622 of 733 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2012
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
Being the year of the 50th anniversary of the beloved super spy, the 23rd Bond installment had a lot to live up to. While Casino Royale was a worthy and thrilling reboot to the franchise, Quantum of Solace fell flat with critics and fans. To make matters more interesting, MGM has had financial woes over the last number of years and needed a hit to reinvigorate the studio. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Skyfall.
Not only does the movie qualify as one of the most action-packed and entertaining movies of the year, it ranks on my list as one of the best Bond flicks to date. As has come to be expected, Craig is terrific as the British spy, portraying the character with charm and intensity. The action is top notch and the story is superbly written. Among my favorite moments were the blistering opening sequences, the introduction of the film's villain, and the intense final act, which finds Bond cornered yet unafraid. The real treat, however, is Bardem's role as the sinister Silva. Rivaling any villain in recent memory, save Heath Ledger's Joker, Bardem is intimidating, powerful, and irresistible to watch. You'll find yourself glued to the screen whenever he appears, and hoping he'll show up again soon when he's gone.
Another huge nod has to go to Mendes, whose vision of Bond is spectacular. The movie is tightly scripted and the director does a very fine job of bringing out great performances from his cast. The cinematography is some of the best I've seen in a film for a long time; the production crew did a remarkable job utilizing light, colors, and atmosphere to really draw the audience in. Another treat is the glimpse the audiences gets into Bond's past, which plays a crucial role in the film.
The transfer to Blu-ray is beautiful; the colors are pin-sharp and the picture is clear, crisp, and detailed. In a film that contains such vibrant colors and contrasts, this was immensely important for home release. All of the great cinematographic moments you saw in the theater look just as great here. The audio is equally perfect. The disc's DTS-HD MA 5.1 track contain all the intensity and clarity contained in the theatrical release so you can enjoy the crashes, explosions, gun shots, and dialogue in high definition.
By way of special features, there's just under an hour of behind-the-scenes featurettes that are an interesting watch, as well as the original action-heavy trailer for the movie, "Skyfall Premiere" feature, and two different audio commentaries; a detailed and information-rich feature from Mendes and a not-so-interesting one from producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson and production designer Dennis Gassner. The insight from Mendes is fascinating and any fan of the film will be sure to enjoy it. The commentary from the producers felt more like a promotion of the film and could have been left off the disc in my opinion.
Whether your a die-hard Bond fan or a casual observer, Skyfall has something for everyone. There are multiple references to past Bond adventures, yet enough new and innovative ideas to please newcomers to the franchise. I highly recommend this film. This BD set doesn't boast hours and hours of extra footage but it has enough to please fans that are curious about the making of the film. Overall a terrific movie, beautiful disc transfer, and engaging Blu-ray set.
255 of 322 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2012
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I am a die hard Sean-Connery-as-James-Bond fan. I like most of Roger's and a couple of Pierce's. I was not happy when I first learned of Daniel Craig as the new Bond. Daniel who? Was my first reaction. Not another Lazenby, I thought...
I like Casino Royale, but it took me a couple of watches on DVD for it to grow on me. I didn't hate Quantum of Solace as much as others seem to, but then I saw Skyfall..... I love this movie so much that not one day has gone by when I haven't thought of it at least once. I saw it twice in one week, and I never do that when movies are in theaters. The writers of this film must be brought back for the next one, yes it has some minor similarities to The Dark Knight movies, but so what. I can not wait for the Blu Ray release. I hate to admit it, but this may just be my new favorite Bond movie. The only thing that would make it perfect for me would be if Connery were still young enough to play Bond. The opening sequence, the action, Javier as the creepy villain, the surprises in the end.. It's almost perfect. Bravo Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson. Now do it again for Bond 24....
Oh...and did I mention the awesome theme song by Adele?? How perfect for the 50th year! Slightly reminiscent of Goldfinger theme, the Monty Norman 007 theme, very well done. Nobody does it better these days. Pun intended....
197 of 258 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2012
Although I remain a loyal fan to the Bond of my youth (Roger Moore), Daniel Craig is, in my opinion, one of the very best of the rest. In Skyfall he demonstrated how he has matured into the character - and the writing and execution of virtually every other aspect of this film are superior to his first two outings. Some viewers are finding this Bond outing a bit slow moving. I didn't, although it is admittedly more restrained than many other films from the series. Nevertheless, I found it engaging from beginning to end. I thought certain parts of the film packed an emotional punch seldom felt in other Bond films.
