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Topic: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

Released in 1997, it was the 18th film in the series and the 2nd to feature Pierce Brosnan.  Following up Goldeneye, in this film, Bond tries to defuse a looming war, between China and Britain, caused by a corrupt news network.

Pros:

  • Pierce Brosnan's Bond gets a little darker but still keeps his cool

  • Wai Lin has an energetic relationship with Bond

  • Really good gadgets (love the remote controlled BMW)

  • Ripping and riding down the giant Elliot Carver banner

  • Paris Carver's backstory with Bond

  • Lots of thrilling action bits in the 2nd half of the movie

  • The idea of taking on a new villain (the media)

  • Bond faking his death with a corpse

Cons:

  • Conflicted in it's cartoonish approach to a real world issue

  • Elliot Carver's plan is totally stupid, even for a madman.

  • Dead mistress trope

  • Lots of over-the-top action for a spy film.

  • Some bad corny dialogue.

TND had the structure of older Bond films but not the wit and charm.  Without a good story beneath the guns ablaze action, it hasn't as well as I thought it would.    Eon wanted to take a stand against journalism that portrays a foggy distorted picture of reality, but they felt the best way to refute people like Rupert Murdoch was to caricaturize him as a cartoonist villain.  And Murdoch is the last person on Earth who needed to be spiced up by over-the-top film script in order to be scary.

Last edited by Absolutely_Cart (19th Sep 2015 20:23)

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

Pro's

- Vincent Schiavellis death scene.Possibly the best scene in Brosnan movies
- Motorbike chase
- The Thai scenery in Phang Nga Bay
- "Like watching one of your shows" good comeback to Pryce
- Hamburg
- KD Langs 'surrender'

Cons

- Jonathan Pryces casting. Too hammy.
- Jonathan Pryce doing an impression of Wai Lin doing karate
- Paris Carver
- Wai Lin (no chemistry with Pierce)
- Pierce Brosnan (just been handed the script - just get on with it)
- The start of the many "pain faces" of PB
- the climax is anti-climactic (a load of people shooting with each other with machineguns)
- corny oneliners
- Sheryl Crows theme song


The most interesting thing about Tomorrow Never Dies is its cast list. For there, in the background, being one of the Naval personnel aboard HMS Devonshire is Hollywood star Gerard Butler. I only spotted this watching the credits. Also doing their bit for British equity are Hugh Bonneville, Christopher Bowen, Gail’s dad from Corrie and the voice of the BMW is Nicola McAuliffe

Funily enough if my flat was burning down this is the one I would save.Put together by commitee and beginning to show signs that his Bonds wern't making a mark.  Perhaps the next one will be better.

Last edited by broadshoulder (25th Feb 2015 10:52)

1. For Your Eyes Only      2. The Living Daylights    3 From Russia with Love  4. Casino Royale  5. OHMSS  6. Skyfall

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

Pros;
PTS. I actually thought it was classic Bond, albeit generic.
Pierce looks good. Wardrobe also did a nice job.
David Arnold's score
Vincent Schiavelli is great
The fight in the sound proofed room
Some good gadgets
Bond in his naval uniform
Although not one of my faves, I still quite like Sheryl Crow's title track

Cons;
Jonathan Pryce is too hammy.
Stamper isn't convincing and not particularly well acted. Poor dialogue though so probably not Gotz Otto's fault
I like Michelle Yeoh but felt she was just too capable and independent (call me old fashioned). I didn't really feel any attraction between Wai Lin and Bond.
Lack of chemistry between Paris and Bond
The motorbike chase
Computer game shoot em' up ending
The torpedo/drill device just seems a bit silly and unbelievable

Despite it's cons, TND is still an enjoyable all action romp. As it has been on TV so often, I've probably watched this Bond film more times than any other!

"Any of the opposition around..?"

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

The Red Kind wrote:

Pros;
PTS. I actually thought it was classic Bond, albeit generic.
Pierce looks good. Wardrobe also did a nice job.
David Arnold's score
Vincent Schiavelli is great
The fight in the sound proofed room
Some good gadgets
Bond in his naval uniform
Although not one of my faves, I still quite like Sheryl Crow's title track

Cons;
Jonathan Pryce is too hammy.
Stamper isn't convincing and not particularly well acted. Poor dialogue though so probably not Gotz Otto's fault
I like Michelle Yeoh but felt she was just too capable and independent (call me old fashioned). I didn't really feel any attraction between Wai Lin and Bond.
Lack of chemistry between Paris and Bond
The motorbike chase
Computer game shoot em' up ending
The torpedo/drill device just seems a bit silly and unbelievable

Despite it's cons, TND is still an enjoyable all action romp. As it has been on TV so often, I've probably watched this Bond film more times than any other!

