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Merged "Tears of the Sun" Reviews Thread

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39 replies to this topic

#1 of 40 OFFLINE   JoshB


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Posted June 05 2003 - 04:21 PM

Just got the disc and watched the film. I still think it is one of the years better films, and was hurt by bad timing and publicity. It has good performances, and is suprising realistic in terms of the way the the soldiers are portrayed. No reviews seem to be up yet for the film, so this is my thoughts so far.

The transfer is excellant, in fact I would say reference quality. It reminds me alot of Fuqua's Training Day, in terms of how well it handles daylight and night scenes. Some of the shots, which show off the very beautiful jungles of Nigeria (it was filmed in Hawaii) are stunning, and show a great level of detail and color balance. Edge enhancement it hardly seen, but not much concern since much of the cinematography is quite stark and muted in colors. This is the jungle after all. It actaully looks better than when I saw it theatrically, and a good example is i nthe night scenes. In the theater, soem of the night scenes seemed very dark, and lacked any detail and were hard to make out anything at all. I'm sure it wasn't the theater I saw it in, and was likely a result of being shown on the big screen. On DVD the night scenes are much better, and reveal much more detail and contrast. You can make out the actors faces so much easier, and see more detail in the jungle scenes. Thats all I can really think of, so I hope it helps. I would give the Video an easy 9, if not a 10.

The audio is equally impressive, but not as aggressive as you would get from a film like this. Keep in mind, this is not an action movie or war film with battles going on constantly. Most of the action is saved for the final 20 mintues or so. But for the most part, it is a great soundtrack. Dialogue comes through excellant, even in the actuon scenes. Ambient and background sounds comes through great in the surrounds, with helicopters blades sounding as great as the noramlly do, and the sounds of the jungles, with insects and various animals, come through nicely and give you a sense that you are their. When the action does kick in, it is a assualt from all directions. Bass response is excellant, as is directional effects. In the action scenes at the end, bullets whiz by through the surrounds and come from all directions. It was hard to make out certain slunds in theaters, since it was very loud. Here, the effects come through with much more detail and clarity. Hans Zimmer's score comes through well, and reminds me of his Thin Red Line score in many ways. This is not SPR or BHD by any means in terms of audio, but it is still an impressive soundtrack that will not disappoint in my opinion. I would rate at an 8 or 9, depending on how you like your action or war films to sound.

As far as extras, I have not listened to the commentary or seen the features yet. The disc does feature about 8 or 10 trailers for Sony/Revolution films, such as Basic, BHD, Anger Management, S.W.A.T., Charle's Angel: Full Throttle, and others. The main menu is animated, with music palying in the background, and the submenus are static but have mysic playing as well.

This is just a summary as to how I found the disc. If you saw the film and liked it, I would recommend a purchase. If you didn't see it in theaters and are hesitant, it is a must rent. If anyoen has questions about the disc, or would like to see screenshots of the transfer's quality, let me know and I can email the screenshots to you.
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#2 of 40 OFFLINE   Bill J

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Posted June 05 2003 - 05:32 PM

Thank you, Josh. Posted Image Posted Image

I was really looking forward to this disc and surprisingly have not seen any other reviews so far. Definite purchase now.

I wouldn't be too surprised if Columbia released a Superbit in the future...

#3 of 40 OFFLINE   Jeremy Anderson

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Posted June 09 2003 - 02:30 PM

No one else has posted on this yet, so here goes:
I watched Antoine Fuqua's TEARS OF THE SUN tonight, and the DD 5.1 was absolutely one of the best sounding surround tracks I have ever heard. The audio portion of my system consists of an Onkyo TX-SR600 receiver, 5 Polk RTi28's (mains, surrounds, center rear), a Polk CSi30 center and SVS 20-39CS+/Samson 1000/ART-351 EQ'd flat +/-3dB and set to meter-corrected reference level (not running hot), subsonic filter set to 16Hz and with one port plug in.

Watch this movie loud! I was playing at near reference level and not since SAVING PRIVATE RYAN have I been so drawn into a surround mix. During the quiet passages, the surrounds are constantly engaged, conveying the sounds of the jungle. When the gunfire starts, however, you might just duck. The surround balance is perfect, with constant channel-to-channel panning of bullets, explosions, planes, helicopters, etc. There are even some very nice dialogue pans across the front three speakers that sounded very convincing. While I don't believe this is an offical DD-EX mix, the movie definitely benefits from having EX engaged and the rear soundfield sounds very natural this way, with several instances of gunfire directly behind the listener (though not distractingly so). Also, there is no shortage of deep bass. Explosions literally shake the foundation, and even the score makes use of some solid low end.

