.

With that being said, I found that I liked Casino Royale while watching it, but also realize that it is such a turn from the ones we have ingrained in us from years past, that it will take another view or two to be able to digest the change and enjoy it more.  While I prefer not to have the same old, same old, this movie was like a shock of cold water, and you spent the next 2 hours watching it with a blanket trying to get dry.

I notice that many here are not as strongly familiar with the card game Texas Hold-Em, but I was able to guess what Bond had in his hole-cards after the first two players showed their hands.  The scene was 95% directly out of the ending sequence from Steve McQueens Cinicinnatti Kid where in that movie... they played 5-card stud and McQueen lost to E.G. Robinson full-house to a straight flush.

Im not going to belabor the scenes everyone has mentioned for 3 pages of threads, but I will add some of the feelings I got from this movie.  It seemed like a 21st century Murder on the Orient Express or an Agatha Chrsitie Hercule Perot made-for television setting.  The scenes in the background were well thought out and slower, then BURST the action on you to climax the rest of it.  For the first time in a long time, there was real pains taken to ACTING versus Modeling... and DC appears as the next in a line of Shakespearean Actors that can do both action and drama very well (Patrick Steward, Hugh Jackman).

James Bond to me in reading the books has always been a Rogue type character, with his allegiance to the good, but his methods to whatever he felt like.  As opposed to Roger Moore who always tried to 'smart alec' his way out of criticism, Timothy Dalton who played the martyr role like he had a depressive death-wish, and P Brosnan who was too rigid to be Bond, this really takes you outside the paradygm, and I feel is necessary with everyone making cookie-cutter action movies (how many more jackie chan flicks can we endure).

I look forward to the next concept, and REALLY enjoyed the Bond franchise staking plots into viable Conspiracy Theories (9-11 stock market windfall) since he is fiction after all, and would like to see more plots based on these because although fiction... they add a hint of truth to things people have heard of and tickle in their minds.

Jack Lord - the original Felix Liter

Some Men dont like to be driven...
Some men dont like to be taken for a ride.

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

for me, the movie overall was a 005/007.

I'll begin with the things that irked me.
1. The gunbarell sequence. no. it was not a proper one, and most of the people in the theater shared my thoughts, and expressed this with a very loud groan. back to basics, EON, please.
2. The casting of Judi Dench. Don't get me wrong here, I love her to bits, but for the sake of continuity, you can't rehire someone to play M in Bond's first romp as a 00 who talked about her predececor in a film that is supposedly following CR.


and now the things I compleatly adored
1. Danny boy's smile/eyes. I never realized how gorgeous they were.
2. The very caring aspect of Bond. Like when Vesper's freaking out after he killed those two men, how he goes and sits with her. Made me go "awww..." ajb007/heart
3. The few one liners. BRILLIANT. plain and simple.
4. the beginning chase outside the embasy. wonderfully filmed. The man Bond was chasing reminded me very much of my friend Nick, who climbs like that on a regular basis. I laughed at Bond's shirt though.
5. Aston Martin DB5. LOOOVE that car. The guys behind me were whispering about it when the car was first shown. They said "and every MAN in here lets out a sigh of longing". To this, I turned around and went "just the men? no, you're terribly mistaken" and they felt very awkward. ajb007/lol
6. The torture sequnce. and no, not because he's nude ajb007/lol. I love well built torture scenes. I'm a sucker for things like that, and I have to blame my Film Literature teach. for it. The genuine hurt in Dan's eyes made it all the more enjoyable because I felt like I wanted to protect him. good show, Danny Boy.

I shall go see it again this week (as I have the entire week off) and try to pick out more.

Great Movie. oh, and the Delivery of the last line was AMAZING. Give Danny one more try at it, and he'll be absolutly PERFECT in my eyes. He did try his best, and I give him some serious style points for that.


~Pen ajb007/martini

Hey! Observer! You trying to get yourself Killed?

mountainburdphotography.wordpress.com

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

This being my first post in months, it been well worth the wait.  I just got back from seeing it, and though I was a little disappointed that the theater was probably 70% unfilled, my fellow fans and I filled it with the enthusiasm.

You've all read the previous reviews about the film, so I wont bother posting another review.  I just have to say that I thought it was fantastic.  It's the one we've been waiting for for so long, and the lead man is the right man, as it's now safe to say.  The pre-title sequence, title sequence, banter between Bond and Vesper, and the "its about time" realistic gadgets, along with a number of other things have made it a classic in this little heart of mine.

Last edited by one night stand (18th Nov 2006 04:26)

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

You've been waiting for it. . .you want it. . .and here it is--

The Hardyboy Review! ajb007/biggrin

Wow.  Where should I begin?  I saw the film several hours ago, and I'm still thinking about it, still savoring the scenes and the dialogue, still re-experiencing the emotional rollercoaster that was and is Casino Royale.  I've said this about a few Bond films made since 1969, but I am convinced that Casino Royale is, hands down, the best Bond movie since On Her Majesty's Secret Service.  It's simply that good.

The first thing that sent a tingle up my spine was reading in the opening titles, "Based on the novel by Ian Fleming."  Only one other movie has carries that designation--Dr. No--and since then it's been more or less assumed that something in the film is derived from Fleming, if only the character of James Bond.  But this really and truly is Fleming's story, albeit with a "first act" that isn't to be found in the novel, but which fleshes out the background to the casino duel, and with the bad guys changed from Soviets to terrorists.  I'm not entirely sure the latter change entirely works, since in Fleming's world the entire threat in the Soviets wasn't that they were violent, but that they sought to take over the world and change people's ways of thinking.  I also think there's something a little politically correct about the CR terrorists--Ugandans and white Europeans.  So I guess we're to assume Le Chiffre isn't laundering Osama's money.  But that's a small complaint--I accepted this as an updating of Fleming's story, with cashier's cheque replaced by a computer password, with chemin de fer replaced by poker, minus straw-hatted bombers and a man with a gun hidden in his cane, but with the story fundamentally intact.

