Posts Tagged ‘Pierce Brosnan’

Film Review ::: The World Is Not Enough

December 6, 2009

Pierce Brosnan’s third James Bond outing proves to be one of his finest. But is that saying much?

The story for “The World Is Not Enough” had plenty of potential. But, the way that Purvis and Wade handled the story was quite poor; helicopters with buzz-saws attached to them made for quite a laugh (no more than an invisible car, though — but that’s for another review). The funny part is that Eon Productions still hires these men to write Bond films for them.

Before my viewing, if I had read a brief description of each character in this film, I would’ve been optimistic. But after seeing how under-developed and poorly played they were in this film, I was disappointed. I will say that Elektra King and James Bond are the two most interesting characters of this film. Sophie Marceau’s portrayal of Elektra King is fantastic. At first, she plays the character as an absolute victim, causing the audience to sympathize with her and the loss of her father. However, it is later revealed that she is quite a sadistic villain, bent on getting revenge by teaming up with her former captor, Renard. Though, I think the filmmakers wanted Renard to be the central villain of this film, Marceau’s character really took that title. To me, it’s a shame that Marceau’s talented could not have been put to use in a better Bond film.

Pierce Brosnan also excels in this film. While I admired his performance in “GoldenEye”, I think this film showed his true colors. Not only was Brosnan looking fantastic in this film, but he also captured the essence of Ian Fleming’s James Bond. This wasn’t the “I’ll fight off an entire army in a steath boat”/generic action-hero James Bond that we had seen in the previous film. Unfortunately, Brosnan never had the chance the reprise the role like this again — his following Bond film was a complete atrocity that left him playing a character that para-surfed on tidal waves. After that, he was dropped for Daniel Craig. His most Fleming-esque scene had to be Elektra’s demise. Bond was able to put his feelings aside and carry on with the mission, even if this meant putting a bullet in his lover’s head.

The other Bond girl in this film was played by Denise Richards. Her performance was terrible and, in my book, goes down as the worst in the history of the James Bond franchise. Luckily this film had Sophie Marceau to make up for it in both beauty and acting ability. The other characters and performances were all rather limited. Robert Carlyle’s Renard was supposed to be a main villain of the film, but it more or less seemed that he just sort of hung out in the background. To boost his Bond baddie appeal, they gave him the inability to feel pain. This still didn’t do anything for me. Judi Dench really didn’t take M to another level from the last film, but Colin Salmon boosted the appeal of the Mi6 staff/cast. We also see Valentin Zuckovsky return, portrayed by Robbie Coltrane. I didn’t mind Zuckovsky’s appearance in “GoldenEye”, but in this film, it bugged me. He left too much room for the writers to add in more ridiculous one-liners and jokes.

While the cast of “The World Is Not Enough” may not seem too promising, I have to say that it does hold some historical significance within the Bond franchise. Desmond Llewelyn graced our screens as the beloved Q for the last time in this film. Sadly, shortly after the release of the film, he died in a car accident.

David Arnold’s score for this film was mediocre, at best. More orchestrations infused with synthetic sounds and beats really made for music that doesn’t go easy on the ears. Garbage’s theme song was well-done for an altertnative rock song, but I much prefer Tina Turner’s “GoldenEye” and even Sheryl Crow’s “Tomorrow Never Dies”.

The locations in this film were promising. Bond goes from Spain, to Scotland, to Azerbaijan, to Turkey. As a matter of fact, one of the greatest scenes of the film included Bond driving his BMW Z8 to Baku, Azerbaijan. Arnold’s music and the camera work just worked well together, believe it or not.  I also enjoyed part of the pre-titles sequence that took place in the bank at Bilbao, Spain.

Overall, this film had quite a bit of potential, but was thrown off by poor pacing, uninspired action sequences, a shoddy Purvis and Wade script with poorly-written characters, and some bad performances. I place this film at the bottom of my Bond rankings.

