From Paris with Love (2010) - 2-Disc Edition [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Action / Thriller
Lions Gate || R - 92 minutes - $39.99 || June 8, 2010
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2010-05-31


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Pierre Morel
Writer(s): Luc Besson (story), Adi Hasak (screenplay)
Cast: John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak


Theatrical Release Date: February 5, 2010


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Picture-in-Picture Feature Commentary
  • 4 Featurettes
  • Trivia Game
  • BD-Live
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

From Paris with Love has been the best thing Iíve seen in theaters in at least a few months. This movie was non-stop kick-arse action for 90 minutes, and by far one of the reasons I rarely care what movies make in theaters in terms of going to see them. Travolta is at his finest in this flick, as is newcomer Meyers. I must say, this is the old school Travolta that Iíve been missing from my collection.

James Reece (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is an aid for Ambassador Bennington (Richard Durden) but also has a little side job involving espionage. Reece is called upon via cell phone to plant a bug in an opposing senatorís office, and he does so without question. After completing the assignment he heads home to his girlfriend Caroline (Kasia Smutniak) who proposes to him and gives him a ring that she warns him to never take off. The mysterious caller dials Reeceís phone yet again, but this time the mission is different. He is to head off to the airport to clear a man named Charlie Wax (John Travolta) and basically escort him around town completing the mission. Caroline is ticked off that he has to leave, but lets him go since he gets a promotion.

Wax is up to no good at the customs agency, but Reece manages to get him out of a sticky situation and is now forced to be his chauffer the entire time heís in town. The first stop is some dumpy Chinese restaurant for some crappy food according to Reece, but Wax assures him they arenít there for the food. Wax ticks off the customers at the restaurant and the chefs pull out uziís and other guns to shoot at the two government agents. Wax, of course, kills them all easily and asks where the dope is at. The hostage refuses to tell him, so Wax shoots the ceiling and cocaine rains down. It turns out that Wax is here to stop the cocaine trafficking going on, as though the senatorís daughter overdosed on the stuff. Can Reece and Wax stop the cocaine trafficking, or will they Wax On, and then Wax Off? (Get it? Like the moon).

Like I said before, this movie was a freaking blast to see in theaters. The action is there the entire time, and so is the great plot twist that comes about midway into the flick. Granted, as usual, I saw the twist coming, but it was still great to see the twist unfold in front of my eyes. Travolta is a freaking riot and enjoyable as Wax, similar to past roles he played in films like Face/Off and others. I laughed at nearly every line he said in the flick that was meant to be entertaining, and was in awe when the action sequences kicked in. I mean holy crap; some of the shooting scenes were jaw-dropping in terms of entertainment and eye-popping in terms of just whacky crazy crap going on.

I also must give major props to Meyers for coming along in the film industry. Now, granted, this flick tanked at the box-office, but I see him getting bigger and bigger roles as the years go on. I honestly see him as the next Christian Bale or that one guy from the vampire films soon enough. His acting is phenomenal as the scared yet ambitious government agent the entire flick, which had even me believing that he really was an agent. Smutniak, who Iíve never seen in a film prior to this one, should have a great career in Hollywood too. Her acting skills were right on par with the other two main cast mates and she kept up with her role the entire time.

This is an action-packed thrill ride that had me on the edge of my seat. The only problem I have is that the runtime just plain sucks! I was into the movie the duration of it, and then it was over without a second thought. That being said though, I may just go see the flick again. Oh, thereís also a great reference to a past Travolta movie for trivia nuts, so see if you can spot it.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The Making of From Paris with Love (27 minutes): The biggest extra on the disc is of course the making of the film, and as such, is an awesome experience to watch. I loved the film so much I sat glued to the television for this extra, as though the cast and crew give some interviews and show how some of the scenes were shot. The showing of the action sequences and how they were shot is completely kick-arse, so I highly suggest a viewing when you get the free time.

Life Undercover (16 minutes): The life of a spy is shown, from start to finish, which pretty much goes along with what the movie is about. I enjoyed this extra although anyone looking for anything besides educational value will probably be bored stiff here.

Secrets of Spy Craft (4 minutes): Iím not sure if this is a mockumentary or a serious extra, but nevertheless this is one you can skip. This basically deals with the history of using spy material, such as the Trojan horse or Thomas Jefferson and the cipher from years back.

** BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVES **

Bonus View Audio Commentary with Pierre Morel: Morel shouldnít be doing another solo commentary if he decides to do another one of these, as though he is incredibly boring and I found myself nodding off after only a few minutes. He discusses everything there is to know about the film in his tiny box in the corner, but he rambles on and then silence is heard for quite some time throughout the duration of the movie. This is one of the few commentaries I would definitely say pass on.

Friend or Foe Trivia Game: This a glorified trivia track that appears at the bottom of the screen and displays questions with three possible answers. The game keeps track of your scores and let me tell you I got my butt kicked the entire time. I enjoyed the trivia track enough to watch the movie with it on, so if youíre into your second or third viewing have some fun with both the trivia track and the movie. I will say though that the question runs for a bit too long, roughly a minute, instead of going away it merely stays on screen.

Charlie Waxís Gun Locker: This insanely cool exclusive lets you not only see and view the guns in the film, but also when they were used and some other funny stuff about them. This is a freaking awesome extra that I strongly recommend watching just to see the great shootouts involved with the film.

Lionsgate Live: There are a few extras available for you to play around with, including Facebook/Twitter integration, wallpapers, ringtones, and the weather for your area. Iíve always loved this feature but Iím hoping that in the feature Lionsgate will do a little more than just the handful of things available for now.

Finally, a Digital Copy is available for you that will work with iTunes.

I will say though that the menu does take quite a long time to load (at least it did in my PS3) and it did get quite annoying after waiting more than fifteen seconds.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

I was disappointed after so many amazing Lionsgate Blu-Ray releases that this one, a favorite movie of mine in 2010, looks so dreadful compared to others from the studio. Colors are a bit bland and tend to be overblown in some scenes, which is incredibly distasteful in 2010. Whites are clearly overblown in a few scenes and in even more sequences does the color blue tend to outweigh the others. There were also many scenes involved with many shots of grain, noise, and other issues that caused me to take the score down as well. I normally tolerate some levels of grain and noise but this transfer has too much to let it slip by, no matter how much I enjoyed the film itself. This isnít a bad transfer by any means though, just one that could have been improved and set to the same standard as other releases from the studio.

In a bit of much brighter news to report, the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track is just as good as the other releases with the same track. The audio for this is outstanding in every possible way in terms of loudness, surround usage, and keeping levels regulated. I never once had a problem understanding the dialogue spoken in the film, not once did I suspect any sort of improper sound coming from the wrong speaker, and yet again never noticed myself having to tweak the audio levels throughout the movie. This is clearly a reference material film, as though nearly every few minutes there are an action sequence that can show off your sound system to make both the neighbors and friends jealous. The action sequence at the end with the car chase sounds magnificent and one of the best sequences for surround usage so far in 2010.



.::OVERALL::.

From Paris with Love is a phenomenal, heart-pumping, hilarious joyride that shouldnít be missed once it hits shelves. The acting is excellent and the comedy is golden here, plus you get to hear Travolta drop the F-Bomb in hilarious fashion multiple times throughout the movie. The technical package however isnít nearly as good as other Lionsgate releases, but the solid set of Blu-ray exclusives and special features more than makes up for the disappointing tech specs. This belongs in your collection right away.