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4.0 out of 5 stars
Collateral (Special Edition) [Blu-ray] [2004]
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 29 November 2004
Definitely in my top three films ever. Collateral manages to get the right balance between action and a multi-dimensional plot. At times the suspense is phenomenal, and while there is violence and gore, it is superbly done and integral to the story rather than being gratuitous and repetitive. The storyline is gripping and frequently surprisingly moralistic and thought-provoking, and the gunfight in the Fever club shows some outstanding choreography coupled with a great trance/electronica tune (an Oriental-language version of "Ready Steady Go!" by Paul Oakenfold). Excellent film all round with a great cast and an excellent storyline: buy it.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
I've seen the two extremes of Tom Cruise this weekend. The bloody awful half in War of the Worlds and then the magestic assassin of Collateral. Michael Mann somehow turns Tom into a Robert De Niro from the past. Quite easily his best performance since Magnolia.

I'm a massive fan of the movie - it's probably in my top 5. Yes, the end is odd but that doesn't destroy the rest of it. Michael Manns tour of LA with two great characters who put over some great dialogue.

I don't see much point on dwelling on a movie review so, what's the transfer to BD like? Great! It's a dark film scene wise (it's all at night) so some grain should be expected besides that the rest of the transfer is nice and detailed. The jazz club scene looks amazing. A big leap over my now redundant DVD.

I didn't notice a massive difference in the audio though. Maybe that's because I've been amazed by the audio on War of the Worlds though?

Audio: English DTS-HD Master; French 5.1 DD; German 5.1 DD; Italian 5.1 DD; Spanish 5.1 DD;

Subs: English SDH; Danish; Dutch; Finnish; French; German; Italian; Spanish; Norwegian; Swedish;

Region Free
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
have no control over Amazon putting this review under other film formats eg Blu-Ray. This review is for the DVD version. Whilst the plot may be the same, the final cut, audio, video quality may vary on other formats.
There are very few Tom Cruise films that I dislike, so this was a safe gamble for me when I bought it without knowing anything about the film.

Tom Cruise steps out of his usual heroic character and into the shoes of Vincent, a cold and calculating assassin. He gets picked up by Max (Jamie Foxx), a mild mannered taxi Driver and is ferried around from one kill to another, but something goes wrong and Max becomes aware of his passengers true intentions and his connection to the last victim on the hit list.

Almost 10 years old now, but this film still has a lot of appeal and even though you may know the whole plot, it is still a film you can pick up and watch from time to time. So for the current price of 2 GBP it is a sound entertainment investment
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2005
I didn't get around to seeing this in the cinema, and now after having watched the DVD twice I really regret it. A fantastic movie.
Tom Cruise has never been better as the icy psychopath Vincent, and Jamie Foxx proves that he's not only a very funny comedian but an excellent straight actor.
It's rare to get a thriller from Hollywood for adults with grown up people in all the roles. It didn't pull its punches either, and I particularly liked the downbeat ending. Jamie and Jada both looked as if they'd been through a hellish experience by the end. There was no false happy Hollywood ending tacked on to make the audience feel good, which in my view turned an excellent story into a classic. Tom Cruise make more movies like this please!
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Max has been a cab driver for twelve years. The faces have come and gone from his rear- view mirror, people and places he's long since forgotten.....until tonight.

Vincent is a contract killer. When a trafficking cartel learns that they're about to be indicted by a federal grand jury, they mount an operation to kill the key witness, and the last stage is tonight.

It is on this night that Vincent has arrived, and five bodies are supposed to fall. Circumstances cause Vincent to hijack Max' taxicab, and Max becomes collateral.

Through the night, Vincent forces Max to drive him to each assigned destination. And as the L.A.P.D. and F.B.I. race to intercept them, Max and Vincent's survival become dependent on each other, in ways neither would have imagined........

Just lately, Mann has fallen off track with his directing, and when you compare the likes of Miami Vice and Public Enemies to this, Heat, and The Insider, it's quite frustrating when you know that the man is a veritable genius.

Even though the film is set in the dead of the night, Los Angeles has never looked more alive in a movie. Manns L.A is reminds on of the first Terminator movie, raw, dirty, and dangerous. Yes the song said 'I love L.A', but the song wouldn't have been that good if it elaborated 'just not these parts'.

The relationship between Vincent and Max is fundamental to the films progression, and it is one strange relationship. In some parts, the narrative really leads you to believe that Max will survive the night, and there are times when you think to yourself, 'just go with it Max, Vincent's quite reasonable'.

And this is why Vincent is so dangerous, Cruise portrays him as a reasonable person, almost a friend to Max, when stereotypical plot narrative would just tell you that Max wouldn't survive. This is why Collateral is so innovative, you care for both hero and villain.

Cruise is wonderful, and it's one of his best roles, and what Mann does with Vincent's apparel is another genius stroke, as his plan begins to fall apart and Vincent begins to lose it, his clothes become more frayed and damaged, just like his psyche.

