James Bond Weekend – Die Another Day (2002)

Director: Lee Tamahori

Writer: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade (Screenplay)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Toby Stephens, Rosamund Pike, Rick Yune, Judi Dench, John Cleese

 

Plot: James Bond is sent to investigate the connection between a North Korean terrorist and a diamond mogul, who is funding the development of an international space weapon.


Tagline – Events don’t get any bigger than..

Runtime: 2 Hours 13 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Weakest of Brosnan’s Bonds

 

Story: Die Another Day starts as James Bond (Brosnan) is captured by the North Korean army, he is tortured for 14 months before getting traded back for brother of man he was training to capture Zao (Yune). Taken off duty, James goes solo in search for Zao, which sees him meet Jinx (Berry) who is on her own secret mission against Zao.

The investigation leads James towards the diamond trade, with Gustav Graves (Stephens) becoming the main focus of the investigation, Gustav has a huge reputation and soon James gets close to learn what his master plan is all about.

 

Thoughts on Die Another Day

 

Characters – James Bond finds himself captured in this outing, tortured for months for information, never giving up any secrets. Once he is traded, he is taken off active duty, but wants to go in search of the man traded for him, it shows him working more covertly trying to take down Gustav, who he believes will lead him to his target. Jinx is the mysterious stranger that James meets on his mission, she is on her own mission against Zao. Gustav Graves is a diamond mogul that has risen to fame with a brand-new secret project in the works, this has captured the attention of James who is in search of his secret. Miranda Frost is the PR woman for Gustav, she is also undercover from MI6 one of her first missions.

PerformancesPierce Brosnan does everything right in his role, he never looks out of place in what would be his final outing. Halley berry brings us a much strong American performance which was needed after the last film. Toby Stephens makes for a basic Bond villain, he does have to play a slightly more complicated role than we have seen before. Rosamund Pike does the best she can with her role, she does get a fight sequence though.

StoryThe latest adventure of James Bond takes things to a darker tone than before, because we see how he is captured and held for a long period of time, no easy escape meaning he will need to figure out how to get his payback once he is released, which sees him hunting down a diamond mogul. This does continue our trend of James needing to work with someone to stop the villainous plan, everything tends to play out as you would imagine, with the only part that feels fresh being the idea that James isn’t easily freed from his captive state.

Action/AdventureThe action here is mixed to say the least, when we have the practical action this is entertaining and even the best scenes in the movie, when we get to the CGI moments it is horrible to watch.

SettingsThe film does return to the exotic location with Cuba and Iceland being the stand out locations of the film.

Special EffectsThis is the first Bond film where the effects need to be discussion because we have some of the worst you will ever see in any film, the tidal wave scene and the invisible car just look pathetic.

Scene of the Movie – Ice car chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me That Tidal Wave.

Final ThoughtsThis is another film in he Bond franchise that just doesn’t deliver, it has some entertaining action sequences, but the CGI moments almost make moments laughable.

 

Overall: Disappointing Another Day

Rating

 

 

James Bond Month – The World is Not Enough (1999)

Director: Michael Apted

Writer: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Bruce Feirstein (Screenplay)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle, Denise Richards, Robbie Coltrane, Judi Dench, Desmond Llewelyn

 

Plot: James Bond uncovers a nuclear plot when he protects an oil heiress from her former kidnapper, an international terrorist who can’t feel pain.


Tagline – Some men want to rule the world… Some women ask for the world… Some believe the world is theirs for the taking… But for one man, The World Is Not Enough!!

Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Average at Best

 

Story: The World is Not Enough starts when MI6 suffers a bomb from within, James Bond (Brosnan) must investigate terrorist Renard (Carlyle) a man that has survive a gun shot to the head, James works with daughter of the murdered man Elektra King (Marceau) who he does believe is the only connection to the terrorist, be it working with or the next target.

James starts working with Dr Christmas Jones (Richards) a brilliant scientist and Renard reveals his plan which involves transporting a bomb through an oil pipeline for his own destructive plan.

 

Thoughts on The World is Not Enough

 

Characters – James Bond is back once again, he continues to fight for his country, he is the only one who suspects Elektra being behind her own father’s murder, his methods involve him pretending he is dead this time around. Elektra King is the heiress of an Oil tycoon, she was once kidnapped by Renard, with MI6 helping with her rescue, she welcomes Bond into her world after her father is murdered, even if she has her own plans. Renard is a known terrorist, he survived a bullet to the head which means he can’t feel pain, making it hard to fight against, he doesn’t have limits to what he will do. Dr Christmas Jones is a nuclear scientist that works with James to stop the potential nuclear threat.

PerformancesPierce Brosnan is still a good choice for Bond, he has made this own figure which is all we want from a Bond film. Sophie Marceau takes on the role as a seductive Bond villain which does work very well for the film, with most of her scenes being the best in the film. Robert Carlyle feels almost wasted in his role because the character has so much more potential than we get here. Denise Richards on the other hand struggles to be believable in her role for most of the film.

