The Tourist Blu-Ray Review

The Movie: 6.5/10
This movie almost took me away to an exciting adventure far away with two glamorous movie stars in a story of intrigue and mystery, almost. I really enjoyed the story, the setting, the cast, it is a true get-away kind of movie. The thing is, I was left feeling entertained with a hint of the exotic world travel vibe, this mixed with a quickly forgotten and on to the next thing state of mind. I like to let movies soak in, think about them, ruminate, marinate, vibrate…oh no…that’s something else. I just enjoy thinking about the whole movie again as we (Ascully and I) make our way from the movie room to the computer room where we record the After the Show podcast. Movies that keep me talking and thinking and vibing are the most memorable. If I start talking about and thinking about what’s for supper or what we will be watching later from our collection of saved TV, well, that’s a sign of my mind being neutral about the thing that just came before.

The Tourist is a great experience while it’s happening. The cast is good, the setting is beautiful, and the story kept me interested from start to finish. I was made happy by the old school glamor attempts, those twings of 1950’s big Hollywood glam flicks. Depp is good. Jolie is good. The dialog is mostly fine. Do you hear neutrality in my voice? Do you see what I’m saying? The impact of the movie while it’s happening seemed bigger than the overall effect of a movie that I have seen. Oh, that doesn’t make sense outside of my head, but I know what I mean so that’s good enough for me.

I want more exotic movies with a European tone. I love the intrigue and the stylized notions of romance. What sucked a lot of the life out of the movie for me was the bad guy. I like the actor dude, but wow, he was not menacing or scary or crazy enough for me to get my teeth into his badness. If the bad guy in a movie like The Tourist isn’t intimidating enough, well, the danger melts away, the way the heroine and hero play off that seems almost cartoony and it slips into the forgettable territory, sadly. Jolie was properly afraid of the bad guy. Depp was clueless but when told of his terrible ways had the proper fear response….and then we meet the villain and I was left wanting more evil, more nutjob, more fear, but it didn’t happen. I don’t think it’s a matter of acting, but more a matter of how the bad guy was written, too chatty but with not enough horrible wretched things to say.

Need I speak of the hypnotic powers of Venice? I think not.

Wait! You know what? The more I think about it, the more I like it. It still suffers from a degree of forgetability, but as I run through several scenes in my mind, it is a unique modern movie with just enough flavor to linger maybe in the far back right corner of my brain. Hmmmm rethinking a movie is always tricky, but it’s good to find the best in a movie watching experience, accepting the flaws but letting the delicate goodness shine through. Profound.

The music is nice, again a throwback to movies from that era of intense drama. That’s what made going to the movies so exciting, the music, the spoonfed emotions, the hyped up theatrical grandeur of it all. I would love to see more movies that mix modern stories, moods, ideas with the attitude of film from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s.  I would recommend The Tourist to people who like to just sit back and let the red lips and Jack Sparrow as a normal dude wash over them. Get a glass of cheap wine, sit back, and enjoy.

Features:5 /10

  • Outtake Reel – Giggling famous people.
  • Alternate Animated Title Sequence – A Bondesque attempt at an opening, but after seeing the movie it seems a bit cheap and inappropriate.
  • Director Commentary – This director likes to talk, so this is a value packed commentary.
  • A Gala Affair -How to make modern times look glamorous….have a dancing ball.
  • Bringing Glamor Back – Making Venice, Jolie, and spy-type adventure look glamorous…wow, that must be soooo difficult!! 🙂
  • Action In Venice – The city that lives on the water, and how awesome it looks, how awesome it makes the cast and crew feel, and how hard it is to film there.
  • Tourist Destination – More about Venice and how they all coped with boating to work, filming around the crowds, etc.
  • Canal Chats – Oh, this is people talking about being in Venice, shocking!
  • MovieIQ – Sony’s online extras for Blu-Ray. Pause the movie and look up stuff about the cast, the crew, the whole shebang.

Cover Art and Menus: 2/10
I do not like the cover. I wouldn’t have it as a poster. Venice is so amazing, why the hell do they put the faces of two people we have seen a bazillion times smack on the cover…oh right, people are idiots and need eye candy to convince them to watch or buy a movie. Not me, I would love to see a picture of the buildings, the boats, even just a close up of Jolie’s lips and Depp’s eyes. Have some creativity people!!! The menu is better with some effects like zooming in for a photograph, but it’s got live clips from the movie and I am never really a fan of that feature.

Audio & Video: 8/10
Keeping in line with Sony’s other recent Blu-Ray releases, The Tourist features an outstanding 1080P VC1 transfer that showcases the lush scenery of Venice. There is a lot of fine detail here, such as the close up of Angelina with her smoldering red lipstick, and the pockmarked face of the bad guy. Overall this is a fine transfer that fans of the movie will be very pleased with.

Interestingly, for an action type movie The Tourist has quite a laid back soundtrack. This is intentional and the great score really pull you into the romantic scenario we find our heroes in. When the action really starts the subwoofer gets a little action but it never overpowers the dialog which is what this movie is mostly composed of. While this lossless DTS soundtrack is not showcase material (due to content not the technical aspect) you won’t be disappointed.

Value: 5/10
This movie looks beautiful. The story is good for me. The extras are ho-hum. Overall it just doesn’t scream excellent value, unless you can get it for like 10 bucks. I have a feeling that might be possible in the months to come. I say rent it and get a hardcore spy movie along with a 50’s glamor flick and that’s a serious night of fun movie watching.

Overall Score 6/10