As LS has pointed out, the 40th Anniversary Bond film DIE ANOTHER DAY is a mess of movie -- too much bad dialogue, too much bad cgi and just too over the top and all over the place. Which is a shame, as the core story is pure classic Bond, but all that is lost on the audience by the producers kitchen sink approach to story telling and a director who I feel was ill suited for the Bond franchise.
But I knew there was a good Bond movie buried within, as I had seen evidence of it many years before in ADM's version BEYOND THE ICE. While that fan edit was very, very good, I can honestly say Last Survivor's version is aggressively superior and well worth the watch.
As with all of LS's edits, his passion for the material oozes in every scene. He knows Bond. He knows the character and franchise. He knows what works and what does not. And that knowledge gives him power and security in his editing.
He has deftly removed all the truly offending elements of the film -- horrible sexual innuendo, bad gci, the ridiculous invisible car -- and created a Bond adventure more fitting of this iconic character and a proper closing chapter to the Pierce Brosnan era.
It should also be noted, LS has once again done some fantastic audio work throughout this fan edit, replacing music in several key scenes with an expert's touch. Bravo!
To say I enjoyed this edit, would be an understatement. It was a wonderful piece of entertainment. I do have one tiny nitpick -- the John Cleese Q scene. In its new edited form it plays too short, throwing off the pacing of the film. LS acknowledges this in his commentary, but felt this was best for the over all narrative. Myself, I think to remove all acknowledgement that this is 40th anniversary film was maybe a mistake. For me, Q's workshop is the perfect place to pay homage to Bond's past exploits and was one of the few tribute moments in the original that actually worked. I also thought the VR training sequence that leads into it was logical and worked too. But as I said, this is personal preference and only a minor quibble.
Now no Last Survivor fan edit experience is complete until you listen to the commentary! Once again, a very informative and entertaining experience. Professional producers could take a lesson from LS on how to do a proper dvd commentary. He fills his commentary with not only how he made the edit and why he made the cuts he did, but shares his insights and history with the Bond franchise on a very engaging and personal level. Definitely a great listen!!!
And best of all, LS hints in his commentary that he may not yet be done with Bond. That another Bond edit or two may lurk in the future. I sure hope so!!! Bring on the Bond!
This fanedit is FANTASTIC! LS has taken a turd of a film and turned it into a great Bond flick. I thoroughly enjoyed my 110 minutes with Mr Bond.
There's also a great commentary track which is worth a listen.
Read on for minor gripes / suggestions:
Audio was in 2.0 instead of 5.1, so I docked a few points on quality. But other than that sounded great throughout.
Video was flawless, though a couple of slightly bitty shots during the ice palace escape and in a few of the "witty" exchanges it was clear something had been cut.
I think LS went a little overboard with cutting ALL the quips (like "saved by the bell" - that's very Bond after a big set piece), which made Bond a little too serious all the time. But it's better than the buffoon he became in the original.
Q is sorely missed. I think it was a mistake to cut this sequence - the film is overly serious, and this was a natural point of levity (and call out to the 40 year anniversary).
I also personally liked the invisible car, especially as they explained how it was done in a reasonably believable way. But its removal was handled well (and reminded me what I *didn't* like in the original - sneaking in the car behind the guards. What- did the car become silent as well? And there's snow on the ground. A car on snow makes a hang of a racket, crunch, crunch, even without a engine!)
My only real gripe was keeping in the bit with everyone being sucked out the window and the plane going out of control. Gaaah! Hollywood always does this but 1. the pressure equalises extremely quickly, so there's only a few *seconds* of air rush (during which people, chairs, etc CAN be sucked out, yes), 2. the plane does *not* start to crash because of air equalisation!! Planes go down because PILOTS put them into a dive. Why? Oxygen. There's no oxygen at high levels, and that's far more dangerous than the rushing wind.
Anyway, I thought you could have put Jinx steering the plane towards Icarus earlier and Icarus makes the plane go into a dive.
I also agreed with you - the helicopter CGI was not great. You could have trimmed a bit more of the exploding plane (especially the part where it's hitting the helicopter like hail. You could also make the helicopter autorotate - that is, that it starts up because of the speed of the air over its blades. That's actually what I thought Bond's plan was originally. And yes, the cars are a bit daft - but its a great visual gag and worth keeping. His dreams really did meet gravity!
This review may seem negative but it actually isn't: I've only mentioned where I thought there was another option (like a few more quips and Q) - only one gripe (booo Hollywood aeroplane physics). If there's every a v2 or an alternate cut, I'd love to see it, but for now Icarus is THE go-to version of DAD.