James Bond Headliners of 1999
Retooling James Bond For The Millennium
July 30, 1999 - Matt Wolf for the Associated Press
IVER HEATH, England -- Agent 007 tumbles four storeys down the outer skin of the huge Millennium Dome, chasing the Cigar Girl.
It has been a typical Bondian pursuit: first speedboats, then a hot-air balloon that explodes, landing the intrepid British agent on top of the Dome -- the exhibition centre celebrating millennial themes -- where he rolls until he hits bottom and sprains his shoulder.
Bam. Up pop the credits. Yes, James Bond is back, with some old familiar faces, a new director and a new villain in The World Is Not Enough.
The opening sequence, a show of derring-do crucial to establishing the film's pulsating tone, is being shot outside Pinewood Studios west of London on a rainy late spring day.
A scaled-down model of Britain's gargantuan Millennium Dome, which sits quite nicely by the Thames in Greenwich, southeast London, awaiting the end of the year, has been constructed.
"We could do with a bit less of this bloody weather," director Michael Apted remarks, while the sets get ever soggier. Apted is an Englishman, one of the classiest directors to do Bond, and is better known for guiding Sissy Spacek to an Academy Award for her portrayal of country music queen Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter.
Meanwhile, Pierce Brosnan, now for the third time stepping into the 007 role immortalized by Sean Connery, is off keeping dry while stunt double Mark Mottram hurtles gamely down the Dome.
"I'm looking for a natural tumble rather than a contrived roll," says stunt co-ordinator Simon Crane, who worked as a Bond double in the 1980s for one-time 007 Timothy Dalton.
"You've got to make it look natural; it's all in the timing," says Crane. "We need to pretend Bond's shoulder has been, say, pulled out of joint."
And this, he says, is one of the easier stunts in a film that features boat chases, skiing sequences and a chain saw-wielding helicopter.
Brosnan is nearby in his Pinewood suite, looking as unruffled offscreen as on-screen. He is painting. A few pictures by him hanging on his dressing room walls show an artistic style that resembles a more florid Matisse. The fifth and latest Bond, his burnished tan a testament to his Malibu home, is turning 46 in a few days. The Bond franchise isn't much younger, dating back 37 years to Dr. No in 1962.
"My last experience on Tomorrow Never Dies was a good one, but an arduous one in the sense that the script wasn't well-founded, and it was wall-to-wall action," he says. "I couldn't do that again. Not for a 25-week shoot."
Budgeted at around $110 million, The World Is Not Enough has been shot in Turkey, Spain, the French Alps, and the Azerbaijani capital of Baku. It opens Nov. 19 in North America.
Judi Dench and Samantha Bond are back for their third go-round as M and Moneypenny. Robert Carlyle, star of The Full Monty, is the villainous Renard. Sophie Marceau (Braveheart) and Denise Richards (Starship Troopers) are Bond's leading ladies. Marceau is Elektra King, daughter of a slain oil tycoon, while Richards plays a nuclear weapons expert named Christmas.
All the ingredients that make Bond movies popular are there, Brosnan says -- "Wit, naked ladies, titillation, and then Bond goes on a mission."
Brosnan shows up this month opposite Rene Russo in a remake of The Thomas Crown Affair and, in September, he'll appear in director Richard Attenborough's Grey Owl, shot among the ice floes and snow of Quebec.
"For me as an actor, I've always felt I can do anything," Brosnan says, "but, of course, you soon know your limitations and people will impose limitations on you."
Is Bond a kind of straitjacket then?
"Some of it is a pain in the neck," the actor says. "But the positive side is far more engaging and just fun, really."
It's a family affair, too: A polite knock on the door and in comes the movie's third assistant director, Brosnan's son, Christopher.
Co-producer Michael Wilson says audiences want more than bigger explosions and better stunts, and are looking for the human element. "Audiences don't tire of a fascinating story and fascinating characters," he says. "They tire of bigger explosions and bigger effects."
Chris Corbould has worked on nine Bond films, starting as a trainee at 16 on The Spy Who Loved Me, and now manages 80 people whose job is to make the computer-generated effects seem real.
"People still like to know that somebody has taken a risk somewhere," he says. "We try to do everything for real in real time."
Still, how realistic and topical can Bond be and still appeal to all generations across so many decades?
"I don't think you can ever forget you're in a Bond movie," Brosnan says. "This comes with such a mythology, a cinematic mythology, for almost 40 years."
"You're part of the history books," he says. "You are forever stamped."
The Naked Truth
August 2, 1999 - by Steve Tilley for The Edmonton Sun
HOLLYWOOD -- "You feel pretty stupid in a G-string. It's just kind of itchy."
Not the words one would expect to come from the lips of debonair secret agent James Bond. But while Pierce Brosnan has that famous Bond face and flair, his real-life charm is much more down-to-earth.
