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Act of Valor (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
attachment.php?attachmentid=248420&d=1338750609

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

88






Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 111 minutes
Genre: War/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
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"



Film Synopsis:

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.



My Take:

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.



Parental Guide:

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)

Audio: 90



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947d=1210373699



Video: 86


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

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**



Bonus Features:


  • (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



Final Thoughts:

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.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable 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)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal 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, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
post #2 of 26
Great review Ralph!

Saw this in the theater and thought it was great.
The emotional ending had me trying to hold back the tears.

I will definitely buy this flick on BD.
post #3 of 26
The most expensive Navy promo video ever made.
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by stepyourgameup View Post

The most expensive Navy promo video ever made.

Really .. ?? Top Gun, Crimson Tide, Pearl Harbor (2001) ..
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkdragn View Post

Really .. ?? Top Gun, Crimson Tide, Pearl Harbor (2001) ..

Yea, but all those flicks had big name top Hollywood stars, whereas this flick had none. The stars were all active duty navy seals.

Also for the Navy, the film is an initiative to recruit SEALs. According to The Huffington Post, the Navy required the active-duty SEALs to participate.
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by stepyourgameup View Post

The most expensive Navy promo video ever made.

exactly, it was so over the top a recruiting tool I just couldn't take it seriously... not to mention the story is a jumbled mess (you mean to tell me one team of Navy seals takes down a world-wide terrorist operation?). I love action movies, in fact sometimes I even enjoy the bad ones the most because they are funny bad... this was just annoying bad to me.... it is different than your standard action movie because of the lack of actors... I just didn't find that to be a good thing
post #7 of 26
Simply put, Act of Valor is the best of all the modern day military flicks.
Period.
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcat4843 View Post

Simply put, Act of Valor is the best of all the modern day military flicks.
Period.

Um, better than The Hurt Locker?
post #9 of 26
I'm pretty sure I'll check it out - if for nothing else than to confirm or debate its value. Green Zone and Hurt Locker are standards for modern day mil flicks, IMO - and both represent tall orders for AOV to live up to.
post #10 of 26
Can't forget about BHD!
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamkoza View Post

exactly, it was so over the top a recruiting tool I just couldn't take it seriously... not to mention the story is a jumbled mess (you mean to tell me one team of Navy seals takes down a world-wide terrorist operation?). I love action movies, in fact sometimes I even enjoy the bad ones the most because they are funny bad... this was just annoying bad to me.... it is different than your standard action movie because of the lack of actors... I just didn't find that to be a good thing

That's the point...

The SEALs don't need a recruitment ad....that would only mean more wannabes at BUD/S.

The Hurt Locker and AOV are different types of military flicks. THL explores more of the personal side of warfare at the cost of realism. AOV is more of a tribute with emphasis on tactics as well as showing off America's badasses.
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by stepyourgameup View Post

The most expensive Navy promo video ever made.


Don't forget Battleship!
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovswr View Post



Don't forget Battleship!

The only good thing coming out of this movie "Battleship" is the massive LFE!!! eek.gif Stay tuned .............
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post


Yea, but all those flicks had big name top Hollywood stars, whereas this flick had none. The stars were all active duty navy seals.



Also for the Navy, the film is an initiative to recruit SEALs. According to The Huffington Post, the Navy required the active-duty SEALs to participate.

I find that hard to believe and take anything from Huffington Post related to the military with a grain of salt...they have an agenda.

I've actually heard quite the opposite when the move was coming out that they have to repeatedly ask the SEALs to be in the movie, but they refused at first because it was against their core values.

Lets look at this logically...a recruitment tool for the SEALs? Why would the Navy want to encourage recruitment for an absolutely tiny fraction of their branch which already attracts more then its fair share of wannabes that ultimately wash out of the program anyway? Seems like a waste of money on both sides if you ask me. The SEALs are probably the only section of the branch that doesn't need recruitment, you want to recruit get Top Gun 2 out...
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by loki993 View Post

... get Top Gun 2 out...

Hell ya.
post #16 of 26
Act of valor is the best military movie in a long time. I've been in the Navy for 14 years now and I was so hyped to see it finally on bluray. If I wasn't in already I would march down to a recruiting station and join. I love that they used real SEALs in the movie too......overall great movie and awesome recruiting tool........Full Speed Ahead!
post #17 of 26
I picked this up and look forward to viewing this later this week... Thanks King P for the great review !
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverst View Post

Act of valor is the best military movie in a long time. I've been in the Navy for 14 years now and I was so hyped to see it finally on bluray. If I wasn't in already I would march down to a recruiting station and join. I love that they used real SEALs in the movie too......overall great movie and awesome recruiting tool........Full Speed Ahead!

Are you considering "The Hurt Locker" a military movie?
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EAGLEFAN67 View Post

I picked this up and look forward to viewing this later this week... Thanks King P for the great review !

Greetings,

You're more than welcome EF67. Be sure to post back with your impressions.. smile.gif

Regards,
post #20 of 26
I saw this in theaters and thought the acting was a bit stiff but the action was amazing. It's exciting to see people who actually know what they are doing do what they do best. I had no clue until the special features that they used so much live fire. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blondeguy View Post

I saw this in theaters and thought the acting was a bit stiff but the action was amazing. It's exciting to see people who actually know what they are doing do what they do best. I had no clue until the special features that they used so much live fire. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.

Greetings,

cool.gif

Regards,
post #22 of 26
We don't expect actors to go to battle .. we shouldn't ask soldiers to act. Absolutely dreadful acting. Story was a little bit of a mess also. No character development. I'm almost sad to say that I had no emotional connection to the ending (which I should have).

I appreciate what the men and women of the armed forces do for our country, my 'armchair movie critic' opinions are strictly focused on the entertainment value of the movie.
post #23 of 26
^^^ +1

I also thought it was pretty dumb for the guy to throw himself on the grenade, since there was plenty of time to just kick it away. Bad writing there. But over-all I thought it was a decent actioner, worth a rent. The audio is great.
post #24 of 26
Just saw this for the first time a few days ago and I'm glad I rented it. I was going to do a blind buy when it came out, but good thing I didn't. Although I enjoyed the movie, I don't see myself wanting to watch it over and over again. I also believe THL was a better film. And I also thought there was a lack in character development. I wanted to cry at the end, but it just didn't affect me enough I guess. Good rental.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by blondeguy View Post

I saw this in theaters and thought the acting was a bit stiff but the action was amazing. It's exciting to see people who actually know what they are doing do what they do best. I had no clue until the special features that they used so much live fire. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.
Ditto.

I recently watched Act of Valor and was quite pleased with the realism. A nice change from the overly dramatized action movies you usually see. The lack of "acting" was one of the elements I liked best about this movie. Although in some places they did seem a bit stiff, for the most part I viewed it as the way real SEALS would normally conduct themselves in their daily operations.

Favorite scene: Gunboats blasting the **** out of the bad guys during the extraction. cool.gif
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishniknork View Post

Favorite scene: Gunboats blasting the **** out of the bad guys during the extraction. cool.gif

If you haven't watched any behind the scenes... you should. That scene was filmed with LIVE ammo!!!


I've seen worse acting with "real" actors. The action was amazing and intense.
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