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Casino Royale (2006)

By Psycho Dave in Culture
Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 12:00:00 PM EST
Tags: bond...james bond... (all tags)

I'm a James Bond freak. I own every one of his movies on DVD (except Never Say Never Again or the original Casino Royale with Woody Allen in it). I can't really explain my loyalty to this series, since it has had more low points than high. I'd say I'm a fan of Bond more out of habit than enthusiasm.

Habitually, I was at the first showing of Casino Royale on Friday and based on it, I'm once again enthusiastic about the series...

So it's a "good" James Bond flick?

In the entire canon of cinema, Casino Royale rates as merely "good". But Bond movies require they be rated on a special curve and as a Bond film, it rates as "bloody fucking excellent." It's directed by Martin Campbell, who turned in the last quality James Bond film with Goldeneye eleven years ago. Casino Royale trumps Pierce Brosnan's debut, is better than both of Timothy Dalton's entries, and may be the best Bond film since For Your Eyes Only, which in itself was a "reboot" from the series cornier excesses.

The more I think about it, Casino Royale may be even better than For Your Eyes Only. I'd say it's as enjoyable as The Spy Who Loved Me, even though it's difficult to make comparisons between the cold seriousness of this picture and high camp of the Roger Moore era. Amongst the films, Casino Royale is most analagous to the underrated George Lazenby helmed On Her Majesty's Secret Service, though it's clear that the film is trying to draw its inspiration directly from the cold, aristocratic assassin of the Ian Fleming books.

I take it you think Daniel Craig is a pretty good Bond then...

I do. Provided future installments don't take the unfortunate nosedive in quality that Brosnan's films did, he may come up just below Connery. Craig's portrayal of Bond is 180 degrees away from Roger Moore's English dandy and he throws a punch as good as George Lazenby. His dark intensity is similar to Timothy Dalton's, but Craig is more convincing as a ladies man (and is fortunately not saddled by some silly political correctness that insists his character be concerned with things like AIDS). While it's too early to tell on the strength of one film, I think it's safe to say that Daniel Craig will rate high in the pantheon of actors portraying James Bond.

I hear all this stuff about this being a "reboot" of the Bond series. I thought you only rebooted computers...

Well, to certain extent, the Bond films "reboot" themselves each time they hit the screen. While all are parts of a larger mythology, none of them carry over much continuity and are all essentially stand-alone pictures. Still, over forty-four years and twenty-one films, the conventions of the series are almost beyond cliche. The standard Bond film is stale as hell, and Casino Royale adds a much needed injection of character into the series.

The film it is most often compared to is last year's Batman Begins, which successfully explained the motivations of Bruce Wayne and made the idea of a guy fighting crime in a rubber suit almost plausible. Batman Begins also pulled the franchise back from the buttshots and nippled Batsuit retardedness that the previous films wallowed in.

While Casino Royale purports to be one of the early adventures of James Bond, it's not as successful at deconstructing its hero's motivations. I'm not too bothered by the fact since Bond is less a character with a specific history than one with broadly drawn behaviours. If Casino Royale had been a mere checklist of how he got his taste for martinis, it would be nothing but dreadful fan-service. While Casino Royale attempts to show the genesis of his disposable relationships with women, that part is actually the least compelling part of them film.

All right, then how is this Bond better than the other Bonds?

For one, it's the first Bond film in a long time to be, if not believable, then at least plausible. No electrified cybernetic suits worn by genetically altered villians that control satellite lasers (I wish I was exaggerating there, but the last entry in the series actually had that). The villian, Le Chiffre doesn't want to destroy the world, he just wants to make back some money he lost trying to short some airline stock before some African dictators chop off his head.

On first glance, Le Chiffre (played with reedy creepiness by Mads Mikkleson) seems hardly a match for Bond, at least compared to the larger than life villians the series frequently provides. Yet, he's also the most sympathetic of all Bond villians, being that he's mostly out just to save his own hide. Le Chiffre is more like a ferret seeing the world slowly close in on him, and is dangerous because his back is against the wall. He also gets the most painful torture scene in any of the Bond films. I won't spoil it, but it's the type of stuff that would make Jack Bauer cringe and Freud snort another line of coke to take the edge off.

The action scenes are also welcome change. The Pierce Brosnan Bond films too frequently became an exercise in seeing just how much shit could possibly be blown up. While Casino Royale still uses more blank ammunition than the first three Bond films combined, it's action seems more centered around suspense than pyrotechnics. Instead of the same, boring, gadget car chase, we get treated to Bond having to catch a bomber (who also happens to be a free-runner) on foot through an African city.

Most importantly, the plot doesn't seem to be just an excuse to jump from action scene to action scene. Even though Casino Royale is one of the more violent (if not the most violent...that honor goes to Licence to Kill) Bond films, it also works hard to try and resurrect the tuxedo coolness and glamour of the Connery movies. His major confrontation with Le Chiffre takes place over a game of Texas Hold 'Em instead of with firearms...

Texas Hold 'Em? Bond plays Baccarat! What the cock is up with that?

If that bothers you, then the fact that the first car we see him drive is a Ford will probably make you run for the door.

Even though I'm sure the gambling scenes would make an expert at Texas Hold 'Em cringe (I cringed at all the expository dialogue used in those scenes to explain what's happening to those of us who aren't experts) I don't think it's inclusion in Casino Royale is just to cash in on the current poker craze. Baccarat is more a game of chance than skill. It would be akin to claiming to be "skilled" in choosing red or black on a roulette wheel. There is much more skill involved in playing poker successfully. Add to that the fact that baccarat is hardly accessible to the general public and I see its inclusion as utilitarian.