"I have been naked on stage before, I have been naked in film before," Brosnan continues. "I don't have that much of a problem about doing it."
Thus, Brosnan strips down to his birthday suit for his love scenes in The Thomas Crown Affair (opening Friday), a remake of the 1968 heist film that starred Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. (Sorry, ladies, you only get to see his backside.)
Brosnan, who also produced the film, plays self-made billionaire and art collector Thomas Crown, a well-respected businessman who masterminds the theft of a priceless Monet from a New York museum.
Rene Russo of Lethal Weapon fame co-stars as the sophisticated insurance investigator who thinks there's more to Crown than meets the eye. The 45-year-old actress also leaves little to the imagination in their sex scenes. "You just have to get over it," Brosnan says of the pair's on-camera nudity.
"I had a lot of champagne. I tried to make her (Russo) drink champagne, but she wasn't having any of it."
Looking tanned and relaxed in a V-neck sweater and sporting a three-day growth of beard, Brosnan speaks about his love for the original McQueen film and the care director John McTiernan (Die Hard) took in remaking it.
"I saw the original when I was about 15, and it was kind of my introduction to the movies," Brosnan says.
"I didn't try to reproduce (Steve McQueen), nor did I want to reproduce him. One has to discover one's own sense of cool."
Much of Brosnan's sense of cool is owed to the James Bond series. As moviedom's fifth Bond, he's also been the most financially successful - GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies are the two top-grossing Bond films ever. Brosnan's third outing as the man who likes his martinis shaken, not stirred, is The World is Not Enough, due in theatres in November.
Directed by Michael Apted, best known for 1994's Nell with Jodie Foster, as well as the six-part documentary series that began in 1964 with Seven Up, the latest Bond flick will favour character over calamity, Brosnan says.
"We have a story which I think has a bit more maturity than the other two. It's got action, but I couldn't do a Tomorrow Never Dies again. It was just wall-to-wall.
"I want to go back to character. What is the relationship between Bond and Q? What is the relationship between Bond and M? What is at stake? What is the emotional content?"
Rumours have circulated that Brosnan might be ready to hang up his Walther PPK and let the Bond mantle pass on to someone else. Not so, he says.
While he has fulfilled his contractual obligation to the franchise with The World is Not Enough, audiences can expect to see Brosnan in 007's shoes again.
"We'll do a fourth," he says. "I want to do a fourth."
Brosnan admits his life is good, though he hasn't always had an easy time of it. In 1991 his wife, Australian actress Cassandra Harris, died of ovarian cancer.
"That was a very, very painful time, completely unexpected. Not the way we'd talked about or planned it. "But it happens, and you just get on with it and you make the best of it and you appreciate it."
Right now, Brosnan is appreciating his new granddaughter Isabelle Sophie, born to stepdaughter Charlotte. Just don't call him grandpa.
"We like to say pappy. Granddaddy is just not quite where I want to put myself right now," he says with a laugh. "I'm still young and vital."
Brosnan: I'm Still Bond
August 9, 1999 - Mr. ShowBiz
Would-be Bonds, don't start getting that tuxedo fitted just yet. Pierce Brosnan, the fifth man to order his martinis shaken, not stirred, says he's not ready to resign his post.
"I don't think my investigation of the role is over yet," he told Entertainment Weekly. "I love playing James Bond, and for me it's just gotten sweeter and better. And it's certainly turned my life around."
Indeed, after his Remington Steele TV gig, the actor went from supporting roles in Mrs. Doubtfire and Lawnmower Man to one of the highest-profile acting gigs in filmdom.
Earlier rumors that the Irish-born actor was weary of the Bond role appear unfounded. That doesn't mean it isn't a tough job, but for now, Brosnan thinks he's still the man to do it.
The actor told EW, "It's been a very hectic four, five years since doing GoldenEye, and I want to give it some space between doing this Bond movie and the next one. At the end of the year I'm planning to sit back and take stock of things."
Even the indomitable James Bond is showing wear and tear. In the 19th Bond film, The World Is Not Enough, due Nov. 19, Bond suffers a shoulder injury early in the film and has to ease up on the heroics.
Brosnan snuck in two films before returning to the screen as Bond. The Thomas Crown Affair opened in fourth place this week, and The Grey Owl, which opens in Canada Oct. 1, finds Brosnan sans black tie as an Englishman who travels to Canada, lives as a Native American and becomes a famous nature writer and conservationist. "I came off those roles with a certain amount of confidence and strength, so I think it could be good for the [Bond] movie," he said.
He seems philosophical about being part of a franchise: "Whether I do a fourth or a fifth or a sixth Bond movie, I would suspect there would be somebody else after me," he told EW. He also admitted to throwing out most of the faux-Bond films scripts that come his way. "Most of them go in the trash," he shrugs. "Or they just sit there."
