A View to a Kill: Ultimate Edition

January 28, 2012 10 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

When a high tech microchip is discovered in Russian hands, the British government becomes concerned, as that technology belongs to them. This is no normal microchip by any means, as it can withstand the effects of a nuclear blast. The man they believe is responsible for leaking the information to the Russians is Max Zorin (Christopher Walken). Zorin is a powerful force in the realm of industrial technology, but why would he provide the Russians with details on this advanced creation? In an effort to find out the truth, the British government sends in a special agent to crack the case. This man is of course Agent 007, James Bond (Roger Moore) and if anyone can figure out this mess, it has to be him. As soon as Bond hits the scene, he begins to compile information and soon enough, a large portion of the picture has been uncovered. It seems as though Zorin has been stockpiling microchips for some reason and is also involved in some type of project in Silicon Valley, California. Before you can say “Oh, James,” Bond has it all figured out and he knows if he can’t stop Zorin soon, the power monger will be able to control the microchip market worldwide.

In the realm of Bond movies, A View To A Kill would be toward the bottom of the food chain, at least according to most series fans I know. And while I can see where they’re coming from, I still think this is a solid entry in the series and equal to several others in terms of entertainment value. The action sequences do fall short of the usual Bond standards, but a couple of them are awesome and the final piece is outstanding. The sequence involving the Golden Gate Bridge kicks serious ass and even the most ardent haters have to admit that much. This was Moore’s final run as Bond and I think he was given a nice farewell, with a strong supporting cast and a fun overall movie. I mean come one, Moore gets to square off with Christopher Walken before he says good-bye, how cool is that? Walken is excellent and plays the power hungry Zorin to perfection, giving Moore a more than worthy final foe. Grace Jones, Tayna Roberts, and Patrick Macnee also provide nice turns, which gives the film a nice depth in terms of talent. If you’re a Bond fan, then this is a must have and if you’re a doubter, then give this one another chance and try to just have fun with it. As with all of the new Ultimate Bond releases, the improvements in audio & video elements make this new version a must own.

This film marked the end of Roger Moore’s run as James Bond and though not everyone liked his tenure in the role, I found his humor and relaxed nature to be terrific. By this time Moore is a little too old for the part, but he still turns in a nice farewell performance. I think Moore was able to make the series a little better during his time behind the wheel, as he made the movies more fun and less serious. If Moore has played his cards in a more serious fashion, films like Moonraker and The Man With The Golden Gun would lose all their charm, which is low enough as it is to most fans. He might not be have the slickness of Brosnan or the killer instinct of Connery, but Moore brought a lot to this series and I am pleased he stuck around for so many films. Other Bond adventures with Moore (aside from the two listed above) include Octopussy, For Your Eyes Only, and The Spy Who Loved Me. A View To A Kill includes an impressive supporting cast, which includes Desmond Llewelyn (Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies), Tanya Roberts (Body Slam, The Beastmaster), Patrick Macnee (Tv’s The Avengers), Alison Doody (Taffin, Major League II), Grace Jones (Vamp, Conan The Destroyer), and the always excellent Christopher Walken (New Rose Hotel, Mousehunt).

Video: How does it look?

A View to a Kill is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. The previous transfer was decent, but inconsistent, so an improvement was needed. The improvement comes through a frame by frame restoration, one which yields incredible results. The print looks gorgeous, pristine even and I doubt fans ever imagined the film could look this good. The image is sharp and refined, as if it were just produced and the clarity and detail depth is very impressive. I found colors to be natural and free from errors, while contrast was smooth and never wavered, just fantastic work here. MGM has gone above and beyond with the restoration work on the Bond films, these movies just shine in these new presentations.

Audio: How does it sound?

Bond should sound awesome. Now Bond does sound awesome. All new DTS soundtracks have been created and without question, the movies sound awesome. The action comes to life as it should, with depth and presence. This movie wasn’t made with sound design up to modern standards, but the audio comes through as active and natural. So the surround use is never forced or hollow, this is just an overhaul that works, a very impressive treatment. You can also choose a Dolby Digital 5.1 option, but to be honest, the DTS is superior enough to be chosen in every instance. This release also includes a French language track, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Korean, and Thai.

Supplements: What are the extras?

So what’s new? The best of the new stuff is a new commentary track, as Roger Moore sat down to talk about his curtain call in the franchise. Well, he also talks about his other films, including those outside the Bond world, so don’t expect a film specific session. Also new is test footage, deleted & alternate scenes, and an original promotional featurette. Not much, right? All the previous supplements were ported however, so lots of good stuff remains. As with the other discs in this series of Bond special editions, this one has a load of goodies to explore. This disc includes two featurettes and while neither of them are as in depth as I would like, I am pleased to find them here. Inside A View To A Kill runs about forty minutes and includes interviews and behind the scenes footage. This is a nice piece and more expansive than I expected, but still falls short of some of the previous Bond documentaries. Next is The Music Of James Bond, which runs just over twenty minutes and focuses on…the music found in this series of films. I found this to be informative and entertaining, but again the length doesn’t allow much in depth coverage in the end. An audio commentary track is up next, which features director John Glen along with various other cast & crew members. This is like most of the other Bond commentary tracks, which means different people’s comments are spliced together and are never screen specific. Informative to be sure, but I found this one to be quite dull in the end. This disc also includes a never before seen deleted scene, three of the film’s trailers (one theatrical, one teaser for U.K. & U.S.), a series of television promotional spots, and a music video from Duran Duran to put a little icing on this cake.

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