Knight and Day

 

Knight and Day

Written by Patrick O’Neill

Directed by James Mangold

2010


Cast:

Tom Cruise

Cameron Diaz

Peter Sarsgaard

Paul Dano

Jordi Molla

Viola Davis


Studio:

Theatrical: Regency Pictures, 20th Century Fox

Video: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment


Video:

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC

Disc Size: 30.88 GB

Feature Size: 23.19 GB

Bit Rate: 21.52 Mbps

Runtime: 109 minutes

Chapters: 28

Region: A


Audio:

English DTS-HD MA 5.1

Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

French Dolby Digital 5.1


Subtitles:

English, Spanish & French


Extras:

• Wilder Knights and Crazier Days (12 min.) 

• Boston Days and Spanish Knights (8 min.)

• Knight and "Someday" (9 min.)

• Viral Video: Soccer (1 min.)

• Viral Video: Kick (1 min.) 

• Knight and Day: Story (3 min.)

• Knight and Day: Scope (3 min.)

• Theatrical Trailer


Presentation:

Amaray Blu-ray case:

BRD x 1; DVD x 1; DCD x 1

Release Date: November 30, 2010



Introduction

Knight and Day is a little less than the sum of its parts, but an enjoyable ride nonetheless.  Thanks to its stars, Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, it is relentlessly charming.  Thanks to its CG it is relentlessly action packed with blue-screens against a travelogue of lovely locations, including Seville, Austria and Jamaica.  Zillions of bullets whiz by in all directions, as do planes, trains and automobiles.  And lots of running.  There’s hardly room left over for a development of the romance that given instant birth the moment they bump into each other at an airport.


     
 


All the same, and unless you’re having a very bad day, there are smiles to be had and thrills to be found, even if there is never any believable suspense nor the slightest inference of credibility to the action.  We long for more of the Grant/Hepburn banter that made Charade so infectious.  Some of that is here, but it is quickly submerged by unending mayhem and chases, though they turn out to be something like action versions of that very banter.


     


The Movie: 7

There are any number of ways to describe the plot, since it seems to make itself up as it goes along, but the gist of it goes something like this: Diaz find herself on a plane bound from Wichita to Boston.  This much was her intention.  She observes, with only the slightest cynicism, that the plane, for which she had enormous difficulty obtaining a ticket, has only a handful of men, all sitting apart from each other, and Cruise, who previously had given her reason to consider that it was just as well she not take this flight.  Cruise engages her in light conversation.  She goes to the restroom to consider her options for a liaison with Cruise only to learn when she returns to her seat that he has killed all the passengers and crew.  After he crash lands the plane he warns her that there will be others who will try to put her out of the way, presumably after first trying to learn what she knows about his whereabouts.


     


Cruise is forever courteous despite Diaz’ constantly placing the tow of them in harm’s way.  We think he means to be reassuring, but we aren’t quite sure – that is, not until we meet Sarsgaard, who tries even harder to be reassuring, and then we see what color their hats are in an augenblick.  Diaz runs, gets picked up by FBI agents, finds herself in harm’s way and is rescued by Cruise. Repeat. Repeat with new bad guys – “Worse guys” as Cruise corrects Diaz as they take fire and cover simultaneously.  We soon learn Cruise has something the bad guys and worse guys want.  Much of the plot concerns itself with this something much as “What’s Up Tiger Lily?” worries itself about a fabulous egg salad recipe.  No one, least of all, the stars, takes any of this seriously, which is the movie’s charm – and most of the time, it works, stopping short of endearing.


     


Image : 8/9

The filmmakers opted for a color palette on the vivid side, and Fox delivers without taxing our senses or our sense of what makes sense.  On the contrary, the saturated color reinforces the impression that Knight and Day is a fairy tale.  Don’t be confused by any suggestion of reality.  All the same, detail and texture is often storybook perfect when it is allowed to peek through a medium fine grain.  Transfer issues or dirt and the like are not in evidence.


     

 

Audio : 8/6

You know you’re in high definition audioland when you look up at your ceiling expectantly when someone in the movie runs across the roof of your railroad car.  Well done!  Also well done are all the crunches of metal and squeals of tires amid bullets flying and ricocheting all over the place in various locations, each one getting special attention for its aural signature.  Dialogue, most important in a cleverly written script such as this, is generally crisp, clear and properly placed and sized.


     


Extras: 2

Quantity is trumped by quantity in Fox’s selection of light (Tom & Katie visit London to see Black Eyed Peas perform "Someday" the song that ends up over the movie’s end credits), pointless (Knight and Day: Story & Scope), and/or EPK ("Wilder Knights and Crazier Days") selections.  "Boston Days and Spanish Knights", also EPK, sprinkles behind the scenes interviews with Cruise and Diaz with further peeks at the romantic locations used in the film.  And there are DVD and Digital Copies of the film as well on separate discs to rattle around in the box.  No commentary, though I’m not sure what would have been gained by one.  I think you’d be a good deal better off if you skipped these extra features altogether: they add insult to injury as they parade across our view.


     


Recommendation: 6

Any survey of user and critical reviews reveal divided opinion about Knight and Day.  Those opposed seemed to have expected a different film.  I rather enjoyed it despite wishing for more repartee and romance and less blue-screen.  High-def image and audio are both representative of the medium.  The Extra Features, however, would have been better if they stayed at home.

 

Leonard Norwitz

© LensViews

December 6, 2010


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