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post #1 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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American Sniper (Blu-ray) Official AVS Forum Review



Check out our review of this powerful Clint Eastwood drama that tells the true story of Chris Kyle, whose skills as a sniper made him a hero on the battlefield. But there was much more to him than his skill as a sharpshooter.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

97



Details:

Studio and Year: Warner - 2014
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 132 minutes
Genre: Drama/War

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes, Jake McDorman, Cory Hardrict, Kevin Lacz, Navid Negahban and Keir O’Donnell.
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Written by: Jason Hall, based on the book by Chris Kyle, with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 19, 2015


"The most lethal sniper in U.S. history"


My Take:

From director Clint Eastwood American Sniper, stars Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, whose skills as a sniper made him a hero on the battlefield. But there was much more to him than his skill as a sharpshooter. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield, and as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname “Legend.” However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world. Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, personifying the spirit of the SEAL creed to “leave no one behind.” But upon returning to his wife, Taya (Sienna Miller), and kids, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.

American Sniper tells a vivid, personal and tragic story that left an indelible mark on me. Based on the true story of Chris Kyle, it’s not unlike other stories of its type about war heroes returning home suffering from the ill effects of their experiences. What I found moving about the film was its gritty depiction of both sides of the coin. On the one side is a young patriot, drawn into the fray, whose desire to make a difference catapults him to unforeseen heights in battle. On the other side is a warrior determined to get the job done by all costs, save one, don’t forsake your humanity. His struggles to contend with leaving what happens in war on the battlefield quickly reveals that he, like so many before him, can’t, and the personal toll proves damaging back home.

It’s then that we see that Chris Kyle is the type of person that refuses to succumb to the invading darkness that has begun eroding away the man he was. He soon realizes that he will never be that person again but that he hasn’t lost his humanity and finds a way to channel his experiences into something positive by helping other veterans which in turn provides him with resolve on various levels. I found American Sniper to be moving and earthy in its depiction of Chris Kyle and the complexities associated with post-traumatic stress syndrome. The elements of war were engagingly suspenseful with director Eastwood handling the human drama on both sides of the coin with aplomb.

What truly brings the whole film together is the compelling performance of Bradley Cooper who gave much of himself in providing a rewardingly genuine essence to the character. I saw American Sniper in the theater and thoroughly enjoyed it. This second viewing proved every bit as evocatively stirring. Hat’s off to everyone that got behind it and brought Chris Kyle’s story to the big screen.


Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will donate a portion of the proceeds across physical and digital sales to Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). One dollar of each purchase will be donated up to $1,000,000 from April 21, 2015 through December 31, 2015, void in Alabama, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi and South Carolina. To get involved and learn more, visitwww.woundedwarriorproject.com.

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To learn more about WWP’s life-saving programs and services, please visitwww.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs.




Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong and disturbing war violence and language throughout, including some sexual references.


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.**



Audio: 98
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):
  • DSU Rating * (non-rated element): NA



Video: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:


Dolby Atmos Rating: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Level of immersion:
  • Soundstage integration:
  • Audio object placement:
  • Effectiveness:
  • Entertainment factor:




American Sniper comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 4.8 Mbps.

This is a reference quality video presentation from Warner that looks superb. Images are visually arresting and have a rich dynamic quality that highlights its near flawless rendering of detail. The video has a three dimensional and razor sharp clarity that never left me wanting. The visual design features a limited color scheme that is aesthetically mated to the subject matter. The majority of the film boasts shades of gray, sepia, white and black. These colors are not vivid in tonality but rendering is clean and gradationally satisfying. Contrast is bold with inky blacks that have a near infinite level of depth without compromise to delineation. Shadowy areas exhibit excellent depth of field and visible gradational stages. Flesh tones are not overtly complex in tone but appear diverse in subtle structure and complexional makeup. The end result is a superlative video presentation that conveys the spirit of the film.

