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5.0 out of 5 stars Action Packed Bondfest, 7 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Bond Remastered - Tomorrow Never Dies (1-disc) [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
Tomorrow Never Dies (DVD).

DVD Info.
Region 2
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
Running time 114 minutes
Certification:15
Digitally Remastered Edition
Uncut on DVD for the first time.

The original UK release received various cuts to scenes of violence & martial arts weaponry & to reduce the impact of sound effects, in order to receive a more box-office-friendly 12 certificate. Further cuts were made to the video/DVD release to retain this rating, These edits were restored for the Ultimate Edition DVD release in the UK, which was consequently upgraded to a 15 certificate.

Box Office.
Budget $110 million
Box office gross $333,011,068

Cast
Pierce Brosnan - James Bond
Jonathan Pryce - Elliot Carver
Michelle Yeoh - Wai Lin
Teri Hatcher - Paris Carver
Ricky Jay - Henry Gupta
Götz Otto - Stamper
Joe Don Baker - Jack Wade
Vincent Schiavelli - Dr. Kaufman
Judi Dench - M
Desmond Llewelyn - Q
Samantha Bond - Miss Moneypenny
Colin Salmon - Chief of Staff Charles Robinson
Geoffrey Palmer - Admiral Roebuck
Julian Fellowes - Minister of Defence

Trivia.
1)Ricky Jay, who plays Henry Gupta is also an acclaimed magician who holds a world record for the fastest throwing playing cards. The producers initially wanted a scene where he threw playing cards at Bond. They set up the scene to block, Ricky was 50 or 75 feet away and was asked to hit Pierce Brosnan in the face. Ricky warned them it wasn't a good idea, safety wise. After they convinced him to do it, he agreed & hit pierce right above the eyes. To his disappointment, for one reason or another, they never asked him to repeat it on film. Gupta is shown throwing cards in the DVD deleted scenes.
2)Teri Hatcher says that she accepted her role in this movie to fulfill her then husband's lifelong dream of being married to a Bond girl. As it turned out, her scenes had to be filmed quickly because of an unexpected pregnancy. She later expressed her dissatisfaction with the part, saying it was "an artificial kind of character to be playing that you don't get any special satisfaction from it".
3)David Arnold was chosen to compose the score on the personal recommendation of John Barry.
4)Martin Campbell declined the chance to direct again, not wanting to make two James Bond films in a row. Campbell would do the same in 2006 after the success of Casino Royale (2006).
5)A love scene between 007 and Paris Carver was dropped from the film, as Teri Hatcher was pregnant at the time, whilst the film was in production.
6)Anthony Hopkins was cast as Elliott Carver & joined the production, but walked after three days because it was so chaotic & there was no completed shooting script; due to the pressure on Eon Productions to finish the film on time, with new pages of the screenplay were being delivered every morning.
7)Though it has long been part of the James Bond character's reputation in story & dialogue, this is the first instance in the EON Productions official series where James Bond has an on-screen relationship with a leading Bond Girl who is actually known to be married to another man.
8)This is the first James Bond movie in the official series to have a running time under two hours since Diamonds Are Forever (1971). The next film to run under 120 minutes would be Quantum of Solace (2008).
9)One of the main reasons why John Barry turned down the opportunity to score another Bond film was because the producing team insisted that he not have anything to do with the title song which had already been assigned to Sheryl Crow. Barry was indignant at this stipulation, given his track record with Bond songs that are then echoed in the accompanying score. The gig then passed to David Arnold who was equally unhappy about having a song imposed on him. Arnold's solution was to write a new song for the end credits - "Surrender" performed by k.d. lang - which thematically crops up throughout the score.
10)15 BMW 750's were destroyed in the making of the film.
11)500 extras were used for Elliott Carver's launch party where Bond reconnects with Paris.
13)Natasha Henstridge was in the running to play the lead Bond girl at one point.
14)First EON Productions James Bond movie to be presented by the "Albert R. Broccoli's Eon Productions" credit.
15)Elliott Carver's newspaper factory is actually the printing presses of London's Daily Telegraph & Evening Standard.
16)The end credits song "Surrender" Composer David Arnold wanted this song to be used in the opening credits (the lyrics prominently feature the title 'Tomorrow Never Dies') but the producers preferred Sheryl Crow over k.d. lang. However, Arnold did incorporate the song instrumentally throughout his score.
17)Gerard Butler: makes an appearance as "Leading Seaman - HMS Devonshire."
18)Geoffrey Palmer: appears in the pre-credits scene as an Admiral aside Judi Dench's M character, Palmer & Dench starred together on As Time Goes By (1992).

Plot Synopsis.
At a terrorist arms bazaar somewhere on the Russian border, MI6 has sent James Bond into the field to survey trades & purchases by the terrorists. One terrorist identified as Henry Gupta, has purchased an American GPS encoder. Upon viewing the evidence of these transactions taking place Admiral Roebuck orders a missile strike upon the position, however, it is later discovered that the terrorists have a Soviet nuclear torpedo setup on a plane. Bond, using diversionary tactics, steals the plane with the torpedo and escapes as does Gupta with the GPS encoder.

