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on October 2, 2013
(Fast-forward video to 2:45 to skip packaging art and unboxing and go straight to the book pages viewing)

I'm always conflicted about buying collector's sets of movies whose franchises are still in on-going production, but the Bond franchise tied this collection up nicely as a "50 Years of Bond" set instead of labeling it a "complete collection." That gives this set a lot more staying power on my shelf as a collector's edition that won't be obsoleted when the next Bond film is released (currently slated for November 2015, with Skyfall's director Sam Mendes returning to work with Daniel Craig, who is signed on for at least two more Bond films).

The Bond 50 set includes the 23 following films:

1. Dr. No
2. From Russia with Love
3. Goldfinger
4. Thunderball
5. You Only Live Twice
6. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
7. Diamonds Are Forever
8. Live and Let Die
9. The Man with the Golden Gun
10. The Spy Who Loved Me
11. Moonraker
12. For Your Eyes Only
13. Octopussy
14. A View to a Kill
15. The Living Daylights
16. Licence to Kill
17. Goldeneye
18. Tomorrow Never Dies
19. The World is Not Enough
20. Die Another Day
21. Casino Royale (2006)
22. Quantum of Solace
23. Skyfall

There is also a 24th disc labeled "Bonus Disc" that is full of nothing but - you guessed it - bonus materials. I'll discuss that disc more farther down in the review.

Never Say Never Again (an adaptation of Thunderball) is not included, as it was produced by an independent company instead of Eon Productions. It was released in October 1983, four months after Octopussy was in theaters. I won't delve into the sordid history of Thunderball and its various adaptations here, but the history of Never Say Never Again is a quick and interesting read if you fancy doing a search online for it. Also left out is the early Bond spoof film Casino Royale (1967), as it was a non-Eon film, as well.

Since the "Bond 50" collection's original release in 2012 and the release of this updated 2013 edition, there have been two big changes in the Bond franchise and how it relates to this set. First and foremost, the original collection did not include Skyfall, as it hadn't been released on Blu-ray yet. There was a placeholder for it in the collection's case, but the last film actually included was Quantum of Solace, which was released in 2008. So really, you were buying 46 years of Bond films with a seat saved for the 50-year film. With this 2013 edition of the set, you get the whole 50-year package up front, from Dr. No (1962) to Skyfall (2012).

The other big change in the Bond franchise is that at the time of the 2012 set's release, 9 of the included films had never before been released on Blu-ray (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). That meant buying the Bond 50 set was the only way to own those films in high-definition. As of the 2013 edition of the Bond 50 collection, however, all of those films have now been released on Blu-ray individually. So if you grew up loving Pierce Brosnan and still insist that he's "the only Bond worth watching," you can now watch him in all of his high-definition glory without having to shell out the cash for this entire set. Unfortunately, that still won't stop the rest of us from making fun of you while trying to beat some sense into you with our huge collector's edition boxes. I'm looking at you, Gary from Accounting. Come on, man.

Speaking of the collector's edition box, this set is beautifully packaged. The outer sleeve is made of thick cardboard and is very impressive looking with its glossy artwork. Contained inside the sleeve are two elegant books that serve as movie cases: one with the 1962 - 1981 films; the other with 1983 - 2012. Each section of the book features two films from the series, with page art highlighting the various films over the years on the left side of the book and the discs located in sleeves on the right side. The only exception is the Skyfall page, which has a Bonus Disc in its page's second sleeve containing various Bond montages - Bond Girls, Bond Gadgets, Bond Villians, etc - as well as couple of other short featurettes and the Skyfall videoblogs. Most of the bonus content on this disc runs 4 minutes or less, with the exception being the Skyfall videoblogs (just under 11 minutes), and the Bond Title Sequences montage (just over 1 hour). The books' pages are made of a thick cardboard, so you'll need to take care not to tear the pages or scratch the discs over time when removing and replacing them from their sleeves. Beauty has its price, and the toll here is just a little extra-needed TLC.

