Reviews of Region 2 discs from Ultimate DVD #10

YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE
ERIN BROCKOVICH

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YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE • Back to top Rated: PG
Connery bows out (for the first time…)

The Movie

While the rule for progressive Connery Bond films seemed to be Bigger And Better, there’s evidence with 1967’s You Only Live Twice that they were also keen to keep the scripts fresh: presenting an unusual pre-title sequence, performing cosmetic surgery on its hero to have him turning Japanese, and rooting itself more in one location than usual. James Bond sets out to foil a mastermind who’s stealing Russian and American spaceships in an attempt to spark a world war, the chase leading to a hollowed-out volcano for one of the greatest confrontations in cinematic history.

Abseiling Ninjas, Bond dead within five minutes, superb space sequences (for the time), helicopter battles and the definitive 5 stars - Digital Dynamite Blofeld: it’s all here!

The Extras

Using the film’s theme throughout the gorgeously animated front-end makes it feel like an advert for Robbie Williams’ Millennium. Thirty two titled chapters. The 2.35:1 print is great for those used to seeing this in full screen on Christmas Day, but it’s showing its age a little.

The Plane Crash presents a storyboard slideshow for a sequence which was realized differently on screen. The UK trailer in widescreen is pure Sixties and cheesier than a Dairylea factory (“the odds were a thousand to one... but they didn’t stand a chance”). The same footage with its American voice-over is far more cool (“no matter what the odds... they haven’t got a chance”).

The You Only Live Twice and Thunderball double-bill gets a poor quality film trailer and TV advert. The seven radio spots are corny, but individually indexed and worth a listen. Inside You Only Live Twice is a brilliant Patrick MacNee-narrated 30-minute full-screen documentary using interviews and behind-the-scenes footage to reveal casting difficulties, near-death escapes of cast and crew, Connery’s announced departure, volcanoes and helicopter filming.

Silhouettes: The James Bond Titles (24 minutes, full-screen) is the first Bond extra to span the entire range up to TWINE, interviewing cast and crew about Maurice Binder and his ground-breaking titles: most notable being Sheena Easton’s memories of her For Your Eyes Only appearance. The commentary calls upon the reminiscences of a variety of those involved (including director Lewis Gilbert), the carefully compiled conversations 5 stars - Digital Dynamitetypically informative and amusing.

Ian Atkins

Credits
You Only Live Twice - Buy this at Black StarBlackstar

Cast
Sean Connery
Donald Pleasence
Tsai Chin
Director • Lewis Gilbert
Year • 1967
Duration • 112 mins
Screen Ratio • 2.35:1
Anamorphic • Yes
Audio • Dolby Digital Mono
Chapters • 32
Languages • English
Subtitles • English, English for hearing impaired
UK Release • Sept 25
Distributor • MGM

 

Highlight

Chapter 17 – A Hot Reception
A wonderfully-shot action sequence (aside from some poor back-projection) with the ultimate Bond gadget: a one- man helicopter with machine guns, mines, heat-seekers and smokescreens. It’s gone straight on our Christmas list.

 
 

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from Ultimate DVD #10

ERIN BROCKOVICH • Back to top Rated: 15

Julia Roberts as a foul-mouthed hero of the people

The Movie

Julia Roberts reveals the true talent simmering behind that smile as real-life American heroine Erin Brockovich, an earthy, determined, foul-mouthed single mother of three. Neither a graduate of charm school or law school, Erin cajoles her way into a small fry legal firm owned by Ed Masry (Finney), where she uncovers the case of a community being poisoned by waste products pumped into the ground by a massive corporation.

A compelling true story of human tragedy and one woman’s journey to self-worth, Erin Brockovich gives Roberts the chance to deliver her most raw and honest performance to date. It’s also a damn good drama, packed with choice verbal exchanges and almost as many uses of the F-word as Reservoir Dogs. Prepare for an emotional roller-coaster ride: plenty of laughs, some touching moments, and a full-throttle emotional coda guaranteed to bring a lump to your throat.

4 stars - Damn Fine DiscA great movie.

The Extras

A 10-minute spotlight on location reveals some juicy titbits: the scriptwriter heard of Erin’s story through her chiropractor, a lot of background artists in the film were real-life plaintiffs, while we see Erin filming her cameo as a waitress, and Roberts talks about avoiding imitation. The real Erin then grabs the spotlight for herself in a five minute piece, delivering the “Don’t just walk away message” that has allowed this underdog to do good. She can sure talk, though.

The production notes (11 pages) and cast and film-makers (for Soderbergh and the three leads) come with plenty of quality photos, and there’s also the trailer to fill five minutes.Twenty deleted scenes come with a commentary by Soderbergh, which begs the question why the director does not have his own feature length track…4 stars - Damn Fine Disc

David Richardson

Credits
Erin Brockovich - Buy this at Black StarBlackstar

Cast
Julia Roberts
Albert Finney
Aaron Eckhart
Director • Steven Soderbergh
Year • 2000
Duration • 132 mins
Screen Ratio • 1.85:1
Anamorphic • Yes
Audio • Dolby Digital 5.1
Chapters • 44
Languages • English, German
Subtitles • English, Polish, Czech, Icelandic, Hungarian, Dutch, Belgian, Turkish, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Greek, Norwegian, Arabic, Bulgarian
Release Date • October 9
Distributor • Columbia Tristar

Deleted Scenes

A whopping 30 minutes of excised material, which can be viewed with or without commentary by Steven Soderbergh, who reveals that the film originally lasted 3 hours and 15 mins (the final edit is 2 hr 10 mins).

Details in this issue!

Highlights

Chapter 6 – Job Search
My favourite piece of dialogue, in which Erin plays the numbers game to explain why she won’t be going on a date.

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from Ultimate DVD #10

Reviews © Visual Imagination Ltd 2000. Not for reproduction

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