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HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Quantum of Solace



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#1 of 14 Cameron Yee

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Posted March 21 2009 - 03:59 PM

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MAIN FEATURESPECIAL FEATURESVideo1080p high definition 16x9 2.40:11080p high definitionAudioDTS-HD Master Audio: English 5.1 / Dolby Digital: Spanish 5.1, French 5.1, Portuguese 5.1Stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1SubtitlesEnglish SDH, Spanish, Cantonese, Korean, MandarinNone

The Feature: 3/5
Despite its enigmatic title, the second film starring Daniel Craig as James Bond is as simple as they come. Picking up mere minutes after "Casino Royale's" final scene, "Quantum of Solace" makes a beeline to payback. Bond wants it bad for whoever killed Vesper Lind (Eva Green, in the previous film) and the new Bond Girl, Camille (Olga Kurylenko), hardly has an identity without it, the need to avenge her family so strong that romance with a handsome English spy isn't even a consideration. With the pair's cloud of brooding angst hanging over their adventures (as raucous and well executed as they are), it's hard to really enjoy "Quantum of Solace"; the gloom ultimately undermines both the spirit of Bond (even in this tougher, grittier version) and the finer details of the plot (involving the water rights machinations of "philanthropist" Dominic Greene, played by Mathieu Amalric). Though "Casino Royale" definitely went to dark territory at times, it came up for air once in awhile. By contrast "Quantum of Solace" resolves to drown in its sorrows, so by the end the title's "little bit of peace" becomes more a plea from the audience than a cryptic reference to the characters' emotional needs.


Video Quality: 5/5
The film is accurately framed at 2.40:1 and presented in 1080p with the AVC codec. Blacks are deep and inky and contrast, stylistically enhanced in some scenes, is excellent. Fine object detail is impeccable, desert grit and skin textures being particularly notable for their clarity and definition. Colors show great depth and saturation, though the film gets almost monochromatic in its color palette as it progresses. Fleshtones vary a little depending on the locations (e.g. warmer in the southern climates and cooler in the northern) but look appropriate and realistic. Overall the transfer is fantastic, with no signs of undue digital manipulation like edge enhancement or noise reduction.


Audio Quality: 5/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track offers a balanced and immersive experience that serves as a perfect complement to the visuals. Sonic detail and definition are excellent with breaking glass, growling airplane engines and the upper registers of the orchestral score. LFE is deep, clean and powerful, giving the subwoofer its strongest workout in the explosive finale. Surround activity is equally impressive, ranging from dynamic, localized effects and pans in action scenes to more subtle ambient textures for various interior environments. Though I had to turn on the subtitles to cut through some of the heavy accents, dialogue is consistently clear and well balanced with the rest of the sound elements.


Special Features: 3/5
Culling material that was used on the film's website and throwing in required fare like trailers and a music video, the special features package makes you feel full, but not really satisfied. The five featurettes are video diary entries from the 007.com website, but they use much of the same material as the longer "Bond on Location" documentary. And overall there's little exploration of or insight into the filmmakers' decisions about character and story. Ultimately, the most interesting item is the "Crew Files" (also originating from the website), which gives a deserving nod to some of the lower profile positions on the production, while also providing glimpses behind the scenes.

All items are in high definition with stereo audio, except where noted.

Music Video "Another Way To Die" (4m30s): Jack White and Alicia Keys' video for the title song.

"Bond on Location" (24m45s): A thorough tour of the film's many locations (the most of any Bond film), including Panama, Mexico, Chile, Austria, Italy, and of course England. Though 24 minutes is not a lot of time to cover every location in detail, the documentary focuses on the major set pieces that took place at each locale. I recommend viewing this lengthier piece as opposed to the subsequent featurettes, which use much of the same material but are presented less cohesively.

"Start of Shooting" Featurette (2m54s): Besides offering a date when shooting began (January 3, 2008), the piece offers a glimpse at stunt training, jet boat training and stunt driving training.

"On Location" Featurette (3m14s): Shooting in Mexico and Panama City.

"Olga Kurylenko and the Boat Chase" Featurette (2m14s): Kurylenko shares her experiences with stunts and stunt preparation.

"Director Marc Forster" Featurette (2m45s): Forster's working style, goals for the film and major challenges.

"The Music" Featurette (2m36s): Composer David Arnold talks about writing music, while Alicia Keys and Jack White offer their thoughts on the title song.

