Director: Robert Zemeckis
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte Le Bon, Ben Kingsley
Release Date: Available on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray & DVD January 5, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9.5/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Robert Zemeckis has long been a master at utilizing cutting-edge technology in the service of emotional storytelling. The Walk unveils the first glimpse of the director’s visually stunning creation of a lost time and place: the World Trade Center towers as they were in 1974. That was the year young Philippe Petit captured the world’s imagination with a seemingly impossible high-wire caper.
Based upon the amazing true story, ‘The Walk’ follows foreign born high-wire specialist Philippe Petit (Levitt) who upon discovering the creation of the twin towers by happenstance via a magazine makes it his dream to walk the wire between the two monumental buildings. After learning that production on the towers is nearing completion, Petit gathers a group of most unlikely individuals to assist him in his task and the group sets out to New York, putting in motion the steps to bring Petit’s seemingly impossible plan to glorious life, if only they can surpass the numerous obstacles standing in their way.
Acclaimed filmmaker Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future) directed ‘The Walk’ from a screenplay he co-wrote along with Christopher Browne which was based upon Philippe Petit’s own novel ‘To Reach the Clouds’ and Zemeckis does a phenomenal job at the helm, guiding this powerful and riveting true story with a perfectly suited beauty and grace. The film also benefits tremendously from the numerous talented individuals who comprise the cast including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte Le Bon, Guillaume Baillargeon, Ben Kingsley and a number more, all of whom deliver exceptional performances in each of their respective roles, although Joseph Gordon-Levitt easily steals the show with his phenomenal portrayal of Philippe Petit.
‘The Walk’ is a beautiful, powerful and visually stunning experience and also one of the best films of 2015. Incredibly talented filmmaker Robert Zemeckis delivers one of his most thrilling and beautiful films to date. Taking us back to New York City decades prior and bringing the beloved and lost twin towers back to glorious life with this unbelievable true story that delivers in every way, from the stunning visuals, the emotionally charged story and a truly impressive performance by the highly talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt who is nearly unrecognizable as he envelops the personality and traits of Philippe Petit.
Overall, ‘The Walk’ is a truly impressive piece of filmmaking and a notable entry in the career of director Robert Zemeckis, an already well respected and highly talented filmmaker. Powerful, emotionally gripping and visually jaw-dropping with a talented cast to perfectly round it out, I would highly recommend ‘The Walk’ to anyone who appreciates a quality film; this one is definitely not to be missed. Its more family-friendly PG rating could also allow potential for a possible family movie night selection, especially for those households with children that aren’t terribly young.
The 3D Blu-ray release of ‘The Walk’ features a full 1080p High Definition MVC encoded 3D presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The 3D video presentation looks great in most respects, but unfortunately does suffer from some occasionally noticeable issues. It delivers a sharp, detailed and generally gorgeous 3D presentation with some impressive depth and the occasional pop out effects, the most impressive aspect being the depth present during the scenes occurring on top of the buildings which truly pulls you in. There is some noticeable crosstalk present, namely during some of the distant shots engulfing a large scope and simultaneously balancing immersive depth; nonetheless it’s an exhilarating 3D presentation and quite the engulfing experience.
The 2D Blu-ray release which is also included with the 3D Blu-ray combo pack features an AVC encoded full high definition video presentation also utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The 2D video presentation looks outstanding, delivering exceptional detail, clarity and an overall gorgeous presentation with no notable faults to be found within.
Overall, while the 2D presentation is undoubtedly superior, the fully engulfing experience the 3D presentation provides is impressive enough to easily still make it my preferred viewing method. Regardless of the mild issues, it provides an impressive and glorious 3 dimensional experience and will definitely be the version I select for any and all future viewings.
The Blu-ray release (Both the 3D & 2D disc) features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds fantastic and perfectly complements the immersive 3D experience, utilizing all five available channels to surround the viewer with the beautiful score in addition to plenty of crowd activity and even the quiet hiss of the wind in the higher elevated moments, while never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it and should not disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Walk’ includes a number of solid extras, the entirety of which can be found on the 2D Blu-ray disc. Included on the release are a number of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 6 minutes in length altogether) in addition to a few Behind the Scenes Featurettes which include interviews and comments with members of the cast and crew including Director Robert Zemeckis, Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘First Steps – Learning to Walk the Wire (running approximately 9 minutes), ‘Pillars of Support’ (approximately 8 minutes) and ‘The Amazing Walk’ (11 minutes).