Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Latest Bond

Went to see Casino Royale today

first -- VERY good movie
second -- VERY long movie -- 2:45 -- got my money's worth
third -- He still doesn't look like BOND! -- He's not suave enough, he's not sophisticated enough, he's got the wrong color hair, and his eyes are too close together. My wife says he's not pretty enough.

All that said, the story was pretty good, long enough to develop the primary tenets of the book, and gives insight into the origin of the bond character

Of course, the continuity is destroyed.
The movie is set in 2006 ... but James becomes a 00 at the begining of the film...and Judi Dench is already M.

The producers apparently plan on rebooting the franchise ... so maybe we will shortly see a new version of Dr. No or Thunderball (apparently already in planning).

Daniel Craig played Bond fairly well ... he is a good actor. However, he just does not look the way that Roger Moore never looked right and even George Lazenby looked more Bondly (is that a word? ... it is, now.) connery remains the one closet to the look of richard Conte who inspired Casino Royale's cover.

We were missing a few characters that should be in every Bond film, but aside from that, it was a good serious adaptation of the book...modernized, of course, but not overly divergent from the novel.

Amazing to think the Bond franchise has gone on now for 53 years...and the stories can still be interesting and immensely enjoyable.



Gavin said...

I dunno...

I liked the movie (especially the opening which featured Sebastian Foucan showing off free-running -- Google for Parkour or "Jump London"), but there was something missing.

The Time.COM review (which was likely one of only two reviews that were luke-warm) echoed my feelings. See the review here:,9171,1558307,00.html

The phrase that M utters in the first act about Bond being a "blunt instrument" still bothers me, but I think reflects (unfortunately) how I felt about this character. I became worried when in the first half-hour he had spoken maybe three lines, and began to wonder why they hadn't simply put Vin Diesel or some other big "blows stuff up real good" action star in the role.

One review I read (I don't think it was the Time one) noted that not only did this film try hard to break from the previous films, it actually pissed all over them. It's one thing to chart a new path, it's another to disrespect the past and very possibly the viewer who bought tickets to those previous films and still thinks fondly of the. As pointed out in a review, when the bartender asks Bond if he wants his martini "Shaken or stirred?", Bond replies "Do I look like I give a damn?" -- that was when I began to feel like they had gone to far with the emphasis of Bond being a "blunt instrument" -- yes, I want Bond to give a damn about whether his martini is shaken or stirred.

Oh well. I did enjoy the movie, and it was worth the price of the ticket.

But I hope that by the next movie Bond has evolved from being a blunt instrument to something a bit more refined.

And yes, I am a huge Clive Owen fan who still clings to the hope that one day Clive will be Bond...though he is likely already too big a star (and too expensive) to ever do it.

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