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License To Kill (1989) (mgm) [Blu-ray]
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Like so many others, the first thought that came to mind following the announcement of the UE DVD project was 'corporate greed.' My perspective has since changed considerably. In the wake of Sony's acquisition of MGM/UA, there is no doubt that the new parent company is looking to exploit the series for maximum profit. But at least Sony has the resources to do it right.
My waning interest in the Bond series was reinvigorated with the release of "Casino Royale" in 2006, an exceptional reboot which compensates for the disappointing Brosnan era. Given that event, I wanted to revisit the older films, only to discover that the SE DVDs looked less than impressive on a contemporary LCD television. At that point, I wondered if the UE DVDs might live up to the marketing hype.
I always read product reviews on this website to help guide my purchases. I'm equally amused and annoyed by hardcore technophiles who point out 'mistakes' in the UE DVDs - 'Felix Leiter's pants are the wrong color,' 'reverb on the gunshot ricochet is too heavy,' etc. I'm quite certain that none of these amateur critics have ever been employed by EON Productions, United Artists, or MGM, and have never seen an original master film print.Read more ›
Of all the actors that have played James Bond, Timothy Dalton provided the most accurate interpretation of Ian Fleming's character. That may be a different character than the one that Sean Connery played, and certainly quite different than the one Roger Moore played, but Dalton's performance as Bond in "License To Kill," and "The Living Daylights," is the truest to Fleming's novels.
The Special Edition DVD of "License To Kill" is quite special indeed. A beautiful widescreen picture, crystal clear sound, and a plethora of special features (like the other Bond special editions) including theatrical trailers and documentaries on the making of the movie make it a must have. The film itself also boasts some of the most exciting action sequences and best character development (what a novel concept!) in all of the Bond films, and features some crackling dialog. If you're an action movie junkie, or like an exciting thriller this one is for you.
Timothy Dalton's steely Bond is arguably the closest to date to Fleming's original vision for the MI6 secret agent (not 'spy', please). He's as tough and lean as Connery ever was, and he brings something of Connery's lupine charm to the role.
The rest of the movie is extremely well done. Robert Davi is one of the best villains since Goldfinger, and surely one of the most realistic in the entire series. Carey Lowell, though mostly effective, is a little underwhelming in the acting department. And the plot -- lifted at least partly from Fleming's _Live and Let Die_ (which is the source for the bad thing that happens to Felix Leiter early in the film) -- gives Dalton's Bond an excuse to seethe with volcanic fury and go off seeking vengeance.
If I'm not mistaken (and I don't think I am), this is also the last script to which longtime Bond screenwriter Richard Maibaum contributed. (He died not long after this film was produced.)
I like Pierce Brosnan in the role, and I'd like him better if he got better movies to do; _Goldeneye_ has probably been his best so far. But for some reason, the screenwriters don't want to make him gritty enough. (And by the time they tried with Roger Moore -- in the excellent _For Your Eyes Only_ -- it was far too late.)
I also like _The Living Daylights_. But when I want to watch a non-Connery Bond film, this is the one I pick most often.
Probably all Bond fans out there have already seen it. But if you haven't, you've got a treat ahead of you.
The only real weak points of this movie would be the occasional weak acting from Talisa Soto (Sanchez's girlfriend), and a little bit more swearing than some of the other bond films, but many other elements more than make up for these two minor shortcomings.
Timothy Dalton is superb as James Bond. Dalton is a great, capable actor, and he is perfect for the movie and its concept. Dalton did a superb job and this is a key factor to the success of the film. As a side note, Dalton needed to make a change in the approach from Roger Moore, just as Moore needed to make a change from Connery. This change between actors is important, otherwise comparisons are made, and usually it is the incumbent who loses (in the minds of the general audience). Dalton did the right thing by changing the Bond to a darker persona.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
James Bond movies are such a joy to watch even in this new day and age. My kids even enjoy them because they are not so graphic in the violence that you see now a daysPublished 1 month ago by William J. Allbee
This Bond movie is one of the low points in the franchise. Do yourself a favor and skip it.
Much has been said about how the Bond in this film is written to be closer... Read more
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