StoryThe story here takes James Bond on his latest adventure to stop a terrorist and oil heiress that want to take over the world because money simple isn’t enough for them. The story does feel confusing because we never truly know what the aim of the villains is and if it does, it doesn’t feel complete explained. We have the traditional formula we all know, it works without being anything new to the franchise, Bond does his job gets the girl and saves the day. We do try to build up some of the supporting members of MI6 which just felt like filling rather than anything important. We do feel like we have some characters wasted, others missed cast, but in the end everything is watchable for the franchise itself.

Action/AdventureThe action gives away the best scene with the opening chase through London, it is easily the most memorable part of the film for the action because everything else always feels too busy.

SettingsThe film continues to take us around the world on James’s missions, this time we focus on the path between Asia and Europe, which works for the oil side of the story, but doesn’t give us many beauty spots like previous films.


Scene of the Movie –
Opening speed boat chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Wasting Carlyle character.

Final ThoughtsThis is an average Bond film, if you have followed the franchise you can enjoy this one enough, but it wouldn’t be the one to draw in the unknown audience.

 

Overall: Average Bond

Rating

 

 

James Bond Month – Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

Director: Roger Spottiswoode

Writer: Bruce Feirstein (Screenplay)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Jonathan Pryce, Michelle Yeoh, Teri Hatcher, Ricky Jay, Gotz Otto, Joe Don Baker

 

Plot: James Bond heads to stop a media mogul’s plan to induce war between China and the UK in order to obtain exclusive global media coverage.


Tagline – The Man. The Number. The License…are all back.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Non-Stop Action

 

Story: Tomorrow Never Dies starts as James Bond (Brosnan) completes another high-risk mission, before heading home. We move to the Chinese sea, where a British military ship a sunk after a clash with Chinese fighter planes, with both sides suffering causalities at the hands of media mogul Elliot Carver (Pryce) who is building stories for his own benefit.

James must investigate this latest case using his connection to Elliot’s wife Paris (Hatcher), James is joined by Chinese agent Wai Lin (Yeoh) as they look to stop Elliot’s plan before the next world war is started.

 

Thoughts on Tomorrow Never Dies

 

Characters – James Bond is back once again, his past is once again the reason he is selected for this mission, we know how he acts, how he can be stealth with his investigation and survive being outnumbered, we don’t learn to much new about him here, just more of the same. Elliot Carver is the media mogul that wants to create his own headlines by starting his own war between China and Britain. He believes he will control the worlds media if this war starts. Wai Lin is the Chinese agent who starts working with James for her side of the potential terrorist attack, she can handle herself in combat, being given fight sequences unlike most female Bond characters. Paris Carver is the wife of Elliot, she did once have a fling with James, which is how James gets into the party to start with, she gets put in the difficult position of choice her power hungry husband or her former fling.

PerformancesPierce Brosnan’s second outing as Bond, sees him handling the comic moments better, he feels like he has grown even more into the role, where he has made his own version of the Bond character. Jonathan Pryce does make for a great villain, his character needs to be well-spoken which Jonathan does bring to the part. Michelle Yeoh does seem to break the trends of the Bond girl figure, being able to handle herself in the fight. Teri Hatcher might have a smaller role, but it works for what the film needs.

StoryThe story here follows a media mogul that wants to create a new war between Britain and China, so he can have full control of the media outlet in the world that only James Bond can stop. This does bring us a new villain with a master plan that is way over the top which does work, the investigation does seem to feel like it blends into the action, unlike most of the film in the franchise. The idea the media wants to control the affairs of the world does seem more realistic to what is happening now. The story might end up playing out how you would imagine, though it does feel more connected than the previous ones.

Action/AdventureThe action in this film is brilliant, we have one of the best chase sequence in the franchise has ever offered, we have the Bond girl bring able to handle herself in fights too. The adventure does take James around the world, might like what we have come to expect.

SettingsThe film uses the setting to make memorable moments, be it the chase or the final base battle.


Scene of the Movie –
Motorbike chase,

That Moment That Annoyed Me It has dated with the media moguls plan.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun addition to the franchise, it does have the smoothest action which seems to be strong in the 90s film and a villain that does feel realistic.

 

Overall: Fun action film.

Rating

 

James Bond Month – GoldenEye (1995)

Director: Martin Campbell

Writer: Jeffrey Caine, Bruce Feirstein (Screenplay) Michael France (Story)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco, Famke Janssen, Joe Don Baker, Judi Dench, Robbie Coltrane

 

Plot: James Bond teams up with the lone survivor of a destroyed Russian research center to stop the hijacking of a nuclear space weapon by a fellow Agent formerly believed to be dead.


Tagline – When the world is the target and the threat is real, you can still depend on one man. 

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Most Action Packed Bond

 

Story: GoldenEye starts with James Bond (Brosnan) joined by 006 Alec Trevelyan (Bean) on the latest mission, one that goes wrong, seeing Alec executed and James escaping. James starts his latest mission 9-years-later investigating a Georgian woman Xenia Onatopp (Janssen) who has connections to a criminal group operating in Russia.

When the group launch their first attack, James must search for the lone survive Natalya Simonova (Scorupco), first to find out what was being worked on in the apparent abandon satellite facility and soon stop an old friend that has changed sides.

