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Blu-ray Review Quantum of Solace Steelbook Blu-ray Review (1 Viewer)

Matt Hough

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Quantum of Solace Steelbook Blu-ray Review

James Bond’s vendetta against those who killed his lady love comes to fruition in Marc Forster’s Quantum of Solace, the second of the 007 films to star Daniel Craig with events occurring directly after the multitude of climaxes which marked the ending of Casino Royale. The film seems more akin to a Jason Bourne movie than a Bond picture with a heavy emphasis on action, very little romance, and a tendency to underplay the exotic locations where the adventures take place. This reissue of the original disc in new Blu-ray steelbook packaging will only be for fans who collect all things Bond.



Studio: MGM

Distributed By: Fox

Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Rating: PG-13

Run Time: 1 Hr. 46 Min.

Package Includes: Blu-ray, UltraViolet

steelbook casing

Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

Region: A

Release Date: 09/15/2015

MSRP: $12.99




The Production Rating: 3/5

Betrayed by Vesper Lind who perishes at the end of Casino Royale, 007 (Daniel Craig) suppresses the urge to make his latest mission personal as he teams with M (Judi Dench) to interrogate Mr. White (Jesper Christensen). But the organization behind the betrayal has double agents even inside MI6 allowing White to escape with Bond on his trail. He journeys to Italy and from there to Haiti where he meets Camille (Olga Kurylenko), a quixotic beauty with her own vendetta against a ruthless businessman named Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric). Greene who launders his ill-gotten money behind a phony environmental agency is in the process of taking over Bolivia via a new puppet dictator General Medrano (Joaquin Cosio) so he can lay claim to a vast resource well hidden beneath the surface of the country’s largest desert. In attempting to stop Greene, Bond finds that not only is he cut off from MI6 who have disavowed his credentials, but he’s also wanted by the CIA as well as by Greene’s compatriots.

 

Quantum of Solace is the James Bond film most in need of several doses of Ritalin so hyperactive and frenzied are its action scenes. Within the first half hour of the movie, a dizzying array of three lengthy action set pieces finds Bond at odds with villains in fast moving cars moving through a long tunnel and a rocky mountain downgrade (the pre-credit sequence), a breathless foot chase across the shaky tile roofs in Italy, and a feverish boat chase in Haiti. In all of these plus the subsequent fights and attacks (an aerial dogfight, the climactic raid on a very modish desert hotel), razor-cut editing techniques bring the look and feel of Jason Bourne movies to the forefront losing much of the warmth and charm of the series (Daniel Craig’s 007 is unquestionably the coldest of the lot, a title Timothy Dalton once laid claim to). Director Marc Forster’s rapid pacing insures there are no slow spots to the narrative, but one rather misses the rest periods between great action scenes that previous Bond adventures contained. One of the more positive elements this time around is the more active role that M takes in the proceedings, once again championing Bond through his mistakes and missteps and trusting him when it’s obvious to no one but her that he’s been set up to become a target for his former allies so that Greene can carry out his nefarious scheme. And there is one beautifully evocative moment when a lifeless female draped across a bed slathered in oil brings to mind a similar body placement only with gold paint in the franchise’s most famous entry Goldfinger.

 

Daniel Craig’s Bond is one spy who doesn’t mind engaging in hard combat and carrying the scars of his battles with him into the next skirmish. There are very few moments during the movie where his face isn’t marked by scratches, bruises, and blood (no other Bond ever emerged from battles with these kinds of wounds), making for the least romantic Bond ever (he does take fellow agent Strawberry Fields – Genna Arterton – to bed but not leading lady Olga Kurylenko in a surprising change of pace). Judi Dench actually turns out to be the leading lady of the movie with her most active performance in the franchise since The World Is Not Enough. Mathieu Amalric makes for a marvelously creepy villain, underplayed in the best style to suggest the maximum in ruthlessness. Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter returns from the previous movie as does enigmatic Giancarlo Giannini playing Rene Mathis who was the biggest champion of the Vesper/James liaison. David Harbour as Leiter’s clueless superior adds a bright moment or two.



Video Rating: 5/5  3D Rating: NA

The high definition transfer of the 2.40:1 theatrical original is accomplished in 1080p using the AVC codec. This is another reference quality transfer with stunning sharpness throughout and color that’s bright and appealing when appropriate and with consistent contrast making for impressive, inky black levels. The movie has been divided into 28 chapters.



Audio Rating: 5/5

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix offers the kind of wide, expansive aural experience one expects with modern action films. There are split atmospheric effects throughout, and David Arnold’s urgent background score gets a solid placement through the fronts and rears. Dialogue has been expertly recorded and has been placed in the center channel.



Special Features Rating: 3.5/5

Many thanks to Cameron Yee whose research for the bonus features for the Blu-ray disc are presented here from his original critique.

 

Music Video "Another Way To Die" (4:30, SD): Jack White and Alicia Keys' video for the title song.

 

Bond on Location (24:45, SD): 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.
Start of Shooting Featurette (2:54, SD): 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 (3:14, SD): Shooting in Mexico and Panama City.

 

Olga Kurylenko and the Boat Chase Featurette (2:14, SD): Kurylenko shares her experiences with stunts and stunt preparation.

 

"Director Marc Forster" Featurette (2:45, SD): Forster's working style, goals for the film, and major challenges.

 

"The Music" Featurette (2:36, SD): Composer David Arnold talks about writing music while Alicia Keys and Jack White offer their thoughts on the title song.

 

Crew Files (45:30, SD): 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 (1:50, SD): With Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

 

Theatrical Trailer (2:23, SD): With Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

 

Steelbook Packaging/Ultraviolet: code sheet enclosed in the case.



Overall Rating: 3/5

The least tonally similar James Bond movie of all the James Bond movies, Quantum of Solace is an adrenaline junkie’s fever dream of a film. With the new film SPECTRE due in theaters very shortly, one hopes it’s closer in spirit to Casino Royale or Skyfall rather than this atypical entry in the series. The steelbook releases are presently Best Buy exclusives, but Amazon has a page set up for future ordering and marketplace sellers are asking inflated prices for them presently.


Reviewed By: Matt Hough


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Osato

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Tim
I still like this one. The fast pacing and quick story do not bother me.
Olga is great too.
It's a shame that they have not issued the completed special edition of the film on blu Ray. It was completed in 2009. There is a Forster commentary that was recorded for the film as well.
 

Ushabye

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I actually prefer this to Skyfall (though slick and beautifully made I ultimately find it a little dull). Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric and the shorter running are a fine mix. Quite a contrast to the Skyfall bloat that followed.
 

davidmatychuk

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To me, "Quantum Of Solace" is the punk rock entry in the James Bond series, lean and stripped-down, devoid of most of the usual campy Bond trappings, without glamour for glamour's sake, set in a more recognizably real world. I like that it's different; I even like the spiky little opening credits song.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I had a really negative reaction the first time I saw the movie, but it's really grown on me over the years. It has this whacked out fever dream vibe to it that I've come to love. And I love the title song.
 

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