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Casino Royale [2006] (DVD)

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Genre: Action & Adventure / Theatrical Release: 2006 / Director: Martin Campbell / Actors: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Eva Green, Claudio Santamaria, Jeffrey Wright ... / DVD released 17 September, 2007 at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: PAL

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      30.12.2011 12:41
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      lacking convention, but intriguing none the less

      Casino Royale was Daniel Craig's first film as James Bond. Having been a fan of the James Bond series since seeing Pierce Brosnan in The World Is Not Enough, Casino Royale left me with mixed feelings.

      Positives

      Essentially a reboot of the series, Casino Royale charts how James Bond went from being a regular spy to the more advanced status of 'OO7.' In my opinion, the plot of Casino Royale is very good, the story flows well and provides real tension (near misses, torture etc). Similarly, the casting of Daniel Craig as James Bond was a good choice given the more physical nature of the film (Bond is less of the finished polished article of the earlier titles in the series). Of note, whilst I felt the lack of James Bond 'moments' ('the names Bond...James Bond', 'Vodka Martini...shaken but not stirred'), was sad, I feel that it is an appropriate step to help the series adapt and move on (the series is not so formulaic and doesn't have to match a certain structure each time). Visually, the film is stunning, maintaining the tradition of Bond visiting exotic locations (in this case, the Bahamas, Madagascar, Venice etc) which I liked.

      Negatives

      Although the James Bond producers have tried to introduce 'more realism' with this film, I feel that they risk alienating die hard Bond fans (the traditional elements of Bond, such as the 'Bond moments', are what made it so popular as a franchise, taking that away removes the 'escapism' element). Similarly, although Le Chiffe was a character created by Ian Fleming (creator of James Bond) in the original book, I feel he was a bit 'weak' as a Bond villian (money laundering is nowhere near as entertaining as someone trying to take over the world).

      In conclusion, I feel that Casino Royale is a very good film (the plot is good and well acted), however it didn't feel like a Bond film, as it doesn't follow Bond conventions (bond moments, getting the girl, large shoot out at the end etc). Whilst I feel it is good to try and take the series down a new avenue (explore more of the character etc), the producers do risk alienating die hard fans (the series became popular due to its escapism). I thought Daniel Craig was excellent at the main protaganist, although I felt the character of Le Chiffe was a little disappointing (Mads Mikkleson was excellent, but his character was not). In all, despite having mixed feelings, I would recommend Casino Royale as a good film to watch.

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      28.08.2011 23:07
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      A new era a Bond that Fleming would be proud of!

      I know there are many reviews of this film on here but me being rather new to the Bond franchise I thought I would give my view on this new era of Ian Fleming's fictional British secret service agent 007. Although I am somewhat new to the Bond franchise I have now viewed all 22 films from EON, twice over, and read the books so I hope my insight into this new era will hold some substance.

      And why at 32 have I decided to take the plunge and put myself through the hours upon hours of Bond?? Well because of this film actually, from the first time I saw Casino Royale, which was only 2 months ago, I was intrigued about all things Bond and to be honest I am still not sure why, but I have to say I have thoroughly enjoyed the process.



      Synopsis

      Casino Royale, not really a prequel as such, we are not transported back to pre 1962 but rather starting the Bond story again but in modern times. It starts with black and white pre-titles in which we see an MI6 chief exiting his car and making his way to his office in Prague, when he enters his office, Bond is sat in a chair in the dark and proceeds to tell said chief that M has found out about him selling secrets, chief tells Bond that if M really wanted him dead she would of sent a 00 agent, as Bond has no kills on his record he has yet to be promoted to 00 status, Chief then pulls out a gun, points it at Bond and fires but Bond being Bond had already removed the clip! He then realizes that Bond has already killed his contact, kill number 1, and that he would indeed be kill number 2, then we see flashbacks of Bond killing the contact in a public toilet and then we see Bond shoot the chief in the head, roll titles!

      Now back to normal colour, we join the story in Uganda where a man named Mr White has arranged a meeting between a terrorist group and the villain of this film 'Le Chiffre' who is a banker for terrorist organizations, he takes their money and invests it into company shares and uses terrorist acts to then affect the share prices and make a very profitable return.

      We now join Bond, who is now of course a 00 agent in Madagascar where has tracked down a bomb maker named Mollaka who is working for Le Chiffre, a free jumping style chase then takes place and Bond kills Mollaka but not before taking his bag and mobile phone. Mollaka's job is then contracted to a new terrorist, meanwhile Bond is now in the Bahamas trying to track down Mr Dmitrios a known associate of Le Cheiffre, Dmitrios leads Bond to Miami where he leaves a bag for the new guy to finish the job, which is to destroy the first of a new range of skyfleet aero planes at the launch in Miami airport, which will drive down the share price of skyfleet and make Le Chiffre millions in the process and also launder the terrorists money clean, what they didn't account for of course is Mr Bond who foils this plot, losing Le Chiffre the terrorist groups money he invested. Le Chiffre now has to get back this money as quickly as possible, so being a very handy poker player and genius mathematician he sets up a high stakes poker game in Montenegro with a cool 150 million up for grabs. Bonds mission should he choose to accept it......oh hang on, wrong franchise!! Bonds task is to enter the poker game and win so that Le Chiffre has no option but to seek refuge and safety with the British government in exchange for inside information and contacts.


      My feelings of this film

      I have to say I really enjoyed this film, some die hard Bond fans may want to string me up for saying this but from what I have read and watched over the past 2 months, Daniel Craig's portrayal of Bond seems to be the closest to the Bond that Fleming wrote about in his novels, a more flawed Bond if you like, uncomfortably thuggish at times, a far cry from the Moore and Brosnan interpretations, but for me it works, his performance wasn't perfect by any means and I'll come to that later but as Bond films go I thought it was very well presented and easy to follow, the plot wasn't the most interesting but it still worked well enough. I liked the fact that Bond was more of a cold killer because in essence, that is what he is, a government assassin who constantly has to watch his back and trust no one. Craig suits the action sequences very well and the violence in this movie is exactly that, violent, much more realistic, bare hand and brut force is his main arsenal in this movie, his penetrating blue eyes and his icy demeanor is what one would expect from a government assassin and confident as he is you always feel he isn't quite comfortable with his own identity and that comes across well.

