Archives for posts with tag: Daniel Craig

The first time Daniel Craig is handed a gun in “Layer Cake” (2005), he briefly prances around like he’s 007 or something. That would still be a year or so away. We get to see him command a stage while on the wrong side of the law in this classic British gangster flick. There’s a much-coveted shipment of drugs and lots of double-crossing, just like in most gangster flicks, including the bad ones. The good ones let you follow along just closely enough to think you know what’s going on, when you really, really, don’t. This is a good one.

If the goal was to take the James Bond franchise on a dark turn, then mission accomplished, “Casino Royale” (2006). As the next 007, Daniel Craig offers plenty of pursed-lipped pensiveness as he walks with his John Wayne swagger, but lacks the Sean Connery glint in his eye (let’s don’t bother with the other, lesser Bonds). The plot is worthy of a Bond film, with sexy women, fast cars, exotic locations, quirky supporting characters and wild action sequences. But the tech is more techy than gadgety, which is a microcosm of the difference in the reboot: a lack of fun.

It would be easy for a journalist to be jealous of a novelist. Journalists must adhere to the facts, while novelists can manipulate the facts to suit the narrative. (Don’t start with your opinions about the news media. That’s a conversation for another time.) But while journalists can report the facts and consider it truth, novelists must adhere to an abstract concept of artistic truth that is much, much harder to execute. So to speak. Which explains “Infamous” (2006), the story of “In Cold Blood” and the mentally tortuous route through the gallows that Truman Capote took in creating it.