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David Cronenberg
Robert Pattinson, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Gadon, Kevin Durand, Abdul Ayoola, Juliette Binoche, Emily Hampshire, Bob Bainborough
Writing Credits:
David Cronenberg, Don DeLillo

Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson),a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager, heads out in his tricked-out stretch limo, while remotely wagering his companys massive fortune on a bet against the Chinese Yuan. His trip across the city quickly turns into a wild, hypnotic odyssey as he encounters explosive city riots and a parade of provocative visitors. Having started the day with everything, Packer s perfectly ordered, doubt-free world is about to implode.

Box Office:
$20.5 million.
Opening Weekend
$70.339 thousand on 3 screens.
Domestic Gross
$743.636 thousand.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 109 min.
Price: $29.98
Release Date: 1/1/2013

• Audio Commentary with Director David Cronenberg
• “Citizens of Cosmopolis” Featurette
• Interviews with Cast and Crew
• Previews and Trailer


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Cosmopolis [Blu-Ray] (2012)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 18, 2012)

Whatever one thinks of Robert Pattinson’s talents as an actor, he deserves credit for his refusal to play it safe with his career. After the mega-success of the Twilight films, Pattinson could milk more Tiger Beat fodder, but he occasionally chooses more unusual fare.

In that category comes 2012’s Cosmopolis, the latest effort from noted cinematic eccentric David Cronenberg. Eric Packer (Pattinson) earns mega-millions as an asset manager who decides he must head across Manhattan to get a haircut. He orders this against the advice of his chief of security Torval (Kevin Durand) who warns that the president’s in town and his presence will create massive traffic jams – along with threats that could lead to violence.

Packer gets what he wants, so he insists that he travel across town, all while he works along the way. We follow Packer’s day as various folks drop into his mobile office. Some come for business, others for personal matters, and the situation turns more and more complex as he goes.

A glance at various reviews of Cosmopolis reveal it to be a polarizing film with a definite “love it or hate it” vibe. I can understand both sides but find myself somewhere in the middle; while I find problems here, the movie still offers enough positives to keep it intriguing.

Cosmopolis requires the viewer’s patience but becomes more involving as it goes. This is a movie likely to put off the viewer in its early moments, as its overly “stagey” dialogue and odd sense of artificiality can make the first act tough going.

I know that a lot of this comes from Don DeLillo’s original novel. Cronenberg essentially adapted the book straight, with most of the dialogue taken right from the book, so one might feel any criticism of those issues should fall on DeLillo, not Cronenberg.

I disagree because DeLillo didn’t create the movie. He wrote the book and it’s up to the filmmakers to turn his work into something cinematic. At times, Cronenberg succeeds, but I think it’s possible – if not likely – that DeLillo’s material simply fares better on the printed page than on the screen.

The same goes for pacing/staging. To a certain degree, Cosmopolis often feels like one random monologue after another. One character enters, gives his/her spiel, and moves along to the next commentator.

Initially, this seems off-putting, and it remains that way to a degree, largely due to that artificiality I mentioned. However, like the dialogue itself, this tendency settles somewhat as the flick moves – or maybe we just get used to it – so the approach works better along the way. It’s still awkward and odd, though.

Like the rest of the movie, honestly. Or course, no one expects anything “normal” from Cronenberg, but while Cosmopolis lacks the surreal weirdness of some of the director’s work, it still avoids any form of a straight, standard film.

Whether that’s good or bad depends on the viewer, but I appreciate Cronenberg’s singular vision. Whatever one thinks of Cosmopolis, it tries to be something different, and it gradually evolves into an involving tale.

If you make it that far. There’s a lot here that seems to suffer from “Tries Too Hard Syndrome”, but it does manage to eventually come together – mostly. As the film progresses, we slowly find ourselves able to piece together the narrative and themes, as we see a man cut off from the world/emotion who takes risks to allow himself to feel something. Packer essentially regresses as he becomes more human and alive.

Or something like that. I’d be hard-pressed to call Cosmopolis a genuinely entertaining film, and its approach will put off much of the potential audience – I know that I found the flick tough to take much of the time.

