From Mr. Crab: I covered the world premiere of "Casino Royale" in London's Leicester Square tonight. What a madhouse! Thousands of fans, hundreds of vulture reporters from around the world pushing and shoving for morsels of quotes. The big-name stars of the film walked by us with barely a word. To top it off, it was raining, one of those aweful London cold rains that is stronger than a drizzle but lighter than a shower -- just enough to make you miserable.
So now I'm wet and hungry, my feet hurt, my tuxedo is way too tight. At one point I had just about given up that I briefly put my notepad and pen in my pocket and pulled out my camera to take a few snapshots. Paris Hilton had been milling around in the center of the red carpet area, ignoring both fans and the press and had her ear permanently glued to her cell phone. After a minute she put her phone away and started walking in my direction towards the theater. Everyone was yelling "PARIS! PARIS!" As she got about 5 feet from me I yelled "MISS HILTON! MISS HILTON!" For whatever reason that got her attention because she stopped, did a 180, looked right at me, smiled, then turned on her heel and kept walking. But I got the shot. Anyway, that's my celebrity story of the day.
I did get a one-word answer to a question from Daniel Craig (James Bond), and much better quotes from Eva Green (Bond Girl), Caterna Murino (a minor bond girl) and Dame Judi Dench (M). The friendliest actor was Mads Mikkelsen, who plays the Bond villain Le Chiffre.
Other celebs I saw tonight were Elton John, David Furnish, Sharon Osbourne, a Britpop band called Sugababes. But the highlight of the evening: QUEEN ELIZABETH II! But she was at least 50 feet from me and I only got an obstructed view of the back of her head as she and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, exited their limo towards the theater. But I can finally saw I saw the Queen in person. Woo hoo!
As for the film itself: I give it 3 out of 4 Crabs. Basically it starts out great, with a WICKED (they still say that in England) footchase scene that had me on the edge of my seat! And Daniel Craig was awesome. I would rate him second to Sean Connery. He is THAT good. It's much darker and graphic than past Bond films, with a horrific torture scene not for the faint-hearted. There's also a love story. After playing the field for four decades, James Bond actually falls in love with a Bond Girl.
But the story, like many Bond films, was complex and hard to follow. The film trailed off in the last 30 minutes, finally ending in a completely anti-climactic scene that the audience at an advance screening were left shrugging their shoulders and wondering, "Uhhh, that's it?" But after 2 hours, 25 minutes, I nor my bladder cared what happened next. Still, it's worth a matinee. Bond is Back!