Bond 50 Blu-ray delivers great video and audio in this must-own Blu-ray release
The set, which marks the first time the first 22 movies will be available on Blu-ray, begins with "Dr. No" (1962) and ends with "Quantum of Solace," (2008) and also includes more than 130 hours of bonus features.
For more about Bond 50 and the Bond 50 Blu-ray release, see Bond 50 Blu-ray Review published by Casey Broadwater on September 26, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 5.0 out of 5.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1962 | 110 min | Rated PG | Region A (locked) | Oct 02, 2012
In the film that launched the James Bond saga, Agent 007 (Sean Connery) battles the mysterious Dr. No, a
scientific genius bent on destroying the U.S. space program. As the countdown to disaster begins, Bond must
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1963 | 115 min | Rated PG | Region A (locked) | Oct 02, 2012
Secret agent James Bond battles the all-enveloping tentacles of an international
crime syndicate called SPECTRE. The organization's mad plan for world supremacy
unfolds with the icy efficiency of a chessmaster's complex...
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1965 | 130 min | Rated PG | Region A (locked) | Oct 02, 2012
In a bold and deadly scheme, the evil SPECTRE organization hijacks a NATO plane and seizes two atomic
warheads, each capable of killing millions of innocent people. As the world is held hostage by the threat of a
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1967 | 117 min | Rated PG | Region A, B (C untested) | Oct 23, 2012
After a mysterious rocketship seizes manned space missions from Earth's orbit, suspicions
mount and the world superpowers are hurled toward the brink of war. Their only hope rests with
James Bond (Agent 007), who races to...
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1969 | 142 min | Rated PG | Region free
| Oct 23, 2012
When his usual intelligence sources fail, James Bond (Agent 007) goes to Portugal to enlists the
aid of crime boss Draco to track down Ernst Stavro Blofeld, head of the evil SPECTRE
organization. The trail leads to the...
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1973 | 121 min | Rated PG | Region A (locked) | Oct 02, 2012
James Bond battles the forces of black magic in this high-octane adventure that hurtles him from the streets of
New York City to Louisiana's bayou country. With charm, wit and deadly assurance, Roger Moore steps in as
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1974 | 125 min | Rated PG | Region A (locked) | Oct 02, 2012
James Bond (Agent 007) must find the missing "Solex Agitator," a device that will harness the
sun's radiation and give awesome power to whomever possesses it. Also vying for the prize is
Francisco Scaramanga, a world-class...
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1979 | 126 min | Rated PG | Region A (locked) | Oct 02, 2012
When a U.S. space shuttle is stolen in a midair abduction, only James Bond (Agent 007) can find the evil genius
responsible. The clues point to billionaire Hugo Drax, who has devised a scheme to destroy all human life on...
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1981 | 128 min | Rated PG | Region A (locked) | Oct 02, 2012
Roger Moore makes his fifth appearance as 007 in this, the twelfth Bond film. In this outing, the renowned
British double agent must locate a weapons system known as ATAC, which controls Great Britain's submarines,
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1983 | 131 min | Rated PG | Region A, B (C untested) | Oct 02, 2012
James Bond (Agent 007) must investigate the murder of a fellow agent who was clutching a
priceless Fabergé egg at the time of his death. The trail leads to the mysterious Octopussy,
whose traveling circus features a company...
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1985 | 131 min | Rated PG | Region A, B (C untested) | Oct 02, 2012
When James Bond (Agent 007) is sent to investigate a security leak at the high-tech Zorin
Industries, he discovers a hotbed of murder and deception. The company's mysterious owner,
Max Zorin has devised a plan to corner the...
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1987 | 131 min | Rated PG | Region A, B (C untested) | Oct 02, 2012
After James Bond (Agent 007) helps Russian officer Georgi Koskov make a daring defection to
the West, the intelligence community is shocked when Koskov is abducted from his remote
hiding place. Bond leaps into action,...
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1995 | 130 min | Rated PG-13 | Region A, B (C untested) | Oct 02, 2012
Pierce Brosnan ignites the screen as James Bond in this explosive, thrill-packed adventure that
pits him against a vengeful adversary who controls an awesome space weapon capable of
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1997 | 119 min | Rated PG-13 | Region A, B (C untested) | Oct 02, 2012
Someone is pitting the world's superpowers against each other--and only the legendary James Bond (Agent 007) can stop it. When a British warship is mysteriously destroyed in Chinese waters, the world teeters on the brink of World...
