The biggest and best way to celebrate James Bond is here with the Bond 50 Blu-Ray box set, a must buy package that contains all 22 Bond films. With the 23rd James Bond film, Skyfall, just around the corner, there is no better time than now to invest in this fabulous box set.
Bond, James Bond is an icon, a Hollywood legend and a hero to many. He’s one of cinema’s longest running franchises and deservedly so. Over five decades and now 23 films, the super spy has brought us adventure after adventure and rarely, if ever, does he let fans down. James Bond is one of cinema’s most beloved and enduring characters and it’s about time he gets his own boxset.
From Dr. No right through to Quantum of Solace, every Bond film is included here, as are all of our favorite stunts, Bond girls, gadgets, cars, opening credit songs and more. The only thing missing is the 1967 Casino Royale parody and 1983’s Never Say Never Again, as both were made without EON Productions’ involvement and due to rights issues, they couldn’t be included.
Having all the Bond films housed in one boxset really makes for a great viewing experience and though some films stand out more so than others (Goldfinger being one of the best Bond films ever and Moonraker being a bit too silly), every film is an absolute blast to watch.
It would be redundant and rather pointless at this stage to review each of the 22 films in this box set. If you’re reading this review, you’ve likely seen most of the Bond films, if not all. So, instead of doing into depth on each one, I’ll just provide a brief overview of the box set, run down the audio, video and special features, and try to drill into your head why you NEED to buy Bond 50.
Housed in a slipcover box you’ll find two books that when opened, hold the discs (two per page). The discs are arranged in chronological order and the pages of the book have images from the films. There’s even an extra spot for Skyfall. It’s an excellent piece of packaging and one that complements the classy style of the titular character himself.
When it comes to the video and audio, this box set is an absolute winner. Even the older films, like Dr. No and From Russia With Love, look gorgeous (despite some dust specks and whatnot). Crystal clear and free of compression issues, this is the way that the James Bond films were meant to be viewed. The films that have already seen a Blu-Ray release are identical to their previous versions and the ones that are appearing on Blu-Ray for the first time are very easy on the eyes.
Of all the films, Goldeneye is the only one with any real noticeable issues. That’s not to say that it doesn’t look great, it does, it’s just not as sharp as the rest of the film. Of course, the newer films look better than the older ones but given the circumstances, each title looks nearly flawless.
Audio is equally as good. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtracks pack quite a punch. Now, a lot of the films were produced before the 5.1 era and in that case, they include the original mono and stereo mixes. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just something to note. Dialogue is crisp and clean on the newer releases and even on the older ones it’s solid, though there is a bit of crackle and pop here and there. Add in great atmospherics and a ton of depth and you have some really good audio tracks.
Now, if you already own the Bond films on Blu-Ray (13 were made available in the past with the other 9 now on store shelves), you will be double dipping here. The discs hold the same special features as the original releases did, save for a few extra bits here and there. That being said, there is a bonus disc included in the set that houses a handful of new special features.
You can check them out below, though nothing particularly stands out.
- World of Bond: Title Sequences: All the title sequences in a row, amounts to a little over an hour.
- World of Bond: Gadgets: A quick montage of some of Bond’s best gadgets.
- World of Bond: Villains: Another quick montages dedicated to the villains.
- World of Bond: Bond Girls: A montage focusing on the Bond girls.
- World of Bond: Locations: A quick look at some of the more exotic locations that the series has visited.
- World of Bond: Bond in Motion: A very quick look at some of Bond’s best vehicles.
- Skyfall Videoblogs: About ten minutes of promo material for Skyfall
- Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style: For about four minutes we get a look at the series from a design point of view, everything from costumes to props is touched upon.
- Being Bond (1080p, 3:08): For a couple minutes each of the Bond actors speak on their experience playing the character.
Unless you already own a handful of the Bond films Blu-Ray, you can’t go wrong Bond 50. The new special features don’t amount to much more than fluff but considering each film has its own features ported over from the original release, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the new features are useless. That minor hiccup aside, everything else about the set is fantastic. The films look and sound beautiful in HD, even the older titles, and they’re all just so much fun to watch. Everything about the package is just so well done, right down to the packing and housing of the film.
If you’re a James Bond fan who has yet to invest in the series on Blu-Ray, this is an excellent box set that will provide you hours and hours of enjoyment.
Hands down, Bond 50 is one of the best Blu-Ray releases of the year and is a MUST buy for anyone who has ever enjoyed a James Bond film, which I think is all of us.