Scott Hardie | November 29, 2002
I just saw "Die Another Day" and I've got to get some things off my chest. Consider this a big ol' spoiler warning (though many reviews I just read after seeing it give away virtually all the secrets; I don't need to go that far).

Most of the movie was fun. I got what I wanted: two hours' entertainment. It was also a pleasure to see so many clear references to earlier films in the series. I would give it a positive review, but a number of bad choices really irritated me:

1) The opening title song by Madonna. How many words are there in the thesaurus for awful?

2) The fast-slow cuts. There's probably a proper term for this editing technique, but I don't know what it is. It's when the camera spins around the subject (and is usually up in a helicopter), and the footage is sped up fast until the subject comes into view, then it instantly switches to normal speed. You see it sometimes in commercials and music videos, and the movie "Spy Game" used it a lot. I hate it, because it's so cheesy, and it's a transparent fad. We mock editing techniques from the 1970s such as split-screen action, but mark my words, people in the future will mock our current movies for this stupid, annoying technique, and they'll be right.

3) Matrix-style moments. You have the slowed-down shot where the bullet hits the body and it slowly flies backward, and then there's the moment when Halle Berry runs up a wall and flips backwards over her opponent in the air. Come on! This is also another fad, and it's quickly wearing out its welcome. I hope the two Matrix sequels have some new tricks up their sleeves.

4) Computer animation. The disintegrating plane at the end was acceptable, but the scene where Bond wind-surfs over the chunks of ice and the tidal waves looked really, really, really fake. We're not watching a man in peril any more, we're watching a cartoon.

5) And finally, there's the moment that single-handedly ruined the movie for me. I could barely accept it when Halle Berry was asked who sent her and she replied "Yo momma!", but at the end, when she delivered the death blow to her opponent, she snarled, "Read this, bitch!" This is the exact sort of idiotic American crassness that the James Bond films used to have the good taste to avoid. People who liked sophisticated action movies used to turn to the Bond films for something classy, but I can see why my mom and others have given up on the series: They've given in to stupid American bullshit machismo like this, as though there wasn't enough garbage in movies already.

Anna Gregoline | December 1, 2002
Heh. Scott, you always have the best movie reviews.

Scott Hardie | December 1, 2002
Why thank you. It's always more fun to attack a movie than praise it. :-)


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