Monday, January 16, 2006

Casino Royale

I finally saw this movie on what appears to be the last day it is showing in Athens on the big screen. Not because I didn't want to see it.. but because scrapping up the money and the cars and the gas to actually go see a movie seems to be a big ordeal for me (but I have no problem spending upwards of $12 on beverages or a crappy band.. or lousy live theater- not that they're isn't plenty of good music, theater, and free food and beverages to be had in this town or that I don't like movies- but ... anyway). It's actually the first movie I've seen in the actual movie theater since last July, but 14 of those months don't count because I wasn't anywhere near a movie theater so that should give you some idea of how badly I actually wanted to see this movie.
Casino Royale certainly lived up to my expectations. It's certainly a very different bond movie, at least plot and character wise, but it still has all the elements you would normally expect in a Bond movie. Wild chases, stunning effects, death defying stunts, spectacular kills, "the Bond girls", M, mad villains, an amazing soundtrack (featuring Chris Cornell- from Soundgarden and Audioslave)...with a few minor changes.
One of the things you frequently hear about Casino Royale is that it showcases a more human side of Bond. While I wouldn't entirely disagree, I would say that in other Bond films we see a more detached, cynical 007. In Casino Royale, Daniel Craig, portrays a Bond who is still quite naive and we are able to see why and how he became the stoic cynical womanizer and killing machine we all know him as.
One of my favorite things about this movie was that the beginning, before he becomes a double-o, is filmed in black in white. Originally I felt, that it would have been more appropriate to film the rest of the movie in black in white, and the beginning in color (because of the emotional difficulty and change he goes through), but I realized that it is not until after he becomes a double-o that Bond becomes who he truly is.

I highly recommend this movie and will probably see it many more times. It has quickly become my second favorite Bond movie (the living daylights being my favorite), and definitely not worth missing.