Tuesday, 18 February 2014

"The Adjustment Bureau". A Review Of The 2011 Film on BLU RAY.

Here is a link to Amazon UK to buy this copy at the best price:

"…Your Future Is About Your Choices…Not Theirs…"

"The Adjustment Bureau" is that rare beast– a future-bending Sci-Fi romance blockbuster with heart and warmth and quite possibly two of the most likeable lead actors in the world - both exuding a genuine and believable chemistry…

After the loss of his entire family and an 8-year career climb as the youngest ever Congressman - US Senate hopeful David Norris is poised for the throne of New York State when a barroom moon years earlier conveniently makes the front page of The Post. Preparing his defeat speech by himself in the men’s toilet of a plush hotel – David meets a woman’s who’s crashed a wedding on a dare and is hiding out in the cubicles from Security. Earthy, natural and everything his crafted campaign strategy isn’t – the flighty and talented British ballet dancer Elise is a breath of fresh air. He is stunned and smitten after only minutes of electrifying conversation and they quickly launch into a mutually uncontrollable snog…

But mystery men who stalk the top of Manhattan buildings wearing 1940’s style Trilby hats and immaculate overcoats - have other ideas. They carry with them books that show every-changing grids and expanding street maps like they’re controlling people’s lives. They are convinced their all-powerful ‘chairman’ has decreed that these two people’s pathways must not converge no matter what the personal cost. So David and Elise need to be subtly adjusted.

Adapted from another ingenious Philip K Dick story (other adaptations include "Blade Runner", "A Scanner Darkly", "Minority Report" and "Total Recall") – the look of the film is cleverly not futuristic. Director George Nolfi uses glossy uptown locations, clean-lined buildings and real world sets so that it doesn’t feel like the mind-bending world of "Inception". And the ‘God’ angle doesn’t get in the way of the story or the romance but only adds to it. Damon’s struggle with his heart versus politics is brilliantly handled. His suddenly honest speech to the party faithful about "Phrases that pulled traction with focus groups…" and why his ties and shoes have the right colour and correct mount of scuffing to secure the workingman’s vote - is properly brilliant writing. Then a dozing operative (a great part for David Mackie) forgets to spill coffee on Norris’ shirt at exactly 7:05 a.m. one morning before he boards a bus to work – and thus begins the dance of David and Elise towards each other as they meet yet again and click like before.

As you can imagine with subject matter as ropey as this – it could all have gone horribly wrong in the hands of some ‘name’ stars that might look good but share no real vibe. But the naturalness of both lead actors goes a long way to making the audience care. There are many moments between them as characters that are genuinely touching – giggling over coffee and mobile phones – racing each other down a night street in the wet. Then David stumbles on a mind recalibration in progress in his offices and runs like any scared man would. But he’s cornered in a car park by these angels of sorts and is told that not only is his relationship with Elise verboten but if he tells anyone of their existence – he’ll be memory-lobotomised (but in a nice way). But love has taken hold of his heart and hers - and they make a run for a future together despite the overwhelming odds.

Will freedom of choice and protecting your soul mate win the day? Well after a few trips to Yankee Stadium and the Statue of Liberty via doors that act as portals and a little help from an angel who feels his assignment is just plain wrong – they might just stand a chance - despite the efforts of a fearsome Terrance Stamp and a bumbling John Slattery (both superbly cast in their parts).

Original issues are a Triple Play package coming with a Blu Ray, DVD and Digital Copy. The BLU RAY 1080p picture is defaulted to 1.85:1 so fills the screen and is visually beautiful throughout. This is a big movie and has those huge production values screaming off every frame. The audio is English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Audio Description Track 2.0, Latin American Spanish and Canadian French DTS. The subtitles are English SDH, Latin American Spanish and Canadian French.

The extras are pleasingly comprehensive too:
1. The Labyrinth Of Doors: Interactive Map Of New York
2. Leaping Through New York
3. Destined To Be
4. Becoming Elise
5. Deleted and Extended Scenes
6. Feature Commentary

"The Adjustment Bureau" is a lovely upbeat film with wit, charm and cleverness in its storyline that will keep you coming back for more. Chuck away those false clip-on ties people and tip an old-fashioned hat at Director George Nolfi - because this is one cinematic door you should definitely open…

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