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Blu-Ray Review: Unearthed Films’ The Grand Tour (Collector’s Edition) 

The Grand Tour

Writer/Director David Twohy’s directorial debut The Grand Tour is the kind of lo-fi smart sci-fi filmmaking we see little of nowadays.  New to Blu-Ray from Unearthed Films. 

The Film 

The Grand Tour like all of writer/director David Twohy’s filmography is an adroit take on a Sci-Fi concept done with more skill and tenacity than other lower-budget fares.  The result is something that will become an instant cult classic for those that are attuned to its vibe.  

After a tragic car accident that left Ben Wilson (Jeff Daniels) widowed, he tries to rebuild his life with his daughter (Ariana Richards).  Wilson a contractor has begun to rebuild a rundown hotel with dreams of reopening and beginning again.  He may get a leg up when a group of tourists shows up offering him thousands of dollars to board them for the next few nights.  This “grand tour” and tourists are more than they appear as Ben will go to the outer limits of what he thought was possible to not just save the town but his daughter. 

Twohy’s film is grounded by the lead performance by Jeff Daniels.  Daniels is great as the grief-stricken father doing his best trying to survive and give his daughter a better life.  Much of the reason the film works in its entertaining fun final third act is Daniels – even thirty years ago – was an elite performer whose stage work was, and still is, unparalleled.  That work gives Twohy’s film a double dose of Daniels and his grounded work.  

Twohy’s script – adapted from Lawrence O’Donnell’s work Vintage Season – always sides on the human drama of this very speculative fiction story.  The concepts here are cleverly imbued into the story and feels more like something out of the Twilight Zone and Amblin Entertainment than traditional Science Fiction.  The Grand Tour is all the better for it though, giving us a film that’s more ticking time bomb thriller than ponderous sci-fi. 

The Grand Tour at its end is a film that is smarter and emotionally satisfying than similar films of that era.  It’s a shame that it’s going to take three decades to find its audience.  But as another sci-fi film that dealt with Time Travel once said, you never arrive at your destination early or late but at the exact moment, you were meant to


The Transfer

Unearthed Films has given us a new 4K Scan from the Negative that’s definitely elevated and bests any other release of the film (having searched the internet for samples of what was released prior).  The image is bright, sharp, and handsome.  There are minor defects like dirt but there isn’t any artifacting or ghosting in the transfer itself.  All in all a solid transfer and a huge upgrade from the prior versions of the film on home video. Unearthed Films has definitely taken care and time with this release.

The Extras

They include the following; 

  • Timescape Title Sequence
  • Lost To Time: Cannes Promo
  • Production Stills
  • Poster Mockup & Artwork Gallery
  • Trailers

Timescape Title Sequence (4:50) – The alternate title sequence pulled from what looks like a VHS Copy of the film.  

Lost To Time: Cannes Promo (18:23) – is an all-new interview with “video” editor Ed McNichol.  The Zoom Interview begins with McNichol stating that his credit on the film as Editor is a misnomer as he was a Visual FX Supervisor.  McNichols discusses in detail how he got involved with a Promo Reel / Sales Reel to get financing, how they shot the work – on Betacam SP, how the FX worked and what they needed to accomplish it, and the trouble that they ran into producing this Promo.  The interview is a great account of things that often do not cover which is Sales Pitches and Promo Reels – which the public rarely gets a glimpse into.  

Production Stills (3:56) – the 59-image gallery that consists of production stills and lobby cards that runs automatically – cannot be navigated by remote but can be paused.  

Poster Mockup & Artwork Gallery (1:23) – the 21-image gallery that consists of Poster Art, Home Video Art, and much more that runs automatically – cannot be navigated by remote but can be paused.  

Rounding out the special features are trailers for The Grand Tour (1:46), The Dark Side of the Moon (1:58), Nightwish(1:38), The Unnamable (2:12) 

The Final Thought 

The Grand Tour is a true-blue forgotten gem of a B-Movie.  Unearthed Films have given it a new lease on life with this Blu-Ray Release.  Recommended!! 

Unearthed Films’ Blu-Ray edition of The Grand Tour is out now

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