Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Knight and Day Blu-ray Review

Knight and Day represents a return to form for Tom Cruise who had a choice of movies to pick from (The Tourist was one of them) before he decided to sign on to this movie.  I believe it was a good decision since Knight and Day lets Tom Cruise be Tom Cruise.  There’s a lot of action and humor in the movie and it really provides a showcase to remind people why Tom Cruise became a movie star in the first place.

Film (4 out of 5 stars)

The movie is basically an updated retelling of Charade but with a lot more action.  A chance encounter in an airport between Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) and June Havens (Cameron Diaz) starts an adventure that sends them all over the world.  What June doesn’t realize is that the cute guy that she’s thinking about hitting on is actually a spy on the run from his own agency and some assorted bad guys.

Roy has taken something that could revolutionize the world to protect it and it’s inventor from outside interests that want to capitalize on it.  Of course, there’s also the possibility that Roy may have gone rogue so he could sell it himself.  He is being chased by his old partner FBI Special Agent Fitzgerald (Peter Saarsgard) whom Roy claims wanted to kill the inventor and take the item for himself.

So when Roy and June end up taking the same plane to Boston that’s filled with assassins that are there to kill Roy, it’s just a matter of time before June is also caught up in the action.  It doesn’t help that June keeps screwing things up so much that the bad guys keep finding them.  I really wondered why Roy kept her along for the ride since she was much more trouble than she was worth, but I guess that version wouldn’t have been as date-friendly a movie as this one.

Cruise’s Roy is basically an American James Bond.  He can do and survive anything and although he shares Bond’s indestructibility, he doesn’t have Bond’s world-weariness or cold demeanor.  Bond has cut himself off emotionally to provide a distance to allow him to do his job while Roy is the complete opposite.  Roy is friendly and outgoing and doesn’t bother hiding his emotions.  They both have a weakness for women which can compromise their missions but Roy seems to be helping June because he cares about her and not just because he wants to sleep with her.

Knight and Day has some terrific action scenes and a lot of cool stunts that Tom Cruise did himself.  The chase scenes were cool and exciting and I really liked how they were planned out.  There’s a ton of plot-holes that are big enough to drive a truck through and the ending is very predictable, but between the stunts and the star wattage of Cruise and Cameron, I didn’t really mind.  This is a fun adventure movie and I love these kind of movies.  Most of the time, they are predictable, just like the Bond movies, but at the same time they can also be original in how they stage the action scenes or the stunts. The blend of humor and action is irresistible and I was glad to see Cruise return to they type of role that he is so good at.

Video (5 out of 5 stars)

This gorgeous 1080p (2.40:1) transfer is simply amazing.  The colors are vivid, the black levels are solid, and the detail shown is reference quality.  This transfer allows all of the amazing locations  from Jamaica and Austria to Boston and Spain to look as inviting as possible.

Audio (5 out of 5 stars)

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is also very, very good.  With a strong ambient field that is spread out across all of the channels, this is a great mix.  The dialogue is clear and crisp and the sound effects are equally impressive and add a lot of punch.  This is one of those mixes that you might have to turn down during action sequences so you don’t get yelled at by the wife.

Special Features (3 out of 5 stars)

The good news is that all of these are in high definition but the bad news is that there isn’t any substantive extras on the disc and there are no commentaries at all.  For someone as publicity aware as Cruise, it seems odd to not have a better set of extras.  I did enjoy seeing the obligatory “Tom Cruise did all of his own stunts “clips where he really did the stunts which was pretty impressive.  It’s too bad that everyone will think it’s CGI or a stuntman and not him.
  • Wilder Knights and Crazier Days – A look back at the making of the film with interviews with the cast and crew.  At a little over twelve minutes, this doesn’t go into any depth but it is interesting and has some good info.

  • Boston Days and Spanish Knights -  A look at the various film locations from Jamaica and Austria to Boston and Spain.

  • Knight and “Someday” – My least favorite extra on the disc focuses on Tom Cruise’s request for the The Black Eyed Peas to write a song for the movie and we see him and Katie Holmes visit the band backstage during their 2010 world tour where he joins them onstage and also at the secret after-party where they debut the new song.

  • Viral Video: Soccer -  A short clip of Cruise and Diaz kicking what looks like a CGI soccer ball back and forth.   Even if it is CGI, they had the moves down well.  If it was real, then color me impressed.

  • Viral Video: Kick – This clip has Cruise showing Diaz how to kick someone in the chest with him standing in for the stuntman.  It’s highly predictable but nevertheless very funny how it progresses.

  • Knight and Day: Story - More interview clips concerning the movie and the story.  I really hate it when they take one interview and chop it up into little bits just to make it look like you are getting more extras than you really are.

  • Knight and Day: Scope - Don’t bother watching this if you’ve watched the other extras before it since this is all recycled clips that were shown in earlier extras.

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • BD-Live Exclusive – Not Your Regular Spy - Short promo for the movie.

Final Thoughts (4 out of 5 stars)

This is a very light and enjoyable movie and 20th Century Fox did a great job on this Blu-ray although I wish the extras were done better.  It’s a shame that this movie didn’t do as well as it should have, but it had tough competition when it came out and hopefully it will find it’s audience on Blu-ray and DVD.

Order your copy today!


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