The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 115 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson, Amy Ryan, Khalid Abdalla, Jason Issacs
Directed by: Paul Greengrass
Music by: John Powell
Written by: Brian Helgeland
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 22, 2010
"Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller is done following orders"
Academy Award® winner Matt Damon and nominee director Paul Greengrass re-team in this action-packed thriller. Damon stars as Roy Miller, a rogue U.S. Army officer who must hunt through covert and faulty intelligence hidden on foreign soil before war escalates in an unstable region.
Green Zone is a multi-genre film set during the Gulf War and is credited as having been inspired by the non-fiction 2006 book Imperial Life in the Emerald City by journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran, which documented life in the Green Zone, Baghdad. The story centers around a U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer named Roy Miller whose squad is charged with locating a cache of WMD's in post war torn Iraq. After a series of searches based upon intelligence from a controlled/concealed source code named Magellan comes up empty Miller begins to question the legitimacy of the intel. When he voices his concerns his superiors chastise him and assign him a new search location. Afterward Miller is approached by a CIA Special Agent (Gleeson) who advises him that his theory about a wild goose chase may in fact be correct. Things escalate when Miller and his team learn from a local named Reggie (Abdalla) that he observed what appeared to be high profile Iraqi military personnel going into a house in a neighborhood nearby.
Miller investigates and discovers that Reggie's story is not only true but that among those attending the secret meeting is General Al Rawi code name, Jack of Clubs, leader of the Iraqi Army. Al Rawi escapes but Miller captures one of his men and contacts the CIA who put Miller on a special assignment tasked with bringing Al Rawi in. With the country in turmoil Al Rawi has the power to stave off an insurgent uprising and peacefully maintain order with the help of the U.S. Amidst this Miller learns that an allied source on the inside has been providing the information to the press on Magellan. He also comes to find out that he isn't alone in his search for General Al Rawi as a covert U.S. military force under the direct control of top U.S. Official Clark Poundstone is actively searching for the general. With the clock ticking Miller races to locate Al Rawi and bring him while deeply suspecting that someone on the inside seeks to avert that and may be targeting Al Rawi. With the facts still unclear one thing is certain, on this night there is sure to be no peace in the Green Zone.
The teaming of director Paul Greengrass and actor Matt Damon have produced two successful action thrillers in the last two Jason Bourne films. There is no denying that Green Zone has somewhat of a similar feel both thematically and aesthetically. The quick cut editing style and frenetic pace work well within the construct of the screenplay. The somewhat politically preachy story is obvious but I wasn't put off by its message. Greengrass knows how to balance the action/thrills and story elements so that we don't lose sight of the reason why we are watching his film. The action sequences serve up reasonable levels of adrenaline and the narrative is intelligently composed while offering a bit of escapism that doesn't feel excessive. The characters are well drawn and mate well with the respective members of the cast. Damon fits the action hero role like a glove, and supporting players Kinnear, Gleeson, Issacs and Ryan are equally strong. I like Khalid Abdalla and first saw him in The Kite Runner. His portrayal of Reggie was the film's standout and helped lend dramatic support to an already stalwart cast of notables. The Green Zone isn't the first film to tackle this subject matter. I understand its emphatic message and appreciate it for what it is, a solid political action thriller that while not perfect makes for an entertaining way to spend an evening.
The rating is for violence 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:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Green Zone comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal HE featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.5 Mbps.
This high definition video presentation has a distinctive visual aesthetic that features a reserved chromatic palette which makes use of sepia tones and limited primary colors which goes hand in hand with the source material. Stable white and black levels combine to enrich light and dark onscreen elements and provide imagery with plenty of punch. Fleshtones are right on the money and have a lifelike luster that capably describes the varying complexional types featured among the cast. Resolution is exemplary during close up camera shots of the cast which reveal exquisite refinement in the visible lines in their faces and the weave and texture of their clothing. There are instances where sharpness wavers but they are brief and appear innate to the photography. Wide angle pans of the sun splashed landscapes and stone structures/buildings have excellent depth, with sharp resolute image quality that is rarely questionable. Film grain is present and gives the majority of the presentation a noticeably filmic texture that is never intrusive. During several of the segments shot at night in low/limited lighting the video took on a heavy grainy quality. This was camera angle dependent and quite obvious but I didn't find it deleterious or overtly distracting.
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack features frequent use of the entire surround platform which occasionally bombards the listening position with activity that is intricately placed within the sound field so as to provide a feeling of total immersion. This is a highly detailed presentation that has excellent dynamic range which enables it to be bombastic at one moment and intricately nuanced the next. Dialogue is definitive and appreciably lucid through the center channel as it reaches far into the room. It's located just slightly in front of the left/right speakers within soundstage. I never had any trouble distinguishing even the slightest changes in the pitch or inflection of voices. Imaging and channel separation is excellent which draws out both large and small sound elements and allows their directional correlation based upon the onscreen events to be definable. John Powell's music score is carefully integrated into the audio design and sounds wonderfully detailed, acoustically transparent and three dimensional. There isn't perpetual use of the rear channels and subwoofer however when applied the effects are quite involving. From the low level background sounds of a busy meeting room to the snarl of a Black Hawk Helicopters swirling overhead, sounds are seamlessly blended to create a stable and detail rich sound field. Depth and dimension are strong as the front and rear soundstages combine to immerse the listening position in a seamless blend of music and effects during the action based sequences. This isn't overly aggressive surround mix however it is certainly a near reference quality presentation due to the superb elements that comprise the total sum of its parts.
- Feature commentary with director Paul Greengrass and actor Matt Damon
- (HD) 4 deleted scenes with optional video commentary by Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon
- (HD) Matt Damon: Ready for action - 9 minute behind the scenes featurette
- (HD) Inside the Green Zone - 9 minute making of featurette
- D-Box motion code enabled
- Social BLU - Connect with friends on your favorite social networks to share information about your favorite movies, enjoy Blu-ray community features and more
- Digital Copy of Green Zone
Green Zone is a multi-genre film that sort of see saws back and forth between being an action/thriller and political statement piece. Some may find that aspect objectionable but I found its mix of conspiracy theory, action and suspense to be entertaining. Universal HE consistently offers technically proficient audio/video presentations on their Blu-ray Disc releases and Green Zone is no exception as it looks and sounds superb in high definition. The bonus supplements include a pair of production featurettes, deleted scenes (with video commentary), audio commentary, and a digital copy for playback on a portable media device for those who want to take it on the go. I enjoyed it and recommend that you give it a spin as well.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package