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post #1 of 17 Old 03-30-09, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quantum of Solace - Blu-ray Review

M:
Bond, I need you to come back.

James Bond:
I never left.




Actors: Daniel Craig, Jesper Christensen, Judi Dench, Lucrezia Lante Della Rovere, Tim Pigott-Smith
Directors: Marc Forster
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: English
Subtitles: French
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Number of discs: 1
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
DVD Release Date: March 24, 2009
Run Time: 106 minutes










It's been forty-six years since the very first Bond film Dr. No, and Bond is back in his 22nd installment of the franchise. This one just about has it all- Car chase, boat chase, plane chase/dogfight, a foot chase that ends up running across the roof tops of Italy... pretty women, evil bad men... the Austin Martin, and of course... we can't forget the tux!

Quantum of Solace starts out with a beautiful panning shot across the water and of the hills of Italy. The silence of the beauty and panning shot is abruptly interrupted by the roar of high performance car engines and the sound of machine gun fire. The car chase is full of adrenaline and does a good job at setting the pace for the rest of the movie. QofS is an action packed roller-coaster ride of a movie, blink and you'll miss something!

It's not perfect though, well not a perfect Bond flick I should say. When I said it has 'just about everything', it does for an action flick, but missing are some Bond staples. There is no gun barrel scene at the beginning of the movie, no Q, no Moneypenny, and no gadgets. Also missing is the classic Bond rift and music whenever there is an action scene coming or ending.






[MOUSE]Fun Facts: The film shoot used 200,000 rounds of blank bullets which were used for training, testing and filming.[/MOUSE]


Quantum of Solace is also a first in Bond movie franchise history. It is the shortest of all the Bond movies, and it is the first direct sequel to the previous Bond movie. At first I wasn't thrilled with the way the franchise is going, mainly the absence of Q and gadgets. To many people Q is just as important as Bond himself and they have come to expect seeing him and his workshop in every film. I personally also miss the banter between Q and Bond. Q acts like he despises Bond because he is reckless and always destroys his field gear, but truth be told Q actually holds a special friendship with Bond. We'll get back to Q in a moment though.

[MOUSE]Fun Facts: At 106 minutes long, this is the shortest James Bond movie in the EON Productions Official Series. This film is a direct sequel to Casino Royale (2006) which ironically is the longest film in the official series. This film is also the first Bond movie to run under two hours since Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).[/MOUSE]



At first I didn't like Casino Royal and Quantum of Solace, and it has nothing to do with Daniel Craig. He is a fine actor and I actually like him as Bond. Not only is he physical, he actually looks like he's in shape and knows how to handle himself. Roger Moore's Bond looked like he couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag. Craig actually looks like he could chase someone a mile on foot and then still beat them in a fight. Craig also isn't a pretty boy and isn't handsome in the classical sense. He is however closer to Fleming's idea of what Bond looked like than any other Bond, including Connery- and I am a die hard Connery fan.

The reason why I didn't like Casino isn't because it is a reboot of the franchise, and not even because Q was missing as well as the gadgets, it had to do with M. For unknown reasons Eon Productions decided to make Bond a brand new double 0 agent and have Judi Dench be the current head of MI6, or M for short. The problem I have with this is Dench was introduced as M in Goldeneye. Brosnan clearly was Bond and a seasoned double 0. They even went out of their way to crack jokes about Dench's M and her coming over from the accounting department. In Casino they treated us viewer's like we don't remember things like that. Now I understand this is a 'reboot', but I am not so sure why they felt they had to reboot a franchise that was doing so well. Typically in a 'reboot' though, they cleanse all the actors and start over with new faces, like they did in Batman Begins. In Casino though, they kept Dench because she is a familiar face to Bond fans. That is a small quirk of mine though. I want consistency and don't want to be treated like I'm too dumb to remember things.


