Well my boxset arrived this morning and it really is a thing of beauty.
I had managed to pick it up for a fantastic £74.00 from a well known supermarket, so this means each of the 22 Blu-ray films cost me just £3.36, simply astonishing value.
I'll start with the packaging, it appears to have divided opinion judging by other reviews on Amazon, it certainly is different but I think it adds a touch of class to the collection.
Firstly there is an outer-sleeve, it is solidly manufactured of a very thick and strong glossy cardboard, the dimensions are 280mm x 180mm and 45mm thick. It is simply illustrated with 'Bond 50' lettering adorning the front, and little else.
Inside are two individual books, these once again are produced from a high quality glossy cardboard with a nice strong binding and are more or less the same dimensions as the outer-sleeve, although they are both 20mm thick.
Each book contains 6 pages, and each page has 2 disc holders; the pages are once more made of sturdy stuff, 2mm thick, and I like the disc holders. Doubtless some will say that they don't offer much protection, but I disagree; the discs are held firmly in place when the 'books' are closed and then surrounded by the outer-sleeve, I personally think the discs are better protected than in normal packaging!
The pages within each book are illustrated with scenes from the accompanying films, and next to each disc holder there is lettering showing the year of the films release with a picture of one of the beautiful 'Bond girls' from said film.
The contents of each book are:
Page 1 - Dr No & From Russia with Love
Page 2 - Goldfinger & Thunderball
Page 3 - You Only Live Twice & On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Page 4 - Diamond are Forever & Live and Let Die
Page 5 - The Man with the Golden Gun & The Spy Who Loved Me
Page 6 - Moonraker & For Your Eyes Only
Page 1 - Octopussy & A View to a Kill
Page 2 - The Living Daylights & Licence to Kill
Page 3 - Goldeneye - Tomorrow Never Dies
Page 4 - The World is Not Enough & Die Another Die
Page 5 - Casino Royale & Quantum of Solace
Page 6 - [Empty disc holder for 'Skyfall'] & 'Bonus disc'
A minor criticism for me is that there is no information on what each disc contains alongside the feature, I don't consider this to be a big deal though as the main contents of each disc generally relate to the actual film.
The set is described as having over 120 hours of extras, here are the extra contents of each disc:
Dr No - (Over 3 hours)
Commentary with Director Terence Young and cast and crew; 6 Featurettes; Original Theatrical Trailer; TV and radio spots; Photo Galleries.
From Russia with Love - (Over 3 hours)
Commentary with Director Terence Young and cast and crew; 2 Featurettes; Animated Storyboard Sequence; Original Theatrical Trailer; TV and radio spots; Photo Galleries.
Goldfinger - (Over 3 hours)
Commentary with Director Guy Hamilton; Commentary with the cast and crew; 3 Featurettes; Original Screen Tests with Theodore Bikel and Tito Vandis; Original Theatrical Trailer; TV and radio spots; Original Publicity Featurette; Original Radio Interviews With Sean Connery; Photo Galleries.
Thunderball - (Over 6 hours)
Commentary with Director Terence Young and cast and crew; 2 Featurettes; Animated Storyboard Sequence; Original Theatrical Trailer; TV and radio spots; Photo Galleries.
You Only Live Twice - (Over 4 hours)
Commentary with Director Lewis Gilbert and cast and crew; 4 Featurettes; Animated Storyboard Sequence; Original Theatrical Trailer; TV and radio spots; Photo Galleries.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service - (Over 4 hours)
Commentary with Director Peter Hunt and cast and crew; 4 Featurettes; Original Theatrical Trailer; TV and radio spots; Photo Galleries.
Diamond are Forever - (Over 4 hours)
Commentary with Director Guy Hamilton and cast and crew; 3 Featurettes; Deleted Scenes; Original Theatrical Trailer; TV and radio spots.
Live and Let Die - (Over 7 hours)
Commentaries with Director Guy Hamilton, Roger Moore and Tom Mankiewicz; 3 Featurettes; Original Theatrical Trailer; TV and radio spots; Photo Galleries.