4.0 / 10

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The World Is Not Enough – 10th Anniversary

December 4, 2009

Late November 2009 marked the 10th anniversary of Pierce Brosnan’s third James Bond film, “The World is not Enough”. In the nineteenth official James Bond adventure, the legendary secret agent is assigned to protect an oil heiress, played by the wonderful Sophie Marceau. Through out the film, he is thrown into another “shoot ’em up” adventure that pits him against a seemingly deadly, yet rather boring, adversary named Renard, played by Robert Carlyle. This Bond flick ended up raking in over 352 million dollars worldwide.

To commemorate the anniversary of the film’s release, I’ll be writing up my official review of the film later this weekend.

Stay tuned!

Celebrate Thanksgiving weekend with James Bond…

November 25, 2009

The SyFy Channel will be airing a total of sixteen James Bond films this Thanksgiving weekend. Below is the full schedule:

Thursday – November 26th 2009

8:00 AM –  Dr. No
10:30 AM – Licence To Kill
1:30 PM –  Live And Let Die
4:00 PM – The Spy Who Loved Me
6:30 PM – Tomorrow Never Dies
9:00 PM – Casino Royale

Friday – November 27th 2009:

12:00 AM – For Your Eyes Only
2:30 AM – The Man With The Golden Gun
08:00 AM – Thunderball
10:30 AM – From Russia With Love
1:00 PM – You Only Live Twice
3:30 PM – Diamonds Are Forever
6:00 PM – Casino Royale
9:00 PM – GoldenEye

Saturday November 28th 2009:

12:00 AM – Goldfinger
2:30 AM – Never Say Never Again

 

All times are EST.

Recycling Bond Girls or: Pulling a Maud Adams

November 1, 2009

It’s not unheard of; Maud Adams played both Andrea Anders and Octopussy in the Roger Moore era of Bond flicks, and for good reason. I don’t think Eon Productions should abandon this concept, as there were a handful of Bond girls from previous Bond films who could still fill the role of a credible Bond girl today.

The Top 5 Girls Who Should Return

1. Sophie Marceau (Elektra King, The World Is Not Enough, 1999)
What a waste of talent. In my opinion, The World Is Not Enough was trash, despite being one of Brosnan’s better Bond flicks.  It’s a shame that Sophie Marceau’s wonderful acting abilities were wasted in this film. Though she played the part of Elektra King extremely well, I’d love to see her come back to the series in the form of a better-written, and more primary character. Perhaps the main Bond girl, instead of being over-shadowed by the bad acting and bouncing jugs of Denise Richards.

Sophie Marceau

2. Izabella Scorupco (Natalya Simonova, GoldenEye, 1995)
Though her talent wasn’t quite as wasted as Marceau’s in Brosnan’s debut film, GoldenEye, I’d still like to see her return in a stronger role. GoldenEye worked pretty well as a post-Cold War, 90’s action thriller, and so did the character of Natalya; if you’ll recall, she was basically a computer technician caught in the middle of all of the action. I wouldn’t mind seeing her return as a primary Bond girl who is more involved with the film’s plot, rather than just being a pretty face on the side. Scorupco’s a good actress, and it’d be nice to see her get a role that she deserves — seems like she’s been signing onto a lot of trash lately.

Izabella Scorupco

3. Rosamund Pike (Miranda Frost, Die Another Day, 2002)
As many will agree, Die Another Day was an absolute atrocity of a Bond film. Rosamund Pike seems like she had lots of potential in Brosnan’s final Bond outing, but it seems like the dynamic duo, Purvis and Wade, seemed to under-write the character. To me, there wasn’t much to Miranda Frost. Yeah, she betrays Bond … just like the Bond girl in the film before Die Another Day. And she sleeps with the villain … just like the Bond girl in the film before Die Another Day, also. That’s about all there is to her. Plus, her death allows Halle Berry to mutter the brilliant line, “Bitch.”

Rosamund Pike
4. Jane Seymour (Solitaire, Live and Let Die, 1973)
Not much to say here, other than she’s a great actress, and she’s looking as good as ever.
I guarantee that this wouldn’t disappoint fans at all.

