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DVD Releases for October 28, 2008 - Part I

October 28th, 2008

A slower week in terms of first run releases with a second tier summer release topping that particular list. However, there are a few other releases that are more interesting, including the direct-to-DVD release, Tinker Bell, which is worth picking up on either DVD or Blu-ray, but the latter is better than the former. While that release is the DVD Pick of the Week, two non-DVD releases are worth mentioning above the fold: The Mental Floss History of the World - Buy from Amazon and The Best Of Bond... James Bond - Buy from Amazon. It goes without saying that it was another busy week in terms of total DVDs on this week's list, so much so that it had to be split into two. The second part of the list can be found here.

Abbott and Costello - The Complete Universal Pictures Collection - Buy from Amazon
This is an amazing collection of movies starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, and normally this would be an easy recommendation. However, there are three problems. This is not the first time this comedy duo has been released on DVD. It is not the first completely collection released on DVD. It is not entirely complete. There are some ongoing issues with ownership rights to some of the movies, which is why the previous 'complete' collection wasn't complete. This is as complete as you can get at the moment, but some might want to wait and see if some of the others get be resolved before spending this much money on a DVD that might be replaced shortly.

Blu-ray Releases - Buy from Amazon: 4/20 Live in Seattle, Baraka, Beat the Devil, Cannibal Taboo, Chihuly in the Hotshop, Cruel World, Dead Space - Downfall, Elf, Essential Holiday Collection, Eye on Extreme Monster Trucks, Eye on Extreme Professional Bull Riding, The Final Patient, Hell Ride, Jack and the Beanstalk, Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter, Jewel: The Essential Live Songbook, Jewels, Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concertos 1-6, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, Last Time I Saw Paris, Mysterious Island, The Polar Express Presented in 3-D, The Prince and Me 2 - The Royal Wedding, The Prince & Me 3 - A Royal Honeymoon, The Terror, Tinker Bell, Zombie Strippers, and Zoroastre
Bad, bad week for Blu-ray releases with most of the top of the charts being kids movies, and these movies don't do particularly well on High Definition. Kitt Kittredge, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Tinker Bell, and even The Polar Express are all examples of this type of movie making its debut on Blu-ray this week. There are a number or limited releases, as well as classic releases coming out this week, but nothing that promises to be a massive seller on Blu-ray.

Boston Celtics - 2007-2008 NBA Champions Special Edition - Buy from Amazon
Championship DVDs must have full games. Kudos to leagues that get it.

Carlos Mencia - Performance Enhanced - Buy from Amazon
Okay, that was painful.

Carlos Mencia is an incredibly popular stand-up comics around. However, while he has a lot of supporters, he also has a lot of haters. I am in the latter group. A lot of these people hate Carlos because they say he steals his jokes from other comics, he pretends to be Mexican when he's not, and he even changed his name. I just find his jokes to be weak. Really weak. Having a stage name is not a reason to complain about any entertainer, hell, John Wayne's real name isn't John Wayne. And I agree with Carlos Mencia, his fanbase doesn't know the difference between Mexicans and Hondurans, so I don't think that's a problem. Stealing jokes, on the other hand, is a sign of a lack of creativity, which is rampant here. Humor, as Isaac Asimov described, humor is achieved by setting up one expectation and delivering another. Here, Carlos never really surprised me. He set up one obvious joke after another. I also didn't like his delivery, which is described as "frenzied" on the back of the box, but I just found it annoying.

Extras include an appearance on Cribs by Carlos Mencia. There is also a 4-minute bit from The Mind of Mencia, which is not funny, but this is not surprising.

I like stand-up acts and I have about a dozen concert DVDs in my collection and I enjoy watching and re-watching a number of them. However, Carlos Mencia - Performance Enhanced is not one that I will watch again. I'm sure he has fans that will disagree with me, but I can't recommend renting here.

