Spectre Blu-ray Review

007 exhibiting some tired blood 3.5 Stars

The twenty-fourth James Bond entry, Sam Mendes’ Spectre, has all of the tropes one has come to expect from the 007 series: chases, fights, explosions, torture, beautiful women, and exotic locales, but that’s just the trouble: we’ve seen it all before, and with very few surprising twists that lift this entry into the rarefied domain of the previous entry Skyfall, Spectre seems to fit around the middle-of-the-road in terms of entertainment.

Spectre (2015)
Released: 06 Nov 2015
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 148 min
Director: Sam Mendes
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Cast: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes
Writer(s): John Logan (screenplay), Neal Purvis (screenplay), Robert Wade (screenplay), Jez Butterworth (screenplay), John Logan (story), Neal Purvis (story), Robert Wade (story), Ian Fleming (characters)
Plot: A cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.
IMDB rating: 7.0
MetaScore: 60

Disc Information
Studio: MGM
Distributed By: Fox
Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio: English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD, Other
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Other
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 2 Hr. 28 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray, Digital Copy, UltraViolet
Case Type: keep case in a slipcover
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Region: A
Release Date: 02/09/2016
MSRP: $39.99

The Production: 3.5/5

The twenty-fourth James Bond entry, Sam Mendes’ Spectre, has all of the tropes one has come to expect from the 007 series: chases, fights, explosions, torture, beautiful women, and exotic locales, but that’s just the trouble: we’ve seen it all before, and with very few surprising twists that lift this entry into the rarefied domain of the previous entry Skyfall, Spectre seems to fit around the middle-of-the-road in terms of entertainment. As for as the Daniel Craig-Bond films, it’s better than Quantum of Solace but much less entertaining than Casino Royale. It seems that after more than half a century, James Bond may be beginning to run out of gas.

A rogue mission in Mexico City brings James Bond (Daniel Craig) into conflict with his new superior “M” (Ralph Fiennes) who is doing all he can to keep the 00-agent program afloat now that new MI5 boss Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott) is determined to eliminate the secret agent program and combine surveillance operations for nine countries under one roof with him at the head. In Mexico, Bond had overheard about possible terrorist operations organized by “The Pale King” in Rome which he wants to investigate, but “M” forbids it leading 007 to once again go rogue (with the help of Naomie Harris’ Moneypenny and Ben Whishaw’s “Q”) investigating one sinister figure of his acquaintance (Jesper Christensen’s Mr. White) who begs him to protect his innocent daughter Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux). With her help, Bond learns of the secret organization known as Spectre presided over by the shadowy figure Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz), obviously intent on killing Dr. Swann and eliminating Bond by assigning massive assassin Mr. Hinx (Dave Bautista) to do the dirty work.

As usual, the film begins with one of those astounding pre-credit sequences for which the Bond films are known: set on the Day of the Dead in Mexico City, Bond’s mission to assassinate crime lord Marco Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona), the former “M”’s (Judi Dench) final directive to him before her death at the end of Skyfall, leads to a nimble bit of ledge walking, a building collapse, a chase through the streets, and a fight aboard a helicopter spinning out of control. Director Sam Mendes quite cleverly begins this film sequence in a massive single take (masterfully masking his cuts in places where they aren’t noticeable) until we get back down to the parade, only the first of a series of wonderfully helmed action set pieces sprinkled throughout the movie. Bond beds Sciarra’s widow (Monica Bellucci in a small role) and, of course, the film’s true Bond girl Léa Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann, but each love scene judiciously cuts away before the action heats up (perhaps because there isn’t much chemistry between Craig and Seydoux). But the film’s two primary villains really disappoint by their very prosaicness: Dave Bautista’s Mr. Hinx is simply another beefy adversary who can’t be stopped even by crashing through the windshield of a car without sustaining a scratch (Jaws without the metal mouth appliance, Oddjob without his derby) while Christoph Waltz, while hiding a surprising secret from 007, still emerges as merely a villain of brains rather than brawn (take your pick from villains past: Goldfinger, Dr. No, Max Zorin, and a dozen others). The globe-trotting this time around is impressive (Mexico City, London, Rome, Austria, Tangier), and the film’s signature car chase in Rome (Bond in his trusty Aston Martin, Hinx in his Jaguar) is undeniably remarkable. There is also some fun again with “Q” after the earlier Craig-Bond pictures hadn’t dealt with the character to any extent, and “M”’s assistant Tanner (Rory Kinnear) seems like a nice addition promising another fun character in the office in the future though he has only limited work to do in this film.

