Bond 50 (Fox) – Five decades, six James Bonds, and 22 films in this deluxe box set: the complete official James Bond series to date, from “Dr. No” (1962) to “Quantum of Solace” (2009), including the Blu-ray debuts of nine classic Bond films and over 120 hours of bonus features! (This does not include the non-series Never Say Never Again or the 1967 Bond spoof Casino Royale.)
The previous Blu-ray releases were pretty much a random selection and did not include some of the most desired titles, including the “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969), the lone George Lazenby Bond, and Sean Connery’s final Bond appearances in “You Only Live Twice” (1967) and “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971). Also debuting in Blu in this set is “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977), “Octopussy” (1983), “A View to a Kill” (1985), “The Living Daylights” (1987), “Goldeneye” (1995), and “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997).
Each disc features a copy of the film (see below for thumbnail reviews) with flashy Maurice Binder-esque menu designs, rich commentaries which range from traditional give-and-take running observations to veritable audio documentaries, and a wide range of original featurettes, archival footage, and interactive supplements. There’s even a placeholder for “Skyfall” with a disc featuring promos for the upcoming 23rd Bond film, right next to the bonus disc.
Exclusive to this set is a collection of mostly brief original featurettes: “Being Bond,” a mere three-minute featurette with brief interview clips of each of the six actors discussing their approach to Bond (all from archival interviews); “Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style,” a four-minute survey of a museum exhibition of costumes, sketches, models, props, and other production artifacts from forty years of Bond movies; and “World of Bond” with six segments, all of them essentially clip montages. “Gadgets” and “Villains” run under three minutes each and “Bond Girls,” “Locations,” and “Bond in Motion” each run under two minutes (the films are identified in a “Shot by Shot List” but no subtitle option). “Title Sequences” is the longest by far: every single opening credits sequence, one after another, which you can view straight through or pick your film. It runs over an hour. “Skyfall” video blogs, essentially promotional materials for the new movie, fill out the disc.