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Casino Royale: The Big Picture by Problem Eliminator

Problem Eliminator

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Casino Royale is one of my favourite Bond films, along with the films directed by Terence Young and Peter Hunt, the Timothy Dalton films, and GoldenEye. In 2006, I had been a Bond fan for a few years, seen most of the films, and read all of Ian Fleming'€™s novels, but Casino Royale was my first of the films in a theatre.

I was not disappointed. It'€™s packed with more sex, sadism, and snobbery than any of the films since the '€˜60s, and it'™s full of iconic moments: Bond earning his 00 status, the parkour, the shower scene, the record-setting car crash, the torture. The novels are recalled in the sun-and-sand Bahamas locale and in the characters taking time to enjoy food, drink, and conversation. And all this held together by a Bond that combines the magnetism of Connery with the vulnerability of Dalton.

However, the film isn't flawless. The central poker game is interrupted one time too many, and on a rewatch, I found myself wishing for a version of the movie without the gimmicky car defibrillator scene. And so began my desire to edit Casino Royale. In my fanedit, that scene is gone -€“ along with much of the film's excessive action. The parkour continues too long after its real climax (the crane jump); the airport sequence seemingly stops and starts as Bond jumps onto and then off and then back onto a moving truck; and the Venice sinking house is an overlong mess. I'€™ve removed long sections and entire stunts from these sequences.

I also took issue with the film'€™s characterization of Bond. Casino Royale is meant to be a reboot of the character a la Batman Begins, but the idea of Bond as a hotheaded rookie is completely at odds with the casting of 38-year-old Daniel Craig. Bond is a new 00, sure, but he shouldn't be a young man or a rookie agent. He would have worked in the Navy and Secret Service for years before getting 00 status. So I've cut references to Bond being a young man and/or rookie agent; references to Bond being a hitman or thug (he's more of a saboteur and provocateur than anything); and much of the unprofessional hostility between Bond and M (some trust issues are understandable, but not to the extent the original film depicts). Instead of all this "€œBond Begins" gimmickry, the film now focuses on Bond's character arc of learning to see the big picture.

Lastly, I have worked on the characters of Vesper and Mathis. I have edited Vesper's introduction to make the conversation seem less artificial, and I have removed the oft-derided romantic dialogue in the last act. As for Mathis, I have cut his most obvious exposition during the poker game, as well as the film'€™s disingenuous hints that he betrayed Bond.

The result of my changes is Casino Royale: The Big Picture, a fanedit that presents a more mature and true-to-form Bond, a more believable romance, and action sequences more proportionate to their storytelling function.



Original film name: Casino Royale
Fanedit name: Casino Royale: The Big Picture

Original running time: 144 min
Fanedit running time: 126 min

Other sources: Casino Royale Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (David Arnold), Carry On (Chris Cornell)

Synopsis: British secret agent James Bond follows a trail of treachery through Madagascar and the Bahamas to a high-stakes poker game at Casino Royale in Montenegro. Paired with enigmatic Treasury official Vesper Lynd, Bond must prevent a bankrupt terrorist financier from winning the money he desperately needs. But a desperate man is dangerous, and there are bigger machinations at play beyond a game of cards...



A poster:

cr_hm.jpg




List of major changes:

  1. Film now focuses on Bond'€™s character arc of learning to see the big picture, rather than on "€œBond Begins" gimmickry.
  2. Bond is a new 00, but he isn't a rookie agent or a young man.
  3. Bond is never referred to as a thug or hitman.
  4. M is less mothering and temperamental.
  5. Parkour, airport and sinking house sequences are shorter.
  6. Bond isn'€™t poisoned during the poker game.
  7. Bond/Vesper conversation sounds more natural.
  8. Vesper doesn't fall head-over-heels for Bond.
  9. Mathis gives less poker commentary.
  10. Film doesn'€™t disingenuously hint that Mathis betrayed Bond.
  11. Colour correction applied throughout.
  12. Product placement removed throughout.


Full list of changes:

- Replaced film version of "€œYou Know My Name"€ with Pop Mix version. Pop Mix has many virtues: opening is more full-blooded with prominent electric guitar; softer first verse allows horns and strings to be heard; tambourine in chorus is more exciting; drums sound heavier.
- Trimmed parkour sequence for length. Ends faster after the crane jump.
- Cut guards shooting at embassy. Excessive and unnecessary after the parkour sequence.
- Cut Le Chiffre and Kratt's conversation on boat. Cut to remove confusing and corny dialogue.