Daniel Craig may be making his last stand as 007 here (in interviews after the film’s premiere, he expressed no interest in doing another one), but his Bond has clearly smoothed those rough edges that made his Bond so unique in the first couple of 007 adventures in which he participated. With the franchise seemingly back to its expected cast of characters here, it’s a little encouraging that “M” is given a little something more to do this time out than merely be cranky and irritable (though Ralph Fiennes certainly handles those behaviors with aplomb) while Naomie Harris as Moneypenny and especially Ben Whishaw as “Q” are characters worth savoring, both given more to do here than their counterparts in the earliest Bond films were ever afforded. Léa Seydoux may be a slightly more believable doctor than Denise Richards was in her Bond film with Pierce Brosnan, but only just. Andrew Scott slithers oily around the offices as the new executive cackling with glee over putting the antiquated 00-agent program out to pasture. As stated before, conventional villains Dave Bautista and Christoph Waltz fulfill their sinister roles nicely without standing out from a crowded field of Bond’s previously more famous nemeses.

Video: 4.5/5

3D Rating: NA

Shot on film rather than digitally, the 2.40:1 theatrical aspect ratio is faithfully presented in 1080p resolution using the AVC codec. While sharpness is never in question, filters have given the film a golden-edged hue not only in the Mexico City pre-credit sequence but often in other parts of the film, too, compromising skin tones into being somewhat pale and making other hues less impressive than they might otherwise have been. Black levels vary from milky to inky black while contrast throughout seems a little lighter than in previous entries in the series. The movie has been divided into 28 chapters.

Audio: 5/5

The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 sound mix offers just what you want from a James Bond adventure with a bombastic soundtrack filled with variable split effects, massive explosions and crashes, and compelling Thomas Newman music on the soundtrack coming from various speakers around the soundstage. Dialogue has been well recorded and has been placed in the center channel. The LFE channel gets a nice workout as expected from this sophisticated sound mix.

Special Features: 2.5/5

Spectre: Bond’s Biggest Opening Sequence (20:12, HD): behind-the-scenes look in staging and shooting the Day of the Dead opening sequence in Mexico City featuring sound bites from director Sam Mendes, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson, star Daniel Craig, production designer Dennis Gassner, costume designer Jany Temime, second unit director Alexander Witt, and stunt coordinator Gary Powell.

Video Blogs (9:09, HD): six brief vignettes focusing on one aspect of the production. They include director Sam Mendes talking about returning to the Bond franchise after directing its biggest grosser Skyfall, the Aston Martin and the Jaguar supercars used in the memorable chase, Bond girls Monica Bellucci and Léa Seydoux, the stunt work done in real time, Sam Smith’s theme song “Writing’s on the Wall,” and the massive explosion in the film that made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Photo Gallery: eighteen color stills which can be stepped through by the viewer.

Theatrical Trailers (5:18, HD): three trailers which can be viewed separately or in montage.

Digital Copy/Ultraviolet: code sheet for iTunes or Ultraviolet enclosed in the case.

Overall: 3.5/5

Spectre can be a perfectly entertaining James Bond adventure recalling many of the previous entries in the series, but the movie doesn’t constitute any advance on the franchise from what has gone before, so those looking for the innovations noted in Skyfall are going to have to be content with mere variations on the same chases, fights, and action sequences we’ve seen in many of the series’ twenty-three previous installments.

