November 25, 2014
I could write an essay on the multitudinous reasons why I think 'Skyfall' is one of the worst Bond movies ever made. But I'll try to just confine myself to the things that LastSurvivor improved and the things he could have maybe fixed. You might be asking, why would I download an edit of a film I hate? It's a fair comment but LastSurvivor is great faneditor, so I wanted to see what 'Skyfallen' was all about.
First off the "Could have been improved" section...
The cinematography is absolutely hideous, so it would have been nice if LS had attempted to correct that a bit. However, I suspect that the colours have been pushed so far into the realms of insanity that they can't be brought back to reality. Oh look the silver Aston Martin is neon-blue, oh look that grass is neon-blue, oh look that guy's skin is neon-blue etc etc. As a Director, I can't stand Sam Mendes but at least his previous films usually have "They look nice" going for them.
Not a single element of the plot makes any sense and the attention to detail is totally absent. Just one example: When Bond is given his father's "old hunting Rifle"... it's not a rifle, it's a bloody shotgun! There are a few points where extra trims could have been made but to be fair, the only way to fix everything, would be to erase the film from existence.
Now the things that are improved...
The insane levels of 'immersion-destroying' product-placement have been toned down a lot. So the worst offenders like the VWs shout-out and Bond drinking a Heineken are gone. But Tanner can still be seen drinking a Heineken... while at work... just after his boss has been nearly asssasinated... because we'd all do that!
Adele's drab rhyming-dictionary title-song is gone and replaced by an inspired new piece. I was a few seconds into the start before I'd even realised it had been changed. Fantastic seemless work. The added/changed music throughout is genius and the joins are invisible. The music work is probably the best thing about the edit.
The cuts for pacing are also invisible but the improved feel of the film is obvious. Most of the 25 minutes that are removed will not be missed by anybody. Mendes making the longest-ever Bond movie out of such an action-free script was self-indulgence at it's worst. Thanks to LS, that is reigned in a lot.
Many of the key misjudged elements are removed, toned down or improved in some way. The uneasy "rapey" yacht scene is largely fixed, the CGI Komodo Dragons are gone (Shame the CGI Scorpion is still there though) and Bond being an a**hole after Severine is shot. The use of the gunbarrel opening is of course absolutely brilliant!
Lastly a few of things that didn't work for me...
The blur-crossfade into the first shot of Silva didn't look right. Since the audio carries accross the transition anyway, a hard cut would have looked so much more professional IMO. I felt too much of Silva was cut so his character lacked the impact that he is clearly supposed to have. Bardem's OTT camp performance was a rare highlight for me in the original film. The heavily zoomed shot of Bond just after Severine's death was a bit jarring (LS doesn't say if this edit was based on the Blu-Ray or DVD), I'd have thought that a zoomed HD shot would have cut quite well with the SD DVD presentaion. However the thing that got removed by this zoomed shot had to go, so it's easily forgiven.
In conclusion, if you love this film, this edit will be your go-to version. But also, if like me, you hate it, then it'll still be your go-to version. Because when I'm in the mood for a Bond-athon, at least I won't have to sit through the original cut ever again. I can pop in LastSurvivor's zippy upgrade.