Last Minute Shopping: James Ultimate Edition, Volumes 3 & 4

James Bond Ultimate Edition, Vol. 3The folks at Fox Home Video are sneaky: you can't get a complete set of any one Bond without buying all four volumes of James Bond Ultimate Edition. Fortunately, these four box sets are well worth buying, just for the wealth of bonus material…

James Bond Ultimate Edition, Vol. 3 - Box Art

Volume 3 of the James Bond Ultimate Edition sets include For Your Eyes Only, From Russia With Love, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Live and Let Die, and Goldeneye. For the record, that's one Connery, the Lazenby, two Moores and a Brosnan. Not a bad selection, overall. Volume 4 includes: Dr. No, You Only Live Twice, Moonraker, Octopussy, and Tomorrow Never Dies [two Connerys, Two Moores and a Brosnan] – also a nice mix.

No matter who your favorite Bond might be, these sets really give you the best of all possible presentations of the Bond series. All the Connery and Moore movies have been digitally restored to their original condition. Each adventure comes with an eight-page booklet that includes text features, a list of the DVD's special features, and the cast. Each movie is also accompanied by a disc of extra features.

Take Dr. No, for example: disc one includes the digitally restored film and an audio commentary by the director, Terrance Young, and members of the cast. Disc two includes: Top Level Access – featurette: 007: License to Restore – Detailing the Bond Ultimate Edition Restoration Process; Declassified: MI6 Vault – two featurettes: The Guns of James Bond; Premiere Bond; 007 Mission Control: Interactive Guide Into the World of James Bond; Mission dossier: three featurettes: Inside Dr. No; Terrance Young: Bond Vivant; Dr. No 1963 Featurette; Ministry of Propaganda – Original Trailers and TV Spots.

James Bond Ultimate Edition, Vol. 4 - Box Art

Each film gets the royal treatment and the result is a Bond fan's ultimate dream. One of the most delightful features can found on the Roger Moore Bonds, where there are newly recorded commentary tracks by Sir Roger Moore – and he is every bit as knowledgeable and witty as one could want. His are the most purely entertaining commentaries in the two volumes I received for review.

Which is not to say the other commentaries are rubbish – they're most emphatically not! Indeed the commentaries by the various directors and cast members are very good. Given that Pierce Brosnan is also a very intelligent and witty individual, it's a pity that he wasn't given the opportunity to do commentaries for his adventures, but Martin Campbell and Michael G. Wilson do a lovely job on Goldeneye, and the commentaries on Tomorrow Never Dies one by director Roger Spottiswode and Dan Petrie Jr., and one by director Roger Spottiswode and Vic Armstrong] are more than serviceable.

Since we simply don't have enough space to cover everything there is to be found in these spiffy editions, I'm afraid that you'll just have to buy them to learn about the tons of features that abound within the slipcases of James Bond Ultimate Edition, Volumes 3 & 4. I can tell you this: these sets are the rare items that are actually worth more than their list prices. They would be cheap at twice the price – and they are the ultimate Christmas gift for the Bond fan in your family!

James Bond Ultimate Edition, Vol. 3 – Grade: A

James Bond Ultimate Edition, Vol. 4 – Grade: A+

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