50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
I use a PS3 as my Blu-ray player. I had no problems starting these disc, using the bonus features, nor did I have any problems while viewing the video, your results may vary. If you have problems, check your manual for instructions on updating your firmware.
This is Volume 1 and 2 wrapped together, it is nothing "special" the only thing special is the lower price.
When I ordered this, I was not expecting what I got. I thought the movies were in standard blu-ray cases and put in a box, but I was wrong.
When you get your movies, you have a nice 007 plastic slipcase, when you take that off you have the box (which you see in the image) and inside is a very nice "book" that houses your discs.
Each movie is presented on 1 disc, and each volume has 3 movies.
I own the James Bond Ultimate DVD collection. I'm going to assume you may own that version as well, and want to know if the blu-ray is worth the upgrade or not (these movies are over 40-50 years old mind you).
When I got the ultimate dvd collection last year, I was shocked at the quality of Dr NO. This is a very old movie, and it looked better than some blu-rays I owned (and this was on DVD!), the same is true for these blu-rays.
Dr No Looks better than the majority of blu-rays I own. Every scene is sharp. No scene looks soft, or bad. The restoration done on these has to be seen to be believed.
When you watch the blu-rays some of the bonus features explain the process behind the remastering (which is very interesting).
I must warn you. If you're the type who likes to watch trailers (of the film you're about to watch) prior to watching the movie, do not do so here. As they are almost all full of spoilers. Think of the trailer as a recap, and rejoice in the over the top trailers of back in the day.
Now on to rating the specifics.
5/5 Easy. Top Notch. Each scene is so vibrant, so sharp, you will be soo furious with other blu-rays sitting on your shelf, because they wont look half as good as Dr No. (even modern movies shot last year)
4/5. This is tough to rate really, some of the movies were filmed in mono (and we get the mono track, which as with the dvds, I much prefer), but here we also have a surround mix to go along with it. Obviously this is not going to be as good as any modern movie soundtrack, but it is as good as the movies have ever sounded. Also I must comment, the only part of these movies that make you aware that the movie was indeed shot back in the 60's is the audio. The gun shots and other special effects are.... weak by today's standards, but it is faithful to the source, and that's all that matters.
5/5 When the ultimate collection was made, we got the movie, then a disc full of extras. Thanks to the power of blu-ray, we have all those extras and the movie on the same disc. All this is seamless.
5/5. If you read some of my reviews on other "sets" I really hound studios. I have wasted 100's of dollars on "gift sets" that are rendered useless when they arrive due to scratching, broke discs, stuff falling out, luckily that is NOT the case here.
The design that houses the discs are similar to the way they are presented on Battlestar Galatica Season 1 (on HD-DVD) (only these actually work, and have none of the issues that set did). Meaning you open up the wonderful book (vibrant, and full of color, I will be posting pictures tomorrow) and the discs look as though they are floating on the case. The best way to get them off is to "twist them".
I really like the packing, its like a really fancy case, it exudes style. I personally love Volume 1 more, the blue is soo suave.
Ok, I can understand a LOT of work went into making these videos. But the hardwork was already done when you remastered the video from the negatives to make the ultimate dvd sets a few years back. Those videos came with 5 movies, with the bonuses, and now you can buy 2 of those volumes for the price of one of these (which only contains 3 movies per box). Or all 4 for the price of these 2 volumes (20 movies versus 6) all of which are basically the same.
Now, I'll admit, the quality is better, and the packaging is amazing. But you have to ask yourself. Would you prefer having the whole set on DVD or 6 movies on Blu-Ray. (as it amounts to the same price)
At this rate the price for the whole set will run you around 350 dollars (with amazons VERY LOW price) not retail, retail would be 550 and that's for 18 total. I guess you can guess they will triple dip Casino Royale, and make the set a close 700 dollars. I hope they start either dropping the price, or adding a movie or 2 per set.
With all that said, would I buy this set again? Sadly, yes. They are just too good. And the packaging is something that has to be seen to be believed.
If you're choosing, should I buy the single blu-ray releases, or get the box sets. I would say buy the box sets (and save yourself some serious money and buy this "collection" on amazon) The boxes are amazing, and the quality is very high, and it is cheaper to buy 1 volume than 3 discs (though I'm sure there might be some movies you do not want, but if you want the whole collection, its cheaper to just buy them all now)
Last, but NOT least, you get another bonus, that is not advertised, free tickets to the new Bond movie (actually each box has 2 tickets, so you get 4 if you buy this set) that's 40 dollars in value there.
