WhiteoutRelease Date: January 19, 2010
Studio: Warner Brothers
Packaging/Materials: Two-disc Blu-ray case with slipcover
Running Time: 1:41:00
|1080p high definition 16x9 2.40:1||High definition and standard definition|
|Audio||Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1 / Dolby Digital: English 5.1, French 5.1 (dubbed in Quebec), Spanish 5.1||Stereo|
|Subtitles||English SDH, French, Spanish||Subtitles may vary.|
The Feature: 3.5/5Work just got very complicated for Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale). As Antarctica's lone U.S. Marshal, her job is both routine and mundane; if there's a crime at all, it's going to be a misdemeanor. So when a body turns up in the frozen wasteland and it looks like foul play, Stetko has to use skills that have been dormant for almost two years. With winter approaching and the U.S. research station where she's assigned preparing for a six-month lock down, it doesn't give her much time to adjust. Fortunately there's only one way off the continent and the killer will have to cross paths with Stetko eventually. With the help of a visiting U.N. envoy (Gabriel Macht) and the South Pole's best pilot (Columbus Short), she might just manage to solve the crime before the elements have their way.
Though it didn't reach theaters for almost two years (I actually attended the film's Comic-Con panel in 2007) and it performed poorly once there, "Whiteout" is a decently entertaining thriller - if you're willing to just go along for the ride. It's primary fault (and I understand if it's a dealbreaker for some) is the easily determined antagonist. However the pacing, action, and character interaction all pass muster, making up for most of the script's predictability (which could also be characteristic of the graphic novel from which the screenplay is adapted). Though movie viewing time is precious during awards season, "Whiteout" is worth at least a rental once that period has ended.
Video Quality: 4/5The film is accurately framed at 2.40:1 and presented in 1080p with the VC-1 codec. Black levels are solid and deep, and contrast, in general, displays the full range of values (a handful of scenes exhibit some mild black crush and there's some flatness associated with some of the day-for-night shots). Though the palette is practically monochromatic, existing colors exhibit good depth and fidelity. Edge haloing is visible in many of the exterior scenes, but it isn't entirely surprising given the high contrast environment. Fine object detail is generally very good, revealed in hair, skin and fabric textures, with only a few instances of visible noise in fine pattern areas.
Audio Quality: 4/5The Dolby TrueHD audio track offers some engaging and immersive experiences, in particular during the climactic (and climatic!) blizzard fight sequence. While the majority of the film's environmental effects seem to be wind and various storm noises, there's consistently good balance and expansiveness to the mix. Occasional airplane flyovers and gunfire also exhibit convincing directionality and dimensionality. LFE is appropriately balanced, providing some impressive depth to things like crashes, gunfire, and wind. Dialogue is also effectively integrated, being consistently clear and intelligible even during the height of the storm.
Special Features: 2/5Extras are noticeably meager and primarily promotional in nature.
The Coldest Thriller Ever (12:02, HD): Electronic press kit style featurette provides a look at production in Lake Manitoba, Canada and the various challenges of filming in the cold.
From Page to Screen (12:05, HD): Writer Greg Rucka and artist Steve Lieber discuss the history of the "Whiteout" graphic novel and seeing their work adapted into a live action film.
Deleted Scenes (4:14, SD): Two scenes, the first showing Stetko's typical day and the second Stetko's arrival at Vostok Station.
Digital Copy: Compatible with Mac and Windows. Offer expires January 12, 2011.
RecapThe Feature: 3.5/5
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 2/5
Overall Score (not an average): 3/5
An icebound thriller that's predictable but sufficiently entertaining, gets a very good technical presentation and a meager set of extras.