Published by

Matt Hough

administrator

65 Comments

  1. Thanks for the review. It confirms what I already suspected; that this is not a film for me.I don't much like James Bond films and I found the last two boring and incomprehensible. I might watch this film at some stage as Monica Bellucci has a small role, but I'm in no hurry to buy this disc.

  2. While I think it isn't as well done as the previous Daniel Craig Bond movies. The sound track is amazing. The opening helicopter scene was one of the best surround effects I have heard in a while. Very cool.

  3. Meh I liked it. I think the main problem is that Spectre basically Skyfall II except not nearly as good. If they'd released this after Quantum of Solace, it would have been hailed as a return to form for the franchise. Hell, if this were the 90s, then Spectre would easily be the best Brosnan movie by a long shot.

    As it stands, it's just slightly better than average by Bond picture standards. Is it great? No. Is it better than the bulk of the Roger Moore era? You bet your ass.

  4. I didn't like Skyfall (I haven't liked any since Dalton). Time for a re-boot/re-tread etc with a new Bond but after a lengthy break. Although I don't like all of his work, Tom Cruise MI series have been much better and have raised the bar for action films.

  5. I'd have preferred a more vibrant color scheme overall. Especially for the opening Mexico City sequence. Bond films were always larger than life extravaganzas with vibrant technicolor hues.

    At least they put the gun barrel back at the beginning where it belongs. That  was a nice birthday present for me! 🙂

  6. As it stands, it's just slightly better than average by Bond picture standards. Is it great? No. Is it better than the bulk of the Roger Moore era? You bet your ass.

    The funny thing is? I thought this was a VERY Roger Moore-ish film. Slick production values aside, you could easily cut and paste Daniel with Roger and the movie wouldn't have missed a beat.

    Pity the song fucking sucks. You have to try very hard to beat All Time High as the worst 007 theme ever put to film, but somehow they managed to pull it off . . .

  7. Let us know what you find. I've heard on other forums that some see them and some don't. It's very strange…

    Tried it again on PowerDVD 15, my lovely Sony BDP-S2000ES, and an older Panasonic, all three showed the Mexico City and Rome meeting subtitles perfectly when playing using the default startup (Play Movie). Those subtitles are also #5 on the subtitle list

    Donovan

  8. I picked this movie up at Costco over the weekend. However, I still hadn't watched Skyfall yet from my Bond 50 box; so I watched Skyfall over the weekend.

    Hearing that Spectre is Moore-ish is disturbing. However, even the Connery films had some humor (without being comedies); something that has been missing in the Craig films, IMO.

  9. Is this the only Bond film without at least one commentary track?

    There isn't one on the "Quantum Of Solace" disc either – supposedly they recorded one for a "special edition" type of release that never ended up materializing.

  10. There isn't one on the "Quantum Of Solace" disc either – supposedly they recorded one for a "special edition" type of release that never ended up materializing.

    I can understand why…it's the worst Bond film ever. Well, then, there's A VIEW TO A KILL.

  11. I am the odd man out here, as I discussed in another thread.

    SPECTRE is my favorite Daniel Craig Bond movie.  It's a great throwback to the old Bond movies I loved so much!

    I agree the Mexico City opening was a bit pale.  There are subtitles, for certain.

  12. I don't LOVE Spectre, but I like it an awful lot. Mind you, I'm also rather partial to Quantum of Solace, and believe it should be watched as a double feature with Casino Royale as often as possible.

  13. I liked SPECTRE, but it won't match CASINO ROYALE as my favorite Craig 007. For me CR is in my top five Bonds.

    I agree that QS can only be viewed more charitably as a CR afterthought.  😉

  14. I can understand why…it's the worst Bond film ever. Well, then, there's A VIEW TO A KILL.

    Have you never seen Moonraker or Die Another Day?

    QoS only works when watched immediately after Casino Royale, as if it were the second act of the film.

