We've started to get quite a collection of Blu-Ray discs here at Futuregamez.net and we've seen everything from utterly brilliant to quite dismal. One of the great pleasures of reviewing these discs of late has been the stunning quality of the James Bond titles. Indeed as the third movie released Goldfinger was a commercial hit and adjusted for inflation this movie remains the second highest grossing movie behind Thunderball.
Special agent 007 (Sean Connery) has just come face to face with one of the most notorious villains of all time. And now he'll have to outwit and outgun this powerful tycoon to prevent him from cashing in on a devious scheme to raid Fort Knox - and obliterate the world economy!
This was the first movie that four time Bond director Guy Hamilton had control of and the direction really is impressive. The pacing is good from the opening scene with James Bond stealthily setting off an explosive, to the car chase, and the final battle at Fort Knox. Sets are well designed, and the acting all round is very good with special mention to Goldfinger played by German actor Gert Fröbe.
This is one of my favourite James Bond movies and one in which I feel Sean Connery was at his very best. Who will ever forget Pussy Galore? Who can ever forget the laser? This is a classic.
One disappointment I have with this disc is that the original English Mono soundtrack isn't included. Why would I want this when there is a wonderful DTS-HD Master Audio track included you ask? Well for the sake of history and historical accuracy. I would love to hear how this disc sounded in its original theatrical release. Surely a 1 channel soundtrack couldn’t have taken up too much space on this 50GB Dual layer disc - by our count perhaps 200MB or so.
Other languages on this disc include German and French DTS tracks encoded at 768kbps, and a Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 track encoded at 448kbps. Naturally as you go down in bitrate the quality seems to decrease slightly, however this isn't too noticeable on this disc due to the original source material. Subtitles are provided in 12 different languages on this disc and sampling the English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing track demonstrated its accuracy to dialogue on screen.
All the extras on this disc have been seen on the Ultimate Edition DVD's, however some extras here, including the main featurettes have been upgraded to High Definition video.
Audio Commentary featuring Director Guy Hamilton: Goldfinger's director offers some good insights into the making of this movie. For fans, this is well worth a listen.
Audio Commentary featuring Cast and Crew: This second audio commentary is a little more interesting as it pulls information from a variety of people associated with the movie.
Sean Connery From the Set of Goldfinger (3:12): A short promotional BBC interview with Sean Connery on the set of Goldfinger. Not the best quality, brief, but interesting.
Theodore Bikel and Tito Vandis Screen Tests (9:52/HD): Two screen tests for the role of Goldfinger, which ultimately went to Gert Fröbe instead. Interesting to see the alternatives though.
On Tour with the Aston Martin DB5 (11:43/HD): James Bond's latest car gets a promotional piece which looks at what impact this film had on sales for Aston Martin. Plenty of footage of the car being used around the world for promotions, including 'upgrades' such as the radar not seen in the film.
Mission Control (HD): As with previous discs this featurette allows you to pick a topic such as the women, locations or villains, and then a key word or scene and jump directly to that part of the movie to have a look.
Mission Dossier: The Making of Goldfinger (26:00/HD): Presented in High Definition this is the feature making of documentary produced for these DVD and Blu-Ray releases. The content is impressive with plenty of production details. We did find, however, that this was a little short with the majority of other discs containing a similar documentary running 30-45 minutes. Still, it's impressive and worth a look.
Mission Dossier: The Goldfinger Phenomenon (29:14/HD): Another detailed look at the release of Goldfinger, this time focusing on the marketing and hype surrounding the movie. Plenty of behind the scenes photos are footage are available here and it this is well worth your time.
Original Theatrical Trailer (3:08/HD): Poor sound quality but this trailer sells the movie quite well.
TV Broadcasts (1:46): Three TV spots are presented here, quality isn't very good, but interesting to see how these were advertised on TV.
Image Database: The name says it all really with dozens of still images from the production of the movie split up into eight different categories. No audio or text to detail what you're seeing disappoints.
Radio Communications (30:58): Almost over the top what we have here are 34 snippets which were used to promote the movies. There is a lot here with some great 'interviews' with Sean Connery.
Review By: Dave Warner