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"...One Of Nature's Finest Killers..."
, February 26, 2012
This review is from: Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
*** A 'PREAMBLE' ON THE FORTHCOMING "BOND 50" BLU RAY BOX SET ***
For those who pre-purchase - there are a few details worth noting about this 22-film/23-disc BLU RAY box set as a 'preamble' to its eventual release in late September 2012...
Excluding the two Daniel Craig outings ("Casino Royale" and "Quantum Of Solace" which are also in the box) - as of February 2012 there are only 11 of the previous 20 James Bond movies presently on Blu Ray - they are "Dr. No", "From Russia With Love", "Goldfinger", "Thunderball", "Live And Let Die", "The Man With The Golden Gun", "For Your Eyes Only", "Moonraker", "License To Kill", "Die Another Day" and "The World Is Not Enough". [Note: 9 have been officially released in the UK - it appears that "The Man With The Golden Gun" and "Licence To Kill" are 'EURO' issues - covering in German writing and with no card wraps].
The 11 that are out there are 1-disc Blu Ray versions matching exactly the 2DVD "Ultimate Edition" issues from 2006. They boast a genuinely beautiful print (a full Lowry Digital Frame-By-Frame Restoration) and each is packed with great extras from the time. Overall - you get hundreds of hours of Bond memories. I've reviewed "Goldfinger" and have also raved about "Live And Let Die" as examples of how good reissued Blu Ray can be when its done properly. I own the others and although I haven't reviewed them - I've watched them all - and I cannot stress this enough - they're gorgeous in terms of print quality.
So when this Blu Ray box does come out it will make the remaining 9 available for the first time on that format. And given what went before they will be nothing short of spectacular to look at and contain some of the best titles in the franchise - "You Only Live Twice", "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", "Diamonds Are Forever", "The Spy Who Loved Me", "Octopussy", "A View To A Kill", "The Living Daylights", "Goldeneye" and "Tomorrow Never Dies".
At this point (February 2012) - there is no indications of 'new' bonus material - and if 20th Century Fox had any - you'd imagine they'd advertise it big time and in advance. So we should presume there 'isn't anything new' on this forthcoming box. But - and it's important to note this - the bonus material of the original 2DVD sets that is out there on the 11 already released - and will be on the 9 newly transferred to this box - is 'HUGE'. I mean there's hour and after hour of it - and the vast majority of that bonus material is genuinely informative and entertaining. The picture of the box looks nice, but of course without access to the actual item - we can't assess whether its been done on the cheap-and-naff - or not. Hopefully not (decent booklet please).
It's probably not the smartest move on my part to review a box set that hasn't come out yet (and 8 months in advance) - but at a retail price of a little over four pounds sterling/five dollars US per disc - "Bond 50" with its 22 films is still a mouth-watering prospect. And fan-gripes aside - it will surely feature heavily in people's pre-purchase Christmas shopping baskets for 2012. I'm personally hoping that each of the missing titles are reissued individually in the same matching card wraps as the initial releases - so I can match up the spines.
To sum up this preamble - in terms of sheer value for money - "Bond 50" is already lining itself up to be a BLU RAY 'Reissue Of The Year' - even before it's released and "Skyfall" (Bond 23) gets here in October. There's a lot of hype around this release and for once it may very well be justified...
PS: July 2012 update:
It's now officially announced that there will be 'new' material available in this box set - a whole disc of it to be exact (Disc 23). See Amazon's updated description and photos above.
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