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Rodrigo García
Anne Hathaway, Patrick Wilson, Andre Braugher
Writing Credits:
Ronnie Christensen

While helping a handful of plane crash survivors cope with their grief, young psychologist Claire Summers begins to uncover conflicting accounts of the accident.

Box Office:
$25 million.
Domestic Box Office:

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
French Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 93 min.
Price: $19.98
Release Date: 5/12/2009

• Audio Commentary with Director Rodrigo Lopez and Actor Patrick Wilson
• Three Deleted Scenes
• “Analysis of the Plane Crash” Featurette
• “The Making and Manifest of Passengers” Featurette
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Passengers [Blu-Ray] (2008)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 24, 2019)

With 2009’s Passengers, we get a supernatural thriller. After a plane crash, therapist Claire Summers (Anne Hathaway) counsels the survivors.

As expected, these folks seem devastated by the events – all except for Eric Clark (Patrick Wilson), who displays an oddly perky demeanor. Eric decides to skip the group sessions with the four other survivors, but he agrees to one-on-one chats with Claire.

As Claire gets to know Eric, he appears more intent on bagging her than receiving therapy from her. Claire sees Eric on somewhat compromised terms and gets to know him. The movie follows their relationship and further complications related to the crash.

Since Waiting for Godot is already taken, the filmmakers should’ve called this one Waiting for the Twist. The publicity for Passengers leads us to see it as a supernatural tale.

Heck, the disc’s cover even tells us that “the line between this world and the next is about to be crossed”. With taglines like that, we bring a certain form of expectations to the table.

Expectations that the filmmakers generally try to subvert, though not entirely. Taken on the surface, much of Passengers remains earth-bound.

It concentrates on the relationship between Claire and Eric, so we mostly find a dramatic romance. The crash investigation becomes a secondary plot, one that could be seen to add pathos to the flick – if it stayed on a particular path.

Which it doesn’t, of course, and the filmmakers telegraph their intentions to a degree. While the characters and events mostly follow the thread I mentioned, the movie uses techniques that indicate we’ll go down a more supernatural path. In particular, the photographic style leads us in that direction, as simple character dramas don’t go with such stark visuals.

This means that we spend the entire film “Waiting for the Twist”, and that harms its effect. Granted, over the decade since The Sixth Sense, viewers have come to regard films of this sort with an air of suspicion.

They know that some curveball will hit us eventually, so we don’t bear its impact as much as we would if we went in without such expectations. Oh, some films still manage to catch us unaware, but it’s become more difficult.

This means that we spend Passengers in a state of heightened alert as we wait for the “shocker”. This also means we’re more likely to figure out the twist before it arrives. Rather than just go with the flow, the anticipation of dramatic shifts ensures that we’ll try hard to sort them out before they hit us.

Suffice it to say that the big twist probably won’t come as a big surprise. Oh, I can’t claim that I knew what would happen without a doubt, as I thought they were a couple of possible curves, but the one we got didn’t exactly knock me for a loop.

So if you hope for something dynamic and surprising, Passengers probably won’t do much for you. That doesn’t mean it fails as a film, however. Indeed, the fact it usually doesn’t follow the standard genre conventions allows it to remain interesting even without the punch of The Big Twist.

Which means it’s best to watch it for what it is and not to worry about any shockers. It goes best when it fits into Ghost mode and can be viewed as a somewhat supernatural romantic drama. In that vein, it proves satisfying and even packs a decent emotional punch.

So feh on genre expectations! As a supernatural thriller, Passengers flops, for it has its otherworldly side but lacks much I’d call “thrills”. However, it presents an interesting human drama and keeps us involved when we focus on that side of things.

The Disc Grades: Picture C+/ Audio B/ Bonus B

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

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