on 23 July 2006
In 1995, when GOLDENEYE first came out, there had been no Bond films for six years, partly due to legal wrangles, and partly due to Timothy Dalton jumping ship after LICENCE TO KILL (1989), only his second film as Bond. When the waiting action fans were finally treated to GOLDENEYE, they really got what they hoped for, as GOLDENEYE is not only a brilliant entry into the series, but also a great way to introduce Pierce Brosnan to the role of the screen's favourite super-spy. Pierce was a great choice for the role, combining the best parts of Sean Connery with the ability to quip like Roger Moore did so well, and just generally looking the part.
James Bond a.k.a. 007 seems fuelled by revenge after fellow agent 006 a.k.a. Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean, SHARPE) is killed during a mission, and just may get the chance to avenge this death when M (Dame Judi Dench, MRS BROWN, MRS HENDERSON PRESENTS) instructs him to go to Russia to find a space weapon nicknamed Goldeneye, which has the potential to cause major global meltdown through its power being used to render redundant anything electrical, including all computer systems. He teams up with the survivor of the destruction of a space station control centre, Natalya Simonova (Polish actress Izabella Scorupco), who is a bit of a whiz on computers herself. However, James has yet to realise that the real danger will give him the shock of his life, not to mention an enemy who could be his match in more ways than one -- and that's if the evil Xenia Onatopp (Dutch actress Famke Janssen, X-MEN, I SPY) doesn't crush him to death with her lethal legs first!
Notice that on the front of the box is the word 'UNCUT' just under the title? Previously released on video and DVD before, in a 12-rated cut version, here, for the first time ever in the UK, we are treated to this 15-rated uncut version ('Contains strong violence') after the BBFC approved it under their policies on different versions at different categories, agreeing to waive their previous cuts for violence (including several head-butts and restoring the fight sounds to their original, louder volume).
The bonus disc contains quite a few extras, including deleted scenes (including a foreword from the director as to why he decided upon their exclusion from the final film), location scouts and various documentaries and TV spots.
Great film in its own right, and a worthy inclusion in the Bond franchise!
on 19 July 2006
The film dos'nt need describing as everyones seen it, except to say that this is the original uncut edition which is more violent as it has for example headcuts in the fight scenes that were orginally left on the cutting room floor. The improved picture and the sound quality especially are incredible.
The extras on the second disc are also excellent. there are various featurettes, everything from the pre-production press conference with a nervous looking Pierce Brosnan to behind the scenes of the tank chase and a look at Derek Medding's amazing minatures. Theres also some deleted scenes not all of which are good but worth a look.
I'm one of the Bond fans who had most of the films on the previous DVDs but decided to splash out for this one mainly because I wanted to see the 'uncut' version of the film and because the special features on the previous disc were weaker than on the other Bond films. I can safely say that Goldeneye at least is a worthy investment if you like the film as there is loads on here not on the previous DVD. Top sound and picture quality, great extras and fantastic presentation all round. If your thinking of getting some of the new Ultimate Edition Bond DVDs then this is a good one to start with.
on 28 December 2005
If there is one Bond film that strictly follows the Bond cliches then this is it. Spectacular pre-credit sequence, great theme song, amazing stunts, beautiful women, a decent plot, memorable villains, Bond gets captured, escapes in style, etc etc. But for once, it doesn't feel tired, and this film is as fresh and as exciting as the first entry in the series, Dr. No.
It helps having Pierce Brosnan in the role, a fresh face in an old part. His seriousness, coupled with cheeky humour plays dividends for the film and makes the character more human than ever before. He realistically plays Bond, never once going into caricature, and brings the "misogynist, cold war relic," into the Nineties.
And for once, Goldeneye has a decent plot. MI6 agent, 006 (played brilliantly by Sean Bean) goes rogue, and aims to become rich with the Goldeneye EMP satellite. It's up to Bond to stop him. The film is paired into two distinct halves - an interesting, plot setting up first half, and an action blow out second half.
