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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Mennan Yapo
Cast:
Sandra Bullock, Julian McMahon, Shyann McClure, Courtney Taylor Burness, Nia Long, Irene Ziegler, Kate Nelligan, Marc Macaulay
Writing Credits:
Bill Kelly

Tagline:
Reality is only a nightmare away.

Synopsis:
Linda Hanson (Sandra Bullock) has a beautiful house, a loving husband and two adorable daughters. Her life is perfect, until the day she gets the devastating news that her husband Jim (Julian McMahon) has died in a car accident. When she wakes up the next morning to find him alive and well, she assumes it as all a dream. Or was it? Suddenly, her perfect life is turned upside down as she begins a desperate scramble to save her family and uncover the truth. Racing against time and fate, Linda will stop at nothing to discover the true meanings of reality and destiny.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$17.558 million on 2831 screens.
Domestic Gross
$47.852 million.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 2.40:1/16X9
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English

Runtime: 96 min.
Price: $28.95
Release Date: 7/17/2007

Supplements:
• Audio Commentary with Director Mennan Yapo and Actor Sandra Bullock
• Deleted Scenes with Optional Director’s Commentary
• Gag Reel
• “Glimpses of the Future: Making Premonition” Featurette
• “Bringing Order to Chaos” Featurette
• “Real Premonitions” Documentary
• Previews


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RELATED REVIEWS


Premonition (2007)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 29, 2007)

Sandra Bullock only seems to attract a large audience when she makes light comedies, but that doesn’t mean she won’t attempt other genres. Not a lot of people may show up for these flicks, but at least Sandy tries! For her latest attempt, we find 2007’s $47 million grossing Premonition.

Linda Hanson (Bullock) enjoys a pretty typical suburban life with husband Jim (Julian McMahon) and kids Megan (Shyann McClure) and Bridgette (Courtney Taylor Burness). However, all this goes down the toilet when Jim dies in a car crash.

Or does he? Bizarrely, when Linda wakes up the next morning, she finds a very live Jim in the house with her. Initially she assumes she simply dreamed his demise, but she remains unsettled, and a variety of odd occurrences keep her off-guard.

None of these prepare her for her next jolt, though. When she arises the next day, she finds herself smack dab in the middle of Jim’s wake. Her claims that Jim remains alive come across as nothing more than the utterances of a widow in denial, but plenty of additional spookiness continues to occur. One day Jim’s dead and the next he’s alive. The movie follows Linda’s path as she tries to make sense of this – and potentially avert Jim’s demise.

Audiences may not seem to much care for Serious Sandy, but that doesn’t mean Bullock can’t pull off non-comedic roles. She brings a nice simplicity to Linda and never overplays the part. This kind of character could lend itself to histrionics, but Bullock resists those easy theatrics. She gets a couple of scenes that require her to amp up the showiness, but these fit the story, and Bullock’s choice to underplay the part the rest of the time makes the scenes work even better. Bullock provides a very good performance, especially as she goes through all of Linda’s psychological permutations. Indeed, I’d say that Bullock holds this chronologically messy tale together.

One potential flaw may not be the fault of the filmmakers. As I watched Premonition, I felt a little impatient, as I wanted the flick to move along its path a bit faster. However, I think this issue resulted from my exposure to the movie’s trailer. Since the promo told us so much about where things would go, the pacing suffers; we want to tale to get there more quickly than it does.

But if I separate my foreknowledge of the plot from its execution, the story works fine. Premonition manages to keep us intrigued and off-guard as it explores all the weirdness. Again, Bullock grounds the tale in a reality that other actors might not achieve. We can buy into the insanity because she convinces a good sense of believability.

I also like the fact that we can’t see all of the developments far in advance. Indeed, I thought I’d be able to guess the movie’s ending, but I was wrong. The film goes down interesting paths but keeps them logical – or at least as logical as possible in such a twisty narrative.

At barely 90 minutes, Premonition doesn’t overstay its welcome. It concentrates on its story to a good degree and avoids too many extraneous subplots. Those factors allow it to become a reasonably satisfying supernatural thriller.


The DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus B-

Premonition appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Although the transfer looked fine, it lacked the pizzazz I’d expect from a brand-new movie.

A few mild issues came from sharpness. While the film usually displayed good delineation, it could seem just a little soft on more than a few occasions. These were mild instances, but they meant the flick was just a little “off” at times. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, but I saw some light edge enhancement. In terms of source issues, I thought the film was grainier than usual, but other defects failed to occur.

The movie’s palette usually went for a light golden tone. The flick occasionally altered this setting, but it kept things pretty subdued most of the time. Within those parameters, the DVD presented the colors well. Blacks came across as deep and firm, and low-light shots were pretty solid. They seemed a little dense at times, but most of the film appeared clear and smooth. I wasn’t terribly impressed by the transfer, but it was more than acceptable.

I felt the same way about the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Premonition. Much of the film kept things atmospheric and didn’t push the soundscape’s boundaries. This seemed appropriate for the story, though, as the general ambience supported the flick’s spooky tone. A few sequences opened up things more actively and helped give us a jolt.

Across the board, audio quality satisfied. Speech was natural and crisp, and I noticed no edginess or other problems. Music appeared dynamic and full, while effects showed nice clarity. They were distinctive and accurate throughout the movie. There wasn’t enough zing to the soundtrack to earn a high grade, but I thought the mix deserved a “B”.

A decent mix of extras pops up here. We open with an audio commentary from director Mennan Yapo and actor Sandra Bullock. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific piece. They chat about cast, characters and performances, sets and locations, visual design and storytelling, and a few other production tidbits.

Don’t expect a lot of meat from this fairly bland commentary. A lot of the time we simply hear descriptions of the on-screen action, and a great deal of praise appears; Bullock and Yapo constantly tell us how much they love different aspects of the film. Though they present a moderate amount of useful information here, the tedious nature of the chat makes this a lackluster commentary.

Five Deleted Scenes fill a total of six minutes, 15 seconds. These include “Thursday: Linda’s Mother Arrives” (1:05), “Saturday: Linda Prepares for the Funeral” (0:51), “Tuesday: Linda and Jim Hear News from the Doctor” (1:06), “Friday: Linda Smokes” (1:05), and “Alternate Ending” (2:08). The first four are nothing more than little filler moments that bring nothing to the narrative. As for the “Ending”, it’s an interesting twist but not one that I think succeeds.

We can watch these with or without commentary from Yapo. He provides a few basics about each clip as well as the reasons they were cut. His remarks are worth a listen.

A Gag Reel lasts three minutes, 21 seconds. We get more joking and fewer goofs than usual. Some of these are actually amusing, so this is a better than average blooper reel.

Three featurettes follow. Glimpses of the Future: Making Premonition goes for 15 minutes, 51 seconds, as it mixes movie clips, shots from the set, and interviews. We hear from Yapo, Bullock, writer Bill Kelly, producer Ashok Amritraj, production designer Dennis Washington, and actors Julian McMahon, Nia Long, and Kate Nelligan. The show looks at the story’s origins and development, cast and crew, the shooting schedule and continuity, sets and locations, performance issues and relationships during the production, and some technical choices.

“Future” rarely rises above the level of promotional piece. Some of the notes offer decent insight, and we get a few nice shots from the set. However, the show remains pretty superficial overall and doesn’t often become anything terribly intriguing.

Bringing Order to Chaos lasts 11 minutes, 59 seconds and presents remarks from Yapo. He leads us through an abbreviated version of the tale cut in chronological order. It’s an interesting way to view the story, though it’d make no sense if someone re-edited the flick to play that way.

Finally, Real Premonitions runs 44 minutes, 17 seconds. It offers comments from folks who’ve allegedly had “visions”. We find remarks from David Booth, Sunna Roulston, David Mandell, Barbara Garwell, Chris Robinson, and Joseph McMoneagle. We also get notes from former FAA Public Affairs Director Jack Barker, University of Northampton senior lecturers in psychology Dr. Simon Sherwood and Dr. Richard Broughton, licensed mental health counselor Dr. Mary Stowell, Institute of Noetic Sciences senior scientist Dr. Dean Radin, former president of International Association for Study of Dreams Rita Dwyer, psychologist Dr. Keith Hearne, and Laboratory for Fundamental Research director Dr. Edwin May.

The show looks at the concept of premonitions as well as claimed examples of these occurrences and other facets of the supernatural phenomena. These include scientific attempts to examine the validity of these issues.

I came into the program as a skeptic and I remain one, but I do think it offers some intriguing concepts. It treats the subject matter in a nicely low-key manner that keeps things from becoming too goofy. I don’t know if it’ll convince anyone that premonitions are real, but it’s a good, fairly objective take on matters.

The DVD opens with some ads. We get clips for Across the Universe, The Messengers, and Ghost Rider. These also appear in the Previews domain along with promos for The Pursuit of Happyness, Catch and Release, The Holiday, Norman Lear TV, The Net, 28 Days, Are We Done Yet?, and Daddy Day Camp. No trailer for Premonition appears here.

Sandra Bullock acts as the glue that holds the potentially incoherent Premonition together. She offers a very strong performance and helps make this supernatural thriller more believable and engaging. The DVD offers good picture and audio along with a moderately useful collection of extras. Nothing here stands out as exceptional, but both the film and the DVD are positive enough to merit my recommendation.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.875 Stars Number of Votes: 16
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main