If you own the DVD's and want to know, should I buy the blu-rays, or just keep watching my ultimate series upconverted, that's harder to say, if the money is no problem, you will enjoy the new set. If you're buying this for your boyfriend or husband, he will love the packaging (I do) as it looks very nice.
When volume 3, and 4 come out on blu-ray will I buy them? Without hesitation. Just be sure to give me Goldeneye.
Oh, if the only versions of Bond you own, are not from the Ultimate Collection DVD sets, these blu-rays are going to be night and day for you, as they have been painstakingly remastered from the original negatives (the film that was actually used in the camera) and all flaws have been removed, making these movies as good or better than the latest big budget blockbuster.
If you're new to Bond, and not sure if you want to invest in this series, be sure to take a look at Casino Royale (Two-Disc Collector's Edition + BD Live) [Blu-ray], It is one of my favorite movies by far, and easily a favorite bond film. (also highly recommended prior to watching the new QOS movie, which you get tickets for when you buy this set)
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2000
"The James Bond Gift Set" is a wonderful combination of Bond movies. The set contains "Goldfinger," "Thunderball," "Live and Let Die," "For Your Eyes Only," "Licence To Kill," "Goldeneye," and "Tommorrow Never Dies." The rest of the Bond movies will be in two different sets, the first is coming out in May 2000, the second sometime in fall 2000. For those wondering like myself before I got it there is no special intro before the movies as in for example The Star Wars Special Edition Set, but you still get exciting 007 entertainment while watching these 7 classic Bond films.
118 of 132 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2000
About half of the reviews I've read here at amazon.com have complained that MGM seems to have selected the movies for this set at random. I must disagree with this. They obviously wanted a variety of films, so they chose from across the board. They went with two of the most popular Sean Connery vehicles ("Goldfinger" and "Thunderball"), Roger Moore's first ("Live and Let Die") and his most widely acclaimed ("For Your Eyes Only"), Timothy Dalton's better outing ("License to Kill") and Pierce Brosnan's two films: "Goldneye" and "Tomorrow Never Dies." (They excluded the recently released "The World Is Not Enough" for obvious reasons.) Although I must admit that I would rather own a set that had gone in chronological order and contained all 6 Connery outings and George Lazenby's very good (though underrated) "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," I am very happy with the set that MGM did come up with. "Goldfinger" is the best of the Bond flicks, and I truly enjoy "Thunderball," "For Your Eyes Only," and "Goldeneye." (I haven't yet seen "Live and Let Die.") I can't figure out why "Goldeneye" has received so much criticism while it's greatly inferior, semi-plotless predecessor ("Tomorrow Never Dies") is hailed as the best Brosnan film. In any case, other than "TND," this is a great set. Buy it and get the others that follow. Sean Connery enthusiasts should be pleased to learn that the final set contains three of his films, including "From Russia with Love." Enjoy this set, and many thanks to MGM for putting it out there for us.
48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 1999
I have just purchased the 7 DVD gift set and am amazed at the overall quality and extras that they contain. The menu screens are fantastic and the picture quality is amazing. Many of these DVD's have been remastered using THX, this is not noted on the actual covers. MGM has chosen to release the DVD's in three waves. The first set has been released, the second and third sets will be released next year covering the entire series. There have been many complaints about Disney's DVD box set and the fact that it contains no supplementary material. The James Bond Gift set contains so many extra's that it becomes almost daunting. There are various Behind the scenes stills, Active storyboard sequences, music videos, Documentaries, Original radio interviews, 007 featurettes, Digital effects reels. Every one of these DVD's has a newly created widescreen master for optimal picture and sound quality. BUY IT!
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
I hope that everyone who had problems playing the first 2 Bond collections had them addressed by now because Volume 3's layout and features is consistent with the previous two. All players that received firmware upgrades after October 2008 should be able to play this set.
Here is my evaluation of the current Bond Blu-ray collection (a work in progress as I'm not fully done with the viewing) - and it's not unlike my impression of the first 2.
- Incredible video quality, most likely better than what the audience saw on release date on some of the older movies.
- Lots of extras, most of them worth watching or listening to.
- Beautiful, innovative packaging.
THE NOT SO GOOD:
- The sound restoration not as good as the video on the early Bonds.
- Some of the 'extras' sections would benefit from a 'play all' option.
- The boxes could be a bit slimmer.
- May require upgrades on certain players if they haven't been upgraded since September-October 2008.
The overall impression is of quality, inside and out. The box could be a little smaller but the packaging is exquisite. There's a transparent plastic slide cover over a solid cardboard box holding a small binder on which the individual movie disks are attached to pages. Each movie comes on one disc holding the movie itself and in incredible amount of extras.
