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.
Last Survivor's very welcome comeback edit does not disappoint. My biggest grip with Skyfall, that it's a Christopher Nolan clone with little personality of its own, can not be fixed by a fanedit, but otherwise I found this edit very preferable to the theatrical cut, and more "Bondian" too. The pacing is better and, with 25 minutes of fat removed, it never feels like anything is missing. If anything, I'd have cut a few more bits, like Eve telling Bond about the YouTube upload (we've already seen that in the previous M scene, never deliver the same info twice on a movie, we can assume Eve did tell him offscreen) or the GB bumper sticker on the Aston Martin, which not only makes a SECRET agent's car more identifiable, but also if this is the same car we've been seeing since Goldfinger, and I assume it is since it has the machine guns, a bumper sticker of a particular country renders the rotating international plates useless.
LS succeeds in making Silva more menacing and less over the top. I liked his new intro, yet I could have done without the blurring, one isn't likely to find that in a theatrical release. A simple video cut would have worked fine. The replaced music is great, it really increases the overall Bond feel that I find lacking in the theatrical cut.
Despite the editor's high opinion on the cinematography, I do wish he had done some color correction. Roger Deakins is a good DP who has made fine work, particularly with the Coens, but here it tends a bit too much to the generic teal-and-orange look that's everywhere these days. I wish it had been toned down.
I'm also glad we finally got the audio commentary. I enjoyed it a lot. And thanks for the name dropping! :)
Recommended to all Bond fans, regardless of their opinion on Skyfall. Mission accomplished!
Hello everyone, been hard working with life. But I thought I'd chime in here with a review from my review pile of fanedits.
Skyfall was a film that I loved. It was a great celebration of the 50th anniversary for Bond. However, Silva felt a little over the top and kinda reminded me of the Joker from The Dark Knight. This edit is now my preferred go to of Skyfall. Last Survivor did a great job of trimming down the fluff and unnecessary things from it. This is an edit that I'd highly recommend.
I don't have too much to say about this, except that it was truly excellent. Everything you did here worked perfectly. I suppose some editing is noticeable when Bond meets Silva and there is one slightly odd shot just before Silva shoots the hot Asian girl--it looked as if the film was zoomed in. It was extremely brief and I only mention it because I hate to leave such a short review, as if I weren't paying attention :-)
This was a great edit and is my go-to version of Skyfall.
Do you recommend this edit?
anarchemist, thank you for taking the time to write a review and I'm really glad you enjoyed the edit so much.
Yes, you are right about the zoomed-in shot. I think I mention it on the commentary, but it was the only way to manipulate the scene as I wanted to. Hopefully it didn't distract too much!
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.