      As wonderful as Connery was at the tough guy one minute, romantic ladies man and funny guy the next, that style just doesn't seem to suit such a character, but don't get me wrong Connery did suit the films he was in and will always probably be the most likable Bond. Craig is sort of a ladies man in this new era but just less charming and not as light hearted, which again is more realistic because when your life is constantly under threat would you really be so concerned about your next lady acquaintance? I guess my point in this case is that Connery was great to watch and he suited those movies he was in superbly well, it was great escapism and his charm made the movies more fun, where as Craig's Bond just seems more real, you know what I mean don't you? When watching these films we all like to believe that there really is a Bond out there putting his life on the line for queen and country and it seems more realistic that there would be a Craig type Bond out there than any of the other Bonds. So in terms of the negative reviews perhaps these fans are just so used to the Bond format that has been used for so long, and it appears they are waiting for a Connery incarnate, but that doesn't make this a bad film, just different and I for one am enjoying this fresh, more real approach to the character and the whole film isn't just about Bond being this cold inhumane thug, there is an intriguing love story in it and we see that there is more to this Bond than chasing bad guys and beating the hell out of them, he does have that vulnerable, tamable side that allows him to feel that there can be more to life than what he does, he can feel remorse, he can feel that he has more self worth and purpose than living a life of isolation and paranoia being a government puppet, he can fall in love like anyone of us.

      So I liked the colder approach to the Bond character, I also liked the fact that there wasn't excessive amounts of implausible gadgets at his disposal, just a mobile phone and his defibrillator pouch and of course the gorgeous Aston Martin, ok so there may have been room for one or two more gadgets. I thought the overall feel of the film was very sophisticated and stylish; it felt well directed and well edited something that is lacking in many Bond films! I had feared that the poker game may get monotonous and dull but I was actually quite gripped by it and I have to say I really don't understand poker so if I wasn't bored by it then they have done a good job and it was broken up enough to keep it interesting.

      I thought Eva Green was gorgeous as Vesper Lynd, I'm not quite sure about the chemistry between her and Craig but again more of that in my dislikes section, but she was very eloquently spoken and her acting has definitely improved, it was by no means a poor performance and is an excellent part to have on her CV.
      Giancarlo Giannini played the part of Mathis extremely well, his chemistry with Craig seemed to work well and he was enjoyable to watch and was strong in every scene he was in..
      Mads Mikkelsen played Le Chiffre, he wasn't the scariest of villains but again this would confirm that director Martin Campbell was going for a more realistic approach and Mikkelsen played the part very well, he was slightly creepy and weeps blood from his tear ducts, what else would one want!
      Judi Dench played 'M' in her usual strong consistent manner and never fails to disappoint.
      Jeffery Wright who plays Felix Leiter isn't the strongest of actors but he just about gets by and isn't in the film enough to pass real judgment over his acting ability really.
      Jesper Christensen did an ok job playing Mr. White but yet again there wasn't really enough of a performance to properly judge his skills.

      The writers, Neil Purvis, Robert Wade and Paul Haggis did a decent job of the screenplay, it was a bit lacking in substance in parts but it was by no means bad, it was mostly intelligent and gripping, the plot wasn't the most interesting or intriguing but it worked well and it didn't leave me thinking that there were parts of it I did not understand, the sub plots of the love story and of betrayal fitted into the movie well and it all came together as one entity very well. The director Martin Campbell did a fine job of ushering in this new era of Bond and as I said the overall feel of the film felt well presented, flowed nicely and I like the reinvention of this character that has been around for generations, I say reinvention but really it is a homage to the Bond that Fleming imagined and wrote about and I feel that Fleming would of felt that this film represented his vision perfectly, I think Campbell deserves lots of praise for his job on this movie.

      Phil Meheux's cinematography was very good in this film, the settings were beautiful and captured very well on film, lighting was used very well and his framing and compositions worked beautifully. Production and set design were all to a very high standard and again the feel of the movie was classy and stylish, even if the new Bond wasn't so much. The score worked well enough, the music fitted in nicely for the scenes it was used for though maybe there was room for a little more Bond theme music.

      What I didn't like

      On to the parts of this movie that I didn't like too much, firstly there is the age of Daniel Craig, considering that this is set at the start of Bonds 00 career he does seem a little old to be playing a younger Bond. Craig's acting in my opinion was mostly solid but the scene on the train with Vesper really didn't work, the chemistry just wasn't there and Craig did look very wooden and uninspiring in this scene and this is the one part of the script that was weak, Bond and Vesper trying to outwit each other came across more like a brother and sister trying to get one up on each other, this scene could have been much more classy and could have had far more substance, considering this was the meeting of Bond and Vesper it could of, should have been electrifying and full of tension, instead it felt kind of uncomfortable. I was pleased the farcical gadgets had been absent in this film, although may be more of a tone down rather than a full on absence may have gave the die hard fans more of a Bond feel. I wasn't impressed with how quickly the Aston Martin was destroyed, a chase that lasted literally seconds all felt a bit rushed to me and this is the one part of the movie that editing felt slightly amateur.

