|James Bond Ultimate Edition - Vol. 1 (The Man with the Golden Gun / Goldfinger / The World Is Not Enough / Diamonds Are Forever / The Living Daylights)
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James Bond faces plots to corner the gold market, attacks on an oil tycoon's daughter, a diamond smuggling ring, a million dollar assassin, and the black market sale of Russian arms by a rogue general.
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Media Type: DVD
Artist: JAMES BOND-ULTIMATE COLLECTION
Title: VOL. 1
Street Release Date: 11/07/2006
Genre: ACTION / ADVENTURE
- These DVDs are a mile ahead of the Special Editions
Note: This review was written for the Volume 2 release, but contains pertinent information regarding this release.
I received advance copies of the Region 1 release and just had to gush about these incredible DVDs.
In October of 1999 the first wave of James Bond 007 Special Editions was released. It was in fact the second time that the series had seen a release on those shiny silver discs having first appeared in the much-maligned "snapper" cases two years earlier. But these special feature laden releases were immediately hailed as setting a new benchmark for back catalog releases of movies on DVD.
Times however have since changed. And the single disc editions that appeared in a set of three waves in 1999 and 2000 now look, at best merely serviceable and at worst wholly inadequate when compared to the bumper releases that have been afforded to the likes of other favorites from the last 40-plus years.
So on Nov. 7 Fox released the first two of four volumes that are touted as the Ultimate Edition's of all 20 of the movies in the storied franchise. The collection of special features this time around are a virtual embarrassment of riches and each movie has been remastered by the team that oversaw the work on the original Star Wars trilogy - Lowry Digital. The result is so impressive that movies the likes of 1964's "Goldfinger" now look they were made last year instead of over 42 years ago.
John Lowry, who started his career with NASA, spent two and a half years restoring the picture and sound quality on all 20 Bond films, which in total consisted of 42 miles of film. According to information released by the studio the combination of automated computer processing and digital retouching led to the removal of 25 million pieces of dirt and 74,000 "hairs in the gate" in addition to restoring more than 30,000 frames of scratched or torn images.
The difference is most evident in the older movies and when I watched "The Spy Who Loved Me" (for example) I seriously felt like I was watching a new movie - particularly during the demise of the Liparus super tanker.
There has also been an improvement in the audio department has a brand new 5.1 DTS mix.
The special features will impress even the most ardent and knowledgeable James Bond fan. Take for example the DVD for the 1985 adventure "A View to a Kill." In the 2000 release fans were amazed to see the inclusion of a hitherto unknown deleted scene set in a Paris Police Station. In the release Tuesday the Paris scene is still there, but several more deleted scenes join it. These ranges from the scene where fishermen (along with Bond) demonstrate outside of the main villains San Francisco operations to a more minor scene that shows said villain and his henchman and henchwoman carrying cans of gasoline into City Hall. Director John Glen who explains why they were eventually cut from the movie introduces each.
This all-inclusive approach to special features pervades these releases with everything from the inclusion of archival reports from the set for British television to a home movie from the Egyptian set of "The Spy Who Loved Me."
Of course the real jewel in the crown of the releases are the newly recorded audio commentaries by James Bond actor Sir Roger Moore for his seven movies. Last year Moore recorded the commentaries over a period of five days starting with the last of his movies (A View to a Kill) and working backwards. He prefaces each of his commentaries by claiming not to remember much about the production history of the movies and urges the listener to merely approach them as a one-way conversation. However, despite his claim Moore does seem to recollect quite a bit about the movies and his light breezy tone and dry wit make the commentaries a real draw. He does have a habit of getting sidetracked on occasion and discusses other projects other than James Bond, but each of the commentaries is well worth a listen.
My particular favorite commentary in Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 is the one that accompanies "A View to a Kill." For many years fans questionned where Maud Adams' cameo was in this movie (she had famously visited the set during the San Franciso shoot), with not even Maud Adams knowing where she was. Well, there's a big clue to where she appears when Roger Moore remarks that the man walking out of shot is Maud Adams boyfriend. Watch the couple in the background shortly after this remark on the commentary.
The only real quibble I have is regarding the "007 Mission Control" section of the DVDs. These are merely a collection of clips from the movie and as such seems a tremendous waste of valuable disc space. For example say you click on "Girls" from the Mission Control main menu. A menu appears listing the girls in that particular movie and if you click on their name you are provided with a menu listing a series of clips including that character. Not only is this highly redundant for those who have watched the movie (which one would presume people who own the DVD have done) but its also very selective. Take for example the character of Anya Amasova in "The Spy Who Loved Me." The first clip offered is her meeting with James Bond at the Kalba club. Surely the first should have been her famous introduction (where audiences expentations are turned on their head) and the scene where she learns of her lovers death.
Another minor gripe is the treatment of "Die Another Day" in this set. Whereas all the previous content from the other movies Special Editions are included in these Ultimate releases, the same cannot be said for the "Die Another Day" discs. Released already as a 2-disc set on its initial DVD release in 2003, this edition seems to have dropped the extensive documentary on the making of the movie. I was not a big fan of said documentary as I found it to be largely fluff, but its strange that it was not included here, especially since they probably used up space that could have accomodated it with the afore-mentioned "Mission Control" section. There are some interesting tidbits on the "Die Another Day" discs including the "From Script to Screen" doco (that had appeared previously only in Region 2) and a fascinating coverage of the parachite jump over Buckingham Palace, but the omission of the lengthy "Making of..." documantary from the previous release is puzzling.