  15. I thought Spectre was ok.   After the last couple of MI movies and The Kingsman, maybe my expectations of what a Bond film is has unfairly changed?  Not sure, but this movie was only average to me.   Although Casino Royale set the bar high for the Daniel Craig era for me so that may also have something to do with it.  

    The opening scene was really good.   I'll have to watch this again for video and sound judgements.   I just recently added rear speakers back into the fold after going a couple of years without them so everything sounds great to me.   I also just received my 55" OLED, which replaced a 32" Samsung, so again, I'm in the novelty phase where everything is spectacular.

  16. A View to a Kill has a solid theme song co-written by John Barry, kitsch value, and Grace Jones. Not much else to recommend it.

    AVTAK also has a great villain played by Christopher Walken of course, and a nice role for Patrick Macnee. It also has a list of faults as long San Andreas, the most notable being the frightening scene of the equine Grace Jones mounting and dominating the frail and terrified looking Roger Moore in bed. I still prefer it to Spectre though as it's never dull. I rewatched that film last night and could not even figure out if Live M even sent Bond on a mission or if he was acting as a rogue agent, or if he was just following the trail by Dead M to Sciarra.

  17. I rewatched that film last night and could not even figure out if Live M even sent Bond on a mission or if he was acting as a rogue agent, or if he was just following the trail by Dead M to Sciarra.

    The film makes it pretty clear that he's not acting on Mallory's orders.  It was a mission given him by Judi Dench's M.

  18. Seconded. For all its faults, at least Spectre has style. View to a Kill is shot like an '80s TV movie.

    I was referring to Quantum of Solace and not Spectre. I have been a huge Bond fan since the early 70's and Quantum of Solace is the only Bond film I do not like. Boring script, not unusual for a Bond film but they are normally redeemed by great action scenes. The shaky, headache inducing camera style ruins the few good action scenes there are in Quantum of Solace.

    Concerning a View to a Kill I will add: No Bond film with a John Barry score is unwatchable. The Bond series has never completely recovered from the Lack of John Barry scores. One of the biggest continuities of the series from the 60's -80's was John Barry's music that set the tone and mood of the series. It would be the same if John Williams stopped scoring Star Wars films they would have a completely different feel.

  19. The film makes it pretty clear that he's not acting on Mallory's orders.  It was a mission given him by Judi Dench's M.

    If he wasn't under orders from Mallory, then he was rogue, which would explain why he told Bond to "stand down". It doesn't explain why he was sent to Q in the next scene and given weapons and access to the new car.  I don't think Dead Ms have any status to send agents on missions, especially without informing the LIve M.

  20. If he wasn't under orders from Mallory, then he was rogue, which would explain why he told Bond to "stand down". It doesn't explain why he was sent to Q in the next scene and given weapons and access to the new car.  I don't think Dead Ms have any status to send agents on missions, especially without informing the LIve M.

    Except that he wasn't given any weapons or a car.  He looked at the weapons, as Bond always does in Q's shop.  He's told the car is being reassigned to 008, in the light of Bond's mishaps in Mexico City.  Bond stole the car, hence Q's "oh, shit" reaction when he discovers the door to the shop is open, and the car is missing.

    As far as the mission – true, it's not an official mission.  It's still an order from Bond's dead boss, which makes it a kind of mission.

  21. Except that he wasn't given any weapons or a car.  He looked at the weapons, as Bond always does in Q's shop.  He's told the car is being reassigned to 008, in the light of Bond's mishaps in Mexico City.  Bond stole the car, hence Q's "oh, shit" reaction when he discovers the door to the shop is open, and the car is missing.

    As far as the mission – true, it's not an official mission.  It's still an order from Bond's dead boss, which makes it a kind of mission.

    Bond was given an exploding watch. And yes I do know he was not given the car but he took it. If he had been truly stood down, he wouldn't not even have had access too Q or his lab. And the fact that your previous dead boss give you a clue on video, does not give you permission without official sanction from your present boss especially one that stood you down, to act on behalf of Her Majesty's Government. And also with the potential destruction of the Double O section it was pretty foolhardy to do this.

  22. Bond was given an exploding watch… If he had been truly stood down, he wouldn't not even have had access too Q or his lab.

    The very last thing M told Bond as he was leaving his office was "report to Q tomorrow for medical," so while he might have been taken off any assignments, he still had access to Q's lab and was even expected to be there.

    And Q was clearly made to have been helping Bond "under the table" so to speak, which is why he told him about the exploding watch and the ability to not track the smart blood for 48 hours in such cryptic ways (and purposely out of the ear shot of Tanner)…

    …does not give you permission without official sanction from your present boss especially one that stood you down, to act on behalf of Her Majesty's Government.

    That could be an argument against about 20 of the Bond films…

  23. The whole point of having Bond report to Q was to have the nanotech injection so he could be tracked. Was nobody else paying attention?

    Why do people who disagree with an opinion just assume that others are morons and not paying attention? Of course, I realize he was given the injection in order to be tracked.  I just didn't see the logic of Q suddenly giving Bond a weapon (an exploding watch) in his lab, after he had been "stood down". Even in License to Kill, Q had to smuggle his weapons out of the lab and given them to Bond in the field. Surprising that with so many writers on Board (including Daniel Craig, who jumped in to try to clean up the mess) they couldn't come up with a coherent story that didn't make Bond a virtually inert character who floated from location to location and didn't seen very interested at all in what was happening to him.

  24. Wow. Just wow. The whole idea of being given "access" to Q is just a little absurd. It's really this simple: Bond is sent to Q to be outfitted with a "tracking device". Why? Because Mallory knows Bond is up to something and that it's his head, not Bond's that is on the line. Q gives him the watch because he knows Bond well enough from prior experience to know that Bond will disobey any orders to lie low, and it is the only modicum of protection that he can provide without calling attention to itself. Consider his phrasing: "The alarm is rather loud." Q knows he is being surveilled, and so the speech is coded.

    I realise this reading relies on some assumptions, but given Q's role both in this and Skyfall as both weapons specialist and hacker, the level of paranoia ascribed to him here is, IMHO, reasonable.

  25. …No Bond film with a John Barry score is unwatchable. The Bond series has never completely recovered from the Lack of John Barry scores. One of the biggest continuities of the series from the 60's -80's was John Barry's music that set the tone and mood of the series…

    I think Barry was one of the top three contributors to the series, along with designer Ken Adam and editor Peter Hunt, and each of their departures left a massive hole in the series that has never been filled.

    If I'd been in the Broccoli's position, I'd have driven dump trucks of money to Barry and Adam to get them to return for Goldeneye. Alas…

  26. I think Barry was one of the top three contributors to the series, along with designer Ken Adam and editor Peter Hunt, and each of their departures left a massive hole in the series that has never been filled.

    I would also throw Terence Young in there. He died in '94 while preparing a movie, so he could have had many more Bonds under his belt. Would have been fun to see what kind of a Roger Moore film he made.

    …that didn't make Bond a virtually inert character who floated from location to location and didn't seen very interested at all in what was happening to him.

    Although I agree more with Stephen on his reading of Q's actions, the above represents my greatest problem with Spectre. It just had Bond going from location to location to location with the weakest of reasons why.

    The script needed things to happen at certain points, so they forced them to happen. Bond and Madeline need to be in love by this point? BOOM they're in love. Bond needs to get to the crater base by this point? BOOM we'll leave him the coordinates. As I watched it I could literally see the cork board of 3×5 cards layed out on the wall. Nothing felt like it was happening organically.

    In a way the writers are just victim of the format – they need the hero to get the villian, save the girl, and survive by the end. They aren't free to let things happen organically, like I wished it would.  It's paint-by-numbers art, as entertaining as it can occasionally be.

