Thursday, January 19, 2017

Blu-Ray Review: The Light Between Oceans

Based on the best-selling novel, The Light Between Oceans is an epic movie about love, moral dilemmas and what one will do for their loved one. Set in Australia after the Great War, Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender), is a veteran who is looking for solitude as he had seen so many of those around him die and he now lives with the guilt of having survived. He takes up a job as a lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, a job that no one wants, and will give Tom the isolation he believes that he needs. 

Fate, however, has other plans for Tom. On his way to Janus he meets Isabel Graysmark (Alicia Vikander), a beautiful woman who has lost her two brothers in the war. Their love blossoms and over time the two are married. Tom brings Isabel back to Janus Rock. Unable to start a family, hope arrives in a rowboat with an infant girl being held by a dead man. Isabel feels that this was meant to be and wants to take the child as their own. Tom feels that the right thing to do is to report the child and the dead man. 

In the end, Tom gives in to Isabel and they raise the child as their own, who they name Lucy. Years later when they visit the mainland, Tom discovers, by mere coincidence, who the child may be. This is when things really begin to unfold and a love triangle between parents begins. Tom and Isabel on one side and Hannah (Rachel Weisz), who is Lucy's biological mother, on the other. A series of twists and turns follows.

Fassbender gives us another powerful performance as a man who has given up on the world and fate won't let him. Vikander proves why she continues to be one of my favorite actresses in a role that you still fell sympathetic for Isabel even when she has completely flown off the rails. Weisz provides another equally powerful performance as she is perhaps the most complex and sympathetic character in the movie.

What will happen? Make sure to watch The Light Between Oceans on blu-ray when it comes out January 24, 2017.

Video Quality:

As always Disney's 1080p video presentation is impressive. Details are superb. The grass and rocky terrain around the lighthouse is sharp and crisp. Clothing reveals fine fabrics and stitching. Colors are rich and vibrant. Skin tones are accurate. There is next to nothing to complain about in the video transfer. 

Audio Quality:

The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless soundtrack is solid. You will feel like you are in the middle of the island in the middle of nowhere. This is a reference quality soundtrack. There is a moment during the storm scene that is truly encompassing. You will feel the power of this powerful storm from the gale force winds to the heavy downpour of rain. The score blends in seamlessly with the environmental effects. The dialogue is precise and center-focused. But it's the storm that will be a standout for years to come. 

Bonus Material:

There are two featurettes as well as an audio commentary. A digital copy of the film is also included.

  • Bringing The Light to Life (1080p, 16:47): This featurette takes a look at the movie's story and themes, shooting locations, cast and performances, life on the set, and more.
  • Audio Commentary: Director Derek Cianfrance and Film Studies Professor Phil Solomon, discuss Solomon's potential involvement in the film's title sequence and many of the basic commentary insights: technical construction, sound design, editing, cast and performances, and more. It is definitely worth a listen. 
  • Lighthouse Keeper (1080p, 5:40): This featurette focuses on finding just the right shooting location for the film.

A solid film with a gorgeous 1080p transfer, reference quality audio as well as several good bonus features. The Light Between Oceans reaches store shelves on January 24, 20117. 

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