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Flight Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2:35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French/Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (A? B?)
  • Rating: R
  • Run Time: 138 Mins
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: UltraViolet & iTunes Digital Copy
  • Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 5th, 2013
  • List Price: $39.99

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

 

(The Below TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:5/5]

Flight tells the story of William ‘Whip’ Whitaker, a veteran pilot for a commercial airliner. While Whip is certainly known for his flying capabilities (present and past in the Navy), most don’t know of his ability to consume mass quantities of BOTH alcohol and cocaine – typically BEFORE flying a plane. Such an event takes place before a routine flight to Atlanta, only this time a mid-air catastrophe occurs. Luckily, through his own skill and perhaps an ‘act of god’, Whip is able to land the plane. While he’s initially lauded as a hero, further questions arise as to who or what was actually at fault. What results is perhaps both director Robert Zemeckis’ and actor Denzel Washington’s finest effort to date.

The story of a man hiding behind constant lies of his own alcoholism, regardless of the consequences to both himself and those around him, has been done before. So, it’s not necessarily the story that makes Flight as good as it is. It’s more the commanding, powerful, emotionally stunning performance by Denzel Washington. In all reality, Washington just may be the finest actor alive (that’s always a debate I have with my brother – as I feel Dicaprio is also in this running.) He has played soldiers (Glory), lawyers (Philadelphia), football coaches (Remember The Titans), corrupt cops (Training Day), and numerous others. The man has a method and style to each and every of his performances. He uses his eyes and pure emotion to tell the story of his character. There’s inner conviction with each word Whip utters, as he clearly knows he is lying to everyone about his disease, but he doesn’t care. Like any addict, he’s looking for his next fix, the next person he can use (in this case it comes in the form of Nicole (Kelly Reilly).)

But it’s not just Washington’s performance that makes Flight as excellent as it truly is. A lot of the film balances itself on the numerous supporting characters. From Nicole (Reilly), Hugh Lang (Don Cheadle), Whip’s attorney, Charlie Anderson (Bruce Greenwood), Whip’s oldest friend from his Navy days, to Whip’s drug supplier Harling Mays (John Goodman), each add their own substance into a mixture that, quite possibly, is one of the top three films of the entire year. *NOTE – I say top three as I still feel that both Argo and Zero Dark Thirty are slightly better.)

Video Quality

[Rating:5/5]

Flight arrives with a truly spectacular 2:35:1 framed, AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer. Perhaps the absolute best part of this transfer is just how brilliantly clean the image looks. Every little detail provides us with a perfect image. Colors are spot on, whether fabric textures or facial closeups. Contrast levels ring accurate, flesh tones aren’t overly pumped up. Object detail is also impressive (especially during the initial plane sequence.) It’s here that we can easily make out each and every detail in the plane. Liquor bottles, flight tools, buttons on William’s shirt. Exterior moments also hold a fine hi-def image. Grass is green, the sky is a clean, bright blue. Dark moments are equally solid too. Literally, I could go on and on and on listing reasons why this transfer is *no joke here* one of THE BEST hi-def transfers I’ve ever witnessed on Blu-ray (and I’ve seen some 1000+ transfers.) Kudos to all involved for delivering a top-notch transfer.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

Like the film’s video presentation, I found the included DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 to be nothing short of excellent. From the initial opening moments where Whip is walking out of his hotel room after an all night bender, we’re given signs of exactly what we’re aurally in store for. As soon as the plane takes off, the film’s soundstage opens up. We hear the hustle and bustle of the stewardesses, sounds of the plane (cabin pressure, instruments). Then all hell breaks lose. With the plane beginning a direct descent, the tension and horror increases – all of which is expertly handled. But, it’s not just these obvious heightened moments that make this lossless effort so good. The quieter moments, like those of conversations between Nicole and Whip, the subtle ambience of the surroundings, are quite impressive. Akin to the aforementioned video, this lossless mix is excellent.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1.5/5]

The included features are presented in High Definition:

  • Origins of Flight – This runs 10:29 and details the beginnings of the film. Included are conversations with Writer John Gatins, Director Robert Zemeckis, as well as a few of the films’ actors.
  • The Making of Flight – Running 11:31, this one looks into the making of the film via interviews with Zemeckis and others.
  • Anatomy of a Plane Crash – A 7:46 look into the visually stunning plane crash.
  • Q & A Highlights – This is a 14:18 cast and crew panel hosted by Los Angeles Times’ John Horn. NOTE – all cast members are present, outside of Washington.
  • UltraViolet
  • iTunes Digital Copy

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Flight is nothing short of a masterpiece. Gripping, emotional, stunning, and even occasionally funny (thanks to Goodman), Flight deserves each and every accolade it has thus received. Equally deserving of accolades is Paramount’s Blu-ray effort for the film with its excellent technical presentation. This one comes nothing short of a must own for ALL fans of Denzel Washington.

Additional Screen Captures

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BestBuy.com:
Flight - Widescreen 2 Pack AC3 Dolby Dts - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Flight on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B00B0LPWU6[/amazon-product]

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BestBuy.com:
Flight - Widescreen 2 Pack AC3 Dolby Dts - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Flight on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

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