The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 106 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery, Michael Kelly, Terence Stamp
Written & Directed by: George Nolfi based on the short story “The Adjustment Team” by Philip K. Dick
Music by: Thomas Newman
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 21, 2011
"Fight for your fate"
On the brink of winning a U.S. Senate seat, charismatic politician David Norris (Matt Damon) meets Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt), a woman unlike any he’s ever known. As he realizes he’s falling madly in love with the beautiful, contemporary ballet dancer, strangers conspire to keep the two apart. David learns he is up against the men of the Adjustment Bureau, who will do everything in their considerable power to prevent the pair from spending the rest of their lives together. In the face of overwhelming odds, he must decide whether to accept his predetermined path and let her go…or defy Fate and risk everything to be with the woman he loves.
Do we control our destiny, or do unseen forces manipulate us? This is an interesting question (if you believe in that sort of thing) and the foundation upon which The Adjustment Bureau relies to drive its multi-genre plot. The synopsis above provides enough to wet the appetite without giving away too much so I will forego any further description. This isn’t a whodunit filled with plot twists but I purposely went in with only the limited viewpoint seen in the trailer which I believe made for a more enjoyable experience. Loosely based on the short story “The Adjustment Team” by Philip K. Dick the premise is conceptually interesting, from a coffee table discussion type perspective. Thematically speaking it teeters on the theological but doesn’t overtly go there. Reading between the lines isn’t difficult but its implementation is integrated without expository overtones. More importantly what I enjoyed most about the film is its elements of romance, fantasy driven science fiction, and interpretive depiction of freedom of choice. I tend to be a bit of a romantic and the idea of intertwining a sci-fi thriller with a love story sucked me right in.
Emily Blunt is a personal favorite and she and Matt Damon shared excellent chemistry in furtherance of these well drawn characters. Anthony Mackie, John Slattery and Terence Stamp are equally engaging as the fedora wearing mystery men of The Adjustment Bureau. The love against all odds aspect waters down the proceedings a bit but the film’s focus doesn’t suffer greatly as a result. Some may find the ending to be a little too warm and fuzzy but I didn’t mind it at all. Shot on location in New York City the film’s backdrop serves an integral character in the story which in my opinion adds to its appeal. The Adjustment Bureau isn’t a perfect film but it’s a gratifying one that I look forward to seeing again.
The rating is for brief strong language, some sexuality and a violent image.
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:
The Adjustment Bureau comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios HE featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate 3.5 Mbps.
In looking at this video presentation as a whole I found it to be good but not among the top tier new release titles I have seen on Blu-ray. This isn’t a very bright film even during scenes shot in the daylight. Blacks are dynamic and deep but slightly crushed. Shadow detail isn’t definitive however depth of field during low level segments is appreciable. Color balance is good as both primary and secondary are cleanly rendered with a pleasing level of saturation and depth. Skin tones have warm, delineated highlights and lifelike variety. Resolution and clarity is estimable although definition can be a bit inconsistent which results in some shots appearing comparatively less dimensional. This appears innate and affects both wide and mid level photography. Luckily it isn’t prevalent as more often than not images appear well resolved with discernible definition and fair rendering of fine detail. I didn’t see any overt signs video or compression related artifacts.
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio presentation sounds great. This sci-fi thriller doesn’t call for an aggressive surround mix but it should be capable of delivering the goods when necessary, and it does. The audio has an open perspective with appreciable dimension, good channel separation and crisp, descriptive dialogue that is always intelligible. The surround mix offers good front to rear balance, open atmospherics and tightly correlated panning sequences that create a fairly enveloping sound field. The result is a stable listening environment where the blend of music, sound effects, and subtle nuance contained in the soundtrack is aurally equitable. Dynamics range is quite good which helps empower active moments while lending solidity and palpable presence to low frequencies.
- Feature commentary with writer/director George Nolfi
- (HD) 6 deleted scenes
- (HD) The labyrinth of doors: Interactive map of New York – Select a door and be taken to that area of NY City via a Google Maps powered viewpoint. Relative to each there are options for viewing behind the scenes content or clips from the film.
- (HD) Leaping through New York – 7 minute production featurette
- (HD) Destined to be – 5 minute featurette
- (HD) Becoming Elise – 7 minute featurette
- My scenes bookmark feature
- D-Box Motion Code enabled
- pocket BLU app
- Digital Copy
Loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s short story “ The Adjustment Team” The Adjustment Bureau is an entertaining romantic sci-fi thriller that features a decent story that is supported by a solid cast headed by co-stars Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video quality and above average supplemental extras that provide a brief behind the scenes look at the production. I wouldn’t say this qualifies as a blind buy but it’s well worth a rental on movie night.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS50 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Samsung BD-C7900 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Better Cables, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package