Jet Lag
Miramax // R // $29.99 // January 20, 2004
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted January 16, 2004
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version

The Movie:

A feather-light French film that leaves few cliches unturned, "Jet Lag" is one of the infinite amount of films where two people are thrown together in an uncomfortable situation, hate each other and then, forced by the plot, start to fall for one another. In this case, we are presented with two very good actors (Juliette Binoche and Jean Reno), but alas, these are two very good actors who can't makes forget that we've seen this film very, very many times before.

The film takes place at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. The weather is bad, there's a strike and it's a holiday, which essentially has brought everything in and around the airport to a halt. Binoche stars as Rose, a beautician who wears too much make-up, looking as if she's carrying around most of her product on her face (no bonus points for guessing a major scene involves her cleaning herself up and looking much better w/o all the make-up). Reno plays Felix, a former chef who's stricken by the occasional panic attack. The two opposites meet because she dropped her phone in the airport toilet (and watched it go down the drain) and asks to borrow his.

She's fleeing from an abusive boyfriend, he's divorced - a few coincidences later, somehow the two end up sharing a hotel room together while waiting for another flight out. Insert previously mentioned bickering and making-up here. Directed with little energy and offering little in the way of urgency, humor (the film seems to be trying for both comedy and drama, not offering much of either) or surprise, "Jet Lag" moves along at a glacial pace. Reno and Binoche can't enliven the weak, thin material, but they do at least give it a decent attempt. The easy recommendation would be to watch Richard Linklater's vastly better "Before Sunrise" again, or, if you haven't seen it, for the first time.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Jet Lag" is presented by Miramax in 2.35:1. I don't know if this is the way the film is supposed to look, but I wasn't terribly pleased by the transfer, which often appeared slightly dark looking. Sharpness and detail were merely average, as the picture looked crisp and clean, but fine details were not visible and overall definition was merely average.

Edge enhancement was not noticed, but I did spot a couple of slight compression artifacts. The print used seemed in fine condition, with no specks and nothing in the way of wear or grain. The film's few instances of bright colors looked vivid and bright, but other than that, the film's color palette was subdued.

SOUND: Presented in French Dolby Digital 5.1 (there is also an English dubbed 5.1 presentation included), "Jet Lag" offers a very simple and dialogue-driven soundtrack, keeping almost entirely to the center channel. However, dialogue remained clean and clear.

EXTRAS: Promos for other Miramax titles (including a Miramax promo that says they're leading the "new golden age of cinema.") Based upon the movies I've seen lately, apparently I'm living in a different age. No extras related to "Jet Lag" are included.

Final Thoughts: "Jet Lag" takes a largely uninteresting and unlikely couple and presents their story in a way that's so laid back and slow I was nearly drifting off while watching the film at eleven in the morning. Two great actors - completely wasted. Miramax's DVD doesn't offer anything in the way of supplements, while presenting the film with average audio/video quality. Skip it.



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