The Man with the Golden Gun - (Over 5 hours)
Commentary with Director Guy Hamilton and the cast and crew; Commentary with Roger Moore; 2 Featurettes; Original Theatrical Trailer; TV and radio spots; Photo Galleries.
The Spy who Loved Me - (Over 5 hours)
Commentary with Director Lewis Gilbert and cast and crew; Commentary with Roger Moore; 3 Featurettes; Original Theatrical Trailer; TV and radio spots.
Moonraker - (Over 5 hours)
Commentary with Director Lewis Gilbert and cast and crew; Commentary with Roger Moore; 4 Featurettes; Original Theatrical Trailer; Photo Gallery.
For Your Eyes Only - (Over 7 hours)
Commentary with Director John Glen and the cast and crew; Commentary with Roger Moore; Commentary with Producer Michael G. Wilson and crew; 4 Featurettes; Animated Storyboard Sequences for Snowmobile Chase & Underwater; Music Video performed by Sheena Easton; Deleted Scenes and Expanded Angles; Original Theatrical Trailer, TV and radio spots; Photo Galleries.
Octopussy - (Over 6 hours)
Commentary with Director John Glen; Commentary with Roger Moore; 4 Featurettes;
Original Screen Tests with James Brolin; "All Time High" Music Video; Original Theatrical Trailers.
A View to a Kill - (Over 6 hours)
Commentary with Director John Glen and the cast and crew; Commentary with Roger Moore; 4 Featurettes; A View to a Kill Music Video performed by Duran Duran;
Original Theatrical Trailers and TV spots.
The Living Daylights - (Over 5 hours)
Commentary with Director John Glen and cast and crew; 3 Featurettes; Deleted scenes with introductions from Director John Glen; The Living Daylights Music Video performed by A-Ha; Original Theatrical Trailers.
Licence to Kill - (Over 6 hours)
Commentary with Director John Glen and cast; Commentary with Producer Michael G. Wilson and crew; 3 Featurettes; Licence to Kill Music Video performed by Gladys Knight; "If You Asked Me To" Music Video Performed by Patti LaBelle; Opening Titles Sequence; Original Theatrical Trailers; Photo Galleries.
Goldeneye - (Over 5 hours)
Commentary with Director Martin Campbell and Producer Michael G. Wilson; 8 Featurettes; Deleted scenes; GoldenEye Music Video performed by Tina Turner.
Tommorow Never Dies - (Over 9 hours)
Commentary with Director Roger Spottiswoode and Dan Petrie, Jr; Commentary with Vic Armstrong and Producer Michael G. Wilson; 2 Featurettes; Interview with Composer David Arnold; Deleted and Extended Scenes with introduction from Director Roger Spottiswoode; Tomorrow Never Dies Music Video performed by Sheryl Crow; The James Bond Theme (Moby's Re-Version).
The World is Not Enough - (Over 6 hours)
Commentary with Director Michael Apted; Commentary with Peter Lamont, David Arnold and Vic Armstrong; 4 Featurettes; Opening Titles Sequence; The World Is Not Enough Music Video performed by Garbage; Deleted, Extended and Alternate Scene; Original Theatrical Trailer; Photo Galleries.
Die Another Day - (Over 8 hours)
Commentary with Director Lee Tamahori and Producer Michael G. Wilson; Commentary with Pierce Brosnan and Rosamund Pike; 5 Featurettes; MI6 Datastream Trivia Track with Branching Video; Opening Titles Sequence; Photo Galleries.
Casino Royale - (Over 1 hour)
Becoming Bond; James Bond: For Real; Chris Cornell Music Video.
Quantum of Solace - (Over 1 hour)
2 Featurettes; "Another Way to Die" Music Video; Original Theatrical Trailers.
'Bonus Disc' - (Over 2 hours)
'The World of Bond' - A look at the style and attitude that is signature Bond. From the cars, to the women, to the villains and the music. The World of Bond takes the viewer through the best of five decades worth of classic James Bond in one thrilling montage. The World of Bond featurette also has a Pop-Up Trivia option to challenge even the sharpest of fans with little known facts and interesting trivia from the Bond Universe.
