All 9 entries tagged James Bond
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November 19, 2006
This might be for some of the oldies out there, but did Sean Connery get bad reviews when he did Dr No?
Just that I haven’t read a review of Casino Royale which thought Daniel Craig was anything less than brilliant.
He must be deservedly chuffed considering the stick he got last year.
Having said that, the film might get beaten to the #1 spot in America by an animated film about dancing penguins. Bugger. The penguin flick Happy Feet is made by Fox, and not surprisingly Murdoch’s empire is spinning it for all its worth. But it’s all based on estimates and some think Fox have been overly optimistic about how many bums they’ve had on seats. The full geek stats are here.
November 18, 2006
Reboot, remake, reimagination. Casino Royale is all of these. But primarily thanks to its star, it’s a revelation.
The 21st official film, yet confusingly the first James Bond story, Casino Royale is the story of how Bond became Bond, a fact that some reviewers – notably the Independent – have completely missed. They complain that Craig is different to Bond as we know and love him. But that, a-holes, is the point.
Casino Royale was the only way to forget the pisspoor Die Another Day and the Emmental-like The World is not Enough. They’ve taken it back to the beginning, brought in a real actor, and stripped Bond back to the basics. Literally, in one scene.
Astonishingly, the producers invited the scriptwriters of Die Another Day and The World is not Enough back to write Casino Royale. Thank god they then gave it to Paul Haggis to ‘polish’. Bond has emotional depth for the first time since George Lazenby briefly stepped into the role. There’s even a great plot, although inevitably the set-piece action sequences aren’t always an essential part of it. There’s not much dialogue in the first third of the film, which is maybe a bit of shame. But when it gets going, it’s clear the 21st Century Bond isn’t going to be the tongue-tied ponce he was in the 1980s and 1990s.
David Arnold’s soundtracks have been much criticised in recent years and it’s true that Tomorrow Never Dies was probably his highlight. But the rebirth of Bond also allowed some of the music to be reborn as well. The traditional theme is deliberately held back until the very end of the film, which has given Arnold the space to be a little bit more creative. And Casino Royale has definitely made the case for the opening titles theme to be written before the rest of the soundtrack. It’s cleverly inserted into many scenes in the film, far more subtly than with the awful Die Another Day. That said, Chris Cornell’s You Know My Name clearly isn’t perfect, but I’m pleased they went for talent over A-list credentials. Next time I’d like to see Kasabian give it a try.
Eva Green is fantastic, although her last scene in the film is perhaps a little over the top. I won’t give the game away, but she’s in a lift and her eyes look like they’re about to pop out of her head. I hope Mathis returns in the next film as he could potentially be a great ‘Uncle’ figure to Bond if he turns out to be a good guy. The same goes for Felix Leiter, who doesn’t get much to do in this film but will hopefully return. Judi Dench has never been better as ‘M’. Having Daniel Craig to play against obviously helps, but her relationship with Bond is far more interesting than ever before. She also gets more screen-time which can only be a good thing. If they ever succumb to the inevitable temptation of doing a Bond spin-off, it should be centred on Dench’s M. And Mads Mikkelsen’s Le Chiffre is a good villain. Not fantastic, but a good mixture of megalomaniac and human. I hope Mikkelsen gets a break in Hollywood as he has a lot of potential.
Martin Campbell, who directed Brosnan’s debut, Goldeneye, returns to wean Craig into the role, and does a fine job. The black-and-white sequence at the beginning is a fantastic introduction and some of the camera work during the poker scenes is very good too. If I had one criticism it would be that we don’t always get as close to Bond as we might. A few extreme close-ups might have given a little more emotional intensity, although to be fair it’s not as if the film is particularly lacking in that department.
