Monthly Archives: November 2014

Casino Royale

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

So. I am an unapologetic Daniel Craig fan. My only issue with him is that he makes me slightly misty for the quippiness of earlier Bonds like Roger Moore. But aside from that, he’s perfect. Earlier in the movie, Bond mentions he’s aware 00-agents have short life spans, which reminds me of the question of the continuity theory… but I’ll leave that continuing debate to the more passionate Bond fans.

The only downside to this movie is it’s just too damn long. Look, the world does not need a Bond movie that’s over 90 minutes. I wish the movie and publishing industry in general would realize that even in our oft-distracted culture, longer does not mean better. And what better place to turn the trend back to concision with the Bond franchise. One can hope, but Skyfall was also over 2 hours, so perhaps I shouldn’t hold my breath any time soon.

Plot in twenty words or less:  If Bond botches this big time poker game, the terrorists are going to win. Literally.

How it’s aged: This Bond is very post-9/11 War on Terror, especially when Bond taps into some NSA-like system to search “Ellipsis” in call/text log metadata, then M says that the administration doesn’t want to know what they do, just that they want them to do the dirty work. Sound familiar? The Bond torture scene when he finds out Mathis is a double-agent is very Guantanamo Bay/Abu Ghraib

I love the scene where Felix offers to stake 007 and turns down potential winnings — “Does it look like we need the money?” THANKS, AMERICA. It’s nice to see a cooler Felix.

Something that was just weird and/or WTF y’all: In the opening cobra vs. ferret scene, there’s totally a blond white surfer dude in the crowd of locals and it doesn’t appear to be a tourist destination..?

Obligatory feminist commentary: If I recall correctly (and this has been a long ride, so my memory isn’t infallible…) I believe this is the first time we see M’s apartment, when Bond breaks in. Without a doubt, Judi Dench will go down in Bond history as making M an actually interesting character as opposed to just window dressing. I do think showing M’s apartment is something that only happened for the first time because M was played by a woman in this particular title (insert feminist commentary here about the separate spheres of female life, the apartment as interior life, etc etc).

And then… OH MAH GAWD, James Bond said he loves someone! (to Vesper towards the end). And then a few scenes later he says he took care of “the bitch.” No matter how empowered Bond women get, ultimately they’re still all too often objects that get in the way of a clean mission. Which is why if the Broccoli family ever really wants to conduct a massive pop culture experiment in gender roles, they’d cast a woman as the next James Bond.

Completely hypothetical cultural reference points: Demetrios’ 1964 Aston-Martin key being put on the table at a poker game brings up shades of 60s Sean Connery Bond, and the end is very shades of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Le Chiffre’s use of the inhaler reminds me of Dennis Hopper using the oxygen tank from Blue Velvet

Superficial Thing that did not Amuse Me:  When Vesper was crying in the shower, why was her makeup perfect?

Superficial Thing that highly Amused Me:  When the guy was going through Miami security, RICHARD BRANSON was totally being screened next to him. I made my Fiance go back and we rewatched the scene to be sure. If you don’t believe me, Google it.

Interesting and possibly dubious thing I learned from Wikipedia: Quentin Tarantino claimed to play a role in getting the movie off the ground.

Martini rating: Seven martinis martini-glass-1-32px_blogjamesblogmartini-glass-1-32px_blogjamesblogmartini-glass-1-32px_blogjamesblogmartini-glass-1-32px_blogjamesblogmartini-glass-1-32px_blogjamesblogmartini-glass-1-32px_blogjamesblogmartini-glass-1-32px_blogjamesblog

Administrative information concerning this viewing:

Drinks consumed: Great Lakes Oktoberfest

Food eaten: Stir-fried tofu with cabbage and carrots

Viewed on: November 22

Viewing Partner: The Fiance and the cat


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