The Book Wasn't Better
Yesterday I saw Casino Royale (2006).
In anticipation of the blu-ray release of Spectre I am starting to slowly go through the new Bond series. It's kind of a shame that Quantum of Solace didn't catch on mostly because it needed another pass by a writer, perhaps on the title as well. Quantum was in production during the writers strike and a lot of the dialogue was made up on set by Craig and the director. With that in mind, it turned out much better than other writers strike movies like Transformers 2, which might be the worst movie I've ever sat through. I like Quantum of Solace and look forward to seeing it, especially because it picks up right after the ending of Casino Royale which is the crown jewel of this new series of Bonds.
In college I was in a history class where we read and watched pop culture's take on history as it was happening. I can't remember exactly what the theme of the class was but when we we in post-WWII reading about the Marshall plan and the start of the cold war we also read Casino Royale by Ian Flemming and the first movie made about that book. The first Casino Royale film was made before the first Sean Connery Bond film and the main character was an American spy named Jimmy Bond in a made for TV movie that was a bit boring. The book was a bit boring as well because they don't play Texas Hold 'em, they play another card game I don't think it played much anymore. There is a long section of the book where they explain this card game where I got very lost, then I didn't understand the key plot point where Bond is playing that game against the villain.
The 2006 version is the second best Bond film ever. That is because if you consider Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace one long continuous Bond movie it tells the complete story of Bond and Vesper in an action packed and visually stunning way. Unfortunately I didn't start Quantum right after this viewing of Casino Royale as it starts right after the ending of the previous movie with one of the best car chases I've seen and a great reveal that shows how they connect so closely in time.