  27. Skyfall was defiantly better than Spectre but I thought the movie was good, good enough to purchase on video.  I will however hold off till it is available on UHD!  On one hand I am surprised this did not get an UHD release but on the other hand it doesn't surprise me as it sets it up as the usual double dip!  Release the 1080p Blu-ray then next year release the UHD combo pack.  I promised myself I am done double dipping new releases and so I will wait for the UHD release, I just can not afford the double dip anymore.  I make less money and this takes away from my upgrade money so not happening, not anymore.

  28. The shaky, headache inducing camera style ruins the few good action scenes there are in Quantum of Solace.

    This is my biggest complaint regarding QoS (along with the story line ripoffs from Goldfinger). The film needed a director who could handle action. Watching QoS made me seasick. A truly awful attempt to copy the action from the Bourne films.

  29. I think Barry was one of the top three contributors to the series, along with designer Ken Adam and editor Peter Hunt, and each of their departures left a massive hole in the series that has never been filled.

    If I'd been in the Broccoli's position, I'd have driven dump trucks of money to Barry and Adam to get them to return for Goldeneye. Alas…

    I think writer Richard Maibaum needs to be added as well. His scripts were fantastic adaptions the Fleming original stories, and he even improved on some of the originals (I.e. Goldfinger). His efforts really put to shame most of the modern written – by – committee Bond scripts.

  30. Finally got around to watching Spectre – what a waste :(. I wasn't necessarily expecting the heights of Skyfall but this plunged to the depths of just about all Bond movies. Technically looked and sounded great but it felt like just going through the motions at best. Lifeless car chase through Rome (really a tour of the sights), blink and miss appearance from Monica Bellucci in a completely inconsequential role, Christoph Waltz not given much more to do – oh look there is another boring action sequence coming up. Best bits for me was the all too brief appearance by Dead M, the meeting with the Pale King and the primary introduction Waltz's character.

    Regards,

  31. At best, Spectre is a solid middle of the road Bond not great but not bad.

    At worst…it's still leagues better than Quantum of Solace, Die Another Day, Moonraker, A View To A Kill, The World Is Not Enough,  please stop me before I list every objectively terrible James Bond movie it's a pretty long list.

  32. At best, Spectre is a solid middle of the road Bond not great but not bad.

    At worst…it's still leagues better than Quantum of Solace, Die Another Day, Moonraker, A View To A Kill, The World Is Not Enough,  please stop me before I list every objectively terrible James Bond movie it's a pretty long list.

    I'm not a fan of James Bond movies but I think The World Is Not Enough is pretty good.

  33. As much as I disliked some of the earlier films like You Only Live Twice, Diamonds are forever, A View to A Kill, Die another Day and Quantum of SOlace, I have never been bored or angry as I was whole watching Spectre in theaters. I still cannot believe that's so much money was poured into this tired, soulless and confused film. It felt like a bad imitation of a good Bond film.

  34. The funny thing is? I thought this was a VERY Roger Moore-ish film. Slick production values aside, you could easily cut and paste Daniel with Roger and the movie wouldn't have missed a beat.

    Pity the song fucking sucks. You have to try very hard to beat All Time High as the worst 007 theme ever put to film, but somehow they managed to pull it off . . .

    Even worse than Madonna's Die Another Day?

  35. I can understand why…it's the worst Bond film ever. Well, then, there's A VIEW TO A KILL.

    Worse than Moonraker?

    Which is a sentimental favorite of mine. As a fresh faced US Marine all of 19, I used to dream of pulling off the "steal the poor sap's parachute" stunt in my USMC dress blues just to impress the girls. Oh the heady days of youth.

  36. Even worse than Madonna's Die Another Day?

    Quantum's song is awful as well, that's my worst.   Die Another Day would be second worst though.   SPECTRE's is near the bottom.   Crap, it's difficult to pick the worst.

  37. Oh its on the list, don't worry.

    And yet, despite having moments typical of Glen/Moore silliness, the last 40 ish minutes are some of the best sustained tension and action that the series had seen before, probably Glen's best effort as a director. Bad? Certainly not. Great? Not that either, but I don't squirm with embarrassment watching it.

