Plot: What’s it about?
A shade over two decades ago, I was watching a film called Groundhog Day. I loved it. Not only is it my second favorite holiday of the year (mainly because it comes the day after my birthday), but I’ve always loved that random holiday. More to the point, there was just something about that film that stood out as memorable and, as time has shown, it’s one of cinema’s better comedies. It’s hard to believe that two decades later, the basis of that movie would be the same for a Tom Cruise Action/Science-Fiction vehicle but…stranger things have happened. In all truth, Edge of Tomorrow borrows from a few different films, but then again – what film doesn’t? And, to set the record straight, I contacted the Director of Publicity for Warner Brothers and asked her what the official title for this movie was – her response: Edge of Tomorrow. Ok, so that’s that. Now onto Mr. Cruise. I might not really empathize with his views of Scientology and whatnot, but I really don’t care. I think he’s a talented performer and I enjoy his films. He takes risks and he’s someone who doesn’t need to. I think that might be the reason I enjoyed this film so much.
Tom Cruise plays Major Cage, a former Advertising Agency owner, now the PR and “Face” man of the United States Army. Cage is called into Gen. Brigham’s (Brendan Gleeson) and, after a few harsh words, is sent to the front lines to help fight the war. What war? A type of alien has infiltrated Earth and has taken down most of Europe. The world, now united, must make a final stand else the Earth will summarily fall to the alien enemies. As Cage meets his new troops, led by Master Sergeant Farell (Bill Paxton), the battle the next day is a bloodbath. Cage is killed. Or is he? He then awakens unharmed, the day before with no one the wiser. The day progresses – same result. What’s interesting is that Cage can remember what happened on days where he “died”, and it’s not long that he finds Rita (Emily Blunt) and the two start to collaborate. Granted, it’s an uphill battle for Cage as he has to start from scratch with her every day, but no one said saving the Earth would be easy. This begs the obvious question: can Rita and Cage manage to defeat an enemy that seems to know their every move?
The best thing about Edge of Tomorrow is that it never seems to get old. Hell, I’m watching it again tonight just because my parents have never seen it! Yes, it does borrow (heavily) from Groundhog Day and Saving Private Ryan. Again I say – so what? I really enjoyed the premise of the film and though you knew what was coming…you didn’t as well. I think the one thing that I really missed was a commentary track by Liman. I remember Harold Ramis’ track for Groundhog Day saying that the character of Phil (Bill Murray) had repeated the same day for about 30 -35 years. I’m guessing that’s about the number of times that Cruise’s character died as well. I guess we’ll never know. Despite the rather lackluster box office performance, I think this will find new life (pun fully intended) on Blu-ray. This is, by far, the best film I’ve seen all year and one of the more entertaining ones I’ve seen in a few – highly recommended.
Video: How’s it look?
I know I say this all.the.time but what else is there to expect when you’ve got a movie from a major studio (Warner) starring Tom Cruise? Let’s just say that it met my expectations and I really can’t imagine anything looking better on Blu-ray. The 2.40:1 AVC HD image is all about detail, color saturation and depth and it excels in all three areas. The little LED displays used in some scenes are clearly visible, the individual hairs are visible and even far off bits of “action” seem more lifelike. Colors are a bit on the muted side, the brown sands of the battlefield seem to compliment the grey steel of the exo-suits. Contrast is solid and I’m hard-pressed to find anything at all to complain about. This is a top notch effort.
Audio: How’s it sound?
Likewise the DTS HD Master Audio track is one that takes a hold of you and never really lets go. There are countless of battle sequences (though, in theory, they’re actually all the same one) that make extensive use of each and every one of your 7.1 channels. It’s always nice to hear the LFE stand up and take charge – the poor thing – it goes mainly unused in so many other movies, so it’s a refreshing change of pace in a film like this where their presence is known. Directional effects are all over the map, bullets whizzing by, gunshots fired…you name it. Vocals are rich and deep and surrounds are constantly churning adding support (not like it’s needed) to the already robust mix. They literally don’t get any better than this on the audio front.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Storming the Beach – Liman gives us a bit of information on the film itself, but this “documentary” is far too short and only gives us a few glimpses of what to expect.
- Weapons of the Future – We see the literal physical ordeal that the cast and crew (including Cruise) had to go through to don the eco-suits – each weighing nearly 100 pounds. These were very nearly fully functional suits and added to the authenticity of the film. Anyone who thinks it’s easy being an actor need only watch this.
- Creatures Not of This World – There’s nothing too terribly deep here as the look and design of the alien life forms are explored. Their look and feel is shown and how they impacted the overall look of the film.
- On the Edge with Doug Liman – This is the most expansive of the supplements, running nearly 45 minutes it’s a pretty good look at what went into the production of the film. There are plenty of behind the scenes shots, interviews with the cast and crew and more – it’s a good and interesting/informative documentary.
- Deleted Scenes – Seven in all, though some feature some incomplete visual effects. As is mainly the case, these didn’t add a lot to the film and is why they were cut.
- DVD/Digital HD Copy