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Author Topic: Anyone see Casino Royale yet?  (Read 5678 times)
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davidelliott
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« on: November 18, 2006, 10:07:56 AM »

FINE!  I'm warming up to the idea of this movie... the Bond series I guess needed a fresh start.

Anyone see it?  Is it any good?  Any tamperings with the gunbarrel, opening credits, pre-title sequence, etc?  Is the formula intact?  Faithfulness to the novel?

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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2006, 06:18:52 PM »

I haven't seen it, I have only watch the old Bond films, but here is a review:

http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/movies/137741,CST-FTR-wwcasino16.article
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davidelliott
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2006, 07:15:38 PM »

Cool review... I am looking forward to nightwing's review!
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2006, 10:34:12 PM »

You're just using this forum to convince yourself to go and see the film, aren't you?  Wink
Go and see it! What's the worst that could happen? (Though I agree with you, Nightwing's review should be something else!)
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2006, 03:44:15 AM »

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Anyone see it?  Is it any good?  Any tamperings with the gunbarrel, opening credits, pre-title sequence, etc?  Is the formula intact?  Faithfulness to the novel?

Yes, me, as of five hours ago. 

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Is it any good?

Yes, it's excellent.  Easily the most emotionally involving Bond since 1969's OHMSS, and I must say very stylishly directed considering the man at the helm is Martin Campbell, whom most of us had written off as a workmanlike director at best.  And with the exception of a bit player or two, everyone does a great job with the acting.


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Any tamperings with the gunbarrel, opening credits, pre-title sequence, etc?

Yes, all of them, but all in respectful and cool ways.  Go see it before someone spoils them for you.

The best part of the above, for me, is Danny Kleinman's credits, which are imaginative, striking and nostalgic despite looking like none in the series before.  He's managed a look that's somehow "retro" and futuristic all at once...sort of a mesh of 60s pop art, vintage private eye show credits (especially the Saint) and nice homages to the cover art of Casino Royale's first edition hardback (appropriately created, back then, from sketches by Fleming himself).  After years of aping Maurice Binder, Kleinman's gone off his own way and boy does it work.

The only downside is the song stinks like a dead skunk family on a hot stretch of highway.


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Is the formula intact?


Well, more the Fleming formula than the EON formula.   It certainly doesn't hit all the usual marks like clockwork as the last few have ("Let's see, 45 minutes in, time for the second-stringer Bond girl to die....there she goes...and now the speech from the villain...).  This one's structured differently and you'll be kept guessing as to what's coming next. It's all in there (well, no giant hidden fortresses) but in new configurations.

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Faithfulness to the novel?[/


Oh boy, if you're a fan of Fleming are you going to like this one.  If you're old enough to have seen OHMSS in the theater (I'm not!), this is probably what it felt like.  Or if you were around to see the first part of The Living Daylights, where the whole "sniper was a girl" routine is lifted from the short story, then you know how fun it is to see Fleming, real Fleming on screen, even for a few minutes.  That's the whole second half of this film.  There are modifications and updates to the novel, because it has been fifty years after all...and besides you don't want to know everything before it happens.  But all the important moments from the book are here, not to mention some of the original dialog, and it all unfolds in the right sequence.  CR reminds me of the Grenada Sherlock Holmes series or the more recent "Hornblower" TV films...there are alterations because it's film and not prose, but where it counts its very faithful indeed.  And it really makes you appreciate what a great thriller writer Fleming was, that a very much "of the moment" film could follow his story outline so closely and work as well today as it did in  1954.

One caveat: if your total exposure to Bond comes from the films, and you want more of the same, you may be disappointed with this movie, disoriented and yes, even bored.  But if you're a fan of the novels, you'll love it.  If you like "Bourne," you'll love it.  And, it must be said, if you hate James Bond movies, you'll love it.  My wife went with me only after making it clear I would owe her big time for sitting through yet another Bond movie (and one with an "ugly" 007, at that), but when the lights came up, she was singing its praises.

Pay your money, enjoy your popcorn and pretend you've never seen a James Bond movie before.  Officially you haven't, as this is a reboot.  We may have been born to late to see "Dr No" first time out, but this is a rare second chance to get in on the ground floor of something amazing.  Don't pass it up.


P.S. - saw the Spider-Man 3 trailer.  I am so over that series.


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davidelliott
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2006, 04:18:54 AM »

Thanks, nightwing...

I LOVE the Fleming novels... I loved his writing style and all...

I do think the series is due for a reboot of sorts, come to think of it.... so I am a little bit more open minded about it.  I was leery of a really "hard" reboot that some elements would be missing, like the gunbarrel and pre-credits sequences.  Believe it or not, for me, without the traditional gunbarrel sequence at the beginning, it's not a Bond film (NSNA was a good little film, but didn't feel right from the start)

I'm assuming the opening credits are a bit like the one Robert Brownjohn did for FRWL and GF?  Bond-like but different?

The kids are off school this week, maybe I'll take the boys to a matinee showing.  But I'm going to see it.

BTW, OHMSS is my favorite Bond film, so if there are similarities I should be in for a treat after all...
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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2006, 03:11:50 PM »

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I'm assuming the opening credits are a bit like the one Robert Brownjohn did for FRWL and GF?  Bond-like but different?

If I had to liken them to any previous credits, it would be OHMSS, with the silhouetted Bond figure running about and the focus on one over-arching visual theme (for OHMSS, it was timepieces, for this film, playing cards).  There's also, as I said, a bit of the feel of the "Saint" titles of the color years and, now that I think of it, Apple's i-Pod commercials (!).

Overall, there's a cleaner, more simplified feel to the credits that fits the tone of the film.

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The kids are off school this week, maybe I'll take the boys to a matinee showing.  But I'm going to see it.

I don't know how old your kids are, but please be advised this film is probably not appropriate for kids under 15.  Well, maybe 12 depending on the kid.

While not what I'd call "gory" by modern standards, there's a lot of blood in this film and, for a Bond, a much more realistic take on violence and its consequences.  Killing is a messy and difficult business and that's reflected here.  Also, the torture scene is lifted straight from the book, and it's pretty rough stuff.  In fact until I saw it I never believed the day would come that they could put it in a non-R film.

Oh, and the language this time out is considerably saltier than your standard Bond.  In fact, once or twice I had to chuckle at the mental image of the Queen of England watching this film at the royal premiere last week.  I hope the cast met her *before* the movie because if it was me I'd have a hard time looking her in the eye afterwards.  "Sorry about the language, mum.  They made me say it."

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davidelliott
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« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2006, 06:28:05 PM »

I think it was in Raymond Benson's "James Bond Bedside Companion" that Cubby Broccoli wanted the Bond films to be a movie you could take your teenage kids to (pretty much) and to be somewhat family friendly... those days are gone....

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