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Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando

Ian Fleming's Casino Royale

Casino Royale
Daniel Craig ushers in a grittier Bond in Casino Royale (MGM/Columbia)

The name's Bond. James Bond. This month Daniel Craig becomes the sixth actor to take on the role of the famous MI6 British agent. The latest Bond adventure is Casino Royale (opening November 17 throughout San Diego) based on the 1953 novel in which Ian Fleming introduced 007 to readers.

Technically, this is the third adaptation of Casino Royale . There was an Americanized TV version with Barry Nelson as Jimmy Bond in the 50s, and a spoof starring Woody Allen in the 60s. But this is the first time the official Bond franchise (the one overseen by the late Albert Broccoli's Eon Productions) has actually filmed the novel. So for their 22nd Bond film, the producers have decided to go back to the beginning to in essence re-launch what has become one of the longest running and most successful film franchises of all time. One of the reasons for this success has been the franchise's ability to reinvent itself during its 40-year plus history. It began by sticking close to Ian Fleming's books with its films Dr. No and From Russia With Love in the early 60s. By the mid 60s it began a move toward gadgetry, special effects and spectacle ( Thunderball, You Only Live Twice) . That trend peaked in the 70s and 80s when Roger Moore took over the Bond role and the series became more and more over the top (the best of these being For Your Eyes Only and The Spy Who Loved Me ). In the late '80s there was a swing back toward grit and realism with Timothy Dalton's brief outing as Bond. And most recently, Pierce Brosnan's Bond announced the franchise's move toward slick productions loaded with clever quips and prone to poke fun at Bond for being a misogynistic dinosaur.

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Beth Accomando
November 17, 2006 at 08:31 PM
As a long-time Bond fan, I want to put the call out to other fans to post who your favorite Bond actor is, which film is your favorite, and what do you think of the new Bond? Thanks. I look forward to hearing from people. Beth Accomando

Karl Kunkel
November 18, 2006 at 04:30 AM
Beth did a great job with her comments and history of the Bond books and films. I was totally blown away with the new Bond movie and heartily endorse it. It featured a good, basic, gritty, no-frills, realistic Bond without the futuristic Jetsons toys and gimmicks. I saw it earlier today, opening today, and immediately starting emailing friends to check it out. Daniel Craig was terrific and has infused much-needed new blood into a franchise that was getting a bit too silly.

David B.
November 18, 2006 at 06:40 AM
Are you kidding me?? This Bond movie was terrible. I like Daniel Craig as Bond, but where the heck is the music?!? Not once during an action scene did they play the Bond music. Extremely disappointing! And what about the opening sequence. You say that it's the traditional sequence...did you see the same movie that I saw? The traditional opening sequence opens with Bond walking onto the screen, turning, and shooting his gun. That's gone. Absolutely horrible! I definitely think that Craig has a future as Bond, and I look forward to seeing him in more movies, but they better do it right next time.

Bradley
November 18, 2006 at 07:33 AM
Roger Moore

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Nick Creed
November 18, 2006 at 07:39 AM
I must disagree with David B's comments. I just got back from seeing it, the bond intro where he shoots through the barrel of a gun is there, as is the music. Though it may be a remix and it doesnt take place in serious action scenes. I actually worried Bond might fail for the first time in ANY Bond film I have seen, which was a welcome change of pace from the previous films. Don't get me wrong, Pierce Brosnan did a good job, it's just that Bond was getting to near Roger Moorian heights of outlandishness. I am really looking forward to seeing the next film, I like where this is heading.

James L.
November 18, 2006 at 07:41 AM
Favorite Bond has always been a tie between Connery and Moore(I enjoy the camp 70's feel and Moore's underrated icy cool performances) but after seeing CR tonight, wow, immediatley it's one of my favorite Bond films ever, and I already have to consider Craig's performance as one of the best ever(Craig, Moore, Connery are all so different it's hard to compare them). Brosnan was very good, almost a melding of all the previous Bonds, but I have to rank Craig at least 3rd already, behind Connery/Moore already after just this one film. Wow.

James L.
November 18, 2006 at 07:47 AM
David B.- did you actually see the movie? somehow I doubt it. they played the 007 theme *spoiler* during the scene where he shoots the hitman in the leg and "introduces" himself formally i'm glad the interent exists for people like you who are so unhappy with their lives can vent. there's NO WAY any Bond fan can be unhappy with Casino Royale. It's a freaking instant classic. end of story.

James L.
November 18, 2006 at 08:02 AM
Also, I too recommend to those that haven't seen it On Her Majestys Secret Service. I disagree Lazenby was the worst Bond(Dalton for me). His performance rivals Craig as far as keeping truthful to the novels. IHis performance was actually quite good. I think more people put it down than have actually taken the time to track it down and watch it. I know it's "cool" to site Goldfinger, Russia w/Love etc. as a "must see" etc. but for pure guilty pleasure entertainment I recommend Diamonds are Forever, Live and Let Die and Golden Gun. Very fun to watch with friends and drinks.

Steven Morris
November 18, 2006 at 03:18 PM
I have not yet seen the film but from what I have heard its going to be the best of them all. I have heared that all of the main elements are in the film, minus Q, Moneypenny and the gadgets. Therefore creating a world in which Bond must adapt. A healthy change of pace and definately required in order to reinvigorate this franchise.

Howard T. Levine
November 18, 2006 at 04:03 PM
If the only constant is change, then this film is one of the best. My main criticism is the music, especially the title song, but what was the last good one, "For Your Eyes Only"? The classic Monty Norman "007" theme is used in an unique way & place. D. Craig is excellent and a real person on the screen; we really felt his presence, pectorals and blue eyes. That boy can sure run. All in all, a refreshing take on one of film's greatest characters.

Shane L.
November 18, 2006 at 05:46 PM
Wow! Casino Royale has completely wiped the slate clean and brought Bond back to a character that can be taken seriously as opposed to the predictable joke he had become. Daniel Craig is the most believable Bond since Dalton and the best since Connery. This is the best Bond film in 40 years folks. Don't miss it on the big screen. Daniel Craig - #1 Best James Bond ever (after Connery!)

socrates17
November 18, 2006 at 06:40 PM
OK. Now I'm going way out on a limb and I'm going to offend everyone. I enjoyed Craig even more than Connery. You can't really say who was "best" because this is an entirely different thing. CR isn't "A James Bond Film" it is a film about James Bond, and Craig played him to a T. I saw Dr. No within the first week of release, having read a small piece in Time magazine (that I still have in my James Bond scrap book) predicting that JFK would be given a private screening since he was a big fan of the novels. Between Dr. No and From Russia With Love I read all the Bond books published until then, up to The Spy Who Loved Me. I have been to every Bond film on opening day ever since, even the awful (with apologies to James L.) Roger Moore ones. But following FRwL, even though I enjoyed many of them, I had issues with all of them. Just take Goldfinger, for instance. Yeah, I really loved it, largely because Gert Frobe still played the best villain. Bond, however, doesn't actually DO very much. He is carried along by events. He doesn't control them. I had differing issues with other entries in the series, but the overriding problem was that they weren't about the written James Bond. So, as I told my wife, who hated CR, it turns out I have been waiting for this movie for 43 years. They finally got it right.

David B.
November 18, 2006 at 08:40 PM
To Nick Creed and James L.: Yeah, they played the music at the end, but where was it during all of the action scenes. I don't know about you, but I want to hear the music when Bond is chasing someone down or being chased. It just wasn't there, and don't try to say that it was. Again, I think Daniel Craig was excellent. I just didn't think the movie was executed correctly. I understand that I am definitely in the minority, but it just didn't feel like a Bond film to me. Of course, I grew up with Brosnan as Bond so maybe I'm just used to that tone and feel. And again, the opening sequence was NOT there. The opening sequence in a Bond film BEGINS with him walking onto the screen. That simply did NOT happen in this film, and you can't say that it did. Does anyone agree with me on this?? It just seems like everyone is saying that this is one of the best Bond films so far. Joel Siegel sums it up perfectly for me. You can see it here: http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=2661326

David B.
November 18, 2006 at 08:44 PM
Also, one other thing. David Arnold did the music in this film. He also did the music in Tomorrow Never Dies , which I consider to be one of the best Bond films when it comes to the music. It was very surprising to me that he didn't do the same with this one. I understand that they're taking Bond if a completely different direction, and I like that. I just wish they wouldn't have changed SO much.

Andrea
November 19, 2006 at 05:57 AM
Minor quibble: You said Craig was the youngest actor to take on the Bond role -- but that title goes to George Lazenby, who was 30 in 1969 when "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was released. As for the new movie ... I haven't yet had the chance to see it, but I'm really looking forward to it. The Bond franchise was getting a bit stale and in need of a fresh perspective.

Robert Davis
November 19, 2006 at 09:28 AM
I really liked this movie except the end which got a bit confusing. It also dragged a bit in places. I hope they continue with this "Bourne Identity" style and don't go back to the "sharks with laser beams attached to their heads" anytime soon.

James Craig
November 19, 2006 at 03:15 PM
Overall, an excellent change for Bond. Daniel Craig has earned my respect to play Bond. The series is once again realistic. There are numerous things that I would change in the next Bond but, who does not. I will be awaiting impatiently the next addition to the series. JC

lee sunset
November 19, 2006 at 05:44 PM
Saw it yesterday and definitely best Bond since Connery's Thunderball (no, Never Say Never doesn't count). I think my wife liked it more than I did and she's the one who constantly gives me grief: "You're watching the Bond marathon AGAIN?!" I was paying attention for the music and, true, it doesn't start playing in action scenes until near the end, but I think this was intentional (as was the way they handled the martini and how Bond introduces himself). Sorta like the new/last Star Wars where we don't hear the Darth Vader theme until it's appropriate (and you're primed for it), Bond music doesn't appear until Bond is being established for what is/will become - kinda like the chicken and egg thing, y'know? Now... I just hope they don't start weighing it down with special effects, gadgets, etc. After the opening weekend box office (which should be huge) this should send a positive signal...

Ahmed Latif
November 19, 2006 at 06:13 PM
Ok... This IS DEFINATELY one of the best bond movies i have ever seen. SO MUCH more realistic, no disappearing cars, no ice castles, no car chace that invloves rockets; but definately a healthy change. My opinion the best movies were goldfinger, goldeneye, tommorow never dies and this one. I liked all James bond actors except for George Lazenby *eukh*. Sean Connery was deinately amazing, but there is something about Pierce's personna that makes him so elegant and worthy of the James Bond character. But Craig i think was one of the best Bonds ever, if not, then definately the best. I think the change they were making needed someone like Daniel, a thug. In this movie i think James Bond's character fit Daniel more than Daniel was signed up because he fits the James Bond. A more Brutal, action filled Bond! How can you hate it. Favourite quotes from this movie: "Your not my type- Smart?- No Single" " Vodka Martini- Shaken or stirred?- Do i look like i give a damn?!" "Bartender, get me one of those, keep the fruit" "Do we look like we need the money?" "I ll be keeping my eyes on the money, and off your perfectly formed ass" "That because you know what i can do with my little finger" "If you were just born, wouldnt you be naked?"

