With the newest James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, opening in theaters in two weeks, now may be a good time to revisit the film that introduced the first blond Bond, Daniel Craig. Released just two years ago, Casino Royale (4:30 p.m., Showtime) introduced Craig as 007 by returning to the series' roots. The movie is based on Bond creator Ian Fleming's first book (published in 1953) and shows Britain's most famous secret agent earning his vaunted "license to kill," the freedom that makes him a top spy.
Craig doesn't have the rakish charm or effortless grace of predecessors Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan, but he's more physical than either. And that's a good thing, as far as the producers are concerned, because Casino Royale may be the most frenetic of all the Bond films - way more adrenaline-packed than its predecessors (a trend that continues in Quantum of Solace). Casino Royale is great fun, even if this isn't your father's James Bond.
Those in the mood for more otherworldly adventures will find plenty of opportunities to get lost in space today. On TCM, there's a triple feature, beginning with Stanley Kubrick's visual, mind-expanding masterpiece, 1968's 2001: A Space Odyssey (2 p.m.). That's followed by 1958's From the Earth to the Moon (4:30 p.m.), with Joseph Cotten, George Sanders and Debra Paget as stranded astronauts. Then there's Walter Pidgeon, Leslie Nielsen, Anne Francis and a runaway id in 1956's Forbidden Planet (6:15 p.m.). At 8 p.m. on AMC, it's Richard Dreyfuss and a ship full of benevolent outer-space aliens in Steven Spielberg's 1977 Close Encounters of the Third Kind.