Reviews of Region 2 discs from Ultimate DVD #08


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GOLDFINGER • Back to top Rated: PG
Danger, stunts, gadgets and Pussy Galore

The Movie

Villainous Auric Goldfinger (he cheats at golf, you know) has a cunning plan to seize a monopoly of the world’s gold supplies. When secret agent James Bond 007 tries to stop him, both he and viewers are plunged into a larger-than-life world of unusual deaths, massive battles, stunts and gadgets.

The first Bond film to really push the franchise into surreal areas, Goldfinger presents a supervillain out for himself, a heroine whose name would make your granny choke, and a henchman whose 5 stars - Digital Dynamitehat-doffing is not a sign of respect... Marvellous.

The Extras

Thirty two titled chapters accessed through an imaginatively-animated front-end. The 1.78:1 image isn’t the best transfer ever; speckled in places.

The Making of Goldfinger is a full-screen 25-minute Patrick Macnee-narrated documentary with behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and a screen test for an alternative Goldfinger. The Goldfinger Phenomenon: Macnee narrates a 28-minute feature about the film’s impact, including Pierce Brosnan’s childhood impressions of the film, how bosses wanted to change Pussy Galore’s name to Kitty, and Oddjob’s cough mixture advert!

A photo gallery contains a wide range of images (which could have been bigger), from gilding Shirley Eaton to the vast amount of merchandise. The original 1.78:1 trailer is like a Bond greatest hits, demonstrating how many classic moments Goldfinger provided.

An hilarious three-minute full-screen presentation/trailer is in scratchy B&W. Press-pack radio interviews (12 minutes) in which Sean Connery talks about the phenomenon and golf. Three full-screen TV spots (almost five minutes) comprise trailers for both Goldfinger and its double bill with Dr No. Thirty two radio spots (22 minutes) feature hilarious dialogue between 006 and 008 (jealous because 007 gets the best missions), the Bassey theme with corny voice-overs (“everything he touches turns to excitement”), and a brilliant one with a man returning home to find his Bond-fan wife painting herself gold. So, carats for dinner then.

Two commentaries provided. Director Guy Hamilton remembers things well and with humour, including Gert Frobe’s reluctance to play a killing-by-gas scene, Fort Knox’s objections during filming, and no one knowing anything about lasers. The other commentary is, as per usual, an informative compilation of various cast and crew conversations to give background information 5 stars - Digital Dynamiteon both film and novel.

Ian Atkins

Goldfinger - Buy this Bond classic at Black Star

Cast • Sean Connery
Honor Blackman
Gert Frobe
Director • Guy Hamilton
Duration • 110 mins
Screen Ratio • 2.35:1
Anamorphic • Yes
Audio • Dolby Digital 5.1
Chapters • 32
Languages • English
Subtitles • English, English for the hard of hearing
Release Date • July 24
Distributor • MGM

Buy this DVD @BlackStar


Chapter 20 – Precision Cut
A laser-threatened Connery on the table for one of the most quoted bits of Bondalogue. “Do you expect me to talk?” “No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die!”

Adam's Alchemy

Oscar-winning production designer Ken Adam talks in this issue!

from Ultimate DVD #08

ROGUE TRADER • Back to top Rated: 15

Nick Leeson behind bars

The Movie

It’s an amazing true story: hotshot trader Nick Leeson (McGregor) earns some respect at Barings, the oldest private bank in the world, and is appointed their general manager in Singapore. He makes a killing, but escalating losses lead to cumulative lies, as Leeson hides his errors and gambles the company stock in putting things right.

Everyone knows the ending, but getting there is half the fun, even if James Dearden’s script and direction serve Leeson’s biography very badly. Eschewing any form of subtelty, Rogue Trader approaches the subject matter with broad brush strokes, such that nothing in the movie feels particularly authentic. Ditching his Scottish lilt, McGregor is fine as a London wheeler dealer, but the support cast are poor to middling, with Friel totally out of her depth in an emotionally raw role.

Three stars then, but only because the MI2, 3 stars - Worth A Watchsource material is so intriguing.

The Extras

Not only a 1.33:1 transfer, but Rogue Trader rubs salt in the wound by commencing in 1.85:1 then cropping down after three minutes. The pulsing animated menu follows the theme of trading screens, while the trailer features more Ewan nudity 1 star - Slapped On Discthan you would think possible.

David Richardson

Rogue Trader - Buy this at Black Star

Cast • Ewan McGregor
Anna Friel
Director • James Dearden
Duration • 97 mins
Screen Ratio • 1.33:1
Anamorphic • No
Audio • Dolby 2.0
Chapters • 20
Languages • English
Subtitles • English for hearing impaired
Release Date • July 24
Distributor • Pathé


Chapter 15 – On the Run
“The game was up. I was beaten."

Buy this DVD @BlackStar

from Ultimate DVD #08

ANNIE HALL • Back to top Rated: PG

Taking a bite in the Big Apple

The Movie

Woody Allen’s biggest success at the Oscars (four trophies for picture, actress, direction and script) is his wittiest, most personal and most visually inventive film. On the surface, yet another one of his quirky New York romances, the film reaches another plane due to Keaton’s adorable, utterly human performance as the offbeat titular girlfriend and the most screamingly hysterical script.

Take your pick – Walken’s disturbing confession, Allen’s first sniff of cocaine, the live lobsters on the loose (the pair’s laughter is obviously genuine), the pretentious man in the cinema queue, etc. Allen’s final masterstroke is his visual approach to the storytelling– split screens with overlapping conversations, strangers in the street offering advice, childhood flashbacks featuring the characters of today.

If this film were any more honest, funny or perceptive, it would probably be illegal. In case you hadn’t 5 stars - Digital Dynamiteguessed, it’s my Allen fave.

The Extras

1 star - Slapped On DiscTrailer

Jason Caro

Annie Hall - Buy this at Black Star

Cast • Woody Allen
Diane Keaton Director • Woody Allen
Duration • 93 mins
Screen Ratio • 1.85:1
Anamorphic • Yes
Audio • Dolby Digital 2.0
Chapters • 32
Languages • English, German, Spanish French, Italian
Subtitles • English, German, Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish
Release Date • July 10
Distributor • MGM

Buy this DVD @BlackStar


Chapter 6
The perfect way to deal with an obnoxious bore in a cinema queue – “If life were only like this!”

Chapter 16
Annie’s strange brother Duane (Walken) opens up about his suicidal fantasy – “I have to go now Duane, because I’m due back on the planet Earth.”

Also released and reviewed in issue this month: Woody Allen's Manhattan
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and everything you always wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask@BlackStar here

from Ultimate DVD #08

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