JK
November 20, 2006 at 12:10 AM
With regard to someone's complaint that there was no James Bond music until the end... Consider this, the story was Daniel Craig's transformation into James Bond. This role only came together at the end of the movie and the symbolism is that after these events he has become bond, hence the music. This is a truly brilliant concept that put more emphasis on the literary import of this piece than on the pop culture that we are used to, Bravo to Martin Campbell and Daniel Craig.

Suzy
November 20, 2006 at 01:08 AM
I returned from the cinema at teatime and cannot stop thinking about Casino Royale. Daniels Craig makes an absolutely superb James Bond. It was so nice to see the gritty realism, Bond as a human being with feelings who can get hurt. The cuts and scrapes on his knuckles were still there long after fight scenes-normally these things miraculously disppear! Who was Sean Connery? Who cares? Daniel Craig IS James Bond!!!

Beth Accomando
November 20, 2006 at 02:46 AM
Andrea-- You are absolutely right about Lazenby being the youngest. I goofed. But Craig is the youngest since Lazenby. Thanks for catching that. As for the other comments, I'm glad people are enjoying the new Bond. As a Bond fan, I really appreciate the discussion and I appreciate the way the new movie delivered on certain expectations but with a twist. Like the gun barrel open--it wasn't the way it used to be with Bond walking out on what looked like a bare set but rather it was it took place within the action of the scene. Or the "shaken not stirred" line being dismissed by Bond as "Do I look like I give a damn." Thanks to everyone for posting. I look forward to reading more of your opinions.

daniel skillman
November 20, 2006 at 05:29 AM
I read Casino Royale for the first time a couple of days before the opening of the 2006 film by the same name. My reaction to seeing the movie is this: Craig captured the essence of the character in a way I've not seen another actor do, and the screen play brought out the essence of the novel without being slavishly tied to it. Not in the least. One of the things I truly enjoyed was the fact that this was a story, complete with character development, and not simply a "Bond film." Weaknesses: Let's face it, the story, as a sequence of events, is quite choppy. I thought the same thing about the novel. The story is, in many respects, really two consecutive stories, loosely tied together (the gambling in the casino & the "honeymoon" with Vesper at the beach). Yet, on the plus side, holding them together is the character arch of Bond. He goes from a passionate womanizer to a man very much in love to a man deeply betrayed by that love and thus hardened. I echo the sentiment above that the "narration" during the hold-em tournament was unnecessary. I would have liked to have seen at least one more scene developing Bond's growing affection for Vesper. Something immediately prior to the scene where Bond comforts her in the shower. In the novel, we are privy to what is going on in Bond's head, thus making his attraction to Vesper quite plausible. In fact, we're ready to believe Bond when he goes so far as to say that he wants to marry her. In the film, we believe that he comes to care for her at least, but we could have used a little more convincing, a few more reasons why. Strengths: Craig. Something in his eyes, his voice, his gait. He IS Bond in this movie. I fully expected not to like him. After all, he's not the Bond I grew up with. Nor is he the Bond I came to enjoy in P.B. I figured that if Craig was going to win me over it would take two or more films. I was wrong. He had me on the hook after the opening sequence, and reeled me in for the rest of the film. Bond, rebourne. Somebody compared Casino Royale to the Bourne identity in terms of the more realistic, although still stylized, tone. They're right on, and this is a big plus for the Bond franchise. Believability See above. Seeing Bond and the other characters shoot and fight the way that they do still drops my jaw. "Wow, look at that," is my response. However, it's not so outlandish that you can't imagine it actually happening. Well, most of it anyway. Vulnerability Bond isn't guaranteed a victory from the start. It seems as though he really has to work this time. Not all the cards fall his way, even though luck does seem to be on his side in the end. The hand to hand fight sequences are terse, and the blows do real and lasting damage to villains and heroes alike. We all know that he makes it out alive...but unscathed? Hardly. Bond in Love Well, maybe that's overstating things a bit for the film version, although, in the novel he is ready to MARRY Vesper. However, even in the film, Bond is clearly willing to forego life as a double oh in order to be with a woman he truly finds intriguing. This adds an endearing, and might I add--very realistic (how many soldiers and spies have wives and/or significant others they truly love? Quite a few.) quality to the Bond character almost completely absent from the past films. It is truly tragic that Bond is so viciously repaid for allowing himself to feel, although it does go a ways towards explaining, at least in part, the origins of his more ruthless nature. M's message that he's learned his lesson about "trusting people" and allowing "emotion to cloud his judgment" is spot on for what we all know Bond will become, if we consider this film a prequel. But, here's to hoping Bond doesn't let this experience completely turn him off on self-sacrificial love, especially of the romantic variety. There's far more depth to a character with such possible motivations than one who functions purely out of a killer's instinct. What does all this add up to? I really think that Craig is the best Bond and Casino Royale the best Bond film I've personally seen. Go see this film. You won't be disappointed. However, understand, I'm only a casual fan of the series, and I don't profess to have seen all of the films, much less read all of the books. I don't have posters of Bond on my wall, and I don't wish I was Bond. But, I believe that makes my recommendation all the more trustworthy.

Gioconda di Alberi
November 20, 2006 at 08:08 AM
Dan's the Man. I was floored by Mr. Craig's interpretation of James Bond. As is everyone. Wow. I think this was his destiny. Of course, I give credit to fantastic writers, a great director, and whomever decided to take the franchise back to square one. It needed to be done, and this came together in a brilliant movie. Google Jean-Paul Belmondo. He's French, but Daniel Craig has this same thing going on. Adonis body, soulful acting style. In any language. I'd like to see him in a remake of Dr. No. With an equal rematch to Ursula Andress. My heart pounds thinking of the possibilities.

rick
November 20, 2006 at 04:30 PM
I went into CR without pre-conceived notions. I, too, am a "Bond-o-phile"(a word I made up, but I thinks fits the bill); and I'm torn between my loyalty to Connery as the consummate Bond and, now, Daniel Craig who did a more than superb job of bringing Bond back from the outlandish, and gadget-using "Matt Helm"-esque agent he had become. The action was well choreographed and Bond being portrayed as relying more on wits than weapons is the change in direction that was much needed. I admit to liking the Bond girls being eye-candy but equally enjoyed them being strong and independent. Vesper was more the latter,but not enough of the former for me. Bond with a soul is more realistic than the unfeeling, yet suave and debonair, womanizing killing machine with which he has come to be associated. We saw the first full view with the death of Tracy at the end of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", but were only treated to glimpses of it at other times throughout the other movies. As mentioned in an earlier commentary, CR does introduce us to Bond after having just received his "00" status, so he will not have had time to develop calluses on his heart and soul to deaden the pain that the work he does exposes him to; this fact fits in nicely with the overall plot. I am an African-American male. While I don't propose to speak for all the African-American male "Bond-o-philes", I must admit some disappointment with the apparent under-usuage of only one of two black Felix Lighters, this one portrayed by Jeffrey Wright. Yes, I know it's a Bond film, and by virtue of that fact, a caucasian male film; surely, though, Felix could prove more useful than just a financial backer fortuitously timed. Felix, while always second fiddle to Bond, has seen some action of other movies. I agree with Beth in hoping that Wright will reprise his role as Felix in future films and figure more prominently in them. Go Casino Royale during the upcoming holidays. You WILL NOT be disappointed.

Scott V
November 20, 2006 at 10:35 PM
Actually I think a lot of people had a hard time following the gambling even with the narration. Contrary to what cable TV would have you believe, not everyone plays Texas Hold'em. But, at least a lot of us know the game. Who plays baccarat?!

Garry Capon
November 21, 2006 at 11:06 AM
I agree with most of Beth's excellent Film Critique above and just like her I am very pleased with the new, more Adult direction in which Eon appear to be taking the Bond franchise. Essentually the penny has dropped in the mind of the producers, that there was a 'New' Bond on the block.... a Mr.Jason Bourne no less, with a slick, gritty and above all else, realistic approach to the Espionage genre and if they were not careful they would find themselves further ridiculed in the minds of the Movie goers - for turning Bond into a farce! To anyone who has taken the time to read the excellent Ian Fleming novels, Bond simply was not the jokey character so often displayed in most - after Connery - Films. He is a hard professional, highly intelligent, ruthless, resourseful..... all the things Connery brought to the screen, So Daniel Craig's portrail is like a breath of fresh air after so much rubbish before it! Bravo Eon, please continue in this way - there's plenty of Bond titles to re-make in a 'Fleming' style! Garry Capon - Near Oxford, England

Simon A
November 21, 2006 at 12:48 PM
A superb film that I thoughroly enjoyed and does a wonderful job of taking the series back to credible serious action adventure rather than cheesy gadget fests (the last one was truly awful despite the fact that I did actually LIKE Brosnan as bond (especially Goldeneye (which was prior to CR just about the last Bond movie I really loved). Daniel Craig is superb throughout and is arguably the best bond to date (even over Connery though for me he simply WAS Bond and no-one no matter how good will ever truly replace him, but nonetheless had Craig been there first I suspect it would be he, and not connery that all the others are judged by...) The one minor thing I will say though is that I suspect there was method to their madness regarding the card game, namely that Poker has in recent years become very popular especially online and the filmakers probably assumed more people would be able to follow it than Baccarat (though in all honest Baccarat is such an incredibly simple game that surely it would have been easy enough to explain in only one line as they did with the poker anyway.....). Regardless, I loved every minute of the movie and am overjoyed that I can once again look forward to the next bond movie rather than just hoping they dont get any worse :)

SAQIB
November 21, 2006 at 01:15 PM
I have to say i havent seen many Bond films- but this is amazin mainly die to the fact that Daniel Craig is a magnificent actor

Boyd, Sterling Boyd
November 21, 2006 at 11:50 PM
I saw CR on the day of it's release with a lot of questions and wonder. After it was over, all my questions and wonder were answered. Daniel Craig was the best choice Barbara Brocolli and Michael Wilson could have picked. The movie really does have a pre-"You only live twice" feel to it. Daniel lives up to the role and then some. Anyone that doesn't like this movie is lying to themselves or are in denial. It packs a lot of action, suspense and clever scripting. I give it a 9/10. I agree with a lot of other people regarding the music. As clever as it was to save Monte Norman's theme until the very end, I think it would have been better used right after he received his 00 status. I also think that Judi Dench should have been replaced with someone new and left her with only the Brosnan Bond movies. She plays the part well but since every character is new, so should have M's. The next movie has a lot of expectations since CR was so good that I just hope ION doesn't take another 4 years to make. It ranks up there with Goldfinger, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, For Your Eyes Only, License to Kill and Goldeneye as the top Bond movies. Cheers

Roy Shaw
November 22, 2006 at 06:07 AM
My wife and I caught CR on opening night. I have seen every Bond movie, read every book including the John Gardner continuations, and I felt that Dr. No and from Russia with love really caught the bold, cold, supremely confident character that Ian Fleming created. The rest were ok (excluding Roger Moore who was a clown). But Daniel Craig truly captured the original character even better than my former favorite Sean Connery. I loved the movie and sincerely hope that they don't revert back to the gadgets that took the place of the characters. I am looking forward to the next installment.

