Hell or High Water, Blu-ray (2016)

by | Nov 15, 2016 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews

Hell or High Water, Blu-ray (2016)

A thriller of a western and bank robbery mashup film.  

Cast: Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster, Katy Mixon, Kevin Rankin
Studio: Lionsgate (11/22/16) (2 discs)
Director: David Mackenzie
Video: 2.40:1 for 16:9 screens, 1080p HD color
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1, DD 2.0 compressed for late-night listening, Spanish DD 5.1, SDH descriptive audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Extras: Enemies Forever: The characters of Hell or High Water, Visualizing the Heart of America, Damaged Heros: The performances of Hell or High Water, Red Carpet Premiere, Q&A of Filmmakers
Length: 122 min.
Rating: ****1/2

This basically is a story set in West Texas of two brothers who turn to robbing banks to save their family’s land, with Jeff Bridges playing one of the two Texas Rangers out to stop them. Chris Pine is great as the more intellectual, good guy of the two brothers, and turns to his brother (who is just out jail and loves to shoot people and get in fights) in order to rob four small banks in their area to get money to save his family ranch from foreclosure for his two boys (he is divorced and hasn’t paid his alimony).

Both Bridges and Pine shine in their roles in the riveting story of crime, punishment and brotherly love. Bridges is great as the elder Texas Ranger who is about to retire. He has many asides for his half Indian-half Mexican partner, but really loves him and kills the wilder one of the two brothers after his partner dies in a gunfight with the brother.

Somehow the use of a British director who had a new first-time vision of the flat and dry poverty-struck land of West Texas was a fine decision. The cinematography is lovely, and the final scene of the Ranger and the remaining brother is breath-taking. It was hailed as one of the year’s finest films. The extras are worth watching too – including how the filmmakers used real locations to bring the story to life.

—John Sunier

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