      Conclusion

      In conclusion and despite my objections above I have to say I loved this film, the script was well written and well executed, and it is far less choppy than previous Bond films and still retained the style we come to expect from a Bond production. The action scenes were well edited and put together with great care and fine camera work, the stunts were bold and daring the non action scenes were still interesting, essential to the story and full of tension in parts. The settings were beautiful and none of this was lost in the editing as is so often the case with a blockbuster movie. The feel of the film was stylish and classy with enough action to keep it current and entertaining. What we have to remember in this new era of Bond is that he isn't as mature as the character in previous movies, he is a more raw version who will be prone to making mistakes, over eager to impress and make errors in judgment, Ego's disappear over time through experience and there may be time yet for this Bond to grow into a more sophisticated, more restrained and wiser soul.

      Above I wrote that Craig's portrayal of Bond SEEMS to be closer to Flemings interpretation, I retract that statement and unequivocally state that Craig IS the true interpretation of Flemings character. Is it that this film is not a true Bond movie or is it the case that actually the Bond movies of the past 50 years have actually been a misinterpretation of Flemings character and that actually this is the truest representation yet.

      I for one hope that the Bond franchise continues on this new refreshing path and that Craig continues to play the part for many films to come.

      Thank you very much for your time.

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        20.11.2010 22:58
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        Brilliant re-invention of the series.

        I have to say I was extremely surprised all those years back when it was announced that Pierce Brosnan would not be suiting up again as James Bond. Surprisingly (in my humble opinion anyway), that honour was bestowed upon Daniel Craig. I personally thought that Craig convinced the 'powers-that-be' at MGM that he could portray Bond with a classy performance as a hardened drug-dealer in the 2004 British cult classic 'Layer Cake'. My surprise at his selection was, however, blown away at the cinema two years later in 2006.

        The reason that I loved this re-invention of Bond was that it got back to basics again. Whilst I don't think the decline was due to Pierce Brosnan, let me first say that I loved him in 'Goldeneye'. It is probably my second favourite Bond film behind this one. However, by the time 'Die Another Day' came around in 2002, the Bond juggernaut had truly lost its way. It was poor and old fashioned with cheesy lines, pointless cameos and cringeworthy action sequences (an invisible car!! I mean, come on......) I remember sitting in the cinema back in 2002 with friends thinking we were watching a comedy, not an action movie. Thankfully, all of those bad memories were banished in the opening few minutes of 'Casino Royale'. It was gritty, classy and sylish and most importantly.....REALISTIC! As a moderate Bond fan, that is all I really wished for.

        The premise of the story is basically the activation of Bond (Daniel Craig) as a '00' agent - we see his first two kills leading into his first full case, as it were, as 007. Whilst chasing an amateur bomb maker in Madagascar, Bond stumbles upon Le Chiffre, a man conducting business with the help of a global terrorist group fronted by 'Mr.White'. Bond alienates an unusually fiesty M with his seemingly erratic (but actually smart) behaviour and sets out to defeat Le Chiffre, which culminates in a high-stakes poker game in Montenegro.

        Some people were critical of the prolonged poker scenes in the movie but I was a massive fan of that section of the film. It was realistic, it slowly increased the tension between Bond and Le Chiffre and it was broken up nicely with some solid action sequences that kept us from getting bored. I do feel, however, that the movie did drift in the final third and I thought this was more due to the script than the acting. I also really liked seeing the human side of Bond and the scenes between himself and his love interest Vesper Lynd were excellent, with the scene on the train to Montenegro a personal highlight. 'How was your lamb, Mr. Bond?'......'Skewered - one sympathises!'

        Overall, this movie was exactly what James Bond fans wanted. This movie was the prime example of how to get back to basics. Solid action, solid script and solid acting = great film. I remember hoping that the producers could follow this landmark movie with a worthy sequel....and they did, up to a point, but that is another review for another day. If you haven't seen this movie, then sort yourself out!

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        08.06.2010 00:28
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        Overall, a great Bond movie

        I've watched most of the old James Bond movies and Sean Connery was always my favourite Bond over the years. I wasn't too sure what I'd make of Daniel Craig as 007 but watched Casino Royale recently and thought it was pretty good and he made a good job on his debut which is never easy when you step into such famous shoes. He is extremely serious in the role and there are not as many one-liners. But he plays the character very well indeed and gives a new injection of life into the series of movies. This movie was released in 2006 and is a remake of the original Casino Royale which was alot worse.

        The main part of the movie starts in Africa where a warlord is arranging for dirty money to be dealt with and be disguised. He is a man you would not mess with and the person who is taking care of his money is a banker to terrorists by the name of Le Chiffre played by Mads Mikkelsen. He is a cold calculating man who gambles with his client's money.

        After tracking down a mysterious message on a cell phone he finds in a backpack the trail leads him to the Bahamas and then onwards to Miami airport to foil a terrorist plot. We discover that Le Chiffre has lost millions as a result of the bomb target not going off and is now seeking to win back the losses at a high stakes poker game in Montenegro at the Casino Royale.

        Of course Bond is picked to play in the Poker game and this is where we meet Vesper Lynd played by Eva Green who is the agent in charge of bankrolling Bond. However, as with Bond it's never straightforward and there are some surprising twists and turns along the way.

        From the locations to the fantastic acting this is a Bond movie that is one not be missed in my opinion and Daniel Craig does a great job on his debut as the famous MI6 Secret agent.

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        30.04.2010 12:08
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        A great attempt and something Bond needed. But it can get a lot better.

        After a four year break, Bond was completely re-booted and not a moment before time. Die Another Day had shown a lack of imagination in the core plot, and unless the producers kicked Bond back into gear it was going to continue to be average. Legend has it that Quentin Tarantino was the man who suggested re-booting Bond and starting with Casino Royale, and at one point he was even considered as the director. Tarantino as director never materialized, but Casino Royale was indeed made, and rebooted the franchise.

        The flashy gadgets were taken away. The comical and smoothing talking moments were removed. Bond was made ruthless. The result is an interesting one, with some fabulous moments, but it doesn't do much for the franchise other then re-boot it.

        The thing you have to understand about Casino Royale as a story is that as a plot, it's a weak one that is difficult to work with. So in fairness, this is a very good attempt given the initial problems with the plot. Sadly, the plot doesn't get much better. But the acting, the action and the idea does work.

        Bond discovers that there is a huge arms deal in the works, and the person behind it, Le Chiffre, needs to create more money as a previous plot was foiled. So Le Chiffre enters an exclusive game of Poker, and Bond is sent there to stop him, along with CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Caine), who he meets during the game, treasury agent Vespa and MI6 agent Mathis (scene stealing Giancarlo Giannini).

        When Bond arrives, there are several attempts on his life as you would expect, and there is also an attempt on Le Chiffre by those who hired him to make the arms deal. Bond continues to play the game, eventually winning.

        Then Vespa is kidnapped by Le Chiffre, and Bond goes after her. He ends up caught, and gets tortured. Le Chiffre is then killled by his own employers. Deciding there is an insider, Bond goes after Mathis and then after those who are resonsible for killing Le Chiffre. Then there is a twist leading to a showdown in Venice.

        Daniel Craig as serious Bond really does work, but he can't capture what Sean Connery had. At times, he's too serious and the films become too 'Jason Bourne' rather than Bond. But he is a very worthy James Bond. Giancarlo Giannini is first rate as always and subtly steals all the scenes he is involved in. Jeffrey Wright makes Felix Leiter his own and Eva Green is a rather charming Bond girl.

        The thing that lets this down is the plot, which lacks a significant focus. Instead, Le Chiffre as the villain is killed off too early and the ending of this is tacked on, as if the writers realized that they'd killed the villain off too early. The whole twist at the end just wasn't needed and instead they needed introduce the actual villain (Mr White) far earlier to make it believable.

        It's a great kick for Bond though, and was a welcome return to serious Bond. Just a pity about the tacked on ending.

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        26.04.2010 14:18
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        A must see!

        Die Another Day (DAD) made over £500 million at the box office. Anyone in their right mind would agree that this was a tremendous success. It was one of the highest grossing Bond films of all time. So it would take a very brave set of producers to decide that they wanted to wipe the slate clean for the spy franchise which has become the longest running film series of all time. But this is exactly what Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson did.

        Despite the massive success of DAD, box office-wise, the fans were discontented, me being one of them. The Bond film had again become a spoof of itself, like in Diamonds Are Forever, and Moonraker. Invisible cars, terrible CGI (the first use of this in the series) and poor acting and script all led to reviewers and fans alike saying that this was the worst Bond film to date.

        So credit is due to the producers for realising this. They could have gone on for years, creating films in a similar vein to this, and they would have slowly become just generic action flicks. Instead they decided to go back to basics, and focus on the origin of James Bond, just like Christopher Nolan had done to the Batman series with great success.

        If you liked the Bond films of old, with Q, Moneypenny and gadgets galore, this film might take some getting used to. If, on the other hand, you enjoyed Fleming's novels, then this film, with Daniel Craig slipping into the tuxedo last filled by Pierce Brosnan, is probably the closest the franchise has got to the material it was originally based on. This film is also the first since On Her Majesty's Secret Service to be heavily based on the novel of the same name (only some since then have used certain scenes from the books). It has obviously been given a much needed update, considering the novel involved the Cold War and SMERSH, but it's still recognisable.

        This film is set at the beginning of Bond's career as a 00-agent. This means it is basically starting the franchise afresh, although Judi Dench as M has been carried over from the last 4 films, which did cause some confusion. For those who need an explanation, just consider it as being on a separate timeline to the previous 20 films.

        It opens with Bond earning his licence to kill, which requires two ordered kills. This is the first time the series has delved this far back in Bond's history, as when we first saw him in Dr. No, he was already a fully fledged agent, and had been for a while, for all we know. We then get the biggest diversion from the book as some scene setting takes place, involving chasing a bomber around a building site, and stopping another bomber at an airport, before Bond finally settles down to what he has been ordered to do; ruin Le Chiffre, an agent of a mystery organisation, at the poker table.

        This film features Bond falling in love with the treasury officer who has been assigned to keep an eye on him. This was greeted with a bit of resistance from those who are unaware of Fleming's books, but I can assure you this was also featured in the book, and helps explain Bond's attitude to women in later life. It features a strong cast, led strongly by Daniel Craig. He proved his critics wrong, showing he could follow his five predecessors with ease, even becoming a fan favourite after just one film . And his hair turned out to be brown, not blonde, after all! Eva Green and Mads Mikkelsen provide excellent support, as Bond's love interest and evil villain, Le Chiffre, respectively. Jeffrey Wright and Giancarlo Giannini show promise as recurring allies Felix Leiter (the seventh incarnation) and Rene Mathis.

        I would recommend seeing this, Bond fan or not, but if you can't let go of the old style Bond films, then this film will not grow on you. My dad, who introduced me to the Bond films, is set in his ways about what a Bond film should be and so did not enjoy it as much as he'd wanted to, whilst I am willing to go along with the changes they make, providing it remains recognisable as a Bond film. This returns to the early Connery era of Bond films, before Roger Moore came along to take away some of the seriousness. I think this film is a dream for Fleming fans who have been waiting for a good adaptation of Casino Royale and return to the films of old. It also introduces a new SPECTRE-like organisation, whom Le Chiffre works for, which looks promising when developed fully (part of which was done in the next film, Quantum of Solace).

        But one thing is for sure, the Bond films will continue for years to come. This reinvention has proved, like so many times before in the franchise's 48 years history, that Bond can move with the times, still holding on to its loyal fan base, and capable of raking in the money at the box office.

        James Bond will return... in Quantum of Solace

        EDIT: It has just occured to me that I didn't actually mention the product. If you are buying this particular version, you may be a bit disappointed with the extras on offer. The amount included doesn't really warrant the second disc. It features three fairly short documentaries/making ofs. Becoming Bond and Bond: For Real were shown on ITV during the run up to the film and Bond Girls are Forever was shown on TV and included with a national paper, so hardly anything new. The only other extra is Chris Cornell's music video; obviously readily available for free on the internet.

