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Episode 013: James Bonding

James Bonding #013: TOMORROW NEVER DIES with Jordan Morris

Special guest Jordan Morris joins the controversy between the Matts about Tomorrow Never Dies!

Follow @JamesBondingPOD@MattMira, and @MattGourley on Twitter!

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  1. morgoth says:

    Ugh.  I don’t really like this film either, but not as vehemently as Gourley.  I just think the script, for the most part, is awful.  This episode was ok, but sticking with the terrible pattern of recent episodes, they still revert to just watching and talking over scenes from the DVD rather than actually having a loose conversation about the film.

  2. CN says:

    Large aircraft goes missing and completely undetected by radar in the South China Sea?? …sounds oddly similar to the stealth boat in TND.

  3. Spencer says:

    This has one of the worst themes almost as bad as Madonna’s. It’s one of the few things I didn’t like about this Bond film.

  4. Stm007 says:

    kd Lang’s “Surrender” should definitely have been the opening theme to this. It wouldn’t have improved the script’s suckiness, but it is a marked improvement over Crow’s theme.

  5. Peter Tupper says:

    I’m a little surprised that you didn’t even mention Dr. Kaufman. Best henchman ever!

    I agree that his scene is one of those tonal shifts you mentioned, that we’re supposed to go instantly from Bond grieving over a murdered lover to Bond dealing with a whack-job assassin whose speciality is killing celebrities. Dr Kaufman belonged in a Roger Moore era Bond picture, but he stole that scene.

  6. Whatever your opinion is of this movie, the biggest tragedy is that KD Lang’s “Surrender” was used as ending credits music! Snubbed for Sheryl Crow trying to sound sexy and sophisticated. Here’s the opening titles with Surrender replacing Sheryl Crow:

    KD Lang was almost Bassey-esque! Close enough for me!

  7. Keith Allison says:

    I don’t know, maybe I don’t go to enough sites, but I think Mira is overstating things when he says that people consider Brosnan to be one of the worst Bonds. I’ve never seen someone rank him as the worst. In fact, I’ve seen several lists put him up as high as #3 of the franchise.

  8. Joshua Bryan Hammack says:

    I laughed so hard with Jordan Morris. I love the James Bond seducing Q jokes bit. I think this is my favorite Bronson bit, but have not seen it in years… I remember that I was into Hong Kong flicks at the time so that may have aided it. It was by far though from the worst Bond of all time. But take heart Matt G… the way you feel about Bronson is how I feel about Moore. His era will be a slug fest for me to listen to… and watch….

  9. Jacob Burghart (@JacobBurghart) says:

    I think The National would nail a bond theme…



    Broccoli, you listening?

  10. Bob G says:

    Good discussion from Mike and JayCobb. I haven’t picked between GoldenEye and TND but would rank TWINE as the best film of the Brosnan Bonds

    Good point in the show about Brosnan’s role in Thomas Crown. I’d forgotten it but enjoyed the film at the time and might put Brosnan’s Crown ahead of Steve McQueen’s. Dante’s Peak from the same era was pretty good, too. Interestingly Brosnan had a spy role in the 1987 period when he couldn’t be Bond: as a KGB officer infiltrating Britain in The Fourth Protocol (recommended).

  11. JayCobb1045 says:

    I’m really glad Mike took the initiative to break down the reasons he thinks TND is the best of the Brosnan films, because that really made it easier for me to articulate why I think it is not only the worst of the Brosnans but the worst overall! I previously had a hard time putting my finger on it, but going through the categories in Mike’s post…

    1. Pacing. This may just be a fundamental difference in what we’re looking for in movies, or at least in Bond movies. Explosions and action sequences are great, but I need a little bit more to get me interested. The things you say bog down Goldeneye are exactly what TND needs to make any of it matter. You say TND is better paced, but it sounds like you just mean faster paced, and that is not the same, for me at least. I’m more than willing to have a slower slightly drawn out exposition scene that, say, tells me more about Bond and Paris’ history or Carver’s background. Then I might actually care when she dies or when Carver’s plot gets foiled. As it is, the entire story is forgotten a few days after watching the movie.

