Monday, 27 February 2012

"Bond 50" on BLU RAY. A 'Preamble' On The October 2012 22-Disc Box Set.

"…One Of Nature's Finest Killers...
...One Is Never Too Old To Learn From A Master..."

A few details worth noting about this 22-disc BLU RAY box set as a preamble to its release in Oct 2012...

Calling itself "Bond 50" - and with 22 films instead of 24 - it does not claim to be 'complete'. I mention this because there are fans out there who will always feel that without the original 1967 version of "Casino Royale" with David Niven and Sean Connery's 1983 return in "Never Say Never Again" - a box like this will never represent the 'full' Bond experience (whether you like those films or not). It's a matter of personal choice of course - but their exclusion is unlikely to bother fans eagerly awaiting "Bond 50"...

Why? Excluding the two Daniel Craig outings ("Casino Royale" and "Quantum Of Solace" which are also in the box) - as of February 2012 there are only 11 of the previous 20 James Bond movies presently on Blu Ray - they are "Dr. No", "From Russia With Love", "Goldfinger", "Thunderball", "Live And Let Die", "The Man With The Golden Gun", "For Your Eyes Only", "Moonraker", "License To Kill", "Die Another Day" and "The World Is Not Enough". [Note: it appears that "The Man With The Golden Gun" and "Licence To Kill" are 'EURO' issues - covering in German writing and with no card wraps].

The 11 that are out there are 1-disc Blu Ray versions matching exactly the 2DVD "Ultimate Edition" issues from 2006. They boast a genuinely beautiful print (a full Lowry Digital Frame-By-Frame Restoration) and each is packed with great extras from the time. Overall - you get hundreds of hours of Bond memories. I've reviewed "Goldfinger" and have also raved about "Live And Let Die" as examples of how good reissued Blu Ray can be when its done properly.

So when this Blu Ray box does come out - it will make the remaining 9 available for the first time on that format - and they will be nothing short of spectacular to look at - "You Only Live Twice", "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", "Diamonds Are Forever", "The Spy Who Loved Me", "Octopussy", "A View To A Kill", "The Living Daylights", "Goldeneye" and "Tomorrow Never Dies". Having said all of that - what will bother fans will be the lack of any further extras. At this point (March 2012) - there are no indications of new bonus material and if 20th Century Fox had had any - you would imagine they'd advertise it big time. So we should presume at this point - there isn't. But as I say - what is on there - is huge and endlessly entertaining.

To sum up this preamble - at a retail price of a little over four pounds/five bucks per disc - "Bond 50" is a still a bit of a steal and will surely feature heavily in people's Christmas shopping baskets. I'm personally hoping that each of the remaining 9 are reissued 'individually' in the same matching card wraps as the initial releases - so I can match up the spines (oh dear - I need to get out more).

"Bond 50" is already lining itself up to be a format 'Reissue Of The Year'. And like Plenty O'Toole at the crap table in "Diamonds Are Forever" - I for one can't wait to get my grubby paws on these fully featured beauties (terrible pun intended Mister Bond)...

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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