MGM/FOX is beginning to bring the James Bond films to blu-ray, and if future releases are up to the quality of the first 6 selected titles from the series, the studio needs to get out the rest as soon as possible! All of these films have been encoded with AVC MPEG-4 on dual layer BD 50 discs.
VOLUME 1 offers:
"DR. NO," featuring a beautiful Ursula Andress appearing in a bikini, and putting to shame even the most beautiful girls of today's young Hollywood. Over 45 years old, the color design to this film doesn't stand up to the more elaborate production design of later Bond films. However, the transfer is exquisite, with consistently solid color levels, and flawless detail! Bond has always been a symbol of class, no matter what actor has assumed the role, so it's great to see even the fine threads of his suits stand out with the high-def image, as presented here! While blacks aren't inky, they're deep enough to offer impressive contrast in virtually every scene!
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix offers While surrounds are restrained, there are some pleasant ambient effects, and the separation focused on the front speakers never feels artificial. The Lossless mix offers terrific fidelity. It's a wonderful mix, and while some may have expected a more lively surround presence, there's nothing to fault here.
"LIVE AND LET DIE" is one of the Bond films that really captures the '70s time period of when it was made. It has a production design made up of color levels that are pushed to the extreme, and this enlivens not only the surprise Mardi Gras atmosphere to a great funeral sequence at the film's beginning, but even to scenes aboard a train, a romantic interlude on an island that turns deadly and more! Still, colors are never oversaturated, and even while shapness level of grain can alter within one scene to the next, the overall mix is spectacular!
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix offers consistently more immersive surround presence than "DR. NO," with smooth transitions from front to rear panning/discrete effects and some decent LFE moments. While bass isn't as deep as we'd have have preferred during the unforgettable theme song, it has an impressive presence for most of the film. Discrete effects are well balanced with dialogue and music.
"DIE ANOTHER DAY" is the newest of the three films in "VOLUME 1" and it looks the best. There are a few scenes, wherein mediocre CGI effects make the image fall flat, but, for the most part, imagery is sensational. "DIE ANOTHER DAY" moves from an exotic location to a totally cooler, "ice-bound" setting within minutes, while still offering staggering detail and vibrant colors. Blacks are inky and contrast is absolutely stunning(except for those few instances wherein CGI stinks). Fans of Halle Berry will be pleased with the "3-D like" appearance of her in a bikini. Those who don't know her(somehow!)will become fans!
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is also the best of the three films offered. Whether the scene at hand is at a beach, North Korea or in a giant structure made of ice, dynamic range and discrete effects are stunning and immersive. Bass effects are deeper than in the other films, and the film's sometimes boisterous score, is made more flexible in this Bond entry than in any of the previous films, as is evidenced during a great(albeit, too brief) sequence wherein "LONDON CALLING" by the Clash, is featured. Music, dialogue and effects are perfectly balanced throughout.
In addition to the great extras previously offered in the most recent dvd presentations of these films, there are also great featurettes offered in full HD!