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James Bond: Die Another Day

Well, the T was still suspended most of today. The "oh yeah we're working sorta" announcement came after I'd already resigned myself to yet another day at the Cave of Wonders. It's now been 68 hours since I've left the building. So instead of trying to squish in one of my usual double features, we're back with more Bond. If you'd asked me a few days ago, I would have said I prolly wouldn't get to the Brosnan films til this coming week. Now, he's wrapped with Die Another Day.

Something about being resigned to my fate finally made me relax and actually enjoy the movie today, instead of trying to find something to calm my busy and anxious mind. I think Brosnan really found his groove, so it does bum me out that this is his last one. Though I'm not too bummed because I think I can now definitively say that Daniel Craig is my favorite (but we'll get there). Die had a lot of that over the top action that I love, but it did have a more absorbing plot than we'd been seeing. Brosnan also had a bunch of those "clever" one liners that 007 loves to throw out at borderline inappropriate moments. He finally looked comfortable delivering those.

Just a note on movie watching in general. I find it funny (funny huh not funny haha) how a movie can influence or educate you in something without realizing it. Blood Diamond is a favorite of mine, and without that movie I'd have never known about conflict diamonds. Yet it's something that seems to come up in film often, such as here in Die Another Day. I'm sure I'd have just quickly dismissed the term without the background info, but its kinda nice actually knowing what people are talking about sometimes.

Since I like pointing out random details that we either see used very often or hardly ever, Die brings us the incredibly rare "shaggy Bond" also known as the "scruffy James". Okay so keeping up appearances prolly not so much a priority while spending 14 months being tortured in a North Korean prison.

John Cleese officially took over as Q after being introduced as the original Q's trainee in the previous film. He had a few kind words to say about his "predecessor". But my favorite bit in the whole film was him giving James a new gadgety watch, guesstimating that it was probably his 20th watch. Die Another Day is the 20th official Bond film, and yes, Q does bequeath James with a watch in most movies.

While we're talking about names we know well, our main Bond girl is the lovely Halle Berry as the playful Jinx. I really liked her. She's one of the few that's a true equal to Bond. She's tough and sexy and fun. She's awesome enough that they gave her an homage to original Bond girl Ursula Andress.

Another great sequence I loved was the sword fight at the fencing club. It's nice to see Bond go back to some basics at a point when the action keeps getting bigger and bigger. However, bigger does not always equal better. I'd been wondering why this movie had a less than good rap (not quite a bad one). Goldeneye is usually considered the best Brosnan. Then we got to the tsunami surfing. This is Roger Moore era ridiculous with CGI bad enough to make Jar Jar Binks toss his cookies. Thankfully it's over quickly, but that one hurt me.

Our theme song comes to us from Madonna. Tidbit of trivia, Madonna is the only theme performer to appear in the film as well. She's got a small role as a fencing instructor. I like the song, but it's kind of jarring in the credit sequence. We usually have very smooth songs to go with our very suave secret agent. It just felt off. What I did like, however, was that in between all the fire and icy girls (which looked really cool) we had a bit of a montage of Bond's aforementioned 14 months in Korean prison. We've had clips of the movie in the opening before, but it's never been anything that's part of the story at that moment. I liked that.

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