MI6 reviews the new James Bond Ultimate Edition DVD of the 1967 outing "You Only Live Twice"...

DVD Review - You Only Live Twice
6th May 2007

The James Bond movies have been brought into the 21st century with special 5.1 surround sound remastering, new film transfers and extra special features in the "Ultimate Editions" series. MI6 reviews reviews the films and each of these features along with all the special new content.

Official Blurb
When U.S. and Soviet manned spaceships are hijacked in Earth's orbit, Agent 007 (Sean Connery) must race to prevent a nuclear war between the superpowers. His pulse-pounding missions takes him to Japan, where he battles the evil SPECTRE organization and its diabolical leader, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Donald Pleasence)!

Data Stream
Region: 2
Release Date: 17th July 2006
Running Time: 112 minutes
Screen Format: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen Transfer
Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 Audio
Subtitles: Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, Greek, Hindi, Norwegian and Swedish Subtitles

Audio Specs
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English DTS 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)


Compared to earlier films in the series, "You Only Live Twice" is not the best of the transfers from the Connery era. Detail in the backgrounds could be better, and there are some digital edge artifacts present. The colour seems to have been manipulated too, with the red levels slightly too high - most evident on skin tones. Black levels are excellent. The telecine process has introduced a few minor horizontal wobbles.

Two new tracks (Dolby Digital and DTS) have been re-created from the original mono soundtrack, which is (again) unfortunately absent from this release. Audiophiles may have cause for complaint that the true soundtrack for the film is not included, but the new remastered mixes are excellent and stay faithful to the original. There is not much discernable difference between the Digital and DTS mixes. Some dialog occasionally bounces between speakers to best match their position on screen, which between cuts, can be annoying at times.

On The DVD

  • Welcome to Japan, Mr. Bond
  • Whicker's World - Highlights From 1967 BBC Documentary
  • On Location With Ken Adam
  • Interactive Guide Into the World of You Only Live Twice
  • Audio Commentary Featuring Director Lewis Gilbert and Members of the Cast and Crew
  • Inside You Only Live Twice
  • Silhouettes: The James Bond Titles
  • Plane Crash: Animated Storyboard Sequence
  • MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA, Original Trailers, Photo Gallery, TV Spot & Radio Communications

Bonus Features
Whicker's World (Highlights From 1967 BBC Documentary) - Highlights from the 1967 BBC Documentary by journalist Alan Whicker who had inside access during the shooting of You Only Live Twice. The insightful feature leaves the viewers craving for the full documentary.
Welcome to Japan, Mr. Bond - A 52 minute look at the past four Bond films, Showing past villains, girls, stunts, and gadgets, the feature also containing footage from the new film "You Only Live Twice", cameos from Q and Moneypenny, and teases the audience about 007's possible upcoming marriage to a mystery lady.
On Location With Ken Adam - Narrated by Production Designer Ken Adams, the feature is a selection of his own personal footage, containing location scouting and on-the-set shooting with anecdotes about the cast locations.

All other features were previously released on the Special Edition DVD.

One Last Thing....
It's unfortunate that the Whicker's World programme had to be curtailed to highlights. There is also no footage from the Japanese media - who relentlessly reported on the shooting throughout the production.

MI6 Rating
Special Features

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