Friday, March 16, 2007


I had only one positive reaction to Superman Returns; having endured such banality I assumed I'd at least be spared an equal dose for a while. Hollywood couldn't possibly produce a duck like that again in short order.

Wrong. Remember the duck that was shot and put in the freezer and lived? And then had cardiac arrest and was defibrilated and lived again? That duck had a lot in common with the returning Superman, and has just as much in common with the new Bond. At the risk of being labeled a film fuddy-duddy who can't suspend his disbelief long enough to enjoy a goofy action flick, I pronounce Casino Royale (with Cheese) abysmally stupid:

Men can jump forty or fifty feet through the air in a single bound. Over and over. They leap like fleas. The first chase scene was something out of Spiderman or The Matrix. And it was boring, almost as boring as the 45-minute Texas hold 'em match that makes up much of this trainwreck.

More than $100 million in cash apparently fits into a tiny metal brief case, even though earlier in the same movie $100 million took several large trunks in a convoy of vehicles to carry around.

James Bond is a new 007 now, today, at this minute. M muses that she wishes Bond were around during the Cold War, thus rendering completely senseless the only bit of the Bond franchise with any remaining dignity--its chronology.
Of course I must note that the new Bond actor is appealingly gritty and dark and is certainly the beefiest Bond ever. Daniel Craig had a curious affect on the libido of the other person inhabiting my house, who was unaware there was any incoherence in the script at all, and who spent 30 minutes after the finale rewinding and rewatching dripping bathing suit scenes.

I could hook her up with more sensibly written real pornography.


Felicity said...

I haven't seen the latest Bond, but they're all rather goofy and incoherent. All of them. And I love every single cheesy minute, so I'm looking forward to the new one!

geoff said...

I looked forward to this one as well. Ooops.

Casino Royale has only the barest framework. Before any context is provided there's tons of pointless action. We don't see Bond confronting a problem that needs solved to avoid catastrophe. The action moves loosely around, and at times somebody like M has to explain awkwardly to the viewer what Bond has just done because nobody knows why Bond is doing all that leaping and fighting. I suppose they were trying to bash old cliches to renew the genre, but the cliches are a key element of the Bond franchise, and messing with that formula left Casino Royale frankly formless.

There are superior Bond films which are great fun (like the first Pierce Brosnon). There are the far more numerous turds. I think this outdoes Moonraker on the turd scale. At least Moonraker didn't take itself so seriously.

ellen cherry said...

what?! there was a plot? there were other actors and scenery? there was a chase scene and gambling? what? did we watch the same movie? i must have missed all that. i thought it was just a dream come true: Daniel Craig in various stages of dress for at least an hour or more. Daniel lying on top of someone. Daniel in some remote, lucious location where we could be alone. (wait, did i just write that out loud?) Don't underestimate that many movie-goers got exactly what they wanted from this amazing, superbly shot, carefully directed Daniel Craig-tastic flick.

yay for tiny shorts!!

geoff said...

One upended cliche I appreciated was that for once Bond climbing out of the ocean was a point of salacious focus.

The villain was even boring, however.

alicia said...

Did you see Daniel Craig in Munich? It's funny we had a huge billboard at the end of our block with the new Mr. Bond featured ten stories high. And one day we were walking behind an older couple, and the woman kept repeating, "I don't know there's just something sinister about that man." I think it was the Munich association, it was fun to see Munich again after seeing him as Bond. It's fun to compare and contrast. I'm not a fan of Bond movies, but I had fun watching this one. But I did think the forced falling in love with the girl was pretty dumb, how could he possibly be that naive?

geoff said...

I loved Munich. Daniel Craig was awesome in that. He's not bad in the Bond role at all either, but hopefully they'll get him a better storyline for the next one. One where he can do more than supply steaming loads of hot beefcake. He's a great actor.

Nick said...

Yer gettin' some bites off of this one, eh?

Although I agree with you on Supes Returns [would rather shit a lifesize statue of Mike Tyson constructed out of used hypodermic needles than watch it again] I say this beat down of CRoyale is complete and utter hogwash, and you know for a fact that I'm not some woman salivating over Craig's pecs. I'm a guy--and d00d he was hot!

You are an old fuddy duddy buddy. That action scene rocked my socks off like something out of an old early 90s Jackie Chan film!
"Men can jump forty or fifty feet through the air in a single bound. Over and over. They leap like fleas."
If you're this guy you sure can! Real deal my friend.
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Relax! You're getting too caught up in details about the $100 million in cash--I didn't come away from the film worrying about that at all.

I don't think they were trying to bash the old MOVIE franchise cliches, I think they were going back to source/novels. If you're going for a cheesy Roger Moore flick [big fan of Octopussy here] yeah you will be dissappointed. More of a kin to Her MAjesty's SS. not to say the novels aren't like stupidfun either, they are, just wear it in a more escapist serious way. No world saving, just an asshat SMERSH agent who would benefit the political high society if allowed to crash and burn at baccarat, lose booco bucks and as a reward have his superiors punish him. Grotesque instead of camp. The films don't make any real time sense anyway, did they--how do they explain Bond not looking like an old doddering tosser leaning on a cane while defusing thermonuclear warheads?

