Nov 302016

Hell or High Water was one of the bigger surprises of a downtrodden 2016 and while I don’t think it’s perfect, as a character-driven, modern-day Western, it is fantastic with performances by Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster and Chris Pine (in that order).



Hell or High Water

Genre(s): Drama, Crime
Lionsgate | R – 122 min. – $19.99 | November 22, 2016

Date Published: 11/30/2016 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by:
David Mackenzie
Writer(s): Taylor Sheridan (written by)
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish
Disc Size: 37.0 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


THE MOVIE — 4.0/5

Hell or High Water is perhaps one of the more surprising movies to come out in a bland year thus far and one that, at first, seemed to be destined like many other Lionsgate distributed films: VOD and eventual home video release and end up into the Wal-Mart bin of obscurity. But a funny thing happened along the way, it was actually a pretty damn good modern western-thriller, a slow burn one for sure, yet a movie with actual, genuine contemplation and relies more on character than bullets and explosions.

The story centers on brothers Toby (CHRIS PINE) and Tanner (BEN FOSTER), a pair of bank robbers who are out for revenge against one company, a company which held a reverse mortgage on the family ranch following a long, and costly, medical battle. On their trail is soon-to-be-retired Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (JEFF BRIDGES) and his partner, Alberto Park (GIL BIRMINGHAM).

It’s a pretty simple plot but Hell or High Water is less about the crime, although there are some suspenseful and even darkly comedic moments, but instead is a character driven drama featuring top notch performances from Jeff Bridges and Ben Foster while Chris Pine was respectable though gets overshadowed. Bridges in particular was fantastic as just a man enjoying the chase and contemplating his future outside of the Rangers.

Hell or High Water, written by Taylor Sheridan (Sicario) and helmed by David Mackenzie (Perfect Sense), is wonderfully contemplative with more quiet scenes than thriller-centric ones. It’s not quite a slow burn but as a viewer you can see these four characters perhaps on a collision course with one another and in that regard, it is pretty suspense-filled. Compared to Sheridan’s Sicario, it doesn’t have quite the pizzazz in terms of style, which can be attributed to the director and cinematographer, and yet this film is at least memorable.



This release comes with a matted slip cover. Inside is a DVD Copy and a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Enemies Forever: The Characters of Hell or High Water (13:36; HD) — The cast and crew discuss the main characters.

Visualizing the Heart of America (9:28; HD) looks at the modern day landscape in Texas.

Damaged Heroes: The Performance of Hell or High Water (12:24; HD) centers on the cast of the film.

Red Carpet Premiere (1:53; HD) is merely footage of the cast at the premiere.

Filmmaker Q&A (29:51; HD) — Director David Mackenzie and Cast Members Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Gil Birmingham as they answer a variety of questions.

PreviewsBlood Father, The Duel, The Mechanic: ResurrectionSicario


VIDEO – 3.75/5

Presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and an AVC encoded transfer in 1080p high-definition, Hell or High Water, being set in and around the south, is devoid of much color, geared more toward natural tones, lots of light browns and such, however detail was fairly sharp and well defined. I didn’t notice any major instances of dust marks (not that I could tell in some shots) or artifacts so it was generally a clean transfer.

AUDIO – 3.5/5

The disc includes a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which is decent but hardly all encompassing. Dialogue levels sound crisp and clean but when the bullets start flying, particularly toward the end, it did seem to lack much depth, still it’s an adequate lossless track.


OVERALL – 3.75/5

Overall, Hell or High Water was one of the bigger surprises of a downtrodden 2016 and while I don’t think it’s perfect, as a character-driven, modern-day Western, it is fantastic with performances by Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster and Chris Pine (in that order) with Bridges deserving of an Academy Award nomination. The Blu-ray released by Lionsgate offers good video/audio transfers and an average selection of bonus features.





Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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