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Please note that the DVD included in this product is NTSC format and not PAL.
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Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
- Opening Sequence--The Death of Bond
- Title Sequence--Working The Titles
- 007--The Return of James Bond
- Q--Back to Basics
- DB5--Behind the Wheel
- Women--The Good, The Bad and the Beautiful
- Villains--In the Shadows
- Locations--License To Travel
- Music--The Sound of Bond
- The End Sequence--The Beginning of the End
- The Future--New Beginnings
- Skyfall Premiere
- Commentary by Director Sam Mendes
- Commentary by Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson and Production Designer Dennis Gassner
- Soundtrack Promotional Spot
The Blu-ray is Region B and offers Latin Spanish, French, Italian, Russian and Ukrainian language dubbing and English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Latin Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Russian, Swedish, Estonian, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian and Chinese Mandarin subtitles.
The DVD is Region 2 and NTSC and offers English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Latin Spanish and French subtitles.
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I remember watching the pre-credits sequence with an irrepressible smile on my face; Bond was back, exactly as he should be. Everything was perfect, from the humour, to the action, to the little tug to straighten his cuffs (as every gent knows, a finger of cuff below the jacket sleeve is essential), and then the film just got better. I know that if you consider Silva's plan it really doesn't stand up to scrutiny, but this movie is made with such joy and respect to the history of the franchise that I just don't care. Not since Goldfinger has, for me, an actor nailed Bond as perfectly as Craig does here. He's weary, cynical, but absolutely brilliant at what he does. And of course there's Judi Dench as M. Trying to decide whether she's better than Bernard Lee, or vice versa, is like trying to decide whether chocolate is better than fudge; they're both brilliant. But i loved her speech at the public enquiry, stirring and yet relevant to the world that we live in.
So I loved it, sure it has faults; but nothing's perfect. I recommend this to fans of the Bond franchise and to those who just enjoy a great action movie; it's blooming fantastic.
In many ways the film is a journey into the past, starting out as an epic globe-trotting adventure before scaling down to Bond's childhood Scottish roots and finally bringing the series full circle with Moneypenny back in the same blue dress she wore in Dr No and M no longer in a hi-tech office but the old wood-panelled one with the same padded door and the same naval painting on the wall from the Bernard Lee days, rewinding the series to the Connery era. If hats were still in fashion, Craig would have made his entrance throwing his onto the hat stand. It's a deliciously understated scene that goes uncommented on - thankfully the film never feels the need to knowingly wink at the audience - that will have Bond fans of old feeling like a puppy dog with two tails. And the new faces as the old regulars (Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw) may be very different from their predecessors, but they fit very nicely with this new/old Bond.
Unfortunately, on the minor debit side Logan has always had a bit of a problem with his villains. He can do plot or milieu or character, but he can't really pull off any combination of the three with his bad guys, and while this is a bit of an improvement he does fall back on the tried and trusted. In Gladiator he offered a mad lisping Emperor with a chip on his shoulder betraying the people who put him in a position of trust to pursue a vendetta with a brother figure. In Star Trek: Nemesis he offered a petulant lisping mastermind with a chip on his shoulder betraying the people who put him in a position of trust to pursue a vendetta with a father figure. In Skyfall he offers us a devious lisping mastermind with a chip on his shoulder betraying the people who put him in a position of trust to pursue a vendetta with a mother figure. All he needs now is someone with a lisp pursuing a vendetta with a sister figure and he'll have the full set of immediate family adversaries.
On the plus side, this villain is intelligent and actually has a masterplan instead of just talking about one, even if it is one that at times suggests he's a bit of a fan of The Dark Knight, and he's played by a much better actor, though that is something of a double-edged sword. Despite being given a great build up - the slight physical trembling and almost-disguised weakening of the voice Severine gets even thinking about him is a wonderfully underplayed appetiser - he's a rather thin character, leaving Javier Bardem trying too hard to make a memorable impression with the kind of quirks that great actors who are persuaded to make more commercial fodder than they're at home in throw into the mix to keep themselves from getting bored (think Brando on his off days).