He's young and green and wanted to fool himself, that's why he fell for the Algerian love knot girl.

The cane chair, c'mon??

geoff said...

It's always good to see you drop by! And to have my fuddy-duddiness reaffirmed. I know it, dammit.

In a good Bond romp I wouldn't notice details like the briefcase...

As for Moore's stint--those films were my fave at 12 but they are UNwatchable now. Actually so are most of Onnery's.

And Chan doing those jumping stunts would have been OK because he wouldn't have cheated with cables and CGI the way these guys did. One more scene of Bond running after a car or a truck or a minivan and leaping onto it and I was going to scream. Not to mention the fact it was at least 50 minutes too long for no good reason. I'd have been happier to watch footage of D. Craig doing gymnastics or swimming instead of this stuff (oh, don't even).

I get that Bond is younger, foolisher, and behaving like a rogue operative here, but the set-up is oddly clumsy for what really is a simple story. I don't get why they handled it this way.

I bow to your knowledge of the novels, about which I know not a lick.

geoff said...

And the cane chair? Yawn. Further proof of a desperate descent to he lowest common denominators of entertainment.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you "Football in the Groin" starring George C. Scott.

I'll bash ye bullocks you yarblockers.

Nick said...

"As for Moore's stint--those films were my fave at 12 but they are UNwatchable now. Actually so are most of Onnery's."

I actually agree--in fact the only one I would care to rewatch now is Lazenby's OHMSS. I know Chan never used cables, which is why he still rules the earth, but I'm pretty sure they didn't use CGI, save to erase the cables. The cane chair is either so much more than football in the groin, or football in the groin is a universal symbol and this is a clever variation. I sweated more than a few bullets watching the guy risk the loss of pleasure and procreation {childless you, I know}. In the book Le Cheffrie or whatever used a trefoil rugbeater, a beautiful visual you must admit. Actually those books have lots of cool scenarios.

I wanted to ask you if you saw Dream girls or Marie Antoinette? Another guy I know whose film taste I trust had much praise for those recent films. I watched John Carpenter's Pro Choice last night--oh my. Ron Perlman does some very nasty things in the same vein as Bond's Bollocks. Carpenter's been really nasty and gory in these last two. And I also wanted to know: would you prefer to listen to music I gave you as mp3s on a DVDr or as audio discs?

geoff said...

I saw Dream Girls at the Senator and liked it. It's not a film I'll likely ever see again, but what's-her-face can sing down the walls of Jericho, and Eddie Murphy had a good turn as a sort of melange of Little Richard and James Brown. Marie Antoinette I missed--maybe I'll Netflix it some day, after I catch up on last year's missed Oscar films (Queen, Last King of Scotland). Also want to see Children of Men (oh, don't even) and that flick about East German surveillance.

That's how lame I am now--hadn't even heard of Pro Life, and I like Perlman and Carpenter a lot. What was the previous one? Wonder if I missed that as well?

Still prefer discs--but no preference between audio and DVD. We'll have to have you guys over to our new place, whenever it's in order.

Nick said...

So not mp3s as files on a disc but discs you can play, am I correct sir? I've had some ideas stewing for a while.

You're not lame, and Carpenter is still getting torn a new one by webophiles everywhere so it's no surprise really. They're 1hr long films done for a sat/cable TV show called Masters Of Horror. Most people like to complain about the series but I'm trying to see them since Tobe H., Argento, Miike etc. have done some. Carpenter's are called Cigarette Burns and Pro Choice. You can get them as cheapo dvds or online--I've got CB on dvd and will now get PC when I have the funds. People seemed to enjoy Burns but really slammed Choice; I enjoyed both. Still too early but I actually feel parts of Choice are actually stronger, more of a Carpenter film. Some parts are gloriously cheesy and I really, really enjoyed that. One thing is, they do look shot for TV, a different tact for him, which people have called phoning in direction but I'm not too sure of that. Of course, what do I know, I enjoyed Ghosts Of Mars.

geoff said...

Netflix has them!

geoff said...

Oh and yes, as discs you can play--but I can always arrange them that way later.

Been looking for some Orange Juice lately, but beastly expensive on Amazon and it never pops up at R&TT.

Nick said...

Awesome, let me know what you think if you get to them. You liked 9th Gate right? Similar.

What I will do: some audio discs and a big DVDR full of files. I can hook you up with the Orange Juice. If you're looking for a good album cheap check the bins for Georgeous George by Edwyn Collins (main man from OJ): you will not be disappointed. He had a cerebral haemorrhage two years ago, sucked, but he seems to be working hard at getting back into performing and recording again.