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Differences between the three DVD editions (and the Blu-Ray) - UPDATE,
This review is from: GoldenEye (DVD)
The first DVD issue released in 1997 (MGMs very first release on that format) is a 6.48 Gig flipper disc, with a full-screen version on side A, and a non-anamorphic widescreen one on side B (2.35:1 Scope). Measly extras are Spanish and French DD 2.0, audio commentary, production notes, and theatrical trailer (warning!! IN EXTREMELY PI$$ POOR VHS QUALITY). Audio quality is OK, but boy the picture quality! The WS version uses the analog master made for the laserdisc and has REALLY BAD picture quality!! From flickering, combing, shimmering (and lots of it baby!!), to blocking and etc., you name it! The FS version on the other hand, looks like a center crop/pan & scan of the film negative, and sadly is of better visual quality than the widescreen version. But like the latter, it suffers from mosquito noise and blocking. This release has cover art similar to the movie poster (and the 1999 issue, minus "Speical Edtion" with a gold band), and if you have to have every single video edition of every bond film made, this is for you. But there are later releases superior to this one so skip the 1997 issue if possible.
- UPDATE ON THIS RELEASE -
There's what appears to be later printings of this disc that is said to have the WS side 16:9 enhanced (covers and such the same, but with "16:9 widescreen" in the back specs instead of plain ol' "widescreen") . It is unknown if it uses the LD master blown to 16:9 or uses the film master used on the 1999 SE release.
Next is the 1999/2000 Special Edition, released when they were putting other bond titles on DVD for the first time in this SE series. Unlike the previous release, this one uses a digital remaster created from the film negative, is anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen, and has far better picture quality; so the trite LD quality of the first release is not present here (YAY!). Audio is practically the same as the last release, sans the Spanish audio. However, the DD 5.1 mix is a slightly different mix than 5.1 track on the previous DVD (which was sourced from the LD), meaning it doesn't sound as "crisp" and outputs at a softer volume, but still of stellar quality. Unlike the last release MGM decided to apply decent special features here! With an additional audio commentary, there are making of featurettes, TV spots, backstage stuff with the actors/producers, 2 theatrical trailers (the 1st one being much better quality here than on the last release), and a chalkboard grinding music video with a fluffy making of feature on how that piece of ship went together.
- UPDATE ON THIS RELEASE -
There's a small error on the back of the cover where the film says its rated "PG", but the official MPAA rating is "PG-13". Kinda funny since most PG rated films contain more intense stylized violence and gross innuendos.
The Ultimate Edition release from 2006 by MGM/Sony (later repackaged/reissued by MGM/fox) ports the ENG DD 5.1 and French 2.0 tracks and most of the features from the 2nd release (minus the horrid music video), while it adds a few new ones and a 768kbps DTS 5.1 ENG track (which brings back the crispness and beefy surrounds of the 1st DVD/LD audio). There is yet again another new digital transfer of the film. However, while sharper and clearer than the last release, it suffers from DVNR issues and is slightly zoomed in (roughly 4%) on all four sides, making the PQ on this release inferior to the previous.
The Blu-Ray version, issued last year in the Bond 50 series, ports material from the 2nd and UE releases, adds a few such as a Bond 50 montage, and drops a few dated ones. Audio options are ENG 7.1 DTS-MA, DD 5.1 EX in English, French, Spanish, and DD 2.0 in Japanese and Portuguese plus commentaries. There is another new 4K transfer similar to the UE one. The differences here are sharper picture quality, corrected framing (no more zoomed in shots), and a pedestrian MGM Lion/Tom Cruse era United Artists logo combo replacing the unique UA "Stone Marble" logo that started the film on prior releases.
- UPDATE: NEW DVD RELEASE ADDITION -
I got this at Wal*Mart for $11.97 in their DVD bin. It is NOT A REPACKAGE of the Ultimate Edition, but rather a bare bones port of the Bond 50 Blu-Ray, with cover art identical to the that release. Specs are: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1, ENG DD 5.1, ENG 5.1 DVS, French 2.0 Stereo, and an new audio commentary. When I said bare bones, DAMN RIGHT I MEAN BARE BONES!! Scanning through the VOB files shows the film, menus, Bond 50 BD Trailer, Skyfall trailer, and MGM DVD/FOX HE logos all on this measly 4.48 gig disc. No UE or SE extras, not even the Goldeneye trailer, NOTHING!!! However, this release is not all bad. Its transfer is a port of the BDs, and has best Picture and Sound out of all the Goldeneye DVD issues. (It even reinserts the UA Marble logo, with MGMs newest logo preceding it) Purists may avoid it cause of its lack of any bonus material, but should look into it for the most improved DVD release of Goldeneye in terms of PQ and Sound. If they still don't like it, let 'em keep their old releases plagued with poor LD quality, foolscreen versions, trite music videos, DVNR smearing, and zoomed in shots.