(2006/Blu-ray + DVD-Video)
Picture: B/C+ Sound: B+/B- Extras: C+ Film: B
a funny thing in film. A few years ago
when the James Bond film Tomorrow Never
Dies arrived, it went up against Titanic
when no one knew if James Cameron’s epic could even break even. Instead, it was a huge hit and the Bond film
still did well, but not in the long term as it might have back in 1997. In 2006, the James Bond film Casino Royale was issued and because it
was not the overblown, shallow production of the last two Brosnan Bonds, expectation
were only so high. Disney decided to
open Tony Scott’s Déjà vu with
Denzel Washington against it. Sure
enough, the Bond was the biggest critical hit in decades and the Jerry
Bruckheimer production did not do the business it deserved.
DVD-Video and especially Blu-ray, Déjà
vu gets a well-deserved seconds chance weeks after Casino Royale set home video records. Besides the moviegoers and fans who rightly
complain “why do they have to put out all those good films at once” and the
like, there is some debate about the film itself, one I think underrates the Bill Marsilii/Terry Rossio screenplay.
plays a federal agent investigating who is responsible for a terrorist attack
against a ship with a military group in progress with their family. However, besides having strange clues, he
discovers the U.S. Government has a secret project that allows them to see into
the distant past thanks to a crazy experiment with satellites and imaging from
the recent past. He starts to expect it
might offer more, but finding the killer(s) is goal #1, if he can sort through
what are possible lies only getting in his way from stopping the next attack.
gives one of his most interesting and energetic performances in a genre film
here as he has to play the hero, the thinker and the man who becomes more
personally involved. The supporting cast
of Val Kilmer, Bruce Greenwood, Paula Patton, Adam Goldberg and Jim Caviezel
are only given so much to do, including the usual one-liner joke punctuations
to the staccato scores formula typical of Bruckheimer productions, but that is
easily overcome by something different.
course, the twist is that we get a time travel plot that is not only in context
to the thriller in ways that often work, but offer a layout some have
questioned in the consistency of the clues.
I will not say much, but as I have debated several persons since the
first screening, the idea of certain clues surfacing form a loop to show
Washington’s character is close to success and not only are consistent with the
story (not premature, as some have debated based on other Sci-Fi/Time Travel
films), but incorporated the concept of the title which many seem to forget as
they watch. The result is a fine action
film that requires more attention span than usual and really pays off as a
clever work that rewards with repeat viewing.
That is why I am a fan of Déjà vu.
2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image is pretty good considering this was
almost totally shot in HD video, still a rarity for biog Hollywood
productions. However, there are a few
moments of the transfer where it is obviously HD, though this fares better than
Superman Returns in either HD-DVD or
Blu-ray. At least here, there is some
35mm film shooting. The anamorphically
enhanced DVD is much softer than it should be by comparison to the Blu-ray and
35mm prints I saw. Director of
Photography Paul Cameron, A.S.C., did a pretty good job of shooting with the
format he had, but I have a feeling some shots that look good now might not
5.1 16/48 Blu-ray sound mix is superior to the Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes on both
discs, which just do not show off how good this sound mix really is. It might even be better if we could hear it
in a higher format (DTS HD, Dolby TrueHD), but this is nice as it stands. Harry Gregson-Williams’ score is not bad,
while sound effects are some of the best of last year’s actioners.
both versions include five deleted scenes, three extended scenes and an
extensive behind the scenes look at the film in ten parts! This is all very good and should be watched
after seeing the film. All are
presenting in 1080i HD on the Blu-ray.
all, it is an under seen and underappreciated effort that is Scott’s best
effort since Spy Game (now on
HD-DVD) and one of his better films. The
only thing missing is the Dionne Warwick hit.
- Nicholas Sheffo