So once again we have survived.

Vern hearts Daniel Craig and CASINO ROYALE… read his love letter here!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here to quickly introduce Vern’s review of CASINO ROYALE… and his admission of the huge mancrush he has for Daniel Craig. I saw the movie last night myself and you can add my name onto the “loved it” lists… Eva Green is the pretty and Daniel Craig could kill Cancer. Good stuff… but you didn’t click on this headline to hear me talk. Here’s the main man, Vern!

Fellas –

I liked CASINO ROYALE too. (review ends here if you’re one of those dicks who always complains that my reviews are too long)

Casino RoyaleThis is coming from the perspective of a non-James Bond fan. People are always trying to get me to watch them, especially my buds Paul and Tom at Her Majesty’s Secret Servant, who got me to review a couple for them a while back. I can understand the appeal, I like jetpacks as much as the next guy, but these movies are not really my thing. And to me the Pierce Brosnans quickly turn into snoozefests where you only perk up to groan at the worse-than-Schwarzenegger punmanship. The ridiculous action scenes I can get into (gotta love that GOLDENEYE opening) and the character names (how could Denise Richards playing a scientist named Dr. Christmas Jones not be fun? well, they pulled it off). But to me it’s mostly the same old shit over and over again with an indestructible super stud doing magical deeds and screwing beautiful women and they lust after him so much they put up with his painful sense of humor. And we’re supposed to like this guy. Well, I don’t.

So when they had that controversy going about the casting of Daniel Craig I had to laugh. Was that a made up story or were there really James Bond fans pissing their pants over the color of his hair? It’s not like it’s pink or nothin, blond is a perfectly reasonable color of hair for a secret agent. I don’t have any inside info but according to my research it is very possible that a blond man could be a secret agent in some countries. Well shit, even if it WAS pink, I had no interest in another god damn James Bond movie. I wasn’t gonna see another Pierce Brosnan with another clunky title to mix up with the other ones (I can only keep them straight as The One With Michelle Yeoh, The One With Halle Berry, etc.). They supposedly wanted a fresh start but they got the writers of the last couple, the director of GOLDENEYE, they actually turned down Tarantino wanting to adapt this particular book and then gave it to their usual guys so that bridge would be permanently burned.

But then they got Daniel Craig. I haven’t even seen LAYER CAKE, but he was definitely 2005 best supporting badass for MUNICH. They got Eric Bana in his best role since CHOPPER and this guy still steals the movie. When Bond-nerds (who, it turns out, exist) said they were gonna boycott I figured no big deal, the studio’ll be trading their money for money from people like me who didn’t go to the other ones.

And that’s what this is I think, this is more like the James Bond movie for people who don’t like that other shit. I don’t think it’s Pierce Brosnan’s fault, but Daniel Craig, and especially Daniel Craig in this story, is a WAY more interesting character in my opinion. He’s not a suave super-being, he’s a regular fuckin badass. He’s a man’s man. You believe this guy can fight. At some points early on I was thinking fuck Bond, I want this guy to play Parker. This guy can handle himself. And he can be arrogant and have it come across as part of his game. Brosnan just seemed like a stuck up prick.

Of course, he has good reasons to be cocky. I think part of why I don’t get into Bond is because he has too much at his disposal. Any gadget he wants, any woman he wants, any law of physics he chooses to defy, no problem. Money is no object, laws are no obstacle, the government’s got his back, and if he needs to he can fly around the earth really fast to go back in time. I’m more of a John McClane man. I want to see an underdog scrapping, one guy overcoming the odds. In a world where whatever whatever, only one man can etc. etc. Well, this James Bond is a little closer to that type of character. He’s just become “007” in the opening scene. Nobody expects him to live long. His boss D.J. Dench (best known for CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK) thinks he’s a fuckup, and he actually has to break into her house and computer files to get the information he needs. The only high-tech gadgets he gets to use are for medical purposes. He does drive the fancy Aston Martin, but only after winning it in a poker game. Before that he drives a Ford. (I wish it was a junker with Bondo all over it, like a Ride that has yet to be Pimped, but this will do.)

Yes, this is a starting out story. Apparently it is based on the first James Bond book by Ian Fleming, which must’ve been really ahead of its time considering all the uses of cell phones and the reference to 9-11. It’s nice because it’s a good thriller but not in that same James Bond template we’re so used to. There is no big doomsday plot. The main part of his mission is just to win a poker game. Apparently this is a compromise from the original novel, where it was a more obscure card game I never heard of. I agree that it’s lame to change it, but oh well. At least they didn’t switch it to Uno. Or Trivial Pursuits ’80s Edition.

There is alot of other stuff going on, which makes the long poker game somehow suspenseful. It’s funny to hear the audience gasp when the cards are laid down, as if they really got those hands. It’s a movie, people, of course somebody got an ace. One thing I can’t figure out though is why only Bond or eye-damaged-asthmatic-villain-guy ever win. What about all these other dudes? Jeffrey Wright (the new Joe Don Baker)? Overweight guy? Asian guy? Somebody else should win occasionally. It’s not fair.

You might’ve heard Paul Haggis is one of the three credited writers. I have done my fair share of Haggis-bashing, though not as much as Moriarty (I liked MILLION DOLLAR BABY). But fair is fair, this movie is not Haggish. There are no big embarrassing speeches. In fact, for the first 2/3 or so of the movie they do a great job of avoiding unnecessary dialogue, instead explaining everything visually. Especially fun is Bond chasing a bomb-maker played by Sebastien Foucan (who gets a special credit for “free running stunts”). This is cool because it takes advantage of the “free running” or “parkour” or “climbing and jumping on shit” made popular in DISTRICT B-13 but originally seen in YAMAKASI (different style that includes flips) and CREMASTER 3 (style where he has a napkin in his mouth). It’s just a long, thrilling chase, no talking, lots of hurting. You gotta figure though that neither Bond or this bomb-maker are all that smart. Because first of all, the guy runs up a crane. Second of all, Bond chases him up the crane. But what did either of them think he was gonna do when he got to the top of the crane? That is exactly the place you don’t run when you’re getting chased. How many poor bastards have, for whatever fucked up reason, wound up stuck on top of a crane or an electric tower or some place like that, and then the fire department has to get them down like a cat stuck in a tree in a movie? In Seattle this happens about once a year – one year it was a topless fire swallower protesting something or other, this year I think it was a drunk guy waving a flag on the 4th of July. What usually happens, they get stuck. It would’ve been funny to see Bond just have to wait for the guy to come down. But I guess he knew what was coming.

I got the impression some of the audience was laughing incredulously at some of these jumps, like it was just too ridiculous. But I think most of them were real! Sure, most of the stuff on the cranes is obviously fake, but there’s some other ones that are the real deal, which is nice for this series. Grounds it in reality a little bit.

Of course they’re not always running and jumping, they do occasionally stop to have characters talk to each other. Since they’re trying to reinvent the series though, this is dangerous. The director, Martin Campbell, also did GOLDENEYE, where the writers seemed way too concerned with justifying the existence of super spies after the Cold War. That got tiresome, so I guess there’s the silver lining in the current state of the world: less self-conscious dialogue in James Bond movies. The terrorists have already won. No explanations needed, just mention that the bad guys are terrorists and you’re set. There’s even one reference to 9-11 and it surprised me – they mention those infamous stock transactions by the anonymous people who bet against the right airlines right before 9-11. That’s a weird mystery I never thought would be mentioned in a James Bond movie. (I hope the next one mentions that they never caught the anthrax killer.) There’s also a sexually humiliating torture scene that reminds one of Abu Ghraib (or maybe HOSTEL). Unfortunately the villain mentions that he doesn’t like to do big complicated tortures, a rare case of overly self-conscious “see, this is different from those old James Bond movies” dialogue. And of course they gotta have nods to the various Bond trademarks (shaken not stirred, all that shit) but it mostly works and at least one is put in a context that makes it completely badass.
Of course you got characters over-explaining the card game, and other things going on late in the movie. But it’s not too bad and I don’t blame Haggis. There are some corny lines, but only a small fraction of the amount you’d expect in a Brosnan. I don’t know what to make of that “perfectly formed ass” line you saw in the trailers. Somebody asked me how she knew if he had a perfectly formed ass anyway, because he’s sitting down in this scene. I figure it was probaly in his file, though.

The ass-admirer is played by Eva Green. She’s a great Bond girl because she’s got the super-hotness and what not but she seems more human than the others. Toward the end there is suddenly a surprisingly long romance portion of the movie that seems a little forced at first, but by the time it comes to its inevitable bad turn (spoiler, if you’ve never seen a movie before or heard a story) you actually give a shit or two for her and, as far as these things go, it’s pretty moving. But if you don’t want an actual character for the Bond girl don’t worry, there’s another girl who is introduced in a bikini riding a horse on the beach. So there’s something for everybody.

The one thing I didn’t understand about Eva Green is what her name was supposed to mean. Vesper Lynd? That’s not a sex act, is it? Her name should’ve been Ibetta Rentthedreamersnow.