Ricardo
November 22, 2006 at 05:36 PM
I think Sean Coonery and Moore had been the best James Bond actors, one with little more spy inteligence and the other with a crisp sharpness humor without taking too much from the escence of what James Bond was. On the last movie the music did not show, the opening with all the femenine psichodelic figures where missing. The gadgetery and the front technology applications where missing. And the sequence for all the movie where not followed carefully. Still with out deminishing Craig actoral work I truly belive that there should be some one else that will be able to better capture the James Bond escence. The only impressive portion of the movie in my opinion was the sequence where Bond is chaising the afroamerican but the afroamerican by far endup being more impressive than Bond for being able to evade Bond with such acrobatic skills. Entertaining movie but fall short in my opinion. Thanks

Jon Auty
November 22, 2006 at 06:42 PM
Casino Royale is, quite simply, the finest example of how to adapt the Bond books. After 4 long years we've finally received a Bond to believe in. A great cast, powerful direction, beautiful photography and a solid script to get the heart pounding. Daniel Craig brings a well earned change of direction to the Bond movies. Not only is he a good looking fella, but he's understood what is needed from an actor in the role of Bond. This movie introduces Bond to the audience as an MI6 agent who's just starting out. Two kills under his belt and he enters the world of the double-0. He has an ego that would fill a multiplex and a finger that squeezes his PPK trigger a little too often. This is what Bond fans have been crying out for. Martin Campbell's direction is perfect for a hard edged thriller like Casino Royale. He's moulded Daniel Craig into this character as he did for Brosnan back with Goldeneye. The cracks appeared when Campbell left to go off and direct Vertical Limit and the Zorro pictures leaving Roger Spottiswoode, Michael Apted and Lee Tamahori to 'have a stab' at creating the perfect Bond. After reading the comments on this site I was surprised to learn how many people didn't understand the reason for David Arnold's lack of 'James Bond Theme' during the film. This was intentional. Bond only becomes 007 at the start of the film and David Arnold was asked by the Producers to limit the use. Normally when Bond does something Bond-esque on screen David Arnold will complement the action with a burst of Bond theme, but due to the nature of the movie and the story surrounding Bond he opted for a version of the Chris Cornell co written theme song 'You Know My Name'. The introduction of the James Bond theme played at the end of the film is a masterstroke. You've waited for 2hrs to hear it and in, what many are calling, the best end sequence to any movie you understand why James Bond is back. Once again I have to disagree with the comments regarding this song. For me its a very powerful performance from a wonderful vocalist with a great 'hook' chorus. It has to be a winner. Lets celebrate the 21st adventure by saluting the makers and Daniel Craig for a wonderful performance. Before too long the poster will display the following information. Daniel Craig IS James Bond

NittanyBlue2002
November 22, 2006 at 10:13 PM
Best. Bond. Review. Ever. I just saw Casino Royale for the first time last night in Astoria, NY. Beth, you touched upon virtually every single little thought and observation that crossed my mind while taking in the magnificent new show. I enjoyed this review so much, in fact, that I emailed the link to my brother. Not that it matters, but in a funny twist, it wasn't until I made it halfway through this review when I realized the author was a woman. Again, excellent, excellent review. I wasn't really sure what to expect from this Daniel Craig character, but he was surprisingly good. He portrayed 007 as a real life human being with his own combination of overpowering strengths and vulnerable weaknesses (just like the rest of us mere mortals). But, even in the face of extreme adversity, Craig still demonstrated Bond's uncompromised commitment to getting the job done for Mother England. I liked Pierce Brosnan, but in my personal opinion, upon my viewing of Casino Royale, Daniel Craig immediately went down as the best Bond since Connery and Moore. Great to see the series getting back to its roots. Long gone are the days when Bond flicks represented nothing but sensational special effects, a revolving door of product placements, a litany of cheesy one-liners, over the top storylines, etc., etc... Casino Royale represents triumphant return of the real James Bond.

Tim Duong
November 22, 2006 at 11:31 PM
This is the best Bond movie ever to me and I am glad that the franchise is taking this direction, with a more realistic hero . Sean Connery might be more the James Bond imagined by Ian Fleming but the Sean Connery movies from the 60's have aged horribly and are really painful to watch for a contemporary viewer. I have read most Bond books and the plot of Casino Royale has always annoyed me with this basic flaw: Can anyone exlpain to me why should the British MI6 risk their money to gamble with Le Chiffre rather than dispatch JB to kill him outright ?

Chris
November 23, 2006 at 03:17 AM
Tim, they did it so Le Chiffre could be guaranteed protection in exchange for information on the terror networks he was providing.

Simon A
November 23, 2006 at 11:10 AM
Bond asks that very same question in the movie Tim and M explains it quite simply. MI:6 is an intelligence agency not an assassins guild. They wan't LeChifre alive and with only them to turn to for protection, they're not after him they're after the information he has on many terrorist networks.

Sean A.
November 23, 2006 at 05:00 PM
I'm a Roger Moore fan but times, they are a changin'. And Daniel Craig fits the new direction. Excellent "no frills" movie. Finally, a Bond movie my girlfriend will like. I look forward to the, sequel?

bill007
November 23, 2006 at 05:58 PM
I agree with Jon Auty's comment that the Casino Royale ending is a "masterstroke." Well put. Casino Royale is the story of how James Bond was transformed into the best double-O in the group. Therefore, he isn't Bond, James Bond, until that well delivered last line. Enter The Bond Theme. It's akin to a punch in the nose. Ian Fleming was turning in his grave for the last 15 films. I am now coinfident he sleeps well.

Cliff McNish
November 23, 2006 at 08:29 PM
This was a terrible film! I can't comprehend how anyone can think it was good, let alone a classic. I was so disappointed with it. It lacked so much of the fibre that has been essential in the previous films; a good car chase (we get about 10 seconds of the DB9 before it gets trashed), Q and his toys, good gunfights/action, but most of all a good script. Where were the witty one liners and quips from Bond? The only funny thing he said was about getting his balls scratched. Most of the film revolved around scenes at the poker table, which was convoluted, boring and wholly unnecessary. Craig did a decent job, but was let down by a lacklustre script. The cinematics were average and the special effects nothing all that special. I can't beleive the Broccoli's watching the film upon completion and thought to themselves, 'Yeah, we've done a good job here'. The only thing they got right was the first chase with the bomb-maker, and the success of that relied entirely on the skills of the street-running bomb-makers acrobatics. Making this film was a total waste of money.

michael
November 24, 2006 at 12:53 PM
an absolute bond movie.Daniel craig was amazing n was xtraordinary as bond.i guess hes's best ever bond after connery. the film was good. Daniel craig no#1 bond

Brian B
November 24, 2006 at 01:07 PM
Shaken or Stirred? "Does it look like I give a damn!" Obviously a statement to tell the audience that Bronson's Bond is gone forever. Overall, I like the movie - not sure its a favorite though. I understand that old stories need to be updated to reflect modern issues in the world - but that is what is bugging me about this film. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it was set in the 50s. I have the same feelings towards the last Clancy film as well. And, I think it could have used a bit more of the traditional bond music here and there - the credits was the first place that I actually noticed it in its entirety.

Scotty G.
November 24, 2006 at 08:32 PM
I saw Casino Royale yesterday, and all I can think is "YES!!! This is exactly what the Bond franchise needs!" Probably the first Bond film I've ever seen that made me really wonder if he was going to succeed in his mission. Casino Royale is really a tense and intense movie. Dan Craig is the best Bond since Connery (Brosnan is third)with potential to be even better... the next film (hopefully an accurate Moonraker picture) will tell. He's not a smart ass in many scenes (at least not verbally, but those defiant eyes...) but you can't help but love watching a tense painful scene injected with humor because of that mouth of his. Everyone who has seen the movie knows the scene to which I refer. He's about two seconds away from puking up blood, but he still continues with that wit. Anyway, with Craig's Bond the one-liners mean something again - like they did with Connery. Also, Craig's Bond doesn't flawlessly roll through everything. You can see the toll it takes on his emotions when he kills. Often he hates it. Sometimes (the airport bomber) he loves it. Also, I have to give kudos to screenwriters Purvis & Wade, and especially director Martin Campbell (from whom I have not seen a terrible movie yet) for keeping this film the closest to Sir Ian Fleming's novels since "From Russia With Love." It is one thing to make action scenes tense - most directors could do that. It is quite another to be able to make a lowly card game as tense as the action scenes. (I wish they'd kept the game baccarat. Texas Hold'Em just seems so blue-collar, out of place in the posh setting. But it isn't difficult to understand why they changed it.) My main complaint about the film is that the lessons Bond learns throughout the film don't seem to register in his actions as much as I would have liked near the end. How he didn't pick up on the betrayal until he saw the phone near the end of the film is a mystery to me. Another complaint is that the film's sequences and settings seem to jump around a whole lot. Them who complain about the lack of the James Bond theme until right near the end are probably the same folks that had a problem with Batman Begins because Bruce Wayne didn't don the batsuit until the second hour of the movie. Just as Wayne had to grow into Batman, James Bond has to grow into 007. It takes him almost the entire movie to learn the lessons he needs to learn. While Mr. McNish seems to desire a Bond film with every action movie cliche displayed over the last forty years of American cinema, I prefer one with three-dimensional characters and believable but awesome action scenes. Casino Royale delivers fantastically. You'll be doing yourself a crime if you M.I.A this one!

Garrett Huxford
November 25, 2006 at 06:33 AM
This is by far my favorite movie. And I am a big James Bond fan. This movie actually proved me right on all of my theories about James Bond movies. Although I enjoy the crazy gadgets and everything else that they have, in order for them to make a good 007 movies, you need to do a couple of things. One, get rid of the pretty boys (it actually pains me to say because as I have already told you, I love the old 007s but it needs to be done.) What makes Daniel Craig such a good James Bond is the fact that he is a good-looking guy yeah but ultimately, he is freaking hard core looking. Never have I seen a James Bond get that down and dirty, or busted up in a fight scene, and he didnt have any gadgets (which remember, I love) to bail him out. Two, get rid of the gadgets, in every movie, you are found waiting to see what they will come up with, and they are always really cool. But they are really rather over board if you think about it, a spy does have cool gadgets, like a dash board that will have medicine so you wont die of poison and will have a gun there ready for you but what they had in the past is just plane bazar, and I dont know if I want to go back after seeing this movie. Three, I mentioned this earlier, but the fight scenes are one thousand percent better than I have ever seen in a 007 movie. The very first scene (black and white in the bathroom) got me ready for just an amazing 007 experience. That fight was one of the best fights I have seen in a long time. Daniel Craig is a great Bond, and he should be here for a long time. He has gotten me excited for a great future of 007 and I will be ready and waiting for the next one. This movie was amazing, it was the best 007, and he was the best 007, so you better get used to him. I also loved every decision the director made, hats off to you Martin Campbell and Daniel Craig.

Armand A. La Bes
November 25, 2006 at 07:19 AM
My ratings for Bond portrayals: 1. Sean Connery (no surprise here) 2. Daniel Craig 3. Timothy Dalton (poorly served by bad scripts) 4. Pierce Brosnan 5. George Lazenby 6. Roger Moore At the outset let me say that CR is an extraordinary Bond film. Not at all what I expected, and I was pleasantly surprised. I understand the misgivings that some have expressed, since things we become accustomed to have, in some ways defined the franchise. I have always felt that the old John Barry scores were unsurpassed not only in Bond films, but in all of filmdom (a personal opinion). However, new wine, new skins. I actually left off seeing Bond films in the movies since the Roger Moore era (which I considered came closest to trashing the original character completely). This new 007 will get me back to the theater to see what they will do with him.

