Dec 11, 2006

Site News... and More Royale

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve updated. It’s been a slow week for fictional spy news (though a fascinating, if sad, week for the real stuff...), but I’ll try to make it up to you this week with lots of new reviews. Keep checking back this week and next for reviews of Alias: Season 5, the Daniel Craig vehicle Archangel (not to be confused with the Alex Rider adventure of more or less the same name!), Volume 2 of Kate Westbrook’s Moneypenny Diaries series, and, hopefully, The Good Shepherd.

Bond collectors should also keep their eyes peeled, because I’ll be posting a lengthy third Casino Royale Magazine Roundup shortly!

Speaking of Casino Royale, I saw it a fifth time this past weekend, and it really holds up. Die Another Day got worse each time I saw it (which was only twice in the theater); Casino Royale, thankfully, gets better. I first saw DAD at the premiere, with Pierce and Halle and Michael and Barbara in attendance (yeah, I did it. I used first names. That’s just the kind of experience it was!), with a million dollar afterparty that converted the Shrine Auditorium into an ice palace complete with ice sculptures, Bond Girl go-go dancers, open bars and more. I’ll admit, the spectacle of the evening did make me see the movie through slightly rose-colored glasses the first time. (Although even at the party, I was conceding to my friend that we had slipped dangerously into Moonraker territory.) It could only be downhill from there, and with that particular movie, it was a treacherous, icy slope... if you'll forgive the pun.

While I missed out on the spectacle of a Casino Royale premiere, it was exhilarating sneaking my way into a press screening and seeing it in advance, so I was still mistrustful of my own first impressions. Luckily, subsequent viewings over the next two consecutive evenings allayed my fears, and I still stand by the review I wrote at that point. Having seen it twice more still, each time with at least a week in between screenings, if anything it’s getting better. The gripes I had then no longer bother me so much. Casino Royale is a damn good Bond movie, and Daniel Craig is a damn good Bond.

I’ll aim to see the movie at least twice more in the theater.

It’s holding up at the Box Office, too. While it’s a shame CR never got to enjoy a weekend atop the chart, it consistently hit Number 1 on weeknights during its first three weeks. (And even on one Friday, right after Thanksgiving!) It may not have opened quite as strongly as DAD in America, but it’s holding on better. CR has shown less weekly erosion than its predecessor, and managed to hold the #4 spot despite the onslaught of four new major releases this past weekend. It’s a long shot, but it just may yet equal or overtake DAD at the American Box Office if it manages to stick around long enough. And internationally, it remains the movie to beat. (Yes, even those pesky penguins can't touch it overseas!)

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