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Taylor Sheridan
Jeremy Renne, Elizabeth Olsen, Graham Greene
Writing Credits:
Taylor Sheridan

A veteran tracker with the Fish and Wildlife Service helps to investigate the murder of a young Native American woman, and uses the case as a means of seeking redemption for an earlier act of irresponsibility which ended in tragedy.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 107 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 11/14/2017

• Deleted Scenes
• Behind the Scenes Gallery
• Preview


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Wind River [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 12, 2017)

Oscar-nominated for his Hell Or High Water screenplay, Taylor Sheridan does double-duty as writer/director of 2017’s Wind River. Set on an Indian reservation in Wyoming, US Fish and Wildlife Service agent Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) discovers the frozen corpse of 18-year-old Natalie Hanson (Kelsey Chow).

When FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) arrives to investigate, she needs local help, so she asks Lambert to assist. This kicks up a can of worms due to emotions connected to the earlier death of Lambert’s teenage daughter.

Normally a movie that involves dead teenage girls would follow a tawdry path, one that emphasizes darkness and degradation. River avoids that trend, happily, as it provides an unusually somber and meditative exploration of its subject matter.

Not that this means River avoids all traits of the “murder mystery” genre, as it follows some of those tropes. These may lack originality, but they don’t become a concern, and they give the movie a smattering of tense sequences.

Those pop up sporadically, but they boast good impact when they do. We feel the violence in a more visceral way than during the usual Hollywood fare - River makes the sequences real and not just lazy shoot ‘em up fare.

While these aspects of the tale work fine, River rises to another level due to its emotional impact. On the surface, the choice to connect the current investigation to the death of Lambert’s daughter sounds cheesy, but in reality, it becomes a strong part of the narrative that brings out depth.

The actors all add good work. Renner underplays Lambert in a satisfying way, as he avoids the temptation to overemote and rely on cheap sentiment.

To a certain degree, Banner exists as an expository character, and those elements restrict her range somewhat. Nonetheless, the movie uses her as a powerful personality, one who gets a boost from Olsen’s performance.

Even when it occasionally threatens to devolve into cliché, Wind River remains on the right side of that line. A rich, meaningful take on the thriller genre, this becomes a highly satisfying experience.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B+/ Bonus D+

Wind River appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, this became a strong visual presentation.

Sharpness worked well, as I detected virtually no signs of softness. Instead, the movie remained accurate and concise. I witnessed no jagged edges or moiré effects, and both edge haloes and print flaws remained absent.

In terms of colors, River went with a chilly blue-oriented palette that matched the snowy setting, though interiors added some amber. These hues made sense for the story and the Blu-ray replicated them well.

Blacks seemed deep and dark, while shadows appeared smooth and clear. At all times, this turned into a pleasing image.

Though not an action extravaganza, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Wind River provided more kick than expected, mainly due to the involvement level during its many exterior scenes. Those used the snowy weather to create a vivid sense of environment that engulfed us in the material.

Music also used the five channels in an active way, and the smattering of more action-oriented scenes brought the mix to life in a vivid manner. Those placed information well and brought out a strong sense of the elements.

Audio quality excelled, with music that seemed vivid and full. Speech appeared natural and concise, while effects boasted terrific range and impact.

Low-end was tight and deep, so expect the film to use the LFE channel well. The soundtrack didn’t seem quite active enough to merit “A”-level consideration, but it brought out the sonic material in a highly satisfying manner.

Two Deleted Scenes pop up, as we get “Sounds Like Wolves” (0:51) and “Jane Checks Into the Motel” (2:20). The first extends an introductory scene in which Lambert shoots a predatory wolf, while “Checks” shows an encounter between Jane and a bigoted desk clerk. “Checks” is the more interesting of the two, but its odd mix of comedy and cruelty makes it a bad fit for the final film.

A Behind the Scenes Video Gallery runs nine minutes, 54 seconds. It splits into segments about actor Jeremy Renner (3:25), actor Elizabeth Olsen (2:50) and writer/director Taylor Sheridan (3:38).

These clips offer short interviews with the named participants, producer Basil Iwanyk, and actors Graham Greene and Julia Jones, as they discuss story/characters and cast and performances. Some footage from the set adds a little value, but these mainly exist as promotional fodder.

The disc opens with an ad for The Hero. No trailer for River appears here.

A deep, affecting take on its genre, Wind River benefits from its introspective tone. This allows it to become something more impactful than the usual thriller. The Blu-ray offers strong picture and audio but it lacks substantial supplements. The lack of good bonus features disappoints, but the movie deserves your attention.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.6666 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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