100% agree

Top 10 Bond Films
1. Thunderball 2. FRWL 3. Casino Royale 4. TLD 5. OHMSS 6. SkyFall 7. GF 8. TSWLM 9. GE 10. FYEO

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

The Red Kind wrote:

The torpedo/drill device just seems a bit silly and unbelievable

Obviously, you're forgetting the first rule of mass media.  ajb007/smile ajb007/smile

Okay... anyway.

I stand by my belief that every Bond film, even some of the bottom-ranking ones, have great moments in them.  TND was easily one of the best movies in terms of gadgets, but ultimately, I wish they had just included those things in a better movie.  It's another tragic case where the film industry could afford $100 million of explosions but not a capable writer.

Let's look back at Goldeneye, which aged much better.  GE had campier elements, but it confined the jokes in comic relief characters.  The villain, Alec T./Janus, had a proper serious tone and a convincing scheme.  With TND, it wanted to be a serious movie, yet the villain (what it was literally based around) was a joke character.

Even over-the-top villains can be believable though.  Raoul Silva, for example, was crazy because of PTSD and as a terrorists, his motives were understandable.  Elliot Carver had no reason to be crazy, or even moreso, so pronounced in is evilness.

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

Absolutely_Cart wrote:

  Elliot Carver had no reason to be crazy, or even moreso, so pronounced in is evilness.

Elliot Carver wanted to start a war to lift the numbers of his papers.
I'd call that pretty crazy - even Murdoch won't go that far  ajb007/rolleyes

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.
-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------
FIRST TO DISCOVER substantial evidence that Chew Mee is in fact not totally nude in the TMWTGG pool scenes!

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

Higgins wrote:
Absolutely_Cart wrote:

  Elliot Carver had no reason to be crazy, or even moreso, so pronounced in is evilness.

Elliot Carver wanted to start a war to lift the numbers of his papers.
I'd call that pretty crazy - even Murdoch won't go that far  ajb007/rolleyes

Yeah There's a difference between starting a war and starting a World War III nuclear war.  lol

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

Erm, War is War. No matter how you look at it.

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

But a war with Britain and China would've put Carver's enterprise at great risk of being bombed with a nuke.  Unlike, the Spanish-American War in Hearst's time.

In the famous words of Judge Judy, "I don't buy it!"

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

I doubt any country would in fact use nuclear weapons,  as explained in
A great episode of " Yes Prime Minister "  ajb007/lol
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IX_d_vMKswE

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

Absolutely_Cart wrote:
Higgins wrote:
Absolutely_Cart wrote:

  Elliot Carver had no reason to be crazy, or even moreso, so pronounced in is evilness.

Elliot Carver wanted to start a war to lift the numbers of his papers.
I'd call that pretty crazy - even Murdoch won't go that far  ajb007/rolleyes

Yeah There's a difference between starting a war and starting a World War III nuclear war.  lol


It also proves how difficult it is do a “destroy the world” plot in this day and age. The writers have to really work to do a “world in jeopardy” storyline. I can see their prototype for this film – The Spy Who Loved Me. And while in that one a deluded recluse wanting to destroy the world seemed feasible – they really have to work hard to make us believe the tension between the British and Chinese.

The true original idea here and one the press loves to this day is that behind it all is a megalomaniac press baron. It’s as if the writers sat down and said “Who really has the power of life and death nowadays? Ah, yes – the press” Elliott Carver is clearly Rupert Murdoch with a bit of WR Hearst and Robert Maxwell. This is one of the parts of the film which really works as if Carver is responsible for the dumbing down of the entire world. Bond spitting out when shown the chakra devices “I’d of thought watching one of your shows was torture enough” is very Fleming who had a very scathing view of popular culture.

1. For Your Eyes Only      2. The Living Daylights    3 From Russia with Love  4. Casino Royale  5. OHMSS  6. Skyfall

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

Absolutely_Cart wrote:

Released in 1997, it was the 18th film in the series and the 2nd to feature Pierce Brosnan.  Following up Goldeneye, in this film, Bond tries to defuse a looming war, between China and Britain, caused by a corrupt news network.

