Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

James Bond on Blu-ray Disc

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
8.5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
8.5 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: PG and PG-13 (Die Another Day)

Starring:

Dr. No (1962)
Sean Connery as James Bond
Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder
Joseph Wiseman as Dr. No
Jack Lord as Felix Leiter
Bernard Lee as M.
Anthony Dawson as Professor R. J. Dent
Zena Marshall as Miss Taro
John Kitzmiller as Quarrel
Eunice Gayson as Sylvia Trench
Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny
Peter Burton as Maj. Boothroyd
Yvonne Shima as Sister Lily
Michel Mok as Sister Rose

From Russia With Love (1963)
Sean Connery as James Bond
Daniela Bianchi as Tatiana Romanova
Pedro Armendáriz as Ali Kerim Bey
Lotte Lenya as Rosa Klebb
Robert Shaw as Red Grant
Bernard Lee as M
Eunice Gayson as Sylvia Trench
Walter Gotell as Morzeny
Francis De Wolff as Vavra - Gypsy Leader
George Pastell as Train Conductor
Nadja Regin as Kerim's Girl
Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny
Aliza Gur as Vida
Martine Beswick as Zora
Vladek Sheybal as Kronsteen

Thunderball (1965)
Sean Connery as James Bond
Claudine Auger as Dominique 'Domino' Derval
Adolfo Celi as Emilio Largo - SPECTRE #2
Luciana Paluzzi as Fiona Volpe
Rik Van Nutter as Felix Leiter
Guy Doleman as Count Lippe
Molly Peters as Patricia Fearing
Martine Beswick as Paula Caplan
Bernard Lee as M
Desmond Llewelyn as Q
Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny
Roland Culver as Foreign Secretary
Earl Cameron as Pinder
Paul Stassino as Major Francois Derval / Angelo Palazzi
Rose Alba as Madame Boitier

Live and Let Die (1973)
Roger Moore as James Bond
Yaphet Kotto as Kananga / Mr. Big
Jane Seymour as Solitaire
Clifton James as Sheriff J.W. Pepper
Julius Harris as Tee Hee
Geoffrey Holder as Baron Samedi
David Hedison as Felix Leiter
Gloria Hendry as Rosie Carver
Bernard Lee as M
Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny
Tommy Lane as Adam
Earl Jolly Brown as Whisper
Roy Stewart as Quarrel Jr.
Lon Satton as Harold Strutter

For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Roger Moore as James Bond
Carole Bouquet as Melina Havelock
Topol as Milos Columbo
Lynn-Holly Johnson as Bibi Dahl
Julian Glover as Aristotle Kristatos
Cassandra Harris as Countess Lisl von Schlaf
Jill Bennett as Jacoba Brink
Michael Gothard as Emile Leopold Locque
John Wyman as Erich Kriegler
Jack Hedley as Sir Timothy Havelock
Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny
Desmond Llewelyn as Q
Geoffrey Keen as Minister of Defence
Walter Gotell as General Anatol Gogol
James Villiers as Bill Tanner

Die Another Day (2002)
Pierce Brosnan as James Bond
Halle Berry as Jinx
Toby Stephens as Gustav Graves
Rosamund Pike as Miranda Frost
Rick Yune as Zao
Judi Dench as M
John Cleese as Q
Michael Madsen as Damian Falco
Will Yun Lee as Colonel Moon
Kenneth Tsang as General Moon
Emilio Echevarría as Raoul
Mikhail Gorevoy as Vlad
Lawrence Makoare as Mr. Kil
Colin Salmon as Charles Robinson
Samantha Bond as Miss Moneypenny

Special Features:
Dr. No (1962)
Audio commentary featuring Director Terrence Young and members of the cast and crew
Featurettes including: 007 License to Restore, Dr No 1963, The Guns of James Bond Premiere Bond: Opening Nights, Misison Control: Exotic locations
Inside Dr. No, Terence Young: Bond Vivant
Ministry of Propaganda: Theatrical trailers, TV Broadcast and Radio Communication
Mission Control Search Function: 007 Allies, Villians & Combat Manual, Original Theatrical Trailer
Image Database

From Russia With Love (1963)
Audio Commentary featuring Director Terence Young and members of the Cast and Crew
Featurettes: Inside From Russia With Love, Harry Saltzman: Showman, Ian Fleming & Raymond Chandler
Ian Fleming on Desert Island Discs, Animated storyboard sequence, Ian Fleming: The CBC Interview
Mission Control Search Function: 007, Allies, Villians & Combat Manual
Ministry of Propaganda: Theatrical Trailers, TV Broadcast & Radio Communiction
Orginal Theatrical Trailer
Image Database

Thunderball (1965)
Audio Commentary featuring Director Terence Young and others
Audio Commentary featuring editor Peter Hunt, screenwriter John Hopkins and others
Declassified MI6 Vault: The Incredible world of James Bond, A Child's Guide to Blowing Up a Motor Car, On Location with Ken Adam, Bill Suitor the RocketMan Movies, Thunderball Boat Show Reel, Selling Bonds
Original 1965 Television Commercials, MI6 Credits
Mission Control: Exotic Locations
Declassified: Mission Dossier: The Making of Thunderball, The Thunderball Phenomenon, The Secret History of Thunderball
Mission Control: Search Content Feature: 007, Allies, Villains
Ministry of Propaganda: Theatrical Trailers, TV Broadcast and Radio Communiction
Image Database

Live and Let Die (1973)
Audio commentaries featuring Sir Roger Moore, Director Guy Hamilton and Tom Mankiewicz
Declassified MI6 Vault: Roger Moore as James Bond, Circa 1964, Bond 1973: The Lost Documentary, Live and Let Die Conceptual Art
Mission Dossier: On set with Roger Moore - The Funeral Parade & Hang Gliding Lessons, Inside Live and Let Die
Ministry of Propaganda: Trailers, TV Broadcasts and Radio Communications
Mission Control: Exotic Locations
Mission Control Search Function: 007, Allies, Villains & Mission Combat Manual
Image Database
MI6 Credits

For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Audio Commentaries featuring Sir Roger Moore, Director John Glen and members of the cast, Michael G. Wilson and crew
Declassified: MI6 Vault - Deleted Scenes, Expanded Angles, MI6 Credits, Bond in Greece, Bond in Croatia, Neptune's Journey
Mission Dossier: Sheena Easton Video, Animated Story Board Sequences
Ministry of Propaganda: Theatrical Trailer, TV Broadcasts and Radio Communications
Mission Control: Exotic Locations and Opening titles
Mission Control Search Function: 007, Allies, Villains & Mission Combat Manual
Image Database

Die Another Day (2002)
Audio Commentary featuring actors Pierce Brosnan and Rosamund Pike
Audio Commentary featuring Director Lee Tamahori and Producer Michael G. Wilson
MI6 Datastream: Factoid Trivia Track
Declassified MI6 Vault: From Script to Screen, Shaken and Stirred on Ice, Just Another Day, The British Touch: Bond Arrives in London, Location scouting with Peter Lamot, MI6 Credits
Mission Control: Exotic Locations and Opening Titles
Mission Control: Search Content: 007, Villains, Mission Combat Manual
Image Database

Other Info:
Widescreen
DTS HD 5.1 Master Lossless Audio
Spanish and French Language
Spanish Subtitles

Synopsis:

Dr. No (1962)
His name is Bond. James Bond. And here, in his explosive film debut, Ian Fleming's immortal action hero blazes through one of his most spectacular adventures. Sean Connery embodies the suave yet lethal cool of James Bond as he battles the mysterious Dr. No, a scientific genius bent on destroying the U.S Space Programme.

From Russia With Love (1963)
Sean Connery returns as James Bond in this thrill-a-minute adventure featuring remarkable villains, beautiful women and exotic locales!

