Into the Storm appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The movie came with a mediocre transfer.
Sharpness was acceptable but not great. Some of the problems stemmed from the moderate edge enhancement that cropped up through the film. Those haloes meant that wider shots tended to look ill-defined and iffy. Close-ups looked fine, but most wider elements seemed muddy and a bit blocky. Source flaws were absent, at least; some documentary footage came with grain and marks, but I couldn’t take off points for those instances.
Colors were decent. The movie stayed with a chilly palette that was consistently low-key, and the hues were acceptable. They didn’t display much vivacity, though; while the production design meant they’d be subdued, the tones found here remained too flat for my liking. Blacks looked moderately deep but not great, while shadows presented fair clarity. This was a mediocre presentation and a “C” image.
On the other hand, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Into the Storm was pretty satisfying. Though not exactly an action spectacular, the film included enough battle scenes to give it real life. Planes soared from spot to spot and various war elements opened up the spectrum in an engaging way. Even quieter scenes like those at the beach boasted a nice sense of place; they used the side and surround speakers in a compelling manner.
Audio quality satisfied. Speech was a major factor, and all the lines appeared concise and distinctive. Music showed nice range and clarity, while effects worked fine. Those elements came across as accurate and dynamic. All in all, this was a surprisingly good mix.
Two extras round out the set. We find an audio commentary from producer Frank Doelger and writer Hugh Whitemore. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at research and factual background to the film’s events, cast and performances, story/character issues, sets and locations, period details, and a few other production topics.
Doelger and Whitemore combine well in this pleasant little chat. They offer a nice mix of facts about the film and the era’s history. The pair expands on the flick as they give us a brisk, engaging discussion.
You’ll find a very good examination of Storm via this commentary. The participants cover a nice variety of subjects and reveal a lot of useful details. The track digs into the movie in a satisfying way.
The Making of Into the Storm runs seven minutes, 30 seconds and features remarks from Doelger, Whitemore, director Thaddeus O’Sullivan, producer Tracey Scoffield, and actors Brendan Gleeson and Janet McTeer. “Making” offers a recap of the film’s story/characters as well as performances. “Making” exists to promote the movie. It includes a few mildly interesting notes but don’t expect much from it.
At 99 minutes, Into the Storm is far too short to adequately cover its subject matter. To offer a strong portrait of Winston Churchill during World War II, we need at least five or six more hours of screentime. Nonetheless, Storm does well with its limited length, and it offers an entertaining overview. The DVD presents bland visuals along with good audio and an interesting audio commentary. This is an enjoyable film that will appeal to WWII buffs and neophytes alike.