THE TOURIST (Blu-ray; Columbia/Sony) - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 4 Old 03-28-11, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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THE TOURIST (Blu-ray; Columbia/Sony)

Studio Name: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Video Codec: AVC MPEG-4
Disc/Transfer Information: 1080p 2.40:1; Region 1 (U.S.) Release
Audio Track Tested: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Director: Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck
Starring Cast: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie


I’m not normally an Angelina Jo Lips fan – especially after seeing how trashy and downright greasy she could appear in Gone in 60 Seconds (although, in all fairness, that was about car stealing grease monkeys) – but I gotta say…man, was she beautiful in this. Jolie has an almost hypnotic beauty in The Tourist, and while the premise had good potential, that is perhaps the only saving grace of this film that has a difficult time figuring out what it wants to be. Teaser trailers portrayed this as a spy/actioneer with comedic overtones, and perhaps that is exactly what the finished product came to be…but the ending, while called clever in many circles, left me a bit disappointed.

I also expected this to run a bit longer than it actually did – the film wasn’t even two hours, and while there wasn’t much more I could take of Johnny Depp’s character chasing Jolie’s, I would have expected a longer running time. The Tourist opens in Paris, where a group of Interpol detectives are sitting in a surveillance van, staking out Jolina’s character, who emerges from her apartment building and heads to a sidewalk café, where she proceeds to order her routine tea, croissant and orange juice. In the stakeout van, the Interpol guys track her to this café, where a courier arrives to hand her a letter with her name, “Elise,” inscribed on the envelope. At this point, we believe Jolie’s Elise character to be involved in some kind of espionage circle, a la Jason Bourne, but all is not what it seems – the letter is narrated by Jolie’s character’s voice in her own mind, and instructs her to take a train at a certain time, where she is then instructed to find a passenger aboard the train who has the same height and build as…who?

Indeed, that is the question, as we watch Interpol officers continue to track her every move, getting on board the train, attracting every male occupant’s eyes with her dashing beauty and smile – finally coming to sit in front of Johnny Depp’s “Frank” character. Jolie stirs up conversation with this stranger, who ends up being a tourist from America who is on vacation in Venice (where the train is headed), but it’s just so odd. Here’s this stunningly beautiful woman sitting in front of him telling him to ask her out for dinner, and they don’t even know each other save for this five minute conversation. Of course, being that she’s so attractive, Depp’s Frank takes the bait, and he follows her to her hotel overlooking the Grand Canal in Venice. They have dinner on the waterfront, they flirt in maddeningly whimsical ways, but Frank still doesn’t know what Elise wants from him – until he stumbles upon the fact that apparently Elise has a lover who is on the run from a ruthless gangster from whom he stole money as well as Interpol, and she was hoping, because Depp’s character looks so similar to her love, he would be the decoy needed to bring the authorities to the wrong person. If this sounds convoluted, it gets worse.

In the meantime, Interpol is still tracking their every move, thinking, for the most part, that Depp’s character must be the fugitive they’re looking for – some hijinks in the spirit of the aforementioned underlying comedic element ensue, in which Depp’s character is chased out of his hotel suite by men with guns, forcing him to run on rooftops with his pajamas on, until he is finally brought in by police. When he claims he knows nothing of why any men are chasing or trying to kill him, he tells authorities that it must be a man Elise is waiting for whom he is being confused with, but alas, the cop he admits this to actually has other plans. With a bounty on Depp’s character’s neck by the mobster who thinks he’s the real guy Jolie’s character is supposedly waiting for, the cop sells Depp out, only to be rescued by Jolie driving a stolen speeding taxi boat, careening through the canals of Venice.

If you’re still with me at this point, apparently Depp’s character has fallen in love with Jolie’s Elise, even if there is supposedly another man in her life – but as I said before, all is not what it seems. There is a massive plot twist at the very end that you’ll never see coming involving the true identity of Elise’s so-called lost lover, and while corny, in my opinion, in itself, it allowed the conclusion of this film to feel somewhat rushed and incomplete.


Despite questionable merits of the film itself, Columbia/Sony has knocked one out of the park on the Blu-ray transfer of The Tourist; the 1080p 2.40:1 image is striking from the very beginning, with the opening sequences of Paris being rendered via stunning detail. The clarity of this transfer is where it really shined – I didn’t notice a flick of grain or artifacts anywhere for the most part, and if they were there in darker sequences and such, I didn’t notice them. There were moments during facial close-ups in darker scenes, such as the waterfront dinner Jolie and Depp indulge in, which exhibited some softness, but the merits of this transfer more than make up for that – the razor sharp outdoor sequences with shots of bright green trees and foliage and overall depth to the image were everything a good high definition transfer should be.


I was frankly (no pun intended with regard to Depp’s character in this one) expecting more from the sound mix which accompanies The Tourist, given its flirting-with-the-spy-genre overtones, but alas, I was ultimately disappointed in the English DTS-HD Master Audio track. The overall soundscape and mastering level appeared to be on the low side, requiring hikes of master volume to make out dialogue in any intelligible fashion, and there was a surprising lack of surround information or sonic cues in the back channels. Save for a moment towards the end of the film that depicted the Scotland Yard and Interpol officers blowing up a safe in Jolie’s hotel room after the mobster he so-called lover was involved with nearly kills her with a knife there which was accompanied by a solid thud of wall-shaking bass, there was not much going on here sonically.




The Tourist is definitely worth a rental and is a decent evening’s entertainment piece, however I can’t help but feel disappointed with the trick ending even though it was clever in many respects and I didn’t really like it as a whole. There are good looking people and locations on display here, so the male fans of Angelina and the female fans of Johnny will have plenty of eye candy to revel in addition to the stunning visuals – in the footsteps of the 1080p transfer of Casino Royale with all its jaw-dropping punch – sought after by diehard Blu-ray specification aficionados looking to continuously push the limits of their display’s capabilities. But I simply don’t see this as a purchase, personally.

Last edited by Osage_Winter; 03-28-11 at 03:55 PM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-28-11, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: THE TOURIST (Blu-ray; Columbia/Sony)

Edited slightly; has anyone seen this yet?
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-21-11, 04:22 PM
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Re: THE TOURIST (Blu-ray; Columbia/Sony)

I watched this last night and thought it was an OK movie. Not worthy of a purchase but as a rental (as you'd mentioned). Now for the twist at the end (possible spoiler).....
It was completely obvious! I found myself hoping that they would not go where they did from the train scene in the beginning.
I too was disappointed with the audio mix which was less than impressive. Bottom line - it's best viewed with a female companion.
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-21-11, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: THE TOURIST (Blu-ray; Columbia/Sony)

Thanks, Infrasonic, for your feedback! I'm glad we agree on the audio mix and entertainment value of this film!
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(blu-ray; , columbia/sony) , tourist

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