The test of any surround track, to me, is that the speakers disappear and sounds seem to emanate from points in 3-dimensional space between the speakers. This movie's audio absolutely does that for me. I felt like I was right there in the movie, and experiences like that are the reason I bought all this stuff in the first place. Add to that some very solid video, especially considering the number of dark scenes, and the fact that the movie is pretty damn good. I'm no professional reviewer, but I strongly recommend this disc. Hopefully others will share similar experiences.

#4 of 40 OFFLINE   Declan


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Posted June 09 2003 - 02:56 PM

Got this today and gonna be spinning this in about 10 hours time, when nobody is home.

Cant friggin wait. The film is'nt even released in cinemas here in the UK until OctoberPosted Image ..........oh I praise the day I got my player.

I did take a look at the trailers on the disc as well.

Bad Boys 2 (just the teaser not the full trailer...although this one shows a good bit of footage),

SWAT (apart from the totally emmbarrasing bit at the end "we're SWAAAAAAT"Posted Image it looks great),

Hollywood Homicide (was'nt really pushed on seeing this but the trailer is hilarious)

Radio (Forrest Gunp meet Remember the titans anyone?)
theres a good few other trailers on the disc as well apart from these most are in 5.1 and I think all are anamorphic. Tears of the Sun is meant to be great, the disc has a load of extras as well. Not bad going Columbia, but I wont open the "can o worms" by mentioning Superbit.Posted Image
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#5 of 40 OFFLINE   Justin Bauer

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Posted June 09 2003 - 03:17 PM

I am looking forward to this disc tomorrow. I never saw the movie but I really want to. I am enjoying alot of the great DD and DTS mixes of late.
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#6 of 40 OFFLINE   greg_t



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Posted June 09 2003 - 03:17 PM

I'm going to wait for the eventual superbit.

#7 of 40 OFFLINE   Dave Molinarolo

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Posted June 09 2003 - 03:29 PM

I've had mine pre-ordered from DDD, but for some reason they haven't shipped it yet. I also had Robin Hood - SE ordered at the same time, and they shipped it last Thursday and I got it today (Monday). Kind of pisses me off that they didn't get my Tears out the same day. Must've been a out-of-stock issue. But hopefully they'll get it out in the next few days, because after seeing the commercial for this DVD over the last week or so about 25 times, I'm all ready for it.

#8 of 40 OFFLINE   Jason Hennigan

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Posted June 09 2003 - 03:34 PM

I saw the film in the theater, and I liked it enough to buy it.

However, with Columbia's recent track record, I decided that I'll hold off until they release the Superbit version.

#9 of 40 OFFLINE   Wes



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Posted June 09 2003 - 03:37 PM

Dave, hate to sidetrack the tread but how is the sound on Robin Hood?

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#10 of 40 OFFLINE   Dave Molinarolo

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Posted June 10 2003 - 08:48 AM

Dave, hate to sidetrack the tread but how is the sound on Robin Hood?

It's not too bad, it's got decent surround effects with the musical score and arrow effects. However it has one minor problem near the end when they blow up the barrels filled with gunpowder in the final Nottingham village battle. There a loud crackle from the center speaker as if the source was mastered using 20 year old audio equipment.

However the major negative to this disc is the picture quality. Not so much with grain or edge enhancement, but more with the color level and saturation. The colors seems washed out or perhaps muddy looking. I kept having to fiddle with my TV's color temp control (warm, neutral, cool) to get the right look to the film. And on top of that the black levels are pretty weak. They look a murky red in places.

But overall, it's still much better than a VHS copy. Very little grain or noise in "sky" shots, I'm just disappointed with the weak black levels and color temp problem.

#11 of 40 OFFLINE   Steve_Tk



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Posted June 10 2003 - 09:17 AM

It would be nice to have some more reviews for films that are coming out instead of things like Jaws III.

#12 of 40 OFFLINE   Chris_Morris



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Posted June 10 2003 - 11:14 AM

It would be nice to have some more reviews for films that are coming out instead of things like Jaws III.

They're coming. It's taking the studios a bit of time to update their databases and start sending the screeners to Stuart.


