Thursday, December 14, 2006

Casino Royale

When I saw Layer Cake, I knew Daniel Craig would be just fine as James Bond. And he is. He doesn't look like the Bond of the books, but that doesn't matter. He pulls off the role, and is utterance of the famous introduction ("My name is Bond, etc.") is a high point of the movie.

Which is far too long. I like the idea of the free-running stunts in the long chase near the beginning, but it all goes on too long, as do several scenes.

The B&W sequence before the main titles is nice, and the titles themselves are great. I don't know who cooked them up, but they really set a tone. The song, on the other hand, pretty much bit the moose.

I liked the harder edge for Bond, and I liked the way the script shows how he's hard but still vulnerable, at least until the final betrayal and its result.

Having read the book more than 45 years ago, I still remember it well. I also recall my favorite line, spoken by Le Chifre in the torture scene: "Kiss it goodbye, Mr. Bond." The line's not in the movie, more's the pity. For that matter, maybe it's not even in the book. After 45 years, I can't be sure. Maybe I just made it up.

When it comes down to it, I'm still a Sean Connery kind of guy, and my favorites Bond movies are still the first three. This one was okay, but not in their league. Check it out, though. It's still worth a look if you're a fan of the series.

3 comments:

  1. There was too much chasing around and it was far too long, but I liked Craig, the villain (who had troubles of his own) the locales and the Bond girl. Nice the way the attempt to poison him was relevant to current world events. I'd put it in the top five. Maybe the top three.

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  2. Anonymous8:25 AM

    I must say, I was pleasantly surprised with Daniel Craig's portrayal of 007. For my money, Craig hits where Connery misses (and I've always leaned toward Connery).

    While I'll agree that Craig doesn't look like the book Bond, I'd have to say he felt like the genuine article. I must be out of touch with the Hollywood crowd, but it surprised me that they left the torture scene in and still ranked a PG-13 rating.

    One other pleasant surprise was Dame Judy's performance. This is the first time since she's taken over the role of M that I really believed.

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  3. Jeff Meyerson6:00 PM

    Saw it today and it was good. The last section after the poker game went on way too long, I thought, but up until then it was as good as any of them.

    And Jackie was very taken with Mr. Craig's blue eyes and pecs, not to mention the nude scene.

    Who says only men are shallow?

    And who was M sleeping with?

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