The movies are in slim cases. The big fear among Bond fans when images of the cover packages were released was that it would be a gatefold design. The slim cases are 2-disc sets with disc 1 facing disc 2.
For those fans and collectors who like to place the DVDs in chronological order when displaying them on the shelf, there is a solution. The inner casingo for the DVDs are in the familiar shape common to storing magazines. This allows the collector to place this casing back in the box backwards so that the spines of the DVDs (with their titles on them) are facing out.
Recommended for everyone from the casual viewer to the most fervent Bond fan....more info
- The Gold Version
This is the most popular version of the James Bond Collection set as far as saleswise. The movies listed in the set are The Man with the Golden Gun / Goldfinger / The World Is Not Enough / Diamonds Are Forever / The Living Daylights. As a whole, the collection is wonderful mostly because of the bonus features. You get behind the scenes, interviews, tributes to various Bond family, documentaries, audio commentary from directors, cast and sometimes Bond (Roger Moore), music videos and much more!!
What is interesting about this collection is the only GREAT Bond film is Goldfinger. The World Is Not Enough was a let down. The Living Daylights was okay. The Man With The Golden Gun was unforgettable. Diamonds Are Forever was Sean's last and less inspiring Bond outing. Buy this volume is you are a Bond collector, a fan, and if you want great features, but don't expect too much.
- Loved the gift
My husband loved this gift.. We have not watched it yet though....more info
- Great, but flaws prevent perfection.
When I put Goldfinger in my DVD player, it looked 100x better than my old dvd, which is saying alot since this film is almost 40 years old, but when watching, there were obvious flaws in this. When Oddjob throws his hat and cuts off the head of the statue, it freezes. I though I had a defective disc but it seems all discs had this problem. It is very noticable. Also, when Bond cuts Tilly Masterson's tire, it jumps really quick, it was missing a few frames. Also, in You Only Live Twice, there was a few frames missing when they are on the raft during the credits....more info
- Bond Fans Rejoice! Everyone Else...well...
I'll admit to being amused by all the people griping about having to buy these films in boxed sets. I mean, come on, people...if you're a true Bond fan you want them all, even the bad ones, and if you're not a true Bond fan you don't need to own a few select titles because you won't be watching them over and over anyway. Consider this; how many people buy only one or two of the Star Wars movies, or just one of the Lord of the Rings films? This is a series, and therefore the boxed sets make perfect sense even if they do have their problems.
In my opinion, none of these boxed sets is perfect because other than the fact that each contains at least one film starring Connery, one with Moore and one with Brosnan, there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for the groupings. Each box has good films and bad films. The good news is that the picture and sound have been so excellently restored for these editions that even the bad films look better! I might even be able to sit through A View to a Kill one more time---if I have enough martinis beforehand, that is. To compare, I played a scene from my old DVD of Goldfinger then played the same scene on the new DVD. The picture was more crisp, the colors brighter, and the sound was both louder and better mixed. No more problems with the dialogue being too soft and the music and sound effects being too loud! The menu screens are pretty snazzy as well and other than those annoying previews being added to the beginning of each disc, the intros are all very cool. Oh, one other complaint---just like others have said, the boxed set designers should have come up with a better system for including the booklets rather than just shoving them in the back of the box. All in all, though, I give these sets a solid four and a half stars, bumped up to five because I've been a Bond fanatic all my life....more info
- Best Bond colection to date
The special features are exhaustive, the transfers and sound are excellent, and the movies are Bond.
The only gripe here is that in order to buy "Goldfinger", whihc everyone wants by itself, you have to shell out and buy some movies here that really stink. "Man with the Golden Gun" was the least successful for a reason. "World is Not Enough" was hugely disappointing. "Diamonds are Forever" and "The Living Daylights" could have been a whole lot better. Just think of it as paying $50-60 fr the best version of "Goldfinger" ever....more info
- Great James Bond Collection
It was ship quickly In great working condition. the set comes with Goldfinger,the man with the golden gun,diamonds are forever,Living daylight and the world is not enough all the disc are in great working condition and are digitaly remasterd. Great set if your a fan of the James Bond films....more info
- Can someone answer this? (never say never again)
Why does title always seem to be omitted from any bond collection release? Connery in a remake of Thunderball.... Is this not a release by the same production company? It is a MGM release, so why doesn't it ever get included? Any light that can be shed would be greatly appreciated......more info
- Great Collection for 5 Great Movies
If you intend on owning all of the Bond films, as I do, these ultimate collector's sets are great. Picture and sound quality are amazing, attractive menus and a good amount of special features per movie. I now own collection 1, 3, and 4, and I will be getting vol. 2 soon because I am so impressed by the collections that I have bought thus far. If you're a Bond fan, you have to buy these collections, starting with this one. Goldfinger and The Man with the Golden Gun are Bond classics. Buy it, you won't be disappointed....more info
- Very Happy
I got everything on time for Christmas. Like they said it would. My husband is a huge James Bond fan so I will be ordering the rest of the volumes for this company!!...more info
- Even though strangley sorted still a must buy!
