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Awake In The Dark
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Old November 20th, 2006, 01:20 PM   #1
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BOND - A Review

Despite being perhaps the best overall Bond movie ever (FROM RUSSIA W/LOVE tough to beat), Bond could only manage to take 2d place, $2 million behind HAPPY FEET... Whatever the hell that's about.

CASINO is great. Daniel Craig is the real deal, the first Bond since Connery that you actually really believe could do all the things the character has to do. He is a good looking, athletic, tough guy, who looks like he's ready to punch out anyone who irritates him. He loves to make love married women because they're disposable. The fighting and killing comes off as totally realistic - gritty and bloody. In other words, he's perfect.

The villain is well cast, as are Bond's 2 love interests. The cast as a whole was excellent, as were the stunts. The bad guy in the beginning of the film is an amazing athlete, doing stunt after stunt. That Craig could keep up at all is a tribute to his ability.

There were no gizmo's, just fast cars, hot women, bad bad guys and and a guy who seems like he might actually be a real spy playing Bond. What's really neat about the film is that the bad guy and Bond are playing high stakes poker against each other for half the movie. I read some critics who thought that was boring - WRONG. It provided a neat way to get to know the bad guy and watch some interaction that didn't involve fighting or torture - which is about the only other ways a good guy and a bad guy could normally interact in an action film. The plot involves money and terrorism - pretty relevant.

This Bond relights the fuse on action movies generally and spy movies specifically. Craig's the first guy who doesn't seem to be doing a imitation of Connery. I grew up with Roger Moore and he made some fun movies, the best probably being MOONRAKER and FOR YOUR EYES ONLY - he was very smooth. Ditto Pierce Brosnan, who also had a slice of real-life toughness that Moore didn't have. His movie were buried by all the weight of Bond, the gizmo's, etc - almost a self parody. Neither of them, good as they were, equalled Sean.

Craig does. He's not as pretty as Connery, but that helps the believability. The character and the actor treat Bond as what he really would be like - "a blunt instrument." He's smooth, up to a point - Smooth as he needs to be. Just as BATMAN BEGINS got down to brass tacks, CASINO ROYALE goes back to what made the character so popular. But w/o Craig it might have failed anyway - with him, it's a lean mean blast from the past. A cold war spy movie that doesn't need the cold war. This will be playing on Spike TV for years to come - and you'll always watch it, because it's that damn good.

BOTTOM LINE: 5 out of 5 stars

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Old November 20th, 2006, 04:38 PM   #2
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Thanks, John.

I'll probably be going to see it this week.
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Old November 28th, 2006, 10:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Granovski
Thanks, John.

I'll probably be going to see it this week.

What did you think? I've seen it 2 more times - gets better w/ every viewing...

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Old November 28th, 2006, 11:38 AM   #4
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I liked it quite a bit, but it isn't really a Bond movie as far as I'm concerned. Without that mystique, you've essentially got a well-made action movie, and that's about it. And no, I'm not referring to the lack of disposable Bond girls and gadgets either. It was something more intangible that I can't quite put my finger on. It's so stylistically different, that it just doesn't seem like it's part of the same franchise, and I have to wonder -- what's the point?
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Old November 29th, 2006, 09:21 AM   #5
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I thought it was quite a bit like the first few Bond movies. I do agree that the character is not as fleshed out as other Bonds, but that was the point of the flick - Bond becoming 007; Bond becoming BOND.

But you definately have a point. Part of it is, I think, the fact that Daniel Craig seems so tough, and looks like a pug fighter. Only Sean comes close to the physicality of Craig's Bond. The film, taken on its own, is one of the best pure action films I've seen. In many ways it reminded me of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.

Best of all about the new Bond (beyond making what is essentially a cold war era story relevant) is how close in tone it was to the original books. Having read all of them when I was kid, I always wondered why the movies weren't more like books...
Now they are. :)

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Old November 29th, 2006, 10:34 AM   #6
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I waited to see it before reading this thread.

I've never been one to argue pro or con for the various Bonds. My personal favorite was always Connnery, but then I loved Dalton's cruel, sadistic edge, that everyone else hated. I think we get the BOND that our specific times calls for really. Each of the last Bonds was a product of their times.

And this Bond is exactly right for this time.

I LOVED the film. I haven't physically reacted to action sequnces like this since the first time I saw RAIDERS. I was flynching and dodging in my seat. (Well, I have done stunt work for films, so perhaps I'm a bit more empathetic to whats happening than most.) But really, the stunts were COMPLETELY believable, in terms of execution and presentation. They seemed 'almost' superhuman, without being too over the top. (I hate the whole crouching harness hidden wire stuff these days.)