        Your best bet it to buy the Deluxe 3-disc edition, which includes all of the above as well as things like deleted scenes and many more making-of features.

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        12.04.2010 13:10
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        An unmissable film

        Casino Royale is the second most recent Bond film, and the first to star Daniel Craig. And, in my opinion, it's the best yet.

        Firstly, I'll give you a brief synopsis of the plot. The film starts when Bond earns his '00' status to become the 007 that we all know and love. Shortly afterwards, we learn that dangerous individuals all over the world are trusting millions of their money to the sweaty, blood-weeping character that is Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen). What they don't know is that Le Chiffre goes on to invest his clients' money in shares, and plans a bomb plot to sabotage the shares and make millions himself. However, when Bond gets wind of it, the result is a fast-paced, explosive airport chase, and Le Chiffre loses everything. To compensate, and avoid the violent wrath of his clients, Le Chiffre sets up a high-stakes poker game in a bid to win back his money. Once again, enter James Bond, this time with his Treasurer, the beautiful Vesper Lynd (Eva Green). And so the game is on between Bond and Le Chiffre - can Bond win the biggest poker game of his life, or will he end up having 'directly funded terrorism'?

        In a way, this Bond film is like all the others - it's filled with fancy gadgets, fast cars and feisty Bond girls. But in other ways, Casino Royale is like no other. The director (Martin Campbell) has managed to bring this classic and original Bond story into the 21st Century, allowing Bond to become an accessible, modern spy.

        There was some discussion at the time of the film's release about Daniel Craig's performance as 'the first blond Bond'. However, his rugged looks combined with his toned body place him first in line for a new generation of Bonds. Rather frustratingly, so often during other Bond films, the protagonist would go through fights, action and explosions and still come out as smart and suave as ever at the end of it. Daniel Craig's Bond, on the other hand, is certainly not perfect, as shown by his chase through buildings and cranes at the beginning, and his poisoned drink and torture scene later on. All in all he provides a new, refreshing take on the old Bond story, changing the way we see Bond forever.

        Vesper Lynd is a much more difficult character to get to grips with. Her sharp and striking features mean she's effortlessly beautiful and perfect for a Bond film, but her personality is a little harder to relate to. She often comes across as cold, harsh and too brusque, although the makers of the film would probably put this down to a previous relationship which we only hear about, never see. Unfortunately, it makes her character seem a little flat and unable to express many different emotions, although this does contrast nicely with Bond's character to create an unforgettable partnership.

        Bond films have a reputation for being extremely confusing, but Casino Royale is the only one I have ever been able to follow the whole way through. There are a few loose ends which I can't seem to tie up, and occasionally it's hard to follow whether certain characters are good or bad, but they don't really affect how you understand the film as a whole. Furthermore, when you watch the film again, there are so many things which will make even more sense and which you'll be able to tie up. This makes it one of the most appealing Bond films ever.

        As you can probably guess I'm a huge fan of this film and it has easily become my favourite. By far the easiest Bond film to follow, Casino Royale's mixture of both traditional and modern elements take Bond films to a whole now level and has surpassed all others, even the more recent 'Quantum of Solace'.

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          30.03.2010 20:46
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          Great film, poor Bond film.

          I'm a Bond fan from way back - who isn't, right?

          When I heard they were taking *such* a leap away from the Brosnan era I was afraid - would Craig be able to match up? Would a younger, grittier performance still be...Bond?

          I'm sad to report that I feel my concerns were, to some extent, justified. As a movie on itself, Casino Royale is pretty good...it's fast paced, you go "ooh" and "aah" at quite a lot of the fighting (not to mention one of the torture scenes - eeep!) - but it's just missing that certain cheesiness that *is* bond. There are a couple of gadgets, which is good - the car is nice, if nothing else. There are a couple of girls, quite important...But Craig's Bond just seems a little...cool...

          When I think of "classic Bond" - the first scene that comes to mind is the one from Die Another Day, where Bond is sliding his car backwards across the ice whilst the he and the other car exchange rockets - now that's Bond. That's something you're not going to see in any self-respecting action movie. And maybe that's my point...Brosnan's Bond was unapologetically far-fetched, the character was flawed and it never took itself too seriously.

          I love the look of the film - the opening credits are some of the best I've ever seen - and all of the scenes in the casino are rich and stylish - but it's just *not* Bond. If I wanted Bourne, I'd go and watch that - which I guess was the problem - that *is* what people seem to want to watch. But not me. Big guns, big girls,big gadgets and big cheese - that's Bond to me.

          I'm going to go with four stars for Casino Royale - it's between three and four. I feel that three would represent better my heartbreak that the Bond legacy has been so diluted (ironically by intensifying it...) - but I think it would be unfair on a film that, if not called Bond, I'd be giving a decent review.

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            09.03.2010 19:40

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            A great film to add to the massive 007 franchise

            The first Daniel Craig Bond Movie and despite the negative hype in the change to the classic Bond character I believe that Craig is the first James Bond actor that truely captures the true Fleming Bond, the original Bond from the books wasn't the perfect man that we are used to seeing on the screens but rather a man that is strong and spectacular but still has his flaws.

            The film a remake of the first bond film orginally made in 1967 loosely follows the Ian Fleming novel Casino Royale but more concentrates and showing the man that is Bond and showing that he can love just like others but still includes the classic fight scenes, perfect dialouge and plenty of Bond girls that we all know and love.

            The story changes fast and furiosly twisting through London to Madgascar and Montenegro as we follow Bond on his first mission as 007. He learns the ropes, and shows a new side to his character. Looking to be an excellent trilogy of films.

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            27.02.2010 14:39
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            Excellent movie a must see.

