Sunday, November 19, 2006

You Know His Name

"Casino Royale" is the film Bond enthusiasts have been waiting for. It isn't Bond as he's evolved over the years; Daniel Craig's spy isn't the unflappable superhero that a younger generation has come to know and videogame. Craig is flesh, blood, and bone. He's a sex god and a man's man. He's brutal. In a fight, his opponents die slow, and the agony of their death registers on his face. And when he's through, he leans over a sink to wash the blood from his face, sickened by what he has just done. "Does killing bother you, Mr. Bond?" "I wouldn't be very good at my job if it did." But it does bother him. In the novel by Fleming, Bond is disillusioned and somewhat sickened by the unfeeling killing machine that he is afraid he is becoming. In Casino Royale, both movie and novel, it's about the character development. The action sequences, though thrilling (the chase in the beginning the most exciting thing I've seen on film in some time) take a backseat to the story and the relationships therein. This isn't a reboot of Bond, as some people have taken to calling it. It is instead a return. This is the gritty symbol of what politics (cold war or otherwise) have brought us to, depersonalizing us in the face of too much media exposure to violence and international catastrophe. While it is easy to see this as a reimagining of Bond, especially when watching the segment where he tries on the tuxedo for the first time. One is easily reminded of Batman first donning the cowl, Superman first ripping open his shirt to expose the red "S", and Spiderman first swinging over Manhattan, but I prefer to think of it instead as a reacknowledgement, a sense of "that's how it should be". If you want throw away lines and flippancy, rent "Live and Let Die". If you want Bond...James Bond..the genuine article, then "Casino Royale" is the place to begin. In honor of this release, I will now post for you something inspired by Mr. Sidney Williams, a Bond Trivia game. From HQ: 1. What was the name of the actor who first played the role of James Bond? 2. What was the first Bond film not named for a Bond novel or short story? 3. What was unique about Gerte Frobe and his performance as Goldfinger? 4. How many different actors, including the most recent, have now portrayed CIA operative Felix Leiter? 5. Including the first "Casino Royale", how many actors have played a character called James Bond? 6. In which films has Bond resigned from MI6? 7. What is Q's real name? 8. How many different actors have played the role of M? 9. What were the first words uttered by James Bond in the first of the United Artists' films, "Dr. No."? 10.Bond once had a secretary, she even appeared with him in one of the films. Her name?


Hey there, Skippy said...

We saw "Casino Royale" on Friday, having spent the weeks running up to its release watching old Bonds. I can honestly say that "Casino Royale" knocks them all into a cocked hat. It's bloody brilliant.

And Daniel Craig... mmmmm.

SQT said...

I guess I'm not up on Bond trivia. The only one I think I know the answer to is who the first Bond was, and that was George Lazenby.

Other than that I got nothing.

Stewart Sternberg said...

I will post the answers here tomorrow or Tuesday. But the answer to number one..."Barry Nelson" He first played the role of James Bond in CASINO ROYALE. It was a cinescope production for television. Peter Lorre played the villian. To suit American audiences, the name of James Bond was altered slightly to Jimmy Bond.

Okay..since I knew this all off the top of my head, what you should be telling me now is: "Get a life, Stew."

also, I chose that picture of Craig coming out of the water because I had a feeling the ladies would especially enjoy it. Or the men...hey, equal opportunity here. It also sort of reminded me of Ursula Andrews coming out of the ocean with a conch shell and a dagger.

crunchy carpets said...

Thank Stewart for the yummy pic.

I have liked Daniel Craig for a while now..watched him in a lot of brit stuff.

And I forogt about the original Casino Royale....and yeah he wasn't really "Bond" was he?

My mom would know all the answers..huge Bond fan. She read the books and loved Connery.

I am really looking forward to seeing this flick

DesLily said...

Connery will always be Bond to me ... the fact that they continue to make movies pretty much says it all doesn't it?!

Mother Jones RN said...

I can't wait to see the movie. Daniel Craig is dreamy and my husband likes the Bond Girls. It's a movie my husband and I can go to together.


Irene said...

That's it. I'm heading out to watch "Casino Royale" now! ;p

SQT said...

"Casino Royale" is really good. Daniel Craig makes a kick ass Bond. Much more of a tough James Bond than we've seen in awhile.

I feel like the Barry Nelson Bond is kind of a trick question. Of course that's just because I didn't know the answer. ;)

Twisted DNA said...

Bond with emotions,eh? How does he compare with Timothy Dalton? I thought Mr. Dalton tried to pull that "emotional Bond" and I didn't like him.

Stewart Sternberg said...

I liked Timothy Dalton as James Bond. I thought Dalton was one film away from making the best of the Bond canon before he got axed, and I never understood the axing.

Craig isn't as suave as Dalton was. Though one gets the feeling that the suaveness is something that will develop.


2. Goldeneye..this was actually the name of the Fleming estate in Jamaica, I do believe.
3. Gert Frobe didn't speak English but had to learn his lines rote for Goldfinger.
4.Seven with the newest incarnation.
5.Including Barry Nelson, and I do, as well as Peter Sellers and David Niven from the 1967 Casino Royale, we arrive at nine. Of course, take away the tricky three included here and six is the acceptable answer.
6. On Her Majesty's Secret Service, The Living Daylights, Casino Royale. One of these days someone's actually going to process that resignation.
7 Why, he's none other than armourer Major Boothroyd.
8. Four people have played M.
10. Her name was Goodnight. Ah the names of the Bond girls. Holly Goodhead, Pussy Galore...

SQT said...

What's the answer to #9?

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Connert is the definative Bond, but Craig looks the most human of recent times.

SQT said...

I have to say I really liked Craig as the new Bond. He's very tough. The fights seem much more real.

Anyone who has ever seen a martial arts film knows how choreographed fight scenes have become. I always liked "Tomorrow Never Dies" with Michele Yeoh, and the fights are fun, but not terribly realistic.

You can almost feel the punches Daniel Craig takes in Casino Royale. It's as if the winner is the one who can take the most punches, which in reality it usually is. I don't remember any Bond's since Connery that had the same kind of toughness.

Allie D. said...

I. Love. Daniel. Craig.

GOD he's sexy.

That and the movie was just great! lol

Martin Tiller said...

It was an incredible movie, not just a Bond movie, but a great one overall.