Passengers (2008)

Genre(s): Drama / Mystery
Sony || PG13 - 93 minutes - $24.96 || May 12, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-05-19


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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

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Rodrigo Garcia
Writer(s): Ronnie Christensen (written by)
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Patrick Wilson, Andre Braugher, Dianne Wiest, Clea DuVall


Theatrical Release Date: October 24, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 2 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

I looked in my handheld dictionary that I keep around my work area to define the word ďpredictable.Ē By handheld I mean I held it in my hand and looked up the word, just to clarify for those wondering. Passengers is one of those films that predictable in every sense of the word, but it fails to capture interest with its fairly long story that isnít engrossing in the slightest. Then again, it does have the beautiful Anne Hathaway in it. But then again, it is a terrible movie. Sigh, I canít come to terms with the film, sorry, just read on.

Claire (Anne Hathaway) is a grief counselor that is woken up in the middle of the night to visit a plane crash. It turns out that there are a few survivors from the epidemic, although no one really knows what happened yet. She visits the crash site with her friend Perry (Andre Braugher) who lets her know that sheíll be seeing the survivors at her sessions on a regular basis to find out more about the crash and make sure they are okay psychologically.

The survivors include Eric (Patrick Wilson), Shannon (Clea DuVall), and Norman (Don Thompson), only to name a few of them. Claire meets with them at her office and asks them to remember what happened during the plane crash but they all manage to not remember any of the details. Eric however doesnít make it to one of the sessions and Claire visits him at his house, where she learns that heís been painting scenes from the accident. She tries to get him to open up about the accident, but Eric tells her a different story than what sheís been hearing from everyone else. Eric clearly remembers an explosion that triggered the plane to blow up, even though the airline is saying that the pilot fell asleep at the controls and caused the plane to crash, thus letting them have deniability from any obligations. Eric tries to flirt with Claire and lets her know that she should call her sister sometime, but Claire never told Eric about her sister. Uh oh, what does that mean? Does Eric have some sort of psychological powers such as mind reading or clairvoyance since he was in such a horrific accident?

Thatís what Claire starts to believe, and heads home where her creepy neighbor Toni (Dianne Wiest) visits her and asks her about the day. Claire says she met some guy who sheís attracted to, but canít do anything with because heís a patient and that would cause her to get into some serious trouble if she did. The next day Claire tries to talk to the airline people to find out exactly what happened on the flight, but is thrown around from person to person and doesnít get an exact answer. She decides to let it go for now, and heads off to her session.

In a strange twist of events, her patients come up missing. Out of the five people in the session originally, two of them come up missing and no one has heard from them. Eric is also strangely absent from the meeting, so she heads over to his place to find him. They meet up yet again and Eric tries to show her that something is indeed wrong with his life right now. He runs to the nearest train track to see if he can die, as heís been seeing some strange things happen since the accident such as his dead dog reappearing in his lawn that he had as a child. Wait, how can a dead dog come back to life? Is it merely coincidence or is something else going on here?

It literally took me about fifteen minutes to figure out the plot to the film. Honestly, this is just a dreadful film that I donít know how the great Anne Hathaway got roped into doing, she deserves much better than this. Also, Clea DuVall, you may remember her from such films as The Faculty from like ten years ago. What happened to her? She was poised to be the next big thing and then... nothing.

The script for this is also terrible, as the lines are predictable and acted somewhat poorly. I was heavily disappointed in this one, as though the ďBig MysteryĒ at the end can be seen coming a mile away if you pay even the slightest bit of attention to the lines from the mannequin actors.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Rodrigo Garcia and Patrick Wilson Commentary: The two keep up with the pace of the movie, and praise Hathaway throughout most of it. Then again, I probably would too. They point out a ton of stuff as the film progresses, and there is rarely a dry or dull moment throughout. I definitely recommend you take a listen to it if you enjoyed the movie in the slightest.

Analysis of the Plane Crash (16 minutes): This takes a look at the ending of the film and how some of it was shot. Itís cool if you are into this sort of special feature; otherwise, it runs a bit too long and runs out of steam fast.

The Manifest and Making of Passengers (23 minutes): The cast and crew talk about the idea of the movie and how it came to be, as well as the characters played in the movie. Once again, if you enjoyed the film then check this out, but it gets boring after the first few minutes. Also, the people commentating point out fairly obvious things that you should have picked out in the film so it is redundant as well.

Deleted Scenes (7 minutes): Three scenes that donít add much to the film overall, and as such, can be skipped.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Let me preface this by saying that this isnít by any means a horrible transfer, but it doesnít hold a candle to previous DVD releases Iíve seen recently. The color palette appears dull and bland, as there was nary a scene that had color in decent amounts in it. Contrast was also slightly a problem, as though I struggled in a few of the scenes to make out who was in them. On a plus side, there werenít any issues with grain or noise, although thatís only a minor plus. I retract what I said, this isnít a horrible transfer, but one that could have used a little work on it since it is a rather new release.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is disappointing right off the bat. Dialogue is low, inconsistent, and sounds like a 1.0 track for the most part. Even the few action scenes that donít happen until the end of the movie sound horrible, and rarely was there a time when the surround kicked on or even my sub. Almost all of the dialogue came out of the front speaker, and even when the surround sound was used, it wasnít used properly and came out forced and sounding fairly pitifully. This is disappointing to us audio enthusiasts, but to those who just want to enjoy the film this is a passable track.



.::OVERALL::.

Despite how incredibly gorgeous Hathaway is, she canít save this film from being nothing more than a clunker in the end. The twist at the end can be seen coming, and the characters are somewhat flawed due to a lackluster script and storytelling. The special features package isnít that impressive either, and takes into account an average audio and video side of things; this is one plane to skip hopping on. Allow me to say it again, donít be a passenger on this one.