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Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “Casino Royale (Two-Disc Edition)”

(Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Black & White/Color. 2007. 2 discs. 2 hours, 24 minutes. Rated PG-13. Widescreen. Directed by Martin Campbell.) Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Jeffrey Wright, Judi Dench. Music by David Arnold.

Craig’s the latest actor to take on the role of the ultimate secret agent, 007. Casino Royale, Ian Fleming’s first novel in the series (put that ’60s spoof with David Niven out of your mind), traces the early career of Bond as M (Dench) elevates him to 00 status and sends him on his first mission to thwart Le Chiffre (Mikkelsen, with a tear duct weeping blood), banker to the world’s terrorists. Sultry Vesper Lynd (Green) is on hand as Bond’s main love interest. Craig’s the best thing about the movie – blond, yes, with startling light blue eyes. His Bond is compact, muscular, gritty, sexy (oh, those bathing suits), sometimes even unlikable…in short, human. Mikkelsen’s villain is intriguing; the action scenes range from adequate to exciting; French actress Green’s OK but has looked better (she’s the gal from that odd little indie The Dreamers). Texas Hold ‘Em doesn’t have quite the same cachet as bacarrat…but at least the Aston Martin’s back, and so is composer David Arnold, who does a nice job incorporating the traditional Bond themes into his score. The 2-disc set is light on extras: three featurettes and Chris Cornell’s music video for You Know My Name, the theme song which never appeared on the CD soundtrack. The movie’s end credits state the traditional James Bond Will Return. I’m looking forward to Craig’s next outing.