Roger Moore shows why he was the best Bond in any decade.
I thought it was a little hard to navigate around certain Blu-ray featurettes.In Live and Let Die, Roger Moore plays James Bond in a film that, of all things, is actually set in the United States. Here we see our favorite hero move from New York, to the back, back, back bayou's of Louisiana where he encounters a diabolical drug lord (played by Yaphet Kotto) who is intent on taking over the world. By all accounts this scheme might seem a bit far fetched, but I have chosen to see this film as an allegory for the vagaries of the drug trade. This film came out in 1973 and I think it was a reaction to the drug culture of that time. Who better to dole out justice than a refined, calculating man like James Bond? He had enough charm to endear himself to those around him, while at the same time he didn't seem that threatening to the people that might call him a square. What Live and Let Die becoming is a movie that shows just how bad dealing in drugs can be. Yes, it might reap rewards for a while but in the end a Bond-like figure will always appear to make sure that the balance never goes too far in any direction.
This Blu-ray release comes with three commentary tracks. Here they are:
- Commentary with Sir Roger Moore
- Commentary with Director Guy Hamilton
- Commentary with Screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz
As I have already listened to my share of Director's commentary tracks on these releases, and I had just listened to one with Roger Moore on another disc, I decided to indulge myself and go with the Tom Mankiewicz track. As somebody who writes screenplays and is actually a legitimate straight-to-video hack (all that means is that I have written screenplays for movies that have gone straight-to-video), I really enjoy hearing screenwriters tell their stories. I am not so much interested in their "process," so much as I love hearing how they got involved with the project, working with the actors, how they had to fix certain scenes after they wrote them, etc. All of this is on display here as Mankiewicz unleashes his recollections on the viewer.
Live and Let Die Conceptual Art
They have loaded this Live and Let Die Blu-ray disc with cool extras. They are:
- Bond 1973: The Lost Documentary
- Roger Moore as James Bond
- Inside Live and Let Die
- On Set with Roger Moore
I really loved the featurettes that they have given us on this disc. I didn't have time to get through each and every one of them, but I took a special interest in both Bond 1973: The Lost Documentary and Roger Moore as James Bond. The documentary was cool because I found that it had a different take on the Bond character. As a lost portion of this character's lore, I found that it played very strongly and even opened up the character a bit for the viewer. With the Roger Moore as James Bond featurette, I felt that this actor final got his just due in playing this character. As I have stated in other reviews, Moore is my favorite Bond and it was a thrill to finally get to see his work recognized in this way. When you grow up with something it's always nice to find people that think it's just as important as you do.
007 Interactive Guide
1.85:1 - AVC @ 29 MBPS. This movie looked really well composed on Blu-ray. There was a great deal of action happening on the screen but this disc really handles it well. The colors were well concentrated across this DVD, and there was never a moment where Live and Let Die showed that it was made 36 years ago. Director Guy Hamilton and Director of Photography Ted Moore have managed to make this film translate very well to the Blu-ray experience. Oftentimes with Standard discs it sort of feels as if the movie has been a bit taken down, because the technical capabilities can only let it breathe so much on a 4.7 GB disc. On Blu-ray, with all the space that the format affords, that is never a problem.
English - DTS HD 5.1 - Master Lossless Audio. English and Spanish mono. French 5.1 Dolby Surround. Subtitled in English and Spanish. The audio on this film was very nicely pieced together. As I keep blathering on about, it would have been nice to have had speakers surrounding me because that would have really engulfed me as I watched this film. The soundtrack is very strong throughout this release and it seems to build and build during each ol the scenes. On top of that, I liked how over all 122 minutes of this movie there was never a point where the sound merely seemed like it was just going through the motions.
Roger Moore, holding a gun, is presented on this front cover with a Bond babe behind him and action scene happening in the background. The back cover features some shots from this film, a brief description of what this movie is about, a Special Features listing, a credits list and technical specs.
Of all the Bond movies that I have reviewed, I think that this one is my favorite. I say that because it actually takes place in the United States. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing Bond move through foreign locales that I may or may not visit some day, but there was just something cool knowing that he was on American soil. In an odd way it's kind of how I feel about Rambo 5. While I think it's great to be able to see a familiar character and a familiar face, it's even better when they are doing it in a land that I could actually get in car, a bus, a train or a plane and go see in a few hours.
This Blu-ray release is chock full of extras, it's got a movie that looks dynamite, and it shows us Bond in a way that I haven't seen him before. I guess when you get right down to it there isn't too much more one can ask for than that.