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Hatfields & McCoys Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 290 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (2 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: July 31, 2012
  • List Price: $55.99

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All 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:4/5]

This original three-part mini-series from The History Channel is a docudrama about one of the most famous family feuds in history. Set just after the end of the U.S. Civil War, Hatfields & McCoys dramatizes the increasingly escalating violence between the core families of the Hatfields of West Virgina and McCoys of Kentucky in the Tug River Valley. Stemming from an end-of-war misunderstanding between family patriarchs, onetime friends ‘Devil’ Anse Hatfield (Kevin Costner; Dances with Wolves) and Randall McCoy (Bill Paxton; TV’s Big Love) and the killing of Randall McCoy’s Union Soldier brother by Hatfield uncle, Jim Vance (Tom Berenger), the feud would continuously escalate, becoming bloodier over the year toward the end of the 19th century, verging on a new civil war.

The series is an addictive look into the past at a famous period in U.S. History and two infamous families that will forever live on in the history books. Costner and Paxton are surprisingly good in their roles here as bitter rivals, Costner seeming extremely comfortable stepping into another Western-type role. Meanwhile, Romania fills in as a good substitute for the West Virginia-Kentucky territory, offering up some brilliant scenery as a backdrop to the bloodstained feud.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Hatfields & McCoys was captured on the Red Epic cinematographic HD camera at 5K resolution and it comes to Blu-ray with an AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. As to be expected, it is crystal clear and full of detail and texture. The image has really strong color reproduction, although the filmmakers are obviously going for a historical look rather than something modern and vibrant.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack is absolutely excellent. As the series opens on the Civil War battlefield we are thrust into the middle of the fray with bullets flying by, the din of warfare surrounding us and big low frequencies supporting every shot and explosion. This intensity may subside during the quieter segments of the series, but the activity in the surrounds is maintained with judicious panning of discrete effects and very audible atmospherics. Meanwhile, across the front, stereo panning is good and dialogue is crystal clear.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

There isn’t much provided here, but the making of does offer lots of background information on how and where the series was shot with many interviews with the cast and crew. Additionally, there’s a music video, culled from footage of the series, featuring Kevin Costner & Modern West who performed music for the series.

The supplements:

  • The Making of Hatfields & McCoys (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:30:50)
  • “I Know These Hills” music video featuring Kevin Costner & Modern West with Sara Beck (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:21)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

I don’t claim to be a historian, so I can’t say exactly how accurate this series is about the actual events that took place between the Hatfields and McCoys, but as far as being an interesting series to watch goes, this is, in fact, the real McCoy, if you’ll pardon the pun. The casting is exceptional, from Costner and Paxton through Berenger and right on down to Jena Malone as McCoy cousin Sally. Recommended.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Hatfields & McCoys on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B0081FSMMO[/amazon-product]

Purchase Hatfields & McCoys on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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1 COMMENT

  1. Actually, John Debney and Tony Morales scored the mini-series. Kevin Costner and Modern West wrote and perform, with Sara Beck: “I Know These Hills” and they made a CD entitled: “Famous For Killing Each Other: Music From and Inspired By The Hatfields and McCoys” which is available on iTunes and Amazon.com

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