DVD Review HTF REVIEW: The Transporter - Special Delivery Edition

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Michael Osadciw, Aug 25, 2005.

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  1. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]

    THE TRANSPORTER
    SPECIAL DELIVERY EDITION





    Studio: 20th Century Fox
    Film Year: 2002

    U.S. Rating: PG-13
    Canadian Rating: 14A

    Film Length: 92 minutes
    Genre: Action-Adventure

    Aspect Ratio:[*] 2.35:1 enhanced widescreen
    Colour/B&W: Colour

    Audio:[*] English DTS 5.1 Surround[*] English Dolby Digital 5.1 surround[*] French Dolby Digital 2.0 surround
    Subtitles: English, Spanish
    Closed Captioned: Yes

    SLP: CDN $25.98






    U.S. Release Date: August 23, 2005
    Canadian Release Date: August 30, 2005.




    Entertainment Rating: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Starring: Jason Statham (Frank Martin), Qi Shu (Lai), Matt Schulze (Darren “Wall Street” Bettencourt), François Berléand (Tarconi)

    Written by: Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen
    Directed by: Cory Yuen



    Rules are made to be broken.[/i]



    Rule number one: stick to the deal. Nothing more. Nothing less.
    Rule number two: no names.
    Rule number three: never look in the package.

    For Frank Martin, abiding to these rules for his one-man transporter operation in the south of France ensures that business runs smoothly behind legal lines. Thus, he considers himself to be in the transportation industry; Frank drives a beefed-up and highly equipped BMW and with his superior driving skills, he’s able to outrun police when transporting criminals from bank heists to the simple task of delivering a small and almost weightless suitcase. As long as he and his clients follow his three simple rules the business will roll smoothly.

    But rules were meant to be broken. Frank becomes curious about a moving parcel in the trunk of his car. He soon finds out that his latest shipment is a beautiful and young Chinese girl who has been kidnapped by slave traders. Even though he delivers the package as if rule number three had not been broken, people always find out. Frank’s quiet lifestyle is about to burst open into one of rage. As an ex-military agent, Frank will find new allies as he combats those trying to kill him.

    Written by Luc Besson, the man who brought Leon (The Professional) and La Femme Nikita to the screen, The Transporter is a wild ride that is highly entertaining with fight scenes that can be mesmerizing. My favourite scene: the “oil fight” – absolutely brilliant!


    [​IMG]VIDEO QUALITY
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    This is the same transfer as the previous release. The image is sharp and detailed in close-ups although when looking at objects in the distance, they aren’t quite as clear as I’ve seen with other releases; without doubt this will improve once Blu-Ray becomes available. Edge enhancement is the only bothersome issue. The haloing around objects in contrast with the background is DVD-based rather than from the evaluation equipment.

    Overall, the colour temperature is a little warm, mimicking late afternoons in the south of France. The last time I travelled France, I never recalled it looking this warm…but that’s a decision made behind the magic of movie making. The warmth makes skin look a little orange at times and it doesn’t feel natural. There is plenty of contrast and blacks are not washed out.


    [​IMG]AUDIO QUALITY [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This is a butt-kicking soundtrack that is both immersive and engaging. The four main channels work together to create a surround experience as sound elements are placed specifically in the soundstage. The soundtrack draws the viewer into the action every punch and kick of the way. While not as dynamic as some other films, The Transporter will still impress your friends with its directionality. This is good and bad; good in the sense that it is immersive, but bad because it does sound like manufactured multi-channel mono. Some sounds are clear and yet others (like the trees rustling in the wind at Frank’s beach home) sound limited in spatiality and clarity. There isn’t always an effort to create a lifelike environment.

    The LFE channel is used, but sparingly. The bass in this movie isn’t as heavy as other action flicks. While this is more than likely more realistic, Hollywood has put an impression in my head that all action flicks have to kick me in the gut with bass. That is fun and all, but it’s also wearing down on me. I have to say that I preferred the moderate amount of overall bass (not just LFE) in this movie. More bass = more air moving…some people like that for that tactile effect…although I just might consider some tactile transducers instead – and so should you if that is your goal.

    The disc comes with both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 encodings of the soundtrack. They are similar and volume level and when using the decoder in my Denon DVD-3910 DVD player, I felt the differences between the two soundtracks were more noticeable. Dolby Digital sounded great when decoded, but comparing it to the DTS it was noticeably “sucked in the middle” from all sides of me. DTS decoding gave the sounds a little more extension out into my room beyond my speakers. As I’ve heard before, Dolby’s decoding had an ever so slight amount of a volume increase in the bass in the front channels. You cannot toggle between audio tracks on the fly with your remote. You must go back to the main menu and select a different audio option first. Again, with Blu-Ray around the corner, I’ll be first in line to upgrade to lossless audio and I’ll be sure to tell you the differences when that time comes.


    [​IMG]SPECIAL FEATURES [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    All special features from the original release have been carried over to this disc and expect to find a few additions as well. You’ll still find the commentary from Jason Statham and producer Steve Chasman and the original featurette that’s 12 minutes in length.

    The extended fight sequences are delivered to us again, still not reinserted back into the film to keep it as a PG-13 rating. The disc claims 15 minutes of new footage when it’s actually only about 2 minutes – if that. These fight sequences are unfinished and roughly edited. You can still see some wires for the props and there are no sound effects or dialogue – just music. Because of this, I chose to watch it only with the commentary from Jason Statham, Steven Chasman and Cory Yuen. Most of the time they wished they could keep the quick moments that were forced cut and other times they admitted some shots didn’t flow or help with the pacing. The scenes that are extended are Wall Street’s House (3.49), Container Fight (3.47), and Bus Station/Oil Fight (7.29). Please note that these are the full fight sequences and they are extended, so don’t expect 15 minutes of entirely new footage.

    New to this disc is a 35 minute behind-the-scenes featurette that is somewhat of a mish-mash of camcorder footage and interviews with “artistic director” Louis Leterrier. Two theatrical trailers for The Transporter as well as trailers for other films are on this disc, all in 4:3 letterbox.

    There is also one storyboard-to-film comparison of one scene when Frank parachutes down to a truck. You can view this as a side-by-side comparison, or view the storyboard or final edit separately. You can use the “angle” button on your remote to switch between these options.

    Lastly, a $7.50 “off” coupon is inserted in the case for when you go see Transporter 2.

    Dropped from this release is the 1.33:1 pan & scan version of the film…thankfully…


    IN THE END…

    The previous release of The Transporter is very similar to this one so for those of you who own the original release, you may not have much of a reason to upgrade at full retail price. While the addition of a DTS encoding is welcomed improvement in audio, that and the new featurette may not be much of an addition for some people. I look at this release as an opportunity for those people who haven’t seen the movie to pick up this title because it’s in the spotlight again. It is their opportunity to pick up this engaging action flick just before the release of the sequel. I don’t call this double-dipping by the studio…it’s just generating excitement for the release of Transporter 2 by widening its fan base.

    Michael Osadciw
    05.08.25
     
  2. Adam Portrais

    Adam Portrais Stunt Coordinator

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    I never got the first release, waited for a SE. While the new features are few I'll still be picking this up and using the movie ticket to see Transporter 2. Thanks for the review Mike.
     
  3. Frank@N

    [email protected] Screenwriter

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    Thought the movie was OK, but had a split personality.

    The beginning was more what I expected from Luc Besson, but the second half went too 'Jackie Chan' (for me).

    Still, much better than comparable Will Smith action crap.
     
  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Well put.

    But, I went ahead and double-dipped anyway for the DTS track! :b And, of course, for the coupon for the ticket to see Transporter 2! [​IMG]

    I enjoyed the DTS track and agree with your comments about the lack of overwhelming bass during the action sequences. I would have liked a little more...especially since I DID find the bass rather overwhelming during some of the music tracks.

    Good review! I think you captured/described the disc quite well! [​IMG]

    And, Michael...HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
     
  5. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley Second Unit

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    I was on the edge of double dipping but when I went to the movies the other night, they had coupons for Immediate $5 rebate when you buy this new release, so...with that $5 plus the ticket inside, and selling my older copy, I'll be just ahead of the game [​IMG]

    So you guys/gals may want to look in on your local theaters for these coupons! Walmart honered it when I presented it to buy the new release.

    I'll be seeing the Transporter 2 on Wednesday, can't wait...
    G2
     
  6. Chuck Bogie

    Chuck Bogie Second Unit

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    I've gotta disagree on the bass... This is one of the movies where I have to either turn off my bass shakers, or turn the crossovers way down - but it's the music, not the effects...
     
  7. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Chuck: If you re-read my post above...and in
    this other thread about this release , you'll find we agree. The bass rocks during the music tracks...but is lacking in the effects track.
     

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