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'Diamonds Are Forever,' 'Goldeneye,' and 'Octopussy' Wal-Mart Exclusives

3 classic Bond titles are going to be released for the first time on Blu-Ray as separate single disk versions exclusively at Wal-mart.  

 

Now it also looks like 'Diamonds are Forever,' 'Goldeneye,' and 'Octopussy' will be available at Wal-Mart on October 2.

The suggested list price for the boxed set is $299.99 and the individual Blu-rays are $19.99.

 

 

The complete series of films (on Blu-Ray) up to and including QoS, is to be released as a 22 title set called "Bond 50". This set will be released on September 25, 2012

 

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“First feel fear, then get angry. Then go with your life into the fight.” - Bill Mollison

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perhaps I will put the "Bond 50" on my Christmas wish list.   

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This should be interesting. Shame we can't get Box sets by who was playing Bond.

"The other versions will disappear. Even the 35 million tapes of Star Wars out there won’t last more than 30 or 40 years. A hundred years from now, the only version of the movie that anyone will remember will be the DVD version [of the Special Edition], and you’ll be able to project it on a 20’ by 40’ screen with perfect quality. I think it’s the director’s prerogative, not the studio’s to go back and reinvent a movie." - George Lucas

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And in a perfect world, the George Lazenby single film ultra collectors edition set would be a top seller along with the Roger Moore box in the shape of a raised eyebrow. ;)

Glad these are coming out as singles, which I'm not surprised over. The UE discs were repackaged at least 10-15 different times in both single and double disc sets. I don't need a big flimsy book with discs getting scratched up in page slots, and certainly do not need CR or QOS.

There should be a videophile label akin to Analogue Productions, Audio Fidelity, and MFSL for audiophiles that obtains the rights to make a 007: Technicolor Theatrical Editions box set. There is not one of these classics that I enjoy more on Blu than LD.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

"George didn't think there was any future in dead Han toys."-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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why would you not enjoy the movies more on Blu than on LD.  With Blu you get better picture and sound.   LD isn't 1080p, it is just standard 480.   True there are blu ray movies that have problems like too much DNR and stuff.  But I have not yet heard of any problems with the movies included with the Boxed set.   We shall have to wait until the thing it released to see if there are any problems.

right now, I don't have any of the Bond movies, so I think getting the boxed set makes sense, even if I get I couple of movies I don't like.   As for scratching the discs up,  I'd have to take look at the boxed set in person to assess the risk.  I am sure there are ways to prevent the discs from getting scratched, like being careful with them.  

 

captainsolo said:

There should be a videophile label akin to Analogue Productions, Audio Fidelity, and MFSL for audiophiles that obtains the rights to make a 007: Technicolor Theatrical Editions box set.

huh? please elaborate. 

 

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I've gotten cases full of discs like this, and they sometimes don't hold the discs very well, or like the Predator Ultimate DVD, you couldn't get the f@#$er out
My Popeye box set, which I absolutely love, doesn't hold the discs. I just have to put them in and fold it carefully or they fall out.

They might've done a good job on this one. Somebody on Youtube will have an unboxing, guarantee it.

"The other versions will disappear. Even the 35 million tapes of Star Wars out there won’t last more than 30 or 40 years. A hundred years from now, the only version of the movie that anyone will remember will be the DVD version [of the Special Edition], and you’ll be able to project it on a 20’ by 40’ screen with perfect quality. I think it’s the director’s prerogative, not the studio’s to go back and reinvent a movie." - George Lucas

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Did they fix the fucked up framing and incorrect aspect ratio on Goldeneye if not they get no money from me for that crappy tv print they incorrectly used.

