Release Date: 2007
Overview and Film Information
Born on the Fourth of July is yet another great war movie from director and writer Oliver Stone. Although I am a much bigger fan of the masterpiece that is Platoon, Born is a great film in it's own right. Born on the Fourth of July tells the somewhat sad story of Ron Kovic, a Vietnam veteran who was paralyzed after being wounded in the war. While I don't personally agree with Mr. Kovic's thoughts on the war (Stone and Kovic wrote the screenplay for this film), he deserves the ultimate respect of all and right for me to listen to what he has to say and to try and understand it, and that I did. Most of this film is dialog based and there is some fantastic acting from Cruise & Dafoe, among others. Overall this is a great Oscar winning film and if you are a fan of Vietnam subject matter then this movie is for you, otherwise I don't think the average everyday person would overly enjoy this.
Video Quality **** out of *****
The video quality is fabulous on this release, while others recently see Universal as slacking in quality, I do not agree in the least. One must consider the source material before making accusations such as this. Born is filmed to have a vintage sort of look for much of the film, late 60's early 70's to be exact. This is done via a slightly muddy contrast ratio, some soft focus here and there and extended whites that bloom or clip. The image is nice and soft yet sharp and detailed like only anamorphic scope can achieve. We are presented here with the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Blacks are wonderful, with a slight tinge of crushing here and there, nearly perfect though. Contrast ratio as mentioned before is altered by the filmmakers, however with the scenes in Vietnam (which look amazing) we see it at its best. Colors and flesh tones are perfect as well, check out the scenes were Ron first returns home and the parade, solid and vibrant colors throughout. Film grain is present although I would have expected a little more to be visible comparing this films vintage to others. Detail is very very good. Without a doubt a nice, solid image.
Audio Quality *** out of *****
Audio quality on this release is also excellent. Dialog is clear, sharp and precise albeit a few scenes here and there. Bass is excellent and tight. The war scenes and musical score are wonderfully delivered on this disc. Nice spaciousness and details throughout the film. This film is mostly dialog based and it gets the job done very very well.
Extra Features and Menus **.5 out of *****
Extra features include a nice audio commentary from the Oscar winning director of this film, Oliver Stone and a documentary titled " Born on the Fourth of July - NBC News Backstory". Menus are the new Universal format which are well laid out, simple and easy to navigate.
Overall **** out of *****
If you are a fan of this film or have never seen it before and enjoy Vietnam subject matter, then by all means I suggest purchasing this release. We are provided with yet another solid release from Universal, who I feel recently has gotten a bad rap. They are really releasing some great product in my opinion and Born on the Fourth of July fits that bill perfectly.