Tomorrow Never Dies: Ultimate Edition (1997)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Deleted Scenes-And Extended -Introduced By Dir. Rodger Spottiswoode
Multiple Angles-Expanded Angles Into By Director Rodger Spottiswoode
Introduction-Highly Classified; The World Of 007
Music Video-The James Bond Theme (Moby's Re-Version)
Featurette-007, Women, Aliies, Villians, Mission Combat Manual
Featurette-Q Branch and Exotic Locations
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-The Secrets Of 007
Interviews-Cast-Composer David Arnold
Featurette-Making Of-Special Fx Reel
Music Video-"Tomorrow Never Dies" Sheryl Crow
|Year Of Production||1997|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Roger Spottiswoode|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Joe Don Baker
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
English Text Commentary
Dutch Text Commentary
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The second of the Pierce Brosnan James Bond films, Tomorrow Never Dies, is quite arguably his best. Freed from the PG-13 constraints of his first attempt at the role, Brosnan puts in an outstanding performance as a more mature and suave Bond, out to avert World War III at the instigation of media fanatic Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce).
Starring alongside Teri Hatcher as the beautiful Paris Carver and Michelle Yeoh as the impressive Wei Lin, Tomorrow Never Dies just hangs together perfectly, running far smoother than any of the other Brosnan Bond films, with the chemistry just right the whole way. Its humour is right on the ball, and it contains some of the best action sequences of that era, including a car chase in a multi-level parking lot that set a new bar for car chases in the 1990s (arguably only bested by the extensive car chase sequence of The Matrix: Reloaded), and a motorcycle chase through downtown Saigon that cracks me up every time I see it. Only the ludicrous final sequence of M.I.:II managed to best that, and it only managed to do so by descending into farce.
We also get to see a slightly darker more violent side of Bond in this film which, while not quite to the same level as Licence To Kill, really sets it up for the darker side of the British secret Agent to come out in The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day. Only few Bond films ever really try to deal with the character of Bond himself, and this one does its best to avoid the subject with admirable results.
Nearly ten years on now, and Tomorrow Never Dies has stood the test of time as a quality Bond film. Amazing action sequences, a great score, fantastic locations, skilled direction and photography - there is very little to criticise in this film. Certainly, Bond’s nemesis in this film comes across as a little weak, but this is more than made up for by his evil associates, especially Gotz Otto as the lean German killing machine Stamper.
Humorous, violent, full of spectacle, this is great entertainment.
This new Ultimate Edition of Tomorrow Never Dies is presented in its original 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced aspect ratio, mastered from a new high definition transfer. I saw this film twice at the cinema and numerous times on VHS and then DVD, but I’ve never seen it look this good.
Where this transfer really stands out from earlier releases is in its image definition. Much like Sony’s Superbit releases, this transfer has a much finer image detail. Although you are unlikely to notice a substantial difference on a smaller TV (I can still see a fine difference on my old 32 inch CRT screen), you will notice the difference on a bigger monitor – 60 inches and above. My comparisons were with the R1 release, which does not suffer from the film-to-video artefacts that plague the original R4 release. Once you get to 100 inches and above, though, you really appreciate the remastering. Mostly it’s little things, like background detail and foreground sharpness, but the difference is there.
The other major difference is the colour saturation and colour balance, which is remarkably different to the earlier releases, in a positive way. Things just look so naturally real-to-life. Shadow detail is far more pronounced and less murky than it was for the original R4 release or even the R1 release.
Film-to-video transfer artefacts are limited to some very minor background aliasing. This was rare, and I really had to strain to find it, so I doubt anybody is going to be perturbed by it.
There are subtitles available in a raft of languages as outlined above. I checked the English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles. They are quite accurate.
The dual layer pause is at 61:01. It occurs during a scene change and is barely noticeable.
Audio is available in English 5.1 DTS (768Kb/s), as well as English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (384Kb/s).
The Dolby Digital track is very good. The DTS track is nevertheless superior.
Dialogue is exceptional, with inflection and breathing sounds that were not apparent in any of the previous releases.
Surrounds are ever present, with several full surround fields established where you are being hit from all sides by sound. The score is also beautifully rendered.
The subwoofer was aggressively utilised to the point of being borderline over-utilised. Almost every sound effect seemed to employ the subwoofer. While this made for a very bassy and grinding soundtrack, it also meant that I had to turn the crossover down to prevent damage. Still, pretty impressive.
|Surround Channel Use|
All menus are 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, and most have a 2.0 Dolby Surround audio track. Some of the submenus are static and silent. All menus are uniformly clear and well presented.
Presented in 2.0 Dolby Surround, this is a decent if technical commentary.
Presented in 2.0 Dolby Surround.
Presented in 2.0 Dolby Surround, this is a fairly conversant commentary.
Presented 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, with 2.0 Dolby Surround, each chapter has about a 10 second motion segment to choose from.
Presented in a mix of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, and 1.33:1 Full Frame, most with 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround audio, this segment contains the following:
Presented in 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced, and 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround audio, this contains a series of snippets from the movie on each of the following topics:
Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, non-16x9 enhanced (often with a 2.35:1 inset, so you get black bars at the top and bottom), and 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround audio, this submenu contains the following:
Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround audio, this is a collection of the marketing material for the movie:
Presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced with the image inset within, these are a series of stills.
There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
There have been a lot of attempts at getting this right on DVD, including an initial release in the wrong aspect ratio, a re-release that was censored, and a release with some very average video. Thankfully, this new Ultimate Edition corrects all that. This new Ultimate Edition picks up all the special features of the earlier releases with a few new ones and then segregates them on a separate disc to maximise space on the first disc for movie content.
As for the Ultimate Editions themselves, we are told that the content of all Ultimate Editions worldwide will be the same. I would be curious to see how an NTSC image plays, but given the pristine faultless transfer here, I doubt it will make any difference to which one I decide to buy.
Tomorrow Never Dies is arguably the best Brosnan Bond films. With this one, they just got everything right. It’s a movie for the masses, but the masses are pleased.
This DVD transfer is excellent, and much better than the various earlier releases.
|DVD||Momitsu V880N Deluxe, using DVI output|
|Display||Sony VPL-HS50 WXGA LCD Cineza Projector with 100" Longhorn Pro-series 16:9 Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Digital Accoustics Emerald 703G - Centre, Front Left & Right, Rear Left & Right Satellites, Subwoofer|