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DVD Reviews

HTF HD-DVD REVIEW: The War



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#1 of 1 OFFLINE   Gary Murrell

Gary Murrell

    Supporting Actor



  • 675 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 20 2000

Posted December 09 2007 - 06:37 PM

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Studio: Universal
Video Release Date/ Film Release Date
: 2007 - 1994
Rating: PG-13
Film Length: approx. 126 minutes
Video/Aspect Ratio: 1920x1080p/24 - 1.85:1
English Audio Track/s: Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1 - Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
Video Quality: 4.5
Audio Quality: 4

Player & Output used for review: Toshiba HD-A35 (Video: HDMI 1080p/24 - Audio: HDMI Bitstream)
My Review System

Overview and Film Information

"The War" is a film about a Vietnam veteran (Costner) who is dealing with the struggles of his life after returning home from the war, most importantly his son (Wood). The War is praised for it's realistic portrayal of this situation that many thousands of vets had to deal with upon the return home from a misunderstood war. A young 13 year old Elijah Wood is also remarkable in this film. This film should have broad appeal to many viewers and with it's PG-13 rating could be some good family enjoyment.

Video Quality ****.5  out of *****

The War is presented in it's original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and I am delighted to say that we are given a nearly reference transfer on this release. The War appears to be the victim of a fairly recent mastering and it shows that fact very much thruought the entire film. One thing that instantly sticks out on this release is the utter cleanness and the pristine clarity this film has to offer. We are given a very solid punchy image thanks to a nearly perfect contrast ratio, no murkiness or cloudiness here. The color palette is a thing of beauty with vivid strong reds and greens, perfect skin tones and no signs of over saturation. Being this is Universal I must be on the lookout for EE and noise reduction which can ruin a otherwise perfect image, I am happy to say that this release suffers no effects of visible EE or NR 99% of the time, one or two scenes showed a slight amount of EE and/or NR but could very well be related to the film. The only slight and very small issue I noticed with this release is a minor crushing of blacks, not giving the ultimate best black level details I would expect. This is so minor that I deducted only .25 off the quality rating and with the same deduction of .25 for some slight EE/NR in a couple scenes I am giving this stellar release a 4.5 out of 5 on video.

Audio Quality ****  out of *****

Universal has placed a fairly high quality Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack on this release in addition to a standard Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 track, my review is for the lossless TrueHD track only. The TrueHD track on this release gets the job done very well, even during the few battle scenes in the film. Dialog is clean and precise and the musical score comes thru in a very high quality convincing and realistic manner. There isn't much to say about the audio on this release, it is very very good. Universal is to be thanked for including TrueHD on their recent catalog releases, lossless audio of this quality is a welcome addition to our video upgrades and just takes the experience to that much higher level of enjoyment. (Audio for this review was sent via HDMI 1.3 bitstream from the Toshiba A35 to be truly 100% decoded as Dolby TrueHD in the Onkyo PR-SC885P pre-amp)

Extra Features and Menus * out of *****

Extra features are nonexistent on this release. That is all there is to say

Overall **** out of *****

I have no problem at all recommending this release (even with the lacking of extras of which your reviewer doesn't put much stock into) due to the extremely high quality video and lossless Dolby TrueHD audio, if every release was up to these standards we would all enjoy these fabulous HD formats even better.

Thanks for reading and God Bless