"HIDALGO" tells the tale in grand, epic style of the semi-true adventures of Frank Hopkins, the first American to have taken part in the "OCEAN OF FIRE," a treacherous 3,000 mile race across the Arabian Desert. After being challenged by a Sheikh(Omar Sharif), Frank is intent on proving to himself and the world what he's made of. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have the equally brave horse, Hidalgo, with him.
If one ponders about the historical accuracy of the film, there will undoubtedly be a lot of head scratching. However, "HIDALGO" is the kind of film that is meant to just be taken in for entertainment value, and at that, it is DAZZLING! While there are a few sluggish moments, the great majority of the film is top-notch, often gripping, entertainment. There are just too few "big" films like "HIDALGO," and that is a real shame. From life and death struggles with villainous characters to battling gigantic sandstorms, "HIDALGO" offers the kind of fun atmosphere that an entire family can enjoy without one ever feeling that it's lessening its potential while striving for a "family" atmosphere. Viggo Mortensen is great here, but so is everyone. While Director Joe Johnston isn't David Lean, one could argue that the pacing for "HIDALGO" is better than most of Lean's films!
BUENA VISTA has provided the correct 2.40:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray release. Most of the transfer, especially when compared to the dvd, is spectacular! Colors are rich and provide a vivid, realistic environment consistently, regardless of the setting. Detail is often extraordinary, allowing the term "grains of sand" to have new meaning! While a few moments, especially during the sandstorm, display artifacts, the great majority of the film looks flawless, making this close to a reference quality release!
BUENA VISTA has provided a PCM 5.1 mix. It's extremely aggressive. Bass effects are prominent and lock the viewer in the midst of a non-stop pulse-pounding race at one moment, with the sounds of ever-nearing horses riding up behind and around the viewer at one moment, and then swirling sand around the viewer, next! It's a great mix, and quieter moments are equally impressive due to the dazzling fidelity of this mix. Bravo, BUENA VISTA, BRAVO!
A short featurette and fun documentary are included, but only in standard resolution. Trailers for two other films are offered in full HD!