'Being Bond' - Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig each reflect on the impact and importance of taking on such a famous role.
'Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style'
'SKYFALL Videoblogs' - behind-the-scenes look at the making of SKYFALL from the cast and crew.
The extras on the feature film discs are all the ones included on previous releases, but that is no bad thing because they are really superb and there is so much information provided.
The 'Bonus disc' does contain new material, and brings us very much up to date with some really good footage of the upcoming 'Skyfall'.
The quality of the Blu-rays is simply superb, and it is evident that a great deal of time and money has been spent on these transfers.
I have owned all the films in many formats, and for the last ten years I have been watching them predominantly on the DVD's issued in the late 90's; these were a big improvement at the time, but watching the films now in HD takes it to a new level.
I watched 'Dr No' this morning and it is so hard to believe that it is 50 years old! The detailing on the clothing, the surface textures, the lines on the faces, and the richness of the colours is a sight to behold. In fact the image has such clarity that you can see just how much make-up the actors are wearing and the blood used looks like paint!
The audio department has not been forgotten either, everything is so much clearer and the definition from the quietest sound to the largest explosion is amazing, the difference between 5.1 and stereo really is night and day.
All the films feature subtitles and audio tracks in several languages and there are also subtitles for the hearing impaired on all films, with audio description tracks on several of the features.
All the discs bar 'Casino Royale' and 'Quantum of Solace' are Region Free.
Overall I am so chuffed with this set, it is beautifully produced and is a true collectors piece in every sense of the word; it is just about the most complete set of the Bond series that could have been produced.
There can be very few people who have a liking for the Bond films that don't already have many, if not all of, the films on DVD, I too have the complete set; this should not be a reason for not buying this set however, the Blu-Rays are in a different league and I would guess that the current packaging will not continue in the long term, so there is a good chance that with time these sets will become quite collectible.
Update 19th October 2012
I have now watched all the films, in order, and must say they do not disappoint!
As expected the more recent outings look the best, but for me it was the huge improvements in the older films that provided the most enjoyment.
Standouts for me were 'Goldfinger', 'Thunderball' and 'The Spy Who Loved Me', with 'Thunderball' in particular looking absolutely amazing; the film never quite did it for me previously if I'm honest, but on Blu-ray it was a completely different experience and the underwater scenes are now some the most memorable from the whole series for me.
If I'm being critical I would say that the 'Bonus disc' is slightly disappointing, the 'footage' of 'Skyfall' is lacking and offers no insight into the new film; however, when the aforementioned film is released on Blu-ray (with all its expected extras) and put in with this boxset that won't be a real issue.
I also found the 'Quantum of Solace' disc a little bit of a let down, it is clearly the original release and as such the menu screens are different from EVERY other disc; however, I would say that the film was better than I remember (having only watched it at the cinema and then a couple of times on DVD over eighteen months a go), it looks fantastic in HD and the film is definitely not the disappointment that some would have you believe.
This boxset is simply stunning.
With a price of just over £4.00 a Blu-ray I think it is undoubtedly the best value Blu-Ray boxset on the market, just about every film is good at the very least (apart from the awful 'Die Another Day', I'm afraid all the HD in the world won't save it, thus proving the old adage that you can't polish a ****!) and there are so many memories for just about everyone who has an interest in films!
on 28 September 2012
I pre ordered this box set with great anticipation being a lifelong Bond fan. Already have the DVD's but was tempted by all the films in blu ray in a single box set. I wasn't dissapointed. The films were taken from the original prints and cleaned up with loving care. The result is the best quality I have seen for these classic films. Absolutely stunning. Dr. No looks like it was filmed yesterday and just set in the 60's! Lots of extras too and a whole disc of new extras. All for a great price too. A great buy and a must for any Bond fan. Even has an empty sleeve in the packaging for Skyfall when it is released on blu ray in 2013. Recommended.
on 16 November 2012
Really happy with the purchase of the Bond collection in Blu-ray. The video looks fantastic and watching the extras are a really good addition. It is better than the old DVD sets.
