XenForo Template Quantum of Solace Two-Disc Special Edition Release Date: March 24, 2009 Studio: MGM Home Entertainment Packaging/Materials: Two-disc VIVA Eco-Box with cardstock slipcover Year: 2008 Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 1h46m MSRP: $34.98 MAIN FEATURESPECIAL FEATURESVideo2.40:1 anamorphic1.78:1 anamorphicAudioDTS: English 5.1 / Dolby Digital: English 5.1, Spanish 5.1, French 5.1Stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1SubtitlesEnglish, SpanishClosed Captioned 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 It's rare that I can review a film's DVD and Blu-Ray releases back-to-back. Viewing the movie on Blu-Ray first, one would expect the DVD to suffer from comparison. True, there's not as much detail and definition - particularly in the wide shots - and overall sharpness and color depth aren't as great. But, all things considered, the film looks fantastic on DVD and represents a high caliber transfer for the format. Presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and enhanced for widescreen displays, blacks are deep and inky and contrast, stylistically enhanced in some scenes, is excellent. Fine object detail is very good, desert sands looking quite good with no signs of compression problems, and sharpness is both fine and consistent. Colors show good 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 DVD transfer is excellent, with no signs of undue digital manipulation like edge enhancement or noise reduction. Audio Quality: 4.5/5 As with the video transfer, the 755 kbps 5.1 DTS audio track lacks some qualities compared to a high resolution option - subtlety and expansiveness being the most obvious. I can't justify giving the track full marks though, as it just seemed a little too blunt at times, though I will freely admit that I'm probably letting the lossless experience cloud my judgment. Still, I expect with nothing to compare it to, DVD owners will be well pleased. Sonic detail and definition are very good 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 satisfying, 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. A Dolby Digital 5.1 track is also available. After a rudimentary comparison (I was not able to switch tracks on-the-fly) I favored the DTS option, which seemed to offer a wider soundstage and a "brightness" I tend to prefer. 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 1.78 anamorphic with stereo audio, except where noted. [Disc One] Music Video "Another Way To Die" (4m30s): Jack White and Alicia Keys' video for the title song. Teaser Trailer (1m50s): With Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Theatrical Trailer (2m23s): 2.40:1 anamorphic with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. [Disc Two] "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. The Feature: 3/5 Video Quality: 5/5 Audio Quality: 4.5/5 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.