Archive for the ‘Dunkirk (2017)’ Category

Blu-ray Cover

Distributor: Warner Brothers

Release Date: December 19, 2017

Region: Region Free

Length: 01:46:38

Video: 1080P (MPEG-4, AVC)

Main Audio: 5.1 English DTS-HD Master Audio

Alternate Audio:

5.1 English Dolby Digital (Descriptive)
5.1 French (Canada) Dolby Digital
5.1 Spanish Dolby Digital
5.1 Portuguese Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, German SDH, Portuguese

Ratio: 2.20:1 & 1.78:1

Bitrate: 33.26 Mbps


Dunkirk opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in. The story unfolds on land, sea, and air. RAF Spitfires engage the enemy in the skies above the Channel, trying to protect the defenseless men below. Meanwhile, hundreds of small boats manned by both military and civilians are mounting a desperate rescue effort, risking their lives in a race against time to save even a fraction of their army.

It is a film worth watching, but it is difficult not to lament the simple fact that Christopher Nolan doesn’t bother to give the three threads of this story enough heart. Characters simply aren’t developed sufficiently for the viewer to emotionally invest in them. However, as a visual document of the events of the Dunkirk evacuation, it is really quite extraordinary.


The Presentation:

4 of 5 Stars

The disc is protected in a standard Blu-ray case with an alternative cropping of one of the film’s two primary one-sheet images. Frankly, the film’s other one-sheet would’ve been preferable and more aesthetically pleasing, but we should probably be happy that they didn’t come up with some atrocious new art for this release.

The menu opens with a brief clip from the film before settling into a blank black screen with “Dunkirk” written across it. This works quite nicely and it is intuitive to navigate.


Picture Quality:

5 of 5 Stars

It’s difficult to discuss the image transfer without getting into the technical details of the film’s original release, and those details are complicated by the multiple screening methods utilized for its theatrical release. These various projection methods have resulted in numerous aspect ratio combinations (none of which are really represented on this disc). What’s more, Nolan chose to shoot on two vastly different formats: standard 65mm film (2.20:1) and IMAX 65mm (1.43:1). Since this was Nolan’s preferred ratio combination during Dunkirk’s theatrical release, we will forgo comparisons to other projection ratios.

For this release, the 1.43.1 IMAX sequences are slightly cropped to 1.78:1 in an effort to fill television screens instead of adding black bars to the side of the frame in order to secure the original 1.43.1. This might bother some purists, but the fact is that this decision doesn’t result in a loss of any pertinent information (mainly empty areas at the top and bottom such as sky, sand, and water). In a theatrical setting, this added height engulfs the viewer into the film’s world. However, this wouldn’t translate to television screens and cropping these portions to fill the screen probably replicates this effect better than added black bars to the sides of the screen would have. What’s more, the transition to the 2.20:1 would have been even more distracting than it already is if this method had been utilized. In any case, Nolan seems to have approved or dictated this approach.

The higher resolution 65mm format has resulted in an immaculate image that is beyond criticism. Everything about it has been beautifully rendered with sharp detail and accurate color timing. Nolan’s participation in supervising the transfer has made all the difference as he insisted on a much higher average bitrate than can be found on other Warner titles.


Sound Quality:

5 of 5 Stars

Nolan’s preferred 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio transfer matches the excellent quality of the image and is an amazing sonic experience with substantial depth and a number of immersive effects that should give speakers a bit of exercise.

Special Features:

4.5 of 5 Stars

The Making of Dunkirk – (HD) – (01:49:46)

The making of Dunkirk is a surprisingly in-depth look at the challenging production that is separated into 5 different chapters.

Creation – (22:19)
Land – (16:39)
Air – (18:30)
Sea – (36:57)
Conclusion – (15:19)

The usual interviews are combined with a healthy helping of location footage and some production stills. It isn’t as reliant on footage from the actual film as similar documentaries. Unfortunately, they add a black leader with a copyright notice after each chapter, and this tends to disrupt the flow of the piece. Luckily, this is merely a small wart on an excellent supplemental package that proves quality will always trump quantity.

Coast Guard Promo – (02:02) – (1080P)

Less interesting s this promo for the U.S. Coast Guard. Officials discuss how the coast guard aided in the creation of the film.


Final Words:

Dunkirk is an obvious recommendation for anyone who admires Christopher Nolan’s directorial talents and should also be of great interest to those interested in inspiring historical events. Having already earned a number of Golden Globe nominations (including one for Best Dramatic Film). The 3-disc Blu-ray/DVD set is nearly perfect and should earn a place of honor on your shelves.