Trip, The (2010) (Blu-ray)
Outtakes-Rehearsal Footage : "Costume Drama" (45.41)
|Year Of Production||2010|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Michael Winterbottom|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Linear PCM 48/24 5.1 (4608Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
†††† What do you get when you put two of Britain's brightest and funniest actors/comedians on a road trip together through the north of England? As it happens one of the most intriguing and funny films of the year.
†††† Director Michael Winterbottom worked with comedy stalwarts Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in the screen adaptation of Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story. Their natural interplay and riffing inspired him to approach them for a bold project - a mockumentary TV series in which the pair travel around northern England visiting various high end restaurants. That series premiered in the UK in 2010 and Winterbottom edited a 2 hour version for cinema release. The film premiered to some acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival. Steve Coogan also scored a BAFTA for Best Male Performance in a comedy role for the TV series in 2011.
†††† In the film and the series Coogan and Brydon play fictional stereotypes of themselves. Coogan is the arrogant yet desperately self-doubting actor slighting those around him yet aching for another big cinema role, something that has perhaps escaped the real Coogan since Around the World in 80 Days. Brydon meanwhile is the affable Welshman trying a bit too hard to make people laugh.
†††† The set up for the film is straight-forward. Coogan has been approached by The Observer magazine for a week long journey in the north of England sampling the delights of some of the best restaurants in the country. He takes the job to impress his sophisticated and beautiful girlfriend, Mischa. Trouble is, Mischa has decided to take a break from Steve and has returned to the United States. Calling Brydon late one night he invites him on the trip, pointing out that all the other people he has invited proved unavailable. Brydon reluctantly agrees leaving behind his homely wife and young daughter (both fictional). And so begins 7 days of great eating and drinking and traipsing through the England of Wordsworth and Coleridge, peppered with duelling swords of comedy and impressions.
†††† Brydon and Coogan battle to provide the most convincing impression - many will have seen the Michael Caine "impress-off" where they go toe to toe over "you were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" and "she was only 16 years old". The wit is sharp and the script bristles with funny asides and sniping. Yet this is not just a film indulging two comics in repartee. Underneath it all is a story of success and loneliness. For all his braggadocio, Coogan is a man adrift, too frightened of failure and solitude. When he is not trying to connect with Mischa through bad phone reception, he is bedding stray women and explaining to Brydon, who in real life has achieved a great deal of success of late, that he wants to get away from the past of TV shows and impressions, all those things in which Brydon is involved. Brydon's contented home life is constantly contrasted against Cooganís life in disarray. There are moments of genuine poignancy throughout intermingled with some great laughs and a satisfaction seeing good food cooked and presented.
†††† The Trip might be a little too long but it is nevertheless a wonderful experience seeing two actors at the top of their game improvise their hearts out.
†††† Information regarding the technical specifications for The Trip is hard to come by. To all intents and purposes it appears to have been shot on high definition digital and is presented on Blu-ray at a 1.85:1 aspect ratio which appears to be consistent with the cinema release.
†††† The film is not exactly a showcase of high definition cinema. However, there is a pleasing crispness to the proceedings. The flesh tones are accurate and well detailed. The colours are strong and stable throughout.
†††† There are no technical deficiencies with the transfer.
†††† There are no subtitles.
†††† The Trip carries an English LPCM 5.1 soundtrack.
†††† Whilst any high definition soundtrack is welcome this film, consisting almost exclusively of dialogue between Brydon and Coogan, does not make great demands on the track. Nevertheless the dialogue is clear and easy to understand.
†††† There are no technical problems with the sound transfer. The surrounds and sub-woofer aren't really called upon to do much.
†††† The music is by legendary British composer, Michael Nyman, who was responsible for the soundtracks to the films of Peter Greenaway and most notably, The Piano. His score does not intrude on the proceedings although his ability to generate moving themes comes to the fore at the conclusion of the film. There is also the prominent use of Joy Divisionís Atmosphere as the pair make their journey into the north.
|Surround Channel Use|
††††This Blu-ray of The Trip comes with some very lengthy extras.
†††† There are 6 deleted scenes on offer as follows:
†††† Some of the scenes appear to be genuine deleted moments and it would be interesting to see whether they actually found their way into the TV series. Others comprise some rehearsal footage or unused takes. At one point Coogan remarks that they would "cut all this s*** out for Sundance"! The song comprising the last extra is an unusual extension of the dream sequence and resembles nothing more than a more profane riff on Every Sperm is Sacred from Monty Python's Meaning of Life.
†††† This rehearsal footage comprises over 45 minutes of the actors working their way through improvisation for the "costume drama" discussion also known as "to bed". The scene, one of the funniest in the movie is here twisted and turned and improvised over various takes. It is interesting to see the two comedians play with the words and improvise to come up with interesting combinations.
†††† The brief trailer for the film.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
††† This is a Region B Blu-ray and is not available in Region A.
†††† The Trip is both funny and moving and will be of interest to fans of British comedy. It is extremely funny but also very literate and probably not for those who like their comedies full of punch lines. This is character comedy at its best.
†††† The Blu-ray quality is fine though neither sound nor vision require high definition excellence.
†††† There is a great deal of extra footage for fans of the film.
|DVD||Cambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. 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 Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Pioneer SC-LX 81 7.1|
|Speakers||Aaron ATS-5 7.1|