A Hijacking Blu-ray Review
A methodical thriller with a grinding and relentless tension throughout.
PictureThe 1.85:1 1080p transfer is bold and brave. It doesn't make any attempt to confirm to the regular principles we've come to expect from modern day Blu-ray releases in that it's not shiny and pristine looking. Rather, it has a heavily grained image that at times looks washed out and dirty. It's all completely intentional however, and it does convey the sense of docu-style imagery extremely well.
The overriding aspect of this video presentation is the grain structure. It's very heavy and in your face right the way through. Personally I tend not to mind a healthy dose of grain in an image, but I must admit I found it degrading to the picture in general. It meant that fine object detail was generally overwhelmed with moving granularity, making it impossible to muse over the minor details. This, in turn, has led to problems in the blacks, and most notably shadow detail which is below par for the format. Colour-wise though the blacks feel as though they have a feint hint of green or blue to them, which works stylistically, but can be a little overbearing on scenes involving the ship.
As far as the general colour palette goes theres a limited range with blues and greens dominating. There are one or two scenes that show the full breadth of the spectrum, such as when Mikkel is standing on deck and looking out over the ocean, but they are few and far between. Everything feels slightly washed out and grey, with the grading giving everything a sort of bleak feel.
It's not a sharp image, and it's not a clean image and whilst I understand it's purpose, it's difficult to say that video presentation is excellent. It's not bad by any stretch, but there are elements of the creative style that will not sit well with some.
SoundThe DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is a fairly standard affair. There's nothing to shout about, but it's solid enough.
Dialogue is restricted to the centre channel, and it's clear and precise. Subtitles are in white and never a problem to follow. Generally, the surrounds get a bit of a workout with ambiences and some incidental foley, but there's nothing that's going to stretch them too much. Of course, that being said, there's little requirement from the film for big sweeping surround action. Like I said in the review, this is not an action movie. The sub is used in a very restrained way, and only really makes a subtle appearance to warm the surround field and add a touch of depth to the audio presentation.
The sound does do a decent job of setting up the two different scenarios as unique mixes. Each setting has it's own identity and it's own palette of sounds. Overall, it's a decent audio track that will neither wow nor disappoint.
ExtrasBehind the scenes
Offered here as short 3 or 4 minute clips of different aspects of behind the scenes footage, including interviews with the director and actors. Quite an interesting bite-sized feature.
Other than that. nothing else.
VerdictA methodical thriller with a grinding and relentless tension throughout. By no means an action film, but not short of gritty in-your-face moments, it's a complex emotional depiction of an extremely harrowing experience on two sides of the fence - The Hijacked ship, and the situation room at HQ. Brilliant performances from the cast and a confident hand from the director make this an edge of your seat, brooding slow-burner that's well worth your time.
With a Blu-ray package that's relatively sparse by way of complimen-worthy assets but that's competent in everything it tries to do nevertheless, it's worth a punt. It's never going to visually or sonically wow you, but the movie is good enough for it to be worth a cheeky pay-day pickup anyway.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £19.99
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