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*** Official "DIE ANOTHER DAY" Review Thread


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#1 of 28 OFFLINE   Paul Markey

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Posted November 11 2002 - 01:12 PM

Down to the last dollar, every penny of the most expensive Bond film ever made -150 million- is visible on screen. Brosnon's fourth outing is a pure tour de force, and is overall the best and most polished of his movies so far. Being the 20th bond flick there are many gadget references to previous Connery & Moore films. This element could have been really nostalgic laden and heavy handed but instead is done with a subtle sense of fun.

Chick factor?
Halle Berrie is right up there head and shoulders (and all the rest of her!) with the likes of Honnar Blackman, Barbra Bach and Michele Yeouh in the pantheon of Bond heroins as opposed to just flavour-of-the-movie Bond girls.

Villain factor?
A hommicidal bastard of course! Probably the most lively and interesting homicidal bastard in the Brosnan flicks to date. And he's written with a neat twist, which I wont go spoil here.

Pre-credit sequence?
Rockin'(Surfin' Bond!). Self contained but an integral part of the plot which continues right on through the opening titles and beyond.

Humour/One liners?
Not as smooth and hillarious as Tomorrow Never Dies zingers but the standard is kept up.

Die Another Day is a slick, polished gargantuan action picture and washes away the mediocre taste left by World is Not Enough. I'll leave it to my girfirend to sum-up: "This is Brosnon being Connery in a great Roger Moore."

#2 of 28 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted November 11 2002 - 05:28 PM

This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Die Another Day". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.



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#3 of 28 OFFLINE   Sam Davatchi

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Posted November 20 2002 - 03:56 AM

Well as I said, I just come back from an afternoon screening of “Die Another Day”. In short I didn’t like it that much. It’s a very decent Bond movie. It has few fun moments but the rest and majority of time I was bored. It didn’t have any magic or sparks. Yes it does have some great action sequences but as you know they are not even made by the main crew and director. It’s like Lee Tamahori has done nothing. A second crew made the great action sequences and they tried to paste them in between sections. The result looks like a disjointed movie with no soul. It never captivated me.
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#4 of 28 OFFLINE   Dan Brecher

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Posted November 21 2002 - 04:21 AM

Die Another Day served up a few nice surprises for me. I have long been getting rather tired with 007, although the Brosnan outings have certainly proven to have their individual memorable moments here and there.

I did enjoy the direction the story was headed up to a certain point (essentially once he got out to the ice palace). The basic ideas behind what he goes through in the first forty minutes or so is all fairly interesting and its many of those early scenes that serve to be the movie's strongest point. Beyond that however, the picture does manage to take the term "far fetched" to new levels, and that's saying something for a modern James Bond outing. The fact the climax literally deals with what Bond movies have come to be so often parodied over, the giant space laser, serves as somewhat of an embarrassment.

A notable highlight early on is a sword fight, one so destructive in it's execution, it could perhaps only be at home in a 007 movie. On and on it goes, smashing into this, smashing into that... I thought the scene was a refreshing delight if hampered by the Madonna cameo that precedes it. It is here that the actress Roasmund Pike is first introduced to us, an actress who, I felt, served to be the better of the two leading ladies perhaps mostly because she was not used to bear the brunt of smutty innuendos that seems to pass of 007s "wit" these days

David Arnold's score, his third for a Bond film, is interesting and certainly multi-layered if a tad weighed down with electronics which however may be so dominant because the hideously overbearing sound mix seems hell bent on drowning out his efforts (along with some of the dialogue). Funny how the sound mix of each Brosnan outing gets progressively louder.

Strangely I am curious to see it again, if only to take in those first fort-five minutes a little better. Brosnan is still more than capable in the role, but a return to spy thriller territory would not go amiss.

Dan

#5 of 28 OFFLINE   Bryan Tuck

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Posted November 22 2002 - 01:45 AM

Well, I enjoyed it. As high-velocity, mind-numbing action goes, it was at least a heck of a lot better than XXX. Also, I liked the plot; as silly as it was, I always appreciate it when they try to come up with new ways to present the formula. The action sequences were generally engaging (if a bit incoherent at times), and I liked the harder edge. Overall, a fun and entertaining couple of hours.

I also enjoyed the "social" meeting between Bond and the villain, which has been missing from several recent 007 flicks. And I loved John Cleese; I liked his character a lot better in this one than in TWINE, where he was little more than a buffoon. A lot more of the old Cleese wit mixed with the old Q wit.

