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December 2006

December 2006 - Angels

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  • Fiction: Scapegoat

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  • Movie: Casino Royale
  • Movie: Flushed Away
  • Movie: Open Season


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  • Casino Royale
    Movie Review
    by Georgette Tan

    Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Thriller
    Director: Martin Campbell
    Language: English
    Cast: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Giannini, Caterina Murino, Simon Abkarian, Tobias Menzies, Ivana Milicevic, Clemens Schik, Ludger Pistor, Claudio Santamaria, Isaach de Bankole.

    The opening credits of the movie should tell you that this Bond movie is different. There are no writhing female silhouettes in the beautiful, highly stylised animation that features patterns from playing cards.

    I begin this review by stating that I don't remember much from whatever Bond movie I've ever caught a glimpse of in the past. None of it ever appealed to me. The only reason I was interested in seeing Casino Royale is because all the die-hard fans are upset about Daniel Craig being cast as one of the most iconic roles in pop culture. This probably means that I'll like the new 007 movie.

    James Bond (Daniel Craig) gets his Double O status and is assigned to track down a terrorist bomb maker in Africa. Things go wrong, resulting in a PR nightmare for M (Judy Dench). She puts him on notice, but he does not let the matter go. Bond tracks the dirty money to the top financier of terrorist activity, a man known as "Le Chiffre" (Mads Mikkelsen).

    Le Chiffre will be taking part in a high-stakes Hold Em Poker game at Montenegro. As the agency's best player, Bond gets sent to play against him... if only to prevent him from winning. He is paired with an accountant from Her Majesty's treasure, Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), assigned to keep the pounds all in check.

    Naturally, there is a lot more to the whole issue than meets the eye.

    Forget for a moment that this is a Bond movie. I certainly didn't walk in with an idea of what Bond should be like. I don't care much for discussions on who was the best Bond or which was the best Bond movie. It's just another movie I had to review that week and it better be a good one or else I'll sound a lot crankier here.

    But it is the best damn action movie I've seen so far. (If you can't think of a better movie in the same genre, it's probably just been replaced.) The only time I was reminded that it's a Bond movie is when someone says his name.

    There were several spectacular chase scenes. The first chase in Madagascar featured the fluid art of parkour (Wikipedia is your friend), where the hunted races through the urban landscape on foot with breathtaking grace and agility, while Bond gives pursuit in a notably less elegant manner.

    Bond himself is rough around the edges. He make mistakes. Some of these mistakes shaped the Bond we are all familiar with. It was rather entertaining to see how bloody things got for everyone involved.

    Didn't this year's Superman and Batman changed the face of their respective franchises forever? Add James Bond to the list.

    Georgette Tan writes for a Malaysian newspaper. She is fond of movies, long walks on the beach and clichés.
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