Deja Vu Blu-ray Review

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by Casimir Harlow Apr 27, 2007 at 12:00 AM

  • Movies review

    Deja Vu Blu-ray Review
    SRP: £21.67


    Déjà Vu comes to Blu-ray presented with a glorious 1080p High Definition transfer in the movie's original theatrical widescreen 2.4:1 aspect ratio. Tony Scott's recent movies tend to have impeccable video presentation and this is certainly no exception. Right from the opening credits you can see the detail is amazing, facial definition is exceptional and there is simply no softness or grain - well of course unless you count Scott's trademark stylish moments that implement alternative movie stocks and saturation techniques (with inherent and thus intentional noise). The colour scheme is quite broad, from the vivid blue water to the fiery explosions. The opening sequence is a prime example, but the movie is shot in what seems like permanent low-sun, giving it a nice shaded edge with the gloaming sunlight adding a slightly surreal feel. Blacks are solid and some of the darker moments are excellently rendered, like the UV lamp sequence. Overall it is a fantastic, almost flawless high definition presentation and certainly one to show off the capabilities of your Home Cinema setup with.

    Deja Vu Picture


    To accompany the movie we get a superior Uncompressed PCM English 5.1 track which sounds absolutely superb. Dialogue is never less than clear and coherent, presented prominently from across the fronts and centre channels. Effects are generally fast and furious, particularly in the opening gambit, as well as the second half of the thriller, where explosions, gunshots and general frenzy give the surrounds plenty to do. The score itself, another Harry Gregson-Williams effort (who paired up with Scott for similarly frantic efforts on Man on Fire and Spy Game) sounds fantastic, perfectly in line with this stylish material, offering up lots of fast-paced techno moments and beats, and allowing for some significant bass action. Highlights, both in terms of effects and score, include all of the action sequences, from the opening scene to the car 'chase' midway and the hectic finale. Overall it is a fantastic aural effort, the top of its class and an easy example of a track to showcase your Blu-ray capabilities.

    Deja Vu Sound


    In terms of extra material, we get a selection of Extended Scenes. Totalling an extra six minutes of footage, these three extended sequences have optional Audio Commentary by the Director, talking about why they were trimmed down. There's nothing wildly important that has been cut out here - in the middle scene I could not notice any differences at all - so you could easily get away with skipping these and going straight for the Deleted Scenes. The eight minutes of Footage split into five Deleted Scenes seems a tiny bit more watchable, although it often feels more like the aforementioned Extended Scenes rather than entirely new story strands, with more of a conversation between Washington and Kilmer, more of Washington watching the girl on the monitor and some very slight additions to the ending. I have to say that you end up feeling a little bit like you've wasted your time on this extra footage as it is largely the same material, with brief, unexceptional and insignificant changes. I am a big fan of Deleted Scenes, despite the fact that they are generally not great, and this is easily the worst offering that I have ever come across, making you wish they just had not bothered including them at all.

    Far more interesting is the 'Surveillance Window' option, which allows you to watch the movie and experience behind the scenes moments with the filmmakers. Kicking off as a Commentary, where the Director and some of the other crew members (although unfortunately no cast members, like Denzel) discuss the original concept idea, how it was expanded into the final product, and some of the more technical feats that they had to overcome during the production(like the big explosion on the Mississippi). At key points of the movie, we dip out of the Commentary and straight into the Featurettes to look at the Behind the Scenes Footage and Interviews relevant specifically to any upcoming big event. The individual Featurettes can be separately viewed through the menu Index and are split into: The Opening Scene, Developing the Character of Doug Carlin, Makeup Wardrobe and Special Effects, The Surveillance Window, Cameras Of Deja Vu, Split-Time Car Chase, Filming in New Orleans, First Team: Denzel and Tony and Jerry Bruckheimer, and two segments on Stunts. This is the most interactivity that I have come across so far on a Blu-ray disc, although it is little more than a glorified Follow-the-White-Rabbit DVD Feature, and is nowhere near as good as the HD DVD In-Movie-Experience Picture-In-Picture alternatives. Still, what you get here is basically an enhanced movie experience, with Commentary, Interviews (including with Washington and several of the other cast members) and Behind the Scenes exploration, and fans of the production will be extremely happy to explore this Feature.

    The final extra, although I am loathed to label it as such, is actually one step worse than that horrible 'bookmark your favourite scene' option that I've seen on some High Definition discs. It allows you to pick one of three scenes from the movie that are most likely to showcase the breadth and depth of your Home Cinema's video and audio, making you feel a little insulted that you can't just pick them out easily for yourself once you've seen the movie. A totally pointless extra.

    Deja Vu Extras


    Given that I missed it on its cinematic release, I was eager to check out this latest action-thriller from Tony Scott and Denzel Washington. I have to say, I was slightly disappointed, but it was still never less than stylish and engaging - I'm just glad I didn't go to the cinema to see it. This exclusive Blu-ray release comes complete with pristine video, rousing audio and a nice bevy of extras that make a slight attempt at competing with the (clearly superior) HD DVD functionality. It should sit quite nicely alongside the likes of Casino Royale as an example of a great disc to show off the performance of Blu-ray and the movie's not too bad to boot. Worth checking out.

    Suggested retail price when reviewed: £21.67

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