Pros and Cons: Die Another Day

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  • heartbroken_mr_draxheartbroken_mr_drax New Zealand Posts: 2,029MI6 Agent
    Barbel wrote:
    DAF carries a subtext about dualities and the nature of reality, which is perhaps surprising in what is normally considered a lightweight entry in what is normally considered a lightweight film series. This is why, to paraphrase, it appears simultaneously bogus, beautiful and intriguing.

    Happy to admit that I see it, but I certainly think it's more bogus than beautiful and intriguing because both the text and subtext is so poorly executed I can't admire it.
    1. TWINE 2. FYEO 3. MR 4. TLD 5. TSWLM 6. OHMSS 7. DN 8. OP 9. AVTAK 10. TMWTGG 11. QoS 12. GE 13. CR 14. TB 15. FRWL 16. LTK 17. GF 18. SF 19. LaLD 20. YOLT 21. TND 22. DAD 23. DAF.

    "If you'll forgive me, that's a little too scented for my palate."
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,303Chief of Staff
    There's truth in that, for which I blame Guy Hamilton!
  • DieAnotherDayDieAnotherDay Glasgow, ScotlandPosts: 460MI6 Agent
    DAD has always been a personal favourite Bond film of mine, ever since I seen it in the cinema all those years ago. I am not at all blind to the abundance of problems, which the film has and can rarely dispute with most of you on here who often rank the film at the tail end of your definite Bond list. The film has always held a special nostalgic place in my heart for years though and I have always tried to defend it whenever possible but will try as much of a non-biased viewpoint as possible here.

    The general consensus here seems to be that the 1st half of the film holds any and all the greatness, which the film may have but I think that this is unfair to say. Instead I feel that the film often rides a tightrope between greatness and awfulness and it sways between the two of them relatively evenly throughout the runtime, although the 1st half is considerably stronger, all in all.

    Here's my complete rundown of the film (Pros and Cons to be found within :)) )

    - The Pre-title sequence is pretty fantastic all round. Excellent stunts, an intriguing desaturated look into the dangerous North Korea, decent dialogue and set up.
    - The title sequence, is extremely inventive and holds up well however the song by Madonna is unfortunately terrible and doesn't fit the warped imagery of Bond being tortured at all.
    - Things run smoothly up until Bond stops his heart to escape his chamber. That's the first real sign that this film is going to delve into the complete impossible, rather than highly implausible.
    - Awful Ocean and Hong Kong backdrop plus the deck of the ship looks like a pretty crap set with no real care or attention.
    - I love all of the Cuba scenes right up until the awful introduction of Jinx, filled with cringeworthy out of place dialogue which makes them seem quite pervy.
    - Completelyunnecessary, gratuatous sex scene.
    - The whole Cuban clinic scene is probably the strongest in the film for me but is almost spoiled by the wonky CGI jinx diving backwards off the cliff. I mean, c'mon ...
    - Gustav Graves entrance is decent enough and the sword fight at the club is excellent. Just seems like it's part of a completely different and wholly competent Bond film.
    - Mi6 Virtual Reality training session is bonkers but still quite well executed when compared to other elements of the film. Cleese is great.
    - Invisible car is entirely ridiculous and I should hate it but it's honestly one of the things that doesn't bother me in the film, in fact I find it quite cool in some parts.
    - Things mainly do go off the rails in Iceland. The whole Icarus setup is pretty ludicrous, Bond and Frosts brief relationship comes off all wrong, the Sci-Fi CGI laser fight and Tsunami surfing send the film into the abyss.
    - There are moments spread through the Iceland segment that I genuinely love though: The look of the Ice palace, "Plenty of Ice ... if you can spare it", Bond using the Re-Breather, Use of the Sonic Ring, Invisible car has its use and the Ice Car Chase is an absolute breath of fresh air after the Wind Sufring.
    - The whole ending on the plane is entertaining enough but so OTT that you just end up watching thee film completely fall apart in front of your eyes.
    - Jinx and Frosts fight is the highlight of the climax
    - DREADFUL blue screen background when they are flying over the land after getting the chopper to start in mid-air. I mean, it looks like they're going at the speed of a jet plane in the interior shots but yet cover like 10 yards from the exterior ones :)) Shocking stuff.
    - Virtual Reality Bond and the "You're so good, especially when you're bad" may not be the worst offenders in the film but leave one hell of a sour taste in the viewers mouths"
    - This certainly isn't Brozzers best performance in the role but he makes the most of what he has and seems like he is struggling to figure out how to play the role at certain points. His inconsistencies are most certainly not his fault.
    - Zao and Frost are great but the rest of the main players are pretty poor because they're working with a wonky script. (Especially Jinx)
    - Tamohori seemed to have far too much input within the movie, even to the point of putting forward the whole CGI wind surfing thing. I'm all for the director putting their stamp on a Bond flick, creatively, but surely the producers should have slammed the door shut on that mad idea.

