116 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate version of this Bond film
Rather than focussing on the film, which is well reviewed, here is a quick run-down of the extras on this "Deluxe Blu-Ray" version over the DVD Collector's Edition and original Blu-ray versions and the DVD Deluxe Edition.
Firstly, those interested in the Blu-ray version over the DVD will be keen to know that all of the extras are in high definition, with the...
Published on 25 Oct. 2008 by K4872
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A new JB, but is this more Jack Bauer than James Bond?
This has a few of the reference points that assure you that you're watching a Bond film: the Aston Martin, 'M', the exotic locations and the girls. But as others have said, there's no Moneypenny or Q, and not many gadgets besides a mobile phone obsession -- Sony Ericsson must have paid a fortune for the repeated product placement.
But it's in the changing pace...
Published on 7 April 2007 by Gavin Wilson
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely Deluxe,
This review is from: Casino Royale (Deluxe Edition) [DVD]  (DVD)
This 3 disc set is packaged in the thickest card and has a velvet covering. A really well produced package, with a sumptuous booklet too.
The first disk has a new commentary which is insightful and entertaining.
The second disc is as it was on the 2 disc version.
The extras on the third disc are all new and go into great detail and are very much worth viewing.
All in all, a superb set... I hope they do the same for Quantum of Solace.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bond is Back,
Daniel Craig was given a very hard time when he was chosen to replace Pierce Brosnan as James Bond. Personally I always thought he was a good choice, having seen him in 'Layer Cake' with a steely glint in his eye and that great voice. But the proof really is in the pudding. The whole idea of who and what Bond is has been rejuvenated - but without sacrificing the quintessential elements of Bond that we know and love: namely the car, the car and the car (sorry but it was PAINFUL to watch what happened to it), the beautiful leading lady (who is a little more complex than our usual Bond girls), exotic locations, incredible action sequences (the opening action sequence is jaw-dropping), some humour (I defy anyone not to cringe and laugh during the torture scene), a quirky bad guy, gadgets galore and a finger at rather than a nod to some of the other Bond-isms ('Would you like your Martini shaken or stirred?' Do I look like I give a damn?'). Not to mention the incredible credit sequence, thankfully replacing the chauvinistic dancing girls we usually get - and a fantastic theme tune by Chris Cornell which sticks in your head.
But the most interesting aspect of 'Casino Royale' for me is the way we see Bond as never before: as a rough diamond, a thug, before his job truly took his soul. We see him struggle with his feelings about killing, how he learns to trust no-one and how his heart gets broken. Judi Dench is, as usual, wonderful as M and the chemistry crackles between her and Craig as they develop their relationship which often resembles that of exasperated parent and wilful child.
There are some nice extras on the 2-disc edition which is worth having - but just make sure you get the film. In my opinion the best film of 2006 and possibly one of the best Bond films ever. Now THAT'S how to answer the critics!
84 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray full product details,
Since Amazon never publishes the full details here they are:
Audio: Czech 5.1, English 5.1, English PCM 5.1, English Audio description track 5.1, Hungarian 5.1, Polish 5.1, Russian 5.1, Turkish 5.1
Subtitles: Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, English (Hard of hearing), English, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Polish, Romanian, Slovene, Turkish
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bond as it should be done,
Don't get me wrong, I have loved the Bond films all my life and have seen them all many, many times. I have also read the books. For a long time now I have hoped that the film makers would look once again at the novels. With Casino Royale they have and the film is a classy, stylish, hard hitting masterpiece. It's great to see an almost uncertain Bond becoming the high living, world traveling gentleman thug of a killer. I have to say that even the long scenes in the casino are as thrilling as any car chase and gun fight. It's just so well done. Mention must be made of the score, David Arnold teases us throughout with the Bond theme and its only.... when it explodes into the movie and we are left without a doubt that Bond is ready to take on the world. It looks gorgeous and the camera work is mercifully free of unnecessary shaking as over used by the Bourne movies. And Daniel Craig was born to play Bond. Long may he do so.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film but with some inconsistant image quality,
First of all let me say that I think this is a great Bond film. Not that some earlier ones weren't, they were good for their era but it seems that now 'we' want a gritty hero, not a romantic vision of a spy.
In that I think DC plays the role very well.
What did surprise me was that some of the film displayed poor image quality. The part that springs to mind is the scene in the embassy courtyard. The camera switches from Bond to his persuers and back and forth again.
The change in definition quality changes dramaticaly between one and the other camera shot. I thought I must have a fault but a friend at work had noticed the same thing. Strange for a recent film to have this problem.