All that aside, I have changed my mind about the reboot. I changed my mind because I know where they are going with things. You see QofS really isn't a separate movie, but a continuation of Casino Royal. And Casino Royal was the 'reboot'. The now famous gun barrel sequence that opens each Bond movie is actually at the end of QofS. What they are saying is Bond is now the Bond that we all grew up watching and have come to love as our favorite super spy. Also Casino Royal introduced Mr. White and a 'secret organization', and QofS continued to tease us with this organization, and now it actually has a name. SPECTRE was the nemesis of Bond in the '60's and we got some of our best villains as well as Bond movies from that era. Now we have the organization known as Quantum. This is the new SPECTRE and something the Bond franchise was missing during the '70s and '80s. During those years Bond was no longer fighting an organization, he was going up against governments, evil businessmen, and maniacal 'mad' scientists. Now we have a common enemy again, one worthy of Bond!

If rumors are true, Bond23 is going to have everything. It will have the action of Casino and QofS, we'll see Moneypenny again, and Q and the gadgets will be back. I wouldn't expect some of the outlandish Bond gadgets of the past, like Roger Moore's spy camera with '007' boldly emblazoned across the front. Moore's Bond became campy and the gadgets were just as silly. What we are going to see are more realistic spy gadgets. What I hope and expect to see are gadgets that are not only plausible, but could actually be out there being used right now in the intelligence community.


Perhaps the biggest rumor of them all is Al Pacino. Yes Al Pacino. The rumor was that Pacino was supposed to have a small cameo in QofS right at the end. Rumor has it he is the leader of Quantum and our new Blofeld. Keep in mind this is just a rumor at this time, but it seems to come from sources within EON. Imagine a big name like Pacino coming into the franchise...

So if the rumors are true, we will have a full blown classic Bond movie complete with Q, gadgets and the Bond theme- But we have to wait until 2011 to find out, and a lot of things can change between now and then.

Let's get back to Quantum of Solace now. I try very hard not to give away plot spoilers, and I haven't so far, and don't worry none are coming.

Quantum is fast paced and a great action flick. Right now it is Bond only in name, but like I pointed out, they are working their way to a full blown Bond film. Anyone that likes action movies will enjoy QofS.

Some have compared the action and fights to the Bourne movies, myself included. The first instinct is to think they copied the Bourne style because they are phenomenally successful movies, but there is also another reason why the style is so similar. The second unit director of QofS was hired based on his work on The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. The second unit director for Casino Royal was Alexander Witt... who was also the second unit director on The Bourne Identity. So if you were wondering why these movies have such a similar style, it's pretty easy to see now.

[MOUSE]Fun Facts: The Aston Martin DBS car will make a return in this movie due to a three picture $100 million deal that car company Ford has for exclusive vehicle product placement rights.[/MOUSE]



The Bond girls in this one are Olga Kurylenko as Camille and Gemma Arterton as Agent Fields. If Olga looks familiar, she was in another action flick, Hitman starring Timothy Olyphant. She is a natural beauty and at 5'10" quite the presence herself. Olga also has a striking resemblance to another Bond beauty- Sophie Marceau from The World is not Enough. Gemma is an MI6 agent sent to bring Bond back. When Bond asks her what her name is, she coyly says "Just Fields." Most likely because she may have been embarrassed by her full name, which is totally befitting of a Bond girl- Strawberry Fields.

Gemma also has a physical attribute that is typically something you'd see in a Bond villain. She was born with six fingers on each hand. This was surgically corrected when she was young. Gemma calls it 'her little oddity'.






Bond villains: Mr. White is back but in a brief role. Keep in mind QofS takes place immediately after Casino Royal. At the end of Casino Bond shoots White in the leg and when asked who he is, ends the movie with the classic "Bond, James Bond". We get to learn a little more about Mr. White, and I am sure we will see more of him in the Bond23.

The main villain is Mathieu Amalric who plays Mr. Greene, rich business owner and ruthless extortionist. Unlike most other Bond villains, Greene doesn't have any strange physical attributes. He is actually a very real and believable character. We see it every day now how corrupt and greedy corporate CEO's can be in the real world. Greene just takes that to the next level in QofS.





There are some other return characters, but to some that may spoil things so I'll let you find out on your own and decide if that part of Quantum was just as confusing to you as it was to me.
Dench is back as M, and she really is an asset to the franchise. Her 'M' is a much more vital character to the plot than the earlier Bond movies with Bernard Lee as M. Basically Lee's M gave the initial mission brief while sitting behind his desk, and that's the last we see of him.

