Deepwater Horizon

Featured In Issue 214, Feburary 2017

WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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Prolonged intense disaster sequences and related disturbing images, and brief strong language.
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Peter Berg
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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Deepwater Horizon is the inspired story of real-life heroes. For the 126 people aboard the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig, April 20, 2010 began like any normal day. Before day's end, the world would bear witness to one of the greatest man-made disasters in U.S. history. This is the story of the brave acts of the men and women who rose to the challenge—and risked everything to lead others to safety. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the five-part series Beyond The Horizon (HD 51:21); the featurettes Captain Of The Rig: Peter Berg (HD 18:15), The Fury Of The Rig (HD 27:19), Deepwater Surveillance (HD 17:40) and Work Like An American (HD 18:11); upfront previews; and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture was photographed in native 6P using the Arri Alexa 65 digital camera and the Arri Alexa XT digital camera in anamorphic Panavision®. The picture exhibits a gritty, realistic appearance with a muted color palette that contributes to the documentary feel of the imagery. The roughness of the imagery enhances the intense imagery as Deepwater Horizon blows and in the aftermath of the disaster as the men and women struggle to survive, The Horizon blows in the early evening hours and virtually all power fails, so much of the movie takes place in a very dark setting. The gas-ignited blase lights up the screen with bright orange hues against a black sky, The rescue operation also is at night. Lighting design is pivotal to the storytelling and to create the visual intensities. The imagery, under such circumstances, is remarkably natural and realistic. Fleshtones are varied, from clean to dirty and oil-drenched, but naturally hued depending on the lighting effect. Contrast is well balanced. Blacks are deep and shadow delineation is excellent, given the explosive darkness. Resolution is excellent, with fine detail exhibited throughout, not only during close-ups of facial features and uniforms but on all manner of textured metal, gauges, and rig objects. The blowout is an intense blazing inferno during the last half, with filming that is unbelievably realistic and visually amazing. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is a holosonic® tour de force in full-throttle directionalized envelopment, with every channel, including the added two surround and heights at full energy throughout the intense explosive blow disaster. The explosive power of the rig during its obliteration is system challenging, with intensely deep sub-25 Hz LFE sound effects. Atmospherics are superb as well as sound effects that are aggressively and directionally positioned throughout the soundfield. The orchestral score is intense as well and occupies all of the channels, enhancing the sense of spatial dimensionality. Dialogue at times is difficult to discern, but given such intense sonic energy is remarkably integrated spatially. This is a high-energy soundtrack that is reference quality for those home theatre systems capable of reproducing its dynamics. (Gary Reber)