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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the Most Unfairly Under-Rated of All the Bond movies
Sean Connery was aged in his early 50's when he made this much maligned (but frankly excellent) Bond movie. At the start, the aging 007 is at a health clinic, trying to get back into shape. At the same time, SPECTRE baddie Largo (played by the brilliant character actor Klaus Maria Brandauer), steals a couple of American cruise missiles mid-flight. Bond is assigned to...
Published 23 days ago by Bill Mason

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Never Do A Non Canon Bond Again
Never Say Never Again (DVD).

DVD Info.
Format: PAL
Language: English
Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
Region 2
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
Number of discs: 1
Classification: PG
Running Time: 128 minutes

Box Office.
Budget $36 million
Box office $160 million

Cast.
Sean...
Published 12 days ago by Timelord007


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Never Do A Non Canon Bond Again, 10 Aug 2014
By 
Timelord007 (The Tardis) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Never Say Never Again (DVD).

DVD Info.
Format: PAL
Language: English
Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
Region 2
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
Number of discs: 1
Classification: PG
Running Time: 128 minutes

Box Office.
Budget $36 million
Box office $160 million

Cast.
Sean Connery as James Bond - 007.
Kim Basinger as Domino Petachi
Klaus Maria Brandauer as Maximillian Largo
Barbara Carrera as Fatima Blush
Bernie Casey as Felix Leiter
Max von Sydow as Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Edward Fox as M
Rowan Atkinson as Nigel Small-Fawcett
Gavan O'Herlihy as Jack Petachi
Alec McCowen as Q
Pamela Salem as Miss Moneypenny
Saskia Cohen Tanugi as Nicole
Prunella Gee as Patricia Fearing
Valerie Leon as "Lady in Bahamas"
John Stephen Hill as Communications Officer
Milow Kirek as Kovacs
Pat Roach as Lippe

Why Is it A Non - Canon Bond Film.
Never Say Never Again is a 1983 spy film based on the James Bond novel Thunderball, which was previously adapted in 1965 under that name. Unlike the majority of Bond films, Never Say Never Again was not produced by Eon Productions, but by an independent production company, one of whose members was Kevin McClory, one of the original writers of the Thunderball storyline with Ian Fleming and Jack Whittingham. McClory retained the filming rights of the novel following a long legal battle dating from the 1960s.

Trivia.
1)A young Steven Seagal was the martial arts instructor for this film. He broke Sean Connery's wrist during training.
2)The title is (allegedly) based on a conversation between Sean Connery & his wife. After Diamonds Are Forever (1971) he told her he'd *never* play James Bond again, & there he was, playing James Bond again. Her response was for him to "never say never again".
3)Rowan Atkinson's first movie. His character was a humorous supporting character called Nigel Small-Fawcett. He would later parody James Bond himself as Johnny English (2003).
4)This "Bond film" was not part of the franchise produced by MGM & Danjaq, Kevin McClory, who was producer and co-writer of Thunderball (1965), won a legal battle against Ian Fleming to make his own Bond movie. The settlement stipulated that it had to effectively be a remake of Thunderball.
5)When Sean Connery appeared as James Bond in this movie, he returned to the role he made famous after an absence of twelve years.
6)Kim Basinger had never seen a Bond film when she signed on as Domino.
7)First ever James Bond movie made without a title originally written by Ian Fleming.
8)George Lazenby was considered by producer Kevin McClory to play Bond but was dropped from consideration when 9)Barbara Carrera (Fatima Blush) did her love scenes with Sean Connery herself, declining the offer to use a body double.
10)SPECTRE stood for Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge & Extortion.
11)In the early 1990s, producer Jack Schwartzman was supposedly planning a special edition laserdisc, with an all-new expanded cut of the film, There was also talk of having the film re-scored. To date, this has not happened.
12)Pamela Salem as Miss Moneypenny in this movie officially became the very first actress other than Lois Maxwell to play Miss Moneypenny in a straight Bond movie.
13)Kevin McClory originally planned for the film to open with some version of the famous "gun barrel" opening as seen in the EON Productions Bond series, but ultimately the film opens with a screen full of "007" symbols instead. When the soundtrack for the film was released on CD, it included a piece of music composed for the proposed opening.
14)As Sean Connery was 52, it was decided to make James Bond a retired secret agent in this film. However, he was three years younger than Roger Moore when he played the still serving Bond in Octopussy (1983) earlier the same year.