Probably a case that the two camera angles were shot at completely different times/location with different equipment and one was inferior to the other.
Still, a great Bond film.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You know my name!,
After the deplorable 'Die Another Day' and the fact that Pierce Brosnan's Bond had become some kind of slimy lounge lizard without an ounce of danger, the Bond franchise looked as though it had finally had it's day. With that young upstart Jason Bourne to contend with, a radical rethink was in order. For some, Daniel Craig was a little too radical, and the press surrounding his appointment was almost universally negative. Oh, the joy of hindsight.
With Martin Cambell at the helm, an experienced hand who launched the Brosnan era with GoldenEye, which at the time was a fairly radical relaunch, and the chance to finally film the original Bond story, it was time to show the young pretenders how it should be done.
Daniel Craig's tenure as 007 begins with perhaps the most fantastic pre-title sequence of any Bond. Filmed in black and white, with a level of visceral shocking violence that truly reflects Bond's licensed killer role, and the gun-barrel motif as part of the action this announces the arrival of 007 in style.
The film continues in this new, much grittier way, but still feels very much like Bond. There are the exotic locations, beautiful women, opulent lifestyles and obsession with food and drink that is so evident in Fleming's novels.
On the whole the film sticks very closely to the novel, swapping Bacarat for texas hold-em poker and a carpet sweeper for a knotted rope ;) there are some additions to make the story more cinematic. The free-running chase at the start of the film, and the collapsing venetian house at the climax are dramatic to watch but, particularily in the case of the latter, feel a little overblown in comparison to the rest of the film and the film does seem to flag slightly in the last 20 minutes, but the climax which leaves the film open for a direct sequel is a brave move.
The emotional journey Bond takes through the film hangs very much on the chemistry between Bond and Vesper Lind, (Eva Green) and for me there just wasn't the spark that would have made this feel truthful. There simply isn't enough of an on screen frisson between the leads to make me believe that Bond falls as hard as he does.
Small niggles aside, this is a fantastic film, and I eagerly look forward to the next Bond film, not something I have said for a good few years.
The DVD comes with some fine extras. The two making of features are some of the best I have seen in a long time. One focuses on the creation of the stunts and effects and how as much as possible was filmed for real. This is great fun and beats watching actors stood in front of green screens and special effects nerds showing you how they have a new program to render smoke, again. The other feature follows Daniel Craig through the selection process, announcement of his casting and filming. This is suprisingly frank and deals bravely with his less than rapturous reception.
There is another feature on Bond girls there to pad out the disk, its a bit ropey and was on the TV around the time the film received it's cinematic release. Maryam d'Abo waxes lyrical about the legacy of Bond girls and she talks to some other aging actresses about how lovely they used to be.
Also included is the video for the Chris Cornell song 'You know my name' which is easily the best theme in years, but to be honest only fans will watch the video more than once.
So overall then, the best Bond film in years, with the best Bond in decades, backed with some good extras.
I'm off to pour myself a nice big Vesper, cheers.
111 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Bond Yet,
I grew up with the Bond movies. I was slightly too young to see Dr No when it came out, but by Goldfinger I was an avid fan. For me Sean Connery was the best personification of the literary character. The other actors (all of them) never really did it for me. Sean Connery's Bonds are an extremely tough act to top. By the time I clocked the invisible car in the last of the Pierce Brosnan movies (see, I can't even remember tha name of it!) Bond had become a joke, exactly like the Mike Myers pastiche, something that got put on the DVD player at a chum's house, and certainly not a 'must see' at the cinema.
A few months ago I caught the early trailer for the new movie and thought it looked quite different. I decided to part with my cash (albeit on an 'Orange Wednesday') for one last time and check out Casino Royale when it opened in November.
Having read and re-read all of the books as a youngster I can only say that this Bond, and Daniel Craig in particular, is the closest to the books yet. For me he's better even than Sean Connery. THIS is how a Bond movie should look. It's fast, it's dirty, it's edgy and it simply doesn't need the stupid gadgets and hollowed-out volcanoes. Martin Campbell has created a superb, modern Bond with Daniel Craig. We see the character develop and 'become' Bond. In fact it's not until the very last moments of the movie that the famous signature tune arrives along with those immortal words. "Who are you?" asks Mr White, "The name's Bond, James Bond".
