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XLord007 Nov 16, 2006 (edited Nov 17, 2006)

I went to a benefit premiere of Casino Royale tonight.  I've not really into the whole swank philanthropy scene, but I've always wanted to go to a Bond premiere, so I finally did it.  I'll spare you the details of Aston Martins, gold-painted women, 007 ice sculptures, etc., and just get to the point.

Casino Royale is raw.  I had heard that word being thrown around on the interweb as a description for this movie, and it's absolutely spot on.  The feel is visceral and hard-hitting with much more suspense and shots that make you jump.  This is a very different Bond than we've seen before.  He's more arrogant than confident, he never hesitates, and he's sloppier.

The dialog is clever as ever, the story is deeper than usual (if somewhat convoluted), it's more emotional, and the chemistry between Bond and Vesper is excellent.

Acting is very good for the most part; some of the supporting characters are weak, but all the principals do a great job.  And Daniel Craig is Bond.

The new theme song, "You Know My Name" by Chris Cornell isn't very exciting, but it may grow on me if I can track down a copy of the soundtrack [edit: it's not on the soundtrack].  I'll also need the CD to get a better feel for David Arnold's score, but he uses the Bond cues rather gingerly as the movie goes through the transformation of James Bond into 007.

Anyone expecting Bond traditions may be in for a bit of a surprise as Money Penny, Q, Charlie Robinson, and most shocking of all, the classic spotlight to gun barrel intro, have all been scrapped.  I'm particularly irked by that last point, and I sincerely hope they bring it back in 2008's as yet untitled Bond 22.  Retained traditions include the elaborate main titles, M, Felix Leiter, and the usual dizzying array of product placements.

Bottom line: Casino Royale is a good, very good.  It feels distinctly different from past Bond movies, and I wish more traditions were retained, but there's something seductive in this film's edge, and I will almost certainly see it in theaters again once its official run begins.

Jay Nov 16, 2006

I'm hearing nothing but good things about it. I felt so appalled by the last bunch of Bond movies that it has soured my whole view on Bond. It's strange - I can't even enjoy the older ones because they just bring back memories of the cack that was that last one. So I may be so tainted that I won't enjoy this regardless of its quality or it could to the opposite and renew my interest in Bond. That's if I can bring myself to go see it.

raynebc Nov 16, 2006

Even if they decided to replace Bond yet again, I think getting rid of Money Penny and Q is unforgivable.  That said, I'll have to see this movie, since I've liked all the Bond movies since Goldeneye.

SonicPanda Nov 17, 2006

If I remember right, Royale was the first Bond book - isn't it possible the omitted characters just aren't in the series at that point? They could be in the next one quite easily.

Schala Nov 17, 2006

XLord007 wrote:

This is a very different Bond than we've seen before.  He's more arrogant than confident, he never hesitates, and he's sloppier.

Well, "Casino Royale" *is* the very first Bond book, so you wouldn't expect him to be the same as he is later in the series. I've heard that the movie does a very good job in setting up the beginnings of the suave bond we've all gotten to know. I personally can't wait to see the infamous "shaken or stirred?" scene. ^_~

Out of curiosity, has ANY Bond fan here EVER had the urge to read the books? Or has actually done so? Why or why not?

Jay Nov 17, 2006

I read two of the books a long, long time ago - my granddad was a fan. As most of my Bond film experience came during the 80s, the books felt very different and, while I enjoyed them, I was more into the sillier over the top Bond of the movies. As getting sillier and over the top eventually led to the ultimate silly and over the top last movie that put the final nail in my Bond coffin, maybe I'd enjoy revisiting the books as an adult.

XLord007 Nov 17, 2006

Schala wrote:

Out of curiosity, has ANY Bond fan here EVER had the urge to read the books? Or has actually done so? Why or why not?

Two of my friends have read the books.  I understand that they are more or less completely different from the films.  I'm interested in reading them, but they are vastly overpriced.  If I can get a set of all of them for around $30 or less, I'm in.

James O Nov 19, 2006

I liked the movie very much as well.  Does anyone know what kind of cell phone Vesper Lynd's was?  I really liked the design of it and how it looked. (I want one =p)  I'm a sucker for product placement.

Ramza Nov 20, 2006

raynebc wrote:

Even if they decided to replace Bond yet again, I think getting rid of Money Penny and Q is unforgivable.  That said, I'll have to see this movie, since I've liked all the Bond movies since Goldeneye.

Like the others said, Casino Royale as a book takes place in a world that is Money-Penny-less and Q-less. It wasn't the film studio's decision, they were just going by the original book.

Ian Fleming's portrayal of Bond is a lot less flattering than all the films (even this one, though this one gets a lot closer). James Bond is a British spy, but he's also a drunk who generally fails at finding true love. The glamourized man-whore that we see in, say, Goldeneye, is actually depressed as hell and sloshed because he can't find lasting love.