Whats The Story.
SPECTRE agents under the command of Ernst Stavro Blofeld infiltrate a US air force base situated in the UK & steal two Tomahawk cruise missiles.

When NATO is held to ransom, the British reactive their "00" agents & send semi retired James Bond to recapture the warheads were he is confronted by SPECTRE Number 2 Largo, a power-mad mastermind set on carrying out his plan for worldwide nuclear blackmail, Bond must also face the murderous femme fatale Fatima Blush, But Bond does have an ally though, Largo's girlfriend, the willowy Domino, who falls for Bond.

Timelord Thoughts.
Oh dear, why Sean did you agree to reprise James Bond in this turkey the reworking of Thunderball? ,There's no Gunbarrel sequence or main titles as we're used to with the Eon Bond fims, in fact, the beginning is mundane, with a wretched song playing through the opening action sequence.

Never Say Never Again is basically the same plot as Thunderball but while that film was a official Bond that was tightly directed by Terrance Young, NSNA sees The Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner take up the reigns & the results are patchy to say the least.

Bond shoots bad guys only at the begining though, Bond charms the ladies into bed, Bond is menaced by sharks, Bond is sent to a health spa were he is attacked by a brawny assassin/henchman in the Oddjob mold who seems unstoppable, this part of the movie does delivers a pretty decent fight scene until the henchman is stopped by a silly urinal gag, thankfully Barbara Carrera is onhand & is excellent as Fatima Blush who is a persistent SPECTRE assassin & Number Two's right hand woman with some odd sexual preoccupations.

Klaus Maria Brandauer plays the main villain, Largo who is excellent throughout the film & delivers an intensity to his character who is completely insane, the video game duel with 007 is a bizarre yet entrancing confrontation, while Max Von Sydow is completely underused as Ernst Blofeld in his all to brief appearance.

Kim Basinger play's Domino & is the main Bond girl who oozes sexy as Basinger is a very beautiful woman but unfortunately while nice to look at she's another damsel in distress Bond Girl.

As for Sean Connery, well he's looking pretty good for his age & just about holds the movie together as once again Connery delivers a charismatic performance as 007 & is great in the movie action scenes & always very cool under fire it's just a pity he isn't given a better script.

As for the action scenes well there a mixed bag, the bike chase is excellently executed & tightly paced action scene yet the climactic shoot-out is awful & inconsistency shot as Bond shoots no bad guys whatsoever & as for the underwater climax featuring Bond vs Largo as Bond attempts to defuse the Nuclear warheads is murky stuff that delivers no tension whatsoever & again ends with Domino shooting Largo with a spear gun as seen in Thunderball which I find annoying as I wanted to see Bond get the main villain not the ruddy Bond girl.

Overall Never Say Never Again is a poor movie even for a alternative Bond film, Sean Connery is excellent as 007 but he alone can't save this mess & while there a few good performances by the supporting cast the whole movie feels completely inferior to the Broccolls official Bond films were every penny is seen on the screen, I say Stick with the official Thunderball & give this inferior remake a miss.

