The Movie: 8/10
It’s Bond. What century are you living in that you actually need a review to tell you anything about a movie containing the one and only Double Oh Seven? If you insist I will try to paint you a picture.
A ruggedly handsome secret agent working for Her Majesty the Queen of England finds himself in compromising situations while on a mission to protect a list of other secret agents about to be set loose into the world’s worse criminals. Other than a crazy dude who wants to exact revenge on M, that covers this installment of the MI6 adventures.
While I”m not trying to devalue the place Bond plays as a special blood cell flowing through our veins, I will ask you this, why do you need a review? If you have never seen a Bond movie you don’t need one now. Just start with Dr. No and work your way up to Skyfall. If you have seen a few and love them, watch Skyfall. If you have seen a few and hate them all, watch Skyfall and see if it changes your perspective.
You see, I have a suspicious mind. If you are from another planet, solar system, galaxy, universe and all of this seems harsh, my apologies. I’m honored you have chosen to read this review to introduce yourself to James, Bond James…or something like that.
In Skyfall we see a Bond who is a bit down and out, or as down and out as they will allow a modern Bond be and not lose his cool suaveness and still be credible. Daniel Craig does what he does, intense, brooding but not too self-absorbed, and a touch of controlled sentimentality tossed in for variety. He’s faced with a villain who, in addition to being played by an absolutely brilliant actor, is a beautifully terrifying character. Between being hit on by the bad guy and being able to steal a few minutes with the current Bond Woman, the real emotion in this movie is all set aside for Bond and M.
I won’t go into details, but this is an exploration of the tension and devotion they have for each other, even if she might give an order that might possibly get him shot, or not. This story takes us to less places than we might wander in other Bond adventures, but that does not lessen the absolutely stunning visual experience of Skyfall.
Our new Bond woman, Bérénice Marlohe, is amazing. She plays a certain scene with so much delicate emotion it was fantastic. She carries the sexy and the brave and a quality performance into the frame and now I expect the same level of excellence in future movies. Listen up Broccoli people!!! Naomie Harris comes to the big guy’s rescue a couple of times and shows herself to be a sturdy agent, if not too cutesy for my tastes. She’s got potential, if they just cut back on those annoying overtly flirty and cheap she’ll be one to watch.
The cinematography is gorgeous. The colors and composition and backdrop for most of the shots in the movie just dazzled me. Dazzle, yes. This adds to the quality and wraps it all up in a great package.
The music is appropriate, lots of revisiting THE theme, the car, the woman, the bad guy, they all get a nod in the audio department. All this combined with excellent stunts and special effects. Most of the action is in camera, meaning they use real life props and effects rather than CGI, always a bonus when exploring the fictional reality of Mi6 and our James.
I enjoyed Skyfall a lot. It’s thoughtful but has that edge of kookiness that we all like in our spy stories. Again, if you are from another sector of this Milky Way or some other unknown quadrant of the universe, I hope this has been helpful enough to inspire you to dig your heals in and experience the entire Bond catalog. If you are a plain old ordinary human from Earth but you have not seen any Bond movies, same advice, start from the beginning. Work your way into our present day telling of the secret spy defending his country and his Queen, a troubled past, trail of broken hearts, broken bones, gun shot wounds, and unpleasantly dispatched bad guys who usually want to destroy or take over the world.
- Shooting Bond: The Title Sequence, DB5, Women, Locations – A 59 minute making of documentary broken into a bunch of short featurettes. This is how making of featurettes should be done with plenty of on the set footage and interviews with Director and stars.
- Commentary By Director Sam Mendes – Some Director commentaries end up telling you nothing, this one however is very detailed and broken down to a scene by scene description of the film making process. It’s quite obvious Mendes was involved during every aspect of this production and he reveals pretty much everything.
- Commentary By Producer Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. WIlson and Production Designer Dennis Gassner – Not as interesting as the Mendes commentary but still quite good in it’s own way. There are periods where the track devolves into silence as the participants are enjoying the movie themselves.
- Skyfall Premiere – A 5 minute feature which covers the red carpet premier in London. Interviews with all the cast are included.
- Digital Copy & DVD
Cover Art and Menus: 9/10
I love this cover..shock!! I would have it as a poster in my house, hint hint. The menu is nice, live action and navigation but not too much to give away anything in the movie.
Audio & Video: 10/10
Skyfall on Blu-ray is as perfect a transfer as you can get, I know we are only a few weeks into 2013 but I think this will be included in the years best. Filmed digitally cinematographer Roger Deakins brings a level of detail to the Bond franchise that we have never seen before. Every shot is framed perfectly and sets are lit to make them look like a million dollars (the movie cost 200 million to make and I believe you can see every penny of that onscreen). The actual Blu-Ray image is sharp detailed and without a spec of noise. Skyfall is quite a long film but still they managed to cram it all onto the disc with a crisp high bitrate.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 track is insanely detailed right from the opening sequence through Adele’s performance of the main theme and right to the explosive finale. Not only is this a loud film some of the small subtle moments are the standouts, the rain falling on M’s window at the start pans around the rear speakers and is a treat for the ears as well as the explosions in the final scenes which will really wake the neighbors.
Skyfall is a stunning addition to the Bond franchise and the Blu-Ray format as a whole. I am stoked to see where the series will go next as the setup at the end makes me very interested. Skyfall is highly recommended for anyone who loves a good action romp. Nobody does it better…..
Watch it. Buy it if you get it cheap. If it’s less than 15 bucks it’s worth the purchase price. If you rent it for around $4 or $5, it’s a great value. Excellent extras and a great flick. Enjoy a Bond evening of popcorn and adventure and have a few dollars left over to pay the rent.
Overall Score 8/10