Review Detail

9.3 12 10
FanFix September 22, 2010 2803
Wow. Just wow. I’ll say it again: Wow. It’s like Kerr got inside my head and fanedited this movie exactly the way I would have!

The theatrical release I thought it was a step towards the right direction for the Bond series but that at the same time still dragged with itself a lot of dead weight remaining from the less glorious eras of the character. Namely: overblown and overlong action setpieces, impossible stunts, misplaced humor, obvious product placement, overexposition for dummies, the occassional out-of-character behavior… dumbing down into an usual blockbuster something whose charm is not being the usual blockbuster. Otherwise one is better off watching the umpteenth Mission: Impossible sequel. Actually, sometimes I’m led to believe those elements are what people enjoy from a movie, given their prominence, and that I’m just a weirdo. As such, I couldn’t join the general raving about it being the best Bond movie ever and amazing and what Bond should be and everything. I mostly felt Martian.

Then, along came Kerr and worked the miracle. He removed tons of fat and the shiny result is a Bond movie as Bond movies should be: dramatic yet thrilling, down to earth and credible yet still containing enough action (the physically possible kind), witty but not goofy, and with 007 the way we like him: the ultimate alpha male in all senses. Even his beta shocked behavior upon discovering Vesper’s feelings is gone. I saw the light! “Casino Royale: Straight Flush Edition” is not only an improvement, it’s a great Bond film and probably, now, the greatest of all Bond films (this coming from a Connery loyalist). This is the version I can watch over and over again, the version that reminded me why I am a lifelong James Bond fan.

I agree with each and every cut and rearrangement made here… except that I oh-so-wish Kerr had cut M’s “I miss the Cold War” line, which he likes and I respect it. It’s about the only slice of cheese remaining in the whole running time, and it’s very minor. On the other hand, I’m very grateful he cut the “Shaken or stirred” joke: a lot of people seem to like it (I feel Martian again) but I thought the last thing a fresh approach to the character needed was self-referencing humor, and I felt it was out of character: Bond may lose his temper over many things, but a Vodka Martini must always be a proper Vodka Martini.

Video and audio quality is flawless (NTSC zone viewers have commented on the pitch being slightly high, but as I live in the PAL zone I didn’t even notice) and the editing itself is totally invisible and professional. A full-rounded 10/10. Keep them coming, Kerr!
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