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July 22, 2011
The Tourist Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
26/12/20103/5/2011Sony PicturesFlorian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1MJohnny Depp
Angelina Jolie

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Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in The Tourist.

There really aren't two bigger stars in the world today then Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. Any theatrical release gets massive attention, and usually takes massive box office numbers. So putting the two stars together seems like a sure bet doesn't it? Well The Tourist is the movie that puts the two together, but does it succeed?

The Tourist revolves around Frank (Johnny Depp), an American tourist visiting Italy to mend a broken heart. Elise (Angelina Jolie) is an extraordinary woman who deliberately crosses his path in order to mislead all those following her former lover. 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.

Of course the big selling point of this film is the two lead actors - Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie and while they both sizzle on-screen as individuals I'm not so sure they have great chemistry together. Besides stars Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie this film has several other great actors including Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff and Rufus Sewell.

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Venice looks gorgeous in this film.
Sadly the film never really clicks to its full potential. There are some amusing moments, and some decent action sequences including one across some rooftops and another on the canals of Venice, a couple of twists and some drama, but it also just seems to meander from one scene to the next. Perhaps it's the inexperience of director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (yes, that is his name!), or perhaps it was the editing but either way this isn't a great film.

Ultimately The Tourist fails to light up the screen as we expected. It's a decent film, but not one you're likely to return to for repeat viewings.

Being such a recent release from Sony Pictures we expected The Tourist to look good, and indeed this is a rather gorgeous film - particularly when the film moves to outdoor scenes around the countryside or within cities. The film has been encoded using the AVC MPEG-4 codec in the film’s original 2.40:1 aspect ratio. While the film has a warm tone at times, the level of fine detail impresses constantly not least of which in many of the films action sequences around Venice. It's a gorgeous city which looks quite spectacular in this film, and within this Blu-Ray transfer.

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The gorgeous Angelina Jolie.
The Tourist is presented on Blu-Ray with an impressive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (24-bit/48Khz) track and with lossless audio it sounds quite wonderful indeed with a rather gorgeous score from James Newton Howard that manages to shine. Dialogue is clear at all times and while the movie is front heavy in the channel use when the action sequences kick in the surround sound channels roar to life.

Besides the primary English track this Blu-Ray has two other audio tracks - Spanish and Catalan DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks (both 16-bit/48Khz). We sampled each briefly and they were both pretty nice efforts.

Subtitles on The Tourist Blu-Ray are available in English, English SDH, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish. We sampled the English subtitles and didn't notice any issues although there is no indication as to who is talking which becomes a little confusing when you can't see their faces.

The Tourist on Blu-Ray has a few extras so here they are...

Director's Commentary: Writer and director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck flies solo on this track and he actually does a pretty decent effort in keeping this commentary going with plenty of enthusiasm for the film as well as production details.

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Some of the scenery in Italy is gorgeous.
Canal Chats (6:01/HD): A short clip in which the films director talks about filming around Venice, working with the films starts and enjoying the city.

A Gala Affair (7:12/HD): This short featurette looks at filming the gala sequence which takes place towards the end of the film with discussions of the location, the production designer and the costumes.

Action in Venice (6:29/HD): The title says it all really as this clip looks at filming the action sequences in the movie. Some on-set footage, but pretty light-on overall.

Bringing Glamour Back (9:08/HD): The actors and filmmakers discuss bringing the glamour back to films and the two leading actors.

Tourist Destination - Travel the Canals of Venice (3:17/HD): A look at Venice as the main location in the film and one of the most unique locations in the world.

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Johnny Depp in The Tourist.
Alternate Animated Title Sequence (2:14/HD): Here's an interesting, alternate title sequence which we actually quite like the look of.

Outtake Reel (1:26/HD): An interview with some outtakes. Very brief and really just included to tick something else on the back of the features list.

MovieIQ (HD): MovieIQ is available on this Blu-Ray and provides up to date details on actors and music in each of the scenes. It requires a connection to the Internet.

The Tourist is a nice movie that has its moments, but is largely one that won't sit among any of the participants "best movie" list. It's a bit pedestrian and predictable but the Blu-Ray transfer is impressive.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Sony Pictures. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.