- Cut M ranting in Parliament. Unprofessional of her to shout and swear about the 00 section in public.

- Cut line "I knew it was too early to promote you"€ (M). In this edit, Bond is not a rookie or a young man.
- Cut M lecturing Bond about arrogance and ego. See above.

- Cut Bond driving Ford Mondeo. Not Bond's kind of car.
- Cut Bond using M'€™s name and password on MI6 website in the Bahamas. Bond isn't so disrespectful as to violate M's privacy again.

- Trimmed airport sequence for length. Carlos hijacks the fuel truck sooner, and Bond stays on the truck until the sequence's end.
- Trimmed shot of Bond smiling after killing Carlos. Bond takes no pleasure in killing.
- Cut line "€œDo you want a clean kill or do you want to send a message?" (Bond). Bond is not a bloodthirsty hitman.

- Cut line "€œTrust me, I wish it wasn'€™t the case" (M). Bond has been promoted to 00, so M should have faith in him.

- Cut several of Vesper'€™s lines on the train. Conversation sounds more natural.
- Cut Bond finding defibrillator in Aston Martin. Not needed, as heart attack later is cut.

- Cut Vesper giving Bond a tailored dinner jacket. Bond knows how to dress himself.

- Cut line "€œThat'€™s not half bad, I'€™m gonna have to think of a name for that"€ (Bond). Not the first time Bond has ordered his signature martini.

- Cut line "Look, it's the tell, he is bluffing"€ (Mathis). This is obvious.

- Cut line "Bond will have to go all-in to call his bluff"€ (Mathis). Also obvious.
- Cut Bond's heart attack. Distracts from the poker game and has almost no consequence on the story.

- Cut Bond and Vesper talking beside poker table after game ends. Contains a reference to Bond'€™s heart attack.

- Cut line "I'€™m afraid your friend Mathis is really my friend Mathis"€ (Le Chiffre). Le Chiffre has no reason to mislead Bond regarding Mathis.

- Cut Mathis walking up to Bond in hospital bed. Cut to remove David Arnold's ridiculous "sinister" music.

- Cut Bond and Vesper'€™s conversation after line "€œIf you'€™d just been born, wouldn't you be naked?"€ (Bond). Cut to remove unnatural dialogue and to emphasize Bond and Vesper'€™s rebirth as lovers.

- Cut Bond shooting guard while following Vesper. Cut for pacing.

- Trimmed sinking house sequence. Sections removed and reordered for coherence and pacing.

- Cut Bond suggesting Mathis might still be guilty. Bond has no reason to believe this.

- Cut M'€™s lines about Bond not trusting anyone. Not a core concept of the character, or an idea that emerges naturally from the story.

- Replaced end credits version of "You Know My Name"€ with "€œVesper."€ Ends the film on a more sober note.
- Colour correction to lessen saturation and tinting throughout. The original colour grading often looks cheap and garish.
- Cropped out product placement throughout. Way too many Sony cellphones.
- Other minor cuts as needed.

And finally, a trailer:

 

Vultural

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Sounds good.
Any estimate on running time?
 

Gaith

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Problem Eliminator said:
Casino Royale is meant to be a reboot of the character a la Batman Begins, but the idea of Bond as a hotheaded rookie is completely at odds with the casting of 38-year-old Daniel Craig.
Yeah, in hindsight, that is pretty weird. What was he doing prior to the two kills? In the Royal Navy... but never killed anyone? Or did those kills not count?

I watched the official EON Everything or Nothing documentary last night, available on Netflix Instant, and was reminded that Fleming was heavily inspired by WWII for his hero's derring-do. Maybe the next series after Craig should reintroduce the character as a commando in his 20s at the height of the war, and have the first installment be a cross between a traditional Bond movie and something like The Dam Busters. It could end with the war ending, and Bond being recruited into MI6...
 

Problem Eliminator

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Gaith said:
Yeah, in hindsight, that is pretty weird. What was he doing prior to the two kills? In the Royal Navy... but never killed anyone? Or did those kills not count?

I suppose the timeline would go 1) Bond in Royal Navy, 2) Bond in Secret Service, 3) Bond as 00 in Secret Service. I believe only kills for the Secret Service would count towards earning 00 status. What's more problematic, in my opinion, is that a 38-year-old Navy man could be recruited into the Secret Service and granted a licence to kill and still be so undisciplined and untrustworthy as Craig's Bond. It just doesn't fly. If M is ready to promote him to 00, she should trust him already. I have no time for this tedious aspect of Casino Royale.

Gaith said:
I watched the official EON Everything or Nothing documentary last night, available on Netflix Instant, and was reminded that Fleming was heavily inspired by WWII for his hero's derring-do. Maybe the next series after Craig should reintroduce the character as a commando in his 20s at the height of the war, and have the first installment be a cross between a traditional Bond movie and something like The Dam Busters. It could end with the war ending, and Bond being recruited into MI6...
That would have made more sense for the "young Bond" approach. However, I tend to side with Albert R. Broccoli on this matter. The '80s writers submitted a "young Bond" treatment for Bond 15 (which was eventually The Living Daylights), but Broccoli rejected the idea because he thought audiences would be uninterested in Bond as an amateur learning his trade.
 

LastSurvivor

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Hey, this sounds very promising indeed. The direction you're going for in this edit sounds perfect and as a strong Ian Fleming fan I like the idea particularly of making him less a ruthless hitman or thug. I've never really liked this style of Craig's Bond, which is why I always think Dalton's portrayal still ranks closer for me to the Fleming Bond from the novels.

Can't wait to see this one :)
 

Kal-El

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A very promising introduction and cut list! My go-to version was always the Straight Flush edition, but perhaps that will change :)
 

Solid11

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Agreed with Kal-El, the Straight Flush version replaced the Blu-Ray for me - this sounds similar but possibly better!
 

Problem Eliminator

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LastSurvivor said:
Hey, this sounds very promising indeed. The direction you're going for in this edit sounds perfect and as a strong Ian Fleming fan I like the idea particularly of making him less a ruthless hitman or thug. I've never really liked this style of Craig's Bond, which is why I always think Dalton's portrayal still ranks closer for me to the Fleming Bond from the novels.

Can't wait to see this one :)
Kind words coming from a veteran of editing Bond films!

Kal-El said:
A very promising introduction and cut list! My go-to version was always the Straight Flush edition, but perhaps that will change :)

Solid11 said:
Agreed with Kal-El, the Straight Flush version replaced the Blu-Ray for me - this sounds similar but possibly better!
I liked a lot of the ideas I read in the Straight Flush Edition's cut list (I haven't actually seen it). I hope my fanedit can provide an equally good, but also different, experience.
 

Problem Eliminator

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This one's in the can! I've submitted the edit to fanedit.org. If anyone would like to preview in the meantime, just send me a PM.
 

TM2YC

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^ Very nice but I much prefer the moody black and white poster on the OP (My 2 cents ;-))
 

revel911

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It works better as well being almost washed up when he hits Skyfall. So .... I approve greatly.
 

Problem Eliminator

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jswert123456 said:
here is my poster for the movie.
This could use a little polish, but it's solid. It's similar to concepts I'd considered for my own poster. Thanks for sharing!
 

DominicCobb

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Don't know how I missed this, looks cool. CR is a top five Bond film for me (and my first in theaters too), but somehow I don't mind the thought of all these cuts. I actually watched the film on TV recently, and they (for whatever reason) cut out the car defibrillator scene. I didn't even notice! Guess it's not too important.

It's probably too late for a suggestion, but honestly if you're removing the "Bond begins" elements, why not remove the cold open? Replace it with the African rundown? It think it would be cool to see an edit that makes CR just another Bond film, rather than a reboot.
 

jswert123456

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i dont think it needs any polishing, I like my work and im happy with my results.
 

TV's Frink

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jswert123456 said:
i dont think it needs any polishing, I like my work and im happy with my results.

Why would you create a poster for someone, then argue with them when they comment on it? If you don't want comments, be it good or bad, don't post. That goes for everything on this forum.
 

jswert123456

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i wanst not arguing in any way, i just simply worked hard on that image and i like it as it stands right now.
I mean nothing mean about my comments.
I am sorry if i misunderstood the meaning behind his words.
 

jswert123456

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yes i watched and followed the tutorial
most of my work outside my classes (self-study) is tutorials
but the other dvd covers ive posted was all mine.
 
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