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Blu-ray/DVD review: “Skyfall” sees Bond shaken, but stirring

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Studio Synopsis: In "Skyfall" Bond’s loyalty to M (Judi Dench) is tested as her past returns to haunt her. With MI6 now compromised from both inside and out, M is left with one ally she can trust: Bond. 007 takes to the shadows – aided only by field agent, Eve (Naomie Harris) – following a trail to the mysterious Silva (Javier Bardem), who’s lethal and hidden motives have yet to reveal themselves.

Studio: 20th Century Fox
Running Time: 143 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Number of Disks: 2

Special Features:

  • Shooting Bond:
    • Intro
    • Opening Sequence
    • The Title Sequence
    • 007
    • Q
    • DB5
    • Women
    • Villains
    • Action
    • Locations
    • Music
    • End Sequence
    • *M
    • The Future
  • Skyfall Premiere
  • Soundtrack Promo
  • Audio Commentaries:
    • Director Sam Mendes
    • Producers Michael G. Wilson & Barbara Broccoli; Production Designer Dennis Gassner
  • Theatrical Trailer

blu ray dvd review skyfall cover 300x375 Blu ray/DVD review: Skyfall sees Bond shaken, but stirring Enthralling in its chronicling of yet another harrowing origin chapter of the British Bond bad-boy with the enviable toys, “Skyfall” comprises one of the best Bond, beauty, and baddie concoctions to date. And while many of the film’s less-than flattering events puts Bond far outside the collectively cool persona he will one day wield like his Walther, “Skyfall” successfully curbs the cravings of ravenous fans all hungry for more Bond and backstory. Craig parades his prowess for both gritty action and rugged emotion nicely as he reprises the Bond role for now his third installment. And what seems to set apart “Skyfall” from some of the more recent 007 near misses is not only the brilliantly choreographed action, but also Bond’s frail reality. The intrigue and allure will always be there, but Bond is somehow more accessible and authentic in “Skyfall,” having lost much of his two-steps-ahead edge. The film doesn’t just fill in the gaps as it were, but rather gives reasoning behind the circumstances that formed the spy. Bond villains have likewise always played an integral part in shaping the agent, with some planting themselves firmly in our memory banks, and others; though great performances all, fading with time. Javier Bardem’s “Silva” is definitely one for the bank, mixing an arresting blend of smarmy smarts and psycho quirk that’s as eerie as it is entertaining. Not since Joseph Wiseman’s “Dr. No,” – the rubber-gloved wearing vice-grip from 1977’s aptly titled “Dr. No” – Donald Pleasence’s “Blofeld,” – the scarred and psycho SPECTRE leader from 1967’s “You Only Live Twice” – or Francisco Scaramanga – played by the incomparable Christopher Lee in 1974’s “The Man with the Golden Gun” – has a villain so expertly tread the path where functional meets fantastical. But Bardem’s damaged cog – tragic hairdo and all… seriously, what is it with Javier and bad hair-don’ts – fits perfectly into the MI6 mythology machine. And between Craig and Bardem’s command of the screen, supported steadfastly by the talents of Dame Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Marlohe and Ben Whishaw, who fills the shoes of the young “Q”, “Skyfall” slides stylish and superior into the franchise’s 23rd film slot. Almost an hour-long documentary, “Shooting Bond,” tops the extras menu, containing an impressive syllabus of exhaustive material. From the film’s title sequence all the way to the closing credits, no shooting stone is left unturned as the definition of behind the scenes documentary is absorbingly revised. Other offerings include two excellent commentaries, one provided by director Sam Mendes and the other by Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and Production Designer Dennis Gassner. Like all commentaries these primarily draw only the die-hard cinephiles, but both are overflowing with insightful information, from collaborations with the cast and crew that Mendes put into practice, to some wonderfully touching stories by Albert Broccoli’s – the franchise’s long-time Producer – stepson Michael G. Wilson and daughter Barbara, now Producers themselves. Short segments for both the “Skyfall premiere” and a soundtrack promotion provide just over five minutes of face-value footage between them, and the film’s theatrical trailer is also included. So with the franchise donning an impressively fresh face, and a fan base that’s already firmly in place, “Skyfall” careens through; and adds to, it’s remarkable history.

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