After today, there are only 100 days left to the year which means I have a 100 movies left to watch (I know the blog is titled 365, but my mistake cause there’s 366). Believe it or not, there are a lot of James Bond films that I still have to see and so for today I chose to watch Casino Royale which is the first Daniel Craig (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) film in the series. James has just gotten his 00 status and he gets sent into the field for the first time. His immediate result is not a desirable one, but he looks to make it up with a poker game. You see James follows a weapons dealer named La Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) to a poker game in Luxembourg where James will have to outsmart him to stop him. The film also stars Eva Green (300: Rise Of An Empire) as Vesper Lynd, Judi Dench (Skyfall) as M, Jeffrey Wright (Boardwalk Empire) as Felix Leiter, Giancarlo Giannini (Man On Fire) as Mathis, Caterina Murino (The Story Of My Life) as Solange, Simon Abkarian (Zero Dark Thirty) as Alex Dimitrios, Isaach De Bankolé (The Skeleton Key) as Steven Obanno, Jesper Christensen (Spectre) as Mr. White, Ivana Milicevic (Banshee) as Valenka, and the film was directed by Martin Campbell (Goldeneye).
On the scale of all of the Bond films that I have seen, I actually enjoyed watching this one because it was fun to watch. The series took a dark turn with Skyfall and it continued through Spectre (I still have Quantum Of Solace to watch). This was as fun of a movie to watch as Goldeneye was and it was one heck of an improvement from it’s predecessor Die Another Day. This is definitely a side of James Bond that we had never seen because it was a young version of him who is adjusting to being in the field. We figure out through this film why he has a hard time keeping the ladies (he has no problem getting them). I really liked Mads Mikkelsen as a bond villain, but he’s certainly not my favorite. He’s everything a Bond villain would be and I love his choice of torture (I don’t really love it, it’s just extremely painful to watch). I am in love with Eva Green so I think it’s safe to say that I loved her as a Bond girl. She was the perfect counterpart to James Bond as she matched wits with him on plenty of occasions. The great thing about these films besides the action and special effects is the locations that they travel to. They filmed in the Bahamas, Italy, Czech Republic, and England. Do yourself a favor and give Casino Royale a shot because the film showcases why I love Daniel Craig as James Bond and why I wouldn’t be upset if he returned to the role once again. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade only because Skyfall and Goldeneye are better than this one.
There are certain characters in the history of cinema that transcend time and are so iconic they carry their weight for years. James Bond is definitely one of those characters no matter who plays him and that is why I chose Spectre for today’s film. Daniel Craig (Skyfall) once again reprises the role of James Bond in this film as he investigates a new, but familiar threat. The 00 program’s existence is being threatened by the potential merger of all the world’s security/spy programs coming together thanks to MI6, but M (Ralph Fiennes) will try his best to stop it. Something about it just doesn’t add up thanks to a message from someone familiar to James and he is on the case. The closer he gets to the truth the more deceit their is to all of it and this organization known as Spectre. The film also stars Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds) as Blofeld, Léa Seydoux (The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Madeleine, Monica Bellucci (Passion Of The Christ) as Lucia, Benjamin Whishaw (Cloud Atlas) as Q, Naomie Harris (28 Days Later…) as Moneypenny, Dave Bautista (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as Hinx, Andrew Scott (Saving Private Ryan) as C, Rory Kinnear (The Imitation Game) as Tanner, and the film was directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty).
First, I wanted to take the time to list all the things that I didn’t like about the film and one big one is the theme song. While I don’t think Writing’s On The Wall by Sam Smith is complete crap, I don’t think that it was a great follow up to Adele’s Skyfall theme. There are so many Bond themes that are better than this one even though it was the only element of the film that won an Oscar. There are three elements that are important to every James Bond film and those are theme song, Villain, and Bond girls and I have already discussed one. Some people may have been pissed that Dave Bautista had literally one line in the whole film, but I think that added to his benefit. You knew he was a bad ass thug with weird thumbs, but he didn’t have to speak to be the henchman. Christoph Waltz is a brilliant actor, but I struggled to find the brilliance in this film. I don’t blame him for that, but rather the writing. The Bond Girls were OK in my opinion, but strange how an almost life/death experience would drive one to want to make love. This wasn’t the best Bond film, but it wasn’t the worst either. I struggled to write what the plot of the film was in the above paragraph because there wasn’t really a plot. There was just action with a lot of nothingness in between all of it. If this was Daniel Craig’s last film then so be it. I think it’s time for some new blood in the role of James Bond anyways. I definitely appreciate all that Daniel Craig did for the Bond series, he was definitely a breath of fresh air at one point for the series. I am going to give Spectre an B- for a final grade.