If the next movies are as good as Casino Royale the series will continue for many more years. Daniel Craig is just great. Go and see this movie, it's BRILLIANT.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fleming ... Ian Fleming,
This review is from: Casino Royale  [DVD]  (DVD)
When this review, now the 380th in Amazon UK, was originally written in 2007, it was the 195th review of "Casino Royale" to appear in Amazon US. (I see that the total number of US reviews stands currently at 1,211.) I had looked over the previous 194 Amazon US reviews. The great majority of them praised this movie to the skies. Most adhered to one form or another of the "Best Since Connery" mantra. Some wild-eyed radicals are even breaking through all the barricades to proclaim Daniel Craig the best Bond ever.
The great majority of reviewers approached this Bond feature entirely as a film in a series of films. The underlying basis of their criticism, whether favorable to or revolted by the current "Casino Royale," rests on the joint creation of producer Albert R. (Cubby) Broccoli, directors such as Terrence Young and Guy Hamilton, and, of course, Sean Connery. To these people, the long-ago contributions of an obscure individual named Fleming hover somewhere between invisible and irrelevant.
A tiny remainder of reviewers trotted out the memory of Fleming, but mostly to declare that "Casino Royale" is a faithful reproduction of his novel of the same name. By "faithful," it is evident they meant on the one hand that the plot of the movie is roughly congruent to that of the book and, on the other hand, they mean the new Bond is not decked out with all manner of gaudy, deadly toys, fripperies and gimcracks. Only one of the then 194 US reviewers, Mr. William R. Hancock,and one annotator amid the comments offered convincing evidence that they have read more than a couple of pages of Fleming's writings in all their lives.
This new Bond, Daniel Craig, is very much a Bond for the Twenty-first Century. He is the man of the people that many men of the people like to imagine themselves to be--one many women of the people would simply like to like: straightforward, tough, competent ... hard in any of several senses: a demotic Bond.
Fleming's Bond was different. Fleming's operative was no man of the Twenty-first Century, and barely one of the Twentieth. His Bond was partly Sidney Reilly, who operated against the Germany of the Kaiser and the Russia of the Bolsheviks. The greater part of Bond, though, was a romanticized, idealized Ian Fleming.
Fleming was educated at Eton, Sandhurst, Munich University and the University of Geneva. In 1939 he was recruited by the Director of Intelligence for the Royal Navy. By the end of the war, he had risen to the rank of commander. In 1941, American General William Donovan asked him to write a memo detailing the operations of an intelligence and operations service. Parts of that memo were incorporated into the Charter of the OSS. Fleming enjoyed telling an anecdote in which he stumbled upon an Axis paymaster gambling in some neutral location. It had struck him that it would be a very useful thing to bankrupt the man at the tables, thus opening him up to control by British intelligence. Even more, he enjoyed admitting that he had gone broke in just three hands while trying to carry out his hare-brained scheme.
After the war, he took up the time-honored profession of washed up, highly educated, gentleman spies. He wrote potboilers for money. He remembered the name of a fellow member of his London club, one Blofeld, just as he remembered that Axis paymaster at the gambling table.
In his first novel, "Casino Royale," Fleming created an operative who held the rank of commander in the Royal Navy. Commander Bond was a member of an exclusive London gentleman's club. During the war years, while he had been busy assassinating Axis agents in New York and other exotic locales, he had stored away his beloved Bentley, which he now drove at excessive speed over English roads. He was a gentleman, defined in his mind as a man who never harms anyone--unintentionally. Commander Bond, like Fleming, was a frightful snob. He had very specific, even finicky ideas on proper behavior, gamesmanship (not always legal ones), brand-named merchandise, and the correct mixing of drinks.
Now, compare Fleming's Bond with the Craig's demotic model. That Bond's no commander in any man's navy. If he has a military background, it's as an "other ranks" SAS man. That Bond in a London club? As a dishwasher, perhaps. That Bond, a graduate of Eton, polished in foreign universities? Hardly--a year at a red brick school, maybe, and a desultory go with the Open University, at most.
Take the dinner jacket that Bond wears in the big gambling scene. It's brand new and fits him perfectly. Fleming, like his friend Noel Coward, really wore the things on a regular basis. They wore cuts slightly out of fashion and slightly but exquisitely baggy and threadbare. They owned the things, you see, and took pains to preserve them, so as not to be taken for freshly-tailored, nouveau riche bounders. Craig could pass for the bouncer at a slightly seedy gambling den.
"Casino Royale" is actually a pretty good movie. It is true not so much to the book, but to the 500-word summary undoubtedly given to writers who had evidently never heard of it or read it. The movie is noticeably less faithful to Fleming's written words than "Dr. No" and "Goldfinger" but still more so than most of the films in the Bond series. (Montenegro, Monte Carlo, who knows? Who cares? Baccarat, what's that?) For all that, however, the heart and soul of this movie is not Fleming's novel but the recent success of "Batman Begins." And at the climactic moment, Craig should not announce that he is "Bond ... James Bond," but, "Bourne ... James Bourne."