It is interesting how the public's expectations for Bond have changed. When View to A Kill premiered critics blasted the level of violence and even Roger Moore said he thought at least one scene in that movie went too far. The current take on Bond is far more violent and the bad guys are often presented in a much darker light than the villains of old - even if ultimately their dastardly deeds end up having similar effects. I'm looking forward to what comes next in this long running series and highly recommend this entry.
23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2013
In this reviewer's not so humble opinion, a movie marketing campaign finally delivered as advertised! THIS IS THE BEST BOND MOVIE EVER!!! Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed Sean Connery, the original Bond, in all of his Bond glory, and recurring resurrections of the 007 character, but I always had a problem with the way the previous Bonds had no problem or reflection in killing people, no remorse, they could plug a bad guy one minute and then crack a joke the very next scene. If James Bond existed, he'd be haunted by the lives he's taken. He'd struggle everyday with the lawful transgressions he committed in the name of country; unable to completely come too terms with what he's done, but always understanding that it was for the greater good, civic virtue if you will. Daniel Craig embodies that type of "realistic" Bond. Haunted by his actions facing the consequences of his decisions wether he was justified or not.
Director Sam Mendes has done a fantastic job with the imagery captured in the film. The cinematography is top notch, breathtaking in some instances, i.e. the Shanghai sequences. When you really get down to what makes a great film, it's the resonant images that linger with you and ultimately comprise your memories of the film. Skyfall gives you some very creative and striking memories to say the least! Mendes also does a great job with the pacing of the film scene by scene. In previous Bond entries I believe directors were easily swept away by the action mechanisms that are inherent in films like this, and get carried away with the speed of the content, force feeding the audience a traditional ho-hum action movie as oppose to taking their time and letting the story devlop into something special via witty dialogue and atmospheric scenery mixed in with technically sound action sequences. Mendes weaves all aspects together seamlessly, creating the most memorably Bond experience I've ever had. A beautiful Bond Quilt if you will.
Performance wise, Daniel Craig continues his top notch acting as a darker version of Bond; facial expressions that relay emotions that words would never communicate on camera are scattered throughout the film along with his distinctively, dry charm. Ultmately, Javier Bardem steals the show though. A villain you fear, at the same time find humorous, all the while rooting against him eventhough you understand where he's coming from. I have no other words to describe Bardem's performance except "RIVETING". Tell me that I'm wrong on this and I"ll call ya a liar! Behind your back of course, never to your face.
All in all, the most outstanding Bond ever made, and a film that should've absolutly been nominated for Best Picture! We agree on that Roger Moore!
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2013
This is the third of the new Bond movies, and my least favorite by far. It lacks the usual warmth, humor and sex appeal of the Bond franchise. It also lacks the star power of a criminal mastermind. There are no outstanding, memorable characters in this film at all.
The trend of making the Bond franchise completely sexless has continued. The director made one half-hearted attempt at a sexy scene in a shower, but it was completely sanitized for your protection and over quicker than a Saturday night at the preacher's house. It wouldn't even make a Quaker blush. I guess it's ok to show a human body torn into pieces by bullets, but God forbid we should see a naked breast.
Also continued is the casting of no-names as supporting actors. The only bright point in the movie is newcomer Naomie Harris as Moneypenny. Unfortunately, the new Q is a pathetic and entirely forgettable little twerp, twice as arrogant but half as clever as he thinks he is. He has all the appeal of wet cardboard and gets completely played by the villain. Sadly, he survives.
The biggest villain in this movie is definitely the script. The story started out strong but completely fell apart. There were huge missed opportunities and holes in the plot. For example, the villain went through years of planning just to show up at a conference with two buddies and a handgun? That's the big climax? No holding the world hostage, no WMDs? Pretty pathetic. When he escapes through the subway, the chase scene is a complete snore until Bond catches up. But it would have been 1,000 times more impressive if the director had done the scene the same way they did the opening escape sequence of Indiana Jones running from the falling rock in the tomb in Raiders of the Lost Ark. It would have made a much bigger impact to see Bond running from a runaway train like that, instead of just a simple crash. A wasted chance, if you ask me.
