When the windshield of his commercial airplane shatters at 30,000 feet in the air, a pilot and his flight crew work to ensure the safety of the passengers and land the plane. Ralph Potts reviews the Blu-ray release of The Captain from Well Go USA.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:
Extras:
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

90
Details:

Studio and Year: Well Go USA - 2019
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 111 minutes
Genre: Thriller/Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): Mandarin DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Zhang Hanyu, Ou Hao, Du Jiang, Yuan Quan, Zhang Tianai, Li Qin
Directed by: Andrew Lau
Written by: Yu Yonggan
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: March 31, 2020
"Respect Life. Respect Duty. Respect Procedures"
Synopsis:

“When the windshield of his commercial airplane shatters at 30,000 feet in the air, a pilot and his flight crew work to ensure the safety of the passengers and land the plane.” – Well Go USA


My Take:

On the morning of May 14th, 2018, Airbus flight A319 is thrown into a state of panic when the cockpit windshield shatters after takeoff. Cabin temperatures plummet, passengers are losing consciousness, and all communication to control is lost. Heading into an enormous storm with the co-pilot sucked halfway out of the cockpit window, the plane’s strong-willed Captain, Liu Chuan Jian, is determined to bring everyone home safely.

The Captain is Director Andrew Lau's cinematic portrayal of the most miraculous emergency landing in the contemporary history of Chinese aviation. If I am being honest, there is little here that we haven’t seen before, in terms of bringing a fact-based story surrounding heroic actions to the big screen. Now, I for one am fine with that and, generally tend to enjoy such films, especially when its something that I knew little about going in.

Given the subject matter it would easy to compare this story to that of The Miracle on the Hudson (Sully). While what Captain Liu Chuan Jian did was no less miraculous, this film doesn’t reach deep enough in terms of character development and tension building to thoroughly engage. There are times when it’s a bit corny, attempting to ply the audience with artificial emotion rather than letting it occur naturally via the depiction of its events.

Having said that, I rather enjoyed The Captain. There moments where more often than not, I was caught up in the plight of the crew and really appreciated how the film depicted the process undertaken by those on the ground as they supported and prepared for potential disaster that awaited flight A319. I also found the ending to be moving and befitting.

For those that enjoy human interest stories of its type The Captain contains enough panic, drama and surface level nail-biting to make for a solid viewing.


Replay Value:
Parental Guide:

The film contains thematic material and peril.




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.**



Audio: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA
Video: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression: 
The Captain comes to Blu-ray Disc from Well Go USA featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

This video presentation offers little in the way of high Gloss, razor sharp imagery, but it seems to represent the film’s elements well. Primary colors appear satisfying while the film intentionally maintains a cooler overall palette that works well against the settings featured in the story. Complexions are texturally descriptive with lifelike tonality that varies only slightly among the cast. Resolution is very good although the film’s inherently softer elements leave some wide-angle shots with smoother lines, and average delineation.

Close ups and mid-level shots are more revealing of the resolvable detail that draws out subtle textures in the people and objects within the frame. Contrast is on the money and blacks are stable but not overly dynamic in appearance. This wasn’t really a problem as there were few scenes that utilized low level material where this was consistently apparent. I saw no overt signs of video anomalies or compression related artifacts and thought this appeared to be a pristine quality encoding.

The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack had no trouble rendering clear and well-articulated dialog. Sound effects had notable dynamic energy so that they sounded full bodied and aurally satisfying. This is not a film that consistently requires heavy use of surround sound to deliver its message but it does rely on the entire soundstage for proper atmosphere and low frequency detail. The mix does an excellent job of creating the right sounds at the right levels and placing them appropriately in the sound field’s acoustic environment. Low frequency effects are delivered with palpable richness, going hand and hand with the track’s solid dynamic range. I thought the presentation served the source material well and sounded terrific.



Bonus Features:
  • Previews
  • Trailers
Final Thoughts:

Based on the Miracle over the Tibetan Plateau The Captain is a formulaic and primarily entertaining recreation of the events of that day as seen through the eyes of the heroes that worked to ensure the safety of the 119 passengers aboard Airbus Flight A-319. It comes to Blu-ray from Well Go USA featuring excellent high definition audio/video. For those that enjoy human interest stories of its type The Captain contains enough panic, drama and surface level nail-biting to make for a solid viewing. Feel free to toss it in your rental queue and take it for a spin on Blu-ray.
Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman color calibration software and Portrait Displays C6 HDR2000 colorimeter from  Portrait.com )
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Oppo BDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/Roomie Remote V6 Universal Remote Control
SVS Ultra Tower Speakers (Gloss Finish)
SVS Ultra Center Channel (Gloss Finish)
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Niles Audio In-Ceiling/In-Wall Series Speakers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems


Ralph C. Potts