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Die Another Day(2002)
When his top-secret mission is sabotaged, James Bond finds himself captured by the enemy, abandoned by M16 and stripped of his 00-license. Determined to get revenge, Bond goes head-to-head with a sultry spy, a frosty agent and a shadowy billionaire whose business is diamonds... but whose secret is a diabolical weapon that could bring the world to its knees.
For more about Die Another Day and the Die Another Day Blu-ray release, see Die Another Day Blu-ray Review published by Ben Williams on October 21, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Toby Stephens, Rosamund Pike, Judi Dench, Madonna
Director: Lee Tamahori
» See full cast & crew
Die Another Day Blu-ray Review
The film that almost killed Bond.
Reviewed by Ben Williams, October 21, 2008
Sometimes, bad things happen to good film franchises. Die Another Day is a good case in point. Pierce Brosnan had brought a fresh face and attitude to Bond, but over the course of several films, the series started to devolve into a parody of itself. Bond himself had started to become defined by increasingly more ridiculous gadgets, vapid characters and a slew of over the top action sequences that would make Jean Claude Van Damme do the splits and then blush. I feared upon the film's initial release that this might be the last we'd ever see from 007 and that the iconic series was going to go out on an absurd note. Fortunately, Daniel Craig swooped in a few years later to set things right. Seeing how good Bond can be with the likes of Casino Royale has only highlighted just how shockingly terrible Die Another Day is. Proceed with caution.
Die Another Day begins with James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) being held captive by the North Korean army after a "spectacular" hovercraft chase. It seems Bond was captured investigating a diabolical Korean terrorist organization. Once Bond is conveniently freed, he goes on yet another revenge mission as he attempts to find a link between the aforementioned terrorists and the smuggling of African "Conflict Diamonds." He'll eventually cross paths with American operative Jinx (Halle Berry) and find comfort in the arms of British agent Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike). Bond can't get too comfortable, however, as evil terrorist and puppy hater Colonel Moon (Will Yun Lee) has disguised himself as British billionaire Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens) and threatens to destroy the world with a horrific space weapon. Yes, Folks, giant frinkin' space lasers.
This movie makes me mad. James Bond has been morphed from a suave secret agent into some sort of Arnold Schwarzenegger nightmare-machine who exists to exact revenge and kill everything in site. The action sequences are ludicrous: Bond races hovercraft, races his Aston Martin on a sheet of ice, dodges laser fire from a satellite, the list goes on. The gadgets are unbelievably idiotic. Invisible Aston Martin? Really? Are we really making James Bond into science fiction now? Is that what the audience craves? Moonraker was bad enough, do we really need this? To add insult to injury, Halle Berry is downright terrible in the film. She plays an action scene as though she is mimicking someone in the distance who is trying to help her move more effectively. She looks extremely awkward as she stumbles her way through action choreography and generally has a confused look on her face throughout the film.
Don't try to find any semblance of a plot in Die Another Day because you'll exhaust yourself looking for it. The film exists as a framework for the many, many action sequences. The climax of the film, which takes place on a military transport plane that is caught in a laser blast from space, ranks as one of the most elaborate and ridiculous Bond set pieces in the history of the franchise. The one casualty of this idiotic movie turned out to be Pierce Brosnan. He did nothing wrong other than starring in a bad movie and he was rewarded by Eon productions by firing him from the role and launching a search for his eventual replacement. It was a classless thing to do and Brosnan didn't deserve it. It's a shame that the last Bond film he'll be remembered for is this mess of a movie. Brosnan was well on his way to becoming the definitive James Bond. Fortunately, there are several other films that came before Die Another Day that are a much more fitting testament to his great work as James Bond.
Die Another Day Blu-ray, Video Quality
Die Another Day makes its Blu-ray debut from MGM featuring a nice 1080p transfer utilizing the AVC Mpeg-4 compression codec. The film's original aspect ratio of 2.40:1 has been perfectly preserved and the Blu-ray edition is a vast improvement over the seriously flawed DVD versions of the film that had been previously released. Previously releases had been rife with macroblocking and abundant edge enhancement. Those issues are gone, for the most part, on Blu-ray, but the results still leave a little to be desired.
First, the good: Die Another Day looks sharp, detailed and has excellent contrast and black levels. As a matter of fact, the film, as a whole, is very pleasing from a visual standpoint. Black levels were particularly impressive and color fidelity was always vivid and accurate. Unfortunately, there is still a hint of edge enhancement that is noticeable throughout the film. It's only occasionally distracting. This begs the question: was it intentional? Many filmmakers are sharpening films in post-production these days. Could Die Another Day be one of those films? I'll leave that for you to decide, but rest assured that despite this potential flaw, Die Another Day looks pretty darn good on Blu-ray.
Die Another Day Blu-ray, Audio Quality
On the sonic front, Die Another Day is a powerhouse. The film's DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 track is active, alive and absolutely rocking. For a film that places such an emphasis on over-the-top action sequences, nothing but the finest sound design could have even begun to sell this movie. Fortuantely, it delivers in spades.
Surround activity is insanely active in Die Another Day with explosions and weapons fire ricocheting around the listening room. Low bass is also abundant with frequent subwoofer action that will shake your entire room. Dialogue is well presented and intelligible. Ultimately, this is a top tier audio experience that the film is totally unworthy of!
Die Another Day Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
MGM has, again, ported all of the film's DVD extras over to this Blu-ray release. Die Another Day features every single item from that DVD collection.
Here's what's included:
-"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
-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
-"Ministry of Propaganda" Photo gallery
In attempt to discover whether there was a single redeeming quality to Die Another Day, I poured through the extras included for the Blu-ray release. Unfortunately, it's rather difficult to listen to commentaries about a film that, in my opinion, shouldn't have ever been made. Regardless, fans of the film will likely find the Pierce Brosnan and Rosamund Pike commentary to be the most interesting aspect of this collection. Both are candid and often admit to some of the mistakes being made on screen. As is usually the case with me, I was most interested in the historical features that frame Die Another Day into the larger James Bond lexicon. Look no further than "From Script to Screen" and "Shaken and Stirred on Ice" to whet your appetite for such features.
Die Another Day Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Die Another Day is just a terrible mess. I've now had the displeasure of sitting through this movie more times than I care to remember. Fortunately, it looks like the film served as a "final straw" to the Bond production team and they went on to learn from their mistakes and made Casino Royale. For this Blu-ray edition, we are treated to above average video and a truly rollicking soundtrack that has the potential to do some serious hearing damage. In the end, I can't recommend the disc to anyone other than the most die-hard Bond collector. For those who haven't seen the film, please tread lightly. Just know things get better from here on out where Bond is concerned.
Die Another Day: Other Editions
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Die Another Day Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - October 21st - October 21, 2008
James Bond represents a lifestyle that many people want to live and few can afford. As the world's top secret agent, 007 gets to travel the world to exotic locations, making use of his fast cars and cool gadgets to save the world over and over again (with just ...
• James Bond Blu-ray Releases Get Detailed - July 29, 2008
MGM Home Entertainment has announced the technical specs and special features for the upcoming Blu-ray releases of the James Bond films 'Dr. No', 'Die Another Day', 'Live and Let Die', 'For Your Eyes Only', 'From Russia With Love', and 'Thunderball', due to hit ...
• Bond is Officially Blu - June 18, 2008
Fox Home Entertainment in conjunction with MGM Home Entertainment have announced that they will bring six classic James Bond films to Blu-ray this fall. All six title - 'Dr. No', 'Die Another Day', 'Live and Let Die', 'For Your Eyes Only', 'From Russia with Love', ...
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