            Introduction:

            Casino Royale was released in 17 Sept 2007 and stars Daniel Craig as Ian Flemings James Bond and has a strong supporting cast that includes Judi Dench, Eva Green, Claudia Santamaria, Jeffrey Wright. The film was directed by Martin Campbell.

            Plot:

            In this film we meet James Bond (Daniel Craig) before he has his license to kill, he is upgraded by "M" (Judi Dench) to his current "007" status. Bond is sent on a mission that takes that take his around the world firstly to Madagascar, Bahamas and eventually Montenegro to confront the ruthless financier who is under threat from his terrorist clientele. He is at a high stake poker game at the Casino Royale trying to restore his funds. This is the perfect opportunity for "M" to place on Bond in the high stakes poker game under the watchful eye of Vesper the sexy treasury agent. A romance begins to blossom between the two as they face danger together and near death.

            My opinion:

            I've never read any on the Ian Flemming Bond books but I am a fan of all the Bond movies, I can imagine this is the closest you could get to what a real Bond would be like. Don't get me wrong I've watched all the other Bond movies and enjoyed them immensely and my previous favourite Bonds like Sean Connery, Piers Brosnan and Roger Moore have been brilliant. I'm actually not that keen on Daniel Craig there is something very cold and unfriendly about him but this actually works in his favour and makes for the perfect Bond. This movie is stylish and clever and will grab you and let you know want it's about from the opening scene. They have got rid of all the silliness and cheese of previous Bonds and made into a dark movie with an emotional challenged character who is almost like a killing machine.

            They've still left in the action and sexy women and there are on liners but they are not for fun they just emphasize the point that this is not someone you want to mess with. The fight scenes are great and so realistic and it's nice to see more hand to hand combat from James Bond. We do get to explore Bond's emotional side through his relationship with Vespa but it just taps the surface. A very sexy stylish and exciting action movie and hope they keep to this successful formula for future movies.

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              25.01.2010 15:36
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              Great Bond film that redeems the series again after the ridiculous Brosnan films

              Bond is back and better than he has ever been in a very long time. And that includes the Brosnan era!

              The problem with the Brosnan Bonds was that they never made great scripts for those films, it was mostly about big SFX or movies that have lots of stunts and action but with little substance to the story.

              When Die Another Day was made, the series was finally at a point where it "jumped the shark". And I think the creators soon knew that.

              So, a few years later and the creators got wise and decided to bring Bond back to his roots with this....Casino Royale.

              And it certainly doesn't let the old school fans down!

              Craig took a lot of flack from the general public when he was announced as Bond, there were websites such as craignotbond and various public message boards with people stating their distain for Daniel.

              All of it, and I mean every single negative thing wrote about him, was unjustified, in my opinion, because he bought back that sophistication and hard edge to the character that had been missing for quite some time.

              This film is basically a reboot although it does lead to some confusion over why Judi Dench is still in the role as M.

              Considering that Valentin Sokofsky from 'Goldneye' said the sentence "I hear the NEW M is a lady", it obviously implies there was a male before Judi stepped in.

              That little problem aside, this is a fine Bond film that goes back to the style of the original first three films with good story build up, nice action sequences and a hard edged Bond character.

              Even the women are beautiful again.

              Let's face it, who would have thought Halle Berry, with very short hair, was a candidate for a Bond girl?

              There is some good action sequences to keep us entertained with, nothing groundbreaking, but they do the job as a Bond film.

              The villain is pretty good and intimidating but the one big drawback is that he exit's the film halfway through and it hardly has anything to do with Bond.

              The soundtrack is brilliant, the beginning title sequence song really fits the film.

              The film leaves it open for another part to continue on and that was a bit odd to see since it's the first for a Bond film but it ends abruptly at a scene that was begging for the action to continue so that was a bit frustrating. Perhaps in a good way.

              Anyway, it's a welcome return for Bond that puts the majority or all of the Brosnan films to shame and even Brosnan himself.

              I, personally, never really rated him and I am already comfortable with Craig as Bond from just watching two movies.

              Recommended!

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                14.01.2010 04:19
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                A new purer Bond

                This stars Daniel Craig as the new incarnation of Bond giving more of a local boy done good appearance too him. He seems to be more haard edged and has more of a loose cannon streak for a modern audience.

                In a nutshell bond is tracking down a villain played by Mads Mikkelsen. He has to put him in a check mate situation so that he can help the British Government and gain his co-operation. Through a turn of events Mikkelsen finds himself in a situaion where winning a poker tournament is very impoortant for him. Of course though enter Bond, the one to stop his evil and of course, refreshingly he has to use his wits to turn things to his advantage rather than his fists.

                This is quite an original Bond because its a re-invention and whilst we do see a lot of action and pyrotechnics in the first half of the film, it is resolved in a different arena mostly around a poker table.

                The Bond we see here though is more in tune with himself, even self conscious and vulnerable. he lets himself fall for his female counterpart, Eva Green as opposed to being a user of women. The status of women is elevated here compared to previous Bond offerings. Judi Dench and Eva Green seem to hold all the power and Bond is more like a petulant out of control child in places.

                The style and framing off this film is very slick too, its quite reserved and even dark in places. It puts the spook back into the concept of Bond and he is more aggressive as a character, more real and nothing like the cheesball he was in former movies.

                In summation this is a good re-invention of Bond for modern times as he is more hard edged and real.

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                26.11.2009 21:58
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                A reinvention for the ages...

                note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room

                By the early 21st century, the James Bond series, while still rather entertaining, had become something of a joke, with cliches abound, plenty of ridiculous gadgets and the corny one-liners, and I guess that was part of the charm. However, Casino Royale, starring Daniel Craig as the new Bond (a move widely criticised at the time due to him being "James Blond", although it did eventually turn out fruitful), is a caustic re-invention of the series that goes back to square one and sees him gain his 007 status.

