Tourist, The (Blu-ray) (2010)

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Released 3-May-2011

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller/Action/Cmdy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Active Subtitle Track
Audio Commentary
Featurette-Multiple
Outtakes
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 103:28
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Johnny Depp
Angelina Jolie
Paul Bettany
Timothy Dalton
Steven Berkoff
Rufus Sewell
Christian De Sica
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $44.95 Music James Newton Howard


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Spanish DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Catalan DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In)
English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Spanish
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
Norwegian
Swedish
English Audio Commentary
Spanish Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

     It should have been a great idea to take two very attractive and extremely popular actors and try to remake a successful French film from 2005, Anthony Zimmer. Add to this mix a European director whose first (and only previous) feature won an Oscar and the beautiful location of Venice and you should have a winner. Unfortunately the resulting film despite being stylish and beautiful, lacks spark between the leads and needed a better screenplay to lift it out of the mediocre category. You can see that they were going for the dramatic/comedy/mystery/thriller feel of films like Charade or North By Northwest, however this is not really achieved leaving you with a feeling that the elements are there but don't add up to much. It is not a bad film just not a very good one.

     The story involves Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp), a maths teacher from the US who is on a train from Paris to Venice when he is approached by a beautiful woman, Elise Clifton-Ward (Angelina Jolie). She is in love with a criminal, Alexander Pearce, who has stolen a great deal of money from a gangster, Reginald Shaw (Steven Berkoff). By letter, the criminal instructs her to take the train to Venice and choose someone on the train who has the same build as him and assuming plastic surgery could be him. This is planned to throw the following police, led by Insp John Acheson (Paul Bettany) and gangsters off the trail. There is also a mysterious Englishman (Rufus Sewell) who seems to be following Elise around. The plot continues to develop as Elise and Frank grow in attraction to each other and the people chasing them get closer and closer. But, where is Alexander Pearce?

     On a positive note, the cinematography is beautiful as you would expect from John Seale aided by the beautiful locations, costumes and people. The music by James Newton Howard is also high quality and sounds marvellous on this Blu-ray. Johnny Depp is good as Frank Tupelo but Jolie does not seem quite right for her role and there is a lack of spark between her and Depp. The screenplay had a few different hands getting involved including the director, Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck and two Oscar winners, Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) and Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects). Despite the pedigree of the writers, the screenplay is one of the things which let this film down, as it lurches from thriller, to comedy, to caper. The jokes worth laughing at are few and far between despite the director assuring us in the commentary that the film is 'hilarious'.

     Fans of Depp and Jolie will probably want to see this film but I would certainly suggest a rental, even for them.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is very good but not quite up to the best of Blu-ray. The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p encoded using AVC.

     The picture was very clear and sharp throughout although not as stunning as the picture on some Blu-rays. The shadow detail was excellent. The colour is excellent showing off the beautiful scenery and costumes. There were no obvious artefacts.

     There are subtitles in English and English for the hearing impaired along with many other European languages and three set of subtitles specifically for the commentary. They were clear and easy to read.

     There are no obvious layer changes during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is very good. This disc contains three main audio options and one commentary track. The three main tracks are English, Spanish & Catalan in DTS-HD MA 5.1. The commentary is Dolby Digital 2.0.

     Dialogue was very clear and easy to hear. The music by James Newton Howard is high quality and sounds excellent on this Blu-ray, filling the sound field and featuring excellent separation. The surround speakers were well used for atmosphere, music and some directional effects. The subwoofer was used for music support and action scenes.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     The extras included here are mostly a large selection of featurettes, although there is also a commentary and some Blu-ray specific options.

Menu

     The stylish menu included music and motion.

Movie IQ

     This feature gives internet enabled viewers the option to access details about a scene while the movie plays from an online database including things such as who the actors are and what the music is. Quite a good feature really.

BD-Live

     The disc enables access to the BD-Live internet portal.

Audio Commentary - Director Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck

     Unfortunately, the director's name is much more interesting than this commentary. He is very dry, kicking off by telling us exciting details like what the date and time is when he is recording the commentary and then proceeds to drone on about the extras in each scene, why an apple appears on a desk and other nothings. To top it off, he gets censored when he happens to swear during the commentary. Avoid.

Canal Chats (6:00)

     Interviews with cast and crew on boats on the canals plus some behind the scenes footage.

A Gala Affair (7:11)

     Featurette about the filming of the ball scene in the film in an old Venice building including changes they made, shooting issues, extras and costumes.

Action in Venice (6:29)

     Featurette about the challenges of filming action scenes in Venice considering the restrictions on speed. Covers the filming of the boat chase scene.

Bringing Glamour Back (9:09)

     The cast and crew wax lyrical about how wonderful the director is and talk about the style of the film.

Tourist Destination: Travel the Canals of Venice (3:17)

     Based on the title I thought this might be a look at Venice itself, sights and history. Unfortunately, it is not, it is the cast and crew telling us about how great Venice is.

Alternate Animated Title Sequence (2:14)

     This is the title sequence which was made for the film but cut. The director discusses his thoughts in the commentary about why he wanted to get rid of it.

Outtake Reel (1:22)

     Very short, very boring.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Blu-ray releases of this film seem to be the same globally.

Summary

     An old style comedy thriller that doesn't really work.

     The video quality is very good. The audio quality is very good. The extras are reasonably plentiful but none of them really deserve much attention.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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Comments (Add)
Commentary details - Anonymous
watch the original + DVD details - Chris A.