Never Say Never Again (1983) - Collector's Edition [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Action / Adventure
Fox || PG - 134 minutes - $34.98 || March 24, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-03-23

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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.

.:: A U D I O ::.

B L U - R A Y

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Director: Irvin Kershner
Writer(s): Kevin McClory & Jack Whittingham & Ian Fleming (story), Lorenzo Semple Jr. (screenplay)
Cast: Sean Connery, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Max von Sydow, Barbara Carrera, Kim Basinger

Theatrical Release Date: October 7, 1983

Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 3 Featurettes
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Photo Gallery

Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Mono), French (Dolby Mono)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, Thai

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.::THE FILM::.

Never Say Never Again isnít that good of a movie, in fact if it werenít for the movieís history, it would be just another forgettable 1980s movie that you would pass by at your local rental store. But as it was, this is probably one of the most fascinating projects to come out, probably ever.

From what I understand, Bond author Ian Fleming had based his 8th novel, ďThunderballĒ on a film treatment by Jack Whittingham and Kevin McClory. Based on this, the film rights to the book was given to McClory but because he was going against the established James Bond franchise, it was pointless to try and make a movie on his own. So, McClory made an agreement with EON productions to make the Thunderball movie. However, he still retained the film rights and nearly 20 years later, he exercised those rights and Never Say Never Again was born.

If thatís not enough for you, adding depth to the story is the fact that THE James Bond, Sean Connery, signed on once again to play 007 at the age of 53, 12 years after his last appearance in Diamonds Are Forever in Ď71. Oh, and in 1983 Never Say Never Again would have to compete with the EON Bond production of Octopussy starring Roger Moore. Ultimately both films made decent money, especially since both featured the same character, but Octopussy came out on top with $67.9m ($152.6m adj.) vs. $55.4m ($124.5m) for NSNA, not bad given it came out a mere 4 months later.

Alright, with the back story out of the way, the movie itself wasnít bad but it stank of 1980s electronic music and at times, laughable visual effects. The story also isnít the best it couldíve been, not that Thunderball was any better. But for a film about a Bond villain going for world domination, I think it couldíve been fleshed out more than they ultimately did.

Even 12 years after his last appearance, Sean Connery still has it. Heís 53 years old but still has that allure that makes Bond so damn timeless. Women want him and guys want to BE him. Connery is still suave with his women; this go around it is the gorgeous Barbara Carrera as Fatima Blush (classic name) and Kim Basinger playing Domino Petachi. Now, Basinger isnít at the level of other Bond girls, but she manages to make a minor impression on an otherwise substandard screenplay.

Klaus Maria Brandauer plays the primary villain, with Max von Sydow as Blofeld in the background, Maximilian Largo, a bland man with a plan. Brandauer doesnít hold a candle opposite Conneryís James Bond and given the source material in a time when Bond villains were actually interesting (see Dominic Greene from Quantum of Solace).

Under the direction of Irvin Kershner (Empire Strikes Back), Never Say Never Again plods along at a brisk pace (it is 133-minutes long) and although the story never came to cohesive fruition, Kershner manages to make the film enjoyable, if not to see Connery back as Bond one last time.


I should note that the menu transitions on the special features were pretty quirky. When I clicked for a feature, the screen would go black and then the menu transition would pop up for a few seconds before the feature would finally begin.

Feature Commentary with Director Irvin Kershner and James Bond Historian Steven Jay Rubin Ė Rubin basically acts as a host to ask questions to Kershner but the two talk about the project and give tidbits about the making of NSNA.

The Big Gamble (16:24) gives the background on how Never Say Never Again came to be dating back to the 1950s and features interviews with the director, screenwriter, producers and Bond historian Rubin.

Sean is Back (8:04) chronicles the return of Connery as James Bond and features interviews with various members of the cast and crew and their thoughts on working with him.

The Girls of Never Say Never Again (10:07) goes over the Bond girls in the movie and features more of the same participants in the other two featurettes. What I enjoyed about this one is the sheer honesty especially concerning Kim Basinger and some of the behind-the-scenes stuff that went on.

Finally there is the theatrical trailer (1:27) and a photo gallery.


With the movie now 26 years old, itís not a surprise that the picture looks good but not all that great. Now, I did find the colors and sharpness to look nice but I also noticed plenty of dust and scratches throughout not to mention some noise within certain scenes. But since the movie is fairly old, Iím willing to cut it some slack because at least itís pleasing on the eyes overall.

I was less impressed with the audio, however. The DTS-HD Master Audio track isnít all too effective. It sounds nice for sure but not too deep especially with the action scenes. Also, my subwoofer clicked on a few times but I barely noticed it. That being said, the track is fine and it did make use out of all 5 of my speakers, even the rear channels.


Never Say Never Again is a movie that is better known for its back story rather than for the movie, which in itself isnít anything special other than seeing Sean Connery one last time as Agent 007. This Blu-ray isnít that great but the video looks decent enough and the audio is acceptable.