Due to numerous reasons the James Bond franchise appeared to be dead in the water. After lawsuits were settled, the franchise made a triumphant return to theaters in the critically acclaim and box office success. Skyfall is now available on Blu-ray/DVD in a single disc package.
Where to begin, where to begin? After being in limbo and bankruptcy hell for the last several years there was actually a chance that we would never have another Bond film. Many would say this would have been a tragedy because Daniel Craig was just starting to grow into the role. He had a lauded outing in Casino Royale but a dud in the follow-up Quantum of Solace.
As much as I love Daniel Craig as an actor, he is not my Bond. Perhaps Skyfall and his previous efforts would have worked if the character was called anything other than James Bond. I know everyone loves the idea of a stripped down, gritty, realistic Bond more like the books than the films. But frankly, screw that noise! My Bond is not some whiny, emo, wall gazing, beer drinking “tough guy.”
My Bond loves women, has cool gadgets, a hot car that does neat things, beats the crap out of people and is actually proactive. He doesn’t sit around waiting for things to happen. Now before everyone jump on me, I know Bond goes after the bad guys in this but he spends a large chunk of this film just moping. It gets annoying. You are James Bond! Have some FUN! There’s one point where he literally just watched a guy assassinate someone instead of jumping in to prevent it.
The opening sequence in Skyfall has to be one of the most boring, by the numbers car chases that I’ve seen in awhile. It goes on way too long, but the payoff is great and the title sequence is beautiful. But what is up with Adele’s horrible theme song? We had the classic Bond audio cues to occasionally remind us that we were watching a Bond movie, but a lot of Thomas Newman’s score was forgettable.
Skyfall celebrates 50 years of Bond and it seems like it is completely at odds with itself. The four people who wrote this movie, Sam Mendes and the producers seem completely schizophrenic. On the one hand it wants to celebrate a rich legacy on the other it spends way too much time belittling it and simply dismissing it. One example is when the new young, annoying Q (Ben Whishaw) says derisively “What did you expect? An exploding pen?” You are darn right I expected and wanted to see an exploding pen in this movie!
What the heck was with Javier Bardem? His portrayal of the main bad guy Silva was just laughably bad, campy and silly. The idea of a former agent going bad is a sound one, but was done so much better in Goldeneye. His goal is pretty simple and personal – he wants to see M (Judi Dench) suffer.
Dench is a great an actress as she is was always wrong for the Bond movies, especially the Craig ones. She always looks like she’s sucking on lemons and doesn’t want to be in these movies. Ralph Fiennes is fine as the Civilian oversight guy. The Bond women Eve (Naomie Harris) and Severine (Bérénice Marlohe) are laughably bad.
The entire movie is about the Past vs. Future with everyone clearly coming down on the side of moving forward. The film beats you over the head with the mantra “We are going forward, forget everything you think you love about Bond! We’re going to be different. Change is good!”
Here’s the thing. As much as pretentious people claim Bond should be some tough, serious, rough and tumble emo badass. He’s NOT! He never has been. Books are different than films for a reason AND let me be frank, how many people actually read a Bond book?
For the first time in my life I came close to actually walking out of a Bond movie, at the very least there were a few moments where I almost fell asleep. Almost fell asleep during a BOND movie? That should never happen. Then again I almost fell asleep on Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale. Craig may be good as Bond, he certainly looks the part but he just doesn’t act like he wants to be there.
The 1080p video transfer is nicely done. The colors do not pop out at you like I had hoped they would. But this is due to the bland cinematography. The audio features an English DTS-HD 5.1 Master and other supported languages include Spanish and French Dolby 5.1 audio. The menu navigation is elegant I don’t like how the fonts are all grey with over shadow until you highlight a selection. Just makes it hard to see the selections.
Many people may not like the idea of a single disk (plus digital copy) edition, but I’ve come to appreciate single disc Blu-rays. As long as they are fully loaded like this one. The highlight of this release is a brand new full-length documentary called Shooting Bond. This doc provides a great inside look at the making and marketing of Skyfall.
There are also two full-length commentary tracks one with Director Sam Mendes and one with producers Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson and Production Design Dennis Gassner.
In addition to the nice set of extras, this package includes both a Digital Copy and Ultraviolet copy. I really like having the option of both and have come around to the idea and concept of Ultraviolet.
I’m a huge Bond fan (own 3 or 4 copies of each and every movie on various formats) and have loved almost every Bond. With that said, I just don’t like the Craig Bond movies. This isn’t the James Bond that I know and love. I admit that, apparently, I’m alone in my strong dislike of this movie. Ok, dislike is a strong word; it implies the movie has some sort of pulse. The movie literally put me to sleep three times. If you are a fan or someone who has all the other Bond films (like me) then this is a nice Blu-ray. Everyone else should skip it.
- Movie – D
- Video/Audio/Presentation – B-
- Extras – B
Final Overall Grade – D