Media

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - November, 2012

ARTICLE INDEX

"Goldeneye" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle

Goldeneye (Blu-ray)

Synopsis

The Cold War may be over but there are still Russian hardliners who want to dominate the West. Enter Alec Trevelyan and General Ourumov who hatch a plot to use a Soviet attack satellite to wipe out all electronic commerce in England and make off with a fortune. 007 must stop them before the United Kingdom is returned to the Stone Age. Helping him is computer analyst Natalya Simonova who survives an attack by the GoldenEye satellite in Siberia and barely makes it out alive. After several narrow escapes, Bond and Simonova pursue the conspirators to Cuba where he faces a final showdown with not only Trevelyan but the twisted female assassin Xenia Onatopp. As usual, the world hangs in the balance and Bond only has seconds to prevent disaster!

Specifications

  • MGM
  • 1995, Color, rated PG-13, 2 Hrs 10 mins
  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean and Izabella Scorupco
  • Directed by Martin Campbell
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: No

Commentary

This was Pierce Brosnan's first appearance as James Bond, and GoldenEye is still my favorite of the 22 films. I've enjoyed all the actors that played 007 but Brosnan strikes a perfect balance of machismo, humor, and seriousness. The opening sequence is one of the most memorable as he sneaks into a Russian base via an unbelievable bungee jump off a dam, blows everything up, and flies away unscathed. GoldenEye, in my opinion, marked a new era of Bond movies with a little darker feel and a little harder edge. All the usual elements are there of course; the women, the action, the save-the-world plot lines, the cool spy gadgets. It just feels a little more real than the movies from the 60s, 70s and 80s which seemed a little more fantasy-like.

Technical

The DVD release of GoldenEye was one of the weaker ones in the Lowry Digital restoration collection and this Blu-ray sports a weak transfer as well. Color is probably the best facet being vibrant and saturated without becoming unnatural. Contrast is good, but there is frequent black level crush. My main beef is the prominent grain and overall smeared look to the film. And there is occasional edge enhancement which only highlights other flaws. I'd love to see a proper digital scrubbing job done here because if this is the best print available, it sure needs some TLC.

Audio is much-improved over the DVD thanks to a lossless encode but, still retains the dry ambience of the original Dolby Digital soundtrack. Loud sounds like explosions and car crashes are very sibilant and lacking in any real depth. There was no attempt made to add reverb or other dimensional cues that might have expanded the soundstage. Dialog is always crisp and the music sounded great. The Tina Turner rendition of the title song took on a whole new life on this Blu-ray.

Extras

There are almost three hours of bonus features including director commentary, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes featurettes, a 45-minute TV documentary that covers the entire franchise, a Tina Turner music video, and a collection of trailers and TV commercials.