James Bond (Agent 007) must find the missing “Solex Agitator,” a device that will harness the sun’s radiation and give awesome power to whomever possesses it. Also vying for the prize is Francisco Scaramanga, a world-class assassin who brandishes a distinctive golden gun. When 007 discovers he is to be Scaramanga’s next target, he is hurled into a deadly game of cat- and-mouse, continuing the search as he evades the killer on his trail. Bond must also contend with Scaramanga’s exotic lover Andrea Anders, and Nick Nack, whose small size belies his lethal abilities. Even as 007 enlists the aid of sensuous Mary Goodnight, he must overcome ferocious odds to survive an explosive showdown on Scaramanga’s remote island. His adventures draw him into a gripping boat pursuit, a wild automobile chase through Bangkok, and an unthinkable confrontation against an entire martial arts school.
The Man with the Golden Gun isn’t the strongest cinematographic production to begin with, but the transfer is good. MGM’s MPEG-4 AVC encode delivers good detail, especially in some close facial shots and clothing textures, although much of the picture is a bit soft. Supple grain is visible throughout, and the 1080p presentation has an overall film-like feel, which I enjoyed. Unfortunately, there were some minor signs of digitization including a hard-edged sheen to the grain in some scenes. The good news is that colors appear natural and realistic, from the earthtones of the blue sea and green trees to the skintones of Bond, Scaramanga and the Asian actors. No artifical contrast or brightening appears to be applied. I don’t believe edge enhancement is used either, although some reports claim otherwise. Your mileage may vary.
Low-light detail is good. Watch the scene where Bond arrives on Macau. While the lights and shop signs appear vibrant, the shadow areas are also well delineated, with good grayscale performance. In some respects, such as fine detail and contrast, the night and indoor shots exceed the outdoor daylight scenes in balance and tone. Black level in the darker scenes also helps create some depth to help characters pop as opposed to a strictly flat presentation. The action sequences are shot rather poorly, but the transfer is not to blame.
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