The whole film is memorable, but most spectacularly, are the incredible dam jump opening, the street destroying tank chase, and the ending show down.
Gadgets, vehicles and girls are all correct and present. It may follow the Bond formula strictly, but that is a good thing - you know what to expect, and can just sit back and enjoy.
on 21 August 2006
In India, it is very difficult for us to find the original DVDs of bond movies even though I searched for it high and low. However, I made up my mind on acquiring the ultimate editions when I heard the description and the features and I must admit that I am more than happy with my purchase, even though it cost me a bomb to import these from the UK.
As in case of other bonds, Pierce brings to the table the customary humour, good looks, good acting and above all an impression of a smart and scheming spy ... something which I felt the other bonds lacked. Pierce pulls off those scenes with amazing ease.
The audio and visual quality is par excellence and I intend to get all the bond movies in ultimate edition. Till now, I have bought about ten movies and wish to complete the entire set. Thanks MGM and SOny for this visual treat.
Another decade, another actor in the role of James Bond. Pierce Brosnan stepped up to the plate in this, the seventeenth big screen outing for the superspy, and became the Bond of the Nineties.
I always rated Brosnan quite highly as Bond, though he was let down badly in his later films by poor scripting and directing. He had the style and panache of Moore, but mixed it with the hard edge and grittiness of Connery and Dalton. However, in this film actors, script and director come together to make a highly enjoyable romp.
The film recognises the very changed world situation, with the fall of the Soviet Union. Bond is pitted against a renegade double O agent in the form of Sean Bean, who has a complicated scheme involving a stolen Russian superweapon `Goldeneye' to make himself a very rich renegade indeed.
The smart script, crackling with energy (especially the scenes between Bond and new Moneypenny Samantha Bond and M Judi Dench). Packed with big stunts and plenty of thrills and spills it also has time to explore main the character of both Bond and Trevellyan, the main villain. Sean Bean puts in a great performance, Bond's equal in training and skills, and poses a real threat. Bean squeezes as much out of the character as possible, making him a believable construct for whom you almost feel sympathy and empathy. A very entertaining villain indeed.
Added into this was the last great and memorable theme tune in the series, penned by Bono and the Edge, and sung by Tina Turner doing her best Shirley Bassey impression. It's an all round entertaining
It's a highly entertaining film, end definitely one of the better entries in the series.
The picture has been restored and 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.
on 3 August 2016
If you're a James Bond fan then you probably don't me to re-hash the plot of this film. You'll more than likely know exactly where it sits in your own personal top 20. If, on the other hand, you're not familiar with Bond, or you've just never seen this particular film, then I can certainly recommend it. Goldeneye definitely makes my own top ten of Bond films - possibly pushing the top 5.
For the record - and I'm no expert in the technical side of DVDs - this looked fine, but the sound was a bit off - I had to turn it up quite a bit. Aside from that, I hope that both seasoned fans, and those who are new to Bond will find the following useful and interesting. I've tried not to include any significant SPOILERS but apologies if you think I have - feel free to leave a comment, and I will look at amending what I've put.
There are many things that go to make up a Bond film. Commonly cited are the gadgets, the 'girls' and the theme song. But there is more to it than that. I've always considered the pre-title sequence to be an important element. In this case it's really pretty effective. We're introduced to Pierce Brosnan as Bond for the first time, and we know we're going to have fun with this one, but in a no-nonsense kind of a way.
The opening credits are nothing to write home about as Tina Turner belts out the theme song, doing her best Shirley Bassey impersonation, and it's not too long before we're introduced to the new 'M' played by Judi Dench. The character works, in my view, much better here before it was built up unnecessarily in the Daniel Craig films. Her sparring with 007 seems realistic and enjoyable to watch.