Pros:

  • Pierce Brosnan's Bond

  • Michelle Yeoh's Wai Lin

  • Gadgets and everything involving the phone and BMW

  • Ripping and riding down the giant Elliot Carver banner

  • Lots of thrilling action bits in the 2nd half of the movie

  • Bond faking his death with a corpse

  • Good corny one liners

Cons:

  • Takes a hypocritically sensationalist stand on yellow journalism

  • Pre-title sequence is generic as holy hell

  • M's role is quite short here

  • First half kind of drags

  • Dead mistress trope

  • It's more of a violent video game than a spy film

  • Carver's motives aren't believable, even in a fantasy universe

  • Jonathan Pryce was a good actor, but wrong movie

  • Bad corny one liners

I actually like Sheryl Crow's theme song.  Yes, I know you want to strangle my throat.  But anyway, it's a movie with lots of great moments but it's lacking overall.  It had the structure of the older movies but little of the wit and ethos.  In my first watching, I was totally wow'ed and in my second watching the magic was gone.  In any event, TND isn't bad ; just not as good as other films in the series, IMO.

Making corrupt journalism a villain, to demonstrate that pen is mightier than sword, is a respectable undertaking.  But it needed to be done right.  It's not believable.  Fantasy allows an art work to substitute the rules of our universe with its own but it's not a license for inconsistent storytelling.

Pryce's portrayal of Carver was a bit too cartoony and over-the-top for a villain we could draw parallel to in real life.  Dominic Greene from Quantum of Solace, for example, had a subtle approach to corrupt politics that made him actually feel like the people who terrorize our very own world.  And next, even a guy in Carver's shoes, wouldn't risk a hot war just to get broadcasting rights in China.

This movie has lots of good moments, and Chrisisall will probably want to karate chop me to death, but all in all, I wish these moments (which cannot save more fundamental structural problems) were in an overall better movie.  TND really put most of its eggs in the villain basket, and while Elliot Carver would've been a great voice-over in a socially conscious Disney movie like Wall-E, he just doesn't work here. 

Eon wanted to take a stand against journalism that portrays a foggy distorted picture of reality, but they felt the best way to refute people like Rupert Murdoch was to caricaturize him as a cartoonist villain.  And Murdoch is the last person on Earth who needed to be spiced up by over-the-top film script in order to be scary.

I agree with almost everything here!  ajb007/cheers

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

broadshoulder wrote:

It also proves how difficult it is do a “destroy the world” plot in this day and age. The writers have to really work to do a “world in jeopardy” storyline. I can see their prototype for this film – The Spy Who Loved Me. And while in that one a deluded recluse wanting to destroy the world seemed feasible – they really have to work hard to make us believe the tension between the British and Chinese.

The true original idea here and one the press loves to this day is that behind it all is a megalomaniac press baron. It’s as if the writers sat down and said “Who really has the power of life and death nowadays? Ah, yes – the press” Elliott Carver is clearly Rupert Murdoch with a bit of WR Hearst and Robert Maxwell. This is one of the parts of the film which really works as if Carver is responsible for the dumbing down of the entire world. Bond spitting out when shown the chakra devices “I’d of thought watching one of your shows was torture enough” is very Fleming who had a very scathing view of popular culture.

With TSWLM, Stromberg was a weak villain I'll admit, but he made up such a small percentage of what the film was about.  Making a clean break from Goldfinger, it was more about the relationship between the US and USSR, represented by Moore and Anya, than any one villain.  With TND, it puts all its eggs in the Carver basket and it doesn't work.

Perhaps, it may have worked if a terrorist organization that orchestrated the attack and Carver's news station were separate entities, and it would make the plot much more complex in a good way.

Like I said, I agree the press was a great concept for the villain.  But Carver wasn't a Murdoch.  He was a left-wing cartoon parody of Murdoch.  And I just don't understand why one would make a cartoon of Murdoch.  Murdoch is bone-chilling as he is.  Why put a bunch of spices on a steak that's already perfect?

I thought a lot about Quantum of Solace when watching TND, and in part of that, I realize how much better Dominic Greene was in his role.

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

Absolutely_Cart wrote:

Released in 1997, it was the 18th film in the series and the 2nd to feature Pierce Brosnan.  Following up Goldeneye, in this film, Bond tries to defuse a looming war, between China and Britain, caused by a corrupt news network.

