Casino Royale Reviews

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  • PredatorPredator Posts: 785Chief of Staff
    Alessandra wrote:
    I have now finished watching CR for the third time. And not because I liked it. It hasn't been released here in Italy yet, but a girl always has her ways to get what she wants. :D

    Hmmmm ... I thought one of the bootlegs was from Italy. Let's hope you are not supporting piracy Alessandra.

    As for your post, I am sorry to say that I disagreed with every single comment. Ah well, my gain I suppose in that I watched a film that was a pleasurable experience for me!
  • jetsetwillyjetsetwilly Liverpool, UKPosts: 1,048MI6 Agent
    Alessandra wrote:
    She was actually a far more helpless Bond girl than others were in the past, and this just bothered me to no ends. She just sits there, bats eyelashes and does nothing unless someone calls her on her cell phone and tells her to do something. She takes no initiative...As for the one liners and the cliches, Vesper isn't supposed to be like the other Bond girls in other movies. She is different, speaks intelligently and acts intelligently. I saw none of this. I really liked Vesper in the book. But on screen, I didn't see the Vesper I liked in the book.

    But the Vesper in the novel is utterly passive; she has no role within the book except to look frightened and get captured (and when captured, she has her face covered and her vagina exposed - is there any clearer indication to her part in the novel?). She even lets Bond choose her food for her at dinner! Vesper in the novel has no purpose (she's assigned as Bond's assistant - can someone find me an example of her actually assisting him?), unlike film Vesper who is assigned from the Treasury. Futhermore, she's the one with her hands on the purse strings - evident from the scene where she declines Bond's request for a further five million.

    The film Vesper is also active in her double dealing; remember, she negotiaties to save Bond's life, which book Vesper doesn't. Book Vesper is also neurotic and hysterical. The man with the eyepatch causes her to practically fit, and she makes hysterical demands of Bond to pull the car off the road, or to hide. Vesper in the film spots the man and we see a shadow cross her face as she takes on board what she is doing, nothing more.

    It's true that Vesper in the film is not flaunting her sexuality; she is remaining respectable to gain acceptance, as Bond points out in their amusing dialogue. Sexuality is not all about cleavage and pouts. I thought Eva was at her most beautiful in the moment where she wore no makeup and a dressing gown, and the purple dress was subtle and yet sexual.

    And if you think verbal sparring is the sign of a weak woman, then I have to disagree completely. Throughout, she's subjected to a series of verbal sexual assaults from Bond; she has three choices:

    1) give in to them
    2) tell him to get lost and refuse to talk to him
    3) match him wherever possible, and give as good as she gets. In other words, act as an equal.

    I really, really am baffled to hear you champion "strong" women, and then turn to the novel Vesper as an example. The girl in the book is barely a character; in the film, she's a woman.
    Founder of the Wint & Kidd Appreciation Society.

    @merseytart
  • AlessandraAlessandra Lake Garda, ItalyPosts: 633MI6 Agent
    edited November 2006
    Well, I guess I interpret and see the way Vesper behaves in the book in a totally different way. I respected the Vesper portrayed in the book. I don't respect the woman I've seen on screen who thinks that hitting back with cheap psychology and wearing serious suits makes you gain "intelligent woman" status. As I said, no initiative, no intelligent sentences, just banter and one liners that any other Bond girl would have. Vesper was a woman in the book. In the movie, I just saw a whatever Bond girl. Who, unlike others (for example Pam Bouvier, whom I really liked) never really looked like she could do anything aside from answering her cell phone and typing numbers on a computer. But was acting as if she was this incredible woman.

    Hey, to each his own! :D We can't all see things in the same ways and like the same things. That's all good to me. :)
    "Are we on coms?" (if you don't know where this is from... you've missed some really good stuff! :D)
  • Moonraker 5Moonraker 5 Ayrshire, ScotlandPosts: 1,821MI6 Agent
    edited November 2006
    Alessandra wrote:
    As I said, no initiative, no intelligent sentences, just banter and one liners that any other Bond girl would have.
    Like Stacey Sutton, Mary Goodnight, Kara Milovy, Lupe Lamora... ;)
    Mary Goodnight being the worst, surely - she just runs around in a bikini like a bungling buffoon.

    I like the fact she wasn't flaunting her sexuality either. I respect that. I don't mean hiding it or becoming more masculine, I mean using sexuality as an advantage to get what you want. To be honest, I don't think that's the sign of a strong person, I'd say it's just a way to make up for the shortcomings in character - and that applies to both sexes.
    unitedkingdom.png
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,071MI6 Agent
    Alessandra wrote:
    I guess we all have different ideas and perceptions Lady Rose.

    I didn't mean strong as in kicking enemies' asses around. I meant as in strong character, will, determination. Vesper had none of those in the movie. She was actually a far more helpless Bond girl than others were in the past, and this just bothered me to no ends. She just sits there, bats eyelashes and does nothing unless someone calls her on her cell phone and tells her to do something. She takes no initiative. She is the perfect incarnation of women who are at the mercy of men and think they are not because they spit back one liners and wear serious suits when working. It's such a cliche that I really refuse to deal with it.

    As for the one liners and the cliches, Vesper isn't supposed to be like the other Bond girls in other movies. She is different, speaks intelligently and acts intelligently. I saw none of this. I really liked Vesper in the book. But on screen, I didn't see the Vesper I liked in the book. I guess I have a totally different idea of how she was supposed to be, or maybe I am sensitive to certain issues because I work in an environment which is typically manly. :)) No idea. I just didn't like her at all.

    You missed the bit where she took intiative and bargained for Bond's life, then? Or the bit where she saved his life by holding down Obanno's arm? Or the bit where she saved Bond's life by hooking up the defibrilator? Her whole role in this film is based on her trying to save the lives of both of the men in her life. Did you actually watch it?
  • Barry NelsonBarry Nelson ChicagoPosts: 1,505MI6 Agent
    emtiem wrote:
    Alessandra wrote:
    I guess we all have different ideas and perceptions Lady Rose.