Celtic Woman - The Greatest Journey - Essential Collection - Buy from Amazon
Also coming out on CD, this collection of music by the ensemble group, Celtic Woman, which is actually composed of six women. This group is at the center of the current revival of Celtic music and this DVD should prove very popular.

Christmas Releases - Buy from Amazon: The Berenstain Bears: Christmas Tree, The Catherine Tate Show: Christmas Special, Christmas Caper, Christmas Carol, Doris Day - Christmas Memories, Elf - Blu-ray, Essential Holiday Collection - Blu-ray, The Flight Before Christmas, History Channel: The History of Christmas, Holiday To Remember / Holiday For Love, Merry Christmas From Milan, The Night Before Christmas...and More Classic Holiday Tales, The Nutcracker, The Polar Express 3-D, The Polar Express 3-D - Blu-ray, and Pucca: Secret Samurai Santa
It's just one week from Halloween, which is my cut-off for Christmas releases, however, there are a few interesting releases here, including Pucca: Secret Samurai Santa, The Polar Express making its Blu-ray debut, in 3-D.

Dark Shadows - The Beginning - Volume 6 - Buy from Amazon
The end of the series, or at least the end of The Beginning part of the series. We finally get the last of this supernatural daytime soap opera, which is a treat for fans that have been collecting the show all this way. Despite being 40 years old, the DVD has better than expected extras including some vintage promos, new interviews, and more. Certainly worth picking up to complete a collection. And if you haven't seen the show, start, but start with The Beginning - Volume 1 or Barnabas Collins Era - Volume One.

Dead Space - Downfall - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
A movie prequel to the upcoming Video Game. This movie is aimed at the same target audience as the video game, and shares the same violent, bloody horror survival genre. Most Video Game adaptations are quite bad, mainly because most video games don't have great plots, however, the Horror Survival genre is probably the greatest exception to that.

The movie starts on the deep space mining planet, Aegis 7, where colonists 'crack' planets. Basically the tear large chunks of the planet so it can be transported back to Earth. We are told that every planet found so far has been dead, completely devoid of life. However, an artifact was found on Aegis 7, one that might have religious implications for the Church of Unitology. Before it can be brought aboard the mining ship, the USG Ishimura, there is an outbreak of violence in the colony, violence that gets worse when the artifact is taken to the ship. Things get so bad, the Captain of the Ishimura orders a quarantine of the planet, but one shuttle manages to get aboard before the ship can be locked down. And the shuttle brought something with it. Apparently, Dead Space will be one of the most graphic a violent video games ever made. The movie, on the other hand, is not as violent as some cartoons I've seen, but it is up there. It also has a good horror mood to it, but I think the game will be better at drawing people in. There are some common horror genre issues, like when Dr. Kyne tries to destroy the ship late in the movie. The security officer / main character, Alissa Vincent tries to stop him. Why? The ship was lost, most of the crew was dead. Making sure the creatures didn't spread seemed like a good idea at the time. But following good ideas would end a lot of horror movies too early. Additionally, I did notice a few... similarities to films like Event Horizons, Aliens, and even one of the stories in Heavy Metal. But overall it was worth checking out.

Extras are rather light with an isolated music track, a deleted scene done in storyboard with very little dialogue and no effects (It must have been cut early). This is a shame since it was setup earlier in the movie, and should have been included. There is a gallery of concept art. On a side note, I only have the DVD to review, and I won't be getting the Blu-ray. There are BD-Live features on this disc, but I don't have details as to what they are.

For those eagerly awaiting the Dead Space video game, Dead Space - Downfall will likely be worth checking out. I'm not sure the replay value is high enough to warrant a purchase, but if you decide to go that way, the Blu-ray is not that much more expensive than the DVD and it is worth the extra money.

Death Defying Acts - Buy from Amazon
What happened to Catherine Zeta-Jones? Not too long ago it looked like she would be a major, major player, but she's only made three movies in the past three years, including this one that barely got a theatrical release, and she hasn't had a major hit since winning an Oscar for Chicago. This movie was the third period piece about stage magicians to come out in the past few years, but both The Illusionist and The Prestige are better. If you've seen those two movies and want more of the same, perhaps this is worth a rental.

The Donna Reed Show - Season One - Buy from Amazon
The Donna Reed Show ran for 8 seasons from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s. The term 'old fashioned' doesn't even begin to describe the show. However, it is also a beloved classic. This 4-disc set has all 37 episodes from the first season (they don't make TV shows like that anymore), as well as a vintage promo, image gallery, and text biographies. Not a whole lot in terms of extras, but the price per minute is very low.

Edgar Allan Poe Collection, Vol. 1: Annabel Lee and Other Tales of Mystery and Imagination - Buy from Amazon
Three short films based on stories by Edgar Allen Poe. They are well made, and the extras are good with two audio commentary tracks on Annabel Lee, interviews, making of featurette, and more. However, the price per minute is still pretty high. Give it a rental first to see if the replay value is there.

Elite Squad - Buy from Amazon
This film was a major hit in its native Brazil, but here it opened to mixed reviews and never found an audience during its limited release. Give the genre (violent action flick) it will likely do better on the home market where one can choose dubbing over voiceovers. Not that that's the way I prefer to watch foreign language movies, but the target demographic for action films likely holds a different opinion. I'm not saying it will be a major hit, since action films and foreign language movies don't have a lot of crossover appeal, but it should do better.

The Flight Before Christmas - Buy from Amazon
A direct-to-DVD digitally animated Christmas movie. There's going to be a lot of these released in the next two weeks, most will fall between the cracks.

This movie stars Niko, a reindeer whose father is a member of Santa's Flight Force, however, none of the other kids believe that. So he keeps trying to fly to live up to his father reputation, but while doing that, he accidentally leads a pack of wolves to his home and they have to leave. The rest of the herd are angry with him, so he decides to leave and head to the North Pole to find his father. Trying to keep him safe is a flying squirrel names Julius and along the way they are joined by Wilma, a weasel who used to live at the North Pole.

This is a cute story with bright animation with plenty of selling point like the fun characters that should draw in younger kids. However, while the story will please younger kids, there are some elements here that might scare / distress younger kids, like the scary wolves that want to eat Santa Claus. When the wolf leader said that, I couldn't believe it. Who is this film marketed to? I would think 5 or 6-year olds would have a problem hearing that. Or maybe I'm overreacting here. Who knows?

Unfortunately, there are no extras on the DVD. You would think sticking a camera is the voice recording booth to catch some behind-the-scenes footage would be easy to do, but alas, there's none of that.

It is still too early for Christmas, but I'm sure The Flight Before Christmas would please younger kids, for the most part. It might be a little scary for some, but the DVD is worth checking out. That said, without extras, the replay value might limit it to just a rental.

The Flintstones - The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon
At one time this was the longest running prime time animated series ever on American TV. That record has since been beaten. As for this DVD, it is the previous season sets released in one Megaset, with a cool box. I don't think the box is cool enough to be worth spending $90 to upgrade to, but I'm sure there are others who will disagree.

Girlfriends - The Fifth Season - Buy from Amazon
I do believe this is the longest running African-American sitcom ever on TV, and with good reason. Throughout the show's run, the writing and acting were equally sharp. In fact, had the final season not been cut short by the strike, it probably could have run at least one more season. My only complaint is the lack of extras that have plagued these DVDs, but if you've been happy buying them so far, there's no reason to stop now.

Hell Ride - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
First a note, I only have the DVD version of this release and will not be getting the Blu-ray to compare. However, there are no additional extras on the Blu-ray, so keep that in mind when deciding if you want to spend the extra 50 to 60%.