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 2002 | 133 min | Rated PG-13 | Region A (locked) | Oct 02, 2012
When his top-secret mission is sabotaged, James Bond finds himself captured by the enemy,
abandoned by M16 and stripped of his 00-license. Determined to get revenge, Bond goes head-to-head with a
sultry spy, a frosty agent...
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 2006 | 144 min | Rated PG-13 | Region A (B, C untested) | Oct 23, 2012
Casino Royale introduces James Bond before he holds his license to kill. But Bond is no less
dangerous, and with two professional assassinations in quick succession, he is elevated to "00"
status. "M" (Judi Dench), head of...
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 2008 | 106 min | Rated PG-13 | Region A (locked) | Oct 23, 2012
Daniel Craig returns as James Bond in this thrilling, action-packed adventure which
starts shortly after Casino Royale ends. Betrayed by the woman he loved, 007 fights
the urge to make his latest mission personal. On a...
The gadgets. The guns. The girls. The exotic locales and sexy cars. The white-knuckle action sequences. The suave flirting and cheeky double
entendres. He's been played by six actors—Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig—but there's
only one Bond, James Bond. Every man wants to be him, and every woman wants to be with him. (Some men too, I'm sure.) He's the
epitome of super-spy cool, and for fifty years now—fifty years!—he's been an indelible part of our pop-culture consciousness. In terms of universal
recognition, Bond is right up there with Mickey Mouse and Darth Vader and Superman. Everyone knows his name, knows he likes his martinis "shaken,
not stirred," and knows his favorite pistol is the compact Walther PPK. You're probably even humming or whistling the iconic 007 theme song to
yourself right now, and if you aren't, I guarantee it'll worm its way into your brain sometime in the next five minutes. Instantly, more like. Admit it, it's
playing on a loop in your head right now. Bond isn't just a franchise, it's a revered institution. Yes, there have been a few duds along the way, but over
the span of twenty-two films—soon to be twenty-three, with the upcoming Skyfall—the series has defined the international espionage sub-
genre, all the while reflecting the cultural and political changes of its times. Sure, in one sense, these are just action movies—popcorn
entertainments—but for their fans, these films are the height of cinematic escapism.
If you're one of them, this is the week you've been waiting for, although I kind of feel bad for you if you've purchased the thirteen Bond films MGM has
previously put out on Blu-ray. This new Bond 50 set is a complete collection—and, at $150, a great deal—that includes every 007 movie from
Dr. No to Quantum of Solace. (Minus the independently produced Never Say Never Again.) It even has an empty disc slot
"reserved for Skyfall." Instead of a massive write-up
summarizing and critiquing each film in the series and their A/V presentations, below you'll find links to our reviews of the previously released titles—
the audio and high definition transfers haven't changed—and you can expect comprehensive reviews of the nine remaining movies to pop up on the
site over the next two weeks. If you have been buying the Bond films individually, you should be able to find these nine new-to-Blu titles as
standalone releases on October 2nd, split three apiece to big box retailers as timed exclusives. Walmart gets GoldenEye, Octopussy,
and Diamonds are Forever, Best Buy will have On Her Majesty's Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me, and You Only
Live Twice, and Target gets A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, and Tomorrow Never Dies.
Without further ado, let's take a look at exactly what's included in this massive, 23-disc set:
Dr. No: In his first mission, Sean Connery's
Bond heads to Jamaica to face off against Dr. No, setting up several of the franchises' staples in the process. Look out for Ursula Andress' Honey Ryder,
the quintessential Bond girl.
Goldfinger: Pussy Galore? Yes, please. Plus,
Sean Connery really came into his own in this one, which has him protecting Fort Knox and saving the world economy from collapse.
Thunderball: Bond traipses to Nassau to
locate two stolen nuclear warheads. Lots of cool underwater sequences.
You Only Live Twice: Bond heads to the
Land of the Rising Sun to find out what happened to an American spacecraft that disappeared in orbit. Megalomaniacal villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld
would be famously parodied in the Austin Powers series. NEW TO BLU-RAY.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service:
One-off Bond George Lazenby goes up against Blofeld and his beautiful young "Angels of Death" in the Swiss Alps. NEW TO BLU-RAY.
Diamonds Are Forever: Bribed back to
the franchise with a $1.25 million salary, Sean Connery returns to infiltrate a diamond-smuggling ring. NEW TO BLU-RAY.
Live and Let Die: Roger Moore's
inaugural outing is half espionage thriller and half drug-smuggling blaxsploitation film—oddly enough—featuring Gloria Hendry as the first African-
American Bond girl.
