Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Notes on Cinema

Last night was a school night, but Betty and Bimbo and pal Animup just had to see "Casino Royale" - the late show! - in the spacious confines of Union Square. And what long and glorious confinement it was!

We all loved squealing and squirming (except for the stoic Bimbo) before Daniel
Cra(i)g(gy) and Eva Green and the coolest Bond bad guy in ages (who resembles Billy Corgan with allergies) for three speedy, gritty, explodey, thrilly hours! Judi Dench was also good, delivering the film's final punch-in-the-heart and not overly sassy.

"Casino Royale" is unevenly paced, but so is "Hamlet", folks! Betty and Bimbo came to enjoy the episodic unfolding of the non-plot, the somewhat unrelated thematic "Acts" in which the same characters seem a little different in each one, particularly the finale. James Bond is Huck Finn!

It's true! Craig and the script gave Bond a little more angst, a little more scar potential, a little more broody James Dean, than he's had before. Quick analysis: Connery was the coolest, Moore was the funniest, Brosnan was the plasticest, and Craig is the emotivest. Betty appreciated this 007's rough, untamed, yet uncertain, swagger and the film's slightly homoerotic appreciation of his ample musculature. Bimbo also liked Craig as an actor, but declared his characterization of Bond unfitting, an aberration from the protocals of the role. "He's good, but he's not James Bond. He's Jimmy Bond," Bimbo (a Bon(a fi)d(e) expert) quipped as we stumbled home on empty Village streets.

Why the makers of this film had to invent new plots around the central poker-in-Montenegro drama remains a mystery to us, as that was the best - and Bondest - part of "Casino Royale". The opening scene, however, featuring a talented action actor who pulls all his own stunts, was likewise magnificent. And classy credits that made flying hearts out of blood got us pumped for it.

Note for those keeping track: We deem this post-Iraq installation a little less sexist, but a little more racist than the average Bond flick. Do you agree? And how about this intriguing post-colonial take?

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