S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(Robert Zemeckis, 2012)
Review by Gary Tooze
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 41,826,549,115 bytes
Feature Size: 34,813,507,584 bytes
Video Bitrate: 25.45 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: February 5th, 2013
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3382 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3382 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
English (SDH), English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, none
• Origin of 'Flight' (10:29)
•The Making of 'Flight' (11:31)
• Anatomy of a Plane Crash (7:46)
• Q+A Highlights (14:18)
DVD of the Feature included with Digital Copy code included
Description: Few directors can meld high-tech whiz-bang with solid narrative values like Robert Zemeckis, a filmmaker whose best work (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the Back to the Future trilogy, Cast Away) stands tall among the blockbusters. Although there have been times when Zemeckis's insistence on pushing the special effects envelope can end up overshadowing the story being told (as in his animated version of A Christmas Carol), his innate gifts persist: when he's in the groove, he can show you something you've never seen before, as well as a reason to care about it. Flight, the director's first wholly live-action film in over a decade, serves as a reminder of just how good he can be, featuring both an exquisitely terrifying crash sequence and a fearless central performance from Denzel Washington. John Gatins's script serves as a bizarro inversion of the Sully Sullenberger tale: when a routine flight over Atlanta goes terrifyingly wrong, the aircraft's pilot (Washington) saves his passengers with a near-miraculous display of skill. As the investigation into the disaster begins, however, it becomes apparent that its hero's impromptu bravery hides a multitude of bad habits. Washington does a brilliant job as a man who is all too aware of his feet of clay, subverting his innate nobility to shattering effect. (As in the earlier Training Day, when he goes to the dark side, the shock ripples the screen.) The strength of his central performance is only amplified by some outstanding supporting work from Kelly Reilly (as a recovering heroin addict), Don Cheadle, Bruce Greenwood, and a scene-stealing John Goodman, who gets a few lines crass enough to remind you that yes, Zemeckis is the same person who once made the low-taste classic Used Cars. Impressive as the cast is, though, it's unlikely that things would work nearly as well without the director's grasp of the material, which shifts between horror, black comedy, and uplifting pathos without missing a beat. In his hands, this potential sap story makes for a smart, worldly addiction saga that blessedly refuses to stay within the usual melodramatic lines. Just don't ever, ever expect to see it as the in-flight entertainment.Excerpt from Andrew Scott at Amazon located HERE
Washington plays Whip Whitaker, a veteran commercial airlines pilot who
over the years has built up a shaky tolerance for quantities of alcohol
and cocaine that would be lethal for most people. At the film opens,
he's finishing an all-night party with a friendly flight attendant named
Katerina (Nadine Velazquez) and jolts himself back into action with two
lines of cocaine. His co-pilot (Brian Geraghty) eyes him suspiciously,
but Whip projects poise and authority from behind his dark aviator
Until a rote, brief coda, Flight largely lets the behavior speak for
itself. John Gatins’ script offers only secondhand glimpses of
Washington’s life before the crash, but they’re suggestive: a family
history connected to the Tuskegee Airmen, a shattered marriage and an
alienated son whom he loves but can’t talk to, a military past spoken of
admiringly, and a history of drinking spoken of in hushed terms. In one
of his best performances, Washington builds the character through his
actions, and sometimes just his expressions: a confident gaze here, a
melting of that confidence elsewhere, and an ever-persistent hunger
resting just below the surface. He plays the sort of morally conflicted
protagonist sadly seen more often on cable dramas than in mainstream
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Flight appears quite strong on Blu-ray from Paramount. Aside from the 'family refuge' retreat the film is quite dark - mirroring the protagonist's demons. The image quality showcases nicely rendered contrast, colors are not enhanced and skin tones seem true. The 2 1/4 hour film is transferred to a dual-layered disc with a supportive bitrate. The intense flight sequences effects are not transparent in 1080P. In fact, coupled with the sound, are impressive. Daylight scenes are bright, contrast strong and depth is frequent. Detail is notable in the many close-ups. This Blu-ray seems to consistently replicate a theatrical viewing experience with no flaws. I thought it providing a solid presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 3382 kbps is only really tested in the air-crash sequences that are masterfully realized. I always used Peter Weir's brilliant Fearless as a bench-mark but Flight may have finally eclipsed it - in that sense. As for the audio - separation is key and jet-engine power exudes intense depth. This is really quite adept with subtleties throughout. Alan Silvestri's (The Avengers) score plays perfectly alongside the film rising and falling with the fluctuating emotions. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Supplements consist of 4 featurettes; Origin of 'Flight' runs 10-minutes on the film's evolution with the writer John Gatins and director Zemeckis providing input . The Making of 'Flight' runs over 11-minutes following production detail with behind-the-scenes footage. Anatomy of a Plane Crash - informs us about that for 7-minutes and there is a 15-minute 'Q+A Highlights' with most of the cast and crew on-stage answering queries about their experiences in the creation of the film. There is also a DVD of the Feature included in the package.
January 31st, 2013
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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