Forty years, 20 movies, and five Bonds. Technically, Die Another Day is the 22nd Bond film, as MGM/UA doesn't count the unofficial Never Say Never Again and Casino Royale. Die Another Day is one of the best in years, with picturesque locations, great action, and lots of special effects. Unfortunately, the dialogue seems to have been written by a 13-year-old boy. It's heinous and painful. Every line that doesn't directly relate to the plot is a brutally bad sexual innuendo. Not clever, just stupid. The plot is pure Bond, though, as the son of a North Korean general harnesses the sun's power to destroy all of the land mines that separate North and South Korea so that he can take over the country.
The 2.35:1 anamorphic image's quality is fantastic, with bright colors and lots of detail. Both the DTS ES and Dolby EX tracks sound excellent, with tons of bass rumble, really loud explosions, and lots of effects in the surrounds. This two-disc set has a myriad of extras, starting with a commentary track with the director and producer, as well as one with Pierce Brosnan and co-star Rosamund Pike. There are more than 15 documentaries, and all of them are anamorphic and offer excellent making-of and behind-the-scenes info. Perhaps the best feature is that, at some point during the movie, each of the previous 19 Bond movies is either referenced or homaged. Finding each one is half the fun.
If you're looking for a demo disc or are just a fan, this is a must-buy.—Geoffrey Morrison
Web Exclusive! DVD: A Man Called Horse—Paramount
You can learn a lot from watching A Man Called Horse. For example, did you know that the legendary Sioux warriors apparently took battle lessons from an English aristocrat? Or that the Sioux language is so similar to Klingon that I swear I heard Dame Judith Anderson say, "Beam me up" at one point? But the most important thing you'll learn from A Man Called Horse is to never fall in love with the chief's sister and agree to undergo the Sun Vow ritual. One word: ouch.
At times both fascinating and comical, A Man Called Horse was one of Hollywood's first attempts at a realistic look at the lives of Native Americans. Richard Harris stars as John Morgan, a wealthy Englishman who roams the American frontier in search of his true calling. After the Sioux capture him, he slowly learns to respect their traditions and way of life. He also kicks some serious warrior butt, marries the gorgeous Running Deer, and has an acid-trip dream sequence that rivals anything seen in Pink Floyd The Wall. All of this is captured in a beautifully restored 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer, although some minor print imperfections sporadically appear. The Dolby Digital 5.1 is nothing spectacular, but dialogue is crisp and easy to hear. Of course, you won't understand most of it (it's in Sioux), as director Elliot Silverstein wants the viewer to feel as lost and confused as Harris does upon his capture. For the most part, he succeeds. A Man Called Horse certainly has a number of flaws, but it's still an entertaining (if somewhat graphic) film that's well worth your time. Just watch out for Sun Vow sequence—trust me.—Gary Maxwell