"The 15:17 To Paris" is the real-life story of the thwarted terrorist attack on the high speed Thalys train #9364 bound for Paris––an attempt prevented by three courageous young Americans traveling through Europe. The movie follows the course of the friends' lives, from the struggles of childhood through finding their footing in life, to the series of unlikely events leading up to the attack. Throughout the harrowing ordeal, their friendship never wavers, making it their greatest weapon and allowing them to save the lives of the more than 500 passengers onboard. (Gary Reber)
Special features include the featurettes "Making Every Second Count" (HD 08:11) and "Portrait Of Courage" (HD 12:27), upfront previews, and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.
The 2.39:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed digitally in anamorphic Master Scope using the Arri Alexa Mini and XT camera systems and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format. The picture is terrific, with a natural appearing color palette as well as excellent clarity, sharpness, and resolution. The European city and countryside backgrounds and locations are beautifully captured and inviting. Colors are naturally hued and vibrant throughout. Contrast is excellent with bright highlights, deep blacks, and revealing shadow delineation. Resolution is excellent as well. The picture could have looked even better on Blu-ray had Warner not wasted the data space available with the BD-50 format. The average bit rate was only 23.59 Mbps. This makes no sense and deprives the Blu-ray Disc release of a far higher average bit rate, which equates to mastering with less compression. The other disturbing aspect of this release is that Warner has not released a 4K Ultra HD edition simultaneously with the Blu-ray Disc edition, yet has done so with digital delivery streaming services. Unfortunately, the obvious conclusion is that the studio wants to encourage streaming and forestall enthusiasts who desire to own the far less compressed 4K Ultra BD-66 disc. Warner has set no date for the higher quality disc release. (Gary Reber)
The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is generally reserved except for the scenes with the onboard train action while the train is speeding across the countryside. In addition to the train sound effects, there is one gun shot and the subsequent mayhem on the train. During these scenes, which interlace the otherwise affairs of the three Americans as youths and adults, bass extension is robust and natural sounding. Atmospherics sound perfectly natural and extend to the four surrounds, which include cityscape ambience, applause, and scenes with the three men leading up to their getting on to the train. The piano-featured score by jazz pianist Christian Jacob is well recorded. The score accompanying the credits is wonderful and superbly recorded in 7.1 surround.
The Immersive Sound element is effective during some scenes, though, for the most part the scenes are left with a 7.1 ear-level presentation. The height elements are train station ambient sounds and announcements, a school principal announcement and class starting bell, the unconvincing ambience associated with a scene on the school's basketball court, unconvincing outdoor ambience during a scene with the young boys playing war, music playing in a Jamba Juice store, supposedly the sound of a military bus in motion, a military alert alarm, military vehicle noises, wind, the music of "Volarie" while in a scene in Italy, pigeons flapping their wings, seagulls, dance club music and sonics, constant ambient train sounds, and a loud passing train. The ambience throughout does not fit the scenes well and are obviously sourced from some object-based sound effects' library. Unfortunately, the wonderful Christian Jacob music score is never heard in the height channels. The entire Immersive Sound element is canned object-based sound effects and ambience, which fails to be realistic for the most part when mated to the scenes. Additionally, much has been ignored by the sound designers, leaving the soundtrack mostly ear-level based. (Gary Reber)