'Quantum of Solace' On Blu-ray/DVD – What The Critics Said (Part I)
Daniel Craig is James Bond in Quantum of Solace
This past Wednesday marked the release of Quantum of Solace on Blu-ray and DVD in Australia, while this upcoming week will see additional debuts in the UK, US and elsewhere around the world.
Over the past few days, several media websites have been posting reviews–including those for the Two-Disc Special Edition DVD and the Blu-ray disc–of the 22nd James Bond adventure to see how it holds up on the home video format.
CommanderBond.net has compiled together an detailed listing of the various Blu-ray/DVD reviews of Quantum of Solace…
QUANTUM OF SOLACE – BLU-RAY/DVD
WHAT THE CRITICS SAID (PART I)
As a whole package, Quantum of Solace is very entertaining
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Without a doubt, Quantum of Solace was one of the most anticipated film releases of the 2008 holiday season. It would be Daniel Craig’s second outing as Bond and audiences were eagerly awaiting to see more of the magic from Craig and company that made Casino Royale one of the best received Bond films in decades. Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland, Stranger Than Fiction) would take the directors chair from two-time Bond director Martin Campbell. Forster seemed an odd choice for such an action packed series, considering his dramatic background.
Quantum of Solace would also mark a first in the Bond series: the first direct sequel to a previous film. The film’s opening moments establish this point immediately, as Bond engages in a high-speed car chase, on his way to deliver Mr. White to MI6. What follows next is a steady stream of action set pieces interspersed with just enough exposition and dialogue to give you a chance to catch your breath, the problem is, the action scenes, while top notch, not the style most Bond fans may have expected. They are obviously the work of Dan Bradley, second unit director and stunt coordinator; his style is very apparent, having been seen before in the latter two Bourne films. The Bourne films have arguably had an influence on the Bond reboot, but the last thing this revitalized series needs is to come off as an imitator of another franchise…
You do still get some extras, but it’s just they’re not very good [Blu-ray]
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
One word to describe the picture quality at times here: stunning. The early shots sweeping over the ocean are reminiscent of similar scene-setters in the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies, and they looked great in 1080p too. Here, Quantum of Solace looks as grade A as you’d expect such an expensive and major production to be. It’s backed with a DTS 5.1 HD sound mix that’s by turns aggressive and subtle, with a vibrant soundstage that reflects the film well (although the film’s use of audio itself is quite mixed, to be fair). It’s a very well presented movie.
Don’t get too excited where the extras are concerned, though. After the highs of the film’s presentation, things come crashing down with the extra features package. It’s frustrating, because it’s blatantly clear that the real stuff is being prepared for the special edition, which will no doubt arrive in eighteen months’ time around the release of the next 007 movie. Director Marc Forster has already admitted that he’s recorded a commentary, that’s not on this disc, and neither is the deleted scene where Daniel Craig utters the “Bond, James Bond” line to Mr White…
There’s some good stuff on it, but not nearly enough [Blu-ray]
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Shortly before diving into this disc I rewatched my SD copy of Casino Royale for the first time since its release a couple of years ago. I don’t remember noting it first time around but that transfer really wasn’t top notch, with some scenes suffering from compression artefacts making Daniel’s face twice as craggy as it should have been and a softness of image that belied its recent release date. Unsurprisingly, going straight from that to this BD transfer proved quite a contrast. The film is presented on a BD50 disc encoded in 1080p AVC in its correct 2.35:1 ratio and is, according to the BBFC site, uncut. The transfer manages to capture the often unique palate of the location shoot on Colón, managing to convey the subtle hues of the town’s buildings, both in the daytime and evening scenes, in a suitably pleasing manner. Black levels are nicely distinguished, although there is a faint impression that the sequence at the dock both immediately before and during the boat chase is slightly darker than it should have been, while in the same period a couple of shots of the water look more like digital noise than the mulling waves one would expect. There’s a very faint patina of grain over the Bolivian desert scenes while a faint shimmer in the sequence in M’s hi-tech office when Bond first asks who Greene is. Otherwise it’s a extremely pleasing, high quality transfer, one which ensures that Daniel Craig’s face has just the correct amount of cragginess…
An exciting, enjoyable continuation of an edgier, tougher, tighter Bond’s adventures
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Quantum of Solace‘s anamorphic transfer is rock solid. The 2.35:1 image is crisp and good-looking, with nothing noticeable in the way of digital artifacts. Roberto Schaefer’s cinematography plays mostly in grays and blacks, which are deeply rendered with appropriate contrast. When brighter colors occasionally appear–as in the Italian chase sequence or the deep blue waters surrounding Giannini’s villa–they pop nicely.
