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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - November, 2012

ARTICLE INDEX

 "Diamonds Are Forever" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle

Diamonds Are Forever (Blu-ray)

Synopsis

When MI6 gets wind of an international diamond smuggling operation, 007 is called in to investigate. He takes on the identity of one of the smugglers and goes undercover with Tiffany Case so he can follow the diamonds to their final destination. His travels take him to Las Vegas and the home of the reclusive Willard Whyte, the wealthy owner of a major casino and hotel. It turns out White has been kidnapped and his arch-enemy, Ernst Blofeld is actually behind the diamond thefts. He has appropriated one of White's satellites so he can outfit it with a high-powered laser capable of destroying land-based targets from orbit. With Tiffany's help, he infiltrates Blofelds secret lair on an ocean-based oil platform and destroys the satellite only seconds before disaster strikes.

Specifications

  • MGM
  • 1971, Color, rated PG, 2 Hrs
  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring: Sean Connery, Jill St. John, Charles Gray
  • Directed by Guy Hamilton
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: No

Commentary

Sean Connery was definitely the most suave and debonair Bond of all. His class and elegance were unmatched by those who came after. Diamonds Are Forever is a perfect example of Connery at his best. Classic Bond fans will find everything they're looking for in this film; the car (in this case a very nice Mustang Mach I), the gadgets, the women, the exotic locations (OK maybe Las Vegas isn't quite as exotic as India, but it's pretty cool nonetheless!). The plot is classic too; the villain even wears the gray high-collar coat in every scene! Jimmy Dean (yes, the sausage guy), who was better known as a pioneering country singer, is especially entertaining as Willard Whyte. One fascinating bit of trivia I discovered; Lana Wood, who plays Bond girl Plenty O'Toole, is Natalie Wood's younger sister and is still working to this day.

Technical

This is an excellent transfer of a vintage film. I love the Hollywood color palette of old (natural all the way) and this disc preserves it beautifully. Detail is on par with modern films in not only close-up shots but wide outdoor scenes as well. Contrast is very broad with a terrific pop to the image. The portrayal of Las Vegas is suitably hot and arid with just the right amount of dust floating in the air. There is no sign of edge enhancement and the print is exceptionally clean. Among older movies, this Blu-ray is reference quality.

Audio quality is about as good as it gets for a film originally mixed in stereo. Some surround effects are present though most of the action takes place in the front sound stage which is nice and wide. The sub is used sparingly but does make itself known on occasion. The music gets the biggest boost in quality and John Barry's score has never sounded better. And fans get to enjoy Shirley Bassey a second time in the opening credits after her stellar performance in Goldfinger.

Extras

Bonus features are a little lighter than some other discs in this re-issue set; totaling about two hours. There are two making-of documentaries of decent length plus several shorter clips of around three to five minutes each. Also included are trailers, TV spots, and a photo gallery. The main missing element is the audio commentary included with most of the other Bond Blu-rays.