One comment stands out for me on one of the extra items from Dr. No in that the restoration team mentions that they wanted the move to look like it was filmed last year to look like it was in the 60's, not that it was filmed in the 60's. For that alone they sure do make it look like it was filmed after the Quantum of solace.
on 8 November 2012
I noticed that there aren't many reviews for the DVD version of this product on this page; many of the reviews are actually for the BluRay version, and while the two appear similar, they are actually totally different products.
This box set contains all 22 currently available James Bond films that have been made by Eon (so this doesn't include Sean Connery's 'Never Say Never Again', but most fans don't consider that to be part of the main series. Each film is presented on a different disk, all of which are contained in a neat box that will fit neatly on your DVD shelf. The DVDs are contained in digipaks, each of which holds two discs, and while this isn't necessarily the safest way to present disks, it seems a lot more robust than the BluRay equivalent (of which there have been complaints about).
Unlike the more expensive BluRay edition, the DVD edition comes with no special features of which to speak. While this initially bothered me (I'm a bit of a special-features geek), I was not willing to part with an extra forty pounds just for a lot of special features. Saying that, the DVD edition does feel a little bit lacking. The quality of the films is very much as you'd expect, considering the ages of some of them.
The display packaging itself is particularly nice. The grey bars that appear on the top and bottom of the product image are actually part of a cardboard backing, and is only really for sale use. When you remove the film wrapping, this simply falls away, leaving you with a much cleaner-looking and well presented box set. The inside cover contains black and white photographs of every Bond.
In addition, the boxset contains a space for Skyfall on DVD, when it is released early next year. While this is an odd choice, it does avoid the usual feeling of being sold a boxset just before it becomes obsolete, because its no longer the "complete" series.
All in all, an excellent boxset if all you're after are the films that have formed the backbone of the 007 franchise for the last 50 years. If you want anything extra, then you'll need to look to the BluRay edition...
Also, it should be mentioned that I already owned many of the films on DVD (8 in total), but this turned out to be the cheapest way to complete my set. When some of the individual films are selling for as much as £15 each, £50 for 22 films isn't such a bad price!
on 1 July 2015
This really is a first class box set. The picture quality and sound is top notch, especially on the earlier films, and the restoration job performed is pretty much faultless. I completely agree with the other reviewers who have gone into far more detail on those aspects, they really have to be seen to be believed. There are a couple of minor niggles that take the gloss off but only a little bit. The first is the bonus disc and, more precisely, the Being Bond segment. This was quite a draw for me as I thought, with it being the 50th anniversary, it would feature new interviews with the six actors who played Bond giving some insight into the role. Sadly, what you get is a 3 minute compilation of bits from old interviews that you've probably seen elsewhere in the past. It's very disappointing. The other slight letdown is the Quantum of Solace disc. This is basically the regular blu ray with a different label stuck on top. This means the menu doesn't match all the other discs, it is the only disc to contain trailers for unrelated films (none of the other discs have any ads or trailers) and it is also the only disc not to contain a commentary track (there is a commentary on Casino Royale, despite what the Amazon listing says). This just feels lazy in comparison to the other 21 films and does elicit an "Oh" when seen for the first time. As I said, these are minor niggles and you shouldn't let them detract from the superb collection that is on offer. If you like Bond, you'll love this set.
NB: As is their wont, Amazon have bundled the reviews for the Blu-ray and DVD boxed sets together. This review refers to the Blu-ray edition. Please bear in mind that the DVD version only includes the one-disc versions of the films, losing nearly all the extras apart from the audio commentaries.
With the release of Skyfall imminent, EON and MGM/UA have finally got around to releasing the remaining Bond films that weren't on Blu-ray (with the exception of non-EON entries Never Say Never Again and the 1967 Casino Royale), releasing them in a lavish boxed set that's surprisingly sturdily constructed but offers virtually nothing new for those who have already faithfully collected the Ultimate Edition DVDs. The plentiful extras have been carried over pretty much wholesale from those two-disc releases, with one exception - Casino Royale is a strange hybrid of the two-disc special edition and first single-disc release, containing most of the special edition's extras but losing Martin Campbell's picture-in-picture commentary, two featurettes (The Art of the Freerun, Catching a Plane - From Storyboard to Screen), the revised documentary Bond Girls Are Forever, storyboard sequence and filmmaker profile featurettes (Martin Campbell, Chris Corbauld, Phil Méheux, Gary Powell, Alexander Witt and David Arnold). The version of Die Another Day only features the extras from the Ultimate Edition, with the much better extras from the original DVD release, including the 76-minute making of documentary, still AWOL.