The film starts in 1976 with the murder of a woman by a particularly brutal method, before returning to today and the fallout from that act. Two biker gangs are at war and we follow the Leader of the Victors, Pistolero, and his two fellow bikers, The Gent and Comanche, as they go after their rivals, the Six-Six-Six, and its leaders, The Deuce and Billie Wings. Although this brief description is far more that the simple plot deserves. This is not a movie that cares about plot, or character development, or anything that doesn't involve boobs or blood. Actually, that's not quite fair, as the movie does have some nihilistic / existential philosophy running through the film, but it was either poorly delivered or overrun by the other aspects that it never really felt like a full part of the movie. In fact, there's a scene in which Billie Wings describes what his tattoos mean, and they are all about sex, and that is as close as we get to character development for his character in the entire movie. And he's the main villain.

Extras on the DVD include an audio commentary track with Larry Bishop, who wrote / directed / starred in this movie, and the cinematographer, Scott Kevan. They spend a lot of time talking about the film's influences, the philosophy, etc. and there is little dead air during the film's run. Next up is a quartet of making of featurettes starting with an overview that runs 9-minutes. The others are on the guys (14 minutes), the bikes (10 minutes), and the women (5 minutes). Quite frankly, I'm surprised the last featurette was the shortest, as it seemed to be the focus in the audio commentary track. Finally, there's a 9-minute collection of behind-the-scenes footage filmed by Michael Madsen. For a limited release that failed to find an audience theatrically, that's a good collection of extras.

This is a movie that tries too damn hard to be cool, and there's nothing less cool than that. Hell Ride opened in limited release to terrible reviews and bombed opening below the Mendoza Line. After watching the movie, I'm not surprised this was the result. Fans of grindhouse exploitation cinema might find something to enjoy here, but for most the DVD and Blu-ray are safely skippable.

The H.P. Lovecraft Collection - Volume 5 - Strange Aeons - Buy from Amazon
Fans of H.P. Lovecraft rejoice! Ia Ia! Cthulhu Fthagn! Another volume in this series of short film adaptations is coming out this week, although this time around things start with a feature-length film. There are also a number of short films, and plenty of special features. The quality remains high, and there's not reason for fans of the series to stop collection now. If you've never seen any of these movies, then start with Volume One, but definitely start watching them.

Warning: These Blu-rays do not come out this week and made their home market debuts last week. However, the screeners arrived late, hence the delay in the reviews.

James Bond - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon: Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Thunderball, Live and Let Die, For Your Eyes Only, and Die Another Day
James Bond hits high definition. There are six films in this first wave, which is the only wave announced so far, but I can't wait till the next wave.

Dr. No - Buy from Amazon
The first James Bond movie, this one has James Bond going to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of a British operative, who has gone missing while investigating a mysterious island. This investigation leads to Dr. No, who wants to stop the United States' space program. This is arguably the best of the films that came out last week, although there are a couple others that could claim that title. This is the movie that defined what it was to be James Bond, and while there are parts that have not ages well, it is still a great movie, and an iconic one.

As for the Blu-ray presentation, I'm impressed. Granted, this is not the best-looking Blu-ray I've seen. However, the movie is more than 45 years old, so there's some limitations in the source material. Also, there is an incredible amount of extras on the Blu-ray, starting with an audio commentary track that was spliced together from previously recorded materials. In addition, there are several featurettes on the restoration (12 minutes), a vintage featurette on the guns used in the movies (5 minutes), on the opening nights of some of the movies (13 minutes), Inside Dr. No (42 minutes), Terence Young: Bond Vivant (18 minutes), and Dr. No, 1963 featurette (9 minutes). Next up is a section for vintage promotional material. On a side note, the promotional material is old, and not re-mastered, so some of it looks bad, really bad. There is also a special feature called 007 Mission Control that allows quick access to certain aspects of the movie, the villains, for instance, and play the appropriate scenes. It is this last feature that is the only new part to the Blu-ray, and it doesn't really push the technology.