So there’s alot of reasons why I dug this movie more than other James Bonds, but what it all comes down to is the thing that got me interested in the first place, Daniel Craig. To my ignorant eyes he’s the best Bond hands down. He’s as cool as Brosnan, as manly as Connery, but more complicated than any of them. He has more going on behind his eyes. His emotions are repressed, which means he actually has emotions. He’s this cold-hearted bastard but then he does something nice to somebody and you realize there is something close to three dimensions here. AND he knows how to chase a guy up a crane. It’s good stuff.

I guarantee you most of those skeptics will be won over as soon as they see the movie. If you want them to go in and CGI some brown hair on him I’m sure they could do that for the DVD, but I bet you’ll realize it’s not needed. The only downside is he’ll probaly get stuck doing mostly James Bond for years and years, and we’ll miss out on seeing him in other roles. But that’s okay, I’ll watch these.

thanks,

Vern

VERN WILL RETURN

Originally posted at Ain’t-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/30748

View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 7:24 a.m. CST

    “2005 best supporting badass”

    by triplefive

    trew dat.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 7:25 a.m. CST

    I miss Smersh

    by conniebrean1

    They didn’t allude to Smersh in this one like they do in the book. Can we hope for some kind of continuing story involving everybody’s favorite non-SPECTRE evil organization?

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 7:30 a.m. CST

    My Christ!!

    by Kristian66

    Vern actually liked it. No matter how I approach this now, my expectations are going to be so fucking high, it’s going to seem like a pile of shit.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 7:33 a.m. CST

    Nice one Vern.

    by brycemonkey

    I’m glad there is love for this movie. I thought the last few Brosnan efforts were too over the top and silly; I couldn’t suspend my disbelief. I am happy they are keeping it real(er).

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 7:35 a.m. CST

    “spoiler, if you’ve never seen a movie before…

    by BizarroJerry

    or heard a story.” Great stuff as usual, Vern. “D.J. Dench (best known for CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK)” Awesome.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 7:52 a.m. CST

    “Stealing” MUNICH not that hard…

    by JohnGalt06

    Considering the movie was one long-ass snoozefest. Although I do disagree because if anybody “stole” Munich, it was Ciaran (how do you spell his name?) Hinds (aka Caesar).

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 8:01 a.m. CST

    “review ends here” Nice one, Vern

    by chrth

    Oh wait, should I read the rest of the review? Yeah, let me go do that.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 8:04 a.m. CST

    D.J.Dench

    by Franklin T Marmoset

    I would love it if Dame Judy started insisting that people call her ‘DJ’. That’s funny. Thanks for this review, Vern, which is the last I’ll be reading before I see it this weekend. I can’t read any more, they’re raising my expectations too much.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 8:05 a.m. CST

    re. not catching the anthrax killer

    by gobofraggleuk

    This may be a load of crap, but I saw a documentary, I think on the BBC, about that a few years ago which said that they traced the strain of anthrax to a US Govt laboratory – and that, having narrowed down who it could be, they didn’t want to publicise any further than a crazy American had killed other Americans to make some kind of a point (they were counting on people having forgotten about the oklahoma bomber, the unibomber, etc. in then repeatedly associating the word ‘terrorist’ with the idea of the ‘foreigner darkie’)…

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Funniest Bond review!

    by Jugs

    Still laughing, nice one.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 8:09 a.m. CST

    Jeffrey Wright, the new Joe Don Baker! Yes!

    by Lance Rock

    That shit cracked me UP, Vern!

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 8:18 a.m. CST

    With bond back where he belongs…

    by Talkbacker with no name

    My work here is done. I announce with great sadness that ‘Talkbacker with no name’ is no more. It’s been fun guys but with 007 back as the king of the action movie, I have nothing more to give to this site.
    goodbye my dear friends, I will miss you all xxx

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 8:33 a.m. CST

    “D.J. Dench (best known for CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK)”

    by Grando

    And the award for funniest line in a Casino Royale review goes to……. Vern!

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 9:08 a.m. CST

    “fans pissing their pants over the color of his hair?”

    by newc0253

    yeah, i wondered this as well. it smelled like a studio marketing stunt to me. but then, this is the internet: nearly everyone’s pissed about something, right? btw, good review dude.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Craig has blonde hair?

    by CTU Mole

    I didn’t notice. Maybe cause I’m not a homo (referring to people whining about his hair, not Vern). Where are all the indignant maroons who didn’t get the Riddick joke, coming in to post Dench’s entire filmography?

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Craig

    by Cobbio

    Thanks Vern. Good review, especially since I sit in the same boat as you on Bond. I generally dislike the superhumanity of 007, the slick, high school cool sense of entitlement he embodies, with zero emotional involvement in anything. He’s a fairy tale for men. There’s nothing real or remotely human about him, which makes me laugh and takes the intrigue out of his stories before they even begin.

    I’ve hated Bond for a long time. Sydney Bristow from Alias could kick his ass and made him say “Uncle” in less than five seconds. Seriously. His whole superhuman routine looks super-pussified in comparison to Bristow or Jason Bourne, any day of the week.

    Therefore, what’s left to like about 007 these days? Nothing. He’s an emperor with no clothes. He’s a school bully with a pocket protector and geeky, horn-rimmed glasses. He’s the biggest fucking pussy I’ve ever seen onscreen. Even Sean Connery couldn’t make him likeable for me.

    That said, I was happy to hear Daniel Craig scored the role of Bond in this new film. Not only is Craig the best actor that’s ever played Bond, he’s also the most convincingly badass, non-effeminate Bond ever to grace a 007 film. Connery as Bond was fun to watch, I guess, but Connery was a total pussy compared to Daniel Craig. It was a good casting move, in my opinion.

    I may actually see this film in the theater.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 9:53 a.m. CST

    double O what

    by arghhhhhhhh

    Vern, good review, enjoyed readin it.Cobbio go away and don’t come back, you come across like a total fuckin fag

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 9:55 a.m. CST

    DID ANYONE READ THIS REVIEW??!??

    by Bishop6

    CAN U SUM IT UP FOR ME PLS? THNKS!

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Fellas –
    I liked CASINO

    by arghhhhhhhh

    Fellas –

    I liked CASINO ROYALE too. (review ends here if you’re one of those dicks who always complains that my reviews are too long)

    This is coming from the perspective of a non-James Bond fan. People are always trying to get me to watch them, especially my buds Paul and Tom at Her Majesty’s Secret Servant, who got me to review a couple for them a while back. I can understand the appeal, I like jetpacks as much as the next guy, but these movies are not really my thing. And to me the Pierce Brosnans quickly turn into snoozefests where you only perk up to groan at the worse-than-Schwarzenegger punmanship. The ridiculous action scenes I can get into (gotta love that GOLDENEYE opening) and the character names (how could Denise Richards playing a scientist named Dr. Christmas Jones not be fun? well, they pulled it off). But to me it’s mostly the same old shit over and over again with an indestructible super stud doing magical deeds and screwing beautiful women and they lust after him so much they put up with his painful sense of humor. And we’re supposed to like this guy. Well, I don’t.

    So when they had that controversy going about the casting of Daniel Craig I had to laugh. Was that a made up story or were there really James Bond fans pissing their pants over the color of his hair? It’s not like it’s pink or nothin, blond is a perfectly reasonable color of hair for a secret agent. I don’t have any inside info but according to my research it is very possible that a blond man could be a secret agent in some countries. Well shit, even if it WAS pink, I had no interest in another god damn James Bond movie. I wasn’t gonna see another Pierce Brosnan with another clunky title to mix up with the other ones (I can only keep them straight as The One With Michelle Yeoh, The One With Halle Berry, etc.). They supposedly wanted a fresh start but they got the writers of the last couple, the director of GOLDENEYE, they actually turned down Tarantino wanting to adapt this particular book and then gave it to their usual guys so that bridge would be permanently burned.

    But then they got Daniel Craig. I haven’t even seen LAYER CAKE, but he was definitely 2005 best supporting badass for MUNICH. They got Eric Bana in his best role since CHOPPER and this guy still steals the movie. When Bond-nerds (who, it turns out, exist) said they were gonna boycott I figured no big deal, the studio’ll be trading their money for money from people like me who didn’t go to the other ones.

    And that’s what this is I think, this is more like the James Bond movie for people who don’t like that other shit. I don’t think it’s Pierce Brosnan’s fault, but Daniel Craig, and especially Daniel Craig in this story, is a WAY more interesting character in my opinion. He’s not a suave super-being, he’s a regular fuckin badass. He’s a man’s man. You believe this guy can fight. At some points early on I was thinking fuck Bond, I want this guy to play Parker. This guy can handle himself. And he can be arrogant and have it come across as part of his game. Brosnan just seemed like a stuck up prick.