There is one thing that bugs me about this collection and I start with that right away. Why are the movies contained in this box not in the order as they were released? On this Collection you find 2 Connery Movies, 1 Roger Moore, 1 Pierce Brosnan and finally a Bond Movie starring Timothy Dalton. I would have preferred it if they had released the Boxes and put the movies in Consecutive Order.
Now to the good Part:
All Pictures have been restored Frame by Frame. This goes not only for the Picture, they also restored the sound. And they did a very, very good Job at that. They also added a DTS Soundtrack. Even with a very high Quality Amplifier there is no audible difference between Dolby Digital and DTS here.
That's not all, of course.
Every picture comes on 2 Discs now, as opposed to the 1 Disc Versions previously available. Now Disc 1 is reserved for the Movie. If you watch them, you will understand, why they need a whole disc for the movie now. The quality is just excellent.
Disc 2: On the 2nd Disc for each movie you find the: Inside "Insert Title here" Documentary. And a lot more extras they dug out for this edition. Some more useful than others. For some movies they found some really interesting and rare documentaries that are definitely worth watching.
There are only 2 complaints: The first I already voiced: The order in which the pictures or sorted on the Editions are not right.
2.) You HAVE to buy the 5 pack if you are looking for a specific title. Overseas in the GB or in Germany they also released Ultimate Editions. The only difference. Over there you can buy each movie separately, which is nice if you a looking for a few specific titles. (Or you can buy the monster Box containing them all)
But all in all if you are a great Bond fan and you want them all. Sell your old 1-Disc Editions and buy the Ultimate Edition. If you want to see the movies as you have never experienced them at home. Here is your chance.!
- Watch out if you order whole series
I ordered all 4 of these box sets recently from Amazon during one of their sales. There's nothing wrong with these discs if you get a good copy. But two of my sets were tainted with a defective disc - movie disc (haven't watched any of the bonus discs). I guess I should have done "20 Days of 007" like TBS used to do years back when there was only 14 or so movies. Bottom line is that if you order these, watch them quickly to be sure you don't have any defective discs and miss Amazons short no-charge return window. I'm giving Amazon 3 stars, not the movies. I'd give the movies 5 stars....more info
- James Bond Collection #1 of 4, In the ULTIMATE Version!
This collection includes various Bond movies from four of the actors that have played James Bond in the "official" Bond movies, which excludes "Never Say Never Again." I have a couple of complaints about the four collections, balanced by some significant positives.
My biggest complaint is that the movies are not in order, which continues the tradition begun with the previous James Bond Collections. My second biggest complaint is that these versions have a lot of new material, meaning you have to shell out a lot of money to buy these movies, again. It would be nice if the "ultimate" version would have been the first version released instead of the third or fourth version.
The most significant positives about these movies are the improved sound and picture quality, and the second disk that comes with each movie that includes material uncollected in the original James Bond Collections. The improved sound and picture are the result of new technology, and thus this version was possible only in the last few years. If you have the previous James Bond Collections and you have watched them only once, then you can probably pass this collection over. If you watched the previous James Bond Collections and you thought the picture and sound could have been improved, and you wished for more extras, then you may want to shell out the big bucks and buy these four sets.
Two of Sean Connery's films are in this first set. "Goldfinger" is considered by many fans to be the best Bond film. Bond's villains in this movie were ruthless megalomaniacs, and Connery has a close encounter with a laser. Shirley Bassey belts out the title song and sets the standard for future Bond music. James Bond also quips that drinking Dom Perignon above 38 degrees Fahrenheit is "...as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs." Fortunately, Paul McCartney did not take it personally as he recorded the title track to the 1973 Bond movie "Live and Let Die." Bond also got ever more gadgets from Q, played by Desmond Llewelyn, who went on to appear in more Bond movies than any other major actor.
The other Connery film is "Diamonds Are Forever," which was Connery's last "official" Bond film. This time Dr. Blofeld has a plot to steal diamonds for a satellite that then become part of a laser-like device. He then plans on blackmailing governments for obscene amounts of money or he will destroy their weapons. This movie inspires either loathing or love. I like it, but then again I am a science fiction movie fan, and the gadgets and science fiction subplot are geek cool.
Roger Moore is represented by "The Man with the Golden Gun" from 1974. Christopher Lee as Scaramanga and Herve Villechaize are two of the most bizarre and ruthless Bond villains ever. There are fewer gadgets than in some of the surrounding Bond movies, but Moore's performance is a bit wooden and Clifton James was a bit over-the-top as comic relief. The title song by singer Lulu is pretty good, but pales in comparison to many of the other title songs in the series.
Timothy Dalton made two Bond films. The first of the two was "The Living Daylights," which I think was the better of his two movies. The plot is complicated, involving a defector who is not defecting, and a bad guy who later plays a good guy in the Brosnan movies. It's all in good fun with one of the most interesting chase scenes ever in a Bond film, involving a bass and its case. Dalton managed to breathe new life into the Bond series with modern issues and locations that were in the news at that time. This Bond film is worth watching multiple times.
