"As Hitler's forces storm across the European landscape and close in on the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) is elected the new Prime Minister. With his party questioning his every move, and King George VI (Ben Mendelsohn) skeptical of his new political leader, it is up to Churchill to lead his nation and protect them from the most dangerous threat ever seen. Darkest Hour is a powerful, inspirational drama." That is the official description for Darkest Hour, now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD from Universal Studios, which has provided NewTechReview with a Blu-ray copy for review.
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, a film I highly recommend you watch, depicts Operation Dynamo (the rescue of the entire British army from the shores of the French seaside city Dunkirk) from the perspective of the civilians and soldiers. In contrast to this, Darkest Hour depicts Winston Churchill's role as England's Prime Minister during the first months of World War II when Operation Dynamo occurred. Watched in succession, the two films provide a detailed depiction of that time in history. Gary Oldman's portrayal of Churchill is extraordinary and together with Lily James as Churchill's secretary, the two really bring the behing-the-scenes bureaucratic perspective to this event.
The Blu-ray version of Darkest Hour comes as a combo pack that includes Blu-ray and DVD discs as well as a code for the Digital edition. The picture is presented as a MPEG-4 AVC encode with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio that depicts both the dark interiors and brighter scenes with excellent detail. Colors are subdued, which suit the subject matter well, from the dimly lit war room to the outdoor streets of Dunkirk. The film's audio is provided as both a Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout the movie and surround is put to great use during the majority of scenes including the meetings of Parliament, the war room, and the subway. Overall Darkest Hour provides a superb Blu-ray presentation.
Darkest Hour includes a small selection of bonus features, but what is here is worth viewing...
* Audio Commentary - Director Joe Wright talks about the making of the film including the story, cast performances, scene locations, etc.
* Into Darkest Hour - A look at how the film was made and how they created the authentic sets and scenery.
* Gary Oldman: Becoming Churchill - Cast, crew and Oldman himself talk about the challenges of portraying Winston Churchill and how they made it work.
If you haven't seen Dunkirk, I recommend you watch that first and then treat yourself to Darkest Hour, one of the best films of 2017. This will give you a better understanding of the almost impossible task facing Churchill and all of England at that time. Darkest Hour will also give you some personal insight into Churchill and his life. It's one of Gary Oldman's best performances and one of the best performances overall from any actor, and I highly recommend it.
For more information, visit:
* Amazon: https://amzn.to/2uwPYPs
* Website: universalstudios.com