Casino Royale

DVD Reviews | Mar 7th, 2007

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Starring Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Giannini, Caterina Murino
Written By: Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade
Directed By: Martin Campbell
Studio: Sony Pictures
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Bond is back and he’s better than ever! I saw Casino Royale opening weekend and was very pleased with the movie. The movie delivers on many levels, including great acting, action, romance, gorgeous women, card playing and a sense of reality! Instead of all the hi-tech gadgetry, Bond must use his wits and standard weaponry to get around. If you’re a fan of the James Bond books and movies, this is a movie to see!

Casino Royale takes you back to where it all began for James Bond, this time played by Daniel Craig (Road to Perdition, Layer Cake, Munich). But it takes place in the present, so pretty much forget all the other James Bond movies and characters you’ve previously seen. You are introduced to James Bond before he gets the precious “00” but he quickly gets those 2 professional assassinations under his belt and gets promoted. “M,” played once again by Judi Dench, is the head of the British Secret Service and sends Bond to Madagascar for his first mission. Of course, he blows a lot things up and kills people he shouldn’t have. It gets him into trouble and but Bond eventually gets back into things again when he tracks down a lead to a terrorist banker called Le Chiffre (played by Mads Mikkelsen). Le Chiffre is very ruthless and a mathematical genius but the weird thing is, when he cries, he cries blood. Anyway, Le Chiffre puts on a high stake card game at Montenegro and Bond takes part in it to bring down the evildoer. But Bond has to be watched by Treasury official Vesper Lynd. She’s played by the voluptuous Eva Green. James Bond becomes rather fond of her so to speak and they pretty much fall in love. But like with all Bond movies, you never know who to trust. Besides having to go after Le Chiffre, he has to watch his back and watch his friends closely. Let’s just say, James Bond learns his lesson this movie.

Out of all the James Bond movies I’ve seen, this one had to be one of the most enjoyable. I liked a lot of Pierce Bronson’s films so I was surprised this was a even better than those. I was kind of skeptical (like everyone else) about having Daniel Craig being Bond. I didn’t care about him having blonde hair and blue eyes, I just remember him from Road to Perdition and think of him more as a bad guy than anything. He just has that look about him. But once you see the first 15 minutes, you know that they have found the right James Bond. He’s different from the rest because he has more brawn, and seems a bit more crankier & on edge. He also has that suave approach with women, but he seems like he has more of a “don’t give a shit” attitude. Daniel Craig definitely exceeded my expectations. I thought Eva Green was an okay Bond girl. I don’t think she’s all that pretty but she has a lovely body so I guess that’s why she was a bond girl. I prefer the actress Bond was fooling around with in the Bahamas. I liked Jeffrey Wright’s character in the film and hope to see more of him in future Bonds flicks. Having Judi Dench in the film didn’t really make sense, but she’s a great actress after all so if she wants to do another film, might as well.

I felt the opening 20 minutes of the movie were really well done! The movie starts out in black & white as you see Bond doing his killing and it was a nice touch. Though I could have done without Chris Cornell’s music. Man I can’t stand that guy! The long chase scene in Madagascar was insane! The guy Bond was chasing was fly walking it seems, and it just made for one exciting scene in the movie. I thought it was the best action sequence of the movie. I thought the card playing was cool to see, but it definitely slowed things down. I felt the movie could have been a little bit shorter in some areas, I just don’t know where the best places to cut would be. I still think the film has a lot of great things about it. I loved the Bahamas scenes, especially scenes with Caterina Murino. Va Va VaVoom! The torture scene was painful to watch, especially for men but at the same time; Daniel Craig made the scene funny. That’s kind of hard to do, make a torture scene funny but Craig & co. pull it off. The finale is also intense and a lot of fun to watch. I thought the film ended perfectly.

There’s over 90 minutes of extras to watch if you get the 2-disc special edition DVD. The featurettes are broken down to a few different sections and seem to go into just enough to hold over the casual moviegoers. But die hard James Bond fans will still crave more and want more in-depth interviews, and the thought process of picking Daniel Craig & re-inventing the character. The featurette Becoming Bond shows Daniel Craig’s battle with the press and fans, but also shows the day he officially became Bond. He was riding in some military boats in London with the British Army, and then had a press conference after that. The way it sounded, it seemed like the filmmakers were sorting out Daniel Craig very early on. The featurette Bond Girls Are Forever was really good and actress & former Bond girl Maryam D’Abo travels around the world to interview a lot of the former Bond girls. They talk about the movies they appeared in, what’s it like to be a Bond girl and more. For the most part, the extras are pretty good.

Casino Royale is one of the best Bond films! After you have seen this film, you’ll agree with me. Daniel Craig plays James Bond like a bad ass and it’s a different approach to the character and I like that. The film has a few slow parts but overall, I highly recommend checking Casino Royale out!

Becoming Bond
James Bond: For Real
Bond Girls Are Forever
Chris Cornell Music Video

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
SPANISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Surround

Widescreen 2.40:1 Color (Anamorphic)

English, Spanish, French

Favorite Scenes: The first 20 minutes, scenes in the Bahamas, the finale
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 144 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: