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STUDIO: FOX/MGM
MSRP: $34.98
RATED: PG-13
RUNNING TIME: 127 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES:
“The Complete Special Features Library: Mission Dossier” – Audio
Commentary Featuring Director Lee Tamahori
and Producer Michael G.
Wilson
• Audio Commentary featuring Pierce Brosnan and Rosamund Pike
• “Declassified: M16 Vault” – From Script to Screen

Featurettes: “Shaken and Stirred on Ice,” “Just Another Day,” “The
British Touch: Bond Arrives in London,”
“On Location With Peter Lamont
• “007 Mission Control” Interactive Guide Into the World of Die Another Day
• MI6 DataStream
• Madonna’s “Die Another Day” Music Video
• “Ministry of Propaganda” Photo gallery


 


The Pitch

British secret agent shares an adventure in Iceland with that chick from BAPS.

The Humans

Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Rosamund Pike, Toby Stephens, John Cleese, Rick Yune and Judi Dench

The Nutshell

James
Bond
is back with Pierce Brosnan’s final film as Britain’s top spy. The film’s a joke. There’s no other way to get around the hovercrafts, Jinx, Asians turning white or the forced use of music cues to make points. There’s too many gadgets and one-liners for the hardcore fans. Then, there’s the fact that the film is boring as shit after the opening sequence. Yet, it still made almost as much money as Casino Royale. *



The only Bond whose last film was upstaged by a video game.



The Lowdown

Die Another Day was a turning point for the Bond franchise. America was discovering Jack Bauer, Jason Bourne and a host of new generation heroes that made Bond look rather tame. Once his adventures were the cutting edge of excitement and now you couldn’t get a teenager to see one of his film. One of the cinematic rites of passage were fading from view. What could’ve caused this?


Director Lee Tamahori did his best with the material at hand. But, when you take a guy whose biggest hit was an urban drama, he doesn’t exactly scream Bond material. Save your cracks about Marc Forster until after Quantum of Solace is released. It wasn’t all Tamahori’s fault, screenwriters Purvis and Wade asked ridiculous things of the film. Too many scenes involving surfing and obnoxious musical cues. The initial gist for the film was to mark the 40th Anniversary of Bond with this film. During the scene with the new Q (John Cleese) you can see the geek joy-juice thrown across the screen with the obscene amounts of gadgets from the previous films.

The film never had a clue about what it wanted to be. Is it a new frontier for Bond or a campy throwback to the past? Was the film meant to be a springboard for Bond’s American counterpart Jinx (Halle Berry)? What we can build upon is what became painfully obvious. Pierce Brosnan was too old and too tired for the role. He was aping Roger Moore’s golden years as the British spy when we had to keep dealing with obvious CGI to fulfill scenes that Brosnan couldn’t pull off. For a moment, I was transported back to A View to a Kill. Bond surfing down a avalanche was shot so horribly, that they might as well CG’d Moore’s face over Brosnan’s just to pull you out of the moment more.

Everything always comes back to Halle Berry’s role as Jinx. That is once you get past Brosnan’s growing uncomfortable nature in the role. Jinx feels a little too much like Poochie from The Simpsons. She wants to be a Bond Girl like Wai Lin from Tomorrow Never Dies. But, she’s a jive-talkin’ marketing creation that’s designed to put females and ethnics into seats that were becoming solely filled by only white faces. The artificial nature of the character comes across in every scene, as the creative team goes out of their way to force her down your throat.

Bertolt Brecht would’ve had a field day with how many times this film calls attention to itself. Watching the special features on the disc, there’s a bit where Lee Tamahori talks about the car chase through the Ice Palace. His utter delight in trying to overuse the Ice Palace set shows what’s wrong with Bond. Bond is never a wink to the camera at its best. It never breaks out of the fourth wall and remains successful. James Bond succeeds when he’s the smoothest motherfucker in the room. James Bond isn’t successful in this movie. He’s your dad in this movie. He’s your dad wearing a toupee while trying to fuck the babysitter.

Die Another Day is a dinosaur in the Modern Era. It’s a dated giant that attempts to live in the world of Parkour and CG stunts. It fails itself by not being true to its original vision, while attempting to ape its more successful competitors. Bond didn’t become a worldwide phenom by aping what was going on at other studios. It became huge by making others come to it. That power has been lost and it’s not to late for EON Productions and the Broccoli estate to get it back.


The Package

Die Another Day comes
to
Blu-Ray with an amazing release. You would expect as much from a killer
franchise, but leave nothing to chance when it comes to screwing the
High-Def consumer. Luckily, FOX/MGM didn’t skimp on this fan favorite.
Sure, it would’ve been nice to have the films released by individual
Bond actor or even by decade. But, you should be used to the random six
disc releases by now.

The
A/V Quality is amazing, but all of these Bond releases have impressed
the Holy Hell out of me. I would’ve loved to shown you the amazing A/V Quality, but FOX Home Entertainment decided that the anti-piracy measures on this disc needed to be stepped up a tad. Therefore, any time I tried to take a screen capture…I got the blue screen of Anti-Piracy death. I managed to clip the sole shot for this review, by trying to move the Blu-Ray disc PC player in reverse speed. That gave me a quick shot of Bond in North Korea, but any attempt to move forward gave an Anti-Piracy screen.

I recognize the need for these measures, but this is just getting ridiculous. FOX/MGM is costing the fans a chance to see the wares and make an informed decision for themselves. The
other
beef I have is that most of the special features are direct ports
from the various Ultimate Editions that MGM and FOX have released over
the last six years. But, this release is different. You’re actually missing material from the Ultimate Editions. Gone are a ton of production featurettes, trailers, TV spots and related ad material. Sure, a lot of people won’t mind missing a photo gallery here and there. Yet, it’s ridiculous that you’re asked to spend more money on less material. That’s why this is the weakest disc out of the Wave 1 Bond on Blu-Ray titles.





6.9 out of 10

*160 mil (DAD) vs. 167 mil (CR)