I finally managed to get the DVD of The Adjustment Bureau reviewed, this Sci-fi movie has a plot that is inspired by Philip K. Dicks short story ‘The Adjustment Team’. The movie was directed by George Nolfi whose only other movie that is notable is The Bourne Ultimatum. The Adjustment Bureau stars veteran actor Matt Damon and relative newcomer Emily Blunt.
As for the story…
On the brink of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate, ambitious politician David Norris (Damon) meets beautiful contemporary ballet dancer Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt)–a woman like none he’s ever known. But just as he realizes he’s falling for her, mysterious men conspire to keep the two apart. David learns he is up against the agents of Fate itself–the men of The Adjustment Bureau–who will do everything in their considerable power to prevent David and Elise from being together. In the face of overwhelming odds, he must either let her go and accept a predetermined path…or risk everything to defy Fate and be with her.
I have decided to only publish the synopsis as it would make viewing the movie a moot point if I went through it point by point. Suffice it to say the synopsis seems a fair description of the movie’s plot. My major gripe with this movie is Emily blunt. Her acting is very good and the character of Elise is good fun, though I do wonder why she is either wearing a skirt or a dress throughout the movie. It’s as though the director decided to cast a woman from the sixties as the lead. The clothing is suggestive of her character being filler material. Luckily her character shines even without the sexist clothing.
The movie; the sci-fi elements are light, there are few gadgets or tricks the characters use. In many ways that makes the movie feel more realistic as the main characters fight their way through God’s plan. The movie doesn’t really have any antagonists, the so-called Adjustment Bureau isn’t evil and sometimes the feel good attitude does drag this movie down a little. Now as for Emily Blunt’s characters love for ballet… it introduces rather effectively a subject normally not seen in movies and adds to the otherwise mixed cinematography.
The movie is definitely open to all audiences as it tries to provoke thoughts on subjects like fate and predetermination. Because it is a scifi-drama there are few people who will dislike it even though the story could have been more on a knives edge.
Special mention should go to both Matt Damon and Emily Blunt’s characters, they are a great deal of fun though a little underused. With that I mean there is not enough drama to really let them shake. The inclusion of other veteran actors such as Terence Stamp and John Slattery added a great deal to this movie and that might give an idea of its limited scope.
Score; 7.5 / 10. It’s decent and provokes but doesn’t try quite hard enough.
The video; I reviewed this movie on DVD and not on Blu-ray, and it shows! The quality is rather piss-poor even for a DVD transfer. Throughout the movie there is dark bar beneath and above the screen which means it was copied from a tape. This is no digital transfer! Even for a DVD the video material is rather grainy. The use of lighting and colorization in this movie is very good, appropriately bleak though at times a little distracting.
Score; 6 / 10.
The Audio; it’s decent, it works. I have no complaints about the quality though the soundtrack is uninspired and limited.
Score; 8 / 10.
The Extra’s; There are about a half-dozen deleted scenes included with the disk. Personally I didn’t think they added much to the film and thus were wisely left out.
There are also three brief documentaries and although they give a bit of background information they are also filled with fragments from the movie itself that could have been cut out. These extra’s make up the bulk of the material and are a little disappointing.
Finally there is also an audio commentary which I must say was a bit of a mess, sometimes the director seemed just bored with his own movie and merely gave brief description as why Emily Blunt was wearing a skirt (which she seems to do throughout the movie) and why another man was wearing a hat. This commentary is a definite pass.
Score; 6 / 10. Passable if boring.
Overall Score; 7 / 10. This is a DVD that has come out in a time when DVD is slowly dying, its low resolution is just embarrassing but the movie is more than passable. That said, it never really seems to live up to its promise. The movie is kind of like the way the poster describes it. Matt Damon does all the running and Emily blunt is taken along for a ride.
Here is a picture of the DVD set itself. Rather sparse isn’t it?
As per everyone’s request, more hot Emily Blunt pictures….