Feb 282020

Midway was a nice surprise as going in didn’t have much of any expectations, but found the action to be well done and features a fine ensemble cast, no one really standing out, and instead the air battles take center stage.




Genre(s): War, Action, Drama
Lionsgate | PG13 – 138 min. – $42.99 | February 18, 2020

Date Published: 02/28/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Writer(s): Wes Tooke (written by)
Cast: Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Luke Evans, Mandy Moore, Luke Kleintank, Dennis Quaid, Aaron Eckhart, Keenan Johnson, Nick Jonas, Etsushi Toyokawa, Tadanobu Asano, Jake Weber, Alexander Ludwig

Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Theatrical Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: (4K/BD) English (Dolby Atmos), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C

Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures were taken from the Blu-ray disc and do not represent the 4K Ultra HD transfer.

THE MOVIE — 3.75/5

Plot Synopsis: On Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese forces launch a devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. naval base in Hawaii. Six months later, the Battle of Midway commences on June 4, 1942, as the Japanese navy once again plans a strike against American ships in the Pacific. For the next three days, the U.S. Navy and a squad of brave fighter pilots engage the enemy in one of the most important and decisive battles of World War II.

Review: Roland Emmerich is a strangely interesting filmmaker, not so good to be neither memorable nor bad enough to be heavily mocked either. I’ve enjoyed a few of his films like Universal Soldier, Stargate, Independence Day and The Patriot (even 2012 to an extent), but he also has The Day After Tomorrow, White House Down and Independence Day: Resurgence in the mix.

With mostly a resume filled with schlocky disaster flicks, odd to see him take on a more serious topic with Midway, which I was surprised to find to be a rather good war-drama, not a great film by any stretch but a rather engaging flick with well shot action set pieces amidst some adequate enough visual effects and a well rounded cast.

Kind of similar to Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, the actors take a backseat to the war-action with a smattering of some character development thrown in so one can actually care for their well-being. Ed Skrein technically is the main character, as Dick Best, and although I really haven’t been impressed with him, be it in the Transporter Refueled or Deadpool, he reminds me a lot of a Jai Courtney or Sam Worthington, objectively good looking and leading-man in appearance, but lacking charisma unless in the right role. Here, he has a few nice moments, but nothing especially noteworthy. Patrick Wilson is serviceable as always and makes due with some stilted dialogue; there’s a few notable actors thrown in from Dennis Quaid to Woody Harrelson (in powder white hair) and Aaron Eckhart as war hero, Jimmy Doolittle in a segment showing the Doolittle Raid that felt a bit tacked on.

The remainder of the supporting cast includes the underappreciated Luke Evans portraying Wade McClusky; Nick Jonas continued foray in feature films following the two new Jumanji films; Mandy Moore as Best’s wife; plus a variety of Japanese actors, and to Emmerich’s credit, kept their side in their native language.

The selling point for this film is less about why the attack on Pearl Harbor, and later the battle at Midway, with only a few scenes hinting at it, and more about the wartime action sequences which for the most part were really well shot, with some minor quibbles with the visual effects, although all in all, for a movie in the genre with a $100 million budget, was at least half-decent.



This release comes with a glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. All of the features are available on both the 4K and Blu-ray discs.

Audio Commentary — Producer/Director Roland Emmerich

Getting it Right: Making of Midway (14:16) —This behind-the-scenes featurette on the process of making the movie and attempts to get it as historically accurate as possible. Includes on-set interviews with members of the cast and crew.

The Men of Midway (12:24) is on the casting and their preparations portraying real-life people.

Roland Emmerich: Man on a Mission (4:57) — Is on the dedication by Roland Emmerich to get this passion project off the ground.

Turning Point: The Legacy of Midway (15:00) — Historical featurette, with interviews by historians, on how the battle of Midway was a turning point in World War II and the U.S. vs. Japan.

Joe Rochefort: Breaking the Japanese Code (6:14) on the importance of this code breaker, and his teamn, as portrayed by Brennan Brown.

We Met at Midway: Two Survivors Remember (9:29) — Poignant featurette with two veterans providing their account of the battle.

Theatrical Trailer (2:33)


4K VIDEO – 5.0/5, BD VIDEO – 5.0/5

Lionsgate releases Midway onto 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray shown in its original 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and given 2160p and 1080p high-definition transfers, respectively. This is an amazing looking picture in both formats with the 4K getting a slight edge with the natural film noise a bit more evident and colors getting a slight boost courtesy of the HDR even if the coloring is era appropriate, geared toward natural tones.

AUDIO – 4.75/5

Both the 4K UHD and Blu-ray comes with a Dolby Atmos track which really puts you in the midst of the warfare be it the attack on Pearl Harbor or the battle at Midway, showcasing incredible depth through the front and rear channels, with the primary action coming through the center speaker, with the dialog coming across with good clarity.


OVERALL – 4.0/5

Midway was a nice surprise as going in didn’t have much of any expectations, but found the action to be well done and features a fine ensemble cast, no one really standing out, and instead the air battles take center stage, although the dialogue tended to be the weak point. That said, this is well worth a rental. The 4K UHD/Blu-ray combo pack offers up excellent video/audio transfers and a good selection of bonus material.


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