The final third of the movie is tense on the verge of uneasy watching, you feel just as helpless and desperate as Max, when he sees Vincent on the floor below his next intended victim.

As the sun rises on a steam-punksesque L.A, a story told by one of the characters comes into to its own, a perfect ending to a great thriller.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
'Max'(Jamie Foxx) an' LA' yellow-cab driver is offered good money to drive 'Vincent' (Tom Cruise) to a series of locations, seems a good deal ?.....after the first stop 'Max' realizes 'Vincent' is a Hit-Man, a cold-blooded Killer.
'Max' is persuaded to continue as 'Vincent's' driver at gun-point.
This is a pretty good movie, great action and suspense coupled with a measure of humour.
The 'Blu-ray' transfer is generally Okay, however not perfect.
If you've not seen the film previously it's worth a watch on whichever format you choose.
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Collateral is the story of a cab driver(Foxx) who picked up the wrong passagner(Cruise), who turns out to be a hitman. This leads the cab driver to drive around the hitman and get involved with his dealings.

The cinematography here is above excellent showing that Michael Mann is a great director, the two main actors Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx's performances are awesome and they definetly deserve the awards they got. The music is also great and features a wide range of it including Jazz, hip hop and one of my favourite songs "Shadow on the Sun" plays in the movie.

It also features a wide range of cast including Jada Pinkett Smith,Bruce McGill (MacGyver), Mark Ruffalo and many others who make up the supporting cast including a cameo from Jason Statham at the start who is supposed to be his character from the Transporter movies. This was also shot on a High Def camera and looks great on either dvd or bluray.

Commentary on Disc 1
Making of Collateral (40 mins)
Special Delivery 1 min - Tom Cruise preparing for his role by doing some fed ex deliveries in a disguise
Deleted Scene With Commentary (1 min 50 sec)
Shooting at Annie's Office (2 mins 30 secs)
Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx Rehearsals (4 mins 12 secs)
Visual FX:MTA Train
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 28 March 2010
Collateral is not the greatest film ever made, and I doubt anyone would pretend it to be. It is, however, one of my favourite films. Certainly in my top ten. Possibly in my top five, depending on what mood I'm in. I won't comment on the story; been done before, & you don't need to read yet another detailed description. Suffice it to say, cab driver gets an unpleasent shock when he abruptly discovers that the man he's just agreed to hang with for the night as he makes a series of stops isn't actually involved in real estate, but is systematically killing off Fereral witnesses and those involved in the prosecution of what is assumed to be a fairly major criminal case, most likely related to organised crime / finance.

The direction is exemplary. Beautifully shot, mostly in HD digital video, LA, on this one night of the 24th - 25th January 2004 becomes far more than just a backdrop. It is integral to both story and atmosphere; something that Mann has been a master of since Miami Vice in the early 1980s. Lights outside darkened buildings glimmer, but remain in focus; empty, palm-lined streets practically echo the hollowness of the lives of the central characters (that's not a criticism); overhead shots impart a feeling of detachment from reality. Never has LA looked quite so haunting, hence my chosen review title. The music, as ever with Mann's work, is superbly chosen, and like the visuals, is in fact responsible for telling some of the story, at least at a subconscious level.

Acting is superb throughout, no real weak links. Jamie Foxx gained most of the plaudits as Max, the overly cautious, somewhat emotionally repressed cabbie who has big dreams that are never likely to come to fruition, largely because they are just that: dreams of perfection, which he knows in his heart cannot ever be achieved in this life, and which he clearly uses as an excuse to justify his 'temporay' stint as a cab driver -a 'temporary' job that has, on the night the film takes place in, lasted for twelve years. Sympathetic, kind-hearted, but a looser, at least until Vincent appears. Foxx does a masterful job of letting Max gradually adapt, beginning from confusion and vulnerability, as he is pulled far from the security of his ordered, formalised world, into a much more dynamic condition, which ultimately, he rises to, if not completely successfully. A superb performance all round.

The real surprise for me however was Tom Cruise. I am not a particular fan of his work, however, the fact that he was playing a part which is essentially the antithesis of how he is normally cast has allowed him to produce what is for me, his best performance outside Eyes Wide Shut, and one for which he should have recieved rather more credit than he did. His Vincent, although initially appearing an emotionless killer of metronomic precision steadily develops ever widening cracks in his psychological armour, and while genuinely frightening for much of the time, ends as clearly as a vulnerable, damaged human being, which goes some way to explaining, if not justifying his actions, and attitude. Cruise's movement in particular should draw praise; he had spent months preparing for the role, much of which was spent on the range and in learning military style CQC (Close Quarter Combat) unarmed fighting techniques. All of this is clearly revealed to anyone with an eye for accurate detail. Just watch how Vincent assesses situations, his economy of motion, and where his eyes are looking -not always where you assume, and that is no accident.

