Passengers appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a surprisingly erratic image.
Sharpness generally fared well. Wide shots displayed a lack of great definition, partially due to some mild edge haloes. Nonetheless, the majority of the flick offered good clarity and delineation.
Jagged edges and moiré effects didn’t interfere. Source flaws remained absent as well.
The film’s palette went down a highly stylized path. The movie emphasized a blue/green tint much of the time and stayed on the chilly side of the street. The hues worked fine within those parameters.
Blacks came across as somewhat “crushed” and too dark much of the time. This impacted shadows, which could seem a bit thick. While the image remained more than watchable, it didn’t impress.
As for the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of Passengers, it proved to be fairly satisfying. For the most part, we didn’t get an especially active affair, though.
A few elements related to the plane crash opened things up a bit, and some vehicles also contributed a little pizzazz to the mix. However, the movie usually stayed with general environmental information, so don’t expect anything too exciting here.
Audio quality was solid. Music showed nice range and clarity, as the score was consistently bright and full. Effects also came across as accurate and concise, so some good low-end emerged from both effects and music.
Speech was natural and distinctive at all times. This was a good soundtrack that simply lacked anything special to make it stand out from the crowd.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? The Blu-ray’s lossless audio added a bit more range and clarity, but in general, the two sounded pretty similar.
As for visuals, the Blu-ray appeared a bit better defined, but it didn’t do a lot to top the DVD. The crushed blacks and general mediocrity kept this from turning into a notable upgrade.
The Blu-ray repeats the DVD’s extras, and we start with an audio commentary from director Rodrigo Garcia and actor Patrick Wilson. Both sit together for this running, screen specific track. They discuss what attracted them to the project, story and character subjects, cast and performances, locations and sets, and a few other production areas.
Garcia and Wilson offer a pretty chatty little track. They interact well and create an engaging look at the movie. Yeah, some of the standard happy talk comes along for the ride as well, but there’s not a ton of that. Instead, the commentary focuses on the movie and moves well.
Two featurettes follow. Analysis of the Plane Crash goes for 16 minutes, 28 seconds and includes notes from Garcia, visual effects supervisors Eric Nordby and Doug Oddy, production designer David Brisbin, digital compositor Dan Brittain, and cinematographer Igor Jadue-Lillo.
“Analysis” looks at the various techniques used to create the movie’s big plane crash sequence. It mixes interviews and behind the scenes footage in a satisfying manner as it offers a solid exploration of the subject matter. I especially like that it digs into set design and doesn’t just stick with the visual effects side of things.
The Manifest and Making of Passengers runs 23 minutes, 15 seconds and features Garcia, Wilson, Brisbin, Jadue-Lillo, screenwriter Ronnie Christensen, producers Judd Payne, Julie Lynn, Matthew Rhodes and Keri Selig, and actors Anne Hathaway, Andre Braugher, David Morse, and Clea Duvall.
“Manifest” examines story and characters, what Garcia brought to the project, cast and performances, and the film’s look. “Manifest” tends to simply be a long recap of the story and characters. Some decent introspection comes along with this, and we do learn a few minor details about the production, but mostly the program feels like a “Cliff’s Notes” version of the film.
Three Deleted Scenes fill a total of seven minutes, 41 seconds. These include “Claire Finds Out the Truth” (3:06), “Claire At Norman’s House” (1:46), and “Claire’s Dream Sequence” (2:24).
“Truth” throws out a little additional drama in Claire’s path but doesn’t really add much. The other two also provide a bit more nuance to the various relationships, but they don’t contribute anything new or terribly dynamic. While none of the clips would have hurt the film, they wouldn’t have made it better, either.
The disc opens with ads for , I’ve Loved You So Long, and Seven Pounds. Previews adds promos for Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway, Damages Season One, The Da Vinci Code, Lakeview Terrace, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and Premonition. No trailer for Passengers shows up here.
Given its advertising, one might expect a taut Sixth Sense style thriller from Passengers. One won’t find that kind of flick, so if that’s what you want, skip it. However, if you want something that provides a Ghost-like romantic drama, then you’ll be happier with it. The Blu-ray offers good audio and supplements along with erratic visuals. This turns into a surprisingly satisfying tale.
To rate this film, visit the DVD review of PASSENGERS