The menu interface is well organized and there's even some humor in labeling. For example, the option that plays the movie is labeled 'The Mission' while the historic promotional material is found under 'The Propaganda'. Depending on which section you may be, menu options branch into further sub-menus.
The extras are numerous and, for the most part interesting. There are features on the restoration process and we get to learn who did what, why and how. Then, we see contemporary documentaries on the making of the movie and so on. The Goldfinger disc, for example, includes actual radio interviews with Sean Connery, 2 major documentaries on 'the making of' and 'the world of' Goldfinger, about 30 minutes each, original trailers, screen tests, an interview with Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore), even a feature on Bond's Aston Martin. And, amazingly, it all fits on one disc.
The area where some of the older installments show their age is the sound. The audio options include the original sound track which, in the older releases is 'mono' but all movies come with DTS-HD Master Audio 24-bit 5.1 surround as the default. The sound wasn't upgraded and improved to the degree that the picture was but, it's understandable. Going from mono to 5.1 surround is the equivalent of upgrading from black and white to full-color 3-D in the world of images. Commentary sound tracks featuring the director and the cast and crew are also included.
When it comes to the video quality, the best that I can say is that you've got to see it to believe it. The restoration of the older movies started with the actual original negative, which is the one reference copy that's almost never touched. Once the copy was digitized as a 4000 lines resolution digital copy (Bluray is 1080) every frame was reprocessed to eliminate any possible defects from 'dirty optics', such as the proverbial hair that we sometimes see on the older movies to scratches, bad exposure, color brilliance. The restorers' goal for the end result, and this concerns the video only, not the sound quality, was to deliver what would appear to be a contemporary movie with a 60's or 70's theme rather than a 60's or 70's movies. In my view, they succeeded and, surprisingly, the 1964 Goldfinger looks as good as the 1979 Moonraker.
My overall rating is a solid five-stars. Just about everything in this release is superlative: the physical packaging, the interface design, the extras, the video quality. The sound is not so good on the older movies but, given the state of sound restoration technologies, I did not feel compelled to remove a star because the old movies sounded more or less like they did on release date or better.
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 1999
This is a god set for collectors with an attractive box and good variety of Bond films. The only thing it lacks is George Lazernby. This set has all of the Bonds except him. All of the movies have their own flavor and level of action. The Bonds are all diferent as well. Sean Connery being the rough and cool secret agent with all the right moves. Roger Moore being the more romantic and wittier. Timothy Daulton being the roughest of the Bonds with a more ruthless edge. Pierce Brosnan possibly being the best Bond with the ruggedness of Connery and the witt of Moore. All of the Bonds are great, but it still could have had George Lazernby.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2002
When the world is threatened by evil organizations, only Ian Fleming`s James Bond 007 can save world and be back in time to watch the super station.
This set contains:
Live and Let Die
For Your Eyes Only
Licence to Kill
Tomorrow Never Dies
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 1999
It's hard to argue with anything Bond (except Never Say Never Again, of course). I don't even mind the campiness of Diamonds Are Forever.
The set is great - it's nice to see Bond in a way that reminds us of the theater experience. I have owned every Bond film on VHS - even Casino Royale. It was a tough decision to upgrade. But the DVD version is worth it. I think they have done a very good job with the quality of the transfer and the extras are kinda nice too.
The one problem (and the only reason to give it four stars) is the randomness of the selections. This set isn't chronological; it isn't a best of; they aren't separated by actor; it isn't done by box office receipts (box office is a bad way to judge good Bond). So what is it? How did they choose? What do they call the next set - Random Bond Sampler II?
It seems that this type of a set should include On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
For the afficianado, it doesn't matter. He/she would acquire all of them anyway. (And there isn't one in here you wouldn't want to own.) So I think the math works out so that buying the set is cheaper.
The problem is for the uninitiated. This really isn't even a starter set, for of course that would include Dr. No. If you are looking to spend big bucks or this is a gift - no disappointment. But it's kind of a big chunk all at once.
I would recommend doing it this way: Start with Goldfinger, For Your Eyes Only, and Tomorrow Never Dies. After that, if you become a true Bond addict like me, read on.
Next, you want to pick up the rest of the early Connery's: Dr. No (the film that started a revolution), From Russia With Love (my personal favorite), and Thunderball (absolutely fantastic - and gives great SPECTRE). Also, Goldeneye is excellent, and Brosnan is a great Bond. For the Moore's: Spy Who Loved Me is second best, and after that Live and Let Die (Moore's first), and Moonraker (which is quite good despite the silly space laser stuff).
