Tomorrow Never Dies

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Details At A Glance

Category Bond Theatrical Trailer(s) Yes, 1
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1997 Commentary Tracks Yes, 1 - Michael G. Wilson (Producer) and Vic Armstrong (Second Unit Director)
Running Time 114 minutes Other Extras Booklet
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 4 Director Roger Spottiswoode

Warner Brothers
Starring Pierce Brosnan
Jonathan Pryce
Michelle Yeoh
Teri Hatcher
Joe Don Baker
Judi Dench
RRP $34.95 Music David Arnold

Pan & Scan/Full Frame No MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
English Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 2.35:1    
Macrovision ?    
Subtitles English
English for the Hard of Hearing

Plot Synopsis

    Bond. James Bond. You either love him or hate him. Suave, sophisticated, and eminently marketable, James Bond has made his way merrily to the moviemaking pot of gold some 18 times now. Pierce Brosnan is the current incarnation of James Bond, and a highly suitable Bond he makes.

    Tomorrow Never Dies is a typical Bond movie. It opens with a spectacular action sequence, we see Bond save the world from a wicked mastermind bent on starting World War III (who as usual bites the dust in a most unusual fashion), and he gets to seduce lots of glamorous women along the way, all without a hair out of place. Well, maybe a little shaken, but certainly not stirred. And, we get to be amazed by the menagerie of Bond gadgets supplied by Q.

    The villain in this instalment of the franchise is Elliot Carver, ably played by Jonathan Price, a media mogul intent on creating a global media empire, and not above starting a war to feed his presses. The villain's hard to kill sidekick and his henchmen are German, suitably nastily led by Stamper (Gotz Otto).

    The glamorous ladies in this piece are Paris Carver (Teri Hatcher) and Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh). Paris Carver is the helpless female, and Wai Lin is the independent, aggressive female with a number of gadgets of her own.

    What plot there is exists to take us from action sequence to action sequence, and boils down to Carver trying to start a war between Britain and China. Bond, of course, must save the day. The action sequences are spectacular and plentiful, providing lots of eye and ear candy along the way.

Transfer Quality


    The video transfer of this movie is impeccable, with virtually nothing to complain about. This is a reference quality disc.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced. The DVD cover indicates incorrectly that this disc is formatted at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1.

    The transfer was razor sharp and crystal clear. Shadow detail was generally superb except for two scenes; under the stealth boat and the end sequence between Bond and Wai Lin where I felt shadow detail was a little lacking. No low level noise was apparent.

    The colours were superbly rendered and very consistent throughout the entire movie.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts were not a problem with this transfer. Even scenes which can cause aliasing problems were impeccably transferred. Film artefacts were extremely rare and pretty much went unnoticed.


    There are two audio tracks on this DVD, the default English Dolby Digital 5.1, and an alternative English Audio Commentary Track, in Dolby Digital 2.0, surround-encoded.

    Dialogue was always very clear and easy to understand.

    There were no audio sync problems at all with this disc.

    The music by David Arnold is suitably Bond, ranging from sophisticated background music to exciting chase sequence music.

     The surround channels were aggressively used for music and special effects. I felt that the only improvement that could have been made to this soundtrack was to add in more surround ambience. I felt that some scenes lacked a little in this aspect. Otherwise, this is a superbly enveloping and aggressively directional surround mix.

    The .1 channel was often used for the numerous special effects and for the music. As is the case for any modern Bond film, don't stay at home without it (a subwoofer). The impact of this movie would be significantly lessened without a subwoofer.


    There are a reasonable selection of extras on this disc.


    The menu design is very plain, but straightforward to navigate. There is an option under the Special Features called Film Soundtrack. This appears to do nothing except start the movie with the normal English 5.1 soundtrack and with subtitles on. I can only surmise that this indicates that an Isolated Music Score was intended for this DVD but did not make it onto the disc for some reason.

Audio Commentary

    Michael G. Wilson (Producer) and Vic Armstrong (Second Unit Director) provide a moderately interesting commentary track. This is presented as a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, surround-encoded. The two of them discuss the movie in the centre channel with the movie soundtrack mixed in at a low level behind their discussion. As far as commentaries go, this is not the most boring commentary I have heard, but neither is it the most dynamic. Of course, it is infinitely superior to having no commentary at all.

Theatrical Trailer

    This is present, presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced. Interestingly, the sound mix is Dolby Digital 2.1, with surround-encoded information. This goes to show the importance of the subwoofer to the Bond movie genre, if even the theatrical trailer is specifically encoded to use it.


    An 8 page booklet discusses production issues quite extensively and is well worth the reading time.


    Tomorrow Never Dies is typical Bond fare presented on an outstanding DVD. As the first MGM disc I have looked at, it augers well for future releases.

    The video quality is reference quality.

    The audio quality is very near to reference quality.

    The extras present are acceptable, but more would have been welcome.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna
5th February 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer