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Deepwater Horizon, Blu-ray VR (2017)

A very dramatic portrayal of the real-life worst oil spill accident ever.

Deepwater Horizon, Blu-ray VR (2017)

Cast: Kurt Russell, Mark Wahlberg, John Malkovich, James DuMount, Douglas M. Griffin, Joe Chrest, Kate Hudson, Gina Rodriquez
Director: Peter Berg
Based on story by: Matthew Sand
Studio: Summit Entertainment/ Lionsgate (1/10/17) [2 discs] 4K Blu-ray Combo Pack
Video: For 16:9 screens, HD, color
Audio: English Dolby Atmos, Spanish DD 5.1, English DD 2.0, English Optimized for Late-Night Listening
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Extras: (on Blu-ray) Beyond the Horizon – an hour-long five-part series: “Captain of the Rig,” “The Fury of the Rig,” “Deepwater Surveillance,” “Work Like An American” (tribute to America’s blue-collar workers.
Length: 97 min.
Rating: ****

Kurt Russell and Mark Wahlberg head up this true story of the most major oil spill accident ever. Russell provided wisdom on the set which ultimately improved the film. The 126 real-life heroes aboard the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig began their day like any other. But before it ended, the world saw one of the greatest man-made disasters in U.S. history. The film shows the brave acts of the men and women aboard who rose to the unbelievable challenge and risked all to lead others to safety. The fire effects are very realistic and almost too much to take. John Malkovich is great as the executive who was probably responsible for the disaster. All the details that go into the operation of such an offshore drilling rig are shown, and they are many.

A big promotional bit of this film are three 360-degree virtual reality commentaries by the director – Peter Berg – for both iOS and Android platforms. Unfortunately, the only one visible was the first of the three, which was two guys projecting scenes from the film on a flat screen in front of them. You could see around the room in 360 degrees but otherwise there was no 3D effect. The other two VR commentaries required sound from the actual film soundtrack to work. When that was provided, nothing ensued. We had a plastic version of the famous Google Cardboard Glasses, but could not see very much. It seems to me the three could have been done just as well with standard Blu-ray extras technology.

—John Sunier

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