Just thank your stars they didn't decide to make James Bond gay (no shit, that is something that was seriously considered at one point). Not that I'm a homophobe, but a gay Bond would be as wrong as a straight Frank N' Furter.

Right then. So what about the Bond babes?

Well, when it comes to raw physical attributes the Bond series doesn't have much problem picking out hotties. However, Bond girls need to know how to act as well, something the producers seem to forget on a regular basis. Take Denise Richards; a perfectly attractive woman in all respects. But as a Bond girl, she makes me want to gouge my eyes out.

The Bond girl has had many incarnations, as either pure eye-candy, the villianous seductress, and occasionally as his ass-kicking equal (Michelle Yeoh did that so well, having her get rescued by Bond in the end was one of the more unbelievable moments of Tomorrow Never Dies). The more empowered incarnations of the Bond girl are typically used to shut up feminists who carp about the inherent "sexism" of the films, but they need not worry. Even the more passive of female characters (ex. Tatiana in From Russia With Love) are often compelling in their own right.

Bond girls come in pairs, and Casino Royale is no exception. The first one, Solange (played by Caterino Murino) is the wife of a terrorist who gets seduced by Bond in order to extract information about her husband's plans. Though the movie makes it maddeningly unclear whether Bond even bones her before scooting off to Florida to foil the plot, it doesn't matter much. Solange is only good for a single plot point, before she unceremoniously joins the ranks of 007's many doomed lovers.

The main girl here is Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), who is sent along with Bond to ensure that he doesn't blow the entire Royal treasury as he tries to break Le Chiffre at poker. Vesper is hardly one of the more asskicking Bond babes, but seeing how Halle Berry turned out in Die Another Day, that's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, for a Bond babe, Vesper is a surprisingly meaty role. While her attraction to Bond is a foregone conclusion, at least it unfolds in the form of dialogue that's actually engaging instead of just the witless trading of double entendres. There is some actual chemistry between Vesper and Bond, something that's been sorely lacking in the Bond series for awhile.

Unfortunately, that chemistry doesn't make it any more believable in the end that Bond would quit MI6 in order to sail around the world with her. This over-long sequence towards the end of the movie makes it immediately apparent to even an unsaavy viewer that there will be a plot twist and that Vesper is toast. This whole domesticating of Bond has been done before in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (for all his faults as Bond, Lazenby cradling his dead wife's body in the car is still one of the best examples of the character's humanity in the entire series) and it doesn't successfully sell how Bond becomes a cold-blooded agent, especially since he's been pretty cold blooded through the entire film. Casino Royale preserves the famous last sentence of the novel, but unwisely has M try to take some of the edge off it through explanation.

Despite what you may hear about this movie, Casino Royale is not particularly deep psychologically. But seeing as it's a Bond film, even attempting it is welcome change.

Any final nitpicks?

Yep. Can't sign off without mentioning that Royale has one of the most disappointing credits sequence in a long time. Not only is the title song (sung by Soundgarden crooner Chris Cornell--let that rattle around in your brain for awhile) disappointing, but substituting the usual nude silhouettes for heavily rotoscoped scenes of Bond brawling just doesn't feel the same or look nearly as cool. Yes, I'm being a typical male here, but Bond films are nothing if not thinly disguised male fantasies.

Still, while I like to nitpick, I must assure you that Casino Royale is worth your time seeing, even if you're not a rabid fan of the series. It isn't a super-radical departure from what has come before, but Bond films typically try to reflect the decades they inhabit. Casino Royale is a mean 21st century update for what is turning out to be a rather mean decade and I hope the future Bond films of Daniel Craig carry on in the same fashion.

Click here to see my review for the previous, craptacular Bond film Die Another Day.


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Who played the best Bond?
o Sean Connery 78%
o George Lazenby 10%
o Roger Moore 10%
o Timothy Dalton 8%
o Pierce Brosnan 13%
o Daniel Craig 13%
o Peter Sellers 11%

Votes: 60
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Click here to see my review for the previous, craptacular Bond film Die Another Day.
o Also by Psycho Dave

Display: Sort:
Casino Royale (2006) | 88 comments (77 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
This is (2.75 / 4) (#6)
by starsky on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 10:56:58 AM EST

a general life comment - say 'reboot' less except when talking about computers.  Noticed it featured in your old Bond review too.  Brings to mind people who wear t-shirts with computer 'jokes' on them.  Nevertheless, +1.

And here you go for all my male not as work chums - http://www.famosas10.com/eva_green/Eva_Green109.jpg (NSFW)

wow (none / 0) (#53)
by lostincali on Thu Nov 23, 2006 at 12:23:33 AM EST

She was both sexy and beautiful in the movie and naturally I wanted to see what her boobies looked like. She does have a very nice body indeed. Unfortunately, her vagina is rather unappealing.

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

+1 fp (none / 1) (#7)
by circletimessquare on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 11:16:58 AM EST

i like dem moving picture reels

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Is James Bond trustworthy? (2.33 / 9) (#8)
by United Fools on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 11:25:26 AM EST

After he told us that Iraq was trying to buy potassium from Nigeria, which later was said to be untrue?

