The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Lionsgate - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 93 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak, Richard Durden
Directed by: Pierre Morel
Music by: David Buckley
Written by: Adi Hasak based on a story by Luc Besson
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 8, 2010
"Welcome to Paris baby.."
James Reece (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), personal aide to the U.S. ambassador to France, is secretly moonlighting as a low-level CIA operative. Looking for more action, Reece accepts a job that teams him with wisecracking special agent Charlie Wax (John Travolta), a trigger-happy loose cannon sent to Paris on a mission of international importance. Now, Reece finds himself on the wildest ride of his life as the new partners pull out all the stops to annihilate the enemy in this explosive, white knuckle, nonstop thriller.
Trigger-happy special agent Charlie Wax (Travolta) leads rookie James Reese (Rhys Meyers) on a high-speed shooting frenzy through the Parisian underworld during a high-stakes CIA mission to foil a terrorist attack planned on the city. Before Reese realizes he’s bitten off more than he can chew, the duo discovers that he’s a target of the same crime ring planning the attack. Time is running out and they need to figure out who/what the intended target before it is too late.
This action/thriller is based on a story penned by Luc Besson whom I have great respect for. I think this film had good potential but it ultimately left me wanting. There is plenty of action but in a senseless for actions sake sort of way. I tend to enjoy slick spy stories but here the plot lacks intrigue and comes off as shallow, predictable and sometimes silly. Early on I figured that there must be an intelligently concealed plot twist coming but that shoe never dropped and the same weak storyline droned on. Character development is poor as we never get the chance to connect with anyone other than Charlie and Reese which makes the ending less emphatic. The only saving grace is John Travolta’s portrayal of Charlie Wax. His flippant, gauche and over the top behavior provides the best moments and seems to work within the film’s addled plot. The action sequences aren’t bad and do add an entertaining element. I suspect that getting the most out of From Paris with love may require a bit more than checking your brain at the door but I suppose that is a good place to start.
The rating is for violence, drug content, pervasive language and brief sexuality.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
From Paris with love comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.5 mbps.
This is a solid video presentation that boasts plenty of high level detail, bold use of contrast, deeply saturated colors, and three dimensional acuity. Blacks are punchy with good dynamic range and discernible gradational highlights. Visual perspective in low lighting and darkened areas is estimable. The combination gives dark scenes appreciable dimension. Images are snappy, boldly colorful, clearly drawn, eye catching and perfectly suited for the source material. Any softening is innate and strictly limited to the film’s visual style.
The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has excellent dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes ample use of the entire surround platform to drive the film’s elements. The music score, coupled along with well integrated discrete and ambient sound effects, plays an intricate role in this active surround mix. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is notable although I didn’t detect an appreciable sense of envelopment via the additional rear surround channels. That isn’t to suggest that this is less of an enveloping surround experience as a result. The low frequency effects channel is active as the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to convey the palpably rich bass and dynamic impact associated with the action based sequences. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. I enjoyed this audio presentation but there was little about it that left an impression on me.
** It should be noted that upon inserting the disc a prompt to install an update appears. The update consists of a local time/weather icon and ticker style data on the main menu page. This feature didn’t work correctly on either my Oppo or Playstation 3 Blu-ray players and resulted in intermittent text/errors flashing over the screen. I am not sure how it will work come release date but bear this in mind should you opt to install it.
- BonusView PiP commentary with director Pierre Morel
- (HD) Making of From Paris with love – 26 minute featurette
- (HD) Spies, spooks, and special ops: Life undercover – 16 minute documentary
- (HD) Secrets of spy craft: Inside the international spy museum – 4 minute feature
- Friend or foe trivia game
- Charlie Wax’s gun locker – Interactive feature that examines some of the weapons used in the film
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
- Digital Copy Bonus Disc
- Lionsgate Live (requires profile 2.0 player) – BD Live Menu System that lets you access Exclusive content, Special Offers, Ringtones and More
From Paris with love is a middling spy action thriller that pales in comparison to the better films in its genre. The action sequences aren’t bad though and I enjoyed John Travolta’s portrayal of Charlie Wax. On a positive note its high definition presentation on Blu-ray looks/sounds great and comes with a decent bonus supplements package which includes a making of documentary, PiP director commentary, interactive features, Lionsgate BD-Live access and a digital copy. If you’re a fan this is worth a purchase otherwise I would recommend a rental first.
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