And I hope it doesn't become a trend, but I kind of enjoyed the surprise inclusion during the opening gun barrel logo. Posted Image Caught me off guard.

In spite of all this, I did have a few caveats: Halle Berry; talented as she is, she just didn't do much for me. (I was much more interested in Rosamund Pike.) Berry seemed to be having a good time, but she just lacked the class of previous Bond girls. And as an equal partner, I much prefer Michelle Yeoh.

Lee Tamahori: While I appreciate his trying to surprise us by shaking up the formula a bit, I think stirring vigorously might've been enough. As I said above, Die Another Day easily outdoes XXX; however, it seems to have adopted a similar mentality. An action movie nowadays needs to be fast-paced, but I thought all the sped-up camera tricks were kind of distracting.

The sound mix: I see I'm not the only one who had problems with it. I'm usually pretty okay with loud digital tracks, but this was ridiculous. We even turned the volume down a little, and it was still piercingly ear-splitting. Also, the mix itself seemed off balance in several places. Too much explosion, not enough David Arnold (of course, that may just be my personal taste Posted Image )

Madonna: her cameo; whatever. Not necessary, but not annoying. However, the title song was the worst theme of the series. At least "The Man With the Golden Gun" had a strong melody. "Die Another Day" might work as a dance club tune, but as a Bond theme, it's horrible. I realize they're trying to push the franchise into the 21st century, but several of the other recent Bond themes have managed to cross gneres, while still sounding like Bond themes. (At least Arnold's score is pretty decent.)

Oh, well; I guess I had a few more problems with the film than I realized. Far from perfect, obviously, even as a 007 flick, and it was lacking some of the old school cool, but overall, it was entertaining.

Grade: B-

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#6 of 28 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted November 22 2002 - 07:35 AM

Die Another Day 7.5 of 10
This film is both the best and worst that Bond can be. The first 30 minutes or so really got into some concepts that breathe life into the Bond franchise. He ends up in a situation that we really haven't seen him in before.

And at times the action is as fun and furious as any of the great Bond moments.

But then there are items that make you think Moonraker, or even worse, xXx. Sadly it seems that Bond might even be trying to keep up with the poor copies of the Bond franchise, rather than outclassing them. There are at least 2 notable uses of CGI that just shouldn't have been scenes or technology. One is a surfing scene (no not the opening) and another involves the infamous car.

Yet the car also gives us one of the great classic Bond moments with the car chase on ice (as seen in the trailer). Do you pull your hair out or eat it up? Tough call.

This Bond also goes over the top with the sexual innuendos. You thought it was thick before, just check this film out. That's acceptable, as is the slightly elevated humor considering when and where it comes from (the film does know when to play serious). Often the humor actually works well as a crowd pleaser or mild comic relief (the results of a sword-fight get a nice, mild laugh for example).

The flaw remains sequences that go beyond believability even by Bond standards, and that takes you out of the film.

I should also note that much of the supporting acting is rather bad, even Berry is off and on. At times she is really good, but other times she fits in with much of the rest of the cast in amateurish delivery. Judy Dench is still outstanding, but Madsen is a head scratcher with this effort.

Madonna...luckily her scenes are short.

I did really like the way the title sequence was done and USED with the film. The imagery was as well-connected with the film as any of the best Bond titles. And while the Madonna song is not quite traditional Bond music, I still thought it worked.

In the end this is a film that could have been, not unlike another 7.5 film on my scale, Reign of Fire. Be careful of evening prices on this one, but it might make for a fun Saturday afternoon.

Oh, and the showing was pretty full. The BO for this weekend could easily be the best Bond opening ever.

#7 of 28 OFFLINE   David Hill

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Posted November 22 2002 - 11:32 AM

As a huge Bond fan I have to say that the second surf scene ruined the movie for me. One thing that we rely on with Bond movies is huge REAL stunts (OK, so maybe a bit of trick photography but basically real), not the horror of computer generated effects (and not even well done at that).

I realise that one has to suspend disbelief to enjoy the Bond films, but at the same time one has to believe in the world they create for him. This scene doesn't even come close to allowing you to believe it is happening.

If they go down this route (impossible scenarios), I predict the love of Bond films will slowly diminish as we will stop believing in him.

Still, apart from that, the film was excellent. I did enjoy the references to previous movies, and I definitely concur that John Cleese has become the new Q in a way that works.

David

#8 of 28 OFFLINE   Kristian

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Posted November 22 2002 - 12:51 PM

XXX came out to bury Bond with its "extreme" take on the formula, but Die Another Day outdoes it in every way.