I was surprised by how quickly I accepted Daniel Craig as Bond.  I was originally skeptical, and I was also someone who at first swore he'd boycott the film.  I began to soften toward Craig when the anti-DC movement turned into a fatwah, and especially after a lot of good things about the film began to seep out.  I certainly owe Craig an apology--and I hereby do apologise to Daniel Craig--for ever doubting that he had the stuff.  He's incredible.  From the start of the film, he establishes Bond as an unstoppable physical force--I really could believe that he could keep pace with a Spider-Man-like bomber in Madagascar, and that he had the fortitude to apply a defibulator to himself before his heart literally stops.  It's now become a cliche that Craig is the "gritty" Bond, but I think that's a misnomer--he's actually the determined Bond, and it's his determination that gives Craig's performance such force.

Ah, but Craig isn't just physical.  One thing that's been undersold about his Bond is that Craig is actually funny.  No, he isn't a quipster, but he has a sarcastic sense of humor that lightens what could otherwise be a dour film.  One of my favorite scenes in the film comes when an arrogant rich man mistakes Bond for a valet and flips him the keys.  Bond nonchalantly drives the man's car into the lot, then plows it into a parked car and tosses aside the keys.  It's meant to cause a distraction, but the moment nicely captures the "up yours" attitude that Craig brings to the role.

I was afraid that the "Bond Begins" concept would result in a lot of navel-gazing, a lot of exploring of Bond's psychological traumas, so I was happy to see these things were limited to a couple of comments from Vesper about Bond being an orphan who never fit in at public school.  The producers, writers, Martin Campbell, and everyone else wisely kept us from seeing what, exactly, it is that makes Bond tick.  From the start of the film he's already a skilled and deadly fighter, he's already an excellent card player, and he seems to come up with his famous martini at the spur of the moment.  Craig's Bond is an enigma, and that is what Bond should be.  (But, really, did we need to hear the first strains of the James Bond Theme when 007 looks at himself in a tux for the first time?)

But, of course, it's widely known that Bond falls in love with, and loses, Vesper.  I honestly didn't think the love story sizzled as much as it should have, but I did think that Craig and Eva Green were very good together.  I could believe that Bond did love her, and I think that the dramatization of Vesper's suicide--locking herself in the sinking elevator while Bond tries to free her--is far more powerful than Fleming's scene where Bond simply discovers Vesper's body.  I believed Craig's pain, and I believed he was capable of sucking it all in, as he does in the movie.

Eva Green is very good as Vesper, and all those guys who think she isn't attractive should get their heads examined.  If you don't think Eva Green in that slinky black gown is the sexiest woman on the planet, you should contact a mortician because you're dead.  But Green isn't just eye candy--she displays emotional vulnerability, haughtiness, and psychological imbalance.  It's a real performance.

Mads Mikkelsen is also fine as Le Chiffre, though he's one of the more human of the Bond villains.  (Perhaps his comment that his weeping blood is just a problem with the tear duct and "nothing sinister" could stand for the character himself.)  I actually felt sorry for the Number when the Ugandans roughed him up in the hotel room; even the fact Le Chiffre doesn't protest as his girlfriend is about to get her hand lopped off--something that's supposed to show us how unemotional Le Chiffre is--didn't keep me from feeling for him in this awful situation.  Still, I found Le Chiffre to be a good adversary, and Mikkelsen is downright menacing in the now-famous torture scene.

Other elements: for a film that's nearly two and a half hours long, CR moves at a rapid-fire pace.  I never once felt bored, and--unlike in the last few films--there wasn't a time when I felt like a scene was in the movie just because the producers thought it would be cool to have it in the movie.  The action scenes are downright incredible: the chase through the Madagascar construction site had me literally clutching my seat--this is the kind of stuff that usually ends a Bond film, not starts it.  And even though the action scenes are fantastic, they aren't fantastical--you never lose sight of the fact that Bond is working off of strength and adrenaline, and that at any time he could die.  He certainly bleeds more in this film than he did in all of the previous twenty!

I also think this is the most visually attractive Bond film since The Living Daylights.  In the past five films, the locations were largely dull and uninspiring--did anyone really believe that Iceland WAS Iceland in DAD (even though it was)?--but CR returns us to the exotic, showing Montenegro as a near-fairytale village (in which terrible things happen), and putting us into a chic casino and treating us to Venice in both its beauty and decay.  Daniel Kleinman's title sequence is probably his best work; though--aside from a rather cheesy reveal of Vesper's face as the Queen of Hearts--there ain't no women in it!  C'mon, Danny, would ONE hot bod have killed you?

So, what didn't work for Yours-Never-So-Humbly?  The one thing I found completely disappointing was Jeffrey Wright's Felix Leiter.  Some people griped about a black Leiter; this didn't bother me at all, but I was bothered by his role in the film being minimized.  He and Bond barely interact, and there's no indication that any kind of a friendship will develop.  Sure, Felix bails Bond out during the card game, as he does in the novel; but Felix acts out of self-interest, and even demands the CIA be given the right to take Le Chiffre into custody in exchange for the money.  To some degree, I was also annoyed by what happens to Mathis in the film.  I enjoyed his portrayal as a kind of "Mr. Fix-It," but I was stunned by Bond telling M to keep "sweating" Mathis because he could still be an enemy agent.  "You don't trust anyone," M says.  Wait a minute--Mathis is the first of the good-hearted avuncular Bond alllies; he'll even return in FRWL and save Bond's life!  I find it hard to believe Bond would so coldly turn his back on Mathis.

