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Casino Royale

It should come as no surprise that I went and saw the new Bond flick, Casino Royale. I recently read the book, after all, and the promise of the torture of Bond's genitals was too much to pass up.

In truth, I am not a huge Bond fan. Sometimes I see the films, sometimes I don't, and at the end, they finish and I forget them. If they stopped making the films, I'd never notice the difference in my life, which, you know, is like much of the things produced, art wise. Still, with that said, I have to say, I had a good time in the new Bond film. The entire reason for this would be the new Bond, Daniel Craig, who gives us a more violent, brutal, obsessed Bond. The kind of Bond who will track down a man and murder him, not because he is a threat, but because he an object to be removed in his goal of reaching a prominent figure, and because Bond is unable to solve any threat, ultimately, unless it is through violence. M, played by Judi Dench and who, for the first time, is allowed to be a powerful, intelligent figure, calls Bond a blunt instrument, and indeed, in this film, he is.

Casino Royale as a film isn't anything special, once you remove Craig and Dench. Some of the stunts go too long as, indeed, does the film, and it's all pretty workmanlike in the end. Still, that's nothing new, as none of the Bond films are anything special, director wise. It's drone film making for the franchise.

But Craig is a fine Bond, and if you're curious, it's a nice way to kill a few hours.

Comments

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angriest
Dec. 18th, 2006 02:38 am (UTC)
I think you underrate the film quite a bit. Bond is a very odd, very confined genre unto itself, and I was delighted that they'd pushed the film so far from what I'd come to expect.
benpeek
Dec. 18th, 2006 03:13 am (UTC)
to me, you either see bond as something special, or you just see it as a by the numbers franchise. i'm in that second boat. still, i dug the last film, cause they pushed out from a lot of the usual stuff and stripped it back. but still, same bond film in the end.
angriest
Dec. 18th, 2006 04:28 am (UTC)
Can it be somewhere in between?

I see Bond as a calcified institution - the best action cinema in the world in the 1960s, camp self-aware parody in the 1970s and 1990s and overly serious irrelevance in the 1980s. Casino Royale actually managed to make it feel genuinely relevant and interesting again.
benpeek
Dec. 18th, 2006 04:31 am (UTC)
Can it be somewhere in between?

sure, why not?
ataxi
Dec. 18th, 2006 04:21 am (UTC)
They did very well with the character, but not so well with the film, barring a couple of exceptional moments. It was torn between breaking with established procedure and hewing to it.

Daniel Craig is very fresh, but I was so weary of Brosnan after the last two that practically anyone could've redeemed things a little ... I think I'll wait to see if he can sustain two more Bonds without starting to shit me off before offering serious praise.
benpeek
Dec. 18th, 2006 04:33 am (UTC)
what i especially liked about craig is that, when next to dench, you had this feeling that dench wasn't actually holding back. whenever she appeared next to brosnan, i always had this sense that she was holding back a little.

but yeah, you're right, it'll all be about if it keeps it up. i like this stripped back bond, too, so i wonder if they'll keep it with that as it goes along.
ataxi
Dec. 18th, 2006 07:09 am (UTC)
Judi Dench actually gave a convincing impression of having the hots for Daniel Craig I thought :-)

Bond's whole relationship with MI5 in the new film is one of the cooler aspects - instead of them being one step ahead of him (as per usual in the Q sequences in other movies, for example), he was constantly surprising them. Hacking their systems, invading M's apartment, fixing problems before they were aware of them, etc. This felt plausible to me because Bond is supposed to be an exceptional individual. Some of the other films have had a kind of Walter Mitty quality about them with Bond as a quasi-dunce who just happens to be in the right place at the right time, whereas I feel he should rely on a combination of serendipity and extreme competence to succeed.
benpeek
Dec. 18th, 2006 11:16 pm (UTC)
i actually though dench gave a good impression of being both fascinated and frightened by bond. almost like she had a violent animal that she could just control, but which she knew would eventually turn on her.

but yeah, i did like the relationship with MI5. i mostly liked that it was gadget free, however.
woosang
Dec. 20th, 2006 07:16 am (UTC)
I tried
I did. Really. I read Casino Royal, and Goldfinger, and have come to the conclusion, that Ian Fleming's books are crap and I will go and see the new movie under sufferance when the Hubby drags me there. He will pay. I also have suffered no loss is no James Bond movie is ever produced again.

The orginal Casion Royal movie was a spoof.
benpeek
Dec. 20th, 2006 11:22 am (UTC)
Re: I tried
yeah, it was on the telly the other night. woody allen and orson welles. i never saw it though, but i reckon i will one day.

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