Biography Blu-ray Review

‘The 15:17 to Paris’ Blu-ray Review: Real-Life Heroes Get Their Due in Clint Eastwood’s Latest

May 30, 2018Ben MK

Things could have ended very badly when a would-be terrorist boarded a train bound for Paris in summer 2015. Armed with multiple weapons and 300 rounds of ammunition, the man obviously intended to inflict mass casualties; and he would have, were it not for the actions of three Americans — Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler — who happened to be on the train that fateful day.

Starring the real-life trio of childhood friends and based on their bestselling memoir, "The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes," director Clint Eastwood's dramatic account of this act of heroism is at the core of The 15:17 to Paris. However, to arrive at the film's payoff, viewers will have to first sit through two acts of build-up, which chronicles snippets of the men's lives growing up — from how they met at a Christian middle school in 2005 Sacramento, to Alek and Spencer each signing up for the U.S. military, to the European backpacking trip that would eventually find them in the wrong place at the right time.

Eastwood is no stranger to bringing true tales of courage to the screen. From American Sniper to Sully, the 87-year-old Hollywood legend has shown a remarkable eye for compelling drama. That said, the principal drawback of The 15:17 to Paris is that it's dramatically lackluster, as a great deal of it feels like filler to pad the story out to a modest 94 minutes, the outcome of which threatens to derail the film before it even has a chance to get going.

The 15:17 to Paris debuts on Blu-ray bolstered by a strong 1080p encode and a Dolby Atmos soundtrack, and while nothing about this audiovisual presentation truly stands out, there's nothing to really gripe about either. Picture detail and color saturation are excellent, from suburban Sacramento to the culture and architecture of Rome and Venice, while the movie's sound design hits its mark scene after scene, whether it's the tension of the film's climax, classroom chatter, or the thumping beats of house music at an Amsterdam nighclub.

Warner's two-disc Blu-ray combo pack includes a DVD copy of the film and an UltraViolet digital copy, as well as the following Blu-ray extras:

  • The 15:17 to Paris: Making Every Second Count (8:11) - An account of what happened on the train from the real people who lived through it.
  • The 15:17 to Paris: Portrait of Courage (12:27) - A look at how the movie came to be, how the real-life Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler came to portray themselves on-screen, and Eastwood's dedication to authenticity.

The 15:17 to Paris is available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment as of May 22nd, 2018. The Blu-ray features English Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French, Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The total runtime is 1 hr. 34 min.

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