Timelord Rating.
4/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the Most Unfairly Under-Rated of All the Bond movies, 31 July 2014
By 
Bill Mason (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Never Say Never Again [Blu-ray] [1983] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Sean Connery was aged in his early 50's when he made this much maligned (but frankly excellent) Bond movie. At the start, the aging 007 is at a health clinic, trying to get back into shape. At the same time, SPECTRE baddie Largo (played by the brilliant character actor Klaus Maria Brandauer), steals a couple of American cruise missiles mid-flight. Bond is assigned to trace the missing missiles. A lovely SPECTRE agent and assassin, Fatima Blush (played by Barbara Bach), is given the task of ending Bond's life. There is a rip-roaring chase sequence when Bond, in a very cool Renault 5 Turbo (the rare six cylinder one), goes in pursuit of Blush on her motorcycle. Bond eventually ends up on Largo's luxury yacht, where he becomes involved with the villain's plaything, played by Kim Basinger. Connery is, always, his debonair and insouciant self. Brandauer is amazing as the arch enemy, the best Bond baddie ever save for, arguably, Javier Bardem in Skyfall. Kim Basinger as the love interest has never been more gorgeous. The excessive gadgetry of other Bond movies is missing here, but this doesn't hurt the movie. It means that there was more room in the film for character development and plot. The cinematography is excellent. Rowan Atkinson has a fairly excruciating cameo role as a bungling secret agent (a taste of what was to come with his Johnny English movies), which doesn't really add to the film. As Bond films go, I think that this cast is as good as any other cast assembled for the other Bond movies. I think that this is a vastly under-rated member of the Bond franchise, and easily strong enough to merit repeat viewings over the years.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slick, enjoyable but not premium Bond, 12 Dec 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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At once the victim of impossible expectations after years of false starts and rumors about Connery's return to Bondage and also a breath of fresh air as the Roger Moore Bond films increasingly floundered, Never Say Never Again was a welcome riposte to the worst excesses of the EON franchise in 1983, but time hasn't been that kind to it. There are certainly some horrible miscalculations, Carrera's cartoonish villainess Fatima Blush (like Faye Dunaway on steroids), Edward Fox's self-parody as M, Pamela Salem's simperingly moronic Moneypenny and an embarrassingly over-the-top Rowan Atkinson's horribly unfunny Nigel Small-Fawcett among them, not to mention that problematic and much-despised easy listening score from Michel Legrand.

A famously troubled production, with Cubby Broccoli frightening studios, investors and co-stars away through years of lawsuits and Connery taking against the film's inexperienced producer Jack Schwartzman so violently that he would reportedly hide whenever the actor came anywhere near his office, most of the scars aren't visible in the finished product. Thankfully the worst excesses of the legendary unfilmed but sadly rather silly and OTT script Connery and Len Deighton penned in the early 70s, Warhead (which climaxed with a hang-glider attack on the Statue of Liberty and boasted a villain with his own underwater lair), were also toned down, albeit largely for budget reasons. With only a watered-down version of their radio-controlled sharks remaining, this version is at least a little more grounded than the rampant silliness that had seen the Bonds stray unrecognisably far from their roots in Ian Fleming's novels. Despite uncredited co-writers Ian La Fresnais and Dick Clements pilfering their earlier movie spinoff of Porridge for some of the jokes, the more streamlined screenplay flows better than Thunderball, which was always the clunkiest of Bond scripts in its desperation to throw everything including the kitchen sink into the mix, but it's also less fun. Odder still is the very American feel to the film, with a clean, spare look that's uncomfortably at odds with Connery's previous outings.

On the plus side, Klaus Maria Brandauer is particularly good as Largo, Bernie Casey brings an easy familiarity to his role that makes him one of the best of the many Felix Leiters in Connery's tenure, and Alec McCowen and Max Von Sydow are fine in undemanding parts while Robert Rietty, who voiced Largo in Thunderball as well as numerous other Bond characters over the years, turns up briefly onscreen for a change. It's also thankfully light on the gadgets that got particularly out of control in the EON series during the 80s and the action scenes are for the most part well-handled, with an excellent fight with Pat Roach the standout despite a particularly lame gag ending. Enjoyable but no enduring classic.

After years as only a no-frills edition with just a trailer, Sony released an NTSC collectors edition that includes a heavily-lawyered three-part documentary on the making of the film, audio commentary by director Irvin Kershner and Bond historian Steven Jay Rubin, trailer and stills gallery - but do be warned that the US Blu-ray is Region A encoded and won't play in UK machines, though a UK Blu-ray is finally available as of April 2013. The picture quality is a distinct improvement, with warmer colour, but it is the UK censored version omitting two shots of a horsefall.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Never Say Never Again [1983] [Blu-ray, 6 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Never Say Never Again [Blu-ray] [1983] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Never Say Never Again [1983] [Blu-ray] Sean Connery is back for his final performance as agent James Bond in this high-velocity action thriller. Agent 007 is hurled into a pulse-pounding race to save the world from Armageddon when two atomic warheads are hijacked by the evil SPECTRE organisation.