The final movie in this collection is one of Pierce Brosnan's weaker movies. The typically complicated plot of "The World Is Not Enough" involves an assassination attempt on beautiful Elektra King (Sophie Marceau), and the theft of nuclear weapons. While there are a number of good scenes in this movie, it is weaker than average. However, this movie was the last appearance of Desmond Llewelyn as Q and Q seems to steal all his scenes.
Because of all the extras these DVDs require hours to watch. The value of the extras varies, but watching them gives a fan much more information about the difficulties of making each movie, and how many of the stunts were performed. I consider these movies to be among the gems of my DVD collection. I recommend this set very highly if you are just starting to collect Bond movies, are looking to replace your VHS versions, or you must have the best versions available.
- Don't be taken advantage of
The best thing consumers could do is to not buy these boxed sets. There is no reason why these videos could not be sold individually, in chronological sets, or by actor. It reflects a contempt for the consumer to think we would all be gulable enough to buy certain movies of this franchise that we really don't want, but must buy in order to get the movies we do want.
As for me, I'm going to wait until I am able to buy the movies I want, not what the manufacturer wants me to buy. If they don't change their packaging, I guess I can live without these videos. ...more info
- Forget the whiners, these are great!!
Quit yer bitchin'! I've been a Bond fan ever since 1977 when, as a wee 9 year old, my parents took me to see "The Spy Who Loved Me." I'd never seen anything like it before and was an instant fan! As I grew older I caught up on all the Bond films I had "missed," as well as watched each new one that came out. The Bond films became "event films" for me, throughout my teenage years and into adulthood, and I looked forward to each and every one. Are some better than others? Sure. Did Connery set the standard? Yes, absolutely. Does this mean I don't enjoy the others? Of course not. This series is over 40 years old, folks. Connery couldn't play the role forever and neither can anybody else. Times change and so do the films and the actors portraying Bond. I find that I enjoy all the Bond films and that each of them has its' own charm and merits. I enjoy each actor's portrayal of Bond and their interpretation of the role. I look forward to "Casino Royale" and watching how Daniel Craig takes on the mantle of Bond!
Now what about this dvd set? It's fantastic!! I've been waiting years for MGM to do the Bond series justice on dvd and now they finally have! I remember the older box set of dvds and, while it was nice to have them in the proper theatrical widescreen format, the sound was rather lacking and the picture quality was abysmal! The newer films, with Pierce Brosnan, were fine on dvd, but all of the older ones were scratchy, dirty, dusty prints slapped onto the discs. I was so unhappy with the previous sets that I never bought them, hoping that one day, MGM would release cleaned up, restored versions of these classic films. That day has arrived! The films have been lovingly restored and picture and sound quality is simply superb! Not only that, but they have a ton of extra features, bonus discs, commentaries and are all housed in dual-disc thinpacks. The thinpaks and a booklet for each film are stored in a sturdy slipcase that takes up a fraction of the space on your shelves that the previous sets would have done. The movies aren't in chronlogical order?! So what?!! I actually like having a mixture of old and new. If you don't, put 'em in order yourself! Instead of whining and crying, I say hats off to MGM for all their hard work and effort to issue such a quality release of this classic series....more info
- DVD Comes Fully Into Its Own..
...with this amazing collection of James Bond 007 films in a 4-box set. I received all four sets for Christmas and have watched the first four Sean Connery films (the films are not boxed in chronological order--you'll need to get all 4 sets to view them in this manner), and all I can say is WOW !!
Anyone reading this already loves James Bond 007, so this is not really a comment on the films themselves as they are ALL entertaining on some level, from the sublime ("Goldfinger") to the ridiculous ("A View To A Kill").
It is rather the frame-by-frame digital restoration of these films (by Lowry Digital Images) that will leave you in awe...they simply look and sound "brand new." SO new, in fact, that they seem like NEW movies which have been SET in the 60s and 70s! In my opinion, the DVD format made quantum advances with this release. It is absolutely astonishing to watch these wonderful films (especially Sean Connery's older 60's releases) in an absolutely pristine format.
For proof, grab the "Thunderball" disc and check out the Manta Ray cruising through a brilliant azure-colored ocean surrounding arch-villain Largo's Bahamian villa--a crisp and eye-popping image I won't soon forget!
007 fans, you are in for SUCH a treat! These sets are worth every single penny, and my guess is they won't be available for long. Enjoy!
- THE ULTIMATE BOND EXPERIENCE, Part One!
Volume One of the James Bond Ultimate Edition DVD Collection offers the viewer a chance to view five films from one of the longest-running film franchises in history. The five films are presented with great sound and picture quality, and come with bonus discs filled with extras that will make any Bondophiles leap for joy!
Sean Connery's third film as 007 set the stage for the Bond films to come. Although "Dr. No" and "From Russia with Love" were successful, it was this film that set the standard for each film. From the first exciting pre-credits sequence, to the exciting climax, "Goldfiner" offers intense action sequences, beautiful women, and two of the most popular villains in movie history. Connery delivers another great performance as Bond, proving that he had a great handle on the character. If it wasn't for this film, it's possible that the series would never have become as popular, or lasted as long, as it has.