He can rest assured that his position in the hierarchy of screen Bonds is well above of that of duds Timothy Dalton and one-timer George Lazenby. Those gents' outings as 007 are on the bottom of the video rental food chain.
Carlyle Tops Bond Villains
August 17, 1999 - Empire Online
Robert Carlyle has been voted the best Bond Villain ever in a poll taken after a recent screening of the nineteenth bond film, The World is not Enough(released on November 19).
Carlyle plays an assassin called Reynard, who cannot feel pain due to a bullet lodged in the nerve-sensing part of his brain.
Meanwhile Pierce Brosnan has confirmed rumours that the next Bond movie in the series will be his last, and is currently hard at work promoting The Thomas Crown Affair, which he hopes will be “a big hit”.
Barry Blasts Bond Movies
September 6, 1999 - Empire Online
Award-winning composer John Barry, writer of many memorable Bond scores, has criticised the latest generation of Bond movies. Barry said that he believes that writers on the new generation of Bond films are not as talented as Bond creator Ian Fleming. Speaking to a free London newspaper, Barry said, “[Bond films] used to have terrific stories because they were all based on the work of the original writer, who knew what he was doing”.
Barry’s outburst is unlikely to prompt an adverse reaction to the nineteenth Bond film, The World is not Enough, released on November 19. Sneak screenings have already resulted in an impromptu poll which voted Robert Carlyle – who plays an assassin called Reynard – Best Bond Villain Ever.
Bond Taken By Pirates
November 8, 1999 - Empire Online
Internet bootleggers have got the better of James Bond. A copy of the latest 007 film The World Is Not Enough has been stolen before its official release and is available free over the web.
Investigators believe this is the first time a top film has been nabbed by internet thieves before it has reached the cinemas.
The club's website could only be accessed by people who were given its seven-digit address as a reward for supplying it with early copies of films. The site has now been closed but the film is still being duplicated.
None of this was done for profit but rather as part of a long-running rivalry between hackers who pride themselves on distributing copies of films, computer games and software before their official release.
As an expert said in The Sunday Times: "They are in it for the technical challenge rather than the money - which is why not even James Bond can beat them."
Robbie's Bond Dreams
November 8, 1999 - Empire Online
Robbie Williams has approached Eon, the film company behind the 19 James Bond films, including the soon-to-be-released The World is Not Enough to express his interest in taking over once Pierce Brosnan steps down after the next Bond film.
Williams has always been a keen Bond fan and dressed up as 007 in this video for the song Millennium.
A Hollywood source quoted in The Sunday Times said last week: "Robbie has undoubted charisma, but he would have to prove himself in a few minor roles before he could come close to claiming Brosnan's crown. James Bond takes a lot more than the ability to moon at teenage girls."
But Robbie is serious - and is prepared to take acting lessons and a year off from his music career to see if he can achieve his goal.
Bond Premieres In Los Angeles
November 10, 1999 - Empire Online
Pierce Brosnan joined co-stars Denise Richards, Robbie Coltrane, John Cleese and Desmond Llewelyn last night for the US premiere of The World Is Not Enough in Los Angeles. The film, which opens in the UK November 26, is the nineteenth Bond movie and promises to be one of the most exciting in the series.
Brosnan recently said that he will surrender the Bond mantle after one more film, but last night he told reporters, "I would love to do a fourth. This one was a joy to do, for many reasons. Michael Apted is such a fine director."
Next Bond Film Not Till 2002
November 11, 1999 - Canoe
Even secret agents need a holiday from saving the world. Entertainment Weekly says once "The World Is Not Enough" opens, star Pierce Brosnan wants to give 007 a well-earned vacation.
Brosnan has committed to a fourth turn as James Bond but has asked MGM studios -- which owns the Bond franchise -- to take a three-year break before production begins on a new Bond film, although the studio will likely resist mothballing their most lucrative series.
"I'm wondering if I can get away with it, because the studio is going to be pretty tenacious,'' Brosnan told Entertainment Weekly.
"The producers might like a longer hiatus, because these movies are hard to make. To do another one the year after next, you have to start pre-production now."
Part of the motive for taking a Bond breather would be to avoid getting caught in a casting rut as a smooth-talking adventurer -- similar to his non-Bond turn in this summer's remake of "The Thomas Crown Affair," he said In EW.
"I try not to be pigeonholed, but you find yourself being pigeonholed when you think you're not. I really don't worry about it too much as long as the next job is there."
November 12, 1999 - Empire Online
The line-up of stars hoping to step into Bond's shoes gets longer every day, but they'll all be disappointed if Pierce Brosnan has anything to do with it.
Speaking to the Daily Express today, Brosnan - who still has to sign on the dotted line for a fourth go at Bond - is keen to be the one that ends the series. 'I'd like to see him killed off,' he told reporters. 'I want to have a death scene with Bond. Now that would be something.'
