The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2009
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Feature running time: 94 minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): Hebrew DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH
Starring: Yoav Donat, Itay Tiran & Oshri Cohen
Directed by: Samuel Maoz
Music by: Nicolas Becker & Benoît Delbecq
Written by: Samuel Maoz
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 18, 2011
"1982...the First Lebanon War."
In 1982, during the First Lebanon War, a tank manned by a novice crew of Israeli soldiers are led into a town previously bombed by the air force. Young men who have never fought before are now placed inside of a killing machine and thrown into a situation that quickly spins out of control, testing the mental toughness of the men inside of a confined space, with only the lens of a periscopic gun sight to see the madness outside. In LEBANON, writer-director Samuel Maoz has created a compelling, visceral drama in the tradition of Das Boot. Based on his personal experiences in the Israeli army, the film is as much a personal work of filmmaking as a triumph of powerful storytelling.
My Take:Claustrophobic settings have long been a 'MacGuffin' in films. From Horror/Sci-fi like Alien and The Descent to Suspense like Phonebooth and Burried, and even war films like Das Boot--we have seen it in a many shapes and forms. In 'Lebanon' we spend the majority of the film in an Israeli tank...
Taking place during the first Lebanon war, starting on June 6th, 1982, we follow Israeli soldiers in a lone tank on a mission to clear Lebanese occupied land. We spend the majority of the time inside this tank with the four main characters, as they deal with clashing personalities, fear, exhaustion, and the uncertainty of survival as this mission becomes much more than they ever bargained for.
This is what a war film should be---putting you in an unfamiliar place, with unfamiliar people in an unfamiliar land...really just shaking any sense of familiarity and comfort away. Israeli's must serve in the army when they turn 18 and these young men are not always prepared for what horrors and instant maturing that must happen, especially when thrust into a war. I really felt the tension here...I felt confined and really connected with the frustration of the crew stuck in the tank. I think any war film buff should give this a viewing, even if subtitles do turn some off. This film transcends the language barrier and is not about the politics of the war, it's about the human experience and the effects war has on us all.
Not Rated - bloody violence, grisly images and 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.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
'Lebanon' is a movie that work your audio systems capabilities. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround Sound track rose above the crowd with thunderous tank and helicopter sounds that were impressively dynamic and deep. On the other end, the clings and clanks or shrapnel and metal were crisp and bright, really showing dynamic range. The use of surrounds added to the claustrophobia and tension, filling the room with perfect ambiance and precise panning. This one is sure to impress the toughest of critics out there.
The Video is a perfect companion, showing no digital tinkering, with a veil of palpable grain that blends in perfectly with the beautifully shot scenery in and out of the tank. Colors from the dried red blood on war victims to natural flesh-tones were naturally vivid, popping off the screen. A sense of depth was created by the fine level of details from shards of glass and facial scruff combined with 'Lebanon's' deep black level and shadow details that made the dark confines of the tank interior impressively visible.
- (HD) Notes on a War Film
- (HD) Theatrical Trailers
- (HD) Trailers: A Woman, A Gun and A Noodle Shop, Animal Kingdom, Inside Job, I Get Low, Anoher Year
- BD Live enabled
'Lebanon' is one of the best war films I have seen. The A/V presentation is beautiful, as is the cinematography. This is a highly recommended Blu-ray release by Sony that I will be watching again. The way the film made you part of the experience, building claustrophobia and tension was masterful. From watching the film then the extra feature 'Notes on a War Film', Director Samuel Maoz's passion on the subject and understanding of war was obvious and shined through in spades. I would love to see more of his work in the future.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS50 3D 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen
Denon AVR-4311CI Receiver
Pioneer Elite BDP-23FD Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)
SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer
About time you got something decent to review.
I love these foreign films and especially the war ones.
It's amazing what these people had to go through. Watching this film makes you think alot about appreciating life.
Well done guys another successful blind buy added to my collection.
Btw the audio wasn't bad too.
Definitely worth having a look at.
I watched Lebanon earlier this evening and both the audio and video were pretty spectacular. The "from inside the tank" view of the entire movie was quite interesting as well. Highly recommended for those that enjoy war movies.
You are quite welcome. I have watched this again since the review and it stood up on a repeat viewing.
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