Vantage Point appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 and in a fullscreen version on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the widescreen image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Only the letterboxed picture was reviewed for this article. Across the board, the movie boasted a fine transfer.
Virtually no issues with sharpness materialized. Only a smidgen of softness ever appeared, as the majority of the flick looked concise and accurate. No signs of jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I saw no edge enhancement. In addition, source flaws were absent from this clean presentation.
Colors tended to be a bit amber or gold tinted. Those tones dominated the film in a quiet manner but the hues still came across as warm and full through the film. Blacks were also deep and firm, and shadows looked smooth and clear. This image consistently impressed.
As for the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Vantage Point, it also was fine for the movie. The soundfield made good use of various effects. Of course, given the nature of the story, these tended to be the same effects over and over again; we got many repetitions of the gunfire and the explosion. Nonetheless, these elements opened up the mix well, and the track used music in an active, satisfying manner as well. Throw in a few car chases and the soundscape worked nicely.
Audio quality always seemed solid. Music was full and rich, with clear highs and tight lows. Effects sounded accurate and dynamic as well, and speech was good. Dialogue came across as natural and concise. All of this was enough for a “B+”.
A mix of extras fills out this two-disc “Deluxe Edition”. On DVD One, we open with an audio commentary from director Pete Travis. He provides a running, screen-specific chat that looks at visual choices and camerawork, cast and performances, story issues and editing, sets and locations, effects and audio, and a few other production areas.
From start to finish, Travis provides a bland commentary. While he touches on a mix of useful topics, he also tends to simply narrate the movie. Even when he engages in good material, the track feels slow and flat. We learn a reasonable amount of info, but the commentary never really becomes involving.
A quick clip called Surveillance Tapes lasts a mere 42 seconds. It’s a gag deleted scene that features director Travis himself.
A few ads open DVD One. We get clips for Hancock, 21, and Prom Night. These also appear in the Previews area along with promos for The House Bunny, Lakeview Terrace, The Other Boleyn Girl, Damages, Persepolis, The Shield, Rescue Me and Blu-Ray Disc. No trailer for Vantage Point appears anywhere in the set.
Over on DVD Two, we find three featurettes. An Inside Perspective goes for 26 minutes, 43 seconds as it provides remarks from Travis, executive producer Callum Greene, screenwriter Barry L. Levy, editor Stuart Baird, composer Atli Orvarsson, and actors Matthew Fox, Dennis Quaid, Sigourney Weaver, Edgar Ramirez, Eduardo Noriega, Forest Whitaker, William Hurt, and Ayelet Zurer. The show covers the story and its path to the screen, what Travis brought to the project, cast, characters and performances, sets and locations, editing, cinematography and story challenges, music, and general thoughts about the project.
With a length of nearly half an hour, I hoped for some decent substance from “Perspective”. While a mix of good details do emerge, overall the program proves less than satisfying. It just comes with too much promotional puffery to be more than an occasionally useful show.
By the way, don’t watch “Perspective” if you’ve not already seen Vantage Point, as it includes quite a few potential spoilers.
Plotting an Assassination runs 15 minutes, 59 seconds and features Travis, Noriega, Ramirez, Quaid, Greene, Levy, Weaver, Fox, Whitaker, and Murer. The piece examines aspects of the script, the story, and the characters. Levy throws out some interesting notes about inspirations and challenges, but unfortunately, “Plotting” usually comes across as a basic movie recap. We just don’t learn a ton about the flick.
Finally, Coordinating Chaos lasts seven minutes, 27 seconds and includes statements from Travis, Greene, stunt coordinator Spiro Razatos, and producer Neal H. Moritz. “Chaos” looks at the movie’s stunts and action scenes. It doesn’t go into detail, but it offers a decent overview of these issues.
DVD Two also includes a Digital Copy of Vantage Point. This lets you transfer the flick to your computer, iPhone, iPod or other modern gizmo the youngsters love. I’ll never use it, but it’s there if you want it.
I wanted to like Vantage Point, but the film’s excessive reliance on plot twists and gimmicks renders it impotent. The movie blows its potential and ends up as a barely coherent collection of flashbacks that bores more than it excites. The DVD boasts very good picture and audio as well as some average extras. I’d like to recommend Point but can’t find enough substance in it to do so.