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James Bond Ultimate Edition (V3)
DVD disk
Jan 9, 2007 By: Sturdy
James Bond Ultimate Edition (V3) order
Director:
Terence Young

Actors:
Sean Connery
Roger Moore
Pierce Brosnan

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
At the risk of annoying Bond elitists, letís face the fact that all Bond movies basically have the same plot: Bond defeats a bad guy, gets sent on another dangerous mission, gets a couple of hot girls in bed and narrowly escapes the final act. I hate to break it down in such simplistic terms, but hey, itís Bond.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
From Russia With Love (4 stars): This, and TOMORROW NEVER DIES are my two favorite Bond films. It was the second one in the series, and it holds close to the ďflavorĒ of Ian Flemmingís books. Even after several viewings, I find myself still involved in the plot and the charismatic young Connery is at his best. The plot is intricate, well thought out and at the time, original.

On Her Majestyís Secret Service (3.5 stars): I think this is the most underrated of all the bond films. Granted, George Lazenby is a poor replacement for Sean Connery, but the story is one of the better ones and it shows a side of Bond we donít get to see until Daniel Craig steps in. However, Lazenby is the drawback to this film, but if you can get over that, youíll be in for a surprisingly good film.

Live and Let Die (3): Iíve gotten into discussions with others about whether or not this film is racist. Iím not sure. It definitely has itís stupid stereotypes, but Iím not sure itís intentionally racist, or the filmmakers were just too dumb to know better. Either way, this is one of the worst Bond films, but is saved by one of the best Bond songs. Iím not a huge fan of Roger Moore as Bond, but the biggest problem here is the fact LIVE AND LET DIE is just plain boring, and thatís not a good thing for a Bond film.

For Your Eyes Only (2.5): This is probably one of the worst Roger Moore Bond films even though it tries to be like the old Connery films. In this, Bond travels to exotic locales and meets plenty of beautiful women along the way. It was made in 1981, so youíll have to live with the late 70ís/early 80ís feel to the flick. When I think of average Bond, this is what I think of. It has everything youíve come to expect from the Bond films.

Goldeneye (4): As a kid, I was a big fan of Remington Steele and I always wanted Pierce Brosnan to take over as Bond. It pained me to see Timothy Dalton in the title role when I knew Brosnan was waiting in the wings. It seemed like he was rumored to be Bond forever and in 1995, we finally got our wish. Of volume 3, this is the most fun and action packed. Itís a great way to kick in the next generation of Bond films and itís easy to see why it was such a big box-office hit.
THE EXTRAS
All of these discs have a feature called Mission Control, which allows you to play scenes from the movies featuring the women, allies, villains and other popular aspects of 007. I found this feature to be kind of pointless, but I guess it could be fun for some.

From Russia With Love:

Commentary with Terrence Young, Walter Gotell, Martine Beswick, Aliza Gur, John Barry, Peter Hunt, Syd Cain, Norman Wanstall, John Stears, Dana Broccoli and David Naylor: Naylor is the only one here that wasnít involved in the making of the film and he acts as the moderator. As you might have guessed, thereís a lot of people here and some offer a lot to say and some donít say much at all. However, it keeps moving and is a joy to listen to.

Ian Fleming, the CBC interview (7:43) and Ian Fleming and Raymond Chandler (5:12) and Ian Fleming on Desert Island Discs (5:11): These are two old interviews with the man himself, Ian Fleming. Fleming was a good writer with a good imagination, but donít think that he had any other motivation for writing than money. However, fans of his work should enjoy the featurette.

Inside From Russia With Love (33:43): This is a good look at the making of the film with good insight into the problems they had filming and the reasoning behind their decisions. This is good for all fans of the film.

Harry Saltzman: Showman (26:42): Harry was the producer and this is his story. Itís a nice featurette on a pretty impressive fellow.

There are also a series of cool, vintage TV commercials

On Her Majestyís Secret Service:

Commentary with Peter Hunt, John Barry, Michael Reed, and others: I found this track to be a little boring, but maybe itís because I really wanted George Lazenby as a feature participant. I think he had the most to offer since this was his only Bond performance.

Declassified: MI6 Vault: All of the movies contain this feature, but this one is the best of the bunch because we see a lot from George Lazenby on how Bond changed his life and what he went through during that time. Thereís about 6 featurettes and all them are worth a look.