That said, Cosmopolis manages to create an intriguing little world that slowly pays off as it goes. This is an unusual movie that probably benefits from additional viewings.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio C+/ Bonus B+

Cosmopolis appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a very good image.

Sharpness was fine. A few shots could be a little soft, but the majority of the flick came across as accurate and concise. I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes were absent. No source flaws materialized either.

Colors were positive. The movie opted for a chilly blue palette much of the time; a few shots went with warmer hues – especially as the tale progressed - but this was the dominant impression. Within those stylistic choices, the tones appeared good. Blacks were dark and deep, and low-light shots exhibited nice clarity. Across the board, this became a positive transfer.

I thought the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack was fine for the material. Most of the story stayed inside Packer’s limo, and this became an isolated setting; the sound designers chose to eliminate road noise, so much of the film concentrated solely on dialogue.

Actually, even scenes outside the vehicle tended to offer extremely subdued environmental material, so the track lacked a lot of breadth. Light ambience used the sides and surrounds at times, and snatches of score delivered positive stereo spread. Nonetheless, this was a dialogue-heavy track that didn’t do much with its other elements. (The movie explains the limo’s silence but given the general absence of effects in other sequences, the explication doesn’t make much sense.)

Audio quality pleased. Music was full and rich, while effects showed strong accuracy and range. Speech was distinctive, without edginess or other concerns, though the lines could seem more “looped” than normal. Overall, this soundtrack suited the film’s unusual nature; its lack of environmental material seemed unnatural, but since it was clearly a cinematic choice, I couldn’t fault it too much.

When we shift to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from director David Cronenberg. He provides a running, screen-specific look at story areas and the adaptation of the original novel, cast/characters/performances, music and production design, sets and locations, effects, themes, cinematography, and some other domains.

Cronenberg delivers a solid chat here. He gives us nice insights into the film and how he brought it to the screen. The director keeps us involved as he creates a lively, thoughtful examination of the film.

Though described as a “featurette”, Citizens of Cosmopolis runs a whopping one hour, 50 minutes, and 21 seconds. In it, we hear from Cronenberg, producers Martin Katz and Paulo Branco, production designer Arv Grewal, 1st AD Water Gasparovic, animal wrangler Jim Lovisec, lead VFX compositor James Cooper, key scenic artist Matthew Lammerich, 2nd AD Jack Boem, composer Howard Shore, costume designer Denise Cronenberg, unit stills photographer Caitlin Cronenberg, editor Ronald Sanders, key hairstylist Paul Elliott, and actors Kevin Durand, Robert Pattinson, Sarah Gadon, Jay Baruchel, Ryan Kelly, Juliette Binoche, Emily Hampshire, Samantha Morton, K’Naan, Gouchy Boy, Mathieu Amalric, and Paul Giamatti.

We learn about the film’s origins, development and adaptation, story/script/character areas, cast and performances, sets and locations, Cronenberg’s work on the set, camerawork and visual design, various effects, music and wardrobe, editing and some other topics. At times, “Citizens” feels more like a “video journal” than anything else, which is fine, as it gives us a lot of good footage from the set. Throw in useful comments as well and this becomes an engaging and satisfying look behind the scenes.

Within the 27-minute, six-second collection of Interviews with Cast and Crew, we hear from Cronenberg, Branco, Katz, Pattinson, Gadon, Durand, Baruchel, Binoche, Hampshire, Morton, K’Naan, Amalric, and Giamatti. The interviews cover the story and adaptation, cast and performances, story and characters, sets and locations, and Cronenberg’s work with the actors.

If some of this footage looks familiar, that’s because a fair amount of it also appears in “Citizens”. That makes the interview compilation flawed. While we locate some new information, so much of it becomes redundant that the collection becomes a bad use of time. If you choose to skip the interviews, I can’t fault you; there’s just not enough fresh material here.

The disc opens with ads for Starbuck and Special Forces. We also find the trailer for Cosmopolis.

Despite – or perhaps because of – its “stagey”/artificial feel, Cosmpolis provides an intriguing experience. One needs to get accustomed to its unusual style but the movie eventually manages to come together and create an impression. The Blu-ray delivers very good visuals, quirky audio and an informative package of bonus materials. Cosmopolis lacks general appeal but will work for those patient enough to work through it.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 10
2 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

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