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With: Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby, Ursula Andress, Maud Adams, Judi Dench, Honor Blackman, Martine Beswick, Diana Rigg, Jane Seymour, Barbara Bach, Jill St. John, Maryam d'Abo, Michelle Yeoh, Carole Bouquet, Britt Ekland, Teri Hatcher, Famke Janssen, Tanya Roberts, Halle Berry, Lynn-Holly Johnson, Rosamund Pike, Denise Richards, Grace Jones, Joanna Lumley, Sophie Marceau, Desmond Llewelyn, Patrick Macnee, Richard Kiel, Gert Fröbe, John Cleese, Christopher Lee, Joe Don Baker, Robert Shaw, Robert Carlyle, Robbie Coltrane, Robert Davi, Jonathan Pryce, Louis Jourdan, Yaphet Kotto, Telly Savalas, Christopher Walken, Sean Bean, Benicio Del Toro, Jeroen Krabbé, Donald Pleasence, Hervé Villechaize
Written by: Richard Maibaum, Bruce Feirstein, Michael G. Wilson, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Tom Mankiewicz, Christhoper Wood, Roald Dahl, Johanna Harwood, Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham, etc.
Directed by: Guy Hamilton, John Glen, Terence Young, Lewis Gilbert, Martin Campbell, Michael Apted, Peter R. Hunt, Roger Spottiswoode, Lee Tamahori
MPAA Rating: PG/PG-13
Running Time: -99
Date: 18/03/2013

James Bond Collection (2002)

4 Stars (out of 4)

The Brit Pack

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The new James Bond 007 Special Edition DVD Collection ($124.96) comes as welcome news for Bond fans, since all the DVDs have been out of print for some time now. The box restores seven titles to life: Dr. No (1962), Goldfinger (1964), The Man with the Golden Gun (1975), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), License to Kill (1989), GoldenEye (1995) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).

That may seem like a pretty random selection. Where's the great second movie, From Russia With Love, the essential On Her Majesty's Secret Service or the guilty pleasure For Your Eyes Only? I would wager that MGM has a second box set in store, so it's safe to start holding your breath.

Dr. No kicks off the series with Sean Connery, and though it fumbles around a bit while establishing the Bond we know and love today, it remains one of the series' strongest entries. It features Ursula Andress as the first and still one of the most memorable Bond girls (though I suspect Halle Berry might encroach on her territory a bit).

Goldfinger is still considered the finest of the series, and I would concur. In it, Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman) introduces herself and Bond (Connery) replies, "I must be dreaming." And Oddjob (Harold Sakata) whirls his killer hat. Best of all, when Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe) has Bond strapped to the table, Bond asks, "Do you expect me to talk, Goldfinger?" Goldfinger responds with one of the best lines in all of Bond: "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!"

The Man with the Golden Gun and The Spy Who Loved Me feature the prissier Roger Moore, who perhaps looks more at home than Connery when ordering a vodka martini, but less so running or shooting a gun. The former film benefits from Christopher Lee as its bad guy, and the latter ranks as the best of the seven Moore films, thanks to its perky sense of humor and outstanding ski-jump stunt during the opening teaser.

I hated License to Kill when I first saw it in 1989 but many fans consider it one of the better films with the more sinister Timothy Dalton in the lead role. And GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies undeniably revitalized the series just when it needed it most, with Pierce Brosnan as 007. I like the second one better, with Jonathan Pryce as an evil media baron, the best answer to the end of the Cold War.

Each disc comes packed with extras, though to my knowledge, nothing has been added since the original release of these titles.

November 20, 2003: MGM has followed up last year's James Bond box set and re-released the remaining titles in two new box sets, each in Special Editions with commentary tracks and lots of extras. The second box comes with: From Russia With Love (1963), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), The Living Daylights (1987) and The World is Not Enough (1999). The third box comes with: Thunderball (1965), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Live and Let Die (1973), Octopussy (1983), A View to a Kill (1985) and Die Another Day (2002). Each box retails for $124.96.

In conjunction with 2006's Casino Royale, MGM has re-released the first 20 Bond films in four new box sets of five films each; each film comes in a new two-disc set with new extras, though I haven't personally viewed these new releases.

James Bond Filmography:

  • Dr. No (1962)
  • From Russia with Love (1963)
  • Goldfinger (1964)
  • Thunderball (1965)
  • Casino Royale (1967)
  • You Only Live Twice (1967)
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
  • Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
  • Live and Let Die (1973)
  • The Man with the Golden Gun (1975)
  • The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
  • Moonraker (1979)
  • For Your Eyes Only (1981)
  • Never Say Never Again (1983)
  • Octopussy (1983)
  • A View to a Kill (1985)
  • The Living Daylights (1987)
  • Licence to Kill (1989)
  • GoldenEye (1995)
  • Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
  • The World Is Not Enough (1999)
  • Die Another Day (2002)
  • Casino Royale (2006)
  • Quantum of Solace (2008)
  • Skyfall (2012)
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