We are united, we are fools, and we are America!
Way to justify your entire lame K5 existence. $ (3.00 / 2) (#9)
by Cattle Rustler on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 11:45:05 AM EST

[ Parent ]
I think PsychoDave has justified his existence (none / 1) (#10)
by nostalgiphile on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 12:07:44 PM EST

on k5 with the last gazillion damn good episodes of the DVD shelf, dude. Fuck off.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
I think you've invalidated your existence (3.00 / 5) (#11)
by Cattle Rustler on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 12:33:33 PM EST

on k5 with your inability to follow threads.

[ Parent ]
yer probly right (3.00 / 3) (#12)
by nostalgiphile on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 12:50:12 PM EST

but i nonetheless continue to exist, potassium phosphates-free, in this mortal coil.  

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
We exist, therefore we are (3.00 / 3) (#21)
by United Fools on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 04:41:18 PM EST

Our existence, like that of the universe, needs no justification.

In fact, we are closer to the universe than many people, because most things have no intelligence.

We are united, we are fools, and we are America!
[ Parent ]

Plain old potassium? (3.00 / 2) (#56)
by The Real Lord Kano on Thu Nov 23, 2006 at 10:40:07 PM EST

Can't have those terrorists taking their vitamins and minerals, can we?


[ Parent ]

It's probably... (none / 0) (#70)
by BJH on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 07:24:23 AM EST

...radioactive potassium.

No, hang on, radioactivity as the Big Bad kinda went out of fashion in the 80s, didn't it?

OK, how about this: the potassium has been genetically altered to infect everybody it touches with a disgusting disease that causes them to like Paris Hilton, Survivor and American Idol.

Damn, it looks like the US was already hit. OMFG TEH TERORRISTS R EVERYWHERE.
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]

+1, short and sweet (none / 1) (#17)
by BJH on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 02:24:30 PM EST

BTW, if you haven't seen The Covenant yet, don't bother. Renny Harlin wasn't even trying.
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

Goldeneye was my favorite. (2.60 / 5) (#18)
by weedaddict on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 02:43:23 PM EST

It had the kick ass scenes in the chemical weapon plant and translated to the best video game of all time.

Reality has a certain cynical bias - Cattle Rustler
+1 FP /nt (none / 1) (#19)
by 1419 on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 04:07:28 PM EST

Bond's "sexism" (1.14 / 7) (#20)
by CAIMLAS on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 04:27:30 PM EST

The more empowered incarnations of the Bond girl are typically used to shut up feminists who carp about the inherent "sexism" of the films, but they need not worry. Even the more passive of female characters (ex. Tatiana in From Russia With Love) are often compelling in their own right.

<snip>Solange is only good for a single plot point, before she unceremoniously joins the ranks of 007's many doomed lovers.

Which is precisely why so-called feminists (I prefer to call them women supremists) have a beef with Bond films: they portray women in an emotionally frail and easily dominated accessory to stronger man. (Ask me if I care.)

On another note, there's no such thing as "homophobia". Homophobia is a ruse; it doesn't exist as homosexuals want society to think it does. Revulsion is not the same as fear. I would recoil from a dead skunk and maybe retch, just as I might from an over-ripe container of leftovers in the fridge; I would not fear them. The same goes for homosexuality. Just because I'm fearful of having a dick stuck in my ass (or anything at all, thank you) does not mean I'm homophobic. It means I don't want to be raped! I do not find such things pleasureable, likely no moreso than many women.

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.

Is that a common fear you have? (3.00 / 4) (#22)
by partialpeople on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 05:16:34 PM EST


[ Parent ]
WTF? (none / 1) (#46)
by thankyougustad on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 10:46:02 AM EST

Thanks for explaining your homophobia to us, fag. You sound crazy coming in here all "man I don't hate black people just keep 'em away from me I hope I don't get any black dicks in my ass like that time when I was 15. . ."

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Er... (none / 0) (#47)
by partialpeople on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 03:10:05 PM EST

That's meant for the grandparent, I'm guessing.

Because, for me, a dick in the ass ain't nothing to get all worked up about. I ain't no goddamn queer.

[ Parent ]

yeah, for the grandparent (none / 0) (#59)
by thankyougustad on Fri Nov 24, 2006 at 05:47:32 PM EST

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
... my grandparents hated fags _and_ blacks n/t (none / 0) (#61)
by Hugh Jass on Sat Nov 25, 2006 at 02:40:18 AM EST

"In war the moral is to the physical, as three to one." - Bonaparte
[ Parent ]

(snicker) (3.00 / 7) (#24)
by circletimessquare on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 07:19:05 PM EST

no one goes on multisentence diatribes, unprompted, about their attitudes about having a dick stuck up their ass except those who might be closeted homosexuals

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
So help me out here (none / 0) (#50)
by quattelly on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 03:55:49 PM EST

Since I assume your scared of homos because they are going to rape you, you also figure all women should be scared or all guys as well because the straight ones are going to rape them right?  Or is it just the gays that are rapists?  If its just gays how do bi people fit in to your theory?

I dont know if you realize this but gay people have consentual sex.

I dont know if this is a troll or not but if its not your a classic homophobe.  You have an irrational fear of homosexuals by assuming they all want to rape straight people.

