But really the 21st.

Yesterday, Josh and I went to see Casino Royale. I love going to the movies at our “new” theater (it’s only a year old) because they have a loud sound system and stadium seating. It’s much nicer than the old theater and makes the experience more of an experience.

There were two trailers for movies that I think look very good. The first is Eragon. I haven’t read the book yet but the production/effects look like they may be spectacular. It seems as though it’s one of those movies (like Xmen and Lord of the Rings) that you have to experience in the theater just because. I’m going to read the book, though, in the next month because I hate seeing the movie without having read the book. Just a quirk.

Also, In Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith and based on a true story looks excellent. Probably not something I’ll see in the theater (I tend to be an action/adventure movie person for theater viewing) but the trailer was compelling–and I found myself wondering if Will Smith will be getting an Oscar nod for his role, because just from the trailers it looks as though there’s some powerful acting.

Now. Casino Royale is the first James Bond book Ian Fleming wrote (he wrote 12) but is the 21st Bond movie (there’s a Wikipedia entry explaining the order of the movies, (along with other fun movie facts) as well as who wrote the “extra” books if you’re curious like I was).

I thought the production of Casino Royale was timely in that there’s a huge poker craze right now. Anyone who watches any TV or gets out and about at all knows that poker is the in “thing”. Here in my town, you can play in poker “tournaments” at various bars/restaurants nearly every night of the week (it’s a no-cash thing and prize is only given to the 1st place winner in the form of a gift certificate to the bar, usually). They’re popular and well-attended.

I did think it was odd that the book, being the first, has been skipped over for production so many times but after seeing the movie, I realize why. Being the first book, it’s the one in which Ian Fleming first developed James Bond’s character. I’m actually curious to read the book, because of course the movie is much modernized and there are some tongue-in-cheek moments about things that in later movies/books are James Bond quirks, that I suspect might not be in the book. Anyhow, because this book spent more time developing Bond’s character, it doesn’t have quite the same…pace…as the other movies did. The pacing is slower, more time is spent on interpersonal things and two person dialogue and, interspersed with the action, it’s almost like you’re watching two different types of films sometimes.

I thought the first bit of the movie was quite good, I enjoyed seeing how Bond got 007 status and his first “mission” so to speak. But once Vesper (his love interest) entered the movie, I wanted to poke my eyes out. In the scene where they first meet, on the train, they trade this very acerbic dialogue and she’s portrayed as quite prickly. This continues later in the hotel, at the poker game. and more..but the dialogue. Oh God, the dialogue. You know it’s bad when you just slightly turn your head toward your husband, say nothing and he looks at you and says “this is baaaad”. It really was. I didn’t think the two had great chemistry and oy, the dialogue. It was cheesy and painful and did I mention I wanted to poke my eyes out? The scenes with them were, for me, awful and drug the pacing way down. However, I KNOW that this is all about character development but I also know there are smoother ways of doing it. Ugh.

Now, all that said, though I thought the movie itself was just okay, I did like Daniel Craig as Bond very much. I’ve seen other people say this but he is just lovely in the role. And his eyes…reooowwwr. I would definitly see a movie with him as Bond again (the 22nd Bond movie is in pre-production and will star him as Bond) and I remember now how much I liked him in Tomb Raider. He is yummy. But as Bond, and especially as a Bond finding his feet and learning to be comfortable in his 007 role, he did an excellent job. I think the casting was well done and I appreciate his differences from the other Bonds while saying that he is still on par with Sean Connery, Roger Moore (who is THE Bond in my eyes) and Pierce Brosnan (who I would have loved to see do another Bond film). Truthfully, I just love these James Bond movies and I’m glad they’re still making them. It’s fun to know that they’re still popular over 40 years after the first movie was made (1962’s Dr. No with Sean Connery).

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