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Martin Scorsese's highly-praised crime thriller The Departed, I
couldn't shake the feeling that the director spent the entire movie
hovering off-camera muttering to himself, "So you didn't like Gangs
of New York or The Aviator, didya? You want to see gangsters,
guns and gore all scored to classic rock tunes, huh? Okay...you asked for
it. How about this? And this? And this?" In other words, this is a
movie that Scorsese has clearly made for the audience, rather than
himself. And the audience has responded in kind. Critics are falling all
over themselves to hail The Departed as the director's return to
form, as if he had spent the past decade in some kind of artistic
hibernation, instead of exploring such diverse times and places as
turn-of-the-century New York, the Golden Age of Hollywood and the mountain
ranges of Tibet.
don't even know where to begin with this review, the plot was simplistic,
yet dense and at times a little too complicated. In a nutshell, Bond is
trying to figure out who is funding several major terrorist groups. At the
same time he finds himself at constant odds with M (Judi Dench). For the
first time Dench actually gets to do some acting in a Bond film, in
previous films they would trot her out to utter a witticism and then
disappear for the rest of the movie. In Casino Royale she's a vital part
of the story, but it's in the cliched boss trying to reign in her out of
control detective kind of way. Somehow it works here and feels
you want your trademark Bond gadgets, cars, and gear, Royale will
disappoint as this Bond drives a rented Ford Focus, that is until he gets
back into M's good graces, then he's given the sporty Aston Martin. But
even that car lacks gadgets, unless you consider a tray that holds a first
aide kit and a gun cool.
Royale, the series reinvents itself along with the main character.
I've seen the film described as Bond
Begins in some reviews and that's really the best way to
characterize it. Casino Royale
is the story of who James Bond is and how he came to be. The film opens
with a black-and-white sequence that shows Bond making the two kills that
earn him "00" status. After that, he's dispatched on his first
mission, a simple observation gig that naturally turns into an extended
chase through a construction site.
A clue from this encounter leads Bond to the
Daniel Craig said he wanted the character to be
more vulnerable, and vulnerable he certainly is. Beaten, tortured (in a
scene up there with Larry’s penchant for freelance dentistry in Marathon
Man), poisoned shot with a nail gun then beaten again, the old/new Bond is
far more convincing than all his predecessors, Connery excluded.
As if we didn't already know that the main goal of Casino Royale is to rebuild Bond and re-establish his character, the film's amazing last scene ends, with nothing really resolved, leaving you wanting more. Casino Royale is one of the best films of the year, well worth checking out.
thanks to exploited Chinese DVD sellers for bootleg copies, three for £10
- excellent quality at a good price!
Don’t start, I went under duress.
Anyway, having avoided all trailers for this film and guided only by a
raft of positive newspaper reviews and word-of-mouth testimony I trundled
along with an entourage of hand-holding couples to see Sacha Baron
Cohen’s alter-ego Borat make his way across
If ever a film was destined for a
trailer with the voiced-over tagline “…with hilarious consequences”
then this, I thought, would be it.
I’m sure you’re all familiar with
the format. Vaguely ignorant TV reporter from backwards eastern bloc
country travels to supposedly advanced western society and along the way
demonstrates through an array of well timed set pieces and toe curlingly
embarrassing social situations that we are (as Dean Friedman and Denise
Marsa once squeakily sang) not as smart as we’d like to think we are.
From the outset, it’s not difficult
to see why the film has caused a stir or two in
Incidentally, is anyone else sick of
that phrase? It’s now being used in the same way as the word
“liberal” as a term of disparagement, usually by the thoroughly
ignorant to further demonstrate their thorough ignorance. There is
“being right” and then there is Political Correctness – trying hard
to be seen to be right. In breaking the conventions for acceptable social
behaviour, this film walks the very fine line and just about gets away
with it. That said, I’m not from
The whole film is based on the
premise that he’s a bit dumb and he’s from a country that’s a bit
dumb. It’s how he dupes his victims. This is the joke. But
there’s only so much you can watch someone pulling the wool over the
eyes of someone who isn’t in on the gag before it becomes a bit samey.
In one respect, the issue is addressed in that Cohen raises the bar for
shock tactics – I’ve seen the film described as “Jackass with an
agenda”, which goes too far (it’s better than that) – but it gives
you an idea of the kind of things you can expect to see. Cohen also
ensures he doesn’t dwell on any one target for too long. But the film
remains one big exercise in conning the public.
I’ve also seen it said that the key
to the film’s genius is that it exposes
It’s quite a funny film as far as
it goes. If you see it, you’ll probably laugh at at least some part of
it but never watch it again. It’s been said that the joke is not on
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