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THE TOURIST

THE TOURIST ($39) is a trifle of a romantic thriller, with some comedic overtones. It mixes genres in the same fashion as Stanley Donen’s CHARADE, although I wouldn’t put THE TOURIST in the same category as that film classic. In a nutshell, THE TOURIST is a beautiful looking movie with attractive actors that features the slimmest of plotlines, which sometimes makes one think they are watching a travelogue for Venice, Italy. By the end of THE TOURIST, I was mildly entertained, but absolutely convinced that I wanted to vacation in Venice. Still, like CHARADE, THE TOURIST does have a few Hitchcockian touches and enough glamour to remind one of NORTH BY NORTHWEST and TO CATCH A THIEF, but the film is still lightweight by comparison to any of the other films I have mentioned.

Opening in Paris, THE TOURIST finds Elise Clifton-Ward (Angelina Jolie) under constant surveillance by local and international authorities, due to her past involvement with the elusive Alexander Pearce, who has vanished with roughly three quarters of a billion Pounds of illegal assets. As Pearce has recently had extensive plastic surgery, the authorities no longer know what he looks like, so they are relying on Elise to lead them to their target. Knowing that the authorities are watching Elise, Pearce sends her a note instructing her to board a Venice bound train, then to select a man of his same physical build and convince those watching, that this poor dupe is Pearce. American tourist Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp) is the unwitting dupe that Elise selects, and of course, Frank is immediately taken with the beautiful Elise. While Frank was originally a ruse to throw the authorities off the scent, the bit of misdirection also attracts the attention of a gangster named Shaw (Steven Berkoff), whose three quarters of a billion Pounds of illegal assets that Pearce disappeared with. As one might expect, Frank finds himself running for his life and unsure of whom he should trust. The cast of THE TOURIST also features Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton and Rufus Sewell.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made THE TOURIST available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. THE TOURIST features a stunning 1080p presentation that is the true highlight of this disc and beautifully renders John Seale’s gorgeous cinematography. Image sharpness, dimensionality and detail are all truly excellent, all the way down to the fine details and texturing of objects. Close ups deliver superb levels of detail, while even the longer shots also appearing ravishing. Colors are warm, lush and wonderfully vibrant and complement the sunny Venice locations quite beautifully. Additionally, flesh tones come across as in a highly appealing manner. Blacks are deep and accurate, while the whites are crisp and clean. Contrast and shadow detail are pretty much first rate. The elements from which THE TOURIST has been mastered are virtually free from flaws. A very fine sheen of grain is noticeable throughout, which gives the presentation a nice organic quality.

THE TOURIST is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Overall, this is a good quality soundtrack, but the sound design serves two masters, one of which being more rewarding than the other. Many sequences in THE TOURIST tend to be dialogue heavy, with the sound more localized to the forward soundstage, although there are atmospheric augmentations to the rear. There are action sequences interspersed throughout THE TOURIST, which are livelier and engage the entire soundstage in a much more positive fashion. During the action, all of the outlying channels are well implemented with good levels of directionality and effective panning of effects through the soundstage. Fidelity is excellent, thanks to the lossless encoding, which enhances James Newton Howard’s musical score, as well as the sound effects. Additionally, the bass channel is deep and percussive, which enhances the gunfire and explosions nicely. Voices have a warm, natural quality, plus the film’s dialogue is totally understandable. A French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is also encoded onto the disc, as is an English Descriptive track. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the extras. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. Featurettes and other programs include: Canal Chats (six minutes), A Gala Affair (seven minutes), Action In Venice (six minutes), Bringing Glamour Back (nine minutes) and Tourist Destination: Travel The Canals Of Venice (three minutes). An Alternate Animated Title Sequence, Outtake Reel and Bonus Trailers close out the standard extras. THE TOURIST is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player). Sony’s MovieIQ feature is available through BD-Live, which provides the viewer access to a continuously updated database of additional information about the film, its cast, crew and soundtrack, as well as other trivia.

THE TOURIST is a lightweight romantic thriller that is really easy on the eyes. The Blu-ray presentation is gorgeous. If you can’t afford a trip to Venice, Italy, you might like to spend an evening with THE TOURIST.

 
THE TOURIST 


The Tourist (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (2010)

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DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2011 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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