Published on December 21st, 2021 | by Dan Nicholls0
No Time to Die – 4K Ultra HD Blu ray Review
No Time to Die was a stellar final entry into the Daniel Craig era Bond canon. We look at the 4K Ultra HD Blu ray!
Dashing Daniel Craig drove off into the sunset at the end of the underwhelming Spectre, leaving audiences with the impression that his time as the notorious 007 James Bond had come to a close. But you can’t exit the stage leaving a turd behind, can you? The pandemic tried to keep it down but the triumphant No Time to Die serves as the series closer the man and the cast/crew of the five films made during his tenure deserve.
As with any finale it goes without saying that the narrative contains surprises and shocks abound, which won’t be spoiled here. It’s Bond versus the mysterious Safin (Rami Malek) this time in a formula that doesn’t stray too far from the path but includes plenty of time for on-screen farewells to familiar faces from Bond’s past. Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), Madeleine (Léa Seydoux), M (Ralph Fiennes), Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), Q (Ben Wishaw) and more each get a chance to shine. Credit to director Cary Joji Fukunaga for balancing the characters and the action nicely.
Extra special credit to the screenwriters and producers for introducing two dynamite new characters who could easily grab ahold of their own Bond-spinoff franchise and fly with it: Nomi (Lashana Lynch) and Paloma (Ana de Armas) are fireworks personified and would make for a duo worth spending a big-budget adventure with.
For a movie that felt like it was advertised for two years before it hit theaters it was refreshing that No Time to Die held so many surprises both in regards to set pieces and story beats. Pulling out all the stops for Craig’s swan song dive into his 00-retirement really put the crew at the top of their game here, and it shows. It doesn’t match the best of the Craig era (Skyfall) but is neck-and-neck with Casino Royale, no small feat for any movie at all.
Just in time for the holidays, No Time to Die is coming into your home any way you want it – it’s available on 4K UHD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, and digital. The home video 4K quality is top-notch, as you might expect. Sound and picture can’t be topped (I guess?) and you have to wonder at what point do we say, that’s enough. We’ve got enough K’s now, no need for anymore. Because clarity in detail can’t be denied, but when comparing a 4K UHD disc to a Blu-ray I am not entirely sure the difference will be noticeable enough to amount to a distinction worthy of the price separation for most consumers.
TV’s these days (and up-res’ing to boot) means if you go HD and up, you’re set for a good quality experience. The 4K UHD Collectors’ Edition release comes with a Blu-ray copy as well (though it lacks bonus features completely). If going even further backwards with compatibility is important, the Blu-ray release includes a DVD copy (a standalone DVD release is available as well). All the on-demand streaming options you can dream of are available from Amazon to Apple and everything in between.
It’s nice to see some time put into the bonus features which includes four studio featurettes that pop nicely presented in 4K (generally bonus features are HD-only): Anatomy of a Scene: Matera breaks down the pre-credits massive action sequence in breathtaking detail; Keeping It Real: The Action of No Time to Die is a nice examination of the practical effects and stunts that make the action scenes hit extra hard; A Global Journey looks at the fabulous worldwide locations; Designing Bond digs into the production and costume design process.
What makes the 4K UHD Blu-ray stand out from the pack though is the inclusion of a Very Special 45-minute-long retrospective honoring Daniel Craig’s time as the legendary character. You won’t find it anywhere else, either, so I guess this time the best presentation does comes with the best bells and whistles. It’s called Being James Bond and if you’re a die-hard Bond fanatic then this is a must-own, and a win for the Physical Media world.
All-in-all if you’re a regular Bond fan who’s UHD-curious, this release would be a fine one to test the waters with and see if it’s worth the deviation from your HD ways. The fact that No Time to Die is such a damn good film on its own right regardless of what format you view it in really makes it a fine addition to the shelves of any collector.