Review: The Adjustment Bureau Blu-ray

The Adjustment Bureau Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Universal | DIRECTOR: George Nolfi | CAST: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Terence Stamp, John Slattery, Anthony Mackie
RELEASE DATE: 6/21/2011 | PRICE: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray/DVD $39.98
BONUSES: featurettes, commentary, deleted/extended scenes, interactive map
SPECS: PG-13 | 106 min. | Science-fiction Romance | 1.85:1 aspect ratio | 5.1 DTS-HD audio | English, Spanish, French subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Filled with action and romance, plus lots of science-fiction theory thrown in, The Adjustment Bureau offers something for just about every viewer and fulfills its promise well.

The Adjustment BureauMatt Damon (The Informant) stars as David Norris, a senator hopeful who meets Emily Blunt (Wild Target), a dancer who catches his attention the night he loses the Senate race. Immediately overpowered by his attraction to Blunt, Damon sets out to woo her, until he’s stopped by smart, suited men in hats who say they’re responsible for keeping us humans on track — and Blunt’s dancer isn’t supposed to be part of Damon’s future. Damon must decide between going along with the Adjustment Bureau’s plan or rebelling in the name of love.

Based on a short story by renowned sci-fi author Philip K. Dick, the movie brings up all sorts of questions about free will and destiny for after-viewing conversation. But just as two-hour entertainment, The Adjustment Bureau is a fast-paced, intelligent and, yes, very romantic film.

It’s directed very stylishly by first-time helmer George Nolfi (who also wrote the screenplay along with Damon’s The Bourne Ultimatum and Ocean’s Twelve). Nolfi’s grim New York scenes are punctuated with moments of color, such as Damon’s blue tie, Blunt’s red lips, etc., and they stand out beautifully on the high-definition Blu-ray.

The 5.1 DTS-HD audio is equally impressive, with the score crisp and the clear through the speakers.

Universal kept the special features on the Blu-ray simple, except for one fun interactive bonus: “The Labyrinth of Doors.” With the feature, viewers can choose one of 11 doors and watch, with some help from Google’s satellite imagery, as the picture zooms into that location. Once there, viewers can watch a scene from the film or a behind-the-scenes segment or travel through the door to the next location from the movie, where they have the same choices. It’s an innovative way to bring viewers into the story, but after a few leaps, they might be ready to move on.

The movie’s door system also is talked about in the “Leaping Through New York” featurette, which goes behind the scenes of the film’s production and how the filmmakers spliced together many different shots to get the final door sequences.

Two other featurettes look at Damon (“Destined to Be”) and Blunt (“Becoming Elise”). The most interesting is the section on Blunt, as we learn that Nolfi originally wanted to cast a professional dancer for the role. After he was wowed by Blunt’s screen test, she made good on her promise to train hard enough to build a dancer’s body — then, when filming was over, took a break from the gym and gratefully said hello to pizza.

The Blu-ray also has six deleted and extended scenes. Fans of TV’s Lost will get a kick out of seeing Daniel Dae Kim in two of them, a character who was cut out of the film.

Nolfi also talks in a commentary. It’s a bit dry, but he does offer some extra behind-the-scenes tidbits that fans will enjoy.


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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.