The interaction of the two leads is largely what makes Collateral what it is of course, and they have an excellent rapport, fluctuating with Vincent's almost schizophenic shifts in attitude, from potentially threatening figure to almost brotherly affection for his cab driver, who ultimately appears to learn much from his nemesis, or at least, how to take risks. The deliberate, ironic and frequently nihilistic banter Vincent hits him with both helps his focus and provides a few fleeting glimpses of black humour. The supporting cast deserve much praise too; an interesting mixture of well-known actors in cameo roles to add a little extra tension and doubt to proceedings, and some less well-known figures, including some professional police officers, which adds a further degree of realism to details.

Best buy if you can is the two disk edition (unless you're into blu-ray); the second disk of extras, including Cruise's infamous stint as a USP delivery man in busy locations, in order to help him learn to blend into crowds, is well worth looking through. The 'making-of' featurettes are interesting enough; my own favourite is Mann's commentry on the 1st disk however, which gives a real additional insight into the characters and the sometimes frightening levels of detail they went into in order to build up their back-stories. It also lends in interesting view into how Mann himself directs films. Transfer to DVD is excellent; detail is superb, sound clean in all formats, colours and contrasts beautifully reproduced.

No, Collateral is not perfect. Yes, there are plot holes. Whether that matters I suspect rather depends on individual preference, and what you wish to take out of the film. It has far greater depth than many (most) releases, the script is varied and well paced, the dialogue tightly written and cleverly put together, allowing the effective convergence of the different threads of the story at critical junctures. It happens to tick the right boxes for me, as I love this sort of work. Even if you don't, there is fundamentally little wrong with it on an artistic level, and only a few will fail to appreciate it ('enjoy' might be stretching things too far -it's not the sort of film you can necessarily 'enjoy').

Which rather begs a question: what, if anything, do you feel about Vincent and Max at the end? Me? I feel sad. Mann is a master of provoking such reactions, and like much of his work Collateral,leaves the viewer feeling emotionally drained when the final credits roll; the only time any credits are seen in the film.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Tom Cruise plays Vince a silver haired 'gun for hire' on a mission to eradicate five targets in a single night. Jamie Foxx is Max, the cabbie given the job of ferrying him around the city to the five stops. Max realises that Vince isn't saying a quick hello and eventually tries to escape to alert the authorities. Intense action scences and some fantastic set-pieces which display Tom Cruise at his best (he must have had some sort of training and it shows in the way he handles the pistol he carries). Cruise is fantastic and Jamie Foxx is once again very impressive. The opening sequence reminded me very much of Heat in a certain way and there is no doubt that this is a Michael Mann film. It has his distinctive touch all over it. Very enjoyable and well worth owning.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
If any of you have ever played the Hitman video games you will probably think that you could do quite well as contract killer given the right tools. You'd probably be right, or at least you'd be a hundred times better than Vincent in this movie. Apparently the phrase "silent assassin" is not in his vocabulary. He doesn't even use silencers on his very loud gun.

Tom Cruise plays Vincent - a thoroughly conspicuous looking character who is in LA for a spot of contract killing. He hires unhappy cabbie Max (Jamie Foxx) for the whole night. Five stops, five kills - all in a night's work.

This arrangement might have worked if Vincent were competent in the least. But he's just terrible. He leaves evidence everywhere, makes moronic mistakes, walks in front of every CCTV camera in LA, leaves fingerprints everywhere, and blabs far too much to Max, who any half-competent assassin would off at the end of the night anyway. Whatever the bad guys are paying him, the paycheck far exceeds the skill. I know the face and name need to sell the movie, but surely you'd remember a suspicious guy who looked like Tom Cruise being at the scene of every murder in LA during the course of one night.

Michael Mann directs the film with amazing skill, brilliantly capturing the multiple looks and feelings of night-time LA. There are many scenes of tangible atmosphere in Collateral, so much so that the film is eerily calming. Using a combination of digital cameras for the car scenes and 35mm (Super35 sadly, not anamorphic) for the interiors there are many gorgeous shots and stunning compositions.

Cruise and Foxx have great chemistry together though it must be said that Foxx comes off as the better performer/character. Neither of them overact and keep their cool but there's a true realistic edge to his lonely cabbie than Cruise's idiot assassin who leaves incriminating exhibits A-Z all over LA.

Look out for a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo from the Transporter himself right at the very start.

The Blu-ray is in gorgeous looking 2.35:1 1080p with colors so vivid and lifelike you'll forget your watching a movie and not real life. The DTS HD-MA soundtrack is also stunning, fully complimenting the movie's dynamic sound design. Gunshots and very loud and pack a heavy punch, if you have a home theatre you'll love it. James Newton Howard's atmospheric score is also seamlessly woven into the film's sound design and it's surely Howard at the top of his game, miraculously blending his own score with non-original tracks. Seriously, if you have a home theatre you'll LOVE the Fever Club scene.
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