    2. TND loses on Villains on all fronts. Pryce is a fine actor, but the way he plays Carver is so completely deranged that it loses any sense of reality. From the way he briefs his (presumably legit) staff, to the way he carries on at the cocktail party, this guy is completely over the top insane. Which would be fine if he was just a crazy villain who spent all his time holed up in his volcano lair, but he’s not! We’re supposed to believe that this is a very public media mogul, and nobody notices how ridiculously insane he is. And I might even be ok with that if we had any explanation at all for why he is how he is, but we get nothing. As for henchmen, I think Stamper is maybe the most boring useless henchman in the entire Bond series. We have absolutely nothing interesting about him except for the “Dr. Kaufman was my mentor” thing that they shoehorn in, either to somehow make the Kaufman scene relevant or make Stamper interesting. Personally, I think they should have made Ricky Jay’s character, Stamper, and Kaufman into one character – then there might be something interesting.

    3. I agree that Teri Hatcher is terrible in this movie. Wai Lin is a great character, but I almost don’t count her as a bond girl as much as I do an ally/sidekick like Columbo or Kerim Bey. That being said, her fight scenes and the motorcycle chase are some of the only redeeming parts of this one so TND does get points for her being in the movie. Whether she could kick Onatopp’s ass in a fight, though, doesn’t mean she’s a better element in the movie. And Natalya is easily better than Paris Carver – even though she was annoying as hell in Goldeneye for N64.

    4. I’ll grant you that the Goldeneye score is really bizarre and awful. If we’re just comparing Goldeneye and TND, then TND clearly wins this category, but overall is it enough to save TND from being the worst? No, it’s not.

    For what it’s worth, I like Brosnan and I like him as Bond – I think he’s a little too “Ken doll” at times and it’s hard for me to really believe him killing someone in cold blood, but I really don’t think he is to blame for his movies being weak – I think it’s writing and directing that we can blame for that.

  12. HeySwanSong says:

    I side with Morris on this one. Definitely not good but has its moments and isn’t offensively bad but more just mediocre. I would put it third out of the Brosnans, way ahead of DAD which I consider to be the worst Bond as well. Brosnan is never going to be mistaken for Daniel Day-Lewis, but he’s a better actor than Matt G gives him credit for.

  13. Mike says:

    Thanks for the episode–I loved the Goldeneye/Tomorrow Never Dies debate. As for me, I remember not liking this movie until I went through the series in order last year to prepare for Skyfall. I was very surprised to find that Tomorrow Never Dies was, by far, my favorite of the Brosnan entries. Allow me to make my case:

    1. TND had a dumber plot. But it was much better paced. Goldeneye had an interesting concept, and some great scenes. But they were bogged down with so much filler and exposition that getting to the good stuff took forever. TND, on the other hand, made every scene interesting in an insane sort of way. Even the dumb stuff wasn’t boring, and it continually moved the plot without over-explaining it.

    2. The main villain in Goldeneye was well written, and effectively played by Sean Bean. The villain in TND, on the other hand, was utterly ridiculous. But Jonathan Pryce is a great actor, and he committed to the stupidity so fully that he made it work. And Pryce had a much better henchman. So Goldeneye wins the villain contest, but it’s closer than it should have been.

    3. Teri Hatcher is incredibly annoying. But she dies half way through TND, and is replaced by Michelle Yeoh, who is probably the most kick-ass bond girl ever filmed. Xenia Onatopp was a fun character, if a little hammy. But Wai Lin could beat her ass blindfolded.

    4. The real trump card for TND, though, is the score. Goldeneye had, I’m going to say, the worst score in the whole series. When it wasn’t actively distracting from the action, it was just sitting in the background sucking all the fun out of every scene it was in. TND, on the other hand, had the best non-Barry score of any Bond film to date. Even the stupidest action scenes took on epic scope with David Arnold doing the heavy lifting. After hearing Eric Serra spend two hours actively sabotaging Goldeneye, the opening scene of TND gave me goose bumps. I hadn’t seen it in a while, but right from the pre-credits sequence I knew that this film might warrant a re-evaluation.

    The Goldeneye score was spectacularly awful. A real low point for the series. I hope you cover that when you get to it. And I hope the producers bring back David Arnold for the next Bond movie–I know Mendes won’t like it, but Thomas Newman just isn’t cut out for the job.

    That’s my take. Thanks for the show.

  14. Eddie Steak says:

    I love tomorrow never dies and this episode was great but it needed more Ian Fleming voice.

  15. Vince says:

    haha! I love the video game talk here:) I am eagerly awaiting the episodes you guys do after running out of Bond movies, and the video games are gonna be fun. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by EA’s original Bond games – Everything or Nothing is fantastic, and I’m a big fan of Nightfire as well. If you guys like Blood Stone, you’ll LOVE EoN. Though I’m also looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Goldeneye: Rogue Agent.

