Déjà Vu appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Only a smattering of minor concerns cropped up during this usually solid transfer.
A little iffiness occasionally affected sharpness. Some light edge enhancement occurred, and this meant wider shots could be slightly soft. Otherwise, the movie mostly exhibited very positive clarity and delineation. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering materialized, and I witnessed no source flaws in this clean presentation.
As for colors, the film stayed with a relatively subdued palette. It tended toward a rather blue/green sense much of the time, though these overtones never became overwhelming. They simply meant that the flick offered a subdued collection of hues that wasn’t unnatural but that didn’t seem excessively stylized. Blacks appeared deep and firm, while low-light shots presented nice clarity and definition. Overall, I found a lot to like about the visuals.
I felt the same way about the strong Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Déjà Vu. The film’s MO meant that much of it stayed fairly quiet and concentrated on dialogue, but it came with bursts of more active moments. These came from explosions, car chases, and other action sequences. For those moments, the audio came to life quite well and created a full, involving setting.
The rest of the time, the flick stayed with general ambience. It delivered those pieces in a satisfying way and also boasted good presence from the music. The score showed nice stereo imaging in the front and used the rears to bolster the music.
Audio quality always worked well. Music sounded rich and lively, with crisp highs and warm lows. Bass response remained good in terms of the effects, which showed robust tones along with good clarity and definition. Speech seemed concise and distinctive, though a few shouted lines demonstrated minor edginess. None of these created substantial concerns, as the soundtrack remained very positive.
For the extras, we find a collection of featurettes under the banned of Surveillance Window. We can use this as a component that runs during the film, in which case the flick will branch to these sequences at the appropriate moments. We can also view them on their own via an “Index”. I chose the latter, since I prefer not to interrupt the movie as it runs.
Taken as a whole through the “Play All” option, these 10 sequences fill a total of 36 minutes, 51 seconds. The clips display shots from the set along with interview snippets. We hear from director Tony Scott, ferry coordinator Stan Parks, special effects coordinator Joe Pancake, executive producers Barry Waldman, Chad Oman and Mike Stenson, stunt coordinator Chuck Picerni, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, ATF tech advisor Jerry Rudden, costume designer Ellen Mirojnick, special effects makeup artist Jake Garber, makeup department head Edouard Henriques, production designer Chris Seagers, 24 Frame supervising producer Monte Swann, director of photography Paul Cameron, Bohannon Huston Inc.’s Steve Snyder, Time Track inventor Dayton Taylor, Ultimate Arm operator Dean Bailey, writer Bill Marsilii, and actors Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Val Kilmer and Jim Caviezel.
We learn about filming the opening ferry explosion, Washington’s character and performance, makeup and costumes, the Time Lab and technological issues, the car chase, shooting in New Orleans, the Washington/Bruckheimer/Scott collaboration, physical sequences, and the concluding ferry scene. “Surveillance” doesn’t substitute for a more coherent “making of” program, but it manages to give us a pretty interesting overview of various production issues. We find a lot of good behind the scenes footage along with enough insight to offer perspective. It’s a fun collection of clips.
In addition, we find five Deleted Scenes and three Extended Scenes. The former run a total of eight minutes, 15 seconds, while the latter add up to five minutes, 36 seconds. The “Deleted Scenes” include “Church Choir” (1:03), “Turtle Story” (2:36), “Carlin Studies Claire” (2:44), “Beth and Abbey See Claire” (0:54), and “Beth and Abbey Live” (0:56). The “Extended Scenes” feature “Extended Ferry Aftermath” (1:24), “Claire Held Captive” (2:22) and “Carlin Shares With Claire” (1:50).
In regard to the “Deleted Scenes”, “Turtle” gives us a little backstory that helps illustrate Carlin’s relationship with his partner and might have made a good addition to the final flick. The two “Beth” sequences show that Claire had friends on the ferry, which seems like an unnecessary contrivance. “Choir” is just a not very useful snippet, and “Claire” feels redundant. As for the extensions, they don’t manage to add anything significant.
We can watch all nine segments with or without commentary from director Tony Scott. He gives us some good background for the cut sequences and also lets us know why he dropped them from the final film. Scott offers interesting notes that give us good info about the clips.
The DVD opens with a few ads. We get promos for Kyle XY and The Queen. These also appear in the Sneak Peeks domain. No trailer for Déjà Vu shows up here.
Déjà Vu gives us what we expect from a Jerry Bruckheimer flick: good production values, an intriguing concept, some action, and a pretty nonsensical story. In this case, the first three overrule the last one to make Vu silly but fun. The DVD presents very good picture and audio as well a small roster of fairly useful extras. Vu isn’t a classic, but I think it at least merits a rental.