[ Parent ]

he's a closeted homosexual (none / 0) (#52)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 04:21:33 PM EST

notice the sexual tension about the idea of being raped by a man. how he brings up the whole subject matter himself, talks about it for awhile, completely unprompted

heterosexual men just don't think about this kind of scenario that much

heterosexual men don't hate gays, they don't fear gays. they just don't care about gays

he's the one going on and on about how much he fears them. that's emotion. that's caring about the subject matter. that implies a quantity of thought and emotion going on in his mind about homosexuality that cannot be fueled by anything except his own natural proclivities

he's gay, deep in the closet

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Homosexual answer to the world (none / 1) (#62)
by cdguru on Sat Nov 25, 2006 at 02:11:07 PM EST

Everyone is secretly gay, at least at some level.  If everyone had a free choice to exhibit their true feelings, everyone would have had at least one gay relationship in their life.

This means it is the duty of all public-serving homosexuals to encourage and create opportunities for gay relationships between young people before they can be influenced by homophobic (closeted gay) men.

That's what it is all about.  Get the division more like 50/50 between gay and straight and we will see true change in society.

[ Parent ]

Um... (none / 1) (#57)
by The Real Lord Kano on Thu Nov 23, 2006 at 10:41:37 PM EST

ust because I'm fearful of having a dick stuck in my ass (or anything at all, thank you) does not mean I'm homophobic.

What about a hot chick's tongue?


[ Parent ]

God Damnit, (1.66 / 3) (#23)
by Kasreyn on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 05:40:48 PM EST

It's James Bond, not James Blonde.

If they can't get a little thing like some brown hair dye right, how can they be expected to get anything else right?

"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
oh man (none / 0) (#27)
by circletimessquare on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 09:14:24 PM EST


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Almost impossible to not vote positively (none / 1) (#25)
by stuaart on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 08:30:29 PM EST

for a Psycho Dave story. +1S.

Linkwhore: [Hidden stories.] Baldrtainment: Corporate concubines and Baldrson: An Introspective

It was a difficult struggle, (none / 0) (#26)
by partialpeople on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 08:56:34 PM EST

but in the end I prevai-1ed.

[ Parent ]
Excellent review (none / 1) (#28)
by regeya on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 10:41:45 PM EST

Haven't seen the latest yet, but want to. Like you, I'm probably a fan more out of habit, and feel the series has had plenty of lows. I say this as an actual fan of the Roger Moore bond. :-D I'll always feel that Brosnan got the shaft, though. He really fit the part in Goldeneye (not to mention Sean Bean's great counterpoint to Brosnan's Bond), then the series went to hell. A media mogul as supervillain? C'mon! Robert Carlyle made a great villain, but TWINE was a lousy movie. I didn't even bother with the last one.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

Die Another Day (none / 0) (#33)
by The Diary Section on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 01:41:47 AM EST

was actually better than the two that preceded it IMHO. I got the feeling they knew TWINE wasn't too hot and set about putting things right. YMMV.

Parent ]

Roger Moore is underrated. (3.00 / 2) (#35)
by Psycho Dave on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 03:28:36 AM EST

Sure, many of the worst Bond films happened on his watch, but he still had his moments. At the very least, he made the ludicrious situations he was involved in look kinda fun. While the Austin Powers flicks pretty mercilessly parodied his type of Bond films, I can still have more fun watching The Spy Who Loved Me than Mike Myers endlessly recycled jokes.

I agree with you that Pierce Brosnan got the shaft on his films. He was the best all-around Bond mostly because he avoided the extremes. He was never too edgy, nor was he too flippant. Brosnan is a pretty good actor in his own right, but was never given scripts that really used his talents.

For as lackluster as his films were, the thing they did get the pure action spectacle right. Unfortunately that's not what differentiates a Bond movie from, say, Die Hard.

[ Parent ]

+1 even though I'll probably dislike the movie (1.50 / 2) (#30)
by livus on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 12:04:29 AM EST

given that my favourite Bond film of all time is View To A Kill closely followed by Dr No.

Daniel Craig looks like a plumber on holiday or something.

Besides, the last time they tried to de-gentlemanise Bond was when they got my least favourite Dalton, who played him as some sort of troubled neurotic. Which gave it the opposite effect of the one intended. Dalton's slightly pallid, sensitive face was so at odds with his weird brusque behaviour that I came up with several silly theories about Bond, women, masochism, and Bond's childhood.

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

A View To A Kill is your favorite? (3.00 / 2) (#34)
by Psycho Dave on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 03:11:31 AM EST

I actually popped that one in in the last few days (originally, this was going to be an overview of all the Roger Moore Bond films, but with the new movie out, I figured I'd do something more relevant). A View To A Kill has officially supplanted Moonraker as the worst of Moore's Bond films in my opinion.

For one, Moore was just too old to play Bond by that point. Half the time Bond is on the screen, it's a stunt double. Moore might have been convincing as a sly seducer in his earlier films, but from about For Your Eyes Only on, he comes off as just a dirty old man.

His female counterparts are equally horrid. The stomach churning love scene between fifty-something Moore and Grace Jones is probably one of the least sexy things committed to celluloid. And Tanya Roberts is probably the worst Bond girl in the whole series.

Even Christopher Walken isn't all that good (except for that one scene in the mine where he's gleefully gunning down his own henchmen with an Uzi). His madman scheme isn't much to get worked up over, after all, this is a villian who wants to destroy Silicon Valley so he can corner the world market on...microchips? Can't they do better than putting Bond up against a psychotic Bill Gates?

Oh, and let's not forget to mention Bond snowboarding to the tune of the Beach Boys. The only thing I look fondly on in A View To A Kill is the Duran Duran theme song, though I probably sound like a huge fag by admitting that.

Dr. No, however, is a perfectly defensible favorite. It's a little dry compared to later Bonds, but memorable if only to see Connery sneer "You've had your six" before blowing the scientist away.

