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Spectre
BLU-RAY disk
03.04.2016 By: Lauren Bradshaw
Spectre order download
Director:
Sam Mendes

Actors:
Daniel Craig
Cristoph Waltz
Lea Seydoux

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Following the events of SKYFALL, James Bond (Daniel Craig) arrives in Mexico City to settle a score for his murdered mentor M (Judi Dench). But when he gets his hands on his target's octopus-emblazoned ring, Bond discovers the existence of a shadowy organization that has ties to villains from his past.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
As the 24th film in the James Bond franchise and the sequel to SKYFALL, the most critically acclaimed and financially successful Bond film, SPECTRE has some big shoes to fill. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a good movie. There is the killer opening scene, as well as the cars, gadgets, and beautiful cinematography we all love and expect from the franchise. I also appreciated that this Bond isn’t written as an unfeeling spy, but as a man whose personal and professional losses have begun weighing on his conscious. However, the film was not able to live up to its predecessor, nor was it as good as another franchise’s spy-thriller released in the same year, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION.

The best and worst thing about SPECTRE was the INCREDIBLE opening set piece. It’s no surprise that even the bare bones special features still includes a featurette demonstrating how it was shot. This sequence, which features a brilliantly filmed tracking shot of Bond making his way through Mexico City’s Day of the Dead Festival to hunt down terrorists, was easily one of my favorites of any movie in 2015. I kept thinking, ‘If this is just the beginning of the movie, I can’t wait to see what else happens.’ However, that’s also where the issue lies – the remaining 2+ hours of action, while still fine, seemed underwhelming in comparison. There are also issues with the script, which at times seems to combine aspects of the previous films in an inorganic manner.

But let’s be real, even with its issues, for the most part you can’t really go wrong with a Bond film, especially when it comes to entertainment value. SPECTRE feels like the culmination of Daniel Craig’s Bond quadrilogy, and while you can see this one on its own, I wouldn’t suggest it. Because SPECTRE includes aspects from its predecessors, the film works best when you have also seen CASINO ROYALE, QUANTUM OF SOLACE, and SKYFALL.
THE EXTRAS
SPECTRE: Bond's Biggest Opening Sequence: As SPECTRE's opening sequence was one of my favorite scenes from any movie this year, I’m happy that MGM at least included a special feature to highlight the filmmaking process. The 20 minute-long extra helped me appreciate the scene even more and I noticed things I previously took for granted. Mendes shot the scene using practical effects (when possible) and included over 1,000 extras in Mexico City. It's incredible all of the detail that went into filling this set piece with authenticity, between the costumes, makeup, and set design. The featurette makes sure to highlight the use of local artisans and craft men and women, who helped provide accuracy to the scene. And perhaps the coolest part of the clip was that we get to meet that incredible stunt helicopter pilot and hear how he was able to fly in the scene.

Video Blogs: There are six very brief “video blogs”, each lasting under 2 minutes each that are obviously stand-ins for a more comprehensive behind-the-scenes documentary. I would’ve loved to have more than 1 minute, 30 seconds to learn about the cars from the film. But hey, at least I learned something new - SPECTRE broke a Guinness World Record by having the biggest stunt explosion in cinematic history.

Gallery: Production and behind-the-scenes stills. Do people really look at these instead of going to Google images?

Theatrical Trailers: One teaser trailer and two theatrical trailers.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
You can never go wrong popping in a Bond film to watch at home. However, in comparison to SKYFALL’s Blu-Ray release, the special features of SPECTRE are pretty underwhelming. You would think a big-budget Bond film would have some awesome extras, but perhaps they are holding off for a special edition release. Regardless, this edition includes the bare minimum in extras, not even a commentary, leaving any Bond fan begging for more (or holding out for an inevitable special edition release).
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