Pros:

  • Pierce Brosnan's Bond

  • Michelle Yeoh's Wai Lin

  • Gadgets and everything involving the phone and BMW

  • Ripping and riding down the giant Elliot Carver banner

  • Lots of thrilling action bits in the 2nd half of the movie

  • Bond faking his death with a corpse

  • Good corny one liners

Cons:

  • Takes a hypocritically sensationalist stand on yellow journalism

  • Pre-title sequence is generic as holy hell

  • M's role is quite short here

  • First half kind of drags

  • Dead mistress trope

  • It's more of a violent video game than a spy film

  • Carver's motives aren't believable, even in a fantasy universe

  • Jonathan Pryce was a good actor, but wrong movie

  • Bad corny one liners

I actually like Sheryl Crow's theme song.  Yes, I know you want to strangle my throat.  But anyway, it's a movie with lots of great moments but it's lacking overall.  It had the structure of the older movies but little of the wit and ethos.  In my first watching, I was totally wow'ed and in my second watching the magic was gone.  In any event, TND isn't bad ; just not as good as other films in the series, IMO.

Making corrupt journalism a villain, to demonstrate that pen is mightier than sword, is a respectable undertaking.  But it needed to be done right.  It's not believable.  Fantasy allows an art work to substitute the rules of our universe with its own but it's not a license for inconsistent storytelling.

Pryce's portrayal of Carver was a bit too cartoony and over-the-top for a villain we could draw parallel to in real life.  Dominic Greene from Quantum of Solace, for example, had a subtle approach to corrupt politics that made him actually feel like the people who terrorize our very own world.  And next, even a guy in Carver's shoes, wouldn't risk a hot war just to get broadcasting rights in China.

This movie has lots of good moments, and Chrisisall will probably want to karate chop me to death, but all in all, I wish these moments (which cannot save more fundamental structural problems) were in an overall better movie.  TND really put most of its eggs in the villain basket, and while Elliot Carver would've been a great voice-over in a socially conscious Disney movie like Wall-E, he just doesn't work here. 

Eon wanted to take a stand against journalism that portrays a foggy distorted picture of reality, but they felt the best way to refute people like Rupert Murdoch was to caricaturize him as a cartoonist villain.  And Murdoch is the last person on Earth who needed to be spiced up by over-the-top film script in order to be scary.

I agree with many of your points, specifically:

Pros

Pierce Brosnan's Bond
Michelle Yeoh's Wai Lin
Gadgets and everything involving the phone and BMW
Ripping and riding down the giant Elliot Carver banner
Lots of thrilling action bits in the 2nd half of the movie

Cons:

Carver's motives aren't believable, even in a fantasy universe
Jonathan Pryce was a good actor, but wrong movie
Bad corny one liners

I also like Sheryl Crow's theme song, but I like k.d. lang's "Surrender" more.

"Felix Leiter, a brother from Langley."

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

Blackleiter wrote:

Carver's motives aren't believable, even in a fantasy universe

Ahem, *cough* *choke* may I remind you of the volcano mountain for just a fraction of a nanosecond here?

Hoo ha hoo ha!

...pathetic.

ajb007/lol

Dalton & Connery rule. Brozz was cool. Craig is too.
#1.TLD/LTK 2.TND 3.QOS 4.DN 5.GF/GE 6.SP 7.FRWL 8.TB/TMWTGG 9.TWINE 10.YOLT

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

Cons:
The fun in the remote control car scene- too soon for laughs after the Kaufman killing I think.
Too much endless automatic gunfire on the stealth boat- not that it wasn't believable, just that it got old.

Pros:
Every damn thing else. ajb007/martini

Dalton & Connery rule. Brozz was cool. Craig is too.
#1.TLD/LTK 2.TND 3.QOS 4.DN 5.GF/GE 6.SP 7.FRWL 8.TB/TMWTGG 9.TWINE 10.YOLT

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

chrisisall wrote:
Blackleiter wrote:

Carver's motives aren't believable, even in a fantasy universe

Ahem, *cough* *choke* may I remind you of the volcano mountain for just a fraction of a nanosecond here?

Hoo ha hoo ha!

