Memorial Day (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 05-28-2012, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=247531&d=1337886796
The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373697

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109941&d=1210373697

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

90






Studio and Year: Image Entertainment - 2010
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 104 minutes
Genre: Drama, Action

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: VC-1 (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Jonathan Bennett, James Cromwell and John Cromwell
Directed by: Sam Fischer
Music by: Paul Hartwig
Written by: Marc Conklin
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 29, 2012







"Two generations. Two wars. One story."



Film Synopsis:

When SSgt. Kyle Vogel leaves a handwritten letter on the seat of his car, grabs a pistol and steps into a Minnesota forest, we wonder who he is and what he’s about to do. Flash back a few months as Vogel lies wounded in a hospital near Anbar Province, Iraq. The night before he’s due to return to combat, his doctor, Lt. Kelly Tripp, presses him on why he’s so obsessed with collecting battle souvenirs. Kyle proceeds to tell her what happened on Memorial Day, 1993, when, as a 13-year old boy, he discovered his Grandpa Bud’s WWII footlocker. Though reluctant to talk about the war, Bud, who served with the 82nd Airborne, strikes a deal with Kyle: “Pick any three objects, and I’ll tell you the story behind each one.” As we see Bud’s WWII tales from Europe, we also see how Kyle’s experiences in Iraq have paralleled them—and how that day on the porch will affect how he ultimately deals with the losses, regrets and moral dilemmas that unite all soldiers across wars and generations.




My Take:

As we pay respect to the fallen heroes of the United States today, before I go to the beach with the family, and have the obligatory cookout, I wanted to take the time to write up Image Entertainments Blu-ray release of Memorial Day. Right off the bat I will say as a film its OK at best. As an idea, a feeling and the intentions behind it, it is a winner. When a 13 year old boy ask his grandfather (James Cromwell-LA Confidential) what he should be remembering on Memorial Day, his future is set in motion as he learns of his grandfathers wartime past, and jettisons into his future where he lives a surprisingly parallel military existence.

What begins with the best intentions, though a bit heavy handed, and rightfully so, Memorial Day transcends into a film that is good enough to keep the viewers interest as we wait for a grand statement. I waited for a point, a reason to the story of this grandfather and grandson, while seeing one's WWII experience and seeing the others experience in Iraq. Unfortunately whatever the point the film makers had in mind became watered down and never felt resolved. Memorial Day was an enjoyable and unique spin on the war genre, but never lived up to what it could have, or seemed to want to be.



Parental Guide:

Some War Violence.





AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 88



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Video: 92



  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Memorial Daycomes Blu-ray Disc from Image Entertainment 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24.2 mbps and DTS-HD MA 5.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 3.1 mbps

Memorial Day is a surprisingly enjoyable High Definition experience. Film fans be warned, this was shot in Digital HD and looks it. Fine details are incredible, from Cromwell's wrinkles to the texture and grain of the sand in the Iraqi landscape. Colors seem spot-on natural, and even a bit too real, missing any artistry or design to the look. Considering it being digital, we see no banding, video noise or any other problematic attributes that could rear their ugly heads. The most outstanding, and frankly breathtaking part of this video presentation is its depth as there is an impressive separation of foreground and background that just seemed to pop off the screen.

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 sound has a depth to it that is a perfect companion to the video piece. From the war scenes to the time spent on grandpa's porch, effect channels are full of real world ambiance and life, pulling the viewer into the on screen drama. Explosions and gunfire are convincing and concussive, feeling like they are being fired in the viewing room. I never had an issue with dialogue, thought I did have the volume up to reference level when realizing James Cromwell's voice was a bit quiet.





Bonus Features:


  • Audio Commentary with Director Sam Fischer, Writer Marc Conklin and Actor John Cromwell

  • (HD) Behind The Scenes

  • DVD Copy




Final Thoughts:

Memorial Day is worth a viewing, if not only for its unique approach to a war film and that its heart was certainly in the right place. However, it is not a completely satisfying experience as it feels a bit unresolved when the credits roll. Image Entertainment sure does knock it out of the park with this high def A/V presentation. I suggest a rental to drama and war film fans.





attachment.php?attachmentid=157497&d=1257542613







Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews




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post #2 of 2 Old 05-29-2012, 01:55 AM
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Quote:
Quote:
Memorial Day is worth a viewing, if not only for its unique approach to a war film and that its heart was certainly in the right place. However, it is not a completely satisfying experience as it feels a bit unresolved when the credits roll. Image Entertainment sure does knock it out of the park with this high def A/V presentation. I suggest a rental to drama and war film fans.

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 sound has a depth to it that is a perfect companion to the video piece

ok- Good for rental but probably not a great buy? Would you watch it more than once? And - is the DTS MA worth waiting for?
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