August 27, 2015
Major tinkering by one of the site’s best editors. Included is a terrific audio commentary which is particularly enjoyable and entertaining, in which the editor elaborates on alterations and shares his enthusiasm for this, his obvious favorite Bond outing. Also included is a third audio track featuring an unaltered music score.
Video - 1920 X 1080p mp4. Solid editing and wise choices all the way around. The Alpine scenery always featured stunning blues and whites, and the night scenes hold up masterfully. I can appreciate that numerous small cuts are often trickier to pull off rather than wholesale pruning with the editing chainsaw. Source selected, by the way, was the HD mp4.
Audio - Mono. Really? Yes, truly, though Last Survivor does discuss that in his commentary. Keep in mind the original was mono, as well, so I can understand his reluctance not to use the “upgraded” sound. No subs, though clarity of dialogue excellent throughout.
Narrative - I grasp Last Survivor’s concept, trying the excise the condescending and belittling scenes and comments aimed at Lazenby. In that regard, LS has succeeded marvelously. Lazenby comes across smoother and more professional. There were no modifications to the structure, consequently the story remains cohesive.
Enjoyment - No change as far as I am concerned. The action sequences were and remain outstanding, far ahead of their time, actually. Barry’s score is one of my favorites. Most of the actors are fine, Savalas surprisingly so. Ms. Rigg notwithstanding, the “Bond girls” were sorority also-rans.
In the audio commentary, Last Survivor makes a persuasive case for Lazenby as a most excellent Bond. Sorry, I never bought Lazenby as 007 when the film was released, and if anything I am even less convinced now. Aside from the poorly choreographed, laughable fisticuffs, which seem closer to serial cliffhanger antics, there is Mr. Lazenby’s overall presence. The actor exudes palpable menace, an absolute necessity for a 00 agent, yet there is, for me, a distressing thuggish quality to Lazenby. As a villain, he could have been ideal; an anti-Bond if you please. Yet as Bond himself? Hardly. Lazenby would always pick the wrong wine.