Collateral Review and Bluray Features
6 Aug 2014
Behind the Scene and other Major Plot Points
Training for the role
According to Michael Mann, Vincent is one that is able to get in and out of anywhere without anyone recognizing him or remembering him. To prepare for the movie, Tom Cruise had to make FedEx deliveries in a crowded LA market without anyone recognizing him as Tom Cruise.
Mick Gould was hired to train Tom Cruise for the action sequences – including showing him how to fire live rounds. Michael Mann himself trained with various weapons so he knew how to direct the action sequences to full effect. Although he never uses his gun in the film, Mark Ruffalo nevertheless underwent rigorous weapons training so he would look believable sporting a gun.
Jason Statham’s Cameo
Jason Statham’s cameo is often regarded as a nod to his character Frank Martin from _The Transporter (2002)_ series. He delivers a bag to Vincent at the airport and then disappears, no questions asked.
Research for the role (by Michael Mann)
To help Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx best to capture the spirit of their characters,Michael Mann wrote documents containing the background of Vincent and Max. Cruise said that the document of Vincent had information on how he began to like jazz, for instance.
Seating in the car
The seating of the two leads was crucial to certain scenes. For their more intimate exchanges, Cruise would sit directly behind Foxx, out of his peripheral vision and therefore making him more vulnerable and uncertain of his opponent.
Tom Cruise was highly impressed when he came on board as much of the backstory on his character had already been completed by Michael Mann.
Michael Mann: [military training] Vincent’s methods of assassination show that he’s undergone some sort of military training.
Ending Shooting Sequence
If you look closely you can see how Vincent, a trained killer, was unable to shoot Max, a normal cab driver. Max was firing wildly, but Vincent was using his signature precision shooting of two hits to the chest and one in the head. These shots hit the metal barrier in the middle of the door, and hence missed Max. You can see the bullet indentations in a few of the scenes. Max just got lucky with his random firing.
The train sequence was shot with a green screen background because director Michael Mann had very precise ideas about what should be visible through the train windows.
Music Score in the end
Starting with the car crash sequence up to the film’s finale and end credits, James Newton Howard’s score lasts roughly around 17 minutes and was intended this way according to director Michael Mann on his DVD commentary
Vincent was not a sociopath or a psychopath
He was a nihilist.
I thought his written dialogue was excellent and Tom Cruise was great. An interesting casting choice except for the obvious fact that he is a A-Lister and box office gold.
He really was good in the role. A nihilist who acted in his own best interests. Good at what he does and he is thorough because of the work he has chosen.
It may feel like it at the very start, but gradually, the audience starts to root for Vincent because of how he acts – even Max starts to act more and more like Vincent as the movie progresses.
New outlook on Vincent
I have watched this movie so many times. After watching last night I noticed something about Vincent: He actually may be a good guy but kills because its his job. Many times he shows his caring side. He bought Max’s mom flowers, held the door open for Fanny in hospital and made good chat with him, saved Max’s life in club, bought him a drink and a free jazz show, etc. I think he was FORCED into a profession as hitman but he kills because of job title not because he wants to and is mean. You can tell every kill he feels uncomfortable. Real bad guys are Felix and his henchman.
Interesting points. I think what Vincent had were simple manners. At the same time that he was a sociopath, he was a very polite one. Outside of his job, he actually respected people that were peripheral to what he was doing. His downfall was actually starting to like and care about Max, who was not on the periphery and (should have been) one of his victims.
I don’t think he was forced into it but was probably in an elite military unit (SEALS, Special Forces, or Deltas, etc…)and found he acquired a skill set that had a very significant value to an underworld clientele…
He definitely wasn’t forced into it. As someone said, Vincent had experience in the military and add the deep disturbing bullying from kids and his father, Vincent became damaged, sociopath… Meaning he could detach himself from feeling anything when he harms people. That’s why Max said to him after he killed Fanning “you don’t know what anyone is thinking” meaning he has no empathy for anyone. So that and the money probably gave him idea to go into the field…Despite Vincent’s career choice, he had manners. Opening the door for people, buying flowers for Max’s mother in the hospital… Vincent was socially graceful. He obviously was the type of man that you could have a drink with at a jazz club, have good conversations, but he killed for a living. He was a bad man, but like I said, he was socially graceful.I always saw Vincent as a soldier of fortune. The FBI guy kinda confirms it. Ex special forces. He’s no thug. He’s a professional killer for hire.
