Hmmmm.... Mixed thoughts on this. Some really nice changes, but also some unfortunate ones.
Adele's theme is great. One of the best bond themes in my opinion - I don't understand why this was changed. This is obviously a preferential thing though and the replacement was well integrated.
Product placement - gone. As is the CGI comodo dragon, the overblown car chase at the start, the cringy shave scene, and various bits and pieces of poor dialogue. The fight on the ice is fairly silly, but still fun. Cutting it out makes the Silva's death seem ever so slightly anticlimactic (no classic final one on one fight), but it isn't essential and for the most part wasn't missed.
Now, about Silva - I don't have a problem with him. I don't think his performance is over the top. He's just an eccentric, unhinged character, and this is a bond movie... The bad guys should be larger than life. Cutting his introduction and performance was not only jarring and noticeable (I watched this with 2 others who were definitely taken out of the experience by it), but it robs him of necessary character development and devalues his character. Similarly with the train crash dialogue - this shouldn't have been shaved down.
These 2 simple changes are what makes it hard for me to decide whether or not I would recommend this edit. If someone has never seen the original, I probably wouldn't, but it's definitely worth a watch for those who would like to see many of the other cringy elements removed.
Video/audio - excellent. No complaints there.
Visual editing - very good, apart from what was mentioned.
Audio editing - nothing noticeable. Soundtrack changes seemed to fit.
Narrative - suffers a lot in my opinion, due to the bad guy trims. There's a lack of weight to his motives and cutting his introduction makes him very unmemorable.
Enjoyment - 8. I like this film. This may be my go to version, I'm not sure. I'd have to watch the original again. More than likely I will have to do my own edit at somepoint as this did not leave me satisfied.
Bombastic Bond outing marred by over reliance on explosions over logic and structure.
Movie also contains one of the weaker villains, a sad reoccurence.
Last Survivor tackles this film with his usual surgical precision, with mostly excellent results.
Video: 720 X 480 MPG2. Brilliant, spotless work. I rewatched the theatrical version three days beforehand to better appreciate the work here. By and large, the cuts were well chosen and few viewers will miss them. The side mirrors, the straight razor, the dragon, the ice. The ice omission was thoughtfully excised. Only when I rewatched the edit two days later, this time with audio commentary running, did I catch tiny imperfections pointed out by LS.
Audio: 2-channel AC3 192K. No subs. Robust sound, always well synced to video. Changes in musical score played by unnoticed, though song alterations did not. LS explained his reasons for replacing Adele’s opener with the lesser known Within Temptation, voicing a rather 80s sounding tune. It still struck me as a mistake. Most 007 openers are voiced by a performer who reflects the zeitgeist of the age. Adele is certainly that. Now, WT’s closing version of “Skyfall” sounds just fine and actually provides a cheeky bookend.
Be sure to give this a second view, next time with Last Survivor’s running commentary. Attempt #5 after four false starts, so thank you for your perseverance. His comments are primarily Skyfall related, though not exclusively as he discusses other Bond vehicles, thoughts on CGI, scores, composers, as well as personal recollections.
Narrative: Ain’t wasting time here - Silva. In trying to create a “weirdly” memorable adversary, the creators wound up with a laughably lame personality. Silva already had an efficient, invisible, and highly profitable business running. So he decides to imperil all of that? Please. The long intro, yak-yak-yak, sexual innuendo, rat chat, sheer folly.
Last Survivor trimmed, shaved, swung an axe. Instead of Silva the ridiculous, he became the Silva the sketch. Not really an improvement, to me. With what material is out there, it could be Silva is unsalvageable. No matter how much effort, he will always remain a sorry foe. He pales next to Le Chiffre, stumbles next to Scaramanga, falls by Largo, all villains who bested Bond. Blofeld remains on a level all his own. Silva comes across as a crybaby with mommy issues and a bad haircut. That’s all he is, a bad haircut.
Enjoyment - I like this edit, I like the theatrical version. Neither are my first choice for Bond, or Craig’s Bond. Push came to shove, I would give the nod to Last Survivor’s edit, only because he removed a chunk of the numbing action. Seriously, I think audiences zone out during bullet gorging or the exhausting running. A lessor editor might have been tempted to trim the slow bit, the lyrical sequences, the “boring spy stuff.” The actual editing team could have learned a trick from LS. Less is more - more Bond - a more classic Bond feel.
Gotta be honest, though. Silva is a major impediment, theatrical - extended - edited. Silva keeps Skyfall from challenging Casino Royale.
Skyfall was a mixed bag. Most of it is wonderful (and a great improvement over the utter mess that was QoS) but some bits leave you wondering how on earth they ever made it to the theatrical release.
Overall this is a very good edit - and much better than my attempt at seeing what I could do - but is perhaps too severe in some places and not severe enough in others. Although the music changes are generally a definite improvement, I liked the original title tune more than the replacement here. I even miss a couple of the one-liners that have been cut, like the wing-mirrors one. I'm also uncertain about losing most of the villain's introduction, partly because the pair's willy-waving about who's the hardest does lead onto the (also cut) line about the waste of whisky.
Most importantly, we're still asked to believe that the villain's great plan is to be captured by MI6, knowing that - somehow - Q will be stupid enough to allow the captured laptop access to the MI6 network so that every door in the new HQ will open. One basic bit of computer security or one ordinary lock on a cell, and the film's nearly an hour shorter...
Back to the good stuff, losing the product placement is very welcome and the final fight makes as much sense as it's ever going to. The commentary is worth listening to as well.
A truly brilliant edit from last survivor, the pacing is much better, bond's back story feels more fleshed out as a result and silver's monologues are thankfully toned down.
as mentioned in other reviews the only noticeable cut to me is on the island, the fade feels like something done on imovie and doesn't really fit with the rest of the film, although the choice of where to cut is exemplary.
the musical choices are great as well, the addition of motifs from other bond movies is excellently placed and makes the film score much more like a traditional bond movie. Although i didn't have a problem with adele's song, the choices made for the opening and end credits are well done and do not feel out of place.
as often with last survivor, this has now become my goto version of the film,
(my only two changes would be to remove M's F-word and silver's jaw pulling sequence as both are superfluous to the plot and make this difficult to watch with a child.)
Now if only someone would edit On Her Majesty's Secret Service or Octopussy. hint hint
Do you recommend this edit?
Thanks so much for the review and great to see you enjoyed it so much. I kinda wished I had not done that "blur" edit effect as it seems a universal opinion that it looked goofy and amateurish. Oh well, you live and learn huh?
Nice to hear that the additional music choices worked well, as not many other people have commented on that.
As for OHMSS or Octopussy? Well, the former is my favourite Bond film of all time so perhaps I'll have a go at a streamlined version someday. Who knows? Thanks again.