                This film begins with a thrilling chase sequence as Bond attempts to take down a requisitve baddie, but he's a rather fast-moving goon, using parkour (aka free running) to out-run Bond. Bond must therefore think of ways to cut his route down, using short-cuts to eventually capture him, and that very much typifies what Casino Royale is all about: it is smart, lean, and a thinking man's addition to the series. The film largely concerns itself with Bond trying to take down La Chiffre (Mads Mikklesen), an evil man whose power rests largely on money, and so the MI5 hope that if Bond can beat him at a high-stakes card game, that they can pressure him into working for them in exchange for protection from those he owes money to. In this stead, Bond works with the sumptuous Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) and M (Judi Dench).

                Against the odds, Casino Royale is a surprisingly excellent film. As far as Bond films go, this has to be one of the best, if not the best. Gone are the days of the cheesy, gadget-filled, CGI-laden Bond, and instead we're back to brutal basics, just the way it should be.

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                  02.10.2009 23:54
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                  Highly recommended

                  I'm a fan of James Bond films I have seen all of them. What I like most in these films are the gadgets. I like to see the beautiful cars that are extremely well equipped. My favourite James Bond was Pierce Brosnan but I like Daniel Craig as well. He is different character he uses more human power than gadgets.


                  The story
                  ------------
                  James Bond (Daniel Craig) has just received his 007 status. He kills two men in Prague then causes international incident in Madagascar. M (Judi Dench) is nerves when she realises what he did then he entered into M's home and waited for her there. M instead of firing him decided to ask him to play a poker game in Montenegro. He has to take on Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) the banker of the arm dealers. As James Bond has to play high stakes poker the Treasury's beautiful accountant Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) accompanies him. They act as a couple. During the poker James Bond loses twice. Le Chiffre's girlfriend puts poison in James Bond's Martini. He almost dies, fortunately his car's equipment, the pro team on the basis and the beautiful accountant save his life. He returns to the poker. Can he win the game or Her Majesty's government finances terrorism? I won't continue the story I suggest you watching it.


                  Roles
                  --------
                  James Bond - Daniel Craig
                  M - Judi Dench
                  Vesper Lynd - Eva Green
                  Le Chiffre - Mads Mikkelsen
                  Felix Leiter - Jeffrey Wright
                  Mathis - Giancarlo Giannini
                  Solange - Caterina Murino
                  Alex Dimitrios - Simon Abkarian
                  Mr. White - Jesper Christiansen


                  My opinion
                  ---------------
                  Although I loved all of the James Bond films I have some favourites. It is always strange seeing a new actor in the role of James Bond. The new actors give new character to the 007 agent. When I got to know that Daniel Craig was selected to be the next James Bond I was disappointed. As I saw him playing the role I have to admit that he was really good. He is not as handsome as Pierce Brosnan he is that kind of bad boy we girls fall deeply in love with...
                  This film was almost 2 and half hours long and was very exciting. I enjoyed from the beginning to the end. I missed Q and Miss Moneypenny very much. There were fewer gadgets then usual as Q was missing. Fortunately James Bond's car was well equipped.

                  I loved the scenes in the film. I especially loved Montenegro and Venice. The scenes in Prague were focused only to the building where the two men were killed, but we could see beautiful places in Montenegro and Canal Grande and St. Mark's Square in Venice.
                  I haven't seen anybody else except Daniel Craig in other films. He played well the role of the 007 agent. He made the character stronger who fights more and uses fewer gadgets.

                  Vesper Lynd wasn't a real Bond girl. She had a really feminine role and Eva Green was a perfect match for her character. She is a beautiful actress. She had lovely dresses and wore a lot of makeup. I liked her sarcasm. She acted brilliantly.
                  M was stricter than usually. It's amazing that she looks still brilliantly. Judi Dench is a very talented actress and she will be M for me forever.

                  The banker of the arm dealers was a great poker player. Mads Mikkelsen was a great match for this role. He played brilliantly too.
                  To sum up, it is a very exciting action I can highly recommend. I know that all James Bond films are about saving the world from a disaster and there is only one person for this mission: James Bond. He saves the world and makes love to a beautiful woman. Although the story is predictable in each film there are good special effects, actions, nice gadgets, handsome men and beautiful women. I enjoy James Bond films and I will watch the next ones too.

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                    28.09.2009 15:45
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                    A decent action movie but doesn't live up to the 40 year legacy of Bond

                    MI6 Agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) has recently earned his 00 status which in turn gives him a licence to kill however some people are a little worried that he may have been promoted too soon and isn't yet mature enough to take on the huge responsibility of having this much power. His boss M (Judi Dench) wants to keep a close eye on him over the course of the next few months to see if Bond is up to the challenge.

                    Bond's first mission as a 00 Agent is to track down a small time bomb maker in Madagascar, after the mission goes wrong M is furious with Bond and vows that he will not continue on with the mission however Bond has other ideas. From the bomb maker he has found a lead to follow up which takes him to Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) who, as well as being a terrorist is also an avid poker player and sets up a high stakes poker tournament in which Bond enters. With the help of Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) Bond must defeat Le Chiffre in the poker tournament in order for him to be arrested by the CIA however things become even more complicated when it turns out that Le Chiffre may already be in trouble with another adversary...

                    So there you have it, the 21st Bond movie and to celebrate we're treated to a new Bond in the form of the ruggedly handsome Daniel Craig... and to be honest that's pretty much all we're treated to. It seems that with the arrival of a new agent and all around ladies man in the form of Jason Bourne in the Bourne franchise Bond has had to try hard to keep up with Bourne's superior charm, stories and tension and unfortunately it finally seems that after 40 odd years Bond is gradually becoming more and more antiquated as these days the old English gent routine just doesn't cut it like it did all those years ago.

