Whiteout (2009)

Genre(s): Action / Crime / Thriller
Warner Brothers || R - 101 minutes - $28.98 || January 19, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2010-01-18


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Dominic Sena
Writer(s): Greg Rucka (graphic novel); Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber and Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes (screenplay)
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Gabriel Macht, Columbus Short, Tom Skerritt


Theatrical Release Date: September 11, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Additional Scenes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Surround 5.1), French (Dolby Surround 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Surround 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH

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.::THE FILM::.

Does Kate Beckinsale even have a career outside of the Underworld franchise? I recently talked with Brian (aka The Movieman) and I couldnít for the life of me recall another movie she was in that didnít involve vampires. That being said, Whiteout is a far reach from her normal genre and one that probably shouldnít have been taken. Beckinsale you may want to find another agent, and if that answer is yes, Iím available.

Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) is an FBI agent working in the frozen wastelands in Antarctica at a research station. A whiteout is coming into the area, and since sheís retiring, she wants to leave post haste and get on with her life. For those unaware, a whiteout is a storm where you canít see anything in front of you and pretty much freeze to death in less than a minute. On her way out her friend John (Tom Skerritt) lets her know that an emergency has come up and a body has been found in the area. The two get in a plane and head off to find the body of one of the scientists who have gone missing, and wonder what is going on in the area. There must be a killer on the loose she theorizes, and sets out to find out just who is behind this mess.

Carrie and Delfy (Columbus Short) head to Vostock to the facility where the scientists were working, only to have Carrier attacked by a killer with an axe to grind (haha, Iím funny). She manages to evade the killer but succumbs to exhaustion and wakes up to Delfy a few days later. In the meantime Carrieís history is told in flashback sequence as to why she sustained some wounds and also why she doesnít bother trusting people. Delfy and Carrie chat about whatís going on and meet up with Pryce (Gabriel Macht) who lets them know that one of the people, Rubin (Jesse Todd), is still missing and can presumed to be the killer of the flight crew and scientists. Itís up to Carrie, Delfy, Pryce, and other random people to figure out what they died for and avoid the axe-murderer before they freeze to death inÖthe whiteout.

This movie has some of the most ridiculous lines Iíve ever heard in a film. When Carrie talks with Pryce about the possibilities of the murders being intertwined, she clearly states ďOH, THEYíRE CONNECTEDĒ in the most obscene tone Iíve ever heard. The line was clearly forced and sounded like it was improved by Beckinsale in the scene, as itís not something that any FBI agent Iíve ever seen in any film would say. Most of the lines here are horrible, and even with a novel to follow and multiple people doing the screenplay it seems like absolutely no one read the script prior to shooting the movie!

The characters here, as you can expect, are incredibly boring and paper-thin in terms of acting like they care about the movie. It literally seems like they went into this film just thinking about how much they were getting paid, said their lines, and then left. I wasnít able to develop any sort of connection with any of the characters involved with the movie, and when they started dying I was just like ďoh well, no loss, I didnít remember their names anyway.Ē The whole ďkiller on the loose in the AntarcticĒ has been done before, it was called The Thing many years ago and it was a sweet movie.

What I donít get about this film, minus the fact Iíve already complained about, is who thought a killer on the loose in a frozen area is at all scary? Oh no, he has an axe. Wait Carrie has a gun! But she doesnít shoot it. Wait though! They know who the killer is although the idea isnít very plausible as to who it is and thereís probably ulterior motives going on with Carrieís friends that turn out to be enemies, but that would be a good twist. There is a good twist at the end, although that canít save the flick from being just plain stupid.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Additional Scenes (4 minutes): As per the norm of most DVDís with deleted scenes on them, this one is no different. The scenes amount to nothing and are even more boring than the film itself.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Surprisingly enough, Warner has done a decent job with the DVD transfer of this movie despite their recent history of doing pretty poor jobs with them. Colors are decent although they arenít as bright as they should be. I noticed several dark overtones throughout the movie that shouldnít have been there, as half of the movie is spent outdoors in bright white weather but you couldnít tell because of the transfer. The whites are toned down slightly, and contrast was a problem because of the massive grain amounts that I saw during the indoor scenes. I didnít see that much in terms of noise, so fans of non-noise films should be a little happy there isnít much here.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is merely a ho-hum track that doesnít really do much with surround sound or dialogue; rather it just gets the job done. Dialogue is low and off-balance throughout most of the film though, and I struggled to hear it most of the time. Surround sound was literally non-existent the entire film though, as I donít really remember hearing my surrounds go off at any point during the film. Heck, even during the few action scenes (like when Carrie fell through the ice) I donít remember hearing anything from my rears, as this is mainly a front-heavy track. Thereís nothing that terrible about this track, and then again thereís nothing really great about this one either.



.::OVERALL::.

Whiteout isnít an impressive movie by any means. The only reason to really watch this one is for the comedic factor involved with the horrible acting and lines spoken by the cast. The technical package is a little above-average, but with zero special features Iím hard pressed to recommend anything other than a rental that your friend paid for. This is one whiteout to move the other direction to avoid.