Deja Vu: -noun, the illusion of having previously experienced something actually being encountered for the first time (dictionary.com).
After a ferry full of innocent men, women, and children explodes in the river, ATF officer Doug Carlin (Denzel Washington) joins forces with a new FBI unit. This new team, led by Agent Pryzwarra (Val Kilmer), has the ability to "see" into the past and use their technologies to watch the chain of events leading up to any particular crime--in this instance, the ferry explosion. They are limited by the fact that the past they can see is always four-and-a-half days ago and time is still constantly moving forward. They have to know where to look and when. Pryzwarra chooses Carlin to help him fight time to track down the man (Carroll Oerstadt, played by Jim Caviezel) behind this catastrophe. As Carlin begins to use this machine, he realizes that not only can this machine see into the past--but it is a window to the past--and he just might be able to change it.
Directed by Tony Scott, Deja Vu is a lot of fun to watch. Scott is a wonderful director for the fact that he loves the past. He loves using lots of cameras, and not a lot of CG. He understands that there are constraints, but when possible he wants things to be real. For example, the ferryboat explosion at the beginning of the film is completely real. They actually blew up a ferryboat in a Louisiana river. Scott normally likes to make action-packed, R-rated films. Deja Vu challenges that, and he successfully creates an intense PG-13 movie that doesn't leave you wondering whether or not there should have been more violence.
On top of great direction, we are given a very nice acting line-up. Denzel does an incredible job as Doug Carlin; fitting into the shoes of a cop is something Denzel definitely does right. Supporting him are; Jim Caviezel as the "bad guy," Paula Patton as Claire (Denzel's love interest), and Val Kilmer as Agent Pryzwarra. Each one of these characters actually plays a pretty integral piece to the puzzle, and really makes us believe that playing with past events is a dangerous thing to do...because who knows where you could end up.
Deja Vu is hard to categorize--if you look at the genre on IMDB they say it is an Action/Romance/Sci-Fi/Thiller--yah, that is about right. Filled with lots of explosions, mix in a little love story, a lot of futuristic technology, and some very thrilling scenes, we get our Action/Romance/Sci-Fi/Thriller brought to us by Tony Scott and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. I actually really enjoyed Deja Vu and actually am very excited to watch it again.
Deja Vu has some of the most incredible visuals I have ever seen, but at the same time, has some really nasty grain that even if it was on purpose takes away from my overall awe of Deja Vu. The explosion of the ferry is awe-inspiring, although absolutely terrible to imagine the loss of so many people. I have never in my life seen such a quality transfer for one particular scene. But then there are times when Denzel and Val are talking outside near the docks and the noise behind them is so horrific that I almost forget about the explosion scene.
The overall detail is terrific, with scenes that will just knock your socks off--it really makes you remember that this is the reason you are buying Blu-Ray in the first place. The colors are spot on, with incredible greens, oranges, and yellows. The flesh-tones are nearly perfect, and the blacks are very nice and rich.
Although there are a couple of scenes with terrible noise, I still think that Deja Vu deserves a viewing, even if only for some of the fantastic overall quality.
Along with an incredible video transfer, Deja Vu is given a near perfect audio track with a 5.1 Uncompressed PCM track and a 5.1 Dolby Digital Track. Using the opening scene again, the ferry explosion is stunning. With incredible surrounds and perfect use of all the speakers at that precise moment, we can almost hear the pain and suffering that those people would be feeling--it might cause you to almost turn it down. After the explosion we begin to have a lot of dialogue that is done extremely well. With perfect use of surrounds for our background noises, and keeping the dialogue well rounded and mixed perfectly so we don't have to keep adjusting the volume when it turns to action again. To round things off, I just can't help but mention that every here is amazing--the surrounds come to life during chase scenes, the explosions almost scare you, and even down to the little things...the cell phones, the ringing, and the gunshots are spot on. By far one of the best audio tracks I have heard yet.
Movie Showcase: By now we should all know what these are, we are given 3 incredible scenes that they tell us to go to and watch. Yes they are incredible, and it does help to show off your system to your friends. We all know that everyone knows that scene number 27 is where you go on the Matrix Ultimate edition to show off things...so now use the Movie Showcase and save yourself the hassle of remember what scene it is.
Surveillance Window: This is a nice feature that you can watch during the movie and it will prompt you to push a button, or you can watch them all after. I would recommend watching the movie and then just watching them all in one run. This way you get a fairly good-sized feature that is filled with behind the scenes footage, interviews, shooting techniques, character development, camera work, explosions, stunts, and you get the gist. This is by far the best feature on this disk and is definitely worth a look.
Finally we get 5 Deleted Scenes and 3 Extended Scenes with or without Tony Scott's commentary. I would recommend them with, just for the fact that he gets to tell us some insights on the scenes and why he cut them. Nothing really special here.
Deja Vu is a great movie. I came into this with mediocre expectations. I didn't exactly know what to feel after I had heard a lot of mixed reviews. I had an absolute blast watching Deja Vu, and really getting into the Sci-fi element of...could we really go back in time? Even change it? Deja Vu is filled with enough action that it will keep your heart pounding all the way through! Mix that with some astonishing visuals, an amazing video transfer, a top-of-the-line audio track, and decent extras--that is why I Highly Recommend Deja Vu, even if it is just as a demo disc and you don't agree with me on the movie...you will love to show this one off to friends and family.