Movie Review: Casino Royale (2006)

Casino Royale (2006)____7/10
Worthy heir to the Bond franchise

Directed by Martin Campbell

Selected Cast
Daniel Craig … James Bond
Judi Dench … M
Eva Green … Vesper Lynd
Giancarlo Giannini … Mathis
Mads Mikkelsen …. Le Chiffre

Casino Royale with the new James Bond (Daniel Craig) starts with an exhilarating chase scene in an African-port construction site.  Bond and his prey dance about the cranes and building columns like Spidermen or the swordsfolk of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

If you’re afraid of heights, you may want to avoid these first full 15 minutes of death-defying jumps and rumbles on high steel.  The camera pans out over the ocean with these tiny men in the foreground shinnying up greasy cables, surrounded by empty space. I felt twinges of vertigo combined with fear of falling.

Craig is the most physical Bond we’ve seen, and the most capable of tough-man-competition-like violence.

You wonder if the new Bond is simply a glorified killing machine, until we get into the actual plot with a beautiful associate Vesper Lynd (Eva Braun) winning his affection. Continue reading

Brian’s Column: Liberty and Celebrity

Some thoughts on ‘being known for being known’
and what it means to the freedom movement

This definition of celebrity—being known for being known—is pretty close to a quote from a an interesting piece I read from a Web article by Daniel Epstein published a couple of years ago in The Weekly Standard of all places[1].  Actually, Epstein was quoting Daniel Boorstin from The Image: Or What Happened to the American Dream: “The celebrity,” Boorstin wrote, “is a person who is well-known for his well-knownness.”[2]

Epstein continues by making a distinction between fame and celebrity: fame being based more on actual achievement, while celebrity especially recently become more the art of being paid attention to by large numbers of people on television regardless of any personal noteworthiness. Probably the most classic example is Brian “Kato” Kaelin, the house guest of OJ Simpson.  The Kaelin persona reminds me of the Woody Allen movie, Zelig, in which a nondescript man seeks to blend in and dissemble as if he were one of the famous people himself. Continue reading