    That's my fair overview on the film. As I said, it will always have a special place in my heart and I can't really explain why I love it so much as - stated above - it is flawed to the very core. It's an event movie and can be genuinely enjoyed if you just look at it as a high budget celebration of all that has came before. Plus, there's no need to be mad at the movie because it far from killed the franchise and instead kept in going with the necessary Craig reboot. It's a strange one for me because when I'm being deadly honest about DAD, there's obviously more negatives than positives spread throughout the runtime, buuuuut there still a load to be enjoyed in there, because you can't say for one moment that you aren't thoroughly entertained with all the schizophrenic eye-candy present, on screen.
    ....and the best he ever managed was a sermon on the mount.
  • RemingtonRemington CAPosts: 239MI6 Agent
    I agree with basically everything you wrote, although I'm a closet fan of Madonna's theme. {[]
    -{
    1. Connery 2. Moore 3. Dalton 4. Brosnan 5. Craig 6. Lazenby
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    Nice to see some love for DAD. -{ I actually rather like the
    Faster dance version of Madonna's song.
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • DieAnotherDayDieAnotherDay Glasgow, ScotlandPosts: 460MI6 Agent
    Find it strange that a more uptempo version of the theme song is inserted when Bond meets Jinx again, in the ice palace. Does Graves have the soundtrack of the film in his possession? :))
    ....and the best he ever managed was a sermon on the mount.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,303Chief of Staff
    Don't think so- that version isn't on it! :))
  • DieAnotherDayDieAnotherDay Glasgow, ScotlandPosts: 460MI6 Agent
    Barbel wrote:
    Don't think so- that version isn't on it! :))

    Fair point :))
    ....and the best he ever managed was a sermon on the mount.
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,350MI6 Agent
    I believe Jinx's character adds nothing to the plot and is unnecessary except to further hype Halle Berry's own ego. I cant think of anything she does or information she provides that changes the story in any way, with two exceptions noted below. Maybe I need to rewatch the film.
    I think the plot would have worked the same, if not better, without her altogether. As with the previous film, the Good Bondgirl is just written in because that's the formula, not because she is an organic part of the plot, and in the Craig-era would not have been required at all. Removing her would have given more space to Miranda Frost, who is essential to the plot. Indeed, Frost is the answer to a mystery Bond has been trying to solve since the opening scenes.

