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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS:  133 minutes, making-of featurette, theatrical trailer
VIDEO:  2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO:  English 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles:  English SDH, Spanish

STUDIO:  Newmarket Films/ Wrekin Hill Entertainment/ Exclusive Films/ National Geographic Entertainment/ Image Entertainment
RELEASE DATE:  4-19-2011

THE WAY BACK is an amazing and hypnotic journey of survival and the fight of the human spirit to strive against incredible odds.   A group of prisoners escape a Siberian gulag (during World War 2) to make a journey across Siberia and ultimately over the Himalayas into India.    Ed Harris is Smith (an American) and Colin Farrell as Valka (a criminal) take this long journey with a Jansuz (Sturgess) as they fight the weather and sometimes the lack of food or water as they push on to make it to freedom.   They pick up a teenage girl (Ronan) along the way.

The film is director Peter Weir's cinematic vision with breathtaking cinematography and a beautiful music score that reminds me of another hypnotic journey film he directed called MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD.   THE WAY BACK is inspired by a true story of three people who made such a journey (the story is debated whether it was true and yet it makes for good fodder for a film).   Jim Sturgess continues to amaze as an actor while Saoirse Ronan shows she has acting chops even before she was in HANNA.  

THE WAY BACK presents how tough the conditions are for the escaped prisoners as they may be making a death march that could claim all of their lives.   The cinematography provides the landscape as beautiful and also as a harsh mistress with deadly beauty.  Burkhard Dallwitz's music helps suck you into the journey even more.   Silence fills the gaps like a razor since sometimes the characters don't talk to each other.   You pay attention to the silence with the scope of the landscape and music.  The escapees are desperate and yet they hold on.   They keep away from people as much since they do have bounties are on their heads.   The film is thin on characterizations, but it is their journey told the cinematography, silence, and music that keeps you watching.

THE JOURNEY OF THE JOURNEY is a 30 minute making-of featurette.   Cast and crew reflect on their journey to make the film.   You discover the movie was filmed in Bulgaria and Morocco doubled for Mongolia.

also included is the film's theatrical trailer.

FINAL ANALYSIS:   THE WAY BACK is a hypnotic and breathtaking journey about the human spirit.  I highly recommend this film.

this DVD review is (c)4-21-2011 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com