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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - February, 2013

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"Skyfall" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle

Skyfall (Blu-ray)

Synopsis

The timing couldn’t be worse for MI6.  Bond has been lost on a mission in Turkey just as M and headquarters are attacked in a bombing.  Bond resurfaces but his injuries are severe and he must retrain and prove himself fit for duty.  He struggles to recover and M finally certifies him.  He follows the clues to China and discovers the villain is a former agent bent on revenge.  Silva is a master of computers and wields a tremendous arsenal of weapons, soldiers, and resources.  Bond manages to capture him but that doesn’t last long.  Now M is in real danger as Bond spirits her away to his family’s Scottish estate, Skyfall.  There Bond makes his stand as Silva and his army closes in.  The final battle is epic indeed and the outcome is not something you’ll see coming!

Specifications

  • MGM
  • 2012, Rated PG-13, 2 Hrs 23 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench
  • Directed by Sam Mendes
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Brief
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

I’ll make a bold statement and say, “this is the best Bond yet.”  While all the different Bond actors bring something unique to the part, Daniel Craig is something special in the re-imagined franchise.  While his first two efforts were good, they were a bit muddled in terms of plot.  This third film strikes a perfect balance of old and new.  In fact, that is the plot theme as politicians try to dismantle the old ways and put M and her organization out of business.

Action-wise, it doesn’t get much better.  The pre-credit chase scene is of legendary proportions as some amazing things happen on Turkish rooftops.  If you enjoyed the Parkour sequence in Casino Royale, you’ll love the amazing motorcycle stunts in Skyfall.  The overall feel of the movie is dark and gritty.  There isn’t nearly as much jet-setting as in the past.  Javier Bardem as the villain turns in one of the creepiest performances I recall from any Bond film.  And Judi Dench is, as always, a pleasure to watch; a true virtuoso practicing her craft.

Technical

The picture quality is reference-level.  There was no time when the image wasn’t razor-sharp.  Color is a bit muted with varying palettes of blue and orange, depending on material.  Contrast was broad and deep with rich detailed blacks and bright highlights that were free of crushing.  Honestly, there were no flaws whatsoever.

The DTS-HD Master Audio track is easily one of the best home-theater demos I’ve ever experienced.  The sound stage was so large and enveloping that my room simply melted away.  The surrounds are in play throughout and the bigger sub you have, the better.  Skip ahead to the train crash or the house explosion if you want to amaze your friends.  And if they aren’t amazed, buy a bigger sub!  The only flaw, and the reason for the half-star deduction, was the center channel.  It seemed over-balanced and even chesty at times.  I was able to tame it by backing off on the channel trim a little.  It’s minor but it prevents the audio from attaining perfection.  One thing that was perfect – Adele’s performance of the opening song.  It’s my new favorite Bond theme.

Extras

Bonus features included an hour-long making-of documentary that is one of the best I’ve seen with any Blu-ray or DVD release.  The production is followed from beginning to end and the best highlights are featured.  Also on the disc is commentary from director Sam Mendes, the chief production designer and two producers.  The package I received included a DVD and a digital copy of the film.