 

I saw it in a theater on an actual screen designed for wide movies not films composed at 1:78:1. And it clearly was not shot at the ratio.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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Warb, I meant a video release designed for videophiles like an audiophile SACD or vinyl reissue from a master tape as done by those companies I mentioned. I've just wanted to see modern technology applied to the films' original states instead of the single image harvest only done on 10 of the films which completely disregarded color timing, grain structure and their original presentation. This is what frustrates me to no end with the UE discs and the Blus derived from the same transfers. I can be more satisfied with a 420i image sourced from a worn print transferred in the the late 1980's, pressed on laser then I am on these new editions. Yes the detail is increased and everything has been corrected, but to me it seems overdone and I want to cry when I see things like how badly You Only Live Twice is desaturated or that awful artificial blue tint on the opening of OHMSS.

As far as audio goes, I do get better sound on LD. LD has the original mixes in PCM whereas on the Blus they are lossy Dolby Digital ac3 tracks that are almost always noise reduced and compressed. The lossless files on the new editions are 5.1 remixes done at various locations which add unnecessary and new effects to the soundfield to artificially create a surround image which is not present in the original audio. To add to this they typically used the remastered music cues from the soundtrack CD masters and actually replaced the original score recordings. So these have been taken apart multiple ways and stuck back together to resemble the original, which they are not.

And on the 90's era films they lost a lot of punch. Goldeneye on LD has some of the punchiest bass and LFE I've ever heard on any home audio track.

These will be great releases for 99.99% of people and the box makes great economic sense. But I'm still not quite sold and this is coming from someone who still has 30+ Bond VHS tapes. You have to understand that this is my filmic obsession and I jump out of my chair at even the slightest infraction on any of the films. (I really do.)

Sky, the cropping on GE is indeed pretty extensive, but I'm not sure if this has ever been addressed. It's not quite in a different ratio but it is cropped on all four sides as if boxed in. The title sequence has different fonts and placements which has led some to believe that a Pan n' scan prepped print was mistakenly used. The DVD wasn't bad and in some instances I liked the tighter framing for more impact. however, we'd really know if the director or cinematographer commented on what they shot. If it is like the previous transfers then they kept the framing a bit loose, or the original LD/DVDs were framed too openly. However the HDTV versions floating around are exactly the same as the UE transfer.

Thunderball still has color issues on the current Blu-ray.

This brings me to my other point. Only 10 of the films (Doctor No-Golden Gun, Moonraker) were scanned from the o-neg at 4K as shown in the big promos. The rest came straight from video masters and are not what they could be. Why only do 10?

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

"George didn't think there was any future in dead Han toys."-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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So your problem isn't with Blu-rays themselves, just how these particular transfers were done.   

hmmm, maybe I won't be getting this set after all.    I don't like to buy blus that weren't done correctly.    I like to have a film presented as close as possible to how it originally looked and sounded.    If you are right, it doesn't seem like they did that here. 

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Exactly. They were originally done by Lowry Digital which has a reputation for going overboard.

That said, this is as close as you're going to get to anything as of now. The alternatives are the old DVDs riddled with compression artifacts, edge enhancement and some improper ratios or go the crazy LD route like myself.

They've at least included the original mixes for the first 16 and have fixed some of the DVD issues on the previously released Blu-rays. It's a iffy subject but as I said 99.99% of people will be thrilled. If you have none of the Bonds then this is a no-brainer. They're close enough for the most part, but if you know these back to front to back like me then it gets frustrating.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

"George didn't think there was any future in dead Han toys."-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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captainsolo said:


that awful artificial blue tint on the opening of OHMSS.

When the movie aired on usa in HD, this tint wasn't there (or was at least much, much more subdued). The blus have fixed at least a few issues that the DVDs had such as the ridiculous oversaturation on L&LD.

Warb, I'd recommend at the very least you pick up your favorite movies. Captainsolo has said 99.9% will be thrilled with them and he's right; the man is notoriously picky about these things :P

A Goon in a Gaggle of 'em

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I recall you talking about that. Yay pickiness!

Yes, buy the Blu set to enjoy the films in and eventually check out an old VHS/LD of the 60's era to see more of their Technicolor look. ;)

The meat of the info can be found here:

http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Bond-Laserdisc-Preservations-1962-1971/topic/5808/

And the general cropping reference on GE

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VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

"George didn't think there was any future in dead Han toys."-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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I enjoy my Bond lasers as well. Something about the color tones for sure. 

