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.
wow what another excellent bond fanedit from last survivor.
i loved this movie in imax but i did not think it was as good as the hype.
there were a few problems that bugged me,
eg. the bond running over the frozen lake not around it, the advertising, some bad one liners and when bond see's sivera in the underground train station, but i still enjoyed it.
when i watched this edit i saw just how good this movie is with a few good edits.
last survivor has done it a again made an awesome fanedit of a bond film.
i think mgm and sony need to pay last survivor to edit all there movies he alway knows what to cut. i love this edit, it is a must watch it makes this one of the best bonds around and show just how close to being a perfect bond movie they made.
thank you last survivor you have got rid of all the filler and made a perfect fanedit(again).
this is my go to edit and will be the only version i watch.
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.