The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2000
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 101 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Colin Farrell, Matthew Davis, Shea Whigman, Clifton Collins Jr. Russell Richardson, Thomas Guiry, Cole Hauser, Nick Searcy, James MacDonald
Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Music by: Nathan Larson
Written by: Ross Klavan & Michael McGruther
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 24, 2011
"The system wanted them to become soldiers. One soldier just wanted to be human"
Just released from the base stockade, recruit Roland Bozz (Farrell) joins a platoon of young soldiers preparing to ship out to Vietnam. Bozz's independence and outright defiance draws fire from his own men as well as commanding officers. But when the platoon is sent to Tigerland, a helish training ground that is the last stop before Vietnam, Bozz's leadership and loyalty bring his men together - triggering extraordinary consequences.
Tigerland is a character driven film that revolves around a group of young men that arrive at Fort Polk Louisiana for eight weeks of training prior to being shipped to Vietnam in 1971. The final leg of their preparation takes place in Tigerland a simulated training ground meant to replicate the harsh environment of Vietnam warfare. Roland Bozz is a born leader who sees his role in the army as superfluous. As a result he bucks the system at every turn via disruptive and insubordinate behavior that earns him respect with some and disdain with others in his company. He is seen as a nonconforming troublemaker by his superiors who despite his actions can't help but notice his potential as a soldier. As the company's final week (which will be spent in Tigerland) approaches the men look to him for leadership. Bozz begins to discover that his outlook is changing and the reluctant leader and friend finds himself assuming a role that he never envisioned.
I wouldn't classify myself as a Colin Farrell fan per se but I have enjoyed many of his films beginning with Tigerland. Seeing it for the first time I recall being impressed with not only his performance but the cast as a whole. Many of them were young, relatively unknown actors but as an ensemble elevated this to an enriching film experience. This is most decidedly not a war film. It's a stirring expose about the affecting fear associated with the grim realities of going off to war as well as dealing with the transition from boyhood to manhood under those conditions. The careful development of the characters and their interpersonal relationships paint a vivid picture of the anxiety, stress, and doubt that many of the recruits must have endured. I haven't seen Tigerland in quite sometime. Watching it for this review reminded me of what a really good movie it is. A much different film than many others about the Vietnam experience it's an edgy, eye brow raising drama that makes for slightly preachy but compelling entertainment.
The rating is for violence, pervasive language, a scene of strong sexuality/nudity and some drug use.
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:
Tigerland comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox 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 2.6 Mbps.
Tigerland was shot on 16mm film and utilizes a monochromatic design that basks the image in a greenish gray hue that permeates the presentation. Contrast is tamped down which gives the video a rather drab aesthetic that even flattens brighter onscreen elements. Blacks aren't especially deep but shadow detail is above average. Images are resolved fairly well but resolution is far from exhibiting the high level of clarity that Blu-ray disc is capable of. Close ups fare better and offer respectable detail and delineation. The video has a notably grainy aesthetic that shows no signs of unwanted digital manipulation. There are instances where backgrounds both light and dark exhibit varying degrees of noise. Due to the nature of the photography it was hard to discern whether this was applicable to the encoding or innate to the master. I recall that this film didn't look very good on DVD and I was reminded of that during this presentation as there was many times where it didn't look much better than standard definition. I will say that my overall impression is favorable in that I feel that this is a predominantly faithful representation of the film's original elements.
Tigerland is essentially a dialogue driven film and this satisfying audio presentation competently conveys the soundtrack. Dialogue is crisp and well articulated. The front three channels deliver the bulk of the sound and do so with good clarity and imaging. The surrounds and sub see occasional use and support the recorded elements with appropriate spatial dimension and bass response.
- Commentary by director Joel Schumacher
- (HD) The real Tigerland - 21 minute documentary
- (HD) Joel Schumacher: Journey to Tigerland - 10 minute featurette
- (HD) Ross Klavan: Ode to Tigerland - 11 minute documentary
- Vintage making of featurette - 4 minutes
- Casting session with Colin Farrell - 4 part feature
- Theatrical trailer
- Two TV Spots - One man/Compelling review
Tigerland is a nuanced, character driven drama that presents a side of the Vietnam war that is rarely exposed about on the big screen. Its edgy, eye brow raising and slightly preachy story speaks to the human condition from the perspective of a group of young men headed off to war. Well acted and directed it is a worthwhile and entertaining film experience that is making its debut on Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox. As noted earlier, its original elements aren't the type that will shine in high definition however this presentation appears to faithfully represent them. Fox has included three never before seen features to go along with the previously released bonus content contained herein. Tigerland is recommended viewing but I would suggest a rental prior to purchase. True fans of the film will want to own this Blu-ray release as it does represent an improvement in overall audio/video quality as well as additional supplemental material.
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