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The Finest Hours (Blu-ray Review)

Finest-HoursDisney presents one of the greatest rescue stories ever told. THE FINEST HOURS a heroic action-thriller based on the extraordinary true story of of the greatest small-boat rescue in Coast Guard history. Starring Chris Pine (the “Star Trek” films), Academy Award® and Golden Globe® nominee Casey Affleck (“Interstellar”), Ben Foster (“3:10 to Yuma”) and Eric Bana (“Lone Survivor”), “THE FINEST HOURS” makes its in-home debut packaged with a host of bonus features about the making of the movie and the remarkable true-life events that inspired it. It storms home on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere May 24th.  Based on the acclaimed non-fiction book of the same name by Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias, viewers can enjoy diving into the thrilling eye of the storm with: An all-new documentary  “Against All Odds: The Bernie Webber Story,” in which real-life residents of Chatham recall the events that set the stage for the film’s historic rescue mission;Four making-of featurettes highlighting cast members experiences and reflections by members of the U.S. Coast Guard; as well as two never-before-shared Deleted Scenes.

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Film 

This heroic action-thriller is based on the extraordinary true story of the greatest small-boat rescue in Coast Guard history. In 1952, a massive winter storm strikes off the coast of Cape Cod, ripping a T-2 oil tanker in half and trapping more than 30 sailors inside its rapidly sinking stern. When word of the disaster reaches the U.S. Coast Guard, four men led by Captain Bernie Webber set out in a 12-seat boat on a daring mission to rescue the stranded men, braving freezing cold, 60-foot waves and hurricane-force winds, and guided by Webber’s vow that “We all live, or we all die.”

The Finest Hours is a film that really isn’t bad.  Its looks nice, its performed pretty well, has some good scope and scale as well as action sequences.  However, its not very good either.  This film lies somewhere in a really boring mediocre middle ground.  I hope that’s making some sort of sense.  But, its very much looks, plays and sounds like any sort of generic period piece film you’ve seen before.

I’ll praise some of its big moments and the scenes out in the water look pretty fantastic.  However, there’s just no meat or weight holding it on that I feel would bring a layer of intensity needed.  The direction on it is too static and impersonal to get that across.  Its also bogged down with what feels like too much insignificant background on Bernie Webber.  The film really needed to be a focus on the rescue and us learning about the people involved through actions and dialogue there, rather than showing us more than we need to see.  Its all very formulaic and feels done before.

Chris Pine is pretty good in this film.  He’s deep in his role.  I wouldn’t say he’s a standout or spectacular, but this is good for him and a place we’ve never seen him before.  He gets it and maybe this will open us up to more like this or progressing to better as the guy does have quite a range of talent as we’ve seen in other things.  The other performers, like Casey Affleck, are pretty solid and just sort of work or are as good as advertised.  One slight exception, is Eric Bana whom I normally like a lot, just wasn’t up to snuff here.

To be a dick, I’ll say that the two hours I spent watching this weren’t so fine or are the finest of hours that I’d like to have back.  Some will like this movie a lot.  Casual movie watchers probably will probably enjoy this movie a heck of a lot more than I did.  That’s not a slight on them, but people like us here at Why So Blu watch a lot more films than the casual movie-goer and see things done over and over and over the same way and it came become a bit of a bore after time.  This one would be a rental at best or wait for your streaming service to have it for free.

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Clarity/Detail:  This picture, as expected, looks pretty top notch.  The details on the ships, from rust to scuffs and scratches will impress.  The image is pretty sharp and crisp.  

Depth:  Solid depth work here.  Movements are smooth and cinematic.  Spacing between environments and people is top notch.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and rich.  There is some good shading and helping with definition here.  Dark scenes look plenty good.  No crushing witness.  Clothing detail, hair and surfaces that are dark still shine through with some good detail.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are pretty solid here.  Nothing too vivid, but bold and strong in appearance.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural and maintain that consistency throughout the film.  Wrinkles, make-up, lip texture, stubble and wounds all come through with good detail.

Noise/Artifacts:  Clean

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Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics:  The Finest Hours comes with the finest of 7.1 tracks.  This thing fills up your viewing area and consumes you just as the roaring waters do on screen.  This mix is loud, relentless, crisp and clear.  There are layers upon layers of precision at work here.  While I wasn’t big on the film at hand, I was very very impressed with how it sounded here.

Low Frequency Extension:  Creeks and cracks of ships, deep waves riling up, crashing and more get a good boost from the subwoofer. 

Surround Sound Presentation:  Its 7 channels and its gonna make damn use of the 7 channels.  There are things going on everywhere.  Its all accurate to screen placement and movement as well.  You’ll feel a very lifelike environment coming from it.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is crisp, clean, loud and has great clarity.

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Extras 

The Finest Hours comes with an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film.

Against All Odds: The Bernie Webber Story (HD, 14:10) – The folks of Chatham tell the story of which the film is based.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 4:28) 

Brotherhood (HD, 1:49) – This little bit focuses on the male cast in the film

Two Crews (HD, 2:02) – Discusses briefly, the heroics of the rescue and the rescue’d in the film

What Is Your Finest Hour? (HD, 1:02) – A coast guard describes a personal act of bravery.

The Finest Inspiration: The US Coast Guard (HD, 1:42) – Actual coast guard and military personnel discuss rescues and the film.

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Summary 

The movie here is plenty mediocre with forgettable extras, but this Blu-ray presentation is outstanding.  This features a terrific video presentation and an audio track that’ll knock your socks off.  Its full of life and invades your screening area without remorse.  Its a bummer the film couldn’t be any better, but if you have a surround system, you’re in for at least a treat in that regard.  Recommended to those who just need something to blast through their surround sound or to demo it.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

1 Response to “The Finest Hours (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Yeah, I honestly didn’t know Eric Bana could be this bad in a film.