 

Thoughts on GoldenEye

 

Characters – James Bond still sees himself, charming the ladies, completing the missions, enjoying a drink. This latest mission will see him come face to face with an old friend, which will see him face his toughest enemy, a man he once trusted. Alec Trevelyan is the fellow 00 agent who James believed died in action. He didn’t and now he has been working with the Russians to become richer than God (his words), he does hold a grudge against James, with this being a chance to kill two birds with one stone, he will become the most difficult enemy to face because of his knowledge of how James operates. Natalya works in the satellite facility, she becomes a target after not being killed, which makes her one of the few people in the world that could disarm the bomb that is being planned to be released. Xenia Onatopp is the henchwoman in this case, military trained, willing to kill anybody, she even enjoys killing her victims.

PerformancesPierce Brosnan in his first outing as Bond is great to watch, he mixes the charm of the most popular, with the action presence needing to make the character his own. Sean Bean brings us one of the best villains to the franchise, he makes his character feel like a try terrorist over super villain. Famke Janssen as the henchwoman is strong, she does make the character her own, but it is the lack of character behind Izabella Scorupco that struggles the most in this film.

StoryThe story here sees James take on one of his closest enemies, in Alec a former agent turned terrorist that is planning on sending England back to the stone age. This story does seem to bring everything into a more personal level for James, it feels fresh from the last few outings, it does have the longest gap between the film to date. We do seem to have the most realistic battle between hero and villain because Alec could easily be James himself if he was to turn, they know each other’s tricks. For me this is easily the most entertaining story we have seen, as we do start to lose some of he sexist behaviour James was known for.

Action/AdventureThe action in this film is easily the best the franchise has offered to date, we have the tank chase through St Petersburg before the train collision with a tank, even the fight sequences feel more intense in this film. The adventure takes James around the world once more, this time we go through Russia and Cuba to save the world.

SettingsThe settings takes us to the known locations we are used to seeing, this does however have one of the most memorable endings in any Bond film with the hidden satellite dish.


Scene of the Movie –
The old friend returns.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Alan Cumming’s generic Russian accent.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily the best Bond movie in the franchise to date, it has the most intense villain for James to face and a personal story for James to take on.

 

Overall: Pure action entertainment.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – L – Laws of Attraction (2004)

Director: Peter Howitt

Writer: Aline Brosh McKenna, Robert Harling (Screenplay)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Julianne Moore, Michael Sheen, Parker Posey, Frances Fisher, Nora Dunn

 

Plot: Amidst a sea of litigation, two New York City divorce lawyers find love.


Tagline – Getting married is a great way to fall in love.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Rom Com

 

Story: Laws of Attraction starts as we meet divorce lawyer Audrey Woods (Moore), she has never lost a case for her clients and has her own strict style to getting business done and personal life, when her latest case brings her up against laid backed lawyer Daniel Rafferty (Brosnan) that throws her off her game, with his style and the fact he has never lost a case doesn’t help.

As the two fight their obvious attraction to each other, the battle in the courts breaking each other’s undefeated streaks before getting their hands on one of the biggest divorce cases in the public eye, rock star Thorne (Sheen) and fashion designer Serena (Posey), which brings the two lawyers closer together.

 

Thoughts on Laws of Attraction

 

Characters – Audrey Woods is the most successful divorce lawyer in New York City, undefeated and the one that the rich and famous turn too. Away from the court she lives a very closed off life not dating and using her spare time watching the weather channel. She is the complete opposite to Daniel, she is neat and tidy borderline OCD. Daniel is the untidy lawyer that has returned to New York and goes against Audrey in the courtroom, he is as successful as Audrey which shows the two clashing in court. The two characters show how opposites can attract in the strangest times. Thorne and Serena are the typical over the top celebrities that should never have gotten married in the first place, that show Audrey and Daniel about love.

PerformancesJulianne Moore is great in this leading role, her chemistry with Brosnan is good throughout and her timing for the comical moments works for her character. Pierce Brosnan is great opposite Moore, he is always great as the laid back figure in any movie and this is no different. The supporting cast are good too with Michael Sheen, Parker Posey and Frances Fisher getting plenty of laughs through the film.

StoryThe story here follows two lawyers that start against each other in court but soon start having sparks between them as they are against each other with one of their biggest cases going on in the court room. This does play into the idea of opposites attracting through an unlikely situation and plays out the idea of career versus love at time, for the most part this is a safe romantic comedy that does the humour when needed and the serious moments when needed too.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in this movie does hit well, most of it comes from the supporting characters with Michael Sheen being the highlight of them. The romance side of the film shows us just how opposites could attract and that you could find love in the strangest places.

SettingsThe film has a couple of main locations, New York which would explain the careers for both the lawyers and the fish out of water location in Ireland which offers Audrey a chance to loosen up.


Scene of the Movie –
To the Airport.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Audrey isn’t the nicest of characters with the way she treats Daniel.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable romantic comedy that does feel very safe, but doesn’t need to over complicate anything. You will get the chuckles needed too.

 

Overall: Safe and enjoyable romantic comedy.

Rating