I also could have lived quite well without all the product placements.  Granted, placements have been a part of the Bond movies since Dr. No--and Fleming dropped quite a few into the novels--and CR doesn't reach the depths of Moonraker in terms of blatant plugs; but, still, in CR you can't get away from all the Sony Ericcson phones, handheld devices, laptops, etc.  There's even a cringe-worthy dialogue exchange where Vesper compliments Bond's watch.  "Rolex?"  "Omega."  Jeeze--I halfway expected Bond to say that an Omega Seamaster makes the perfect Christmas gift!

But these complaints are relatively minor.  Casino Royale is the Bond film I've been waiting decades to see--exciting, well-acted, true to its Fleming roots, funny, sexy, and thoroughly effective.  Again, my apologies to Daniel Craig for doubting him, and my hat's off to him for a fantastic performance.  Kudos, Mickey and Babs--and forgive me for doubting you as well.  Great job, Purvis, Wade, and Haggis, on the script.  And applause to Martin Campbell for what has to be his best job as a director.  Casino Royale is a film to warm a Bond fan's heart.  Somewhere up there, Ian Fleming is smiling.

My score:  006.5

Vox clamantis in deserto

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

I remember wondering after seeing DAD which I thoroughly enjoyed (yeah, yeah, get it out of your system now) how Bond 21 could possibly top it. The action sequences were huge. The references to the book and movie franchise were sly and plentiful. Brosnan was in top form—tough when he needed to be, suave when he needed to be, and always having fun in the role. DAD simply took all the things we expect in a Bond film and gave them to us, and if it was mechanical and formulaic, well, when have the Bond movies been anything but? We know he’s going to win. We know he’s going to get the girl. We know the world will be saved. Without being able to provide spontaneity or unpredictability, what could the Bond franchise offer but the usual? And DAD had given us the usual in such spectacular fashion. What could Bond 21 do?

The answer to that question, I’ve come to learn, is to burn the last 44 years to the ground and start over again. And that was the best decision of all. The thought I had most often as I watched the film was, “This is like no Bond movie ever before.” It was as if someone decided that perhaps the franchise should be designed for adults and not 14 year-old boys. Perhaps all this derring do should be put in realistic context. Perhaps characters should be fleshed out, three-dimensional beings and not mere shorthand. Perhaps the stakes shouldn’t be an abstract cliché like world domination, but something personal and wrenching. Perhaps we make a real movie and not a cartoon.

And so they did.

Beginning with a seemingly insane choice to play Bond—an ugly, brutish actor with nary a lick of savior fare—the producers created a new world of 007. It’s tempting to say that the new film is more rooted in reality than its predecessors, but this is damning it with faint praise. DAD threw in references to conflict diamonds and North Korea’s dictatorial growing pains, but they never really showed us child soldiers in Sierra Leone or families eating boiled grass. CR, on the other hand, plunges us into reality—hard. The opening sequence in Madagascar begins in a squalid backalley where a crowd is betting on a fight between a cobra and a mongoose. The embassy Bond chases his suspect into has just the right look of post-colonial rot. Venice comes alive not as the backlot/postcard it was in Moonraker, but as the weathered, old European city it is. Each new location is set apart by scenes so gloriously immersive you can practically smell the sea and feel the humidity.

If the plot of CR seems on paper like small stakes compared to previous Bond films, it’s only because the film chooses to be a pressure-cooker rather than an extravaganza, and this is a wise choice. By concentrating on the intimate rather than the epic, the film is gripping, immediate, and affecting. It’s a throwback to genuine espionage stories in which lone operatives with few assets risk their lives to complete nebulous missions, which were often small tiles in a larger, unknowable mosaic. The most chilling scene in the film is when LeChiffre explains to a lashed and tortured Bond that even after he murders him, England will still give him amnesty for his information. Previous Bond films have tried to muster some tension from the idea that Bond is an expendable resource of Her Majesty’s government, but this is the most subversive and genre-shattering version of that truism; The bad guy in the grand scheme of things, is more valuable than the good guy.

Finally, there is Craig himself. If every actor to play Bond has had to grapple with the ghost of Connery—the man who invented the role—then Craig certainly grapples the least. Not because he’s the most like Connery, but because he doesn’t seem to care. Craig steps into the role like a brawler, wired on adrenaline and violence, and promptly makes the character his own. He is not Connery’s suave man-of-action, nor Brosnon’s metrosexual commando. He’s also not Lazenby’s pantomime, Dalton’s dour functionary, or Moore’s twit. Craig is, exactly as M describes him: a blunt object. He’s a vicious tool of the government—probably SAS or the like—now competing in a whole different arena. He trusts himself to dispense violence and defend himself in those scenarios, but is still honing his instincts and wrestling with his ego. It’s this process, his learning the game, that leads him to make mistakes, overestimate his own abilities, and get himself and the people around him hurt. Bond is, as Craig plays him, a genuine, multifaceted character. After 44 years of watching the Bond character in his various incarnations cruise through stories with all the inexorability and predictability of a Disneyland train, it’s a revelation to see him reincarnated as a struggling, doubting person. Craig isn’t a pretty boy, but he has the raw charisma that invariably exposes the superficiality of matinee idol good looks (to illustrate this point, put Craig beside Jude Law--whose name was once tossed around as a potential 007). Craig has re-written the Bond rule book in his portrayal of the character. The conventional wisdom used to be that the biggest prerequisite of a Bond was the ability to be comfortable in a tuxedo. Craig tosses that out the window, choosing instead to play up the physicality of the character. Who needs to be comfortable in a tuxedo when you can be comfortable in your own skin? He plays several scenes in the aftermath of a violent encounter with his face prominently scarred, and yet on him, they look natural and somehow inevitable. With his piercing blue eyes and raw predatory instincts he dominates every scene he appears in.

