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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - November, 2012

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

Octopussy (Blu-ray)

Synopsis

When Agent 009 turns up dead with a Faberge egg in his hand, James Bond is assigned to solve the mystery. He follows the egg to auction where Kamal Khan, a mysterious prince, buys the egg at an outlandish price. 007 follows the trail to India where he discovers an elaborate plot to smuggle priceless Russian artifacts to the West. The smuggler is Octopussy, an exotic woman who lives on an island with her band of beautiful and athletic ladies. In addition to smuggling, she runs a traveling circus. This circus is to be the cover for the operation but it turns out Russian hardliner General Orlov wants to smuggle a nuclear bomb into a US Air Force base in Germany to start World War III. Bond only has moments to discover the whereabouts of the bomb and diffuse it before thousands of innocent civilians are killed.

Specifications

  • MGM
  • 1983, Color, rated PG, 2 Hrs 11 mins
  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring: Roger Moore, Maud Adams and Louis Jourdan
  • Directed by John Glen
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: No

Commentary

Roger Moore is many peoples' least favorite James Bond, but I've always been a fan. He is the most humorous of them all with his excellent comic timing and witty repartee. The opening sequence is another memorable one with his narrow escape in a tiny jet plane. Who would see this movie and not want one in their garage? One of the top five classic moments is when he taxis the plane up to a gas station and says, "Fill 'er up please!" Maud Adams and Kristina Wayborn perform admirably as the two Bond girls. They fit right in to the exotic locations in and around Delhi, India; where most of the movie was filmed. Louis Jourdan is particularly delicious as one of the bad guys. His calm demeanor masks some serious evil. And he makes a perfect counterpoint to General Orlov's over-the-top rage and lust for power.

Technical

This is one of the better transfers among the vintage Bond films. It's obvious a very clean, high-quality print was used. Color is rich and saturated throughout. Contrast is excellent with only the occasional hint of black crush. My only complaint is the use of edge enhancement. While not pervasive, it is obvious in most outdoor sequences. I'm still mystified as to why this still persists in the modern era of excellent flat panel and front projection displays. It does nothing to improve picture quality and only creates annoying and distracting artifacts. Without this, Octopussy would have been a reference-level Blu-ray.

Audio was reasonably crisp and detailed but lacking in depth. Like other vintage-era Bond Blu-rays, there is an obvious dryness to the overall presentation. Not only is the dynamic range limited, so is the frequency range. There is very little use of the sub although the surround effects are done quite well. The music is also well done thanks to the lossless encode and Rita Coolidge's famous performance of "An All-Time High" during the opening credits.

Extras

Bonus features are quite extensive with audio commentary from director John Glen and Sir Roger Moore; nine making-of featurettes, a music video, trailers, storyboard sequences and a photo gallery.