Casino Royale – I have seen this 1967 spy send-up many times (not to be confused with the 2006 James Bond flic with Daniel Craig) but it has been a long, long time. This, boys and girls, was probably the greatest inspiration for the Austin Powers movies (“shag me”, “do behave”). There’s even a scene of Peter Sellers and Ursula Andress on a revolving bed, reprised by Mike Myers some 30 years later. This film was a mammoth hit in early 1967, caught up in the mod-psychedelia of the era, and with a huge cast of some of the biggest talents then working, combining Old Hollywood with some of the new (David Niven, William Holden, Charles Boyer, Peter Sellers, and Jean-Paul Belmondo). The song, by Burt Bacharach (natch) and played by Herb Alpert, was a Top 30 hit. All this to say it was very much of its era. But amazing what people found funny then. This is a dead-on-arrival two-hour bore, with wooden slapstick and a stupefying plot, and I’m being kind. But – and here’s the but – the last half hour is worth watching. If only because of the fantastical technological netherworld that entraps our heroes. It’s a huge template for spy films – serious and fun – for years to come. One thing’s for certain. Woody Allen hasn’t changed. In one of his first roles, he’s as sarcastically nebbish as ever: “We will run amok,” he says to a romantic interest. “If you’re tired we will walk amok.”
White Oscars? People are raising questions about the fact there are no notable people of colour nominated – none at all, in fact - for an Oscar this season. I never noticed. You see, I’m colour blind. Isn’t this the “post racial” era we’re supposed to be in, especially with the election of Barack Obama?
Scene card: I finally received my Scene card in the mail and can now take part in one of the best deals going. Show your card at Cineplex theatres and you accrue points. You get 250 points for just signing up and 100 points for each movie ticket you buy thereafter. After 1000 points you’re entitled to a free movie and there are other “rewards.” Sign-up now!