Jane Seymour

 

5.  Olga Kurylenko (Camille, Quantum of Solace, 2008)
Quantum of Solace was given some mixed reviews after its release. Whichever side of the fence you’re on, I’m sure you can say that Olga Kurylenko’s performance was neither outstanding or horrific. Certainly, she did much better than some of the more recent, past Bond girls. The only problem was that it seemed she wasn’t written very well — a recurring theme with Purvis and Wade… hmm. Anyhow, I’d like to see her play a character with more depth. She’s certainly got the looks, also.

Olga Kurylenko

Friday Feature: “Die Another Day” Fan Trailer

September 11, 2009

On July 28th, YouTube user 24YOBAW released a “Die Another Day” trailer made for the MI6 Forums July/August Trailer competition. The trailer creator states:

… Our task was to take a film and craft a trailer for it using the Quantum of Solace trailer music. I chose Die Another Day because I strongly dislike the film and I thought it would be a nice challenge. And yes, I purposely left Halle Berry out of the trailer.

James Bond in the Post-9/11 World…

September 11, 2009

Because today is the 8th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, I thought it’d be fitting to write up an article regarding Bond in the post-9/11 world.

The Twin TowersIn 1953, when Ian Fleming published his first James Bond novel, the twin towers were not yet in existence. As a matter of fact, James Bond would’ve never known of the towers until 1966, when construction of the structures began. And not until 1973 would Bond have seen them standing proud, side-by-side. James Bond might have seen them in the film version of “Live and Let Die”; perhaps while coming toward the Manhattan Bridge?

Either way, it’s odd, and quite remarkable, to think that a single fictional character has lasted so long to know the period of time in which the twin towers never existed, to when the towers were being built, to when the towers stood tall, to when the World Trade Center was bombed, to when the towers collapsed after being hit by two airliners.

Those eras are over now; today, James Bond is living in the post-9/11 world, which seems to be a very unstable world, at that. The characters of the Bond films are no longer crazed Russians hell-bent on taking over the world, or causing World War III. The time of mad men looking to extort the world’s super-powers are over. Now, James Bond goes after terrorists, their associates, and the new threats of the post-9/11 world. In Die Another Day, despite the film being absolute trash, James Bond goes after a power-hungry villain from North Korea; keep in mind that North Korea’s dictator still makes the headlines today, with his shifty nuclear weapons programs.

Attack on the Twin TowersYears later, a rebooted James Bond character makes a comeback in Casino Royale. The film, loosely based on Ian Fleming’s classic novel, takes the Soviet/Communist/Cold War plot and cleverly turns it into a post-9/11 plot. Le Chiffre doesn’t work for the Russians, but instead arms dealers and terrorists. James Bond even prevents a 9/11-esque attack in the film, by thwarting a plot to destroy an airliner. The world’s greatest secret agent is no longer a man who opposes fictional threats; instead, he’s now placed into very realistic scenarios.  Perhaps this is why many audiences found Casino Royale to be so down-to-Earth and realistic, especially after Die Another Day.

Following 2006’s Bond thriller, we were given Quantum of Solace, which introduced a very unique plot, still revolving around post-9/11 ideas. James Bond was now sent across the world to investigate a mysterious organization known only as “Quantum”. For me, this group rings a bell. Need a hint? How about Al-Queda? “Quantum” is like a modern-day SPECTRE, but carries the traits of a terrorist group like Al-Queda. A great example of this turned up last week; check out this link. This type of real-world scheme reminded me a lot of the evil scheme found in Quantum of Solace; terrorists getting a hold of money, by any means, to fund their lethal operations and private agendas.

Taliban FightersAs I mentioned, perhaps this is why our cinematic James Bond is no longer the humorous action hero found in the Brosnan era. Instead, Daniel Craig’s James Bond beats the piss out of henchmen and terrorists alike, with no remorse. Does this make him a rogue, or maverick, or senseless killer? Perhaps. But, you could only blame this on the world that we’re living in. Maybe during these tough and deadly times, this is the only way a secret agent could make it in the world. A “trust no one” policy, you could say — something James Bond has adopted since Casino Royale. After all, there was no tee-hee’ing when it came to crippling Le Chriffe’s terrorist funding operations, or eliminating a bent agent, or blowing a hole into the leg of the “Quantum” terrorism ring-leader.