TJD
November 25, 2006 at 08:21 AM
First of all, fantastic review Beth, easily the best i've read all night. Now, for all you CR haters. I believe the general problem here and a very common theme on alot of forums, is that you're wanting to watch the one type of Bond film that everyone else is tired of. ( I say that as I glance over to the TV watching Dalton sledging in a Cello case - oh dear. ) This film is NOT a Bond film, it is as someone mentioned above, about Bond and an introduction of sorts as to who he is and what makes him the man we've been watching since we were children. If you look at it in that light, i think they did a fantastic job. its not easy trying to create an action film with a strong emotional under current - they tried it with Superman Returns, and I'm still undecided on what to make of that. I was it seems one of the few that didn't doubt Daniel Craig in the role, I always new he would bring it all, and thats not just because i have the same hair colour and high hairline ! Fantastic way to spice up the gun barrel intro too, i don;t know what all that guff was about "what happened to the barrel intro". The more I watch it, the more I love it ! My only complaint - why the hell did they pull the title song from the soundtrack ?

James Sanderson
November 26, 2006 at 03:27 PM
I have to comment before finishing the comments section so I remember what to comment on: 1) Le Chiffre couldn't be killed outright in the book because he needed to embezzle the funds from the pro-communist French trade unions and then get killed by his own people instead of becoming a martyr. In the movie, Le Chiffre couldn't be killed outright because MI6 wanted to force him to ask for their protection whereupon he would have to tell them everything about various terror networks. In the movie, the mission actually failed in that MI6 would not get to interrogate Le Chiffre (nor would the CIA which had won the right to extradite Le Chiffre due to their financing of Bond when he lost the first round of Poker)...until the end when Vesper saved the world by having text messaged Bond the cell phone number of the top terror financier. 2) It was a master stroke of brilliance that the "Bond Theme" was saved for the end because the book makes it clear that James Bond doesn't hit his stride until after his plan of marrying Vesper and living happily ever after was quashed by massive betrayal. So Bond is born when the theme begins at the end. It sets up the franchise for lots of remakes. 3) There is one book that still needs to be made into a movie and that is the original "The Spy Who Loved Me." The 1977 movie with the Carly Simon song had nothing to do with the book of the same name! The movie was more or less an adaptation of a political narrative that was going on at the time as detente and Skylab thawed relations between the USA and Russia. The book had nothing to do with Russia. It was about an American woman trapped in the woods trying to evade killers. 4) By the way, shame on any Bond fans who think of modern-day Russia as being any less mysterious and formidable than it seemed to be in the days of the Cold War. I hear garbage about how Russian women are desperate to marry American men to escape poverty and the men are all in the mafia...foolish garbage thoughts that belittle the smartest people in the world, including the American men who visit Russia often for business and its cool social life. Russia is now the world's leading oil producer and Russians think and behave like citizens of a superpower, just as they did in the Cold War. I am proud to be an American man who goes to Moscow often. 5) In the book, Bond earns his Double 0 status during World War Two. First, he is a sniper in New York City before the USA enters the war in December 1941. He kills a Japanese cypher expert who is trying to break British codes during the submarine battle for the Atlantic. He actually becomes 007 after killing a Norwegian fellow agent in "cold blood" after learning that the Norwegian is a double agent for the Nazis. In the book, James Bond kills nobody in addition to the above. Everybody dies around him in the book. Vesper commits suicide with sleeping pills. 6) The second most famous line from the book was the last line: "Pass this on at once. 3030 was a double agent, working for Redland....Yes, dammit, I said WAS. The bitch is dead now." [Redland=Soviet Union] In the movie Craig gets to say this as well, but the producers felt that M then needed to remind him and the audience that he had really been in love with Vesper and certainly really didn't think of her as a bitch. Frankly, this last line of the book left me understanding full well that this was the woman he had wanted to marry and he was therefore, calling her a bitch out of a shell-shocked emotional state. 7) The most famous line of the book was classicly and flawlessly set up in the movie: "A dry martini in a deep champagne goblet. Wait...three measures of Gordons and one of Vodka...shake it very well until its ice cold. Then add a thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?" The movie adds a wonderful touch, in that the other players except Le Chiffre all say "I want the same thing" and then Le Chiffre gets pissed and says "We're here to play cards". This is one example where a movie tops the book with the book's most famous scene. Then, and this is priceless, the screenwriters scored the movie's funniest moment (where the entire European audience roared with laughter and applause) when Bond is distracted with the maneuvering of his enemies in the card room and a barman asks "Do you want your martini shaken or stirred?". Bond, perturbed, quickly snaps back "Do I look like I care?!" He wasn't trying to be funny as he was actually quite tense and distracted at that moment, but this moment, IMHO, wiped away 40 years of making Bond a camp and clownish character. He was basically saying "If I am about to die in the service of my country, do I really care if my martini is shaken and not stirred." The audience applauded appropriately and it was the only scene where the audience did that. I may not have the exact wording in English because I saw the film last night in German.

James Sanderson
November 26, 2006 at 03:45 PM
I guess you can tell that I didn't see the film in English because the apparent line was "Does it look like I give a damn." ;-)

James Sanderson
November 26, 2006 at 03:51 PM
One more thing: The movie is shot largely in Karlovy Vary and Kotek in the Czech Republic. I live not far away. It would be great to see some of you James Bond fans at the card tables. I'll be the one in the tuxedo (seriously, I wouldn't hesitate to hang out there in a tuxedo on a Saturday evening). ;-)

Augustine
November 26, 2006 at 05:13 PM
Best Bond film? Definitely "From Russia With Love". Best Actor? Connery!

sonia hofmann
November 27, 2006 at 07:25 PM
with a lot of reservations i agreed to see the new bond movie...having been dissapointed in the last few i decided the 'bond fond' era was over. boy! was i wrong! i loved every exiting moment, the movie kept me on the edge of my seat. in my opinion daniel craig is by far 'my' favorite Bond! loved every inch of him! sonia hofmann

Kathy Ann Walsh
November 28, 2006 at 12:45 AM
I'm now 55 years old. When I was 12 or 13, I read all of the James Bond novels and stories because my Dad had read them and they were laying around the house. This sparked both a life-long attraction to the character of Bond as well as a literary interest in the espionage genre. I eagerly anticipated the first movie that came out and thought Sean Connery perfectly embodied the character as Fleming portrayed him, both physically and emotionally. For me, Connery was always the ONLY James Bond to the extent that I boycotted all the subsequent films that he did not appear in. I have seen some bits of some of the other movies here and there on TV but really had no interest in them as I thought they made a mockery of the character by making him too much of a dandy. To me, Bond was above all a very physically tough, intelligent man and a ruthless killer. The women, cars and booze were just added fun and fluff. So, before Casino Royale came out, I started reading the buzz about it with the casting of Daniel Craig. I remembered him from "Munich" and how impressed I was by that performance even though he did not have a huge role. The more I read, the more intrigued I became and then once the movie was out and I started reading the reviews, I knew I had to see this one. I saw it over the past weekend and I thought Craig was totally awesome! I am so glad to finally, after all these years, have a James Bond that rivals, maybe even exceeds Connery, in my opinion. Craig has tremendous physicality - the way he carries himself and his mannerisms just scream confidence and sensuality. And those killer blue eyes! He is quite a good actor and was totally believeable as Bond in the early days with the right blend of strength and vulnerability. Overall, I enjoyed the movie a great deal - mostly because of Craig. I also found Vesper to be very likeable - not a bimbo, but a lady with a brain as well as sex appeal. My only criticism of the movie would be that I thought the initial chase sequence was a bit too long and repetitive and I could easily tell when the stunt double was in a scene rather than Craig, not that I would expect Craig or any actor to do those kind of stunts. I just wish they had done a better job with those scenes - it just distracted me a bit. I will anxiuosly await the sequel and hope that Craig does even more than the 3 movies I have read that he has contracted for. Thanks for giving me back my hero.

Terri Lee
November 28, 2006 at 05:38 PM
Daniel Craig is the best one hands down! This is THE Bond movie that has made me a James Bond fan. I think Craig brings something exciting and different to this role that I had not seen before in previous ones. To be honest, I like Sean Connery as an actor,but, did not particularly care for his portrayal of Bond. I couldn't stand Brosnan in the role. Sorry my apologies to his fans. I just didn't like the way he played him...so different from how I picture Bond. Daniel Craig makes him dashing, charming, interesting, oozes masculinity and dare I say it? Incredible sex appeal...my goodness all he has to do is stand there. I want to go see it again as soon as possible. I loved the fact that there was less "gadgetry" and the fact that he got messy hair sometimes. This is one Bond film that totally had me captivated. I can't wait to see the next one. Daniel Craig was just plain awesome and I truly hope that all those very rude and silly people who disliked him and created websites against his casting for the role ,before even seeing him as the new Bond, will eat their hats (or their shoes) or maybe a little crow. He is an excellent James Bond and by far my favorite one yet!

Ian
November 29, 2006 at 08:45 AM
Big fan of bond for a long time. I have to admit that this film was fantastic but adding a sequel to casino royale is ridiculous. What would it be called Risky Poker? They should stop right here for the moment. The action scenes were great but the whole casino part was long and boring and i was just like "c'mon shoot someone already!" They really should have made more people henchmen die in the movie. Would have perferred it if bond took on the whole enemy camp in africa like he did in asia in the last movie he made. I forget the title though. NEED MORE ACTION good movie though.

mich
November 29, 2006 at 11:34 AM
daniel craig made me dream for many nights!!powerful ACTOR,,Worth looking at for hours!!eva green sure is lovely although near the end of the film was dragging..never been a bond fan but now i definetly am.

Scott M.
November 30, 2006 at 07:42 AM
CR was by far the best installment of a bond film to date. I'm not saying Daniel Craig was the best bond but (second best) as a film it was the best. My first introduction to the 007 character was when I was 6 years old and saw "The Spy Who Loved Me" with my father. I was hypnotized to the screen and was an instant Bond fanatic. I was disapointed when the Roger Moore Character took on a more cartoonish essence and I hoped for a more serious film. Timothy Dalton was more serious but was put in some very bad movies. Pierce Brosnan was a step closer but his films too got out of hand. Sean Connery, as the Original Bond, will always be my favorite...he had that special blend of sophistication and toughness. Finally, 007 is in a REAL film--Bond can actually Bleed! I can't wait for the next installment. As for those individuals writing about the lack of Title music and the trademark opening scene, it was there. Remember, this film established the start of who Bond was. The fight is the restroom (his first kill) is where they establish the trademark scene...didn't you always wonder who was aiming to shoot bond before he makes the spin move...now you know! While his theme music wasn't throughout the film it was there in the end...and I'm sure you will here more of it in the next installment.

A. S.
November 30, 2006 at 10:58 AM
To be honest i thought this was the best bond film so far. i thought Daniel

A. S.
November 30, 2006 at 11:04 AM
To be honest i thought that casino royale was the best bond so far. Daniel Craig was outstanding in his role. i felt this bond was more realistic than others with the elimination of all the gadgets and farfetched stunts (eg.jumping from a motorbike to a helicopter!!!) Craig was a very likeable bond and finally showed a more vulnerable side.i loved there bad guy Le Chiffere as he was realistic. i definetely felt this to be the most entertaining bond with the 140mins absolutely flying. i dont think craig deserves all the critisicm he is getting as he is up there with Connery for the best bond. cant wait for the next one......

