Jun 5, 2009

USA Butchers Casino Royale

Yesterday I was excited that USA was making the most of its pricey Casino Royale cable deal, airing the Daniel Craig Bond debut (making its own basic cable debut) for four nights in a row. Then I happened to catch the end of it right before the Burn Notice season premiere. It's a great finale and always worth watching... except in the way that it was presented on USA! Even though the last seconds of that film are crucial to the story, and to Craig's arc of becoming the James Bond we know, the cable network decided to smush up the picture right after Mr. White gets shot in the leg and run promos for Burn Notice in the lower left half of the screen and scroll the credits of Casino Royale at lightning speed on the lower right–while the film was still running! Furthermore, they tuned out the movie's sound right after Craig says "Bond, James Bond" in order to allow their announcer to tout the Burn Notice premiere. (Or maybe he was talking about that horrible looking doctor show they're promoting so heavily; I don't recall.) The point is, in doing so they omitted the film's final music cue, which I think all Bond fans will agree is actually as integral to the film's story as any line of dialogue! Of course I'm talking about "The James Bond Theme," which comes up on the soundtrack only at the very end, when Craig's 007 has finally "earned" it. USA's decision not to allow that music to play–even for a few seconds–is downright shameful. I hope the network realizes their error and rectifies it for future broadcasts. It's one thing to tune the sound out over the end credits, but quite another to do so while the film itself is still playing! Especially for a film that ends with such a big moment.

6 comments:

C.K. Dexter Haven said...

Say it with me: "Thank goodness for DVDs!"

;)

Tanner said...

Yeah, of course we probably all own both versions of the DVD. (Although for some reason that never stops me from getting sucked into Bond movies whenever I come across them on TV!) But a $20 million cable deal means that surely someone's watching USA's broadcast (a lot of someones, in fact), and it's a shame that they have to watch such a bastardized version!

Delmo said...

That "horrible looking doctor show", Royal Pains, is pretty good.

C.K. Dexter Haven said...

Tanner, I just can't sit through the commercials when those movies are aired on TV! Sure, years ago when ABC would play the 007 movies (always on a sunday or school night, it seems) we had to endure those ads. But nowadays, even a half-hour show has endless commercials. I don't know how people do it today. An hour-long TV show was typically 50 minutes in the 1970s, now it's more like 43 minutes. Pretty soon, we'll see the inadvertent return of the half-hour drama...actually, we're practically there now!

Speaking of edited movies, I just watched Raiders of the Lost Ark on DVD and it was sooooo refreshing *not* to hear Marion say, "I'm your new damn partner!", which is how the original line comes out when the film is broadcast on commercial TV.

:D

Steve Lefebvre said...

I concur with Delmo.
I had very low expectations for "Royal Pains" until I read a very good review on the futon critic and decided to give it a chance.
I'm certainly glad I did as it is definitely not like any doctor show I've ever seen. Different and very entertaining (like a lot of USA's original series, IMHO).
It doesn't excuse what USA did to Casino Royale, though...

Tanner said...

OK, Delmo, Steve... I haven't seen the show, so I'll take your word for it! I guess I was too harsh on it based on promos alone. Maybe I'll try watching the show sometime. (But I stand by the statement they are bad promos!) I did like Mark Feuerstein in Defiance.

CK, I just can't pass up a Bond movie on TV if I come across it, even though I own them all on at least a couple of different DVD versions, several VHS releases and Blu-Rays where applicable! But those ABC Sunday night TV airings hold a special place for me. That's how I first saw many of the Bonds! The ideal summer Sunday evening was dinner grilled on the back porch followed by a whiffleball game with neighborhood friends finished in time for the Bond movie on ABC! But there always seemed to be a thunderstorm or something that knocked the cable out on those nights in Connecticut. Really, it became inevitable! Halfway through the Bond movie, something would happen to keep me from seeing the end! That was incredibly frustrating, but they're still fond memories...