From Russia With Love - Buy from Amazon
The second film in the franchise. In this film SPECTRE agents are trying to steal the Lektor cipher machine from the Russians, and they are using the British to help them steal it, specifically James Bond. One of SPECTRE 's agents, Rosa Klebb, who recently defected from the Russians, tells Tatiana Romanova that she's been selected for a top-secret mission. Her job is to pretend to fall in love with James Bond and over the Lektor machine as long as Bond himself travels to Istanbul to help her defect. It's an overly complex plot, but that's part of the fun, and this is a fun movie. I said Dr. No was arguably the best movie in wave one, well this one is the only real competition.

Again the video here is better than I've seen for this film, but given the age of the movie, it's no surprise its not the best I've seen. A solid four-star rating. Extras include an audio commentary track with the same format as before, as well as a trio of interviews with a combined running time of 18 minutes. Next up is a look at the final escape as it was originally planned in storyboard form. Inside From Russia With Love is a making of featurette that runs a healthy 34 minutes. Harry Saltzman: Showman is a 27-minute featurette on the co-producer of the first nine Bond movies. There is also a collection of promotional materials (trailers, TV spots, and radio spots) as well as an image gallery. Finally, there's 007 Mission Control, which again allows you to watch scenes based on certain categories (women, villains, etc.).

Thunderball - Buy from Amazon
SPECTRE is up to something, and just as James Bond is trying to relax at a spa. It involves stealing and ransoming two nuclear weapons. I know, the plan might be straight forward, but wait till you see the undersea fortress. This movie is not as good as the first two, but it is still fantastic. I think the problem is the undersea combat, which tends to feel slow. (Also, it is harder to shoot, so they tend to be less elaborate outside of the underwater aspect.)

Extras start with a vintage 1965 television special called The Incredible World of James Bond that runs 51 minutes. A Child's Guide to Blowing Up a Motor Car runs 17 minutes and is a promotional video on one of the scenes from the movie. On Location with Ken Adam is another featurette, this time featuring the production designer, Ken Adams. He narrates vintage footage from location scouting. Bill Suitor: The Rocket Man Movies has more vintage footage regarding the rocket pack scene. Thunderball Boat Show Reel runs just under 3 minutes and is an alternate version of the underwater battle. Selling Bond has three vintage commercials for James Bond merchandise. Moving onto Mission Dossier, there is a 28-minute making of featurette. The Thunderball Phenomenon tells the story of worldwide anticipation generated by the film. The Secret History of Thunderball runs just under minutes and talks about some of the differences in some versions of the movie. Like the above Blu-ray releases, this one has trailers, TV spots, radio spots and images, as well as the Mission Control feature described above.

Live and Let Die - Buy from Amazon
The first of the non-Connery for James Bond movies coming out, it is the first with Roger Moore taking over the most iconic secret agent. The film starts with a number of British agents being assassinated around the world, and the limited evidence they have points to a diplomat from San Monique named, Kananga. Not as good as the previous three films, but still a solid outing with all of the usual elements fond in the franchise (action, humor, gadgets, ladies, etc.) I don't think Roger Moore was quite as good with the action or the romance as Sean Connery was, at least not right away, so there's more humor and gadgets here, but that's not a bad thing. On a side note, this film has my personal favorite Bond theme song ("Live and Let Die" by Paul McCartney & Wings), although the first two of Shirley Bassey theme songs, as well as a few others, are also very good. But more on that in a bit.)