    I didn't mean strong as in kicking enemies' asses around. I meant as in strong character, will, determination. Vesper had none of those in the movie. She was actually a far more helpless Bond girl than others were in the past, and this just bothered me to no ends. She just sits there, bats eyelashes and does nothing unless someone calls her on her cell phone and tells her to do something. She takes no initiative. She is the perfect incarnation of women who are at the mercy of men and think they are not because they spit back one liners and wear serious suits when working. It's such a cliche that I really refuse to deal with it.

    As for the one liners and the cliches, Vesper isn't supposed to be like the other Bond girls in other movies. She is different, speaks intelligently and acts intelligently. I saw none of this. I really liked Vesper in the book. But on screen, I didn't see the Vesper I liked in the book. I guess I have a totally different idea of how she was supposed to be, or maybe I am sensitive to certain issues because I work in an environment which is typically manly. :)) No idea. I just didn't like her at all.

    You missed the bit where she took intiative and bargained for Bond's life, then? Or the bit where she saved his life by holding down Obanno's arm? Or the bit where she saved Bond's life by hooking up the defibrilator? Her whole role in this film is based on her trying to save the lives of both of the men in her life. Did you actually watch it?

    Just because her take on Vesper wasn't yours Em doesn't mean she didn't watch it.

    I would also add I think the many posts saying Vesper was an emotional wreck and completly passive are overstating the case. When introduced to Bond, Vesper is described by Mathis as "as serious as you could wish and cold as an icicle. She speaks French like a native and knows ger job backwards". When Bond asks her to dinner she accepts and immediatly invites herself to the casino with him. When he picks her up,she aggresively puts her arm through his and talks about making a grand entrance. Lets not forget she is a double, and her mission is to gain Bond's confidence, something she does rather well. She does not become an emotionally confused person until the third act where she realizes she loves Bond, but loving Bond may seal the fate of her boyfriend who they are holding. She certainly is no Mary Goodnight!

    I haven't seen the movie yet, (will tonight), so I can't comment on Vesper in the movie, but lets not say the Vesper in the book is a bumbling, confused, bimbo with no part to play then be captured with her dress pulled over her head. That would simply be wrong.
  • Moonraker 5Moonraker 5 Ayrshire, ScotlandPosts: 1,821MI6 Agent
    but lets not say the Vesper in the book is a bumbling, confused, bimbo with no part to play then be captured with her dress pulled over her head. That would simply be wrong.
    No one is saying that she's a bumbling, confused, bimbo in the books Barry. Don't overstate what's being said.
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  • Barry NelsonBarry Nelson ChicagoPosts: 1,505MI6 Agent
    Upon review of the above posts, I may have overstated my case. The bimbo part was based on Willie's comment about having her vagina exposed. However, I do stand by point that Vesper in the book is actually very capable, until the final act.
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,071MI6 Agent
    Just because her take on Vesper wasn't yours Em doesn't mean she didn't watch it.

    When you say a character didn't do something the film clearly shows them doing, be that inability to wear a hat when they wear a massive fedora all the way through or lack of initiative or strength when they're shown to save two men's lives through quick thinking and self sacrifice; it does however rather suggest she wasn't paying attention.
  • PredatorPredator Posts: 785Chief of Staff
    I will step in to remind people (and myself) that this is a thread dedicated to reviews.

    If there is a point of contention, perhaps you could PM the poster or start a new thread.

    Thanks.
  • AlessandraAlessandra Lake Garda, ItalyPosts: 633MI6 Agent
    edited November 2006
    emtiem wrote:
    Just because her take on Vesper wasn't yours Em doesn't mean she didn't watch it.

    When you say a character didn't do something the film clearly shows them doing, be that inability to wear a hat when they wear a massive fedora all the way through or lack of initiative or strength when they're shown to save two men's lives through quick thinking and self sacrifice; it does however rather suggest she wasn't paying attention.

    I was paying attention. And I watched it three times, not one. Keeping the arm down while someone is trying to murder someone else who is defending you? That doesn't look like spirit of initiative to me. It looks like surviving. Again, my opinion. Everybody else is more than free to see it differently.

    Anyway it doesn't matter. I didn't like Vesper in the movie at all, I gave my reasons. Everyone has their own reasons but the fact I don't share somebody else's reason doesn't make me either ill-informed or not attentive to the movie. I totally respect the fact other people see it differently. And I think I am entitled to the same respect.

    I didn't mean to stir up debate with my impressions. And I apologise if I replied, I probably shouldn't have. Anyway, all's good. I am more than glad that people enjoyed the movie and that the franchise is in good health financially wise. All the rest is just personal taste and preference. Which all of us are entitled to. It's a nice world because we all are different, so let's toast to Thanksgiving and put a smile on, I say. {[]
    "Are we on coms?" (if you don't know where this is from... you've missed some really good stuff! :D)
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,071MI6 Agent
    Alessandra wrote:
    emtiem wrote:
    Just because her take on Vesper wasn't yours Em doesn't mean she didn't watch it.

    When you say a character didn't do something the film clearly shows them doing, be that inability to wear a hat when they wear a massive fedora all the way through or lack of initiative or strength when they're shown to save two men's lives through quick thinking and self sacrifice; it does however rather suggest she wasn't paying attention.

    I was paying attention. And I watched it three times, not one. Keeping the arm down while someone is trying to murder someone else who is defending you? That doesn't look like spirit of initiative to me. It looks like surviving. Again, my opinion. Everybody else is more than free to see it differently.

    I was talking about her deals to save Bond and her Algerian Boyfriend from death; not the fight scene.
  • PredatorPredator Posts: 785Chief of Staff
    edited November 2006
    Predator wrote:
    I will step in to remind people (and myself) that this is a thread dedicated to reviews.