[ Parent ]

But those are all the things I love! (none / 0) (#51)
by livus on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 03:57:10 PM EST

Having read things like From Russia With Love at an impressionable age (remember, this is the one where Bond happily hangs out with a guy who keeps a woman from an ethnic minority chained under the table ...) I've never quite bought into the idea of Bond as cool and seductive. Films where he comes accross that way require a special act of suspension of disbelief.

The Bond persona seems more like a coercive, bullying guy with some issues to me. A View To A Kill encapsulates that perfectly, and is also a camp extravaganza for my viewing pleasure. Who can go past the fake butterfly murder scene?!

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

I always enjoy (2.50 / 4) (#31)
by mybostinks on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 12:24:43 AM EST

what you write...

keep it up, it is excellent.

It looks good, mainly. (none / 1) (#36)
by creature on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 05:00:32 AM EST

I haven't seen the entire film here, but I've seen bits and pieces of it. Not just the trailer - I've seen about 20 or 30 minutes of it, at least.

And yeah, it looks good. I like the idea of the torture scene - a bit more darkness in the film is good to see. But, I was disappointed to note the use of some hoary old clichés:

  1. Protagonist avoids automatic weapons fire by running really fast. [PS. if you watch carefully at this point, you can see Bond's earplugs]
  2. Random henchman is used as human shield by protagonist.
  3. Important item skitters dangerously towards a precipice, just out of reach.

And so on. That said, I do think that Craig makes a good Bond. There's one bit, barely a couple of seconds on screen, when he's hiding behind a pillar getting shot at and just not caring. He looks so fucking ruthless at that point, I knew he'd work as Bond.

I liked the theme and the title sequence. (2.00 / 2) (#37)
by anonimouse on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 06:02:31 AM EST

The worst theme by far, was by Aha "The Living Daylights", which was just so camp and wet. The title sequence reflected the change in direction of the movie, which was less glossy, gadgety and more action based, so I don't think it was a bad decision to go for.
Relationships and friendships are complex beasts. There's nothing wrong with doing things a little differently.
I disagree... (3.00 / 2) (#39)
by Psycho Dave on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 06:44:12 AM EST

A-Ha's The Living Daylights is not the worst theme. I'd give it to either Licence to Kill (I'm too lazy to Imdb it right now, but I think it was done by Gladys Knight) or Moonraker.

I'll give "You Know My Name" time to grow on me before I make any final decisions, but I can't even recall the song after five days, so it can't bode well.

[ Parent ]

You're both wrong (none / 0) (#66)
by livus on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 04:45:34 AM EST

Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is much much worse.

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Daniel Craig looks like a soccer hooligan (2.50 / 4) (#38)
by zenador on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 06:38:45 AM EST

not James Bond.

Before I go see Royale ... (1.50 / 4) (#40)
by k24anson on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 06:52:52 AM EST

are any Islamics portrayed as bad guys? I imagine no.

Latinos are scared of a pistol in the car chase with For Your Eyes Only, Ruskies are portrayed as antagonists in other Bond movies, North Koreans ...

Imagine James in a mosque, causing mischief, and before they set everything up to cut off his head ...? He escapes?

No, no Islamics I imagine.

Stay focused. Go slow. Keep it simple.

I saw Casino Royale. (1.00 / 3) (#55)
by k24anson on Thu Nov 23, 2006 at 01:20:26 PM EST

Typical of most all movies, the script writers are mediocre, blasé.

Same with most of the music today: lame.

What was it about the sixties that made so many greats: Addams Family, Star Trek, Outer Space, Twilight Zone, Have Gun Will Travel, Gilligan's Island, Batman, ... are these examples making my point? No.

They were not stellar in school, not the worst students either I suppose but what type of education was presented to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards that enabled them to write the lyrics to their songs, eg. Sympathy for the Devil? The word blitzkreig, just the overall theme topic of the song, the lower and middle class youth today learn to know and understand little of real importance from their k-12 years to then have materal to express themselves poetically or otherwise, in song, or script writing. What successful lyricist today employs such big words into an interesting and money-making song, or long drawn out and interesting plot to sink your teeth into as you watch a movie? Comparing Jim Morrison and The Doors, who today is educated about topics to even know how to express themselves with such things as "The West is the Best?"

Janis Joplin wants to but obviously found it difficult to find words or subjects to sing a song of social and political import. Today no popular band, Hollywood or New York movie house, tv or radio produces much more than midiocrity.

Today, Rock is Dead, contrary to Daltrey's pronouncement, and so is most artistic expression today. Quite a lull the last few decades ..., other than Mapplethorpe's work.

Stay focused. Go slow. Keep it simple.
[ Parent ]

What indeed (none / 1) (#58)
by String of Letters on Fri Nov 24, 2006 at 02:36:41 PM EST

<snip> What was it about the sixties that made so many greats <snip>


[ Parent ]
I know (1.00 / 3) (#60)
by k24anson on Fri Nov 24, 2006 at 07:49:59 PM EST

and that's disheartening, really is.

I mean, Kennedy wasn't into that stuff, I don't think he was, and he envisioned the idea and then started the engines which brought the American flag to the moon. Some people respond to the mental kick in the pants, others simply have the mindset, and do think big ideas.

The magnitude of this subject topic is too diverse to comment on other than flippantly, but there is the realization that our school systems are sub par comparing the number of artistic expressions from the '60s to everything else wrought after.

