Sunday, August 19, 2007

Casino Royale

There wasn't anything I wanted to see in the theaters this weekend that I had to see, so I rented Casino Royale, the latest James Bond movie released last year staring Daniel Craig as the latest Bond figure. The reason I didn't see it in the theaters was my predetermination that this was just another JB film with all the gadgets and nonsense that has turned me off to these films since the Timothy Dalton days. I was just tired of the same old thing. The few I did see was because John Cleese played Q.

My idea of a good James Bond movie was like From Russia With Love, my all time favorite Bond film because the plot was believable and the gadgets were believable. Goldfinger was good, but they went steadily downhill after that. But, I guess my taste in movies matured also.

The first thing that was noticed about the film was "where is the James Bond Theme music?" But, after all, it was a new Bond and this was really supposed to be the initial episode in James' career, but still I was pleasantly surprised at Casino Royale. It tried to stay true to the Ian Flemming story and got back to the basics of a good spy story without the need for all the extra gadgets. There was more action in this film without the gadgets than most films had with them. I especially liked the chase scene in the beginning of the movie that was all done on foot and totally believable except that no one could have that much energy!! But, it was great! Daniel Criag makes a good Bond, a little stiff for a Bond, but, after all, this was an immature Bond: Bond, The Early days!

I also liked the fun the writers had with the little "flash-aheads" and jokes pertaining to future Bond events, like the Aston Martin DB5 and an obvious joke to Moneypenny. The overall story was well written and the plot kept you guessing, even when you knew the outcome, you still had to figure out who, how and why. I don't want to give away any of the plot. Enjoyit yourself. This one is worth seeing a second time. I give it a 8 out of 10.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

The Bourne Ultimatum is the third in the Bourne series of movies written by Robert Ludlum. I saw the first movie in the series, The Bourne Identity, but was not impressed. Therefore, I didn't bother with the second movie in the series, The Bourne Supremacy.

This third entry doesn't need the other two to make any sense. Ultimatum stands quite nicely alone. The only knowledge you need to know is that our hero has had a memory loss. All the rest is supplied in the movie.

Matt Damon reprises his part as Jason Bourne, the good guy who was made to do bad things by other good guys who are really bad guys, you know, the standard anti-government-agency-exceed-your-authority making you the bad guy plot. Nothing terribly new in the plot lines except in it's execution and timing, which make this a non-stop action film with plenty of story to keep you interested and plenty of action to back it up.

Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is being hunted by the people who made him what he is. He has only one objective, that is to go back to the beginning and find out the who, what and whys of who he was and is. He starts in Moscow, then Paris, London, Madrid and then to Tangier and New York City as he picks up clues and tries to stay one step ahead of the bad guys, er, good guys, aah, good guys who are actually bad guys ... you know what I mean. The tricks and maneuvers are first rate and more on the believable side than a Bond movie. The action is pretty much non-stop up there on a par with a Die Hard movie, only believable, like I said. But, like I have mentioned before, the jerky camera movement during all the action scenes I find very annoying, and there is plenty of jerky movement here. They call it "artistic", I say, "who needs it!"

Ultimatum is a decent movie with no profanities (that I recall) and no sex, but plenty of violence, but no bloody. The supporting cast is good with you routing for the "good" guys and wanting the "bad" guys to get there due. There is plenty in the story that is predictable and a few "gotchas" that take you by surprise. A decent 2 hours entertainment if you like this sort of thing. I give it an 8 out of 10.