The star, who was in Ireland yesterday to accept the Freedom of the Town from his hometown Navan, also spoke of how he felt when he was prevented from taking the role of James Bond when it was first offered to him. 'That it didn't happen was shocking,' he said of the decision made by the Remington Steele producers not to release him from his contract. 'I got really angry when the penny dropped.'
Evil, And Loving It -
Robert Carlyle Relishes His Role As Bond Master Villain
November 15, 1999 - by Louis B. Hobson for Calgary Sun
NEW YORK -- By being very, very bad, Robert Carlyle has made his father a very happy man.
In the new James Bond movie The World Is Not Enough, opening Friday, Carlyle plays Renard, a psychopath bent on world domination.
"My dad used to take me to all the Bond movies when I was a child. Sean Connery was my hero because he was the only one in the movies who sounded like me," says Carlyle, the star of such movies as The Full Monty and Ravenous.
"When I got this Bond movie, my father was just over the moon."
Carlyle was always a fan of the Bond villains and his favourite was Donald Pleasence's Ernst Stavro Blofeld from You Only Live Twice.
"It's the reason I shaved my head," he says. "It's a homage to Donald Pleasence. At first, there was talk about Renard having a hawk just like Donald had a cat.
"I was terrified the thing would peck my eyes out or weigh down my shoulder, so I was relieved when the pet thing was scrapped."
Carlyle admits without hesitation he did none of his own stunts.
"They tell you they need you for the next day, so you just have to sit back and watch someone else risk their life.
"Pierce Brosnan has seven stunt men. I just had this one wee little guy with a shaved head who did all mine."
The Ties That Bond
November 16, 1999 - by Steve Tilley for The Edmonton Sun
HOLLYWOOD -- Say it ain't true, Q!
Speculation has been rampant that the latest James Bond adventure, The World is Not Enough, will mark the last outing for the movie franchise's most endearing and enduring supporting character, that of gadget master Q.
For 17 of the 19 official Bond films, Welsh actor Desmond Llewelyn has portrayed the inventive genius who designs Bond's high-tech toys, from a Lotus sports car that turns into a submarine to a wristwatch with dual lasers and a grappling hook.
Opening Friday, The World is Not Enough introduces a new character to the 007 milieu - Q's befuddled assistant R, played by Monty Python alumnus John Cleese.
It was an idea that tickled the fancy of many Bond fans, until it was learned that Q has what appears to be a farewell scene in The World is Not Enough, in which he offers Bond some parting words of advice and then is lowered out of the camera frame on a hydraulic lift.
Could this be a way of signalling the end of Q? Not if Llewelyn has anything to say about it.
The 85-year-old actor promises he will return as Q in future Bond films for as long as he's able, saying he holds the franchise near and dear to his heart.
"Really, when I'm not working I just sit and watch TV, which is ghastly. It's much better to go out on the road," says a remarkably spry and witty Llewelyn.
However, Llewelyn says he believes Cleese will become Bond's gadget man when Llewelyn does retire.
"He's marvellous. You can see how good he is. I think he's there, and I think he will take over."
Llewelyn first portrayed the character Major Boothroyd in the second Bond film, 1963's From Russia With Love. For the next film, 1964's Goldfinger, Boothroyd became known by his British Intelligence code name, Q.
Llewelyn has played Q in every Bond film since, save for Live and Let Die, in which Q doesn't appear, and the "unofficial" Bond films Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again.
Llewelyn admits he had doubts about ever stepping into Q's secret laboratory again after 1989's Licence to Kill, which marked the beginning of a six-year hiatus for the Bond franchise.
When GoldenEye was given the green light for release in 1995, the introduction of Pierce Brosnan as James Bond wasn't the only new face in the cast - M became a woman (played by Judi Dench) and Miss Moneypenny's shoes were filled by another newcomer, Samantha Bond.
"I was incredibly lucky to still be in the films when Pierce took over, because after all there was that long gap and everyone was replaced."
Llewelyn, who admits he fumbles with any gadget more complicated than a television set, has become a storehouse of James Bond lore, serving as a living link to nearly every movie in the franchise.
"Bond is a most wonderful leveller, because what do I talk to young people about?" says Llewelyn. "I've got no interest to them whatsoever. Bond is the bridge."
And even if he is replaced by Cleese at some point, it's unlikely Llewelyn's profile will diminish any time soon, as the past exploits of 007 seem to draw in successive generations of young viewers.
"My grandchildren, the eldest is eight, he absolutely loves the Bond films," Llewelyn says. "So we've got that generation coming on.
"If they keep up this formula, I can't see how the Bond films can end."
