Deepwater Horizon Blu-ray Review

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The Movie: 8.9/10
We seem to like stories, humans that is. They have been around a very long time. People have made up stuff, and used real life, and mixed the two together for as long as we have been around to teach each other about our experiences. We can’t be everywhere all the time, so when a tragedy like the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010 happened only the people who were there can ever really know what it was like. The thing is, there are lessons to learn from that tragic day, from the loss of those lives, and from the survival of everyone else.

The lessons we learn from retelling about events, turning them into stories move us forward, teach us compassion, give us something to think about if we are ever in a similar situation. I see the benefits, and yet I totally understand that when Hollywood does their version of a “true event” it is cranked up, dramatized for effect, and the “facts” are not going to be inline with whatever the point of view of the filmmaker is.

All that being said, this is an excellent movie that tells the story in a way that leaves me with a few different perspectives on the situation we all saw play out on TV that summer. It is, at the heart, telling us a story of greed at the expense of human life/safety. The facts of what really happen are not in dispute and the movie tells us about a few of them. There was a push to move forward with the drilling of that hole, the money was being drained and the higher-ups wanted to just get on with it. That meant choices were made that left the safety of the crew on board the Horizon.

Peter Berg does a good job of balancing the monotony of how these things can happen and the true danger of complacency. The crew in charge of drilling and testing the well were hard-working men and women who, like most of us, just were doing their jobs knowing the “people in charge” are making the wrong decisions. It’s the way it is at most jobs, and that’s a huge element of truth in this story.

They have done a good job of telling the stories of the people who mattered, the workers on that platform. They represent all the people who do the jobs that kind of keep the world going. It’s dangerous and thankless, and when you mix billion dollar industry with men standing at a hole in the Earth that is releasing billions of years worth of pressure and heat…well, the man at the hole is sacrificing a lot more than the man in the suit sitting in an office crunching the numbers.

The whole movie looks amazing. The music is just right. The performances are spot on. The cast has no flaws that I can pick on. The directing style of Berg pulls out the best in everyone it seems, and that makes for an excellent movie watching experience no matter what the subject is, but in this case his passion for the event and the survivors shines through.

I highly recommend Deepwater Horizon, just be sure to bring some tissues, tears will flow.

Features: 7/10

  • Behind The Horizon (52 Minutes) – A full length look behind the scenes that gives tons of insight into how Peter Berg works. You will also be surprised at the amount of CG work in the film.
  • Captain Of The Rig: Peter Berg (19 Minutes) – Profiling the film’s director we take a look at what it takes to make a film with such high stakes.
  • The Fury of The Rig (27 Minutes) – A look at the building of the rig used in the film and the CG magic it took to make it look convincing.
  • Deepwater Surveillance (18 Minutes) – Unedited footage from the film, think deleted scenes with less polish to them.
  • Participant Media Work Like An American (16 Minutes) – A look at the various workers across America. Peter Berg is very patriotic and this featurette shows that.
  • UV Digital Copy

Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
Excellent covers don’t come around very often but this time I would say they got it just right. I mean, it’s a bit “movie of the week” looking, but it captures the story elements that matter, the people (represented by Marky Mark) and the terrible disaster of the oil platform in the background.

Audio & Video: 8/10
Deepwater Horizon comes to Blu-ray courtesy of Lionsgate films and a 1080P 2.40:1 AVC transfer. The film was shot using Arri Alexa cameras and edited and finished in 2k. Detail levels here are incredible even during scenes where the rig is engulfed with flame which is traditionally where the AVC codec would break up. Skin tones and shadow detail are nigh on perfect. I did notice some banding in the opening underwater shots but an untrained eye would probably miss it.

Deepwater Horizon’s Dolby Atmos track is a winner on all levels. This movie would be nothing without its bombastic soundtrack that really pulls you into the movie and makes the whole thing come alive. If you want a showcase for those speakers behind you this disc should be on your shortlist.

Overall Score 8/10