    It’s a cynical cash-grab leaning on the Goldeneye name to sell, and a mediocre FPS regardless, but the concept is actually cool I think. Putting you in the shoes, not of Bond, but of the bad guy. The equivalent of Jaws or Diamondface, and your thing is the titular Golden Eye. You’re also an MI6 agent who failed training. It’s a cool concept once you get past the cynicism; too bad the game is lacking…

    Oh, the game-talk will be fun. You guys HAVE to get a good guest though.

    Oh, and man – are you guys aware that Yar’s Revenge had a reboot a few years ago? So if you want to know what the old C64 game was actually about… your mind will be blown by this little-known, but actually really interesting, anime-tinged remake for the Xbox Live Arcade and PC. Link: Pay no mind to user ratings – people hate it because, apparently, it has nothing to do with whatever they thought the original game was about 😛 lol.

  16. Soylent Greenis says:

    I’ve always assumed that the reason Joe Don Baker is not Felix Leiter is because of what happened to Leiter in the Dalton film. Since the Craig movies are a reset of sorts, they could bring him back.

  17. EB says:

    I hope you guys keep doing episodes after you finish all the Bond material, perhaps based on other franchises/shows/etc. which you both enjoy. Hell, I would even love it if you just brought in Matt Gourley as a third host on FEaB. The Mosier episode was one of the best in my opinion.

  18. JUS7IAN says:

    It seems I’m the only one that was calm about this. I didn’t bring up any details about the movie and how ridiculous and hypocritical Matt’s reasoning is for not liking it. Without loosing my dignity I’ll say, he’s just one of those people, you know. That was my complaint, his unreasonable disdain and persona, it was just negative and too much work for the others. Also, enough with this rush through the episode attitude. We got to hurry and get this over with attitude is just disrespectful. I understand that you might or might not be on a schedule but do we have to hear about it every five minutes? It is really that much of a drag to make these? I personally love them and that’s saying a lot. I don’t even watch the movies before or after they talk about them but I have seen them all at least once and yet I still love to hear them talk about them, it’s a delight. Maybe they could try not to belittle the audience by having this rush through, get this over with attitude and if you don’t love the current one, don’t bring everyone else down with the hipster too cool for this movie attitude, unless you’re the other Matt. Apparently he gets upset that Pierce Brosnan is actually acting when no other bond did. Daniel Criag grunts and mutters a few lines with his mouth that barely opens. Right place right time, anyone could have done a good job with these current James Bond movies.

  19. KenM says:

    I am with team Mira on this particular point of contention. TND is a bit by the numbers, which disqualifies it from greatness, but as by the numbers Bond goes, it is very enjoyable and fits Brosnan like a tailored suit. I suspect Matt G’s abiding distaste for Brosnan is getting in the way of him enjoying some of the easy pleasures of this one versus certain arguably worse, but also entertaining Roger Moore entries. Saying that this is less enjoyable to watch than TWINE or DAD is a pretty big stretch. DAD is so bad that I had a weird feeling while watching it that the producers of the film held me in contempt — personally, not just as a general audience member.

  20. Andy says:

    Matt Gourley is allowed to have his own opinion about this, and I do really think it comes from his dislike of Brosnon. It is hard to dissasociate yourself from opinions you have had for a long time. I don’t mind Pierce and I liked this movie. I like the first 2 Pierce movies a lot, I think they are solid fun movies though I wish Pierce had a haircut in Goldeneye. I definetly see Gourley’s point though and I’d rather watch the ridiculous Bonds than the just good ones sometimes. Like this isn’t a movie I’d put on for my brother who is a casual fan (at best.) If I’m not going to put a “great one” on, would I show him Die Another Day or Diamonds are Forever? Hell yeah. They are crazy and I love it. I’ll be honest I didn’t think this one would be so polarizing on the podcast and in the comments!

    It is clear to me that both Matts love Bond and I don’t think it is fair to question their love of this. I think we have just hit a stretch that Matt Gourley doesn’t like. If you look at his old blog where he ranked the Bond movies most of these didn’t poll too highly. I think soon you will get back into ones he likes and he will be a little cheerier about them. But again, folks are allowed to have opinions that differ from yours, especially on their podcast.

    Also anyone notice Pierce kept biting Teri Hatcher’s shoulder during make out sessions? (and after she died) Is that a real move? Have I been doing this wrong…

  21. NiceJob says:

    I’ve seen all the Brosnan ones and they all lack rewatchability for me. I’m with Gourley on this one. Some pretty Bond girls but that’s it.

  22. GIbs says:

    Great episode, fellas. I like that we got 2 polar opposite opinions on it without it being put on just for the show.

    It made me laugh every time MG described a thing that happened in the movie that annoyed him as being the distillation of what is wrong with the film or with Brosnan’s Bond in general.

  23. Ben says:

    I love Pierce Brosnan. He is unquestionably my favourite Bond, and Goldeneye is my favourite Bond movie.

    Tomorrow Never Dies though – it sucks. And for pretty much the reasons Gourley cites – it’s so middle of the road, by the numbers. There are definitely things to like about it (I really like the cold open, for some reason), I don’t think it’s the worst Bond film by any stretch, but it definitely ain’t great.

    I continue to love the podcast you guys, I eagerly anticipate it every week. It’s given me a great excuse to revisit each movie with my wife. Keep it up!

  24. Tanya says:

    I enjoyed your guest on this episode a lot! I’ve been a Bond fan since I can remember, even with all the bad stuff. I have a purist vision of vampires (no diamond skinned day-walkers need apply), I also have the same thing with the Bond formula that needs to work. My least favorite Bond is Roger Moore, I don’t like his cheesy lines (or delivery) and he looks too old for the part from the get go.

    My favorite Bond film is Diamonds are Forever, and I’ve probably seen it more than any of the other ones! I wish I could be your podcast guest for it, but I live in Iowa and don’t plan to fly to LA anytime soon!

    Keep up the great work Matt and Matt!

  25. TheNME says:

    Tomorrow Never Dies is a FANTASTIC Bond film. The problem is that Gourley doesn’t WANT to like it. Which is most apparent when Mira runs down all of the Bond tropes Gourley praises other films for. The fact that he didn’t even watch it close to the podcast shows his apathy towards it. With that said, not bitching, everyone’s entitled to their opinion. But I honestly think if he gave it a fair chance he’d like it. There’s no way anyone can actually believe Die Another Day or The World is Not Enough are better films.

  26. Ken says:

    Stop the Brosnan hating!! With an objective eye, you can see that Connery’s bond was a sociopath and Moore’s was a child-man (although I enjoy them both). Brosnan played the role IMO as a real person would be in that job might be, a mix of both Connery and Moore.

  27. BRR II says:

    Lay off Gourley, it’s his podcast and he is fucking awesome. They address all of your whiny concerns right at the top of the podcast. You can love something and see it’s flaws. Sometimes liking something and becoming a nerd for it makes the flaws that much more apparent. I like Brosnan, but I also think this is the worst Bond movie. The script is terrible, the villain and his plan are stupid, and the Chinese counter-intelligence agent character was awful. I would rather watch The World Is Not Enough or Die Another Day 5 times than watch this movie again. Best scene in this movie is Dr. Kaufman and his insane accent.

  28. jdge439 says:

    Geoffrey Palmer was the captain on the Titanic in the Doctor who Christmas special, “Voyage of the Damned”

    Colin Stinton was the U.S. president in the Doctor who episode, “The Sound of Drums”.

  29. Spencer says:

    Also Tilda Swinton as the villain for the next bond movie

  30. Spencer says:

    I agree with Mira and actually enjoy this one it’s dumb and cheesy but still fun despite it’s problems. Also, I agree with Gourley and like Diamonds are Forever it’s so bad but I loved it for some reason

  31. ScottYArnold says:

    my co-worker’s sister-in-law makes $86/hr on the computer. She has been fired for eight months but last month her paycheck was $18713 just working on the computer for a few hours. why not try here………………………..

  32. Cinjun Smythe says:

    I’m convinced Gourley doesn’t actually like Bond movies, or maybe he’s discovering it as he does these podcasts. The level of disdain he has for specific bits of Bond movies(CG, “I hate it when Bond knows too much.”) makes it sound like these movies were something his dad drug him to against his will and now in the podcast he gets to therapeutically lament over these dreadful moments from his childhood.

    That or he just REALLY hates Pierce Brosnan. 🙂

  33. Raph says:

    I think it says something when every week the commenters can and do provide more accurate and insightful information about the subject than the hosts themselves are able to on the podcast.