    Two things Jinx does do:
    -She fights and kills Frost at the end. Thus dividing our attention from Bonds fight with the big baddy, and making Halle Berry look like an action hero with the potential for her own franchise. There would have been more dramatic potential in Bond killing Frost, but perhaps that would have been too similar to the ending of the previous film. A bit of a problem when the new formula is "main Bondgirl is really the badguy and must die a villains death in the final scene".
    -She has to be rescued like a damsel-in-distress in the ice palace. Not good for an action hero with the potential for her own franchise, though Agent XXX in her time also played damsel-in-distress. This scene does give us a good look at the architecture of the ice palace, shows off some more tricks of the invisible car, and provides yet more action and blowing-up. So without her needing to be rescued, the whole Iceland scenes would have been over much more quickly.
    Neither of these are essential to the plot, they just fill time and promote Halle Berry's own brand.
  • Dirty PunkerDirty Punker ...Your Eyes Only, darling."Posts: 2,586MI6 Agent
    Wasn't the "explicit for a Bond film" sex scene her own idea?
    a reasonable rate of return
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,350MI6 Agent
    good point: Jinx adds more orgasm-faking to the plot than there was in any other Bond film before or since
  • Sir Hillary BraySir Hillary Bray College of ArmsPosts: 2,171MI6 Agent
    Wow, sounds like someone has an issue with Halle Berry. I think DAD is the worst Bond film ever made and agree that Jinx is a useless character. But to lay all of the character's failings at Halle Berry's feet is a bit much, particularly when done in a way that borders on the assassination of a real person's character.
    Hilly...you old devil!
  • Dirty PunkerDirty Punker ...Your Eyes Only, darling."Posts: 2,586MI6 Agent
    Wonder how it lasted that long.
    I mean, you have Halle Berry on top of you and you were a year and a couple of months in NK.
    Wasn't the whole premise of the titles sequence him seeing sexy women because he couldn't feed the geese?
    a reasonable rate of return
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,350MI6 Agent
    Wow, sounds like someone has an issue with Halle Berry. I think DAD is the worst Bond film ever made and agree that Jinx is a useless character. But to lay all of the character's failings at Halle Berry's feet is a bit much, particularly when done in a way that borders on the assassination of a real person's character.
    I think all my issues come from the way the character was written and the way the director chose to present her. They were discussing a spin-off series for the character, it was part of the hype for the film at the time. I believe many of her scenes were there to hype the potential spinoff rather than to advance the plot of the new Bondfilm, doubly a problem when this film is supposed to be the 20th/40th anniversary event.
    I have no opinion of Berry as a person, beyond what I see from her performance in this film. Some other actress could have stepped into the part, as written and directed, and all my issues would have been the same.
  • Sir Hillary BraySir Hillary Bray College of ArmsPosts: 2,171MI6 Agent
    Fair enough, CP. I never put much credence in the Jinx spinoff talk, but you are right that it was there. I completely agree with your broader point that the character was badly written and directed (and acted, as I find Berry's performance too showy). Jinx is probably the best example of the one word that best summarizes all of DAD for me -- forced.
    Hilly...you old devil!
  • heartbroken_mr_draxheartbroken_mr_drax New Zealand Posts: 2,029MI6 Agent
    Fair enough, CP. I never put much credence in the Jinx spinoff talk, but you are right that it was there. I completely agree with your broader point that the character was badly written and directed (and acted, as I find Berry's performance too showy). Jinx is probably the best example of the one word that best summarizes all of DAD for me -- forced.

    The character is a train-wreck and IMO is a culmination of all the anti-Bond girl characters that appeared throughout the 90s Bonds. That essence of "I don't need help" but to follow the formula - end up needing help and falling to Bond's commands. It's a frustrating and transparent contradiction.

    I like the fight at the end with Frost, but as CP calls out above, it takes away from Bond's fight and has the spinoff feel to it. The worst thing about Jinx is her slow-mo (looks good, but more objectively than that) and her "turned up to 11" dislike of Bond. Brosnan appears to be struggling too.

    The best anti-Bond girl is Natalya. It's helped by the fact that there's definite chemistry.
    1. TWINE 2. FYEO 3. MR 4. TLD 5. TSWLM 6. OHMSS 7. DN 8. OP 9. AVTAK 10. TMWTGG 11. QoS 12. GE 13. CR 14. TB 15. FRWL 16. LTK 17. GF 18. SF 19. LaLD 20. YOLT 21. TND 22. DAD 23. DAF.

    "If you'll forgive me, that's a little too scented for my palate."
  • Jimmy BondJimmy Bond Posts: 319MI6 Agent
    Well, here comes yet another resurrected thread. Don't like to do this, but rules are rules...

    I've been watching the Dalton/Brosnan entries week-by-week, with a friend who's never seen them, and we reached DAD yesterday, and to my surprise I enjoyed it more this time than previously. The flaws are all there, the need to consummate the seriousness found on TWINE still there, but I did appreciate the good stuff in it.

    First of all, Pierce is really good in this. He's at his angriest, and instead of being petulant of visibly furious like Dalton in LTK, his experience in life and on the job informs his restrained but still clear desire for vengeance. In the first half in particular he drives the film and earns his place as one of the best Bonds. The action, such as it is, is still fantastically well done, and I love the cinematography, definitely the best-looking of the Dalton/Brosnan entries. And it needsto be stressed ho how good the first half of the film is. It does dip a bit when Berry's Jinx comes up, but I think up until the VR sequence with Q, it's potentially better than anything since GE. I mean, the pre-title sequence is fantastic, Bond being put to torture is just as good, his escape while extraordinary, feels like something Fleming would've written, the sword fight in the club is good, the action in the clinic is good, the M-Bond scenes are as good as ever... It's all good, man.
    .... Then it goes to Iceland. Sigh. I don't need to repeat the criticism here, but suffice to say, for me, the jokes became unbearing at this point. This is a beef that I have with TND as well, but they did load Brosnans Bond with a LOT of one-liners and jokes, too many of them not working at all, either. I like the car chase, but I'd have preferred it if wasn't an invisible car. Basically, I wish the rest of the film carried in that time of the first half.

    But, I still enjoyed it. Its way better than I remembered it, and I do think it works, despite its glaring flaws. Its way better than QOS, at least.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Western Mass, USAPosts: 9,043MI6 Agent
    DAD is a FUN movie. Toby was excellent at taking it over the top, good score, Brosnan is wildly in control of his character, and the whole thing feels to me like an updated DAF. Yeah, some bad CGI stuff, but were the FX in DAF all that much better? I love DAD, as I love most Bond movies. This is one that has gotten better over time, IMHO. -{
    Dalton & Connery rule. Brozz was cool. Craig is too.
    #1.TLD/LTK 2.TND 3.QOS 4.GF 5.DN/GE 6.SP 7.FRWL 8.TB/TMWTGG 9.TWINE 10.YOLT
  • zaphod99zaphod99 Posts: 1,405MI6 Agent
    Jimmy Bond wrote:
    Well, here comes yet another resurrected thread. Don't like to do this, but rules are rules...

    I've been watching the Dalton/Brosnan entries week-by-week, with a friend who's never seen them, and we reached DAD yesterday, and to my surprise I enjoyed it more this time than previously. The flaws are all there, the need to consummate the seriousness found on TWINE still there, but I did appreciate the good stuff in it.

    First of all, Pierce is really good in this. He's at his angriest, and instead of being petulant of visibly furious like Dalton in LTK, his experience in life and on the job informs his restrained but still clear desire for vengeance. In the first half in particular he drives the film and earns his place as one of the best Bonds. The action, such as it is, is still fantastically well done, and I love the cinematography, definitely the best-looking of the Dalton/Brosnan entries. And it needsto be stressed ho how good the first half of the film is. It does dip a bit when Berry's Jinx comes up, but I think up until the VR sequence with Q, it's potentially better than anything since GE. I mean, the pre-title sequence is fantastic, Bond being put to torture is just as good, his escape while extraordinary, feels like something Fleming would've written, the sword fight in the club is good, the action in the clinic is good, the M-Bond scenes are as good as ever... It's all good, man.
    .... Then it goes to Iceland. Sigh. I don't need to repeat the criticism here, but suffice to say, for me, the jokes became unbearing at this point. This is a beef that I have with TND as well, but they did load Brosnans Bond with a LOT of one-liners and jokes, too many of them not working at all, either. I like the car chase, but I'd have preferred it if wasn't an invisible car. Basically, I wish the rest of the film carried in that time of the first half.

