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Casino Royale Blu-ray

United States
Collector's Edition / James Bond Sony Pictures | 2006 | 144 min | Rated PG-13 | Oct 21, 2008

Casino Royale (Blu-ray)

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (24.64 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit)
French: Dolby TrueHD 5.1

English, English SDH, French, Spanish

50GB Blu-ray Disc
Two-disc set (2 BDs)
Bonus View (PiP)

Slipcover in original pressing

Region free

List price: $19.99, Price history

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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Blu-ray rating
Video 4.7 of 54.7
Audio 4.7 of 54.7
Extras 4.2 of 54.2
Based on 54 user reviews

Movie appeal 

Casino Royale


Casino Royale Blu-ray delivers stunning video and audio in this exceptional Blu-ray release

Casino Royale introduces James Bond before he holds his license to kill. But Bond is no less dangerous, and with two professional assassinations in quick succession, he is elevated to "00" status. "M", head of the British Secret Service, sends the newly-promoted 007 on his first mission that takes him to Madagascar, the Bahamas and eventually leads him to Montenegro to face Le Chiffre, a ruthless financier under threat from his terrorist clientele, who is attempting to restore his funds in a high-stakes poker game at the Casino Royale. "M" places Bond under the watchful eye of the Treasury official Vesper Lynd. At first skeptical of what value Vesper can provide, Bond's interest in her deepens as they brave danger together. Le Chiffre's cunning and cruelty come to bear on them both in a way Bond could never imagine, and he learns his most important lesson: Trust no one.

For more about Casino Royale and the Casino Royale Blu-ray release, see Casino Royale Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.

Director: Martin Campbell
Writers: Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Ian Fleming
Starring: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Giancarlo Giannini, Caterina Murino, Jeffrey Wright

» See full cast & crew

Casino Royale Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

Since the video content remains the same 1080p transfer as the original Blu-ray release, sporting an AVC MPEG-4 encode, it gets the same rating as in the previous review. The opening black-and- white introduction showing Bond's initial kills appear sharp, icy and grainy. The flashback sequences in this intro are stylized as if the picture is printed on black-and-white litho film. The following credits sequence shows a fantastic palette of colors, and good sharpness in the digital graphics. Once the credits end and the more exotic locales are featured, the realism is startling. The opening chase scene only shows one moment of compression artifacts, visible in a jungle plant as Bond begins his chase of the bomb maker. But for a scene featuring nonstop movement, the near lack of digital artifacts is impressive. Casino Royale features a rare transfer that compares favorably with other quality BDs, such as X-Men III. While the latter achieves a more gritty look, the Bond film appears less grainy--almost glossy in its treatment of sweeping vistas, tropical resorts and elegant Old World luxury. The quality picture helps transport us into Bond's world.

In addition to the tonal range and color, sharpness and resolution also contribute to the detailed presentation. These factors help render lifelike definition, revealing that the focal point of the camera is often not on the actors' faces on some shots but on their necks. This cinematic technique is used in shots of the Bond girls as a sort of "beauty shot". Fine grain is visible, which also contributes to the film-like definition. Contrary to some accusation of "grain smoothing", the digital transfer stays true to a first generation print. Many viewers are more accustomed to grain from a normal theatrical print, which is often fourth generation from the negative duplications. Even a transfer from a digital intermediate made from the negative has more pronounced grain. But Casino Royale's transfer appears sourced from the original print and boasts an image far superior to a regular print. It shows no evidence of grain smoothing or digital noise reduction. Nor is it held back by unnatural grain movement that can be distracting in objects moving in a scene.

