Plot: What’s it about?
When three MI6 agents are reported dead in three separate locales, James Bond (Roger Moore) is dispatched to uncover the truth about the mysterious deaths. As Bond follows the paths of the murders, all signs point toward the exotic island of San Monique, the location of one of the killings. His investigations lead him to Dr. Kanaga (Yaphet Kotto), the man who runs the island and also lives a double life. In addition to being the island’s political leader, Kanaga runs a large scale heroin operation under the alias of Mr. Big. Big has intentions to take his business to the next level, by running his competition out of business and taking over territory as he marches forward. But with 007 hot on his trail, can even a man with the resources of Kanaga manage to keep his plan moving on, or will Bond put an end to his nefarious operations?
In the pantheon of 007 movies, Live and Let Die will never rank with the best of Bond’s adventures. Even so, the movie is still a lot of fun to watch and has ample memorable moments. This picture provides us with Bond’s first interracial love tryst, Yaphet Kotto’s death by over inflation, Jane Seymour at her hottest as Solitaire, and a great sense of humor, to point out a few. I happen to think Kotto’s turn as Kanaga is memorable also, if just because of how cool the voodoo look is, with the skull face paint and all. He isn’t up there with the best Bond villains, but he’s a fun one. So Live and Let Die is one of 007’s more camp driven outings, but it is a cool movie and well worth a look. This Blu-ray release looks awesome, a notable improvement over the DVD and it has all the extras, so this is the one to own.
Video: How does it look?
Live and Let Die is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is an impressive transfer, one that leaves even the latest DVD release in the dust. The print looks great, with no real concerns to mention and that means the visuals aren’t held back and that is excellent news. I found detail and depth to be quite good, though not on the same level as more recent movies, of course. But when compared to the DVD, this almost looks like a new movie. In addition to enhanced visual depth, the colors seem more natural and contrast is more on the mark. In short, a great transfer and a most welcome improvement.
Audio: How does it sound?
This DTS HD 5.1 option sounds good, but isn’t as explosive as you might think. The audio remains in the front channels for the most part, but the elements come across well enough. I did want more of a boost during the more expansive action scenes, but that doesn’t happen. The action scenes sound fine, they just don’t have the level of punch I wanted. The music sounds great though, while dialogue is clear and free from concerns. This disc also includes the original mono soundtrack, French and Spanish language tracks, and subtitles in English and Spanish.
Supplements: What are the extras?
A total of three commentary tracks are here, with Roger Moore, Guy Hamilton, and Tom Mankiewicz, but each plays more like an interview than a screen specific session. Even so, each provides a good amount of worthwhile information, if you can deal with the not so ideal approach used. You can also see Moore as Bond on a spoof television show, watch four featurettes, or explore detailed files on the film’s villains, women, gadgets, and more. This disc also includes extensive still photos, three television spots, and two of the film’s theatrical trailers.