The Man with the Golden Gun: The series took a goofy turn under Moore's tenure, and Golden Gun goes defiantly over-the-top, with kung-fu fighting and a duel
inside a neon-colored funhouse. Not a high point for Bond.
The Spy Who Loved Me: Bond and the
sexy Agent XXX—wink, wink—take on a Captain Nemo-style underwater anarchist. NEW TO BLU-RAY.
Moonraker: Yes, Bond in space. One of the
more ridiculous and campy franchise entries.
For Your Eyes Only: After the high
camp of Moonraker, the series came back down to earth, so to speak, with the grittier For Your Eyes Only. Still, a middling, forgettable
Octopussy: With a name like that, it's a pity
Octopussy (Maud Adams) isn't one of the better Bond girls, and Roger Moore's Tarzan imitation goes down as one of the most cringe-inducing moments
in Bond history. Still, a decent adventure film. NEW TO BLU-RAY.
A View to a Kill: This was Roger Moore's last
and least favorite Bond film, but it at least features a loony Christopher Walken as a ruthless Silicon Valley industrialist and one of the series' best
villains. NEW TO BLU-RAY.
The Living Daylights: Timothy Dalton's
debut as Bond brought the series back to a more realistic tone, with a Cold War, sniper-versus-sniper plot that takes 007 from Vienna to Afghanistan.
NEW TO BLU-RAY.
License to Kill: Dalton's second and final
turn as Bond goes darker still, and more violent. 007 loses his license to kill, but that certainly doesn't stop him.
Goldeneye: Pierce Brosnan's stint as Bond starts
with the ever-popular GoldenEye, which revamped the series for the post-Cold War era. Beware of Xenia Onatopp, the cold-blooded sexual
sadist. NEW TO BLU-RAY.
Tomorrow Never Dies: Brosnan's second
turn has him taking on an insane media mogul—think a more deranged Rupert Murdoch—bent on manipulating China and the U.K. into war. NEW
The World is Not Enough:
Here's where Brosnan's Bond started to go mediocre, with an emphasis on big dumb action over plot. This one also features Denise Richards as Dr.
Christmas Jones, arguably the worst Bond girl.
Die Another Day: Too many gadgets,
too many explosions, too much CGI. It was time for another change, which brings us to:
Casino Royale:This is how you reboot a
flagging franchise. Like Batman Begins, Casino Royale goes rawer, realer, grittier than any of its predecessors. And despite initial
wariness on the part of Bond fans worldwide, Daniel Craig proved to be a terrific 007, steely but vulnerable, and ready for action.
Quantum of Solace: Craig
continues to make the role his own in Quantum Solace, a direct sequel to Casino Royale. The film was maybe unfairly maligned by
those who miss the comedy of the older entries, but it's sharp, smart, and exceptionally stylish.
We'll have comprehensive reviews of the new-to-Blu-ray titles up shortly, but for now, after spot-checking all nine, I can at least happily report that—for
the most part—they look fantastic, along the same lines quality-wise as the previously released films. Clarity is much improved, color accurate, and there
are no wanton compression or encode issues. Some of you may have gotten wind that GoldenEye has been given a heavy digital noise reduction
scrubbing, and yes, you will be able to see some fairly egregious DNR at times, though it's rarely taken to that gross, waxy-face look. (It's no
Predator reissue, if that's what you're wondering.) Just skipping through the chapters, I spotted a few instances of characteristic "frozen grain"
in some of the other titles as well—a bit in The Living Daylights, some slight softening in Diamonds Are Forever—but I'm honestly not
too hung up on it. From what I've seen so far, the films appearing in high definition for the first time here are much sharper and more detailed
than their corresponding DVD editions. And minus GoldenEye—where the noise reduction is visible from a distance—what little DNR is
present in the other titles simply isn't noticeable once you get more than two or three feet from your screen. I'm really pleased with how these
films have turned out.
The nine new releases in the set each feature a remastered lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track, along with the usual assortment of dubs
and subtitles. (See links to individual titles for details.) Like the picture quality, the audio seems to be in line with what we've what we've heard from the
previously released films, with effects, ambience, and music satisfyingly expanded into the surround channels. Look out for full audio reviews in the days
ahead, but buy with confidence—taking into account their respective ages, these films all sound great.
You'll be glad to hear that nearly all of the bonus content from the previously released DVDs and Blu-rays has been ported over here. (See
individual titles for details; with the exception of Casino Royale, the discs in the box set are the same as the individual releases.) In total, it
amounts to over 120 hours of audio commentary, behind-the-scenes featurettes, retrospective documentaries, and in-depth interviews. Enough, that is,
to keep you occupied for several straight days on the off-chance that you embark on some freakishly epic week-of-nothing-but-Bond marathon. Good
luck with that.
