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Blu-Ray Review: James Bond Continues Blu-Ray Dominance With Four New Releases

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HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0

CHICAGO – James Bond continues working his way into your Blu-Ray collection with the release of Volume Three of MGM’s “James Bond Blu-Ray,” which includes HD versions of “The World is Not Enough,” “Goldfinger,” and “Moonraker”. Meanwhile, the unofficial Bond adventure, Fox’s “Never Say Never Again” hits Blu-Ray at the same time. All will make worthwhile additions to 007 fans with Blu-Ray players.

In case you missed it, Volume One of “James Bond Blu-Ray” included “Die Another Day,” “Live And Let Die,” and “Dr. No”. Volume Two includes “For Your Eyes Only,” “From Russia With Love,” and “Thunderball”. Both collections were released last October. With the new volume, that’s nine official Bond movies on Blu-Ray. In other words, there will be more volumes in the future.

James Bond Blu-Ray: Volume Three was released on Blu-Ray on March 24th, 2009.
James Bond Blu-Ray: Volume Three was released on Blu-Ray on March 24th, 2009.
Photo credit: MGM

I’m not sure how I feel about the trickling of Bond movies on to HD. Why not just release them all? And if you’re going to do them sporadically, could you at least follow the same model as the beautiful standard DVD sets that us Bond fans already own? There were four glorious standard DVD sets released when “Casino Royale” hit theaters and all good Bond fans now have a mix of standard sets and Blu-Ray sets because they’re not being released in the same order. It’s annoying.

But the release pattern is the only possible complaint about these gorgeously mastered Blu-Ray releases. The movies all look and sound amazing and all of the special features have been imported from the last release. “Never Say Never Again” doesn’t have the same “wow factor” to the special features, but if you’re going to own all of the Bond movies, you should probably include it.

Personally, I was raised on Bond movies and when I first heard about Blu-Ray, much less actually owned a player, I knew they would be an essential part of my collection. All the “James Bond Blu-Ray” volumes are going to be highly recommended.

Official synopsis, technical details, and special features information follow.

The World is Not Enough was released on Blu-Ray on March 24th, 2009.
The World is Not Enough was released on Blu-Ray on March 24th, 2009.
Photo credit: MGM

“The World is Not Enough” stars Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle, Denise Richards, Robbie Coltrane, and Judi Dench. It was written by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Bruce Feirstein and directed by Michael Apted.

“The World is Not Enough is an exhilarating but sophisticated, action-packed adventure. Pierce Brosnan returns as Bond, charged to protect a gorgeous billionaire heiress (Sophie Marceau) from the ruthless hands of a nuclear-obsessed terrorist, Renard (Robert Carlyle), who wants control of the world’s petroleum supply.”

“The World is Not Enough” is presented in 1080P with lossless audio. Special features include an audio commentary by director Michael Apted, an audio commentary by Peter Lamont, David Arnold, and Vic Armstrong, “James Bond Down River,” deleted, extended, and alternate scenes with introductions by director Michael Apted, “Creating an Icon: Making the Teaser Trailer, “Alternate Angle/Expanded Angle Scene: The Thames Boat Chase,” “Bond Cocktail,” Hong Kong Press Conference, “007 Mission Control: Interactive Guide Into the World of The World is Not Enough,” “The Making of The World is Not Enough” Featurette, Tribute to Desmond Llewelyn, “The World is Not Enough” Music Video by Garbage, “The Secrets of 007: Alternative Video Options,” the original theatrical trailer, and an image database.

Goldfinger was released on Blu-Ray on March 24th, 2009.
Goldfinger was released on Blu-Ray on March 24th, 2009.
Photo credit: MGM

“Goldfinger” stars Sean Connery, Gert Frobe, Shirley Eaton, and Honor Blackman. It was written by Richard Maibaum and Paul Dehn and directed by Guy Hamilton.

“From the opening bomb blast outside a steamy nightclub to a last-minute escape from the president’s personal jet, James Bond’s third screen adventure is an exhilarating, pulse-pounding thrill ride! Sean Connery returns as Agent 007 and faces off with a maniacal villain bent on destroying all the gold in Fort Knox - and obliterating the world economy!”

“Goldfinger” is presented in 1080P with lossless audio. Special features include an audio commentary by director Guy Hamilton, an audio commentary featuring members of the cast and crew, “Sean Connery from the Set of Goldfinger,” screen tests, “On Tour with the Aston Martin DB5,” Honor Blackman open-ended interview, “The Making of Goldfinger,” “007 Mission Control: Interactive Guide Into the World of Goldfinger,” “The Goldfinger Phenomenon,” “Original Publicity,” original theatrical trailer, TV spots, & radio communications, and an image database.

Moonraker was released on Blu-Ray on March 24th, 2009.
Moonraker was released on Blu-Ray on March 24th, 2009.
Photo credit: MGM

“Moonraker” stars Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Michael Lionsdale, Richard Kiel, and Corinne Clery. It was written by Christopher Wood and directed by Lewis Gilbert.

“James Bond blasts into orbit in this pulse-pounding adventure that takes him from Venice to Rio de Janeiro and to outer space! Roger Moore stars for the fourth time as Agent 007 and joins forces with NASA scientist Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles) to prevent a power-mad industrialist (Michael Lonsdale) from destroying all human life on Earth.”

“Moonraker” is presented in 1080P with lossless audio. Special features include an audio commentary by Sir Roger Moore, an audio commentary by director Lewis Gilbert and members of the cast and crew, “Bond ‘79,” Circus footage, Cable Car alternative storyboards, “007 in Rio,” Ken Adams’s Production Films, “Learning to Freefall,” skydiving storyboards, original theatrical trailer, “007 Mission Control: Interactive Guide into the World of Moonraker,” “Inside Moonraker - An Original Documentary,” and an image database.

Never Say Never Again was released on Blu-Ray on March 24th, 2009.
Never Say Never Again was released on Blu-Ray on March 24th, 2009.
Photo credit: Fox

“Never Say Never Again” stars Sean Connery, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Max Von Sydow, Barbara Carrera, Kim Basinger, Bernie Casey, Alec McCowen, and Edward Fox. It was written by Lorenzo Semple, Jr. and directed by Irvin Kershner.

“Sean Connery is back for his final performances as agent James Bond in this high-velocity action thriller…and now you can experience it as never before with this explosively entertaining Collector’s Edition with an all-new audio commentary and three never-before-seen featurettes! Agent 007 is hurled into a pulse-pounding race to save the world from armageddon when two atomic warheads are hijacked by the evil SPECTRE organization!”

“Never Say Never Again” is presented in 1080P with an English 5.1 DTS Master Audio track. Special features include a commentary by director Irvin Kershner and James Bond historian Steven Jay Rubin, “The Big Gamble,” “Sean is Back,” “The Girls of Never Say never Again,” the theatrical trailer, and a photo gallery.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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