THUNDERBALL has a long and strange history. First, a screenplay was written by producer Kevin McClory, screenwriter Kevin
Whittingham and Bond author Ian Fleming. Then Ian took that material and turned it into a novel which McClory decided to sue
Ian over which granted McClory rights to remake THUNDERBALL. The novel was turned into a movie (THUNDERBALL) and two decades
later a remake based on the original material came out as NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN. A court blocked McClory from making a second
remake called WARHEAD 2001 (with Sony Pictures which would years later distribute CASINO ROYALE) years later and awarded sole
rights to distribute James Bond to MGM.
It's debateable whether which film is better since THUNDERBALL and NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN each have their own weaknesses
and strengths. THUNDERBALL is still one of the strong films in Connery's time as Bond (he would later play Bond again for
the remake). THUNDERBALL improves on some of the scenes in the novel while the remake uses some elements that were changed
for the original film. James Bond (Sean Connery) goes to Nassau (after accidentally coming across parts of a a plot) to stop
Emilio Largo and SPECTRE hold the USA and UK for ransom with two stolen nuclear bombs. THUNDERBALL may have gadgets, but there
is no super-hideout and Largo is scum. The story and the actors carry this film. It's interesting to see how the novel, the
original film, and the remake compare to each other. The John Barry score helps elevates many scenes to greater heights whether
it is the theft of the bomber or the climatic fight scenes.
VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Surround, English Mono, French 5.1 DS, English 5.1 DTS
Subtitles: English, French, Thai, Mandrian Chinese, Korean
The restoration is beautiful. They even took the time to correct the color of the water in one scene that was wrong for
the Region 2 UE. The dialogue, music, and sound are very clear and you can chose to listen to it in a couple of 5.1 tracks
or the original mono audio.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Disc one has a couple of audio commentaries put together from interviews with various members of cast
and crew (including director Terrence Young) to form a very interesting listen. these tracks were previously available on
the Special Edition of THUNDERBALL.
The second disc features many new extras and extras from the previous SE. For new extras, the Ken Adam location films and
the Bill Suitor Rocket Man moves are the best of the lot. You can also watch The Incredible World Of James Bond (a 1965 NBC
TV special), a 1965 For Promotional film, a Thunderball Boat Show Reel, original 1965 TV ads, and more.
But it looks like the old extras from the SE have the most interesting material. THE MAKING OF THUNDERBALL is a detailed
making of the film from it's earliest screen attempts to the film's making finally after GOLDFINGER.
THE THUNDERBALL PHENOMENON focuses on the marketing and merchandising for THUNDERBALL including the ABC Sunday Night movie
promos for the early Bond films.
THE SECRET HISTORY OF THUNDERBALL deals with the dialogue changes and versions of various scenes in the film including
the lost deleted scene where Largo gives Bond a tour of the Disco Volante. Too bad they couldn't have done a featurette on
the whole history of THUNDERBALL to include the remake (NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN) and teh second remake which was blocked. Also
various theatrical trailers, TV and raido spots, and an image gallery are included.
FINAL ANALYSIS: THUNDERBALL is one of the better connery Bond films with loads of interesting new extras for the Ultimate
Edition. Now only if someone could do a special edition of NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN to include the rumored deleted scenes from
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this review is (c)12-27-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link
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