CR has been referred to as a “reboot,” but it’s probably more accurate to say it’s a re-imagining. And now is as good a time as any to look back on that period just prior to the Brosnan era, when all sorts of ideas were thrown around to “fix” the creaky old formula. Some Hollywood flaks suggested that Wesley Snipes play a black James Bond, or Rupert Everett play a gay James Bond. In her heyday, it was suggested Sharon Stone play “Jane Bond.” Some suggested a retro-style movie taking place in the early 1960s. Sean Connery suggested that Quentin Tarentino be let loose on the franchise. In the end what it took was a willingness to break the rules and regard the word “formula” as a curse.

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

I watched it again tonight, and in a much more chipper physical and mental state than I was in at the Midnight showing Thursday night. I've come to conclusion in this time that is going to offend a lot of people, I'm sure, but here it is:

1) Casino Royale is the best Bond movie ever. I still think they could have gone in a different direction than they did with the Title Sequence, and I think that the love story should have been developed more (although I agree with someone above who said that it is easily believable that Bond did love Vesper, although I'm not quite sure about the other way around), but other than that, everything just fit together perfectly, from my vantage point. Quite honestly, I would even say that the film is better than the novel, as it adds a great twist to the plot in providing a much more interesting motive for Le Chiffre to participate in the tournament.

2) Daniel Craig is the best Bond, and the closest in spirit (excluding the blonde hair) to Fleming's Bond. The appearance is debatable (I would say that he does fit within the purview of the propoer appearance for Bond, but there is evidence both ways in the text), but his performance oozes Fleming. He hits on the range extremely well, and he pulls off enough humor to please the crowd. 

These are, of course, just my opinions. I could further elaborate, but it's 2 AM.

Last edited by Klaus Hergescheimer (18th Nov 2006 19:04)

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

highhopes wrote:

Casino Royale is a 0010

There are Bond films and there are Bond films.

"Casino Royale" is a Bond film.

I know, I know -- so it's not nearly long enough. What's the matter, Eon? Never heard of an intermission? Trying to save a few lousy bucks on the budget? But the truth is even if the movie had begun with Bond on the train to Montenegro, I still would have loved it.

But that's all for now. I'll do my complete review later. Right now, I've gotta get to the gym and work that torso. I figure since Craig's detractors say he looks 50, and I actually AM 50, I got a shot of looking that good. ajb007/biggrin
Later


I'm back.

Well, after Loeff,Hardyboy and cdscss, I find I don't have much to add. So I'll just make a few observations instead:

There is nothing -- and I mean nothing -- about this movie that I didn't like. I went in with high expectations and CR exceeded them.  I even liked the theme song, and my taste in music ended somewhere in mid-1973 -- I thought the "You Know My Name" motif worked well blended into the action sequences' score.

The action sequences, as most of us know, are extraordinary, and as Hardy pointed out, an effective setup for the card game (Sebastian Foucan may be the most amazing athlete I've ever seen). Some have complained that the beginning of the film was top-heavy with action, and indeed it is. But in CR, unlike so many action films, the set pieces serve the story, rather than the other way around. Very refreshing. Not that the second half is dull by any means. As I said earlier, had the film started with Bond on the train (I love trains; all Bond films should have a train sequence), I still would have loved the movie. The poisoning was completely unexpected. I had heard about the defillibrator and was wondering where it fit in. By the time that scene ended, I could have used one myself.

From some of the reviews, even the good ones, I was expecting an interminable card game, but that just wasn't the case. Every hand did something to move the story along. I was also never confused by the plot.

Eva Green was terrific. In some ways, I think, she had the most difficult role in the movie. Smart, but fragile and acutely aware of being in way over her head. She had a way of projecting a subtle tentativeness or nervousness (she is, after all, betraying two men she cares about), without telegraphing the reasons for it. In other words, she was just like Fleming's Vesper, rather than your run-of-the-mill Bond girl. Now I don't know if CR is the first time Bond cried (I think he may have in OHMSS), but CR is the first Bond movie that left me little teary-eyed (in an extremely masculine way, I hasten to add). I was really moved by the love story.

Madds Mikkelson's Le Chiffre was marvelously creepy. You could feel his panic as he's being squeezed by both MI6 and the terrorists he double-crossed. I think he was one of the great Bond villains. It just goes to show that you don't have to be planning to take over the world to be a worthy adversary for Bond.

As for Craig, he's deserves all the praise he's received for his performance. This is the first time I've seen Bond played as a character, rather than as a character (as in, "that James Bond sure is a character") and he does it brilliantly. His Bond is rough, vulnerable, with a taste for luxury (I loved the way he admired his perfectly cut dinner jacket in the mirror -- you could tell he was in his element) and more than able to turn on the charm when he needs to. In fact, it may be his best weapon. He is also, as someone else pointed out, funny. I'd say Craig has turned those lemons his detractors said he was sucking into a great big pitcher of lemonade. Better than Connery? No -- he created the role. As good? Absolutely, without a doubt. And definitely head and shoulders above the other four. There used to be four indispensable Bond films on my list: DN, FRWL, GF and TB. There are now five. I'm hoping for at least two more.

