Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 111 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Roselyn Sanchez, Jason Cottle, Alex Veadov, Nester Serrano, Emilio Rivera
Directed by: Scott Waugh & Mouse McCoy
Music by: Nathan Furst
Written by: Kurt Johnstad
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 5, 2012
"In valor there is hope"
When a mission to recover a kidnapped CIA operative unexpectedly results in the discovery of an imminent, terrifying global threat, an elite team of highly trained Navy SEALs must immediately embark on a heart-stopping secret operation, the outcome of which will determine the fate of us all.
Act of Valor takes audiences deep into the secretive world of the most elite, highly trained group of warriors in the modern world. When the rescue of a kidnapped CIA operative leads to the discovery of a deadly terrorist plot against the U.S., a team of Navy SEALs is dispatched on a worldwide manhunt. As the SEAL team moves to intercept a coordinated and deadly attack aimed at the United States, they must continually balance their commitment to country, team and their families back home. Produced and directed by former Baja 1000 champion Mike Mouse McCoy and former stuntman Scott Waugh, and written by Kurt Johnstad (300) ACT OF VALOR stars a group of active-duty U.S. Navy SEALs, alongside actors Roselyn Sanchez, Alex Veadov, Jason Cottle and Nester Serrano, in a fictionalized account of a real life Navy SEAL operation.
Conceptually speaking the story itself is pretty clichéd and features a platoon of black ops SEALS performing several covert missions, one of which exposes a significant terrorist threat to the U.S. What makes Act of Valor different is the use of real active duty SEALS coupled with the execution of the film's action based elements. It feels like the audience is along for the ride as we watch these professionals methodically go about the business of conducting their extremely dangerous duties. The setup is fairly brief and consists of character introductions (with primary focus on the main characters of the SEAL team Lieutenant and Senior Chief), and an outline of who, what, where, and why, relative to the narrative components that will carry the remainder of the storyline. Things pickup with an escalation of the action as the team moves toward their first objective which is to recover a kidnapped CIA agent.
This film doesn't feel like typical Hollywood hyperbole but seeks to portray the brotherhood, dedication and professionalism of the men and women tasked with protecting our lives and liberty. I really enjoyed the sort of first person perspective used which at times made for a viscerally engaging experience. The technological aspects of their operation and the level of proficiency at which they execute it are impressive to watch. It's evident that the SEALS aren't actors but I found that they aptly conveyed the film's thematic message. The pacing is on the money and the action/suspense is both involving and entertaining. I will admit to being moved during the finale although I think much of that is owed to seeing this film so close to Memorial Day. I enjoyed Act of Valor. It isn't an original or powerful drama filled with nuanced performances. However it's an engaging tribute film that pays dividends when the action kicks in.
The rating is for violence including some torture 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:
Act of Valor comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.7 Mbps.
This a solid video presentation that offers excellent refinement during close ups and discernibly crisp definition within objects during mid level camera pans. The color range sets the film's thematic tone and has a reserved aesthetic that rarely offers bright, eye catching hues. Rendering is clean and depth is appropriate. Fleshtones keep pace with the look of the rest of the film and have a balmy but natural texture. Spot on contrast yields crisp, bright whites and blacks are stable but slightly elevated which leaves them appearing less dynamic but gradational. I didn't see this as a problem based upon the visual style of the film. I saw no overt signs of video related artifacts or anomalies.
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack makes frequent use of the entire surround platform and features 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 mixed just slightly in front of the left/right channels 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. Depth and dimension are strong as the front and rear soundstages combine to immerse the listening position in a seamless blend of ambient and discretely placed effects during the action based sequences. This is a great sounding lossless presentation that compliments the film quite nicely.
** For CIH users the subtitles are located within the picture area**
- (HD) 6 deleted scenes
- (HD) Director's Introduction - 3 minutes
- (HD) Interviews with active duty Navy SEALS (7 segments)
- (HD) Making of Act of Valor - 5 minute featurette
- (HD) Real Bullets - 2 minute featurette
- (HD) Real Seals - 2 minute featurette
- (HD) Silent Warriors - 2 minute featurette
- (HD) For you music video by Keith Urban
- (HD) Making of the music video - 4 minutes
- Director's audio commentary
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
- Bonus DVD
- Digital Copy
Produced and directed by former Baja 1000 champion Mike Mouse McCoy and former stuntman Scott Waugh, and written by Kurt Johnstad ACT OF VALOR stars a group of active-duty U.S. Navy SEALs in a clichéd but engaging action/drama that pays tribute to the dedicated men and women that put their lives on the line to protect our shores. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox featuring solid high definition video quality, excellent lossless surround sound and a serviceable assortment of bonus material. I enjoyed Act of Valor and recommend that you give it a spin.
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