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Octopussy, 2006 double disc Ultimate Edition - A strong, yet underrated entry in the Bond series
on 6 September 2010
I must admit to a bit of affection for this, the thirteenth big screen outing for superspy James Bond. It was the first Bond film I saw in the cinema and as such I still get a little buzz of nostalgia when I see it.
Trying to be objective, I feel this is one of the stronger entries in the Bond series, and of the Moore years in particular. It is a decent tale that reflects the time in which it was made very well. The cold war was coming to an end, yet there were still people on both sides who felt that this was a bad thing. This film has at its heart quite a disturbing suggestion - what if one mad man with enough power decided peace was a sell out and conquest and victory, by any means, were his right? Built around this is a very entertaining tale as Roger Moore sets off to India on the trail of some forged Romanov jewellery that ultimately leads him to the plot to start world war 3. Along the way he encounters a deadly circus, an acrobatic troupe of beautiful women, is made the subject of a big game hunt and generally has a lot of fun whilst saving the world.
On the down side, Moore was starting to look a little too old for the part by this time, but he still acquits himself very well and largely carries the film with his usual charm and style. Steven Berkoff is perfectly cast as the mad Russian general, and Louis Jordan is a decent creepy Indian prince, providing a good set of villains for Bond. Maud Adams, who also appeared in `The man With The Golden Gun' as Scaramanger's girlfriend, plays Octopussy, a beautiful international criminal mixed up in the evil schemes, and out for personal revenge against Bond. It's a good role, and provides us with one of the more complex Bond girls who is able to stand up for herself. For a change.
Again. It's a fun tale, with just the right mix of good plot, laughs, big stunts and action. It comes together into a very pleasing whole which always entertains.
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 the film justice. This series of `Ultimate editions' really sets the standard for film releases. It really does not get any better.