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Ultimate R2 Bond DVDs


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So. The new ultimate Bond DVDs have arrived. Which should I buy/which shouldn't I buy? Any comparison to the old SE DVDs? What's better/worse?

I'm talking aspect ratio, sound, synchronisation, additional scenes?

I've heard that they didn't include the original mono soundtracks on the Connery films?

But those Connery DVDs now have the correct aspect ratio?

Cheers!

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I haven't seen any indication that the Tomorrow Never Dies UE has the isolated score that the original single disc version has.

Edit - just searched for a proper review and it actually does. Would it kill them to mention it on the DVD box, as I had a look at it in HMV last week and didn't see anything.

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The aspect ratio on Dr. No, From Russia with Love and Goldfinger has been restored to the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio.

Dr. No and Goldfinger both feature additional space mostly at the bottom on the frame, and from the comparisons I've seen, image composition is greatly improved. Check out this shot from Dr. No:

bond01se02.jpg

Special Edition

bond01ue02.jpg

Ultimate Edition

Look! She's carrying shells! (also, bye bye, film grain)

For good measure, here are some comparisons of the other two as well. I have to add I'm plucking these off another site. I haven't actually seen the entire film in its new transfer.

From Russia With Love looks like it has been mostly opened up at the top, creating extra headspace.

Bond02se01.jpg

Special Edition

bond02ue01.jpg

Ultimate Edition

Goldfinger features additional image information both at the top and bottom of the screen. Look at the lovely Aston Martin here:

Bond03se02.jpg

Special Edition

Bond03ue02.jpg

Ultimate Edition

It comes with a rear bumper, too!

Please note that these screenshots have been ever so slightly cropped from the anamorphic transfer. The full 16:9 source on the UE will have small black bars at the sides (which may in turn be eliminated by overscan on your TV).

The original audio tracks are missing from the early films. Remixes is all we get.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service is, as I understand it, presented in full length this time. An incomplete print was used for the previous transfer, and from what I've heard, the scenes missing from the previous release are now present.

Unfortunately, captions are reportedly entirely missing from Octopussy and The Living Daylights, so some titles indicating locations are missing.

Licence to Kill has been released uncut for the first time on DVD. The previous release was the American PG-13 cut. The new release restores 10 seconds of violence spread out throughout the film.

GoldenEye appears to have been blown up a wee bit.

goldeneyeold.jpg

Special Edition

goldeneyenew.jpg

Ultimate Edition

I'd like to add that I actually like the grainy look of the old Bond films (although the above screenshot of Dr. No is pretty bad in the SE). But it's good to have the original aspect ratio restored. I've been very tempted to pick up the uncut version of Licence to Kill, but I don't think I'll be double-dipping these films.

Still, if you haven't gotten these films yet, and you're not a stickler for the old mono tracks (which I believe may still be on the R1 release), these are the releases to get. They're going for as low as 10 Euros apiece at some places already, and if you wait awhile, prices may continue to drop everywhere.

- Marc

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SERIOUSLY, wait for the Region 1s. They've screwed up the sound mixes on the R2s (rubbish 5.1 mixes and no mono), but apparently the Region 1 we'll be getting proper subtitles, as well as the option of the original sound mix.

By the way, Tomorrow Never Dies and GoldenEye are also both uncut. However, some shots in GoldenEye actually look worse than on the Special Edition:

Example 1

Example 2

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Tomorrow Never Dies had the volume of some of the sound effects (including Carver's scream at the end) reduced, all use of throwing stars (by Wai Lin, I think) were removed, as was a shot of one of the henchmen having his head stamped. There were a few dodgy slow-motion shots inserted to cover up the cuts. GoldenEye had a load of headbutts removed, most noticably Xenia to Natalya after the line "wait your turn!". They also cut all the headbutts from the final fight scene (Bond vs. Trevelyan), as well as Bond kneeing Trevelyan in the face, and ear-clapping him. Apparently, you also were supposed to see the impact of the bullet on 006's head (but wouldn't this open up a MEGA plot hole? :?). Xenia's death is cut down (she was supposed to choke a bit more), and there is a bit more detail when the workers are shot at Severnaya. As for Licence to Kill... a load was cut from that in all countries. In the uncut version, we see Krest's head explode (rather than cutting away), we see the stump of Leiter's leg, more detail when Dario gets killed, louder fight sound effects, a few more shots of the impact of the bullets, and we see a lot more of Sanchez burning at the end. Ironically, this uncut version has been shown on TV a few times - including at Christmas a few years ago - nice family fun! :P

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LOL

Also, on Licence to Kill, I'm not sure... but I think they might have removed the "dangers of cigarettes" warning. It seemed a bit pointless to me - they think people need to be told that cigarettes are dangerous, but don't bother mentioning that driving a tanker on two wheels, setting people on fire and dangling over giant mincers is kinda dodgy too... :P

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The aspect ratio on Dr. No, From Russia with Love and Goldfinger has been restored to the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio.

