About This Item

Preview Image for Live And Let Die: Special Edition (James Bond) (US)
Live And Let Die: Special Edition (James Bond) (US) (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000027890
Added by: Stephen Bourne
Added on: 11/9/2003 23:30
View Changes

Other Reviews, etc
  • Log in to Add Reviews, Videos, Etc
  • Places to Buy

    Searching for products...

    Review of Live And Let Die: Special Edition (James Bond)

    6 / 10


    Three secret service agents have been mysteriously killed in action around different countries, M visits 007 unexpectedly to assign him to find out the cause of the disturbance and to see if there is a connection. One of the agents was looking over the Prime Minister of New York, a certain Dr. Kananga before he bit the bullet so Bond travels to New York and meets with CIA agent Felix Leiter to help with surveillance.

    Unfortunately Bond`s taxi driver from the airport gets it in the head in a hit and run by the driver of a white car. The car is tracked down and after following another lead Bond ends up in a restaurant bar in Harlem where he ends up meeting a drug lord gangster named Mr.Big and a beautiful card reader calling herself Solitaire.

    As the suspense thickens and danger looms Bond discovers later that a voodoo curse is being used to scare people away from a certain area in San Monique where Kananga has gone to. Can 007 solve the connection between Kananga, a drug lord and a secret island location?


    1973 starts a new James Bond 007 and is portrayed by Roger Moore, although the first 007 movie for the actor and the age of the movie, the quality of the transfer is quite good. It`s presented in an anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1 ratio and basically speaking the whole movie has a 1970`s style to it throughout in the way of big afro hairstyles, large sideburns, clothing and interior sets.

    There are noticeable flecks of grain and wear due to the age, the title sequence and darkened areas within scenes are parts where the bits show up most. The colours are cleaned up and the general picture quality is good in all areas. The scenes around Harlem have a very gritty look to them and are saturated in colour on buildings and in alleys; the characters are also wearing darkened coloured coats etc and does give the whole image a gloomy look.

    Some scenes really show off the era it was made in, and portrays typical 70`s furniture and clothing. Although simple the interior sets go well with the feel of the movie, starting with Bonds house or apartment room near the start; it is spacious and classy with many pictures, lamps and books. Bond`s holiday hotel room or apartment is crudely simple with `tacky` 70`s furniture and chair covers etc. I just found it a little strange to see 007 in places and locales like this.

    The exterior shots of the poppy fields and lush vegetation and surrounding areas do a little justice as the year can`t be pinpointed and 007 looks okay during these scenes and not out of place. Some of these scenes are during the boat and bus chase and around Kananga`s island hideout.

    Despite a strange look to a Bond movie it still has its stunts and action sequences, the bus chase is another feather in Bond`s hat for chases in vehicles, but it wasn`t long enough. The famous crocodile jump sequence is still impressive though and still gets you sweating as does the way that Bond deals with a snake in the bathroom. The best has to the speedboat sequence that lasts 13 minutes from when Bond enters the boat to his exit and looks impressive in widescreen using the vast open spaces of water to swerve around in.

    It also has a few comical touches in a certain scenes, the slow moving oyster van, Bond`s trick cards and the Bleeker flying school are a few, not to mention the introduction of Sheriff Pepper. The fight scenes again are a little short, the Teehee train fight very similar to the one in `The Spy Who Loved Me` and Kananga`s final demise also, ending with a really badly done special effect worse than the few noticeable optical effects in other scenes.


    To accompany the dated visuals the audio format is a simple Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono and lacks very much for a 007 movie, you can hear what`s going on though at least. As a result of the minimal audio format even the opening tune of `Live and Let Die` sounds softened and dull with no life to the tune. The dialogue is there but a little on the low side despite an adequate volume, bus engines, motorbikes and cars sound realistic enough but also lack quality, turning the volume higher only distorts the sound making it more screechy and irritating more than better.

    Audio is positioned all at the front speakers with no bass present and even on the best of explosions sound flat and minor but summing up the year of make, good enough for the limitations. There is a noticeable piece of audio lip-sync that is not right on the cab driver once he has Bond locked in, what happened there? I think mainly only the music gives a welcoming sound whether it feature `wa wa` guitars that match the style and era of the movie and suits some scenes well, or quirky holiday tunes, haunting themes that match the mood of the bathroom snake scene or around the voodoo ceremonies.


    The presented main menu is a wash of fiery colours with animated flames writhing around in the background. A spiky meteor shape spins in the centre of the available options that are, play movie, scene selection, languages and special features. All the menu animations and sounds are MGM quality as are the rest of the 007 DVDs this DVD features low rumbling sounds and explosions in the distant background and sound like volcanoes or thunder.

    There are two individual audio commentaries by the Director Guy Hamilton and Screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz. A still photo gallery split into nine sections, a documentary called, `Inside Live and Let Die`, trailer, teaser trailer, two TV spots and radio spots. There is also a strange feature advertising `a good glass of milk` and basically shows the cast and crew taking a break from the boat chase sequence and, you`ve guessed it having milk, quite amusing really. There is some rough original footage of Roger Moore chatting on a balcony over looking a location set and having hand glider lessons and a trailer for the Playstation game `Tomorrow Never Dies`. Nothing too spectacular though but enough to play around with.


    I do enjoy the 007 adventures very much and this one does stand out a bit but in the way of being how can I put it, "limited" throughout the whole movie. Dramatic audio, brilliant chases that last a bit, fights that are a bit more intense or realistic would have made the plot less mundane. It`s a slow mover and wasn`t gripping enough for me seemed more like a Sunday afternoon cop caper. Still it was Roger`s first one and the budget them days wasn`t as big as `Die Another Day` was it?

    I can only say I enjoyed a few scenes of action, plot or humour but it never lasted long enough and before you know it we are somewhere else in the movie and have moved along. A pity about the filming limitations and strange to see the James Bond character amongst Harlem gangsters. Hmm?

    Your Opinions and Comments

    Be the first to post a comment!