The Transporter BRD
(Cory Yuen - 2002)
Studio: Europa Corporation & 20th Century Fox / 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (USA)
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Feature film: 1080p / MPEG 2 @ 18Mbps
1 disc: BD-25 single layer
English: DTS HD 5.1 Master Lossless Audio
Spanish: DD 5.1 Surround
French: DD 5.1 Surround
English and Spanish
• Commentary track with Jason Statham & Producer Steven Chasman
• Theatrical Trailer in HD
Standard Blu-ray case.
Release Date: November 14, 2006
Let's hear it for the new action hero: Jason Statham! Steven Seagal never looked or sounded this good, Jean-Claude Van Damme wasn't as cool. Jackie Chan was funnier and perhaps quicker. Arnold was bigger, but rarely meaner when called upon. Still, Statham is more action than hero, more Seagal than Willis. None of these guys can drive a BMW or Mercedes like Jason Statham, the 30 year old Londoner who first made his mark ten years earlier in Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. We caught him a little later on in The Italian Job and Cellular, and two years ago in Transporter 2.
While the first Transporter broke no new ground, it reclaimed territory abandoned by Seagal and others, and did so beautifully – that is, until the love scenes. BIG mistake. While The Transporter was never destined to become a classic, it could have been a much better film if Luc Besson (the real boss behind this operation) had learned his own lesson from Speed and Leon about how far to go with sex in a thriller that: Manifest the tension, but don't let the characters in bed. Despite the presence of the totally sexy Shu Qi (Millenium Mambo, Three Times), Statham goes totally cardboard the moment he has to do a love scene. He's not helped by some hopeless writing at this point – made all the more awkward since the bits between his character and the inspector is always snappy and clever.
The Score Card
The Movie : 7
Statham's Frank Martin is ex-British Special Forces who lives a quiet, orderly life on the Mediterranean. He lives and works by the rules. His rules. Rules, which have kept him alive and in business as a driver for hire of whatever to wherever. The rules:  Stick to the Plan.  No Names.  Never Look in the Package. This works fine until the package in his trunk starts kicking and moaning. Enter Shu Qi, all bound and taped shut. Hard to resist, but he's already broken Rule 3. Things devolve from there.
Image : 8.5 (8~9/9.5)
The score of 9 indicates a relative level of excellence compared to other Blu-ray DVDs. The score in parentheses represents: first, a value for the image in absolute terms; and, second, how that image compares to what I believe is the current best we can expect in the theatre.
A fine grain, like a fine Mediterranean mist, covers the image appropriately. Other than that, we are presented with as sharp a picture as you could ever have expected in the theatre.
Audio & Music : 7
The DTS HD 5.1 Master lossless Audio mix did not always sort itself out well in the bass department which, at times (e.g. during the first long car chase in Nice), struck me as exaggerated, thick and lacking dynamics. Loud, bassy, yes (courtesy of Stanley Clarke); but it ate up the acoustical space like a T-Rex chasing a jeep. On the other hand, when not trying to score bass points, the music tracks were very groovy. I liked how the lyric to I Got Love came on at just the right moment when Jason's character decides to back up and pick up Shu Qi.
Empathy : 7
The picture quality was very good, but the audio got in the way for me.
Operations : 8
The menu is straightforward, simple and easy to understand. The thumbnails have chapter titles.
Extras : 5
A chatty and not particularly informative commentary with laid back star Statham and Producer Steven Chasman. I learned that Jason did most of his own driving and Shu Qi did all her own dialog, despite her not knowing English the year before shooting, and that, despite Corey Yuen's name appearing as director, the production was supervised by Luc Besson (think: Poltergeist: Tobe Hooper<>Steven Spielberg.)
September 9th, 2007
Enter the Dragon