Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Review of a Movie, a Bond Movie (no spoilers)

I hadn't mentioned it before now, what with all the Thanksgiving Stuff going on, but this past Tuesday J and I played hooky from Real Life and went to see the latest Bond movie, Casino Royale. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, especially since I was one of many people who wasn't so thrilled with the idea of BlondeBond when the casting of Daniel Craig in the role was announced. But y'all, he was fabulous! He reminded me of Sean Connery's Bond and I definitely mean that as a compliment. One reason I'm surprised I was so impressed is that, unlike a lot of detractors, I always liked Pierce Brosnan's Bond. Sean Connery was always my favorite, but before now I'd have ranked Mr. Brosnan second in my personal Bond list. I freely admit that's in large part because I'm just a huge fan of that man, and have been since his Remington Steele days. I thought his smooth, urbane humor worked for a certain sort of Bond. He'd be a spy that women would flock to and men wouldn't suspect was tough. Well, if Mr. Brosnan is the smoothest Bond, Mr. Craig is clear on the opposite end of the spectrum. You know I never noticed until I put these photos together just how much Timothy Dalton physically resembles George Lazenby. It may even have been talked about back in the day, but I sort of slept through the Dalton years. Anyway... Daniel Craig is, in fact, so rugged looking that he almost looks odd in a tuxedo, but he pulled it off. And he was utterly believable in the violent action sequences. There's one scene where a baddie is trying none-too-gently to get information from Bond. Those of you who've seen the movie know exactly which scene I mean and those who haven't will recognize what I'm talking about as soon as you see it. When I tried to play that scene in my mind with the lovely Mr. Brosnan in the role, it simply wouldn't work. No one - not even his biggest fan - would have believed Brosnan's Bond would pull off what Craig's Bond went through in that scene. With Craig, I believed it. My only quarrel with the film came in the last 2/3 or so of the movie when things slowed down considerably. Again, I'm betting those of you who've seen it know what I mean, but I won't say so I avoid spoilers. I suspect they were trying to appeal to the female members of the audience, but during that section this female just kept thinking "oh come on, we know what's going to happen here, just get it over with." The film is quite long and I think they could have cut a huge chunk out of the section I'm talking about and brought the movie in closer to 2 hours without missing a thing in terms of telling the story. Other than that one quibble, I thought this was classic Bond, the best in years. If you're a fan of old-school Bond movies - if you're someone who has said for years that Sean Connery is THE Bond and no one else has come close to getting it right - then go see this one. I bet you'll be pleased. I give it an A- and would have given it an A if the director had trimmed some fat from one section of the movie. If you hate all things Bond then, um....never mind. (said in my best Emily Litella voice) Here's today's DAT: "Cactus Bud" (clickable)