Thunderball - Bond - Blu-ray Review - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

 
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-25-08, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thunderball - Bond - Blu-ray Review

007 is back and with royal treatment.

Q
It is to be handled with special care!

James Bond
Everything you give me...

Q
...is treated with equal contempt. Yes, I know.



Actors: Sean Connery, Claudine Auger
Directors: Terence Young
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Number of discs: 1
Rating: PG
Studio: Fox/MGM
DVD Release Date: October 21, 2008
Run Time: 125 minutes




Well it's double 0 triple dip time.


James Bond... He's been the world's favorite secret agent for 36 years now. Yes some have their favorite Bond, but Connery was the first and he set the style and mood.

Also the Bond franchise set the style and mood for just about every action flick that followed it.

The smarmy cocky one-liner most action hero's use started with Bond.

Our love of movie trailers started with the Bond movies.

The fast paced action, loose women, exotic locations... all born from the original Bond movies and Connery was right there for that birth. He defined the consummate gentleman 'on an expense account' an nobody did it better.

As a secret agent, Bond would actually be a liability and not an asset. Sure he knows his trade, but he is way too flamboyant to go without notice, and the last thing a real secret agent would want is to stand out in a crowd. The thing is that Flemming knew people wanted a suave and flamboyant hero.

Thunderball is the defining Bond flick. The teaser was refined, and as mentioned earlier the Bond flicks introduced us to the teaser concept. Before Bond we never had a pre-title teaser and trailers were bland voice overs by the actors or movie critics.



Some say Thunderball is slow paced, and that may be true. The plot is simple,SPECTRE has stolen two nuclear bombs and wants $100 Million dollars or they will blow up Miami. The under water scenes and final under water fight scene is more of a slowed down ballet than a fast paced action sequence. But the cinematography is stunning. Even the original SDVD Ultimate Edition Bond transfers were a notch above an ordinary DVD.

Bond has always been about excess and style, and the filming and presentation are no exception.

Thunderball has some of the most gorgeous locations and cinematagraphy of any movie I have ever seen. The under water scenes are a sight to behold, as are the Bond girls in Thunderball.





Emilio Largo is SPECTRE's #2 and the villian of Thunderball. Adolfo Celi plays Largo as cold and calculating. His favorite way of dealing with those that fail him is to give them to his pet sharks as an afternoon snack.

Largo and Bond play a cat and mouse game with each other. Although they both know exactly who the other man is, they toy with each other.


I compared the older Ultimate Edition Bond transfers to the new Bluray editions, and to be honest, on a 55" HDTV there is a improvement, but that is just half the story.

They cleaned up a lot of the footage, even changing it some. For instance in the Ultimate Edition there is a scene with an ambulance and in the Ultimate Edition the ambulance is an off white cream color, whereas the Bluray the taxi looks totally white. I also noticed a slight blue hue to the Bluray on my HDTV but while simultaneously watching it on the 55" SXRD and the 106" screen fed by the Panny AX200u what looked bluish on the HDTV looked the proper black on my projector. Neither were objectional if the were viewed without that type of side by side comparison. Which leads me to think I may need to recalibrate my HDTV since my projector is fully calibrated.


The biggest difference I noticed though and this does pertain to the projector setup is that the Ultimate Editions look extremely soft on the big screen while the Bluray version was super crisp and clear. On my 55" HDTV the difference wasn't that noticeable, but blown up on a bigger screen the difference in PQ became extremely clear. Even though my PS3 up-converts extremely well... it was a dramatic difference up on the big screen.

One thing to note though is that on my 55" SXRD the images and PQ had a back lit quality that no projector can duplicate. Everything was vivid and extremely sharp, almost bordering over saturation in my opinion, where as on my projector it looked extremely film like and pristine... as good as the original film print looked at the movie's premier.

If I didn't have a projector I might be saying the picture quality is better, but only marginally so from the 4K SDVD transfers. However seeing the significant difference when blown up in size I have to say that the smaller image will also look better in the details but the Ultimate Edition SDVDs still hold their own, at least on smaller screens. On the big screen, there is no contest, these Buray transfers rule without any doubt or questions.

Sound- Well, first let's just say that Thunderball wasn't done in surround sound to begin with.

Okay with that said, anyone that has viewed the original movie on VHS or even the first DVD that were in mono, the sound track is a vast improvement... but don't expect much from the surround channels.

