Movies That Everyone Should See: “Casino Royale”

In 2002, Eon Productions released the 20th Bond film in the series, “Die Another Day”.

Though it was critically panned (57% on Rotten Tomatoes) and generally reviled by hardcore fans, it was still a huge hit. The combination of Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry provided an enormous box office draw. Without taking inflation into account, it was the highest grossing Bond film ever released. It earned $432 million worldwide, and was the sixth highest grossing film of 2002.

The producers were faced with a difficult decision. Brosnan, though still wildly popular, had fulfilled his contract and was about to turn 50. The series had also begun to lose credibility during Brosnan’s run, with the quality of the movies gradually devolving until they were cartoonish action films.

They made the difficult decision to recast the role of James Bond, replacing Brosnan with the relatively unknown Daniel Craig. They also decided to create a more grounded movie… to return 007 to more believable territory.

The result? A movie that not only overtook “Die Another Day” as the series’ box office champion, but one that many fans list as the greatest film in the franchise’s proud history.

“Casino Royale”.

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Movies That Everyone Should See: “Dr. No”

Fifty years ago this year, in October of 1962, James Bond first appeared onscreen in “Dr. No”

We take it for granted now. 007 has become an pop culture cornerstone. A Bond movie is as close to a sure thing to be a big success as there is in the movie business. But there was a time when movie audiences had never heard of James Bond. As hard as it is to imagine, there was a time when a James Bond movie was not a surefire huge grossing film. When, in spite of shining prospects, a misstep could have cut short an entire franchise.

Thankfully, the first movie they made was the brilliant “Dr. No”. A tone setting film that established the world of James Bond in almost every way. Its success would propel the Bond series to become one of the longest running, most successful movie franchises of all time.

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James Bond: Classic, Cheese or Crap? – “From Russia With Love”

“From Russia With Love”

1963

Bond: Sean Connery

Classic, Cheese or Crap?: Classic

“From Russia With Love” was the second Bond film ever made. At that point, the franchise wasn’t even a franchise. I mean, if you only have two movies, wouldn’t the second one just be called a “sequel”? It’s widely hailed as being the most realistic Bond movie ever… that the action and plot of this film hew more closely to the real world activities of Cold War era spies than any other Bond film.

It’s undoubtedly a classic.

Yet I have to admit it’s my least favorite of the five “good” (DN->YOLT) Connery Bonds.

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