The entire boxed set measures approximately 11" long, 7" tall, and 2" thick. This means it won't slide in neatly with the other standard movie cases on your shelf. But let's be honest - this is the kind of boxed set you want sitting on the top shelf of your movie collection, face-out for all the world to see. I've seen overseas versions of this set that were released in what basically amounted to several standard movie cases all stacked on top of each other, and trust me, this two-book set is a lot more impressive.

Every movie is presented in 1080p/AVC and has a soundtrack mixed in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. While the older films show a bit more in the way of dust and film imperfections, that's not unexpected for movies this age and the overall quality is excellent. Out of the newer films, Goldeneye is probably the transfer that suffers the most, but it's still very good - just not quite as sharp as the other Brosnan and Craig era films.

My only real gripe with this set is that there is nothing included with it that lists out the special features on each disc. Most of the films include all of their original special features from their individual DVD and Blu-ray releases, so it's not hard information to find if you look online, but it still would have been nice to have some sort of list (perhaps printed in the back of each book). Especially when considering the sheer volume of bonus content included all in one set - there are literally hundreds of hours of extras including commentary tracks, documentaries, archival press kit material, interviews, trailers, etc. Roger Moore does a commentary track for every single Bond film he is in!

The main exception to the included special features is Casino Royale; the included version here is basically the original 2006 Blu-ray release with a few (but not all) of the additional bonus features from the 2-disc 2008 Special Edition release thrown in. The following special features from the 2008 Special Edition are NOT included in this set: "Bond Girls Are Forever" (which was an extended version of the 2002 AMC television special), featurettes "The Art of Freerunning" and "Filmmaker Profiles," storyboard sequence "Freerunning Chase," and the scene deconstruction "Catching a Plane: From Storyboard to Screen." There are also a few missing areas from the "Mission Control" sections of the original DVD releases, along with the loss of the documentary "Inside Die Another Day" that was on the bonus disc in Die Another Day's 2003 DVD release.

That being said, the loss of a few previous bonus materials is not a terribly grievous offense, and their omission is offset by the inclusion of the new Bonus Disc in this set.

All in all, this is a spectacular collection that any Bond-lover would be proud to own (or have given to them as a gift. Now's the chance to buy yourself back into the friends circle, Gary).
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 28, 2013
Or at least 26 of 27:

THE FIRST PART IS EASY.
Buy this Official 23 film 50th Anniversary Collection *

- 6 Sean Connery films, 1962-1971
- 1 George Lazenby film, 1969
- 7 Roger Moore films, 1973-1985
- 2 Timothy Dalton films, 1987-1989
- 4 Pierce Brosnan films, 1995-2002
- 3 Daniel Craig films, 2006-2012 (and counting)

[hint: for ease of navigation, read the review though to the end, then come back and click on the links.]

Or you can buy the earlier 22 film 50th Anniversary Collection: Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection [Blu-ray]
--- Then buy the "Skyfall" Blu-Ray: Skyfall (Blu-ray/ DVD + Digital Copy)
--- Add it to the empty holder designated "Skyfall"
--- Now your contents are identical to the new 23 film collection (same bonus features too). *

Or you can buy the 23 films separately (list at end of this review).

THE SECOND PART REQUIRES A BIT MORE EFFORT.

There are four "Unofficial" James Bond films, not produced by Cubby Broccoli or the Broccoli family (Eon Productions).
Two of them involve the Connery family.
Three of the four unofficial films are on Blu-Ray.
They are the result of business deals negotiated by Ian Fleming early in his career, before he met Cubby Broccoli:

----- 1954: "CASINO ROYALE" - starring Barry Nelson: James Bond Casino Royale (1954)
Hard to find on Blu-Ray.
You may have to settle for DVD.
This is a one-hour black and white American TV production - one year after the book's publication.
Aside from the fact that Barry Nelson plays American agent "Jimmy Bond", this is reasonably faithful to the book, though the torture scene is played down:
James Bond is placed into a bathtub fully clothed and Le Chiffre (Peter Lorre) does something to him, but we're not sure what.
Cool that Peter Lorre was the first Bond Villain.
- The Blu-Ray is outrageously expensive, and hard-to-find.
Cheaper if you don't mind getting it on DVD.
Sometimes available as an Amazon download.
- Prices fluctuate wildly. To view your options, on the Amazon search bar, select "Movies & TV" then enter
Casino Royale 1954