The picture quality is for the most part very good, though it's not always as convincing as you feel it should be, with the suspicion that some scenes have been scrubbed up a little too brightly compared to the way they looked on the big screen. GoldenEye thankfully corrects the overcropping of the Ultimate Edition DVD release that was particularly noticeable when cutting off letters and numbers on video displays and is now in the proper framing but it has some noticeable DNR work done on it, though it's not as dramatic as some reports claim. More worrying is that the UK set doesn't offer the original mono soundtracks on the early Bond films that were previously released on Blu-ray, such as Dr No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger and Thunderball, instead offering remixed stereo tracks that often favour the sound effects a little too much. The new to BD titles do contain the original mixes, but if you want them on the earlier films you'll have to buy the US set - which will cause a problem for those without multi-region Blu-ray capability since the set is a mixture of Region A-locked titles (Dr No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Licence to Kill, The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace) and Region-free ones (You Only Live Twice, OHMSS - thankfully the uncut version - Diamonds Are Forever, The Spy Who Loved Me, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies).
As for the exclusive extras disc - well, it's a huge disappointment. Rather than include any new extras from Quantum of Solace such as the deleted "The name's Bond. James Bond" ending or any of the slew of other promos or documentaries about the series it's just a brief selection of soundbites, very brief featurettes, a few video diaries for Skyfall and a collection of title sequences from the films. There's no booklet either, but at least the book-style packaging for the films is especially strong, has a space reserved for Skyfall and is designed for repeated use - which plenty of these films will be getting.
on 6 October 2013
Excellent collection to own. A very smart way of keeping lots of discs in a small space, but still looks the part.
on 13 January 2014
Let me begin by saying; I've been a Bond fan since the 2006 reboot (because of how young I am, not because of a fault in the old movies). This Christmas, I then received a sizable cash gift from my grandmother, and I decided that now was the time to watch all the old Bond movies and see what it was all about.
As a collector (and student who doesn't own a Blu-Ray player), I started out by searching the internet for the best version of all the movies collected. Of all the international Amazon websites, only the amazon.fr was able to provide a box set containing all the movies in 2-disc collector's editions and Skyfall included. If you are a collector like me, and don't mind spending the extra money, I highly recommend picking up the French Bond 50 DVD box set, over the British edition, which has very limited extras and comes without Skyfall.
So far I've watched 11 of the included 23 movies (again, please note; the UK edition comes without Skyfall), and I must say I have enjoyed them all immensely. They are not all of equal standard, but every movie has something special of its own, and is part of a greater whole in this box set.
The video quality is exceptional for DVD. In this manner the set stands out for having the Ultimate Edition transfers from around 2008. They all look beautiful, but many of the transfers are ever so slightly overscanned. This, however, is no more than most recent DVDs, and unless you are watching on a PC monitor, will be hidden by the edge of your TV. Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall are all from their original transfers (2006, 2009 and 2013, respectively), which all look exceptional. The UK editions are equal in picture to the French edition.
On the audio side of things is where it gets interesting. Whereas the UK edition contains both Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and DTS 5.1, the French edition "unfortunately" only has Dolby Digital 5.1 in English - the DTS soundtrack is reserved for the French dub. On my system, however, I was hardly able to hear the difference, and only the most recent of the films sounded even slightly better on the DTS soundtrack. This would not have been even close to a dealbreaker to me, had I discovered it before buying.
The French version comes with English HOH subtitles on all of the movies.
