The Way Back (2010)
Nominated for a 2010 Academy Award (Best Makeup)! Four-time Oscar nominee Ed Harris (Apollo 13), Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe) and Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan (Atonement) and Colin Farrell (In Bruges) star in this epic saga of survival from six-time Oscar-nominee Peter Weir (Witness, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World). Inspired by an incredible true story, THE WAY BACK begins in 1940 when seven prisoners attempt the impossible: escape from a brutal Siberian gulag. Thus begins a treacherous 4,500-mile trek to freedom across the world's most merciless landscapes. They have little food and few supplies. They don't know or trust each other. But together, they must withstand nature at its most extreme. Their humanity is further tested when they meet a teenage runaway who begs to join them on their quest. A compelling testament to the human spirit, this gripping wilderness adventure is "Peter Weir at his hypnotic best" (Telluride Film Festival).
'The Way Back' Run Time: 133 mins, Audio Format: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 (CIH Friendly)
Image Entertainment's 'The Way Back' just might be my favorite Blu-ray in my collection. Besides being a film that showed up with no fanfare, taking me by surprise by being both epic in scope as well as an A/V delight, it was a 4 out of 5 star film. What kept me drooling throughout was not so much for the film, which had great performances (Colin Farrell knocked it out of the park with his believable Russian accent), but for its inspiring direction by Peter Weir (Master and Commander) and breathtaking cinematography from Russell Boyd (Master and Commander).
From it's enveloping sound-scape to a filmic 35mm presentation, that for its type (film not a digital creation), is one of the best I have seen. The front sound-stage was as wide as its cinemscope presentation, and combining that with precisely used surround channels, I really felt sucked in. Whether it was a dynamic sandstorm that filled the room or the rumble of a train, this track is an audio spectacle that is not to be missed. Dialogue was always intelligible and level appropriate, even during blistering winds and snow-storms. Crackles from a campfire to dehydrated slurping of water found in the desert sounded like you could reach out and feel them. The score was a perfect compliment to it all, adding dimension to the sound design as well as the story. This is highly recommended!