Monday, March 23, 2009

"So you want me to be half-monk, half-hitman"

So I apologize for the tardiness of my posts over the past two weeks.  With everything that is going on this semester, it seems I only have time to keep my mind on one thing.  And unfortunately, it hasn't been this blog.  But that changes today, even though I still have plenty to work on.  And even though this really wasn't written on the post date, it would have been the correct date for my Monday reviews, as I actually watched a DVD this weekend, the first (and I think only) for the month of March.  Not to worry, there will be another review that will show up, just that it is from a movie on the DVR (I really hope it doesn't die, because I have too many movies and shows on there that I can't miss!).

For this weekend's selection, I had to go with something that needed action.  Although the first weekend of March Madness has plenty of excitement, I had to break the monotony of basketball with real action excitement: guns, explosions, and fast cars (along with some fast women!).  It also made sense to watch this weekend's selection as the sequel is soon coming out on DVD and I need to decide if I will buy brand spankin' new or wait 'til it hits the proverbial $10 rack (it almost always seems like there are DVDs there that I need).  So what movie could this possibly be?  Of course, the most obvious of all obvious choices: Casino Royale.

With a new James Bond (Daniel Craig) in the mutli-decade film series, the geniuses running it all decided to start from the beginning, using Ian Fleming's first written incarnation as the inspiration for the film.  At the beginning of the film, we see how Bond earns his double zero status as 007.  We also learn of a scheme by the villain of the movie, Le Chiffre, to invest funds from a guerrilla group in Uganda into a successful stock portfolio.  I know, exciting stuff but it gets better.  In order to make a profit, Le Chiffre relies on short selling successful companies and profiting by engineering terrorist attacks to sink their stock values.  Creative, huh?

How Bond gets mixed into this is his involvement of capturing an international bomb-maker, whose cell phone has a message from an associate of Le Chiffre.  Following the trail, Bond is able to thwart any plans of a terrorist attack on a prototype airliner.  Le Chiffre, in order to get the profits needed (i.e. the guerrilla group wants their money... by any means necessary) sets up a high-stakes poker tournament.  As the best there supposedly is, Bond infiltrates his way into getting a seat at the poker table.  He meets up with Rene Mathis, an ally, and Vesper Lynd, a treasury agent who provides the money necessary to enter the tournament.  All kinds of action ensues (although the SO was bored out of her gourd at this point).  Bond is able to win the tournament,  but Le Chiffre doesn't allow him to get away that easily, torturing Bond and Vesper, but Mr. White (a very mysterious character) eliminates Le Chiffre.

Bond orders the arrest of Mathis (during the torture, he's exposed as a double agent) and professes his love for Vesper, while at the same time leaving his agent life behind.  On a romantic holiday, Bond learns the poker winnings were never deposited back into the Treasury, with a tantalizing ending for Bond.  Not only for his love, but also for his life as an agent.

Rather than spoil the ending for you, I'll leave it at that.  As far as I know, the latest Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, picks up where Casino Royale left off.  Which makes it that much more exciting for me to own sooner rather than later.  But I bought CR for $10 and I feel I should do the same for QS.  I know I would be putting less towards the SO's yarn/shoes fund, and that makes me feel better about waiting.  But oh, how I love Bond movies.

The SO?  For an action movie, she wasn't too thrilled.  This is also the girl who had a sinus infection at the time and was less responsive than I am for a day of shoe shopping.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, although I miss Pierce Brosnan as Bond.  But I do realize we all have to move on at some point.  Craig probably wouldn't be my first choice, but he doesn't do a bad job to the film series (not like Timothy Dalton - man, those movies were rough!).  Am I glad I made the purchase?  Hell yeah!  I only own CR and Die Another Day, so I'm not the proud owner of the entire series, but I might start keeping the latest and greatest versions of Bond.  Especially if they really delve into what makes Bond the suave yet powerful agent worthy of double-zero status.

More posts to write, involving buying DVDs!  I know, so exciting!  So I'm off to complete those posts.  Later!

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