Customer Review

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Showcase Blu-ray Release, November 24, 2008
This review is from: James Bond Blu-ray Collection: Volume One (Dr. No / Die Another Day / Live and Let Die) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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.

_____________________________________________
THE GOOD:
- 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 boxe 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 Dr. No disk, for example, has a very informative HD documentary on the restoration process and we get to learn who did what, why and how. Then, we see 1962 trailers, a contemporary documentary on the making of the movie, a 1960's interview with a gun specialist discussing the various James Bond handguns, 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.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 14, 2008 6:31:51 PM PST
Timbo says:
Are these movies original theatrical versions?
As a bond fan, I would very much like to relive these classics and view them as they were originally intended. After upgrading my VHS collection to DVD, I was highly disappointed that the original versions had been edited. One that will always standout from my childhood is the theatrical version of "Live and Let Die". I found the sheriff swearing up a storm to be hilarious and the racial references and barriers crossed monumental for that time.
So is this Blu ray collection authentic, worth my time and money or just another glorified edited TV version?

Posted on Dec 14, 2008 6:57:25 PM PST
Timbo says:
Are these movies original theatrical versions?
As a bond fan, I would very much like to relive these classics and view them as they were originally intended. After upgrading my VHS collection to DVD, I was highly disappointed that the original versions had been edited. One that will always standout from my childhood is the theatrical version of "Live and Let Die". I found the sheriff swearing up a storm to be hilarious and the racial references and barriers crossed monumental for that time.
So is this Blu ray collection authentic, worth my time and money or just another glorified edited TV version?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2008 8:03:26 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 14, 2008 8:04:11 PM PST
A. Dent says:
Timbo, the good sheriff is probably as colorful as you heard him back then. Having watched Live and Let Die on TV only until I got to watch this release, I can tell you that I got to hear a lot more stuff coming out of his mouth than I remember was coming out on the TV version. And, no, I don't believe that anything was left out.

I can't stand 'commercial TV' movies myself. In fact, I stopped watching those a long, long, long time ago.
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Review Details

Item

Reviewer

A. Dent "Aragorn"
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (#1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   

Location: Minas Anor, GD

Top Reviewer Ranking: 18