                    Gone is the laid back nature, sophisticated charm and tongue in cheek one liners that the likes of Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan were the masters of and instead what we're left with are the rippling muscles, smouldering good looks, gorgeous blue eyes and the intense and sombre persona of Daniel Craig's Bond. Yes the aesthetically pleasing aspects of the film are great as Daniel Craig is undoubtedly a lot better looking than the aging Pierce Brosnan however Pierce Brosnan played Bond with a rare sophistication and charm which enabled the audience to understand why it was that he managed to pull all those beautiful women, it must take something special to pull Halle Berry but Pierce Brosnan did it with ease, something that Daniel Craig just couldn't pull off. He tries to be charming but comes across as awkward and inept, baring resemblance to a 15 year old boy aiming to pull the prettiest girl in school and failing miserably at it therefore it's extremely difficult to see the real attraction for Eva Green's character passed his good looks because the personality and suave nature just isn't there.

                    The opening half an hour of the film is breathtaking, first we have the black and white opening scene in which we witness Bond completing a mission which rewards him with his 00 status then we have the parkour sequence in which Bond trails a free running bomb expert through a building site. This was the highlight of the film for me, it is excellently filmed and superbly choreographed and as opening sequences go this one blew anything that Pierce Brosnan has done out of the water. Although from then on I was starting to long for Pierce Brosnan again as maybe then the script writers could have concentrated on writing some trademark witty one liners for Bond and the flirting scenes between him and Eva Green wouldn't have seemed so painfully forced.

                    The film plods along at a good pace, with well timed action set pieces in the middle of most dialogue parts however I feel that this film relies too heavily on the action sequences as the story is painfully underdeveloped. It's hard to establish who the real villain is and what the story is all about, after about 45 minutes to an hour in I started to give up on the story in favour of enjoying the spectacular action scenes.

                    The main villain of Le Chiffre is played competently by Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen however I felt that his character should have been portrayed as an alpha male, the sort of guy that no one messes with and the fact that his character then becomes a target for higher forces undermines his superior and arrogant persona and makes him a lesser villain for Bond to face. To be the best you have to beat the best as the saying goes and unfortunately Le Chiffre isn't high enough in the pecking order to be a good enough villain for Bond.

                    I did think it was a good idea that with a new Bond they decided to go back to the start with Ian Fleming's first Bond novel however once again this leads to the questionable decision of the casting of Daniel Craig. They got rid of Pierce Brosnan because he was nearly 50 yet Daniel Craig is already in his early 40's so it seems a little contrived that they would hire someone who is nearing the age of the last actor. As they decided to take Bond back to his roots I personally think it would have been a good idea to cast a younger actor in the title role as then his clumsiness with the ladies and immaturity would be endearing instead of irritating and it would have been nice to watch him mature into the suave sophisticated ladies man that we all know and love. Somehow watching a middle aged man trying to be something he's not just didn't do it for me.

                    I still can't figure out if the idea to go back to the start was a good one, on paper it would seem to be an ingenious idea however for me, Daniel Craig just doesn't seem apt for the role of the blundering young Bond as he's already approaching mid life crisis age. As they made the conscious decision to take Bond back to his roots it would of course mean that John Cleese wouldn't be included in the film, he's always been one of my favourite characters in the Bond films as inventions expert Q. Of course sans gadgets Bond has to rely of his fists instead of his numerous gadgets. This is yet again what makes Bond seem less like Bond and more like any other spy. The reason men want to be Bond is for the beautiful women, expensive cars and big boy toys and without this it just doesn't seem like Bond.

                    Another missing aspect of the film is the trademark music that usually runs throughout all the Bond films. As Bond is in his junior years I can see the appeal of not including the music however this again makes gives this movie that novice feel and the feel that you could be watching any run of the mill spy thriller.

                    I'd say that this was a decent attempt at reprising the classic Bond franchise however unfortunately it fails to hit the mark, without the charming persona of Bond, the out of this world gadgets and trademark music you'd be forgiven for thinking that this was an ordinary spy movie and if it was it would be a pretty darn good one however with the Bond label attached to it, nothing less than spectacular can be seen as a huge failure.

                    The DVD is currently available from play.com for £3.99.

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                    The most successful invigoration of a cinematic franchise since Batman Begins, Casino Royale offers a new Bond identity. Based on the Ian Fleming novel that introduced Agent 007 into a Cold War world, Casino Royale is the most brutal and viscerally exciting James Bond film since Sean Connery left Her Majesty's Secret Service. Meet the new Bond; not the same as the old Bond. Daniel Craig gives a galvanising performance as the freshly minted double-0 agent. Suave, yes, but also a "blunt instrument," reckless and possessed with an ego that compromises his judgment during his first mission to root out the mastermind behind an operation that funds international terrorists. In classic Bond film tradition, his global itinerary takes him to far-flung locales, including Uganda, Madagascar, the Bahamas (that's more like it) and Montenegro, where he is pitted against his nemesis in a poker game, with hundreds of millions in the pot. The stakes get even higher when Bond lets down his armour by falling in love with Vesper (Eva Green), the ravishing banker's representative fronting him the money. For longtime fans of the franchise, Casino Royale offers some retro kicks. Bond wins his iconic Aston Martin at the gaming table, and when a bartender asks if he wants his martini "shaken or stirred," he disdainfully replies, "Do I look like I give a damn?". There's no Moneypenny or "Q," but Dame Judi Dench is back as the exasperated M who, one senses, admires Bond's "bloody cheek." A Bond film is only as good as its villain, and Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre, who weeps blood, is a sinister dandy. From its punishing violence and virtuoso action sequences to its romance, Casino Royale is a Bond film that, in the words of one character, 'makes you feel it', particularly during an excruciating torture sequence. Double-0s, Bond observes early on, "have a short life expectancy". But with Craig, there is new life in the old franchise yet, as well as genuine anticipation for the next one when, at last, the signature James Bond theme kicks in following the best last line ever in any Bond film. To quote Goldie Hawn in Private Benjamin, "now I know what I've been faking all these years". --Donald Liebenson