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Preview Image for Moonraker: Special Edition (James Bond) (US)
Moonraker: Special Edition (James Bond) (US) (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000005336
Added by: Stephen Bourne
Added on: 27/1/2002 16:03
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    Review of Moonraker: Special Edition (James Bond)

    8 / 10


    To match the theme of space and beyond in this 007 adventure, the menus at the start of the disk give out that look. Within the pale wash of blues the options are layed out above a planet and starfield, it`s like looking into a viewscreen at Houston or NASA actually. Light glares and speaker communications will also be acessed around the start up of this DVD, very cosmic, very nice!


    I looked closely into this movie and found that the picture quality was less highly defined through some scenes and appeared to be softened, but it still is a superb print and you can`t notice this all the way through. I also did get a glimmer of black and white dropouts but which were only `speckles in space` really, these were mainly visible on the skydiving scene near the beginning. Skintones look rich and warmer but all colours on the whole are bold and well contrasted, like the blacks for example. For Bond`s ride towards Drax`s residence via helicopter the widescreen views come nicely into play, giving you pans over Drax`s Moonraker factory and some other breathtaking scenery, there is also some nice "spacey" visuals once in spaceflight later on.


    Although the back of the Moonraker sleeve states "English: Stereo Surround" the audio tracks on this DVD does feature 5.1, whilst the French get Dolby Pro Logic. It must have been a printing mistake or is this another way of spelling it out? I have checked the actual audio on the DVD player and it does display "Dolby Digital 3/2.1" and shows the corresponding symbols, my connected amplifier also has all the proofs of a 5.1 DVD. Even after the MGM logo has come up which is 5.1 same as the other 007 DVD`s in the collection, the movie continues in this format.
    This movie has great use of audio either within the dialogue, effects, music scores or even bass. The circular sound effects work well when Bond goes for a sickening ride in the Drax centrefuge putting the rear speakers to use, if this scene went on even more the sound would make me dizzy! During the Moonraker shuttle takeoffs a lot more of that speaker communication effect as mentioned earlier is used, making you feel as if you were there at the launch itself. At the finale of the movie during the laser gun battle, a lot of speaker effects are heard here too. The dialogue is still very clear even though there is a lot of audio competition, especially at the Rio carnival scene where there is a mixture of cheering, shouting, music and fireworks taking the sound louder still!!
    The LFE or bass, also has it`s moments as the cable car is run into the control booth or better still, during the speedboat chase as Bond is pelted with explosions and gunfire before really rumbling atop a powerful waterfall, very realistic. The music has some melodic moments in this movie and sometimes some menacing orchestra but still keeping it all very cosmic to suit the theme. It almost sounds very "Bladerunner" at one point where Bond is embracing Dr. Goodhead in her room, the score goes well with it`s surroundings also and you can hear/see my meaning on the scene as Bond is getting lured into the hidden temple where there is lush plantlife, rock formations and rippling water, very subtle. It takes another approach as Bond heads for Q`s lab on horseback accompanied by a western theme.


    I don`t think the features on the DVD do much justice, there are 2 documetries running at 42 mins and 20 mins which is great, an audio commentary, stills gallery, trailer and booklet included. For a 1979 007 movie I`ll give this one credit for a lot, but others may think it might drift you into outer space!


    I found that this movie didn`t really offer really high octane action sequences, it did have the fight with the Kendo warrior in the glass museum but even this scene you`re waiting for the inevitable to happen, the fight itself is a bit lame and is over quite quickly. The fight above the cable cars was another similar scene, the views alone would put you off enough to be on one, let alone a stopped one. The fight was over quickly and wasn`t gripping!! A good gripping scene would have to be at the centrefuge, there isn`t really much Bond can do in this situation and nearly did bite the dust (well probably not). The only good action sequences included which are done well are both the speedboat and gondola chases, and maybe just the skidiving but if you notice these are fast scenes and that`s what this movie lacks, it`s a bit slow paced sometimes almost as if you`re watching it with no gravity!!
    The movie offers some nice gimmicks like the coded door tune which is taken from "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind", Drax`s henchman in the tree who Bond shoots instead of a pheasant and you could have a laugh at Jaws`s stunt double during the skidiving scene, at first glance you`ll think someone else jumped out (well obviously it appears they did).

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