Casino Royale

Shown in black and white, James Bond's pale face stands out from the darkness of a low-lit office.

I’m a bit late in posting this, as we rushed out to see it on opening night, but here it is now for posterity: Casino Royale is the best Bond film and is one of the coolest action movies I’ve ever seen. No more crazy supervillains who want to carve their names on the moon or use giant ice lasers to freeze the Bahamas if they don’t get $1 billion or whatever. It’s Bond becoming 007, pushing himself to the limits to find and stop the enemy, because he will never stop. It’s James Bond at his rawest and most driven, and Daniel Craig does a brilliant job giving Bond a perfect blend of cool, arrogance, wit, steel, and poise. I don’t think I could’ve asked for a better re-imagining of the Bond character and series than what was delivered in Casino Royale.

From the chase sequences featuring parkour, the fight sequences that use unvarnished force and struggle, and the sense of actual jeopardy (as much as one can in a Bond flick), Casino Royale has brought me back to Bond in a big way. Hollywood’s reinvention of various IPs, such as Batman, Superman, Bond, the upcoming Hellboy is a sign that just maybe they’ve realized the benefits of getting it right.

MPAA Review: Intense sequences of violent action, a scene of torture, sexual content and nudity.
Ad Exec Review: (apparently, no ad execs decided to chime in on this one)

And if all of this wasn’t reason enough to go find a theatre showing the film right now, the title sequence has been revamped a bit as well. It’s a funky mix of contemporary silhouetting and vibrant colors, along with ornate monetary graphics and retro-style casino table graphics. The CGI house responsible is Framestore CFC, who are apparently hot new property, since they also worked on Superman Returns and Children of Men, among others. Unfortunately, it’s rather difficult to find images of the titles (I’ll perhaps post them when I get the DVD), but it’s worth checking them out. Digit has an article with some small images, but that’s about it.