The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: MGM - 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 106 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: Spanish, Cantonese, Portuguese, Korean, English SDH, Mandarin
Starring: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric. Giancarlo Giannini, Judi Dench
Directed by: Marc Forster
Music by: David Arnold
Written by: Paul Haggis, Neil Purvis, Robert Wade
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 24, 2009
"Bond is back, and he is NOT happy"
Daniel Craig returns as James Bond in this thrilling, action-packed adventure which starts shortly after Casino Royale ends. Betrayed by the woman he loved, 007 fights the urge to make his latest mission personal. On a nonstop quest for justice that crisscrosses the globe, Bond meets the beautiful but feisty Camille (Olga Kurylenko),who leads him to Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), a ruthless businessman and major force within the mysterious “Quantum” organization. When Bond uncovers a conspiracy to take control of one of the world’s most important natural resources, he must navigate a minefield of treachery, deception and murder to neutralize “Quantum” before it’s too late!
Let me start off by saying that I liked Quantum of solace. It is a visually engaging film that sets a blistering pace that seems to continue right through to the credits. I think that may be part of its problem though. While I liked it, I didn’t find it to be stimulating from a conceptual standpoint. The pacing is simply too fast and character development too minimal. From what I could tell the premise is rather simple, payback. The Quantum organization and Dominic Greene really take a backseat to both Bond and Camille’s quest for revenge. I mean that’s fine but we really had no time to get to have any feelings one way or the other for the principle bad guys. Mr. White, who was billed at the end of Casino Royale as the guy James held responsible for the whole debacle with Vesper spent a total of 2 minutes in the film. General Medrano, the man pursued by Camille, gets one scene that offers a glimpse of what he is capable of but it’s late in the film and by then who cared? Mathis (Giannini) reprises his role from CR and assists James in procuring access to Greene. Mathis accompanies James (didn’t seem necessary) and things don’t turn out too well for him as a result. Then there’s the introduction of Fields, apparently an MI6 (clerical) operative who is sent by M to ensure that James returns to London as ordered. To that point everyone who tried to get James to follow orders, including M, has failed. How was this tall redhead expected to do what no one else could? From the moment she entered the picture it was obvious why she was present and what the outcome would be. Camille is quickly introduced with little to no background before James is putting it on the line for her (with no explanation).
It all just seemed rushed with the main focus of the story being blurry. I went back and re-watched several scenes to try and connect the dots. I wouldn’t say that it is overly complex because it’s not. I think it just felt disjointed due to the cryptic nature of Quantum’s explanation and the narrowly drawn characters that seem to exit almost as fast as they enter. Having said all of that there were some positives about this film. I like how it picked up where CR left off and more or less completed what it started. The relationship between Camille and James was unlike any previous Bond girl which was refreshing. Bond’s persona didn’t abruptly change and I appreciated that there seemed to be some closure for him. Hopefully we will see another side of the character which will still contain the same propensity for mayhem that this one has. The relationship between James and M took a positive step in the right direction. I complained about the narrow storyline but I have to admit that I absolutely loved the intensity of the action. The opening contains back to back chase sequences that are ruthless and captivating. I think over the course of the film the chase scenes run the gamut. They occur on foot, by sea, by car, and by air. There is plenty of hand to hand combat and gunplay. I enjoyed the brief yet truly visceral Bourne Series style encounter that takes place in a cramped hotel room.
So, is Quantum of solace a worthy sequel to Casino Royale? I would say that it is worthy but it is not a better overall film. It is far from slow moving and it contains some truly exciting action based sequences that are sure to keep interest high for thrill junkies (like me!).
The rating is for intense sequences of action and violence and some sexual content.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Quantum of solace comes to Blu-ray from MGM/Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 mbps.
This is a reference quality presentation that is exemplary demonstration material. The video quality is impressive with its bold use of contrast, deep, vivid colors and rich dynamic blacks. I found both light and dark scenes to be equally engaging. Images have excellent depth and dimension as the panoramic camera shots of the lush tropical locations, and dry desert landscapes featured in the film have three dimensional quality. The various scenes shot at night offer deep image penetration, with lucid detail and punchy contrast. Shadow delineation is strong and blacks have appreciable gradational highlights that enhance depth perception. Whites are bright, detailed and dynamic. The sequence that takes place at the amphitheatre provides the opportunity to see the wide dynamic range inherent in this video presentation. From the bright interior shots, to the deep shadows in the backstage scaffolding, to the wide angle shot of the large audience sitting in the blend of natural and artificial evening light its stark imagery looked superb. High definition detail is first rate as the video is impeccably resolute, razor sharp and pristinely rendered. Grain is present, in fine, even layers that maintains a consistent textural essence over the course of the film.
The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio soundtrack offers a rewarding surround sound experience that will give your system a workout. The opening segment is a bombastic and aggressive chase sequence that literally energizes the room. The roar of the car engines, the crunching of metal and the visceral impact of heavy arms fire had superlative clarity, extended dynamic range, and potent room filling bass that was truly captivating. David Arnold’s terrific music score was spread over the entire system. The sound was evenly distributed as the orchestrated instruments are placed within the soundstage with excellent balance and rear channel presence that immersed the listening position without over emphasis. Bass associated with the music had taught, tangible extension, and articulated precision. The scene at the very end of chapter 13 that leads into chapter 14 offers a prime example of this. Listening as the music peaked during the crescendo I could detect the tonal pitch of the timpani and feel the palpable, low frequency strength of the bass drum strikes. This short segment sounded excellent. Sound effects were crystal clear and dynamically charged which gave them potent resolve that was underscored by powerful bass response that could be felt in every corner of the room. The mix makes effective and often aggressive use of the surround channels to elongate the front soundstage and reproduce the spatial and discrete sounds of this demanding soundtrack. The result is a 360 degree web of sound that is sometimes riveting as it bombards the aural senses. This was a thrilling home theater experience.
** CIH users should note that the subtitles are in the picture area.**
- (HD) Music video “Another way to die“ featuring Jack White and Alicia Keys
- (HD) Bond on location - 24 minute featurette
- (HD) Start of shooting - 3 minute feature
- (HD) On location - 3 minute feature
- (HD) Olga Kurylenko and the boat chase - 2 minute feature
- (HD) Director Marc Forster - 2 minute feature
- (HD) The music - 2 minute feature
- (HD) Crew files - Michael F. Wilson, James Grant, and Ana Endara
- (HD) Theatrical teaser # 1
- (HD) Theatrical trailer # 2
Quantum of solace is an action packed Bond adventure that keeps the adrenaline pumping. Its storyline isn’t as interesting as its predecessor’s but in looking at both films as a whole the combination makes for a complete story. MGM/Fox has done a spectacular job with its presentation on Blu-ray Disc. This is a reference quality high definition experience that offers outstanding audio/video quality. The bonus content was just average although I enjoyed the Bond on location feature. The rest just seemed like snippets or add on pieces that offered little. Regardless this is a disc worth having if you enjoy Bond, James Bond. Recommended.
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JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BD55K Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Marantz DV7001 Universal Disc Player
Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 seven Channel amplifier
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package