There are three separate audio commentary tracks with the star, the director, and the screenwriter. The second of these includes a lot of pre-recorded material, while the first and third don't have enough material for solo tracks and they should have been combined them into one. The first of the featurettes is Bond 1973: The Lost Documentary, which is a 22-minute vintage featurette. Roger Moore as James Bond, Circa 1964 is a short, 8-minute clip of Roger Moore playing James Bond in a comedy sketch called Mainly Millicent. A very funny bit with high replay value. Here are also several concept art versions of the post for this film presented in a short, 2-minute featurette. Inside Live and Let Die is a 30-minute making of featurette, which details how this film changed from the previous ones. On the Set with Roger Moore: The Funeral Parade is a short vintage featurette running just 2 minutes with Roger Moore talking about Richard Dix and the connection to this movie. On Set with Roger Moore: Hang Gliding Lessons is a 4-minute featurette on the hang gliding stunt in the movie. Finally, there are the trailers, TV spots, radio spots and images, as well as the Mission Control feature found on all of the Blu-ray releases.

For Your Eyes Only - Buy from Amazon
Roger Moore is back and it’s the 80s. In the movie, a British naval vessel is destroyed an their ATAC communications device is lost, and it needs to be recovered lest it falls into the wrong hands and Bond is set to recover it. This movie starts with the killing of Blofeld in the opening teaser, which is sort of a symbolic gesture to show they are trying to take Bond in a new direction and are dropping the old. I think it was played for laughs and was not successful, but the rest of the movie works a whole lot better. This was Roger Moore's fifth Bond film and any growing pains that happened in his first couple of films have been ironed out.

Extras include the usual audio commentary tracks and for the first time in this set of releases, there are deleted / extended scenes, three in all, and they come with intros from the director. Bond In Greece is a 6-minute featurette with behind-the-scenes footage narrated by the producer, while Bond in Cortina is exactly the same, except it runs 4 minutes and is in Cortina. Neptune's Journey is about the underwater filming in Jamaica. Inside For Your Eyes Only is the making of featurette for this movie, which runs 30 minutes and is as in-depth as the previous making of featurettes. There are also two storyboard sequences, and a music video, which is mostly the opening credits without the credits. Rounding out the extras are the usual trailers, TV spots, images, and the new Mission Control feature.

Die Another Day - Buy from Amazon
The final Bond film with Pierce Brosnan, and it is a step up from The World is Not Enough and Tomorrow Never Dies. In fact, I think it is much better than the critics give it credit. In the movie, Bond goes to North Korea to stop the son of a high ranking general who is dealing in Conflict Diamonds. But someone rats him out, and he spends the next 14 months being tortured in a North Korea prison, and is released only after the British think he has turned and is giving up information. But once released, Bond must find out who the double agent is, and he must stop them.

On a side note, does anyone else think Gustav Graves looks like Conan O'Brien? Surely I can't be the only one.

We have Picture-in-Picture! YES! Not only does this movie have a couple of audio commentary track, it also has a trivia track / Picture-in-Picture track. There are plenty of trivia bits, while there are amble video clips throughout the movies as well and it is certainly worth checking out. The featurettes start with From Script to Screen, a 52-minute making of featurette. Shaken and Stirred on Ice runs 24 minutes and deals with the parts of the film that take place in Iceland. Just Another Day lasts 23 minutes and focuses on one of the numerous stunts in the movie. (I won't give it away here.) The British Touch: Bond Arrives in London is a 3 and a half minute featurette on British Airways involvement in the movie. On Location with Peter Lamont is a 14-minute collection of behind-the-scenes footage narrated by the production designer, Peter Lamont. Finally, there are quite a few image galleries to check out.

Regardless whether you choose the individual releases, or the Wave One - Megaset, being able to get James Bond in high definition is a major thrill for fans of the franchise. Granted, most of the releases don't take full advantage of the format, but they look terrific, and there are still plenty of extras to be found here. The films releases in Wave One tilt heavily towards the -Sean Connery, and while not all were home runs, and there are still many, many Bond films to look forward to. I simply can't wait. And one last release for the week...

The Best Of Bond... James Bond - Buy from Amazon
This CD comes with two-dozen songs from the official James Bond franchise. (It doesn't have Never Say Never Again and the original Casino Royale.) I won't go into all of the songs on this CD, but I'll concentrate on the highlights, and some of the lowlights, and some of the interesting choices.

