Written by Karl Gajdusek

Cinematography by Andrzej Bartkowiak

Music by David Buckley

Edited by Bill Pankow

Produced by Irwin & David Winkler and René Besson

Directed by Joel Schumacher




Nicholas Cage

Nicole Kidman

Ben Mendelsohn

Cam Gigandet

Liana Liberato

Jordana Spiro

Dash Mihok


Production Studio:

Theatrical: Nu Image & Winkler Films

Video: Millennium Entertainment



Aspect ratio: 2.40:1

Resolution: 1080p

Codec: AVC

Disc Size: BD25

Feature Size: ca. 21 GB

Bit Rate: Moderate (25-30 Mbps)

Runtime: 90 minutes

Chapters: 11


Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1


Subtitles: Optional English SDH & Spanish



• Trespass: Inside the Thriller (5:00)

• Previews in HD: Trust & Faces in the Crowd

• DVD/Digital Copy



Standard Blu-ray Case: 

BRD x 1 + DVD & Digital Copy x 1

Street Date: November 1, 2011

Synopsis [Millennium]:

What happens when a man with everything - a beautiful wife (Nicole Kidman), a teenage daughter (Liana Liberato) and a wealthy estate - is confronted with the reality of losing it all? That is what Kyle Miller (Nicolas Cage) must come to terms with as he and his family become the victims of a vicious home invasion. Led by Elias (Ben Mendelsohn) and Jonah (Cam Gigandet), a gang of cold-blooded thugs holds Kyle and his loved ones hostage as they carry out their plans to take everything that Kyle holds dear, including his life.



The Movie: 3

Karl Gajdusek, whose only other writing credit listing on the IMDB is as story editor for the 2004 TV series “Dead Like Me” has fashioned an intricate, disconnected and implausible story involving disloyalty at just about every level. Avery, Kyle and Sarah’s teenage daughter goes AWOL for the evening and ends up at a drug-invested party – or rather, that’s where she starts; Sarah may or may not have had a recent affair with one of the house invaders; Kyle may or may not have a half million diamonds locked away in his safe; Sarah’s jewelry may or may not be fake. The invaders all seem to be working at cross purposes.



One thing’s for sure: Director Joel Schumacher (Phone Booth, Tigerland, Batman Forever) is 110% on board with Gajdusek’s frantic, non-stop thriller, whose many moments of near-escape are always resolved by the bad guys just happening to emerge at the right place and at the last moment to thwart the plans of their victims. . . which is just one of many reasons why this movie cripples its intentions at almost every turn.  Among these is Elias’ whacked out girlfriend who waves a gun around in a threatening manner but never shoots anyone or anything, demonstrating a preposterous level of self-control; Jonah (Gigandet) is referred to as “psychotic” by his brother and isn’t taking his medication – sorry, Mr. Gajdusek, but there are no medications for what he’s got, and it ain’t psychosis; and through it all, the bad guys have no contingency plan – none – like if there isn’t any money forthcoming: to either kill the good guys out of rage or get the hell out there or both.



Then there’s the business of Avery slipping off to her party while the invaders tear the house apart searching for her as if they need her for their plans, only to have her return on her own and reveal to the audience that the only reason the invaders wanted her there was to add more weight to their threat of hurting Kyle’s family if he didn’t cooperate.  If she’s not there, they need only get on with it.  So why does the writer have her leave in the first place?  - seems only to establish that she’s a typical rebellious teenager.  Duh and So?


The moment that could have turned Trespass into a righteous thriller comes early on when Kyle refuses to open the safe, even when he and his family are threatened with the final solution. But Gajdusek has made his antagonists too complicated, their various objectives too much at odds with each other, thinking that this would increase tension, when all it really accomplishes is to let the air out of the balloon.



Image: 8/9

Director Schumacher and his Production Designer Nathan Amondson and Photographer Andrzej Bartkowiak have opted for a saturated, contrasty image that all but crushes the blacks and blows out the highs in the flashback scenes.  Grain is present as seems appropriate, but noise is low and transfer artifacts are at a minimum.



Audio: 7/6

The audio mix is often the place where thrillers make their case. But somehow, despite the uncompressed DTS-HD MA 5.1, the mix for Trespass is just adequate.  There’s nothing wrong with it, there is merely modestly supported opportunity.  I guess I am grateful for this since I don ‘t think I could have endured an audio track that was as exaggerated as the story.



Extras: 2

The five-minute featurette “Trespass: Inside the Thriller” is all there is that speaks to the production.  This includes the usual promotional behind-the-scenes material, but all in all, not a segment that reveals anything of interest. Perhaps that explains why the volume level is set excruciatingly high.  You have been warned. The score of “2” is granted for the presence of a DVD/Digital Copy.



Recommendation: 4

Trespass has a good idea that promises a proper psychological battle of wits, but both writer and director have sidetracked it into a sloppy, implausible action thriller.  Besides which the home invaders are, without exception, witless, violating the basic rule that says that a thriller is only as good as the bad guys are smart. Cage and Kidman earn their paychecks despite the material, though Nicole (to be kind) is underused and misused.  None of the invaders have enough going for them to maintain interest.  Mendelsohn’s character, Elias, yells a lot, threatens Kyle, Sarah and Avery repeatedly and tells stories about his childhood that pretty much all turn out to be lies, as if anyone cares.  Might make a good “popcorn” rental.



Leonard Norwitz

© LensViews

October 30, 2011

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