“First feel fear, then get angry. Then go with your life into the fight.” - Bill Mollison

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Here's the best source for direct comparisons between the UE transfers and the older SE DVDs which used the same master sources that MGM used on all their 90's era video releases. (FF, this is why that same stubborn hair in the gate under the Rack is in Thunderball from 1989 to 2002. Same recycled transfer but better pressings over time.)

http://www.bulletsnbabesdvd.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3053

You can also see screencaps form the original Region 2 editions which were released first and had issues that were corrected for the Region 1 discs. (Though hastily.)

Overall, I think that they nailed two or three of the films imagewise-those being Dimaonds are Forever, The Man With The Golden Gun, Moonraker and Licence to Kill. DAF is quite close and looks stunning though some of the colors aren't quite 1971 vintage. TMWTGG is stellar though I don't see enough Technicolor. Moonraker is one of the best transfers I've ever seen and the colors are about 99% accurate. LTK is very very slightly different, but fantastic and is the only release that is fully uncut. (save for some rumored obscure foreign releases back in the early 90's)

Other verdicts: (those with * look better on old editions)

*Doctor No, *FRWL, *Goldfinger: had some amazing cleanup work done, but the color seems to be off and downright muted in most places.

*Thunderball: Clean but with wrong color all over the place. Needs a re-do.

*YOLT: Lacking color that showed off the sunny countryside of Japan. Missing all the deep yellow/brown/orange tint of the 1967 presentation. Re-do.

*OHMSS: Framing a bit shifted to the right, a very tiny shot was accidentally inserted in error, opening blue tinted, some audio errors, no 60's Technicolor look. Re-do.

LALD: The UE DVD was shorn of grain structure and very soft. Contrast boosted and not good looking at all. This has been corrected for the most part.

*TSWLM: All transfers don't look so hot. The film was shto with a lot of soft focus and diffusion which has never been replicated well. The UE removed the original color timing and was full of edge enhancement. Original audio was missing as well. Re-do.

FYEO: Great detail in the UE but some definite color manipulation. Overall great, but slightly different from original.

OP: Same here, great improvement in detail but slight color manipulation.

AVTAK: Looks fantastic, and like a print of the film almost. Color spot on if a bit tweaked. However, the opening teaser is horribly cropped, and you lose information to cropping on top, bottom and sides of the frame throughout. Without the cropping this would be close with MR's transfer.

TLD: Great transfer, very slight modifications to contrast and darkness levels but only to improve the image for home viewing. Great job.

GE: Different color timing which may or may not be Theatrical. Looks better on the whole. Has the cropping issue which has never been confirmed as an error. Audio is a remix from stems and lacks the huge bassy punch of the original.

Tomorrow Never Dies: gets some major improvement and actually looks like the theatrical presentation instead of video. Audio is a remix and quite good, but nowhere near the incredible theatrical mix. (One of the 5 or so best surround mixes I've heard.)

TWINE: Looks better overall, some contrast boosting, less grain, color may have been tweaked a little. Audio likely a remix as well and lacks the matrixed original 6.1 track. Framed to give a bit more on the top edge.

DAD: UE is better but lacks the original soundmix design of a matrixed 6.1 track.

 

These are my quick opinions and nitpicks for the most part. As I said 99.99% of people are going to be thrilled with the new set. And as a bonus all the new transfers have the original theatrical subtitles/location text and correct aspect ratios.

Another image comparison, though primarily of European editions which have the wrong colors on some UEs:

http://caps-a-holic.com/index.php?search=james+bond

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VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

"George didn't think there was any future in dead Han toys."-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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captainsolo said:

Other verdicts: (those with * look better on old editions)

*Doctor No, *FRWL, *Goldfinger: had some amazing cleanup work done, but the color seems to be off and downright muted in most places.