Shaun W
December 01, 2006 at 12:28 AM
Ok i am like David B above going to be in a minority here but i saw CR last night and thought it was terrible.......as a bond movie. Now you are all going to shout me down and say how close it was to the books etc etc... BUT i am 33 years old, i have been through Connery to Craig and i thought Brosnan was the best.....but what i mean by that was i liked the Bond films in which Brosnan played 007 the best. Why you may ask??? Simple ............... Gadgets...Action....Cheesyness... All the things i grew up with in a Bond film. Where were the cars with gadgets...i dont class a defibrilator as a gadget for bond. What happened to John Cleese as Q? what happened to cars driven by a mobile phone? I guess i am just not enough of a "bondophile" as i have never read a book but have seen every film since i was born and this just didnt cut the mustard.... for me. Great film....................just not a Bond film.

cabro
December 02, 2006 at 03:08 AM
"he didnt die well" Gawd, I havent seen a a guy get quite brtually beat to death like that in a bond movie ever.Or was in drowned..or shot..cant recall.. This guys got issues and it will be interesting to see how they flesh out his character..I'm imagining he came off the streets,a stay in juve hall maybe, got rugby scholarship at a prep school, went to university..joined SAS,got drummed out for too many kills in Ulster..and joined the service.. And heres my prediction..he was a ward of M, but may not have known it..

Gregory Pierce
December 02, 2006 at 04:32 PM
POSSIBLE SPOLIERS!!!!!!!!!! POSSIBLE SPOLIERS!!!!!!!!!! POSSIBLE SPOLIERS!!!!!!!!!! POSSIBLE SPOLIERS!!!!!!!!!! POSSIBLE SPOLIERS!!!!!!!!!! After the response the new James Bond gives the bartender when asked how he wanted his Vodka Martini,we all knew at that point it's gonna be a new direction for the 007 series.And judging by the last few Bond outings,that's a very good thing indeed. Being a serious Bond fan,and having watched every installment multiple times over,I can tell you with confidence that this movie is one of the very best,right up there with From Russia with Love,Goldfinger,Spy who loved me,and For your eyes only. There was much controversy surrounding Daniel Craig's selection as 007.Too short,too blonde,too blue-eyed,etc etc. While Craig does not have the stylish, suave appearance of his immediate predecessor Pierce Brosnan,he exudes machoism,masculanity,and confidence,and it's easy to see him having the ability to lull and seduce countless women. Craig plays Bond,after just one movie,more effectively than any prior actor not named Connery.And after this film,and depending on the quality of any subsequent films,I can easily imagine Craig equalling or even surpassing the original 007.Which,for me,is a hard thing to admit as I'm a huge Connery fan.But there is a retro-ness,an old school quality to Craig's performance and it extends to the film:no gadgets or other over the top,often ridiculous stunts. In terms of comparisons to other Bonds,I'm say he's most like Timothy Dalton,an underrated Bond in underrated films(The Living Daylights and License to Kill aren't great Bond films but they aren't nearly as bad as people claim). Moore's films were mostly campy,From your eyes only and the Spy who loved me excluded,and he never came across to me as wholly believeable in some of his movies.He was older and not in as good shape as other Bonds,and he was never entirely convincing in a fight. Brosnan was effective as Bond,and his 'Goldeneye' is one of the top 10 bond films in my opinion,but by 'Die Another Day',he seemed to be just collecting his paycheck.The quality of film also went down dramatically,and after the final scene of 'Die another Day',I walked out of the theatre not particularly caring if another Bond film ever got made.After walking out of 'Casino Royale' twice(I've seen it twice)the next installment can't come soon enough. As for'Casino Royale',I mentioned earlier that I have seen it twice.Perhaps I'm a bit thickheaded but the plot seems a bit too convoluted,even for a Bond film.Halfway through the film,I still wasn't sure who exactly the main nemesis was.After subsequent viewings of this film(I'm most certainly picking this up on DVD)I may pick up the finer plot points. But the film was still enjoyable from beginning to end,from the black and white opening sequence,the amazing chase scene,the fight on the airport ramp,to the card game scenes and great conclusion.My attention never wavered,even during the poker scenes,and I'm not a poker player,but the scene had great tension and was broken up well with a few fights and Bond nearly dying after being poisoned.It was great to Bond show some conflicting emotions over his actions,as well as some mental errors that would have you saying 'the older Bond would never do that'.Craig plays an efficient,arrogant,resourceful,yet inexperienced and vulnerable Bond perfectly.After he is double-crossed by Vesper at the end(one of the better Bond ladies in memory),you can know understand why he keeps women away from his heart and uses them as 'disposable pleasures'. Overall,in case it isn't fairly obvious with this review,I highly recommend this movie and would give it 5 out of 5 stars if the plot was a bit easier to follow and the length cut down by about 15 minutes.As it is now,I'd give it 4 stars.There is little doubt that 'James Bond will return' and I personally cannot wait.

John G.
December 02, 2006 at 11:04 PM
I would like to say that I was blown away by this film. What Casino Royal has done is transfigure Bond in a way that will allow for him to live forever in the Western culture. I'm sure many of you are questioning what I may mean so allow me to tell you. The Bond films never have followed the books, never truly in plot (1965's Thunderball in exception), never truly in character, never truly in the chronology. Bond films developed their own. If one looks there is a cinematic Bond timeline that can be traced through the movies. One hears references to Tracy Bond in movies like 1989's Licsence to Kill or even in 1999's The World is Not Enough. We even glimpse Bond visit her Grave with 1969 (The Year of OHMSS's release) in 1981's For Your Eyes Only. There is a timeline and it is fairly simple to trace. This movie destroys that time line. Bond was referred to as "A Relic of the Cold War" by Judi Dench's M in 1995's Goldeneye whereas in a rant concerning Bond's naive exploits in Madagascar M remarks that she misses the cold war. Bond by this timeline could not have been remotely involved with the cold war as he had just recieved his 007 status. M herself is a blatant chronological hypocrisy as M in the early Bond films was always a man and Bond reminisces upon her predecessor's liquor hiding spots in Goldeneye. Additionally he gains a classic 1964 Aston Martin DB5 in Casino Royal that was brand in !964's Goldfinger and was subsequently seen in many other Bond films. Bond has become a legendary figure. The time line allows us to see Bond as a timeless modern myth. He rose above time and is the closest thing we have in todays society to a mythical figure. That is what is truly remarkable about Casino Royale. Also any one complaining about the Bond theme being absent until the end should listen. As this is the "first" Bond story, he wouldn't have developed the traits that the Bond theme is often associated with. The truth is the Bond theme is present throughout the movie. I am a music teacher and have a famiarity with a music technique known as thematic transformation. The Bond theme is present in the opening sequence and all over throughout. It under goes transformation. The music associated with bond involve the same notes, rhythms, and even sounds. They become progessively closer to the theme we all know and love until at the end it is clearly the Bond theme. Also a transformation on "We have all the Time in the World" (The theme played when Bond falls in love with, and ultimately marries, Tracy) when he is falling in love with Vesper. Its all there musically, just listen. All in all this is the best bond film since For Your Eyes Only and Craig is definitly up to par with all other James Bond actors before him... Connery is still my Favourite though.

CHRIS & ALINE
December 03, 2006 at 08:44 PM
ARE YOU PEOPLE MAD?! This abomination of Bond needs to be wiped from the screens and video rental shops asa soon as possible. It's AWFUL to the level of Never say Never Again or the camp pschodelic Casino Royal. Bond is as British as Big Ben or an Oak tree... this instantly means you can eliminate the reviews from all Americans, (ie. subtle humour, rather than obvious jokes). Also Bond is a MAN'S man, so why is a woman directing (all that results is that abs and pecks are being flashed about, and Bond mst now be a caring and sensitive person). C'mon this CASINO ROYALE was a total wash-out!!! * Where was the clasic music? The Bond theme doesn't count.. all too predictable... as was the use of an Aston Martin. Originality?! * And the continuity? Judi Dench. * And the tradition? Bond getting bloodied and scarred, tortured and humilated, making mistakes, not getting the girl in the end...etc, etc. * Bond villainy? some bloke wants some cash (not a great plot) I could go on and on. Let's hope it is binned!!!

Beth Accomando
December 04, 2006 at 02:31 AM
Thanks to all the Bond fans who are making such lively posts! I'm glad to see that for the most part people are excited by the new direction the franchise has taken. I'm also glad to see that a few people appreciate Timothy Dalton--I think he could have been a great Bond if he had been given a decent film. I also agree with those who recommend checking out On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Because of Lazenby, I think it's often passed over but it does have one of the best Bond girls in Diana Rigg and it is actually a well-made Bond film. As for the couple who posted above, I did want to point out that it was a man--Martin Campbell who also directed Goldeneye--who directed Casino Royale, not a woman. The woman who did exert an influence on the film--and has been for years--is producer Barbara Broccoli, who took over producing the series from her father Albert "Cubby" Broccoli. But since I'm just an American, you might want to check that information for yourself on a British site. By the way, were there any Bond films you did like? Thanks again to everyone who has posted. I look forward to reading more comments. Anyone else have any memories of the first time they saw a Bond film? Beth Accomando

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graham
December 04, 2006 at 05:18 AM
As a English man and a Bond fan for ever this was truly a let down. How can you so called 'Bond fans' say this was the best ever? The plot had too many loose ends which left people thinking what happened to XXX. BUT the most important issue is falls in love and gets rescued by a girl! Come on! This is BOND! The poker game lasted 30 mins it seemed - 25% of the movie! The opening scenes were great and i thought wow it really IS good! But then is went wishy washy and ended up with a 'is that it'? Im sure it will get loads of great reviews from arty students and the lovers of 'The Hours' type films but for true Bond lovers - bring on the next one!

