Ralph Potts reviews the latest installment in the iconic franchise as 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.
Studio and Year:
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
20th Century Fox - 2015
Feature running time:
English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, Spanish, French
Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, Naomi Harris, Ben Whishaw, Dave Bautista
John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Jez Butterworth
Blu-ray Disc release Date:
February 9, 2016
"The Dead are Alive"
, a cryptic message from the past sends James Bond (Daniel Craig) on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organization known as Spectre.
Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond’s actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of his old nemesis Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), who may hold the clue to untangling the web of Spectre. As the daughter of an assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot.
As Bond ventures towards the heart of Spectre, he learns of a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks, played by Christoph Waltz.
As much as I wanted to I didn't make it out to the theater to see Spectre
. I am most definitely a Bond fan and while I admittedly raised my eyebrows when Daniel Craig was announced as the new face of the iconic character, I have grown quite fond of him in the role. Spectre
picks up with the continuing and dark elements associated with Bond's past, prior to becoming a Double O, and introduces a new foe whose connection to James resonates throughout his career, leading him to this very moment.
I enjoyed the film but didn’t find anything innately special about it. The villain, played by Christophe Waltz, just didn’t have enough screen time to be compellingly sinister enough and the Bond Girls, played by Lea Seydoux and Monica Bellucci (huh?), were far from enrapturing. There weren't enough gadgets, although based upon the storyline, that was understandable, but the cars didn't disappoint. What made Spectre
enjoyable are the staples that Bond generally brings, plenty of action, fairly compelling storytelling, excellent production values and a well-played turn by star Daniel Craig.
falls in line behind Casino Royale along with Skyfall and then Quantum of Solace. It's an entertaining installment in the Bond Franchise, a film series that has been the gift that keeps on giving.
The rating is for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and language.
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)
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialog Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):
- DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element):
Spectre comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.6 Mbps.
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
This high definition video presentation has a distinctive visual aesthetic that features a reserved chromatic palette which makes use of sepia tones and reserved primary color saturation which goes hand in hand with the source material. Stable white and black levels combine to enrich light and dark onscreen elements and provide imagery with plenty of punch. Fleshtones are on the money and feature a pallid aesthetic that falls in line with the film's stylistic intent. Resolution is exemplary during close up camera shots of the cast which reveal exquisite refinement in the visible lines in their faces and the weave and texture of their clothing. There are instances where sharpness wavers but they are brief and appear innate to the photography. Wide angle pans of the sun splashed landscapes have excellent depth, with sharp resolute image quality that is rarely questionable. I didn't see any deleterious problems with the overall presentation and thought it was top notch.
The DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio soundtrack sounds terrific. This is an articulated and at times, commanding presentation that will reward those with systems capable of thoroughly reproducing its elements. This is an engaging and purposeful sound design that transforms the room into a three dimensional soundstage that encapsulates the sweet spot with its plethora of sounds/effects that seem to emanate from every direction during the films active moments.
Spot on imaging draws out both large and small sounds, allowing their directional correlation (based upon the onscreen events) to be definable within the room’s acoustic boundaries. Bass lovers will revel in the rich tactility of low frequency effects and rewarding dynamic range. Thomas Newman’s music score helps set the stage with its perfect blend of evocative instrumentation and rousing orchestration. Dialog is reproduced with lucid expression and exacting clarity. I never had any trouble distinguishing even the slightest changes in the pitch or tonal inflection of voices. Spectre is an end to end experience the delivers the goods on Blu-ray.
- (HD) Spectre: Bond's Biggest Opening – 20 minute featurette
- (HD) Video Blogs 6 segments):
- Director: Sam Mendes
- Introducing Lea Seydoux & Monica Bellucci
- Guinness World Record
- (HD) Gallery
- Digital HD Copy
James Bond makes a triumphant return in Spectre
an exciting Bond epic that successfully brings the iconic character to the next evolutionary stage. As you might expect its presentation on Blu-ray is spectacular and features reference quality audio/video that makes for superb demonstration material for enthusiasts that like to show off their home theater systems. The included supplemental package is made up of series of vignettes that provide behind-the-scene glimpses while offering insights from the cast/filmmakers. I found it to be serviceable but not as comprehensive as I would have liked. Regardless Spectre
on Blu-ray is a must have for Bond fans. Enjoy!
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
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JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package