Tomorrow You're Gone Blu-ray despite stunning video and great audio falls short as an overall poor Blu-ray release
Charlie Rankin is out of prison but not out of danger. Indebted to the man who saved his life behind bars, Charlie must now carry out a murder to settle the score.Unexpectedly he meets Florence, a mysterious and beautiful lost soul who sees the good within Charlie's dark shell. When the hit goes bad, Charlie soon finds himself in over his head and must figure out how to settle his debts, discover his own identity, embrace a romance with Florence, and find the road to redemption.
For more about Tomorrow You're Gone and the Tomorrow You're Gone Blu-ray release, see Tomorrow You're Gone Blu-ray Review published by Michael Reuben on May 13, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.0 out of 5.
Tomorrow You're Gone (hereafter "TYG") is a classic example of a film that tries to sustain itself
on atmosphere alone and fails miserably. Because director David Jacobson and screenwriter
Matthew F. Jones are primarily interested in a dank sense of grim foreboding, they never bother
to tell any kind of story, even a fractured and crazy one, as David Lynch might do. They just keep
piling one vague hint on top of another, and early on you suspect (rightly so) that most of the
murky events will never be adequately explained. A storyteller like Lynch leaves you with
questions, but he also gives you spellbinding sequences that have internal coherence and hold
your attention while they last (ask any fan of Mulholland
Drive for their three favorite scenes).
Jacobson and Jones always seems to be on the verge of an interesting sequence, just before they
cut away to something else.
Jacobson's last film was the disturbing Down in the Valley (2005), in which Edward Norton
played a contemporary "urban cowboy" romancing a teenager from the San Fernando Valley half
his age (played by Evan Rachel Wood) over the strenuous objections of her father. What started
as an apparently harmless flirtation eventually turned dangerous, and Jacobson handled the
modulation of tone effectively. But there he was telling a story objectively, set against a
recognizable landscape with clear points of reference. In TYG, Jacobson tells the story from the
subjective point of view of his protagonist, a recently released ex-con, who's withdrawn and
uncommunicative—none of which makes the narrative easy to follow. Then, by suggesting early
on that the ex-con has trouble distinguishing between illusion and reality, Jacobson really paints
himself into a corner. It's all well and good to have an unreliable narrator, but first you need to
establish some basic exposition and get your story underway.
Charlie Rankin (Stephen Dorff) is nearing the end of a four-year prison sentence, when he
receives a letter from his boss and mentor, known as "the Buddha" (Willem Dafoe). Concealed
within the letter is a coded message instructing Charlie to kill a man when he is released.
Having completed his jail term, Charlie visits a seedy bar called Moe's where the mere mention
of the Buddha's name is enough to persuade the bartender, Ornay Corale (Robert LaSardo), to
give Charlie a room next door. There Charlie waits, confused and tormented by jagged fragments
of unpleasant memories, until the Buddha appears and tosses him the key to a bus station locker.
The locker contains a gym bag with cash and a gun for the "hit", but Charlie has become so
suspicious of surveillance that he has a homeless man retrieve bag for him. By this point, the
viewer can't tell whether Charlie is prudently cautious or delusionally paranoid.
On his way to the job at hand, Charlie is sidetracked by what appears to be a chance encounter.
He's picked up on the bus by a pretty young woman named Florence Jane (Michelle Monaghan),
who remains a cipher. Some viewers think she's a hooker, because she's a part-time porn actress
and is eager to show Charlie one of her performances on tape, all the while declaring that the real
her isn't the girl on the screen. But if Florence is a pro, she's a spectacularly inept one who
doesn't set a price, gets no money up front and wastes a lot of time on an unlikely prospect.
There are hints in the film that Florence may not have met Charlie by chance, but if so who sent
her and for what purpose? As with just about everything in TYG, the filmmakers provide no
explanation. The PR machine responsible for advertising copy describes Florence as a "lost soul"
who can see the "good hidden beneath" Charlie's "tough exterior"; if so, she's so lost that she
picks up a stranger on a bus and takes him home without any thought to the risk she's incurring.
It says a lot about the flaws of TYG that Monaghan, an actress known for her ability to play
down-to-earth and girl-next-door, cannot make Florence cohere on the screen for even a moment.
She remains a plot function, not a character. Worse, it's never clear what her "function" really is.
When Charlie reaches his target, complications arise because of an unexpected presence. Charlie
handles the situation poorly (from a hitman's point of view), and the Buddha orders him to
correct his mistake. Charlie's efforts to do so round out the film, which doesn't so much
conclude as simply end, because there are no more scenes to show.
Suggestions abound throughout the film of serious trauma, both psychological and physical, in
Charlie's childhood, but their relation to present events is never explained. Is Charlie suffering
from delusions? Multiple personality disorder? PTSD? Are events in the past directly connected
to those unfolding in the present? You certainly don't get any clues from Dorff's one-note
performance. He spends the entire movie looking pained, and very quickly you know just how he
Whatever the shortcomings of Tomorrow You're Gone as a film, the image on Image
Entertainment's 1080p, AVC-encoded Blu-ray provides little to find fault with. Photographed
digitally with the Arri Alexa by Michael Fimognari (Beautiful Boy), the image is clean, detailed
and sharp but with the film-like texture for which the Alexa is justly renowned. Blacks are deep
and solid, which is critical, because so much of the film is set in dim settings and darkened
rooms. Colors tend to be muted and dull, because the world of TYG is not especially vital or
alive, but Charlie does buy Florence a red sports car that contrasts nicely with the otherwise grim
surroundings. (It's probably not an accident that red is also the color of blood.)
Various visual distortions occur throughout the film, but these are intentional and designed to
raise questions about the state of Charlie Rankin's mental health and his capacity to perceive the
world accurately. The 92-minute film is contained on a BD-25 with a single soundtrack option
and no real extras; at an average bitrate of just under 25 Mbps, compression issues were not in
The dynamic range and bass extension in the Blu-ray's lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 track become
evident early on when Charlie first approaches Moe's Bar and Grille where the Buddha's name
will get him a room. The distant throbbing from the bar's pounding sound system will put your
system's subwoofer to work. The best surround showcases, however, are the subjective moments
that reflect Charlie's state of mind, when present events merge with memories in an aural
cocktail that swirls around Charlie, often leaving him dazed. The mix uses the full surround array
to achieve this effect.
The portentous score is by Peter Salett, who also composed the music for director Jacobon's
Down in the Valley and has contributed songs to such films as Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It
sounds fine for what it is.
Other than introductory trailers (in 1080p) for The Numbers Station and Day of the Falcon, the
disc contains no extras. These trailers play at startup and can be skipped with the chapter forward
button, but cannot be played once the disc loads.
I was a fan of Down in the Valley, but I can't recommend Jacobson's long-delayed follow-up,
despite the Blu-ray's technical superiority. The story is too unfocused, the performances too
detached, and the whole effort provides too little reward for the investment of your time in
watching. Not recommended.
Use the thumbs up and thumbs down icons to agree or disagree that the title is similar to Tomorrow You're Gone. You can also suggest completely new similar titles to Tomorrow You're Gone in the search box below.
Image Entertainment has revealed that it is planning to bring to Blu-ray director David Jacobson's action thriller Tomorrow You're Gone (2012), starring Stephen Dorff, Michelle Monaghan, and Willem Dafoe. The preliminary release date set by the studio is May 1 ...