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (1971)
After George Lazenby left the series after filming his only entry in the series ("On Her Majesty's Secret Service"), Sean Connery was wooed back to the role for one more official entry as Bond. While Connery once again does as excellent job as 007, the film itself is slightly disappointing. While the film features excellent action sequences, the story goes off into the bizarre, and the storytelling seems a bit thin at times. While Jill St. John is beautiful, she is slightly annoying as Tiffany Case. Charles Gray isn't as sinister as Blofeld, a character made creepy by both Donald Pleasance ("You Only Live Twice") and Telly Savalas ("On Her Majesty's Secret Service"). Still, Connery's presence makes up for the films weaknesses.
THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (1974)
I know I shall get slammed in the face for saying this, but to me, Roger Moore was the best Bond. He had a sly since of humor (His double entendres still make me laugh), but could still come off as a tough man you wouldn't wanna mess with. His second film in the series, "The Man With the Golden Gun," is a fun adventure film with great action, a terrific villain (played by Christopher Lee in one of his best performances), and even more beautiful women. The weaknesses in the story are made up for by the terrific performances of Moore and Lee.
THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS (1987)
After Roger Moore had finished his tenure as Bond with 1985's "A View to a Kill," Timothy Dalton replaced him in the next film, "The Living Daylights." To me, this was the last truly great Bond film until the 2006 release of "Casino Royale." Dalton gives the character a slight facelift, bringing a bit more grit to the role that was missing from the Moore era. The film features some of the greatest action sequences of the series, and terrific performances by Dalton, Jeroen Krabbe, Maryam d'Abo, and John Rhys-Davies. This film proved that their was still life in the franchise, and gave us one of the best entries in the series.
THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (1999)
To me, and I know that I'm gonna get slammed again for this, Pierce Brosnan is the worst of the Bonds. He's a good actor, but just didn't have it what takes to play the role. But with his third entry in the series, "The World in Not Enough," he does manage to turn in a decent performance in what is his best film in the series. Unlike the previous two entries, the boring "Goldeneye" and the uninteresting "Tomorrow Never Dies," this film offers some great action, a decent plot, thrilling visual effects, great villains, and two of the hottest Bond girls ever. Sophie Marceau is both sexy and sinister as Elektra King, proving a woman can be as good of a villain as any man can. Denise Richards is hot as well, but not in it for too long. Overall, this is Brosnan's only good Bond film.
This DVD set is a must-have for all Bond fans. You will not be disappointed.
DVD Grade: A+...more info
- James Bond Series
James (Bind) Bond debonair,suave and sophisticated. The volume 1 is a very good DVD. Delivery was prompt. ...more info
- Read This New Review First!
Dismiss any negative reviews if you are doubtful on this one! I bought both Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 not knowing what to expect except what I could find online about Lowery Digital who cleaned up these movies. The picture and sound will blow your socks off...no kidding! These movies now look and sound as if they were made today!!! Thanks to Sony for giving the Bond films the respect they deserve. Again, I can NOT imagine ANYONE would be sorry for spending the money for this GREAT update. I you like Bond, this is for you. I wanted to give anyone who doubts if it's worth it my two cents! ...more info
- Volume 1 of gold
This set contains The Living Day Ligths, The Man with the Golden Gun, Diamonds are Forever, The World is not Enough, and Goldfinger. Each on of these films is packed with action, dramas, and explosion golori. A word of warning even though all the bonb Films until Golden Eye were PG rated I do not recomen them to any one under the age of 13. They have some material that I find inapprropriate for kids under 13. I especially found the part in the Living Day Lights when the Arabians were smuggled openium inappropriate for little kids. These five films lasting 614 minutes total with the credits include should be fine for teen to adults. These films will have you sitting on your seat. I have on question was it one or two glasses of marintines I drank. Well in the rush I lost count. Can I ask you a question? Do you fell Bondy dude. Well I got to go peace out catch you on the flip and remeber. Don't shoot like my brother!...more info
- AMAZING IN COMPARISON
Although I own all 20 of the James Bond Special Edition DVDs, I decided to see what all the fuss was about and purchased Volume 1 of the James Bond Ultimate Edition Collection. It arrived in a lovely slipcase with the five movies inside, each including a small booklet. I decided to watch "Diamonds Are Forever," and the picture quality was amazing! After finishing the movie, I put in my old copy of the same movie, and recieved a huge surprise. The picture quality of the old DVD was so amazingly horrible; specks of dirt were everywhere (especially on the shots of the Whyte House Las Vegas) and most of the colors were faded and far less sharp than the new Ultimate Edition. If you are not sure whether or not you want to buy these, rent one first that you already own on DVD and compare it...you won't believe your eyes!...more info
- 007 Review - Vol 1
I'm a big Bond fan. I received this as a gift. It has all the classics I've watched over the years. While this is a good collection, I recommend vol. 3 of this collection (in the red box)....more info
- Wonderful Box Set, A True Fan Deserves to Own All The Films
When I first popped in Goldfinger and heard the James Bond Theme I knew I was in for a treat with this set. The video quality and audio is amazing. I do not care about the order of the films in the box sets. With this kind of quality I think need to repurchase all the films again. My only complaint with this set is that I got a bad disc 1 of The Living Daylights. It is virtually unreadable after the amusement park section. I wonder if this is just me or if it is a glitch for everyone else. Check it out right after the Vienna man is killed by the sliding doors, my disc basically dies at that point. Besides this I am very satisfied with the releases and I haven't even checked out the extras yet!...more info
- Really want all the remastered Bond films, but I think I will wait for them in High Definition
I have always wanted all the Bond film even if some are not that great. I agree with what a lot of people are saying about releasing these box sets jumbled and out of order. Now that all the films have been remastered I am so tempted to buy them but, I figured why buy them all now and then again in the next year or two. I figure either the high definition Blu-Ray (Sony) or High Definition DVD (Toshiba) will have won over consumers and Bond (as well as most of my other DVD's) will be re-released remastered and in high definition. So while applaud the remastering and am tempted to buy I think it is prudent to wait....more info
- Four different Bonds in five different Bond movies
Appropriately enough the first of the series to have a really imaginative use of colour, Goldfinger is in many ways the most visually sensual of the films, the unforgettable image of Shirley Eaton's golden girl reflected in a golden glow to much of Ted Moore's cinematography. It's oozing with striking and surreal imagery, from Oddjob's menacing shadow on the hotel room wall, to the little old lady with machine gun or Bond making his entry by unzipping his wetsuit to reveal an evening one underneath. Ken Adam's production design is his possibly his finest hour, genuine architecture of the imagination that is at once both fantastic and strangely credible, maintaining a sense of scale and verisimilitude by his use of ceilings on the smaller sets.