- The action has never been this intense or this edgy in any of the previous films. The fencing duel and the car chase were particularly impressive.

- The villains were definitely a step up from the villains in Tomorrow Never Dies and The World is Not Enough.

- Halle Berry and Rosamund Pike were also a step up from the last two Bond girls. The much publicized sex scene fit in well with the tone of the series.

- The pre-credits sequence was much darker than I was expecting, and as a nice change of pace, it actually had something to do with the plot of the rest of the film.

- There were some very funny moments all throughout the film (
the scene with Moneypenny at the end was priceless
) and some very nice homages/references to the older films in the series.

- Though I miss Desmond Llewellyn, John Cleese has filled the role of Q perfectly.

- I have to agree that the sound mix was unusually loud and that the sound effects often drowned out the music. Maybe it'll be clearer on the DVD.

In my opinion, this is the best Brosnan Bond film and possibly the best Bond film since the '60s. I hope Pierce Brosnan reteams with director Lee Tamahori for the next one. Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image 1/2 out of Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
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#9 of 28 OFFLINE   Peter Apruzzese

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Posted November 22 2002 - 03:04 PM

Random thoughts:

...dreadful song and main title sequence - dumb update to the gun barrel - Madonna cameo annoying - Brosnan looks good, a lot less Fred MacMurray-like this time - Berry is attractive; she can't speak well, but she's attractive - Arnold's music is cookie-cutter bland (but a lot of that may be the poor sound mix) - "MTV"-style edits out of place - very little "class" as usually is in the Bond films, this seemed like a "Hollywood" copy - seems to have been made by people who haven't seen a real Bond film (Thunderball, From Russia with Love, On Her Majesty's Secret Service) before...

Final thoughts - an OK time-waster that's not particularly better or worse than the other Brosnan outings. It's a one-timer, theatrically.
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#10 of 28 OFFLINE   Edwin Pereyra

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Posted November 22 2002 - 04:05 PM

Die Another Day starts out really promising but losses steam a third of its way through. As with all Bond films, they are predictable, contain a lot of corny one-liners and the suspension of disbelief is fully engaged. That is fine. However, one can only hope that it would deliver in these four areas: exotic locations, good action sequences, beautiful women and cool toys. So, lets grade it in these areas.

Action sequences: Was there a stuntmen’s strike during the filming of this movie or did stuntmen’s salaries go up all of a sudden? If not, then why is Pierce Brosnan doing his action sequences in front of a blue screen? This happened more than once throughout the entire film and made the action sequences really tacky. The few sequences I noted were during the opening sequences in North Korea, while Bond was driving across Iceland and what is about to become the most laughable computer graphic imagery for a Bond stunt that occurs on the Iceland waters. However, I will have to say that I found the surfing sequences at the beginning of the film quite good.

Beautiful women: Yes even in our current politically correct society, we still expect beautiful women to grace a Bond film. Halle Berry is gorgeous but as soon as we find out more about her character and what she is capable of, it is so painful to hear her talk. Her lines were poorly written and did not match the intelligence of the character she was playing. After a while, it actually hurts to hear her speak.

Exotic locales: Let’s see. A CGI of Hong Kong with its colorful skyline at night does not necessarily make for an exciting locale. In addition, I haven’t heard of a film crew recently being allowed in Cuba. Furthermore, a considerable portion of the film was filmed in soundstages in Pinewood Studios instead of on location. As such, for a Bond film, location shoots is not one of the film’s strengths.

Cool Toys: This time around, the toys’ theme appears to be anything that can go fast would be cool. While the toys might be appropriate for the film’s action sequences, somehow, it just lacked the “Wow” factor.

Overall, Die Another Day rates Posted Image (out of four). In my judgment, Goldeneye remains Brosnan’s best Bond film yet.

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#11 of 28 OFFLINE   Chris Atkins

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Posted November 22 2002 - 04:37 PM

Chalk up another viewer who was mesmerized by the first 45 minutes...then slowly and methodically turned off by the last hour.

This one had a real chance to be a classic...the first two reels really shed some new light on the Bond character and covered new territory. It was a mixture of the best of OHMSS and LICENSE TO KILL.

Then Halle Berry (both her acting and her character) steadily pull the film down until the end, when an unbelievable action sequence (even for Bond standards) closes down the film.

After four Brosnan films, this is now the second where he has: 1) had to share the lead with another female agent; 2) had to save the world from a frickin laser beam.

