Flight (Two-Disc Combo: Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy + UltraViolet)
Academy Award winner, Denzel Washington stars in this “riveting and powerful nail-biting thriller” from Robert Zemeckis, the Academy Award winning director of Forrest Gump and Cast Away. Airline pilot Whip Whitaker (Washington) miraculously lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly every soul on board. But even as he’s being hailed for his heroic efforts, questions arise as to who or what was really at fault. Action-packed, engrossing and powerful, Washington’s performance is being hailed as “a triumph” and one that “will be talked about for years.” -- (C) Paramount
Flight features a picture-perfect high definition transfer. Paramount's latest 1080p image is amongst the best on the format, particularly amongst digitally photographed pictures. The image offers consistently brilliant details. Whether primary elements such as facial textures or less obvious but readily visible surfaces, the transfer proves abundantly revealing. Every stitch and crease on starched shirts, every last instrument on board the plane, fine scuffs on a hardwood floor, hospital room instruments, and liquor bottle labels all appear perfectly defined, sharp, and accurate. The transfer is miraculously clean and crisp; it's amazing in how well it reveals every element in-frame both near and far, both critical to the shot and window dressing alike. Likewise, colors are fantastic. Green grasses, wooden surfaces, attire, and those same liquor bottle labels look fantastic. There's an unmistakably rich feel to the palette, even in darker scenes or against less brilliant backdrops. Subtle changes in color are handled beautifully, black leaves are spot-on, as are flesh tones. This is a clean, beautiful image from Paramount.
Flight's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack impresses in every scene, regardless of place, tone, or level of action. Obviously, the highlight comes during the crash sequence. There's a natural, almost startlingly so, tone to the hum of jet engines. Inside the cabin -- blaring alarms, radio chatter, pilot banter, and the rattily plane -- create a very convincing atmosphere of a flight in peril. The scenes in the cabin are also handled very well, both startlingly real and genuinely frightening. The track truly pulls the listener into the mayhem and makes him or her feel the chaos, not just hear it. The crash itself is met with some powerful bass that rattles the room but with positive, deep elements, not simply a sloppy push of low-end energy just for the sake of shaking the listener. The track also handles lighter, gentler elements with ease. Whether minor exterior ambience, light hospital atmospherics, or the general din of various locations, the track easily places the listener within every scene. Dialogue is delivered smoothly and clearly from the center, and stretches out for some fine natural reverberation around the stage during a hearing at film's end. Music delivery is crisp and accurate, nicely detailed and effortlessly floating off to the sides of the stage. This is a complete soundtrack that might not feature a consistent bombardment of the senses but that does deliver when needed and handles its lighter elements just as well as its most chaotic.
Flight will rank alongside Leaving Las Vegas as one of the classic films about alcoholism. It features one of Denzel Washington's greatest performances to date. It is so easy to overplay a drunk but extremely difficult to get it right and Denzel is spot on and totally believable here as an alcoholic. Also, not many A-list actors would play such an unsympathetic character. Perhaps the biggest surprise is Robert Zemeckis’ decision to do what is basically a character study. However, as shown in his previous films, what he brings to the table here is to ensure that as well as studying this flawed character, we have a thoroughly gripping and entertaining movie. In addition to Denzel's standout performance, all the other performances are just as great. John Goodman balances the drama with the right dose of humor. A definite must see movie.
Posted by Ryan Gibbs, February 22, 2013 7:11 AM