The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Columbia Pictures- 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 103 minutes
Genre: Action, Drama, Romance
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English, French DTS-HD MA 5.1, English Descriptive Track 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton
Directed by: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Music by: James Newton Howard
Written by: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck ,Christopher McQuarrie, and Julian Fellowes (screenplay), Jérôme Salle (motion picture "Anthony Zimmer")
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 21, 2011
"It all started when he met a woman."
Frank, a mild-mannered American on vacation in Venice, Italy, is befriended by Elise, a breathtakingly beautiful woman with a mysterious secret. Soon, their playful romantic dalliance turns into a complicated web of dangerous deceit as they are chased by Interpol, the Italian police, and Russian hit men in this action adventure film.
Audiences need to realize the truth behind films. They pack theaters to see a favorite star, and sometimes directors get major credit as well...but 99% of them don't know, or care about the writers. Yes a film can be enhanced by a great cast, but a junk script cant. Maybe this junk script can be helped by smart direction...and that would have saved 'The Tourist', a slow moving film that really goes nowhere of interest and loses whatever momentum it could have had to terrible pacing. This slow mover sprinkles in some tensionless action scenes and ties in an emotionless love-story and boring mistaken identity/who is who thriller. The great cast of Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton and Rufus Sewell had no chance of saving the misfiring script of 'The Tourist'.
Good ol' Hitchcock would be rolling in his grave after seeing this failed attempt at ripping off his Cary Grant films, combining them into this disaster. Really, we have mistaken identity, a train ride...it is blatant to any self respecting film buff. Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who was the creative force behind 2006s thought provoking and suspenseful "The Lives of Others" (which I highly recommend), I had some faith and was expecting more from this, even after hearing negative things. It is a remake of the French film "Anthony Zimmer", which I had heard decent things about. I have a feeling all the re-writes this remake had, along with the changing of flip-flopping of director as well as cast, from Tom Cruise to Sam Worthington to Depp and Charlize Theron to Jolie, something was lost in translation.
The above synopsis is sufficient here, and certainly does make the film seem interesting, action packed, romantic with twists and turns aplenty. All of these things are attempted, but all fall quite flat. There are moments of chemistry between Depp's Frank and Jolie's Elise, but even that feels forced most the time. One scene summed up the film for me. It is when Frank is being pulled behind a boat being driven by Elise. The shots in this scene are set-up so it is obvious that the water is being forced at the actor as opposed to Depp actually being pulled.
At least the background of Venice and its canals were interesting to look at...
Rated PG-13 for violence and brief strong language.
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:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
As blah as I felt about 'The Tourist', the A/V presentation saved he whole affair. The 2.40:1 AVC encoded video was nothing short of breathtaking, thanks to a combination of Venice's amazing scenery and an ultra-detailed and spot on color palette. Ripples in the canals as well as fine details in the amazing surrounding architecture were striking and crisp. I had no concern with black level or shadow details, and combining all of this with nicely saturated, yet accurate looking colors gave 'The Tourist' a pop and dimension that garners a reference rating.
The Lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround Sound was well above average. Mostly a slow paced and dialogue driven film, when the action (and much needed momentum) kicked in, the front sound-stage opened up with an impressive surround presentation. While these moments were limited, the dialogue in the slower moments was always paramount, being quite clear and articulate. The LFE was not much of a standout, nor did it need to be. When utilized it was average and never did it impress. Over-all 'The Tourist' had very good audio quality, but wont test you or your system.
- Audio Commentary with Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
- (HD) Featurettes: Canal Chats, A Gala Affair, Action in Venice, Bringing Glamour Back, Tourist Destionations- Travel the Canals of Venice
- (HD) Alternate Title Sequence
- (HD) Outtake Reel
- (HD) Trailers: Soul Surfer, How Do You Know, Inside Job, Country String
I cant recommend 'The Tourist'. It's a failed attempt at being a Hitchcockian thriller/romance, that is awkwardly paced with way too many slow moments. The positive here is a gorgeous video presentation with some breathtaking scenery thanks to the Venetian landscape. The extras were a more enjoyable watch than the film itself, however, I found the commentary to be a bit of a drag. If you are really intrigued, or want to see this based on Jolie and Depp, do yourself a favor and make it a rental.
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Reference Review System:
Marantz SR5005 Receiver
Sony PS3 Slim Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Artison Portrait Fronts and Artison LRS Surround Speakers
Martin Logan Dynamo 500 Subwoofer