Wind River Blu-ray Review

Ralph Potts reviews this taut, suspenseful thriller, from writer/director Taylor Sheridan, the Academy Award nominee who brought us “Hell or High Water”.

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

Film:

Extras:

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

92

Details:

Studio and Year: Lionsgate – 2017
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 107 minutes
Genre: Thriller

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

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Graham Greene, Gil Birmingham, Jon Bernthal, Kelsey Asbille
Written & Directed by: Taylor Sheridan
Music by: Nick Cave, Warren Ellis
Region Code: A

Release Date: November 14, 2017

“Danger Comes with the Territory”



My Take:

Wind River is a chilling thriller that follows a rookie FBI agent (Olsen) who teams up with a game tracker with deep community ties and a haunted past (Renner) to investigate the mysterious killing of a local girl on a remote Native American reservation.

Wind River is set in the snow-covered landscapes of Wyoming, the perfect setting for its wonderfully crafted, character driven story, that opens with a mysterious death, followed by an unfolding narrative that peels away the layers of its elements and characters. The result is a hard edged, suspenseful thriller, with a purposefully western tone, that underscores its very human story, about the complexities of life from the perspectives of those residing in a world where survival isn’t for the faint of heart. I really like Taylor Sheridan’s filmmaking style and choices. This one simultaneously paints in broad and fine strokes, capturing the essence of its setting and people. The elements of action, mystery, and suspense are perfectly infused, serving to augment the thematic impact of the storyline.

I thought that Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen shared excellent chemistry, while the performances of the strong supporting cast enhanced the film’s mood/tone. Any minor complaints about the narrative’s flow and formulaic trappings can be forgiven. Wind River proved to be a solid thriller that I plan of revisiting.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide: 

The rating is for strong violence, a rape, disturbing images, and 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.**

Audio: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialogue Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural: X Rating * (non-rated element): 

Video: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

Wind River 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 3.7 Mbps.

This film has a visual style that doesn’t always lend itself to vibrant colors and vivid high gloss video quality. There are instances where brighter elements are utilized and the boldly applied contrast allows them to pop visually. Otherwise onscreen images predominantly lean toward color schemes, and grittier textures that provide the look that the filmmakers use to drive the story’s components. This is done to good effect. Shadow delineation is good overall and revealing of visible details within dark backgrounds and low lighting. Stable contrast and black levels allow scenes containing mixed content to appear gradationally satisfying. Resolution is discerning as images are characterized by intricate and definitively rendered detail that gives the video appreciable dimension and delineated texture. This is the case in all but a few instances where definition softens and doesn’t retain the same level of lucidity.

The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio sound is quite good in support of the film’s thematic tone. Dynamics are robust and highs are crisp without being strident or edgy. Dialog is rendered with defining tonal expression and room penetrating depth through the center channel. The front soundstage is diffused with excellent separation and clearly articulated detail. The presentation makes ample use of the entire surround platform. At times it opens up quite nicely to create an involving surround mix containing a mix of directional and ambient sounds. Bass response doesn’t reach subterranean levels however it appropriately supports the source elements (the sequence involving the stand-off at the security compound is the star of the show) and provides an appreciably tight, and punchy low end.

Bonus Features:

  • Behind-the-Scenes Video Gallery
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

Written/Directed by Taylor Sheridan, Wind River is a compelling, character-driven thriller that grabbed me early on and lasted throughout. It comes to Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video and a middling supplemental package. Wind River is a well-crafted genre piece that deserves a place atop your Blu-ray rental queue.

Ralph Potts
online-shashki Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies – 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems