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A thing of beauty.......,
This review is from: James Bond - 22 Film Collection [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)
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!
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Showing 21-30 of 75 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 26 Sep 2012 12:25:50 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 Sep 2012 12:33:10 BDT
Greetings T. Wei!
Thanks for the kind words.
Here are your answers:
1. 2:24:33 - Does this mean it is cut?
2. With regards to Goldeneye I have just checked out three key scenes for you:
Chapter 1 - Opening Sequence
Very good clarity; skin textures very sharp, colours contrast well with blacks. Sparks from machine gun fire and explosions very good. The scene where he escapes in the plane generally looks very impressive, the long shots of the 'base' are not so sharp, but I personally feel this may be because its a model shot and they deliberately tone down the sharpness to make it appear more 'real'?
Chapter 2 - Main Titles
I've got to be honest here, not quite as impressive as I was expecting! Not bad looking, but definitely not as sharp as I would have hoped for.
Chapter - 21 - All Tanked Up
Good again; good level of detail, particularly on the tank, you can really see the texture of the metal and the rivets holding it together!
Having watched both Dr. No and From Russia with Love over the past couple of days and finding the clarity of image incredible, I must admit to being slightly disappointed initially with Goldeneye; however was this because I was specifically watching for quality, would I have noticed if I was just watching the film for enjoyment?!
To get a better idea I watched the same scenes from the DVD release from March 2001.
Any doubts I had as to if the Blu-ray offered any real improvement were blown out of the water!
The contrast is simply amazing, in comparison the DVD is blurry and undefined, shockingly so!
I would say that in probability this may not be one of the best transfers in the collection, the work done on the earlier films in particular really brings them to life in a way I have never experienced.
The bottom line is the Goldeneye Blu-ray is a vast improvement on the DVD, and for me that is enough!
3. I have checked the 'extras' for you, and the answer is NO; the extras I checked were all in standard def, I can't say this is definitely the case for all the features, but the 3 or 4 I checked for you were.
Hope this information helps.
Posted on 26 Sep 2012 16:09:34 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 26 Sep 2012 17:31:36 BDT]
Posted on 26 Sep 2012 17:16:16 BDT
IOWBOY - Thanks for your fast and helpful reply - will be placing my order soon! Glad you saw my point re the London 2012 DVD. Incidentally, I did e-mail Amazon about this and they replied that reviews had been allowed as the footage had already been broadcast. Well fair enough in some respects, but I dare say if we get 4 hours and 50 minutes of synchronised swimming and 10 minutes of our great cycling team I expect a few people would be somewhat miffed! Unlikely, but the point stands - nobody knows yet what will be included out of the thousands of hours the BBC have at their disposal. Mind you, I expect them to do a superb job of it, but proof of the pudding etc!
In reply to an earlier post on 26 Sep 2012 23:11:56 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 Sep 2012 23:14:37 BDT
Just to let you know that I have now watched Goldfinger and Thunderball, and am absolutely blown away by the quality!
I sat through Goldfinger with a smile on my face, the picture was just so clear and crisp.
However, things got even better with Thunderball.
I think it is fair to say that of all the Blu-ray films I have seen to date (not just this collection) this one has impressed me most.
It really is no exageration to say that it looks like it was filmed yesterday; the underwater scenes are absolutely beautiful and it has really given me a new appreciation for this film.
And to think it cost under a fiver in this boxset..............wow!
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Sep 2012 09:27:57 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Sep 2012 09:28:42 BDT
Ciaran Flynn says:
I'm sold for sure, I'm off work tomorrow so I'll be up early and in to town to buy it. My only dilemma now is, do i watch them in chronological order or randomly or Roger Moore first as he is my favourite Bond, probably because he was the Bond when I was a kid growing up. The Spy who loved me was my first Bond in the cinema when I was 9. If that's all I have to worry about I'm doing OK. Roll on tomorrow.
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Sep 2012 10:17:31 BDT
T. Wei says:
IOWBOY, many thanks for your prompt and helpful reply.
1. Based on the info at http://dvdcompare.net/comparisons/film.ph
2. Your impression is reassuring about GoldenEye, not as bad as I was given the impression.
3. Somewhat surprised that 'new' material is only SD.
As I already have the UE DVD set and all the previous released titles on Blu-ray I'm still undecided about this set. When the price drops then probably.
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Sep 2012 10:31:55 BDT
Giving your age away there Ciaran!
I agree though, funny enough Morre is my favourite also, but I'm a little younger than you (not much though!) and Octopussy holds a special place in my heart.
I do love 'The Spy Who loved me' though, and to be honest with you if I could only take one Bond film to a desert island it would probably be that one, it has everything IMO and it is the one where Moore is at his peak.
As I write this post I'm actually watching 'You only live twice', I'm watching the set in chronological order, it again is simply amazing and is such an improvemnt over the DVD release.
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Sep 2012 10:34:40 BDT
Hello T. Wei,
Apologies, I have just re-read your original post, reference the question on the 'extras'.
I meant the extras on the films themselves were in SD, the extras on the Bonus disc are in HD.
Hope this helps.
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Sep 2012 10:45:49 BDT
Ciaran Flynn says:
I'd probably go with Spy too as my desert island Bond, although I love Live and let Die too, loved the New Orleans setting and im a big Paul McCartney fan too, so love the music. I remember loving Moonraker too, facinated with space stuff too, great in the cinema. I think i d need at least 3 for Desert Island Bond
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Sep 2012 11:46:52 BDT
I absolutely love Paul McCartney too, have everything he's done, if you haven't already you should check out this:
The Mccartney Years [DVD] 
Its really good!