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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Spy > Thriller > Mystery > Revenge > British > No Time To Die 4K (2021/James Bond/007/MGM/UA/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

No Time To Die 4K (2021/James Bond/007/MGM/UA/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B Sound: A- Extras: B- Film: B-

In influence, real dollars, adjusted dollars, endurance and so much more, The James Bond film series is the most successful in cinema history and will likely continue to be so for a very long time to come. Just when everyone thinks they've done it all, they come up with something unexpected and Cary Joji Fukinaga's No Time To Kill (2021, the 25th film in the series) does just that, going for broke as Daniel Craig comes back for one last blast and it is both one of the longest and most special films in the series.

Now out of the double-o section and with the love (Lea Seydoux) of his life, he has never been happier, yet there are secrets and the return of the repressed in store for both of them as SPECTRE turns out to still be active and vengeful despite Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) still being stuck in a secret maximum security prison. Their latest vacation spot turns sour when he is nearly killed in a blast and his Aston Martin DB5 has to be returned to its secret purpose.

Additionally, a deadly new figure (the great Rami Malek) apparently has a deadly new secret weapon so bad, Bond's old CIA best friend Felix (Jeffrey Wright) has to ask him for help because the situation is so sensitive and he has to look out for moles and traitors in the organization, plus a key scientist has been kidnapped!

Licensed of not, Bond has to settle a few scores and the action sequences are some of the best of the last few years (and the last Bond film, to be blunt) while people still want him dead. Needless to say the script holds together for the most part, but you have to have seen the last few films to get the full impact of this usually on-the-money film. That is usually not common for this series, but they go for broke and with Craig here for the last time, the producers (after years of trying) finally get to some key, amazing material in the original You Only Live Twice novel, which is the last original, full length Ian Fleming Bond tale before his passing. In this respect, they really deliver.

Adding to the intensity and fun, we haver the great rest of the current cast back including Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris, Ben Whishaw and Rory Kinnear, plus solid new turns by Billy Magnussen, Lashana Lynch and Ana de Armas stealing her scenes. The energy is here, the bozazz is here, the chemistry is here and the intelligence goes hand in hand with the classiness and brutal action throughout. With echoes of other Bond films (especially On Her Majesty's Secret Service) without overdoing it, No Time To Die is a long-but-satisfying entry that rightly won a cascade of critical praise while setting box office records internationally in the face of the worst pandemic in a century. The big screen lives and this is one of the top films of the year. Don't Miss it!!!

Now for playback performance. One of the best-looking films of the last few years, the 2160p HECV/H.265, 2.35 X 1, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image is incredible throughout, all shot on photochemical film in Kodak Vision 3 color negative (35mm, 65mm, VistaVision) that is demo quality throughout and even offers shots above my letter grade. Detail, depth, color and the overall look are just flawless throughout and continues the series' lead as best-looking franchise of all time.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on the regular Blu-ray is fine for what it is, but it just cannot compete with how good the 4K looks, despite looking as good as it likely ever will in this now older format. Either way, Director of Photography Linus Sandgren (La La Land, American Hustle, First Man) just gets better and better with each film, really topping himself here and the results are first class all the way.

A few Craig Bond films (Skyfall and SPECTRE) were issued in theaters in 12-track sound, but this is the first time a Bond film offers 12-tracks of sound on home video and we get it on both disc versions. The lossless Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems) is now one of the most articulate and well-designed of any film we've heard in the format over the last few tears of its debut (along with the equally amazing DTS:X format) that does not try to hit you over the head with sound like too many films today, yet music audiophiles will also be impressed by the exceptional fidelity throughout. The Hans Zimmer music score and Billie Eilish title song also benefit, setting new high standards for cinema sound, including some demo moments above my letter grade.

Extras are definitely a plus and include (per the press release): ANATOMY OF A SCENE: MATERA: In true Bond fashion, there is an incredible pre-credit sequence featured in No Time To Die. A breathless chase shot in Matera that starts on foot, then motorcycle, then car. Not just any car either: the iconic Aston Martin DB5! Through interviews with Daniel Craig and director Cary Joji Fukunaga, plus on-set interviews with key members of the crew, we discover how the filmmakers shot this breathtaking sequence.

  • KEEPING IT REAL: THE ACTION OF NO TIME TO DIE: In a world full of CGI-heavy action films, the Bond franchise proudly stands out from the crowd for always shooting practical stunts, without the use of special effects. In this piece, we see how No Time To Die continues with this tradition with its amazing action sequences.

  • A GLOBAL JOURNEY: Exotic locations are synonymous with all Bond movies and No Time To Die is no different. As well as returning to Bond's spiritual home, Jamaica, for Daniel Craig's final outing, we also go on a global journey taking in Italy, Norway and Scotland. We'll hear from Daniel Craig, Cary Fukunaga, other key cast and filmmakers, on what it was like filming at these spectacular locations.

  • DESIGNING BOND: Production designer Mark Tildesley and costume designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb, along with cast and other filmmakers, discuss the inspiration, challenges and trials of concepting and making such remarkable sets and costumes for the iconic Bond franchise.

  • and the 4K exclusive BEING JAMES BOND: In this special 45-minute retrospective, Daniel Craig candidly reflects on his 15-year adventure as James Bond. Including never-before-seen archival footage from Casino Royale to the 25th film No Time To Die, Craig shares his personal memories in conversation with 007 producers, Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, in the lead up to his final performance as James Bond.

Know that a larger 4K gift set also exists and includes a die cast Aston Martin DB5, if you really want to go all out, while supplies last. For more on the four previous Craig Bond films and in 4K, try this link to my coverage of that great set:


- Nicholas Sheffo


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