Featured In Issue 137, December 2008

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
MGM Home Entertainment
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Terence Young
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Thunderball finds Bond (Connery) diving to the bottom of the sea to track down a villainous criminal who's threatening to plunge the world into a nuclear holocaust. Legal squabbling over the rights to the story ultimately led to the making of Never Say Never Again, technically a remake of this 1965 classic. Based on the book by Ian Fleming. (Stacey Pendry)

Special features include two feature commentary tracks by cast and crew; the following featurettes: The Making Of Thunderball (28 minutes), The Thunderball Phenomenon (31 minutes), The Secret History Of Thunderball (four minutes), The Incredible World Of James Bond (51 minutes), Thunderball Boat Show Reel (three minutes), On Location WIth Ken Adam (13 minutes), and Bill Suitor: The Rocket Man Movies (four minutes); three original 1965 commercials; 007 Mission Control, which is an interactive guide to your favorite scenes in the movie displayed by character or theme; three original theatrical trailers; five TV spots; and ten radio spots.

The H.264 2.35:1 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc™ shows excellent resolution, with fine details delivered extremely well, especially considering the film's age. There are occasional scenes that are slightly soft, but these scenes are rare. Black levels are deep and consistent, but the near-black shadows appear crushed. The colors appear slightly dated, as should be expected, with some desaturation in what should be bolder hues, but there are many scenes that are rich and very well defined. Fleshtones appear natural with good distinction between various shades, and contrast is balanced well. Source artifacts are cleaned up well, but there are times when flecks of dirt are noticeable. There are times when a halo of edge enhancement can be seen (particularly during the opening spin-move shot), but it is not noticeable during the film. (Danny Richelieu)

The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel re-purposed soundtrack provides some spread across the front stage, especially with music and effects. The surrounds are subtly used, but they can be effective at times. The LFE channel is incorporated well on occasion, and deep bass is inserted nicely into the sound design. The bass is more of a low-level rumble than anything else, but it does fit the soundtrack well. Phantom imaging is very rare, but there is a decent sense of dimension in the soundtrack. There are occasional effects that are noticeably aged, but fidelity is generally pure. There is also a subtle shroud of background noise, but it is not a big distraction. The original mono soundtrack is also included on the disc. (Danny Richelieu)