It's so fucking cold here in Colorado. Last
night, walking to the movie theater, my nuts froze to my legs--one
to each. That didn't stop me, though. It only meant I walked
slower. And, as I said before, it's fucking cold so the walk
January is the beginning of the season when
Hollywood stops trying not to suck and starts patting itself
on the back. Sure, the rest of the year the movies suck, but
not quite as much, and not so intentionally. In the spring they
suck because of incompetence and greed. In the summer they suck
because of greed. In the fall they suck because of delusions
of grandeur. But in January and February they suck because they
suck. It's the Meadowlands of cinema, where the goombahs of
Hollywood dump their toxic waste. All the movies that nobody
gave a shit about, or that even the grassfuckers recognize as
pure shit, get passed off as entertainment.
In short, fuck the new releases. I am not easily
amused, but I am extraordinarily gullible and have a short memory.
I will repeatedly pay full price in hopes of seeing something
that will take me away from a reality where I have an increasingly
painful lump in my throat, or have only nine toes (technically,
ten, but I excommunicated one). Not in January. I won't pay
nine bucks to see the glowing waste of Stomp the Yard
or Arthur and the Invisibles.
Instead, I went to the cheap theater here in
Arvada, the Elvis Cinema, and paid $3.50 to see the months-old
Casino Royale. Add three bucks for a Coke and some popcorn,
and I still had $3.50 left over from the allowance Mrs. Filthy
gives me to buy a taco and a bottle of generic NyQuil. Holy
shit, I just realized I gave you the formula for the greatest
first date ever. Of course, it would cost twenty bucks, not
ten. That is, if you don't go dutch.
By now, anyone that wanted to see Casino
Royale has probably already seen it, so I doubt this review
will either encourage or discourage anyone. But I don't give
a shit about that. Mostly, I'm writing it because I felt like
going to a movie and writing something about it. Consider it
a lot like the recently-departed great actress Candy Bottoms'
early masturbation videos: she was clearly enjoying it most,
but as long as she was doing it, might as well turn on the camcorder
for the benefit of others. I don't have a camcorder, but like
millions of Americans, I have a web site for my jerking off.
I'm not a James Bond fan, not even of the early
ones that seem to have gained classic status simply by being
old. Mostly, I find the movies a lame combination of campy gags
we're supposed to laugh at, and hoary plot devices and gadgetry
that we weren't. By the end, Bonds' suavity was so assumed that
he could say things that would have sounded vulgar on the party
page of a 1972 Playboy yet the ladies swooned. "Yes,
your boobies are very plump, Miss Haymaker, but not half as
nice as my ding-dong would look in your hand." "Ooooooh, Jaaaaaames."
Bond never grew or changed, he just arched his eyebrow with
varying frequency. The technology had clearly become the star
of the movies, and it was baloney, a bunch of improbable doo-dads
dreamed up by hack screenwriters like occasionally invisible
cars and gas-powered socks. Each movie was embarrassing, but
viewed in series, the decline and repetition is even moreso.
For the series, there were three ways to go:
quit; keep dreaming up even more convoluted plots and laughable
gadgets; or start over. Casino Royale represents the
only viable choice for a group of status-seeking grassfuckers.
That is, to appear to be daring and reinvent the character and
the series while really just keeping a franchise viable.
The new James Bond is Daniel Craig, whose face
looks like a cross between a handsome man and a bare skull.
He isn't even a double-o when the movie begins. Instead, I think
he is from the typing pool but kills a guy and earns a promotion.
I thought that only worked at the Arvada Police Department.
Craig is more immature and emotional than previous Bonds, and
responds more like a trashy hothead. The bad guy (Mads Mikkelson)
is a man who is using an African warlord's mosey to short the
stock of an jet manufacturer. Once he blows up jet maker's newest
flagship and the stock goes in the crapper, he and the warlord
will make a fortune.
That's pretty straightforward, especially compared
to the crap in the last Bond movie about Icelandic diamonds,
satellites, albino Koreans and cold wars. The real drag in the
plot is the hooey middle section. After Bond screws some guy's
lady friend and then foils the bomb plot, the Africans are going
to kill Mikkelson, so he dreams up a scheme to play a ten-man
poker tournament at fifteen million boners a head to recoup
the loss. For reasons that still don't make much sense, Craig
is signed up for it by his agency. Even in the fantasy world
of spies, secret agents aren't bought into high-stakes against
unknown opponents and expected to win.
The middle of the movie has all the thrills
and excitement of those Travel Channel poker shows where fat
white guys stare into each other's souls. Yeah, Bond hooks up
with accountant Eva Green, who was much better when she was
naked all the time in The Dreamers, and nearly gets killed
a few times. Still, though, it's pretty fucking boring watching
poker at home, and even worse on a big screen. What we do learn
is that Bond is a weak-loose pussy at the table who only raises
with the nuts, never bluffs and, despite suavely saying that
in poker "you don't play your cards; you play your opponent,"
only plays his cards. The one time he doesn't, he loses.
There are plenty of arbitrary and confusing
double-crosses in Casino Royale. There are also plenty
of villains who pass across the screen that it's hard to remember
them. Bond runs around a hell of a lot, and heals quickly. Still,
this is a better Bond film. Not nearly as much time is spent
fetishizing gadgets, and Bond is unsure of himself and gets
beat up often enough that he actually breaks a sweat.
Three Fingers for Casino Royale;
it's a good restart that'll give the grassfuckers another twenty
years to drive Bond back into the ground. In conclusion, it's
fucking cold here.