This is a tough one for me to review, as I am not Daniel Craig as Bond fan.
Though I remember loving Skyfall when first seeing it in theatres, caught up in the energy of the movie, it's appeal has significantly waned for me on repeated viewings. The convoluted plot really makes no sense to me. All this nonsense just to get caught so Silva can get close enough to kill M? This guy is an evil genius. He blew up MI6. I am pretty sure he could have snuck into the country anytime he wanted and kidnapped or assassinated M. But then there would be no movie, would there? lol.
So despite this plot handicap, Last Survivor has again done a masterful job salvaging the best parts of this movie. The majority of cuts are seamless and effective. Silva's intro is still debatable. While it feels a bit sudden and left field, it is still better than the way over the top cartoonish performance of the original. The audio work is fantastic!!! Great new score and cues!
But as always, for me, the best part of any LS edit is his commentary. Insightful, funny, informative and passionate. You can hear his love for the subject.
This is still a flawed film imo due to the source material, but I think LS made the movie worthier of the Bond franchise.
Really good work. Thumbs Up.
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyDecember 05, 2014
Thanks so much for your kind comments. Really glad you enjoyed it, and you're too kind about my commentary. Man, was it a struggle to get this one done!
This is a fantastic 007 edit by LastSurvivor of Sam Mendes' Skyfall. The original, while an undeniably solid film, had quite a few flaws or rather nagging points that might trouble some longtime Bond fans like myself. With Skyfallen, those troubles are gone.
The A/V quality is top notch. All unchracteristic and over-the-top moments are gone. The film is recut for pacing. LastSurvivor shifts the emphasis of entire scenes from distracting minutae in the original to raw Bond moments in his edit. The new opening theme is reminescent of Chris Cornell's You Know My Name, and the amped cover of Adele's theme which plays over the closing credits reiterate this. There are numerous inspired touches, like the opening gunbarrel. Overall it feels more like a James Bond film than the original did.
In short, it would be quicker for you to just give this a watch to enjoy the full extent of LastSurvivor's brilliant work than for me to bore you with details of how good it is. Highly recommended for all fans of a great action thrillers.
Nice work man!
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyDecember 05, 2014
Ranger, thanks for your views! Much appreciated and I glad you liked what your saw. I suppose I never thought of the new title song reminding one of Chris Cornell's You Know My Name, but it's that what you get from it, it's all good! Thanks again :)
I haven’t seen the theatrical in many years so I was watching more or less with fresh eyes. The only places where I noticed changes were the weird fade in to Silva on the island, the change in theme song, and the lack of booby traps. I clearly got a general sense of Silva being toned down, which was appreciated, but the aforementioned fade in felt like a fan edit, so I’m assuming it was one. I can’t say I agree with the change of theme music. Swapping out Radiohead for Sam Smith in Spectre sure. But the Adele theme is one of the better themes in my opinion and the replacement isn’t as good. But I suppose that is personal preference. Finally, the omission of the booby traps I think works very well and is a welcome change. I'm not sure what the original video quality was. I had to convert to MP4 in order to watch on my Apple TV. But the quality was noticeably lacking. I didn't really deduct though because I can't be sure the quality issues were due to my Handbrake conversion.
On to the movie itself. I think this is one of the better Bond movies and for me it is the most beautiful to look at (@TM2YC is insane in his dislike of Deakins :P ). But it’s a movie that is clearly trying to raise the bar. And as such it needs to be judged that way. In my opinion it fails to achieve what it clearly set out to do. It wants to make you think about themes such as how expendable human capital is in military and intelligence, the changing nature of conflict in the world, among other things. But the movie merely pays them lip service and doesn’t rise to its own challenges. That’s why, for me, Casino Royale remains the best of the Craig Bond movies.
It's still one of the better Bond movies and LS's edit is an improvement in most areas.
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.