The Trip To Spain Blu-ray Review

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Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon Embark On Their Third Deadpan Culinary Trip Together

British comic actors Steve Coogan (Philomena) and Rob Brydon (Cinderella) embark on yet another culinary adventure, this time sampling the cuisine of Spain. Recalling their earlier film adventures together with their distinct brand of deadpan British wit, The Trip To Spain is the 2017 follow-up to their previous culinary road films, The Trip and The Trip To Italy. Once again the middle-aged comedians, more known overseas in their native UK than here in the States, trade sharp barbs and witty banter over the course of six dinners.

The two actors play fictional versions of themselves, supposedly traveling through Spain for a New York Times article. Director Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip To Spain delivers more of the same introspective comedy found in the prior two films with these actors. Acting as a travelogue of sorts, Coogan and Bryden visit a variety of beautiful sites in Spain, only to get wrapped up in their own ongoing issues.

If you have watched the first two trip movies, there will be few surprises

Following much of the same ground already trod in this film trilogy, the two British comedians ham it up with celebrity impersonations as they attempt to interject more serious discussion about their relationships and personal goals. Mick Jagger, Roger Moore and even Woody Allen get impersonated in the nearly two-hour movie as the friends banter over a wide range of topics. Everything from Spain’s history with the Moors to David Bowie’s recent passing get mentioned. The discussions are aimed at a slightly more sophisticated audience than usual, tossing in literary allusions and historical trivia.

Once again like the prior two films, The Trip To Spain was originally broadcast on UK television as an episodic six-part mini-series. Cut down here to under two hours, entire sub-plots are thrown out to fit the running time. This third installment in the series has less pathos and emotional engagement with Steve and Rob. Steve Coogan wonders why he hasn’t had more success since getting nominated for his hand in Philomena.

It’s still fun seeing Rob puncture Steve’s inflated self-importance and exaggerated intellectual pretensions, but it’s also clear that their winning comedic formula is now becoming repetitive. If you have watched the first two trip movies, there will be few surprises.

The Trip To Spain can be fun as a dialogue-driven British comedy if you don’t go in with much expectation. It’s a road trip movie between two mildly funny comedians, delivering off-the-cuff banter suitable to middle-aged men vacationing on their own. There isn’t much else to it except some beautiful location photography.

Video

Cinematographer James Clarke returns from duty on The Trip To Italy to deliver one of the best-looking films of 2017. The Trip To Spain has stunning location shots in pristine digital glory. This is truly breathtaking cinematography, capturing Spain in splendid detail and color. Shout Factory for their part distributes the 107-minute movie on a BD-25, encoded in flawless AVC video. It is presented at its theatrical 1.85:1 aspect ratio.

The all-digital transfer has sizzling crispness and clarity. Every fine detail is visible as Rob and Steve banter over their meals, from the lines in their faces to the weave of their shirts. This is reference video that vividly renders Spain’s best restaurants and several historical sites of interest. It’s demo material suitable for videophiles.

Audio

Ostensibly serving as a faux travel documentary highlighting the culinary delights of Spain, the 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack is heavily confined to the front soundstage with minimal ambient support. It’s a low-key mix with crystal-clear dialogue and occasional music finely balanced throughout the movie. The music does see excellent stereo separation.

Optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles play in a white font. A secondary 2.0 DTS-HD MA soundtrack replicates the primary surround mix in similar sound quality.

Extras

No special features are included other than the movie’s trailer.

The Trip To Spain Trailer (02:22 in HD)

Shout Factory Trailers (04:35 in HD) – Trailers for Band Aid and Wakefield play before the main menu.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

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Movie

Director Michael Winterbottom continues his partnership with British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon for this dry third installment in the Trip series.

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