Meanwhile all sorts of shenanigans is going on in Monte Carlo and Russia as the plot really kicks in and we get to know the baddies. They're a good bunch here: a sadistic female former soviet fighter pilot (Xenia Onatopp) who is plainly aroused by killing, a nerdy and arrogant computer programmer, an archetypal Russian general par excellence and finally Sean Bean's slightly unconvincing former '00' agent gone bad.
There's the usual scene with Q as Bond acquires some new gadgets, which in this film are useful rather than spectacular, and an excellent 'car chase' of sorts and a good solid ending, complete with the baddies' hidden lair in an exotic location.
It's always slightly unbelievable how the female characters (Dench aside!) end up falling in to Bond's arms so easily, and this film is no different on that score. But the sort of sexual wrestling that goes on with Onatopp is something of a novel twist. And then there is the other Russian computer programmer - not the nerdy arrogant one - the beautiful female one who becomes Bond's sidekick and lover for the duration of the film. In my opinion she is the best female character in any Bond film - as well as beautiful and intelligent, she is feisty and resourceful, and mostly gives as good as she gets.
All in all, a great film and a great entry in to the Bond canon.
on 5 July 2014
Without the presence of Alan Cumming this film would be a 100% masterpiece of action. Famke Janssen's character is amazing. Izabella Scorupco was not the best choice but she did what you can expect of a Bond's girl. Judi Dench made her debut as M, Bond's superior. Brosnan made his first stunning appearance as 007. Sadly, this was the last film in the Bond series for special-effects supervisor Derek Meddings, who died in the midst of production. The tank chase is really epic!. This frame-by-frame digital restoration is superb also in dvd with all new Dts 5.1 audio and the special features are also very complete. No doubt, one of the best Bond's films I've ever seen. I strongly recommend to buy this 'Ultimate Edition' (2 Disc Set).
on 25 July 2006
I would defintely recommend this new 2 disc Ultimate Edition to anyone who really likes this film. Unlike some of the other Bond DVDs, Sony have put together an excellent package of documentaries and deleted scenes as well as importing the extras over from the old release, which together amounts to a great deal of fascinating behind the scenes footage and interviews that movie buffs will lap up.
However, if you only want to get it for the improvement in picture quality, I honestly wouldn't bother, as this edition looks nigh on identical to the previous special edition, bar the removal of a few of the more distracting picture blemishes.
This was Bond back as fun, not serious - and a successful transition it turned out to be. It is hardly the reimagining it seemed back then, more of a return to the tongue in cheek of Roger Moore - except this time with an actor who could pull it off.
There's lots to like - Famke Jensen is one of the most deliciously over the top hench(wo)man in decades, Sean Bean plays 006 with great style, and there are surprising cameos - Robbie Coltrane, Minnie Driver, for example. Eric Serra's synth-rich score works pretty well, with enough of the classic themes coming through at moments you want them to - like the start of the glorious tank chase. And let's not forget two of Goldeneye's key successes - Judi Dench as M was certainly surprising casting, but it turned out to add a hugely successful character foil to Bond's `misogynist dinosaur'. Aside from Judi Dench bringing the role of women in Bond movies into the modern world, Isabella Scorupco plays a fine traditional Bond girl, with added sassiness. And then there is that whole self aware aspect - Bond is recognised for being a `relic of the cold war', and there is even a few half heartedly psychological moments where Gasp! We are encouraged to understand the character a little better.
Locations are the best in some time for a Bond movie, with St Petersburg appearing in person... surely the ultimate sign the cold war has ended, when a Russian city appears in a Bond movie without Prague or some other Eastern European city standing in for it...
Negative points if you want to quibble... there's something about Bond with a machine gun that's just not right. Bond is supposed to be pinpoint and precise, and it's a shame the Brosnan movies got away from that to have him spraying bullets all over the place. And a few of the characters are just a bit too cartoonish, drawing one out from an otherwise well paced and well plotted movie.
