Passengers appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Though not without minor concerns, the transfer usually satisfied.
Sharpness generally fared well. Wide shots displayed a lack of great definition, partially due to some mild edge haloes. Nonetheless, the majority of the flick offered good clarity and delineation. Source flaws remained absent, though grain could be a little more prominent than expected.
The film’s palette went down a highly stylized path. The movie emphasized a blue tint much of the time and stayed on the chilly side of the street. The hues worked fine within those parameters. Blacks seemed dark and tight, while shadows were pretty good; they seemed appropriately dense. Overall, the image lacked great consistency but was strong enough for a “B”.
As for the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Passengers, it proved to be similarly satisfying. For the most part, we didn’t get an especially active affair. A few elements related to the plane crash opened things up a bit, and some vehicles also contributed a little pizzazz to the mix. However, the movie usually stayed with general environmental information, so don’t expect anything too exciting here.
Audio quality was solid. Music showed nice range and clarity, as the score was consistently bright and full. Effects also came across as accurate and concise; some good low-end emerged from both effects and music. Speech was natural and distinctive at all times. This was a good soundtrack that simply lacked anything special to make it stand out from the crowd.
When we shift to extras, we start with an audio commentary from director Rodrigo Garcia and actor Patrick Wilson. Both sit together for this running, screen specific track. They discuss what attracted them to the project, story and character subjects, cast and performances, locations and sets, and a few other production areas.
Garcia and Wilson offer a pretty chatty little track. They interact well and create an engaging look at the movie. Yeah, some of the standard happy talk comes along for the ride as well, but there’s not a ton of that. Instead, the commentary focuses on the movie and moves well.
Two featurettes follow. Analysis of the Plane Crash goes for 16 minutes, 28 seconds and includes notes from Garcia, visual effects supervisors Eric Nordby and Doug Oddy, production designer David Brisbin, digital compositor Dan Brittain, and cinematographer Igor Jadue-Lillo. “Analysis” looks at the various techniques used to create the movie’s big plane crash sequence. It mixes interviews and behind the scenes footage in a satisfying manner as it offers a solid exploration of the subject matter. I especially like that it digs into set design and doesn’t just stick with the visual effects side of things.
The Manifest and Making of Passengers runs 23 minutes, 14 seconds and features Garcia, Wilson, Brisbin, Jadue-Lillo, screenwriter Ronnie Christensen, producers Judd Payne, Julie Lynn, Matthew Rhodes and Keri Selig, and actors Anne Hathaway, Andre Braugher, David Morse, and Clea Duvall. “Manifest” examines story and characters, what Garcia brought to the project, cast and performances, the film’s look,
“Manifest” tends to simply be a long recap of the story and characters. Some decent introspection comes along with this, and we do learn a few minor details about the production, but mostly the program feels like a “Cliff’s Notes” version of the film.
Three Deleted Scenes fill a total of seven minutes, 18 seconds. These include “Claire Finds Out the Truth” (2:58), “Claire At Norman’s House” (1:39), and “Claire’s Dream Sequence” (2:16). “Truth” throws out a little additional drama in Claire’s path but doesn’t really add much. The other two also provide a bit more nuance to the various relationships, but they don’t contribute anything new or terribly dynamic. While none of the clips would have hurt the film, they wouldn’t have made it better, either.
A few ads open the DVD. We get clips for Blu-ray Discs, Angels & Demons, Rachel Getting Married and 2012. These also appear in the Previews area along with promos for Seven Pounds, I’ve Loved You So Long, The Lazarus Project, Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway, The Accidental Husband, The Class, Center Stage: Turn It Up, Private Valentine: Blonde and Dangerous, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Termination Point, Fearnet.com and Deep Winter. No trailer for Passengers shows up here.
Given its advertising, one might expect a taut Sixth Sense style thriller from Passengers. One won’t find that kind of flick, so if that’s what you want, skip it. However, if you want something that provides a Ghost-like romantic drama, then you’ll be happier with it. The DVD offers good picture and audio as well as a pretty good roster of supplements. This is a satisfying release for an involving movie.