    If there is a point of contention, perhaps you could PM the poster or start a new thread.

    Thanks.

    Repeated for the benefit of Alessandra and emtiem. I suggest the PM route.
  • Barry NelsonBarry Nelson ChicagoPosts: 1,505MI6 Agent
    edited November 2006
    Boy was I wrong, CR was a wonderful movie that I enjoyed a great deal. Not a perfect movie, but a darn good one. Congratulation to Babs and Wilson for taking a chance and delivering.

    So much to say, let me start by saying I am glad I did not read the script and stayed away from spoilers as much as possible. I went to the theater not knowing what to expect and was very pleased and surprised at times.

    The script writers did a great job adapting CR the novel, to the screen, the story was as faithful as I think they could make it for a story over 50 years old. I have some small things I would change, like the poisening during the poker game. The blowing up of the airplane seemed like a rather complicated scheme to try and pull off. But, overall a nice job.

    Campbell, once again I think he did a good job, my only complaint is I just don't like how he shoots and cuts action scenes. Too many quick cuts and extreme close ups. During the fight in the stairwell it was hard to tell who was who at times. During the fight in the construction area, Bond is on the hoist and kicks off the pipes, we then see Bond being rapidly lifted to the iron beams, just as he approaches it, Campbell cuts away to the pipes hitting the ground, IMO taking away the from the excitement of the scene. But the movie had a good pacing and the locations were shot beautifully. Capmbell has shot two Bond movies and they are two of the better ones, so kudos to him.

    Craig, was wonderful as a new style Bond. I still don't think he looks right for the Bond I know, some of the close ups of him were revealing and not in a good way. But, I believe we have a new Bond, the old Bond is dead. But as the first of the new Bond's he had a commanding presense, was cocky as he should be was great in the action scenes and held his own in the romantic scenes.

    Green, she just is not my style, her performance was fine, although I had trouble understanding her a couple times. I had some trouble believing Bond would fall for her, really didn't see the chemistry. I still find her odd looking. Surprisingly, I thought she looked best in the scene in the bathroom when Bond brings her a dress to wear and she has no make up on what-so-ever. Her look there was fresh, young and vibrant.

    Murino - my biggest complaint was that she ws WAY under utilized, She is a throw back to the gorgeous Bond girls of old and should have had more of a role.

    Mads - was a great villian, I thought he underplayed his character just enough to make him creepy and desperate.

    Dench - What a great M, I had no trouble accepting her as M, as once the movie started I completly forgot about who was M when and all that. EON is lucky to have her.

    Wright and Gianinni were both good allies and a nice twist on the book with Mathis, possibly being a double.

    Milicevic - had more of a role than Murino and that is a mistake, as Bond girls go, she doesn't stack up.

    The dialogue was very good, but a couple lines I did not care for. Still don;t like that "I have no armor left. you stripped it from me", sounds very forced. Also didn't like the shaken or stirred line, that he didn't give a damn. I thought that made light of the previous Bonds where they would specifically request shaken.

    Also didn't care for the titles, boring and uninspired, the theme song, and the gun barrel sequence.

    The movie is still sinking in, and how it stacks up will be determined by future viewings, but I enjoyed it greatly. If I was to add anything to Craig's Bond character, it would be a little bit more Bond style charm. He comes across a little like a terminator at times. But, he gave the part everything he had, can't ask for anything more than that.

    Notes - I went to a cinema with approximately 350 seats and I would say the it was less than half full. The best trailer I saw was for The Good Shepard, the story of how the CIA was started.

    James Bond Will Return
  • caretakercaretaker Posts: 1MI6 Agent
    Daniel Craig's Bond not only has a licence to kill but a look that will kill. He stalks his way through the movie with an animal hunger to kill and feed off his spoils. Yet his sensitivity when required is remarkably moving, adding new layers to a character that the whole world thought they knew how to play. The best actor to play Bond since Dalton (good or bad you decide) the best Bond since Connery or dare I say better? You tell me.....
  • donohokmdonohokm Posts: 3MI6 Agent
    seriously great film as we all know, however just one hang up. may seem like a stupid question ive seen the film twice however i still cant put my finger on why Vesper kills herself surely her and bond could of resolved something. anybody help please its reckon my head????
  • fastflamefastflame Posts: 2MI6 Agent
    Rating 003.5

    First, as a long time Bond fan I was very disappointed in the entire story being reset to post 9/11. Bond came out of the cold war---period! This trivializes all the previous movies.

    It will be curious as to how they will handle future eposides; new stories? or will they *******ize the existing ones? Personally, I think "From Iran with Love" simply won't cut it!

    I found the movie much more of an action-drama rather than an action-adventure; it was not nearly as fun to watch.

    Yes, the movie had lots of action, but some of it was as far fetched as in any previous Bond movie. And speaking of far fetched action, will Hollywood ever learn how automatic fire sprinklers really work? Probably not, but in case anyone is wondering, they all don't go off at once with the push of a button. In fact, for sprinklers in airports, there are no buttons.

    As for Daniel Craig, he certainly did a good job, but his light colored hair and blue eyes are more remaniscent of the Russian bad guy from Russia with Love than with the brown-eyed British secret service agent portrayed by Connery.

