Vantage Point Blu-ray Review
PictureVantage Point comes gliding to the next generation Blu-ray format with a superior 1080p High Definition video presentation in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 widescreen. Right from the start it is clear that you are in for a visual treat, the detail level phenomenal, clarity resoundingly good throughout. I suppose that it is only appropriate for a movie that is so focussed on the studying (often through recorded footage) of one key scene, but it is still commendable that they got things so picture perfect. There is no grain present (well, nothing unintentional, although the aftermath sequence does look suitably hazy), with no noticeable softness and no digital defects. The colour scheme is quite broad, totally in line with the sunny Spanish setting, the sun drenching almost every shot, with plenty of deep reds (the yellow and red flag colours standing out) and rich browns populating the proceedings. Facial tones are healthy and realistic, and blacks are deep and make for solid secret service suits and great shadowing, despite the complete lack of night sequences. Overall it is a superb video rendition.
SoundTo accompany the recent production on its Blu-ray debut we get a Dolby TrueHD track that pushes all the right buttons. Dialogue comes across clearly and coherently, whether in terms of the whispers and cuff-communications of the secret service agents or the shouts and screams during the chaos, largely emanating from the frontal array, although the surrounds do see some crowd action. The effects are fairly commonplace, particularly since one of the key events gets repeated over half a dozen times. Aside from that there are plenty of gunshots, car crashes and general ambient effects to populate this boisterous action-thriller. All of it gets good representation, the track being suitably punchy, even towards the rear. The score is a b-movie variant on the Bourne scores, with a hint of Tony Scott action thriller thrown into the mix, which is all perfectly in line with the material. Overall it comes across pretty well on Dolby TrueHD, and whilst this is not quite a record-breaker, it is not a bad example to show off your home theatre equipment with.
ExtrasFirst up we get an Audio Commentary by the Director Pete Travis who discusses many different aspects of the production of the movie, often contemporaneously relating them back to the on-screen action. He talks about their original intention to shoot in Spain, the substitution for some of the sets, a little into the mechanics of shooting the same 15 minutes from so many different perspectives and some vague background into some of the characters. It's nothing heavy, nothing too self-congratulatory, but also a Commentary only really worth listening to if you loved the movie.
There are three Featurettes, An Inside Perspective takes the best part of half an hour to look at the production as a whole, with the main cast and crew members offering their ten pence' worth on their roles and their fellow contributors. Plotting an Assassination is fifteen minutes' long and takes a more detailed look at the story, and how they did several drafts before choosing to run with the final one. It is quite interesting to hear about where they could have gone with the story and slightly less fluffy than the main Making-Of. Finally we get seven minutes' worth of Coordinating Chaos, which specifically focuses on the stunts and how they tried to make them believable - although I have to say that they did not often come off as such in the final cut!
The Surveillance Tapes section is one of the strangest extras that I have ever come across, it is a few seconds of the Director fooling around on set with a silenced gun. It is neither funny, nor interesting, nor anything, and I have no idea why they bothered including it, particularly with this kind of movie. There are also a bunch of Trailers included on the disc.
In terms of Blu-ray exclusive extras, with PiP finally taking off, it is nice to see them running with it and providing us with quite an innovative little offering here. The GPS tracker isn't quite what it appears to be - here it enables you to switch the 'vantage points' whilst watching the movie, offering picture-in-picture alternate views of the proceedings. (Technically I guess that means that you could watch the whole movie in about half an hour!) It is a quality extra, and a quality use of the technology.
VerdictVantage Point is nothing particularly new, borrowing from a dozen other, better, movies and TV shows and tying it all together off the back of a clever concept. The ideas soon become little more than gimmicks and the final act is too long in the making and a bit disappointing in the realisation, and the cast largely do their best with what are overtly 2-D characters. Technically, the Blu-ray release is superior, with excellent video and superb audio, as well as a couple of nice extras - not least the GPS trackers, which works well with this particular movie's design. Overall Vantage Point really is not a bad movie, it's just not a good movie either, and probably won't be particularly disappointing as a Saturday night rental, despite the fact that it has little-to-no re-watch value.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £24.99
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