After a brooding Timothy Dalton spent two pictures trying to play Bond as a real human being, the producers have given the part to their longtime choice, Pierce Brosnan, who was unable to assume the mantle in the midEighties because of contractual obligations to a TV series.

Brosnan's approach is a return to the impeccable, smirking stud of Roger Moore, though he's far less self-mocking about it. Itseems likely that he'll be well-received inthe role, because, unlike Dalton, he nevershows more than the slightest emotional involvement in what he's doing, andbecause he's staggeringly well-groomed in every shot.

In one scene, Bond leaves a swimming pool and enters a steam room, where he's attacked by the obligatory deadly woman (Famke Janssen), who's given to squeezing men to death with her thighs. They fight, then he points a gun at her and demands to be taken to her superior. In the next scene, she's driving a car and he's in the back, with the gun still pointed at her. Yet somehow, in the interim, he's managed to dress and blow-dry himself to GQ cover standards, keeping the drop on her all the while.

Goldeneye is a solid, craftsmanlike piece of hack work--in particular, Phil Meheux's cinematography is exceedingly good. The title sequence shows slinky models undulating on the crumbling statues of Lenin and Stalin, and the plot involves the Russian mob stealing a leftover Soviet space weapon system. The sense of nostalgia for those lousy quitter Soviets is palpable.

Played up to now by the late Bernard Lee, the role of Bond's boss, "M," is here played by a woman, Judi Dench, who says she regards Bond as a "sexist, misogynist dinosaur."

She's right; Goldeneye's modicum of dignity is that the filmmakers, and Brosnan, don't really try to deny that she's right. Whyshould they? Jurassic Park proved that dinosaurs aren't yet extinct at the box office.--M. V. Moorhead

Blue in the Face: Directed by Wayne Wang and Paul Auster; with Harvey Keitel, Giancarlo Esposito and Michael J. Fox. Rated R.

Meet the Feebles: Directed by Peter Jackson; with the voices of Donna Akersten, Stuart Devenie, Mark Hadlow, Ross Jolly and Peter Vere Jones. Unrated. (At Valley Art Theatre in Tempe.)

Directed by
Martin Campbell; with Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Famke Janssen and Joe Don Baker.


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