James Bond’s back again

By Dave Damiano
March 29, 2007

MGM/Colombia Pictures

“Bond, James Bond” is back in the series 21st installment with “Casino Royale.”

The film, recently released on DVD on March 13, restarts the franchise from the very beginning, showing how Bond became a 007 secret agent.

Daniel Craig, star of such films as “Munich” and “Layer Cake,” is the latest actor to play the legendary character of James Bond. Craig is also the sixth person to play Bond, and definitely sets himself apart from others. There is a more ruthless feel about him, he doesn’t necessarily think about the course of his actions and keeps himself emotionally detached from others, which makes him more of a badass.

Of the 21 movies, 16 of them have been based off of James Bond novels and short stories. “Casino Royale” was the first ever published.

Recently, the latest Bond movies have been dull, lacking creativity. “Die Another Day,” which was released in 2002, was filled with gadgets and high-tech illusions only as a distraction from the same old plot of world domination.

Since this film is a prequel, it doesn’t have the crazy gadgets that have made Bond so popular. There are no watch bombs or jet packs, just good action scenes, great acting and a believable love interest.

This time, Bond has to match wits with a mathematical genius in a high stakes game of poker. The villain, Le Chiffre, is a banker to many of the world’s terrorist organizations.

Le Chiffre is not your typical villain. He’s not interested in taking over the world. He feels more powerful by winning money than he ever could by being a world leader. And with a scar above his eye that leads him to cry tears of blood, he’s no sight for sore eyes.

The two disc special edition DVD doesn’t offer as much as one would expect from a rebooted franchise. However it does include an interesting behind the scenes look of the film in a documentary called “Becoming Bond James Bond.”

Other features include a documentary titled “Bond Girls are Forever,” which examines the life and career of actresses who have starred alongside James Bond.

There is also the film’s music video “You Know My Name” by Chris Cornell and numerous trailers for recently released and upcoming movies such as “Premonition,” and “Spider-Man 3.”

The menus for the DVD are a real treat though. Before deciding to play the movie on the first disc, there is a slight preview of the first few minutes of the film, which involve Bond fighting a man in a bathroom. The black and white menu screens offer a nice touch, giving it a very dark feel.

The film is available everywhere with prices ranging from $15.99 to $20.99.

The dark and edgy “Casino Royale” is just what the Bond franchise needed. What sets the movie apart from the others in the series is that it knows no boundaries. It doesn’t need to have the high-tech gadgets to complete the film; it relies on great dialogue and edge of your seat action sequences to keep you entertained.

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Dave Damiano

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