  38. I'm not a fan of James Bond movies but I think The World Is Not Enough is pretty good.

    I cannot get past Denise Richards being cast as a nuclear physicist in that one — probably the second worst Bond girl casting after Tonya Roberts as a geologist in A View To a Kill.

  39. I cannot get past Denise Richards being cast as a nuclear physicist in that one — probably the second worst Bond girl casting after Tonya Roberts as a geologist in A View To a Kill.

    Agreed Tonya Roberts glaring at the camera and shaking her hair as she reads her lines has to be the poster child for bad acting. The all time worst performance in any Bond movie. Other than her performance I actually find A View to a Kill to be fun in a Roger Moore bubble gum Bond kind a way. My least favorite Moore Bond is Octopussy. Just something dull and lifeless about that one which is odd for a Moore Bond film. It probably needed someone like Connery or Dalton to pull it off.

  40. The main problem with Octopussy is its coming off of one of the best (and most highly underrated IMHO) Bonds in the shape of For Your Eyes Only which demonstrated that Moore's Bond didn't need to have that "lighter touch" he insisted on for most of his run. Although to be fair, the style whiplash isn't as bad with Octopussy as it is with the film that immediately proceeded FYEO.

    Now you can say the same thing about Spectre (how they deliberately tried to make Skyfall II and failed miserably at it) but the difference for me it has some truly great moments whereas Octopussy is a real cure for insomnia once Bond takes off in his Aerostar jet.

  41. The main problem with Octopussy is its coming off of one of the best (and most highly underrated IMHO) Bonds in the shape of For Your Eyes Only which demonstrated that Moore's Bond didn't need to have that "lighter touch" he insisted on for most of his run. Although to be fair, the style whiplash isn't as bad with Octopussy as it is with the film that immediately proceeded FYEO.

    Now you can say the same thing about Spectre (how they deliberately tried to make Skyfall II and failed miserably at it) but the difference for me it has some truly great moments whereas Octopussy is a real cure for insomnia once Bond takes off in his Aerostar jet.

    I'll take Moonraker and Octopussy over For your Eyes Only any day. For all of its silliness, Moonraker is at least of a piece, while Eyes lurches back and forth between broad comedy and serious thriller from scene to scene, and Glen is nowhere near expert enough a director to handle the sudden shifts in tone. It has its moments, but Eyes also lacks Moonraker's epic scale and saving graces – Jean Tournier's lush photography, Ken Adam's awesome sets and John Barry's majestic score.

  42. I cannot get past Denise Richards being cast as a nuclear physicist in that one — probably the second worst Bond girl casting after Tonya Roberts as a geologist in A View To a Kill.

    Well, each to their own etc. I don't have a problem with her. After all, plausibility is not what James Bond films are all about.:)

  43. Even worse than Madonna's Die Another Day?

    Far and away worse than Die Another Day. Madonna is freakin' Freddy Mercury compared to the awful, awful song on Specter. And yes, when I rewatched it a week or so ago, it confirmed that it was at the bottom of the Bond Theme pile.

  44. So I just watched this a second time and I have to say I liked it a lot better than the first time.

    After I watched it the first time, I bought the 50 Anniversary set and watched all 23 previous films and finally SPECTRE again tonight.   I'm wondering if the reason I liked this better was because my other Bond viewings were so recent compared to the couple of years gap from Skyfall to bluray SPECTRE release (when I first watched it).

    I'm not a huge fan of the opening song, but I also don't think it's the worst.

    I do wish they had recycled less of the Skyfall soundtrack and played more orchestration of the opening title like the older movies would do.

    As for the bluray, I'm pleased with the audio, there was some really nice LFE moments and I especially liked the use of surrounds when Bond and Dave Bautista were fighting on the train.

    Video was mostly clear, but the black levels were elevated.  I wonder if that was the look they were going for but the black bars were black and the dark scenes were a lot grayer (brownish-gray?) than they were.   I think the film would have looked better with better blacks, but if that was the director's intent, I'm fine with it.

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