MENUS & NAVIGATION:
The menus are in French on all the Ultimate Editions in the French box, but even the slightest knowledge of linguistics (or minimal trial and error) will steer you through without any troubles, as all the features and special features play with English soundtracks by default.
Now, on to those extras: The French set contains every bit of extras released for Bond 1: Dr. No through Bond 20: Die Another Day, as well as Quantum of Solace. The only missing parts are the third disc of the Casino Royale Deluxe Edition (I recommend you pick that up ASAP) and the Blu-Ray exclusive features from Skyfall. As you may have read elsewhere, the exclusive bonus disc from the Blu-Ray edition is hardly worth the upgrade. As an added bonus, the French version of Casino Royale included here, is the uncut version, unlike the UK set, which has been censored in one scene.
Packaging is another great reason to buy the French set - despite the text on the box being in French, the packaging is far better than UK version. The set opens like a chest, with the the attached on top. Inside all the movies are stored in individual slimcases, with two discs in each, except for Skyfall, which is in a standard-size keepcase, with a single disc. The whole thing is wrapped inside a slipcover, going all the way around the case, explaining the contents (again in French) on the back. It's a beautiful, glossy (but not shiny or indented) box that you will enjoy displaying. The one downside to the box is that to take out one movie, you'll have to take out each DVD on top, as they are stacked rather than lined up inside.
However, on the whole, the horizontal display and the individual cases inside, make this set far preferable over the cramped artwork and impractical packaging of the UK edition. If all else fails (or when the next Bond movie comes out in 2015), you can always take out the cases and display them side-by-side on your shelf.
The UK edition has a slot for Skyfall, but does not include it.
French edition: Highly recommended for the collector, 5 stars.
UK edition: Equally highly recommended, if you only care about the movies, 4 stars.
WHAT ELSE DO I NEED:
Apart from this box set, two more Bond movies exist: Casino Royale from 1967 and Never Say Never Again from 1983. These movies are official James Bond movies, but were produced by other companies than the rest of the series. I recommend that you go out and buy these elsewhere. If you can play Region 1 DVDs, I'd recommend you buy both in their recent Collector's Editions from America. If not, get the standard edition of Casino Royale from the UK and the German or French version of Never Say Never Again, in order to get the uncut movie.
Furthermore, you may want to get the new 2012 documentary Everything or Nothing from the UK. It's a great watch for any long-time fan of the series.
NB: Casino Royale is censored in the UK version and you have to buy Skyfall individually for the UK set as well.
on 30 November 2012
I'm writing this review to hopefully convince anyone thinking of not buying the set because of the way the disks are inserted into the boxes.
Though unorthodox and it does remind me of the 1st edition Buffy boxes. I would have to add that the 1st edition Buffy disks were hell on earth to try and get back into the boxes. They were very tight fitting and after putting them in I had to resist the urge to pull them back out to see if I scratched anything.
Now the James Bond disks fit right in their place, the cardboard back is scratch free sealed paper. They're half covered by a cardboard flap that can't be moved. You can put the disks in and pull them out easily by holding the rims of the disks. They're held in place perfectly. They won't fall out easily. Each page is about 3mm thick. The left page is a work of art on each page. A wonderful collage of photo's from the two movies that are found on the right page.
Long story short. Don't worry about scratching your disks. I'm not and I'm always worried about scratching my disks (I don't even lend out my disks for this exact reason).
As for the rest of it: I can't bring it any better then IOWBOY already did, so I won't even try.
on 2 October 2012
I was really surprised by this beautifully made box, the disks separated in two books with very nice and fitting pictures for each two disks page.
One book contains the movies from 1962 to 1981 and the other the ones from 1983 to 2012. There is also a placeholder for 'Skyfall' this year.
Only one bonus disk, but there are still all bonus features on the disks themselves, which had been also present on the Ultimate DVD collection.
This is now really the ultimate BD collection, I was waiting for. Beautifully made, makes me very happy as a Bond fan and is in my understanding worth the money paid.
Also, I think that we will have some time, until the 4k version will be released on what media ever.
Strong recommendation to buy.
All disks contain German audio tracks, except 'Casino Royale' - service for the buyers from Germany :-)