‘Casino Royale’ (2006)

As a kid, I was either in the “when I grow up, I want to be a superhero” phase, or “when I grow up, I want to be a spy” phase. I never really was into the whole, sports thing, or cowboys thing. Those weren’t very exciting to me, no…spies and superheroes are where it’s at. One of the people I looked up to and thought was amazing was Bond, James Bond. Now, I wasn’t very familiar with the older greats such as Sean Connery, so all I really knew was Pierce Brosnan. As a kid, I though Brosnan was incredible as bond. Let me rephrase that…as a KID, I thought Brosnan was great. I have seen “Casino Royale” a few years back, and I loved it, lets see how it holds up six years later.

 “Casino Royale” follows James Bond (Daniel Craig), as he carries out his very first mission. IMDb simply states “In his first mission, James Bond must stop Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelson), a banker to the world’s terrorist organizations, from winning a high-stakes poker tournament at Casino Royale in Montenegro.” That’s what makes this film so great, the plot is simple, but the execution is complicated, just as any good Bond film should be.

 I will be honest, before I first saw “Casino Royale“, I was worried. James Bond had always had a certain look that Daniel Craig just didn’t meet.  He may be a good-looking fella, but I’m talking about physical attributes that James Bond is typically found with. Primarily speaking, dark hair and dark eyes. Daniel Craig looks like, well, Daniel Craig, he has blonde hair and blue eyes. How I viewed Bond’s appearance though, was stereotyped, and after you open your mind a little, you will notice that he is a perfect addition to the role.

 Daniel Craig has it all, every element needed to portray James Bond. He’s got the looks, attitude, talks smooth, can kick major tail, knows how to use a weapon, and he is one of the most, if not most action-oriented Bonds in the history of Bond films. He truly is the James Bond of our generation, and he matches it perfectly, even if I didn’t think he would before watching it.  Mads Mikkelson does an impeccable job portraying a classic Bond villain, sporting the look of a crazy madman with a scar that no one dare mess with….save for James Bond of course.

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 This film not only made the franchise modern, but it did respectively hold onto some key elements that made 007 films what they are. Of course there was a Bond girl, and you can immediately tell who she is when she shows up through tell-tale signs of Bond girls, how they act…stolen glances from across the room, getting ignored by their significant other, perfect bait for James Bond to sneak further on to finish his mission. That’s what is predictable, what isn’t is when they introduce the second Bond girl of the film, Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), whom he actually falls in love with.

 This film is not only exciting, but it is also very interesting for a Bond film. As mentioned above, a lot of it takes place during a poker game. A POKER GAME! This redefines the term “high stakes” poker. In the end though, I personally believe that Daniel Craig has raised the bar for James Bond. I thought “Quantum of Solace” was significantly worse, but we’ll get to that later. I would personally say that this was the best 007 movie I’ve ever seen, but I guess that will be tested once I finally see “Skyfall

 Overall, after six years, the movie remains intact with the level of epicness attributed to it. There was a number of things I I really didn’t remember the first time around, but none of those things were negative things, which are sometimes what I find when re-watching films. Great movie, amazingly written.

 [Side Note] when we first see Vesper Lynd, she said “I’m the money” and Bond says “Every penny of it”, shouting out to famous Bond girl Miss. Moneypenny. I didn’t recognize that the first time around. Neither did I notice them shouting out to asking Bond if he liked his martini shaken or stirred.

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‘2 Days in New York’ (2012)

For today’s review, we have Chris Rock in a comedy where he is not playing the obnoxious person, but his girlfriend’s family is instead. He plays quite of a different role than we are used to seeing him play, but he does it well, and this film at least should be given the benefit of the doubt, if nothing else. Check it out!

[Click the image or click here for the full review!]