An animated playing-cards-themed credit sequence is the best part of Casino Royale, which was last evening's entertainment. We went to a budget theater in a part of town we almost never visit. It was like taking a time machine to the 1980s, before the megaplexes supplanted the multiplexes. The grade of the seats is a shallow slope rather than a stadium cliff, the d├ęcor is neon, and not an elevator in sight. At Greenfield, Wisconsin's Silver Cinemas Budget South, it costs only $2.00 to get in on a Saturday night. $2.00! It's twice that to order a movie on PPV, and then you get pan-and-scan and the small screen. There was a big crowd out last night and they laughed and even cheered at the right parts. I remember budget theaters with sticky floors and screaming children from my days in Madison, but this one was clean and the projection was even acceptable. So second run still exists. It hasn't been swallowed up by the ancillaries. As for the post-credits part of the movie: more beefcake than I remember in Bond films of old, and a bit too earnest and sincere for my taste. I would prefer a ridiculous, high camp Bond. I am flabbergasted that Glieberman put it first on his top ten (no link, as EW doesn't want you to read this online). But it's a decent, workmanlike thriller, with about thirty minutes too much running time (I would have started to trim with the romantic scenes in the final act). The best action set piece comes early, with Bond chasing a baddie across a crane perched hundreds of feet in the air. It's so gripping it makes it hard for the rest of the film to measure up. And my favorite line: when the barkeep asks, shaken or stirred, Bond retorts, "Do I look like I give a damn?"


kat said...

I, too, was captivated by that early action sequence, which flaunts the utterly hypnotizing sport of Le Parkour. The sport plays a more prominent role in Luc Besson's film, Banlieue 13, and is the hook of several Nike ads. Le Parkour clubs have cropped up all over Europe and North America. If I was half my age and less a slacker, I'd join.

(Is Parkour known generally? I was unaware of it until seeing Besson's film.)

michael z newman said...

Never heard of Le Parkour, never seen Banlieue 13, and nice use of itals, a trouble I don't usually go to--you must breathe not air but code. I will now spend all night studying Parkour nomenclature at Wikipedia. I wouldn't want to get caught not knowing the difference between a passe muraille and a demitour. Nice, huh?