Llewelyn has worked with every 007 from Sean Connery to Pierce Brosnan. The affable actor's insights on the many faces of Bond, James Bond:
* Sean Connery, the original James Bond, played 007 in the first five Bond films, then returned a sixth time for Diamonds Are Forever.
"Sean, naturally, was the first, and he was the prototype Bond back in those days," says Llewelyn. "People who saw him first (as Bond) prefer him."
* Australian actor George Lazenby had but one Bond film to his credit, 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service. He was never asked to return to the role.
"Poor old Lazenby, he just wasn't an actor. But he wasn't bad ... if he'd just behaved properly, he would have been a good Bond. Like an idiot, some fool told him, 'You are now a star, behave like one.' "
* Roger Moore took over the Bond franchise in 1973 with Live and Let Die and became the most prolific 007, with seven movies in 13 years.
"He made it much lighter, because he couldn't copy Sean, naturally. He made it lighter, more jokey. People who saw Roger first (as Bond) prefer him."
* Timothy Dalton stepped into Bond's shoes for two films, The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill.
"To the Bond aficionado, Timothy is the nearest to (author Ian) Fleming's Bond. He was a very unpleasant character, and Timothy made absolutely no concession whatsoever to Bond. He just made him a really hard man."
* Pierce Brosnan makes his third outing as Bond in The World is Not Enough, opening in theatres Friday. He's also tentatively agreed to star in a fourth Bond movie.
"I think it's a very, very good interpretation. He's gone back to Sean. You've got to remain romantic, whatever happens, but he shows pain."
November 17, 1999 - by Steve Tilley for The Calgary Sun
HOLLYWOOD -- BMWs that shoot missiles, a wristwatch with a built-in grappling hook, a secret agent who can dispatch dozens of villains without mussing his hair -- yep, the world of James Bond is chock-full of cinematic fantasy.
But even drop-dead-gorgeous actress Denise Richards admits that casting her as a nuclear physicist for the latest Bond adventure The World Is Not Enough is stretching the fabric of credibility just a wee bit.
Richards plays Dr. Christmas Jones in the flick, which opens in theatres on Friday.
Her character is a buxom nuclear weapons expert who teams up with Bond (Pierce Brosnan in his third outing as 007) to help him defeat the mad villain Renard (Robert Carlyle).
When asked if she met with any real experts to prepare for her role as rocket scientist, Richards rolls her eyes. "It's Bond," she laughs. "As far as the technical jargon I had to say and the different things I had to do ... y'know, I just found out what everything meant, and when I was defusing the bomb which wire to cut, so I didn't look like an idiot cutting the wrong wire."
Richards was a virtual unknown until Paul Ver-hoeven cast her in 1997's Starship Troopers. She's since starred in Wild Things with Neve Campbell and Matt Dillon and in Drop Dead Gorgeous with Kirsten Dunst.
While Wild Things' steamy love scenes fuelled the former model's reputation as a sex-symbol goddess, Richards insists she's just plain folk. "I'm very simple. I'm not into partying and going to clubs," she says. "I have a good close group of friends and just love to hang out and talk, go out to eat."
Richards was thrilled when she was asked to audition for the part of Christmas Jones by director Michael Apted, best known for dramas such as Coal Miner's Daughter and the acclaimed Seven Up documentary series.
She eventually beat out dozens of other hopefuls for the role, deciding to play Christmas Jones seriously rather than tongue-in-cheek.
"I didn't want to play it, like, wink wink towards the audience. I personally think it's better to play it straight, because it's written a little over-the-top."
The fact that her place in cinematic history is assured isn't lost on Richards, particularly after this month's Vanity Fair photo shoot in which Richards appears with every Bond girl from Dr. No's Ursula Andress on up. "I loved Maude Adams (Octopussy), but Ursula ... I just think she's so gorgeous," says Richards.
Richards' curves compete for screen time with those of Sophie Marceau (Braveheart), who plays another Bond love interest.
Sadly, James Bond is a one-woman (at a time) kind of guy, so don't expect a repeat of Wild Things' famous menage a trois scene. Still, Richards is fully aware that becoming a Bond girl is an international profile-raiser unlike any other, save perhaps being cast in a Star Wars movie. "My character is sassy and there's that nice banter between her and Bond, so I think it's more about the relationship than the characters."
That doesn't stop Richards from making her first appearance in the movie in a clingy tank top and short-shorts. She jokes that the filmmakers wanted an even more revealing outfit. "I said, 'Can we just nix the pasties and let me wear this crappy tank top?'"
'The World Is Not Enough': One Olive Short of a Martini
November 19, 1999 - by Stephen Hunter for The Washington Post
Once, all the world went gaga over James Bond.
Now, James Bond is going dada all over "The World Is Not Enough."