As to the former, call me old fashioned, but I prefer my Bond women shaken, not stirred. These movies are about JAMES BOND, not some other agent he works with. Besides, the formula has been used and covered nicely by the Spy Who Loved Me, Tomorrow Never Dies, etc.

As to the latter, well, leave the laser beams to Austin Powers, and get some original ideas.

What a movie this could have been! Again, the first two reels are stunning, and the last few reels are standard fare. All in all, it adds up to a middle tier (or slightly lower) Bond outing.

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#12 of 28 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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Posted November 22 2002 - 05:04 PM

Posted Image out of Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Starts off promising, then just gets boring and the bad material can't be saved by the very cool car or by Halle Berry's bathing suit.

As some have said here, that surfing scene looked very bad. It was like watching Bond in a video game with a big fan blowing in front of him. Waaaaaaaaay too much & waaaaaay over the top_even for Bond.

No heart and uninspiring. And a terrible title song.

#13 of 28 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted November 22 2002 - 05:34 PM

I thought DAD was entertaining enough for me because my expectation don't force James Bond to adhere to a pure realistic/gritty foundation. I'm willing to forgive some unbelievable stuntwork just because it's part of the pacakge that comes with the franchise.

The Good:

The premise was somewhere we've never seen Bond having to go through. But he did sort of re-acclimate himself a bit too quickly.

The villains had some grit to them. The extent they went to become who they were was mind-boggling if you thought about it. Their big bad weapon was big and bad. How much of it is actually possible remains an exercise for the viewer.

The stunts were just plain fun to watch, sure, there's some throw-back 1960's stunt work going on, but it gave it a retro feel to the stunts. And I've never seen some of the stuff that was in this film, and the second unit pulled off most of it well enough. There's quite a few OMG stunts, and there's a few implausible stunts that you either buy or don't.

The opening credits footage was good in that it progressed the plot along at the same time.

James Bond got his mojo back in this film. I'm pretty sure his middle name must be "Randy".

Q was great and exasperated as always. He still comes up with the nifty toys.

Moneypenny's money shot was priceless.

The Okay:

Halle Berry's Jinx doesn't come across as a sharp secret agent type, and I would not go see her in a "Jinx" movie because there's just not enough to work with. Her role in this film as written stumbled to give her some credentials to make her believable as Jinx.

M was more crotchety than ever before.

Miranda Frost was aptly named. I think she got short-shrifted in some character development bits.

The Bad:

Madonna's theme song - I thought it was wretched. Electronic songs are not what James Bond theme songs should be, they should be sung with passion, and have a solid orchestral backing. Madonna missed badly with this song.

Also, Madonna's part as Verty, the fencing instructor, was average, she's just not a good actress.

Michael Madsen was wasted in this film.

The plot was a bit hokey. I think too many films are jumping on the "North/South Korea DMZ as the global hot spot in the world" bandwagon where unrest is just a few committed terrorist away.

I have it 3 stars or a grade of B (for Bond).
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#14 of 28 OFFLINE   Jon Torres

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Posted November 22 2002 - 05:44 PM

I thought Die Another Day was Brosnan's best Bond flick. It's not as witty, but the action sequences are amazing particularly the sword fight scene and car chase. I noticed the sound mix was super loud. I thought the AMC I went to just turned it up twice as loud or something. Madonna's song kinda sucks. Doesn't work for James Bond. Overall, I liked the film very much.

Oh, the last part w/ Money Penny is funny as hell.

#15 of 28 OFFLINE   Quentin

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Posted November 22 2002 - 06:57 PM

Ugh. Horrid. I can't even review it. I'll debate various flaws in discussion. Worst Bond ever.

#16 of 28 OFFLINE   Ryan FB

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Posted November 23 2002 - 10:10 AM

