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The Grand Tour (Unearthed Films) Blu-ray Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • The Grand Tour (Unearthed Films) Blu-ray Review

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    Released by: Unearthed Films
    Released on: March 14th, 2023.
    Director: David Twohy
    Cast: Jeff Daniels, Ariana Richards, Emilia Crow, Jim Haynie
    Year: 1991
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Grand Tour – Movie Review:

    The directorial debut of David Twohy, the man who gave us Pitch Black and its sequels, 1991’s The Grand Tour, also known as Timescape and as Grand Tour: Disaster In Time, stars Jeff Daniels as a man named Ben Wilson. Still reeling from the recent death of his wife, Ben and his daughter, Hilary (Ariana Richards) spend their days at the hotel that he has just opened in a picturesque small town in the Pacific Northwest.

    When a group of strangely dressed tourists, led by Madame Iovine (Marilyn Lightstone), arrives and want five rooms - even if some of them are unfinished. He's initially overjoyed but it isn't long before he realizes that these aren't just regular tourists. He eventually realizes both he and Hilary are in grave danger and that this crew of visitors is also endangering the entire town as they're messing around with something they shouldn't be - the very nature of time itself.

    While all of this is going on, the father of Ben's late wife, Judge Caldwell (George Murdock), has the local police take Hilary from Ben so that she can live with he and his wife, while Ben may or may not be falling for one of the tourists, beautiful Reeve (Emilia Crow).

    Based on the story 'Vintage Season' by Lawrence O'Donnell and C. L. Moore, the events in the film build to an interesting conclusion that essentially puts Ben on a path to redemption and overcoming what he feels is his own responsibility for his wife's accidental death. The screenplay, also from Twohy, has some interesting ideas at play and more often than not, despite the fact that this was made on a pretty modest budget, they work pretty well. The story takes some interesting and unexpected twists and turns in its second half that keep you guessing as to how this will all play out, and as such, the second half of the movie turns out to be quite suspenseful.

    Casting Daniels in the lead was a good move. He has a likeable, everyman quality to him and we have no trouble accepting him as either a caring father or a grieving widower. He has a pretty decent chemistry with Ariana Richards and an interesting dynamic with Emilia Crow in the later part of the movie. These two actresses also deliver fine work, as does Marilyn Lightstone as the group’s unusual leader. George Murdock rounds out the main cast with an effectively surely performance – we understand his character’s pain but don’t like him, nor are we necessarily supposed to. Still, his character is important to the story and he handles it all very well.

    The Grand Tour – Blu-ray Review:

    The Grand Tour arrives on a 25GB region A Blu-ray disc with the feature presented in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed at 1.85.1. There are a few small scratches here and there but for the most part the image is clean. It always looks like proper film, there’s a fair bit of grain here, as there should be. Detail is pretty decent, even if it doesn’t hit the heights that the format can provide. There aren’t any problems with noise reduction or edge enhancement and both colors and black levels are replicated nicely.

    The audio chores are handled by a 16-bit LPCM 2.0 Stereo track in English. Optional subtitles are provided in English only. No problems with the audio, in fact, it sounds just fine. The score has some depth and range to it and the levels are properly balanced throughout.

    Extras start off with the five minute Timescape alternate title sequence used for the movie's release under that name, presented in 1.33.1 framing.

    The Lost To Time: Cannes Promo is an eighteen minute piece where editor Ed McNichol talks about putting together a promo for the Cannes Film Festival, how this came to be, having to put it together before principal photography had even begun, Jeff Daniels' involvement and thoughts on the movie overall.

    There is also a four minute slideshow gallery of Production Stills and a one minute long slideshow gallery of Poster Mockups And Artwork.

    The disc also includes a trailer for the feature, bonus trailers for The Dark Side Of The Moon, Nightwish and The Unnamable, menus and chapter selection options.

    The Grand Tour - The Final Word:

    The Grand Tour is an interesting mix of drama, suspense and science fiction concepts directed by skill and performed by a strong cast. This makes the movie worth checking out, and Unearthed Films’ Blu-ray release is an ideal way to do that, offering the movie up in a nice presentation and with a few decent extra features as well.


    Click on the images below, or right click and open in a new window, for full sized The Grand Tour Blu-ray screen caps!

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