Ralph Potts reviews this drama/thriller about two American Soldiers that are trapped by a lethal sniper, with only an unsteady wall between them.
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Lionsgate – 2017
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 89 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, John Cena
Directed by: Doug Liman
Written by: Dwain Worrell
Region Code: A
Release Date: August 15, 2017
The Wall is a deadly psychological thriller that follows two soldiers pinned down by an Iraqi sniper, with nothing but a crumbling wall between them. Their fight becomes as much a battle of will and wits as it is of lethally accurate marksmanship.
I hadn’t heard of The Wall before receiving its press release, but it looked interesting and I like both Aaron Taylor-Johnson and director Doug Limon, so I gave it a shot. Purposed as a tightly focused psychological drama built around two soldiers, a sniper and his spotter, in the Iraqi desert, a brief set up, is followed by a blink of an eye series of events that leave one of them mortally wounded, and the other pinned down behind the remains of an old school building, with no idea where the enemy’s shots came from. Cut off from a means to contact his command for assistance he is forced to examine the futility of his circumstances, until he discovers that there may be a way out. It’s just not at all the way he would have imagined.
I like the premise here, and appreciated the narrow scope of the plot and character base, which helped keep the focus where it belonged. Aaron Taylor-Johnson carries the film, providing a gritty portrayal of a desperate man, forced to face not only his mortality, but his humanity as well. I thought that the suspense, tension, and action were apropos and played well within the narrative’s construct. There are some plot points that teeter on fracturing the thematic context as it attempts to delve into areas that couldn’t be fleshed out within the film’s brief runtime, but luckily it doesn’t prove detrimental. I didn’t care for the ending, finding it to be unrealistic and unsatisfying. Be that as it may there is enough meat on the bone to make The Wall a gratifyingly entertaining film.
The rating is for language throughout, and some war violence.
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 effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialog Reproduction:
- DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
The Wall comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.
Video quality was quite good, and delivered images that were detailed and artifact free. Resolution was excellent as both people and objects were rendered with clear definition that at times was meticulously resolved. Long distant camera pans were smooth and appreciably dimensional. Grays and whites had excellent dynamic range. Contrast was well balanced and consistent so that brighter elements didn’t appear overdriven. The color palette doesn’t make primary use of standard chromatic elements such as red, blue and green, taking place in the sun-bleached desert with browns, tan and sepia tones hold sway. Flesh tones looked about how you’d expect and fit well within the visual range of the presentation. Overall, I found the video to have a clean pristine quality that looked great.
This isn’t a head turning soundtrack, but the DTS-HD Master Audio presentation sounded airy and highly detailed. Dialog reproduction was excellent, blending naturally with the front three channels. Imaging and sound effects were first rate as the sound field in the front of the room bristled with sonic detail. The surrounds were primarily utilized for atmospheric presence however discernible discrete audio cues were effectively mixed in where appropriate. Dynamic range was excellent which provided good solidity and weight to the audio in general. Low frequency detail was sparse but effectively implemented when necessary. I felt that the mix highlighted the strengths of the source material and sounded quite good for a predominantly dialog driven film.
- Audio Commentary with Director Doug Liman and Aaron Taylor-Johnson
- Facts From the Front Lines: A Visual Journey through “The Wall”
- Behind-the-Scene Vignettes
- Digital HD Copy
The Wall is a compelling psychological drama/thriller that doesn’t resonate as deeply as I’d hoped, but most definitely ticks enough of the rights boxes to make for an entertaining film experience. It comes to Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video and a solid supplemental package. If you enjoy films of its type The Wallshould be near the top of your Blu-ray rental queue.
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Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
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B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
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