Last edited by highhopes (18th Nov 2006 08:49)

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

Hi Guys, I wrote up this spoiler and submitted it to moviemuckers.com, and they published it!  Since they are my own words, I'd like to share them with you here. 

Please let me know if my spoiler is inaccurate. I do get lazy and glance over some deets.

Yeah, let's keep the replies coming.  This is a cool thread.

--



James Bond 007 - Casino Royale

The Modern Bond is actually the original Bond. And Bond DOES break a sweat. Go Figure!

Review and spoiler combined:

Here is the ultimate spoiler – This movie is a remake!  Casino Royale is actually a remake of the 1967 film.
A picture of the original 1967 movie poster for Casino Royale

Really good Quote from M - “Any thug can kill... I want you to take your ego out of the equation”

Note: I apologize for the lengthy review/spoiler you are about to read. The MovieMucker team has graciously let me, a newbie reviewer, write up my thoughts on this flick. My writing is very first-person and I am frank with my observations. Here it goes…

The opening credits song and animations were really nice and well done. Great work. I will NOT say anything about the opening credit part because that is too well done for words to describe.

James isn’t covert at all – on the contrary he’s a very “public” and noticeable MI6 agent in this mission. The story starts off explaining that Bond has recently been promoted to 007 status, and fumbles throughout the mission to learn from his mistakes. You won’t find the Brosnan touch — womanizing and suave. Please expect to bare watching an unrefined, almost rude, and undesirable Bond this time round.

Bond is hot on the tail of a punk pipe-bomber. This takes place in Uganda, where the setting shows very primitive scenes of commoners surrounding a live animal fighting pit. Very soon into it, the movie the pipe-bomber gets wise to the Bond scoping him and makes a run for it. The pursuit is on, and boy it was amazing! Here you see James Bond in full physical form as he chases after bomber. Wherever James stumbles to catch him, he uses wit and agility to compensate. Amazing scenes of them fighting, dodging and running in-around-over-under a live construction site.

An amazing chase.

The mission unfolds for the audience, and it turns out that Uganda is the spot of a big investment deal between a crooked militant and a terrorist banker, named Le Chiffre. Bond learns to follow this money and to presume it has something to do with bombs.

Bond’s gears are churning and is quick to chase the money trail. He is able to track down the bad guy’s locations quite easily with the use of cell phone text messages and satellite “triangulation” pinpointing (how low-tech for this day and age!). (Forget the guns, the jet propelled backpacks or super flubber jumpy shoes — throughout the movie, expect Bond’s technological life-preserve to be Sony Ericson cell phones.)

The cell phones lead to Le Chiffre cohorts, which then reveal his ultra simple plan to us. Le Chiffre simply makes money for terrorists by investing in companies which he plans to destroy. He shorts airline stocks knowing that his pals would bring the planes down.


Aside: Although this doesn’t sound very original.. or even appropriate given of the recent events of 911, you don’t really think about how over-done this subplot is. The movie moves along quite well.

Another aside: This plot isn’t a very world-dominating, destroy the earth kinda plot. I was expecting it to be that, cuz all the others were such.

The systematic and analytic Bond wises up to the plan and beats up a bad guy and prevents a super huge prototype plane from blowing up. As a result, the airline’s stock doesn’t plummet as Le Chiffre expected and so he loses $105 million bucks.

Le Chiffre is in a pickle. So what does he do? Of course! Hosts a poker tournament where the pot is $105 million. At this point, we realize that le Chiffre isn’t a mega evil guy – we see that he’s very vulnerable, which is disappointing. We all expect Bond’s nemesis to be invicible and super hard to kill. But now, the armour is stripped off of Le Chiffre and we find out that he just wants to make money so his investors won’t beat him up. Sketch.

We are the audience of an hour-long poker tournament place which Bond plays and plays and plays. It was so long in fact, that the directors even wrote into the movie 3 intermissions for the poker players. And yes we have to watch Bond leave the table at all 3 intermissions and change clothes and take even take a cold shower! He eventually wins the $105 million pot, making Le Chiffre vulnerable again. His investors come at him with guns and meat clevers.

In the last half hour, Le Chiffre is out of the picture and a new subplot is introduced. Bond’s hot female banker woo his over and convinces him to leave the MI6 agency. Lovey dovey magic happens for about 10 minutes, where we are expected to empathize for Bond and understand why he’s so inadequate with love making and why he isn’t as good looking and suave as Pierce Brosnan or Sean Connery. After Bond is all softened up and we’re supposed to love him, the banker betrays him and steals the money so that that she can trade it spare the life of her boyfriend. Yes, another sub-sub-plot that turns into the real mission.

James is super mad and is on a rampage. He kicks butt and goes after the money. The banker gives the money to a Mr. White, and James tracks him down and shoots his leg and then asks Mr. White what’s going on. The end.

Afterthoughts:

This movie isn’t 007 quality – it is an Modern Urban Rambo.

You will like it if you like lots of realism in your Bond. You will hate it if you want him to be a Superman gigolo. He is man enough to drive a Ford. That’s his M.O. - practical, not flashy, and efficient. I think the director purposely made him drive that as visual reinforcement that this isn’t your typical Bond!