Go read a book, kiddos. smile

Ramza

James O Nov 20, 2006

James O wrote:

I liked the movie very much as well.  Does anyone know what kind of cell phone Vesper Lynd's was?  I really liked the design of it and how it looked. (I want one =p)  I'm a sucker for product placement.

Silly me, I should have just looked it up in the Casino Royale entry in Wikipedia in the first place.  In any case, it's a Sony Ericsson M600i, but it seems it's a UK only type for phone for now.  doh... ;_;

Angela Mar 13, 2007

Just saw Casino Royale for the first time today.  It's incredible; it would've won my favorite movie of 2006 easily, if not for Pirates 2.

Anyone remember that commercial with the guy racing that chicken through the city's alleyways?  And he was doing those crazy wall jumps and dexterous fence climbs?  I can't help but feel that the Madagascar chase scene in the beginning of the film is a direct homage to that commercial.  I was even thinking that maybe it was the same actor. o_O

XLord007 Mar 16, 2007

Angela wrote:

And he was doing those crazy wall jumps and dexterous fence climbs?  I can't help but feel that the Madagascar chase scene in the beginning of the film is a direct homage to that commercial.  I was even thinking that maybe it was the same actor. o_O

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkour

Angela Mar 16, 2007

Yep, I just watched the DVD featurette on Parkour.  It's pretty cool stuff, and certainly lends itself to great looking stunt work.  Now I'm almost certain that the commercial in question is the line of Nike Presto shoes that the article stated..... and perhaps it really is Foucan who was featured in that commercial.

In related news, I just went ahead and purchased the soundtrack CD, as well as the digital version album on iTunes for the complete tracks.  Royale is definitely my favorite of the David Arnold-composed Bond scores; it balances 007 thematic elegance with pumping action cues and subtly-tense mood pieces beautifully.

XLord007 Mar 18, 2007 (edited Mar 18, 2007)

Angela wrote:

In related news, I just went ahead and purchased the soundtrack CD, as well as the digital version album on iTunes for the complete tracks.  Royale is definitely my favorite of the David Arnold-composed Bond scores; it balances 007 thematic elegance with pumping action cues and subtly-tense mood pieces beautifully.

I have to say that I was really pissed about the soundtrack not having the title theme.  This is the first Bond soundtrack EVER, in 44 freaking years, not to have the title track on it.  I had to import the single from the UK to get it.  Not cool, Sony.  Not frickin cool.  Also, the special features on the Casino Royale DVD suck.  They don't even have the theatrical trailers and TV commercials for the film.  WTF?

brandonk Mar 18, 2007

I also recently watched this movie.  It is definitely a great movie, and probably one of my favorite bond movies.   The earlier review mentioned 'raw', I used the term 'meat and potatos', this is at the core, a Bond for a a slightly younger generation.  They really came strong on this bond flick.  I think this is the first one that didn't have "Q" in it...But again, it goes back to the beginning of Bond, so maybe he comes in future sequals. 

One thing, I can't believe this was rated PG-13, some of the elements I wouldn't want my kids watching (if i had them...which I don't...lol).  Violent, but not bloody.  Action packed, intense, classy.  Highly recommended.

Angela Mar 18, 2007

XLord007 wrote:

I have to say that I was really pissed about the soundtrack not having the title theme.  This is the first Bond soundtrack EVER, in 44 freaking years, not to have the title track on it.  I had to import the single from the UK to get it.  Not cool, Sony.  Not frickin cool.

Yeah, that really was an odd and disappointing exclusion.  At least for me, they have Cornell's music video on the DVD, which saved me a buck by ripping the song with DVD Audio Extractor, instead of having to purchase it through iTunes.  The rip quality is better than Apple's M4P-encoded file, too.

Wanderer Mar 19, 2007

I have to say that I was really pissed about the soundtrack not having the title theme.  This is the first Bond soundtrack EVER, in 44 freaking years, not to have the title track on it.  I had to import the single from the UK to get it.  Not cool, Sony.  Not frickin cool.  Also, the special features on the Casino Royale DVD suck.  They don't even have the theatrical trailers and TV commercials for the film.  WTF?

It's especially irritating because the title song is heavily integrated into Arnold's score.

XLord007 Mar 19, 2007

brandonk wrote:

I think this is the first one that didn't have "Q" in it...But again, it goes back to the beginning of Bond, so maybe he comes in future sequals.

For the record, of the 21 official Bond movies, the following films do not contain Q/R:

-Dr. No (1) [Q's source character from the novels is represented here, but not Q as we know him in the future films]
-Live & Let Die (7)
-Casino Royale (21)

Also, on a related subject, the Money Penny character has been in every official film except the most recent and M has been in every one except For Your Eyes Only.

csK Mar 20, 2007

I really liked it.  I like the 'campy' Bond for novelty purposes, but outside of Dr. No or the sublime From Russia, I don't put in one of the other films for a 'higher' experience ever (though I've never seen OHMSS.)  And this one is much closer to From Russia then ANY of the other ones I've seen, which is as much praise as a Bond film has gotten so far.

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