Friday, December 01, 2006

James Bond Ultimate Edition DVD Sets

I have always been a big Bond fan. I owned most of the movies on tape and watched them until they wore out. When I finally went to upgrade to DVD versions, I discovered that all the movies were out of print except Die Another Day. What a treat it was when I found out about the newly-remastered Ultimate Editions. All 20 movies in 4 sets for about $60 each on Amazon. I just received the first 2 volumes (3 & 4 ship December 12).

Today I watched Diamonds Are Forever. These DVDs are advertised as 4k Lowry Digital frame-by-frame transfers. This means the film is scanned at 4000 lines of vertical resolution. They are then down-rezzed to the standard 480i DVD resolution. The result is quite simply the best DVD I have ever seen. I just couldn't believe I was watching a 35-year old movie! Not only was the color and dynamic range stunning, the clarity was razor-sharp as well. There wasn't even any film grain! When I see DVDs of this quality I have to ask myself: is there really a need for HD-DVD and BluRay when standard DVD has such potential? If more movies were mastered with this kind of care and precision, the world would simply be a better place.

Equal in quality to the images was the sound reproduction. All the movies have a remixed soundtrack done in Dolby Digital and DTS. The original films were monoaural and stereo. It's just incredible what can be done with such old material. I recently ordered a Denon DVD2930 and AVR3806 from Crutchfield. I can't wait to install these components and watch more of these Bond flicks. These discs have given me more than enough reason to watch all these wonderful movies again and again. Bond fans rejoice!

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