jamis
December 04, 2006 at 03:43 PM
Overview I am a 34 year old American male that grew up reading Bond books that my dad has lying around the house and I have seen all the movies so many times that even my wife can recite the scripts... like another person posted she's always laughing about how it's the Bond marathon again! I remember as a kid going to the movie theaters to see the Bond films with my dad. The franchise means so much to me. I got a history degree partly because of reading the novels and the movies and being fascinated with the cold war. This was by far the closest to the original books yet. My wife tried reading CR before the movie was released and she was literally 'shocked' to see how Bond was in the books vs. the other movies. She felt that most of the movies completely missed the novels and she's now 'hooked' on reading the novels. After reading CR she is now reading all the other books and is very happy with D. Craig as the new Bond. Also, she now acknowledges Timothy Dalton was a great choice as Bond (really bad movies for a great actor). Ironically, after reading one of the novels, she now feels that Brosnan did not do Bond justice. We discussed this and she felt that although Moore's work was outlandish, it was humorous and really took the stories in another direction that did well. Therefore, CHRIS & ALINE, please try the books before making any further judgments on the movie. If you still want the gadgetry, etc. that's great, but this was probably the closest to the novels... it's about defining what Bond was, is, becomes. Sadly, most of the American people that I know that are Bond fans do not like CR. The non-Americans (I work with quite a few from Mid. East, Asia, and United Kingdom) that I know...love it. I really do think that as Americans we haven't taken the time to read the novels and appreciate what Flemming created and do not fully understand the era and what was happening in the world when he wrote the novels. Kudos to everyone involved with the film and to Daniel Craig. I just took my dad to see it (I saw it previously w/ my wife) and he was soooo excited to see it and thought it was the best adaptation yet (he was a professor in literature). Even though it's no longer the cold war (??? maybe) the tension was still there. Pros: I loved the opening sequence and how he shot the gun in the bathroom before the music/opening played When he kills the guy in the bathroom at the beginning I sat upright because I knew then it was a different type of Bond movie...one that I have been anticipating for years. (I really gave up after the last 3 movies w/ Brosnan) I like the title theme and I loved the 60ish graphics during the music Eva is one of the best Bond girls to date... beautiful eyes Le Chiffre was played very well The ending is a great way to start fresh Less tongue & cheek humor "... the Bitch is dead" My wife was shocked that they put it in, because it seems like the audience doesn't like this attitude in Bond movies, but she caught what the point was and remembered it in the novel. Cons: The torture scene (while VERY close to the book) had a bit 'too much' tongue & cheek humor. I think the writers/director knew that the modern audience couldn't handle what was in the book, but I think it should have had less humor. I was REALLY disappointed that they went with Poker Bond in a Ford? Even though it's a rental... it's just not right! I think it's time for M to be played by someone else. I hate to say it but its just time. No Madonna... when she did the horrible theme to DAD and then was in it (horrible acting) I really thought the franchise was dead and I thought it should be at that point. Closing Many people are comparing it to the Bourne Identity. A great series also...get out read the books written by Robert Ludlum. Like Flemming's work, the novels are outstanding and still seem 'modern'.

jamis
December 04, 2006 at 03:47 PM
sorry in my last post the comment about "No Madonna" was supposed to be listed as a Pro not as a Con. -jamis

Cindy Z
December 04, 2006 at 04:08 PM
Absolutely brilliant! Daniel Craig is rough on the outside and creamy in the middle! The only good Bond since Sean Connery!!! The best movie I have seen in forever. Great special effects, stunts and story. You'll wish they could clone Daniel Craig so you could bring him home with you!

jamis
December 04, 2006 at 04:21 PM
at least 3 more with D. Craig; just found this interview online: http://youtube.com/watch?v=QbDfr5VBWLc&mode=related&search=

Ian
December 05, 2006 at 01:03 AM
Just seen Casino Royale, and they should truly say Bond is back. Brilliant physicality, and fight sequences that look like somebody could actually get hurt. People who don't just die by lying down and looking a bit thoughtful, but actually struggle and strive for life. A Bond who actually looks like he's been in a fight. Up to now the best cinema fight, as in looking like it might actually be realistic, is, I'd say, the fight in the railway carriage in From Russian with Love. But the fight sequences in this rivaled if not surpassed it. Daniel Craig brought a hard edged bubbling anger to the role, all hard muscle and repressed violence. A cross between a doberman, and well, another doberman. Just when I thought that every permutation of chase sequence had been done, and there was no way they could do anything different in the climatic fight scene, they a) Don't have hordes of marines turning up for the predictable fight, and b) have the fight in a sinking building, I was impressed, brilliant. The bad guy, is for once realistic, and sadistic. He unaccountably doesn't reveal everything to Bond while laughing like a maniac in a secret city staffed by thousands of loyal bad guys, but wincingly tortures Bond just to make him talk. Small criticisms, the movie was a bit uneven, and tended to dip occasionally, but this was more than compenstated for by the agile chase, the hard vicious action, and Vesper's cleavage. Also, someone mentioned earlier, that Bond was using a PPK, meaning a Walther PPK presumably. If this was the early Bond, it would have been a Berretta(Q called it a ladies gun, no stopping power), he didn't get the Walther until Dr No, I thought everybody new that!

Pat Reyes
December 05, 2006 at 02:56 AM
How I hated the producers before I saw Casino Royale for picking Craig as the new James Bond. But after I've seen the movie, this is what I can say folks - Daniel Craig is the real "James Bond" period.

Jimmy
December 05, 2006 at 11:09 AM
James from London: Casino Royale is by far the best Bond film i have ever seen, anyone disagreeing that this is not a great film needs some of that bottom-less seat torture that Bond endured!! Like someone said above, this is not a Bond film, its a film about James Bond. This film captures perfectly how James Bond was shaped into a cold, ruthless killer that avoids emotional commitment. Its raw, tough and Daniel Craig is awesome; handsome, charming and sophistocated but with a ruthless, vulnerable streak. Its a breath of fresh air to move away from the comedy of previous Bond Films with silly gadgets and invisible cars. CR is brilliant and i can't wait for the next film; hopfully they will stick to a hard-edged action film rather than the previous "comedies".

kais
December 05, 2006 at 11:27 AM
Casino Royale - fantastic, Craig - Superb, Bond - Back, Jimmy - Nob

Steve B
December 06, 2006 at 04:26 AM
The only thoughts that springs to mind are the imortal words from another super hero....... "SHOW TIME" should that be one word or two.........do I give a dam

Geoff
December 06, 2006 at 06:25 AM
Terrific movie, even if the post-Le Chiffre romance seems a tad rushed (and it does, but I feel as though one or two more shots of Vesper watching over Bond before he wakes up, or perhaps a shot of her hearing his responses to LeChiffre and his rope would've sold me on the whole thing). I especially enjoyed the pre-title sequence (these had, during the Brosnan era, become really bloated, overlong affairsThe World Is Not Enough's PTS was fifteen minutes! Way too long!) and the main titles themselves (Maurice Binder was a genius, and Danny Kleinman has really taken Binder's style to another level). The lack of baccarat (which was the key game of the novel) didn't bother me, as the poker sequences were well executed, with the possible exception of Mathis' ESPN-esque commentary. But the best element was certainly Daniel Craig. It's really great to see the part played by someone who isn't just trying to emulate past Bonds (you know who you are... Pierce), but really doing it his own way. All in all, it's not the best Bond film ever, but it is up there... somewhere between From Russia With Love and The Living Daylights. Oh, and in response to the question posed, I'd say Connery was (and let's face itprobably always will be) the best Bond, with Timothy Dalton also ranking highly. Moore's take on the role isn't my favorite, but he pulled it off well and his films are (with the exception of A View To A Kill) enjoyable enough. Lazenby and Brosnan I could easily do without (ah, what On Her Majesty's Secret Service would've been with Sean Connery!).

Terry F
December 07, 2006 at 02:00 PM
CR opened here in South Africa on 1st December. It is by far, the best Bond movie ever made and Daniel Craig brings more to the Bond character than any other prior Bond actor. The film is fast paced, edgy and utterly absorbing. DC had me hooked from the first minute he appeared on screen - especially with those big, baby blues!! There is enough intensity in his eyes to melt polar ice-caps! No more namby-pamby Bond! Thank you Daniel Craig for bringing real masculinity to the big screen and making James Bond so believable!

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Hartl
December 07, 2006 at 11:37 PM
Would be nicer with a better script, but it was all right. It's a shame that the old magic's gone with this new concept. Let's hope that the next one will be cooler.

laura leigh
December 08, 2006 at 08:56 AM
I've really enjoyed reading everyone's comments. My comment won't be so scholarly... but after watching this film I couldn't stop thinking about Daniel Craig for days. Oooh! He is ummm... I don't know the word... but he will certainly become a memorable James Bond and will be enjoyed by fans for years to come. For me he is everything James Bond should be! I am only a casual fan of the series, and having grown up with Roger Moore as Bond I can't comment about Sean Connery, but as for Moore, well, it felt like I was watching my Dad. Yeah, he was funny. But not really daring, or sexy or complex. He was just there, he was fine. And Pierce Brosnan? Oh, sorry. While he is indeed charming, he was too pretty and borderline effeminate IMHO. After watching the movie my husband and I talked about it for days and are absolutely thrilled to see they've not only successfully but dramatically restored James Bond for years to come. Thank You. An instant huge fan of Daniel Craig!

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Hari
December 11, 2006 at 09:59 AM
I have been searching the net for reviews on the new Bond film Casino Royale since its release and found favorable reviews for the movie & the actor Daniel Craig across the board. I belong to the old school of Bond fans that has grown up devouring Bond’s distinct traditions over the years. The main attraction for youngsters like me then was the misogynist & happy-go-lucky streak that Bond films were able to portray. The fondness for the series grew not because the movies and the plot were well executed but more on the collaterals which are the futuristic gadgetries, the fatuous acting, Bond’s quick wit, the incredible stunts, the theme music, the irascible Q, the lovely chicks and above all the megalomaniac villains. The union of these vital elements made Bond movies what they were. However, CR (2006) defeats what a Bond movie stands for, the new Bond is a ragged looking hulk contrary to set precedents, the Bond girl is limp in comparison to the old gals, the villain is more of a wimp than a terror which he ought to be, the missing theme music which provides a unique prelude and impetus for the action scenes is an unpardonable transgression and the absence of Q & Miss Moneypenny in any form is depressing. The transformation that Eon Production is envisaging for the suave is totally misplaced and is bound to have a telling effect on the series.

Juan Ramos
December 12, 2006 at 08:58 PM
Welcome back James Bond, you are a credible character again. Baby Boomers , generation Ys and Xs all will enjoy the new Bond Saga. Craig gave Bond a different attitude, current with the uncertainty and difficult times we all are dealing with. I believe this Bond can be hurt or even dye if he does not pay attention to his actions. I enjoyed when got the old Aston Martin in a poker hand.-So that is how he got that carGreat

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December 13, 2006 at 09:48 AM
jonny617

rosa
December 13, 2006 at 05:47 PM
{spoilers!} I saw this movie the week it came out and went back again to see it the following week which I haven't done with a Bond movie for a very long time. Some people here have complained that they used Poker in the movie scene rather than Baccarat as in the Ian Fleming novel, well some of us don't play either game! But apparently Baccarat is pretty much a game of pure luck, whereas the really skilled Poker players are master bluffers ... as DC says as Bond, "you don't play your own hand, you play your opponents." When Bond finally wins the Poker game, it is NOT simply because he is holding a phenomenally good hand (as you'd expect of Bond!) but because he has bluffed Le Chiffre into betting everything ... Le Chiffre is so confident after his first, successful "non-bluff" that Bond manages to double-bluff him completely. I loved this scene, I didn't think it was too long at all, and I'm looking forward to see what he does next with the character - maybe a re-make of OHMSS with terrorists threatening biological warfare?

K. Steckler
December 13, 2006 at 07:40 PM
This is NOT your Grandma's James Bond. Daniel Craig brings a gritty, tough edge to Bond. Just in the nick of time. The Bond movies were running out of gadgets and running into a silliness threatening to deep six the series.It was a timely change. My eyebrows were raised to the top of my hairline for the first half of the movie and for most of the second half. Action--like you won't believe! That boy can run! Very multi-dimentional character. I have seen Daniel Craig in other movies, so I knew he could act. This was a very, very refreshing change. I'm glad the initial doubts about this new Bond have been put to rest.

James Craig
December 13, 2006 at 11:24 PM
I disagree with all my comments on 19 November. I must stop taking the drugs.