Missing in action is some of the "Mission Control" DVD material—which, honestly, didn't amount to much anyway—and the Inside:
Die Another Day documentary by Charles de Lauzirika. Additionally, the Casino Royale disc included here mixes material from the
original Blu-ray and the 2008 re-release. Included are Deleted Scenes, The Road to Casino Royale, Ian Fleming's Incredible
Creation, James Bond in the Bahamas, Ian Fleming: Secret Road to Paradise, Death in Venice, Becoming Bond,
James Bond for Real, and Chris Cornell Music Video. Unfortunately, we lose the forty-minute Bond Girls Are Forever and four
featurettes—Chasing A Plane: From Storyboard to Screen, The Art of the Freerun, Storyboard Sequence: Freerun Chase, and
The set also contains an exclusive bonus disc, but there's not much of substance on it:
World of Bond: Title Sequences (1080p, 1:02:32): Yes, if you care to, you can watch the title sequences of all twenty-two films in a row,
observing the changes in graphic design across five decades.
World of Bond: Gadgets (1080p, 3:03): A montage of Bond's most memorable gadgetry.
World of Bond: Villains (1080p, 2:22): A quick introduction to all of Bond's antagonists.
World of Bond: Bond Girls (1080p, 1:24): The sexiest montage of them all.
World of Bond: Locations (1080p, 1:40): A quick tour through the exotic locales featured in the Bond franchise.
World of Bond: Bond in Motion (1080p, 1:43): All of Bond's vehicles through the years.
Skyfall Videoblogs (1080p, 10:51): A collection of hype-building promo material for the upcoming Bond film. Includes Skyfall: Behind
the Scenes, Sam Mendes, Naomie Harris, Berenice Marlohe, Production Update from Shanghai, Dennis
Gassner Takes Us Inside the Look of Skyfall, and Jany Temime on Dressing 007 for Action.
Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style (1080p, 4:01): Curator Bronwyn Cosgrave guides us through a retrospective exhibition looking at
all 23 Bond films from a all-around design perspective, from architecture to costumes and props. Here you'll see models, set sketches, and an up-close
look at the famous golden gun.
Being Bond (1080p, 3:08): Each of the six Bond actors say a few words about playing the iconic role. Sourced from vintage interviews.
There are several subtitle options for the supplementary material on this bonus disc: English SDH, Spanish, French, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, Finnish,
German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Mandarin, Czech, Mandarin Traditional and Simplified, Korean, Polish,
A Note on the Packaging: MGM certainly can't please everyone, but I personally think this is a rather classy-looking box set, and sturdy
too. Inside the thick, glossy cardboard slipcover are two "books," labeled 1962-1981 and 1983-2012, that are very similar in construction to the one
used for the Alien Anthology set. The pages on the left feature promo images and stills, while the right pages house two discs each, which slide
in and out—with a little difficulty—of scalloped slits. The cardboard under the discs has been coated with some kind of smooth plastic, so I wouldn't worry
about scratches. It's a well-built set, and it looks good on a shelf.
If you're a James Bond fanatic—and you haven't already purchased the thirteen previously available films—the Bond 50 box set is a must-buy
release. Fifty years of franchise history is here, complete with 120-odd hours of bonus material. Considering the wealth of content you're getting, and
the satisfaction of seeing these iconic films anew in high definition, the current $150 asking price is nothing. The movies do look fantastic—minus the
unfortunately DNR'd GoldenEye—and the sleek, sturdy box they arrive in is quite a looker too. I have a feeling MGM will be selling lots of these
during the holidays, but if you're buying for yourself, don't wait; that price—unlike diamonds—may not last forever. Highly recommended!
Amazon's Blu-ray Deal of the Week affects MGM Home Entertainment's Bond 50 collection. Through February 16th, Amazon is offering this package for 57% off its standard MSRP. The deal expires at 12 AM PST/3 AM EST next Sunday, February 17th.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment announced today that Bond 50 is the bestselling Blu-ray box set of 2012 with projected worldwide sales totaling $50 million in consumer spending to date. The unprecedented 23-disc ...
Today's Amazon's Blu-ray Gold Box Deal of the Day is the popular $299.99 MSRP Bond 50 box set for only $99.99. This collection bundles
together the twenty two films made through the 50 years of EON Productions/MGM's James Bond franchise, from 1962 till 2008 ...