I have the MGM 'Special Edition' release of Dr No, and now the Sony 'Ultimate Edition' too. So what's the difference?
A nice new box, an extra disc packed with special features and stylish menus.
As for the movie itself, the new version loses many of the visible scratches and film grain giving it a much fresher look. The light and dark scenes are fine and there are vibrant colours especially when out of doors.
The biggest improvement over the old 'Special Edition' for me is the sound. While I do not own a flashy surround system, I can report that the sound on the 'Ultimate Edition' is crisp and clear, unlike the 'Special Edition' which appears to have a serious fault, where background noises and even speech struggle to get through some kind of noise compression system. In fact my worn out old VHS recording of Dr No from ITV back in the 1980's has sharper sound than the MGM DVD!
Purists will say that an original mono soundtrack should be included with any new release that boasts an updated 5.1 mix. I quite agree, and because this new 'Ultimate Edition' fails to do so, I am knocking one star off my review.
To any prospective purchaser who does not as yet have Dr No on DVD and might be sitting on the fence, 'The Ultimate Edition' will ultimately not disappoint.