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HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Die Another Day

Blu-ray Reviews

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#1 of 54 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted November 01 2008 - 08:37 AM

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Release Date: Available now (original release date October 21, 2008)
Studio: MGM Home Entertainment
Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-Ray case with cardstock slipcover
Year: 2002
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2h12m
MSRP: $34.98

MAIN FEATURE
Video1080p high definition 16x9 2.35:1
AudioDTS HD Master Audio: English 5.1 / Dolby Digital: English Stereo (coupled with trivia track), Spanish Stereo, French 5.1
SubtitlesEnglish, Spanish


The Feature: 4/5
James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) goes on the hunt for a North Korean terrorist intent on implementing a scorched earth policy with a deadly solar energy satellite.


Video Quality: 4.5/5
The film is correctly framed at 2.35:1, encoded in AVC and free of blemishes. Consistent with the grittier approach to the James Bond character, the film has more noticeable grain (which shows no signs of being reduced) than other franchise installments, lending the film some added character. Fine detail is excellent and the overall image is consistently sharp and detailed. Black levels are very good, deep and inky with fine shadow detail and delineation. The color palette is almost monochromatic in the opening sequence, but later scenes on the beach show great color depth and richness. A few moments of slight edge enhancement is all there is to complain about.


Audio Quality: 5/5
Presented in 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio, the most modern film in this first wave of Bond Blu-Rays has everything one would expect from a recent, high profile blockbuster. The surround field is wide, enveloping and seamless, dialogue is clear and nicely balanced and LFE is deep and clean. As much as I enjoyed the five vintage films, it's a treat to finally experience a Bond film with a mix so heart pumpingly dynamic.


Special Features: 3/5

All the special features from the "Ultimate Edition" (UE) DVD release have been ported over. Only the "007 Mission Control" random access piece is in high definition, though it is merely grabbing in and out points from the feature (with the exception of the textless version of the title sequence, which exists on its own). Unfortunately, since the UE DVD did not include any theatrical trailers or TV spots, they are also absent here. Those who own the 2003 "Special Edition" DVD will need to hold onto it as it has many extras which have not been carried over on either the UE DVD or this Blu-Ray release.

Audio Commentary by Actors Pierce Brosnan and Rosamund Pike: Brosnan's track is on the leisurely side, but it's interesting to hear about his firsthand experiences and thoughts on the franchise and character. Pike doesn't show up until well into the film.

Audio Commentary by Director Lee Tamahori and Producer Michael G. Wilson: Tamahori and Wilson provide a more technical and ultimately informative track. One the whole it's more engaging than the previous commentary.

MI6 Datastream: Pop-up text track provides trivia and background information about the film. With the feature enabled the standard pop-up menu does not function and the audio is limited to a stereo track.

From Script to Screen (51m40s): A behind-the-scenes look at the "Die Another Day" development and production. Narrated by Robert Carlyle.

Shaken and Stirred on Ice (23m35s): A detailed look at the intricate Iceland ice palace set and chase scene. Narrated by Samantha Bond.

Just Another Day (22m39s): Behind the logistics and production of the scene introducing Gustav Graves, which took place near Buckingham Palace.

The British Touch: Bond Arrives in London (3m32s): The film's collaboration with British Airways.

On Location with Peter Lamont (13m51s): Production Designer Lamont comments on his location scouting footage.

Credits (1m15s): Production credits for the "MI6 Vault."

007 Mission Control: An interesting feature, giving random access to scenes around a particular character or theme, all in 1080p high definition 16x9 2.35:1 video with 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio (with the exception of the textless title sequence, which is in Dolby Digital 5.1). Better than skipping through the feature disc? It depends. For fans of the opening title sequence this is an easy way to access it. And obviously users aren't meant to watch all the clips, but only access their favorites; otherwise, why not just watch the feature disc? The one departure from simple clips from the film is the "Exotic Locations" item, which is a montage of film locales with narration by Samantha Bond, presented in high definition with stereo audio.

Image Database: Large image gallery with usual mix of promotional stills, on-set shots, and advertising materials.

