The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2012
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 93 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, French, Spanish
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Josh Peck, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Connor Cruise, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Directed by: Dan Bradley
Music by: Ramin Djawadi
Written by: Carl Ellsworth & Jeremy Passmore
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 5, 2013
Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games), and Isabel Lucas (Immortals) deliver a full arsenal of pulse-pounding excitement in this explosive action-adventure! The unsuspecting citizens of Spokane, Washington, wake up one morning to the shocking sight of foreign paratroopers dropping from the sky in a surprise attack on the United States. Soon the entire city is under enemy control, but a group of courageous teenagers has decided to fight back, waging an all-out war against the invaders, to take back their town – and their freedom!
In Red Dawn, Spokane Washington awakens to the surreal sight of foreign paratroopers dropping from the sky – shockingly, the U.S. has been invaded and their hometown is the initial target. Quickly and without warning, the citizens find themselves prisoners and their town under enemy occupation. Determined to fight back, a group of young patriots seek refuge in the surrounding woods, training and reorganizing themselves into a guerilla group of fighters. Taking inspiration from their high school mascot, they call themselves the “Wolverines”, banding together to protect one another, liberate their town from its captors, and take back their freedom.
Red Dawn is a re-boot of the 1984 box office cult-classic hit film that made stars of Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Lea Thompson, Jennifer Grey, C. Thomas Howell, Darren Dalton, Brad Savage and Powers Booth. The innate theme of the original, fighting for what you believe in and protecting your homeland, is the same here. Home on leave from the Marines, Jed (Hemsworth) and his brother Matt (Peck) fight back when their suburban town is attacked by North Korean soldiers. They, along with their friends form an insurgent group and take the fight to the invaders in an attempt to save their homes, and take back their freedom.
I remember seeing the original “Red Dawn” in the theater back in the day. For some reason that film, that time, those actors, worked really well. Much of the same preposterousness, shallow storyline and thin characters pervaded but it was easier to get caught up in it. As I sat and watched this reboot I didn’t have that same feeling and too often found myself rolling my eyes. Perhaps with a better crafted script, deeper development of the characters/relationships and a sharper directorial eye this would have amounted to a better effort.
I did enjoy some of the action set pieces and the cast as a whole is about what you’d expect and are fine. In the end removal of one’s thinking cap and suspending belief isn’t enough as Red Dawn comes up short and fails to effectively draw you into its already foundationally shaky realm. Luckily at 90 minutes it moves fairly quickly and has enough action to qualify for a below average popcorn movie.
The rating is for sequences of intense sequences of war violence and action, and for 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:
Red Dawn comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 38 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 Mbps.
This is an excellent Blu-ray offering from Fox that looks terrific in high definition. The video is sharp with a slightly edgy but otherwise pristine quality that is visually pleasing. Detail rendering is spot on with lucid visual acuity and fine articulation that brings forth lots of subtle detail in the images onscreen. Colors are delineated with slightly oversaturated primaries and warm tonality that make them pop nicely. The palette of secondary hues and earth tones appear vivid and warm. Flesh tones are natural with varying degrees of complexional separation among the cast. Boldly applied contrast and consistent black levels provide excellent balance during bright scenes containing mixed content. Shadow detail is strong which brings out plenty of discernible texture in low/uneven lighting and dark backgrounds.
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio surround mix does a superb job rendering the film’s soundtrack. Dialogue has excellent intonation and clarity which allows even subtle changes in vocal pitch to be appreciable. This is a well balanced audio presentation that engages the entire system. Dynamic range is excellent and the soundstage has an open expression that allows its elements to extend well into the room. Rear channel activity is abundant as the film’s active elements provide an enriching level of immersion which is generated by a seamless sound field. The action is empowered by near field sound effects, and robust dynamics that energize the room. The LFE channel is frequently active and reproduces extended lower bass frequencies that hit hard and reward with palpably rich extension.
- Bonus DVD
- Digital Copy
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
Red Dawn is a re-boot of the 1984 film that brought together a winning combination that made it a cult-classic favorite. This film uses a similar thematic and cinematic approach but spins its wheels failing to capture the rewardingly raw essence of the original. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century fox Home Entertainment in a bare bones offering that contains no bonus material. On the bright side its technical presentation is a strong one that features excellent high definition video and rocking DTS-HD Master Audio sound. If you can put aside the poorly crafted story the presentation on Blu-ray makes this worth checking out.
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