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post #1 of 85 Old 05-20-2014, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Based on The New York Times best-selling true story of heroism, courage and survival, Lone Survivor tells the incredible tale of four Navy SEALs on a covert mission to neutralize a high-level al-Qaeda operative. The four men must make an impossible moral decision in the mountains of Afghanistan that leads them into an enemy ambush. As they confront unthinkable odds, the SEALs must find reserves of strength and resilience to fight to the finish.




The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

98



Details:

Studio and Year: Universal - 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 122 minutes
Genre: Drama/Action

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitsch, Eric Bana
Written & Directed by: Peter Berg Based on the book by Marcus Lutrell
Music by: Explosions in the sky & Steve Jablonsky
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 3, 2014


"Never stop fighting….based on a true story"


My Take:

Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a covert mission that was expected to go by the numbers. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive. <i>Lone survivor</i> tells the true story of the only survivor of Operation Redwing, and the extraordinary firefight that led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history.

I have heard some describe this film as heavy handed in its account of the tragic events of June 2005. While there is no denying that writer/director Peter Berg paints a visceral picture of what occurred I think that anything other than attempting to portray these men, what they encountered and how they handled it in painstaking detail would be disrespectful. I think that Peter Berg, his crew and the cast did a terrific job in capturing the essence of not only the heroism, courage and fortitude of the Seal Team but the esprit de corps of the unit as a whole. Based on the subject matter the film doesn’t play out via a traditional narrative however the opening does an excellent job connecting us briefly to the four men on a personal level as well as conveying their devotion and excellence at what they do.

It quickly moves into the Afghan mountains and the series of events that follow. This is a powerful and engaging film that grabs hold after the opening act and doesn’t let go until the credits roll. It’s hard not to be moved and astounded by it as the escalating events unfold in startling detail toward their inevitable conclusion. The dramatic events that take place in the village are emotively stirring in their display of humanity while the building suspense shoots off the charts. As I watched Lone survivor I couldn’t help but be reminded of another engaging and unforgettable war drama, “Saving Private Ryan”. This film shared the same intensity and riveting ferocity found in several scenes from that film. Here the scope and script aren’t as far reaching but then again they are truly different films.

I appreciated the fact that Lone Survivor depicts the unfortunate and cold realties that war can be. It reminds us that the true heroes are the men and women who put it on the line in the defense of freedom. It’s an unforgettable film that I thoroughly enjoyed.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong bloody war violence and pervasive language.



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.**


Audio: 96

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • *Low frequency extension (non-rated element):

Video: 100

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black level/Shadow detail:
  • Color reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

Lone Survivor comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 30 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.

This film looks superb on Blu-ray Disc and features superb high definition video quality that exhibits high level detail, razor sharpness and exquisite definition that brings out lifelike textures captured by the camera’s lens. Dimensional perspective has a near infinite appeal that can be visually stimulating. Close ups are noticeably refined and revealing of the subtlest details within facial features and objects within the frame. Mid level camera pans are equally enriching and offer excellent depth and dimension. Colors are appreciably delineated with natural rendering and punchy primaries that stand out among the remaining spectrum of secondary hues. Fleshtones are rendered with vivid tonality and discerning complexional depiction. Contrast is boldly applied without overstatement as it enlivens colors and drives brightly lit scenes without whitewashing detail. Blacks are gradational and deep which emboldens sequences containing a mix of light and dark elements. Detail in uneven light and darkened environments reveal visible shapes and structure that enhances depth perception. This is a pristine and reference quality presentation that looks terrific on my big screen.

The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio soundtrack is technically proficient and sounds terrific. This is a supremely articulated and commanding presentation that will reward those with systems capable of thoroughly reproducing its elements. This is not an overtly aggressive presentation but it definitively produces powerful dynamics and deep bass transients that underscore the action with aplomb. This is an engaging and purposeful sound design that transforms the room into a three dimensional soundstage that creates an immersive web of sound that encapsulates the sweet spot with its plethora of sounds/ effects that seem to emanate from every direction during the films active moments.

Pinpoint imaging draws out both large and small sounds and by allowing their directional correlation (based upon the onscreen events) to be definable within the room’s acoustic boundaries. The music score helps set the stage with its perfect blend of evocative instrumentation and rousing orchestration. Dialogue is reproduced with lucid expression and exacting clarity. I never had any trouble distinguishing even the slightest changes in the pitch or tonal inflection of voices. If I had one very minor nit to pick is that I would have preferred a bigger kick in the low end. That isn’t to suggest that this mix is lacking in terms of its overall bass response as there is plenty of LFE. Truth be told I found the presentation to be completely involving and a perfect companion to the video quality.



Bonus Features:
  • (HD) * Exclusive * Will of the Warrior: An in-depth look at Marcus Luttrell, the real-life Navy SEAL who received the Navy Cross and Purple Heart for his actions in Operation Red Wings – 28 minute documentary
  • (HD) * Exclusive * Recreating the Firefight: Reveals how Lone Survivor’s action-packed stunts were choreographed and shot. This featurette includes interviews with Director Peter Berg, Actors Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster and Emile Hirsch and stunt coordinator and 2nd unit director Kevin Scott – 10 minute featurette
  • (HD) * Exclusive * Learning the Basics: Watch as Mark Wahlberg, Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitsch and Ben Foster go through rigorous SEAL training in weapons handling, communication/patrolling and simulated attack drills. Along with Marcus Luttrell, Peter Berg enlisted the help of active Navy SEALS to help the actors accurately portray the fallen soldiers of Operation Red Wings – 6 minute featurette
  • (HD) * Exclusive * The Pashtun Code of Life: Learn why Marcus Luttrell’s rescuer, Mohammad Gulab, risked his life and the lives of everyone in his village in order to save Marcus – 4 minute featurette
  • (HD) Bringing the Story to Light: Marcus Luttrell’s story of survival under extremely dire circumstances is an inspiration to anyone who hears it. Director, producer and writer Peter Berg, Producer Sarah Aubrey, and the four lead actors (Mark Wahlberg, Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitsch and Ben Foster) reveal their passion for the project and why it was so important to them to tell this story – 4 minute featurette
  • (HD) The Fallen Heroes of Operation Red Wings: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster and Emile Hirsch profile the real-life heroes who inspired their characters: Marcus Luttrell, Michael Murphy, Daniel Dietz and Matthew Axelson. Family members provide intimate accounts of what these brave men were like in their private lives, as well as perspective on their decisions to join the military and make the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Also included is a tribute to the team of Operation Red Wings, using personal photos.
  • Bonus DVD
  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy



Final Thoughts:

Based on The New York Times best-selling true story of heroism, courage and survival, Lone Survivor tells the incredible tale of four Navy SEALs, Operation Redwing, and the extraordinary firefight that led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history. I found this to be a powerful and riveting film that painstakingly recreates the tragic events of June 2005 and the heroism, esprit de corps and devotion of those involved. It comes to Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring superb high definition video and reference quality DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound mated with a solid supplemental package that pays tribute to the source material. Lone survivor is an unforgettable film that comes highly recommended on Blu-ray.







Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 85 Old 05-20-2014, 08:05 AM
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Good to know.. Will have to pick this one up!

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post #3 of 85 Old 05-20-2014, 08:36 AM
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I've heard great things (though I fear the "heavy-handednes" that you alluded to might be a problem for me), but what are your thoughts on re-watchability? Is it so intense you only want to watch once or will it hold up on repeat viewings?
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post #4 of 85 Old 05-20-2014, 08:46 AM
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Being an Army Veteran ..I tend to like all types of movies like this..maybe because I can identify and relate to the story told. I heard to many good things about this and refuse to let a copy go unsold to me. I never worry about rewatchability , A/V scores when it comes to films like this.. It will be added to my collection on release
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Great review King P , your work comes second to none...thanks again ! smile.gif
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post #5 of 85 Old 05-20-2014, 08:58 AM
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Looking forward to this. Day one purchase for me. Great review Ralph.
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post #6 of 85 Old 05-20-2014, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javanpohl View Post

I've heard great things (though I fear the "heavy-handednes" that you alluded to might be a problem for me), but what are your thoughts on re-watchability? Is it so intense you only want to watch once or will it hold up on repeat viewings?

Greetings,

With this one it's hard to say as I feel that the answer may depend on how film's like this effect you. I can see myself watching it again and have plans to do so...cool.gif


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post #7 of 85 Old 05-20-2014, 10:56 AM
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Great review, Ralph! I found your synopsis quite gripping and I'm glad to see that this is a reference disc, through and through. I'll certainly be scooping it up on release day.

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post #8 of 85 Old 05-20-2014, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

Great review, Ralph! I found your synopsis quite gripping and I'm glad to see that this is a reference disc, through and through. I'll certainly be scooping it up on release day.

Greetings,

Thanks Matt. Be sure to post back with your thoughts once you've seen it... smile.gif


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post #9 of 85 Old 05-20-2014, 11:12 AM
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Watched at the theater, something I never do. Just watched again at home on VuDu early access . All I can say is, that movie is bad ass! Great review as always Ralph, thank you.
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post #10 of 85 Old 05-20-2014, 12:55 PM
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PQ at the 4k theater was AMAZING when it came to sharpness. I'm happy that the BD looks great as well.

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post #11 of 85 Old 05-20-2014, 01:00 PM
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this one has me excited to see it smile.gif
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post #12 of 85 Old 05-20-2014, 01:10 PM
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This was one of the best (yet sometimes hardest to watch) movies of last year. Yes, there are other films that are more gross, or bloody, or whatever, but this was so intense, and it really pulls you in, even though you know by the title and first few minutes of the movie that only 1 of the guys is going to make it. I was so emotionally drained after seeing this movie that I was fearful that by the time that it came out on blu-ray that I would still not want to watch it. Again, that is because it was SO GOOD at pulling you in. Now I am excited to check it out again when it comes out on blu-ray. I think that the movie will be a different experience the 2nd time through, and then every time after that will be, because you know what is happening, actually more enjoyable if that makes any sense.
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post #13 of 85 Old 05-20-2014, 04:37 PM
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Watched this the other night.