    Of course, he has good reasons to be cocky. I think part of why I don’t get into Bond is because he has too much at his disposal. Any gadget he wants, any woman he wants, any law of physics he chooses to defy, no problem. Money is no object, laws are no obstacle, the government’s got his back, and if he needs to he can fly around the earth really fast to go back in time. I’m more of a John McClane man. I want to see an underdog scrapping, one guy overcoming the odds. In a world where whatever whatever, only one man can etc. etc. Well, this James Bond is a little closer to that type of character. He’s just become “007” in the opening scene. Nobody expects him to live long. His boss D.J. Dench (best known for CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK) thinks he’s a fuckup, and he actually has to break into her house and computer files to get the information he needs. The only high-tech gadgets he gets to use are for medical purposes. He does drive the fancy Aston Martin, but only after winning it in a poker game. Before that he drives a Ford. (I wish it was a junker with Bondo all over it, like a Ride that has yet to be Pimped, but this will do.)

    Yes, this is a starting out story. Apparently it is based on the first James Bond book by Ian Fleming, which must’ve been really ahead of its time considering all the uses of cell phones and the reference to 9-11. It’s nice because it’s a good thriller but not in that same James Bond template we’re so used to. There is no big doomsday plot. The main part of his mission is just to win a poker game. Apparently this is a compromise from the original novel, where it was a more obscure card game I never heard of. I agree that it’s lame to change it, but oh well. At least they didn’t switch it to Uno. Or Trivial Pursuits ’80s Edition.

    There is alot of other stuff going on, which makes the long poker game somehow suspenseful. It’s funny to hear the audience gasp when the cards are laid down, as if they really got those hands. It’s a movie, people, of course somebody got an ace. One thing I can’t figure out though is why only Bond or eye-damaged-asthmatic-villain-guy ever win. What about all these other dudes? Jeffrey Wright (the new Joe Don Baker)? Overweight guy? Asian guy? Somebody else should win occasionally. It’s not fair.

    You might’ve heard Paul Haggis is one of the three credited writers. I have done my fair share of Haggis-bashing, though not as much as Moriarty (I liked MILLION DOLLAR BABY). But fair is fair, this movie is not Haggish. There are no big embarrassing speeches. In fact, for the first 2/3 or so of the movie they do a great job of avoiding unnecessary dialogue, instead explaining everything visually. Especially fun is Bond chasing a bomb-maker played by Sebastien Foucan (who gets a special credit for “free running stunts”). This is cool because it takes advantage of the “free running” or “parkour” or “climbing and jumping on shit” made popular in DISTRICT B-13 but originally seen in YAMAKASI (different style that includes flips) and CREMASTER 3 (style where he has a napkin in his mouth). It’s just a long, thrilling chase, no talking, lots of hurting. You gotta figure though that neither Bond or this bomb-maker are all that smart. Because first of all, the guy runs up a crane. Second of all, Bond chases him up the crane. But what did either of them think he was gonna do when he got to the top of the crane? That is exactly the place you don’t run when you’re getting chased. How many poor bastards have, for whatever fucked up reason, wound up stuck on top of a crane or an electric tower or some place like that, and then the fire department has to get them down like a cat stuck in a tree in a movie? In Seattle this happens about once a year – one year it was a topless fire swallower protesting something or other, this year I think it was a drunk guy waving a flag on the 4th of July. What usually happens, they get stuck. It would’ve been funny to see Bond just have to wait for the guy to come down. But I guess he knew what was coming.

    I got the impression some of the audience was laughing incredulously at some of these jumps, like it was just too ridiculous. But I think most of them were real! Sure, most of the stuff on the cranes is obviously fake, but there’s some other ones that are the real deal, which is nice for this series. Grounds it in reality a little bit.

    Of course they’re not always running and jumping, they do occasionally stop to have characters talk to each other. Since they’re trying to reinvent the series though, this is dangerous. The director, Martin Campbell, also did GOLDENEYE, where the writers seemed way too concerned with justifying the existence of super spies after the Cold War. That got tiresome, so I guess there’s the silver lining in the current state of the world: less self-conscious dialogue in James Bond movies. The terrorists have already won. No explanations needed, just mention that the bad guys are terrorists and you’re set. There’s even one reference to 9-11 and it surprised me – they mention those infamous stock transactions by the anonymous people who bet against the right airlines right before 9-11. That’s a weird mystery I never thought would be mentioned in a James Bond movie. (I hope the next one mentions that they never caught the anthrax killer.) There’s also a sexually humiliating torture scene that reminds one of Abu Ghraib (or maybe HOSTEL). Unfortunately the villain mentions that he doesn’t like to do big complicated tortures, a rare case of overly self-conscious “see, this is different from those old James Bond movies” dialogue. And of course they gotta have nods to the various Bond trademarks (shaken not stirred, all that shit) but it mostly works and at least one is put in a context that makes it completely badass.

    Of course you got characters over-explaining the card game, and other things going on late in the movie. But it’s not too bad and I don’t blame Haggis. There are some corny lines, but only a small fraction of the amount you’d expect in a Brosnan. I don’t know what to make of that “perfectly formed ass” line you saw in the trailers. Somebody asked me how she knew if he had a perfectly formed ass anyway, because he’s sitting down in this scene. I figure it was probaly in his file, though.

    The ass-admirer is played by Eva Green. She’s a great Bond girl because she’s got the super-hotness and what not but she seems more human than the others. Toward the end there is suddenly a surprisingly long romance portion of the movie that seems a little forced at first, but by the time it comes to its inevitable bad turn (spoiler, if you’ve never seen a movie before or heard a story) you actually give a shit or two for her and, as far as these things go, it’s pretty moving. But if you don’t want an actual character for the Bond girl don’t worry, there’s another girl who is introduced in a bikini riding a horse on the beach. So there’s something for everybody.

    The one thing I didn’t understand about Eva Green is what her name was supposed to mean. Vesper Lynd? That’s not a sex act, is it? Her name should’ve been Ibetta Rentthedreamersnow.

    So there’s alot of reasons why I dug this movie more than other James Bonds, but what it all comes down to is the thing that got me interested in the first place, Daniel Craig. To my ignorant eyes he’s the best Bond hands down. He’s as cool as Brosnan, as manly as Connery, but more complicated than any of them. He has more going on behind his eyes. His emotions are repressed, which means he actually has emotions. He’s this cold-hearted bastard but then he does something nice to somebody and you realize there is something close to three dimensions here. AND he knows how to chase a guy up a crane. It’s good stuff.

    I guarantee you most of those skeptics will be won over as soon as they see the movie. If you want them to go in and CGI some brown hair on him I’m sure they could do that for the DVD, but I bet you’ll realize it’s not needed. The only downside is he’ll probaly get stuck doing mostly James Bond for years and years, and we’ll miss out on seeing him in other roles. But that’s okay, I’ll watch these.

    thanks,

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 9:57 a.m. CST

    There you go Bishop 6

    by arghhhhhhhh

    There you go Bishop 6

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Vern, how old are you?

    by Billyeveryteen

    Have you even seen a non-Brosnan Bond film? Oh wait, I forgot, DTV Seagal > Bond. That explains it.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Oh sweet justice.

    by dromens

    I love…LOVE…all of the positive press that Daniel Craig has been getting. This is especially true after reading all of the assinine whiney so many of the talk backers did. They are calling him the best Bond since Connery. I agree with Quint, the guy is a bad ass.

    Oh sweet justice. It’s good to see so many movie buffs eating their words and their credibility after the trouncing they gave Craig.

    Good for him.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Ibette Rentthedreamersnow

    by kwisatzhaderach

    made me laugh so hard I had juice coming out of my nose. I bet all the twats who moaned about Craig feel like real idiots now. Haha.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Vern you bastard

    by thatpeterguy

    You wrote another great review. “Her name should’ve been Ibetta Rentthedreamersnow.” Classic. Nicely done sir.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Vern, you’re the best!

    by Spice-Orange

    “His boss D.J. Dench (best known for CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK)” that’s so freaking great! i cant wait to see it this weekend. the parkour sounds awesome. why WOULD you run up a crane? i guess that’s why the bad guys always lose in bond movies.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Some of the “twits” who didn’t initially like Bond…

    by IAmJack’sUserID

    can be man enough to admit they’re wrong. I find it funny how high and mighty some of you are, and those who call the skeptics morons or whatever now are the same lot that probably themselves could never admit a mistake. Yes, I bitched about hair color…but also about height, age, and facial complexion. Bond’s appearance is important, and only the fuckheaded dumbasses think otherwise and get all bitchy at people who bring that valid issue up. That being said, I could be wrong. I want to see the movie and will give both it and it’s new Bond a chance.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 11:23 a.m. CST

    snork

    by occula

    anchorite, that’s pretty funny. vern, you’re the tits as usual.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Vesper

    by DrWhat

    A Vesper is a cocktail that Flemming really liked.