This time, Bond squares off against the evil spectre organisation in a race to seize a Soviet decoding machine, thrusting him into a thrilling boat chase, a brutal helicopter attack and a deadly brawl aboard the Orient Express.

Thunderball (1965)
The thrills never let up as James Bond dives in to this riveting adventure filled with explosive confrontations and amazing underwater action!

Sean Connery brings his characteristic style and magnetism to Agent 007 as he travels to Nassau to track down a villainous criminal who is threatening to plunge the world into a nuclear holocaust

Live and Let Die (1973)
James Bond battles the forces of Black Magic in this high octane adventure that hurtles him from the streets of New York City to Louisiana's Bayou country.

With Charm, wit and deadly assurance, Roger Moore steps in as Agent 007 and takes on a powerful Drug Lord (Yaphet Kotto) with a diabolical scheme to conquer the world.

For Your Eyes Only (1981)
James Bond is thrust in to one of his most riveting adventures in this jam-packed free-for-all of outrageous stunts, passionate encounters and exciting confrontations.

Roger Moore portrays Agent 007 with lethal determination in a plot that finds him infiltrating the Greek Underworld to locate a stolen device capable of controlling a fleet of nuclear submarines!

Die Another Day (2002)
James Bond (pierce Brosnan) pulls out all the stops to take you on an unforgettable, adrenaline,-pumping ride across the globe in this action-filled adventure!

From a dark cell in a North Korean prison to the beautiful beaches of Cuba, 007 (Pierce Brosnan) is on the trail of a diabolical genius who's hellbent on slicing up the earth...Literally.

Mini-Review:
Besides "Casino Royale," this is the first time the James Bond movies have been released on Blu-ray Disc, and just in time for "Quantum of Solace"! I was really curious to see what they would look like in HD. Some movies look better than others. So I figured I'd check out "Dr. No" first. I assumed if they could make one of the oldest Bond movies look good, the others would look great, too.

I was really impressed with how good "Dr. No" looked. The outdoor scenes looked fantastic. It was like they were filmed yesterday. The color and sharpness in this 46-year-old movie look amazing. The indoor scenes are just as sharp, but they seem a little more dated from the simple fact that many of them were filmed on a set. I had forgotten how beautiful a Bond girl Ursula Andress was (despite the fact that she has little impact on the story as Honey Rider). The Blu-ray treatment just emphasizes that. What's a bit more amusing is the 'yellowface' treatment they gave Caucasian actors in Asian roles. It comes across as quite silly and even more glaring in the stark clarity of HD.

I then decided to move on to "Live and Let Die." It was required viewing because it was the first appearance of Roger Moore as James Bond... and because my distant relative, Joie Chitwood, did some of the stunts in the film. The action sequences were fantastic and my kids loved watching the boat chase in the Louisiana bayous. Again, I was impressed with Jane Seymour as a Bond girl. And in HD you can actually see she has one blue eye and one green eye.

If you're a Blu-ray enthusiast, you're going to want to add these movies to your collection. The restoration is stunning. And if you buy just one, I have a feeling you're going to want to pick up the others once you see how good they look.

Many of the bonus features on these DVDs appear to have been on previous Bond releases. However, if you've never seen them before, they're a great extra. I watched the 45 minute featurette on the making of "Dr. No." Many of the other featurettes aren't quite this long, but they're still interesting. (They seem to contain a lot of interviews from the 1980s rather than more recent ones.) There are a few new bonus features, though. "Dr. No" contains one covering the meticulous restoration of the picture of the movies. However, it's only on this disc though it covers the restoration of all the movies. There are also some image galleries, interactive menus, a featurette on Bond's guns, and other fun new stuff.

I'll add that each of these Blu-ray discs has a free ticket to "Quantum of Solace" on it. However, it's not a paper ticket in the case like you frequently see. It's a code on the back of a sticker that you have to enter online. And when you peel off the sticker to get the code, practically all of the text telling you how to redeem it comes off and stays bonded (no pun intended) to the DVD cover. It's pretty awful.

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