    It will be interesting to see where this new story line goes, but if Casino Royale is indicative of future movies, my viewing time will stick to the past. As an old saying goes, "Not every new idea is good, and not every old idea is bad."
  • fastflamefastflame Posts: 2MI6 Agent
    I was a Daniel Craig doubter before and am still a doubter after seeing the movie. Shame on me---"like I give a damn."
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 17,563MI6 Agent
    I'm right back from seeing CR. The movie premiered in Norway tonight. First I'll eat some humble pie. I was wrong. Not about Craig, like some others should do! I allways gave him the benefit of doubt, and he rewarded that chance fully. He is brilliant and at least as good as Sean Connery was. No, the one I underestimated was Martin Cambell. I thought he was the weak link in the movie based on his previous movies that's been passable at best. This must be his masterpiece and he proved very much up to the task.
    I have allready commented on the lead. The rest of the cast is also spot on. Particularely Eva Green is superb. Diana Rigg is now the second most interesting Bond girl ever. I also liked the way Felix Leiter was introduced. He came as a natural and vital part of the story and and the information about him was need to know. He is still a bit of a mystery to the audience. I hope Moneypenny and Q will be introduced in simmular fashion in the sequels.
    Now the story. I liked the pre-credits sequence very much. There was no need for a huge breathtaking stunt because the black and white brutallity of the two first killings was enough to make the audience sit up and pay attention. Still, I feel it was a bit short and had a tone that might be too different in tone from the rest of the film. The gunbarrel at the end was a fine way to mark the new start of the series.
    The title sequence was very good. It was new and fresh but still very much in the tradition, much like the entire film. The title song is one of the few weak parts of CR. Sorry, it could and should have been better.
    The rest of the plot was very strong for an action movie. I liked the dialogue and the fact that Bond is both an assasin and a spy in this movie, something we have seen little of in the past. The humor was good. It was used sparingly but to good effect. The best humourus lines was during the torture sequence, strangly enough. Even better, the humour didn't destroy the tense and painfull scene!
    The action was just like it should be, believable and unbelievable at the same time. The best action scene was the chase through the construction site. The freerunner was acrobatic. Bond was very agile and fit, but had to make up for his shortcommings as a freerunner by brute strength and smartness.
    Now for the ending. I'm not shure it was made clear enough to the audience that Vesper commits suicide. The scene is still emotionally very strong, but it should have been made clearer that she takes her own life. I also feel the end line from the novel is blunted too much. "The bitch is dead" -line in the book was incredibly cold-hearted and heartbreaking at the same time. In the movie it looses inpact by being in the middle of the dialogue and by M defending Vesper. Perhaps it was neccesery to do it like this to humanize Bond and Vesper, but also to get the "My name is Bond, James Bond."-payoff.
    But what is it with mr White? I thought he was going to be the Blofeld to Craig's Bond - the guy he fights for the next movies. If he is, something dramatic must happen while the end credits roll!
    This is still the best Bond film for very many years, probably ever. It's hard to compare to the first films in the series, because films and the world was diferent then. I will give Casino Royale 006 points. I considered giving it the top rating, but I chose not to because there should be room to improve on (near) perfection!
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 17,563MI6 Agent
    I forgot a couple of point i would like to have made in my review. First, the locations. I think the locations were only gritty when they needed to be. The african guerillas shouldn't live in a castle anyway. When the locations could be lush, exotic and colourfull, they were. This is one of the ways CR is different from the Bourne films, just like it should. That goes for the whole film, it takes the kinetic action from Mission Impossible and the "realism", the good stories and the emotional impact of Bourne, but keeps what makes it Bond.
    I don't know any more about poker than Vesper did, but I still found the poker scenes exiting. They don't slow the movie down too much and without them the movie just wouldn't be Casino Royale. The end
  • VirgilVirgil Posts: 99MI6 Agent
    Simply brilliant. Up there IMO with FRWL, GF, and OHMSS. Having read all the books and CR being one of my favourite Fleming stories, this is simply a dream come true: having the complete book adapted so faithfully.
    The cast is perfect, the locations beautiful, the action scenes exciting and most important, well integrated in the plot, the pace breathtaking (almost 2 and a half hours gone in a flash)
    But the best of the movie is Daniel Craig. He plays Bond with a rock and roll star attitude and makes the character his own from the first time he appears. Up there with Connery, no doubt about it anymore. What an actor.
  • General_OurumovGeneral_Ourumov United KingdomPosts: 862MI6 Agent
    I was neither for or against the casting of Daniel Craig, and went into this movie with an absolutely open mind.

    I'm glad they've established Bond's brutality straight away in the pre-credits sequence (though was initially wondering where the gunbarrel was). Mind you, wasn't it rather pointless? I mean, in many previous films the pre-credits sequence has set everyone up for the rest of the film and its plot. If this was simply to prove that Bond has been re-invented, well, I don't think it was all that effective.

    LOVED the titles, and the Chris Cornell song. They both blended well, and, were it not for the fact that I didn't know the words, I'd probably have sung along too. Bond songs have been rather lame of late; DAD was awful, TWINE and TND were far too slow and mellow. So it was nice for a change - as well as a male singer finally! Speaking of music, I was most impressed with the score - Arnold's best for sure.

    The beginning of the film was strong overall - and the action sequences were superb. It was the middle part of the film that I really enjoyed - the poker game was so incredibly tense; I mean, I don't even know how to play it, but I felt like I was sat around that table with them. Some people have complained that the film lagged during these bits; but I think the very subtle showdown was one of the film's greatest highlights.

    The torture sequence was painful to watch, but I think it was necessary to have Bond put through a real test - and also to see Le Chiffre's darker side. Vesper's betrayal and death was quite effective - one of the few effective moments in what I thought was a comparatively weak and unsatisfying ending.

    I’ll go through some individual characters and state my own thoughts;

    James Bond:- Brilliant. I must admit that I always prefer the villains in Bond movies, but here, watching the man himself was a highlight. I disagree that he is ugly, or doesn’t fit the role. His lighter hair is one of the most ridiculous things anyone could complain about - because it doesn’t matter one bit. Craig has the look, the physicality, the character and style of an all-new Bond down to a T. I’d like to think this man will be around for at least two or three more films.

    Vesper Lynd:- Quite simply the best Bond girl for decades. I found her intriguing at first, and then, as did Bond, I warmed to her greatly as her character shone through. Eva Green was the perfect girl for the part, and she was everything you could hope for. Her death was very effective, and made me feel for Bond.

