Friday, November 24, 2006

CASINO ROYALE: Discussion

Man, I haven't seen such a good Bond movie in so long! After the last few, I was starting to give up on the series.... don't get me wrong, I liked Brosnan as Bond... but the stories (aside from GoldenEye) were just terrible and unbelievable and campy. THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH was like the BATMAN AND ROBIN of Bond in my opinion. I mean Denise Richards as a nuclear scientist in hot pants????? COME ON!!!!!!

But enough about Christmas Jones....

CASINO ROYALE just got so much right. If THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH was like BATMAN AND ROBIN, then I guess CASINO ROYALE can be likened to BATMAN BEGINS.... where both films re-invent their respective series with a darker, grittier and more serious tone. I love the way all the action felt so raw and ugly, and you always got the sense that these guys were really fighting it out to the death. There was nothing romanticized or glorious about the action in this film. It was all up close, in your face, and vicious. I particularly liked that Parkour sequence in the beginning of the movie, where they're running and jumping like crazy around those cranes!

The thing that I liked most about this film though, was the way it handled all of Bond's iconic elements. Everything that makes Bond the legend that he is was set up so nicely in CASINO ROYALE:

1) THE CARS. Having Bond show up for his first mission with a Ford rental car, then spotting the Aston Martin in the parking lot and eventually winning it off that bad guy during the poker game. Pure genius!

2) THE MARTINIS. Loved all those running jokes throughout the film. After he loses everything to LaChiffre and the bartender asks him "shaken or stirred?" And then Bond exclaims, "Like I give a damn!" That was such a fun little moment. I also liked the fact that a stirred martini almost killed him, and that's the reason why he always asks for them shaken from this point on!

3) THE TRADEMARK TUX. I got so fired up when Vesper gave it to him and then we see him checking himself out in the mirror!

4) The introduction of FELIX may in fact have been my favorite thing about this movie. I was completely blindsided when Jeffrey Wright came up to Bond and introduced himself as Felix... never saw that one coming!

5) And finally, the usage of Bond's THEME MUSIC was just perfect in CASINO ROYALE. It was so sparsely used throughout the film, but when it did show up it really packed a punch! I loved that feeling I got at the end, when the music comes on full blast and he says those legendary words.... "Bond. James Bond." Absolutely fantastic!

The only thing I wasn't crazy about with this movie was the way it really slowed down and lost focus towards the end. The lovey-dovey stuff went on for a little too long, and because the main bad guy had already been killed off, I just didn't care that much about seeing Bond go after the man with half-lensed sunglasses. In fact, that whole action sequence at the end felt a bit anti-climactic to me. I wanted to find out what the deal was with Vesper Lynd and all, but I cared very little about everything else going on. Visually, this sequence didn't quite come together for me either, as the exterior shots of the building collapsing didn't seem to match what was going on inside.

Overall though, I gotta say I was ultimately very impressed with CASINO ROYALE, and am really psyched to see more of Daniel Craig as 007!

How about you guys? What'd ya think?

8 comments:

film spy said...

Got to agree with you, this is a much grittier Bond.Before seeing it, I wasn't sure if Daniel Craig was up to the task. But he did give us a hint of his testosterone in the film "Munich" where he played an Isreali assasin. In Bond we see his extra layers and he really delivers the goods.

Loved the development of Bond trademarks.Fun all around.

Eva Green presents the most intelligent Bond girl ever. The repartee between her & Bond has just the right tension.

M-Dawgs said...

Best Bond film since the heyday of the late, great Timothy Dalton.

"The bitch is dead."

'Nough said.

We miss you, Timothy. Rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was awesome too! For many of the same reasons as you actually...Daniel Craig (gorgeous as well), the little funny lines, the use of the theme music only occasionally (I also liked the song in the credits). It came nicely off the original book, yet it managed to be modern without having the insane gadgets. I agree the final half-hour or so was weaker than the rest, but I loved the very end. Thanks for writing I enjoyed your review.

Chris said...

Hi Adam,

Daniel Craig may be fantastic as 007, but I always thought Jonathan Hyde, your Jumanji film-father, could be a fantastic (and good looking) 007 too, why did he never get this role?

All the best,
Chris.

Riot! said...

Daniel Craig was pretty good. I believe the storyline was a bit drawn out though.

Caroline said...

Hi, Adam!

I really apreciate your reviews and, like you, i'm a big fan of movies.
However, i just want to say that you are amazing in "Little Man Tate". I love Jodie Foster and sounds like you learned a lot from her.
It's refreshing. That cute and smart little boy became a fine and mature young man.
I saw Jumanjy in a theather by the time was released (i also love Robin Willians). I didn't knew you had made that much movies since then. So i read about Brad Renfro's dead and thought "my god! what waste!just another day he was in one law and order episode!". Soon after, i remember that i didn't hear from you in a while and internet is so easy. I decide search out to see what was going on with you and it's made me really happy. After all, you are just fine, down to earth and enjoying what you are doing.
I'm just connecting things because Brad's perfomance in "The Client" and your in "Little man Tate" was the best perfomances gave by a child i ever seen.

P.S.: I'm brazilian, forgive my poor english.

xx
Carol.

Catrina said...

I really like the movie mainly on the action scenes they were awesome. I really would like to see more your articles as well.

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