10.9 C
New York
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Advertisement

Texas Rising Blu-ray Review

texas-rising-bluray-coverU.S. Release (Region A Locked)

The Series

[Rating:3/5]

texas-rising-BD_01

History Channel rolls out another one of their big budget historical miniseries with the 8-hour, star-studded epic Texas Rising about The Republic of Texas’ war of independence from the tyrannical Mexican General Santa Anna (Olivier Martinez), and ultimately the formation of the Texas Rangers.

Shot in Durango, Mexico, this docudrama/TV western was directed by Roland Joffé (The Killing Fields), and stars Bill Paxton, a direct descendent of the man he is playing here, Sam Houston, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as “Deaf” Smith, Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Emily “The Yellow Rose of Texas” West.

The story begins with Santa Anna’s (Martinez) infamous overrun and brutal slaughter of the people at the Alamo and from there follows Sam Houston as he leads his “Texian” army, a ragtag group of volunteers, military men, and, farmers, as they itch for revenge against the Mexican general. His seeming timidity to fight causes questions amongst his top officers, but strong support from the U.S. Government, namely Andrew Jackson, keeps Houston in power, and spies in Santa Anna’s ranks, such as the seductive free black woman Emily West also keep him a step ahead of the general.

The miniseries is fun to watch for a while of only for the marvelous cinematography captured by Arthur Reinhart. Durango may not be Texas, but this classic backdrop which has been used for many a classic western looks wonderful nevertheless. Texas Rising, however, fails to really dig into the souls and the history of the two men at the center of this conflict. Sam Houston and Santa Anna are portrayed mainly as their archetypes, the white hat hero with some minor human flaws, and the villainous opportunist who must be stopped at all cost.

Chances to delve into other social aspects are completely missed here as well, such as the condition of the slaves, the relationship between the Mexicans and the Whites, the ongoing battle between the Native Americans and the White settlers. All of these things are handled so clumsily and clichéd, that the entire series feels a bit shallow, even as it is entertaining, at least for its first three episodes. Once we arrive at the point where Santa Anna is defeated, Texas Rising loses all momentum reason for moving forward.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

texas-rising-BD_02

Texas Rising was initially shot in 6K on the Red Epic Dragon with Leica Summicron-C lenses and it arrives in HD on Blu-ray in an AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodement from Lionsgate. It’s a superb, reference quality transfer that looks cinematic in every regard, with no terrible digital anomalies like posterization or aliasing, and video noise, while present in some spots, is not harsh or excessive, and adds an almost organic, filmic feel to the all digital production. Shadows are nuanced, and there’s great depth to the extremely sharp image.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

texas-rising-BD_03

Texas Rising also gets a really strong DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack as well as several foreign language dubs in Dolby Digital 5.1. This mix is subtle when need be capturing the natural sounds of the Wild West, but also loud and aggressive, surrounding you in galloping horses, gunfire, and the general din of battle when the action picks up. Dialogue is full and clear, but there are a few places where there was just the slightest hint of clipping in the dialogue during some of the louder passages.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

texas-rising-BD_04

These featurettes provide more actual in-depth history on Sam Houston and Santa Anna than this whole 8-hour miniseries does, offering commentary from historians and the actors. There is also a making of that has some behind-the-scenes footage and information on the on location shooting of the series.

  • Digital HD UltraViolet
  • Capturing the Revolution: Filming Texas Rising (1080p/24; 00:14:34)
  • Sam Houston: A Man of the Revolution (1080p/24; 00:13:58)
  • General Santa Anna: Leading Mexico (1080p/24; 00:12:20)


The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

texas-rising-BD_05

What could have been an epic series that was truly captivating is ultimately mediocre pop history, despite the all star cast and A-list director. The action and visuals are cinematic and fantastic, but as a history miniseries, Texas Rising is a bit of a disappointment.

Additional Screen Captures


texas-rising-BD_06

texas-rising-BD_07

texas-rising-BD_08

texas-rising-BD_09

texas-rising-BD_10

texas-rising-BD_11

texas-rising-BD_12

texas-rising-BD_13

texas-rising-BD_14

texas-rising-BD_15

texas-rising-BD_16

texas-rising-BD_17

texas-rising-BD_18

texas-rising-BD_19

texas-rising-BD_20

texas-rising-BD_21

texas-rising-BD_22

texas-rising-BD_23

texas-rising-BD_24

texas-rising-BD_25

texas-rising-BD_26

texas-rising-BD_27

texas-rising-BD_28

texas-rising-BD_29

texas-rising-BD_30

texas-rising-BD_31

texas-rising-BD_32

texas-rising-BD_33

texas-rising-BD_34

texas-rising-BD_35

texas-rising-BD_36

texas-rising-BD_37

texas-rising-BD_38

texas-rising-BD_39

Advertisement

Related Articles

TheaterByte’s Holiday Gift Guide for 2020

Let’s focus on the donut here: BEST Home Entertainment Holiday EVER.

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

A stunning 4K Ultra HD restoration of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy arrives.

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

301FansLike
0FollowersFollow
723FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

TheaterByte’s Holiday Gift Guide for 2020

Let’s focus on the donut here: BEST Home Entertainment Holiday EVER.

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

A stunning 4K Ultra HD restoration of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy arrives.

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Blu-ray Review)

This is an uneven but still fun to watch sequel to the 2016 smash hit zombie/action movie lands on Blu-ray with a rollicking Atmos mix.

Chernobyl (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The account of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, Soviet Union, and the subsequent health and political fallout is told in five gripping episodes.
%d bloggers like this: