Nice job! This isn’t quite my preferred version of QoS, but it’s still a great edition.
Technical quality – 10/10 – I didn’t notice any audio problems, and the video was perfect. Unlike Aztek463, I didn’t notice any frame rate problems, but maybe I’m just not looking close enough. Either way, it didn’t detract from the entertainment at all.
Presentation – 10/10 – the cover art is nice and the menus are really good – lots of pictures and some good soundtracks.
Entertainment – 8/10 – what I liked: the Vesper flashbacks (ESPECIALLY in the opening sequence), the new title song, and the trimming of the action sequences. The Vesper flashbacks alone are enough to make this a great edit. The new title song is amazing as well. There are, however, a few things I didn’t like as much: first of all, the gun barrel cutting to Bond and Camille in the desert. I know it could be hard to put a new scene in there, but if it could be done, it really would help this edit. Next, the title sequence should have come after “Bond, James Bond.” Not a real big deal, but it would have been the more natural place. The flashbacks in the opera house with Bond thinking about Vesper in the shower would have been better placed when Mathis is talking about forgiveness. The black-and-white at the end was a little too abrupt and somewhat unnecessary. And the original version of Greene’s fate was better. Although I’ve spent most of this paragraph pointing out things that could be changed, most of them aren’t big deals and thus I still give this 8/10 for entertainment because there are many parts that improved over the original. For people who haven’t seen Casino Royale, this is perfect.
Quantum of Solace is a problematic movie: it arrived as a followup to one of the best Bond films and it resulted very inferior to that, it seemed a pretty superfluous story as the character is pretty much in the same situation at the end than at the beginning, he only did away with some quite unimportant intermediaries to get to avenge Vesper but no big kahuna, plus the filmmaking style (or lack thereof) is the dreaded shake cam. It seems like there are multiple ways to improve on the movie by fanediting, but not a clear one to completely fix it. And Last Survivor’s effort, while solid, is not completely what I would have done. So let’s see…
What I liked: the fact that we got a prologue to fit with Casino Royale and have Vesper present again. What I didn’t like as much: that it was that long. It suffered from a bit of Superman-II-The-Richard-Donner-Cut-itis by delivering way too much background info that we who have seen CR already know. I think starting the prologue with the building sinking and Vesper underwater would have been enough.
What I liked: the “new” theme song. Miles better than the original, and yes, indeed it has a Bond feel. What I didn’t like as much: moving the credits sequence until this late in the movie (16 minutes), when we had already forgotten about it. I would have put it right at the end of the recap (“Bond, James Bond”, kick the song in). A matter of taste, I guess.
What else did I like? I was REALLY impressed by the way you handled the bodyguard kill. By implying that Bond did indeed shoot him and not just threw him off the roof, the line “I tried my best not to” gets a whole new meaning, and a very cynically in-character one. The slowing-down of the action sequences worked quite well, given the circumstances. And I include the opera house and Camille vs. Medrano modified bits. Not what I’d expect to see in a Bond film, but neither did I expect Forster’s epileptic cam. Maybe Vesper was a bit (just a bit) overused in the opera house sequence, but I never care for the original’s faux-Coppola (or was it faux-Eisenstein?) parallel stuff. I was very glad to see the different fonts for the different cities go, it was just overkill (I would have used no caption for Port-Au-Prince, though – the dialogue inmediately preceeding it already establishes it) Also, thanks for removing that “You and I had a mutual friend” line by Bond to Carlos. What the heck was that?
What else did I not care for? Sorry but I’m with Havok regarding Greene’s fate. What’s made of that in the edit is pretty much anticlimactic. I much prefer the motor oil solution. And I would have toned down much of M’s dialogue, sometimes she overstates everything so the dumbest member of the audience gets it, and also she seems a bit too upset by Bond killing left and right. Well, who gave him the 00 to begin with? I definitely would have removed the reference to the hotel room guy in Russia in the epilogue being still alive. Bond softens himself a bit too much there, methinks.
Technical stuff is, like LS’ previous edit Smallville Destiny, very good. I’m in the PAL zone so I didn’t notice the speed-up, this is the way Bond always plays for me. The cuts are totally invisible.
Is this the edit I would have made? No. Is it a good one? Definitely. Will it replace the original for me? No. Will it be a worthy alternate take and companion to it? You bet.
So I felt in the mood for some Bond tonight, and of my pending fanedit queue i decided to go with this release from LastSurvivor; whom I’ve gotten a bit acquainted with lately due to his feedback of my work in progress.
Bearing in mind that these are just my personal opinions with no other intent than expressing myself, lets dive right…
VIDEO quality: Very good. I could not notice any significant difference between this and most of the SD discs that I own.
I see that Aztek mentions an issue with different speeds which are not noticeable to me, PAL to NTSC conversion is something I have not personally dealt with and can not really make a proper assessment. In full disclosure I watch DVDs using an upscaling stand alone player which does some nice signal cleaning, which could be a mitigating factor.
With this present I still give video a 9/10
AUDIO quality: Again it is great, this being made off fairly recent and high profile/budget movies means that the audio sources should and are of prime quality. The editing is flawless with no noticeable issues even thou there are some significant replacement of dialogue lines at many spots in the edit. Much effort and patience goes into accomplishing this level of polish and so: 10/10
EDITING / ENJOYMENT : LastSurvivor took on a movie which I hoped someone would fix and I have to say that his labors yielded quite a good final product. Here are some points i would like to highlight:
- The whole reason for this movie to exist is Vesper and Bond’s truncated relationship, his subsequent grief and the way he deals with what happened. It is a good thing to bring this to the foreground, and I felt that the new pre-credits sequence does a great job at this (the use of B&W and color was quite effective here)
And yet I felt the hammer falling on my head too often hitting me with the same point during the rest of the edit than I think is good – specially the flashback at the Opera house, which in turned made the escape feel non existent.
- Still about the opening sequence, I felt some more of the actual car chase was missing, just a tad. And a small thing that should also be mentioned is that during one of Vesper’s voice overs she is actually in frame with her lips out of sync, and it just felt a bit off.
- Fine choice with the theme song, it fits very well; kudos to the person whom you mentioned suggested it. To be honest I walked in biased here because I have never cared for the pop singer behind it, expecting to hate it; guess it would have been one of those cases of better off not knowing
- A great job was made to tone down the speed of the many action sequences that are present in the original release by using a clever choice of music and a semi slow camera that makes things feel somehow more real, yet I felt that the last one did not need so much of this treatment and therefore did not have the impact i would have expected, and the small flashback for Camille in there felt out of place to me.
- As it was surely planned, by consequence of the action sequence rearrangement the rest of the movie has a much better pace and the actual spying is properly showcased now. Very well done.
- There is a change in the final act that was honestly not to my liking: Greene’s fate. I understand that this is a matter of personal preference, but I have to say that I preferred the original version.
Because of these opinions, for me this is a 7/10.
DVD Authoring: efficient and right up my alley
Final score for me: 8.5/10. Original: 6.5/10
All in all I did quite enjoy the new take and the disc will have a place on my fanedits shelf