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The Adjustment Bureau [Blu-ray + DVD] (Bilingual)

 PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 22.99
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The Adjustment Bureau [Blu-ray + DVD] (Bilingual) + Source Code  / Source Code (Bilingual) [Blu-ray] + Limitless: Unrated & Extended Cut [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
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Matt Damon is doing things a lot of top movie stars are sometimes scared to do: spreading his image thin among a range of roles, directors, and material. His forays away from the huge successes of, say, the Bourne movies or the Ocean's series which have highlighted his fully realized strengths as a buff action hero who can also slip effortlessly into natural comic charm aren't exactly risky. His image as a leading-man movie star is pretty much sealed, but in movies like The Informant, Invictus, Hereafter, True Grit, and others, he's stretching some different muscles that take him closer to character-actor territory. That has largely been a good thing for his fans, if not for his box-office stats. The Adjustment Bureau takes him somewhere in between--he's in leading-man territory with the Damon charisma in full bore and giving his all to a story that needs the toned actorly muscle he provides.

Based on a novelette by science-fiction icon Philip K. Dick, The Adjustment Bureau exposes a cadre of people who are either superhuman or nonhumans and control the world by magically influencing the fate of every single person in it. Damon plays David Norris, an aspiring politician who rose from working-class roots in Brooklyn (a not-so-closeted skeleton that sometimes comes back to haunt him) to wealth and the likely promise of high office. Unfortunately, David takes some liberties with his fate that don't correspond with the narrative laid out by "the Chairman," the entity in charge of the Adjustment Bureau autocrats whose matching fedoras are none-too-subtle symbols for wings. The movie evades any mention of religion, but those hats and references to the Chairman are huge winks. Emily Blunt is the equally appealing presence who screws up the Chairman's plan in concert with Norris. They fall for each other hard again and again, constantly thwarting and confounding the bureau's best-laid adjusting tricks at every turn. Though it is often simplistic in its plot contrivances, the movie is nifty, clever, nimbly paced, and filled with ingenious special effects. Especially impressive is the recurring motif of doors that are virtual wormholes--a closet that leads to the middle of Yankee stadium, an Escher-like maze of conference rooms that constantly double back on themselves (shades of the dizzying door sequence in Monsters, Inc.). Another cool visual prop are the plain bound books bureau functionaries carry that are filled with intricate, animated schematic diagrams that chart the course of a life and how it interacts with others. John Slattery, Anthony Mackie, and Terence Stamp round out the uniformly excellent cast headed by Damon and Blunt, and with the slick production design and inventive effects, the glossy performances go a long way in adjusting up any dramatic shortcomings The Adjustment Bureau may have improperly calibrated. --Ted Fry

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi with a romantic twist or vice versa? July 13 2011
By Andre Farant TOP 500 REVIEWER
The Adjustment Bureau is a fun, stylish film that manages to blend a sci-fi premise with a Mad Men-like aesthetic (even including John Slattery of the popular TV series in its cast). Based on a short story by Philip K Dick, The Adjustment Bureau is miles away from other movies based on the author's work. Unlike Blade Runner, Total Recall, and Minority Report (based on Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", "We'll Remember It for You Wholesale", and "The Minority Report" respectively), this film focuses primarily on the relationship between the two main characters rather than action sequences and the fantastic new world in which those sequences take place. In fact, The Adjustment Bureau takes place in a contemporary setting, with only a few sartorial details (like an unusual number of black fedoras) to indicate that things aren't entirely what they seem.

The story is of a young, up-and-coming (or flash in the pan?) politician named David and played by Matt Damon, who meets a young dancer named Elise and played by Emily Blunt. They are attracted to each other, almost despite themselves, but, as they initiate a relationship, mysterious forces in the guise of suited, hat-wearing men in black conspire to keep them apart.

I haven't read the source material, titled "The Adjustment Team", so I can't say if the focus on character rather than premise is present in the original or entirely the work of writer-director George Nolfi. Either way, it is a nice touch. The chemistry between Damon and Blunt is perfect and we find ourselves wanting to spend more time with them, sci-fi premise be damned.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Destiny calling? April 7 2014
By M Sockel TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Based on the Philip K Dick short story, the film does pose an original an idea. What if we are being guided or influenced all our lives... what if THEY are already among us?

When Matt Damon accidently sees beneath the skin of the world he must fight to save a love that does not yet exist, and maintain his own sanity. There are some great moments in this movie; I love it when the "adjustment team" complain that they are chronically understaffed.

But there are some clunky parts too: everyone seems to assume that the adjustment team are benevolent. Couldn't they equally be devils or aliens working against humanity.

There are some novel ideas in this film (and it is interesting to see it's influence today, particularly in stories like the amazing [[[...]]]) but ultimately they are not explored to their fullest.
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3.0 out of 5 stars 1-trick pony April 6 2014
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Disappointing. Whereas I can re-watch Damon's Jason Bourne series time and again, this film is strictly 'one-and-done'. It does feature a fresh approach in telling sci-fi, but lacks the complexity and action of even the most recent Star Trek offerings. If I had seen it at the cheapie theater, I would have been content, but I don't see the value in adding it to a home-video library.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Sci-Fi? You Bet! July 7 2013
I really enjoyed this movie. The trailers for the film tried to pass it off as either a romantic film or an action jaunt. Well, it's both and I believe it does both genres very well.

The sci-fi element, the Adjustment Bureau, is very well presented and fittingly creepy while also thought provoking as all good sci-fi should be. The key here is that the romance/love interest is not just tacked on to try to lure the female audience in but is essential to the plot. The romance is the plot. And that makes all the difference.

Well acted, well-written, well shot with some very nicely done effects, The Adjustment Bureau does not merely straddle the line between action movie/romance, but, rather, becomes almost a genre unto itself.

The movie is very entertaining. Damon and Blunt give us characters we root for and the end of the film satisfies. Put this one under Lost Gems. A very, very good movie. I recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "The special effects are awesome!" Jan. 20 2012
Adjustment Bureau [Blu-ray] Blu-ray Edition, A movie of the week club I belong to purchased this movie for us to watch. We so enjoyed it! Make sure you buy this product and you can thank my movie club later.

This story was based on a story by Philip K. Dick. "The Adjustment Bureau" exposes those (both) human and nonhuman who are controlling fate, that is until David Norris and Emily Blunt fall for each other time and again messing up the best laid plans of the Chairman the entity in charge of the Adjustment Bureau.

The movie is fast-pace, exciting, and far from the 'same old,' 'same old,' of the films out today in this genre. I, for one, enjoy most any movie with Matt Damon. He's alwsys plays such believe characters and the storylines he chooses to play in seem so realistic. He is a wonderful actor.

The special effects in "The Litigators" are awesome! This is one flick that I happily give 2 thumbs up!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By falcon
i enjoyed this film based on the short story by Philip K. Dick.the premise is that we are not in control of our destiny,that their is a plan for our lives.if we deviate from that plan,there is a small group of men who are sent to get us back on track,and following the predetermined plan.if we refuse to accept the plan and continue to deviate,the consequences can be dire both on an individual level and on a larger scale.This is what happens to David Norris(Matt Damon)who wants more than what fate has planed for him,and so he gets a visit from The Adjustment Bureau.i won't go any further into the plot.you'll have to watch the film to find out more.suffice to say,the movie is entertaining,thought provoking and compelling.for me,The Adjustment Bureau is a 4/5
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