Vantage Point (2008) [Blu-Ray]

Genre(s): Action / Drama / Thriller
Sony || PG13 - 90 minutes - $38.96 || July 1, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-06-30


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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: Pete Travis
Writer(s): Barry Levy (written by)
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Forest Whitaker, Bruce McGill, Edgar Ramirez, Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt


Theatrical Release Date: February 22, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Vantage Viewer GPS Tracker (BD Exclusive)
  • Director's Commentary
  • Outtake
  • An Inside Perspective: Cast/Crew Interviews
  • Plotting an Assassination
  • Coordinating Chaos: Stunt Featurette
  • BD-Live Features


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

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.::THE FILM::.

Considering I do not go to the theaters all that much anymore, I never had a chance to see the trailer that was played over and over so many times. I really had no idea what the film was about (as I typically do not read the back of the DVD/Blu-ray because too many times it has spoiled the movie for me) and instead put the disc directly in my PS3 and hoped I would be wowed. In this case, I was pleasantly surprised and a bit disappointed at the same time.

Vantage Point is a film that takes a handful of different characters "perspectives" and puts them in your hands to put together a story. Nearly all of the film takes place in Salamanca, Spain where a summit is being held for the President to speak about terrorism. During the summit the President is shot and for the rest of the film we see what took place (and who did it) through eight different characters. Some may only add an additional minute to the story (or a few small bit of information), others may add a completely different twist on who did it and why. While the film is a bit predictable, it has some amazing performances that push this average thriller into above-average territory.

Unfortunately, Vantage Point is pretty much over in the first 10 minutes. After that, each perspective we see adds another minute or two to the story, while the final 'perspective' ties the film up with a nice little bow. If the film had an additional five to 10 minutes of real "story" before the perspectives take place I believe we could have had a much better movie that would help viewers care a bit more for some of the characters.

The film has a fairly all-star cast attached to it. With the likes of Dennis Quaid, William Hurt, Forrest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver and Matthew Fox, I was pretty damn impressed with every ones performance. While Dennis Quaid and Forrest Whitaker have more screen time, I was not disappointed at all with anyone else. Sigourney, to me, played a pretty small role and barely has any lines, while Matthew Fox reminded me way much of his character Jack Sheppard on ďLostĒ (even that stupid smirk he always does). Granted, they are not A List stars, but I think they deserved to get their characters fleshed out a bit more.

Its tough because I really thought the film could have been better if it had another 30 or so minutes to flesh the story out just a bit more. I was shocked to see the running time was only 90 minutes (83 or so if you don't count the opening and credits). Maybe another character perspective (the young anchor at the start? Matthew Fox?) could have helped, but overall itís just a film that ends way to quickly and has very little replay value after that.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Here we get a mixed bag of features. I made note which ones were SD and HD.

Vantage Viewer GPS Tracker (Profile 1.1+ Players only) - A neat feature similar to that of Paramountís Cloverfield. It has a bit more action in Vantage Point (with multiple characters and all), but still kind of of a useless feature. Itís something you would enable after watching the film otherwise it will ruin the entire film. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

Commentary with Director Peter Travis - Considering this film is Peter Travis' debut, he doesn't have a whole lot to discuss. While I enjoyed this, I think it would have been better if Dennis Quaid or Matthew Fox had joined him. Iíve never been a big fan of a one person commentary before, and my opinion had not changed in over ten years.

Surveillance Tapes: Outtake (SD) - Ugh. This is the director pretending to be a character who was cut from the film. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

An Inside Perspective: Interviews with the Cast and Crew (HD) - This is your typical Behind the Scenes feature. While the cast and crew do give us their little insights on the film and whatnot, a bit of this was already discussed in the Commentary and other special features.

Plotting an Assassination (HD) - This goes into how Vantage Point as a story was conceived.

Coordination Chaos: Stunt Featurette (SD) - A pretty good luck at how some of the stunt scenes were filmed. Shame this was in SD.

BD-Live - The case fails to mention that Vantage Point is BD-Live capable. While other titles take me 30 seconds to a minute to access the BD-Live portal page here it took me five minutes. Along with some trailers for upcoming Blu-ray releases is the following:

Trick Geography (SD) - A small look at how the main attraction for the movie, Salamanca Spain was recreated in Mexico City. Pretty good stuff here.

Enhancing the View (SD) - Yet another small look at how the crowd scene was created.

Kudos to Sony for providing two additional features not advertised on the case. Both are small little fluff features and not something those without BD-Live will miss. Its a shame they are both in SD, but hey, their freebies! Now if only Sony could work on the speed of downloading.... A personal note here if you do connect through BD-Live Sony has included a small, 12 question survey that I urge everyone to take part in. It only took me 2 minutes and nearly all of the questions are regarding Blu-ray designed to help improve features in future titles.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Vantage Point in presented in its Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 (AVC/MPEG-4) on a 50GB disc. Talk about demo worthy! Everything about this film looks great. The explosions, car chases, and small minute details like the colors on the flags...everything looks perfect. At one point I was able to notice a small cloth thread hanging off of Forrest Whitaker's shirt. Everything from the cars, to the clothes to the location looks marvelous!

Sony had included an English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Track as well as a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in French, Spanish, Portuguese and Thai. Once again Sony has done a great job on the TrueHD track which sounds spectacular. Since the film tends to replay several scenes more than once, you will feel the impact of the explosions and gunshots over and over again and each time it proved to be very powerful. The car chase in particular is pretty heart-pounding.



.::OVERALL::.

Vantage Point would make a great rental but maybe not a purchase. Itís hard to see myself ever wanting to watch the film again because once you know the ending, itís hard to really get into the story again. The Blu-ray release includes a decent selection of special features and one of the best Blu-ray transfers I have ever seen. If you want show off your system, this would make a great title to do so with.