I watched Thunderball right after watching The Incredible Hulk. The Hulk had a very active surround and bass, but when I fired up Thunderball I noticed the sound level jumped up noticeably... as if I turned my receiver volume up. It is definitely louder, but with less bass and surround, but they did a good job with the front stereo and center channel, probably as good as they could do with a film made in 1965. Don't get me wrong though, the sound track is very clean and clear.

Overall I will give this

For those with stellar HDTVs and DVD players that up-convert very well like the HD DVD XA2 or Oppo, or some of the Bluray players, you may not see a major difference, but... that also has to do with the fact of how well the SDVD versions were transfered. There is an increase in quality, but not as much as over other SDVD to BD transfers, so keep that in mind. Still, the quality is top notch and I highly recommend this for any Bond fan.

Special Features- I am still going through them, but so far I am not totally impressed. The couple that I have watched come up on my SXRD as 480p which really surprised me because EVERYTHING I feed the SXRD usually comes up as 1080p even if it is just up-converted. The worse is though that these looked like 480p or worse... like old 1960's TV broadcasts... or like a VHS that is five years past its prime and best image. I am hoping the rest of the special features are better, but so far they are not a reason to buy this on BD.

Right now the first six being released on Bluray are on sale for $25.99, a couple are even $21.99. Make sure to check the Shack's on-line store for the best prices, but after this week expect them to go up in price.

Also just a note: The Boxed sets are not individually cased but rather flip out cases. I know for most that won't matter, but for some extreme Bond fans like me, we like to arrange our movies in chronological order and with the boxed sets you can't do that.




"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

"If all else fails, spin the cat."- Grzboken
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-10-08, 11:30 AM
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Re: Thunderball- Bond on Bluray... Watch it again... For the First time!

Too bad they never found the cuts made before they decided to show
it as a 'general release' rather than a Roadshow. There are still some
plot holes and sequences trimmed or missing.

But...I'm used to the cut that was released and I agree it looks great
in blu ray which simulates how it looked in the dye transfer process.

They never found the censor cuts in "From Russia with Love" either but
it too looks great in high definition.
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-13-08, 01:45 PM
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Re: Thunderball- Bond on Bluray... Watch it again... For the First time!

good review WB! I love all the images and video. I'll never forget watching most Bond films as a kid on a square 19" TV either at my friend's or parents place. I'm sure it was quite innapropriate material for kids as shockingly young as we were. At that time Roger Moore was the Bond at the theaters but Sean Connery still ruled as the Bond of the little screen.

I know, everyone says they love Connery best. I guess I agree but I want to give some credit to Moore's Bond too. I know his version was campy. But the first time I saw Bond at the movies was The Spy Who Loved Me - soon followed by Moonraker and I loved 'em both.

I am in the process of re-living Bond memories of in anticipation of the new film.

Wayde
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-17-08, 05:49 AM
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Re: Thunderball- Bond on Bluray... Watch it again... For the First time!

Wayde,

I'll summarize by saying that Sean Connery is the best Bond in terms
of it's relationship to the character Ian Fleming created in his novels.
Within this context only the first four Connery films were accurate adaptations
(Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball). All 007 movies from
"You Only Live Twice" on had little to do with the books they were based on.
The producers just used the titles and created their own stories but continued
to utilize the 007 name even though the actors playing him did not fit the description
or character quirks in the novels. I would say that "From Russia with Love" was not
only the best novel that Fleming wrote but also the best screenplay adaption.
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-28-09, 04:06 AM
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Re: Thunderball- Bond on Bluray... Watch it again... For the First time!

As I mentioned in the other post about this movie, for some reason the blu ray
is missing the end credit "James Bond will return in You Only Live Twice" which
was on the theatrical prints. Not a major flaw but a curiosity since every Bond
movie listed the next title. I wonder what happened to that credit in the negative?
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-28-09, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Thunderball- Bond on Bluray... Watch it again... For the First time!

Interesting Richard, I didn't catch that.

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

"If all else fails, spin the cat."- Grzboken
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-29-09, 09:06 AM
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Re: Thunderball- Bond on Bluray... Watch it again... For the First time!

The only thing I can guess is...

Since they mastered the movies directly from the original 35mm negatives stored in
England, it's possibly that the British release version didn't contain those 'Bond will
return in' titles and only the US version did. It wasn't uncommon to have different
versions of the same film play in England and the US. The US prints of "Thunderball"
had exit music too.
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