    And yes, I’m a Bond geek but I’m looking forward to this movie. May be the closest to the original novel from the reviews so far.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 12:04 p.m. CST

    I loved Vern’s Kong review a while back

    by Leopold Scotch

    Paraphrase: “They could’ve dressed him up in a big trench coat and passed him off as human, but in my opinion these options aren’t adequately explored in the movie”.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Nice one V…

    by TELF

    Literally going to see it right now. Good call on Craig for Parker. Though I think my man Pullo from Rome would be awesome too.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 12:35 p.m. CST

    District B 13

    by Parkour

    D B 13 is a better movie than Casino Royale could ever hope for.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Urmmmmm DB13 was a FUN film

    by Lucidz

    But a good movie? Methinks no…

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 12:54 p.m. CST

    “Vern declares Daniel Craig bad motherfucker”

    by Vern

    For the record that was the headline I submitted. None of this “heart” or “mancrush” shit. Look man, this is 2006, I am 100% pro-gay rights, including gay marriage, but I am against the straight “mancrush.” Whatever happened to the sanctity of respect between men? Why we gotta sexualize everything to the point that if you liked a character in a movie it means you got a crush? Do I only get to watch IN HER SHOES and shit if I want to stick with women?

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Bondo

    by Vern

    I honestly did not mean that as a pun. Ah shit, shoulda said primer.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Cremaster 3

    by jigsaw

    Vern, what the hell are you doing reviewing the last 30 minutes of a 3 hour 3rd part to a 5 part series? You can rent the entire glorious, brilliant, exhausting, and completely self-indulgent paean to the reproductive organs from certain less scrupulous rental houses. Of course the movie takes an entire day to watch, and the whole self-indulgent thing. On a side note, I was napkin man for Halloween this year. It was scary.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 1:29 p.m. CST

    “Brosnan just seemed like a stuck up prick”.

    by mr. brownstone

    Perfect.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Vern’s intentional Dench joke…

    by trojanwilliams

    I love that some posters didn’t get it. And yes I’m talking to you cookylamoo.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Dumbass US public are lining up to criticise Craig

    by Sepulchrave

    This is not surprising from a post-literate society like the USA. References to Daniel Craig being ‘ugly’ are amazingly weak, particularly as James Bond is more of an assassin than a spy, a professional killer and a brute and alway has been. UGLY? Are you kidding; I’m already having dreams about this guy breaking into my house late at night. Craig has 100 times more sexual charisma than any other Bond, including Sean Connery. Americans who think that jigging, squeaking little teenage stoats like Justin Timberlake are the epitome of manhood would do well to see what an action hero should look like. He is ten times the actor of any other Bond, with a raft of high intensity performances under his highly trained belt. Bond as written is a brute, a murderer and a machine. Connery is sanctified by film history so let’s leave him be, scot’s acshent and all. Moore was a geriatric smirking robot. Dalton was boring but poorly directed and out of time and place. Lazenby was inert. Brosnan was just Moore with slighly more animation and a host of improbable children’s toys. Anyone who has seen Craig in Layer Cake or Road to Perdition would have no doubt that he has nailed Fleming’s original conception. And the other suggestion; Clive Owen, IS Daniel Craig with black hair. I’d have had no problem with either of them; they’re like acting brothers.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 2:33 p.m. CST

    The most

    by hellcathannah

    A survey of my female friends votes Daniel Craig the one they’d most like to “sleep” with. He exudes sexappeal.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Bad Guy runs up the crane.

    by DerLanghaarige

    Bond waits till the bad guy comes back down. While Bond is waiting, Bad Guy pees on Bond from top of the crane.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Seeing it tonight

    by thecheesegrommit

    can’t wait. Craig may turn out to be the best bond but I must reiterate Brosnan was indeed the best since Connery with inferior material to work with (Golden eye and Tomorrow never dies withstanding) Anyone who doesn’t think the opening to TND’s is one of the best is just dead inside. Peace

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 2:54 p.m. CST

    AICN’s un-Vern-like headlines for Vern’s reviews

    by eraser_x

    .. are funny. AICN is Vern’s goofy sidekick, kind of like Clyde or Josey Wales’ wacky Injun sidekick. (“Never paid him no mind; you were there.”) AICN and geocities are Vern’s two goofy sidekicks. By the way, Harry’s review of this movie mentioned Bond’s driving a Ford even as Bond knew that he should be driving a different/better car. Vern’s slumming it on AICN is the same kind of thing, aside from the whimsy and nobility that a goofy sidekick represents. I hereby make public my status as the founder of Vernology.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Hold on there, Sepulchrave!

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    I think you need to take that issue up with the individuals who have made such comments. I see absolutely no need to insult the good ol’ USA by throwing around terms such as “Dumbass US public” and “post-literate society”. So far, I’ve seen nothing but US praise for Craig’s performance and style. (Personally, I’ve been rooting for him since day one.) The fellas that refer to him as “ugly”, are just basement dwellers who are jealous of the fact that he got to roll around with that skank, Eva Green.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 3:18 p.m. CST

    can we get some better GIFs

    by Phategod2

    Remember when the gifs where relevent to top box office movies Where’s the Borat gifs

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 3:44 p.m. CST

    That’s right, BSB. Eva Green = Skank

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t kick her out of bed for eating Pringles. But I call them like I see them – she’s a pasty French chick who wears make-up like a security blanket and smokes too much. She would not be my first choice for new hotness.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 3:46 p.m. CST

    And BSB, we all know that you think Craig has got…

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    … Machismo. Dripping. Off. Of. His. Body.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 3:49 p.m. CST

    IAmJack’sUserID

    by kwisatzhaderach

    I said twats not twits. There was actually an online petition to force Craig out of the role. Will have to pop onto that site and see what they’re saying now!

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 3:54 p.m. CST

    did anybody buy ps3 today?

    by jig98

    just asking. i heard that there was more pandamonium than xbox 360 and black friday last year. oh, and i’m excited to see this and the penguins.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 3:56 p.m. CST

    BringingSexyBack just came RUNNING out of the closet!!!

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Congratulations, BSB! Being open about who you are is the first step into a larger world.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 5:15 p.m. CST

    Sir Richard Branson….

    by Darth Valinorean

    I have not seen any mention in any of the talkbacs of Sir Richard Branson in the Miami Aiport sequence – he is the other guy in the security check. What the heck was he doing in the movie for a fraction of a second? Guess when you are a billionaire, you can buy your way into a Bond movie … Did anyone else see that?

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Enduring Love…

    by Frank Black

    If Layer Cake wasn’t going to convince people that Craig was up for it, they should have checked out Enduring Love where acted up a f*cking Tsunami! Seriously, I have a room full of Bond merchandise and memorabillia and I have never been as excited about any of the Bond films before, (and yes I have seen most of them in the theater!)

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Humble pie

    by nemesisdarkside

    I love the idea of kneejerk Craig haters being forced to gorge on humble pie, crow, whatever. My friend has been saying for months that Craig “just isn’t Bond”. He saw CR yesterday and has changed his tune. HAHAHA.
    There should be a TB dedicated to all the extreme naysayers, where they admit they were wrong one by one. ;P (I’m just messing around but it would be hilarious to read)

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 6:41 p.m. CST

    Humble pie

    by nemesisdarkside

    I love the idea of kneejerk Craig haters being forced to gorge on humble pie, crow, whatever. My friend has been saying for months that Craig “just isn’t Bond”. He saw CR yesterday and has changed his tune. HAHAHA.
    There should be a TB dedicated to all the extreme naysayers, where they admit they were wrong one by one. ;P (I’m just messing around but it would be hilarious to read)
    Apologies if this is a double post!!!

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 7:31 p.m. CST

    Best line of the week

    by dtpena

    “Apparently it is based on the first James Bond book by Ian Fleming, which must’ve been really ahead of its time considering all the uses of cell phones and the reference to 9-11”

    ROTFFLMAO

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Just got back…

    by TELF

    Best Bond I have seen in a cinema. However I’ve only been seeing them as they should be seen since Octopussy, so that may be faint praise. Loved so much of it that I will forgive a weak 4th (yes 4th McKee fans) act. Craig is just fucking fantastic and I hope he is online now reading all the positivity after enduring the drubbing he did earlier on. He owned. Wonder what they’ll do next. Has there been any noise along the lines of going book by book doing more faithful adaptations? They should do one about India and Kashmir. Also, it was good to see a plot that had high stakes but didn’t necessarily hold the world in the balance. Batman Continues filmatists please take note.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 8:15 p.m. CST

    Crowe as Bond, Whedon writes and directs…

    by TELF

    Worst Film Ever.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 9:10 p.m. CST

    D.J. Dench (best known for CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK)

    by Wile-E

    Vern, man, you gotta post a warning before writing something like this.. I almost spat my coffee over the monitor from laughing.

    But this way, at least I was prepared for Ibetta Rentthedreamersnow *lol*

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 9:21 p.m. CST

    Liked it, but a lot of people in movie laughed…a lot.

    by PVIII

    If it’s a real re-boot, they would have done it like Batman Begins and people would’ve taken it completely seriously…still went too “Bond-ish” aka Kitschy, for me at some points, but Green was on point, and Craig was a great Bond.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 9:59 p.m. CST

    Craig Won Me Over (Spoiler)

    by BoyNamedSue

    I admit I had my doubts, but……wow! This is the way Bond always should have been onscreen. Also, was it just me or did Tony Randall come back from the dead to play the main (surprise) villain?

