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[Old Flicks, New Rigs]-[DVD lookback]- theme: Courage Scarred with Regrets (1 Viewer)


Feb 10, 1999
Recently just upgraded the 32inch PANASONIC FHD TV to a 49inch 4K screen from the same maker... So, during these couple of rest days, i dug out few numbers of titles from my library to give the screen a good stress test and burn in.
Though the titles here are not 4K BDs(which i intend to upgrade my player as well as the library titles to UHD when 4k machines of my preferred maker make available in later days...), i guess they will still do the job in giving the screen a good workout!
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Military themed films are the most favorite genres when it gives hometheater setups a good performance polishing and highlight of the systems' performance capabilities, be it in the Audio or Video field. However, should these movies are just pure package of actions without stories... Audience like me couldn't get into the story along with characters portrayed. So... a little dramas and emotional moments in the film is often preferred, than just plain slam bang actions like... Behind Enemy Lines, or ACT of VALOR...

Courage Under Fire and Home of the BRAVE have the same... effects and fate of the Veterans who came back from middle east. There will be one who bails out by seeking his own death, there will be one who lives with regrets. "Illario" from C.U.F. and "Tommy" from H.O.T.B. are the latter, while "Monfreiz" from C.U.F. and "Jamal" from H.O.T.B. are the ones who ended their lives in different circumstances...
Edward Zwick's Courage Under Fire in comparison to Home of the BRAVE, exposes the truth of the whole incident after a big round of doubts and suspicions, while Irwin Winkler's latter lets the audience sees the scars of war in the beginning on 3 characters, Samuel L.Jackson's character revealing his hidden scars of war in the later stage.

Viewers will find C.U.F. is much faster paced in plot when compared to H.O.T.B as the latter is a little "draggy" on elaboration on characters.
Either one, which runs under 2hrs, will get snubbed at if the viewer doesn't like military d~r~a~m~a that have little actions of such genre.


Video experience.
Since I was re-watching in DVD, i couldn't expect much improvements from DVD to achieve BD qualities. In 4:3 Letterbox presentation, i get a rough effective 37inch on the images from both films, that's slightly bigger than my previous 32incher, of course with black frames around filling up the 49inch screen.

Courage Under Fire was a straight to "ENHANCED WIDESCREEN" release from FOX and no other editions were released earlier.
In the FOX logo opening scene, spots or grainy noises is easily spotted on the CGI logo when moved. In the past when I played this disc with DVD player with Coaxial cable connection, such interference is minimal and not noticeable, but in this day and age of improved device as well as HDMI connection... the "freckles" are exposed clearly. However, the freckles goes away when the movie starts... until the self-defense shootouts in the crash site... where breeze of wind brings along with sands and dusts. While i may identify some of these "sands and dusts" are in fact "freckles", i just give it a miss... not much disturbance here.
In DVD playback, one may experience image "jitters" when there are big motions in the movie. In the Rangers' Camp, when a troop jogs past Danzel's character, these "motion jitters" is very evident. However, with image interpolation from the TV, such "motion jitters" can be corrected a little percentage. But... will cause undesired image effect on other scenes. Especially during the night when the fallen Huey crews got ambushed, tracers fired from weapons looks like laser beams from StarWars... Duh... It's up to individual whether they can absorb on the daylight "motion jitters", or not.
HDR from the PANASONIC TV gives a new life to the night scenes with much clearer details!!! Sands and Grains generated from enemy rounds that hits the ground and stones, is much different than just small patches of smokes when played thru coaxial video cable.

Home of the BRAVE i have here is a PAL release for Australian market. Made 10yrs later after C.U.F., with the aide of newer filming technology, is certainly much cleaner than C.U.F... Not much "motion jitters" encountered, even though during the in-tent commotion with heavy activities. Hmm... I wonder is it due to the bit-rate of video transfer on C.U.F. that makes the title looks bad...

Audio experience.
Courage Under Fire is a military drama that is slow... but not most of the time gloomy. The beginning of the film gives my current setup a good workout, even though in the sound processing stage, is not as updated as current day of DD.EX or DTS.E.S as well as ATMOS or DTS:X. My setup is still the old setup that does not have a subwoofer(neighbors of other units made their feedbacks on boomy disturbances), using a pair of 6incher POLKAUDIO S6 as fronts, POLKAUDIO CS150 as center, and a pair of LOGITECH satellites from the Z906 tilted up to fire on the wall to get surround reflections to me, leaning on the opposite side of the wall...
Tank firing as well as Hueys' directional flybys gives a good stress to the setup. When the medivac crew Huey got shot by the enemy troops, directional effects is much clearer with the chopper descending in stress pans across all channels. Night time ambush shootouts also gives a good rumble on all channels.
One will not be bored, with flashbacks in different scenarios towards the end of truth.

With DTS track played(not indicated on cover), action scenes with good workout on 5.1(5.0 in my case) effects in Home of the BRAVE is limited when compared to C.U.F. It's only the street ambush scene and motar bomb attacks in the medical tent scene that gives a little workout on the system. Overall, i would say H.O.T.B. is a much quieter film with barely little music in the background, while James Horner's score in C.U.F. gives me a slow ride towards the end of the film.

Final thoughts.
When compared to other military/war flicks, Courage Under Fire and Home of the BRAVE does not receive much attentions. Probably due to it's pace of the plots, or the time it takes to introduce a character to the audience. There are different type of movie-goers, and some believes blindly that how popular a director is, gives them a worthy ride through the films the film maker's make. Terrence Malik's THIN RED LINE, and John WOO's WINDTALKERS suffered such fate like both films made by Edward Zwick and Irwin Winkler. The four directors are famed, yet they can't beat the fame of Stephen Spielberg with his SAVING PRIVATE RYAN...
However if one could just seat down and watch the movie without much expectation, it wouldn't hurt to experience different situations in different stories, be it based on true story or just plainly fictional.

*Disclaimer: To achieve a consistent height with other movies with 2.35/2.4:1 widescreen ratio, and due to the lack of image zoom with my newly acquired Panasonic 49EX400S, when playing DVD movies with widescreen 1.85:1 ratio, player's image output is set to fullscreen 4:3 letterbox.

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