A Doctor
December 14, 2006 at 09:55 PM
D. Craig has fully revived the 'Bond Experience' with a more unique Bond Film. The British comedy style won me over as did the title song 'You Know My Name' by Chris Cornell. However, I think you'd have to be a Rock fan to fully appreciate the song. D.Craig did a great job, up with the top 007's definately. Extremely different storyline, mainly as he doesn't get the gal at the end of the movie (Hey, he still has M xD). Would definately advise that if you haven't already, go and see it. Top Bond film, great cast/acting. Some loose ends but overall 8.5/10.

Mike Seaborne
December 16, 2006 at 02:32 AM
A British Bond fan of (too!) many years, I was also highly sceptical of the idea of casting Daniel Craig in the role...then I saw the film. For the first time, I watched the James Bond I had imagined from Fleming's books: the original Secret Service 'blunt instrument', decidedly imperfect, but ideally suited to his job. In appreciating what Craig brings to the part, it is important to remember the significance of the double-O: that it is a licence to kill, a very rare 'award' in British Intelligence. Bond HAS to be verging on the sociopathic. By definition, such an agent cannot be a 'normal' human being. Craig brought forth the inner anguish of being a 'hired gun' and (thankfully) brought the Bond character away from the cardboard-cutout clotheshorse that Brosnan was turning him into. In my opinion, CR has breathed the new life so often mentioned in this forum, and we Bond fans should be grateful that we now have a whole new experience to look forward to. By the way - seeing as DC has been such a success, why didn't they consider Sean Bean? Remember his 008? Blonde, masculine, gritty - check out any of the 'Sharpe' dramas and you'll see what I mean...

Beth Accomando
December 16, 2006 at 09:48 AM
I'm glad to see the debate between Bond fans continues and it's great to see people posting not only from outside San Diego but outside the U.S. If anyone knows of some good Bond websites, let everyone know. Thanks again to everyone. I love reading the comments and seeing how the film has re-energized a lot of Bond fans.

Chris Drake
December 17, 2006 at 09:40 PM
Back in the 60s I started reading Bond novels and have seen most all of the Bond films, and I've remained a loyal fan all these years, even when silliness overwhelmed the seriousness, stylishness and corruption in high places (including outer space). As a novelist and teacher of fiction writing, I've encouraged aspiring authors to read Bond books which are splendid page-turners. As humanity finds itself, in this new millenium, engaged against its will in strange new conflicts, the old Bond has stepped up to the scarey plate properly evolved into a lean mean fighting machine -- I (big fan of Connery and Brosnan and the brilliant Diana Rigg, but also an admirer of Moore etc. etc.) am astonished by Daniel Craig who very much looks shaken and stirred by his job -- he's an amazing actor who does the impossible - he breathes new life into old Bond. He can give me CPR any time. I'd give this new Bond movie an A-minus only because I (loyal American) laughed aloud to see Bond driving a Ford (perhaps a cheesy salute to the 70s Mr. Bond?); I was disappointed in the grim opening glimpse of mod Prague which is in fact a gorgeous, colorful old world city; I didn't appreciate Giancarlo Giannini's broken English commentary and wish he hadn't been in this movie at all. I was a little bored with the card game but plan to see the movie again on The Big Screen and will relish even this sequence (thanks in part to reading what you thoughtful viewers have taken time to write). One highlight for me was Bond's so-2006 emergency health care - in this do-it-ourselves age, ain't it the truth? As I left the theater, and ever since, what really sticks in my mind is the conclusion of the Miami Airport sequence: Craig's laser-eyed last laugh and the whimper, not the bang! Wow: rattle, rattle clink! ("One little word shall fell him.") On a personal note, I hope the franchise will donate some dough to the restoration of ancient Venetian palazzi - I know it's "just a movie" and the destruction wasn't for real, but being Italian-American and a true lover of Venice, my favorite city in the whole world, I got very nervous as Bond et al broke apart that marvelous old Italian house and hope petty criminals will stop defacing the medieval property! Venice was such a romantic setting for the old Bond, in "From Russia With Love," so it broke my heart to see the city now, in its more deteriorated state, and so bitter for the new Bond, swamped as it was with tourists and thugs. But - bottom line: to all the world's villains, here's blood in your eyes! Viva James Bond!

G Brown
December 17, 2006 at 10:19 PM
I saw this movie with reluctance as I had read all the protests about casting and straying away from the regular format. However, I loved this movie. I liked that there were no long drawn-out car chase scenes. A grittier Bond was good to see. I like having less one-liners and losing the slightly smug Bond character.

gm
December 17, 2006 at 10:27 PM
Tripe: 1. Chasing bomb wielding terrorists and playing Texas Hold-Em - very original (not) - very vogue I guess...Republican enlistment plot for the right demographics, and an advertisement for online poker. 2. Mushy love scenes, not the love-em-and leave-em Bond. He's going to sail around the world with her and quit the service he spent his life preparing for - because (sniff) he's in wuv with her - I wanted to puke. Then she drowns for him like Shakespeares Ophelia - double puke 3. Bad acting: Bond is inconsistent, hard and soft, hot and cold, not someone you'd want to be friends with in real life 4. Action scenes could be from any movie - insert action hero's head here. 5. Plot jumped around, no central theme 6. Out of the Bond tongue-and-cheek tradition 7. Arch Villian Le Chiffre was a Sadistic Coward - he could have very quietly asked Bond for the money and made "him an offer he couldn't refuse" ala Godfather...that would have been more powerful(yes, yes I have to read the book) 8. Q needs to be replaced by anyone else...my Mom would play a better Q. 9. This was an undercover Chick Flick, screen written by Feminist sympathizers. 10. We see Bond's sweat and blood - we should never see Bond sweat - he's the mythical superman: IE: We don't see Brosnan sweat while he's so suavely chasing the bad guys with a tank. 11. It was all too believable...

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December 29, 2006 at 02:48 AM
Hello all. I echo most of the positive comments above. I'm no avid bond fan, in fact most of the ones I've seen in the last fifteen years I've thought to be pretty rubbish, but this was glorious and just how I always wanted Bond to be. Can't wait for the next one. But in the meantime, I have two plot questions that I cannot fathom the answers to, maybe you can help: 1. Why did Vesper kill herself? Because she'd betrayed JB? This seems way too out of character and far too drastic considering the circumstances. I must've missed something. Surely. 2. What was that stuff that M said at the end about Vesper doing a deal to save JB's life? Surely they couldn't have killed JB cos they never would've got the password and therefore wouldn't have got the cash either. Was this M speculating, incorrectly, or making JB feel better, or what? What did I miss here? Thanks very muchly. Evade

Chris
December 29, 2006 at 03:31 AM
Agree about the comments about the "Bond" theme. He goes through a process in CR - gets the 00 status, makes mistake, saves the day and so on. In the final scene he has put it all together - not in a Brosnan way (he always knew what was happening and he coolysoilves all the issues and saves the day) - he puts it together as he goes along - with mistakes and blood and pain and all. When he finally solves the case and gets to the top dog, Daniel Craig does his first "Bond, James Bond" - but more importantly than that it is the first time "James Bond" has ever introduced himself this way - and we have seen the process underwhich he has become the Bond that we know from the other movies. Then the music comes in just to remind us who he has become - to have it before that would have been too early. I think yolu have got to think of Daniel Craig as Bond 10-20 years before he "became" the character Bronsnan plays. I liked the reintroduction of Felix Lighter, thought License to Kill was the worst Bond movie mainly because they sacrificed a long term character for a plot twist. Ironically, though Living Daylights was a top 10 of all time Bond movie - as a 31 yo, it is the first one I remember watching when it first came out - maybe nostalgia? My favourite Bond, Connery then Craig, then Brosnan. Favourite movies - Goldfinger, Goldeneye, Living Daylights, and now CR Long live James Bond movies, even with all their faults. I love them.

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December 29, 2006 at 08:40 PM
I want my money back. I do not understand all the postings analyzing the development of the Bond character and how refreshing it is to have some reality infused. This is James Bond 007 we are talking about, the movies are supposed to be FUN. CR was not fun, I found it boring to the extreme, coulld not tell what evil scheme was behind the bad guy (even if there was one), perhaps it was there I must have nodded off as I frequently did during this forgettable chick-flick Bondish flop. I like the manly politically incorrect Bond, not this fellow that reminds me of Derek Zoolander, albeit Ben Stiller is funnier in Zoolander. If I want drama and character development I will rent "Driving Miss Daisy" or some other date mocie (I'd rather not, but my wife insists) but leave Bond alone, Cowboy movies have been already spoiled for me with "brokeback mountain", Bond is among the last bastion for guys to be guys. Please lets get some other screenwriter, director, and actor oh! perhaps a real villain and many, many many more gadgets.

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December 31, 2006 at 05:46 AM
I agree with most of the authors comments on this film. I do dissagree with one area of concern stated. I can understand and even appreciate the change from baccarat to Texas Holdem. Texas Holdem is a game of skill often favored by mathmeticians turned poker players. It is more of a game of skill than Baccarat. In addition, poker has become quite the craze on TV and TH is probably the most watched and played version of the poker games aired today. So, Bond being an excellant poker player, translates nicely to present time and accounts for him having skills reading people etc..which is good if you are in the spy business...lol. It is funny how luck runs. Originally, the part of Bond was offered to Steve "Hercules" Reeves. Reeves played Hercules and Morgan the Pirae to name a few back in the sword and sandal movie era. But Reeves was commanding 250k a movie at that time and they could only afford 100k for their star and so Sean Connery became the first Bond. Will this new Bond fare as well? Only time will tell, but if history repeats itself we will be seeing him for some time to come.

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RS
January 01, 2007 at 02:55 AM
Well, I can not add much to the comments that were previously made, but I also think that this film brought bond back to life. It was a really positive surprise to see the new direction the movie took. As for all the guys that miss the gadgets, gals and comic humor, I'm sure that there is another Austin powers that will come and fill that gap... Happy New Year!

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January 07, 2007 at 05:32 AM
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January 10, 2007 at 01:15 AM
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JJ
January 12, 2007 at 09:13 AM
As soon as I saw the missing of women from the opening sequence I knew that something was amiss, as this Bond will not hold up to what I've been used to, mainly the "slick" Brosnan and elegant Connery renditions. Totally disappointing film. The new Bond (Daniel Craig) looks like a hard out of luck alcoholic airplane pilot hoping for a quick dirty job to make some cash. The women in the film were the ugliest Bond girls I've ever seen - simply too plain vanilla to some of the other beauties. The plot was utterly stupid, especially the never-ending snooze fest that was the poker game and then the ending that never ended.

Jiten
January 15, 2007 at 11:48 AM
By an all Daniel is the best of bond i have seen, my thurst for bond movies started about decade ago, and has seen almost every franchasie of this, as a matter of fact this bond movie shows even the best can be beaten, and had touch of reality, Eva was elegant, treat to watch, and romance between them was pleasure to watch

MD
January 25, 2007 at 06:54 PM
JJ said "The women in the film were the ugliest Bond girls Ive ever seen - simply too plain vanilla to some of the other beauties." Wow, Eva Green called ugly and plain - now I HAVE heard everything. I think she is one of the most gorgeous women to ever grace the silverscreen, but hey, to each their own - I myself never cared for Halle Berry - maybe it's her hairstyle (certainly not her body) but she's always been too 12-year-old-boy-like to be attractive to me. Like I said to each their own.

MD
January 25, 2007 at 07:04 PM
My feelings about this movie: 1) This film has some very mis-en-scene in terms of vintage and modern Aston Martin's, A central European Lake and Venice etc, and of course Eva Green and Caterina Murino. 2)The action in this film (eg the Madagascar chase scene) also made for some great entertainment. 3) I liked a lot of elements of the story, but ultimately I found this film a bit too disjointed and thin in plot - it just really was too scattered and aimless for a lot of it - too many loose ends, too little cohesion. Too dull for many stretches of the film. 4)Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Mads Mikkelsen, and Eva Green are all excellent actors who really give a lot more depth to this film than previous Bond outings. 5) I am intrigued by the new (perhaps the original Ian Flemming) vision for Bond. It has a lot of potential as an exploration of what Bond can and maybe should be and is a refreshing change from the earlier bond films which I will miss nonetheless. That said I find this character a bit too different to the Bonds of the earlier films that I am finding it hard to reconcile the character with his other incarnations. I may find it easier to just divorce the new bond movie and character from the Bond in the earlier movies - seeing this Bond as a new representation of the character for a new different set of movies, rather than as a prequel to the older movies. 6) The anachronism of Bond being roughly the same age from the Sixties to the Nineties has always irked me. The anachronism of him being pre-007 status in the post 9/11 World would irk me much more, unless I can divorce the old movie Bond from the new as I have said above. Now for how I rate the different Bonds: 1. Timothy Dalton 2. Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan in equal ranking. I really liked all three of those mentioned above. I cant really rate Sean Connery he was before my time and Ive never really taken the time to watch his films (which is surprising considering how much I love old films even (perhaps especially) silent films). The same can be said for the George Lazenby film. I wont rate Daniel Craig against these other Bonds because I feel the character is too different to fairly compare. I will say that I think hes excellent at portraying the new character

MT
February 10, 2007 at 03:17 PM
Interesting review, with some good points. Personally I really enjoyed Casino Royale and was very happy with Daniel Craigs performance. One thing about Bond that many people forget is the massive difference between the cinematic and literary Bond and In my opinion this is the very reason why the comparison and the whole best to worst Bond actor/film argument is neither fair nor logical. The six actors that have portrayed Bond have all been suited to a certain type of film and if Craig had been placed in something similar to a Die Another Day (which he probably would never agree to in the first place) the franchise would have some serious problems and thank god B Brocolli and M Wilson recognised this after Brosnan's last film. Some people argue that the cinematic Bond should always be different although I am a little dissapointed that I will never see a good actor that fits the physical description of Bond (and Im sorry folks Craig does not, only Connery, Lazenby and Dalton come close in most peoples minds) act in a pure Fleming Bond movie, i.e less action, gadgets, one liners etc. Sure it would probably perform badly at the box office and there would be a massive backlash but I would be one of a number of fans that would certainly show some appreciation. I feel the need to give a few more suggestions as to why no one should make big claims about the best and worst of the Bond actors. To those slightly deluded Connery Fans who classify him as the best(which oftens happens witht the original of anyting), get back to me and explain what makes You only Live Twice, Thunderball, Diamonds Are Forever and Never say Never Again such great Bond movies (forgive the sarcasm). Some people will be annoyed at the mention of Thunderball in that list but Folks tell me where Mike Myers got alot of his inspiration for Austin Powers. I wont be holding my breath for too many quality responses. I feel the need to leave you all with a quote from Roger Moore that best summarises the whole best Bond, Bond movie argument/debate. "Who is the best James Bond", A."Whoever you think is the best". In my opinion it's pretty much that simple! Therefore from now on ignore the box office and the so called critics, such as Beth and simply decide for yourself what you classify and a good Bond film and a good Bond actor.

bill007
February 24, 2007 at 08:37 AM
My thanks to Beth for her review, and the opportunity to post our impressions of the current controversy that is Casino Royale. 1. Timeline - The MOVIE Casino Royale is NOT a throw-back to pre-Connery. It is a vehicle to restart the franchise with a new beginning. Thus, no Baretta, no Cold War. It would have made more sense to recast M, but that was a decision by Barbara Broccoli & Michael Wilson not to do so. Think of it this way: the future is unlimited for this new guy we've just met, whose name is 'James Bond.' 2. The Pendulum Theory - Over the course of the franchise, Bond movies swing from realistically believable to fantastically unbelievable. From Russia With Love to Moonraker. On Her Majesty's Secret Service to Die Another Day. From story, plot, and character to rediculous gadgets, campy one-liners, and hollowed-out volcanoes. For the time being, we are currently re-entering the former, and leaving the latter. 3. Websites - Beth asks: "If anyone knows of some good Bond websites, let everyone know." There are two that I belong to; commanderbond.net and mi6.co.uk. Both offer latest news and reviews, extensive information, and forums to participate in lively discussion about all things Bond. From casually interested to devout purist. There are many others out there, but I find these two to be the most fun. Sincerely, bill007

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sharon minter
March 17, 2007 at 09:01 PM
I think that Daniel Craig did great in Casino Royale , I think he did better than great , a good plot, a lot of character, a difference , and a good ,love plot, and he falls in love, quick his job,give up his heart , and lose the girl,now that what you call a jAMES BOND, give room for a segment.

Jens
March 20, 2007 at 01:52 PM
I was disapointed with this Bond movie. All the class and style is gone. Shaken not stird is gone. And the plot was simple and Bond didnt solve anything. no, this on is not going in my collection.

PaulL
March 27, 2007 at 07:00 PM
I am a huge fan of Bond films and novels. I think that CR was a good film, but not a good Bond film. Reasons: Craig is certainly a good actor, but he isn't like Bond at all, he was Schwarznegger-esque in this movie (muscles, toughness and dumbness). It would be a good adaptation if the good but pointless Madagaskar action scene wasn't there, and if this film included classical James Bond elements. After all, it's the second film where James Bond falls in love and both were too long. My favourite James Bond actor is Sean Connery, though Moore and Brosnan come close except Live and Let Die, Octopussy, A View to A Kill, and last two Brosnan films. The film included many one-liners which instantly became classics, but they weren't said in a right atmosphere: the only scenes that reminded me of original Bond were Judi Dench scenes and the last one. Certainly not the best bond, but it is in top 7.

Britt K
March 28, 2007 at 09:58 PM
It was interpretation that the beginning didnt have the "bond" music because he wasn't a "00" yet and so it wouldnt make sense.

Britt K
March 28, 2007 at 10:01 PM
PS Daniel Craig and Sean Connery are on the same level if you watch the connery films right after casino royale you will see how smoothly they flow into the next.

Mike M
May 28, 2007 at 07:08 PM
Here's my rank order: 1. Connery 2. Craig 3. Brosnon 4. Latzenby 5. Moore 6. Dalton I think Craig has the potential to be the best if the next movie is as good as Casino Royale. I would have put Moore higher on my list but I thought a lot of the scripts were just over the top stupid i.e. Moonraker. I also think Latzenby had the potenial to be very good but we'll never find out now. Dalton was by far the worst for me. I was really shocked how great Casino Royale was. I think C/R, Dr. No, Thunderball, From Russia with Love, and Her Majesties were the best flicks of the series.

rosie powell
June 20, 2007 at 06:33 PM
On Her Majestys Secret Service (worst Bond actor in George Lazenby but best Bond girl in Diana Rigg) DISAGREE . . . at least about Lazenby. He was the most inexperienced Bond, not the worst. But I guess inexperience and bad are synonymous with you. Lazenby was one of the reasons why OHMSS was one of the best Bond films in the franchise's history. Diana Rigg didn't carry film. She wasn't able to, due to the fact that she was only in half of the film.

rosie powell
June 20, 2007 at 06:36 PM
Craig doesnt top Connery but he turns in a different enough performance that he at least doesnt suffer in comparison. Why do we have to be bombarded with this ridiculous notion that Connery was the best Bond, because he was the first in the EON Productions films? Craig was just as good as Connery, as far as I'm concerned. So were Moore, Lazenby, Dalton and Brosnan. They were simply different.

Beth Accomando
June 26, 2007 at 09:00 AM
Well this film and The Prestige have attracted the most active and longest running posts. Thanks to all of you Bond fans for keeping the site a lively place for discussion. The next Bond has supposed tapped Marc Forster (Neverland) as director. Any thoughts on that??? I was thinking it might be cool to get Matthew Vaughn who did Layer Cake.

lili
July 07, 2007 at 07:17 PM
casino royale is a load of bollocks exactly like all the other bond movies oo7 freaks.

Jean Alicz
July 25, 2007 at 08:35 PM
We just saw Casino Royale recently and I agree with Beth's comments on the predicability of the end of the movie. The movie was very good overall. We were wondering if anyone knows what is the name of the gun that he is holding in the last scene. My boyfriend knows alot about different kinds of guns but he couldn't figure it out. He thinks it was a Walther but he was not sure. He said something was different about it. Thanks.

Beth Accomando
July 26, 2007 at 07:58 AM
I'm not a gun expert by any means but here's a list of the guns used in Casino Royale,maybe your boyfriend will recognize one of them as the one in the last scene (list is from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_James_Bond_firearms): Walther P99, Bond's main gun. Browning Hi-Power Walther PPK This gun was pictured in promotional shots for the movie and it was fitted with a silencer. AK-47, used by the embassy guards in Madagascar Heckler & Koch MP5 Heckler & Koch UMP, two UMP45 .45 Caliber models during the Venice scene leading to the drowning death of Vesper Lynd. A suppressed UMP9 9mm model used by Bond to maim Mr. White. Here's a cool Bond site if you're interested: http://www.mi6.co.uk/mi6.php3 Thanks for your comments.

Rosie Powell
November 05, 2007 at 11:08 PM
Dalton's films were pretty damn good, as far as I'm concerned . . . especially THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS. Nor do I believe that Craig or even Connery towered over Moore, Lazenby, Dalton and Brosnan. All six actors made pretty damn good Bonds. Unlike many fans, I do not judge the quality of actors portraying Bond, based upon how "MACHO" they are or were.

Rosie Powell
November 05, 2007 at 11:12 PM
Casino Royale isnt flawless, however. The final section involving the romance between Bond and Lynd, drags on and we know how its going to end. There are also some bad decisions made in the script (written by the trio of Neal Purvis, Paul Haggis and Robert Wade)like changing the card game to Texas Hold Em and then having a character narrate whats going on in the game when we already have a clear idea of whats happening. The script also shortchanges the character of Bonds CIA counterpart Felix Leiter, here played by the wonderful Jeffrey Wright. One, Bond and Vesper's romance didn't drag. It began the moment they had met each other on the train. And the sequence decipting their courtship barely lasted 15 minutes. Changing the game from baccarat to poker did not harm the movie. In fact, it improved it. Baccarat can be so DAMN BORING when shown in a movie. Even in a Bond movie. People who complain about the game changing from baccarat to poker seem like snobs to me. Even more ironic is that the real reason Fleming had never included poker in his novels was the fact that he personally found the game too intense for his liking. It frightened him.

Evgen
November 10, 2007 at 06:51 PM
Absolutely loved this film, could stare at Daniel Craig all day! How fantastic is that man, has the most amzing eyes i have ever come across. That suit at the end...... Stunning! If you'll want to watch it advice to take a look at Movie Downloads Library for it.