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 10:14 p.m. CST

    Good movie, great review

    by S-Mart shopper

    Craig IS Bond. I had my doubts but he dunked this role in peanut butter and chocolate. I still wish Bruce Campbell could’ve had a crack at Bond though “My name Bond baby, Jimmy Bond”

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 10:58 p.m. CST

    Re: TELF

    by BillEmic

    Thanks for putting a name to be what was puzzling me about this film’s structure – there IS a Fourth Act! I’m taking a screenwriting class right now and of course the instructor has a hard-on for the three act structure. Then you go and see a movie like “Casino Royale” and it completely bucks the trend. To me, it almost felt like each 30 minute segment of the movie had its own 3-act structure…or something. Bizarre structure but people who are complaining it’s “too long” are out of their heads. For once, the audience gets a lot of content for their $9.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 11:15 p.m. CST

    Snakes on a Crane!

    by Zarles

    Nice one, Vern. Oh look, MetalWater’s back and making a complete fuckstick out of himself. That’s about as shocking as Vesper Lynd’s death at the end of this movie.

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 1:32 a.m. CST

    Right, sorry about those generalisations

    by Sepulchrave

    I just came from a populist site on Yahoo movies which was wall-to-wall garbage about how great Pierce (Smirky Mc Side-parting) Brosnan was. And I just think that Brosnan (an Irishman like me) has just been erased by Craig, with that comprehensive erasure that only a paradigm shift in the movies can effect. Gone are the days of laser shooting watches, grisy entrendres: ‘I think he’s attempting re-entry, Sir’ and John Cleese’s hammy barking. Hello post-Bourne Bond and thank God for that. And Craig is the only Bond since Connery that you can imagine actually FUCKING someone. Not rolling about in stain sheets with a champagne flute; FUCKING. And he looks like he’d fuck or kill anyone. Which is perversely hot. Which is the essence of the role.

    I’m actually glad that Q is dead; he wouldn’t survive in this new world, God rest his dear old soul.

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 3:18 a.m. CST

    spot on yackbacker

    by Exeter

    “Craig’s Bond is Connery’s rightful predecessor in terms of continuity. The Bond Connery played is linked to what Craig is doing. Moore and Dalton seem more apocryphal after the fact. Well, I enjoyed Dalton in THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS, but there’s a cold brutality to Craig and Connery that Dalton and the other Bonds don’t seem to embody.” spot on! is it me or Connery/Craig seem like real close in comparison? even Dalton who jusst played it stiff-ass serious didn’t have that ‘thug-in-tux’ feel that Connery/Craig embodies. hohlyshit we have a new connery! from now on i’ll watch Craig’s Bonds followed by Connery’s 60s Bonds, then Lazenby’s and that will be my own personal Bond canon.

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 8:54 a.m. CST

    the new Bond kicks ass

    by CuervoJones

    period

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Virgin Airlines

    by smartbum

    Not only was Branson being searched, but the 747 taking off behind the tanker scene was a Virgin. Product placement reaches a new high of deplorability. Noise on the signal though, great movie and Craig was excellent.

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 9:28 a.m. CST

    Metalwater

    by Vern

    When was the last time you saw a talkback this long where EVERYBODY liked the movie in question? You don’t see that every day. And yes, I’m including you as liking it because you are so obvious about saying idiotic things to rile everybody up. But you are the only one whose posts I have to take that kind of poetic license with. This is a rare couple days of positivity and harmony in the world of the newsies.

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 9:34 a.m. CST

    This Movie Was Excellent Go See It

    by The Ender

    This movie surprised me. I am not a James Bond fan, but they have won me over. The pacing and camera work was fantastic and I think Daniel Craig will be the best Bond ever. Great movie. Evfa Green also gets my vote for hottest woman alive.

    Now go buy my PS3. It comes with a free nintendo Wii and a game.

    http://tinyurl.com/yaypob

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 10:44 a.m. CST

    WHOOOOOOOAAAAAAA bacci40!!!

    by tango fett

    …that’s a good idea. Anyways, this movie was very good. Kind of like Batman Begins in a way…no ninjas though. Batman wins.

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 10:48 a.m. CST

    James Bond Begins!

    by Johnno

    Excellent!

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 10:51 a.m. CST

    I’m holding out…

    by tango fett

    for a Bond sequel that features a diabolical midget with a tophat that can kill people. And metal teeth. And asthma. And voodoo powers. Almost like…a shout-out to previous, inferior Bond films. Holy crap, this one was good, and I pretty much hate most Bond movies. I’ve been saying Bond a lot, yeesh, it could be a drinking game. Okay. I’m done now.

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Group hug..we all love this film!!!

    by Jugs

    …or like it or think it’s OK. Not a Jar-Jar or Dobby insight.

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 12:11 p.m. CST

    The name`s Jarse, Hugh Jarse

    by Hugh Jarse

    Just got back from seeing it really liked it but the final half hour after the poker game just wasn`t needed. I`m all for the big bang ending but the run up to it was just embarrassing.

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Nice job, Vern

    by God Shamgodd

    I bagged on one of your earlier reviews, but this one was tight.

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Thank you, Vern.

    by Zarles

    Anyway, I’ve had the Bond theme in my head all day long, I just got my hair cut like Daniel Craig, and I can’t wait to see CR again. Tell me – did any of that happen to anyone after seeing the abortions that were the last few JB movies? Doubtful. To all the haters, doubters, and boycotters – in your face, Flanders! Viva la Craig!

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 3:51 p.m. CST

    also notice Craig/Connery have facial similarities…

    by Exeter

    They have this sort of ‘jagged’ face look to them, and both have the potruding cheek area on the sides of the lips where a shadow line forms, it can be seen prominently on the CR poster, no other Bond actors before looked as similar before. And in a couple of scenes Craig even sounded like the Conster. On another note i always find people give the scapegoat of the writing/stories being shit during the Brosnan eras and Brosnan is not to fault, well all that was shit but Brosnan himself like yackbacker said was too manicured, i recall someone said on aicn he felt like a ‘giant pink pussy’. Broz never felt intimidating to me, felt too overly smug, and tried too hard to be like a combination between Connery/Moore, his Bond never felt like he was vulnerable at all always machine-gunning on Rambo-mode and throwing quips every 5 seconds and looking unaturalistically smarmy like he was a fucking walking robot/corpse/broken record, just no feeling, totally botched the role. i’d rather watch the Moore films since Moore played it as he believed it, with lots of humor and i take them for what they are enjoying them more than Broz’s Bonds.

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 4:01 p.m. CST

    I had very high expectations

    by caltsoudas

    I had very high expectations for this film… and it exceeded them!

    A brilliant return to the classic format of the early sixties Connery films. Particularly the old school narrative structure which is more episodic like the original ones and not the plot-driving American Hollywood garbage screenwriting madness that the Brosnan and Moore films followed (with the exception of Live and Let Die and The World Is Not Enough–which are really really good and underapreciated). Like Dr. No, From Russia with Love, and You Only Live Twice, this one had class written all over it. Craig really does channel Sean Connery vibes here and there yet ultimately makes it his own. The opening looked great in black and white and the theme sequence looked GORGEOUS! So original. I always hated the opening theme sequences from the Brosnan movies. They were overkill. All in all this wasn’t some pathetic revamp attempt a la Batman Begins afterall (PHEW!) and instead is just a strong continuation of the franchise with a new lead that stays true to the traditions while simultaneously freshening them up. Now if only they coul get Emma Watson to play Money Penny… and ditch Q.

    That car moment was just…WOW. And when he said the line in the end everyone gave a long ovation. He’s just perfect. Plus there was a lot of good witty sophisticated humour too, which I was delighted with. I was initially worried about that because some critics were saying that it was too serious, but they pulled it off well. Even the theme song grows on you because of how smoothly they orchestrate it into the film’s score.

    BOND IS BACK!!!

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 5 p.m. CST

    Minutes away

    by Cobbio

    I’m putting aside my general disdain for slicky pants James Bond for the night and I’m heading out to see “Casino Royale” in a few minutes. Thanks for the review, Vern.

    I hope it entertains me.

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Anyone got a spare wicker chair handy?

    by Zarles

    I’d like to tie MetalWater to it.

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 7:33 p.m. CST

    daniel craig looks nothing like sean connery..

    by jig98

    maybe the chin. but that’s about it. we wouldv’e heard this in the worldwide news non-stop.

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 8:13 p.m. CST

    well they’re the only 2 Bonds that have

    by Exeter

    the potruding lines on the sides of their lips

  • Nov. 19, 2006, 2:03 a.m. CST

    Remember when other studio’s tried to steal Bond

    by Sepulchrave

    with Mr Katie Holmes’ flaccid Mission Impossible movies? And remember XXX? AHAHAHAHA! Bond is back and you pretenders can go and shite.