The 1954 Casino Royale was originally included as a bonus feature on the 2002 DVD release of the 1967 Casino Royale: Casino Royale -- now out-of-print.
BUT when this same 1967 Casino Royale was re-released as a "Collector's Edition" in 2008: Casino Royale (Collector's Edition), the 1954 Casino Royale was missing.
Unfortunately, ordering the 2002 edition on Amazon is a crapshoot.
You never know which edition you will be getting, despite the different covers and ASIN numbers.
For a detailed history of this mess, read the Comments posted after the first review (Darren Harrison - July 19, 2002).
Try contacting your dealer first and ask for a detailed list of the "extras" listed on the back of the DVD case.

----- 1967: "CASINO ROYALE" - starring David Niven: Casino Royale (1967) [Blu-ray]
David Niven plays Sir James Bond, who retired from British Intelligence after World War II - but M still seeks his help when needed.
After retirement, Bond's 007 number was kept active to confuse England's enemies.
All subsequent 007s were also required to adopt the name "James Bond" - this actually makes sense, considering the different actors involved.
- it's a Comedy. Sort of.

----- 1983: "NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN" - starring Sean Connery: Never Say Never Again [Blu-ray
52 Year old Sean Connery came out of retirement for an enormous salary.
Its a remake of "Thunderball".
Not as good as the original, but Sean Connery is always worth watching.
- Plus, if you count this as Sean Connery's 7th Bond film, he ties the record previously held by Roger Moore.

----- 1967: "OPERATION DOUBLE 007" - starring Neil Connery.
The fourth unofficial film has no connection to either Ian Fleming or Cubby Broccoli, though it does have a connection to Sean Connery.

- James Bond is in hospital recovering from injuries.
- M needs a replacement for an important mission.
- None of the other 00s are up to the task, so M seeks out James Bond's brother.
If nothing else, the producers deserve credit for Audacity:
They hired Neil Connery - Sean Connery's brother - to play James Bond's brother.
Makes sense, I guess.
For legal reasons, he cannot be addressed as "Mr. Bond", so in the movie he is called "Mr. Connery" (actually "Dr. Connery").

For the first twenty years of the Bond franchise, the leadership of British Intelligence was unquestioned:
- Bernard Lee was M - James Bond's boss.
- Lois Maxwell was Moneypenny - M's secretary.
- Desmond Llewelyn was Q - Quartermaster and weapons expert.
For this film:
- Bernard Lee was hired to play the "Director of Allied Counter-Intelligence".
- Lois Maxwell was hired to play his secretary "Miss Maxwell".
- Only Desmond Llewelyn resisted the temptation. Or he was busy doing something else.

More connections to the world of Bond:
- The villain is Adolfo Celi. He was the villain in "Thunderball" (1965).
- The villain's henchman is Anthony Dawson. He was the villain's henchman in "Dr. No" (1962).
- The Bond Babe is Daniella Bianchi. She was the Bond Babe in "From Russia with Love" (1963).

Plus, if you count this as the Connery family's 8th Bond film, they beat Roger Moore's record.

Also known as "Operation Kid Brother" or "O.K. Connery".
Unlike the 1967 Casino Royale, this is not a comedy - these people are serious.
For more information, go to Wikipedia and look up the article on "O.K. Connery".
- Its not available on DVD or Blu-Ray.
It is available as an Amazon download: Operation Kid Brother

BUT - Most of this film is available as part of a 4 DVD boxed set: Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXV
Unfortunately not available separately.
The movie download is 1 hour, 46 minutes.
This Mystery Science Theater version is 1 hour, 16 minutes (+ 16 minutes of sketch comedy).
I love MST3K. You may not.
Read the reviews first.
- The Mystery Science Theater version is also available as a pricey download: Mystery Science Theater 3000: Operation Kid Brother

P.S. When this episode of MST3K was originally shown on Comedy Central back in 1993,
the title was still "Operation Double 007".
By the time of the 2012 DVD release, the title had been changed to "Operation Kid Brother",
But the title on the film print still reads "Operation Double 007".

