|Category||Bond||Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette - Inside You Only Live Twice
Featurette - Silhouettes - The James Bond Titles
Audio Commentary - Lewis Gilbert (Director) et al
Storyboard Sequence - The Plane Crash
Trailers ( 3 x Theatrical, 1 x TV)
Radio Spots (7)
8 Page Booklet
Fox Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Auto Pan & Scan||English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono,
English Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 256Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
When the Russians have the same thing happen to one of their spacecraft, the stage is set for all out nuclear armageddon. Our gentleman spy, again the inimitable Sean Connery, must find out who is behind this nonsense and effectively save the world - again. Through a combination of incredible luck, timing and just a dash of style we find that it is none other than S.P.E.C.T.R.E. up to no good again, with our evil villain of the moment played absolutely wonderfully by Donald Pleasance. He is the original Dr Evil, replete with bald head, scar down one side of his face, quasi-futuristic clothes (which he designed himself, yah) and an every present white pussy...cat. Sublime stuff.
Massive, incredible sets and a more adult look to the whole production means bigger bangs and more action. Unfortunately, the depiction of Russian rocketry was way off the mark, and stock footage of a Titan missile is used to depict what should in fact have been a Russian Proton or Soyuz. Can you spot the space geek? Well, no one would have known that when it made its theatrical run, nor would the producers for that matter. It does make for a chuckle, and one thing you most definitely need when watching a James Bond movie is a good sense of humour! Thumbs most certainly up for this one!
The transfer was reasonably sharp most of the time, with only a marginal softening of the image due to what appeared to be mild noise reduction. There were exceptions, with some scenes being quite soft, but by and large this is a good, clear image. Shadow detail was very good given the age of the movie, but not quite up to modern standards. There was very little grain in the image, and only minimal edge enhancement.
Atypically of movies this old, the colour palette was strong and well-saturated, with skin tones being much stronger than on previous instalments of this franchise. Outdoor scenes were very purposeful with their colours, with strong greens and blues. There was a certain amount of chroma noise in some scenes, with sky shots suffering the most, not unusual for blue. I was also struck by the forceful metallic tones, with metals such as steel really standing out.
There were no significant MPEG artefacts during the movie save for a mild amount of vertical shimmering in fine detail at times, although this may be a result of the telecine process and not the compression itself. The major problem with this transfer is the sometimes severe aliasing, which crops up all too often. Contrast is very high in this transfer, possible a tad more than necessary, and the usual aliasing culprits suffer quite badly for it (i.e. car grilles, window blinds and so on). Film artefacts were quite pervasive also, with nicks and scratches being ever-present to one degree or another.
This disc is RSDL
formatted, though I was unable to locate the change point. It would be
really nice if my player told me what the current layer was, but sadly
it does not. [Ed. 85:35]
Dialogue was at all times easily understood, and was presented quite well. There were no significant lip-sync problems. Distortion was present in some dialogue, but this was infrequent and not unusual for its day.
It would seem that John Barry had an "off day" with this one, and I didn't care too much for the score, especially the dreadful signature motif which crops up all too often both in the menu structure and the movie score proper. I am pleased to say, however, that this monaural soundtrack is quite good, having a solid weight behind it. Foley effects were slightly too forward in the mix, calling attention to themselves rather than being unnoticed as they should be. Still, this is very good for 1967!
Strangely, there was little to no use of the subwoofer
(in passive mode), and so explosions had no oomph to them, sounding instead
|Surround Channel Use|
Theatrical with UK Narration (3:06) - 2.35:1 and 16x9 enhanced. Very good quality indeed, and thankfully enhanced for widescreen displays.
Theatrical with North American Narration (3:06) - 2.35:1 and 16x9 enhanced. The same trailer with a different voice, and a slightly different slant.
You Only Live Twice / Thunderball Double Bill (2:20) - 1.85:1 and not 16x9 enhanced. This has been dredged up from the bottom of a swamp by the looks of it, but still welcome.
The video transfer is problematic, but it is nonetheless very good for a movie over thirty years old.
The soundtrack is monaural and light on the bass, but is certainly good enough.
Another Bond collector's edition. Who can
© Paul Cordingley
20th September, 2000.
|DVD||Panasonic A360 (S-Video connected)|
|Display||Pioneer SD-T43W1 125cm rear-projection 16:9 Widescreen|
|Amplification||Sony STRDB-930 (Optically connected)|
|Speakers||Sony SS-CN35 100-watt (centre) , Pioneer CS-R390-K 150-watt floorstanders x 4 ( main & surrounds), Optimus 100-watt passive subwoofer|