The World Is Not Enough appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie featured a consistently positive transfer.
Sharpness worked well. Wide shots showed only the slightest smidgen of softness, as those concerns stayed very minor. The movie usually appeared concise and well-defined. I noticed no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge enhancement seemed to be absent. Source flaws were also insubstantial. One or two tiny specks popped up, but the image was totally clean otherwise.
Colors were pretty bold and vibrant, with no instances of any problems such as bleeding or noise. The hues looked realistic and well-saturated. Black levels stood out as fairly deep and rich, while shadows were clear and smooth. This was a distinctive and attractive presentation.
I found few reasons to complain about the Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1 audio of The World Is Not Enough. One expects a sonic assault from a Bond movie, and one won't be disappointed with this track. It came at the listener from all sides with a terrific aural experience. The soundfield provided audio that enveloped the viewer. Audio stayed in the forward spectrum when appropriate - generally during the quieter scenes - but when things heated up, no single domain dominated as the sound flew all about the five speakers. The mix also did a nice job of localizing audio and placing it in the appropriate places, and the track blended together well, which was important since Enough featured an unusually high level of panning.
The quality seemed excellent as well. Much of the dialogue clearly needed to be dubbed - in particular, Marceau's lines seemed heavily re-recorded – but the speech always sounded acceptably natural and easily intelligible. The vast majority of the dubbed dialogue blended fairly well with the action. The score seemed a bit more subdued than usual - it took more of a backseat than typical for the series - but appeared clear and rich for the most part.
Effects were absolutely terrific, with clean, realistic audio that betrayed distortion only on very rare occasions. Overall the effects are the highlight of the show. The mix boasted some excellent bass response as well. All in all, Enough provided a fine sonic experience.
How did the picture and audio of this Blu-ray compare with the 2006 Ultimate Edition DVD release? Both were fairly similar, though the Blu-ray gave matters a bit of a boost. The lossless audio had a little more punch, and the visuals showed greater definition. On the slightly negative side, grain was more apparent on the Blu-ray, so the image looked a smidgen grittier due to that. Nonetheless, the Blu-ray offered general benefits.
The Blu-ray includes all the same extras from the UE. We start with two running audio commentaries. The first comes from director Michael Apted and offers a running, screen-specific chat. He gets into a good mix of subjects. Apted discusses sets and locations, casting and working with the actors, opening credits and the theme song, stunts and shooting the action scenes, story and character development issues, various effects, editing and pacing, and many general notes.
Not experienced in this form of blockbuster, Apted comes across as a bit of an outsider in that world. This creates an environment in which he offers a nicely unassuming look at the film. He lets us in on a lot of the movie-making secrets - like the numerous changes in location that occurred, even though the scenes were all supposed to be in one place - and he relates a lot of information about the challenges he faced. Apted isn't so frank that he criticizes anyone else on the film, but he's not afraid to critique his own work, and he seems honest and upfront in that regard. I found this to be a very good commentary as Apted provides a fine overview of the production and offers many insights.
The second track features some old Bond veterans in the form of production designer Peter Lamont, second-unit director Vic Armstrong, and composer David Arnold, all of whom were recorded together for their own running, screen-specific chat. As one might expect, they discuss sets, locations and design elements, score and title song, and stunts and action.
The track occasionally drags a bit, as the participants tend to praise the flick an awful lot. However, we still get a good look at the various nuts and bolts issues. We find nice notes about how the various elements were chosen and executed, so the commentary fills out the issues well. It’s not as fascinating as Apted’s chat, but it turns into a reasonably good technical overview.
The remaining extras appear under five different banners. Declassified: MI6 Vault starts with seven Deleted and Extended Scenes. Viewed via the “Play All” option, these run a total of 12 minutes, 35 seconds. We get “Meeting Renard” (2:44), “Bond Tries to Stop King (Extended)” (3:18), “DB5 at King’s Funeral” (0:29), “The Things We Do For England (Extended)” (1:47), “Static Charge” (0:47), “Oil and Blood” (1:51) and “Trouble in the Pipeline (Alternative)” (1:14). Most are pretty forgettable, though a few good bits emerge, especially when “M” pokes a little fun at the Bond legacy via a comment about madmen in “hollowed-out volcanos”.