It's true. The new Bond movie is pure nonsense art of the dadaist school; it follows the rules of the ridiculous as it turns narrative convention, thriller formula and special-effects set pieces into a manifesto of the purest gibberish. To see it is to walk out of the theater scrambled, wondering where in the hell you are, if you are anyplace at all, and even that is in doubt.
It must be a giant joke played on us by those merry pranksters at MGM. Or perhaps Pierce Brosnan is angry that his excellent remake of "The Thomas Crown Affair" made so small a dent at the box office that he has decided to give the public what he thinks is appropriate to its IQ: two hours of 'splosions and speedboats and machine guns arranged randomly, lacking beginning, middle or even end, or any connective tissue, while spotlighting some of the most vapid dialogue and some of the most vacant performances in history. It's pure dada, as revolutionary in its way as Marcel Duchamp's stunt of painting a mustache on the "Mona Lisa" to stun the bourgeoisie.
It seems to be about--stop me if you've heard this one before--the ace stud of the British Secret Service being sent as a bodyguard for the recently orphaned daughter--unaccountably French--of a British oil billionaire who is trying to fulfill her father's dream of building an oil pipeline along the southern route out of Azerbaijan! Yes. You're supposed to root for the pipeline builders, who are seen rounding up peasants at gunpoint! Now, as no one would or could believe this, it's clearly a joke.
Then halfway through, when that story has lost what little steam it had--largely on account of Sophie Marceau's impenetrable accent and Robert Carlyle's limp impersonation of an anarchist who believes only in disorder (he would have changed his mind if he'd read the script)--the movie starts all over again. This time it's a parody of the George Clooney non-hit "The Peacemaker," about terrorists who steal a nuclear warhead from a Russian missile silo for deployment against the West. The two stories are only marginally connected, and how Cmdr. Bond walks from one into the other is a mystery that only Scully and Mulder could solve.
But the second story at least has the spectacle of Denise Richards in her astonishing performance. ("Astonishing!"--Hunter, The Post.) I am sure this young American woman is a terrific human being, a good citizen, and can really dance well, but as an actress she gives a tree slug a run for its money in the expression category. Admittedly, she's made to say stupid things, but she says them so dim-bulbishly with such lightless eyes and in such a childish monotone that you wonder if her parents knew where she was. Putting her in this movie seems almost like child abuse.
Meanwhile, Brosnan is walking about as if he hasn't noticed he's in the picture show. He can barely be bothered to read his lines. The performance is mainly a matter of displaying the fit of his suits. We all understand that the only remaining part of Bond's retro charm is his coolness, his refusal to ruffle, but has anyone put a mirror under Pierce's nostrils recently? What's his pulse rate, -32? Has it been ascertained beyond a doubt that he is actually alive? Is this some stunt of cryogenics, the first movie star to get through an entire performance while biologically frozen solid as a cod?
Even the gags seem lackluster this umpteenth time through. The opening speedboat chase through London--by the way, when did London become Venice, and did it make the front page?--is pretty tame unless you get excited by splashing and a bit where guys in snowmobiles with parachutes chase downhill a 22-year-old stunt skier dressed sort of, but not very much, like Bond.
Worst of all is a ride through the pipeline in some kind of vague contrivance that looks like the pneumatic tubes from old-time newsrooms when they sent remakes down to composing in the last few minutes before deadline. I kept waiting for a big hand to reach in, pull him out and yell "New Page One for the Five-Star!"
It does get a little better at the end, with Bond and Richards's Dr. Christmas Jones (yes!) fleeing up the shaft of a vertically implanted nuclear sub being chased by a wall of propane flame.
But really. "The World Is Not Enough" shows that Bond has gotten shaky, not stirring.
The World Is Not Enough (128 minutes, at area theaters) is rated PG-13 for phony movie violence and phony sexual innuendo.
New Bond A World O' Fun
November 19, 1999 - by Liz Braun for The Toronto Sun
It has been so long since we last saw a James Bond movie on the big screen that we'd quite forgotten what huge, brainless fun they can be.
The World Is Not Enough is the 19th outing for the world's most famous secret agent, third for Pierce Brosnan as 007. Action? This one kicks off with a betrayal, a brutal shootout, a clever escape out a window, killer currency, an adrenalized boat chase, several massive explosions and a grisly suicide and all this, gentle reader, is before the opening credits.
The story here is, ah, well ... forget about it. Essentially, some rich guy gets killed, Bond is sent to protect the rich guy's daughter (Sophie Marceau), there's a terrorist on the loose (Robert Carlyle), some oil pipelines are involved, Robbie Coltrane shows up again as a Russian double agent, most of Istanbul may blow up and Bond -- aided by the de rigueur nuclear-weapons-expert-with-large-breasts (Denise Richards) -- must save the world. Not much new here.
But the gadgets! And the stunts! And the beeeeootiful clothes that Sophie Marceau gets to wear! Oh, we love this stuff.