Crew Files (45m30s): Profiles of thirty-two members of the film crew, which include everyone from the location manager in Panama City to the DC3 airplane pilot to the title sequence directors. The sheer volume of profiles offers a nice glimpse at the variety of jobs associated with a film production and shed a little light on the jobs we often see scrolling by in the credits. All the pieces were originally shot for and posted on the film's website.

Teaser Trailer (1m50s): With Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

Theatrical Trailer (2m23s): With Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

$5.00 Coupon: Take $5.00 off the purchase of any Bond film on Blu-Ray, which includes Die Another Day, Dr. No, For Your Eyes Only, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, The World Is Not Enough and Thunderball. Expires June 30, 2009.


Recap

The Feature: 3/5
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 3/5
Overall Score (not an average): 4/5

An overly personal - and ultimately gloomy - Bond film gets fantastic technical treatment but a mostly perfunctory special features package. Since we saw it happen before with "Casino Royale" I wouldn't be surprised by a future release with a more extensive set of extras. However, those who don't care so much about supplementals should be quite pleased with this release.
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#2 of 14 Ron-P

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Posted March 21 2009 - 06:32 PM

Looking extremely forward to picking this one up on Tuesday.
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#3 of 14 Mr. Pacino

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Posted March 22 2009 - 03:14 AM

Bill Hunt posted in his review (digitalbits) that the picture quality of "Quantum of Solace" is on par with the 2 disc Blu-ray of "Casino Royal" but better as the first released Blu-ray of "Casino Royal".

Is that true?

I always thought that the picture quality of all "Casino Royal" Blu-rays are the same as far as picture quality is concerned........

#4 of 14 ATimson

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Posted March 22 2009 - 08:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Pacino
Bill Hunt posted in his review (digitalbits) that the picture quality of "Quantum of Solace" is on par with the 2 disc Blu-ray of "Casino Royal" but better as the first released Blu-ray of "Casino Royal".

Is that true?

I always thought that the picture quality of all "Casino Royal" Blu-rays are the same as far as picture quality is concerned........
Well, it's consistent with his review of the two-disc release, where he says that they did a reencode to better utilize disc space after moving extras to disc 2 and changing from lossless to TrueHD.
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#5 of 14 Mr. Film

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Posted March 22 2009 - 10:40 AM

Intresting. But I think I'm still gonna have to pass on this one.
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#6 of 14 Mark_TB

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Posted March 22 2009 - 01:05 PM

I'm torn on this one as well, since I suspect that a two-disc edition (with more in-depth extras) will street about the time the next movie is hitting the theaters, just like they did with CASINO ROYALE.

It's way too early in the Blu-ray format's existence for me to be double-dipping on titles. I need to stretch my entertainment dollars as far as I can.

- Mark

#7 of 14 Joseph J.D

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Posted March 22 2009 - 03:00 PM

I'm also thinking that a more elaborate collector's edition will appear sometime down the road.....those extras seem quite anemic for a Bond film. Still on the fence regarding this release.
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#8 of 14 172

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Posted March 22 2009 - 03:21 PM

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#9 of 14 Jesse Blacklow

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Posted March 23 2009 - 03:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_TB
I'm torn on this one as well, since I suspect that a two-disc edition (with more in-depth extras) will street about the time the next movie is hitting the theaters, just like they did with CASINO ROYALE.

It's way too early in the Blu-ray format's existence for me to be double-dipping on titles. I need to stretch my entertainment dollars as far as I can.

- Mark
Considering the next movie isn't due out for a minimum of 2 1/2 years (assuming the normal Oct/Nov release), I have no reason to keep me from purchasing in hopes for for a theoretical collector's edition. By that time, of course, Blu-ray will be 5 years old, about the point in time that studios were regularly double-dipping on DVD.
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#10 of 14 Mike Frezon

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Posted April 06 2009 - 02:45 PM

After missing this in the theaters last summer, I fully enjoyed this flick over the weekend. While it dragged in a couple of spots...and I couldn't help but agree with those who thought the bad guy was lacking in direction and the appropriate quantity of evil for a Bond villain...I was fully entertained and thought the movie was a lot of fun. Craig was a great choice for Bond.

And I must admit, I thought Olga Kurylenko was phenomenal in her role as Camille.

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#11 of 14 Aaron Silverman

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Posted April 07 2009 - 04:30 AM

I saw this for the first time last night. I wasn't a big fan of Casino Royale (talk about a lame villain!). I enjoyed the story in this one better, but the action sequences were so badly edited that it nearly ruined the film for me. There were two or three moments where even after rewinding and pausing I couldn't quite figure out what had just happened.

