Skyfall appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Across the board, the movie boasted a solid transfer.
Sharpness excelled. Only the slightest signs of softness materialized here, as the film was consistently tight and accurate.
I noticed no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print flaws also weren’t a factor in this clean presentation.
Some of the film opted for an amber/orange palette, while other scenes went with stylized blues and the like. These choices limited the color range, but I thought the hues looked solid given those decisions, and some of the more vivid scenes – like those in Shanghai - dazzled. The disc’s HDR capabilities added range to the colors as well.
Blacks were deep and dense, and shadows showed clear definition. Low-light and nighttime shots offered positive visuals, and the HDR bolstered contrast. This was a consistently appealing presentation.
Similar praise greeted the intense DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Skyfall. I expect a lot of action from a Bond movie, and that was what I got here.
From start to finish, the movie used all five channels as nearly constant partners. Music filled the whole spectrum in a satisfying way, and effects demonstrated tremendous breadth.
Skyfall certainly gave the audio plenty of opportunities to excel, and it delivered. The components showed fine localization and blending. Everything came from the right spot and the pieces fit together in a smooth way.
Audio quality lived up to the standards of the soundfield. Music was bold and dynamic, and speech seemed concise and crisp. Effects demonstrated terrific range; highs were tight, and lows seemed deep and full.
Bass response added a real kick and gave the movie great power. Everything worked here and this became an engrossing sound experience.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Audio remained identical, as both discs used the same mix.
Finished as a 4K product, I hoped this disc would offer a significant improvement over the Blu-ray, and it did look better. The 4K UHD demonstrated superior colors, definition and depth.
That said, I couldn’t claim it blew away the Blu-ray. While it became the superior presentation, the BD already gave us a demo-worthy image. Some improvements appeared here, but don’t expect revelations.
When we move to the set’s extras, we launch with two separate audio commentaries. The first comes from director Sam Mendes as he delivers a running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, sets and locations, camerawork and production design, stunts and action, cast and performances, music and the opening credits, various effects, editing and pacing, and working within the Bond series.
From start to finish, Mendes offers an excellent chat. He comes at the commentary with a lot of energy and gives us strong insights through the whole length of the movie. Mendes’ tracks for prior movies worked well, and that trend continues via this terrific piece.
For the second commentary, we hear from producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson and production designer Dennis Gassner. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion of the same subjects Mendes covered, though with Gassner in tow, we get a higher emphasis on production design.
If you only want to listen to one commentary, go with the Mendes chat, as it offers by far the superior discussion. If you want to screen both of them, go with this one first so you won’t have to compare it to the Mendes commentary. On its own, the producers/design piece is passable, but it’s a massive step down after Mendes.
This means we get a decent amount of info from Broccoli, Wilson and Gassner, but they can’t fill out the film’s 143 minutes very well. We find dead spots and an awful lot of praise, as substantial chunks of the commentary just tell us how great everything/everyone was. Overall, the chat isn’t a total loss, but it’s not especially informative.
Other extras appear on the included Blu-ray copy, and under Shooting Bond, we get 14 featurettes with a total running time of 59 minutes, 24 seconds. In these, we hear from Mendes, Wilson, Broccoli, Gassner, special effects supervisor Chris Corbould, 1st AD Michael Lerman, stunt coordinator Gary Powell, action vehicles Simon Thomas, location manager Martin Joy, 2nd unit director Alexander Witt, title sequence director Daniel Kleinman, screenwriters Rob Wade, Neal Purvis and John Logan, composer Thomas Newman, trumpet player Derek Watkins, art director Dean Clegg, fight choreographer Nikki Berwick, pilot Andy Strachan, aerial coordinator Marc Wolff, director of photography Roger Deakins, explosives engineer Charlie Adcock, diving coordinator David Shaw, underwater director of photography Mike Valentine, and actors Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Judi Dench, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Marlohe, Ola Rapace, Javier Bardem, Wayne Gordon and Albert Finney.
The featurettes follow the movie in story order; along the way, we learn about stunts, effects and action, vehicles, gadgets and weapons, sets and locations, cast and performances, the title sequence, music, narrative and characters, camerawork and visual design, and general thoughts.
Given the episodic structure of “Shooting”, I feared it’d feel disjointed. Happily, it flows pretty well, so it comes across like a pretty natural documentary.
Though we get some repeated info from the commentaries, the many additional perspectives allows the featurettes to flesh out the subjects in a positive way. “Shooting” delivers a strong examination of the production.
Skyfall Premiere lasts four minutes, 28 seconds. As expected, it takes us to the red carpet and throws out quick thoughts from Harris, Craig, Mendes, Logan, Powell, Fiennes, Wilson, Bardem, Marlohe, Whishaw, and costume designer Jany Temime. It can be marginal fun to see some of the celebs at the premiere, but otherwise, this feels like fluff.
We get the trailer and a soundtrack promotional spot for Skyfall as well.
Even when we adjust for inflation, Skyfall ends up among the three most successful Bond movies of all-time. I don’t view it as one of the three – or even five – best Bond flicks, but it overcomes a few prominent missteps to become a satisfying 007 adventure. The 4K UHD boasts excellent picture and audio as well as a nice selection of bonus materials. Unlike its immediate predecessor, Skyfall offers a terrific Bond adventure.
Note that as of October 2019, the Skyfall 4K UHD appears solely via a four-film “Daniel Craig Collection”. This also includes 4K discs for Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and SPECTRE
To rate this film visit the prior review of SKYFALL