Midway is the Roland Emmerich passion project about Pearl Harbor and the following battles between America and Japan. Instead of focusing on character development, Emmerich went for the historical accuracy of the story, which was the ultimate flaw in this film. With its 1080p HD transfer and the Dolby Atmos audio mix, along with some worthwhile bonus features, this release is Recommended!
We also reviewed this film on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray.
For a full review, take a look at our coverage for the 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray Release.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Midway fights through the enemy ships to arrive on 1080p HD Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy. The discs are housed in a hard, blue, plastic case with a cardboard cover. The artwork features a couple of characters running from battle. There is an insert for the digital code.
Midway comes with a 1080p HD transfer from Lionsgate Films in 2.39:1 aspect ratio. It's a solid-looking, action-packed film with some decent detail and a good color palette, but the 4K UHD with Dolby Vision disc is the way to go.
First off, the color palette is wonderful here with different shades of blue in the ocean waters as well as the bright blue skies. Mix in some white puffy clouds and a perfect sunny day is in place. However, a big war is brewing in between these altitudes so explosions with red, orange, and yellow fire burst onto the screen constantly along with some black and gray smoke that towers into the clean air. Mix in some silver metal ships and planes along with some green, yellow, and red uniforms, and the picture becomes a work of art. Black levels are rich with the exception of a few scenes that develop some crush. Skin tones are natural as well.
The detail is mostly sharp when dealing with real-life actors, sets, and props that showcase fine textures in the costumes and facial features like individual hairs, facial pores, wrinkles, makeup blemishes, and makeup effects that reveal war injuries. Since this film is heavily steeped in CGI, the green screen in the background is easily noticeable and the other CG effects in the background look a bit murky and soft, so there is not a big realistic feel to the movie or a filmic quality. Lastly, there are no major issues with any other video elements.
This Blu-ray release features the same amazing Atmos audio track as the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.
Midway is in fact a demo-worthy Dolby Atmos audio track that provides the best action listening experience for those with Atmos setups. It's one of the more fun and thrilling audio listening experiences in a long time.
Early on in the film, the entire speaker system received a full workout during wartime. Loud plane engines roaring, bullets flying by, giant explosions everywhere on the screen, big battle guns releasing their missiles, along with bombs being dropped on their targets all sound incredible with fantastic directionality. On top of this, noises of people screaming, opening doors, footsteps on stairs and the deck all sound incredible. The rear speakers are robust and thrilling on a consistent basis that fully immerses you in the battle.
It's also in the big action sequences where the height speakers come into play with large sounds of planes flying overhead and dropped missiles that seem to fall through the media room. The low end of bass has a constant rumble that is heavy but not rocky that always amplifies each gunfire and explosion. The quieter moments provide the necessary reverb and echo when in large rooms or on Navy ships. The score by Thomas Wander and Harald Kloser always adds to the suspense and action and the dialogue is clear and easy to follow along with in the frantic fight-scenes.
There are about 68 minutes worth of bonus features located here, including discussions about the real-life people and events of the movie, an audio commentary, and a sweet talk with two veterans.
Audio Commentary - Roland Emmerich sits down and delivers an informative if not dry audio commentary track that discusses the real-life stories of each of the characters, the historical accuracies, casting, and filming on location. It's a decent audio track worth a listen.
Getting it Right: The Making of Midway (HD, 15 Mins.) - A series of crew interviews that focus on the historical accuracies of the film and what great lengths they went through to get them in the film.
The Men of Midway (HD, 13 Mins.) - This highlights the real-life characters in the movie with bio information and more.
Roland Emmerich: Man on a Mission (HD, 5 Mins.) - This is a surprisingly fun series of interviews about the director's passion for this film and story.
Turning Point: The Legacy of Midway (HD, 15 Mins.) - Here is an examination in detail of the Battle of Midway.
Joe Rochefort: Breaking the Japanese Code (HD, 7 Mins.) - This highlights the cryptanalyst and his work to gather intelligence on the Japanese, which is quite amazing.
We Met at Midway: Two Survivors Remember (HD, 10 Mins.) - This is an emotional discussion between two veterans on the subject of the battle and the film.
Theatrical Trailer (HD, 3 Mins.) - The trailer for the film is included.
Midway gets in the way of itself by leaning all the way over on being historically factual more than telling a cinematic story with good character development and thrilling action sequences. There is a great cast available, but the material they're given doesn't allow for something memorable, which is a shame, because this is a magnificent story. On the other hand, this 1080p Blu-ray presentation looks solid most of the time and the Dolby Atmos audio track is demo-worthy. The bonus features are worth the time, but there is a lack of behind the scenes and visual effects work discussions, which would have been fun to watch. Still, this comes Recommended!