Before the Maven was forced to share breathing space in the local
movie theater with teens showing off their menacing fuscia hairdos, she reminisced about
her only meeting with James Bond in Las Vegas. Sean Connery was there filming
Diamonds Are Forever, and what the Maven remembers most is his bewitching
smile and wonderful walk that exuded confidence if not good upbringing.
Watching Tomorrow Never Dies made the SnobzMaven wish tomorrow were here
already, or that the spys creator, Ian Fleming, was still churning out his popular
tales of the worlds most famous secret agent. Still, Bruce Feirsteins script
has good moments as opposed to the old-fashioned gleeful ones. Take the new enemy, a media
magnate named Elliot Carver who will stop at nothing to take over the world.. Well,
weve all heard that before. Jonathan Pryce puts some zing into playing the
megalomaniacal villain with a touch of Hearst, Maxwell and Murdoch. By the films
end, Carver has killed so many people that the Maven had to reach for her abacus.
Can anyone stop this man? After 18 motion pictures that all ask the same question, we know
the answer. Bond. James Bond. Naturally, whenever the call for help comes from
his boss M, hes usually having his martinis shaken, not stirred, by some
sexy pea brain. Still, duty is duty, and if M can just wait a half hour,
hell be right there.
Pierce Brosnan as James Bond sports a vacant look and whats more, he has thin
wrists. Pity. This makes him appear more like a male model who has strutted down the
runway one too many times. Brosnans Bond lacks the whimsy, the secret wink, and
mannerisms that once made secret spying look like fun and not forced. Now, to keep the
audience occupied, the writers have inserted more grown-up toys. Theres a nifty
lighter that turns into a grenade, plus a car that drives itself and gives off electric
shocks to would-be thieves. With a vehicle like this, you surely wont need The Club.
As with all James Bond movies, Tomorrow Never Dies crams every minute with
action. The only twist is a female secret agent who becomes 007s partner. Surprise,
surprise. She isnt a shimmering blonde on orgasmic sex drive, but someone who would
rather karate chop than hop into bed with the irresistible Bond. Michelle
Asias most sought after action heroine, teams up with Brosnan in scaling up and down
tall buildings, and yet the most memorable scene finds them riding a motorcycle which they
both fight to steer through crowded open air markets. With machine guns blasting from
helicopters, Yeoh jockeys positions from backwards to frontwards on the bike, while Bond
retains his composure. Does anyone think they will actually be wounded by a bullet or even
by an irate shopkeeper? Raise your hands. Equally perplexing, and this from the
Mavens dear friend, Jose Eber, is how 007 can perform these tricks without mussing
up a strand of hair.
Rounding out the cast is Q the master of gadgetry played once again by Desmond
Llewelyn. While Bond never ages, Q could be approaching his 200th birthday,
but this is not the moment to be catty. Vincent Schiavelli pops in as the weird Dr.
Kaufmann, clearly a man who has had too many HMO problems, for all he wants to do is
torture his patients. The rest of the torture is perpetrated against a willing
audience who faithfully goes to every new Bond film hoping that its better than the
last. The Show Biz Maven keeps hoping, too, with love and knishes.
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