Tempo (2003)

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Released 26-Jul-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 89:27
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Eric Styles

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Melanie Griffith
Rachael Leigh Cook
Hugh Dancy
Malcolm McDowell
Art Malik
David La Haye
Delphine Rich
Catherine Buquen
Rita Davies
Michel Albertini
André Oumansky
Virgile Bramly
Joseph Beddelem
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music John McCarthy

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English Titling
German Titling
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Melanie Griffiths stars in this 2003 thriller as Sarah, an American now working and living in France. Her boss, George Mardonado (Art Malik), is a black market dealer who takes on jobs that others are too scared to touch. Sarah is one of his couriers, who carry out their tasks and are rewarded with handsome sums of cash for putting their life on the line.

    When Walter Shrenger (Malcolm McDowell) proposes a private arrangement for a one-off job, Sarah decides to take it without the knowledge of her boss. All she has to do is to escort a parcel back from Munich and ensure it is placed safely in the hands of Shrenger - which sounds simple enough. While Sarah is off on the project, her young boyfriend Jack (Hugh Dancy) becomes quite familiar with Jenny Travile (Rachael Leigh Cook) who has just moved to Paris.

    A love triangle develops but never really seems to get anywhere in the story, which is a shame as it is one of the key reasons for the movie in the first place. There is no surprise when Sarah lands in big trouble while on the Munich job and she urgently needs to find a large sum of cash to keep the French Mafia appeased. The only possible way out is to rob the jewellery store where Jenny works, but she will need the assistance of Jack. Will Jenny find out and railroad their plans or will love conquer all?

    Melanie Griffiths just comes across as too old and tired and never really seems to be into the plot at all. I think this was one of the big reasons for the love triangle coming across as so lame and not at all convincing to the story. On a positive note, the seriousness of the role of George, played by Art Malik, is reinforced when you remember that Malik played the role of Salim Abu Aziz in the the big budget hit True Lies. Without a doubt, Malik and Rachael Leigh Cook are the only reasons to keep watching this movie - they both provided the gusto to maintain interest in the story.

    Another point worth noting is that the story starts from the end in the first chapter. The movie then goes back eight days and traces forward in time until you reach the opening scene again. It did add a little further interest because you don't really know if this was the real ending or if there was more to go. I won't tell you either - you will just have to watch it if you want to find out.

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Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is clear but there is a subtle soft appearance to the image. Shadow detail is not a problem with plenty of light available throughout. There is some low level noise.

    The colours, whilst not vibrant, do demonstrate an acceptable level of saturation and balance throughout the entire feature.

    There were no MPEG artefacts, and film-to-video transfer artefacts are very limited. Aliasing is rare and mild in the few instances where it does occur. Film artefacts are also rare and not distracting at all.

    Subtitles are close to the spoken word but the font that was used is rather bold and chunky. It is certainly not an easy font to read for the length of a movie.

    This disc is single sided and single layered, so therefore there is no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are two audio tracks on this DVD. The default is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. There is also a German Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times. Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer.

    The musical score by John McCarthy was well mixed and a fitting choice for this style of movie. During the latter half of the film when things get more interesting, the music picks up its beat and pace accordingly. The volume levels did not drown out the dialogue at any point during the movie.

    The surround channels were used for music and special effects. Whilst there are quite a lot of directional sound effects, the majority are limited to the front sound stage, but to be fair this is also where most of the action is, so it's not an authoring problem but a necessity. At the instances where directional sound for music or effects are required, the soundtrack delivers a well balanced and accurate representation to match the on screen action.

    The subwoofer was active during the action sequences but its use was limited. Again this is more because the on screen action did not really call upon more use of this speaker.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     There are no extras present.


    The menu design is themed around the movie. It is 16x9 enhanced. The main menu features a still montage of the main characters' faces and matches the version of the cover that I have seen.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This disc is identical to the Region 1 release.


    I hate to say it but this movie would have been better off without Melanie Griffiths and yet she is one of the main draw cards that was used to catch everyone's attention. Rachael Leigh Cook is a very nice draw card on her own if you ask me. But seriously, a younger woman would have made the whole love triangle more convincing. Or, as I said earlier, maybe an older woman was not the problem but the fact that Griffiths always appeared to be off with the fairies rather than focused on the story. Others may disagree but that's the impression I had for the whole movie and it's about the only thing that peeved me from beginning to end.

    The video is acceptable and has no big issues.

    The audio is fine and contains no problems.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Peter Mellor (read my bio)
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1600, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Aconda 9381ZW. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersWhatmough Classic Series C31 (Mains); C06 (Centre); M10 (Rears); Magnat Vector Needle Sub25A Active SubWoofer

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