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3.0 out of 5 stars Bond 50 Blu-Ray 1 Step Forward 2 Steps Back, 7 Jan 2013
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This review is from: James Bond - 22 Film Collection [Blu-ray] [1962] (Blu-ray)
Bond 50 Blu-Ray Collection UK Set

All discs are Region Free (except Quantum Of Solace - Region B)

The Case: One box contains two sturdy book-style holders; `1962-1981' and `1983-2012'. Two Blu-rays side by side 24 slots, 12 in each book. There is one space for `Skyfall' however should it have a two disc individual release, I'm not sure how that's supposed to work! And what do you do with its case! There is no description anywhere in the set of synopsises or actors for each film. Pre-orders from Amazon came with a high-lights mini 71 page book of `James Bond 50: Years of Movie Posters'. The official release is much larger and contains about 304 pages.

This is to be an over view of whats new and whats not. I haven't got time to list all the differences from the DVDs however hopefully I've picked out the important stuff.

Soundtracks: The remixed 5.1 Ultimate Edition soundtracks (still used here) were (in my opinion) badly created by Mi Casa Multimedia and some alterations are so bizarre I would put forth that they are included in `Cuts' as they are not how the films were intended to sound.

Goldfinger - Should begin with a loud slam as Bond closes the door of Bonita's dressing room on his way out, which segues seamlessly into John Barry's main title. The remixed soundtrack omits the door slam effect and now simply uses a stereo version of Shirley Bassey's song.

Thunderball - The terrible 5.1 remix from the U.E. DVDs has been removed and the Bond 50 version is still that of the earlier individual blu-ray release which uses a better 5.1 remix created for the 1995 Laserdisc of all places! Just goes to show, HD does not guarantee high quality. The dialogue about the manta ray (by Eral Cameron) is cut.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service - The safe cracking scene the 5.1 mix has the music turned so low that it is over powered by the new sound effects and clock-chiming, which have been added to the soundtrack. New machine gun effects added to the end. Also birds now chirp after the death of Tracy. The original Mono mix is available though.

Live and Let Die - The volume level for the 5.1 mix is far too high so be warned, don't have your surround system set to its usual levels before playing.

Extras: All extras are ported over from the DVDs and contain one 4 min blu-ray exclusive (see below) most that WERE HD are now SD, some however are still HD.

You Only Live Twice - `Welcome To Japan Mr Bond' is in HD

On Her Majesty's Secret Service - `Swiss Movement' is HD

A View To A Kill - Duran Duran's music video is corrected. The U.E. DVD cropped out the cameras overlaid on the image.

Die Another Day - Still missing much of the extras only available on the original 2-Disc DVD edition (full list I haven't done yet as I hate this film and will no-doubt get to it last!)

Casino Royale blu-ray omits the extras;-
- Picture in Picture video commentary
- Bond Girls Are Forever documentary
- Chasing A Plane: From Storyboard to Screen
- The Art Of Freerun
- Storyboard Sequence: Freerun Chase
- Filmmaker Profiles

Quantum Of Solace; - still none of the already produced extras such as; Director Commentary and several deleted scenes.

The pervious individual blu-rays that featured the John Cork's `Inside [insert Bond film title here]' documentaries from the 2002 DVDs were up-rezzed to HD and restored for blu-ray now they're reduced back to SD.

`Mission Control', which was a series of very short themed film clips have now been dropped from the films new to blu-ray but remain on the other 11.

Disc 24 Bonus Disc;-
6 `World Of Bond' featurettes HD 1080p;

1. Title Sequences 1:02:32 - (this is the same as previously released however with one very important difference this features the text where as the original extra was free of opening title text)
2. Gadgets 3:03
3. Villains 2:22
4. Bond Girls 1:24
5. Locations 1:40
6. Bond In Motion 3:30

Skyfall video blogs 10:51 HD 1080p (all previously released on-line)
- Skyfall: Behind The Scense
- Sam Mendes
- Naomie Harris
- Berenice Marlohe
- Production Update From Shanghi
- Dennis Gassner Takes Us Inside The Look Of Skyfall
- Jany Temime On Dressing 007 For Action

Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style 4:01 HD 1080p (the only true new blu-ray exclusive)

Being Bond 3:08 HD 1080p (sourced from vintage interviews all available elsewhere on the individual discs)

Notes: The menus are the same `silver orb' design from the Ultimate DVD set in 2006. As stated above Casino Royale has been condensed from its original release deluxe and its menus have changed to look like the Ultimate Editions.

However `Quantum Of Solace' menu hasn't been updated and is exactly the same as its 2009 release. Menus, extras and all, right down to the bloody trailers for films long ago released!

The 9 transfers for features `Dr No - Live and Let Die and Moonraker', have new 4k scans. Bar `GoldenEye' see below, the rest are same 2k scans done for the Ultimate Edition DVDs, however thankfully some attempt is made to fix the problems from those, but not all.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Thunderball, Moonraker, The Spy Who Loved Me and The World Is Not Enough (whereas its previous blu-ray didn't but the U.E. DVD did!) STILL suffer `window boxed' and horizontally squeezed main titles.

Thunderball - The red blood wash which fills the screen after the death of Quist is now restored. However scratch lines now appear through the film
You Only Live Twice - As with Thunderball vertical scratch lines now appear through the film. See around the 1:12:00 mark
On Her Majesty's Secret Service - The (in opinion, awful) blue filter has been slightly adjusted but still not perfect.
The Spy Who Loved Me - the terrible Ultimate Edition DVD edge enhancement has been corrected and removed.
A View To A Kill - An intentional camera shake inserted to simulate an earth tremor was (and still is) interpenetrated as an error by Lowry's transfer software and stabilised it!
GoldenEye - By far the film in the most need of picture adjustment as it fell fowl of incorrect ratio framing is now thankfully restored to its OAR 2.35:1. However it now as a lot of DNR which appears tobe because they've used a very old master to give back its OAR rather than scan a new one  which makes this the worst picture in all of the set. The lord giveth and the lord taketh away.
Casino Royale - is uncut (the US version however isn't)

My view of this set is one step forward, two steps back. If you already own some or the entire original released individual blu-rays then keep them and buy the new ones separately.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Jan 2013 21:26:15 GMT
Pavel Kropac says:
Hi Troy and thank you for the nice and technical review. I have already own the single DVD and 2DVD collection in a metal cases. After reading it is obvious that the studio is saving same aces for another edition. I presume the 25th James Bond film might be good timing or some 2Bluray versions in steelbook?
What I really miss is an original audio track (not only in 007 films but generaly). I think everybody who once hear the original mono or stereo instead of fake 5.1 must recognize the difference.
Thank you and good watchin!
Pavel
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