But the ultimate kiss of death for Skyfall was that there were far too many contrived scenes. By the end it was obvious that everyone from the director to the screenwriter and even the actors were all just mailing it in. In one example, the head of MI6 is under threat of terrorist attack, but they only assign one agent and one fat guy for her protection. Then later, when the villain shows up for the final confrontation, he isn't eager to get in the house and kill... giving M enough time to escape and Bond enough time to plan a nasty surprise. I found myself wishing that they would just kill M already- the witch truly deserved it for betraying one of her agents, after all. But it got worse. Take the scene when the villain caught Bond while running across a frozen pond covered with thin ice... What were the options? One, you could just gun him down. Two, you could shoot the ice and send him into the frozen water to drown. So of course it's option three- one of the henchmen walks out onto the ice, close enough for Bond to grab his machine gun and shoot a hole in the ice and escape. Everyone knows the best way to cover someone with an automatic weapon is from only inches away, after walking out onto thin ice. That was just stupid. Finally, Bond shows up to kill the villain by throwing a giant knife into his back, one that appeared mysteriously out of nowhere. Perhaps the Lady in the Lake gave it to him when she rescued him from drowning, which is the only way anyone could have escaped death after falling into that frozen pond, BTW. I won't even mention the underwater struggle in which Bond choked his victim to death with his knee and still had breath enough to swim 25 feet up to the surface in sodden winter clothing...What is this, Harry Potter?
I certainly didn't find myself wishing I were in Bond's place after this movie, as I have done in the past. There was no awe, no hero worship. But without the charm and the reckless savoir-faire made famous by the previous Bonds, you don't have a hero anymore. All you have left is an annoying little prick-ly toad. That is my impression of Daniel Craig as Bond after this movie. I won't be falling for anymore hype from this group.
48 of 67 people found the following review helpful
All the accusations of the Bond franchise ripping off the Jason Bourne series are overblown. If anything, this latest installment in Bond's new evolution takes the high art of murder to a beautiful new level. The theme throughout is light and shadow, and the director makes excellent use of both to illustrate how death isn't dealt only in the shadows.
The other theme is old dogs in a world full of Internet-savvy young pups. Whether it's M (Judi Dench) or Bond (Daniel Craig) himself, they recognize themselves as relics of a bygone era in which satellites and video cameras do most of the spy work for them. And yet that's what makes Bond so important in this modern age -- he goes "off the grid," where the real terror lurks.
Javier Bardem plays an embodiment of that terror, Raoul Silva, a brutally warped villain who has an understandable (if unreasonable) motive to kill M. Just as Bond has an unspoken duty to Queen and Country, the new world tests that loyalty by robbing first Bond -- then M, then the entire organization -- of its identity. When politicians drag their doings into the light of day, the franchise feels invigorated because it's finally facing up to the ludicrous issues of the past. Bond can no longer casually sip a martini without being reminded that he's drinking taxpayer's money.
And that's a good thing. "Skyfall" works so well because it's not just another installment in the franchise, it's a milestone. Things are changing for Bond, in a good way, and it gives me hope that we can expect more out of this old dog in a new world.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2013
This was the first James Bond movie I had been to in ages. Saw it at the theater and it was awesome!! I plan to purchase it as soon as possible. Just a great movie!! Daniel Craig makes a great James Bond!! Lots of action and intrigue. James Bond completely!!!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
This movie bears no resemblance to the James Bond movies of old. It is another standard violence movie, with the usual violence, special effects, etc. There is nothing of interest here for anyone except those who are addicted to computer violence games.
37 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Let's face it: after QUANTUM OF SOLACE, we were all kind of hesitant about what kind of film BOND 23 would be. Even when Sam Mendes, director of the classic AMERICAN BEAUTY, signed on, we were still skeptical. We all know Daniel Craig brings a certain screen presence to the role; he may not be Sean Connery, but then, Connery's Bond wouldn't necessarily work nowadays. (Don't get me wrong: love the classic Bond. Hell, I'm even a Roger Moore fan, don't hold that against me.) Craig's Bond is a morally flawed creation, a character with a dark heart who (usually) does the right thing for (sometimes) the right reasons.
Here's the trick about SKYFALL, what makes this film work so well: it isn't even about Bond. The film centers around M (Judi Dench), and her dangerous past, which is personified in the rise of a new villain: Silva. He's a cyberterrorist who could bring about the collapse of civilized society with the push of a button...but instead, he's using his power to bring M to her knees. Bond is merely a pawn in his scheme: two rats fighting for survival. Which animal will triumph, and which will be torn to shreds?