A very superior thriller with excellent direction and utterly top-notch performances…(Click here to see)
Every bit as satisfying as a thriller should be, keeping us hanging at every turn. As the credits roll, we are out of breath.(Click here to see)
Both actors and the director are having a great time and it shows in every frame. (Click here to see)
This is a rare thriller that’s as much character study as sound and fury (Click here to see)
Collateral earns a wonderful Blu-ray transfer from Paramount. This 1080p, 2.40:1-framed image, comprised of about 85% digital footage (per Michael Mann in one of the supplemental features), looks marvelous on Blu-ray. Viewers will indeed note the presence of heavy noise in many scenes that’s resultant from the digital photography, particularly evident in lower-light shots. Nevertheless, Paramount’s Blu-ray boasts an exceptionally strong color palette that sometimes takes a slight turn towards a slight green tint, but the many hues — primarily Max’s red and yellow cab and the numerous neon signs seen throughout Los Angeles — sparkle against the darker backdrops. Even Vincent’s gray suit and hair are meticulously rendered, and the result is an image that’s consistently vibrant even through the nighttime shoot. Fine detail is breathtakingly meticulous as well in some places, but a bit mushy and soft in others; most every close-up scene fares well in revealing pores in faces, lines in clothing, or the textures of various surfaces inside Max’s cab even through the thick bouts of noise, but it’s in the film’s better-lit locales — the interior of a hospital or under the bright lights of a gas station — that details truly sparkle and the Blu-ray boasts a practically faultless image that’s made of some of the finer detailing and depth to be found on any disc. Flesh tones are generally neutral but reflective of the various lighting conditions, and blacks are mostly stable and true though several scenes seem to waver between a detail-aborbing shade and a slightly washed-out look. Though there’s an obvious digital sheen to much of the movie, it nevertheless looks splendid, and Paramount’s Blu-ray release of Collateral has faithfully and meticulously preserved Michael Mann’s vision for the movie.
Collateral‘s Blu-ray features a steady, sometimes intense, and always wonderfully pristine DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Though not the most powerful, prodigious, or immersive listen, Collateral boasts strong clarity and a fine support structure that makes it a rather seamless listen. Listeners will note pleasant ambience throughout the film, whether the hustle-and-bustle of a busy airport in one of the movie’s opening scenes or the general din of Los Angeles streets that’s defined by honking horns, squeaking brakes, and other sounds of the big city. Never overpowering but nicely inserted so as to create a fairly strong atmosphere, the surround channels work predominantly as a support structure for the film rather than as a source of a deluge of discrete information. Nevertheless, the back channels do enjoy several spurts of more intense action, particularly during the “Club Fever” sequence as heard in chapter 16 as dance beats, the general din of the club, and a pulsating low end spill from every speaker and effectively place the listener on the floor. Smoother Jazz sounds from a posh L.A. night club or the various pieces of James Newton Howard’s (I Am Legend) fine score are all delivered with impeccable clarity in every scene and through the entire range. Additionally, the film features several spurts of gunfire with each shot ringing out with a powerful authority, whether heard outdoors in the “is that my briefcase, homey?” scene or later in the aforementioned “Club Fever” shootout; each shot features a potent low end and a sharp thud, not to mention a good sense of echoing through the streets in the exterior shots. Rounded out by seamless dialogue reproduction, Collateral‘s DTS soundtrack delivers a fine listening experience.
Paramount’s Blu-ray release of Collateral delivers a fine selection of bonus materials, the collection headlined by a commentary track with Director Michael Mann. Mann delivers a quality track, speaking on the his attraction to the project, its structure, character traits, shooting locations, the advantages of employing digital photography for the movie, differences between the script and the final film, L.A.’s ethnic communities, scene construction, the thematic elements of the picture, Tom Cruise’s combat training, and plenty more. He sometimes describes the on-screen action, but does so as a means of reinforcing ideas or better describing the hows and whys behind a scene rather than as an excuse to fill airtime. Mann delivers a strong track that never becomes superfluous or dull; fans of the film, the filmmaker, and the world of filmmaking will enjoy this track immensely. City of Night: The Making of ‘Collateral’ (480p, 40:59) is an extended piece that looks heavily at the elements found in the story, the construction of the characters and the importance of building them up even through backgrounds that aren’t necessarily evident in the film, Cruise’s hardcore training for the role and how it helped better the film, Jamie Foxx’s acting and driving training, the lengths the additional cast went to to lend realism to their secondary roles, shooting digitally, shooting locations, stunts, the score, and even the color scheme of the taxi. There’s a wealth of information to be found here, and City of Night proves a well-above-average making-of piece that fans will enjoy.
Next up are several smaller features. Special Delivery (480p, 1:09) takes an interesting and all-too-brief look at a task Cruise undertook to prepare for the role. Shooting on Location: Annie’s Office (480p, 2:34) takes a closer look at the construction of one of the film’s crucial sequences and, again, the advantages of shooting Collateral digitally. Next is Tom Cruise & Jamie Foxx Rehearse (480p, 4:13), a short piece that showcases the two lead actors rehearsing several scenes, intercut with the final corresponding scene from the film. Visual Effects: MTA Train (480p, 2:27) examines the implementation of special effects into the film’s finale. Rounding out this collection of extras is a deleted scene with Michael Mann commentary (480p, 1:57) and the film’s teaser (1080p, 2:11) and theatrical (1080p, 2:18) trailers.