There are a lot of nuances that the director puts in but downplays them all, not giving any honourable mention. But they are so important to capture the gist and approach of this spy flick. He drives a fuel efficient car and not a roadster. He uses a big gun because little guns don’t work as well. He punches with his fist and not let a robot do his dirty work. He eats and sleeps and needs rest. He doesn’t have time to comb his hair. He will not be a very good next door neighbour. Did you pick up on these as well?

I understand that Casino Royale is the first mission for Bond, so we should see a very unrefined Bond. But this movie does not portray him in any redeeming sympathetic light which makes me want to root for him. He substitutes cleverness with physical stamina, and witty dialogue with arrogant remarks. Plus he doesn’t have any cool gadgets, which makes things less interesting for us guys, and the car he drives is barely shown and is only driven for 15 seconds. There is a great blog writeup of his lack of gadgets at engadget.com  You can see this as a bad thing. OR you can see this Bond being the bravest Bond of all — breaking the tiring cliche of an obedient spy who loves working for a mean and behind the times employer, M.

The love scene was forced and awkward. No girl should fall for him. Bond seems to be the pursuer, which isn’t that cool.

It’s definitely a different aspect. The previous James Bond’s had a tried and true formula — smile, never sweat while fighting, always keep your face pretty, drive faster and change the gears a lot, and promote drinking, and spread that contagious aphrodisiac to the hottest women around you. But this Bond doesn’t use any of that formula. This Bond formula is work hard, use normal human tools to do your job, don’t be afraid of showing that 007s can indeed bleed, don’t ever show emotion, sex isn’t THAT important, and look disgruntled and mean after being shot at and punched and kicked and mamed. Hmm… do you want your Bond to be served up as Superman or regular-man? Up to you.

I have to say…it’s a little upsetting to not be able to see any close-ups of his Aston Martin.

Reading through a lot of IMDB posts, some of you like how raw and hard-edged this Bond is. True enough, this guy is impervious to rain sleet or snow… and also machetes, trains, gasoline tankers, pipe bombs and torture whips. But you know… you won’t see a Bond who looks dashing doing all those things.

And another thing.. how did this guy graduate from spy school? He makes himself widely broadcasted on the Internet, and makes gigantic cookie crumbs all over the globe.

50% of you will disagree with me and 50% will say I’m spot on with my evaluation. There is no winning for me, no matter how I spin Casino Royale. Up to you. Go watch it for the nice scenery, but don’t watch it and expect to idolize or woo over this dude.

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

Hi Guys.  I'm sorry... may have mistaken the topic to mean to paste our spoilers too.  I didn't know that you wanted just reviews. 

Sorry ajb007/frown

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

Excellent.

Daniel Craig was simply amazing. He might not be the typical Bond that we've come to expect, but he was perfect. I rather liked Hardyboy's assertion that he is the determined Bond. This is evident from the get go as he shoots up a foreign embassy in order to get his man. Moreover, he's a clever Bond. He certainly out smarted his second kill by unloading his gun before he arrived. This scene reminded me of the scene with Professor Dent in Dr. No with the famous line, "That's a Smith and Wesson, and you've had your six." After we left the movie, I said, "Daniel Craig was great. He actually looked like he'd kill you."

Le Chiffre was fantastic. He was terribly creepy, yet so powerless. It was shocking to see him getting roughed up by the terrorists. Never has a Bond villain been put in such a vulnerable state by someone other than James Bond himself. Mads Mikkelson was perfect for the role.

Vesper was played very nicely by Eva Green. She's a stunning woman with actual acting ability. I'm glad that "Bond's equal" aren't words that can be used to describe her. Still, she manages to save Bond's life and helps him out during the staircase quarrel (and how desperate did she look as she was trying to get the gun out of the guy's hands?). I really enjoyed the shower scene. It makes you realize that Vesper is, more or less, a regular person. She's definitely not used to seeing men get killed.

M was great this time around. Continuity aside, dench was perfect for the role. She was able to offer her coldness toward Bond while often giving a glimpse into the bit of affection she has for him underneath.

Anyhow, Casino Royale is certainly a shock, but a shock that was needed to keep Bond's heart going. I haven't "ranked" the film yet, but I don't know how it could end up outside of the top five.

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

Something I wanted to add here... and will be the talk between Bond fans for the next 2 years or so, until the next one comes out.

What we are seeing here... is the difference between what sells in movies, and what is created from a novel.  One of the things that make LotR so good was the mix of special effects, but primarily, the fact that it stayed on course with the books by Tolkein... and for LotR enthusiasts, that was the crucial part.  Many of us who LOVED the book by L Ron Hubbard, Battlefield Earth were BEYOND disappointed in the movie... because the movie concept should have stretched like LotR, over 3 films to capture its entire essence and plot.

In todays world, people complain about the length... because of two things... alot of newer generations do not like to sit for more than 2 hours, and many in the newer generation prefer not to take the time to THINK in a movie... to absorb all the plots and sub-plots... they just want to move from one glorious action scene to another.

Casino Royale is a MOVIE... and its intention was to be a MOVIE that mirrored the original book as much as possible.  I would say that 40-60% of Bond fans were fans because of gadgetry and action, not because of the sphere of what Bond surmised.  James Bond was a character in a world that in the books and movies is over-hyped to the real espionage that occurs in life, but is a micro-cosm of the true dangers both villains and agents must endure.  If you dont see vulnerability in both the protaganist and antaganist, you cannot relate to their inhumanity.

This movie is for the true fan of the Ian Flemming world of Bond as it was envisioned.  LotR was a true accounting of the world Tolkein envisioned, and as I mentioned before... it brings a mixture of film legends past (Orient Express/Cincinnatti Kid) with film necessities present (Technology/action).