    Le Chiffre:- Right, this is where I start complaining. I didn’t think Le Chiffre was particularly good at all. He looked relatively menacing, and was set up to be a dangerous man - but when it came down to it - what was he? What henchmen he had (who, to be honest, I can’t even remember) were completely ineffective. Second of all, he didn’t look anything like he was supposed to. Throughout the film he never looked like he had any real control over anything, and he was totally underused. His death was absolutely pathetic, far too early, and at the hands of Mr White - who himself didn’t look at all menacing. I firmly believe that Bond should dispatch the main villain himself, at the film’s conclusion, in a tense duel. Not that the villain should be killed rather suddenly by some boring character three quarters of the way through the film. Summing up, I don’t believe Le Chiffre achieved anything - he was plain, like all his henchmen. His death was just part of what made the film’s conclusion weak for me.

    Felix Leiter - Were he to be used in future Bond films, I could see the character - and Jeffrey Wright - being used to good effect. Here, he had no real purpose.

    To sum up;

    Strong beginning, very strong middle, and a rather so-so ending which left me unsatisfied. The villains in general were some of the weakest I’ve seen for a long time - even DAD’s were better - simply because of Miranda Frost. TWINE had Elektra King. Hell, even TND had a more memorable villain in Carver - and had the fantastic Dr. Kaufman. But I have to say that the rest of the film thoroughly made up for it - I’m not quite ready to rank it amongst all the others - but for now I can certainly confirm it’s in my top quarter. Bond is back in action - roll on Bond 22!

    (7.5/10)
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,027MI6 Agent
    edited November 2006
    Ok, here's my take... :D

    Having followed the making of the film like most of us, I arrived at Casino Royale with certain preconceptions. {:) I had a bit of a speech lined up beforehand actually (slips into Richard Burton voice in final scene of The Wild Geese). You'd have liked it. All about how the good the Brosnan films should have been. :v That moment he checks into the Manhattan suite, Brosnan's Ivy League looks nicely complimenting his surroundings. The dawn safe break in the pre-credits, where Bond escapes across the rooftops, the full panorama of Hong Kong opening up, the sun rising and glinting on the skyscrapers, the Oriental gangsters in full pursuit. The gritty car chase around Moscow and the concurrent photoshoot with Bond at Red Square, St Basil's in the background. The menacing, larger-than-life villains. The terrific songs, on a par with Live And Let Die and Nobody Does It Better. The pop-art posters adorning your wall. :)

    X-( Instead we got a load of muddy, mediocre, better-luck-next-time blockbusters. No wonder Craig's debut doesn't have to try that hard.

    Then I was going to talk about the reboot idea - in Casino Royale Bond gets ticked off by Judi Dench's M, then beaten, brokenhearted and betrayed. He faces a boyish nemesis. Not too different from the Brosnan era, then, surely.

    Finally, they were gonna revitalise the franchise using a 50-year-old novel. Which features a poker game. "You're the best player in the service," M tells him. Best player? Only player more like. Or are we to believe that Bond and MI6 take on Spooks every Tuesday evening? Maybe there's a Ryder Cup where every two years Bond takes on his friends across the Atlantic, Jason Bourne and Jack Bauer... 8-)

    All this speech proves invalid when I see the film...

    Two words make it invalid: Martin Campbell.

    The film opens splendidly. Black and white atmospheric shots. It's almost as good as GoldenEye's opening, with the shots of the dam. You relax, knowing your in safe hands. {[]

    Bond meets the double agent. Hmm, can't hear the dialogue too well. It's a bit muffled. The flashbacks of Bond killing the contact are terrific, grainy, superb. It's a bit squirm inducing, watching this double agent patronise Bond for not being a double o, only gradually realising that he will be the one to make that right, but dramatically very satisfying.

    Bond gets his two kills, but falls victim to Martin Campbell's tin ear for dialogue. Example (I paraphrase): "I know all about you Bond..." He pulls the trigger. The chamber is empty. Bond: "I know where you keep your gun."

    This is a one-liner of sorts. It has symmetry: You know this, but I know THAT. But Craig is allowed to deliver this like it's totally unrelated to the previous line. I had to piece together the writers' intentions.

    Same with the last word, where Bond answers how much easier the second kill is: "Considerably". This should have a dismissive, devastating finality to it, crashing down like a tennis ace smashing an opponent's volley. But Craig's inflection goes upwards, leaving the word hanging as the scene ends. He misdelivers it.

    Into the credits then, and I must say I quite enjoyed the much-maligned theme, not too bad at all. A bit incrongrous against the Flemingesque Fifties visuals, but interesting. A big shot of Craig's mug at the end... Not sure he's got the Milk Tray man looks for that sort of thing. The Bond sillohette was surely a Moore era thing too, what gives?

    Onto the film proper. A City of God style, that's good. Villains meet up and do business. Hmm, a bit like the DAD pre-credits isn't it? Still can't hear the dialogue too well, and this is Odeon Leicester Square. Like hearing a neighbour's noisy party start up at 10.30pm on a weekday, a wave of weary annoyance sweeps over me. How long is this going on for? Or is it a director's trick, to toy with the audience, like a softly-spoken public speaker getting you to lean forward on the edge of your seat? The same happened with Die Another Day, and this year's Dead Man's Chest. I know I'm not deaf, other films are fine eg The Departed...

    The main chase on the cranes. Credit to Campbell, he knows his action. Terrific stuff. {[] The leap Bond makes in pursuit of the bomber is a heart-in-mouth moment. We haven't had any great action directors since Campbell in Goldeneye, EON do seem to struggle with directors. Whereas the Bourne producers hit it out the park both times.

