By Clint Morris
I can’t even remember the first Bond movie I saw. All I know is it would’ve been one of the later ones. Was it â€˜’The Living Daylights”? Quite possibly – I do know I was working at a drive-in theater when it was showing and remember it being the first of the series to catch my attention (not because it was necessarily better or more appealing than the previous installments in the series – just because I was now old enough to know what a 007 movie was) if only because I was gluing the poster to the wooden billboards for weeks ahead of its release. I also remember seeing bits of the others on TV – like “A View to a Kill” and “Moonraker”, but the Dalton ones were definitely the only ones I’d sat through and watched from beginning to end (Was also working at the Drive-In when “License to Kill” came out – I remember the night it premiered there, it was pouring rain, and for some reason the projectionist played the shitty supporting film, “Distant Thunder” starring Ralph Macchio”, before the Bond film people had braved the weather to come out and see!).. Never had seen much 007 action though. Well, not until I was about sixteen or seventeen and decided to work my way back through the umpteen films in the series – in turn realizing Timothy Dalton’s “Living Daylights” was actually one of the poorer efforts and those ones I’d seen bits of on TV – sans “View to a Kill” – were actually the better ones.
Though I’m brave enough to admit being more a fan of Pierce Brosnan’s Bond movies (maybe because I saw them on the big screen?) than any of the others – I don’t mean story-wise, I just mean â€˜Bond’ wise, I thought Pierce rocked 007! – I can also some of Moore and Connery’s efforts are treasured favourites.
Six 007 movies have just been released on Blu-Ray – and as predicted, they look good! They’re not amazing-good but they’re very-good; I guess you just can’t remove every flick and bother from an old print. No amount of soapy sponge to can erase every inch of grime, just as every Blu-Ray restoration machine can’t possibly expunge every blemish from an old Bond movie Print – “Dr No”, “Thunderball”, “For Your Eyes Only”, “Live and Let Die”, “From Russia With Love” and “Die Another Day”.
Though, as I said, Brosnan’s a fave, I don’t know that “Die Another Day” is his finest hour as Bond. It felt way too-gimmicky and had-way-too-much-Madonna for anyone’s liking. It was fun, sure, but it lacked the grit and action of Brosnan’s debut Bond “Goldeneye” – and that’s the one that really should’ve been hitting Blu-Ray first, not “Die Another Day”.
Same with the Roger Moore/007 titles on release. He’s done better than “Live and Let Die” and “For Your Eyes Only” too, but for some reason they’re bringing those out on BR. I wonder who made such decisions. Suppose it doesn’t matter, they’ll all be available in a pretty Blu-Ray Box Set in a year or so, but for my money, I’d rather had “The Spy Who Loved Me” or “Octopussy” in this first batch than later on.
You can’t go wrong with Connery’s Bond movies – so it didn’t much matter which of his they brought out. “Dr No”, “Thunderball” and “From Russia With Love” are all terrific flicks, some might say up there with the five or six best Bond movies ever made.
Blu-Ray Details and Extras
Extras-wise, there’s a bunch of good stuff on each one too.
All of them feature those exhaustive tech-heavy featurettes and doco’s that the DVD releases featured, also audio commentaries (sometimes two a disc – as is the case with a few of these), lots of vintage promos and specials and stuff, interviews, trailers, music videos (nothing like a bit of Sheena Easton in Hi-Def!) and more.
But, these look and sound perform on the new format – - the office speakers were truly climaxing from the blistering sound bursting through them, and the plasma was thankful that something sweet-looking was playing on it for once.
Anyone with a Blu-Ray player (By Christmas, you’ll be able to find an affordable model – believe me. They’re dropping all the time) will definitely want to get their hands on them… or at least a couple of them (say, the Connery ones).