SKYFALL is a brilliant film. Plain and simple. It has its flaws, as do all Bond films (even a Moore film wouldn't have stooped to the level of CGI Komodo dragons...well, maybe). But its strengths far outweigh its weaknesses. Director Mendes has flat-out stated that, without the success of THE DARK KNIGHT, SKYFALL would not have been possible; this is evident, for what KNIGHT did for superhero films, SKYFALL does for the Bond franchise. (Purists beware: this is a Bond who wears his heart on his sleeve, and you may not like what you see.) The script is intelligent; that's a rarity for an action film. The directing is solid. The scope is broad: shifting Bond into a new era, while at the same time cementing his legacy. (Fanboys will get a few delights.)
But what this film really comes down to is the caliber of acting. Craig gives his best Bond to date, but even he's out-shined by the supporting cast. In her expanded role, Dench is a marvel. It's been refreshing to see her interacting with Craig; here, their chemistry truly comes alive, as two brilliant actors get to take their roles to new levels. Ralph Fiennes, as a bureaucrat who sees the 00 program as antiquated, is subtle; his performance slowly builds on itself, as his best usually do. Ben Whishaw and Albert Finney breathe some fresh blood into things; as far as "Bond girls," we have Naomie Harris, whose character is perhaps the least fleshed-out, and an especially good Berenice Marlohe. But as we all know, a great Bond film is nothing without a great villain, and Javier Bardem gives us one of the best (in my mind, THE best) the franchise has to offer. Silva is a menace; he's maniacal and unpredictable, a sociopath bent on a vicious, kamikaze vendetta. He's truly unhinged, and for good reason; as crazy and manipulative as he gets (his opening scene is a brilliant choreography of psychological manipulation; some viewers have gotten a little antsy, but pay attention and you'll understand), you can't help but sympathize with him. And that is the core brilliance of SKYFALL: it's an intensely personal film, so much so that viewers get sucked into the story despite the typical Bond locales and damseles in distress. SKYFALL is a great Bond movie; some have said it's the greatest, but that's really a matter of taste. What's hard to deny is that, no matter where it ranks in the Bond cannon, SKYFALL is simply a great movie. Period.
23 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Skyfall seems to be the first Bond movie made specifically for critics that don't actually like James Bond movies. In a sense we've had three films of "Bond Begins", with each film since Casino Royale promising to return us to the Bond we know and love- and Quantum of Solace and Skyfall both failing to deliver on that. The ending scene of Skyfall hints at it just as the end of Quantum did. Fool me once, shame on you...
The plot is nothing special. It's cobbled together from elements we've seen before- a rogue ex-MI6 agent is planning revenge for a perceived slight (GoldenEye), and he happens to be a bleached blonde guy of indeterminate origin played by an award winning actor (A View To A Kill) and whose mistress leads Bond to his secret island HQ (The Man With the Golden Gun). It also bears a resemblance in style to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy- some might say too close a resemblance, but I'm not here to debate that.
The whole movie has this dull tone to it. Color is either washed out or oversaturated. There's not really any vibrance to the film. And this matches the dour, humorless tone of the plot- unless you find Javier Bardem's mincing, giggling villain to be funny, in which case more power to you. I guess he stands out because he's one of the few characters in the film with a personality. Bond certainly doesn't have one. I guess at the very least we get some of Bond's pithy one-liners back, but Craig delivers them so flatly that they feel forced- there's none of Connery's sardonic tone when he says "Shocking. Positively shocking.", there's just flat, unenthused delivery. James Bond movies shouldn't be too dark and serious. There should be a little levity to them.
I think part of the problem with Skyfall and the Craig movies in general is that they make it look like it would totally suck to be James Bond. From Connery to Brosnan, Bond was the guy every guy wanted to be- kicking ass, driving a cool car, sleeping with beautiful women, and traveling to exciting locales. Craig's Bond just has one terrible thing happen to him, again and again. And it's not really exciting terrible, it's just like, wow, it would suck to be him. And there's no balancing with it, either- no humor, no women, even his car gets blown up. It doesn't have to be wacky, zany off-the-wall Moonraker stuff. James Bond movies should be fun, though. You should want to be James Bond at least once in the movie.
Finally, I think the Bond movies need to cut out the habit started with Quantum of hiring art house directors. Marc Forster and Sam Mendes both seem to not grasp the concept of Bond. Why not have someone like Peter Jackson or Steven Spielberg do a Bond movie? At least then it might be fun and exciting instead of bleak and depressing. I don't know. Martin Campbell did GoldenEye and Casino Royale, and he seems to get it. He didn't waste our time with obsolete Freudian psychology or poorly researched depleted uranium pistol rounds.
Skyfall is slightly better than Quantum; but that's like saying stomach flu is better than hemmorhoids.