I have noticed that people look askance at Amazon reviews that deal with the movies rather than their DVD releases. Keeping that firmly in mind, I confidently report that "Casino Royale" comes on pieces of plastic. In a comment attached to the very first Amazon US review of "Casino Royale," Mr. Todd Bradley reported what his coworker had told him that morning in the lunch room: "He said the special features are worthless crap." Who am I to disagree with Mr. Browning's coworker--whether in the lunchroom or out of it?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original reference disc,
One of the oldest Blu-Ray discs is still one of the absolute best. "Casino Royale" has a dazzling PCM 5.1 soundtrack with some of the best Bond music in ages "You know my name" from Chris Cornell of The Black Crowes. Throughout the film the listener is spoiled with top-quality effects, superb use of surround speakers and a gargantuan subwoofer display: when the building crumbles late on, you'll think your own house is going down. And, last but not least, everything is perfectly balanced. There is a woeful trend emerging (chiefly amongst some DTS HD MA tracks e.g. "Public Enemies") for dialogue to be way too quiet and everything else way too loud.
"Casino Royale" is also a stunning visual experience. Everything is super-sharp and with such depth and plasticity that it becomes clear why some BD lovers talk about 'three-dimensionality' even before the release of 3-D Blu-Ray. There are several moments where you expect the figures to walk off the screen and into your room. Colours and contrasts are always spot-on, with Craig's eyes glowing an incredible blue that seem made to advertise the format!
And then the film is even better. I had given up on Bond movies as a pathetic joke many, many years ago. Suddenly the franchise is funny again (but no longer laughing at it) with a script that crackles with wit (Bond and Vesper on the train are superb after you digest the awful "Moneypenny" pun). Action sequences are more believable, the fiddly gadgets and associated campness are gone. Craig is a Bond who looks as though he could actually do this for a living and that gives the film a drive and a presence that the franchise had long lost. The film also offers a more human Bond than ever before, actually stopping to take the idea of killing seriously: the title music opens "If you take a life/Do you know what you'll give?" For me, he is beyond criticism and the best Bond ever bar none (unless you think the role should not be played so seriously, then it's Connery). But everyone is brilliant, the acting is the highest standard ever seen in a Bond movie.
Criticisms? The Sony product placement is beyond shameless. I know they spent a bundle on this, but do they have to risk ruining the hard-won reality and credibility of the film by fixing every camera-angle so that you even see the blank disc in the security camera recorder is a Sony? I also thought that Bond playing Texas hold 'em just because that is/was so popular on TV at the time was a bit suspect.
Aside from that, if for some strange reason you don't own this disc, buy it now. It really is still one of the top ten best Blu-Ray discs on the market, and still the disc I most often use to show off the format and related equipment to the curious.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bond is back......thanks to Bourne,
The James Bond series of films are classics. When I was growing up, everyone told me to watch them. They were Christmas favourites, and everyone I talked to had some knowledge of at least a few of them. They were spoken about with the same "classic" tone of voice that Indiana Jones, Back to the Future and the Die Hard films were mentioned in. They had a sort of "must-watch" feel to them, regardless of their quality.
I have most of the Bond back catalogue on DVD. With the exception of a few, most don't quite stand up to today's standards. That is understandable. The last few Bond's (Pierce Brosnan's films) not only fell into this trap, but also managed to be not-very-good films.
Daniel Craig's Casino Royale manages to stop the trend. This is Bond for 2007. However, most importantly, this is Bond competing with Jason Bourne.
In a year that saw the release of the third Bourne film, Bond couldn't just be a smooth talking, gadget-filled hero. He had to be action-packed, realistic and a dangerous man, along with all his other historic attributes. It was a tall order.
The opening 30 minutes put any fears to bed. The fight scenes are bloody and realistic. The action is hard hitting. Sitting in the cinema, I could feel every punch. The film ticks all the boxes - enjoyable plot, entertaining, realistic and hard-hitting action, memorable bad-guy, sexy women, fun and inventive gadgets, and the fact that Bond occasionally gets hurt is a nice change from Bond's of the past.
The ending was a little undecisive for me - it ended at an awkward time, almost as if they couldn't quite think of a perfect ending. Still, it doesn't detract from the previous excellent 130 minutes.
Highly recommended and a terrific addition to a series that needed rejuvenating and bringing into this century with a bang!
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Casino Royale [DVD]  by Martin Campbell (DVD - 2012)