It's also the one that set the Bond formula in stone, something that would later become more a hindrance than a help to the series before something more radical was attempted with Casino Royale. Aside from establishing the trend for irrelevant but enjoyable pretitle sequences, it is from here on that the gadgets begin to assume a more prominent role. However, unlike most of the Roger Moore efforts, they are no match for Bond's own wits - even the famed Aston Martin DB5 does not save him. After putting it through its paces, he is left to his own initiative.
There is no getting away from the overtly sexist approach here ("Dink, say goodbye to Felix - man talk."). Even Blackman's villainy seems inextricably linked to her lesbianism ("You can turn off the charm, I'm immune") but one good one from Bond and she's on the side of the angels.
As with all Bond films, many of the cast are dubbed - in this case, Frobe was dubbed by actor Michael Collins. Regardless, his Auric Goldfinger is easily the best of the Bond super-villains, and comes equipped with the best line in the series as Bond, strapped down in front of the laser beam (in the novel it was a chainsaw), asks if he expects him to talk: "No Mr Bond, I expect you to die." And for possibly the only time in the series, you think that maybe Bond really has had it. Incredibly enjoyable and one of the best-paced entries in the series, it's not hard to see why this is many people's favorite Bond film. It may be formulaic, but then the formula still worked wonders.
While all the extras from the original single-disc release have been carried over, there are not as many new features as you might expect on this repackaged two-disc Ultimate Edition. Most interesting are Theodore Bikel and Tito Vandis' screen tests as Goldfinger, but there are also somewhat awkwardly presented archive interviews with Connery and Honor Blackman as well as a featurette about the Aston Martin DB5, though perhaps the most enjoyable remain the radio spots from the original release.
Connery's last Bond film for Broccoli and Saltzman is very familiar stuff. Diamonds Are Forever is one of those once popular Bond films whose reputation among the faithful seems to drop every year as OHMSS's rises. Certainly it makes for a poor follow-up and the weakest of the `Blofeld Trilogy.' Its biggest sin is the incredibly lazy pre-title sequence of Bond tracking down and disposing of one Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Aside from the lazy TV-movie look, this isn't a man hunting the murderer of his wife but someone having a bit of a laugh at work. The sequence only really makes much sense if you regard it as a sequel to You Only Live Twice that's determinedly pretending OHMSS never happened after Lazenby incurred the producers' wrath by walking out on the series.
Once you can get over the massive shift in tone from the previous film, or the fact that the film rarely makes much of an effort in its determination to part you from your money, it's still moderately entertaining in its very undemanding way. But there's no disguising the fact that after the first half the film becomes increasingly reliant on Connery's starpower, leaving a shoddy patchwork of half-hearted setpieces and weak puns as the filmmakers imaginations dry up. Unfortunately Connery walks through it all with the satisfied laziness of a man who knows he's being paid too much and is on triple-overtime while Guy Hamilton directs like a man determined to finish on the dot of 6:00pm come hell or high water rather than lose those restaurant reservations. It's particularly telling that when Bond trips slightly when walking with M after the title sequence they didn't even reshoot the scene - too much of the film has a "Nah, that'll do" feel to it.
It's also one where the rejected motive for the film's diamond smuggling - to stockpile enough to perpetually blackmail all the diamond companies with the threat of flooding and destabilizing the market - is rather more promising than the giant space laser-weapon that they opt for instead. It's not helped by the distinctly unthreatening villains, who take camp to new lows. Despite having a few good quips, by turning Charles Gray's Blofeld into a virtual standup comedian it's hard to take him seriously long before he turns up in drag, while the film's pair of camp killers, Wint and Kidd, are an even more unmenacing pair, played purely for cheap laughs. The sight of Putter Smith shuffling towards the camera with a pair of burning kebabs in the post-plot murder attempt that became a regular feature of Moore's outings and which here looks seemingly tagged on as if an afterthought, certainly qualifies as one of the series lowpoints. Still, there are a few nice moments like the opening smuggling montage or the fight in the elevator, John Barry delivers a nice score and there are a couple of nice Ken Adams designs - particularly the Slumber Chapel of Rest, designed like a stained-glass diamond. Connery's worst Bond film is still better than Moore's worst, but you really need to dial your expectations down low for this one.