  34. wafflesnsegways says:

    Great episode. I never would have predicted that THIS would be the movie to cause so much disagreement. I remember it being kind of dumb and rote, but still enjoyable in spots – kind of like most of the other lesser James Bond movies. (But I haven’t seen it since it came out, and it sounds like it hasn’t aged very well. Maybe I should find it again.)

    On the discussion at the end about the consensus on “worst Bond film” – my dad was 11 or 12 when Goldfinger came out, so he is right in the age group that loves the Connery movies. He told me that he kept going to see the movies as they came out, until he went and saw Moonraker. Then he thought, “I’m an adult. Why am I doing this?”

    I get the sense that Moonraker was a tipping point for a lot of people – the point where the Bond movies crossed some kind of line for them. I think that’s why people dislike it so much, even though it can be goofy fun if you get past that.

  35. Bella says:

    The Cardigans was asked to do a Bond-song but turned it down. But in 1998 Peter Svensson the guitarist write the music to the a song that competed in the Swedish music competition for the Eurovision Song Contest…. in interviews Peter have said that this was his attempt to write a Bond-song.
    It was called in “Långsamma timmar” (Slow hours)

  36. JUS7IAN says:

    The other Matt reminds me of those hipster jerks that think their opinions are the only right one and they affirm everything as to give everyone he’s talking to permission to exclaim something. Does everyone around you have to suffer because you’re a spoiled little kid that doesn’t like something? God forbid! It reminds me of this week when Chris appeared on Craig Ferguson with Marc Maron and another white guy. When Chris talked about the implement of Doctor Who’s Tardis into his home, Marc overreacts to imply that Chris is an idiot for doing such. Marc is the definition of a loser but his hipster mentality that his opinion is the only right one is just childish and you can see why he’s alone in real life. So other Matt just waits for someone to say something negative so he can jump on it with a “YES”!, or “I Know, I Know”, and if he says “Camp” again he’ll win a new hat. Then he points out how he watched the movie two weeks ago with his smug persona and even talks negative about hipsters. Why is it that most hipsters don’t think they are hipsters? Bravo other Matt, you’re even too cool for your own podcast, how appropriate. I hope Matt rips your good Bond movies in half and drags the tone down.(I only said tone once) Being a hipster is not an age group it’s an attitude, you nailed it.

  37. Pan of Steel says:

    Great episode. TND reminds me of mornings working as a cinema usher, sleeping off hangovers at the back of theatre. I used to know every line – from the chinese fighter pilots at the start to mein bureau hat ein auto reserviet.

    By the way, Ricky Jay was hired because he is an expert card thrower. There was supposed to be a Bond vs. lethal card thrower scene. However, they dropped it because it was too fast to see on film.

    Also, Carver’s suicide story was an allusion to the media mogul Robert Maxwell’s ‘mysterious’ death some years earlier.

    Keep up the good work, chaps!

  38. Fartbooty says:

    I was just watching this today! weird

  39. Wildride says:

    Julian Fellowes was also in Goldeneye. I mean, not the Bond film, but the TV film about his creator. To me he’ll always be Kilwillie from Monarch of the Glen.

  40. Admiral Kent says:

    This movie is crap. By the numbers Bond…and the third go around for this story. The first being You Only Live Twice, followed later by The Spy Who Loved Me (both also being films in which Bond appears in uniform). The Brosnan Bond series is just as disjointed and disappointing as the ST:TNG movie series.

    (Please read the following to yourself in Matt G’s Ian Fleming voice:)

    Brosnan was a Bond for the Clinton era. They both struggled to meet high expectations and hype, were concerned with building a lasting legacy and attempted to do so by trying to be all things to all people…this great unifying but ultimately ineffectual force.

  41. Chris says:

    When Paris asks Bond whether she got too close, when he says “yes”, I always understood it as Bond playing her. I think he made her think she meant more to him than she actually did. I think she was more into him than he was (obviously) and he used that. I still think he was upset when his old flame was killed, but I don’t think he was extremely broken up about it.

  42. Chris says:

    When Paris asks Bond whether she got too close. When he says “yes” I always took it as he was playing her for being more serious than he actually was at the time. He lies to her to make her trust him more. Sure he liked her and was upset that an old flame was murdered, but I never thought she was a serious love of his life.

  43. Scot says:

    This should be #13, not the second #12. Duration of 2:06:23 .

  44. Damien says:

    So wait a second….. You’re telling me I get the Matts, and the always enjoyable JoMo. This episode just became my favorite without even listening to it. Keep it up guys, love the show.