The Good and the Surprisingly Not So Good
Last Friday night, with Isaac's parents watching Isaac, Jr., Mrs. Bartender and I did a double feature. First, we saw For Your Consideration. Now, I loved the prior entries in the Christopher Guest oeuvre (as well as Spinal Tap), but was sadly disappointed with this film. I think part of the problem is that as opposed to dog shows, drama in middle America, or folk groups, the American film industry has been satirized to death. While the movie certainly has some funny moments, it just does not grab you. Moreover, perhaps because of the breadth of the cast and the short length of the movie, you never really get to know any of the characters. It felt like it ended abruptly (after less than 90 minutes), and the "resolution" left strands hanging. Worst of all, it wasn't that funny. Too bad, but I am still looking forward to Baron Haden-Guest's next film.
Following this, we went to see Casino Royale. I have been a huge James Bond fan since I was a little kid ever since I saw Moonraker (which is great when one is 8). Sure, I recognized that many of the films were completely inane and completely departed from the Fleming character. And, like most Bond fans, every Bond has tried, but been unable, to live up to the standard set by Connery and the 60s films which were far and away the best in the series. All that being said, I was very pleased with this film. Sure it ran too long and something is wrong with Bond playing no limit Texas hold 'em, but Daniel Craig was fantastic, it had the beautiful women, the beautiful locales (although the scenes in Montenegro were actually filmed in Carlsbad, Czech Republic), and the semi-coherent plot without the over the top gadgetry or bad jokes. It also, as intended, brought Bond back to his roots with the movie following the plot of the novel reasonably closely. It was a good, tight action flick, and I am glad that "James Bond Will Return." 007 is back.