Cast: Sean Connery, Kim Basinger, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Barbara Carrera, Bernie Casey, Max von Sydow, Edward Fox, Rowan Atkinson, Gavan O'Herlihy, Alec McCowen, Pamela Salem, Saskia Cohen, Prunella Gee, Valerie Leon, John Stephen Hill, Milow Kirek, Pat Roach, Anthony Sharp, Roy Bowe, Andy Bradford and Amy Irving (voice) (uncredited)

Director: Irvin Kershner

Producer: Jack Schwartzman

Screenwriter: Lorenzo Semple, Jr., Dick Clement (uncredited) and Ian La Frenais (uncredidted)

Composer: Michel Legrand

Cinematography: Douglas Slocombe

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and English: 2.0 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Region: All Regions

Running Time: 134 minutes

Number of discs: 1

Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Andrew's Blu-ray Review – ‘Never Say Never Again’ begins with James Bond unsuccessfully taking part in a series of simulated missions for MI6. There's a new "M" [Edward Fox] in town who isn't fond of the "00" branch; he's relegated Bond to assignments as an instructor and has all but disbanded the "00" forces. Bond isn't getting any younger at this point, so he's ordered to clean up his act and to get into better shape by checking into a health spa. There, Bond accidentally uncovers a plot put in motion by SPECTRE, and the organization's ruthless leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld [Max Von Sydow], to steal several nuclear warheads, threaten the world and collect a giant ransom. When the warheads go missing, MI6 panics, reactivates Bond and sends him on a mission to the Caribbean to work his double-0 magic on the situation. Once in the Bahamas, Bond encounters Maximilian Largo [Klaus Maria Brandauer], an agent of SPECTRE who lives on a giant high-tech yacht. Bond will re-team with his old pal, CIA Agent Felix Leiter [Bernie Casey], and Largo's girlfriend Domino [Kim Basinger] to put a stop to their nefarious plans.

‘Never Say Never Again’ features a number of great action sequences, from underwater fights, to motorcycle chases; as well as an unfortunate reliance on some primitive blue screen work. Fortunately, the film is so effortless in its direction and story, that none of this is particularly bothersome. ‘Never Say Never Again’ also benefits from one of the strongest villains in James Bond history; Klaus Maria Brandauer turns in a bravura performance as Largo, while managing to stay within the realm of reality and avoiding the megalomaniacal histrionics that often accompany Bond villain performances. He's simply fantastic in the role. Kim Basinger is an acceptable Domino, but comes across as something of a hard sell when compared to Thunderball's Domino, Claudine Auger. Finally, Max Von Sydow is an effectively creepy Blofeld that seems to have a bit more personality than those of the Eon Productions films. His addition to the cast, along with that of Mr. Brandauer's, gives Never Say Never Again one of the strongest rosters of villains in the history of the franchise, bar none.

Invariably, the question always arises: Is ‘Never Say Never Again’ as good as Thunderball? Not really. The story is virtually identical, of course, but ‘Never Say Never Again’ doesn't have the style of the original. ‘Thunderball’ was one of the pivotal James Bond films and helped to cement many of Bond's signature trademarks. His sense of style, along with his decidedly sexist behaviour, was an aspect of James Bond's character that has followed him through the decades. It's fresh and almost charming in ‘Thunderball,’ while already looking dated in ‘Never Say Never Again.’ Regardless, ‘Never Say Never Again’ is very entertaining and faithful to the James Bond character. It might not achieve the heights of the other James Bond films from the sixties, but is just as good.

Blu-ray Video Quality – ‘Never Say Never Again’ Blu-ray release represents the first serious attempt at presenting the film in a manner befitting a Sean Connery Bond film. Presented in a nice 1080p encoded image and the film's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1, ‘Never Say Never Again’ looks pretty darn good. The primary problem with the release is print damage; there are a number of scenes where print scratches and dirt become obvious, marring this otherwise excellent presentation. I noticed more issues cropping up during the film's special effects shots, particularly during obvious optical composites. Clearly, Never Say Never Again hasn't been run through the restoration process at Lowry, like EON Productions' films have.

