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Tate Taylor
Emily Blunt, Luke Evans, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Allison Janney
Writing Credits:
Erin Cressida Wilson

A divorcee becomes entangled in a missing persons investigation that promises to send shockwaves throughout her life.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$24,536,265 on 3,144 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-X
English DTS Headphone X
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
English Descriptive Video Service
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 112 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 1/17/2017

• Audio Commentary with Director Tate Taylor
• 14 Deleted/Extended Scenes
• “The Women Behind The Girl” Featurette
• “On Board The Train” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


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.


The Girl On the Train [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 19, 2017)

If one didn’t know better, one might think 2016’s The Girl On the Train offered a sequel to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. After all, wasn’t that a “thriller that shocked the world”, just as this Blu-ray claims occurred with Girl On the Train?

How much Paula Hawkins’ 2015 novel “shocked the world” remains to be seen, but I know this: it didn’t impact me because I never heard of it. That made the film my introduction to the story.

Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) remains emotionally unsettled after her divorce. Also saddled with blackouts related to alcoholism, it doesn’t help that her daily commute takes her past the house she shared with her husband Tom (Justin Theroux) – one her ex now shares with his new wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) and their baby.

To distract herself from this area, Rachel focuses on another couple she views from the train: Scott (Luke Evans) and Megan Hipwell (Haley Bennett). They seem to live an idyllic life, so Rachel uses these daily observations to conjure fantasy notions in her mind.

Until reality intercedes. One day Rachel she sees something surprising that involves the Hipwells, and this sets into motion a series events that snarl her in a mystery.

That set-up gives the story of Girl a decided Rear Window flavor, but I wouldn’t call it a rip-off of the Hitchcock classic. While both films share mysteries connected to disconnected observations, they don’t pursue their narratives in similar ways, mainly because Girl makes Rachel a more active participant in the sordid events on display.

The two movies also differ in that Rear Window is precisely 258 times better than the wholly banal Girl. Perhaps the Hawkins novel “shocked the world”, but this dull film seems unlikely to even mildly titillate the world, much less spin any heads.

A lot of the problem stems from the meandering narrative. Though the film nominally focuses on Rachel, it also spreads a fair amount of screentime to Megan and Anna.

These tactics might work in a novel, where the author gets plenty of room to move and explore, but in a 112-minute movie, the choices become burdensome. Girl lacks the breathing room necessary to investigate the participants in a satisfying manner, so it tends to give those involved the short shrift.

As a result, the end product becomes ill-defined and sluggish. Rather than involve us in a taut thriller, Girl tends to meander and fail to find its footing.

With little suspense on display, the viewer lacks much in which to invest. Even as the tension theoretically ramps up, the onscreen material remains so logy and drowsy that attention fades.

When the film reveals the truth behind the mystery, it seems likely to come with a collective shrug from the audience, as we just don’t care. Though professional at all times, The Girl On the Train fails to provide an involving cinematic experience.

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

The Girl On the Train appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a satisfying image.

From start to finish, sharpness looked good. Only a little softness affected wide shots, and those examples occurred too infrequently to cause problems. Instead, the film looked concise and well-defined. No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and edge enhancement was absent. I also failed to detect any source flaws.

In terms of colors, the movie featured a palette that favored a mix of orange and teal. Across the board, the hues looked fine within those parameters. Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows appeared clear and smooth. I thought the movie consistently looked positive.

As for the movie’s DTS-X soundtrack – which downconverted to DTS-HD MA 7.1 on my system – it seemed fine but it didn’t excel due to a lack of ambition. Like most character dramas, the movie featured a limited soundfield that favored the forward channels.

The mix showed nice stereo spread to the music as well as some general ambience from the sides, with an emphasis on train sounds. Panning was strong, and the surrounds usually kicked in basic reinforcement, though again, trains added a fair amount of involvement.

Audio quality appeared good. Speech was natural and distinct, with no issues related to edginess or intelligibility. Effects sounded clean and accurate, with good fidelity and no signs of distortion. Music was perfectly fine, as the score and songs showed positive dimensionality. This track was good enough for a “B-“ but didn’t particularly impress.

As we shift to extras, we open with an audio commentary from director Tate Taylor. He presents a running, screen-specific look at story and characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, costumes, music, cinematography, and connected domains.

Expect a bland commentary from Taylor. While he touches on the basics, he does so without a lot of insight, and he tends to sag as the movie progresses. That means a fair amount of dead air – and a lackluster chat.

14 Deleted and Extended Scenes fill a total of 17 minutes, 38 seconds. Given the shortcomings of character exploration in the final film, I hoped the added footage would expand the roles well.

It doesn’t. Instead, we get some minor plot and character beats without anything of real substance. These don’t go much of anywhere and would’ve made the movie even less interesting than it already is.

Two featurettes follow. The Women Behind The Girl lasts five minutes, four seconds and includes notes from Taylor, author Paula Hawkins, producer Marc Platt and screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson. “Behind” examines the source novel and its adaptation as well as story and character areas and Taylor’s impact on the production. A few decent notes emerge, but “Behind” seems too short to tell us much.

On Board The Train goes for 11 minutes 25 seconds and features info from Taylor, Platt, director of photography Charlotte Bruus Christensen, and actors Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Allison Janney, Edgar Ramirez, Justin Theroux, and Luke Evans. The featurette examines story and characters, cast and performances, camerawork, and Taylor’s work on the set. “Board” presents a fairly ordinary “making of” promo piece.

The disc opens with ads for Loving, Bleed For This, Desierto, Snowden, Split and Nocturnal Animals. No trailer for Girl appears here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Girl. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

As an erotic thriller, The Girl On the Train seems neither erotic nor thrilling. Instead, it presents a sluggish, banal affair with little to sustain viewer interest. The Blu-ray presents strong visuals along with acceptable audio and a smattering of bonus materials. Girl becomes a mediocre suspense story.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.6363 Stars Number of Votes: 11
2 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

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