...pathetic.

ajb007/lol

Well . . . yes and no.  The United States built a cold war bunker underneath a West Virginia hotel -- an elaborate, multi-level facility that existed for years without the knowledge of the guests or most of the staff.  Alistair MacLean based his novel The Guns of Navarone, which featured a Nazi fortress carved out of the mountains, on the Dodecanese campaign, though no such elaborate installation existed.  The Japanese themselves built significant fortifications and cave systems on volcanic islands during WWII.  The idea was SPECTRE partnered with Osato to use his company's vast industrial holdings to produce a fortress in a remote, seemingly inert volcano.  It's far-fetched, but not exactly without precedent in either fact or fiction.

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

YOLT was a silly movie so it could get away with a silly plot.  TND wanted to be a refutation of western journalism so it couldn't.

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

Gassy Man wrote:

The United States built a cold war bunker underneath a West Virginia hotel -- an elaborate, multi-level facility that existed for years without the knowledge of the guests or most of the staff.  Alistair MacLean based his novel The Guns of Navarone, which featured a Nazi fortress carved out of the mountains, on the Dodecanese campaign, though no such elaborate installation existed.  The Japanese themselves built significant fortifications and cave systems on volcanic islands during WWII.  The idea was SPECTRE partnered with Osato to use his company's vast industrial holdings to produce a fortress in a remote, seemingly inert volcano.  It's far-fetched, but not exactly without precedent in either fact or fiction.

Well played sir.
Still, Carver was devolving into insanity, so his methods for becoming supremely important in his scheme of things makes as much sense as... oh, starting a war with Iraq & sending the U.S. (& by extension the whole Western) economy into a tumble to save face after 9-11..???
ajb007/rolleyes

Dalton & Connery rule. Brozz was cool. Craig is too.
#1.TLD/LTK 2.TND 3.QOS 4.DN 5.GF/GE 6.SP 7.FRWL 8.TB/TMWTGG 9.TWINE 10.YOLT

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

Carver wasn't insane.  He was greedy.  He knew right from wrong and he knew exactly what he was doing.

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

Absolutely_Cart wrote:

Carver wasn't insane.  He was greedy.  He knew right from wrong and he knew exactly what he was doing.

The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by results.
Do the math. ajb007/lol

Dalton & Connery rule. Brozz was cool. Craig is too.
#1.TLD/LTK 2.TND 3.QOS 4.DN 5.GF/GE 6.SP 7.FRWL 8.TB/TMWTGG 9.TWINE 10.YOLT

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

chrisisall wrote:
Gassy Man wrote:

The United States built a cold war bunker underneath a West Virginia hotel -- an elaborate, multi-level facility that existed for years without the knowledge of the guests or most of the staff.  Alistair MacLean based his novel The Guns of Navarone, which featured a Nazi fortress carved out of the mountains, on the Dodecanese campaign, though no such elaborate installation existed.  The Japanese themselves built significant fortifications and cave systems on volcanic islands during WWII.  The idea was SPECTRE partnered with Osato to use his company's vast industrial holdings to produce a fortress in a remote, seemingly inert volcano.  It's far-fetched, but not exactly without precedent in either fact or fiction.

Well played sir.
Still, Carver was devolving into insanity, so his methods for becoming supremely important in his scheme of things makes as much sense as... oh, starting a war with Iraq & sending the U.S. (& by extension the whole Western) economy into a tumble to save face after 9-11..???
ajb007/rolleyes

Good point, and I don't find Carver's goals to be far-fetched either.  There's historical precedent in what he did, and the book and movie Wag the Dog had a similar premise though with more political characters.  What troubles me about Carver is that like so many Bond villains in recent years, he didn't really do much except bark orders at people.  Other than publish some things in his papers, what did he actually do?  I would love to see the equivalent of the golf scene from Goldfinger in a modern James Bond film.

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

There is another big pro with TND:

In one of the Hamburg scenes, a relatively unknown extra gives an outstanding performance in his role 'bloke on the backseat"  ajb007/biggrin

Last edited by Higgins (26th Feb 2015 06:00)

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.
-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------
FIRST TO DISCOVER substantial evidence that Chew Mee is in fact not totally nude in the TMWTGG pool scenes!

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

ajb007/cheers   Give a timestamp, Higgins!

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Re: Pros and Cons: Tomorrow Never Dies

54:42 on my Bluray  ajb007/cheers

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.
-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------
FIRST TO DISCOVER substantial evidence that Chew Mee is in fact not totally nude in the TMWTGG pool scenes!