I remember sitting in the car as a kid and listening to the 1910 FruitGum Company playing One, Two, Three Red Light, the song just came out, and thought I would always keep hearing one good song after another on the radio, forever, till I died. Today the notion is more for curiosity sake, when I have nothing better to think about at the moment. And the best answers I've brought to mind place the blame on the school systems. Not the generic family structure or the neighboorhood environment, youth grow into mentally lame adults becuase of the influences (indoctrination) they experienced in the school system they attended. Generally speaking now of course.

Someday, Mergatroid will live ...!

Stay focused. Go slow. Keep it simple.
[ Parent ]

right... (none / 0) (#64)
by suntzu on Sat Nov 25, 2006 at 03:45:00 PM EST

because no one's dropping acid these days.  drug use in general has really just gone out of fashion.

or maybe you guys are just old.

[ Parent ]

It's because you only remember the good stuff from (none / 0) (#76)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Dec 02, 2006 at 07:24:11 PM EST

the 60s. Everybody forgets the shit and thinks the past was oh-so-bright. It wasn't.

motormouthmachinery has a CRITICAL MASS OF SHIT for brains
- army of phred

[ Parent ]
Should let you know (1.50 / 2) (#41)
by nebbish on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:19:42 AM EST

You made Reddit. That's a sign to put this in the queue if there ever was one.

Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee

This has already survived the queue. (none / 0) (#42)
by Psycho Dave on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:36:31 AM EST

Unless it's a different queue you are speaking of. I'm not familiar with reddit yet.

[ Parent ]
Ah yes (none / 0) (#43)
by nebbish on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:45:56 AM EST

Teach me to only look at the diary page.

Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Dispute. (none / 1) (#44)
by Comrade Wonderful on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 09:24:52 AM EST

To me, a space 'laser' (actually not a laser but whatever) which focuses the sun's energy is much more believable to me than Britain giving a spy a load of cash to go play Hold 'em.

Having one's appearance altered is already done with  face transplants.  The whole gene therapy thing was a little bit of a stretch but in the next ten or twenty years it seems plausible. (I can't recall any dates mentioned in Tomorrow Never Dies... It does not have to be present day).

Now, the body armor thing.  The Korean guy wants something that looks good as well as works, a point that dorks often miss or are incapable of achieving.  This parallels Open Source software perfectly.  Sure, that suitcase hauled around by Mr. Kill does the job fine, but the geeky German is instructed to make it look good and work naturally.  To marry form and function.  Sure, free software luminaries wouldn't wear that thing but they barely care whether they shower or not as long as they can still see and move their fingers.

the movie was incredibly boring (none / 1) (#45)
by th0m on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 09:59:11 AM EST

but your review was interesting! way to go.

"Best" excludes all others (1.66 / 3) (#48)
by redeye on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 03:21:25 PM EST

Why on earth then would this be a multiple choice poll?

And some of the award winning moments (2.00 / 2) (#49)
by m a r c on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 03:53:30 PM EST

1) Managing to fend off villian weilding machette down an entire flight of stairs, while not getting scratched

2) The convienience of having something to shoot that would explode every time mr bond is confronted with more than 3 opponents

3) Mr whites amazing ability to get the suitcase full of money at the end, even thought it was underwater, and he walks away by himself with his suit perfectly dry and intact

I got a dog and named him "Stay". Now, I go "Come here, Stay!". After a while, the dog went insane and wouldn't move at all.

He was scratched [nt] (none / 0) (#54)
by Stjck on Thu Nov 23, 2006 at 01:51:30 AM EST

[ Parent ]
/All/ movies rely on this little thing called (none / 1) (#77)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Dec 02, 2006 at 07:26:48 PM EST

"suspension of disbelief." Bond movies revolve around that. If you, sir, can't look past those three minor - and I mean minor - plot points, you, sir, are an idiot.

motormouthmachinery has a CRITICAL MASS OF SHIT for brains
- army of phred

[ Parent ]
The view is good... (none / 1) (#63)
by pruneau on Sat Nov 25, 2006 at 03:12:15 PM EST

The movie ? I won't go se a movie when even the title is a spelling mistake (in french, at least).

Spelling mistake? (3.00 / 2) (#65)
by Eccles on Sun Nov 26, 2006 at 11:41:30 PM EST

A Royale is what they call a McDonalds quarter-pounder in France.  So it's a fast-food casino.

"$10,000 on black."
"Would you like fries with that?"

[ Parent ]

What do they call a whopper? [nt] (none / 1) (#67)
by redeye on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 04:51:49 PM EST

[ Parent ]
TEH ROYALE (none / 0) (#68)
by actmodern on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 09:51:06 PM EST

LilDebbie challenge: produce the water sports scene from bable or stfu. It does not exist.
[ Parent ]
I'm confused (none / 1) (#69)
by The Diary Section on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 09:19:05 PM EST

We have Whoppers and we have Chicken Royales. We have no coherent burger ontology.
I think this is the problem with the UK, one eye looking to America, the other looking to Europe. No wonder there is so much violence on the streets these days, Burger King are fucking with our minds.

Parent ]

Don't listen to actmodern (none / 1) (#71)
by redeye on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 03:39:52 PM EST

The correct answer was I dunno, I didn't go into burger king.

[ Parent ]
Titles & Theme Music (2.33 / 3) (#72)
by Lagged2Death on Fri Dec 01, 2006 at 03:51:43 PM EST

The absence of cartoons of naked chick silhouettes in the titles bothers me not at all. Then again, I'm not really a Bond fan and I only went to see this because that's what the rest of my group wanted to see.