Dr. No and Goldfinger both feature additional space mostly at the bottom on the frame, and from the comparisons I've seen, image composition is greatly improved. Check out this shot from Dr. No:

bond01se02.jpg

Special Edition

bond01ue02.jpg

Ultimate Edition

Look! She's carrying shells! (also, bye bye, film grain)

Who cares about the shells? ;)

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When do the R1 disks come out? ;) I hope they keep the excellent Patrick McNee documentaries from the SE disks. Also I hope they do a better job of making retrospective docs for the Brosnan movies. The extras on those disks kind of sucked first time around.

James-who didn't know about these releases until he saw this thread. Damn, my special edition box sets are all worthless now!!!

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SERIOUSLY, wait for the Region 1s. They've screwed up the sound mixes on the R2s (rubbish 5.1 mixes and no mono), but apparently the Region 1 we'll be getting proper subtitles, as well as the option of the original sound mix.

By the way, Tomorrow Never Dies and GoldenEye are also both uncut. However, some shots in GoldenEye actually look worse than on the Special Edition:

Example 1

Example 2

I have no idea what I'm looking at with those pictures. Is that the UE? The SE? What's wrong with them? What's right with them?

Neil

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Also, I wonder if they'll finally fix that awful cutting/splicing job in the final scene of From Russia With Love. It's my second favourite Bond flick (after OHMSS) and that final splicing job always bugs me! I wonder if it was censored originally? Can't think why though.

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I've read that the jump cut is still there. A line was cut from that scene. It involves Bond commenting on his performance in the reel of film secretly made of him and Tatiana.

I've also read the wipe at the end of Thunderball, removing the announcment of the next film, is still there. ;)

Neil

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I've read that the jump cut is still there.  A line was cut from that scene.  It involves Bond commenting on his performance in the reel of film secretly made of him and Tatiana.

I've also read the wipe at the end of Thunderball, removing the announcment of the next film, is still there.  ;)

Neil

Argh! I thought it was probably something like that, as Bond is studying the film at the time. At least they could try and smooth over the audio (theme song) at that point to make the cut less obvious. Oh well. I wonder if the scene still exists anywhere. I'm guessing not as it would have surfaced somewhere on a DVD by now.

On a similar topic: I wonder if the end credit Bond theme at the end of Dr No will still wobble all over the place! The only things I want wobbling at that moment are the contents of Ursula Andress's bikini!

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SERIOUSLY, wait for the Region 1s. They've screwed up the sound mixes on the R2s (rubbish 5.1 mixes and no mono), but apparently the Region 1 we'll be getting proper subtitles, as well as the option of the original sound mix.

By the way, Tomorrow Never Dies and GoldenEye are also both uncut. However, some shots in GoldenEye actually look worse than on the Special Edition:

Example 1

Example 2

I have no idea what I'm looking at with those pictures. Is that the UE? The SE? What's wrong with them? What's right with them?

Neil

Oops, I meant to post the comparison pictures. :oops:

Here you go:

Comparison 1: SE | UE

Comparison 2: SE | UE

The colours are completely different, and as far as I can tell there is actually a bit more dirt on the UE version. See what you think... There's definitely more detail on the UE though.

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one of the movie channels on the local sattelite TV service here just aired all 21 (Never say Never again included) Bond films (in widescreen to boot) two months ago. They looked great and the Dr. No they aired was definitely NOT as grainy as the SE still posted above. :?

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I've also read the wipe at the end of Thunderball, removing the announcment of the next film, is still there.  ;)

:(

The original ending is only available on laserdisc, right?

Nope. I've never seen it. Not on any of the prints I've viewed or videos.

Neil

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I'd like to see a comparison of the early Moore Bonds too. Live and Let Die is very grainy on the SEs. If anything it looks grainier than OHMSS and Diamonds Are Forever. I see a marked improvement in picture quality from The Spy Who Loved Me onwards.

James - excited about these, but looking at bank balance dejectedly.

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So, since I'm primarily interested in the Connerys and Brosnans - once the price is all right, it seems okay to go with the UE rather than the SE I guess?

Except for Goldeneye, it appears that rather a good deal of space has been lost at the sides?

