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You Only Live Twice (Ultimate Edition 2 Disc Set) [DVD]
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Lewis Gilbert directs this fifth instalment of the James Bond franchise. Bond (Sean Connery) is sent to Japan to keep the peace between the superpowers when a SPECTRE rocket intercepts an American space capsule carrying a nuclear warhead. In between visits to the geisha house and flights in his Little Nellie, 007 manages to track down SPECTRE's secret base and its evil mastermind Blofeld (Donald Pleasence). Will he be able to stop Blofeld's evil plans or is this really the end of Bond and the world as we know it?
You Only Live Twice film boasts the best of the Bond title songs (this one sung on a dreamy track by Nancy Sinatra), but the movie itself is one of the weaker ones of the Sean Connery phase of the 007 franchise. The story concerns an effort by the evil organisation SPECTRE to start a world war, but the not-so-super villain behind the plot is the awfully civilised Donald Pleasence. The thin script is by Roald Dahl (shouldn't we have expected a better Bond nemesis from the creator of mad genius Willy Wonka?), and direction is by British veteran Lewis Gilbert (Alfie). But the movie can't hold a candle to Dr. No, From Russia with Love, or Goldfinger. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
There are big thrills aplenty as Sean Connery's Bond stumbles around in Japan, trying to uncover the threads of the scheme. Bond gets into scrape after scrape leading to ever more impressive escapes and stunts, all of which builds up to the thrilling final showdown which is suitably action packed and full of big bangs.
Introducing Bond's nemesis Blofeld for the first time, here played by a very creepy and evil looking Donald Pleasance, and the idea of a supervillain hiding out in a disused volcano lair, this is a thrilling ride from start to finish. Characterisation takes a bit of a back seat to the stunts, but it is an exciting ride none the less.
This ultimate edition really is the best version of the film I have owned. The picture has been lovingly restored and cleaned up, and looks amazing. Really, I am not just saying that. It looks superb. The sound has been similarly treated and there is an option to listen to it in 5.1 DTS surround, which is truly exceptional.
As well as the superb presentation of the film, there is also a host of extras, original trailers, informative audio commentaries and the such. These are exhaustive and some of them quite interesting. But these really a garnish for the main course, which is the film itself.
This is an excellent release, and does this classic film justice. This series of `Ultimate editions' really sets the standard for film releases. It really does not get any better.
Bond 5 and Connery once again tackles the role of 007. With American and Soviet space craft mysteriously vanishing from space, both nations are laying the blame at the other's door. Sensing a nuclear war could break out, M assigns Bond to Japan to investigate if there might be a third party stirring the hornets nest. Teaming up with the Japanese secret service, Bond uncovers evidence that SPECTRE is behind the plot to pitch the East and the West against each other.
This organisation does not tolerate failure.
Thunderball had broke box office records for Bond, gadgetry, outlandish stunts and a quip on the tongue had proved most profitable. It was planned originally that On Her Majesty's Secret Service would be number 5 in the series, but a change of tack to go for You Only Live Twice as the story gave producers Broccoli & Saltzman the scope for a giganticus enormous production. However, it may be set in Japan and feature a Bond/Blofeld conflict, but Roald Dahl's script bares little resemblance to Ian Fleming's source novel. Although a massive financial success with a Worldwide gross of over $111 million, Bond 5 took $30 million less than Thunderball. Strange since this is a better film. Can we attribute the drop to it being a space age saga? Maybe, the rebirth of sci-fi was a few years away, and of course Bond had lost some fans who had grown tired, like Connery, of 007 relying on gadgets instead of brains and brawn to complete his missions.Read more ›
On the bluray itself, the picture quality is very good for such an older film. About 3/4 of the way thru tho some intermittent vertical scratches or lines appear on the screen and appear randomly over a period of about 5 mins. This film had a restoration so I don't know if they missed this or didn't have the technology to fix it. Not a huge deal but still a bit surprising.
I imported this from the US as the US discs have a significant advantage for purists over the UK release. In addition to having the new lossless dts-HD audio, the US disc includes the original Mono audio. I recently read a review with some of the sound engineers who worked on the earlier Bond films and they were all quite shocked and disappointed that the UK disc omit these as they felt the original audio, be it a simple Mono (or Dolby Surround track on 'The Spy Who Loved Me'), are more suited to the films. I toggled back and forth during the film and indeed, I felt some of the artificially added sound effects (on the dts-HD track), particularly in the rear channels, were not so subtle.
The US disc (this disc is from the US Bond 50 boxset that includes all 23 films including 'Skyfall') plays perfectly on UK region 'B' bluray machines.
All in all, apart from the slight glitch with the scratches in the video, I am absolutely delighted with this disc.
No one has matched Sean Connery in my opinion.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the better ones, keeps you wondering at the start but by true bond films all things are made clear if you hadn't worked it out for yourself.Published 11 days ago by Jackie penfold
Whilst almost as overblown as its predecessor: Thunderball; this Roald Dahl scripted Bond movie somehow seems more fun and less laborious. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth