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“Whiteout” {Blu-ray}
Reviewer:
Wayne Klein
Studio: Warner Home Video
Genre:
Drama
Release Date:
1/19/10
Special Features:

Featurettes, deleted scenes, trailers

Review:

In short, this should have been entitled “Wipe Out” instead of “Whiteout”. If you spent too much time in the arctic without protective glasses you damage your eyes from the reflection of the sun on the snow. If you watch the movie “Whiteout” expect much the same result except it’ll be your brain cells that are damaged by this amazingly tedious thriller based on the Eisner nominated graphic novel. It’s a pity that this film was made because the source graphic novel much like “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” will forever be tarnished by this decidedly funky (in a bad way)movie that is as much fun to watch as it is to watch moss grow. ***

“Whiteout” has been sitting on the shelf at the studio for the last two years where it probably should have remained. U.S. Deputy Marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) and UN agent Robert Pryce (Gabriel Macht) after joining forces for a murder investigation find a mystery buried for the last 50 years. I wasn’t expecting “Whiteout” to be a rapid fire ADD style thriller but I was expecting involving characters and an intriguing mystery. Instead, we get a ham fisted presentation that manages to fumble every element that was memorable about the original graphic novel. One of the issues that often dog films that linger in development hell going through constant rewrites and directors are characters that becoming less and less interesting and stories that have plenty of plot holes. “Whiteout” suffers from both in spades. It doesn’t help that Beckinsale has a limited repertoire of expressions as an actor. That hasn’t stopped terrific if limited performances from a variety of actors before but hobbled with a Swiss cheese script and direction. ---

Image & Sound:

For a recent film “Whiteout” looks surprisingly strange. By strange I mean that the transfer is inconsistent throughout with scenes that look amazingly good alternating with some that are weak in terms of detail. White and red colors pop but other colors are rather drab looking. Digital noise reduction is applied liberally in some scenes dulling the impact of the image. ***

Audio sounds extremely good with a nice 5.1 TrueHD presentation. While dialogue is occasionally swallowed by the howl of the blizzard outside, overall this is a nicely balanced presentation and certainly better than the video portion of the film. ---

Special Features:

“From Page to Screen” chronicles the difficult birth focusing primarily on the source graphic novel and glosses over the nasty mess left behind by everyone coming in from the cold and leaving their muddy foot prints everywhere on the film. ***

“The Coldest Thriller Ever” doesn’t quite live up to its title (that would be “The Thing”)and should have been entitled “The Most Boring Thriller Ever”. It’s a featurette that focuses on the difficulty faced shooting the film although I think that focusing on the messy pre-production probably would have been better. ***

We get deleted scenes that don’t add much to the experience. MIA is an insightful commentary track that could have given us the blow-by-blow as to what went wrong here. ---

Final Words:

“Whiteout” takes a capable cast and strands them in the most inhospitable environment imaginable; a poorly written script that passed through too many hands and indifferent direction. The film would have worked better if the cast had been left on their own with a video camera and asked to improve the entire project.

 

 
 
 
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