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Tomorrow Never Dies VHS
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Pierce Brosnan leaps into action as Agent 007 in this spectacular thrill ride of death-defying stunts and amazing high-tech gadgets. In the most electrifying Bond film yet, the unstoppable action hero must prevent a tremendous disaster ripped from tomorrow's headlines. Someone is pitting the world's superpowers against each other ? and only James Bond can stop it. When a British warship is mysteriously destroyed in Chinese waters, the world teeters on the brink of WWIII ? until 007 zeros in on the true criminal mastermind. Bond's do-or-die mission takes him to Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce), a powerful industrialist who manipulates world events as easily as he changes headlines from his global media empire. After soliciting help from Carver's sexy wife, Paris (Teri Hatcher), Bond joins forces with a stunning yet lethal Chinese agent, Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh), in a series of explosive chases, brutal confrontations and breathtaking escapes as they race to stop the presses on Carver's next planned news story: global pandemonium! With powerhouse action sequences, including a wild motorcycle pursuit through (and over!) Saigon, Tomorrow Never Dies is a thrilling action-adventure "that roars from start to finish with the throttle wide open (Gene Shalit, NBC-TV)!
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Bond films aren't usually realistic, but this story is allowed to feel more real as well as have the great adventure that one expects. A media mogul looking to dominate the world punishes the great world power of China and Great Britain by instigating a war between the two. Hearst taken to evil extremes - outrageous but not necessarily unbelievable. James Bond is brought to save the day as this adventure takes him from Russia, England, Germany and Vietnam.
Pretty great action with some amazingly real moments. I enjoy Teri Hatcher as a Bond Girl as well as Michelle Yeoh's turn as Bond's partner against villain Jonathan Pryce.
Nice Blu-Ray upgrade with the same great features in the DVD I owned. B+
Here the evil-doer is Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce), a megalomaniacal media mogul. He's bent on creating world-wide disasters so that his newspapers and non-stop news stations can get the scoop on everyone else. Evidently China has prevented him from establishing a news empire within the country, so he decides to create a potentially war-starting confrontation between China and England. He and his science nerd (Ricky Jay) have stolen some type of GPS device from the Americans. They use it to manipulate the positioning readings on a British destroyer so that it shows they are well off the coast of the Chinese mainland. In fact they are within the 12 mile territorial limit.
The Chinese air force sends a couple fighters out as a warning but the Brits insist they are not that close. All the while, Carver and his compatriots have created a stealth ship and an interesting torpedo shaped drilling device. When used against the navy ship, it sinks along with its Patriot missiles. Easy access for the bad guys and the various governments don't even know where the ship really is. Oh, and they shoot down one of the Chinese MIGs, just to really piss everybody off.
Bond is sent to investigate as Carver's new wife, Paris (Teri Hatcher) is an old flame of Bond's. She doesn't last long as she obviously can't resist 007's charms which gets her in trouble with her sugar daddy. As Bond recovers the GPS device, he gets to show off the newly improved BMW 750i. You might remember after all the promotional hype of BMW in "Goldeneye," its only appearance was a drive down an airport runway by CIA agent Jack Wade (Joe Don Baker) in a Z-3. They made up for it here in an inventive drive by 007 in the backseat, driving the car by remote control installed on his phone. There's also a terrific scene with Bond and Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh) on a BMW motorcycle. Wai Lin is a Chinese agent trying to find out what's what herself. Yeoh adds a bit of class to the film and is an appropriate counterpart to Bond's suaveness.
So what does the PG-13 get us? Well, a bit more carnage, a bit more skin and some interesting conversation. I especially liked the scene near the beginning where Bond is taking language lessons from a Scandinavian linguist...in bed of course. On the phone with Ms. Moneypenny (Samantha Bond), she says to Bond, "You always were a cunning linguist, James." `M' (Judy Dench) walks up behind her and Moneypenny says "Don't ask." `M' replies "Don't tell." Overall this is a satisfying and entertaining James Bond film. Even with the excessive shoot out on Carver's stealth boat, some of the other scenes solidify Brosnan as an excellent James Bond.
The Blu ray disc comes with a 1080p video resolution and a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The picture looks great. Colors are limited but look very good. I could see no problems with digital noise and no remnants of scratches or other video crud. Detail, black levels and skin tones were all excellent. The audio comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 option and it is terrific just like its predecessor. The surrounds are fully active and there is plenty to surround yourself with including missiles, jets, gunfights, car and motorcycle engines racing, helicopters, and a pretty good soundtrack by David Arnold. A modest less-than-great title song is performed by Sheryl Crow and over the closing credits k.d. lange sings "Surrender." Subtitles are available in Spanish, French, English SDH, Portuguese, German, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish. There a too many extras to list here but count on commentary tracks, an isolated music track, extended and deleted scenes, music videos, several featurettes and more.
I love the martial skills of Michelle Yeoh. And Brosnan is the perfect bond--cool, elegant, sweet to women, tough to bad guys. Pierce Brosnan was at his best in this movie.
Just a last remark, even though the run away scene was supposed to be in Vietnam, all the signs and writing seen was Chinese. Make it take place in China or Taiwan or another Chinese speaking country if you can't film in Vietnam or don't want to. A little tiny research effort would have been great.