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James Ponsoldt
Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Segel, Joan Cusack, Mamie Gummer, Anna Chlumsky
Writing Credits:
Donald Margulies

Imagine the greatest conversation you've ever had.

The story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace's groundbreaking epic novel, 'Infinite Jest.'

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$123,238 on 4 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 106 min.
Price: $24.99
Release Date: 11/3/2015

• Audio Commentary with Director James Ponsoldt, Writer David Margulies and Actor Jason Segel
• “Behind the Tour” Featurette
• “A Conversation with Composer Danny Elfman” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; 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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The End of the Tour (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 24, 2015)

Best known for broad comedies out of the Apatow factory and for the TV series How I Met Your Mother, actor Jason Segel branches out with 2015’s The End of the Tour. Based on a successful memoir, the film starts in 2008 when journalist David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) learns that acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace (Segel) has died.

This event triggers memories of Lipsky’s interactions with Wallace. In particular, the story focuses on the five-day interview Lipsky conducted with Wallace after the author’s 1996 novel Infinite Jest became a smash. We follow this period and the interactions between the men.

Honestly, that doesn’t sound like much of a set-up for a movie. We’re going to watch one guy interview another one over five days? That’s what passes for entertainment?

Of course, another Eisenberg movie – 2010’s Social Network - made a seemingly dull subject interesting, so I figured Tour might do the same. Unfortunately, that doesn’t prove to be the case, as much of Tour seems as sluggish as I feared.

The movie’s tagline implies it’ll resemble “the greatest conversation you've ever had”. Not only does Tour fail to present a great conversation, but it rarely manages to offer a moderately interesting conversation.

Mostly we just see a couple of insecure guys make comments about their insecurity. Do a few decent thoughts/insights pop up along the way? Sure, but not enough to create anything that resembles a “great conversation”.

This means that Tour only sporadically seems interesting. It follows some predictable character paths in which both Lipsky and Wallace become jealous of each other for various reasons but mostly bond and turn into pals.

The term “bromance” usually applies to comedies, but it makes sense here as well, for Tour concentrates on the Lipsky/Wallace relationship above all – though not in an especially intellectual way. I think the movie wants to believe it shows us a deep bond between two bright men, but instead, it just feels like a couple of insecure introverts who happen to sort of like each other.

That doesn’t turn into a recipe for an especially interesting movie. Every once in a while, Tour delivers some insightful moments, but for the most part, we get little more than random nuggets without real depth.

Of the two characters, Wallace becomes the more intriguing. Lipsky always remains somewhat anonymous, and Eisenberg fails to bring a lot to the role. He stammers a little less than usual but he doesn’t leave his comfort zone for his performance.

Segel proves more interesting as he stretches his boundaries. I won’t call his turn a revelation, but he does manage to give Wallace more heart and insecure charm than I would expect. When the film works, it usually does so due to Segel.

Unfortunately, Segel can’t redeem the film all on its own. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think The End of the Tour really flops. However, I also don’t feel it provides an especially involving or provocative journey. Maybe others get something from this male bonding experience, but I think it lacks substance.

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

The End of the Tour appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a good but not great transfer.

Sharpness looked mostly positive. A little softness cropped up during occasional wide shots, but the majority of the film was fairly accurate and distinctive. I witnessed no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. As expected, the film lacked any print flaws.

In terms of palette, Tour went with a fairly low-key palette, with a sense of blue or green much of the time. Within the stylistic choices, the hues seemed fine. Blacks were deep and tight, and shadows looked smooth and clear. Although the image didn’t dazzle, it seemed satisfactory.

The movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack suited the story. This meant the soundscape accentuated general atmosphere and not much else. The elements added a little breadth but not much. I can’t complain about that restricted focus, though, as this was a character piece that didn’t need sonic theatrics.

Audio quality appeared good. Speech seemed distinctive and concise, without roughness or brittleness. Music was warm and full, and effects came across as accurate. This ended up as a serviceable mix for a character tale.

As we shift to the disc’s extras, we launch with an audio commentary from director James Ponsoldt, writer David Margulies and actor Jason Segel. All three sit together to discuss the project’s roots and development, cast and performances, sets and locations, period details and costumes, music, editing, story/character concerns and related areas.

Expect a good commentary here. The three participants mesh well and cover a nice array of topics, all of which add to our understanding of the film and its creation. The track moves at a nice pace and becomes an informative and enjoyable listen.

Called Behind the Tour, a featurette runs 24 minutes, 41 seconds. It includes comments from Margulies, Ponsoldt, Segel, producers David Kanter, Matt De Ross and James Dahl, and actors Ron Livingston and Jesse Eisenberg. We learn about locations, cast and performances, preparation, period details, and challenges. “Behind” mostly acts as a production diary, and it works pretty well in that regard, as it gives us a decent look at the shoot.

Next comes A Conversation with Composer Danny Elfman. In this eight-minute, 24-second piece, Elfman discusses his career along with specifics about Tour. Elfman offers a succinct summary.

Six Deleted Scenes fill a total of seven minutes, 30 seconds. These offer either minor character additions – such as with Lipsky’s girlfriend – or small extensions to existing sequences. Nothing especially memorable arises.

The disc opens with ads for Amy, Mississippi Grind, American Ultra, Mr. Holmes and Room. No trailer for Tour appears here.

Parts of The End of the Tour work reasonably well, but too much of the movie seems vague and sluggish. Although it wants to be deep and insightful, instead it just comes across as lackluster. The Blu-ray offers reasonably positive picture and audio as well as supplements bolstered by a good audio commentary. Tour winds up as a bland character piece.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 2
0 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

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