Regardless, the good elements outweigh the bad in ‘Never Say Never Again.’ Contrast is generally impressive, with rich black levels. Colours are slightly washed-out, but that's probably the nature of the film's early-eighties photography. Detail is moderate, but appropriate given the source material. Grain is slightly inconsistent, with heavier grain appearing in special effects shots where optical printing was used. It's nothing out of the ordinary for a film of the early eighties. Lastly, there aren't any noticeable compression-related issues with ‘Never Say Never Again’ and the film has been given a high quality encode. While the film doesn't rise to the same video heights as most of the other James Bond films, this is still a worthy upgrade from any previous version of the film. ‘Never Say Never Again’ looks better than ever on this Blu-ray disc.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – I was fully expecting ‘Never Say Never Again’ to be a disappointment in the audio department. Surprisingly, the film has been given a substantial update in its sound mix, thanks to a potent helping of 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio encoding combined with some serious audio remixing. There's a nice atmosphere throughout the film that mixes in a number of rear directional effects in action sequences. Dialogue is, for the most part, isolated to the centre channel, while the film's somewhat awkward musical score takes root entirely in the front soundstage. For a movie from the early 1980s, ‘Never Say Never Again’ will never sound as up-to- date as, say, ‘Quantum of Solace.’ Not that it necessarily should, for that matter. I was duly impressed with this updated soundtrack's restraint. It would have been easy to remix the track to the point of being ridiculous. Never Say Never Again is again highly recommended.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Audio Commentary with Director Irvin Kershner and James Bond Historian Steven Jay Rubin: Director Irvin Kershner is joined by 007 Historian Steven Jay Rubin, who claims that this is one of his favourite movies. Something tells me that any movie with James Bond in it would qualify as one of his favourites. For a Bond historian, Rubin makes some surprising factual errors, such as stating that the Blofeld character hadn't been seen in a 007 movie since 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service', when in fact he made appearances in both 'Diamonds Are Forever' and 'For Your Eyes Only.' The track also has a little too much play-by-play recapping of the action on screen. Regardless, this is a pretty engaging conversation, especially when Irvin Kershner describes his problems with how much of the novel he had to include versus how much of the previous 'Thunderball' film he wasn't allowed to use.

The Big Gamble Documentary [16:00] An overview of the history of the project, development of the script, and the legal problems that the producers faced. Director Irvin Kershner admits to being bored by the script and the final action scene.

Sean is Back Documentary [8:00] The cast and crew reminisce about working with Sean Connery and offer him their highest compliments.

The Girls of ‘Never Say Never Again’ [10:00] A discussion about the casting of Kim Basinger, who was intimidated by the cast and her husband, and had a bad experience making the film. The still-lovely Barbara Carrera [Fatima Blush] says that she enjoyed improvising much of her role.

Theatrical Trailer [1:00] The Blu-ray disc menus calls it a theatrical trailer, but this is clearly a 4:3 pan and scan TV spot. Probably because MGM/Fox couldn't get trailer material out of Warner Bros.

