Wind River (Blu-ray) (2017)

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Released 13-Dec-2017

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Crime Drama None
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2017
Running Time 107:05
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Taylor Sheridan
Studio
Distributor
Icon Entertainment Starring Jeremy Renner
Elizabeth Olsen
Graham Green
Gil Birmingham
Julia Jones
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Nick Cave
Warren Ellis


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) is a ranger in the wilds of Wyoming, tracking and shooting animals, such as wolves, who prey on farmers’ livestock. Following the tracks of a mountain lion in a blizzard across the snowy wastes of the Wind River Indian Reserve, Cory finds the body of a teenage girl miles from the nearest buildings; she was partially clad and shoeless, had been raped and beaten and was running away from something when she died. Cory recognises the girl as Natalie Hanson, an Indian girl from the reserve.

     Only the FBI have jurisdiction to investigate a death on an Indian reserve; the nearest FBI agent is rookie Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) who is equipped neither for the investigation nor the freezing weather. Reserve policemen Ben (Graham Green) has limited resources so Jane enlists Cory as he knows the area and the people. Cory has had his own tragedy; three years previously his own teenage daughter, a close friend of Natalie, had been murdered and the culprit never found. This had caused the breakup of Cory’s marriage with Wilma (Julia Jones); now Cory has chance to assuage some of his guilt by helping his friend Martin (Gil Birmingham), Natalie’s father, to some form of closure. As the hunt for the killer, or killers, continues into the snowy wasteland, death from the weather or from men is never far away.

     Wind River was written and directed by Taylor Sheridan, better known as a writer with Sicario (2015) and Hell or High Water (2016), for which he was nominated for a screenplay Oscar, on his resume; Wind River is his second film as director, the first was Vile (2011), a film I am not familiar with and which Sheridan didn’t write. Wind River is a sad and powerful film about alienation and loss, in which Sheridan, as is his want, includes some finely drawn characters and dialogue that is both poignant and moving, including a couple of exchanges between Jeremy Renner and Gil Birmingham. He is helped by the excellence of the cast; all are spot on while Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Graham Green and Gil Birmingham are very impressive. Jeremy Renner’s Cory is suitably stoic and robust; Renner has received two Oscar nominations (for The Hurt Locker (2008) and The Town (2010)) while Graham Green received his best supporting Oscar nomination back in 1990 for Dances with Wolves. This is also the third film Renner and Olsen have made together, both others were “Avengers” films as part of the Marvel Universe. The other major character in the film is nature. Set in Wyoming (where the real Wind River Reservation is located), but shot mostly in Utah, the landscape of blizzards, deep snow, meadows, forest and mountains is stunningly photographed by cinematographer Ben Richardson; this is a beautiful, bleak, wild and dangerous country.

     Wind River is film with disturbing themes; there is brutality and death and the violence can come out of nowhere. This is a powerful film and a sad film, yet while the landscape and the subject matter may be bleak the ending offers hope, and reconciliation. Taylor Sheridan won the Un Certain Regard – Best Director at Cannes in 2017; it was not undeserved.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Wind River is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     Shot using Arri Alexa cameras Wind River looks stunning. Other than the brilliant blue of the sky (when there is not a blizzard happening), strong colours are not evident as this is a landscape dominated by snow, which glints and glistens in the light. Detail is pristine, both widescreen and the close-ups of rugged and lined faces, small black figures on a wide white landscape, muddy vehicles. Blacks and shadow detail is excellent, skin tones natural, contrast and brightness consistent. I did not notice any marks or artefacts and the frame is steady under motion, except in those sections that are deliberately distorted to show the disorientation of the character.

     English captions for the hearing impaired are available.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is English DTS-HA MA 5.1.

     This is a film where the dialogue is naturalistic, so some sentences are mumbled and hard to hear clearly. The rears and surrounds are constantly used for the wind, thunder, car and snow mobile engines including panning effects, the swish of snow. Gunshots are loud and reverberate, the impacts of rounds a sickening thud. In sequences of disorientation the sound is loud and swirling. The subwoofer added appropriate depth to the engines, thunder and shots. The score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis is beautiful, delicate and evocative perfectly suiting the film.

     There are no lip synchronisation issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     No extras. The menu offers only “Play Film / Chapters / Set Up”.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region A US Blu-ray of Wind River adds Spanish subtitles, deleted scenes (3:11) and a video behind the scenes diary (9:54); more than we get but it hardly seems worth importing.

Summary

     Jeremy Renner is excellent in Wind River, a film that is well written, well directed and with stunningly beautiful location cinematography. Wind River is a beautiful, powerful and sad film that will stay with you long after the end credits roll.

     The video and audio are very good. No extras of any kind.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, September 06, 2018
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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