Saturday, November 25, 2006

Casino Royale

Casino Royal is based on the first Ian Fleming novel, written in longhand at Fleming's retreat near Port Antonio, Jamaica "Goldeneye" (which was the title of one of the cheesier Pierce Brosnan Bond films). I was up there once when I was 9 years old. We ate roadside jerk pork and roast corn and I was shitting all night! That started with ackee, callaloo and Milo for breakfast, when I was brought up on Lucky Charms and Nestle's Quick. My travels in Daddy's homeworld is the stuff of another post...
Casino became a campy parody starring Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress, David Niven and Woody Allen. Orson Wells played "Le Chiffre" and of course Ursula, famous from Dr. No was was "Vesper Lynd." Other than the Academy Award and Grammy-winning soundtrack by Burt Bacharach ("Casino Royale," "The Look of Love," "What the World Needs Now") it was good only to showcase a young Woody Allen's writing and acting talents, and as fodder for Mike Meyers (along with the serious Bond flicks and James Coburn's "Flint" films) in creating Austin Powers.
I found this version thrilling and intelligent. Short on plot but great dialogue, incredible screen tension--and yes, I am a believer for Daniel Craig. OK, I referred to him as an albino ape with a buzz cut, but I never doubted his new take on Bond, or the adaptability of those steely blue eyes. Icy one second, then knowing, sagacious, then loving. He nabbed the role when Clive Owen, fresh off Closer decided to bail. He would have played both a cruel and smarmy Bond, based on his breakout in Closer. But Craig clinched it based on his acting in the multi-character, multi-plot (you know I love that stuff) "Layer Cake." I did appreciate casting Jeffrey Wright as "Felix Leiter."
Now, the original novel didn't have much of a plot, thus nor did Woody's version. Le Chiffre ("The Cypher") was embezzling from the Russians and "SPECTRE" in the original; he's doing so from terrorists in this one. In the past, the game was Baccarat. Now's it's no limit Texas Hold'em (whatever happened to five card stud poker? Jesus).
I highly recommend this film. Mads Mikkelson is a truly frightening-looking Le Chiffre. What he does to Bond's scrotum is truly inspiring--worse than anything contrived by Dr. No, Goldfinger, Blofeld, et al. Hell wid lasers, sharks, pirhana, Jaws-teeth, metal derby. Nuff said. Eva Green is sexy and sharp. Judi Dench is mean mom to Bond and never disappointing.
Nevertheless, no one will take Sean Connery's place. Roger Moore sucked (except for Live and Let Die, which was a blaxploitation movie and should be remade with Daniel Craig and the cast of The Wire hahahaha). Timothy Dalton was underrated. The scripts sucked but he had a great edge. Pierce Brosnan--please. I'm so glad that cracker's gone.
So, see you at Apocalypto. It may redeem Mel --partially-- in my eyes, after his drunken Nazi rant and that trainwreck and paen to fanaticism The Passion of the Christ.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I'm sorry people leave these racist comments on your blog. The fact that they are fellow bloggers..sheesh!!! Just because I am white does that mean I can't comment on a Spike Lee movie? You can comment on whichever films, books and shows you wish. I know that is an obvious statement but I still do not understand how people such as "True Leatherneck" (a Marine? The Marines should be ashamed) can seek you out and attack you for no reason. I think you should report them to the Blogger-Google.

Anyway, CAC, we saw the movie last night. Who is Jeffrey Wright? I'm allowed to say that Eva Green is hot, hot, hot. LOL

My favorite James Bond movie is "You Only Live Twice," as you had mentioned it was yours. I think we have seen the last of those type of movies, like you said. I wish could see ninjas rappelling down ropes into a fake volcano, but I am sure from here on out there will be just firefights with terrorists.

P.S. I read "Bag Bride" in AHMM and it was pretty good. Needs a little bit more character development...sorry!

Anonymous said...

Love this post! Casino Royale was dah bomb!! -- (as they say in our community). Now, I am a woman, and I am black, and I do not consider myself to be a fan of Bond at all -- just not my taste. But, there was something about Daniel Craig as James Bond that made me want to see this movie. Maybe it is because I have seen him as the asshole husband (truly hateful) to Sylvia Platt in "Sylvia", or his amazing performance in "Layer Cake". He is at once sharp, shrewd, macho, edgy, sensitive and strong. You can truly believe him as a new age Bond -- sophisticated and modern. Not to mention sexy. I thought he was the right pick. Although Clive Owen would have been pretty good too. If you are a movie buff, let alone a fan of Bond, you must see this movie. Can't wait for the next one.

Now -- I am waiting for him to come out in his next movie "I Devil". I am not a fan of the Devil either, but this sounds intriguing!

Anonymous said...


Bruh, don't give plot stuff away!!! However, I guess that scene with Bond's sore nuts has been talked about on the net for a while. I screamed.

[what was this comment you had to delete? Your dad been harassing you again? ;-)]

Happy Turkey

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