Finally, the inspiration of 1980s fads dates this film, besides the title song sung by Lani Hall with Herb Alpert trumpet solo (it's the exception and not the rule, after all, when a James Bond title song isn't dated) and a terrible score by Michel Legrand, the plot nods to a pop culture dominated by Jane Fonda workouts and video-game arcades (one suspense sequence pits Bond against Largo in a wired-to-kill game of "Domination"). Instead of Desmond Llewelyn as "Q" and ‘Never Say Never Again’ offers Alec McCowen as Algernon. In one of the film's most dry funny scenes, is when Algernon tells Bond, "Good to see you, Mr. Bond. Things have been awfully dull around here. Bureaucrats running the old place, everything done by the book...Now you're on this, I hope we're going to have some gratuitous sex and violence." While it certainly isn't the best of the James Bond films, ‘Never Say Never Again’ is far from being the worst. In fact, it's a remarkably entertaining diversion in the James Bond universe that manages to entertain while showcasing Sean Connery's final take on the legendary spy he helped create. James Bond fans will love the film's tongue-in-cheek manner and will get a kick out of seeing a slightly older Sean Connery in an unexpected return to the role that made him famous. This Blu-ray release of ‘Never Say Never Again’ is clearly the finest presentation of the film that has ever graced home screens, though an unfortunate amount of print damage does detract slightly from the experience. The film's audio presentation is generally impressive, if restrained; supplements are, however, lacking in depth. Ultimately, ‘Never Say Never Again’ is a strange footnote in cinema history that manages to be genuinely enjoyable, while showcasing a number of exceptional performances and it was a brilliant film for Sean Connery who finally bowed out of the James Bond franchise and now I have the final Sean Connery James Bond film added to my Blu-ray Collection. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Andrew C. Miller - Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't be too hard on Sean, 8 Mar 2003
By 
Ward-Minter (British Virgin Islands) - See all my reviews
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I read all the reviews of this Bond film and think folk are being a little hard. Yes, it is no "Goldfinge"r or "For Your Eyes Only" but it is a good film nonetheless. The point about Connery looking old is the 'point' methinks. Bond has been through a hard life (being orphaned, expulsion from school, becomming widowed etc. See learn your facts before criticising) and it is this hard life that shows in the film. Although a superhero he is still human!!
And the criticism about no action scenes??? What film were you watching?? There is a wonderful motorbike sequence, a great horse ride and a super Bondesque fight scene with none other than Pat Roach (The huge wrestler from Aufweidersein Pet.) Also for Coronation Street fans the late Maxine Peacock's mother is in it!!!!!!! (but don't let that put you off)
I am not old enough to remember Connery first time round but believe this is a worthy edition to the 'proper' James Bond films. As for the on line reports about Connery acting like a dirty old man, I know many girls around 25 years old who still say he is the sexiest man on earth some 20 years after the film, so there.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A blast as the 'unofficial' Bond movie, 4 July 2012
It's easy to dismiss 'Never Say Never Again' as the 'unofficial' Bond movie, made during legal wrangling over who owned the rights to the character (note the conspicuously absent 'gun barrel' opening credits that were traditional in all the official Bonds of this period). However, to do so would be to write off a hugely fun adventure. Essentially a remake of the more serious 'Thunderball', this has Bond trying to retrieve stolen nuclear weapons in the Caribbean while battling lethal killers and shark-laden traps, and has barely a dull moment. Laden with gadgets, the scenery, action and direction (by 'Empire Strikes Back' director Ivin Kershner) are all great. Connery throws himself into the movie with humour and enthusiasm, Barbara Carrera is enormous fun camping it up as a Euro-villainess with a vicious streak, and Klus Maria Brandauer is suitably enigmatic and threatening as the criminal mastermind working for SPECTRE.
Great fun.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Connery said never again but gave his fans another chance..., 7 Feb 2010
By 
D. McAndrew (Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
WARNING. This region A blu-ray disc has been coded differently to every other region A blu-ray disc I've encountered so far. It unfortunately would NOT play on my all region blu-ray player, giving the message that it required a region A ONLY player. I have played many region A blu-ray discs on my player, but for some strange reason, this one must have been coded differently to stop overseas buyers from enjoying this movie.