Craig was a cool cruel tool of MI6. And it showed. I loved the fact that the Villain was so... normal. Okay, a weird weeping eye, but you know, he just needed a hundred million dollars. He didn't have 'world domination/destruction' planned by way of a laser beam/weather control device.

I think Austin Powers was so successful, because the Bond "franchise" had pretty much become a joke. May as well take it the next step. (The original Casino Royale parody notwithstanding). In the sense that this vesion is "Not like" the others in the franchise... yeah its not. The franchise is being rejuvenated, and for this I am grateful. I felt they kept the 'traditional elements' intact - opening sequence format for example - while giving just the right twist on it to make it seem fresh and new. (I actually loved the opening graphics too... I usually find them too cheesy)

Action sequences were EXTREMELY well edited. By this, I mean I was never 'lost' with what was taking place. Too many editors nowadays, are into rapid fire cuts with extreme closeups. Having choreographed, performed, filmed and EDITED fight sequences. I know when they are making up for bad coverage and poor choreography/execution. These fights and chases NEVER left me lost or confused with what was going on. In fact, as we left the theatre, my wife remarked. "Great editing!" Curious, I asked her what she meant by that. "I could follow all the fights and chases!" she replied. Point made.

Cinematography was gorgeous. Just the right amount of closeups in dialogue, AND sweeping vistas of beautiful locations with stunning natural light.

The script was mean and sharp. I LOVED the first scene between Bond and Vespia on the train. Really sharp exchange, beautifully written and executed. Worked on at LEAST three levels.

Going back to the roots for a retelling of the origin of a Myth can be a risky thing. I think they've pulled it off marvelously.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 11:11 AM   #7
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Ditto!

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Old November 29th, 2006, 02:29 PM   #8
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The only thing that would prevent me from giving it a 4/5 is the ending. It confused me. It was a bit odd how they introduced a character at the very end. Someone I confused with le Chiffre actually. I kept waiting for that character to reveal himself as someone we had already met. And then when Bond disposed of him it barely registered. I really thought that le Chiffre's death had been staged and that he was still around.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 05:02 PM   #9
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I haven't seen it yet. My wife and I were going to go watch it at the Dunbar but I've had to flu for 8 days, my wife for 10 days. (We did not get flu shots.)
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Old November 29th, 2006, 05:29 PM   #10
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Woops sorry to spoil itfor youFrank. Yeah, the villain dies. Sorry about that

If I were you I would avoid the Dunbar. Those seats are like le Chiffre's torture chair.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 05:38 PM   #11
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And speaking of torture, did NOT every guy in the theatre CRINGE with that first hit????
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Old November 29th, 2006, 05:44 PM   #12
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Keith, if you see the film again, look for that character you're refering to towards the beginning of the film. They held a shot of him long enough I was waiting to see where he would pop up later on.

I'm not really a Bond fan. I've always been drawn to the various characters around Bond, but never really identified with Bond himself... until now.

Casino Royale was fantastic.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 05:56 PM   #13
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Saw it with my family this weekend and loved it. Everything in this was so much more subtle and cerebral...the jokes, the music, plot and character development...
Here's an example if you go see it again...Notice the music. For the first 2/3rds of the flick it is not the Bond music we've come to recognize. It's very good action music, and most people don't even notice it's missing, but it's not there. I leaned over and mentioned it to my 15 yr old son, who whispered back to me "that's because he's not Bond yet. Wait til the end of the film."
I think it was somewhere during the card game they very subtly introduced it, but they kept it quiet...Until, the very end.


Very Cool
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Old November 29th, 2006, 05:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Granovski
I haven't seen it yet. My wife and I were going to go watch it at the Dunbar but I've had to flu for 8 days, my wife for 10 days. (We did not get flu shots.)
The Dunbar to see Casino Royale? You're killing me. I think I saw The Sound Of Music there in the 70's and never wanted to go back!

Make a day trip of it, catch a bus and get downtown to Paramount. It's cheap if you go during the day!
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Old November 29th, 2006, 09:18 PM   #15
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Bill,

I noticed the 'lack' of the Bond theme immediately on opening, BUT it seems to be present as a 'variation' in the opening chords immediately AFTER the signature "Down the Barrel P.O.V"... I'm pretty sure I heard a variation on the theme. I'll have to listen for it again though.

The wife and I were STILL talking about it at lunch today. Yeah, a REALLY good Bond story.
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