It's a bit of a letdown considering what Bardem is capable of, but for some reason every time an Oscar winning actor who can do menace gets a sniff of a Bond villain they dye their hair blonde and camp it up. Thankfully he doesn't go the full John Inman, but the film is strong enough not to need the theatricality or the absurdly bit of obvious CGI thrown in to his Hannibal Lector scene. While he doesn't ruin the film, I think the performance is why the film hasn't grabbed my affections the way Quantum did even though they improved the problem areas from that: I found Mathieu Almaric a far more intriguing villain because he wasn't playing the villain, he was playing the good guy (or at least ecologically aware businessman), and his scheme less reliant on an almost supernatural ability to predict the good guys' every move years in advance. And while I liked the exploration of M's ruthlessness, her departure didn't have the same impact as that of Mathis in Quantum.
While it's pleasing to have Stuart Baird, quite possibly the greatest editor of action scenes alive today, back in the editing suite after the often misjudged editing in Quantum it's a shame that composer David Arnold was replaced with Thomas Newman, who astonishingly became the first in the series' history to be nominated for best score despite a truly anonymous temp track-style score with no personality, themes or development (although it works much better on the film than as an album where it's derivative general shapelessness is much more exposed).
Curiously the Blu-ray exaggerates what were many of the niggles about Roger Deakins' lazily overvalued cinematography (you do get the impression that had the identical images been created by a cinematographer who wasn't a name it would have attracted little attention), with many scenes like the Board of Inquiry or London street scenes suffering from the lack of depth, slightly bleached look and waxy loss of detail that are among the most commonplace drawbacks when you don't shoot on film. It's strange that Deakins got a free pass on this one when the move from film to digital has had such inconsistent results both in terms of quality and creativity: it's a mixture of a few strikingly good looking scenes (the Chris Doyle/Blade Runnerish fight against a neon background) and a lot of very drab or visually clichéd ones (seriously, that relentlessly dreary rainy London look has been done to death for years by television) while there are some real problems with focus and colour balance in the opening to the Macau casino scene and parts of the siege suffer badly from digital's ongoing inability to handle shadows and low light levels very well. It's a long way from his best work, and to claim, as some have done, that it's the best looking Bond film is doing a great disservice to the work of Freddie Young and Ted Moore on earlier, much better looking films. It doesn't help that there's some very noticeable edge enhancement in places - the doorframe to M's office and his picture frames look like a straining rope or teeming with termites from one frame to the next.
Yet while its flaws keep it from reaching the heights of Casino Royale, there's so much to enjoy and so much it gets right and strikes such a good balance between exciting action scenes and a real look at what makes Bond Bond that it's still a worthy addition to the franchise - not top tier, but certainly no middling effort either.
The extras package looks substantial - two audio commentaries, some 15 featurettes and trailer - but at times there's more puff than substance.
Anyway, great film - brilliant classic theme by Adele, epic chases, Moneypenny kicking ass and of course Dame Judy (Was personally gutted that she died, but Fiennes was a good replacement) The gloriously camp Javier Bardem was such a brilliant baddie as well.
I had high hope of Spectre as well, but that fell flat on it's face..
So theres lots of subtle and not so subtle winks to the past 50 years in this film.
Shame they destroyed the DB5 but then again they did in its first outing as well - Goldfinger,
I suppose the argument will always rage as to who plays the best Bond, for most it will always be Connery he was after all the first (on the big screen anyway) and therefore has that distinct advantage. But for me Daniel Craig brings a true hard grit no nonscence portrayal to Bond much the way Fleming actually wrote the character.
My one disappointment with Skyfall like some other reviewers have said is the anti-climax at the end an unseen Bond throws a knife into Silva's back surely he (Silva) deserved a better ending than that.
Best of all though as the credits role BOND WILL RETURN
A mate or two with similar taste in films, a bottle of good red, a large bowl of peanuts.
It's Bond, with all that one would expect. Very sad to see teh DB5 (or model of this) being destroyed, STUPID having Bond drinking BEER and then out of the bottle - product placement!!!! For goodness sake, he is a sophisticated English spy who is renowned for his taste in Champers, beautiful women and Dry Martinis. None of which, in this film, we were treated to.
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Nice to see a small role for that brilliant Actor Albert Finney.