It puts its best action sequences up front and manages to avoid actually starting for an hour, but “Casino Royale” is still the best James Bond picture in years. Daniel Craig owns the part, Eva Green is a nice foil and it doesn’t even matter that the villain is kind of a wuss this time around.
Go see it. It is very good.
Considerably less good are the rest of this weekend’s offerings.
“Fast Food Nation”: Richard Linklater attempts to graft a fictional narrative onto Eric Schlosser’s non-fiction dissection of the world McDonald’s has made … which just turns every character into a didactic mouthpiece, and reduces the very real horrors of Schlosser’s book to a series of climactic money shots.
“For Your Consideration”: I have the distressing feeling that Christopher Guest’s comedy well is drying up. His ensemble is starting to visibly jockey for screen time, the jokes are becoming increasingly less barbed, and the pacing is off — by the time Fred Willard turns up as his usual cheerful-rube, I was relieved, because it meant we had to be at the halfway point.
“A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints”: Dito Montiel’s autobiographical whinge about his knockaround youth in Queens has a great cast — and never mind Robert Downey Jr., Shia LaBoeuf and Rosario Dawson, that Channing Tatum guy has real chops. But Montiel has no vision, and the picture ends up being a movie about other movies, instead of a movie about a life.
Oh, and there’s also “Let’s Go to Prison”, which I’ll be seeing later this afternoon (assuming my latest dental appointment doesn’t go south and derail the whole day), and “Happy Feet”, which Rick reviews for Metro but which I can’t even begin to describe in this post. I’ll tackle it tomorrow.
Boy, I wish Metro was putting my stuff online faster.