PictureThe World is Not Enough joins the Bond Blu-ray ranks with another one of the studio's 1080p High Definition presentations, in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 widescreen. Detail is very good indeed, perhaps not on par with the latest Hollywood blockbusters - and nowhere near the quality of the benchmark renditions that the latest two Bond instalments have received - but good nonetheless, largely eschewing softness and grain in favour of a very pleasant if not perfect image. The colour scheme is quite limited for a Bond adventure, but is nevertheless well rendered, from the London locales to the few exotic backdrops, all the tones - including the commonly tanned skin tones - looking vivid and authentic. Explosions and firefights offer plenty of screen-flash and - conversely - the black levels are fairly solid and deep, allowing for decent shadowing and night sequences. Overall it marks a distinct improvement over the previous DVD incarnation, but is not quite of the same remastering quality as - oddly - some of the earlier Bond instalments recently released on Blu-ray.
SoundTo accompany this Bond release we get a top range DTS-HD Master Lossless Audio track that tries to present the movie in the best possible way. Dialogue comes across clearly and coherently, dominating the frontal array wherever appropriate, but always happy to take a backseat when the action kicks in. From the noisy opening boat chase to the ski chase and later caviar house confrontation we get the lawnmower like buzzing of the engines and buzz-saws, the ricochets of loud gunfire and the climactic explosions that shake things up a little in your living room. Bass gets some decent presentation, and the surrounds come alive during all the key setpieces. Even the quieter, more atmospheric touches are observed reasonably well, although this is far from a subtle track. The score is perfectly Bond, and they've finally got it right (after Eric Serra - the man who scored all of Luc Besson's early masterpieces, like Leon and Nikita - botched Goldeneye and after Tomorrow Never Dies went overboard on a weird techno-ish level), adding just the right amount of thematic references into the well-crafted scoring of the scenes. Overall the audio mix is probably the best this movie has ever received, although nowhere near the kind of quality we have come to expect from the latest blockbuster releases.
ExtrasThe extras are all as per the previous Special Edition DVD release and will be detailed soon.
VerdictAlthough it is probably a strong point of contention, I rate The World is Not Enough as Brosnan's most archetypal movie as Bond, really where he hit his stride and had the potential to then develop the role. Whilst not a strikingly different Bond, he did well to embrace the best of all of the cinematic portrayals and could have probably continued on in the position were it not for that Die Another Day debacle. On Blu-ray this now ten-year-old release looks solid and sounds pretty good and comes with all the previous special edition DVD's extras (although nothing to utilise Blu-ray's High Definition capabilities). In my opinion this is the most classically Bondian tale from Brosnan, so comes recommended to newcomers who want to explore the previous portrayals, although fans of Craig's Bourne-esque Bond (who I still enjoy) will probably hate this trademark instalment.
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