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  • Casino Royale Rules Hard

    This is part of my slowly ongoing series Movie Reviews By A Parent of Young Kids, which should imply that they’re all going to be long, long after the release date. In fact, to have seen Casino Royale this soon is actually ahead of the game for me these days. Fortunately, it kicked all grades of ass. Everyone in the theatre walked out holding their hindquarters because each and every ass was kicked.

    007

    I won’t go into fine points on this, everyone’s long done that by now. I only want to talk about it bluntly because that’s how it hit me and it’s so rare I get to enjoy movies or books like that. Usually I’m deconstructing a movie as I watch or soon after- rarely do I outright pan or praise anything, I just think on how it could have worked better. Today I was just watching 007 go off on people, and I wasn’t comparing actors who have played Bond, I was Watching James Bond.
    And I was wanting to be Bond, just like it’s supposed to work. Daniel Craig convincingly makes him a force of nature, who you believe will never stop trying to reach his goal. Clearly he’s much of what makes the difference, as the first really threatening Bond since Connery. Roger Moore was likeable, but he always seemed to know he was in a movie. Timothy Dalton was dashing and formidable, but no one was interested in production values by the time he came along. Martin Campbell did a great visual job with directing Goldeneye as he does here, but Pierce Brosnan posed no threat. If I saw him coming at me, I’d stand my ground, reasonably sure I was going to win. I’d get the hell out of Craig’s way. And the writers have been around for recent Bond movies as well, but now it seems they’re able to work with a new mandate to actually treat 007 like someone with an ugly job and keep out all the damn quips. When Bond actually does use one here, it makes you laugh in relief because you just watched something nervewracking. They manage to make Bond a cold killer and humanize him and make you care about his relationship with M. Consider me thoroughly entertained.

    Everyone struck the right balance on all counts. I even sat through the credits hoping to possibly see the title of the next Bond movie. Of course we just got “James Bond Will Return,” but for the first time in years and years, that phrase actually means something to me. I’m so lucky Portland is big on second-run theatres and I didn’t have to watch this for the first time on a tv screen.

    **NOTE: Do NOT leave your cell phone anywhere around James Bond. He has no boundaries when it comes to checking your call logs.

    Comments

    Comment from Chris Ferguson
    Time: February 19, 2007, 9:31 am

    Hey Parker,
    Totally agree with you on Casino Royale. What a fun movie! Honestly, I haven’t seen many Bond movies (just Goldfinger and a couple of Roger Moores). And I think after seeing this one, I don’t really want to see the Daltons or the Brosnans, because they seemed pretty pointless to me. I liked the down-and-dirty aspects of CR, which is what I would expect of the character and the situations he would find himself in.

    By the way, finally sat down and read all of “Agents of Atlas” (I tend to wait to read a mini after all the issues are released in one sitting). I loved it! Can’t wait to pick up the HC, and I’ll be pushing it at the store.

    Take care,
    Chris

    Comment from Chris Ferguson
    Time: February 19, 2007, 9:33 am

    Oops, my link went to a different Parts Unknown!

    Comment from Parker
    Time: February 19, 2007, 9:39 am

    Chris, thanks! The Hardcover needs to be in every home in the land. And to recap: Bond Kicks Ass.

    Comment from Casey
    Time: February 19, 2007, 10:14 am

    Have you seen this tv show called LOST? I just watched the first 2 dvds — it is awesome!

    Comment from Craig
    Time: February 19, 2007, 10:30 am

    Parker,
    I totally agree with your thoughts on the movie as well as Craig as Bond. It was my SECOND favorite movie of the year…

    best –

    Craig

    Comment from Parker
    Time: February 19, 2007, 10:50 am

    Ah Casey, my fellow out-of-touch-with-society father of two.

    Craig, we ALL KNOW what your favorite was! RB.

    Comment from Nik
    Time: February 19, 2007, 12:07 pm

    Totally agree, Jeff, an amazing movie – and I’m not that big a Bond fan at all. I pretty much had to go home and blog about it myself soon as I saw it!

    Comment from Eric N.
    Time: February 19, 2007, 7:42 pm

    As a huge Bond fan, I was recently consulted on where I ranked this one. I had a hard time not ranking it at the very top. I’m looking forward to see where they go with the next one.

    Comment from Michael May
    Time: February 21, 2007, 7:45 am

    Totally agree with your assessment of the various Bonds. It’s especially nice to see someone not criticizing Dalton. I hadn’t thought about the production values being the problem with his films, but that’s food for thought.

    I’m totally in love with Agents of Atlas, by the way. Please, God, let there be more.

    Comment from Paul Chadwick
    Time: February 21, 2007, 7:55 pm

    Your first two sentences cracked me up.

    Word is the Bourne movies scared the hell out of them with their grittier feel (and success). Good for them, and Craig, for rising to the occasion.

    Like matching an unnerving bet…

    Hmm.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: February 22, 2007, 1:13 am

    You know, I should have figured that’s what made them drop the cheese. Thanks Bournes Identity and Supremacy! Good to see you, Paul.

    Comment from Trish M.
    Time: February 25, 2007, 10:23 pm

    God he’s hot. (Did I just say that out loud?) The DVD is on order. I’ve never been so excited about an Amazon delivery. And this may be the movie that plunges me into debt because it deserves to be watched on a brand new 46″ plasma TV.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: February 26, 2007, 2:10 am

    Oh, now that’s just an excuse. He is hot, though.