They’ve taken their time getting here, but the 007 back catalogue finally makes its bow in high definition, with a broad choice of films to get things started. And where better to start than with the film that started the James Bond saga off in the first place?
Dr. No, starring Sean Connery, is the first of the official Bonds, and regarded by many as one of the best. It’s inevitably quite raw by recent standards (and arguably better for it), but the balance of humour and action is superbly handled, and it continues to endure far beyond nostalgia value. From Russia With Love, also starring Connery, is even better (and this is the 007 film that plenty cite as their outright favourite), pitting Bond up against SPECTRE in an ambitious and outstanding adventure. The final Connery title in the set is Thunderball, which finds SPECTRE again up to no good, holding a city to ransom under threat of an atomic weapon. It, too, is premium Bond, and great to see in high definition.
Next up in the set is a pair of Roger Moore outings, starting with his debut in the role, Live and Let Die. The memorable title song aside, this is an often-underrated adventure, replete with dramatic boat chase, and drug smugglers needing to be taken down. Then there’s For Your Eyes Only, which pits Bond against Julian Glover’s Kristatos in the hunt for the ATAC weapons system.
The final film in the set is Pierce Brosnan’s swansong as 007, Die Another Day, which also introduces Halle Berry as Jinx, a massive ice castle and the oft-mocked invisible car. But it’s a harder adventure than you’d expect, and again, better than it’s given credit for.
It’s been some wait for James Bond fans eager to get their hands on high definition versions of their favourites. And while there are still plenty of Bond movies to make the jump to 1080p, this collection is a great way to get the ball rolling. Let’s hope James Bond will return to hi-def. And soon