#13 of 40 OFFLINE   LaMarcus



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Posted June 10 2003 - 06:40 PM

It would be nice to have some more reviews for films that are coming out instead of things like Jaws III.

I feel you so much on this statement. Not to mention this is the Home Theater Forum we want DVD reviews, not just movie reviews (if I'm not mistaken). I'd like to hear about surround information, black levels, front sound stage, color accuracy, etc... I won't comment too much on it, because I don't know how much of a hissey fit will come because of it. But it's a big let down.

I think that it's a travesty that Ron is not around to review this film. Because I feel that it is strongly deserving of his High Recommendation.

Never before have I seen a dvd that has such a great display of surround information. And the colors in this movie are fantastic. This was a suburb transfer. I've never seen Saving Private Ryan at home, but if it's anything like this, I'll definitely have to buy the DTS version of it.

I don't know how well this movie did in theaters but I don't think it got the recognition it deserved. And normally when a movie meets that criteria, we'd have Ron to give the film a rebirth here on the forum to the 30 thousand plus members who would take a look at the film just from his High Recommendation.

#14 of 40 OFFLINE   Walter Kittel

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Posted June 10 2003 - 07:22 PM

Reviews for new titles just leaving theatrical showings are probably the least helpful of all reviews. With the exception of the occasional title that slips through with problems, a very high percentage of these types of titles are uniformly excellent. ( How many ways can you say 'film-like' or 'reference'? )

There is much greater variance of technical quality with regards to catalog titles, consequently reviews of older titles ( generally speaking ) provide much more assistance to the consumer.

- Walter.

Fidelity to the source should always be the goal for Blu-ray releases.

#15 of 40 OFFLINE   LaMarcus



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Posted June 10 2003 - 07:56 PM

This movie was excellent. I think the sound and picture was the best that I'vd witnessed in my theater. On a ISF'd screen the black levels and detail were outstanding. The colors (expecially the greens from the feilds) were brilliant.

With DD 5.1 ex turned on my receiver, it was spectacular, this was by far the best film I've heard to utilize all the channels. If there is a better or equally good film out there that does this please list them. Never before have I heard a plane fly around the back of my room and it sound that real.

I absolutely loved this movie, and the quality of this transfer.Posted Image Posted Image

#16 of 40 OFFLINE   Joshua_Y



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Posted June 10 2003 - 09:25 PM

Picked up this disc yesterday...never seen the flick...but I like Bruce and ya know its got Monica Bellucci Posted Image and it was just $15...so might as well...have not had time to watch it yet...but will this evening...thanks for the great comments...cant wait to listen to it...

#17 of 40 OFFLINE   Josh Lowe

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Posted June 11 2003 - 12:09 AM

I loved this movie in the theater and agree it was completely promoted the wrong way. The previews made it out to be some kind of action gung ho shoot 'em up movie, when that was so far from the truth. It was a really well done film with some very heartbreaking and emotional moments.

#18 of 40 OFFLINE   Kyle Richardson

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Posted June 11 2003 - 02:13 AM

I watched this movie last night with my wife and we both loved it! I really cant say more about the surround and picture than has already been said because I was so drawn into the movie which is actually a rarity for me because I'm always judging the picture and sound quality.

I did notice on one point in the movie when they are resting and one person is eating a piece of fruit. The scene is fairly dark with blacks and dark greens of the jungle, but I swear the fruit was so colorful and realistic looking I wanted to grab it and take a bite.Posted Image
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#19 of 40 OFFLINE   Xavier Roy-Bois

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Posted June 11 2003 - 02:45 AM

Widescreenreview reviewed it as some of the best soundtrack to date. I viewed it in local theater and sure it delivered Posted Image

But please Columbia, stop using Dialog normalisation crap like you did with BLACKHAWK DOWN, CHARLIE'S ANGEL, and some others.

In the case of TEARS OF THE SUN Widescreenreview stated :

'Overall volume level seems just a bit lower than might have been expected, perhaps due to the fact that the dialnorm offset was somewhat higher than normal (-6 dB). '

Posted Image
Can"t wait to hear DD+ and DTHD at their full resolution !

Bring us HDMI 1.3 equipped receivers fast !!!

#20 of 40 OFFLINE   Kyle Richardson

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Posted June 11 2003 - 05:35 AM

I did notice that I had to turn it up just a bit more than usual, but other than that it was perfect.
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