On Her Majesty's Secret Service is probably the most underrated Bond (despite a glaring plot hole - Blofeld doesn't recognize Bond even though they met in the movie before - which isn't too bad if you don't think about it). It is also one of my favorites
I think the Dalton's are very good. More spy stuff than big explosions, which I like. Cute Bond girls too. Dalton is rougher and has difficulty with the comic timing, but effective as a spy. Of the two, License to Kill is better. A very nice break from the "I want to rule the world" villians.
For the rest: I think it is personal preference. You Only Live Twice has the worst special effects of all, but has some of the best Moneypenny/Bond chemistry and a great opening sequence. However it is not true to one of the best of the Bond books. It was replaced by a rather flimsy plot penned by Roald Dahl, of all people. Diamonds are Forever is kind of an anomaly. Connery returns to go to - Vegas? However, don't miss Bambi and Thumper. Watch it - you'll understand. View to a Kill is good but suffers from bad fashion and my least favorite Bond girl - Tanya Roberts (beautiful, but a petroleum engineer?). Grace Jones, as Mayday, is great. This also has one of Moore's best lines. Moore, who's been out spying, can not get back into his bedroom, because Walken, the bad guy, and Mayday are inspecting his room. So he sneaks into Mayday's bed. When she returns . . . you get the idea. While talking to Bond the next morning, Walken asks him if he slept well. Bond responds, "It was a little rough, but I got off eventually." Classic Moore. Man With the Golden Gun, one of the best books, along with Octopussy are the worst of the series, but still watchable for an addict like me.
There you go.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2002
You'll notice the Bond box sets are out of print and selling at astronomically high prices here. DON'T BUY THEM! The entire set is being re-issued in October, 2002 and you'll be able to buy on Amazon.Com for less than [price]. Unless you like to overpay just wait. These DVDs are a must for any serious Bond fan, but not at these prices.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Let me first state that I was completely unaware of the problems with playing these movies until I browsed through the Amazon reviews. It is disturbing to constantly hear of people who paid good money for their expensive players not being able to fully enjoy movies that are expected to play on them. However, I have not experienced any problems playing a Bluray movie ever and this review is only discussing my personal experience with this specific package.
- Incredible video quality, better than what the audience saw on release date on some of the older movies.
- Lots of extras, most of them worth watching or listening to.
- Beautiful packaging.
THE NOT SO GOOD:
- The sound restoration not as good as the video.
- Some of the 'extras' sections would benefit from a 'play all' option.
- The box could be a bit slimmer.
- May require upgrades on certain players.
The overall impression is of quality, inside and out. The box could be a little smaller but the packaging is exquisite. There's a transparent plastic slide cover over a solid cardboard box holding a small binder on which the 3 individual movie disks are pages. Each movie comes on one disk, holding the movie itself and in incredible amount of extras.
The menu interface is well organized and there's is even some humor in labeling. For example, the option that plays the movie is labeled 'The Mission' while the historic promotional material is found under 'The Propaganda'. Depending on which section you may be, menu options branch into further sub-menus.
The extras are numerous and, for the most part interesting. The From Russia with Love disk, for example, has 3 fascinating interviews with Ian Fleming, including one where Fleming and Chandler discuss their work and their heroes, the Propaganda sections show contemporary trailers, even radio commercials.
The sound options include the original sound which, in the older releases is 'mono' but all movies have surround 5.1 as the default. The sound wasn't upgraded and improved to the degree that the picture was but, it's understandable. Going from mono to 5.1 surround would be the equivalent of upgrading from black and white to full-color 3-D in the world of images. The area where some of the older installments show their age is the sound.
When it comes to the pictures, the best that I can say is that you've got to see it to believe it. The restoration of the older movies started with the actual original negative, which is the one copy that's almost never touched. Once the copy was digitized as a 4000 lines resolution digital copy (Bluray is 1080) every frame was reprocessed to eliminate any possible defects from 'dirty optics', such as the proverbial hair that we sometimes see on the older movies to scratches, bad exposure, color brilliance. The restorers' goal for the end result, and this concerns the video only, not the sound quality, was to deliver what would appear to be a contemporary movie with a 60's or 70's theme rather than a 60's or 70's movies. In my view, they succeeded.
My overall rating is a solid five-stars. Just about everything in this release is superlative: the physical packaging, the interface design, the extras, the video quality. The sound is not so good on the older movies but, given the state of sound restoration technologies, I did not feel compelled to remove a star because the old movies sounded more or less like they did on release date.
Please note that and I am not factoring in player issues because, sooner or later, those are going to be addressed.