Though he’s merely a fictional character, he’s certainly definitive. “It’s a cruel world…”, and James Bond, of all people, knows this. With trouble still brewing (and will always brew) in the Middle East, and Korea, what other means will James Bond turn to? Will he carry on this serious attitude? I’m sure he will, in one way or another.

My condolences go out to the families of the heroes and victims of 9/11. Rest in peace.

The James Bond Limited Edition Watch Registries

August 8, 2009

Five new Registries are now publicly available for the people most passionate about exclusively-numbered “James Bond” watches.

Announcing— “The James Bond Limited Edition Watch Registries”

Between 2002 and present day, Omega SA has produced exactly 40,035 sequentially-numbered wristwatches under license with Eon Productions, and associated with the last three 007 feature films.

Where did each individual watch start out? Where are they now? What sorts of “stories” go along with them: From where they’ve been worn, what personal life events they may been used to time, reasons they were subsequently sold—and bought by the next person? Additionally, there are print ads, images, press releases, and specifications to be included as well.

JamesBondWatches.com has created specific Blogs to answer all these questions and indulge passions. A great deal of information is already online in each one right now.

  • The 2002 Omega Seamaster watch, limited to 10,007 pieces and released in conjunction with “Die Another Day,” starring Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, and in overall commemoration of 40 years of 007 feature films
    http://253780.blogspot.com/
  • The 2006 Omega Seamaster watch, limited to 10,007 pieces and released in conjunction with “Casino Royale,” starring Daniel Craig as James Bond
    http://222680.blogspot.com/
  • The 2006 Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean BIG SIZE watch, limited to 5,007 pieces and released in conjunction with “Casino Royale,” starring Daniel Craig as James Bond
    http://29075091.blogspot.com/
  • The 2008 Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean watch, limited to 5,007 pieces and released in conjunction with “Quantum of Solace,” starring Daniel Craig as James Bond
    http://quantumbondwatchle.blogspot.com/

An overall Registry Index is available at the following link:

http://jamesbondwatchregistries.blogspot.com/

“This is a rather die-hard group of James Bond fans,” observes Dell Deaton, creator of www.jamesbondwatches.com, http://jamesbondwatches.blogspot.com, and these new Registries. “As we reach critical mass with registries and followers to the Blogs, I wouldn’t be surprised if a get-together of some sort was arranged in 2010. I can already think of a great venue here in the United States. Similar collecting groups may see this as a common draw for places in their countries around the world as well.”

Blogs will be updated at most once per day. Each Blog includes an eMail link to get in touch with JamesBondWatches.com for those who have suggestions for information, including photographs, to be included. Contributors may choose not to have their names included.

Friday Feature: “The World Is Not Enough” HD Fan Trailer

July 3, 2009

On June 24th, Chigawa of YouTube released a fan-made trailer for “The World Is Not Enough”, in high-definition. With over 370 views, and counting, the trailer retains a five-star YouTube rating. Check out Chigawa’s other videos at the link provided above.

Enjoy…


Premiere Dates & Box Office Earnings

June 20, 2009

I’ve compiled a list of Bond film premiere dates and Bond film box office earnings. Then, I summarized the relationships between them. It’s pretty interesting … check out the results:

*** Stats include domestic box office figures. All of the numbers used are adjusted for ticket price. No worldwide figures are included due to issues that would arise because of exchange rates.