    But, I still enjoyed it. Its way better than I remembered it, and I do think it works, despite its glaring flaws. Its way better than QOS, at least.

    The good bits are really good. The sword fight is up there with the best in any Bond movie. The first half is borderline perfect.
    Of that of which we cannot speak we must pass over in silence- Ludwig Wittgenstein.
  • Agent PurpleAgent Purple Posts: 857MI6 Agent
    Had a good time rewatching this. I know others might consider it one of the worst Bond films, but it entertained me.

    My criticisms:

    -They go a bit too far with the references to previous Bond films
    -The laser fight with Kil looks cartoonish.

    Nevertheless, I give it an 8/10.
    "Hostile takeovers. Shall we?"
    New 2020 ranking (for now DAF and FYEO keep their previous placements)
    1. TLD 2. TND 3. GF 4. TSWLM 5. TWINE 6. OHMSS 7. LtK 8. TMWTGG 9. L&LD 10. YOLT 11. DAD 12. QoS 13. DN 14. GE 15. SF 16. OP 17. MR 18. AVTAK 19. TB 20. FRWL 21. CR 22. FYEO 23. DAF (SP to be included later)
    Bond actors to be re-ranked later
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,350MI6 Agent
    edited June 2020
    PROS
    - First half is full of excellent stuff, some of it very original, even subversive for a BondFilm.

    - Bond being captured at the end of the precredits, instead of triumphant, then tortured for 18 months, is particularly subverting the whole established BondFilm formula.
    - First opening credits to actually form part of the narrative. And that "concierge" is kind of cute for a torturer.
    - Bond's release in a spy-swap is classic realistic spy thriller imagery.
    - Newly released Bond, rightfully distrusted by M, who protects herself from behind a glass shield. This is all from Fleming.
    - I actually cheered in the theatre as I recognised which bit of Fleming was being finally adapted.
    - Even the use of scorpions in the credits sequence: the cover of You Only Live Twice (mid60s Hawkey edition) featured a scorpion!

    - Bond entering the hotel lobby, again subverts the conventions of a BondFilm, and may be Brosnan's funniest moment ever.
    - I like Bond's collaboration with Chinese intelligence when M won't support him. It makes sense he would have forged a relationship after working with Wai Lin, just as he forged the relationship with Gogol.

    - We watch Jinx have an orgasm.
    A first for our Bond films, where coitus is usually represented by two adults lounging round in a strategically positioned bedsheet drinking champagne and making puns.

    - The idea of including at least one reference to each of the previous 19 films is clever in and of itself, and some of them are fun to spot.
    - Bond picks up the book Birds of the West Indies.
    - I just noticed the Players ad on the wall of the subway behind John Cleese.

    - The sword fight is beautifully played, very dangerous looking. Along with the handcuff chase, and the boatchase on the Thames, this is one of the best action sequences from the Brosnan films.
    - Of course James Bond should get in a sword-fight. He's the reincarnation of St George and Douglas Fairbanks.
    You know he even had a bit of a swordfight with Blofeld himself in the YOLT book? And MooreBond had a quick swordclash wih Baron Samedi.

    - The second half of the film adapts more of Moonraker than Moonraker did.
    - I dislike the rocket car and the surfing as much as anybody, but the collapse of that cliff: that's another bit from Moonraker, the book!
    - The ice palace and chasing round on snowmobiles may be from Gardner's book Icebreaker. Along with the villain being named Colonel Sun-Something, they are nicely paying tribute to two of the continuation authors as well as Fleming and EON's own legacy.

    - If you switch the film off right after M meets with Miranda, it has actually been a pretty good Bond film.
    - And as such is better than Tomorrow Never Dies.



