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Old October 27 2008, 09:30 AM   #1
The Borgified Corpse
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Rewatching "Casino Royale (2006)"

Since we're now less than a month away from Daniel Craig's 2nd 007 outing, "Quantum of Solace," I thought now would be a good time to revisit his debut in the James Bond reboot, "Casino Royale."

I find that my opinons on this movie haven't really changed at all from when I first saw the movie in theaters to today. I think the movie has some great action scenes, particularly the free running at the beginning. But I also lament the movie's very serious tone. Somehow, that's just not James Bond to me. We already have tons of gritty, "realistic" action heroes out there. If I want that, I'll pop in the ol' "Die Hard" DVD. With James Bond, I'm expecting something special. I'm expecting him to not only save the day but be super-charming and look impeccable in a tuxedo while doing it. Roger Moore & Pierce Brosnan captured this perfectly. Daniel Craig is doing a great job, no question. But whatever he's doing, to me, it's not Bond.

I also think that "Casino Royale" goes on a bit too long. When I read that it was the longest of all the 007 films, my first reaction was, "Yes, obviously." I understand what they're doing with all the multiple endings but it just gets tiresome.

There is one bit in "Casino Royale" that I just noticed and want to point out. I really like the way they play Mathis' scene when he's asking Bond if he saw anything when Le Chiffre & his cohorts were killed. At that point, the audience is supposed to believe that Mathis is acting suspicious because he's worried that Bond somehow discovered that he was in collusion with Le Chiffre. But watching it a 2nd time, I realize that really what was happenning was Mathis was acting the way he was because he suspected Bond of being in collusion with Mr. White because he felt it was too suspicious that they left Bond & Vesper alive. It's a great piece of subtlety and the actor playing Mathis really pulls it off well.

What about you folks? After a couple years to digest it, what's your verdict on "Casino Royale"?
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Old October 27 2008, 10:37 AM   #2
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Re: Rewatching "Casino Royale (2006)"

Daniel Craig is more accurate to Fleming's Bond than Moore or Brosnan ever were (though I did enjoy Brosnan).
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Old October 27 2008, 12:38 PM   #3
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Re: Rewatching "Casino Royale (2006)"

The trouble is Fleming's Bond and the cinematic Bond who has evolved over 40+ years are completely different animals. And if they were being that faithful Bond wouldn't have killed anyone in Casino Royale rather than the 152 people he did kill (approx )

My views on Casino Royale haven't much changed since I first saw it. I love it, but it's incredibly flawed. Still there was humour, there was some style, but as with the OP I'm not sure I want Bond to, in effect, be some american style action hero.

Taking away Moneypenny, Q, gadgets, humour, the Bond theme etc...at some point you have to ask yourself at what point a Bond film ceases to be a Bond film?

The serious gritty tone won't be permanant, already given the reviews of QOS people are starting to ask 'would it hurt to have a few jokes?' Bond has always evolved. It only really led the way in the sixties. After this it's always shifted to fit the times. See how Roger Moore uses a .44 magnum in Live and Let Die, just after Dirty Harry came out, and its no conincidence that Moonraker was the next film to come out after the success of Star Wars. Similarly Licence to Kill feels very much like a Die Hard/Lethal Weapon style action film of the times. Now we have Bond trying to be Bourne (God knows why as the Bourne films are terrible)

So the Fleming snobs better enjoy their literary Bond while they can (although in truth Daniel Craig still doesn't fit the criteria if you ask me) because I'd near as damn it gaurentee that, eventually, the quips will be back, Moneypenny will be back, and the fun will be back.

Having said all that, Daniel Craig is a fantastic Bond, the best thing about CR by a mile, and he's actually capable of playing humour quite well.
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Old October 27 2008, 02:54 PM   #4
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Re: Rewatching "Casino Royale (2006)"

I thought the humour and gadgets in Die Another Day were getting to the point of self-parody, so I welcomed the stripped-down tone of Casino Royale.
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Old October 27 2008, 03:20 PM   #5
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Re: Rewatching "Casino Royale (2006)"

They dfinitely needed stripping down, but Bond has a habit of having a very realistic film after a fantastical one; take For Your Eyes Only. I would never disagree that the series needed stripping down after DAD (although I enjoyed it for what it was a celebration of 20 007 films) but I do feel they might have stripped back the tone a shade too much- that's just my personal opinion obviously, and the Casino Royale box office does suggest otherwise. Be interesting to see how QOS does though.
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Old October 27 2008, 03:33 PM   #6
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Re: Rewatching "Casino Royale (2006)"

I do agree that realistic-ish Bond films and fantastic Bond films tend to be cyclical. I wouldn't be surprised to see the next Bond, after Craig, star in some light fare after three (possibly four?) darker and more serious films.
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Old October 27 2008, 04:10 PM   #7
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Re: Rewatching "Casino Royale (2006)"

Personally, I thought Casino Royale was a brilliant character piece that went a long way in exploring the moral ambiguity and emotional void experienced by characters who live their lives doing violence. I thought it was a much more moving piece, and one much more meaningful to a post-9/11 world, than anything Brosnan did.

But then, I never enjoyed the camp Bond.
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Old October 27 2008, 05:16 PM   #8
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Re: Rewatching "Casino Royale (2006)"

Casino Royale is definitely in my top 5 best Bond films. It was pretty long, but it wasn't weighed down by all the travelogue footage and other types of padding seen in other Bond films (ooh! let's watch 20 minutes of scuba divers pushing around nuclear missiles!).