    Still, I had my misgivings. It was like watching a hot and bothered Wayne Rooney chase after a young Pele. We can't help but admire Foucan's grace and atheleticism, it's not faked. Craig's Bond, we admire because he can push a button and work a winch and shoot up several stories and catch up. It's like seeing your team equalise by tricking the ref into giving you a penalty. :(

    Watching Craig somehow catch up reminded me of Ali on the Parkinson show talking about George Foreman as The Mummy... :))

    As written, the scene is about Bond matching his athleticism to his opponent, and getting carried away by physical exhuberance. But Craig's Bond doesn't have any physical exhuberance. He doesn't have that Errol Flynn daring-do. Henry Cavill might have. Brozzer did in GE, check out the similar final scene with Sean Bean. Craig's Bond looks like he'd cynically and patiently wait for the bomber to come down off that crane, then shoot him in the back - a stunt Connery did on pickpocket Wayne Sleep in The First Great Train Robbery.

    Anyway, Bond pushing levers to go sky-high? Isn't that a Brosnan trick, like when he and Christmas Jones escape the underground missile site before it blows, or escapes Alec's gun in the satellite dish by dropping down on the ladder?

    Nasty tell tale reminders of Die Another Day hang over Casino Royale, despite the revamp. The brazen product placement. The car advert, made more obvious by the fact that the camera is lingering over a crumby Ford. 8-) Bond meets a boorish fellow and gets petty revenge by smashing his car - it's like the loudmouth in Cuba Brosnan decks and puts in a wheelchair. The casual promiscous sex which seems less libertine and rather distasteful... Bond sees a couple's tiff and moves in to take advantage and shag the missus. The awful, Jinx-style love talk: "Ooh you're so good when you're BAD!" X-( 8-)

    Judi Dench is not so bad this time, but she doesn't seem such a great actress. She still does that thing where she gabbles a long sentence as if she's worried she'll forget the words, then ends it out of breath.

    I'm afraid I hold Martin Campbell responsible for all this, I just don't like him as a director. Action, he's great, if a bit slick. But he just cannot do a bread-and-butter scene. Everything is unconvincing imo. He can't set up a one-liner, he has no feel for dialogue, no taste or intelligence at all.

    Now, Craig's Bond. Having enjoyed him in Layer Cake, I have to say he far exceeds my expectations. He's far, far worse than I ever imagined. It's like he's fallen off the ugly tree - a Redwood, no less - and hit every branch on the way down. His face isn't so much lived-in, as made squatters' residence by a horde of crack addicts. He's aged shockingly since Layer Cake. His face has dropped. Something similiar happened to Richard Burton from 1962 - 1968 when he went from young blade to speccy, paunchy henpecked professor in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

    Not since a thick-set Roger Moore and toupeed Sean Connery wandered through the celluloid knacker's yard of Octopussy and Never Say Never Again have I seen so many young women planted to stop and gaze at the leading man admiringly. Yes, we get it. He's good-looking. Hmmm... You could sell lessons in spin to Fox News.

    Women have drooled over Craig's magnificent body. To which I have to say, are you frickin' kidding me? :s As he emerges from the sea he looks like an albino stuffed sausage. He looks freakish, obscene. Like he's done steroids. He's like the sort the Soviets send to fight our hero, be it Rocky or Connery's Bond, the sort who gets outwitted because he's dulled his brain down the gym.

    I kept waiting for Craig to become Ian Fleming's Bond like they say he does. For me, it didn't happen. Even Craig's lithe, taut body as seen in The Mother and Layer Cake, which was very much Fleming's Bond, is now distorted and grotesque. He looks like a bloke who worries he's short and balding and heads to the gym to overcompensate.

    As for his character, he just seeems like a thug. I know he smashed the boorish guy's car to get access into the club and snoop around (for reasons I couldn't quite fathom, it's all rather baffling, much like GoldenEye), but you get the impression Craig's Bond would do that anyway, mission or not. He's a bore just like the guy he's deckin'. Being of the same generation as Craig, he just seems like a cocky bloke who wears steel soles on his shoes to announce his presence around the office.

    BTW, I've got the paperback Pan books of the 50s, and Bond never looks like Daniel Craig on the cover. He's the spit of Connery on one, though. (FRWL 1958 if you must know).

    Moving on. The action scene at the airport is terrific stuff. Credit where it's due. This could be the most exciting action scene of the entire series. I was a bit grudging, cos the film lost me from hello, and we're conned into thinking that lives are at risk, when it turns out to be a prototype plane, but it's gripping stuff. The way the truck careers around as Bond tries to hop on, you feel real danger.

    Nitpicking though... Could Craig's real-life Bond be thrown off a 50mph truck onto concrete and just pick up and carry on?

    And the final pay-off, where the terrorist only succeeds in blowing himself up as Craig watches on (sorry, I can't call him Bond). Hang on, it's still an explosion, near to the plane. With all that fuel around, wouldn't it all blow up anyway? Better to have Craig make eyecontact with the creepy villain from 200 yards away on a lone strech of runway, about to detonate, then a close up of realisation, then from a distance the boom! and smoke.

    Was the guy a suicide bomber or not? ?:) Was he trying to drive the truck into the plane? So if Bond attaches the detonator to the villain, how is he to know that he'll be out of the truck? Surely better to just throw the bomb out onto the runway, not hand it to the villain? Who might win the fight and then just carry on? ?:)

    Bond and Vesper. Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Craig makes a silly Moore/Brosnan comment: Every penny of it! Craig's Bond wouldn't do that. He's a romantic vulture, picking over couple's dead relationships. These characters know they lose by default. They don't make jokes that rely on their quest having a sense of humour, or obligation to laugh.

    Bond's smooth insight into Vesper's character is ripped off the film Wolf, where Jack Nicolson takes Michelle Pfeiffer's little rich girl down a peg or two. Except Jack does it far better. The mutal insight into each other's backgrouind is rubbish, contrived, far-fetched. But none of it convinced me, their relationship. It's like they fall in love because they're both orphans, and get to dress each other. And the drink. It's all overwritten and clumsy, except where Bond comforts V, both fully clothed, in the shower, that's a lovely, affecting moment.