All of these include introductions by director Michael Apted, and those pad the listing running times. He provides good notes about the clips and lets us know why they failed to make the final cut. Three of the scenes – “King”, “Charge”, and “Oil” – also can be viewed with optional commentary from Apted. He adds a few extra remarks about segments. The commentary snippets aren’t terribly useful since Apted already tells us so much in his intros, but they’re still reasonably interesting.
An interactive featurette called The Boat Chase follows. After an introduction from Apted (1:09), we can watch an extended version of the Thames boat chase (8:06). We then may examine the scene in a few different ways via the “Angle” button. There’s the “Expanded Angle View”, the “Alternate Angle View” and the “Original Scene”. All of these offer a good look at various aspects of the segment both used and excised, and the “angle” function gives us a nice interactive method to see the various elements.
For an original 1999 featurette, we go to the 25-minute and two-second James Bond Down River. This program mixes movie clips, behind the scenes elements, and interviews. We hear from Apted, Armstrong, producer Michael G. Wilson, stunt coordinator Simon Crane. Thames River master Chris Livett, special effects supervisor Chris Corbould, workshop supervisor Nick Finlayson, location manager Richard Sharkey, assistant location manager Simon Marsden, stuntman Gary Powell, jet boat designer Doug Riddle, stunt boat driver Sarah Donohue, 1st assistant director Terry Madden, stunt engineer Dave Bickers, 2nd unit director of photography, art director Simon Lamont, and actors Pierce Brosnan, Maria Grazia Cucinotta and Robert Carlyle.
“River” concentrates on the boat chase during the movie’s pre-credits sequence. We get notes about what the second unit does and then delve into many specifics about the boat segment. These include challenges related to shooting on the Thames, the building of the speedboat, and a mix of technical concerns that came up along the way.
When I see a featurette that came out concurrent with a movie’s theatrical release, my heart sinks. Most of these are sheer promotional fluff, but “River” proves to be an exception. While I expect it came into being as a way to tout the flick, it still manages to present quite a lot of good details. Long enough to dig into its subject with depth, “River” gives us a very solid little examination of one significant sequence.
Another featurette comes to us via Creating an Icon: Making the Teaser Trailer. This four-minute and 25-second piece includes remarks from former MGM Senior VP of Marketing Tom Kennedy. He tells us about all the elements that went into the flick’s teaser. We also see outtakes from the various sessions as well as the final ad. It’s an informative piece.
“Declassified” ends with a Hong Kong Press Conference. From December 2, 1999, it goes for nine minutes, 46 seconds and features a Q&A session with Brosnan. He discusses Enough as well as aspects of playing Bond, his future with the character, his co-stars, and reflections on his two prior flicks. Some moderately interesting notes emerge but don’t expect a lot of good information – after all, this is from a press event. It doesn’t help that Brosnan seems tired and slightly peeved through the period.
With that we head to the 007 Mission Control Interactive Guide. This splits into components under seven different headings: “007”, “Women”, “Allies”, “Villains”, “Mission Combat Manual”, “Q Branch”, and “Exotic Locations”. An odd form of “greatest hits”, this simply presents a few selected scenes that match the topics.
One of the only interesting element comes from the presentation of the opening credits without text (2:52). “Locations” (3:48) also gives us a narrated set of clips. Samantha Bond chats over the scenes and tells us about the locations. That makes it more useful than the others since they just show snippets from the final film. The rest of the set is a waste of time.