This repackaged two-disc Ultimate edition boasts a fairly modest upgrade in extras from the original release - a 1971 BBC interview with Connery, a featurette on the elevator fight, a few alternate and expanded angle scenes, some test footage and an additional couple of deleted scenes.
The Man With the Golden Gun was producer Harry Saltzman's last hurrah before selling out his share in the Bond series to United Artists to ensure the maximum inconvenience to his detested partner Cubby Broccoli. It's certainly not premium Bond: at times it threatens to turn into an episode of The Avengers, what with Scaramanga's funhouse, his midget servant Nick Nack, its human statues or the off-kilter angles of MI6's Hong Kong HQ located in the rusting wreck of the Queen Elizabeth, not to mention Roger Moore's more Steed-like Bond. Although there are hints of the lows to come in Moore's tenure - Bond being saved by a pair of schoolgirls or defeating a villain by pretending to be a tailor's dummy - this is still recognisable an old-school Bond film, with thankfully few gadgets, although it's disappointing that the producers provide Scaramanga with an island lair and super-weapon to give Bond something to blow up at the end (a rather half-hearted effort to be sure: instead of a private army, Scaramanga simply has Herve Villachaize and a maintenance man). Britt Ekland's irritating `typical silly woman' comic relief was a bit hard to take in 1974 and gets worse with each passing year, but Christopher Lee's Scaramanga is one of the more interesting Bond villains, not least because of his imagined empathy with his prey - he regards himself as Bond's moral and professional equal, the kind of pathological snobbery Fleming's books were full of but the films increasingly abandoned.
Unlike many of the repackaged 2-disc `Ultimate Editions,' this is a fairly substantial upgrade from the original single-disc issue, carrying over all of the original features and adding plenty more - a new commentary by Roger Moore, behind the scenes footage, interview with director Guy Hamilton and an amusingly cheesy extract from a British TV interview with Moore and Villachaize. The only disappointment is that the deleted Molotov Cocktail sequence from Bond and Scaramanga's duel that featured heavily in the teaser trailers has not been located and included.
As with George Lazenby, the brevity of Timothy Dalton's tenure as Bond - due to years of legal problems and lawsuits between EON and MGM/UA - has led to history merrily being rewritten by the press that once hailed him. Dalton, not the lawyers, was lined up as the fall guy with Pierce Brosnan the man who saved the series from disaster (even though Dalton's first Bond saw a massive increase in takings over Moore's last film). Those who are quick to dismiss him would do well to check out The Living Daylights.
Much of the scapegoating of Dalton seemed to come from the confusion of actor and role. At the time Dalton's Bond was the closest to Fleming's creation - more so than Connery, even - and given the right script he proved outstanding in the role. After Roger Moore's 12-year, seven-film tenure as Bond finally came to an ignominious end with A View to a Kill, as with OHMSS, Live and Let Die and Casino Royale, the producers broke in their new Bond with a more low-key, low-gadget approach, resulting in the best Bond since the Sixties, with Dalton initially looking the first Bond to seriously rival Connery. Where Connery had the danger and Moore the class, Dalton managed to combine both, with Bond's self-assurance that verges on the arrogant down pat, reclaiming the character from the increasingly comic-strip approach of too many of the later Moore films.
The film isn't without its faults - Caroline Bliss isn't up to much as Moneypenny, Maryam D'Abo's a bit of a wet leading lady while Jeroen Krabbe lacks the menace he brought to No Mercy - but it looks and feels like a classic Bond film, has little truck with gadgets and is less in thrall to silly jokes. Best of all, it's got a plot (involving a dubious defection, Mujahadin opium smuggling in Afghanistan and a re-activated Stalinist spy assassination programme). The political background may have dated - this was filmed when the Communists still held the USSR together and when the Mujahadin were the good guys - but it still comes up remarkably fresh. This is Bond with all the stops pulled out but without the overkill. The production values are superb and visually it's a treat, especially in widescreen, with John Barry making his final Bond score his best in years. The action scenes are often outstandingly good, with a return to the kind of good old vicious punchups that vanished in the latter Moore years and as well as some amazing stunt work involving a Russian troop plane and it has one of the series' best pre-title sequences, with a security exercise in Gibraltar turning into the real thing. The makers even have the confidence to remove Bond from one of the key setpieces - a superbly staged kidnapping from a safehouse, which runs nearly a full reel. John Glen's direction is so spot-on here it's hard to see why it would go so horribly wrong on Licence To Kill.
The extras package is excellent, including audio commentary, an extended scene and the infamous deleted `magic carpet' sequence, a bad idea that feels like a holdover from the Roger Moore era that was thankfully dropped due to the stunt looking distinctly unimpressive. There are enough new features on the two-disc Ultimate edition to make an upgrade worthwhile for the more ardent Bond fans - several promo featurettes from the original release, a press conference held in Vienna and 47-minute TV special `Happy Anniversary 007.' All the features from the original DVD release have also been included.
