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James Bond 007 Ultimate Edition – Tomorrow Never Dies

Genre: , ,

Cast: Pierce Borsnan, Jonathan Pryce, Michelle Yeoh, Teri Hatcher, Joe Don Baker, Judi Dench

Director: Roger Spottiswoode

Rated: PG-13

Review By:
Rocco Passafuime

SUNY Purchase '05

"I don't compromise my values and I don't compromise my work. I won't give in." -Michael Moore

Release Date: December 12th, 2006
Click to Buy on DVD or Bluray!
Overall Grade: B

James Bond 007 Ultimate Edition – Tomorrow Never Dies

Review By: Rocco Passafuime

Tomorrow Never Dies

By the late 1990's, the seemingly aging 007 film series had received a new lease on life due to the incredible box office success of Goldeneye, one of the most successful 007 films ever, in 1995. With the franchise once again resounding with a thrill-craving movie-going public once again, new producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson manage to simultaneously create a more traditional and, yet at the same time, more modern Bond film with Tomorrow Never Dies, now available on DVD.

Eliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) is a crooked international media mogul who plans to increase his consolidation of power on the media by provoking a war between Great Britain and China. MI6 secret agent 007 James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is sent to investigate Carver and his corporation, the Carver Group, with only two days time before Britain retaliates in what they perceive to be China's doing.

At a Carver Group media gala in Hamburg, Germany, Bond pines for information on Carver by trying to seduce his wife Paris (Teri Hatcher), who also happens to be an ex-lover of his. When Carver catches on to Bond's game, the mogul kills Paris and goes after Bond, who finds himself teaming up with the rather headstrong spy Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh), who is sent by China to also investigate Carver.

Goldeneye managed to modernize Bond in terms of its grittiness and action, while saddled with a rather archaic story and heavy-handed attempt at political correctness. Tomorrow Never Dies, on the other hand, manages to go back to the more traditional style of 007 reminiscent of Sean Connery while managing to still make the story not only politically correct, but completely fit for a post-Cold-War age.

Bruce Feirstein's script is at its basic level formulaic and not very different from Bond films of the 1960's. However, it is injected with one of the most intriguingly modern and fresh plots in a long time, jettisoning the standard power-hungry, world-dominating madman or political conspirator for a media mogul.

Jonathan Pryce does a rather superb job here as a rather wickedly villainous incarnation of real-life global media barons like William Randolph Hearst and Rupert Murdoch. Despite performing fairly adequately, Teri Hatcher feels a bit miscast here as a Bond girl.

On the other hand, Hong Kong action star Michelle Yeoh manages to effortlessly create a modern-day Bond girl that is tough and independent without such traits coming out heavy-handedly. And of course, Pierce Brosnan, while he doesn't have the level of screen presence of his predecessors, performs the James Bond character very well here, meshing in Sean Connery's cold, toughness with the best aspects of Roger Moore's suaveness.

The DVD is presented in the 2:35:1 widescreen aspect ratio, with the sound quality in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. The first disc also has plenty of audio commentary.

The first is with director Roger Spottiswoode and uncredited script contributor

Dan Petrie, Jr. Petrie, Jr is rather inquisitive through the proceedings as Spottiswoode discusses how the film was conceived and put together.

The second is an additional audio commentary with stunt director Vic Armstrong and co-producer Michael G. Wilson, who discuss the stunts and production aspects of making the film. Rounding out the special features is an isolated track of David Arnold's score, which is worthwhile for film score aficionados.

Overall, Tomorrow Never Dies is more a traditional and formulaic Bond film than Goldeneye, yet it manages to do a better job bringing the series into the politically correct, post-Cold War era. With a much less heavy-handed approach than its more recent predecessors, the Bond franchise had now without a shadow of a doubt made its comeback with the movie-going public.

Movie Grade:
DVD Features Grade: B-
Overall Grade: B

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