  • Nov. 19, 2006, 2:04 a.m. CST

    I just put an apostrophe into a plural.

    by Sepulchrave

    I am a retard.

  • Nov. 19, 2006, 2:14 a.m. CST

    my experience of this film was ruined

    by Cedar_Room

    by some pieces of shit 10 year olds who sat talking the whole way through and running around like they were at a Wacky Warehouse. Of course I never said anything to them – but I imagined the smart lines I would say, with just enough menace and threat in my voice, to have them glued to their seats in silence whilst the rest of the audience hailed me as their new God. This kind of distracted me from the film, except to notice that Vesper Lynd is fookin gorgeous. This really isn’t a Bond film for kids, they were bored shitless, and I suppose I’ll have to watch it again at some point. But thats what pirated DVDs are for I suppose.

  • Nov. 19, 2006, 4:13 a.m. CST

    Dalton- the Shakespeare Bond

    by Exeter

    fella was a trained Shakespeare actor, much better suited for that drama theater than playing a Fleming Bond. As you mention the Conster’s eyes, there’s a real brief moment that i can’t explain how Connery did this without his face actually not changinng, but in From Russia with Love on the train where Bond learns of the unfortunate incident of his friend, he goes back to Tanya’s room thinking this commie-broad is in it, she unlocks teh door to let him in, he just almost smashes the door back yet calmly, and has an inexplicable look of complete menace in his eyes – yet there isn’t a changed eye brow, or lowered or hightened eye-lid, you just have to see it it’s real creepy menacing like and i’m still watching it to see, maybe in the moment you feel it or something but damn those eyes….!

  • Nov. 19, 2006, 9:54 a.m. CST

    It’s ok

    by Dazzler69

    When you see a Bond movie however you want to see the gadgets, the weird hitmen or women trying to kill Bond throughout the movie. The theme rift when Bond is doing something cool (They only ran it during the credits) You need Q explaining gadgets to Bond. You need over the top that’s played off as normal which could be normal for all we know. Maybe there is a killer satilite in orbit that needs to be taken down…or preventing the start of WWIII. They should have done this movie and not make it a Bond movie, just change the names around to protect the fans from yet another prequel that does not get it right.

  • Nov. 19, 2006, 10:56 a.m. CST

    the new bond

    by redfishbluefish

    HOLY CRAP WAS THAT EVER A GREAT JAMES BOND!

    he was everything a bond of today should be. very tough and scary, to boot ( not to mention hot hot hot). it was the first time i’ve every actually felt afraid of a Bond. he could seriously kick some ass. a little violent for some perhaps (not me), this bond is not afraid to get down and dirty, but hands down the best bond i have seen in years. and i just loved the raw, animal quality of the first big chase. no thought of consequence, just get the target.

    vern,thanks for a great review that got me all hot and bothered to see the flick.

    from a gal who watched dr. no about 100 times at the age of 8 (vcr’s were quite the novelty back then), and who worships the connerybond for all the deliciousness that he brought to role, i welcome the new craigbond with open arms. it is a much needed change and i eagerly anticipate the next one. i couldn’t have asked for a greater birthday present.

  • Nov. 19, 2006, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Saw it today—-cool flick.

    by Orbots Commander

    CR isn’t just a good Bond movie, it’s a pretty damn good stand alone action movie and Daniel Craig makes a great action hero.

    ***SPOILER WARNING*** Don’t know if anyone else caught it, but I also loved the cinematic tip of the hat to Raiders of the Lost Ark in the fuel truck cab fight scene at Miami airport.

  • Nov. 19, 2006, 8:02 p.m. CST

    The Bitch Is Dead

    by MajorMajor

    I read all the Ian Fleming Bonds in order when I heard the news they were going to start the franchise from scratch. I was impressed withis first outing. They made such an effort to give you the Ian Fleming touches, Beluga Caviar and toast. The little core part of Lachiffe abduction and torture. The hospital healing romance between Bond and Vesper. I knew the great end line from the book was going to make it in. “The job is done, the bitch is dead”. This was a great Bond flick. Arguably the best.

  • Nov. 19, 2006, 8:52 p.m. CST

    go see CR more times all of you!! and then afterward…

    by Exeter

    go buy the tickets for CR and go see other movies, help CR inn the box office through any meanns just like Bond

  • Nov. 20, 2006, 12:05 a.m. CST

    Vern, about Vesper Lynd’s name…

    by GreatWhiteNoise

    …did you miss the little dig at Pussy Galore-like names? When they’re in the taxi on the way to the hotel in Montenegro for the card game, Bond gets some last-minute info about their cover. His name is Beach, and he looks at her firmly tongue-in-cheek and says, “and your name is Sylvia Broadchest”. Classic.

  • Nov. 20, 2006, 5:42 a.m. CST

    “Does it look like I give a damn?”

    by Rindain

    Awesome movie with some great humor thrown in. And the last shot had me ready to see the sequel right away.

  • Nov. 20, 2006, 6:02 a.m. CST

    Remake all the original books in sequence..!

    by workshed

    I would have thought that 45 years on from Connery’s Dr.No would be long enough. And besides it will stop giving the Brocolli family an excuse to re-release the DVD box-set every time a new 007 movie arrives. I saw CR at a midnight screening on Thursday and LOVED IT. The best since OHMSS. Thank the lord they ditched the terrible CGI that tickled me pink during Die Another Day. My only gripe is Chris Cornell’s theme tune. Utter rubbish and totally undeserving of being the soundtrack to that marvellously striking opening credits (visually reminiscent of ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’s though).

  • Nov. 20, 2006, 11:48 a.m. CST

    who’s Matt Drudge?

    by torpor_haze

    Did Le Chiffre owe him money? Did Bond steal his girlfriend? Did he bet against Sony’s stock? Does anybody actually give a fuck?

  • Nov. 20, 2006, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Metal how can this movie be a bomb after one weekend

    by Orbots Commander

    and Forty Million Dollars in its first week? That’s nonsense. If it simply stays in the top three or four films in terms of box-office for the next few weeks, it’ll be a blockbuster. After all, it didn’t have a Superman Returns type budget. Add to that what CR will make abroad and this thing is far from a bomb. Remember that Bond always played better overseas than in the U.S. The Brosnan Bonds usually doubled their take in the international marketplace over what they made in the United States.

  • Nov. 20, 2006, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Also, word of mouth on CR is phenomenal.

    by Orbots Commander

    The only one I’ve read badmouthing this flick is MetalWater. You’re free to your opinion, it’s just as valid, but I suspect your take on the movie is a minority opinion.

    CR wasn’t the best action movie ever made or anything; that would just be nonsensical hyperbole. But it was a solid, fun and suspenseful action adventure film starring a very charismatic actor. Daniel Craig owned the theater screen everytime the camera was on him. The guy has Gene Hackman (in his prime), Connery, Eastwood type charisma.

  • July 16, 2007, 2:55 p.m. CST

    yo Orcus

    by just pillow talk

    what spam?

  • June 19, 2008, 11:25 a.m. CST

    FREE XIPHOS!

    by just pillow talk

  • June 20, 2008, 10:25 a.m. CST

    I don’t miss those spammers, not one bit..

    by just pillow talk

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Friday, November 17th, 2006 at 8:10 am and is filed under Action, AICN, Reviews, Thriller. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

37 Responses to “Vern hearts Daniel Craig and CASINO ROYALE… read his love letter here!!!”

  1. “Ibetta Rentthedreamersnow”

    lol

  2. Vern,

    I re-visited your review of CR. Well done, I completely agree, Craig is great in the role.

    It’s disheartening to be reading and hearing about the Bond series being on hiatus based on MGM’s financial woes. It would be terrible for the series to lose Craig, which is a distinct possibility.

    To those jackass “fans” who ridiculously criticized the choice of Craig (because he’s blonde?!) before even seeing the fucking movie, let’s see how well EON does in finding a worthy replacement.

    Your bud,
    Tom

    PS – I also gave CASINO ROYALE a very positive review – http://www.hmss.com/films/CasinoRoyale/zielinskireview.htm

  3. sorry to turn this into hidden out of date debate on choice of actor to be james bond, but I can’t resisit: I too think that Craig is a very good james bond. hell, he easily might be the best impersonator ever (out of those that did him), even though I still think Jude Law IS the real james bond. Craig has the physique that can pull off all those stunts, and an unreadable face; on the other hand, he seems not easy to miss on the street, because I think he must be 3m tall and 3m wide, and Jude Law seem like juuuuuust right. well, at least I think that would be my logic if I were an HR in MI6, headhunting for a spy.

  4. Yeah except ALL those crane jumps were real, with just a safety wire attached.

  5. “Vesper Lynd” – a take-off on ‘West Berlin” I believe.

  6. @ The Giggler: I never took (or read) Lynd’s name that way, but goddam I think you’re right! Well done!