But it felt a lot more like a 1950s period piece than anything happening in 2006, that's for sure. Take out the mentions of 9/11 and the end of the Cold War, and it could have easily been taking place 50 years ago.
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Old October 27 2008, 05:21 PM   #9
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Re: Rewatching "Casino Royale (2006)"

I didn't really get much of a post 9/11 feel from it to be honest. There was some stuff about the nature of being a killer, but the Western intelligence agencies were still presented as the good guys, and the 'terrorists' as some kind of amorphous blob all working together. What could have been an interesting take on the value of torture was merely an excuse to get Daniel Craig naked and show what a hard bastard he was...
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Old October 27 2008, 05:28 PM   #10
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Re: Rewatching "Casino Royale (2006)"

Level 2 Diagnostic wrote: View Post
Casino Royale is definitely in my top 5 best Bond films. It was pretty long, but it wasn't weighed down by all the travelogue footage and other types of padding seen in other Bond films (ooh! let's watch 20 minutes of scuba divers pushing around nuclear missiles!).

But it felt a lot more like a 1950s period piece than anything happening in 2006, that's for sure. Take out the mentions of 9/11 and the end of the Cold War, and it could have easily been taking place 50 years ago.
But then how would Bond have got anywhere decuded any clues without his trusty Sony Erikson mobile phone or incredibly convinient CCTV footage?
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Old October 27 2008, 06:04 PM   #11
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Re: Rewatching "Casino Royale (2006)"

^or use his trusty SONY vaio laptop to type his resignation

The humor in Casino Royale I thought worked. The crowd laughed at all the right places

bond running straight through the wall

bond playing valet

bond shrugging off how close he was to dying when he drank that poison.

and the crowd even applauded at the end
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Old October 27 2008, 06:25 PM   #12
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Re: Rewatching "Casino Royale (2006)"

Funny, I just rewatched this last night. I thought it was a pretty much perfect Bond film. It's also one of my all time favorite films. It continues to blow me the fuck away. Almost all of the Bond fans I know thought it was great. Very loyal to the books which made it a great movie after all of the campy and light films before it.
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Old October 27 2008, 06:32 PM   #13
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Re: Rewatching "Casino Royale (2006)"

I loved Casino Royale. It's the best Bond film in ages. I agree that Die Another Day was almost a parody and that we needed something more intense.

My only criticism is that I honestly don't think the first hour is that good. It's alright, but nothing special. Once Vesper is introduced on the train however, the rest of the movie is near perfect.

I am very excited for this one. I have to say Sean Connery is likely to stay my favorite Bond. I think those 60's movies really hit the perfect tone.
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Old October 27 2008, 07:11 PM   #14
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Re: Rewatching "Casino Royale (2006)"

Skyhaunter wrote: View Post
Daniel Craig is more accurate to Fleming's Bond than Moore or Brosnan ever were (though I did enjoy Brosnan).
Exactly. Bond is not a "smart ass" that Hollywood made him out to be. He's tough, gritty, and rough around the edges.

Stalkers wrote: View Post
The trouble is Fleming's Bond and the cinematic Bond who has evolved over 40+ years are completely different animals. And if they were being that faithful Bond wouldn't have killed anyone in Casino Royale rather than the 152 people he did kill (approx )

My views on Casino Royale haven't much changed since I first saw it. I love it, but it's incredibly flawed. Still there was humour, there was some style, but as with the OP I'm not sure I want Bond to, in effect, be some american style action hero.

Taking away Moneypenny, Q, gadgets, humour, the Bond theme etc...at some point you have to ask yourself at what point a Bond film ceases to be a Bond film?

The serious gritty tone won't be permanant, already given the reviews of QOS people are starting to ask 'would it hurt to have a few jokes?' Bond has always evolved. It only really led the way in the sixties. After this it's always shifted to fit the times. See how Roger Moore uses a .44 magnum in Live and Let Die, just after Dirty Harry came out, and its no conincidence that Moonraker was the next film to come out after the success of Star Wars. Similarly Licence to Kill feels very much like a Die Hard/Lethal Weapon style action film of the times. Now we have Bond trying to be Bourne (God knows why as the Bourne films are terrible)

So the Fleming snobs better enjoy their literary Bond while they can (although in truth Daniel Craig still doesn't fit the criteria if you ask me) because I'd near as damn it gaurentee that, eventually, the quips will be back, Moneypenny will be back, and the fun will be back.

Having said all that, Daniel Craig is a fantastic Bond, the best thing about CR by a mile, and he's actually capable of playing humour quite well.

Sorry, but the gadgets are cliche and plot crutches. They becomes more incredibly ludicrous as the franchise aged.
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Old October 27 2008, 07:22 PM   #15
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Re: Rewatching "Casino Royale (2006)"

sidious618 wrote: View Post
Funny, I just rewatched this last night. I thought it was a pretty much perfect Bond film. It's also one of my all time favorite films. It continues to blow me the fuck away. Almost all of the Bond fans I know thought it was great. Very loyal to the books which made it a great movie after all of the campy and light films before it.
I agree. CR is my favorite Bond film though I do also like the first three Brosnan outings. I can't stand the Moore films though.
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