The World is Not Enough joins the rest of the titles in the Bond 50 Box Set collection with the same very good – if not quite reference quality – video presentation that adorned the standalone Blu-ray release a few years’ back. Still, it’s an occasionally impressive, seldom disappointing 1080p High Definition video rendition in the movie’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 widescreen. Detail is generally very good indeed, perhaps not on par with the best of the best, either in the Bond ranks or in terms of general Big Budget Blockbusters, but still largely eschewing softness, excessive DNR, and unruly grain in favour of a very pleasant if not quite perfect image. The colour scheme takes in the more sombre British scenery for the extended opening sequence, but showcases some excellent contrast during the ski sequences, where the explosions play brilliantly against the blue sky and bright white snow, with a few rich, hotter sequences boasting richer elements. Skin tones are realistic and often healthy in their tanned demeanour, and black levels are fairly solid and deep, allowing for decent shadowing and night sequences. Overall it was – and still is – an impressive step up from the previous Ultimate Edition DVDs, even if it is not quite as stunning as some of the best-remastered titles in the package, nor some of the more recent ones.
The Lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is also exactly the same as was on the original standalone Blu-ray release, but it still stands up as a very good offering, again just shy of reference quality, but largely impressive nonetheless. Dialogue comes across clearly and coherently, dominating the frontal array wherever appropriate but always prepared to relinquish the soundstage to the effects and score whenever the action kicks in. From the thrilling extended opening boat chase sequence to the explosive ski attack and the later caviar-house helicopter assault, we get an energetic offering brimming with interesting effects – the growling engines and the whipping helicopter-blades; the buzzing saws and the ricochets of loud gunfire, topped off with the requisite climactic explosions that shake things up in your living room. Bass gets some input, and the surrounds get plenty of opportunity to come alive. Even the quieter, more atmospheric moments are observed reasonably well, although this is far from what could be described as a subtle track. Overall the mix is likely the best accompaniment this entry is likely to ever receive and certainly stands amidst the better of the Bond presentations, even if it doesn’t quite make it into the ranks of the best of them.
This new Bond 50 Box Set comes complete with all of the old Ultimate Edition DVD extras ported over (as well as some new material on a further disc in the set). Far from bad news, the old UE releases pretty-much offered up definitive background material for each title, andThe World is Not Enough, doesn't disappoint in this respect.
Sporting two solid Commentaries, we also have a number of informative background Featurettes and Documentaries, some welcome Deleted Footage, and a hefty amount of promotional material too. Fans of the film will no doubt know all about these offerings; newcomers couldn’t want for more.
Commentary by Director Michael Apted – Apted provides a decent accompaniment that should be the first port of call when checking out these extras.
Commentary by Crew – including set designer Peter Lamont, composer David Arnold and stunt-coordinator Vic Armstrong; a less interesting effort.
Declassified: MI6 Vault
James Bond Down River – An original 1999 Featurette.
Deleted and Extended Scenes – Complete with Introductions by the Director we get a selection of additions, including an earlier introduction to the villain which didn’t quite work but perhaps would have enhanced his presence earlier-on.
Creating an Icon: Making the Teaser Trailer – Looks at how they put together the teaser, which makes it look a lot more cheap than the end result would betray.
Hong Kong Press Conference
007 Mission Control allows us access to the Exotic Locations of the movie.
The Making of The World is Not Enough – Documentary into the production of the film.
Tribute to Desmond Llewelyn – a look back at the work of the late, great, original Q.
The World is Not Enough Music Video by Garbage – better video than music
The Secrets of 007: Alternative Video Option
Ministry of Propaganda
The disc is rounded out by the Image Database Galleries.
“Orbis non sufficit.”
Undoubtedly a bone of contention, I rate this as Brosnan’s most classical Bond outing, a movie where he really hit his stride in the role. Whilst not strikingly different as Bond, Brosnan did well to embrace the best elements of his predecessors, and would have likely been better-remembered were it not the Die Another Day debacle. Perhaps we might have even had a little more of the colder edge that he showed here in The World is Not Enough, a decent outing whose story actually bears a striking resemblance to that of this year’s Skyfall.
As part of the Bond 50 set, The World is Not Enough, sports the same very good and largely impressive video and audio presentation that it did on its earlier standalone release – a welcome relief for those who did not pick it up beforehand – and fans will also be pleased that all of the old Ultimate Edition DVD extras have been ported over here.
Bond has been served well by a phenomenal box-set, timed to coincide with the arrival of Skyfall and the 50th Anniversary of the franchise. The World is Not Enough forms part of the set along with the other twenty-two films in the series, the majority of which look and sound terrific, and contain a wealth of extra material as well as a separate and new disc full of extra features further examining our favourite super-spy. It comes with the highest recommendation.
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