But the theme music was something else, something exceptional. Dreadful. Musically, utterly tuneless, devoid of dynamics. Sonically, compressed to death. The opposite of catchy or enjoyable in every sense.

Shirley Bassey, where are you when we really need you?

Starfish automatically creates colorful abstract art for your PC desktop!

Seconded (none / 0) (#75)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Dec 02, 2006 at 07:21:26 PM EST

I was listening to the song, thinking "this should be "the" song of 2006 like most Bond tunes" and realizing it fucking sucks. Then I was waiting to see who the fuck wrote this shit. And it was Chris Cornell, and I fucking like him. What a waste.

motormouthmachinery has a CRITICAL MASS OF SHIT for brains
- army of phred

[ Parent ]
My take before reading yours with spoilers: (none / 1) (#73)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Dec 02, 2006 at 06:53:10 PM EST

I just came back from seeing it. I'm in the same boat as you: liking Bond for Bond's sake, despite the numerous really bad Bonds. I'm not so much of a traditionalist: I don't care if Moneypenny was sacked, I think Roger Moore was better than Sean Connery who's been playing the same character for almost fifty years and I couldn't care less if the villains are realistic or not, as long as the movie is good.

I was hooked right from the beginning. I wasn't and still am not too sure about the choice of monochrome for the opening but it still drove the point home that this is not the Bond we're used to. He was kicking ass, but killing was not glamorous but really fucking ugly, the way it's supposed to be. The inside-the-barrel shot was done with style and in a refreshing way. The opening credits were very traditional, almost like coming home to a cosy fire. I really didn't like the ho-hum Chris Cornell song, though. It fucking sucked. I can't stress this enough. And I like him.

The first big action scene was phenomenal. Everything I'm expecting in a Bond movie: explosions, insane stunts and good action. My heart was racing. From then on it was pure Bond heaven. Although there was no Q, no Bond theme and even the shaken not stirred was bastardized - amusingly -, I enjoyed the movie immensely.

M was better than ever and had the best lines ("during the cold war he would've had the courtesy of defecting"). Daniel Craig looks absolutely bad-ass, with or without a suit. The card game was done well. The story was stronger than any Bond, perhaps due to this being based on an Ian Fleming book. Even the plot was surprisingly devoid of holes. And cinematography was beyond any Bond, even considering it was filmed mainly in the absolutely gorgeous Montenegro (highly recommended).

What I found most surprising was that the falling in love was done tastefully and keeping it within the framework of James Bond.

I believe the last scene was most telling. The movie went to great lengths to not look like a Bond movie despite the action. But when his lover was gone He was back. As Bond, James Bond. So the moment the Bond theme played for the first time during the last seconds of the movie, it was like saying "this was the prequel." Some would say it was the producers' - for Bonds are a producers' movie, not the director's - way of hedging their bets: if people like the new Bond they can keep it and him the way he was in Casino Royale, if not, they can go back to the same safe Bond we're accustomed to.

I think this was just an opening to a newish Bond, who's more modern, more realistic and, - I hate this overused word but it fits here - gritty. He'll be more of a Bond in the next movie, but there's no turning back. After 20+ Bonds, he's back, newer, stronger and better. And I like it.

motormouthmachinery has a CRITICAL MASS OF SHIT for brains
- army of phred

Regarding Sean Connery... (none / 1) (#79)
by Psycho Dave on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 03:14:24 AM EST

I was sick this last Thursday, so I spent the day on the couch watching bad movies on cable. One of them was the 1974 "cult" movie Zardoz, Sean Connery's first major film after quitting the Bond series with the atrocious Diamonds Are Forever (which is the last Connery Bond I had seen).

Zardoz is two hours of a hairy and hoary Connery running around in a red leather thong, ponytail, weilding a revolver, worshipping a flying stone head that spits out rifles and occasionally lets loose profound mots like "The gun is good. The penis is evil. It spits seed." Connery gets trapped with some immortal, scantily clad new age hippies (he rapes one or two of the female ones). Apparently he's some sort of savior for them or something, but the point is moot since the plot is pretty incomprehensible. Oh, the most dressed Connery ever is in the film is being smuggled by some immortals in a wedding dress.

The film certainly doesn't know how funny it is. Zardoz fancies itself the sort of surreal, philosophical sci-fi that went out of vogue when Star Wars dropped three years later. It is simply wretched and slow moving. Only a deep morbid curiousity kept me from turning the thing off.

Anyway, I bring this up only because my respect for Connery fell several notches after watching that flick. It makes Roger Moore banging Grace Jones seem almost dignified in comparison.

[ Parent ]

thanks (none / 0) (#82)
by kromagg on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 04:48:49 PM EST

I'd totally forgotten about that movie. I saw it years ago and though it's probably as bad as you say it is, it did somehow stick in my mind as a thoroughly disturbing piece of work. Guess that's the surreal part coming in.

[ Parent ]
Actually, it was the Czech Republic.. (none / 0) (#80)
by Nomad on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 04:58:19 AM EST

None of it was shot in Montenegro.

It was filmed mostly in Prague.  Some of the outdoor shots were Prague, with clearly recognisable streets.  The scenes at "Miami" airport were actually at Prague airport, there's even a Czech Airlines plane in the background.  The airshot of the Casino is actually a town called Loket in the  Czech Republic.  The outdoor scene where the chief of police is arrested is also in Loket.