As for the film, it's not Sean's best Bond but but it is highly entertaining anyway.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique James Bond movie, 16 April 2003
By 
Darren Harrison "DVD collector and reviewer" (Washington D.C.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
When Kevin McClory teamed up with the Eon company to make the movie Thunderball in 1965 he was contractually obliged not to exercise his rights to the James Bond character for ten years, Sure enough in 1975 McClory started pitching a 007 script titled Warhead to all the competing studios, but it wasn't until 1983 that Never Say Never Again actually made it to the silver screen opening opposite the lame Roger Moore vehicle Octopussy. Never Say Never Again (a title suggested by Sean Connery's wife) has on display a variation of the plot that McClory had produced almost 20 years earlier. There are slight differences and the look of the film bears a stark contrast to the EON produced series. Despite a rather slim plot, the movie does showcase one the best villains of any Bond movie with the brilliant Klaus Maria Brandeur hamming it up as the megalomaniacal Largo. In addition to his sterling performance and a (too short) appearance by Max Von Sydow as Blofeld, there is the delicious Barbara Carrera as the villainess, a role that allows her to frolic around in various stages of undress. Not to be outdone the movie also features an early performance by Kim Basinger as the "Bond girl" and her character seems to display more depth than either Maud Adams or Kristina Wayborn were able to convey in the rival EON movie of that year. After the movie was obtained by MGM-UA (the company that produces the EON production) there was talk among fans as to the possibility of the gun barrel sequence being added to make it part of the "canon", I for one do not think that this unique James Bond 007 movie should be tampered with in that manner and equally happy to see it emerge on DVD. I heartily recommend this movie
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique Bond movie and to be enjoyed as such, 16 May 2003
By 
Darren Harrison "DVD collector and reviewer" (Washington D.C.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
When Kevin McClory teamed up with the Eon company to make the movie Thunderball in 1965 he was contractually obliged not to exercise his rights to the James Bond character for ten years, Sure enough in 1975 McClory started pitching a 007 script titled Warhead to all the competing studios, but it wasn't until 1983 that Never Say Never Again actually made it to the silver screen opening opposite the lame Roger Moore vehicle Octopussy. Never Say Never Again (a title suggested by Sean Connery's wife) has on display a variation of the plot that McClory had produced almost 20 years earlier. There are slight differences and the look of the film bears a stark contrast to the EON produced series. Despite a rather slim plot, the movie does showcase one the best villains of any Bond movie with the brilliant Klaus Maria Brandeur hamming it up as the megalomaniacal Largo. In addition to his sterling performance and a (too short) appearance by Max Von Sydow as Blofeld, there is the delicious Barbara Carrera as the villainess, a role that allows her to frolic around in various stages of undress. Not to be outdone the movie also features an early performance by Kim Basinger as the "Bond girl" and her character seems to display more depth than either Maud Adams or Kristina Wayborn were able to convey in the rival EON movie of that year. After the movie was obtained by MGM-UA (the company that produces the EON production) there was talk among fans as to the possibility of the gun barrel sequence being added to make it part of the "canon", I for one do not think that this unique James Bond 007 movie should be tampered with in that manner and was equally happy to see it emerge on DVD. I heartily recommend this movie
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A interestingly dire rehash of Thunderball, 22 Feb 2002
By A Customer
In 1971, following the release of Diamonds Are Forever, Sean Connery announced that he would "never again" play the role of James Bond. As a result, the producers brought in Roger Moore, and the series continued. 12 years later, in 1983, Connery reneged on his anti-007 vow and once again slipped into the role that had earned him worldwide fame (the reputed $5 million paycheck probably had something to do with his decision). Fans of the real James Bond exulted -- at least until they saw the movie.
Unfortunately, Never Say Never Again is a poor excuse for the veteran actor's return. The humor is over-the-top, the direction is pedestrian, and the storyline drags. Were it not for the simple pleasure of seeing Connery playing 007 one more time, this film would have been nearly unwatchable. All things considered, it's not a very good movie, but at least Connery's charisma salvages parts of it.
The hallmarks of every Bond film are the big, often-absurd action sequences. Thunderball has several, including a spectacular (if overlong) underwater climax. Never Say Never Again can boast only one -- a wild car chase with Bond on a Q-designed motorbike -- and that's choreographed without flair. With the exception of a few isolated incidents here and there, like the silly fight that demolishes a health clinic, this film fails to generate much excitement. And the absence of the John Barry/Monty Norman "James Bond Theme" leaves a musical hole that Michel Legrand's feeble score cannot plug.
The acting is variable. Brandauer is effective as Largo and Max Von Sydow may be the best Blofeld of all. Barbara Carrera is suitably sexy as the predatory Fatima. Kim Basinger is a singular embarrassment, not exhibiting the slightest wisp of acting talent. The usual "London group" of M (Edward Fox), Q (Alec McCowen), and Moneypenny (Pamela Salem) seem like impostors. It's especially odd seeing someone other than Desmond Llewelyn tinkering with gadgets.
There was a great deal of hype in 1983 about the "dueling" Bonds -- Roger Moore's Octopussy versus Sean Connery's Never Say Never Again. Ultimately, both entries were duds, with Never Say Never Again offering slightly better entertainment based solely on Connery's presence. Nevertheless, it's a major disappointment that, having lured back the original 007, the film makers couldn't offer him something better than this drawn-out, hackneyed story.
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Never Say Never Again [Blu-ray] [1983] [Region Free]
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