Transporter 3 (Blu-ray) (2008)
|Year Of Production||2008|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Olivier Megaton|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (640Kb/s)
English Linear PCM 96/24 2.0
English Audio Commentary Linear PCM 96/24 2.0
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Transporter 3 is a silly, over-the-top, action film - just like the first two in the series, but sadly it’s nowhere near as much fun as them. Sequel fatigue seems to have set in, and there's nothing really original or new here. With Transporter 3, Luc Besson has made one trip to the well too many, but that aside, the quality of the high definition picture and lossless surround audio is exceptional.
Jason Statham returns for the third time as Frank Martin, a professional driver who will transport any cargo in his beautiful Audi S8, no questions asked. His transporter code of conduct states: "Stick to the plan. Give no names. Never look in the package". As with the first two films, Frank is British but lives in France, transporting cargo around continental Europe. The movie opens with Frank fishing with his French Police Inspector friend Tarconi (François Berléand). This outing ended up being rather fortunate for Frank, as across town, a shiny black Audi S8, just like Frank’s, evades police in an exciting high-speed car chase. Fortune smiles on Frank again, when later that night, that same Audi crashes into his house, narrowly missing Frank.
Frank is taken to meet the sinister and cruel Mr. Johnson (Robert Knepper), a cardboard-cut-out baddie who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Johnson orders Frank to complete an unfinished job for him – transport a package to an undisclosed location, guided by Johnson’s GPS. To ensure his cooperation, Frank has been fitted with a metal wristband that explodes if he moves more than 75 feet from his car. Frank also has a mysterious passenger dumped on him, a young Russian party-girl named Valentina (Natalya Rudakova).
Along the way Frank will have to discover the mystery surrounding his passenger, package, and situation, and plan an escape. He apparently will also need to strip constantly – the villains strip him, and then he strangely strips off himself during his fight scenes. Poor Frank even has to strip for Valentina to get his car keys back at one point.
The plot for Transporter 3 is wafer thin, but then again, no one was expecting Tolstoy. As always, Statham plays a cool tough guy, and as he has done throughout this series he actually makes many of the ridiculous scenes work. Unfortunately, Natalya Rudakova, the freckled-faced love interest passenger is dull and often annoying. Apart from the many exciting driving sequences in beautiful European locations, the movie fight scenes choreographed by martial arts master, Corey Yuen are also top notch, and are as fun and inventive as his work in the first two films. I think the highlight of these scenes was Frank playing the piano with one villain's head. Overall, director Olivier Megaton does a reasonable job in delivering an action film, avoiding both fake sentimentality and pointless romantic sub-plots.
Transporter 3 is a visceral film, and the BD's high definition transfer is excellent.
Transporter 3 has been authored in 1920 x 1080p. The film has been encoded using AVC MPEG-4 compression, and is presented in a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1, in a native 16x9 frame, which is the same as its original theatrical aspect ratio.
As one should expect with a high definition transfer, the sharpness of the image is excellent. For example, consider the perfect delineation in the sweeping aerial shot of the highway through the forest at 24:23. The film has a higher than average contrast, and the black level is excellent, with true, deep blacks. There are many dark scenes, and fortunately the shadow detail is great.
The approach to colour is consistent and excellent throughout. There are many scenes with themed and highly stylised lighting and/or use of coloured lenses, and there is a perfect palette of well-saturated colours on display. The skin tones are excellent.
Although some film grain is noticeable, there are no problems with MPEG artefacts, such as pixelization. There are also no problems with Film-To-Video Artefacts, such as aliasing or telecine wobble. A pristine print was used for the transfer, and film artefacts are not a problem either.
Strangely, only English subtitles are offered, and they are accurate.
Transporter 3 is presented on a BD-50 (50 GB) disc, divided into 12 chapters.
The original sound design for Transporter 3 is excellent, and the BD's surround audio is a real treat.
Originally released theatrically with a choice of Dolby Digital, dts, and SDDS sound, there are three audio options for the feature on this BD. The default option is English Dolby Digital TrueHD Surround. Dolby TrueHD Lossless audio is capable of carrying up to eight discrete audio channels, at a sample depth and rate of 24-bit/96 kHz. The maximum bitrate that can be encoded is 18 Mbps. Also included are a Linear PCM Stereo audio option, and an English Audio Commentary by Director Olivier Megaton also presented in Linear PCM Stereo audio.
Despite the extensive use of ADR, the dialogue quality and audio sync are fine throughout.
The film's original score is credited to Alexandre Azaria. The thumping hip hop and Euro-techno-tunes suit the look and feel of the film, and certainly underscores the over-the-top action sequences.
As you might expect, Transporter 3 has a very high level of surround presence and activity. The aggressive mix is immersive and impressive, and it really adds a lot to the excitement of the film. The rear speakers are used throughout to help carry the score and to provide ambience. As I have noticed with other BDs, there is also a very noticeable improvement in the clarity of the sound in the rear speakers compared to the DVD release. The subwoofer is also utilised throughout, as this is a very LFE heavy film.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are a few extras on the BD.
As with other BDs, the menu can be accessed while the film is playing. There is also an animated Main Menu.
English Audio Commentary by Director Olivier Megaton presented in Linear PCM Stereo audio. Although this is fairly drab, Megaton does his best to provide a full-length commentary with behind-the-scenes production information. Although not exactly 'screen specific', Megaton often uses actors and events that appear onscreen as his launching points for discussion topics.
Making of Transporter 3 (16:11)
Featuring Director Olivier Megaton, this featurette provides a behind-the-scenes look at the film production. Megaton focuses on his goals and how this film was to differ from the first two.
Story Board (2:45)
A comparison of story board to finished film, with commentary by Director Olivier Megaton.
Visual Effects (2:32)
A very quick behind-the-scenes look at the film's VFX, with commentary by Director Olivier Megaton.
The Sets (2:08)
Another very quick behind-the-scenes featurette with commentary by Director Olivier Megaton, this time looking at the film's sets, such as Frank's house in the South of France and the train carriages.
Car Stunts (3:09)
Director Olivier Megaton returns for another very quick behind-the-scenes featurette looking at one of the main features of the film, the exciting driving sequences and car stunts. Considering the 'car porn' is one of the main attractions of the film, I was expecting this featurette to be much longer.
Trailer: Push (1:33)
This trailer for Push is presented in high definition, and launches automatically when the BD is played.
The US BD has some different features, most noticeably in the audio options. While our BD offers lossless English Dolby Digital TrueHD Surround, theirs offers lossless English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 Surround and a French Dolby Digital 5.1 dub. We also miss out on some of their extras: Transporters in the Real World (13:49), six Theatrical Trailers, and a second disc that includes a SD digital copy of the movie.
A lot of Transporter 3 seems familiar, but it also seems to have been done better before.
The video quality is excellent.
The audio quality is also excellent.
The extras are slim.
|DVD||Sony Playstation 3 (HDMI 1.3) with Upscaling, using HDMI output|
|Display||Panasonic High Definition 50' Plasma (127 cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Samsung Pure Digital 6.1 AV Receiver (HDMI 1.3)|