---------------------------------------------------------------

Revised Total:

- 1 Barry Nelson film, 1954
- 8 Sean or Neil Connery films, 1962-1983
- 1 David Niven film, 1967
- 1 George Lazenby film, 1969
- 7 Roger Moore films, 1973-1985
- 2 Timothy Dalton films, 1987-1989
- 4 Pierce Brosnan films, 1995-2002
- 3 Daniel Craig films, 2006-2012 (and counting)

_ Barry Nelson: Casino Royale (version 1 of 3)
_ Sean Connery: Dr. No - From Russia with Love - Goldfinger - Thunderball - You Only Live Twice - Diamonds Are Forever - Never Say Never Again.
_ Neil Connery: Operation Double 007
_ David Niven: Casino Royale (version 2 of 3)
_ George Lazenby: On Her Majesty's Secret Service
_ Roger Moore: Live and Let Die - The Man with the Golden Gun - The Spy Who Loved Me - Moonraker - For Your Eyes Only - Octopussy - A View to a Kill
_ Timothy Dalton: The Living Daylights - Licence to Kill
_ Pierce Brosnan: Goldeneye - Tomorrow Never Dies - The World is Not Enough - Die Another Day
_ Daniel Craig: Casino Royale (version 3 of 3) - Quantum of Solace - Skyfall

--------------------------------------------------------

* I notice that, starting in January 2014, a lot of reviews have complained about the album pages in the 23 film collection coming unglued.

Apparently MGM had a problem with quality control.
I hope they fixed it.
Don't be shy about returning it to Amazon if there is a problem.

My experience: I bought the 22 film collection, then bought "Skyfall" separately and added it to the empty holder.
My album is still in beautiful condition after two years.
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on December 27, 2014
My husband and I have been saving up for this collection as we are both fans of James Bond. The movies are great and we are working our way through watching all of them in order of release. The case however, while it looks very nice the card board backings are apparently very fragile. The discs are difficult to pull out of them and don't seem very protected, I see them getting scratched very easily but in and out of the case frequently. I was trying to pull one of the discs out and the pages (which are two pages glued together to create the front and back) came apart. Now the discs on those pages are loose and slide out.

5 stars for the movies, 2 stars for the casing.
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on February 10, 2016
This 3 star score does not reflect upon the films themselves. All 23 movies are as enjoyable as I remember (more so in HD), and played just fine in my machines. The packaging is the focus of this review. All of the discs fit in their slots very tightly. I found it impossible to lift any of them high enough to get a finger under to pull them out, and had to resort to using whatever improvised tool I could find to pry the edge of the disc up so I could get a grip on it. Every time I did this, and had to wipe off the big fat fingerprint that I made when grabbing the disc. Prying the discs up enough to get a finger under resulted in an audible ripping sound nearly every time. That sound was the artwork covers separating from the thick card stock that give the pages of the book their rigidity. Several pages separated entirely, and I had to glue them back down, because there was nothing left to hold the discs in place after separation had occurred. On top of the cheap gluing, the large odd-sized box makes it impossible for this collection to sit nicely beside the rest of your blu ray collection if you are using a media shelf like I do (they are barely deep enough for a standard movie case. All of the movies are great, and the discs play fine. I am happy to finally own the whole collection on blu ray. Previously, I had an incomplete collection that was a mixture of vhs and dvd. If you are going to spend the money on the blu ray collection, get one of the newer sets that comes in the 3 multi-disc, blue plastic cases. You won't have to fight to get your movies out without destroying the packaging, and it will look nicer on a shelf with other blu rays.
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on October 1, 2015
The films are great. I have watched the first four and so far the image, colour and sound are fantastic. I would have given the set five stars but it would appear the packaging was chosen more for marketing purposes than for protection of the disks or ease of storage. I do not care for any packaging where the playing surface of the disk comes into direct contact with the surface of the holder and that is the case for all the disks in this set. Each disk slides into a tight slot on the pages of the two book format holders resulting in the playing surface making direct contact with the paper backing both when removing and replacing a disk as well as while it is in the case. Over time, and especially with repeated use, chances are probably good that dust particles will end up on either case or the disk surface and the result will be a scratched disk. Also, given the size of the case (10.75" x 7" x 1.5"), if you store your DVDs on a made for DVD type of shelf you will find it difficult or impossible to store this collection there.
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on January 22, 2014
The Blue-ray discs and contents were great, but the album holder, the albums themselves, and disc holders within the albums, that were shipped with the discs are a disappointment. The album holder came unglued during shipment (this was not the box used for shipment) and the actual disk album pages (that hold the individual discs within the albums) have fallen apart. As a result, the discs are not being protected when stored and they have/can slip-out of the album. It appears that the binding glue used to assemble the two albums either partially dried before the albums were assembled or the glue used was not suitable for binding the albums or the pages within the binders.
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on January 2, 2014
This was a Christmas gift for my husband, who has been a James Bond fan longer than I have known him. He has most of the more recent films on DVD and had asked for some of the older films. The surprise on his face when he opened his gift and discovered he was holding in his hands every single movie in Blue-Ray - well it was a look I will cherish forever. Could not go wrong with this one!
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VINE VOICEon December 8, 2013
There have been a number of reviews and they cover ever aspect of these excellent movies so I will try not to repeat what has been covered multiple times. There is one subject that I did not notice and which is a primary issue with me - Subtitles.
My hearing has lost its ability to clearly understand some of the higher frequencies such as some voices of females and on occasion a high pitched male. Without subtitles I cannot thoroughly enjoy a movie since I can understand only parts of the dialog. This Bond series does provide subtitles in English. When I played the first disc, Dr No, I thought that only Spanish was available but that is not the case. If you want subtitles in English and did not find them here is what I did:

1. Wait for the opening comments to play and get to the page that has "Initiate Mission" highlighted.

2. Go up past "Special Features" and click on "Language Description".

3. This will lead you to a page with Audio & Subtitle. If you click on Audio it will tell you that it is English.

4. Click on Subtitle. You will see "Spanish" & "None". Since I did not want either one I went back to "Initiate Mission" and watched Dr No without subtitles.

5. Next, I chose From Russia With Love and when I got to the "Spanish" or" None" I could not believe there were no English subtitles again. So, I just instinctively scrolled up and Voila! English subtitles.

Maybe no one else has had this problem but just in case you want subtitles in English and did not find them I hope my experience is a bit helpful.
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on November 23, 2015
A great blu-ray collection of a classic film series and it's star character. As you wouldn't be looking at this unless you were already a James Bond fan, I won't extol the qualities of such a fun film series. Quite simply this is a great set for any level of Bond Fan. It's great for those serious fans, as well as those fans that enjoy movies and extras, but wouldn't necessarily value an extensive set of bonus features.

Great purchase for anyone that can be considered a fan of James Bond, and all the quality actors that have played him over the years. Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Rodger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig. Each movie has its own merits and flaws, but it's the actors that keep us coming back for another Bond Movie, even after 50 years. The good news, 90% of the time the movies meet up to or exceed the expectations of fans of both Bond and the actor portrayer.

Great set.
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on January 30, 2014
I bought this about a month ago and have started watching it off and on for the past month. The discs are really hard to take out of the sleeves because you can't get a firm grip on it (the little finger notch they carve out requires you to slightly bend the disc in order to take it from it's groove, since the center hole is covered). The discs are indented into a cardboard backing (the backing was smooth so it wouldn't scratch the discs) and a thin piece of paper that was half cutout so the discs can be removed. After 2 weeks, the top layer has separated (came unglued) from the cardboard back for one of the pages, so the two discs on that page is now flopping around. I'm gonna have to glue it back together soon to hold my discs in place. This was my only complaint. They should have used a more durable disc holder, instead of carving a slot out from the cardboard backing and using a thinner piece of paper for the top part. I would have preferred the regular plastic disc holder that has the release button in the center where you can lightly press it to release the disc. The packaging for this disc is not very durable, especially for a special collection edition. Disappointed in the package, but the movies are great.
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