DVD Review: GoldenEye (Ultimate Edition 2-Disc Set)
Release Date: December 12, 2006
· Martin Campbell
· Pierce Brosnan
· Sean Bean
· Izabella Scorupco
· Famke Janssen
· Judi Dench
· Desmond Llewelyn
by Chad Maddux
Published: January 18, 2007
It's my favorite Bond film ever. And they made it even better.
Pierce Brosnan makes his debut as MI6 Agent 007 James Bond. Originally released in 1995, six years after the previous Bond film, "GoldenEye" is the first completely original film; it is not based on an Ian Fleming novel. This film is also notable for some other first time events. It was the first official Bond film to feature a sex scene. It was also the first one ever released on DVD.
"GoldenEye" centers around a nuclear space weapon that has been hijacked. Bond is tasked with tracking down the leader of the group believed responsible for the hijacking. He'll be foiled along the way by bad girl Xenia Onatopp (Femke Janssen) and assisted by computer programmer Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scorupco).
Also available for purchase, James Bond Ultimate Edition Volume 1, James Bond Ultimate Edition Volume 2, and James Bond Ultimate Edition Volume 4.
The film begins with Bond bungee jumping towards a weapons facility where he'll be joined by 006 Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean). After the intrusion is botched, General Arkady Ourumov shoots 006 in the head. Later in the film, Bond has arranged to meet the leader of the organization believed to be behind the hijacking of the GoldenEye weapon. When the leader emerges, it's a slightly burned but very much alive Alec Trevelyan.
Judi Dench plays M as Desmond Llewelyn returns in his role as Q, the irascible inventor of MI6 gadgets. Alan Cumming plays Boris Grishenko, a computer programmer working with Trevelyan's group, who created one of the more famous Bond lines, "I am invincible!" before being instantly frozen by liquid nitrogen.
The 17th Bond film features one of my favorite title songs performed spectacularly by Tina Turner. The film features plenty of "intelligent" action that is more than just explosions. The entire sequence involving the oversized satellite dish, including the battle scenes, was impressive. What makes "GoldenEye" better than other Bond films is that it features more realistic action (thanks to improve technology) while still featuring a strong storyline rooted in drama, not just explosions.
The Ultimate Edition release features more bonus features than I've ever seen on a DVD. There are 17 bonus features, billed as "The Best Collection of Special Features Ever Assembled for Bond." There are the standard bonus features, including deleted scenes, "Making of" specials, commentary tracks, and the original trailers and TV commercials.
The best bonus features were "Anatomy of a Stunt" chronocling the chase scene involving the tank and "The World of 007" featurette, hosted by Elizabeth Hurley. Other notable features include a featurette on director Martin Campbell, an interactive guide, and a storyboard sequence. A music video and various production featurettes round out the impressive offerings.
The film is presented in Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) with DTS Surround/5.1 Dolby Surround. English, French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and Thai subtitles are available. A French audio track is also available.
This release is part of the new DVD release "James Bond Ultimate Edition Volume 3." This 10-disc set includes five double-disc sets of the films "From Russia with Love," "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," "Live and Let Die," "For Your Eyes Only," and "GoldenEye."
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following recommendation applies to the entire 10-disc set. Any Bond lover, such as myself, would love this collection. Priced around $60 online, this set features well over 25 hours of entertainment. Containing five films, the per-film is cost is about $12. If your Bond fan likes specific Bond films, check out the other three collections and choose the one that contains his (or her) favorites. But if he (or she) is like me, they'll want all four sets.
Feature Grade: B+
Bonus Feature Grade: A-
Box Set Grade: A-