All in all though, there's no doubt that Pierce Brosnan's first stab at the Bond role made it his own for a decade. Goldeneye is one of those perennially entertaining and rewatchable movies that made the Bond franchise so durable.
As usual, the ultimate edition has every extra imaginable, significantly more than the previous Special Edition. Sadly however, we do not have the making of documentary that accompanied all of the previous movies. It's a shame that for this ultimate edition they could not have put together some sort of retrospective documentary with interviews as they had for the previous movies, and merely put together all the pre-existing material they could find.
Picture and sound are immaculate.
on 22 June 2012
James Bond is sent to post-communist Russia to investigate the aftermath of a mysterious nuclear explosion in Siberia. While there he discovers a massive plot to de-stabilise the world's financial institutions.
Goldeneye is one of the crunch movies in the whole Bond cannon; not only introducing a new Bond in Pierce Brosnan, but relaunching the whole franchise after a six-year hiatus caused by litigation.
The pressure on everyone involved must have been enormous. After the failure of `Licence to Kill' in 1989 many people thought Ian Fleming's super-spy was a spent force; tired, dated and blown away by the high-tech action extravaganzas tailored for Schwarzenegger and Willis.
Central to getting the show back on the road was the casting of Bond himself. To be honest, it was probably never a problem; Brosnan was the obvious choice, head and shoulders above anyone else around. Still, there was a certain anxiety among some Bond devotees, many of whom thought - given his Remington Steele background - that he might be little more than a throwback to the Roger Moore school of lightweight fluff. Indeed, in the early sequences this comes perilously close to being the case, as both the actor and the film-makers are clearly feeling their way.
After an excellent but slightly enigmatic pre-credit appearance, we don't get properly introduced to Brosnan until a car-chase sequence in Monte-Carlo, where he is being `assessed' by a beautiful redhead. With his silk cravat, double-entendre's, glib smile and rampant lack of political correctness we are, undoubtedly, back in Roger Moore territory and you do wonder if the producers have learned anything over the last six years or are intent on committing career suicide. Indeed, its not until the introduction of Judi Dench's M that the film suddenly sparks into life and assures us that it has, after all, got modernising ambitions.
This first scene between Bond and his new female boss is one of the best written and acted in the entire series. In its own way, it crackles with the same tension as the Connery-Shaw confrontation in `From Russia with Love' many years earlier. M's crack at Bond being a cold-war dinosaur is a clear goodbye to the attitudes of old, and Brosnan's cold, steely response finally shows us that his Bond will have authority and toughness underneath the polish.
From here on the film hardly puts a foot wrong. Martin Campbell's action sequences are superbly staged, with the deft camera work and incisive editing the series has badly needed for many years; the tank chase through St Petersburg is a modern action classic as good as anything done in Hollywood. The stunts and effects work are cranked up a notch from the stale explosions and somersaulting bodies that had weakened the series for some years, and the whole enterprise has a welcome feel of expenditure and ambition. At last, Bond movies aren't just going through formulaic motions; they realise that they need to win audiences over again, not just take them for granted.
The supporting cast is superb, charismatic and credible. Sean Bean's renegade double-00 agent could have been a believable Bond himself (the casting is actually a huge vote of confidence in Brosnan), and Izabella Scorupco's leading lady - all shabby cardigans and wild hair - is light years away from the powderpuff clothes horses of past adventures. Best of all is Famke Jansen's psychotic Russian hit-woman. She may be a comic-book character of the old Bond school but she does it with such panache that it is no surprise that she has gone on to such a fine A-list career post-Bond.
Also a word for the much-maligned electronic score by Eric Serra. Most Bond purists hate it and the series quickly returned to Barry-esque tributes, but I personally think it is excellent, atmospheric and a welcome change from the usual orchestral bombast.
Goldeneye was an immediate hit with audiences and an absolute assurance that the Bond formula could still work provided it shook itself out of its in-house lethargy and delivered the goods. And in Brosnan it introduces the best and most intriguing Bond since Connery.