Sunday, December 17, 2006
Casino Royale
I went to the movies last night. M announced a week or so ago that he wanted to go see Casino Royale. He NEVER asks to go see a movie. So I did everything I could to make sure we went.

The new James Bond? I loved it, loved it, loved it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and when it ended I was ready for more. Daniel Craig as James Bond is just fine with me. I'm a big James Bond fan, as I explained in this post. I've seen all of them, some of them dozens of times. So I'm used to fantastical plots, over-the-top set pieces and crappy dialogue. Still I love it. The James Bond theme music always gets my blood pumping.

I went into this new installment of my treasured series with much apprehension. I heard too many things that made me worry. Angie griped about the dialogue. Good thing for me I'm not a writer (obviously) or an editor. I'm used to ridiculous dialogue in James Bond movies. I know exactly which scene derailed her enjoyment of the film, and it certainly wasn't my favorite scene, but I found it fun. There was no impulse to eye poking in me.

My brother said it was story, action, story. This is because they were showing you the origins and motivations of James Bond. I didn't see it that way. I saw lots of action. The pacing was fine for me. The movie certainly seemed to go by fast enough. My SIL didn't care for it much at all. I'd just have to say that we have different tastes in movies.

M griped about the camera work afterward. He said he'd have directed it differently. Feh, everyone's a critic. It was fine to me.

The reviews made me paranoid because they spoke of an awful torture scene. "Particularly cruel" as one reviewer referred to it. I was prepared to take a bathroom break if it was that bad. As it turns out, it wasn't that bad. First of all, I think the people getting the vapors over that scene had to have been men. Women won't be able to fully comprehend his pain, if you get my drift. To help you get it, let me also point out that watching the awfulness of the torture is somewhat mitigated by the fact that Daniel Craig is buck naked. Yesssss, no clothes. Finally, the scene actually contains humor. So ladies, take your potty break before the torture scene; men, bring the smelling salts.

This James Bond movie was more gritty and realistic. There were no lasers from space or jet packs to make James fly. I think it was more similar to the Bourne movies than to previous James Bonds. Which is also a welcome change. James Bond movies should be thrillers. You shouldn't be asked to suspend disbelief but so much. This movie was easy on the disbelief-o-meter.

Finally, Daniel Craig can be my James Bond for a long time to come. I agree with most reviewers that his James Bond is most simliar to Sean Connery's. Connery always was my favorite James Bond so a return to the brutal and dangerous James is welcome too. I just hope that the studio keeps Daniel Craig happy so he keeps coming back for more. Casino Royale is for James Bond fans.