I use a PS3 as my Blu-ray player. I had no problems starting these disc, using the bonus features, nor did I have any problems while viewing the video, your results may vary. If you have problems, check your manual for instructions on updating your firmware.
This is Volume 1 and 2 wrapped together, it is nothing "special" the only thing special is the lower price.
When I ordered this, I was not expecting what I got. I thought the movies were in standard blu-ray cases and put in a box, but I was wrong.
When you get your movies, you have a nice 007 plastic slipcase, when you take that off you have the box (which you see in the image) and inside is a very nice "book" that houses your discs.
Each movie is presented on 1 disc, and each volume has 3 movies.
I own the James Bond Ultimate DVD collection. I'm going to assume you may own that version as well, and want to know if the blu-ray is worth the upgrade or not (these movies are over 40-50 years old mind you).
When I got the ultimate dvd collection last year, I was shocked at the quality of Dr NO. This is a very old movie, and it looked better than some blu-rays I owned (and this was on DVD!), the same is true for these blu-rays.
Dr No Looks better than the majority of blu-rays I own. Every scene is sharp. No scene looks soft, or bad. The restoration done on these has to be seen to be believed.
When you watch the blu-rays some of the bonus features explain the process behind the remastering (which is very interesting).
I must warn you. If you're the type who likes to watch trailers (of the film you're about to watch) prior to watching the movie, do not do so here. As they are almost all full of spoilers. Think of the trailer as a recap, and rejoice in the over the top trailers of back in the day.
Now on to rating the specifics.
5/5 Easy. Top Notch. Each scene is so vibrant, so sharp, you will be soo furious with other blu-rays sitting on your shelf, because they wont look half as good as Dr No. (even modern movies shot last year)
4/5. This is tough to rate really, some of the movies were filmed in mono (and we get the mono track, which as with the dvds, I much prefer), but here we also have a surround mix to go along with it. Obviously this is not going to be as good as any modern movie soundtrack, but it is as good as the movies have ever sounded. Also I must comment, the only part of these movies that make you aware that the movie was indeed shot back in the 60's is the audio. The gun shots and other special effects are.... weak by today's standards, but it is faithful to the source, and that's all that matters.
5/5 When the ultimate collection was made, we got the movie, then a disc full of extras. Thanks to the power of blu-ray, we have all those extras and the movie on the same disc. All this is seamless.
5/5. If you read some of my reviews on other "sets" I really hound studios. I have wasted 100's of dollars on "gift sets" that are rendered useless when they arrive due to scratching, broke discs, stuff falling out, luckily that is NOT the case here.
The design that houses the discs are similar to the way they are presented on Battlestar Galatica Season 1 (on HD-DVD) (only these actually work, and have none of the issues that set did). Meaning you open up the wonderful book (vibrant, and full of color, I will be posting pictures tomorrow) and the discs look as though they are floating on the case. The best way to get them off is to "twist them".
I really like the packing, its like a really fancy case, it exudes style. I personally love Volume 1 more, the blue is soo suave.
Ok, I can understand a LOT of work went into making these videos. But the hardwork was already done when you remastered the video from the negatives to make the ultimate dvd sets a few years back. Those videos came with 5 movies, with the bonuses, and now you can buy 2 of those volumes for the price of one of these (which only contains 3 movies per box). Or all 4 for the price of these 2 volumes (20 movies versus 6) all of which are basically the same.
Now, I'll admit, the quality is better, and the packaging is amazing. But you have to ask yourself. Would you prefer having the whole set on DVD or 6 movies on Blu-Ray. (as it amounts to the same price)
At this rate the price for the whole set will run you around 350 dollars (with amazons VERY LOW price) not retail, retail would be 550 and that's for 18 total. I guess you can guess they will triple dip Casino Royale, and make the set a close 700 dollars. I hope they start either dropping the price, or adding a movie or 2 per set.
With all that said, would I buy this set again? Sadly, yes. They are just too good. And the packaging is something that has to be seen to be believed.
If you're choosing, should I buy the single blu-ray releases, or get the box sets. I would say buy the box sets (and save yourself some serious money and buy this "collection" on amazon) The boxes are amazing, and the quality is very high, and it is cheaper to buy 1 volume than 3 discs (though I'm sure there might be some movies you do not want, but if you want the whole collection, its cheaper to just buy them all now)
Last, but NOT least, you get another bonus, that is not advertised, free tickets to the new Bond movie (actually each box has 2 tickets, so you get 4 if you buy this set) that's 40 dollars in value there.
If you own the DVD's and want to know, should I buy the blu-rays, or just keep watching my ultimate series upconverted, that's harder to say, if the money is no problem, you will enjoy the new set. If you're buying this for your boyfriend or husband, he will love the packaging (I do) as it looks very nice.
When volume 3, and 4 come out on blu-ray will I buy them? Without hesitation. Just be sure to give me Goldeneye.
Oh, if the only versions of Bond you own, are not from the Ultimate Collection DVD sets, these blu-rays are going to be night and day for you, as they have been painstakingly remastered from the original negatives (the film that was actually used in the camera) and all flaws have been removed, making these movies as good or better than the latest big budget blockbuster.
If you're new to Bond, and not sure if you want to invest in this series, be sure to take a look at Casino Royale (Two-Disc Collector's Edition + BD Live) [Blu-ray], It is one of my favorite movies by far, and easily a favorite bond film. (also highly recommended prior to watching the new QOS movie, which you get tickets for when you buy this set)