Title: Skyfall (2012)
BD-50 Dual-Layer Disc / Two Disc Set
Video: 1080p / AVC
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Italian, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Norwegian, Russian, Swedish, and Ukrainian
Run time: 143 minutes
Region Coding: Region Free
Daniel Craig as James Bond
Judi Dench as M
Javier Bardem as Silva
Ralph Fiennes as Gareth Mallory
Naomie Harris as Eve
Bérénice Marlohe as Sévérine
Albert Finney as Kincade
Ben Whishaw as Q
Rory Kinnear as Tanner
Ola Rapace as Patrice
Directed by Sam Mendes
Mendes, who brought us Road to Perdition and American Beauty, takes his first stab at the James Bond franchise with Skyfall. I have enjoyed Mendes' work ever since I saw Road to Perdition shortly after its release in 2002 and in my opinion Skyfall may be his best film yet.
The story begins with one of the most entertaining opening missions to date for a Bond film with him and a fellow agent named Eve chasing after a stolen top secret list of MI6 agents around the world. What's even more surprising is that Bond is mistakenly hit by Eve and we see him plunge to his death into a river while in pursuit of this precious list. The audience is led to believe that Bond has died in the line of duty, but if you know anything about the character then you already know that he is impervious to death.
Three months we later we see Bond on a secluded island enjoying the relaxing peace of his death. When he sees on the news that the missing list is beginning cost the lives of other MI6 agents Bond decides to return to life from beyond the grave. With M being pressured to retire due to the lack of integrity in MI6 and Bond's skills not being what they once were the two are forced to act fast to find out who's assassinating agents from the missing list.
Bond learns that the man behind all of this terrorist activity is a former agent named Silva, who worked for M in Hong Kong for 11 years. Bond's hampered skills are not only put to the test, but he is forced to stay one step ahead of Silva's master plan, which is much more difficult than he and M first anticipated. Will Bond be able to stop Silva and more importantly M's save career and dignity? Due to violence and some profanity this one is not for younger children.
As I noted earlier this may be Mendes' best film to date. The tightly woven script, the many references to classic Bond films, and interestingly written characters make this not only a well made film, but a testament to the Bond franchise. Do yourself a favor and this one to your collection.
Skyfall arrives on Blu-ray with an impeccable 2.40:1 framed transfer. I have no reservation in calling this the best looking film of 2012. Whether it's the dirt on Bond's jacket or the vibrant colors in Shanghai everything is just perfect. To make it even better there's no issues with noise, DNR, EE, or banding whatsoever. If you're looking for a new demo disc Skyfall is certainly a wise choice. My own screen captures from Skyfall can be found below.
Skyfall shoots its way onto Blu-ray with an incredibly mixed DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. As you would expect gunfire, explosions, and high paced chases are the highlights of this track, but don't be fooled into thinking that's what this mix is all about. Dialogue is always clear and concise in the center channel, which becomes crucial in several sequences throughout the film. Channel separation is also well done as various effects are properly placed in different parts of the sound field perfectly. The LFE gets a nice workout as well without becoming overpowering. Everything from Bond's Walther PPK to Kincade's shotgun resonate perfectly. It's always welcoming to have perfect audio to go with a prefect transfer.
Skyfall comes loaded with an array of extras. First up are two feature length commentaries: the first is with Mendes, who always gives well thought out and entertaining commentaries; the second is with Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson along with Production Designer Dennis Gasser, which is also worth a listen. Next up is an interesting 59 minute piece that covers the shooting of the film. You'll want to see this one if you're a big Bond fan. Next up is a four minute look at the premiere of the film. Next is the film's theatrical trailer followed by a brief soundtrack spot. There is also a second disc, which contains both a DVD and Digital Copy of the film.
Final Word: A Must Own