Hidalgo—Touchstone Pictures (Blu-ray)
Hidalgo is one of those human stories that really grabbed me. The true tale of an American cowboy haunted by his past who finds himself across the world in a race only the most insane would attempt. But the story does not end there. Along the way the greedy attempt to eliminate potential winners and small battles wager. Mortensen does a great job as Frank Hopkins, and this is a huge departure from his now epic portrayal of Aragon in The Lord of the Rings films. While he still has the courage and honor of Aragon, this is a more down to Earth role. The production and cinematography of this film are also outstanding making this a film with few faults.
Disney delivers an exceptional HD transfer for this one. The DVD was already quite good looking but it had some excessive edge enhancement at times. This transfer is pretty much completely devoid of that problem. Even hard transitions between fine objects look impeccable. Fine detail is excellent and longer shots have a lot more resolution than we saw with the DVD. Banding was another issue with the DVD presentation and I checked the spots that were bad on the DVD and while there was a tiny amount if you really looked, the majority of the issues were gone. I nice step up in resolution on this one and a fine video presentation.
The uncompressed PCM mix lends a lot to this presentation. Dynamic range is exceptional at times and there are some moments that would make fine home theater demonstration material. Spatial resolution is excellent and I was impressed with the immersive feel of the surround mix. Dialogue was balanced nicely within the track and I didn't notice any strain.
Extras are similar to what we saw with the DVD release. There is a behind the scenes look at the making of the film complete with interviews and on-set footage. There is also a look at the "Mustang" breed of horses and their role in history.
Hidalgo is a great film and a nice addition to the HD library. Touchstone has done a great job with this A/V transfer making this a solid recommendation for fans of the film.