No complaints with the audio quality, either; the 5.1 track is sharp and exciting, with crystal-clear dialogue and well-mixed music. Directional effects are very good in the action sequences–and not just in the big, subwoofer-shaking explosions, but in the well-placed swinging planks and crashing glass of the church fight and the whizzing motors of the boat chase. Overall, a very impressive mix…
Definitely worth a watch, but don’t bother with the second disc of extras
Quantum of Solace picks up immediately where Casino Royale left off, with Daniel Craig’s Bond freshly betrayed by Vesper Lynd. His road to revenge or redemption reveals a new worldwide conspiracy called QUANTUM that has infiltrated Her Majesty’s Secret Service itself, and takes him outside the law, going rogue against his own government.
The trail leads Bond to QUANTUM’s plan to overthrow the Bolivian government and install a dictator in exchange for ownership of a vast desert — for the oil, everyone assumes. Mathieu Amalric is the sleazy eco-entrepreneur Dominic Greene, Olga Kurylenko plays Camille, a former secret agent with her own reasons to take down the new dictator, and Gemma Arterton is barely there as Fields, a British agent. The film careens along between set pieces, delivering lots of action but without the coherence and depth that made Casino Royale more than just another action flick…
Quantum of Solace captures all of the action, but only some of the fun
While Quantum of Solace is a fine action film in its own right, it really requires the viewer to have seen Casino Royale for it to fully make sense and would be incomplete without it. Craig makes a good Bond, but this is an edgier take on the role, devoid of the charm and wit usually found with the character. Also, there is no Q character or any of the fun gadgets that go along with it. These are things at least this Bond fan goes to see and it is always fun to see what cool toy he will play with next. He is a spy after all. Let’s hope some of that is back in the next film. Quantum of Solace captures all of the action, but only some of the fun that made Bond great to begin with.
The DVD includes a number of extras, including the music video for “Another Way to Die” by Jack White and Alicia Keys and two theatrical teaser trailers on Disc One while Disc Two has “Bond on Location,” “Start of Shooting,” “On Location,” “Olga Kurylenko and the Boat Chase,” “Director Marc Forster,” “The Music” and very extensive “Crew Files.”
Quantum of Solace introduces a far more believable James Bond [Blu-ray]
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
There is a lot to like in Quantum of Solace if you approach it with the right state of mind. Unlike Casino Royale, Mark Forster’s film reveals a James Bond who is notably vulnerable, at times even surprisingly weak–I liked that. What I disliked about Quantum of Solace was its chaotic story with the generally ineffective secondary characters in it. This being said, the Blu-ray disc herein reviewed, courtesy of 20th Century Fox-UK, looks and sounds fantastic. I sense that somewhere down the road we will see a SE of some sort, but, the current presentation is very much of top-notch quality. Recommended.
Quantum of Solace Blu-ray/DVD Overview
Complete CommanderBond.net Coverage
Latest news, cover artwork, ordering details, worldwide release dates, special features, original announcements, exclusives and promotional deals and more.
Keep turning to the CommanderBond.net main page for continued Quantum of Solace on Blu-ray/DVD coverage.