Inside On Her Majestyís Secret Service (41:40): Again, more about George Lazenby and his struggles. The featurette is good, with good insight into all aspects of the film.

Inside Qís Lab (10:12): A look into the gadgets on the film.

Above it All (5:41): This is a neat, vintage featurette about Bond. Nothing too exciting, but itís nice to see the vintage stuff show up on DVD.

There are also a series of vintage TV commercials

Live and Let Die:

Commentary with Roger Moore: Although not my favorite Bond, Roger Moore is a blast to listen to on commentary tracks. This seems like a new recording and Moore has a good time looking back on his days as Bond.

Commentary with Tom Mankiewicz: This is boring from the beginning. Iím not sure why he was left out on his own.

Commentary with Guy Hamilton and other cast and crew members: Again, another great commentary track. In fact, I would say that this commentary is better than the film itself. This is definitely worth a listen.

The Lost Documentary (21:39): This is a featurette from 1973 and itís pretty cool. Itís hosted by Roger Moore and itís fun to see a 1973 featurette. Itís also pretty good, but it doesnít get too involved in the making of the film.

Roger Moore as Bond, circa 1964 (7:41): Moore played Bond on a variety TV show in 1964 and this is the footage from the show. I have to admit, that itís pretty funny and a must view for all Moore fans.

Inside Live and Let Die (29:45): Another good inside look into a Bond film, this time with more insight into the franchise status and the decision to hire Moore as the next Bond.

On Set with Roger Moore (5:41): Two quick featurettes that look at two particular stunts. Theyíre average, but nothing great.

There are also a series of vintage TV commercials

For Your Eyes Only:

Commentary with Roger Moore: Again, Moore is a blast to listen to and this track is great. Well worth the time invested

Commentary with John Glen and various actors: This track is better than the next one, but it still suffers from a lack of good information.

Commentary with Michael G. Wilson and other crewmembers: I really think these two commentaries should have been edited into one track because thereís not enough information here to merit two separate tracks.

Deleted Scenes (3:01): These are two deleted scenes, but the total film time is about a minute and a half. The rest is the director introducing them to us. They really had no impact on the film, but itís still nice to see some more Bond.

Bond in Greece (5:56), Bond in Cortina (4:19), Neptuneís Journey (3:33): Three quick looks at Bond at different locales and some behind the scenes looks at the stars.

Inside For Your Eyes Only (29:46): Yet another good look at the making of the Bond film and what was going on with the franchise during its release.

There are also a series of vintage TV commercials, Storyboard Sequences and a Music Video

Goldeneye:

Commentary with Martin Campbell and Michael G. Wilson: I didnít realize there was so much drama surrounding the making of GOLDENEYE, but apparently there was. These two discuss just about everything and this track is well worth a listen.

Deleted Scenes (6:12): None of these scenes were long enough to really matter and the director explains why he cut each one.

The Martin Chronicles (12:16): Here, the director walks you through a few scenes and discusses how and why each scene was filmed.

Building a Better Bond (9:03), The Return of Bond (5:30): These are two similar looks at the notion of bringing Bond back after a long hiatus and with a new, edgier Bond. Theyíre too quick to amount to anything and itís all repeat of the longer featurette.

Driven to Bond (2:58), Anatomy of a Stunt (6:09), Making it Small (2:39), On Location with Peter Lamont (12:31): All of these are looks at the stunts in GOLDENEYE. Theyíre ok, but again, the longer featurette covers most of it.

Goldeneye, the Secret Files (28:28), The Cast (12:19): This is the longer featurette you should watch. It discusses some of the dirt associated with the film and looks at the filmmakersí desire to bring Bond back with a bang.

The World of 007 (43:28): This is hosted by Elizabeth Hurley and is an in-depth look at the Bond films up to GOLDENEYE. Itís a decent recap, but not for a guy who just watched five Bond films.

Video Journal (14:15): On set interviews with cast and crew members, but way too many movie scenes to be worth the time.

There are also some TV spots, a Promotional featurette and a Music Video.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If youíre a Bond fan, then chances are good you already have DVD copies of these films. If youíre a die-hard Bond fan, then you need to pick up these Ultimate edition sets because they really do have improved video and audio and a plethora of great special features.
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