The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 2012
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 107 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: John Krasinski, Drew Barrymore, Ted Danson, Dermot Mulroney, Krstin Bell, Tim Blake Nelson, Vinessa Shaw, Stephen Root
Directed by: Ken Kwapis
Music by: Cliff Eidelman
Written by: Jack Amiel & Michael Begler
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 19, 2012
When three whales are trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle, a small-town reporter (Krasinski) and his ex-girlfriend, an animal loving Greenpeace volunteer (Barrymore) convince an unlikely team of Alaskan natives, oil tycoons and the Russian and American military to set aside their international differences and come together to free the whales.
Inspired by true events Big Miracle tells the amazing tale of a family of whales that became trapped beneath the ice in the treacherous Arctic weather of Barrow Alaska in 1988. The discovery was made by a local newsman, picked up by NBC who followed with a national broadcast that captured the attention of the nation. What followed was a media circus that brought coverage of the whale’s plight to everyone home including the White House. As the country looked on the combined effort brought together divergent people/entities (along with a host of dedicated volunteers) that put aside their differences for a common purpose, to save the whales.
I have vague recollections of this story although I am pretty certain that I didn’t follow it closely. Based on the rather remarkable human interest story about a family of whales that became trapped under the Arctic ice while migrating this is a paint by the numbers drama with a feel good narrative that revolves around a host of characters that are based on the actual people (the names were changed) involved in the effort to save them. The prevailing archetypes are predominantly well represented by the cast which aids in eliciting a connection to them and the story. While there are aspects that touch upon political cynicism, the opportunism of the media and the Greenpeace initiative the film maintains a pleasantly even balance that doesn’t feel manipulative or preachy. The result is a satisfying and genial family film that is worth watching. This release contains both the Blu-ray version and DVD version on a flipper style disc.
The rating is for language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Big Miracle comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studies Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 34 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 Mbps.
This is an excellent video presentation that boasts plenty of high level detail, boldly applied contrast, rich colors, and appreciable dimensional perspective. Fleshtones are lifelike and exhibit warm yet descriptive complexional tonality. Blacks are punchy and stand out when onscreen with mixed content. Visibility in low lighting and darkened areas is estimable. The combination gives dark scenes appreciable depth of field. Images are dynamic, clearly drawn, and perfectly suited for the source material.
The front heavy lossless surround mix features dialogue that is full bodied with defining tonal characteristics and prominent soundstage position. High level detail is readily apparent as subtle sound effects, music and voices were rendered with superior clarity and depth. There is little call for surround activity and extended dynamics however there are a few instances that provide a discernable level of spatial envelopment accompanied be punchy low frequency enhancement.
- Feature commentary with director Ken Kwapis
- (HD) 4 deleted scenes with director introductions
- (HD) A “Big Miracle” in Alaska – 21 minute featurette
- (HD) Truth is stranger than fiction – 12 minute featurette
- My scenes bookmark feature
- D-Box Motion Code enabled
- Bonus DVD version (flipside) of Big Miracle
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
Inspired by true events, Big Miracle tells the amazing tale of a family of whales that became trapped beneath the ice in the treacherous Arctic weather of Barrow Alaska in 1988. It is a conventional feel good drama that has enough heart and human interest to make for a satisfying and genial family film. Big Miracle comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment in a nicely balanced package that features excellent high definition video, gratifying lossless sound and a limited but worthwhile supplemental offering. Give Big Miracle a rent when the family is in the mood for a little inspiration.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package