The World Is Not Enough is a story of betrayal and very good jewelry, with Brosnan doing a jolly-well-done job of leading us all into major escapism.
Leaping from exotic locale to exotic locale, littered with boats that fly and cars that pack missiles (and bagpipes that are flamethrowers), The World Is Not Enough is endlessly inventive and tongue-in-cheek. Brosnan has the sense not to raise those eyebrows too high; nobody in the cast goes for camp, realizing perhaps that, with this script, it would be gilding the lily.
This is a film, after all, in which Robert Carlyle plays a scarred, droopy-eyed baddie with a bullet in his head; the bullet is slowly robbing him of his senses, one by one. He cannot feel pain anymore. Or, as the doctor explains, "The bullet will kill him, but he'll grow stronger every day until it does." Hilarious? It's wonderful stuff.
Director Michael Apted keeps things moving at a stupendous clip, all the while keeping a tight rein on a support cast that includes Dame Judi Dench (as M), John Cleese, Goldie, Desmond Llewelyn and Samantha Bond, each of whom could pop off the screen at any time.
Like all Bond movies, The World Is Not Enough is a series of cliff-hanger situations and eye-popping gadgets and toys. It's humorous and exaggerated, and even the so-called sex scenes are really all about expensive bed linens. Whether you're a Bond fan or just a regular 11-year-old boy, you won't want to miss this.
Bonding Soon For Brosnan, Fiancee
November 20, 1999 - by Bruce Kirkland for The Toronto Sun
Actor Pierce Brosnan and financee Keely Shaye Smith of Entertainment Tonight will soon marry, but Brosnan won't reveal the place, time or date to the media.
"We won't be married until next year, the next century, the next millennium," the 007 star said in an interview, laughing when asked for details.
He wants privacy. But Brosnan, 47, is effusive on why wants to marry the mother of his infant son.
"Love! I want the world to know that I love this woman. I don't know any other better way than saying: 'Be my wife!' and standing up there in front of the eyes of God and friends. It's kind of traditional. It's old-fashioned but it's pretty simple and wonderful."
Brosnan's first wife, actress Cassandra Harris, died of ovarian cancer in 1991.
Big Bucks For Bond
November 22, 1999 - by Bridget Byrne for E Online News
The nation's movie theaters nearly weren't enough to hold audiences who wanted to see the weekend's two big flicks: The World Is Not Enough and Sleepy Hollow.
Together, the James Bond spy actioneer and Tim Burton's headless-horseman adventure grossed more than $60 million. As the No. 1 turnstile-turner, the new 007 installment, starring Pierce Brosnan, bagged $35.5 million. Sleepy Hollow, with Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane, followed with an even $30 million.
The showings made for a new box-office record--the first time two movies each earned at least $30 million in the same opening weekend.
Bond's performance marked the best-ever opening for that long-running spy series--not to mention the best-ever opening in studio MGM's 75-year history.
The two top movies appeared to capitalize on built-in nostalgia for Bond glamour and the collaborative appeal of Edward Scissorhands' Burton and Depp.
The movies' arrival squashed the kid-fad flick, Pokémon: The First Movie. Last week, the video-game-inspired tale was on top of the world at No. 1; this week, business plummeted 58 percent. The film finished No. 3, earning just $12.5 million.
In extremely limited release (read: one theater), Disney's much-anticipated, computer-animated Toy Story 2 debuted spectacularly. At the studio's showcase El Capitan venue in Hollywood (where the flick is being screened in digital format), the toys-in-peril 'toon earned a theater record $302,000. The film goes wide Wednesday, with experts expecting the movie to be big--very big.
Also attracting audiences in limited release was Mansfield Park, yet another 18th century Jane Austen story committed to celluloid. Opening last Thursday in just eight theaters, the film earned $95,000.
Here's a complete look at the weekend's Top 10, according to the box-office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations:
1. The World Is Not Enough, $35.5 million
2. Sleepy Hollow, $30 million
3. Pokémon: The First Movie, $12.5 million
4. The Bone Collector, $6.5 million
5. Dogma, $4 million
6. Anywhere But Here, $3.2 million
7. The Insider, $2.8 million
8. The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, $2.2 million
9. The Bachelor, $2.4 million
10. Being John Malkovich, $1.8 million
Pierce Brosnan In Korea To Promote New Bond Movie
December 1, 1999 - Chosun.com
Pierce Brosnan, the fifth actor taking the role of Ian Fleming's world famous spy James Bond arrived in Korea Tuesday to promote the release of the new film, number nineteen, "The World is not Enough," which is scheduled to premiere on December 18. Brosnan met with the Korean press despite having a bad cold. When reporters jokingly commented that he was far from the image of James Bond in the film, with all his coughs, sipping tea, and searching for Kleenex, Brosnan kept his humor and replied that even James Bond catches a cold sometimes.
