IAR Blu-ray Preview: 'Bond 50'

Thursday, 04 October 2012 16:10 Written by  iamrogue
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IAR Blu-ray Preview: 'Bond 50'

"The name’s Bond … James Bond." 

That simple sentence is unarguably one of the most famous phrases ever spoken in the history of cinema. And now fans will finally have the opportunity to own all 22 classic James Bond movies with a special new Blu-ray collection called Bond 50, which was released earlier this week to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Dr. No and Global James Bond Day on October 5th. 

IAR was privileged enough to receive a copy of the Blu-ray set the other day and we can tell you that it is an absolute must have for any true fan of the Bond franchise. The collection comes in a beautiful box set that includes a slipcover case, two-picture books with holders for all 22 Bond movies on Blu-ray, as well as the upcoming Skyfall, which will be released on Blu-ray in 2013. Nine of the films offered in the collection are appearing on Blu-ray for the first time including GoldenEye, Octopussy, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, The Living Daylights, Tomorrow Never Dies, Diamonds are Forever, A View to a Kill, and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

There is also a bonus disk with 120 hours of extras, including all new featurettes such as The World of Bond, Being Bond, and Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style. The new bonus material gives 007 fans a chance to look at fifty years of filmmaking and examines the cars, women, villains, and music that have made these films such unforgettable classics. You also get a rare chance to hear what it was like to actually be Bond from the only six men who have ever portrayed the character on screen, Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig. Not to mention, there are also Skyfall Videoblogs that give you a behind the scenes look at the upcoming film. 

Almost all of the films come with at least a director or production team commentary, while legendary actor Roger Moore provides commentary for all of his movies as well. As you can imagine, we didn’t have time this week to watch every film in the collection but we did take a quick look at Dr. No, Goldfinger, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me, A View to a Kill, License to Kill, GoldenEye, and Quantum of Solace. The HD quality transfer benefits all of the films, especially Goldfinger, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and The Spy Who Loved Me, which hold up particularly well. 

Goldfinger is still the best Bond movie to date and features Connery’s finest performance as the character. Furthermore, while George Lazenby is commonly considered the “worst Bond,” ironically On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in one of the better films in the series, and Moore’s third outing as 007 in The Spy Who Loved Me still defines the perfect interpretation of the character for me. Of course Sean Connery is still the Bond to beat, but Pierce Bronson helped reinvent the character in GoldenEye and Daniel Craig took that one step farther in Casino Royale. However, I’m partial to Craig’s performance in Quantum, which I think gets a bad rap. 

As far as the villains go I still love Christopher Walken in A View to a Kill, and look for a young Benicio del Toro in License to Kill. With the Bond Girls, you can’t go wrong with Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder in Dr. No, Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, or even Diana Rigg as Teresa di Vicenza in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. But as for contemporary Bond Girls, I like Gemma Arterton as Strawberry Fields in Quantum of Solaceand Rosamund Pike as Miranda Frost in Die Another Day

No matter which Bond film is your favorite; any true fan of the franchise will want to be sure to add this Blu-ray set to their collection. And be sure to celebrate Global James Bond Day on October 5th by having a martini … shaken, not stirred!

Bond 50 is currently available for purchase on Blu-ray!

Skyfall opens in theaters on November 9th.

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