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I can't see that the '90s Bonds need to be remastered anyway. I'd certainly like to get remastered copies of the earlier ones though. Trouble is, I'm a collector and I can't help myself! It's awful, but if I buy the first 10 movies I know I'll end up getting the others in the set or I won't be able to sleep!

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Inevitably I'll wind up getting all of these in R1, where I hear we'll get the original mono mixes in addition to the new 5.1 mixes. I've also read the R1s will have the missing sub-titles corrected. I'd be really happy if we didn't have to put up with player generated subs. They take me right out of the movie.

Neil

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So now I've read that the widescreen Thunderball also has a slightly different image than the SE.

SE: http://www.dvd.nl/reviews.php?reviewid=133

UE: http://www.dvd.nl/reviews.php?reviewid=2609

I don't get that, how's that possible? I know there's only a tiny difference at the sides but still, is there a standard for the correct version?

Also, I've read that there are missing captions in The living daylights UE? Is that correct? And these captions wouldn't be missing in the original SE release?

If this is correct, pity because the transfer itself has improved...

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Also, I've read that there are missing captions in The living daylights UE? Is that correct? And these captions wouldn't be missing in the original SE release?

If this is correct, pity because the transfer itself has improved...

I forget which movie it is, but there's a scene where Bond throws a bad-guy onto a bed of nails that a showman had been lying on. The guy then says something in a foreign language. The old old VHS version used to have a caption translating the man's words as "get off my bed" or something like that. The SE didn't have that caption. Was that Living Daylights? (It might have been Octopussy...)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Has anyone bought any of the new 'Ultimate Bond' DVD's yet? I wonder if the new verions could be interesting for someone who already owns the so-called 'Monster-box' (containing the not-so-special-anymore-editions)...

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Not the Region 2 DVDs - they've screwed up the remix on the sound tracks.

The Region 1 DVDs will be issued in 4 5-film sets (2 sets are coming in November, the other two in May next year), and will apparently have the original mono tracks (as an option) and also corrected subtitles. I'd wait for them, that's what I'm doing. Sadly, there's not much chance they'll fix the framing on the UE of GoldenEye.

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R1 "Ultimate Edition" Details:

I see they're mixing up actors again, and grouping good and bad together. 8O

James Bond: The Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1 (will be released on Nov. 7)

- The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)

- Goldfinger (1964)

- The World is Not Enough (1999)

- Diamonds are Forever (1971)

- The Living Daylights (1987)

James Bond: The Ultimate Collection, Vol. 2 (will be released on Nov. 7)

- A View to a Kill (19985)

- Thunderball (1965)

- Die Another Day (2002)

- The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

- Licence to Kill (1989)

James Bond: The Ultimate Collection, Vol. 3 (will be released on Dec. 12)

- GoldenEye (1995)

- Live and Let Die (1973)

- For Your Eyes Only (1981)

- From Russia With Love (1963)

- On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

James Bond: The Ultimate Collection, Vol. 4 (will be released on Dec. 12)

- Dr. No (1962)

- You Only Live Twice (1967)

- Octopussy (1983)

- Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

- Moonraker (1979)

The five-film sets are priced at $89.95 each. No official word yet on whether the original mono tracks will be included, or the subtitles fixed.

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James Bond: The Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1 (will be released on Nov. 7)

- The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)

- Goldfinger (1964)

- The World is Not Enough (1999)

- Diamonds are Forever (1971)

- The Living Daylights (1987)

James Bond: The Ultimate Collection, Vol. 2 (will be released on Nov. 7)

- A View to a Kill (19985)

- Thunderball (1965)

- Die Another Day (2002)

- The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

- Licence to Kill (1989)

James Bond: The Ultimate Collection, Vol. 3 (will be released on Dec. 12)

- GoldenEye (1995)

- Live and Let Die (1973)

- For Your Eyes Only (1981)

- From Russia With Love (1963)

- On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

James Bond: The Ultimate Collection, Vol. 4 (will be released on Dec. 12)

- Dr. No (1962)

- You Only Live Twice (1967)

- Octopussy (1983)

- Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

- Moonraker (1979)

Why on earth are they releasing then in that order?

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Why on earth are they releasing then in that order?

I don't know why the separate release dates, but which-movie-in-which-box is hardly random:

- at least one Connery, one Moore & one Brosnan in each box (so Connery or Moore or Brosnan fans have to buy all 4), and Dalton fans will have to buy two

- mixture of popular and unpopular films in each box

- at least one 60s, 70s and 80s movie in each box

It's just to make people buy all four. 8O

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