  7. For some reason, I never read this review before. But I am glad I did now. That “like cats stuck on a tree” shit had me in stitches. Good job Vern.

  8. Is anybody else here watching HANNIBAL on NBC lately? I remember Mads really just from his performance in this movie, and how he’s brought the character to a more subtle plane is interesting to me and I do hope it develops. I really hope the network keeps it going because the raves are pretty much universal (no pun intended), including from me. Great show.

  9. So I caught JACK RYAN yesterday (sorry couldn’t find any other review to post this in) and its a rental. Watchable but disposable. Nothing technically bad, just too routine, too many familiar action scenes for me, and not enough interesting touches. (Though evil Russian Kenneth Branagh using a lightbulb as a torture tool was nice I guess.)

    Its weird but the previous movie from this Tom Clancy-inspired franchise was SUM OF ALL FEARS, which like JR tells an origin story and was intended as a franchise reboot too (before CASINO ROYALE and BATMAN BEGINS made the reboot sexy) except SOAF failed and I doubt if JR will be anymore successful. Point is, does this make JR the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN of the series?

  10. Re-watched this one last night and am happy to report it still holds up well despite the weird structure and excessive runtime. Like Transformers 4, *shudder*, it actually seems like 3 or 4 episodes of James Bond: The Miniseries, with the 2nd episode (the mostly action-free card game stuff) being easily the best part. Just really strong character development, good dialogue, and the best Bond girl/romance by far. Craig and Green have incredible chemistry and it makes the whole movie (I’d argue the exact same movie would have been a failure if they cast the wrong person as Vesper)

    So I can’t believe I’m saying this, but i actually wish it featured James Bond even younger and was more of an origin story (like a “Bond Begins”). I mean, I’ve heard people describe this as a “Pretty Woman”-esque story of how he transforms from thuggish, blunt instrument to the suave superspy we know and love, and that sounds like a cool idea and great movie, but that’s unfortunately not really this movie. Bond kinda acts the same at the end as he does at the beginning – his brute force smashing through walls during that Parkour chase still seems like something his “new” persona would do. (*SPOILER* He’s even MORE reckless at the end because he’s the one who shot up the air bags, collapsing the house which killed his girl!) Plus he seems fairly cultured and sophisticated at the beginning anyway – he looks super-suave in his suit on the train, it’s not like he didn’t know how to dress nice until Vesper bought him that suit. My gf actually missed a few lines and somehow didn’t even know this was his first mission/origin story until I pointed it out (for some reason I thought he met M in this one but they already know each other pretty well when it starts).

  11. I thought the death of Vesper was what made him into more of the cold, hardened Bond he became in the following films. And I always liked the idea of Bond being a ‘blunt instrument’, or like a machine not that far removed from a sociopath who might charm you with style and wit at night only for you to wake in the morning groggy after having been Rohypnoled and date-raped, cold and shivering at the bottom of an indoor well being shouted at to put the lotion on.

    Craig is the closest to the type of cold soulless government assassin you’d expect from a guy like that. Much more interesting for his lack of warmth than the silly playboys found in Moore and Brosnan. Bond, to me, is at his best when he’s shut off from human emotions and out for fucking revenge. Like Dalton in LICENSE TO KILL, which, if I were forced to pick a favorite Bond film, that would be it.

  12. Exactly!

  13. The more I hear about what people like about Bond, the less I want anything to do with him.

  14. Poeface – I like that idea but unfortunately Craig ALREADY used his charm to hook up with a woman for information earlier in the movie, and also had a cold non-reaction to finding her dead. This is supposedly his first mission but he’s so cool throughout this part there’s nothing to suggest he hasn’t done this many, many times before. Again, i absolutely love this movie, but I just wish it had a few tweaks to give him more of an arc – this is probably their one shot at an origin movie, I wish they went full origin-story with it. (And when they announce Harry Styles in Bond Begins in a few years, I’ll totally regret ever thinking that)

    As for Licence to Kill, it’s one of my favorites too – I rewatched it the other day and it’s still pretty good despite a saggy middle section (which most Bonds have). It’s definitely one of the few Bonds that absolutely works better when taken in context with it’s place in the whole series though – i had to constantly explain to people how big a deal it was for Leiter to be attacked, and for Bond to go out for revenge, and for Bond to resign and go rogue on M, when that seems to happen every freaking movie now.

  15. Mr. Majestyk – I hear you. Subconsciously I think that’s exactly why I had no problem skipping the last 2 movies despite having seen most of them.

  16. Mr Majestyk, you remind me of Harry Dean Stanton in REPO MAN; “Look at these assholes! Ordinary fucking people, I hate them!”

  17. Oh and THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS > LICENSE TO KILL despite it’s lack of Robert Davi.

    With that said I really do like both those movies a lot. I’m still kinda bitter as a fan that Dalton never did GOLDENEYE as originally planned.

  18. It’s not too much of an exaggeration, sadly.

    More sadly, “I think this guy is cool because he seems like a date rapist” is closer to an ordinary fucking person thing to think than I’m really comfortable with.

  19. The Original... Paul

    November 7th, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Can I just say that I might have gone to see SPECTRE, even after the triple-disappointment of SKYFALL (I didn’t think it was the worst movie ever made, but a couple of my friends definitely did), QUANTUM, and CASINO ROYALE (I think everybody knows how I feel about that movie by now.) …Might have, anyway.

    The marketing, however, has been just obnoxious. Also ubiquitous. It’s all merchandising. And you can disagree with me all you want about CASINO ROYALE being nothing but a two-hour Sony / Pokerstars / Aston Martin advertisement, but if the marketing of SPECTRE is anything to go on then there’s no doubt it’s gonna follow in ROYALE’s footsteps in that way. The worst one so far has been a cringeworthy unfunny “joke action sequence” of Moneypenny dodging gangsters, etc… then at the end it’s revealed that it’s all been so that she can bring 007’s phone to him. See, that’s the joke! It’s funny! Honest! …Yeah, everybody even peripherally involved in the making of that needs to really reconsider their life choices. Filmmaking is not for you, guys.

    (Also I’m pretty sure it’s proof positive that the actress who plays Moneypenny has no soul.)

    But for those of you who have seen SPECTRE, I’m curious about two questions.

    1) On a scale of ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE** to GOLDFINGER, just how rapey is it?

    And 2) On a scale of SKYFALL to THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS, just how effective is Bond? Is there a single point in the movie at which he doesn’t woefully fail at what he’s trying to do? (If so, I think it would be an improvement over the last one.) I’m not a fan of the new incompetent Bond.

    **Yes, the Bond film whose main plot involves dozens of young beautiful women having their minds controlled by an evil supervillain is the least “rapey” one that I could think of; and yes, I am fully aware of the irony of this.

    Also, Poeface: good choice.

  20. The Original... Paul

    November 7th, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Broddie – I think THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS is the best of the lot. As a film. But both Daltons still work really well.

    The only thing that I’m a bit miffed about is that they turn Milton Krest of the short story THE HILDEBRAND RARITY (easily the best villain Ian Fleming ever created) into basically a henchman with a few extra lines to say in LICENCE TO KILL. If you don’t remember him from the movie, I don’t blame you; he’s the captain of Robert Davi’s boat. Honestly I think THE HILDEBRAND RARITY is unfilmable for the same reason that CASINO ROYALE is unfilmable, and I do like that they at least paid lip service to it by using the name. But taking as great a monster as Milton Krest and reducing him to a mere henchman does not seem to do him or Fleming justice.

  21. Boy, am I the only one who liked Bond when he was, you know, Bond? When he was just a ridiculous, irresponsible anachronistic fantasy of male id and it would have as ridiculous to ask why he was like that?

    Frankly I’m tired of this modern trend of using shallow pop psychology to turn shallow cartoon characters into gloomy headcases. James Bond is not real. Nothing about the character is remotely related to the real world or anyone who was ever in it. None of this has anything to do with reality or psychology. Why muddy up a good cartoon with fake reality?

    I’ve been hearing that SPECTRE is closer to the old, campy Bond, and apparently everyone is bummed out about that but frankly that makes me much more excited to see it than any of these other Craig ones which are just as stupid as the old ones were, but try to pretend they’re “about” something so they’re less fun.

  22. Not at all Mr. Subtlety I much prefer some of the Moores as well as Connerys and 3 of the 4 Brosnans. The Dalton movies were like “my” Bond cause it was my first real exposure to the character back in the late 80’s so I have affection for that and OHMSS but I wacth 15 to 20 min of QUANTUM OF SOLACE and SKYFALL and I watch Craig’s Bond trying to keep up with Bourne and it just doesn’t work and bores me to the point that I tune out. Dalton is much more like the “book” Bond than Craig anyway so that doesn’t hold any weight for me and quite frankly literature and cinema are so different that what fits one medium may not fit the other.