The encoder is later used by evil media mogul Elliot Carver, as an attempt to start a war between the People's Republic of China & the United Kingdom as an exclusive marketing device to launch his new worldwide television network. The encoder is used to send a British frigate, the HMS Devonshire, off course in the South China sea where Carver's own stealth ship, based on a Navy concept ship, the USS Sea Shadow, sinks it while also shooting down a Chinese fighter plane sent out to investigate the stray warship. When the survivors of the sunken frigate are found to have been killed using Chinese ammunition, a Royal Navy taskforce is sent to the region.

As tensions between the two countries mount, Bond is sent by M to investigate Carver after MI6 identifies a spurious signal sent from one of Carver's communications satellites at the time the warship was sunk. During the investigation, Bond seduces Carver's wife, his old flame Paris Carver, as a result of which her husband orders her death. Meanwhile, Bond is both rivaled and assisted in his mission to stop Carver by the Chinese secret agent Wai Lin hom are captured by Carvers men but eventually escape there captors & give chase through the busy streets & rooftops of Saigon.

The two search several areas large enough for Carver to hide his stealth craft and get lucky on the last cove. The board the boat and plan to plant explosive charges to disrupt it's radar cover and make it visible to the British fleet. Lin is captured and Bond sneaks inside. Carver reveals his ultimate plan; he will launch one of the stolen British missiles into China, provoking a war with new conflict will be covered by his media group and he will bid for exclusive rights to media coverage in China when his secret partner General Chang takes control of the Chinese government & miraculously ends the conflict.

Bond is able to take Henry Gupta hostage; Carver kills Gupta openly after the tech-expert tells his boss that the preparations are complete. However, a grenade planted by Bond with a small triggering device goes off, causing a huge explosion. The boat, now visible to radar, is attacked by the British navy.

Carver orders Mr. Stamper to go ahead with the missile launch. With the boat disintegrating around them, Bond fights through several of Carver's henchmen and corners the villain. Bond activates the sea drill hanging nearby and forces Carver into its path killing him. Stamper has chained Lin and dangles her over the indoor pool; when she passes Bond some detonation fuses to sabotage the missile, Stamper drops her in the water.

Bond and Stamper fight briefly and Bond traps the thug's ankle under the missile. With Stamper holding him in front of the missile's engines, he hopes that Bond will burn and die with him. Bond is able to cut the straps on his pack and he plunges into the water just as the missile launches and the detonators destroy it and Stamper. Under water, he rescues Lin, breathing air into her lungs with a kiss. The two surface just as the stealth boat sinks. They are later picked up by the British Navy while sharing a romantic moment in a lifeboat.

Timelord Thoughts.
This is a fast paced action packed 18th Jame Bond adventure that delivers some of the series best action sequences from the spectacular opening credits to a unique car chase plus a excellent escape which leads to a dramatic bike chase sequence & finally a explosive climax on Carvers stealth craft.

Pierce Brosnan is completely settled in the role as 007 now & gives a superb performance here showcasing great leading man qualities & delivers in the films many hi-tec action sequences yet also delivers charm, wit & emotion revealing a certain vulnerability when meeting up with an old flame Paris Carver.

Jonathan Pryce oozes menace & self centred arrogance as Elliott Carver & is completely insane in wanting to start World War 3 for his newspapers own popularity gains, while Götz Otto as Stamper is a excellent henchmen & gives Bond a run for his money which climaxes with a good fight sequence on Carvers stealth boat.

Michelle Yeoh is superb as Chinese agent Wai Lin who is no damsel in distress Bond girl as Yeoh features on par with Pierce Brosnan's Bond in the films many action scenes & even choreographed all her own fight scenes which are impressive to say the least as Yeoh makes the most kick ass Bond girl to date.

Teri Hatcher has a small but important role as Paris Carver who had a past relationship with Bond which gives the movie a believable romance & fuels 007's motivations to takedown Carver who later has his wife executed without hesitation, Hatcher is a stunningly beautiful woman & pulls off her role with great aplomb.

Judi Dench is excellent as 'M' & her putdown of Admiral Roebuck is a gem, Dench adds gravitas to the part & is completely believable as head of M16.

Composer David Arnold creates an up tempo Bond score that makes us completely forget Eric Serras awful Goldeneye score as Arnold comes very close here to achieving the heights of the many wonderful John Barry scores of yesteryear as Arnold injects a modern & thunderous brassy arrangement into his score of the movie which adds great atmosphere & authentic Bondian feel to the movie.

The action is skilfully directed by Roger Spottiswoode & has a certain freshness to them which are sharply edited & snappy paced, it's just a shame we couldn't have had a bit more breathing space between scenes as the action never stops to allow the story to breathe but this is my only gripe of the movie.

Overall, Tomorrow Never Dies is one of Brosnan's best Bond movies & delivers a Bond film on a even grander scale, everything here is bigger, badder & louder than Goldeneye & proves yet again when it comes to action & adventure nobody does it better than James Bond.

Timelord Rating.
9/10
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Comments


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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Aug 2014 13:19:11 BDT
rbmusicman says:
Rid the World of BMW's -Yeah !
As you know, I have the Box-Set, only watched 'Dr No' from it, really
must find a bit of time to re-watch them all........I did like this one, as
you've indicated, plenty of 'action'
Great detail with your 'Trivia'
Super, passionate 007 review my friend.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Aug 2014 16:21:56 BDT
Timelord-007 says:
Cheers my friend and it's uncut,I knew the movie was cut when I brought the video & first dvd release thankfully it's now uncut.

Thanks for the kind comments.
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