    CONS
    - Another lame original title with the word Die in it.
    - Madonna's song does not sound like a BondSong, and breaks a nice run of three in a row that had tried. And will be followed by two more that do not.

    - Because this film has the most Fleming content since Brosnan started, it therefor disproves the rule Fleming content by definition makes for a better Bondfilm.

    - All that CGI in the second half. Also Matrix-style bullet-time. Makes this look like a postStar Wars fantasy rather than a pseudo-realistic Bondfilm.
    - So OK, the film is partially a remake of Moonraker, thus may require uptodate sci-fi style special effects. But the reason why Moonraker needed remaking in the first place is because the Roger Moore film threw out all the Fleming in favour of Star Wars style effects.
    - In the old films, all those futuristic looking sets were built by Ken Adam or Syd Cain, and the stunts performed by Bob Simmons and his colleagues, which is to say it was all real, as fantastic as it might look.

    - Bond isn't brainwashed and doesn't try to assassinate M. They started to adapt this plot, they should have gone all the way.

    - Wai Lin doesn't reappear, even though I understand she was intended to. Where would she have fit in, the Hong Kong scenes, or was she intended to have Jinx's role?

    - Bond's pursuit of a traitor within MI6 is mentioned enough, yet I never really noticed this was the plot until the third or fourth time I viewed the movie. It get buried beneath the CGI, Berry's bad acting, and all the high-concept fourth wall breaking.

    - Second remake of Diamonds are Forever in only four films.

    - The references to old films become distracting and undermine any suspension of disbelief. I think the first big one to appear is the camera in the hotel room, and it makes so little sense it immediately takes us outside the narrative.
    - The films had long pastiched old plots (since YOLT), but these clever references we are challenged to spot are different, and would become an ongoing thing in the Craig films where they are just as distracting.

    - Brosnan's own acting is very stilted, like James Bond is self-aware he is strutting through the ritual that is a James Bond film. Without the winking charm of Connery and Moore.

    - Bond and Jinx's dialog, from their first lines, so heavyhanded in its innuendo it makes no sense as in-universe dialog.
    BrosnanBond didn't pick up other chicks using these lines, why's he speaking to Jinx like this?
    Does he already suspect she's a rival agent from his first sight of her? That seems the only explanation, yet we are shown no reason why he should until he sees her get on the boat in the morning.
    - Halle Berry delivers her lines with such heavyhanded attitude, Jinx is both annoying as a character and is continually breaking the fourth wall.
    I dont remember Halle Berry like this in other films, so this is an acting choice.

    - Jinx was being hyped for her own spin-off series. And she actually does most of the investigative work quite successfully, while the hero of the film gets himself repeatedly captured, seduced by a villain, and then pursued on an irrelevant chase. Which is to say our hero isn't actually contributing much.
    - We spend so much of the film watching their two parallel adventures, I think the passage of time gets confused. For example Jinx spends a very long time being drowned in the hotel room while Bond is driving over the edge of a cliff and surfing back onland, etc.

    - Actually why does Bond steal the rocket car and try to escape? If he seriously intended to run away and abandon Jinx, why didn't he use his invisible car? None of this makes any sense and wastes about 15 minutes of the film.

    - "He did you? I didn't know he was that desperate". This language is not Bondian.

    - We don't see Miranda Frost have an orgasm.
    Of course Frost probably doesn't normally have them, but if she found herself nonetheless experiencing a reluctant one it would have been all the more exciting, and indicative of Bond's Mojo.

    - This was Brosnan's outro, and unfortunately this was his final chance to make a good impression. We know from interviews he would have liked to do a darker, more serious film, like Craig got to.
    I suggest watching November Man to see where Brosnan could have taken Bond if EON had allowed him to.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,303Chief of Staff
    Most of the Fleming-inspired material is in the first half (Graves parallels Drax closely, Frost parallels Brand, there's a duel at Blades analogous to the card game in the MR novel.) rather than the second. The first half is better than the second. Therefore the rule about Fleming content still stands.
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