Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House

Featured In Issue 223, January 2018

WSR Score5
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Sony Pictures Classics
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103 Minutes
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Peter Landesman
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"Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House" centers on “Deep Throat,” the pseudonym given to the notorious whistleblower for one of the greatest scandals of all time, Watergate. The true identify of the secret informant remained a mystery and source of much public curiosity and speculation for more than 30 years. That is until, in 2005, special agent Mark Felt shockingly revealed himself as the tipster. This unbelievable true story chronicles the personal and professional life of the brilliant and uncompromising Felt, who risked and ultimately sacrificed everything—his family, his career, his freedom—in the name of justice. Based on the books by Mark Felt and John O'Connor. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Director Peter Landesman, six deleted and extended scenes (HD 16:19), the featurette The Secrets Of Making Mark Felt (HD 10:25), the theatrical trailer, and upfront previews.

The 2.00:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa XT camera system in anamorphic Scope and sourced from a 2K Digital Intermediate format. Picture quality is excellent, with a natural look, with dark grayish segments in Washington back rooms. There several segments of stock footage that appear in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio, which exhibit poor television quality of the era. The color palette is pretty drab throughout, with spots of vivant color, such as the red dress warn by Felt's wife and to a lesser degree the interiors of Felt’s home and a commune. Otherwise, hues are generally dark in tone, as in suits worn by government officials with white shirt highlights that nicely contrast. The drabness creates a dramatic mood. Fleshtones are naturally hued. Contrast is excellent with deep, solid blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Resolution also is excellent with fine facial features, hair, clothing and object textures finely detailed. The picture is convincingly believable in its depiction of the investigation. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is well crafted and, though, dialogue focused, atmospherics sound realistic, with at times surround extension. The orchestral score is nicely recorded with a wide and deep soundstage presence that extends to the surrounds. In one scene at a payphone, a rain storm projects effectively throughout the soundfield, with rain pellets pounding down on the metal phone booth. The intensity of the storytelling through the dialogue is mesmerizing, with good spatial integration, which enhances the sense of realism. Foley sound effects also are well crafted throughout. Bass energy is deep and powerful at times. This is a serious soundtrack that delivers a mysterious feeling throughout, with powerful dialogue and supporting atmospheric envelopment that at times presents a holosonic® presence. (Gary Reber)