Connery does excellent work as Bond in Thunderball.
They really seemed to be scraping the bottom of the barrel with these featurettes.In Thunderball Home Entertainment, Bond is again at his Blu-ray best as he tries to stop a diabolical villain from bringing civilization into nuclear holocaust. The proceedings mainly take place in Nassau, and even though the events are mainly in one region of the world, this in no way means that Bond is someone who can be contained. Filled with all the requisite action sequences and some incredible underwater moments, Thunderball really goes out of its way to give viewers something to marvel at. Sean Connery again shows new comers and fans why they love this character and the franchise. Mixing elements of cool with a smart swagger, this actor raised the bar for this character and that is why he is still so loved today.
If you are collecting the Bond Franchise on Blu-ray disc you certainly need to have Thunderball in your collection.
We can choose between two commentary tracks on this release. There is one with director Terence Young and others. There is another one that features Editor Peter Hunt, Co-Screenwriter John Hopkins and others. Again, since MovieWeb felt the need to inundate me with these James Bond Blu-ray discs, time was of the essence in terms of me getting them up. So I decided to basically bounce back and forth between the two tracks and this made for an interesting experience. Terence Young discussed the logistical nature of pulling Thunderball off, while Peter Hunt and John Hopkins got a bit more specific as they broke down certain scenes. All of this worked to interesting effect as, for me, it was like having one huge commentary track over the entire film. I didn't have time to listen through the whole movie, but I was highly engaged by the anecdotes and stories that were being told.
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As with the other James Bond Blu-ray releases they have loaded this one with cool extras. They are:
- On Location with Production Designer Ken Adam
- A Child's Guide to Blowing Up A Motor Car
- Bill Suitor: The Rocket Man Movies
- The Secret History of Thunderball
- Thunderball Boat Show Reel
- The Making of Thunderball
- The Thunderball Phenomenon
- The Incredible World of James Bond TV Special
Sadly, a lot of these featurettes cover the same ground. For example, The Secret History of Thunderball and The Making of Thunderball basically cover the same subject matter. They look at the production of this movie, how things were pulled off, and how certain effects and stunts were achieved. The Thunderball Phenomenon and The Incredible World of James Bond look at the indelible effect that this character has had not only on cinema, but on pop culture at large. It is truly astounding when one thinks of all the transformations, reincarnations and characterizations that this character has gone through and he's still a big draw at the box office. Out of all these featurettes, I think that my favorite would most likely be On Location with Production Designer Ken Adam. Adam is a man who worked a lot with Stanley Kubrick and it was interesting seeing how he worked on a completely different sort of picture. Kubrick's film had a totally different kind of action and energy from Bond, yet that didn't stop Adam from doing great work.
2.35:1 - AVC @ 23 MBPS. This movie looked really solid on Blu-ray. There is 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 Thunderball got muddy or overly baked in places. Director Terence Young and Director of Photography Ted Moore have managed to make this film translate very well to my home theater experience. This is a big movie but I never thought it overwhelmed or overshadowed the Blu-ray experience.
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 is very nicely pieced together. As I have said, 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 layered throughout this release and it seems to build and build during each notable scene. On top of that, I liked how over all 125 minutes of this movie there was never a point where the sound merely felt like it was just there to be there.
Sean Connery, holding a gun, is presented on this front cover with a Bond babe behind them. 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.
One has to wonder if when Ian Fleming originally penned this character if he thought Bond would still be relevant so many years later. I am sure that he and the other writers (Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham) had to have thought something, because when you deal with a character who has made the world his stage, it seems almost inevitable that they could utilize all the events happening across the world to make up various stories. I would think that the toughest part might be relevance. Afterall, movies do take time to make. So when you start something and then finish it through years later, the terrorists in the film who could've been seen as a threat might now be the greatest allies the U.S. and Britain have ever known. So it is a fine line to walk but one that the creators of this franchise have done in a brilliant way for quite some time.
The Thunderball disc is packed with extras and it contains a movie that gets the full Blu-ray roll out. I just wish the extras wouldn't have felt like they just thrown on this release.