Awesome movie, so intense.

Wife was a blubbering mess by the end..
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post #14 of 85 Old 05-20-2014, 06:18 PM
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Nice review Ralph. Watched this in theaters with a buddy and we both enjoyed it. Excited to experience it in my theater! Kopkiwi i can bet my wife will also be blubbering by the end! My eyes may have been a bit wet as well wink.gif

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post #15 of 85 Old 05-20-2014, 06:50 PM
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I'll be grabbing this one also, thanks Ralph

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post #16 of 85 Old 05-20-2014, 07:22 PM
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Just watched it. Amazing cinematography and tragic story.

Thanks for your thoughts Ralph!

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post #17 of 85 Old 05-20-2014, 07:59 PM
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Great Review Ralph! I really wanted to see this in the theater but never got the chance. Just in time for my new room to be finished!!
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Fantastic movie, the book is worth a read also. By the end of the movie I was drained from just how intense the movie is.
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post #19 of 85 Old 05-21-2014, 02:37 AM
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Great review as usual Ralph. This one definitely goes on my list of movies to watch.

I watched this movie on a flight over to Europe last month and enjoyed it a lot. In response to a previous poster's question, I would have no problem watching it again at home. In fact, I'm sure that I will enjoy the movie better in my home theater than I did on a puny screen with crappy sound on a plane!

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post #20 of 85 Old 05-21-2014, 06:44 AM
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I mentioned this in the other Lone Survivor thread, but if you liked the movie you should read the book as well. Both are amazing.

Can't wait to pick this up on BD.
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post #21 of 85 Old 05-21-2014, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickbuol View Post

This was one of the best (yet sometimes hardest to watch) movies of last year. Yes, there are other films that are more gross, or bloody, or whatever, but this was so intense, and it really pulls you in, even though you know by the title and first few minutes of the movie that only 1 of the guys is going to make it. I was so emotionally drained after seeing this movie that I was fearful that by the time that it came out on blu-ray that I would still not want to watch it. Again, that is because it was SO GOOD at pulling you in. Now I am excited to check it out again when it comes out on blu-ray. I think that the movie will be a different experience the 2nd time through, and then every time after that will be, because you know what is happening, actually more enjoyable if that makes any sense.


I felt the same but after reading your post I think I'm going to watch it again also. wink.gif

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post #22 of 85 Old 05-21-2014, 08:23 AM
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I'll be the third to chime in...very good movie and the book is a MUST READ! The only bad part about the movie is that it was snubbed by the Academy (shocking, I know, since it puts America and Navy Seals in a good light). The stunts are amazing and the sound design should have won a gold statue. Great review Ralph.

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post #23 of 85 Old 05-21-2014, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I'll be the third to chime in...very good movie and the book is a MUST READ! The only bad part about the movie is that it was snubbed by the Academy (shocking, I know, since it puts America and Navy Seals in a good light). The stunts are amazing and the sound design should have won a gold statue. Great review Ralph.

Greetings,

Thanks for chiming in with your thoughts Dave... smile.gif


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post #24 of 85 Old 05-21-2014, 11:06 AM
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I enjoyed Lone Survivor more than The Hurt Locker which was too unrealistic but less than Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan. Perhaps enjoy is the wrong verb to use. There is no "enjoyment" factor to be found in these films. I feel that the elements that were made up to create a more central "villain" or "enemy" were a little needless as was the unrealistic village attack at the end. The majority however felt like the story told by of Marcus Luttrell and felt very real. The last bit made it feel more "Behind Enemy Lines". Full disclosure: I cannot recall if I felt that way during my initial viewing or not and this may or may not have been influenced by my research done on the events after the film.

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post #25 of 85 Old 05-21-2014, 02:47 PM
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The one knock in this film (and it's a very minor one) is that the way it starts doesn't really let you get to know the characters really well and pales in comparison to the book. Then again, this is common in a lot of film adaptations.

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post #26 of 85 Old 05-22-2014, 05:21 AM
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Sound design was intense, story was intense, great review Ralph, missed this at the theatre, surprised this didn't get more attention during the award season
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post #27 of 85 Old 05-22-2014, 05:42 AM
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Sound design was intense, story was intense, great review Ralph, missed this at the theatre, surprised this didn't get more attention during the award season

You have a copy already Mathew ?

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post #28 of 85 Old 05-26-2014, 09:45 AM
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Ralph, excellent review! This film had caught my attention but now I feel I need to get this on blu, blindly! Thanks for your dedication. cool.gif
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post #29 of 85 Old 05-26-2014, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Taranteacher View Post

Ralph, excellent review! This film had caught my attention but now I feel I need to get this on blu, blindly! Thanks for your dedication. cool.gif

Greetings,

My pleasure Taranteacher. Enjoy..! smile.gif


Regards,
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post #30 of 85 Old 05-27-2014, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Taranteacher View Post

Ralph, excellent review! This film had caught my attention but now I feel I need to get this on blu, blindly! Thanks for your dedication. cool.gif

Me too smile.gif
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