Dec 292016

Deepwater Horizon is an intense action-disaster flick that takes the genre to the next level considering it’s based on actual events. The performances by Mark Wahlberg and Kurt Russell are top notch while John Malkovich was a bit distracting but still an effective antagonist.



Deepwater Horizon

Genre(s): Action, Drama, Disaster
Lionsgate | PG13 – 107 min. – $29.99 | January 10, 2017

Date Published: 12/29/2016 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by:
Peter Berg
Writer(s): David Barstow & David Rohde & Stephanie Saul (article); Matthew Sand (screen story), Matthew Michael Carnahan and Matthew Sand (screenplay)
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien, Kate Hudson, Ethan Suplee, Peter Berg
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: UHD, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 2160p/Widescreen 2.40 (UHD), 1080p/Widescreen 2.40 (BD)
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish
Disc Size: NA
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (UHD), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A


THE MOVIE — 3.75/5

Deepwater Horizon is a disaster film that is based on actual events and as with all these kind of movies, I can’t be sure what is true and what was Hollywood-ized, but either way, this was a surprisingly well made, and often intense, flick that is well paced and has just enough to make one care about these characters, even ones who received no development.

The film takes place on April 20, 2010 and all seems calm onboard the Deepwater Horizon, an offshore oil rig that employs 126 men and women. However, something dangerous is brewing after, following pouring a concrete foundation intended to keep the well stable, was not pressure tested, and those workers sent home early by BP exec Donald Vidrine (JOHN MALKOVICH) as the project is over 40 days delayed. Not comfortable with starting the oil extractions, supervisor James “Jimmy” Harrell (KURT RUSSELL) insists on a test which only weakens the crumbling foundation but due to misreading faulty gauges, Vidrine insists on starting the drilling process.

Meanwhile, Harrell’s underling is Mike Williams (MARK WAHLBERG), who preps the drilling team. Another character we follow is Andrea Fleytas (GINA RODRIGUEZ), the navigation officer whose only character development is trying to fix her beloved Mustang at home. It’s at least just enough to make us care for her and she shares a nice scene with Wahlberg’s Williams toward the finale.

Initially, things seem to be going smoothly but shortly all hell breaks loose as the foundation gives way and a blowout occurs. With workers unable to seal the wells, the overflowing oil catches fire endangering the crew who must overcome obstacles and escape the fiery inferno. Expounding the situation is, early on, those in charge reluctance to call in for help from the Coast Guard and other decisions due to both chain of command and money when it came to the BP executives believing, before it was aflame, the rig could be salvaged.

Beyond the real life events, the performances are what propel the movie out of mindless action. Mark Wahlberg continues to impress as the years go on (if only he’d avoid the Transformers franchise, however) and Kurt Russell getting absolutely no background for his character beyond being a man of action, has some wonderful scenes. And then there’s John Malkovich who is effectively the film’s villain… well, he’s at least got the intensity but his strange accent, which wasn’t always understandable, sometimes comes across at times a bit cartoony. Kate Hudson gets the thankless task of playing the worried wife at home a la Kiera Knightly in Everest but she has some OK scenes all things considered.

Originally Deepwater Horizon was going to be directed by J.C. Chandor (Margin Call), a talented young filmmaker, departing over the age old “creative differences” excuse, before action-extraordinaire Peter Berg (Battleship) came aboard. And while indeed at times this did have shades of Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (also based on true events), I did find the action sequences well done and, most of all, thoroughly intense. The visual and fire effects were also great as was the production design with the team building an oil rig set.

In the end, I found Deepwater Horizon immensely entertaining in a horrific kind of way given it is based on true events that cost 11 men their lives. This isn’t a deep thinking movie nor is it like, say, The Insider, taking on the oil industry and instead sticks to the event and lets the viewer decide. While it’s not as good as Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg’s other team-up Lone Survivor, it’s still well worth viewing.



This 2-disc release (4K, BD) comes housed in a black Blu-ray case and a semi-glossy and semi-reflective, slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Beyond the Horizon (51:21; HD) – Mark Wahlberg and the cast meet the real-life heroes and discuss their personal experiences from Deepwater Horizon. This is split into 5 parts and features interviews with the cast and crew as well as behind-the-scenes footage. ** 4K/BD Exclusive **

Captain of the Rig: Peter Berg (18:15; HD) – Cast members discuss Director Peter Berg’s vision to bring the film to the screen. ** 4K/BD Exclusive **

The Fury of the Rig (27:20; HD) – This looks at bringing the rig and explosive stunts to life both physically and with visual effects.

Deepwater Surveillance (17:40; HD) is access to the set up close with raw footage.

Work Like an American are 8 stories of real American workers.

  • American Worker Tributes (16:03; HD)
  • I Am a Steel Beam with Narration by Director Peter Berg (1:03; HD)
  • I Am a Steel Beam with Narration by Gina Rodriguez (1:03; HD)


4K UHD VIDEO – 4.75/5, BD VIDEO – 4.5/5

Lionsgate releases Deepwater Horizon onto 4K UHD presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 2160p ultra high-def transfer (HEVC / H.265 codec). This was a nearly incredible looking picture with vivid colors particularly with the numerous fire sequences while skin tones appear natural looking and sharp throughout while darker shots still showed nice detail. All that said, there was one issue: banding. From the opening shot it was noticeable, a bit more so on the Blu-ray, however. Where there should have been a smooth transition in the ocean colors, was instead layered. As I said, it’s a bit smoother here than on the Blu-ray but still there.

The aforementioned Blu-ray, while having the banding issue, this 1080p high-definition transfer still has good detail and colors and skin tones appear natural looking. Speaking to those who are only interested in the Blu-ray disc, it might not be perfect but it’s certainly still a great looking transfer.

AUDIO – 5.0/5

Both the UHD and BD copies come with a robust and monumental Dolby Atmos track (outputs TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) that will knock your socks off. Along with the LFE channel which kicks in for extra measure, each and every available channel is used to its full effect. Dialogue is fairly clear when it wants to be (there’s a scene where Russell’s character is attempting to get info from an outgoing crew but the chopper drowns it out) but where this comes to life is with the almost non-stop action and fire scenes which are just incredible to behold and if not for that banding on the video, this easily would be reference quality material.


OVERALL – 4.25/5

Overall, Deepwater Horizon is an intense action-disaster flick that takes the genre to the next level considering it’s based on actual events. The performances by Mark Wahlberg and Kurt Russell are top notch while John Malkovich was a bit distracting but still an effective antagonist. This 4K UHD release comes with ~2 hours of bonus material and incredible video and audio transfers.





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

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