  • John Barry Orchestra - "James Bond Theme" - It wouldn't be James Bond without this theme song. It's a classic, and for good reason.
  • Shirley Bassey - "Goldfinger" - Shirley Bassey's powerhouse voice gives a great song something more. Some consider this the best Bond theme song ever, and while I wouldn't go that far, it is easily in the top five.
  • Tom Jones - "Thunderball" - A good song, but way too similar to "Goldfinger." Had this one been released first, it might be considered one of the best in the series.
  • John Barry Orchestra - "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" - There were a lot of changes for this film, including a new actor playing James Bond, George Lazenby, who I always thought was underrated. They also went back to an instrumental theme song, which might have been a problem since it doesn't live up to the original.
  • Louis Armstrong - "We Have All of the Time in the World" - This was also featured in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, but while it is a good song, it doesn't live up to cream of the crop.
  • Shirley Bassey - "Diamonds are Forever" - Shirley Bassey returns and is still the only artist to record more than one Bond theme song. This is not as good as "Goldfinger" but still solid.
  • Paul McCartney and Wings - "Live and Let Die" - The best. Nothing more needs to be said.
  • Carly Simon - "Nobody Does it Better" - It earned an Oscar nomination and is only one three to do so ("Live and Let Die" and "For Your Eyes Only" are the other two). It's a good song, but I find it a little too 'Adult Contemporary' for my taste.
  • Shirley Bassey - "Moonraker" - The third, and weakest theme song performed by Shirley Bassey. It's a shame she ended her connection with the franchise with this song.
  • Sheena Easton - "For Your Eyes Only" - Won an Oscar nomination, but I always thought it was a little too mellow for James Bond. Not bad, but mellow.
  • Duran Duran - "A View to a Kill" - After a string of five themes songs that were either too mellow, or just plain weak, we finally get a theme song with a bit of an edge to it. Hit number one on the charts (the only Bond song to do so) and the music video is a brilliant take on the movie with the band playing the parts of secret agents and assassins. (I love the ending, "Bon, Simon Le Bon.
  • a-ha - "The Living Daylights" - I always thought a-ha was a one hit wonder. I don't remember this song at all, but it's pretty good and it will make it in my MP3 rotation list after I'm done this review.
  • Gladys Knight - "Licence to Kill" - Another song that borrows a little too much from "Goldfinger", and it probably would have been remember better if it was more unique. Also, it would have been better if it wasn't so mellow. James Bond is an action franchise and the songs should reflect that more often than not.
  • Tina Turner - "Goldeneye" - This song should be better than it is, since it was written by Bono and Edge from U2 and sung by Tina Turner. It's not bad, certainly better than most have been for the past two decades, but it is not as good as it should have been.
  • kd Lang - "Surrender" - Originally this was supposed to be the theme song for Tomorrow Never Dies, but the producers wanted a bigger name and went with Sheryl Crow. This is the better song.
  • Madonna - "Die Another Day" - No.
  • Chris Cornell - "You Know My Name" - It has a better edge than most Bond theme songs, which is good, but the end result is just average.
  • John Arnold - James Bond Theme - An unreleased version of the classic theme. It's not as good as the original, but still pretty cool.
The hit and miss ratio for The Best Of Bond... James Bond is solid, but not spectacular. That said, there are more than enough hits to make the CD worth buying.

Johnny Cash's America - Buy from Amazon
A DVD / CD with a ten songs on each, while the DVD also has a number of interviews with a lot famous people including Al Gore, Tim Robbins, Snoop Dogg, and others. Certainly worth picking up for fans of the singer / songwriter.


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Filed under: Video Releases, The Polar Express, Elf, Die Another Day, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, Hell Ride, Tropa de Elite, Death Defying Acts, Tinker Bell, Zombie Strippers