After the disappointment of Tomorrow Never Days, it perhaps shouldn't have been too surprising that, as per the usual EON pattern of alternating good and bad Bond films, The World is Not Enough turned out rather well. It helps that it has a stronger plot this time round as well as some attempt at an element of mystery - along with For Your Eyes Only this is the only Bond where the identity of the real villain is withheld for the first half of the movie. It's also more character-based than usual, with some interesting dialogue that takes on a different dimension once you know who's on the side of the angels and who isn't. The Maguffin is an oil-based variation on Goldfinger's big scheme, but the execution is very different and rather more grounded. Brosnan has the best character writing of his tenure but isn't always up to it: the moments of ruthlessness convince but he's one of those actors who can't stand still and just be and always has to do something, making him seem somewhat ADDS in some scenes and leads to a couple of strange bits of gurning. Yet it can still lay claim to being his best performance in the role, and the presence of Sophie Marceau and Robert Carlyle helps raise the acting bar enough so that even Denise Richards' hot pant wearing nuclear scientist - in-joke casting at its finest - isn't quite as bad as she's been painted.
There's a slightly schizoid feel to Michael Apted's direction at times seeming a tad uncertain and stylistically very different from Vic Armstrong's action scenes. It's certainly not difficult to tell who shot what, and not just because Armstrong seems better at hiding the significant height difference between Brosnan and Carlyle. While still variable (the opening boat chase has a few too many sight gags and the helicopter/chainsaw sequence doesn't work as well as it should), the action scenes are much better handled this time round and much better integrated into the story. Despite some awful wisecracks, this feels less like an attempt to hang plenty of setpieces on a flimsy plot and more like the action is being dictated by the story. Definitely one of the better modern Bond outings.
There's not much new in the two-disc Ultimate Edition to justify an upgrade though. While the extras from the previous release have been carried over, there's only a Hong Kong press conference and a few deleted and alternate scenes. Of these - including Renard's very unimpressive original entrance, more tomfoolery in Q's lab and a line about madmen in hollowed out volcanoes filled with large breasted women threatening the world with nuclear war ("It only takes one") among them - only a visually striking scene in the abandoned oilfields seems good enough to have kept.
- James Bond lives on!
The new release of the James Bond Ultimate Edition box sets is a fantastic event. The sets are reasonablly priced and each provides a nice mix of classic and modern bond. I will certainly strive to own each of the 4 box sets....more info
- Very Good Volume
GOLDFINGER never looked or sounded better. They did an outstanding job. The KungFu out-takes on THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN were outstanding. Those two girls were the real thing. The remastered sound on DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER raised this Connery Bond film to a new level. This is a great volume....more info
- Amazing Quality, amazing set
First of all, I'd just like to to vent my anger at the people who keep giving this product 1 star because the movies aren't in chronological order. PLEASE don't review this product unless you bought it first of all, and don't give it a negative review because you don't like the fact they aren't in order - you're ruining the rating for this great product. Review the movies and how they look, not the fact that they're not in order.
These movies are simply amazing. The sound is all in 5.1 DTS or Dolby, and the picture has been completely restored. These movies look like they were shot this past year instead of 40 years ago in some cases, and are well worth your money if you're a Bond fan. I'm not thrilled with the way that they decided to split up the movies like this, but this is a strong set with many good movies. I can't say enough about how good these movies look, and the packaging is also very nice, with nice little booklets that come with the discs. Amazon has a great price on these sets, so buy them now, it's well worth your money....more info
- bond is back
As a fan of 007 since the age of 10 when I watched FYEO on HBO for the first time, I can honestly say that this ENTIRE series is worth every cent. The picture quality is worth the price alone. The Aston Martin in "Goldfinger" is pristene as if it were filmed mere hours ago instead of 40+ years ago. And although some of the films do not live up to expectations they are all unmistakably Bond. Although, we will probably see yet another re-packaging of the classic movies along with the up-coming "Casino Royale" about the time Bond 22 is released, I will stick with this collection. The extras are very well produced as well although some are passed down from the previous collection....more info
- 5 Bond Classics, Part 1.
In honor of the new Bond restart "Casino Royale", all the previous Bond movies have been released in four boxed sets in two disc special edition form, with state od the art picture and sound quality and a dazzling array of special features.
For me, this is a dream come true. I've been a James Bond since I was 5 years old. I've idolized the very idea of the man since I was a kid, and now to see him in all incarnations in the way he is meant to be seen is a treat.
Volume One gives you five Bond films: 1964's "Goldfinger" (the best Bond movie), 1971's cheesy but highly enjoyable "Diamonds Are Forever", 1974's "The Man With The Golden Gun", 1987's vastly underrated Timothy Dalton debut "The Living Daylights" and Pierce Brosnan's mediocre but fun "The World Is Not Enough".
I'm not going to give plot details of all the movies, but I will say that the picture and sound quality do indeed do live up to expectations. The collectible booklets that come with the dvds are excellent, and while I have not watched any of them yet, I'm sure the extras are excellent. Overall, this is definitely a must have....more info