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Yep, I've just got back from seeing Casino Royale.

When I first started watching the Bond films (way back as a young child) my order of preference for the 3 actors (that I knew of at that point) that had played Bond was Connery, Moore, Lazenby (there's a very big gap between Moore and Lazenby - similar in size to the Grand Canyon). 

Then Timothy Dalton was cast as the new Bond so that changed the order a little - Connery, Moore, Dalton, Lazenby. 

I started getting into the mythos a little more and actually sat through the entirety of the spoof Casino Royale (quite how I don't know but I did it) and decided that I really wasn't going to let that anywhere near my preference list :-).  Before Brosnan was cast, my father and I would have quite intense discussions about what order the Bonds should be put in (we agreed on the placing of Connery and Lazenby but argued about Dalton and Moore) with him eventually telling me I really should start reading the books and then I'd change my mind.

Then Brosnan was cast and the order changed again - Connery, Brosnan, Moore, Dalton, Lazenby. 

Then a couple of years later, I started reading the books (I've read all the Fleming Bond books and only have one short story to track down and I've read all of his.  I haven't decided on whether or not I want to start reading the non-Fleming books yet) and the order changed again - Connery, Brosnan, Dalton, Moore, Lazenby (I really hate it when my Dad's proved right).  Of course, by this point, I'm living in the US and have started getting all the Bond films on DVD - gotta love those special editions with loads of extras :-)  This means I'm watching and re-watching all the Bond films and confirms my order of preference.  I figure it's pretty much static at the top-end of the list - new Bonds will get added somewhere below Brosnan.

I was very open to the idea of Daniel Craig as Bond (if the worst thing you can say is his hair colour is wrong, then that really isn't an issue) but wasn't sure quite where he'd wind up going - I figured he'd probably go in somewhere around 3rd or so.  Turns out I was way wrong on that.  In a result that will probably be deemed sacrilege by other ardent Bond fans, I can't decide if he goes in above or below Connery - so for now the list is Connery / Craig, Brosnan, Dalton, Moore, Lazenby.

I absolutely love Casino Royale (except for the bit where the Aston Martin DBS is trashed - I almost shed a tear) and Daniel Craig is absolutely fantastic.  If you've read the book, you'll recognise the main elements and if you haven't, it's a very good Bond film to go see.  It's very dark and a lot more violent than I was expecting - this Bond kills because it's his job and doesn't lessen it with a quip (well, in a couple of places but not glaringly so).  He's the first Bond I've seen who actually has any kind of believable emotional response to killing someone and he does indeed grow as a character during the film - the Bond at the end of the film is a different animal to the one at the beginning.

So I recommend anyone who wants to go see an intelligent, entertaining film to go see this one (of course, it didn't hurt that you get to see quite a bit of Daniel Craig semi and completely nude - boy has he been working out).

Now I just need to decide when I want to go see it again - this will probably be one of the few films I go see more than twice in the cinema.


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April 2010

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