DIE ANOTHER DAY SPECIAL EDITION: DVD
A failed weapons deal sees James Bond, 007 (Pierce Brosnan) held captive in a North Korean prisoner-of-war camp for 14 months. Tortured, interrogated, and left for dead by MI6, he's eventually released in exchange for arms dealer Zao (Rick Yune). Striped of his licence to kill by M (Judi Dench) because she thinks he squealed, Bond immediately sets out to seek revenge on his captors and clear his name. On his trans-global manhunt, he teams up with mysterious spy Jinx (Halle Berry), and together they uncover a dangerous link between Zao and eccentric English billionaire Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens) - one of global significance.
Review by Shannon J. Harvey:
If the Austin Powers movies are a spoof of James Bond, then maybe Mike Myers' next adventure should come with "one billion" hours of special features on DVD. So over-the-top are the extras on Die Another Day that it begs ridicule, but if it's an insider's look at the making of the legend you want, then look no further than this fully loaded spectacle. The DVD extras follow the tradition of the former Bond movies on DVD, most of which come with hours of enjoyable, insightful behind-the-scenes stuff.
The movie itself also follows tradition, so much so that the plot is a hark back to old Bond movies like Dr No and Goldfinger, where an evil billionaire uses space satellites and giant "lasers" to control the world. Twenty Bond adventures later, and the villains, babes, cars, gadgets and action are doubled, even tripled. From monster-wave surfing to ice-sailing, from Hovercraft chases to ice palaces - it's all here, bigger, louder, more extreme, and more entertainingly unbelievable.
Disc One contains two Audio Intelligence tracks, the first with Kiwi director Lee Tamahori and producer Michael G Wilson. The lively pair reveal the enormity of the Bond project, with Tamahori discussing each set, gadget, stunt, casting decision and technical manoeuvre in detail. The second, with actors Brosnan and Pike taped separately, is more light-hearted, with a modest Brosnan talking about his input, and Pike about her awe of the project. There's also an M16 Datastream; an informative trivia track with 19 video inserts devised by John Cork, co-author of James Bond: The Legacy.
You might want to sit down for Disc Two - this could take a while. Inside Die Another Day is a 75 minute feature consisting of seven sub-sections, with cast and crew interviews, set locations, a tribute to the late Q, score and editing as well as scene specific tracks for the surfing, hovercraft and ice palace chases. Discover the secrets behind Brosnan's injury, Berry's bikini, the tricked-out cars, the iceberg ride and speed ramping. The Shaken and Stirred Ice Documentary is largely repetitive, and Title Design is largely technical, but it does show (through split-screen) how weather, lighting and poor shot quality can be overcome digitally. Mission Construction includes Scene Evolutions for the hovercraft chase and car battle, and the short Equipment Briefing narrated by Q is enjoyable, if only for one last look at the old man. And just to prove that this is one monster DVD, we round out with photo stills, teasers, trailers, tv spots, Madonna's music video (and a Making Of), game trailer (and a Making Of) and a trailer for the box set (phew!). And it all comes in thunderous 6.1 DTS or 5.1 EX sound!
So what if Die Another Day isn't the best in the Bond Canon? This two-disc DVD is first class.
Published June 5, 2003
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DIE ANOTHER DAY SPECIAL EDITION: DVD (M)
(US) - 2002
CAST: Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Toby Stephens, Rosamund Pike, Rick Yune,
Judi Dench, John Cleese.
DIRECTOR: Lee Tamahori
RUNNING TIME: 127 minutes
PRESENTATION: 2:35:1, 16:9 enhanced widescreen, DTS ES 6.1 and Dolby EX 5.1
SPECIAL FEATURES: Two Audio Intelligence Commentaries with Director,
Producer, Pierce Brosnan and Rosamund Pike; M16 Data Stream (Trivia Track);
Inside Die Another Day documentary - Intro and Surfing, Hovercraft Chase,
Cuba Quartermaster, Ice Palace, Car Battle, Post Production and Finale;
Shaken Not Stirred On Ice documentary; Mission Deconstruction - Scene
Evolutions, Inter-Action Sequences, Title Design and Digital Grading;
Equipment Briefing - Featurettes with original animation and in depth
descriptions; Image Database - A comprehensive Photo Gallery; Ministry Of
Propaganda - Trailers and Television Spots, Madonna music video, Making of
Die Another Day music video, Making of 007: Nightfire The James Bond
Collection Special Edition trailer.
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: June 4, 2003.