Die Another Day

Die Another Day

DVD Rating: *****

Reviewed by: David Stanners

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of Die Another Day

Boasting more than 10 hours of jiggery pokery and gadgetry, you'd think this had been designed by Q himself. Die Another Day is the ultimate in DVDs. Slick, comprehensive and flash, the special edition takes home entertainment into the 21st century, the way director Lee Tamahori has pushed the latest Bond beyond the face of human limits.

OK, so the 10 hours of special features are a slight blag - about half the time is taken up by audio commentaries, and thank God for that - but there's more than enough here to get your teeth into and value for money is, for once, at a premium.

Featuring two discs, the first is predominantly the movie itself with the option of two separate audio commentaries; one from the director and producer, and the other from Pierce Brosnan and Rosamund Pike. There is also what they've called M16 Datastream, which is a nerdy Bondesque type label for bubble facts popping up throughout the film, obviously designed for die hard aficionados, because it spoils the picture.

Disc 2 is what you're really after. The centre stage components are the documentaries, Inside Die Another Day and From Script To Screen. While both sometimes overlap with information and identical scenes, the sheer magnitude of director Lee Tamahori's project is scaled brilliantly. The seemless quality of the finished product is dissected with a razor sharp scalpel, as scene by scene footage is unveiled. Shooting in adverse conditions in locations from Iceland to Spain to Hawaii and back home again, the trials and tribulations of constructing and polishing such a mammoth project from scratch are incisively documented.

With a film based on state-of-the-art action sequences, we meet the world's best surfers/madmen standing in for Bond while conquering the world's largest waves in Maui, Hawaii. Nicknamed "Jaws" because the waves "eat surfers for breakfast", the Behind The Scenes section shows a helicopter shooting the spectacular 50 foot waves with close range cameras. It's arguably even more spectacular than watching the real deal in the film's opening sequence.

Equally impressive is the choice of locations and difficulties faced, particularly in Iceland, where wind chills of -25, melting ice and shifting icebergs were busy wreaking havoc on Bond's business.

The best bits are the random logistical nightmares imposed on all. From Pierce tearing his knee in a stunt, to Halle Berry shivering in the cold with joggers' nipple, to horrendous weather storms in Spain, to the Aston Martins' frozen batteries and tires, it's fascinating viewing. Better not say too much, though.

If this isn't enough, there's loads of other bits and bobs, including trailers, still images, title designs, TV Spots and all the rest of it. Madonna even gets in a tuppence worth with her video and its making. But the piece that makes it the diehard connoisseur, or just plain anorak, editon is the Equipment Briefing. This is a computer game-type visual/audio outline of every weapon and gadget in the film. If this isn't signalling the first step to viewer-interactive movies, I don't know what is. Maybe Q did have a hand in its design after all.

Reviewed on: 12 May 2003
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Die Another Day packshot
Pierce Brosnan as 007 and Halle Berry as the bird in the wetsuit fight North Korean face changers.
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Product Code: 23751DVD

Region: 2

Ratio: 2.35 Anamorphic Wide Screen

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround EX

Extras: Disc One: Commentary 1: with director Lee Tamahori and producer Michael G. Wilson. Commentary 2: with Pierce Brosnan and Rosamund Pike; MI6 DataStream on-screen trivia track with integration to 19 behind the scenes featurettes.

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