And last, but by no means least, Bond himself. Quite simply, Craig is the best actor to play James Bond. That isn’t to say he’s absolutely the best Bond as I think he can only be judged after 3 or 4 films (assuming he makes that many). But no-one has tried so hard to understand the spy – or look like a realistic assassin – as Craig has. I was rooting for Craig before he even got the role, especially after seeing him in the BBC’s Archangel last year, and I’m really pleased he’s proved his critics wrong. The fact that the film has barely had a bad review is down to two men: Paul Haggis and Daniel Craig, with the emphasis on the latter. If Brosnan had been given the same material, much of it would have been corny.
My favourite part of the film is probably the torture sequence, where despite the darkness of the scene there’s a moment of humour which got the entire cinema laughing for the one and only time in the film. The reference to Photoshop is also brilliant, as is Craig’s first encounter with Vesper Lynd.
Having waited years for this film to arrive, it could so easily have been an anti-climax. In fact, it was anything but. Casino Royale is the best Bond film since the Connery era, and once the dust has settled on it, may turn out to be at the very top.
I’ve left my final gripe until the end.
I have to wait over 800 days for the next one.
November 17, 2006
...and I’ll write a full review in the morning!
October 09, 2006
Casino Royale, the most eagerly-anticipated film of the year, is out in about six weeks and I’m almost wetting myself thinking about it.
Just to tease you, here’s a remix of the film’s theme tune, You Know My Name, written by Chris Cornell and David Arnold. Unfortunately, the original version of the track isn’t quite as exciting as this remix (the original has none of the orchestral bursts in), but it’s not bad.
Personally, I love the remix, but the original is also on YouTube here so you can compare.
September 11, 2006
Sorry. I said I wasn’t going to talk about Casino Royale again, but I lied, because after watching the trailer for the erm… 10th time (I’ve downloaded the High-Def version now :p) I’ve worked out why Bond’s Aston Martin crashes at the end of the trailer:
There’s no-one in it!!!
Also – gotta love the freeze frame – I may have found the film’s first continuity error. Just before he rolls the Aston, his Bond girl is lying on the left-side of the road, causing him to crash. But skip a couple of frames and she’s clearly on the right-hand side of the road!
Yes, I’m sad.
According to someone who went to a test screening, this is one of the lines in the new film that lets you know it’s gonna be different to the Pierce Brosnan era:
(Bond’s just lost a load of money at the casino)
Bartender: Shaken or stirred, Sir?
Bond: Do I look like I care?
Still can’t wait.
OK, no more Casino Royale posts for a while. Promise.
September 09, 2006
Bond fans were slightly alarmed when Daniel Craig was given the role of 007. They now seem to be eating their words. Here’s the fans’ reaction to the trailer for Casino Royale:
Daniel Craig has easily shown more acting skills then Pier…uh…. Price…...That other guy in that movie Gold….Golden…..?
Actually, I’m even forcing myself to say “Sean Who?”
How are they going to top this movie if it is even half of what the trailer promises?
I was having a rather bad day until now. There truely is a God in heaven.
Craig looks and sounds fantastic. This is Bond
-not naff, pretty boy, swagger and smirk Bond, this looks like the real deal.
The script is FANTASTIC. I am so excited!
This is the greatest trailer I have ever seen.
Pierce Brosnan is going to cry himself to sleep.
September 08, 2006
Writing about web page http://movies.aol.com
The full trailer to Casino Royale – the first James Bond film in four years – is out now. And there’s only one thing to say…
Some purists might complain that it doesn’t seem like the Daniel Craig era will have much of the cheeky James Bond humour, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. The new film seems to have turned the impact factor up to 11, and some of the set-pieces look simply fantastic. That said, so do the bits in-between.
True, it’s hard to tell whether a film’s going to be good from a 2min trailer. But seriously, Die Another Day (a travesty) has nothing on this.
We’re not going to miss Pierce Brosnan.
July 30, 2006
Bizarrely, I wondered this morning what would happen if filming on the new James Bond film Casino Royale was delayed. Only because they've got the release date set in stone and yet very little time between filming and it coming out.
Maybe I'm psychic, because literally a whole hour later…