    Now, the casino part in Montenegro. I really, really hated these scenes (plus ca change, I hear you say).
    Why? Well Lee Tamorhi vetoed a casino scene in DAD because it slows things down. OK, Tamorhari is a bete nor for fans, not least myself. But he has a point. You want to sell me a casino scene today, I need smoke, decadence, a touch of Hotel Costes. I want hookers living it up and happy, cocaine, gilt but not guilt. I want it like Rik's place in Casablanca...

    The casino interior looks like someone's converted front room. There's Matthis, a creepy bloke with traitor stamped on his forehead, there's Bond trotting over to tell him and Vesper his strategy within earhot of Le Chiffre, there's Matthis in his stage whisper explaining to Vesper what Bond is going to do next. D'oh! There's Bond telling Vesper to kiss him to make the others jealous? Yeah, I bet they're all gonna be phased by that. They all say how good looking Vesper is. Translation: she's a dog. Like Bush and the Republicans though, say the opposite and they'll believe you... 8-)

    ?:) What's Sun columnist Jane Moore doing as Le Chiffre's mistress? :))

    Well, you know how this is going. Campbell is cack-handed with his exposition. He couldn't deliver you a one-liner if If Mr Witty pulled up in an ice-cream van with 'One-liners stop me and buy one' on the side.

    The scene with the fillibrator was very good.

    The confrontation with Le Chiffre is ripped off True Romance and that between Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper, a much better scene. Mads even looks like Walken in that scene. Overall, there was never much sense of personal rivalry much between them, much of a relationship. Craig does good acting here, though.

    Not much more. The finale is exciting, the Venice homage to Don't Look Back very good as it puts a spin on it, the action great, the death scene very moving and affecting. Except, we're not sure what kind of traitor Vesper is at that point. And I never felt it was a real relationship unfolding. It was like we got the edited highlights because it had been trimmed down for time. What idiot does a Bond film and has to cut it racically to get it to 2 hrs 20 mins. Didn't they have stopwatch?

    And hang on... if Bond had held back from his shootout and maybe contacted M... that lovely Venetian building, a few million worth, would still be standing. Vesper, the love of his life, would still be alive... They'd be able to round up the villains and question them. Has this Bond learned anything? And didn't Vesper anyway leave a contact number on her phone for Bond to follow up anyway, which he does? (Mr White) Frank Drebbin is Bond!! :))

    What about Matthis? We're meant to think he's poisoned Bond's drink. -{ See, you get pictures with my review :)) Presumably it isn't... Bond doesn't care, sweat him out. It could be a double bluff. He's learning our hero, except he got the wrong traitor, and takes Le Chiffre's word as gospel.

    It's bad, cos Matthis was a great character in Fleming's novel, and the defining moment where a weak and deluded Bond outlines the difference between good and evil had real resonance with the mishandled war on terror today, and the difference between Saddam's violence and Bush's actions which as led to 100s of thousands dead. In the book Matthis shoots Bond's thesis down, as he could in the film, pointing out how Muslims are bombing fellow Muslims. But what a moment that would have made...

    I would have made Vesper a brainwashed suicide bomber, who takes advantage of Bond's defences being down, and Matthis indulgence to infiltrate and MI6 stronghold and blow it and M to hell....! That would justify the payoff line, The bitch is dead!

    Of course, EON don't want to get Al Quaida's attention. But you see, Fleming's Bond was up against real foes, the KGB, who as we have sadly seen this week have not gone away... X-( Craig's Bond aims to be in the Fleming mould, but is up against not real foes but generic terrorists. Who we never really see blow anyone up ever.

    Good things? Arnold should never write another song, but his score is wonderful and lovely. Beautiful cinematography. A classic look, could be the 1950s much of the time. Sweeping panoramic shots of Venice are terrific. And often Campbell did have a freshness to his style, though he lacks and taste or intelligence.

    Bad stuff? See above! Plus Craig trying on his dinner jacket, looking like any berk pretending to be Bond. And like Connery's chameleon toupee in NSNA, Craig's skin goes from fake tan to albino throughout the film.

    I'm neary done. Campbell is a canny operator. His GoldenEye is credited with reviving the series. Yet with its themes of the end of the Cold War, it was more a valediction in truth. It was left to his hapless successor to think up new enemies and angles for Bond, and we got mincing media mogul Elliot Carver...
    Likewise, Casino Royale has rave reviews. But it's a coming-of-age film. Be it Footloose, Dirty Dancing or Risky Business, these films are hard to mess up. They're also equally hard to draft a sequel for. The character arc is complete, where do you take it?

    Dave Arnold talked about how he tried to put the Bond theme in more, but it didn't work as you know Bond would win when you heard it start up.

    In the final scene, we see Craig shoot Mr White, hos Bond back to his sociopathic ways... He delivers the line, Bond, James Bond. The theme starts up, and it sounds all wrong. It has that cocky, expansive swagger and humour that Craig is not really about. He's the Steve McQueen type, the silent type who you find out years later shagged your girlfriend. X-(

    Campbell's work is done, and his film is being raved about, just as GoldenEye was. I don't envy his successor, do you?
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • VirgilVirgil Posts: 99MI6 Agent


    Was the guy a suicide bomber or not? ?:)

    Yes
    Was he trying to drive the truck into the plane?

    Yes
    So if Bond attaches the detonator to the villain, how is he to know that he'll be out of the truck?

    Bond attaches the detonator to th villain, then he makes sure he throws him out of the truck.

