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I remain convinced that Pierce Brosnan was one of the best actors to essay the role of James Bond, even though he the scripts he presented with failed to match his talent. Brosnan really owned the role in his four outings; however, the movies themselves tended to rely too heavily on stunts and effects, instead of plot and character. As for THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH ($35), it is a solid and entertaining Bond offering that tends to put more emphasis on the more formulaic aspects of the franchise, but does offer a few choice character moments.

THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH opens with James Bond on a mission to recover money belonging to Sir Robert King (David Calder) from some unsavory Swiss Bankers. Retuning the money to MI6 and its rightful owner results in death and destruction, as the currency was chemically treated and rigged to explode. After the funeral, Bond determines that Sir Robert’s daughter Elektra King (Sophie Marceau) is the next likely target. As Sir Robert was a close personal friend of M (Judi Dench), she assigns Bond to keep a watchful eye on Elektra, as she carriers out her father’s dream by overseeing the construction of an oil pipeline which will travel through the Caucasus, from the Caspian Sea to Turkey. At first, the builder’s of rival pipelines are assumed to be responsible for the death of Sir Robert, but ultimately it is revealed that a former KGB agent-turned-terrorist named Renard (Robert Carlyle) had unfinished business with both Elektra and her father. What follows is the theft of some weapons grade plutonium, a plot to manipulate the world’s energy markets, and finally, the appearance of the most implausible nuclear science in the history of the cinema. The cast of THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH also features Denise Richards, Robbie Coltrane, Desmond Llewelyn, John Cleese, Maria Grazia Cucinotta and Samantha Bond.

MGM Home Entertainment through 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The 1080p presentation is of very good quality thanks to the restoration work provided by Lowry Digital Images, but for some reason, the film’s cinematography doesn’t seem to have as much snap as I was anticipating from this ten-year-old film. Perhaps it is a bit of smokiness that has been added to the cinematography that is quite noticeable on the interiors. Sun lit exteriors fare much better and tend to impress visually. Image sharpness and fine detail are very well represented throughout, plus the picture delivers a nice level of dimensionality. Colors usually come across with fairly strong saturation, while the flesh tones look quite accurate. Blacks are deep and the whites appear crisp. Contrast and shadow detail are both very good, but don’t seem to stand out in any particular way. The elements from which THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH have been mastered appear pretty much free from blemishes. Grain is minimal, although fine detail does not appear compromised.

THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. The sound design is aggressively mixed for the action sequences, with nice imaging coming from the front, while the expected reinforcement falls into the rear channels. Newer soundtracks offer more transparency, but this mix is still fairly invigorating. Fidelity is very strong thanks to the lossless encoding, David Arnold’s music sounds terrific, plus the sound effects carry their full weight. The bass channel adds percussive force and the necessary rumble to gunfire, impacts and explosions. Dialogue reproduction is crisp and generally easy to understand. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc. Subtitles are available in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a nice complement of supplements. Starting things off are two running Audio Commentaries; the first is with director Michael Apted, while the second includes production designer Peter Lamont, composer David Arnold and second unit director Vic Armstrong. A number of vintage Featurettes have ported over from previous releases and include: James Bond Down River, Creating An Icon: Making The Teaser Trailer, Hong Kong Press Conference, The Making Of The World Is Not Enough, Bond Cocktail and a Tribute To Desmond Llewelyn. Deleted & Extended Scenes with introductions by director Michael Apted are also provided. Garbage’s Music Video for the theme song The World Is Not Enough has also been included, as have Theatrical Trailers, TV Spots and Radio Spots. A large Image Database of stills and promotional materials close out the supplements.

Although the most formulaic of the Bond movies to feature Pierce Brosnan, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH is still an entertaining entry in the franchise that will please fans. The Blu-ray presentation is very good, but the smoky cinematography does bring down the visual appeal just a bit. For Bond fans, this acquisition remains a no brainer.



The World is Not Enough [Blu-ray] (1999)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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