From Russia with Love Blu-ray: Review By Paolo Sardinas

From Russia with Love is a timeless addition to the Bond franchise and it offers plenty of excitement now that its been remastered in a full 1080p.
  • OVERALL
    4.5
    SUPERB
  • Feature
  • Picture
  • Sound
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE GOOD
From Russia with Love is, in my opinion, the best Bond film made. It features plenty of exciting women, exciting action, and plenty of exciting locations. Its the definitive Bond film.
THE BAD
The sound quality can has some minor problems which aren't a huge deal but they do manage to distract you during the quieter moments of the film.
THE FEATURE
In 1962, audiences were introduced to James Bond. Dr. No was the first feature film featuring the super-spy. After seeing this magnitude of cinema, audiences fell in love. Bond fever had practically taken control over the world. They loved the spy who managed to kick-ass while enjoying a nice martini and a dashing blonde. Exactly one year later, MGM released From Russia with Love. This second outing for the master spy only heightened the tension between the US and the Soviets. And once it smashed box office records Bond was Bond.

Featuring twice the women, twice the action, and twice the excitement; From Russia with Love was a cinematic achievement. Based off of the Ian Fleming novel, once again, the story is ripped right from the pages and thrown on the screen. The story follows Bond as he goes on a mission to find a Soviet decoding machine o.k. the LEKTOR. Bond (Connery) goes down to Russia to stop an agent who happens to have this magical device. This also leads to Bond's first encounter with the SPECTRE organization, hinted at in Dr. No. Bond has no idea that they have set up a trap for our beloved British agent, and he will have to dodge assassination attempts and find that damn machine before SPECTRE does.

After being stuck in the middle of the Caribbean for Dr. No, its nice to see Bond get some fresh air. Traveling all over the Union adds more excitement to the film, seeing as how these places weren't visited by most people. And the heightening tension of Cold War only makes it even more exciting. In this second installment we get a slew of interesting characters. First we get our first look into the SPECTRE organization. Leader Blofeld (Anthony Dawson), Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) and the ruthless assassin Red Grant (Robert Shaw). They each stand their ground and make for some of the most exciting Bond villains in the franchises' history.

Also introduced is the lovely Daniela Bianci who plays Tatiana Romanova. This new Bond girls is not only stunning but smart as well. She makes for on of the better Bond girls we've ever seen. Also introduced in this film is every ones favorite "Q". The gadget wiz would appear in every film, until Desmond Llewelyn's death in 1999. Also present are Bernard Lee as "M", Bond's boss and the lovely Louis Maxwell as the flirtatious Moneypenny. The real star here though is of course Sean Connery who delivers an exciting performance as his super-spy and becomes even more comfortable with his role as the British 00.

From Russia with Love is my favorite Bond film. It features a slew of exciting action moments and not to mention a pretty damn good villain played by Robert Shaw. This film is one of the best films not just in the Bond franchise, but Action films in general. From Russia with Love is a pure thrill ride and an instant classic.
THE EXTRAS
-Closed Captions

-Lossless audio

-Audio commentary with director Terence Young and members of the cast and crew

-Ian Fleming: The CBC interview

-Ian Fleming & Raymond Chandler featurette

-Ian Fleming On Desert Island Discs featurette

-Animated storyboard sequence

-007 Mission Control interactive guide into the world of From Russia With Love

-Inside From Russia With Love

-Harry Saltzman: Showman featurette

-Image database

-Theatrical trailers, tv and radio spots

I personally enjoyed these Special Features. Though they're the exact same one from the Ultimate Edition, they still offer plenty of information and entertainment.
THE VIDEO
Presented in a full 1080p and delivered in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1, the masters of restoration over at MGM have done a marvelous job re-doing this classic film. And for a 46 year old film, it look clean, fresh, and ready blow you away.
THE AUDIO
Like the other Bond releases, From Russia with Love has been given a 5.1 DTS Master Audio. It offers plenty of surround sound greatness but during the quieter moments you can hear some hissing noise in the background and the action scenes can be heard as a bit clunky. Though none of these are real problems, the film is over 40 years old, it can still become a bit distracting.
THE PACKAGE
The front cover features our favorite British spy standing proudly with a gun in his hand. Directly behind him is Tatiana and directly behin her is a golden gunbarrel with a snapshot of the boat sequence. On the back we get more snapshots, a plot summary, tech specs, and casting list.
THE FINAL WORD
Overall, From Russia with Love is joyous entertainment. It offered us a slew of classic Bond villains and offered us another classic Bond girl to add to the franchise. It features twice the action, twice the excitement, and twice the greatness of Dr. No. It also managed to cement Bond as the best spy of all time.

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