Watch the scene where M is briefing Bond on the beach near the Bahama resort and pause the picture. The sharpness is so extraordinary and the picture so vivid, it tricks the eye into believing instead of 35 mm film, it is watching an 8" x 10" large format transparency on a light box. The transfer is so clear that it highlights a different "look" between consecutive shots--probably the result of the scenes being shot on different days, in different locations or angles, using different cameras, emulsions, ambient light or camera aperture. But the editing ensures these differences are not jarring, and the honesty of the picture makes the imagery even more powerful. Some viewers have said the colors are oversaturated. But the picture is within the limits of color accuracy and harkens back to the old master of color photography Ernst Hass, who strove to achieve vibrant yet accurate color in his dye transfer prints. At the time, photo buffs asked if he exaggerated the colors. He didn't. Colors in nature can appear naturally vibrant and Casino Royale features a color scheme that is neither muted nor exaggerated. Rather, it achieves a natural, glossy appearance.

Casino Royale Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.5 of 5

The audio is a crucial draw of any Bond film. Consider the throaty revving of engines during car chases; the opening signature songs featuring many legends of radio; the bass response as a plane takes off or a missile is launched; the soft voices and sexy accents of bond girls; and of course the trademark 007 theme. Throughout its entire Dolby TrueHD track, Casino Royale does not disappoint. But the big question is exactly how the new version differs from the earlier one? Oddly, I found the TrueHD version to be better than the previous release's PCM track. This made me eat my own words that I expressed previously--that all things being equal, PCM is preferable to TrueHD. But were all things equal? It was not the definition or resolution that I found preferable in the new version, but the mix or prominence of certain elements within the soundstage. I'm not saying Sony used a new mix for the TrueHD version, but at times it sure sounded that way.

The most notable difference was the level. The audio track of the "Collector's Edition" was mastered at a higher volume than the previous version, but even after level matching, the two versions had different tonal characteristics. Let me preface my further comments by saying the mix of "You Know My Name" always seemed a bit off to me in the initial release. Former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell's voice never properly cut through the large-ensemble instrumentation. The entire presentation of the theme song appeared a bit narrow and constricted. So I was pleasantly surprised when the new Blu-ray Dolby TrueHD track presented "You Know My Name" in all its minor-key melodic majesty, open and wide in the soundstage with sufficient air around Cornell's vocals. The mix also featured good separation between guitar, strings, drums and bass. It was a subtle improvement, but an important one that I believe justifies a slightly higher rating than the audio received on the previous review.

The improved sound carries over into other elements of the audio performance, including the prodigious LFE content. Of all the dynamic audio sequences in Casino Royale, the storming shootout/chase scene as Bond pursues Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) in a palazzo under construction in Venice, Italy is worth noting. The audio content is nearly unrivaled. It will tax to the max any audio system's performance. Throughout the scene, various elements of the track intertwine and compete, without getting in the way or drowning out the other sounds: the musical score; deep bass groaning of the demolition; large splashes as bits of the structure crash into the water; blasts of small arms fire; and hissing of air out of industrial flotation devices that structurally shore up the Palazzo and keep the building from sinking. Many of these elements have a deep bass factor and the use of the subwoofer is tight, controlled and powerful, ranging from short, deep blasts, to sustained response that shifts in the low frequency, shaking the floorboards and rattling the windows. In the previous PCM mix, the LFE content was more monochromatic, but here it is tighter and appears to have slightly more variability in the low Hz frequencies. In a word, it's more dynamic and realistic. (Not that I know what it really sounds like to be in a palazzo falling into the water, but Casino Royale convinced me.) The underwater segments that end the scene feature another unique audioscape that was engineered especially well, with haunting ambient sounds.

Casino Royale: Other Editions


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Casino Royale Blu-ray, News and Updates

Today on Blu-ray - October 21st - October 21, 2008

James Bond represents a lifestyle that many people want to live and few can afford. As the world's top secret agent, 007 gets to travel the world to exotic locations, making use of his fast cars and cool gadgets to save the world over and over again (with just ...

Casino Royale Gets Collector's Edition Treatment (Updated) - August 11, 2008

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced that they will bring 'Casino Royale: Collector's Edition' to Blu-ray on October 21st, day-and-date with the DVD release. October 21st is also the same day that MGM will be debuting six classic James Bond films on Blu-ray. ...

Casino Royale Blu-ray, Forum Discussions

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