Sunday, 11 November 2012

Thunderball - Reviewing Bond 50 Blu-Ray

My Bond 50 Blu-Ray review continues...

In 007's fourth adventure, the Bond formula has been truly cemented following Goldfinger ironing it out. The girls, the guns, the gadgets and exotic locations are all here.

The story follows James Bond to the Caribbean where he's on the search for two missing nuclear missiles, whilst SPECTRE holds the UK and USA to ransom. This is the first world domination type story in the franchise (a plot point the series will find very familiar).

Watching the films in order it's really easy to see as the budgets are increased and they become more action packed. The underwater sequences are particularly impressive, especially the big fight under the sea at the films climax.

Thunderball was one of my favourite Bond films, having rewatched it again I'd say it's probably not quite as good as Goldfinger or From Russia With Love, but is on par with Dr No. The story just doesn't seem to gel as well as the previous two movies, and the fact that the villain Largo knows Bond is a secret agent but doesn't do anything about it is a bit odd.

However, Thunderball is still a very enjoyable film and holds up well.

From a picture format perspective I was initially disappointed with the Thunderball blu-ray as it is in the standard letterbox format. The first three Bond films were all full screen on my TV (due to their original filmed aspect ratio) and that makes a huge difference. Despite this the actual film picture quality is generally of a high standard, however there are quite a few shots which are of a noticeably lower resolution. There was a similar problem in Goldfinger (but it’s more apparent here) and is worst with all the transition swipes from scene to scene. I’m not sure why this is, it feels like most of the film has been re-mastered but they never quite finished it. I’m hoping this trend doesn’t continue as I progress through the box set…

"I think he got the point."

8.5/10

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