Heading to Mission Dossier, we begin with The Making of The World Is Not Enough. It includes comments from Apted, Brosnan, Carlyle, Sophie Marceau, Desmond Llewelyn and Denise Richards. Sign that a featurette will offer a light, superficial look at a movie: the host came to fame as a Miss America. Leanza Cornet (Miss America 1993, Florida) guides us through this 15-minute and five-second tour of Enough, a piece that looks an awful lot like an extended version of something you'd see on Entertainment Tonight.
Still, "Making" is a watchable little show. We see enough footage from the set and hear enough of the principals to make it mildly entertaining, if not exactly in-depth. It’s relentlessly promotional and little more than that.
Another program created to accompany the 1999 theatrical release of Enough, Bond Cocktail runs 22 minutes and 49 seconds as it offers remarks from Brosnan, Apted, Llewelyn, Bond, Marceau, Wilson, Richards, Carlyle, Armstrong, Crane, Powell, Finlayson, Arnold, script writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, singer Shirley Manson and actors Robbie Coltrane, Goldie, John Cleese and Judi Dench. “Cocktail” looks at the various regular elements found in Bond flicks and their use in Enough. It discusses Bond women, villains, exotic locations, stunts, gadgets, music, and Bond himself.
“Cocktail” had a lot of potential to give us a nice overview of the various typical Bond components. Instead, it offers little more than another attempt to promote Enough. We get lots of clips from the flick and plenty of general remarks about it. “Cocktail” turns into a pretty forgettable show.
We get a look back at “Q” via a three-minute and 21-second Tribute to Desmond Llewelyn. Accompanied by “Nobody Does It Better”, we get a nice montage of “Q” scenes here.
Referred to as “Alternative Video Options”, The Secrets of 007 provides some more behind the scenes material. These nine segments run a total of 22 minutes, 38 seconds, and these provide some fun and interesting views of the filmmaking process. The only disappointment about this section comes from the segment on the "Main Title"; some schmuck has digitally obscured the chest of one of the nude models so we can't check out her knockers! Granted, I wasn't surprised that they didn't offer us any skin, but still, I need all the cheap thrills I can get!
The ”Dossier” finishes with a cool music video for Garbage's title song. Singer Shirley Manson would make a great Bond villainess and her bitch goddess persona works nicely for this clip, which otherwise would be a standard conglomeration of film shots and lip-synching; the video attempts a Bond-ian storyline, but it's Manson's heat that keeps it together.
Ministry of Propaganda includes only one component. We find the movie’s release trailer. It’s a pretty effective ad.
Finally, the Image Database presents a Photo Gallery. This breaks down into 16 areas. We get sections devoted to “Introduction” (five stills), “Pierce Brosnan” (10), “Sophie Marceau” (8), “Robert Carlyle” (3), “Denise Richards” (7), “Maria Grazia Cucinotta” (4), “Goldie” (3), “Bond’s Team” (11), “Behind the Scenes/Bilbao” (3), “Behind the Scenes/Q Boat” (5), “Behind the Scenes/Baku” (4), “Behind the Scenes/Ski Chase” (8), “Behind the Scenes/Nuclear Testing Facility” (6), “Costume Designs” (7), “Production Sketches” (13) and “Marketing” (1).
The photos themselves are fine, but the interface is awkward. A video piece runs before each section; though it’s brief, it’s unskippable, so it gets annoying quickly. Sometimes it takes longer to sit through the video clip than to check out the pictures! So few photos appear in each area that a “View All” option would have been very helpful.
The World Is Not Enough will never be mistaken for one of the best Bond films, and I can't even assert that it's average. Nonetheless, despite some faults - mainly a blandness that seems inescapable - I liked Enough. Even when Bond is average, he's still fun. Enough offers very good picture and sound along with a strong set of supplements.
I can't recommend Enough for anyone who hasn't picked up better Bond flicks like Goldfinger or Licence to Kill. Still, it’s a title that’ll appeal to Bond fans, and the Blu-ray offers a decent upgrade for those who own the prior Ultimate Edition DVD. The Blu-ray won’t blow them away, but it shows improvements.
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