XenForo Template THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU Studio: Universal Year: 2011 Length: 1 hr 46 mins Genre: Romance/Adventure Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 BD Resolution: 1080p BD Video Codec: VC-1 (@ an average 32 mbps) Color/B&W: Color Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (@ an average 3.0 mbps, up to 4.5 mbps in the big scenes) Spanish DTS 5.1 French DTS 5.1 English DVS (Descriptive Visual Service) 2.0 Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish Film Rating: PG-13 (Brief Strong Language, Some Sexuality and a Violent Image) Release Date: June 21, 2011 Starring: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery, Michael Kelly and Terence Stamp Based on the short story “Adjustment Team” by Philip K. Dick Written and Directed by: George Nolfi Film Rating: 2 ½/5 PLEASE BEWARE OF SPOILERS WITHIN THIS PARAGRAPH - YOU CAN MOVE ON TO THE SECOND PARAGRAPH TO ADDRESS THE TECHNICAL ISSUES: The Adjustment Bureau, once you actually watch the movie, is not exactly what you might be thinking after seeing the various trailers and promos. It is not Inception, since it has nothing to do with dream states, and it is not Hereafter, since it isn’t about contact with the departed. Instead, the movie is a simple romance between Matt Damon’s David and Emily Blunt’s Elise, with the structure following a traditional “Boy Meets Girl” path. There’s some high-concept material coming directly from Philip K. Dick’s short story “Adjustment Team”, and some fun imagery with doors in New York City opening into unexpected places, but the movie remains a simple romance. As such, it works here and there. Damon and Blunt have some chemistry, and their dialogue is usually relaxed, but the crucial first meeting simply doesn’t establish the strong bond that will be necessary to make the rest of the movie work. Director George Nolfi (previously the screenwriter of Ocean’s Twelve and The Sentinel, as well as contributing to the script for The Bourne Ultimatum) thankfully keeps the action simple throughout, so it’s fairly easy to follow the story and to see who is where at any time. But this simplicity also keeps the movie from getting any farther than a rudimentary level of story and character. We are told a few basic things about Damon’s character, and even less about Blunt’s, and we rarely get to see them develop beyond the simplest dictates of the plot. So in the end, the movie works okay, but never really soars. The production values are quite good, with the film literally running all across New York City and the cast remains appealing. Fans of Matt Damon and Emily Blunt will likely want to have a copy of this film. Fans of Inception may find themselves a bit less satisfied. The Adjustment Bureau has been released on standard definition DVD and Blu-ray this week. The Blu-ray packaging includes the DVD of the film, as well as instructions for downloading a digital copy. The Blu-ray disc itself contains a high definition picture and sound transfer of the movie, along with all the extras from the DVD and one further item – an interactive map of New York City with options for viewing film clips and set footage, as well as travelling through the doors to the various junction points seen in the movie. The Blu-ray also comes loaded with D-Box and pocket BLU functionality, as well as BD-Live options, which include the online viewing of a viewer-generated photo montage edited by George Nolfi. VIDEO QUALITY 4 ½/5 The Adjustment Bureau is presented in a 1080p VC-1 1.85:1 transfer that practically shimmers on the screen. There’s some really nice shots on display here, with a wide range of flesh tones and textures. Several opening shots at the Waldorf Hotel are incredibly clear. The CGI additions to various shots are fairly seamless – and some scenes may surprise in that what you think must be CGI is a practical effect while the real CGI work is unnoticeable. I should note that I am watching the film on a 40” Sony XBR2 HDTV. If anyone is watching the film on a larger monitor and is having issues, please post them on this thread. AUDIO QUALITY 4 ½/5 The Adjustment Bureau is presented in a solid English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix in English, along with standard DTS 5.1 mixes in French and Spanish. There is also an English Descriptive Visual Service track available. The dialogue comes through loud and clear in the front channels, while there’s a satisfying level of atmospheric sound coming from the surround channels. Given the immersive nature of many scenes in the film, the immersive nature of the mix is a very nice compliment. SPECIAL FEATURES 3/5 The Blu-Ray presentation of The Adjustment Bureau comes with the usual BD-Live connectivity and My Scenes functionality, as well as pocket BLU, D-Box functionality, along with George Nolfi’s commentary, all the extras from the DVD edition presented in high definition, and an exclusive interactive extra that allows the viewer to navigate the various doors in New York City. There’s also an online bonus – a short photo montage edited by George Nolfi from submissions by various fans. Feature Commentary with George Nolfi – This scene-specific commentary from George Nolfi can be a fairly quiet affair at times. He goes silent and watches the movie for various scenes before piping back up and contributing further notes. Much of his talk here has to do with his script for the movie, and how the story has been designed to unfold. But there are some interesting revelations – particularly one moment where he reveals that a dance double was used for Emily Blunt, with CGI face replacement for a key scene. Deleted and Extended Scenes – (6:54 Total, 1080p) Six deleted scenes and extensions are provided here, mostly providing additional flavor to the film that really wasn’t needed for the final cut. Two of these scenes are comic toss-offs featuring Daniel Dae Kim as another Bureau agent, two are bits of additional dialogue that flesh out earlier scenes, and the rest is pretty much odds and ends. I understand that there was an alternate ending to the film, but it has not been included here. The Labyrinth of Doors – (BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE) – BIG SPOILERS IN THIS EXTRA FEATURE; DO NOT WORK WITH THIS UNTIL YOU HAVE SEEN THE MOVIE – This is a fun exercise for the viewer. You are presented with an overhead map of New York City, with various door locations indicated. If you click on a location, the map closes in (a la Google Earth) to a view that spotlights that location, and provides options for watching a movie clip, a brief set clip, or to go through the door to another location. Most of the set clips are very brief and show how the shot or shots at each place were accomplished. The Yankee Stadium bit is really instructive in this regard. (Although once you know how the gag was accomplished, it’s really obvious when you watch the scene in the movie again – you can see the light from around the door frame…) The bit about the Bureau’s building is a longer matter, going over six minutes and including interviews with various producers. There were multiple locations used for the Bureau, all of which were combined in editing to create one story location. Among the producers interviewed here is Chris Moore, which for some reason caused me to wonder if I would see him firing one of his underlings from Project Greenlight… Leaping Through New York – (7:36, 1080i) This short featurette includes footage at many of the New York City locations shown in the movie. Like Die Hard: With A Vengeance, this is a film that really moves all the way around the city, showing scenes in a multitude of neighborhoods. There’s some footage here showing how places were filmed on weekends (such as the Courthouse and 5th Avenue) since this would really not have worked well on a weekday. Destined to Be – (4:51, 1080i) This is a quick series of interview clips with George Nolfi and the cast about the basics of the plot. It doesn’t spoil too much, but it also doesn’t do much more than scratch the surface. Becoming Elise – (7:08, 1080i) This featurette focuses on the dance training undergone by Emily Blunt in order to play the part of her dancer character. This goes farther into depth than you might think, with some interesting shots of Blunt rehearsing with the real dancers in the movie, and some good quotes about the casting process and how Blunt had to maintain herself during the movie. She gets in one good line about the food situation being the hardest part – she had to watch Matt Damon eating nice, cheesy snacks on set which she could not have while keeping her physique. (Of course, this featurette does not discuss the use of CGI face replacement admitted by George Nolfi in his commentary…) The film and special features are subtitled in English, French and Spanish. The usual pop-up menu is present, along with a complete chapter menu. When you first put the Blu-ray in the player, several trailers will load from BD-Live, which you can get past by hitting the “Next Chapter” button. BD-Live - The more general BD-Live screen is accessible via the menu, which makes various online materials available, including tickers, trailers and special events. Your Life, Adjusted (720p, Accessible online) – This is a series of photos submitted by fans and edited into a montage by George Nolfi. I was able to watch about the first minute of this before either server demand or a problem farther down the pipeline made it impossible for me to see more. My Scenes - The usual bookmarking feature is included here. pocket BLU– The latest Blu-ray features of phone apps and social networking are included here for viewers with the right iPhones, Blackberries and other current hardware. D-Box – D-Box functionality is included for viewers who have this capability in their home theater. Online Movie Rentals – Via BD-Live, $2.99 rentals are available for Meet The Parents, Fast & Furious, Mamma Mia!, Coraline, Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Role Models. DVD copy – The standard-definition DVD of this film is included in the Blu-ray packaging. The film is presented in English, Spanish and French Dolby Digital 5.1 sound (albeit at 448 kbps), and the same English DVS 2.0 mix on the theatrical cut as can be found on the Blu-ray disc. The DVD also contains standard definition copies of the extras seen on the Blu-ray, with the exception of the interactive NYC map. Digital Copy – Instructions for downloading a digital copy of the Director’s Cut of the film are included on an insert in the packaging. IN THE END... The Adjustment Bureau is a romance that will likely appeal to fans of Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. It’s a nice movie, albeit a fairly shallow one, that translates well to its Blu-ray presentation. The Blu-ray comes with some good extras, including a commentary and an interactive NYC map, as well as more BD-Live material than one normally sees. I recommend a rental for interested parties. Kevin Koster June 24, 2011.