I disagree that this was a simple film -- the plot was pretty convoluted. But I agree with Mike that Camille was an awesome Bond Girl.

Anyone else think that Mathieu Amalric looked like the love child of Gary Oldman and Roman Polanski? Posted Image
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#12 of 14 Ethan Riley

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Posted April 07 2009 - 05:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Silverman
Anyone else think that Mathieu Amalric looked like the love child of Gary Oldman and Roman Polanski? Posted Image

I know! I was thinking the same thing; that he looked like a younger Polanski. He's not that bad of an actor, by the way. I pretty much enjoyed what he brought to the table in terms of a new kind of (non-campy) Bond villain. I enjoyed his drive, ruthlessness and ultimately, his vulnerability. Great job!
 

 


#13 of 14 Mark Walker

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Posted May 11 2009 - 04:47 PM

Thanks for the detailed review.

Now that I have learned from all of you that Sony is likely to make this a double-dipper, I will pass until the assumed SE version on Blu is released.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameron Yee
http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/6/62/ronsreviews_covers_14487290.jpg">

...

Special Features: 3/5
Culling material that was used on the film's website and throwing in required fare like trailers and a music video, the special features package makes you feel full, but not really satisfied. The five featurettes are video diary entries from the 007.com website, but they use much of the same material as the longer "Bond on Location" documentary. And overall there's little exploration of or insight into the filmmakers' decisions about character and story. Ultimately, the most interesting item is the "Crew Files" (also originating from the website), which gives a deserving nod to some of the lower profile positions on the production, while also providing glimpses behind the scenes.

All items are in high definition with stereo audio, except where noted.

Music Video "Another Way To Die" (4m30s): Jack White and Alicia Keys' video for the title song.

"Bond on Location" (24m45s): A thorough tour of the film's many locations (the most of any Bond film), including Panama, Mexico, Chile, Austria, Italy, and of course England. Though 24 minutes is not a lot of time to cover every location in detail, the documentary focuses on the major set pieces that took place at each locale. I recommend viewing this lengthier piece as opposed to the subsequent featurettes, which use much of the same material but are presented less cohesively.

"Start of Shooting" Featurette (2m54s): Besides offering a date when shooting began (January 3, 2008), the piece offers a glimpse at stunt training, jet boat training and stunt driving training.

"On Location" Featurette (3m14s): Shooting in Mexico and Panama City.

"Olga Kurylenko and the Boat Chase" Featurette (2m14s): Kurylenko shares her experiences with stunts and stunt preparation.

"Director Marc Forster" Featurette (2m45s): Forster's working style, goals for the film and major challenges.

"The Music" Featurette (2m36s): Composer David Arnold talks about writing music, while Alicia Keys and Jack White offer their thoughts on the title song.

Crew Files (45m30s): Profiles of thirty-two members of the film crew, which include everyone from the location manager in Panama City to the DC3 airplane pilot to the title sequence directors. The sheer volume of profiles offers a nice glimpse at the variety of jobs associated with a film production and shed a little light on the jobs we often see scrolling by in the credits. All the pieces were originally shot for and posted on the film's website.

Teaser Trailer (1m50s): With Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

Theatrical Trailer (2m23s): With Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

$5.00 Coupon: Take $5.00 off the purchase of any Bond film on Blu-Ray, which includes Die Another Day, Dr. No, For Your Eyes Only, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, The World Is Not Enough and Thunderball. Expires June 30, 2009.


Recap

The Feature: 3/5
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 3/5
Overall Score (not an average): 4/5

An overly personal - and ultimately gloomy - Bond film gets fantastic technical treatment but a mostly perfunctory special features package. Since we saw it happen before with "Casino Royale" I wouldn't be surprised by a future release with a more extensive set of extras. However, those who don't care so much about supplementals should be quite pleased with this release.

Paramount, please release DRAGONSLAYER on Blu-ray

Dragonslayer_1981HTF_zps4e370848.jpg

 

 

Vermithrax Pejorative deserves to be seen in high-def.


#14 of 14 Brian Dobbs

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Posted August 10 2013 - 08:04 PM

Question about Mr. White in the trunk of Bond's car.

 

I seem to recall a 'freeze frame' on Mr. White for a split-second, as if to give the audience a chance to recognize that it was the guy at the end of Casino Royale.

 

Unless my eyes deceive me, this 'freeze frame' does not exist on the Blu-ray.

 

Does anyone else remember what I'm talking about from the theatrical run?







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