Quantcast

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (Blu-ray Review)

Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot“Tina Fey shines” (Scott Mendelson, Forbes) in the wickedly entertaining comedy WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT, arriving on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand June 28, 2016 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.  The film debuts two weeks early on Digital HD June 14.  WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT is a sharp and savvy film that critics are calling “boldly entertaining” (Stephanie Zacharek, Time).    The film features an all-star ensemble cast including Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, Suicide Squad), Martin Freeman (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), Billy Bob Thornton (“Fargo”), and Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2).  The WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT Blu-ray Combo Pack with Digital HD includes over 45 minutes of bonus content.  Take an extensive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, and catch an in-depth interview with Kim Barker, upon whose memoir the film is based. The Blu-ray also includes deleted and extended scenes and much more.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 3

Film 

Based on real-life reporter Kim Barker’s revealing and funny memoir about covering the war beat in the Middle East, its a satirical take on combat journalists and an illuminating story of self-discovery.  The film follows Kim as she decides to shake things up by taking a dangerous assignment in Afghanistan.  There, in the midst of chaos, Kim discovers her true strength as she risks it all to find the next big story.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, to me, felt more like a drama, with a lighthearted lead and some good touches of comedy spread out.  While it probably doesn’t out and out look like a drama or sell like one, I really think it moreso is and just carries the nature of its lead and source character with it.  The film managed to waver in the dangers, the crazy and the character relations all while injecting humor at the right moments and intervals with which to garner some good laughs to go along with the thoughtfulness.

Supreme enjoyment with this film comes in the form of Tina Fey, which is no surprise.  But, this, this is a rather different turn for her.  This almost feels like that big notable part for her in her career.  Fey gives a pretty outstanding performance here, with her normal charm and comedic talents, but also cranking up the dramatics to an impressive result.  While, I don’t think it happens, this first half of the year I would definitely put her up for an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.  She fantastic.  This film will probably be a distant memory by the time the awards season comes around, which is a damn shame as this is a career performance at this stage that deserves the acclaim.

One balance I enjoyed with this film is how the crazy and loose the danger felt in the film while also being intense and scary.  There’s a weird sense of safety kind of established early on, but at the same time you’re kind of “holy shit”ing some of the things you’re witnessing.  Plus, there are wild dangers to the reporting on the scene that feels wholly and creepily honest in the film.  No, this isn’t 13 Hours level of intensity or action, but its enough to counter the light hearted tone at times and really get your attention and concern for the safety of the characters involved raised.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is an interesting look at last decade’s conflict in the Middle East.  And really it seems to be the first dramedy type.  But it also keeps the focus on the journalism, the challenges, tactics and wild nature to what they were doing.  The aspect of competitiveness, odd comradery, and unwillingness to leave were all effectively displayed in this true story.  Moreover, Tina Fey gives her (so far) career best performance and makes it all the more of a must see film.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 5

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot comes to Blu-ray with a gorgeous transfer.  The image is crisp and well defined.  The sharpness brings a colorful, vibrant picture to life.  The daytime scenes are popping off the screen with great detail.

Depth:  Great spacing between people, objects and background.  Movements are clean and smooth.

Black Levels:  Blacks are solid and maintain a good appearance throughout.  Shading is well done and detail still shimmers through on dark hair surfaces and clothing.

Color Reproduction:  Its a desert film, so there isn’t some rich palette, but indeed clothing that has some pizazz comes across quite lovely.  The browns, golds and such that make up the dusty terrain do look quite well.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones take on a natural appearance for the entirety of the film.  Make-up, wrinkles, stubble, scuffs, blood and sweat all appear quite visible and lifelike from most distances.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 2

Audio 

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

Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

Dynamics:  Whiskey Tango Faxtrot sports a DTS-X track, but for this review the 7.1 DTS-HD MA track was put to use.  Its a fantastic little track that expertly displays realistic quiet moments in the film with the bombastic, putting you in the middle of the action shootouts and battle type sequences.  Its a well rounded mix, featuring good layers and full sounding effects woven in with good balance to the vocals and music.

Low Frequency Extension:  Explosions, gunfire, crashes and engines humming all rumble with your subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation:  This track has some fun with the 7 channel mix.  Rear and side speakers have their own place in the action portions of the film as well as there are some fun moments with cell phone sounds coming from all over.  Onscreen movement and placement of volume due to distance also come with great accuracy.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is clean and crisp.  No matter that ruckus onscreen, everything is still clear with good discernible diction. 

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 4

Extras 

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot comes with a DVD copy and UltraViolet Digital copy of the film.

All In: The Making of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (HD, 14:12) – A safer making of that has interviews with cast and crew that goes over the tone, the source material and keeping it authentic on set.

War Reporter: The Real Kim (HD, 5:15) – A brief piece on the the actual Kim from the film with her, Tina Fey and others talking about it.

Embedded In Reality (HD, 6:23) – This one focuses on the technical advisers and their relationship with the crew and shoot.  They talk about the vehicles in the film and actual veterans working on the movie.

Wedding Party (HD, 5:31) – A focus on the filming of the Afghan wedding scene in the film.

Laughing Matters (HD, 4:24) – This one goes over the ability to balance in the comedy with the right touches in the drama.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 5:14) 

Extended Scene (HD, 4:59) – The Wedding

Summary 

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is a terrific look at the relationship of war and journalism in one of the most recent conflicts of American history.  Both Kim’s arc and Tina Fey’s performance are reason enough to see the film and in a just world, would be commended with some Academy notice next year.  The film’s Blu-ray gives as good a presentation.  Extras, while having some interesting bits, come across as pretty safe and generic.  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is definitley worth seeking out and definitely owning for Tina Fey fans as its her best performance and most unique work to date

Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot-Blu-ray

Share

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. No Comments