Back to Q- I wonder if John Cleese will reprise his role or not in the next one. Nobody can really ever replace Desmond Llewelyn, but I did come to like Cleese in the role and hope they bring him back. He's starting to get pretty old himself though.

All in all, for a movie I wasn't really too fond of because of the franchise changes, this one grew on me fast. Mainly because I now see the direction they are taking things, and Bond23 should be back to the original formula sans the camp. It took two movies to fully complete the 'reboot', but really when you look at Casino and Quantum they are one long story.

The Bluray transfer didn't seem as bright and vibrant as Casino did. Then again most of Casino was shot inside where it was supposed to be bright and colorful whereas Quantum takes place in a variety of places including the desert and is 'grittier' than Casino. Still the video looks a bit softer to me.
The special features are all in 1080p this time, but there are fewer special features than I expected. Something like five, maybe six short features. I fully expect them to come out with a two disc Bluray set like they did with Casino Royal, so more double dipping, or at least the studio hopes we all will double dip.


Sound- The sound is every bit as good as the image on the the screen. I noticed the sound track is very loud, but balanced. I had another DVD in my player before I put Quantum in. Once the movie started it was like someone cranked the volume up on my receiver at least 10 clicks. The channels are well defined and there was no guessing about the dialog even during quiet scenes or loud ones with lots of gunfire and explosions. The surround channels come to life as does the bass when the explosions occur. The aerial dogfight has some really good surround effects and it really does feel like the planes flying around your room and bullets are zinging from everywhere.

I give this a solid for video and audio and for the story line.

Thunderball is still my all time favorite Bond movie, but I have a feeling Bond23 may be a close runner.



"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

"If all else fails, spin the cat."- Grzboken
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-31-09, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Quantum of Solace on Bluray

I got Quantum of Solace in the Best Buy exclusive box set.


As seen above, these are individually cased movies and not the same as Volumes 1 through 3. For those that are collecting the Volume sets, this won't look the same sitting on your self. For those that have the individual cased movies, this will fit right in. The big thing with this exclusive boxed set it that you get The Man with the Golden Gun and Licensed to Kill two months before they are officially released.

I ended up getting this set and Volume 3 at the same time and they had a deal going for $25 off if you bought the Quantum of Solace boxed set and one other boxed set. That came out to around $15 a movie, not bad for Bluray, and even better for a new release Bluray.

Personally, this is what my Bond collection boxed set looks like-

This was created by an extremely talented gentleman by the name of Rick Easton, and he has tons of other custom box sets free of charge, just download and print!

My set is slightly different though. Rick organized his to match the SDVD Ultimate Edition boxed sets, but I wanted my movies in actor order. So I redesigned the back cover and for some the front as well, and made a Connery set, Lazenby (which also has bonus discs like Bond Girls Forever since Lazenby only did one Bond movie) a Moore set, Dalton (again with some bonus discs), Brosnan, and now Craig. Update: I see Rick put the movies in chronological order now!

Check out some of the stuff Rick does, he is truly gifted and amazing!

Here's another screen shot...

This isn't from the movie though. It's actually from the new PS3 game, appropriately named Quantum of Solace. I don't have this one yet but probably will be picking it up soon, I've read some pretty good reviews and seem some amazing screen shots.

Also, this is just how much I am into all things Bond... well not just me, my brother is a Bond fan and so is my son. When my kids were younger, for Christmas I didn't just buy them a gift, I tried to make them something nobody else would have- One year I totally blew my son away with a custom made 'Bond' brief case!



Below are pictures of the various types of weapons that the gun can be turned into, from a pistol all the way up to a sniper rifle with a silencer. Also in the case is a Walther P99 with Silencer- I think Bond himself would be envious of this case!


As far as I know that's a one of a kind Bond brief case set! When my son unwrapped it, I had the combination set. He just looked at me and said 'Okay, what is this and what is the combination?' I told him to guess and he dialed in '007' and it popped open. He totally freaked out! My job as 'Q' was successful!

