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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Skyfall -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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After all the home video hype about Bond 50, and the generally adequate to below quality of many of the older titles, as found in that big boxed set, it's nice to get back to reality, and high quality, with the latest Bond, Skyfall. Is it the best of the Bonds? I'm not certain. But it's definitely up there. Is it the best Blu-ray of a modern Bond? I believe it is, as cinematographer Roger Deakins, using the Arri Alexa, has created incredibly sharp imagery, and as he notes in the Arri interview in the other Skyfall thread, the eyes have it. And the detail, especially as captured for the down-rezzed Blu-ray format, is amazing. Sonically, the new Blu-ray had me double checking hardware, to make certain that I wasn't hearing 7.1. The audio, as presented in DTS-HD MA, and presumably a bit as handled by my Anthem, is that good at expanding to seven channels. Very little to be said here, as discussions can continue in the review thread. A magnificent Blu-ray, based upon Arri Alexa capture in 2.8k through to a 4k DI. Absolute reference level Blu-ray. Highly Recommended. RAH
 

Reggie W

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To my eyes one of and probably the most gorgeous looking film of the year. Deakins should win an Oscar for his work here. I'd also call this one of the best Bond films in the series.
 

Felix Martinez

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Wow, this was stunning. If there is such a thing as a PERFECT Blu-ray re: A/V quality, this release would be a contender for that title.
If I had to really pick nits, the audio was dynamically limited about 3-4db more than I would like (it played a little loud - dialogue was a bit loud), but it is an otherwise wonderful mix with very effective phantom imaging between speakers, creating a seamless soundscape that Mr. Harris mentions sounds more like 7.1 than 5.1. Really, a fantastic release.
The video quality is superb.
My favorite bit was the mano a mano fisticuffs in Shanghai, punctuated by gunshots that illuminate what is otherwise a sequence shot in one set-up, in silhouette.
In fact, here it is.
 

Oblivion138

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Everyone mentions the Shanghai fight sequence, and it is indeed stunning. That said, my favorite images from the film are probably the establishing shots in Macau, or the drive through Scotland (great homage to Kubrick's The Shining). No one in the world can shoot a landscape quite like Deakins.
 

Osato

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Great review Robert. I am a huge Bond fan and really liked how different this one was and yet it felt more like an older Bond film too. I enjoyed seeing the film 3 times in theaters. I agree that Roger Deakins should win an Oscar this year. I was very impressed with the cinematography of Skyfall. I also really dug the score for the film. My blu ray copy showed up this week and I'm hoping to check it out very soon. I wonder when MGM and Fox will give the Roger Moore Bond films a proper 4K scan and then we will be upgrading the Bond 50 box sets?
 

YanMan

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Oblivion138 said:
Everyone mentions the Shanghai fight sequence, and it is indeed stunning. That said, my favorite images from the film are probably the establishing shots in Macau, or the drive through Scotland (great homage to Kubrick's The Shining). No one in the world can shoot a landscape quite like Deakins.
Speaking of the Scotland segment, did anyone else pick up on a possible visual reference to Hitchcock's The 39 Steps, when Bond stops at the stone bridge to look at the landscape? Is that possibly the same location Hitchcock used in The 39 Steps (the part when Hannay is eluding the police under the stone bridge)?
 

JoshZ

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Osato said:
I wonder when MGM and Fox will give the Roger Moore Bond films a proper 4K scan and then we will be upgrading the Bond 50 box sets?
For whatever it's worth, Live and Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker were scanned in 4k.
 

Worth

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JoshZ said:
For whatever it's worth, Live and Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker were scanned in 4k.
Was Spy scanned at 4K, as well? I believe the original Lowry restoration used a 2K scan, but I'm pretty sure the blu-ray was sourced from a new master. I saw a DCP of the previous "restoration" recently and it looked dreadful.
 

SilverWook

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TSWLM Blu is indeed a new master. It has the new "3D" MGM logo, and no Lowry restoration credits at the end.
 

Lord Dalek

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Originally Posted by JoshZ
For whatever it's worth, Live and Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker were scanned in 4k.
Live and Let Die was, the other two weren't.
 

Worth

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Lord Dalek said:
Live and Let Die was, the other two weren't.
Moonraker was for sure - it's even stated in the restoration details after the credits.
 

Osato

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JoshZ said:
For whatever it's worth, Live and Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker were scanned in 4k.
Worth said:
Moonraker was for sure - it's even stated in the restoration details after the credits.
Agreed on Moonraker. It is a 4K scan. I did not know about The Spy Who Loved Me receiving a new master for blu ray. Was it at 4K? I thought Spy looked very good on blu ray. Much better than the UE DVD version. It would be nice to see all of the Bond films given a 4K treatment. I think the 4K scanned ones look better than the 2K scanned ones. I finally watched Skyfall last night and thought the picture and sound look amazing. I think the film holds up very well on multiple viewings as well. Hopefully I'll have some time to get to the extras on the set soon.
 

Ejanss

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Osato said:
Agreed on Moonraker. It is a 4K scan.
And say what you want about the movie itself, the scene of the sun rising on the space station is major wow in 1080p. :cool:
 

Osato

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Ejanss said:
And say what you want about the movie itself, the scene of the sun rising on the space station is major wow in 1080p. :cool:
I love Moonraker!
 

JoshB

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Skyfall ranks as one of the top 5, if not 3, Bonds, IMO. That and it landed on a number of year end Top Ten lists and box office aside, proves that the franchise has a lasting appeal. I hope Mendes picks up directing duties for the next film(s), and brings his cinematographer along. He brought a level of skill, class, and nostalgia to the film that was needed in order to sustain the series and also pay homage to Bond turning 50 (love the reveal of the Aston Martin) Watching a film with Roger Deakins behind the lens is almost an event in and of itself. Along side Robert Richardson and Robert Elswit, they are the best in the business. I was used to watching Elswit shoot PTA films for so long that when he moved into some recent action pictures (MI: Ghost Protocol or The Town) I hope he decides to keep at it and give the genre a more artistic side as opposed to most action films.
 

Peter Neski

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well Robert Elswit is got a way to go to equal Deakins in my mind,he did a fine job on the Bond he did,Skyfalll is excellent ,not sure top 5
 

Worth

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Ejanss said:
And say what you want about the movie itself, the scene of the sun rising on the space station is major wow in 1080p. :cool:
The effects in Moonraker hold up quite well - the fact that there are no optical shots helps tremendously
 

Mark Oates

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Worth said:
The effects in Moonraker hold up quite well - the fact that there are no optical shots helps tremendously
Strictly speaking Moonraker is full of opticals - credited to Robin Browne, Bill Hansard and Louis Lapeyre among others. Derek Meddings and his team achieved an astounding amount of work without benefit of ILM-style composite work, simply by winding back and multiple exposure, but the movie does include some optical work.
 

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