Jack Lord - the original Felix Liter

Some men dont like to be driven...
Some men dont like to be taken for a ride.

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

Jack Lord wrote:

Something I wanted to add here... and will be the talk between Bond fans for the next 2 years or so, until the next one comes out.

What we are seeing here... is the difference between what sells in movies, and what is created from a novel.  One of the things that make LotR so good was the mix of special effects, but primarily, the fact that it stayed on course with the books by Tolkein... and for LotR enthusiasts, that was the crucial part.  Many of us who LOVED the book by L Ron Hubbard, Battlefield Earth were BEYOND disappointed in the movie... because the movie concept should have stretched like LotR, over 3 films to capture its entire essence and plot.

In todays world, people complain about the length... because of two things... alot of newer generations do not like to sit for more than 2 hours, and many in the newer generation prefer not to take the time to THINK in a movie... to absorb all the plots and sub-plots... they just want to move from one glorious action scene to another.

Casino Royale is a MOVIE... and its intention was to be a MOVIE that mirrored the original book as much as possible.  I would say that 40-60% of Bond fans were fans because of gadgetry and action, not because of the sphere of what Bond surmised.  James Bond was a character in a world that in the books and movies is over-hyped to the real espionage that occurs in life, but is a micro-cosm of the true dangers both villains and agents must endure.  If you dont see vulnerability in both the protaganist and antaganist, you cannot relate to their inhumanity.

This movie is for the true fan of the Ian Flemming world of Bond as it was envisioned.  LotR was a true accounting of the world Tolkein envisioned, and as I mentioned before... it brings a mixture of film legends past (Orient Express/Cincinnatti Kid) with film necessities present (Technology/action).

I agree with everything you say. On the subject of "thinking" at the movies: I was a little bit shocked when I read reviews by professional critics (rave reviews of the film, at that) who said they were disoriented by the first big action sequence (I'm avoiding a spoiler here) because its motivation hadn't been fully explained in advance. Unbelievable. I thought the plot was clear as a bell. I wonder what their review of "Momento" was like? ajb007/lol As for the length issue, I didn't find it long in the least because there was a real story with "real" characters, thanks to the source material, rather than just a series of action sequences strung together at strategic intervals.

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

I must quote Hardy here: "Ah, but Craig isn't just physical. One thing that's been undersold about his Bond is that Craig is actually funny. No, he isn't a quipster, but he has a sarcastic sense of humor that lightens what could otherwise be a dour film. One of my favorite scenes in the film comes when an arrogant rich man mistakes Bond for a valet and flips him the keys. Bond nonchalantly drives the man's car into the lot, then plows it into a parked car and tosses aside the keys. It's meant to cause a distraction, but the moment nicely captures the "up yours" attitude that Craig brings to the role."

EXACTLY. I was nearly dying of laughter when he did that...props, Danny Boy! ajb007/cheers

~Pen ajb007/martini

Hey! Observer! You trying to get yourself Killed?

mountainburdphotography.wordpress.com

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

Absolutely great!!!!!  Daniel Craig's rendition of Bond was sensational and has without a doubt done more to revitalize the series than any other high budget special effects and gadgetry could.

True Bondian fans can finally experience a movie devoid of the so called "formula" that has, for the most part, plagued the series since Goldfinger (Goldfinger, however, was a great movie).  My skepticism of Daniel Craig was dismissed after the first 15 minutes of the film and his selection to carry the Bond mantle seems to have been an inspired one.

For the first time in many-a-decade I look forward for the next release with bated anticipation instead apprehensive dissapointment.

'nuff said

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

Best Bond Movie...Ever.  Terrific stunts, held on to as much of the Novel as a 21st century action movie will let you hold on to and I honestly believe that both Craig and Green fit the rolls perfectly as defined in writing.  There was nothing too over the top in this one (see: anything from 1972-1983)AND it kept you on the edge of your seat as opposed to slouched back thinking of what might be the next pithy line.  I've posted my top 10, like to hear your thoughts.

1) Casino Royale
2) Thunderball
3) Goldeneye
4) Goldfinger
5) OHMSS
6) The Living Daylights
7) From Russia With Love
8) View to a Kill
9) You Only Live Twice
10) Diamonds Are Forever

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

Saw the film openning Night in the states. If I had to score this Bond film I would give it a 006 over all.

THE GOOD:
I have to admit that Crig did very well at his first outing as James Bond. He plays him cold, classy, and funny. There was more hand to hand combat in this one than I can remember in past Bond films.
Eva Green was a good Bond girl. Used her charm to use Bond. I like that about Bond girls even when their good their bad.


The Bad:
This may sound wierd but to much Hand to Hand combat. Part of the James Bond movies is the guns and gadgets. of which there were few. Both Austin Martins were Americanized, the stiring wheel on the left side, I didn't like this one bit. The DB5 maybe but the issued DB9 no way it would have been on the right.
Bond falling in love at first sight, here is a man that trust no one and he is going to fall in love at the first woman who sits next to him on a train.  When how did he say it "Dresses like a man."
Bond not getting any s#$, no way, Bond would have suduced the wife and after he was done would have asked about what her husband dose for a living. Maybe seen a text message on her phone and then called room service.
Texas holdem when did bond start playing trailer park games. Should have stayed with Bacceratt, that is James Bonds game of chance. The book and every book after it that is him game.
The Overall:
Over all it's a restart. Bond is getting his intro. But the next one better be bigger with girls, gadgets, and guns. All the things you look for in a Bond film. I mean I started to miss the witty one liners every time he would kill someone, when he shot the one eyed baddy with the nail gun.

