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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Tourist [Blu-ray]


(Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2010)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Columbia Pictures

Video: Columbia Pictures



Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:43:28.202

Disc Size: 34,402,990,617 bytes

Feature Size: 26,263,406,592 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.93 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 22nd, 2011



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 3703 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3703 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 2216 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2216 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround



English (SDH), English, French, Spanish, none



Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck Commentary
Canal Chats (6:01)
A Gala Affair (7:12)
Action in Venice (6:29)
Bringing Glamour Back (9:08)
Tourist Destination-Travel the Canals of Venice (3:18)

Alternate Animated Title Sequence (2:14)
Outtake Reel (1:26)

Play Movie with MovieIQ





Description: Frank (Johnny Depp), a mild-mannered American on vacation in Venice, Italy, is befriended by Elise (Angelina Jolie), 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 suspense-filled, international action thriller.


"The Tourist" revolves around Frank, an American tourist visiting Italy to mend a broken heart. Elise is an extraordinary... woman who deliberately crosses his path. Against the breathtaking backdrop of Venice, Frank pursues a potential romance but soon finds himself the pursued as he and Elise are caught in a whirlwind of intrigue and danger.



The Film:

It takes a big man to hold the screen level when Angelina Jolie is around — usually the whole thing just tilts in her direction as soon as she struts into the frame. Her partner in crazy-time fame, Brad Pitt, helped keep the balance in “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” their only film together. And now Johnny Depp tries to do much the same in “The Tourist.” Going for muted, eyeliner- and nearly irony-free, he plays an ordinary American who bumbles into a Continental intrigue, which looks like a film you’ve seen before, because you have.

Excerpt from Manhola Dargis at the NYTimes located HERE

Given the screenplay for The Tourist, Alfred Hitchcock would have hired Cary Grant (or Jimmy Stewart) and Grace Kelly. Then he would have applied his particular brand of magic - the one that allowed him to sell the improbable - and an engaging romance/comedy/thriller likely would have been born. Unfortunately, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (the German-born filmmaker behind the brilliant The Lives of Others) lacks Hitchcock's deftness with this genre, and Grant, Stewart, and Kelly are all dead. The best that can be said of The Tourist is that it consistently looks glorious (credit at least in part goes to veteran cinematographer John Seale). Venice is postcard perfect (you can't see garbage floating around in the canals). But the shifting tones sound a sour note and the preposterous storyline calls attention to itself too often. Hitchcock could sell some of the silliest plots; based on the evidence at hand, von Donnersmarck's grasp is less certain.

Excerpt from James Berardinell at ReelViews located HERE


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Blu-ray doesn't appear to have quite succeeded in capturing the visual grandeur of The Tourist as well as some may have anticipated.  The image quality is quite strong without any notable flaws but doesn't export the type of depth I was anticipating from a modern film of this nature.  This is dual-layered with a moderate bitrate. Colors aren't particularly vibrant but contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels. Daylight scenes on Venice are most impressive but nothing really stands out visually beyond high level of detail utilized for the intense close-ups of the two stars. No question that this looks pretty good at times - but I was never overwhelmed by the 1080P appearance beyond a few moments.
















Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 3703 kbps is excellent. Filled with sporadic moments of deft separation and resounding depth for the more aggressive segments - there is little to complain about here. The Tourist is a thriller with some action later on - and the track supports the film's subtleties and more demonstrative moments impressively. James Newton Howard does some great scores and this is another - memorable yet not overtaking the heavy style. English, English (SDH), French, and Spanish subtitles are available. My Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked disc although it is available on Blu-ray in the UK and Europe.



Extras :

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's commentary's likeability is probably more directly dependant on the appreciation of the film than in establishing this attribute to a higher degree. General production information is divulged and anecdotal pieces on the two stars. There are also about more than 1/2 hour's worth of short featurettes leaning to specifics and more the perception that the guts of the filmmaking process. These include 'Canal Chats' for 6-minutes and Tourist Destination-Travel the Canals of Venice for 3-minutes. There is a short Outtake Reel and Alternate Animated Title Sequence. The film is MovieIQ enabled.



If the intent was the classis elegance of 'To Catch a Thief' - it achieves to some degree but The Tourist still can't fully shake its plastic byproduct impressions. If Jolie is touted as this generation's icon of beauty - well, I remain unimpressed. Venice is more appealing to this reviewer than the two mega-stars dressed to the nine's. So, yeah - I didn't get much out of this - but I honestly had my expectations in neutral to begin with. The Blu-ray looks adequate, sounds better - but leaves me wanting in the film sense. If the glory of 'celebrity' can carry you far enough - you may differ from my perspective of The Tourist. To each his own. 

Gary Tooze

March 19th, 2011


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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