So I guess you could say I really like Bond!

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

"If all else fails, spin the cat."- Grzboken

Last edited by wbassett; 04-02-09 at 10:47 AM.
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post #3 of 17 Old 03-31-09, 04:58 AM
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Re: Quantum of Solace on Bluray

Excellent review...

There is no mistake that you are a huge Bond fan.

I am glad to see you ended up liking it so well... gives me hope that I will like it too. I think I will like the movie being a continuation of the first. I did not realize that was how it was going to be, despite the ending of the first movie. I am looking forward to this one being on the list of the first viewings in the new HT room.

You may have already answered this in one of your other Bond reviews, but is Connery your favorite Bond? He is my all time favorite actor, if I had to name one. He really sold me in Medicine Man... and I like him better as an aged actor than I do when he was younger in the Bond movies, not that I did not like him as Bond, he is still my favorite Bond, but Craig runs a close second.

I also like Pacino... that would be a great rumor come true if Q23 happens the way it is rumored.

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post #4 of 17 Old 03-31-09, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Quantum of Solace on Bluray

Connery is by far my favorite Bond, but I also like Brosnan, and Craig is doing a great job too.

Admittedly, some of Connery's Bonds are a bit dated and don't hold up as well by todays standards, but he was the first and set the style and feel of the character and franchise.

Originally Ian Flemming didn't like Connery as the choice to play Bond. After Dr. No Flemming was completely sold on Connery. Interestingly Pinewood's first pick for Bond was Roger Moore, but he was tied up contractually with The Saint. My brother and I often wondered that if Moore would have been the first Bond, would we be watching a Bond22 right now? Moore just isn't a rough and tumble kind of guy. He's more of a pampered aristocrate, and Flemming's Bond was very different from that.

Flemming saw Bond as ruggedly handsome man, but not a pretty boy and certainly not handsome by the conventional means. Connery, Dalton, and Craig all fit that description.

Also in the books Bond doesn't have the outlandish gadgets that we have seen in the movies. He was a spy, and MI6 is a very real organization, but he depended on his training and investigative skills to solve a case, and not gadgets. If anyone remember's Dr. No, there were no gadgets at all in that one. Even Dr. No's 'secret compound' is pretty sparse compared to some of the really wild ones we saw later on.

The gadgets came to life as the studio wanted to inject a more exotic feel to the character and stories. The first real 'gadget' was in From Russia with Love- That's when Bond got the standard issue brief case that had a hidden knife, two strips of gold coins, a tube containing extra ammo for his Walther PPK, an exploding canister if the brief case is opened incorrectly, and a compact rifle that breaks down and is housed in the stock. Pretty cool but also realistic and functional. The rifle is actually real, but in a .22 caliber and not the .308 they depicted in the movie. My uncle actually had one!

In Goldfinger we got the now famous Austin Martin with all it's gadgets and guns. By the time You Only Live Twice came around, Connery was starting to grow tired of the role and was becoming very skeptical about the direction the gizmos and gadgets were going. He said in an interview he thought it was becoming too cartoonish. Little did he know how campy and cartoonish Bond would become before Moore was done transforming the role.

Moore was 58 by the time he did View to a Kill, and he looked every bit his age. He was a very popular Bond, and one many people grew up knowing as the only Bond they ever saw. The studio really should have replaced him long before they did. One of the things in my opinion about the Moore movies is they really weren't very original. If you sit down and analyse them, there are actually quite a few retreads and remakes of the Connery Bond movies. In Live and Let Die (a very racially offensive movie by today's standards) they traveled by train and the end fight scene was very reminicent of the fight in From Russia with Love. The Man With The Golden Gun was pretty different than any of the previous Bond movies, but is also where the camp really started to show. Probably Moore's best Bond movie in my opinion was The Spy Who Loved Me, but that was basically a total remake of a Connery movie, but instead of capturing space ships like in the Connery one, in The Spy Who Loved Me they were capturing nuclear submarines... but the plot and story was essentially the same.

