OK, so I didn't make it opening night (Thursday), but I did make opening weekend. Last night, to be exact. Let me start by saying Casino Royale does indeed take Bond in a new direction and strips him of all his nonsense. All the gadgets -- gone. Q? Gone. The jetpack, SMERSH, the laser beam watch, the little Nellie portable helicopter, the smirky wisecracks, the Denice Richards oh-so-hot-why-don't-you-believe-I'm-a-nuclear-scientist --- all GONE. In it's wake we have a much leaner movie, and a much tougher Bond. This, quite frankly, is the direction and movie I've been waiting for. It's back to basics. It's a real spy story, complete with intrigue and honest to goodness suspense. The main action takes place not in an invisible car or underwater villain's lair, but instead in a casino. I don't want to spoil it, but my recommendation: go see it.
To whet your appetite, here's some info on Casino Royale. Make sure you click the "Trailers" tab and see some great interviews and short clips from the movie. Then head to the theater to see it yourself.
Some other Bond links:
CNN Money article: Blond, James Blond
Merchandising in Casino Royale: Bond's new temptress