[UK] PREMIERE DATES (By Month)

May:
A View To A Kill (22nd)

June:
Octopussy (6th)
You Only Live Twice (12th)
Licence To Kill (13th)
For Your Eyes Only (24th)
Moonraker (26th)
Live And Let Die (27th)
The Living Daylights (29th)

July:
The Spy Who Loved Me (7th)

September:
Goldfinger (17th)

October:
Dr. No (5th)
From Russia With Love (10th)
Quantum Of Solace (29th)

November:
The World Is Not Enough (8th)
GoldenEye (13th)
Casino Royale (14th)
Die Another Day (18th)

December:
Thunderball (9th)
Tomorrow Never Dies (12th)
Diamonds Are Forever (17th)
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (18th)
The Man With The Golden Gun (19th)

BOX OFFICE EARNINGS (Highest to Lowest)

1. Thunderball: $453,095,866
2. Goldfinger: $394,367,777
3. You Only Live Twice: $262,186,956
4. Moonraker: $201,120,379
5. Die Another Day: $198,892,351
6. Tomorrow Never Dies: $196,009,738
7. From Russia With Love: $191,441,691
8. Diamonds Are Forever: $190,681,422
9. Casino Royale: $183,551,449
10. The World Is Not Enough: $179,420,403
11. GoldenEye: $175,670,569
12. Quantum Of Solace: $168,368,427
13. Octopussy: $154,754,344
14. The Spy Who Loved Me: $150,807,925
15. Live And Let Die: $143,519,092
16. For Your Eyes Only: $141,566,877
17. Dr. No: $135,719,190
18. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: $115,155,535
19. A View To A Kill: $101,790,071
20. The Living Daylights: $93,993,540
21. The Man With The Golden Gun: $80,523,508
22. Licence To Kill: $62,697,523

PREMIERE DATES v. BOX OFFICE EARNINGS (By Month)

May:
A View To A Kill (22nd) $101,790,071

June:

Octopussy (6th) $154,754,344
You Only Live Twice (12th) $262,186,956
Licence To Kill (13th) $62,697,523
For Your Eyes Only (24th) $141,566,877
Moonraker (26th) $201,120,379
Live And Let Die (27th) $143,519,092
The Living Daylights (29th) $93,993,540

July:
The Spy Who Loved Me (7th) $150,807,925

September:
Goldfinger (17th) $394,367,777

October:

Dr. No (5th) $135,719,190
From Russia With Love (10th) $191,441,691
Quantum Of Solace (29th) $168,368,427

November:

The World Is Not Enough (8th) $179,420,403
GoldenEye (13th) $175,670,569
Casino Royale (14th) $183,551,449
Die Another Day (18th) $198,892,351

December:

Thunderball (9th) $453,095,866
Tomorrow Never Dies (12th) $196,009,738
Diamonds Are Forever (17th) $190,681,422
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (18th) $115,155,535
The Man With The Golden Gun (19th) $80,523,508

OVERALL MONTHLY SUMS

January – April: N/A

May: $101,790,071

June: $1,059,838,711

July: $150,807,925

August: N/A

September: $394,367,777

October: $495,529,308

November: $737,534,772

December: $1,035,466,069


OVERALL MONTHLY SUMS: RANKED HIGHEST TO LOWEST

  1. June: $1,059,838,711
  2. December: $1,035,466,069
  3. November: $737,534,772
  4. October: $495,529,308
  5. September: $394,367,777
  6. July: $150,807,925
  7. May: $101,790,071
  8. January – April, August: N/A

Seems like the films launched in June and December have generated the most bank for EON Productions. November comes in at third. With these lists, I haven’t taken into consideration James Bond stars, seasons, or decades; therefore, you can expect more stats to come!

Special thanks to Karl Bennett and Box Office Mojo for their assistance with the numbers/statistics.

In Review: The Bond Music of the 90's

June 17, 2009

The Scores:

Ranking The Scores:

My ranking is chronological. The quality seems to decrease as the years roll on:

  1. “GoldenEye”
  2. “Tomorrow Never Dies”
  3. “The World Is Not Enough”

Composer Eric Serra opened Pierce Brosnan’s Bond era with a fresh, original score which not only complimented the post-Cold War era, but also the new Bond era.

David Arnold’s debut Bond score was one of his best efforts. It contained quite a bit of music, and generally stayed orchestral, rather than relying heavily on synth/techno trash. Another good debut score.

