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A Few Words About A few words about...™ We Were Soldiers -- in High Definition

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Paramount's release of Randall Wallace's 2002 We Were Soldiers reinforces two points.

    The first is that professional soldiers will do whatever is necessary in the call of duty, even if the entity making the call may be wrong.

    The second, on a strictly studio level, absolutely proves that Paramount is a prime time player in the high definition arena, creating a HD release that could not be more perfect.

    Both visually and sonically, We Were Soldiers replicates the large screen theatrical experience in the home theater environment.

    One very easy way to establish the propriety of the look of a video release is in the comparison of HiCon elements compared to background. Consider any of the perfect, clean sub-titles in this film as offset against the properly grained production footage background, and you'll easily see that visually, everything is proper and under control.

    Mr. Wallace's film places Mel Gibson as the Vietnam era commander of the legendary Seventh Cavalry of several hundred men, finding itself situated, once again, for possible massacre at the hands of several thousand well prepared, and well hidden North Vietnamese troops, waiting in prey in their mountains, in their tunnels, on their turf. Gibson plays the role brilliantly and believably, with support from Greg Kinnear, Chris Klein, Barry Pepper, and the indomitable Sam Elliott. The film takes full advantage in pulling all the right emotional strings, as it cuts between the battlefield and the home front, where Madeleine Stowe and Kerri Russell find themselves delegated to communicate bad news, as the government shows itself incapable.

    If one were to compare We Were Soldiers to any recent films, they would be Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down (available in at least 47 different DVD versions). Unlike the more homogenized flag-waving fare created by the studio system during the '40s, We Were Soldiers places the viewer in the thick of action, and pulls no punches, as it shows war not as any glorified pageant of the past, but in terms of the horrors of the battlefield and the gallantry of both professional as well as rookie American soldiers.

    As Vietnam was very much my era, I'm constantly astounded that our veterans of that conflict are not more appreciated and lauded for their actions. We Were Soldiers, at least in part, helps that situation in communicating the roles of our troops as being no less patriotic, no less gallant, and certainly in no less danger than previous wars. These extraordinary veterans need to be honored, admired and remembered on equal basis with their brethren.

    Both as a film, and as a HD DVD Event, Paramount's We Were Soldiers is a pure quality, yet another home video release as part of the studio's second wave of HDs that looks like film.

    Very Highly Recommended, this release is absolutely RAH Approved.

    RAH
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This has become one of my favorite war films of the last 20 years or so. I thought the video presentation was excellent and despite the complaints from some about film grain, the HD DVD really duplicated the theatrical experience for me. Such film grain criticism is unwarranted in most cases. Also, don't get me started about the audio presentation because it's simply one of the best.





    Crawdaddy
     
  3. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Last week I ordered this title, based on Crawdaddy's recommendation. I'm glad the HD version is this good!


    Cees
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Well-Known Member

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    And what could be a more ringing endorsement of the new format? Essentially, home theater and commercial theater have narrowed the gap in presentation. Amazing.
     
  5. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Well-Known Member

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    Mr. Harris, if you ever decided to write a book on film and home video etc...I'd buy it! Love reading your posts. Enlightening and well-articulated. [​IMG]
     
  6. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    There are a number of fine books out there. One is the most recent update by Bruce Kawin on Short History of the Movies.

    RAH
     
  7. EnricoE

    EnricoE Well-Known Member

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    last but not least: paramount included the theatrical trailer (in 1080p) which wasn't on the sd-dvd [​IMG]
     
  8. Stan Rozenfeld

    Stan Rozenfeld Well-Known Member

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    This was such a moving review! It made me think of that movie in a different light than before... I didn't think of buying it anytime soon, but now it will definitely be placed on my next order.
     
  9. Elayna Rainwater

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    To help break in our relatively new HD-DVD player, several friends were over last night to watch a movie. Of course the guys won the "we choose" battle and they chose the recently purchased We Were Soldiers in HD. I knew we had seen this before but most of us had forgotten alot of it. Ended up being wonderful though.

    One of the most compelling & powerful moments had to be the platoon's battle on the 3rd day. They must try and go up the hill while avoiding being ambushed. They've nearly been massacred, but through their character and determination they have persevered. Outside of the fierce battle moments, most of us teared up throughout the movie. We Were Soldiers is not a subtle film but one that needs to be re-visited from time to time.

    Image was clear and detailed, gritty and filmlike. Audio was extraordinary.

    Great to own this HD-DVD.
     

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