Casino Evil, Cahearno Evil

Birthday weekend included a few too many ginger martinis, a fantastic dinner at Perry Street and a taking-in of Casino Royale with Cinema Companion, JonFoss and Glennis. Despite my general disinterest in the Bond franchise, I loved Casino Royale. We left the theater talking about how hot Daniel Craig is and made fast friends with some girls at the crosswalk who were willing to wait for a few light cycles to pass in order to have a conversation that fully appreciated the man’s hot body and Blue Steel eyes.

I loved the opening sequence of the movie, too. All retro-y cards and poker chips and guns that shot hearts, spades, green clovers, blue diamonds and purple horseshoes, it was visually stunning. Or at least really colorful. I was trying to find the credits to post them but even YouTube doesn’t have them so take my word.

So while my Google search of “casino+royale+opening+credits” was unlucky, it did bring me to the Christianity Today review of the film which is a thorough, good review but contains two dialogue boxes at the end of the review that make it great. In “Discussion Starters”, we’re given some thinkers, like:

1. Do you think there are jobs in the real world that require people to, as Vesper says, “switch off” morality? What are they? Would you be able to put aside morality for a job? What do you think that does to a person? Do you think bad deeds can be good if they are done for the overall good?

2. There are two scenes back-to-back in the Casino Royale hotel that show a difference between how Le Chiffre and Bond both treat women in danger. What does this juxtaposition say about both men?

3. At the end Bond says, “I thought he had my back. Lesson learned.” And then Vesper at one point tells Bond, “You have your armor back on.” What does Bond learn in this film about how he must live his life? Why does he need this “armor?” And what exactly is it?

4. Who do you think is clearly “good” and “bad” in this film? How is this grayish world often seen in pop culture lately. Why do you think that is? Is the world more black-and-white than this?

If only I could have written the essay portion of my SAT II’s based on questions like that. I definitely would have gotten into more than one college if I could have expounded on the morality of James Bond instead of whatever the crap I had to write about.

The Family Corner section of the review also cautions parents:

“the film perhaps should be treated as an R-rated film for intense sequences of violent action (lots of gun play, beatings and blood), an intense scene of torture involving a man’s scrotum (the impact is not shown but heard), sexual content (typical Bond euphemisms and unmarried characters rolling around with clothes on or under covers) and nudity (while female characters are often in skimpy outfits leaving little to the imagination, the “nudity” refers to a male character sitting nude in a chair during a torture scene, but nothing is shown).”

True, true and more true, but when you spell it all out like that it seems so excessive and ouchie. Besides, who could concentrate on scrotal torture when all you saw was rippling chest and sparkling sense of humor that persevered despite it all?

So here you have my high praise of Casino Royale in 17 syllables.

Acrobatic chase
scenes and foxy blond Bond thrill
boys and girls alike.


  1. I could literally hear the the scrotal-shrinkage all around me during that scene. Wow.

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