Dalton probably came along at the worse possible time to play Bond. The McClory lawsuit over SPECTRE was in full swing, and that combined with a fire at Pinewood studios, it halted the franchise after just two Dalton Bonds. It's a shame because Dalton actually did a good job and was the first to bring Bond back to the more brutal and dangerous side of things. His movies weren't perfect though and the studio was still going full bore with the stunts and gadgets. One of the worse Bond moments is when Dalton revs up a tractor trailer and does a wheelie!

Interestingly, the next Bond in the franchise was also someone the studio wanted to play the role earlier than he did. Brosnan was the studio's choice to replace Moore, but he was tied up in a contract for Remmington Steele. I fully feel Brosnan had at least one more good Bond movie left in him. Barbara Brocoli said in an interview that they didn't want any more six movie runs again because the actors start to become too old and also too complacent. I think the real reason is because Bronsan wanted a bigger payday, and they could have and should have thrown him a bone. His four Bond movies completely resurrected the franchise and brought in a billion dollars world wide.

Craig is doing an excellent job, but he's no spring chicken either. The next Bond movie isn't due out until 2011. They have been averaging three years minimum between movies now, and by 2011 Craig will be 43, but he is a rough looking 41 now and isn't aging well. At the pace they are going it would put the next Bond movie after that at 2014 and Craig will probably look like he's in his 50's by then. I suspect though that they will push for Bond23 to come out in 2012 so it will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first Bond movie.

This is a lot of time between movies. Back when Connery was doing them they were cranking out a Bond movie just about every year. They only started slowing down to every other year towards the end of Connery's run. Connery was 32 when he started as Bond, and he ended when he was 41. When he reprised the role of Bond for Never Say Never he was 53 while Moore was 56. The difference between the two was Connery was aging much more gracefully than Moore was. Also in Never Say Never they had the Bond girls more age appropriate to Bond's age, well Kim Basinger was a bit young for a 53 year old Bond, but the rest were closer to his age.

Cleese is 70 now, and Dench is 75. By 2011 they will both be 72 and 77 respectively. So that means Bond23 may be their last ones.

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post #5 of 17 Old 03-31-09, 11:46 PM
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-02-09, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Quantum of Solace on Bluray

Thanks, and it's definitely worth adding it to your collection. The sad part is it is off sale now (for the single disc, the box set is still has the $15 off special, but the exclusive box set went up from $57 to $69) and back to the normal high price of a new release Bluray.

Target though is running a $15 sale on the Volume 3 Bonds... The World is not Enough, Goldfinger, and Moonraker. Again, $15 for a new release Bluray is very good! Also these have tons of special features. I know a lot of people aren't into the special features, but the Bond features are actually very interesting. Especially when they talk about the stunts and gadgets. QofS has almost no special features compared to the other Bond releases. That's why I fully expect them to come out with a two disc special addition.

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

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post #7 of 17 Old 04-12-09, 03:54 PM
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Re: Quantum of Solace on Bluray

I concur that this is a very good Bond movie - and I have seen every one since the original release of "Goldfinger" in the theaters back in the 1960s.

My wife, son, and I saw QOS in a full digital theater when it was out last fall. The Blu ray copy video and audio quality is very, very good - lots of LFE in the opening car chase scene and in various other parts of the movie.

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post #8 of 17 Old 04-12-09, 06:43 PM
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Re: Quantum of Solace on Bluray

Quote:
wbassett wrote: View Post
Once the movie started it was like someone cranked the volume up on my receiver at least 10 clicks.
LOL!! The same thing happened to me..
I set the volume initially for the same level I had used for Casino Royale..
The opening scenes in Quantum nearly blew me out of the chair.!! I couldn't believe how much louder this latest release is..

First time viewers..be very careful where you set your volume..

Casino Royale..played at -8dB..
Quantum of Solace..played at -13dB.

BTW..very nice review Bill..

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post #9 of 17 Old 12-14-09, 04:27 AM
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Re: Quantum of Solace on Bluray

Just love my Blu-ray copy of 'Quantum of Solace'.

* Just watched it again about a week ago.
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post #10 of 17 Old 12-14-09, 11:39 AM
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Re: Quantum of Solace on Bluray

I enjoyed both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, but I think that QoS was not quite as good as Casino Royale.

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