Black Sea

Featured In Issue 197, June 2015

WSR Score4
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Kevin Macdonald
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Black Sea centers on a rogue submarine captain (Law) who, after being laid off from a salvage company, pulls together a misfit crew to go after a sunken treasure rumored to be lost in the depths of the Black Sea. As the captain and his crew embark on their expedition, greed and desperation take control on board their claustrophobic vessel––and the increasing uncertainty of the mission causes the men to turn on each other and fight for their own survival. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Director Kevin Macdonald, the featurette A Dive Into The Black Sea (HD 05:15), upfront previews, and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture was photographed digitally with the Arri Alexa XT and exhibits a generally natural appearance. Once within the warily worn submarine, the lighting effects cast various highlights that create a believable claustrophobic prison. The red glow of the lighting is interspersed with white lighting, which enhances the naturalness of fleshtones. Otherwise, the submarine interior is grayish in tone. Contrast is remarkably good, given the environment, with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Resolution is excellent, with fine detail exhibited on all sorts of machinery and their controls, as well as facial features, hair, and clothing. The imagery is often intense and graphic in its depiction of extreme stress under the sea. This is a sure pleaser. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is intensely dynamic with at times extreme SPL energy, especially in the .1 LFE and other channels. This energy is heightened by a heavy orchestral music score. The music is spread wide and deep within the soundstage and extends aggressively to the surrounds. Atmospherics and sound effects are aggressively directionalized within the soundfield, including intense water leakage into the submarine, which fills the soundfield. All sorts of sound effects intensify the constant tension. Dialogue is nicely integrated spatially. This is an excellent holosonic® soundtrack with effective shock dynamics that will test the stamina performance of a home theatre system. (Gary Reber)