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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Manmade Disaster > Oil > Industry > Workers > Death > Animation > Nuclear War > British > Deepwater Horizon (2016/Summit/Lionsgate 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/When The Wind Blows (1986/Film 4/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)

Deepwater Horizon (2016/Summit/Lionsgate 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/When The Wind Blows (1986/Film 4/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B Sound: B+/B Extras: C+/B+ Films: C+/B-

PLEASE NOTE: The When The Wind Blows Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Twilight Time, is limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies last from the links below.

Man-made disasters tend to be increasingly awful and embarrassing at a time when we see all the great technological innovations around us and enough good will to outdo the bad, but some people in power with money, anger or totally carelessness undermine it all and after all the bad things that have happened and keep happening, allow the worst. The following films show us how the unnecessary worst keeps on coming.

Peter Berg's Deepwater Horizon (2016) is the commercial director's newest attempt to be taken seriously enough (especially after a dud a Battleship) to take on a serious subject where British Petroleum wanted to save a miniscule amount of money by cutting satiety corners at the title oil rig. Instead, it became one of the worst environmental disasters ever, killing 11 workers and even giving BP's corporate reputation permanent damage. The film is not preachy, especially as its director and lead Mark Wahlberg, a team now on a few feature films, tend to skew Right of Center politically, but even this was too subversive and I believe is was ignored on purpose to censor it.

The film is about the people who worked on the rig, what their days and lives are like, are portrayed by a formidable cast of stars and solid unknowns and how bad things got when the rig went haywire. I give the producers, the usually safe Summit and Lionsgate credit and even guts for making this at all, but it becomes a little too melodramatic as if that was filler to not be political. That backfires, but the actors overcome the script limits in this respect somewhat, then the horrid events being and to everyone's credit, the film does not hold back.

In Berg's case, his collaborations with Wahlberg, a very formidable actor, are hardly Scorsese/De Niro territory, but he gets close when he gets down and dirty like he does getting his hands dirty here. Stripped of bad humor, sick humor, commercial leanings and formula, he can make a good journeyman director and that shows in scenes. Too bad that is not enough to save this film and stop it from being as fine as a Sully or even Towering Inferno. The star cast is never here as a corny disaster film cliche either with nice work by John Malkovich, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O'Brien, Ethan Suplee and Trace Adkins.

This makes more than enough sense to issue as an early 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release, even if the results are uneven, but at least it got made and people know about it, so the makers have at least won in the sense that this big film will make sure we don't forget what happened and that is something to cheer about.

Extras include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other cyber iTunes capable devices, while both discs add five Behind The Scenes/Making Of featurettes in Captain Of The Rig: Peter Berg, The Fury Of The Rig, Deepwater Surveillance, Work Like An American and the 5-part Beyond The Horizon including interviews with Mark Wahlberg, Kate Hudson, Kurt Russell, Gina Rodriguez & Dylan O'Brien.

Jimmy T. Murakami's When The Wind Blows (1986) may be a sort of lost British animated classic in that too few people saw it, it is based on the work of a major writer/artist in Raymond Briggs, as well as featuring an underrated director and is a uncompromisingly British cinema work, even if it debuted there on TV. Sir John Mills and Dame Peggy Ashcroft voice an elderly married couple post-WWII concerned about a possible nuclear bomb being dropped on them by the Soviet Union, but believing in the government unconditionally to the point they believe the false propaganda of the time (think 'duck & cover') and try to prepare for how to survive if they are actually bombed.

In the universe of this film, it actually happens and they have to stick with their plans, no matter how in vein they may be. They are charming, this is heartbreaking and saddest of all, like just about everyone who'd be in this situation, the predictable results would be the same no matter the education, socio-economic class, place to live or belief system to the point the predictability is painful in a horrific and not cliched way.

The use of music, color and art meld well and it is also amazing this film was ever made for any medium. Most is hand-drawn, but the model work than enhances things is excellent and a throwback to the Fleischer Brothers in the best possible way. Considering the talent involved, why is this not more well known? Thus, Film 4 was able to issue it as a Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray in the U.S. and it is still in print. Bowie fans alone will want to see it, let alone Waters and Pink Floyd fans, but the pother talent is on the same level all around and reenforces that there is a great, very British animated discourse, even if it has some outside assistance in this case. If you liked The Beatles' Yellow Submarine or the film of Pink Floyd's The Wall, you'l definitely want to catch this gem too. Its as timely as ever, offering a fate even worse than Deepwater Horizon!

Extras include a nicely illustrated booklet on the film including informative text and yet another excellent, underrated essay by the great film scholar Julie Kirgo, while the Blu-ray adds a feature length audio commentary track by cinema experts Joe Fordham (who was First Assistant Editor on this film) and Nick Redman, an interview with author Raymond Briggs, Isolated Music Score of the Bowie theme and Waters instrumentals with Sound Effects and a Making Of featurette entitled The Wind and The Bomb.

The 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced 2.35 X 1 Ultra High Definition image on Horizon is at its best when the money is on the screen and they are at the title locale, but we still get (especially early on, which likely hurt the film at the box office) very played out, very dated, shaky camera work and even motion blur which is the old HD format at its worse, so it has absolutely no place here in the 4K world (with the Arri Alexa 65 being the top HD camera used). The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image is fine for what it is, but a comparison between the two versions show that color and some depth and detail are being lost, if not massively so. Director of Photography Enrique Chediak (Boiler Room, 28 Weeks Later) uses the widescreen frame well enough to the extent that this is actually some of his best work to date, if flawed at times.

The 1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Wind rarely shows the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film as we've seen older DVDs (et al) that lost image area on all four sides. With fine color range and detail from the great hand-drawn animation, interesting use of archive footage, sketch art, rotoscoping and even miniature models, this 35mm film was shot on Eastman Color/Kodak film stocks and developed by the Rank Labs. It has the slight darkness of look they tended towards and it works well here.

The Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core) lossless mix is on both versions of Horizon, easily the best sounding of the two releases and with some good moments sonically, but there are also more quiet moments and even standard moments in the mix as it is a drama, not a fantasy disaster film. Originally issued in theaters in Atmos, plus apparently IMAX 11.1 and DTS: X 11.1, I cannot imagine this being much better a mix, though hardly the best 11.1 we've heard to date.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mix on Wind is well mixed and presented, only sometimes showing its age, originally shown on U.K. TV, then getting theatrically released with Dolby's old A-type analog noise reduction with monophonic Pro Logic surrounds. Needless to say David Bowie's opening theme song and Roger Waters' often haunting score benefit here with fine clarity and detail too.

To order the When The Wind Blows limited edition Blu-ray, buy it and more great exclusives while supplies last at these links:




- Nicholas Sheffo


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