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Official HTF HD-DVD Review: Born on the Fourth of July


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#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Gary Murrell

Gary Murrell

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Posted July 02 2007 - 11:42 AM

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Studio:


Universal


Year:

2007


Rated:


R


Film Length:


145 minutes


Aspect Ratio:


16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (2.35:1
)

Video:


1080p/24


Audio:


English Dolby Digital Plus 5.1


Subtitles:


English, French



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.



#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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Posted July 02 2007 - 05:11 PM

Nice review Gary. I haven't seen this in a LONG time. Thanks for your review....got to check this one out. Posted Image

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted July 02 2007 - 09:24 PM

Thanks, Gary.

I'm not going to double-dip on this one - because I don't own the SDVD. This was always one of the films I hesitated about. I'm ambivalent about Stone and I'm not a particular fan of one of the main actors, if you know what I mean.

But your description of the quality of the release decided it - I'm going to order this HD DVD.
Too bad Platoon isn't released on HD (yet?? that would be a double-dip for me).


Cees

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Gary Murrell

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Posted July 02 2007 - 10:11 PM

Thanks Cees

Cruise is good in this one for sure, I have always thought he was wonderful strictly as a actor and in every film I have seen of his, but I know what you mean Posted Image

Platoon was on all the blu-ray release lists at launch time, it will come from MGM via Fox and if I were a betting man I think we may see it before Christmas Posted Image

-Gary

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted July 03 2007 - 12:10 AM

(1) Hoping it will come true.
(2) Hoping I will have my combi-player by then.

I have to agree that I've never seen a bad performance by Tom Cruise in any movie. And, indeed, I meant what you knew what I meant. Posted Image


Cees

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   JonZ

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Posted July 03 2007 - 12:29 AM

This disc looks beautiful. Youre right on about how this movie was filmed Gary.

We had that bad EE disc for so long and I didnt even get a chance to watch the SD rerelease before grabbing this one.

A favorite of mine, that finally has gotten the presentation it deserves.

(And Im glad I wont have to rebuy it again - after owning it on VHS,LD and 2 DVDs)

#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Jeff Adkins

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Posted July 03 2007 - 12:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Murrell

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. 


Gary,

Can you elaborate a little more on the audio? You say it is excellent but only give it 3/5. I have the DTS DVD and was wondering if you (or anyone) have compared it to the DTS version? This is a title I'd like to get but audio is every bit as important as video is to me.

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Gary Murrell

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Posted July 03 2007 - 01:13 PM

Audio is very good when it needs to be, dialog is also good, I noticed a few instances of straining or "tinny" dialog, the score and effects are wonderful (during war scenes for example), I took it down from a 4 that I was going to give it first because of the few small problems

this was a DTS DVD release, I forgot about that, I never owned it to compare though, sorry

-Gary