After fifty plus years and twenty-four adventures, secret agent extraordinaire James Bond shows no signs of slowing down. Taking in over $850 million worldwide, Spectre proved once again that there is plenty of juice left in the Bond franchise. While critics were divided on the latest edition to the Bond canon of films, fans could not get enough of Sam Mendes’ throwback to the Bond films of the past. Now those same fans can relive all of the thrilling action as Spectre hits Blu-ray and DVD this week courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
After receiving a cryptic message from the past, James Bond (Daniel Craig) ignores protocol and travels to Mexico to conduct an unauthorized hunt for a man named Marco Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona). Discovering that Sciarra’s octopus ring may hold the secret to uncovering a covert organization known as Spectre, Bond decides to strike up a deal with his old enemy Mr. White (Jesper Christensen). In exchange for protecting Mr. White’s daughter, Dr. Madeline Swann (Léa Seydoux), Bond will receive information which will hopefully bring him closer to Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz), a man from his past who is supposed to be dead, but now sits high within the ranks of Spectre.
Offering a plethora of loving call backs to classic Bond films, Spectre plays just as well at home as it did in theatres. Whether it is the sensational opening sequence during Mexico’s “Day of the Dead” festivities, or the thrilling fight sequence on a train, there is plenty of action to keep even the casual Bond fan entertained. While the film may not hit all the same high notes as Skyfall, though Hoyte Van Hoytema’s cinematography is equally as gorgeous, the films’ strengths outweigh its flaws. Yes, the film’s feeble attempt to create continuity with the previous three Bond films feels forced, and yes, Monica Bellucci’s Lucia Sciarra is underused. However, Seydoux and Waltz prove to be more than worthy additions to the Bond universe. Furthermore, Spectre carries a certain gleeful sense of fun that was missing from Craig’s other, more serious, Bond films.
While the Blu-ray has several special features for fans to dive into, the centerpiece is easily the “SPECTRE: Bond’s Biggest Opening Sequence” featurette. In it Mendes, Craig and crew detail all the work that went into orchestrating the aforementioned “Day of the Dead” sequence, including its eye-popping continuous take that opens the film. Explaining the extensive collaboration between British and Mexican crews to dress and provide makeup for 1500 extras, as well as how the high-flying helicopter stunt was pulled off, the feature provides enough of an insight to satisfy fans until Bond’s next thrilling adventure.
Spectre may not be the best of the Bond films, nor the best of the Craig films, but it provides enough entertainment to be a worthy addition to the James Bond universe.
• SPECTRE: Bond’s Biggest Opening Sequence
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