In closing I hope they get better or, dare I say it, I'll be looking forward to M.I. IV.

Bond: You don't think I enjoyed what we did this evening, do you? What I did tonight was for King and country! You don't think it gave me any pleasure, do you?
Fiona: But of course, I forgot your ego, Mr. Bond. James Bond, who only has to make love to a woman and she starts to hear heavenly choirs singing.

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

Casino Royale is the best Bond film since...ever, because it does exactly what Bond has needed to do since DAF: Ditched the formula. No convieniently supplied gadgets. No over-the-top villains. Hell, no "Shaken, not stirred".

Every Bond film since Goldfinger has tried to be FRWL. And that's why CR is so good. It reinvents Bond as a credible character, with actual flaws and weaknesses instead of him being "a kind of joke superman".

Craig is, without a doubt, an excellent Bond. He's serious, but still has that sort of "screw you" defiant attitude most other Bonds had (eg in the torture scene, and when he makes a diversion to get into the club in the Bahamas).

Le Chiffre was, again, good because he didn't try to ape previous greats. That, and it was nice to see a villain who doesn't have a plan involving super-weapons for once.

Theme tune=bleh. Same for the gunbarrel. But, if nothing else, the ending makes this a classic film.

"Bond...James Bond."

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Re: Casino Royale Reviews

It's been a long time since Die Another Day ...

Bond 21 arrives with a fanfair and an air of anticipation. Arguments aplenty have dogged its development, many of which have been down to the choice of the new Bond, Daniel Craig. However, taking the actor out of the equation for a moment, what we have here is a new Bond film. Like the previous 19, all have had something to prove on its predecessor, but perhaps this one has even more.

Let's start with the basics. Sticking as close to Fleming's original story as it is possible to do in the 21st century, we have been given a connoisseurs' Bond film, a Bond film for those who have read all of the literary originals. The film sizzles with tension. It is raw, unkempt, powerful. The script from Purvis and Wade via Paul Haggis is possibly the best since From Russia With Love. No witticism is lazy and every single word pushes the film along, so cleverly has it been penned.

Now, to the first negative. I'm rather upset they have changed the gun barrel format. It was smart and slick with a new twist, but it was still missing something quintessentially Bond. Still, the action the bookends the titles is sexy, smart and a fantastic calling card for a revitalized Bond franchise.

The titles are clever and quite a departure from recent sequences, but - and whether this was conscious or not - they had a kind of Pulp Fiction cool to them. The only weak spot is the theme. While a fine song and quite Bond-like, it seems to be in the wrong spirit of titles, PTS and the subsequent action. It is not as abhorrent as Madge's last effort, but it is still only a B-

Without spoiling the plot for those who haven't seen it yet, it is tight and well drawn. Characterisations are great apart from one and the movement between the action of the fight scenes and the tension of the gaming table is swift and breathtaking.

To my second negative: I'm not sure about Eva Green's portrayal of Vesper. Apart from the fact that she has been dubbed (badly) in certain scenes, I just didn't get why Bond fell for her. It was always going to be a tough role, but I'm afraid she isn't in the top 5 actors on show in this film. Don't get me wrong, she looks stunning throughout and has this wide-eyed innocence, but she just didn't hit the right notes for me.

The above sounds like a major criticism but considering the acting by other cast member's that is nothing to be ashamed of. I would say that this film has some of the best acting since From Russia With Love. Not just from the leads, but many of the ensemble as well.

I don't miss Moneypenny or Q. They will be back I am sure, but neither would have added to the whole. While on the subject of changes, the "reboot" didn't seem to grate with me at all. It was all rather clever again; never did I get the feeling they were rewriting history nor especially relying on the past.

Now, onto the new 007 - he had a tough act to follow and a rough ride to endure, but we have seen a fantastic new Bond take the reins. He might not be a natural contender for the super suave secret agent of the 70s, 80s and 90s, but he had a rawness that very much reminded me of 60s spies (and I'm particularly thinking of Connery's Bond and Caine's Palmer), but with a modern ruthlessness.

We had all been talking about a Bond to follow Mat Damon's Jason Bourne, but Casino Royale has gone one better (if not two or three). Daniel Craig, the writers and Martin Campbell have fashioned a truly modern agent. There is no cold war dinosaur here (and M's line about the cold war was wonderfully aposite), just a brutal blunt instrument for the post 9/11 world. He is cultured but brutal, sophisticated yet vulnerable. He also brings a physicality to the role that I - for one - have been wanting for some time.

There is no hiding behind camp cliches here. Austin Powers would not have a finger hold on this script of film. Reboot, oh yes, but still just recognisably tantilisingly Bond. I could go on ... I could mention the clever way the DB5 was inserted and the wonderful scene that follows. I could mention the quite staggering aerial chase in Madagscar. I could mention the cameos and how one person that last year many would have gladly seen carted off, hamed it up in the film doing the exact same thing.

Go see it for yourselves. I for one cannot wait to go back to my local flicks to see it again ... and I am already looking forward to Bond 22. Refreshed, revitalised (just make sure Purvis and Wade have Haggis look over the script and have a Director as gifted as Campbell direct again - one particular member will be shaking his feline head at this, but I'm afraid that Campbell has done extremely well with this).

Casino Royale. The producers gambled. But the risk has paid off. Handsomely to anyone who calls themself a true Bond fan.


ps And not a hint of CGI ...