The Tourist [Blu-Ray] Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

The Tourist [Blu-Ray] Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
During the dreaded winter season, one would think that watching two of the most gorgeous A-list stars (according to People magazine, at least) frolicking in the aristocratically gorgeous setting of Venice, Italy would be the "lush and sexy escape" Sandie Newton from CBS Dallas claims the film to be on the back cover. Unfortunately, director Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck didn't consider that mainstream audiences actually crave something more than watching two pretty celebrities pretend they don't hate each other in this 2010 dud remake of the far more watchable Anthony Zimmer. Hoping to entice viewers with a Romancing the Stone feel, but coming across with the same depth and progression as Jewel of the Nile, The Tourist manages to bore viewers with its bloated, hackneyed plot as it follows a bumbling, chain-smoking math teacher, Frank (Depp), who gets seduced by the mysterious, supposedly breathtaking Elise (Jolie). Their chance encounter proves to be anything but as Frank gets pulled into a dangerous game of cat and mouse involving the Italian police, Interpol and stereotypical Russian assassins when he's confused with Elise's fugitive, and conveniently absent, lover, Alexander. While watching Depp practicing for his return as Captain Jack Sparrow in poorly shot, laughable gun chase sequences and seeing Jolie showing as much emotion as her Madame Tussaud wax figure may seem thrilling to some, the so-called action thriller regrettably fails to provide the suspense-filled adventure ride the trailers promised bored filmgoers worldwide. Apart from watching Steven Berkoff taking a break from appearing in obscure Danish films to threaten mutilation to Jolie's blowjob lips in a very gratuitous sequence, the film's strengths lay in its Blu-Ray features, as DOP John Seale's gorgeous cinematography is blown up beautifully in a remarkable HD transfer. Also, director Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck offers a surprisingly entertaining commentary track that almost makes up for the atrocity of the film and its awkward gag reel feature, which won't induce one laugh from viewers. The Tourist may be one 2010's worst offerings, but if you're willing to give Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck one more chance, watch his far more critically acclaimed film, The Lives of Others. You'll thank me later. (Sony)