From Russia With Love

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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Sean Connery is once again Agent 007 in From Russia With Love. 007 finds himself pitted against the corrupt SPECTRE organization in a rousing chase to stop a sinister plan to steal a decoder that will access Russian state secrets and irrevocably alter the world order. To seize the prized device, 007 must confront some of the most remarkable villains yet, including voluptuous Rosa Klebb (the marvelous Lenya, wife of Kurt Weill), a Soviet double agent with lethal high heels, and Red Grant (Shaw), a sadistic Colonel. Based on the book by Ian Fleming. (Stacey Pendry)

Special features include a commentary track by the cast and crew; an eight-minute interview with Fleming; a five-minute conversation between Ian Fleming And Raymond Chandler; a five-minute interview with Ian Fleming On Desert Island Discs; an animated storyboard sequence; two featurettes: Inside From Russia With Love (34 minutes) and Harry Saltzman: Showman (27 minutes); three theatrical trailers; three TV spots; two minutes of radio spots; 007 Mission Control, which is an interactive guide to your favorite scenes in the movie displayed by character or theme; and a photo gallery.

The H.264 1.78:1 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc shows very good resolution. Compression artifacts are rare and edge enhancement is not a distraction. Black levels are elevated some, but they are consistent throughout. Shadows are delineated well, helping create an enjoyable sense of dimension in the picture. Colors are bright and defined well, and fleshtones appear natural. Contrast is balanced nicely as well, and source element artifacts are not a distraction. For the age, this is an impressive picture. (Danny Richelieu)

The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel re-purposed soundtrack has a narrow front stage with rarely used surrounds. The LFE channel is also rarely used, and deep bass is not a big part of the sound design. Phantom imaging is limited throughout the room. Dialogue occasionally sounds forward, but considering the age, fidelity is pristine. Background noise is audible throughout, but it is not a big distraction. There is an adequate sense of depth in the front stage, but the soundtrack is generally limited in this regard. Dynamic range is impressive for the age. The soundtrack is not superb, but for the age, it is quite good. The original mono soundtrack is also included on the disc. (Danny Richelieu)