"The World is not Enough" is Brosnan's third Bond film after "Goldeneye" in 1995 and "Tomorrow Never Dies" in 1997. Brosnan told the reporters that in "Goldeneye" he was rather careful because it was his first Bond film, and with "Tomorrow Never Dies" he could not feel much attachment because there were too many action shots, but that finally with "The World is not Enough," he is somewhat used to the role of James Bond. However, Brosnan modestly said that he felt the burden left by former actors Sean Connery and Roger Moore, who left very strong impressions of the character's role.
Somewhat different from previous films, the new James Bond film tries to depict James Bond being sincere with his own feelings. Brosnan argued that Bond is a lonely, dark, and persistent character, whom he tried to make realistic and not turn into an animation character. Not everything is easy in shooting a Bond film. At nearly fifty, Brosnan suffered a head injury while shooting a motorboat chase scene, and he said the love scene in the new movie where he appeared with Denise Richards, an actress about twenty years younger than himself, had made him concerned.
The last Bond of the millenium emphasized that he was just a normal guy who was hanging in the crazy film world, thanks to the extreme love of his family.
Desmond Llewelyn, James Bond's Q, Dies In Car Wreck
December 19, 1999 - Associated Press
FIRLE, England -- Desmond Llewelyn, who starred as the eccentric gadget expert Q in a string of James Bond films, was killed in a head-on car crash Sunday, police said.
The 85-year-old star, who appeared in all but two of the 19 Bond films, died in hospital after being cut from the wreckage of his vehicle. Two other people were hurt, one seriously. Llewelyn was returning alone from a book-signing session when his Renault Megane collided with a Fiat Brava. After being cut free he was airlifted by police helicopter to hospital in Eastbourne, East Sussex.
But though doctors battled to save his life he died from massive internal injuries at 5.10pm. One of his two sons - Ivor and Justin - was at his side. Ivor said last night; "We're all devastated. He was a great father."
The crash scene at nearby Firle is a notorious accident black spot on a fast stretch of the A27. Police said: "It is a tragic loss of life."
The male driver of the Fiat also suffered serious injuries, but was said to be stable at the same hospital last night. His female companion, in her thirties, suffered minor injuries. The police spokeswoman said that both requested that their details were not released.
She said: "Shortly after 2 p.m. police, ambulance and the fire service attended the scene of a serious road traffic crash on the A27. Two vehicles were involved, a blue Renault Megane driven by 85- year-old Desmond Llewelyn. The other car was a bronze Fiat Bravo, a company car from London, driven by a 35-year-old man."
The actor was best known for his role as Q, who equipped 007 with the latest spy tools -- from toxic fountain pens to exploding toothpaste -- in 17 Bond films from 1963's From Russia with Love up to the current film The World Is Not Enough.
Over the years, Q grew fond of Bond but could never forgive him for abusing his inventions. One of Q's first lines in the 1997 film Tomorrow Never Dies is: "Now pay attention 007" and his last is "Oh, grow up 007."
Llewelyn was born in South Wales in 1914, the son of a coal-mining engineer. He studied for a career as a chartered accountant but decided to become an actor. He made his first film, Ask A Policeman, in 1939.
His career was halted by the Second World War and he served as a second lieutenant assigned to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He was captured by German soldiers in France and spent five years as a prisoner of war.
After the war, Llewelyn returned to London and had a small uncredited role in the 1963 film Cleopatra. He also appeared in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 1968.
He landed the coveted role of Q, even though he disagreed with the director who wanted the character to speak with a Welsh accent.
"My interpretation of the character was that of a toffee-nosed English," Llewelyn once said.
"At the risk of losing the part and with silent apologies to my native land, I launched into Q's lines using the worst Welsh accent, followed by the same in English."
Llewelyn said his favourite Bond invention was a grenade pen from 1995's GoldenEye but despite achieving near-cult status for his on-screen dexterity with gadgets, Llewelyn said he was a bungler off camera.
"In real life I'm allergic to gadgets," he said in an interview with Computer Life magazine. "They just don't work for me, not even those plastic cards for hotel room doors."
Llewelyn lived in Bexhill, East Sussex. Mr Llewelyn is survived by his wife of 61 years Pamela, 85, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease.
Sean Connery To Be Knighted
December 21, 1999 - by Bridget Byrne for E Online News
Sean Connery, the man who defined the on-screen persona of James Bond, will be knighted in ceremonies that are part of the traditional New Year's Eve honours list, according to London's The Daily Mail.
The Reuters news service reported that Prime Minister Tony Blair's office would not comment on the Mail's report, which said the one-time 007 would become Sir Sean after the government reversed a previous decision denying Connery the honour.
Two years ago, reports surfaced that the Labour government had blocked Connery's knighthood because of his support for Scottish nationalism.