Whiskey Tango Foxtrot appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This became a solid transfer.
Overall definition appeared good. A few slightly soft shots appeared during low-light elements, but the majority of the movie appeared accurate and well-defined. No jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I saw no edge haloes or print flaws.
Given the setting, a sandy palette dominated, though we got plenty of teal and orange as well. The Blu-ray replicated these tones appropriately. Blacks were deep and dark, and shadows usually looked fine, though as noted, some low-light moments could be a bit dense. As a package, the image worked nicely.
As for the movie’s DTS-X soundtrack – which downconverted to DTS-HD MA 7.1 on my system - it opened up more than expected for a comedy, largely because it incorporated so many action elements. Not surprisingly, the mix came to life best during these combat sequences. Bullets, explosions and vehicles zipped around us and made sure that we felt like we were part of the action.
Even during more passive sequences, the film offered a good soundscape. Music showed nice stereo presence, while environmental elements popped up in logical, natural locations. Although the mix only soared on occasion, it still formed a solid sense of atmosphere.
From start to finish, the flick boasted excellent audio quality. Speech was crisp and concise, with good intelligibility and no edginess. Music sounded bright and dynamic, and effects were very strong. They demonstrated fine clarity and accuracy, and the mix also featured positive bass response. This was a consistently fine track.
In terms of extras, the Blu-ray includes five featurettes. All In: The Making of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot lasts 14 minutes, 12 seconds and includes comments from directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, executive producers Eric Gurian and Charles Gogolak, producer Ian Bryce, screenwriter Robert Carlock, assistant property manager Jeffri Welsh, production designer Beth Mickle, Air Force Project Officer Lt. Col. Glen Roberts, costume designer Lisa Lovaas, Afghan consultant Mohammad Anwar Yousofy, and actors Tina Fey, Billy Bob Thornton, Alfred Molina, Martin Freeman, Margot Robbie, and Nicholas Braun.
“Making” examines story/characters, cast and performances, the directors’ approach, sets, locations, and costumes. While basic, “Making” covers various production areas in a reasonably satisfactory manner.
During the five-minute, 15-second War Reporter: The Real Kim, we hear from Fey, Carlock, Bryce, Ficarra, Requa, Gurian, author Kim Barker and actors Christopher Abbott and Stephen Peacocke. “Kim” looks at Barker’s experiences and their translation into film form. The show offers a few decent thoughts about Barker’s background, even if it doesn’t tell us why they changed her name to “Baker” in the film.
Next comes Embedded in Reality. It runs six minutes, 23 seconds and features Fey, Barker, Ficarra, Braun, Freeman, Requa, Bryce, DOD rep Philip Strub, DOD Project Officer Master Sgt. Chris Stagner, Project Officer Master Sgt. Chad Steel, USAF pararescue consultant Staff Sgt. August O’Niell, 512 Rescue Squadron’s Captain Douglas Price, and actor Evan Jonigkeit. “Embedded” views military consultants and attempts to stay realistic. It becomes another short but interesting discussion.
Wedding Party goes for five minutes, 31 seconds and includes Ficarra, Requa, Fey, Abbott, Robbie, Braun, Carlock, set decoratoor Lisa Sessions Morgan, and actor Sheila Vand. As implied by the title, “Party” looks at aspects of the movie’s wedding scene. It’s not as compelling as the other programs, but it comes with some insights.
Finally, Laughing Matters occupies four minutes, 24 seconds with info from Fey, Carlock, Requa, Freeman, Jonigkeit, Abbott, Braun, Robbie, and Ficarra. “Matters” discusses the nature of foreigners in Afghanistan. It works well enough, though like “Party”, it’s not great.
Four Deleted Scenes (5:14) and one Extended Scene (4:59) show up as well. These tend toward minor character embellishments – except for “Kabul Zoo”, which shows the bizarre murder of a lion. None of them add much.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of the film. It lacks any of the Blu-ray’s extras.
A good cast bolsters Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, but they can’t overcome its flaws. The movie seems too loosely constructed and purposeless to cause us to invest in its journey. The Blu-ray presents very good picture and audio along with a smattering of supplements. Aspects of the film succeed, but it sputters as an overall package.