"Quantum of Solace" Movie Cash: In promotion of the upcoming Bond film starring Daniel Craig, a cover sticker has a code to access an online coupon worth up to $10.50 toward the purchase of a ticket for the movie. The sticker left a fair amount of adhesive on the cardstock cover, though it was easily removed with duct tape.


Title Recap

The Feature: 4/5
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 3/5
Overall Score (not an average): 3.5/5

While "Die Another Day" on Blu-Ray offers excellent audio and video, the continued omission of many special features from the original DVD release makes it less than complete. For those who care more about the feature, it is the clearly the technically superior option. But anyone interested in the total package won't get it without having to hang on to - or search out a used copy of - the "Special Edition" DVD.
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#2 of 54 OFFLINE   Grant H

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Posted November 07 2008 - 09:33 AM

At least you mentioned the slight edge enhancement. It seemed to me to be the same flawed master from the original DVD release. This looked terrible compared to For Your Eyes Only, exhibiting lots of aliasing for me as well. That could have been exacerbated by the fact I watched it in 1080i, but I saw no such problems with the older Bond flick. DAD was much more notably video because of its flaws, whereas the older Bond film looked film-like. I really expected this one to be reference quality.

I wish they'd remastered it.
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#3 of 54 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted November 19 2008 - 10:17 AM

I really love watching any Bond movie and yesterday was the first time i saw this one probably since it was on dvd the first time.

I never realized how dopey this film was.
An Ice hotel that when melts fills one room with water.
an ice racer vehicle that doesnt kill the passenger when it flys
over an ice cliff and crashes into the side of the cliff.
a laser beam from a satelite in outer space.
A plane flys through the laser beam that becomes damaged while everything else the beam hits is destroyed, then the plane takes forever to crash.
plus other nonsense including an invisible car.

"MI6 Datastream: Pop-up text track provides trivia and background information about the film. With the feature enabled the standard pop-up menu does not function and the audio is limited to a stereo track."

I'm not sure what kind of pop up feature this was.
It appeared to be an sd version of the movie with a
subtitle track that offered trivia.
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#4 of 54 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted November 19 2008 - 12:54 PM

Quote:
"MI6 Datastream: Pop-up text track provides trivia and background information about the film. With the feature enabled the standard pop-up menu does not function and the audio is limited to a stereo track."

I'm not sure what kind of pop up feature this was.
It appeared to be an sd version of the movie with a
subtitle track that offered trivia.
It's definitely HD, with a bitrate around 21 mpbs. The implementation is nicer (better looking, higher res graphics) than the same feature that is on the DVD.
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#5 of 54 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted November 19 2008 - 02:57 PM

This movie was utterly dopey. It was also IMO the best Bond flick in MANY years! (And I liked it way better than Casino Royale, too.)

It may be total fantasy, but it is a very, very fun movie.
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#6 of 54 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted November 19 2008 - 04:40 PM

I don't get why people always call the "invisible" car nonsense. First the car isn't invisible. It is camouflaged, making it appear "invisible". The military is actively working on the very type of active camouflage used on the car. This movie had plenty of dopey scenes but the car's camouflage system isn't one of them. It is an extrapolation of research that is occurring at this very moment.

For people's edification:

Active camouflage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Like I said, there is plenty of nonsense in this film, but the car shouldn't be included.
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#7 of 54 OFFLINE   Sam Favate

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Posted November 19 2008 - 11:39 PM

I think the invisible car was dopey, as was the movie. IMO, and as someone who has seen all the Bond films multiple times, this is a contender for the very worst in the series, along with A View To A Kill.

Also achingly bad in this film is Halle Berry. Her fight sequence at the end of the film in which she screams "Come on, bitch!" is one of the worst moments in 46 years of Bond movies. (What was it about the Brosnan films and stunt casting? It never worked. See: Denise Richards.)

#8 of 54 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted November 20 2008 - 01:52 AM

edwin you can post wiki articles all day, this doesn't change my mind about the invisible car, dopey, didn't work, bad bond film.
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#9 of 54 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted November 20 2008 - 04:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyD
edwin you can post wiki articles all day, this doesn't change my mind about the invisible car, dopey, didn't work, bad bond film.

I'm not trying to change your mind. You think it is dopey so I'm not going to try to convince you otherwise. I was just pointing out that with all of the stupidity going on in this movie the car's active camouflage system is at least based on a real world technology that is being developed. I was just stating that I don't get why the car's camouflaging system always gets brought up, considering there are far dumber and more outlandish gadgets and events occurring in this film.
"You bring a horse for me?" "Looks like......looks like we're shy of one horse." "No.......You brought two too many."

#10 of 54 OFFLINE   MattFini

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Posted November 20 2008 - 05:31 AM

I'm glad to read there are some other supporters of Die Another Day.

Behind GoldenEye it's my favorite Brosnan outing and sure, it's dopey, but it's also really fun and enjoyable.

Dare I say I liked it more than QoS.
Universal, please release Streets of Fire on Blu-ray.

#11 of 54 OFFLINE   Gary Seven

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Posted November 20 2008 - 06:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Favate
I think the invisible car was dopey, as was the movie. IMO, and as someone who has seen all the Bond films multiple times, this is a contender for the very worst in the series, along with A View To A Kill.

I agree with Aaron... may be dopey but it IS still fun to watch. And yes, Halle Berry was quite superfluous in this movie... but nice to watch at least.

A View To A Kill is just too bloody painful to watch...period.

#12 of 54 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted November 20 2008 - 06:11 AM

Yes. I think we all just need to remember that Halle Berry paid a very important homage to Ursula Andress in this film. VERY important. I don't think I'll ever forget it! Posted Image

Posted ImagePosted Image

I don't think I can overstate the importance of that film moment. Posted Image Posted Image

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


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#13 of 54 OFFLINE   Peter Raber

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Posted November 20 2008 - 06:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattFini
I'm glad to read there are some other supporters of Die Another Day.

Behind GoldenEye it's my favorite Brosnan outing and sure, it's dopey, but it's also really fun and enjoyable.

Dare I say I liked it more than QoS.

Well you can say whatever you like. You have a right to your opinion and we all respect that. I must disagree however.

I absolutely HATED this movie. The only one worse than this was Moonraker.

DAD started off okay, but it quickly moved to silly and ended in absurdity. I felt that it was making fun of itself as a genre, which is fine in a comedy, but not in an action film like this is supposed to be.

I get that the basic, and I use the term in its loosest sense, plot was taken from the book Moonraker, which is an excellent book, but it just morphed into something dreadful IMO.

Personally I loved QoS and Casino Royale. I thought both were fabulous pictures and brought out the gritty Bond from the books which is really where his characterization should come from.

He is not comical and doesn't whip out terrible one-liners. He is a spy and he is ruthless. That's what the books are about, and that's what the movies should be about. Again, all my opinion.

And I know this has absolutely nothing to do with the topic, but I just had to say my piece.

#14 of 54 OFFLINE   RickER

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Posted November 20 2008 - 06:19 AM

This movie, with all its flaws is miles better than Moonraker.

#15 of 54 OFFLINE   MattFini

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Posted November 20 2008 - 06:30 AM

Peter,
DAD was certainly bordering on parody and I can definitely see where that would turn people off to the film.

I grew up during the Moore era and, as a result, some of those films have a special place in my heart. I think there are some obvious parallels to Moonraker in DAD (or maybe it's just the sheer ridiculousness of it all) but that was all fine and good for me. I love the OOT Bond adventures.

I didn't get into the literary Bond until I was out of high school and I really started to appreciate the stories in those novels a great deal. But one thing that really strikes me about people, and I'm not necessarily talking about Peter here, is how people refer to Connery as having personified the Fleming Bond but have no problems with the cheeseball one-lines that came out of Connery's mouth from time to time.

And while I do think Craig is a great Bond, I don't think he's pure Fleming, either. He doesn't have the sophistication that Fleming gave to the character, only the iciness. I really think Timothy Dalton came the closest to portraying Ian Fleming's James Bond as he was written.

But what do I know? Roger Moore is still my favorite. Posted Image

Oh, and I don't mean to come off as a Brosnan apologist. I liked his era, but I like Craig's very much as well. QoS, to me, is a solid film with parts ruined by very poor editing.
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#16 of 54 OFFLINE   Jari

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Posted November 20 2008 - 07:11 AM

My god this was so horrible (Bond) movie! The only good thing about Die Another Day is that it laid the path towards Casino Royale and Daniel Craig. Still, completioinist in me must have it... Posted Image

#17 of 54 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted November 20 2008 - 07:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jari
The only good thing about Die Another Day is that it laid the path towards Casino Royale and Daniel Craig.

People: Puh-leeze see Post #12! Posted Image

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


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#18 of 54 OFFLINE   CraigF

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Posted November 20 2008 - 07:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattFini
But what do I know? Roger Moore is still my favorite. Posted Image

LOL, me too! I like to say that just to bug people, even though it's true for me. Even people who weren't alive until decades after Connery stopped being Bond seem to prefer him, it's almost like it's holy writ.

Some of the Bond movies Connery was in may have been "better" though. Mainly because the material and concept etc. was getting a little thin at later times. The reinventing of Bond with Daniel Craig was almost essential to carry on the franchise, as it edged closer and closer to the original Casino Royale...

And I liked DAD too. It's funny talking about Bond films as being "unrealistic"... I suppose the new Casino Royale and QoS should please those who want more realism from Bond. It'll take me a while to get used to it...

#19 of 54 OFFLINE   Peter Raber

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Posted November 20 2008 - 07:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattFini
Peter,

I grew up during the Moore era and, as a result, some of those films have a special place in my heart.

I didn't get into the literary Bond until I was out of high school and I really started to appreciate the stories in those novels a great deal. But one thing that really strikes me about people, and I'm not necessarily talking about Peter here, is how people refer to Connery as having personified the Fleming Bond but have no problems with the cheeseball one-lines that came out of Connery's mouth from time to time.

I agree, but let me be the first to say that I couldn't stand many of Sean Connery's one-liners. I can't say I really noticed them start until Goldfinger, which I believe were pretty witty for the most part, but from that point on the writers seemed to think it was a good idea and just beat it to death from that point on. (I cringe every time I hear the one when bond gets out of the shark pool in Thunderball, both the US and British one). I don't remember many in OHMSS either, but I am just trying to recall from memory here.

Let me just add that I am 37 years old and also grew up in the Roger Moore era. Moore was my first exposure to Bond and I thought he was great when I first saw him so I immediately devoured more (no pun intended) Bond movies. When I saw Goldfinger and Thunderball for the first time I immediately was drawn to Connery over Moore. Moore is just too campy for my tastes. While Connery started the whole thing with the cheeseball one-liners, it was Roger Moore, or at least his portrayal as created by the writers, that reveled in them. I can say I really only like 3 Moore Bond movies: Live and Let Die, Octopussy (although it's tough to see Bond dressed as a clown) and For Your Eyes Only. I can deal with The Spy Who Loved Me, but the others are just bad! IMO of course.

I got into the books in high school and loved them. They are miles better than the movies that take the name from them. There are a few that parallel, at least in the overall premise of, the book, but most just veer totally away from the book plot why did they even bother to use the name?

What was this post originally about? Oh yes the Blu-Ray review of DAD. I have said in other threads that I already bought the UCE of all 20 movies when it came out, so I am only buying the Blu-Rays of the ones I enjoy the most. I am a completist in that I have alll the movies, but I don't need to rebuy the ones I don't really like and DAD falls into that camp (again, no pun intended). I just finished watching Moonraker from the UCE and it's even more horrible than I remember. The sad thing is my 13 year old son that it was great. UGH!

#20 of 54 OFFLINE   Gary Seven

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Posted November 20 2008 - 08:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Raber
I got into the books in high school and loved them. They are miles better than the movies that take the name from them. There are a few that parallel, at least in the overall premise of, the book, but most just veer totally away from the book plot why did they even bother to use the name?

OHMSS is probably the closest to the book. It's pretty identical except for Blofeld's plan. FRWL is fairly close as well.





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