*Thunderball: Clean but with wrong color all over the place. Needs a re-do.

*YOLT: Lacking color that showed off the sunny countryside of Japan. Missing all the deep yellow/brown/orange tint of the 1967 presentation. Re-do.

*OHMSS: Framing a bit shifted to the right, a very tiny shot was accidentally inserted in error, opening blue tinted, some audio errors, no 60's Technicolor look. Re-do.

Comprehensive list, captainsolo. Your pickiness is much appreciated. Out of curiosity, what specific old editions would you recommend for the Connery films, aside from DAF, and Lazenby's film? Some of the modern transfers do strike me as dull, especially Thunderball. I'm a big fan of the 60s-era Bond, so would be curious to hear your opinion on them, more specifically:

For the first three, to experience the Technicolor, would you recommend the LD editions over the SE DVDs? And, if so, which LD editions: Criterion (which seems to have a marked color difference over later transfers and is approved by the directors) or the ones in the Connery Collection?

Then the re-dos: For Thunderball, which edition is best color-wise and also version wise? I'm not clear which LD is the International version. For YOLT, SE DVD or LD? And for OHMSS, SE DVD or LD, once more?

Your input's appreciated.

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This is where it gets a bit iffy. The source is identical on all the MGM discs, just with better image with each successive issue. The SE DVDs will give you superior image but at a cost: Edge enhancement, compression artifacts, cropping of the first three to 1.78:1, spots of interlacing, and greatly enhanced video noise that isn't film grain.

I lucked out and got a great CRT set, so I stick with LD. (Though I only have a few of the SE titles to be honest. Why some people charge an arm and a leg for those old boxes is beyond me.)

On the first three I still stick with the Connery Collection as it looks exactly like the VHS tapes I grew up on. I haven't found Criterion copies yet, but the MGM discs show off the color I'm used to. The PCM mono is another big draw and sounds great, though FRWL has quite a bit of print source background crackle like listening to an LP. (It does however have a great isolated score and effects track that is dedicated and not faked like some others I have. Chinatown's still has the dialogue audible.) Also, these are theatrical 1.66 as opposed to the Criterions which are cropped.

I don't know if you could call it an International version; it's really just an alternate mix, and the more I dig into the films troubled history, it may actually be the original mono audio.  Every mono track utilizes this mix, and those that are different seem to all derive from the 1995 Dolby Stereo surround mix done for the CAV boxset. To get this mono audio with notable differences either the 1989 disc or CC Vol. 2 will work. They seem actually to be identical, save for two odd audio glitches on each. (My 1989 copy has Connery stutter in Cafe Martinque and order Dom Perignon Perignon '55. The CC version has the music essentially vanish for a minute or so whilst entering his hotel room and rewinding the tape. I don't know if these are just my copies or errors. Both very small.)

The CAV collector's sets of GF and TB are the best looking and pressed on LD in beautiful boxes, but more expensive with TB having the new remix and GF being the first release to have those frames snipped out of Oddjob's car turning off the side road with Mr. Solo. TB is necessary for the new mix (sounds phenomenal) and the employment of full CAV for image fidelity. These were later issued in CLV THX editions which are very scarce.

It was thought that TB went through restoration for this CAV set and has better color, but after very close comparison between all three discs, it just isn't so. All three utilize the exact same transfer with the exact same damage marks, tics, and one really stubborn hair in the gate. The CAV looks slightly better due to being newer and in the CAV format. (You also get this on Side 3 of the other two.)

If you want all the 60's era, both Connery Collections+ OHMSS should do as I haven't seen any real difference between the 1989 series titles I own and those found in the sets. I have TB and YOLT in both but typically watch my 1989 discs as they are cleaner and my copy of the CC vol. 2 is pretty worn. You'll get DAF too if you go this route but the print used for DAF on the LDs is pretty worn and damaged in places. At least it has the correct timing.