“The World Is Not Enough” had few perks, and sounds more and more like a video game score whenever I hear it. The music sounds messy through out most of the score.

The Best Tracks of the 90’s:

“GoldenEye”

Track 02: The GoldenEye Overture
All around stylish. Definitely the most original Bond theme rendition of the 90’s … and perhaps one of the most original of all time.

Tank Drive Around St. Petersburg (Theatrical Version)
Very stylish action piece. The track sounds very much like a Barry action piece, and compliments the scene in the film perfectly. There’s a nice take on the Bond theme in this track, also.

Track 08: Whispering Statues
Perhaps one of the most original tracks of the 90’s Bond music, also. Definitely very different than what we’ve heard pre-1995, and sets the mood of the scene very well.

“Tomorrow Never Dies”

– Track 14: Bike Shop Fight
One of his finest tracks. The opening cues really set the mood of the scene, and the music following compliments the location of Saigon.

– Track 15: Kowloon Bay
Though not a very romantic scene in the film, it’s a very romantic piece. Shame he couldn’t have done more like this with “Casino Royale”.

“The World Is Not Enough”

– Track 09: Elektra’s Theme
Definitely one of Arnold’s finest themes of the 90’s. I wish he would’ve done something more like this with Vesper’s theme in “Casino Royale”. This track is very elegant and romantic. Used through out the film, it works very well.

– Track 10: Body Double
Very synthy, but has a nice style. It’s probably one of his more stylish overly-synth pieces. It also compliments the scene in the film well, and makes for a quality stealth cue.

The Worst Tracks of the 90’s:

There are too many to name, but I’ll cover the worst of each score…

“GoldenEye”

Track 03: Ladies First
Pure trash. Sounds like the theme to a pinball game. I believe someone once stated that it sounds like it was performed by “R2-D2”.

“Tomorrow Never Dies”

Track 18: All in a Day’s Work
Very messy. The over-lapping of synth beats and noises make this a very unenjoyable track.

“The World Is Not Enough”

Track 18: Christmas In Turkey
A very poor “romantic track”. This sounds like it belongs in a soap opera, rather than Bond film. Compare this to the love themes of John Barry’s earlier scores — I think you’ll feel the same way as I do.

The Best Theme Songs of the 90’s:

  • “GoldenEye” – Tina Turner
  • “Tomorrow Never Dies” – Sheryl Crow
  • “Surrender” – K.D. Lang
  • “The World Is Not Enough” – Garbage
  • “Only Myself to Blame” – Scott Walker

I’d rank them as:

  1. GoldenEye
  2. Surrender
  3. Tomorrow Never Dies
  4. Only Myself to Blame
  5. The World Is Not Enough

Turner’s “GoldenEye” theme has to be one of the best Bond themes since Bassey’s work.

“Surrender” was another great piece by K. D. Lang; the brass was outstanding and very Bondian, reminiscent of “Goldfinger”. I think this should’ve been the main theme song.

“Tomorrow Never Dies”, by Sheryl Crow, was a quality song. I enjoyed the romantic style of it, but I could be bias here, as I’m a fan of Crow’s non-Bond work, also.

“Only Myself to Blame” is an interesting track. Performed by Scott Walker, I can definitely hear where “Elektra’s Theme” was derived from. It’s also got a slight jazzy, noir style to it.

“The World Is Not Enough” isn’t a terrible track, but I don’t think it’s outstanding either. The style and tune is interesting. I enjoy the Bondian guitar riffs and brass through out, too.

Final Thoughts:

The Bond music of the 90’s was surely a mixed bag. The 90’s Bond scores started out quite original, but ended on an unoriginal note with “The World Is Not Enough”. It seems as if Arnold has kept up with this unoriginal tradition with the release of his “Quantum of Solace” score. This decade didn’t feature many glamorous Bond themes, as John Barry once did, either. I can’t say that most of the music of this decade is memorable, either. Perhaps some of Serra’s score, and some of the theme songs … but I’d say that’s about it.