    Surely better to just throw the bomb out onto the runway, not hand it to the villain? Who might win the fight and then just carry on? ?:)

    Not this Bond,no. It actually further defines the character and his self assurance. Plus the exhange of glances between the two men when the bomber thinks he has won, and the subsequent ironic smile from Craig would have been lost, and it is a great moment. It´s a movie after all, not reality.
  • OsatoOsato Aberdeen, ScotlandPosts: 99MI6 Agent
    Quote: "But Craig's inflection goes upwards, leaving the word hanging as the scene ends. He misdelivers it."

    I don't hear an upward inflection on this word. He delivers it casually, in a converational, almost friendly way, the irony being the contrast with the unfriendly context.



    Quote: "But Craig's Bond doesn't have any physical exhuberance. He doesn't have that Errol Flynn daring-do."

    Did we watch the same film?! Can't quite see any of the other Bond actors (agreed, the GE Brosnan excepted) matching Craig's explosively athletic work in this scene. (And it's "derring-do")


    Quote: "The casual promiscous sex which seems less libertine and rather distasteful... Bond sees a couple's tiff and moves in to take advantage and shag the missus."

    Did Bond actually do the business with Solange? I think not. He ordered her a midnight snack and then b*ggered off to Miami, didn't he? And anyway, he didn't just take advantage of the "tiff" to get his leg over; he knew she was Demetrios' wife, and used her to provide info on his business and whereabouts.

    All your diatribe about Craig being repulsively ugly just sounds very desperate - beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I know, but would he have got this part, (or any), if he was as ugly as you maintain? You make him sound almost deformed! He undoubtedly has a magnetic quality that need not be matched by a "catalog model" face.

    Quote: "I know he smashed the boorish guy's car to get access into the club and snoop around (for reasons I couldn't quite fathom, it's all rather baffling, much like GoldenEye"

    He did that to draw the security staff out into the car park, making it easier for him to sneak into their office and check out the camera footage for Demetrios making the call. Pay attention!



    Quote: "The casino interior looks like someone's converted front room."

    Your'e not the first to criticise this set - I've read 'Ken Adams would have done a big, grand, shiny casino' in other threads. There IS a big, grand, shiny casino, we see them all walking through it on their way to the PRIVATE FUNCTION SUITE. The set in the film is very believable, and has a lot of class IMHO.

    Quote: "Craig's skin goes from fake tan to albino throughout the film."

    Anyone else notice this? I didn't.

    Quote: "The character arc is complete, where do you take it?"

    You now go on to show Bond's adventures, informed by the insight into his character that this story has given you. That, I think, was the whole point.
    Green figs, yoghurt, coffee very black.
  • highhopeshighhopes Posts: 1,358MI6 Agent
    edited November 2006
    Bond gets his two kills, but falls victim to Martin Campbell's tin ear for dialogue. Example (I paraphrase): "I know all about you Bond..." He pulls the trigger. The chamber is empty. Bond: "I know where you keep your gun."

    This is a one-liner of sorts. It has symmetry: You know this, but I know THAT. But Craig is allowed to deliver this like it's totally unrelated to the previous line. I had to piece together the writers' intentions.

    Same with the last word, where Bond answers how much easier the second kill is: "Considerably". This should have a dismissive, devastating finality to it, crashing down like a tennis ace smashing an opponent's volley. But Craig's inflection goes upwards, leaving the word hanging as the scene ends. He misdelivers it.

    Well, NP, at least you liked Pierce Brosnan. :D

    Seriously -- Sorry you didn't like CR, but that's the breaks. You can't please everyone. One thing, however:

    I don't know about Campbell's ear for dialogue (I didn't know he'd written it), but I'm prettu sure you're misquoting the above exchange in the PTS. The traitor, figuring he'll get the jump on Bond, says "Pity we didn't get to know each other," and pulls the gun on Bond. Click. Gun empty.
    "I know where you keep your gun," says Bond, showing him the clip. The way you have it, it sounds sort of tit-for-tat, like kids arguing. Not as written. And Craig says this line with a slight upward inflection, as if to say "this may surprise you, but ..."
    "Considerably" is said emphatically, with the accent on the second syllable. In fact, I would say it's delivered exactly the way you say you thought it should be delivered, with great finality. Check it out. It's in the trailer.
    But as you say, the sound seemed bad to you, so maybe it was the sound guy's ear that was a bit tinny. :))
  • bob17843591bob17843591 Posts: 5MI6 Agent
    I have a few questions about the movie... things i didn't get after the first time. I'm going to see it a second time tomorrow !!
    Anyway, first of all, the guy supposed to blow up the plane was supposed to be frenchman sebastien foucan, right ?? Originally i mean, before bond kills him... ??
    Then, in miami, everything goes so fast that i didn't even understand what's inside the locked door ?? "Ellipsis" is the password to get into it, right ?? but then, when the guy is inside it, what is he doing ?? And the only purpose of the bag is to get the uniform...??:)
    I know i'm asking a lot of questions, but it's just to be sure before my second viewing.
    thanks a lot !!
  • highhopeshighhopes Posts: 1,358MI6 Agent
    I have a few questions about the movie... things i didn't get after the first time. I'm going to see it a second time tomorrow !!
    Anyway, first of all, the guy supposed to blow up the plane was supposed to be frenchman sebastien foucan, right ?? Originally i mean, before bond kills him... ??
    Then, in miami, everything goes so fast that i didn't even understand what's inside the locked door ?? "Ellipsis" is the password to get into it, right ?? but then, when the guy is inside it, what is he doing ?? And the only purpose of the bag is to get the uniform...??:)
    I know i'm asking a lot of questions, but it's just to be sure before my second viewing.
    thanks a lot !!

    The door just gave Bond access to a restricted area for employees.
  • Sir Hillary BraySir Hillary Bray College of ArmsPosts: 2,171MI6 Agent
    Ok, here's my take...
    Chin up, Nap -- you'll always have Goldfinger. ;)
    Hilly...you old devil!
  • bob17843591bob17843591 Posts: 5MI6 Agent
    ok, but why does the terrorist need to enter the restricted area ??
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