DVD Review: HELL OR HIGH WATER

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HELL OR HIGH WATER was directed by David Mackenzie from a screenplay by Taylor Sheridan and stars Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham, Katy Mixon, Marin Ireland and Kevin Rankin.

Hell or High Water is a modern western about two brothers who turn to crime in order to save their family farm from the clutches of the bank. When a desperate father (Chris Pine) learns that the bank is going to take his family’s land, he and his ex-con brother (Ben Foster) are left with no choice. They decide to rob the bank’s branches, putting themselves in the crosshairs of an aging Texas Ranger (Jeff ridges) in a riveting story of crime, punishment, and brotherly love.

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Director David Mackenzie did a fantastic job and has delivered an intense modern day cops and robbers western where thin lines are drawn. Toby (Chris Pine) comes up with this plan to save his property so he inlists his ex-con brother Tanner’s (Ben Foster) help. As the movie plays out the viewer discovers why they are robbing these banks and to be honest, it kind of justifies the reason behind it. It’s a heartbreaking story about love, sacrifice, and redemption that shows how far a man is willing to go for his family. To counter these two brothers are Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham), two Texas Rangers who are assigned to the case and hot on the trail.

The impressive cast all deliver some amazing performances. You believe Pine and Foster are these two brothers doing this craziness and they are so much fun to watch. Ben Foster’s character is the wild card here because his character is a little unstable and throws a few surprises along the way. Chris Pine’s character is the heart, soul, and brains of the whole operation. There’s also Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham and you really like these two Texas Rangers they play. Bridges’ character is getting ready to retire and he’s the kind of guy who really doesn’t care what he says. He also likes to pick at his partner which gives the movie a nice dose of sarcastic humor. Birmingham plays his partner just right and let’s just say he has the patience of a saint by tolerating his retiring partner’s old school ways. At the end of the day, these two are brothers with badges. The crazy thing is, all four of these characters are completely likable and I was torn on who to cheer for. It’s against the law to rob a bank, but the bank has screwed this family and Toby comes up with a near flawless plan to get back at them as well as save the family ranch. On the other side is Marcus who is simply trying to do his job and catch the criminals.

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The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The DVD disc also features some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this standard-definition release were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Hell or High Water was a gritty cops and robbers western that takes place in present day. There’s so much good about this movie, from the great cast to the dirty locations, it’s all very well done. The movie has two sides to it so it’s hard to decide who to cheer for. In my opinion, there really are no bad guys here. The movie follows these two brothers who plan a series of bank heists and the catch is, they do it against the bank that’s going to foreclose on their family ranch. There’s this retiring Texas Ranger and his partner who begin investigating the robberies and each stop gets them a little closer to the their suspects. There’s also a third party involved and that’s the small bank chain and we all know how sleezy banks can be. They care more about their customer’s money than their customers! In the end, the two worlds collide and not everyone makes it out alive, but justice is served and the family ranch is ultimately saved. Hell or High Water is easily one of the best movies of 2016. This DVD releases on November 22nd and is defintely worth checking out.

Distributor: Lionsgate and CBS Films

Run Time: 122 Minutes

Rated: R

DVD Video: 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1)

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 / Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features: Good Stuff! There’s over an hour of extras that include three featurettes, a Filmmaker Q&A, exclusive footage from the Hell or High Water premiere, and a Digital copy of the movie.

  • “Enemies Forever: The Characters of Hell or High Water” Featurette (13:35)
  • “Visualizing the Heart of America” Featurette (09:27)
  • “Damaged Heroes: The Performances of Hell or High Water” Featurette (12:22)
  • Red Carpet Premiere (01:54)
  • Filmmaker Q&A (29:49)
  • Digital Copy

 

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