I could almost not believe how terrible some of the special effects were in this movie. As was noted earlier, the later surfing scene is one of them, but there were many others that stuck out to me. It's jarring since some of the other special effects seem to be done quite well. Bad scenes that come to mind are:
When Jinx shoots the laser through Mr. Kil's head/mouth
...looked like something straight out of Godzilla vs. Mothra.
When the cars are dropped out of the burning plane towards the end
...obviously and terribly superimposed.
When Bond goes over the end of the cliff in the top speed craft.
Some of the scenes showing Graves' "ice world" from afar as Bond drives up to it.
There's many others as well. Even my friends who saw the movie with me, who aren't nearly as anal about stuff like that as I am, brought the terrible special effects up as a bad point. A little polish could have gone a long way.
This movie could have been good...it had the potential to do so, but it failed so many times during the execution. I loved the previous Brosnan Bond films, but this one doesn't meet the standard. I haven't yet seen Monster's Ball, but this reaffirms my feeling from the other Halle Berry films I have seen (Swordfish, X-Men) that she's a terrible actress. However, some of the lines that were given to her in this movie...really seemed like they were written for Foxy Cleopatra in Goldmember (
The "Yo momma" line when she's in the laser room, and the "Bitch! Read this!" line when she kills Frost both come to mind
). The "jumping out of a plane with a Union Jack parachute" scene made me laugh...seemed exactly like something that should instead be in an Austin Powers movie. Really sad, because there are some certainly worthy performances in here that deserved to be in a better film than this turned out to be. Maybe I'm odd, but I wanted more development of Ms. Frost's character, some more Q, and (what I've wanted since his introduction to the Bond films) more development of Charles Robinson (Colin Salmon's character). A little more Moneypenny would have been great as well...the scene she is in is hilarious and well done. The Madonna title song is terribly out of place as a Bond theme song...it certainly doesn't belong, just as I felt her cameo didn't belong in the movie. This is a movie that could have been great if it were thought out better, polished off more, and given more of the "Bond feel"...but ultimately it falls horribly short of the quality and style I expect from a Bond film, ruining the overall experience. Posted Image

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#17 of 28 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

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Posted November 23 2002 - 10:24 AM

Quote:
I kind of draw the line at invisible cars


Actually, that's real. They unveiled it last year and it works exactly as Q described.

I do agree it was disjointed, and that Madonna's song was horrific. It had no buisiness in a Bond film.

When it was good, it was great, when it sucked, it sucked hard.

Overall a C+, but I'll be buying this for the Bond car war alone Posted Image

And it's the first movie I've seen since "The Score" that really showed the advantages of lovely anamorphic photography. High-resolution beautiful imagery. And no horriffic look like Harry Potter last week with it's beehive of blownup grain and lower resolution. Now if only the numbskull who built the print hadn't sliced it about 3 times and spliced it horribly.

#18 of 28 OFFLINE   Mike_G

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Posted November 23 2002 - 01:15 PM

LOVED IT.

Madonna's song was awful, but that's the only bad part about the film.

The invisible car turned me off the second it was introduced, but R's description seemed plausable (for a Bond film).

How many of you caught the two in-jokes?


"A Field Guide To Birds" was written by James Bond - that's where Ian Fleming got the name from.

"Does this still work?". I laughted my ass off.


It's a great Bond film, and I like how they broke the mold on how they're made.

Very enjoyable. I can't see how anyone wouldn't like it. It's a Bond film, not "Remains of the Day".

Mike

#19 of 28 OFFLINE   Peter Kline

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Posted November 24 2002 - 03:47 AM

During title sequence it was difficult to read some credits, particularly those in red against busy backgrounds. Poor choice of color. CGI effects were OK but most movies today and particularly this one you say to yourself, "yourself, CGI here". That's not good. Let's get back to flesh and blood, real people real places, real stories and real fun. I agree that it's Brosnan's best.. he's finally grown into the role age wise. But oh for the old days with the real JB Sean Connery. There will be one more with Brosnan and perhaps JB will be retired.

#20 of 28 OFFLINE   Dean Kousoulas

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Posted November 24 2002 - 03:26 PM

I give the film a C- Like most other people, I was hooked leading up to the 2nd half, then things just fell apart. It tried to out-do recent garbage like Austin Powers and XXX, when there was really no need to.

There was some funny parts (Bond asking "Does this still work?" when he saw his old jet pack...PRICELESS!) And the villian did look cool (the guy with the diamonds in his face) And the Moneypenny joke at the end fooled me. I thought, "Hell, it's the 20th Bond, let them finally get it on" but it looks like we will never see that day...

I thought Halle Berry's performance was horrible. Her lines were poor, and I had a hard time believing who she was playing in the film. Madonna's cameo was totally un-called for. This woman can not act, and it was quite annoying seeing her in the film. Her song was pretty cool though, although my favorite is still "Tomorrow Never Dies" by Sheryl Crow.

When I saw the surfing stunt, I literary started shaking my head in disapointment, and I didn't stop till the credits rolled. How about the plane? Who really believed that? And that whole switching the genes thing, really turned me off.

This has been 2 strikes in a row for 007 in my opinion. Denise Richards pretty much ruined TWINE for me.

Dean
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