The hospital/sanatorium where Bond was recovering is at Lake Como, Italy.

[ Parent ]

A (none / 0) (#83)
by ljazbec on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 05:50:59 PM EST

friend of mine from Montenegro was very very much upset at this. I find it very funny when things like this happen and people actually notice them. I remember watching 'Munich' with my girlfriend and she recognized a train station that was supposed to be in Amsterdam or Paris or something to actually be located in Budapest.

I find it really annoying that they can't be on location, it takes away a lot from the movie. I mean, with such big budgets it would hardly make a difference if a flick costs 200 million USD or 201 mil.

[ Parent ]

The difference between shooting a (none / 1) (#84)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 09:26:57 PM EST

major production in Amsterdam or Budapest, or even Czech Republic and Montenegro is an order of magnitude larger than 1 million.

Keep banging those rocks together, MMM!
- Kasreyn

[ Parent ]
Excellent review, two disagreements, though: (2.00 / 2) (#74)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Dec 02, 2006 at 07:19:56 PM EST

Denise Richards as Christmas Jones was crappy, yes. But in the Bond canon she is the most gorgeous - she is in my top 5 of women all-time. And she received - although of course didn't utter - the best double-entendre in the series: "I thought Christmas came only once per year."

And I heavily disagree with your point about the heavy-handedness of explaining the tell in Texas Hold'Em. Yes, they were explicit about it. That's to be expected as the general movie-going population is not so familiar with "show, don't tell" of screenwriting and sometimes need telling especially when they might not be familiar with the subject matter and/or when it's crucial to the plot.

But the producers made a very brave - and correct - decision to not explain how the bad guy didn't have a tell the second time around; they only showed it by keeping the camera on his non-tell face for an extended period, just like they would teach the director in film school. Beautiful. I was dreading for the "look, now he's trying hard not to bluff" -line, but it thankfully never came, and elevated the flick to a movie.

motormouthmachinery has a CRITICAL MASS OF SHIT for brains
- army of phred

Oh, one thing no one seems to have paid attention (none / 1) (#78)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Dec 02, 2006 at 07:32:26 PM EST

to: the Americans saved the Brits' ass once again (re: Felix Leiter giving Bond the money to play till the end). Pretty damn surprising considering the current political climate in the UK and Europe especially.

motormouthmachinery has a CRITICAL MASS OF SHIT for brains
- army of phred

In the last scene (none / 1) (#81)
by ljazbec on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 08:07:17 AM EST

I so felt like he was about to say 'Say hello to my little friend'.

african american content (1.50 / 2) (#85)
by ditkis on Mon Dec 11, 2006 at 12:46:55 PM EST

I saw it last night (none / 0) (#86)
by the77x42 on Tue Dec 12, 2006 at 12:32:03 AM EST

But I was drunk and stoned and my contact lens fell out. I watched it with one eye and I forget more than half the movie. B-

"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

Terrible Movie, this Bond is a LOSER (none / 0) (#87)
by Roman on Tue Dec 12, 2006 at 02:31:16 PM EST

This Bond is a freaking loser: he f.cks up his car almost immediately after receiving it, he gets a funky chick killed, he gets his balls crushed into a bloody pulb (yikes,) he misses an obvious setup by his 'accountant' (the 120 million dollar silver briefcase,) he falls for an obvious bluff setup at the pocker table and the worst part, when a barkeep offers him a drink and asks whether it should be shaken or stirred he replies with: 'do I look like I give a damn?'

What a pathetic SOB.

PS.  I didn't like any girls in this movie at all.  What a way to screw up a male fantasy movie!

Not what I'm used to - not a "Bond" film (none / 0) (#88)
by Equilibrium123 on Sun Dec 17, 2006 at 05:30:50 PM EST

Tripe: 1. Chasing bomb wielding terrorists and playing Texas Hold-Em - very original (not) - very vogue I guess...Republican enlistment plot for the right demographics, and an advertisement for online poker. 2. Mushy love scenes with Ava Green, not the love-em-and-leave-em Bond. He's going to sail around the world with her and quit the service he spent his life preparing for - because (sniff) he's in wuv with her - I wanted to puke. Then she drowns for him like Shakespeare's Ophelia - double puke She has his suit custom fit to him, also insipid fake argument (battle of the witless) when they meet 3. Bad acting: Bond is inconsistent, hard and soft, hot and cold, sensitive then sociopathic - not someone you'd want to be friends with in real life 4. Action scenes could be from any movie - insert action hero's head here. 5. Plot jumped around, no central theme (I know: read the book) 6. Out of the Bond movie tongue-in-cheek tradition that I grew up with (Arch Super Villians with earth shattering weapons, new toys presented by Q, etc.) 7. Villian Le Chiffre was a Sadistic Coward - he could have very quietly asked Bond for the money and "made him an offer he couldn't refuse" ala Godfather...that would have been more powerful(yes, yes I have to read the book) 8. M needs to be replaced by anyone else. 9. This was an undercover Chick Flick (Bond is at times sensitive, indecisive, and is often naked - how like a woman)screen written by Feminist sympathizers who want to see ass. 10. We see Bond's sweat and blood - we should never see Bond sweat - he's the mythical superman: IE: We don't see Brosnan sweat while he's so suavely chasing the bad guys with a tank. 11. It was all too believable...and stupid. You've all been duped. GM

Casino Royale (2006) | 88 comments (77 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
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