    The cinematic Bond is better when he’s a quippy quasi Superman who also has tremendous luck with funnily named ladies, cool gadgets and vehicles and always outsmarts death. I think trying to make it more tonally like “the novels” has hindered this current iteration and I look forward to seeing what happens post-Sony cause at least it could be fresher than this.

  23. The reason he’s better that way is cause at least it’s original. Every other spy on TV and film bit off that and never the other way around. Now Bond is being a follower and no longer a leader. Shit seems kinda off. I will check out the new one though if it’s more like “Classic” Bond. Daniel Craig could use some lightening up in these movies and at least Sam Mendes finally saw that.

  24. The Original... Paul

    November 7th, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Mr S – I could definitely get on board with your point of view, if it weren’t for the rapiness. The rapiness bothers me. Especially in “serious” Bond. And maybe the way to deal with that is to make him so outrageous that it’s impossible to take him seriously. The TOXIC AVENGER of Bond movies, if you like. The trouble is that this has been tried before, and it’s not worked all that well (see: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, LIVE AND LET DIE, or DIE ANOTHER DAY.) I certainly think that a return to the days of the invincible Bond who’d get involved in a life-or-death struggle with an invincible henchman on top of a freakin’ aeroplane would be better than the incompetent fool that Craig seems to be portraying. And I am not a fan of the Bond-as-Bourne trend thing that we had recently, especially in QUANTUM.

    Honestly, I’m “over” Bond. I think Jason Bourne took his place a while ago as my action-spy of choice. I think that no matter what the hell you do with Bond, people will be complaining about it. Why not just let the franchise go?

    (Oh yeah… because then we wouldn’t have the Sony product tie-ins. How silly of me.)

  25. Really, I don’t like any of the Bonds that much. all the movies are twenty minutes too long, and they’re always too self-serious. Even when they’re trying to be campy, they still play like a conscious effort to represent Not Your Daddy’s James Bond, which is too much pressure to put on a cartoon character like this guy. I like a few of the movies, generally the ones with the best pacing, and still read the books, because while Book Bond might be a patriarchal imperialist running dog, at least he’s a solid professional. Really, I just like the rare moments when the push and pull between the two diametrically opposed sides of the character–He’s a gritty, realistic government thug who just happens to wear $10,000 suits and bang supermodels every time he leaves the house–creates some version of our current Platonic ideal of manliness–whatever the fuck that is–that isn’t completely embarrassing five minutes later. Personally, I think Dalton pulled that off best, but that might be because he was my first intro to the character.

  26. I blame the nerds of the 90’s. I do. They spent their childhoods on dorky genre shit that came by its stupidity honestly and wasn’t ashamed, which is great. But then they grew up, and refused to just admit that the stuff they loved was sort of stupid. They had to twist it until it was dark and serious and gloomy so they could claim it was legitimate for a grown-up to continue to play with the same toys. Obviously, I still love all that stuff too, but I actually love the stuff itself, and don’t understand why people would feel the need to turn something they actually liked into something it never was.

  27. The Original... Paul

    November 7th, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Majestyk – I absolutely agree that Dalton pulled that off best. I think it was a combination of having a really great actor playing Bond with an unusual amount of subtlety, plus him being in two specific movies that really worked as films and not just as “Bond films”. THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS in particular is legitimately really good, and I would think that you wouldn’t have to be a fan of “classic Bond” to enjoy it.

    I think one thing that really comes out of this whole debate is that everybody expects something different from Bond. I mean, over the last fifteen comments alone, this is what we have:

    – Bond is at his best when “shut off from human emotions and out for revenge”.
    – The best Ian Fleming books are unfilmable, and the greatest characters from those books haven’t been put to film in a satisfactory way yet.
    – The best Bond moments are those that allow a Platonic ideal of manliness that can be re-examined without seeming embarrassing later on.

    Or:
    – The best Bond moments are when he’s”just a ridiculous, irresponsible anachronistic fantasy of male id”.
    – The worst Bond moments have been the “rapey” ones.
    – Bond has a nasty appeal to people who think that “this guy is cool because he seems like a date rapist”.

    Or:
    – Some of the worst Bonds have been when the filmmakers have consciously tried to make him outrageously over-the-top.
    – The Bond movies are always too self-serious. “Even when they’re trying to be campy, they still play like a conscious effort to represent Not Your Daddy’s James Bond.”
    – “The cinematic Bond is better when he’s a quippy quasi Superman who also has tremendous luck with funnily named ladies, cool gadgets and vehicles and always outsmarts death.”

    Is it just me, or do we all want totally different things from our Bonds? Even the stuff we agree on is often for different reasons.

    The obvious conclusion, as always, is that I’m right. (Come on, you must’ve seen that one coming.) Not necessarily about the best “Bonds” – because when everybody is using a different yardstick to measure how good or bad they are, who’s to say what’s “best”? – but about the Bond series having run its course. There’s too much baggage to handle here, too many fans with too many different expectations and desires. You’re never going to satisfy everybody. Just let this series go.

  28. Thank you Paul, for highlighting what I was getting at.

  29. Mr Majestyk, I was going to say that I don’t think people think he’s cool because he seems like a date rapist, but some spam moderator page told me I wasn’t allowed to write on Vern’s sight last night, and now it all seems a bit pointless…

  30. Oh and Paul, I meant to say thanks for highlighting what I was *trying to get at*.

    Midway through a rewatch now and loving it. I’d forgotten about the comic styled black and white prologue that shows Bond earning his 00’s – nice way to kick off a reboot at the start of the superhero golden age. And yes neal you’re right, Bond is already dead eyed from the get go. Regarding his need to be emotionally detached M states “You don’t have that problem”. But if Bond were already several degrees of emotionally shut off before Vespers death, then I’d say by the end of CR and in subsequent films he had become a block of ice.

    I also like the meta Money Penny quip when he first meets Vesper on the train. Jon Favreau must have borrowed it in spirit for Don Cheadles entrance in IRON MAN 2.

    I’m almost ready to put CR up there with LICENSE TO KILL as damn near great Bond films. Superior action sets too – the parkour and airport/truck chase scenes have clarity and spatial awareness, something that was immediately lost in the first 5 minutes of QUANTUM.

  31. It’s also great to have an unpretentious non-cartoony villain in Mikkelsen’s Le Chiffre. No cackling or cat-stroking. The kind of sweaty scar-faced bastard who likes to do his own torturing.

    Speaking of that torture scene, Bonds knackering by Le Chiffre could be read as punishment for his misogyny. He even says to Vesper when he’s in recovery “I have no honor left” during some of his most vulnerable moments with her. The emotions are reattaching, through the paralysis of what he thinks constitutes his manhood.

  32. It may not be as satisfying an arc as you were hoping for neal, but it works for me as more of a momentary awakening in Bond’s interior world, before it’s back to business with a betrayed Bond, a chase and a shootout amid sinking riviera mansions…and fuck, was he really betrayed though? And now she’s dead… Oh to hell with feelings anyway! It’s all so sensitive new age. Who needs them, am I right?

  33. The Original... Paul

    November 8th, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Man, Poeface, I’ve suffered through CASINO ROYALE twice now, and it doesn’t get any better. I wish I was getting the same experience as you, but… no. It’s one of those films that I get “respecting” as a technical achievement, but I don’t see how anybody can actually like it. Much like my reaction to WAR OF THE WORLDS 2005. (On the positive side for CASINO… WoTW is about twenty times worse than it. So there’s that.)

    Talking of films that I wish I was getting a better experience from… I went to see the new Colin Farrell / John C Reilly film THE LOBSTER today, and kinda wished I hadn’t. Another hot contender for “worst of the year” I think. I’ll try and write something up on it in the forums. I saw it in the arts cinema – with, surprisingly, a full screening – and it got a lesser but similar reaction to the PROMETHEUS screening that I saw. Yeah, the rest of the audience did not like this one, any more than I did, and weren’t slow to voice their disapproval of it.

  34. The way I see it real life spies are assholes and downright villainous characters. So when you take a character that has been pure fantasy wish fulfillment his entire cinematic life and try to implement such a structure to him he becomes a buzzkill.

    The more you make him close to an authentic spy the closer he becomes to seem outright dislikeable. Audience members no longer want to be him instead they wish to punch him in the face.

    That’s the main issue with this current iteration of Bond. Even when we look at a recent on screen antihero like Jack Reacher there is inherent goodness driving him and the audience is shown this. So it becomes natural to root him on at points. Same for Mad Max 2.0

    By comparison Bond in this movie seems like such a prickasauraus you can’t help but kinda smile when he realizes just how bad Vesper had played him.

  35. Paul, not being that precious about Bond helped me to enjoy CR on it’s own genre terms. Neal mentioned the weird structure – action/action/card-game/action/romance/action seems about right for a 132 minute film like this. It reminded me a lot of Thomas Jane’s THE PUNISHER which I rewatched a week ago and which is surprisingly outstanding in many ways I’d forgotten about. Craig’s Bond and dark Frank Castle have a bit in common, validating my preference for Bond when he’s hard-boiled and gunning for payback.

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