Pick from these and get whatever is cheapest and in the best shape. Condition really matters on these and you don't want video noise popping up throughout. (Poor DAF.) You will certainly want OHMSS on LD though, as it is the only release (Besides my 1995 Letterbox VHS) that is fully uncut and without error in picture or sound.

To be honest, I haven't needed anything else for the 60's era since going the LD route. The SE DVDs aren't that great looking and their flaws are really apparent on modern displays. Doctor No has horrible video noise that coats the whole movie in speckling. OHMSS is quite good but has errors and missing dialogue.

The first time I popped in anything from this era was the 1989 YOLT disc. Things looked good on the opening, but as soon as it cut from the official's meeting to Ling's apartment -BAM! Skin tones, the red walls..everything was properly back. TB was the same, and things like the bomb sled really jump out colorwise on a CRT. Skin tones are perfect. OHMSS has similar vibrant spots of color.

I think I have to watch these again now after talking all this time...;)

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VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

"George didn't think there was any future in dead Han toys."-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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bkev said:

 

captainsolo said:


that awful artificial blue tint on the opening of OHMSS.

When the movie aired on usa in HD, this tint wasn't there (or was at least much, much more subdued). The blus have fixed at least a few issues that the DVDs had such as the ridiculous oversaturation on L&LD

 

Confirmed as fixed:

These were provided by a member of the Bond and Beyond forum. UE DVD on left, HD version from Itunes on right.

UE:

HD:

Much better, but still not quite all there. George's face here seems to be a bit off somehow.

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VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

"George didn't think there was any future in dead Han toys."-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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^Good news! I guess if I want to pick up this one I won't have to worry about it.

A Goon in a Gaggle of 'em

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Any news on audio tracks?

I think the information about the extras were already released, is there anything particularly special missing from those?

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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As far as we know, no.

Audio will probably follow the standard of the 5.1 tracks being DTS-HDMA with the original audio at standard Dolby 2.0 at a low bitrate.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

"George didn't think there was any future in dead Han toys."-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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You know, I didn't think they could make the Bond video covers look worse. The ones for the last UE DVD re-hash were used for the Blu-rays and relatively uninspired.

Until now. Here are some of the new singles covers:

Can you say laaame Photoshop?? The rest are up on the digital bits, along with the three Walmart exclusives. The other 6 titles will also be store exclusives, but they won't say where. http://thedigitalbits.com/#mytwocents

Anybody remember these from the early/mid 90's era? They're mostly newly created from different stills, but each one (save for the re-done Golden Gun and Octopussy covers shown here) is rather subdued and classy, not to mention fitting of the film, actor, and limited cover space. And I always loved the new title lettering designs and the way all the spine colors fit together on a shelf. This would be what I change the BD art to.

http://media.007unleashed.com/vhscovers.html

 

But in this era, there's only one cover that would sell...

MGM/Fox proudly presents the: "Yes this is a safari suit, and I'm a badass so deal with it" edition.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

"George didn't think there was any future in dead Han toys."-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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bkev said:

^Good news! I guess if I want to pick up this one I won't have to worry about it.

Alas, I viewed an OHMSS HDTV Rip. The opening isn't as blue as before, but it's still missing that golden/orange color it used to have. The rest of the movie is like this as well. They just did a quick color tweak to the Ultimate Edition DVD master, most unfortunate. Skin tones are a tad pink-ish (think '04 SW but not as bad) as a result of the previous blue cast.

On a more general note, does anyone know whether they will be adding special features or tweaking the already released Bonds for the BD BOND50 Box? Instinctively, I'd suspect a simple repress, but does anyone know otherwise? I'm not buying the set, and I want to know if I should hold off buying a few already-released singles now...

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The limited edition poster book adds an additional hundred dollars to the price of the set though.  Not worth it in my opinion unless you are a bond mega fan.


Still no word on whether or not they corrected Goldeneye.

 

I never bought the super expensive briefcase set of the U.E. DVD's like some in the Euro regions did.  But would not be surprised if the US set is more expensive as the dollar is virtually worthless now.

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“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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