The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack is technically proficient and sounds terrific. This is a supremely articulated and commanding presentation that will reward those with systems capable of thoroughly reproducing its elements. This is not an overtly aggressive presentation but it definitively produces powerful dynamics and deep bass transients that underscore the action with aplomb. This is an engaging and purposeful sound design that transforms the room into a three dimensional soundstage that creates an immersive web of sound that encapsulates the sweet spot with its plethora of sounds/ effects that seem to emanate from every direction during the films active moments.

Pinpoint imaging draws out both large and small sounds and by allowing their directional correlation (based upon the onscreen events) to be definable within the room’s acoustic boundaries. Dialogue is reproduced with lucid expression and exacting clarity. I never had any trouble distinguishing even the slightest changes in the pitch or tonal inflection of voices. I found the presentation to be completely involving and a perfect companion to the video quality

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the moderately aggressive variety. It almost never engages when you wouldn’t expect it to but makes up for it when the action kicks in. Its use of audio objects placed above is almost non-existent, which is something that most Atmos listeners tend to be put off by. Don’t get me wrong I too look for the utilization of the overhead channels and get a charge out of hearing sounds raining down from above. However I also appreciate a well-crafted sound mix that draws me into the onscreen elements, regardless of where the sounds are emanating from. This Atmos mix does a terrific of achieving that as audio objects at ear level are spot on. The soundstage is appreciably broad as effects swirl, shift and whiz through the listening area.

The action based sequences, such as the final rooftop assault/sandstorm create an engaging level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. During the various scenes involving gunplay exchanges and military movements the use of discretely placed objects is ramped up, placing you inside the action. While this mix may not make noteworthy use of audio objects from above, I literally had to get up on a chair and put my ear next to the speakers to ensure that the sounds I was hearing weren’t in fact coming from above. All in all I had a really good time with this soundtrack and thought that it made for a solid Dolby Atmos presentation.


Bonus Features:
  • (HD) One soldier’s story: The journey of American Sniper - Join director Clint Eastwood and his creative team, along with Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, as they overcome enormous creative and logistic obstacles to make a film that brings the truth of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle's story to the screen – 31 minutes
  • (HD) Making of American Sniper – 28 minute featurette
  • Bonus DVD
  • Digital HD Copy





Final Thoughts:

Based on the true story of American war hero Chris Kyle, American Sniper presents a compelling and evocative look at his life via this dramatic, well enacted and aptly directed film. It comes to Blu-ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring reference quality high definition video and top notch lossless surround sound that includes a Dolby Atmos mix and 7.1 TrueHD core that compliments the film’s elements quite nicely. I would have preferred a more extensive supplemental set but found the two featurettes to be interesting. American Sniper isn’t an easy film to watch but it’s very human story is well done. I highly recommend that you give it a spin on Blu-ray.






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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Last edited by Ralph Potts; 05-19-2015 at 01:51 PM.
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post #2 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 07:33 AM
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Thanks Ralph, great review ! Eager to test this here !
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post #3 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 08:21 AM
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Have pre-ordered and anxiously waiting its arrival
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post #4 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 08:47 AM
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Thanks for the great review, Ralph!

This film was a day one pre-order for me, and I plan to watch it on the evening that it arrives.
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post #5 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 09:03 AM
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Great review as always Ralph. I read the book and now I cant wait to see it on Blu ray.
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post #6 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 09:04 AM
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Good review Ralph.

For people who like movies about snipers, here is another very good one:

Battle for Sevastopol

Film about a Russian sniper:

Lyudmila Mikhaylovna Pavlichenko was born on July 11, 1916, in Belaya Tserkov, Vasilkovskiy uezd, Kievskaya guberniya, Russian Empire [now Bila Tserkva, Kyyivska oblast, Ukraine]. She died on October 27, 1974, at the age of 58, in Moscow, RSFSR, USSR [now Russia]. The total of her confirmed kills during World War II was 309, including 36 enemy snipers.
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Really happy this film was totally snubbed at the Oscars, for once they did something right!
What a load of rubbish - kill, kill, kill, and get killed ye haaaaa!
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post #8 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDailey View Post
Really happy this film was totally snubbed at the Oscars, for once they did something right!
What a load of rubbish - kill, kill, kill, and get killed ye haaaaa!
It's a real shame because Eastwood didn't infuse his own political agenda into his Iwo Jima films... which were fantastic. But I guess everyone makes a clunker every now & then.
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post #9 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 10:04 AM
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This has been in my Netflix Queue for as long as it was available to put in.
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post #10 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 10:23 AM
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A fantastic movie based on the real sacrifice of an American hero so that we can enjoy our hobby in the safety of our comfortable recliners. Great review and a sure first day buy for me.
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post #11 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 10:25 AM
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Watched in theater and downloaded on my Kaleidescape as well. Movie worth watching.

Cheers

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post #12 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aras_Volodka View Post
It's a real shame because Eastwood didn't infuse his own political agenda into his Iwo Jima films... which were fantastic. But I guess everyone makes a clunker every now & then.
Yeah, I understand that Hollywood often takes "creative liberties", but when you modify real events and pass it off as a true story, that's when your critics pan your work.
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post #13 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDailey View Post
Really happy this film was totally snubbed at the Oscars, for once they did something right!
What a load of rubbish - kill, kill, kill, and get killed ye haaaaa!


based on a true story....sorry you didn't like it.
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post #14 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDailey View Post
Really happy this film was totally snubbed at the Oscars, for once they did something right!
What a load of rubbish - kill, kill, kill, and get killed ye haaaaa!
"What a load of rubbish - kill, kill, kill, and get killed ye haaaaa!"

What did you expect for a film about a Sniper... a love fest?


...Glenn
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post #15 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by DDailey View Post
Really happy this film was totally snubbed at the Oscars, for once they did something right!
What a load of rubbish - kill, kill, kill, and get killed ye haaaaa!
The Oscars? Talking about rubbish, and if kill, kill, kill, is you got out of this film you clearly haven't seen it, or you just being...........

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I'm going to purchase this Blu-ray next Tuesday. ...I've heard that this film is right up there with 'Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)' and 'Whiplash' and 'The Imitation Game' and 'The Theory of Everything' and 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' and 'Boyhood' and 'Selma'.

And, 'American Sniper' also won an Oscar for: Best Sound Editing.

Thx for the high ranking review Ralph.
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post #17 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 12:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boguspomp View Post
Good review Ralph.
For people who like movies about snipers, here is another very good one:
Battle for Sevastopol
Film about a Russian sniper:
Lyudmila Mikhaylovna Pavlichenko was born on July 11, 1916, in Belaya Tserkov, Vasilkovskiy uezd, Kievskaya guberniya, Russian Empire [now Bila Tserkva, Kyyivska oblast, Ukraine]. She died on October 27, 1974, at the age of 58, in Moscow, RSFSR, USSR [now Russia]. The total of her confirmed kills during World War II was 309, including 36 enemy snipers.

Wow, this, I really wanna see. ...And learn more about. ...A female Russian sniper with 309 confirmed kills!

Thx for the "shot" (tip).
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post #18 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 12:31 PM
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I enjoyed this film and will be adding this one to my collection as well. I thought Bradley Cooper was fantastic.
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post #19 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 12:53 PM
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How's the gore and violence factor in this during the battle scenes? Pretty graphic such as say maybe Saving Private Ryan and Lone Survivor? Or is it pretty tame generally speaking?

Thanks in advance!
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post #20 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post
How's the gore and violence factor in this during the battle scenes? Pretty graphic such as say maybe Saving Private Ryan and Lone Survivor? Or is it pretty tame generally speaking?

Thanks in advance!
Its very tamed compared to saving private ryan. Dont get me wrong there is violences, but not alot of gore.

Jacob
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post #21 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 01:42 PM
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This film is an important asset in the tradition of militaristic propaganda films. Especially of the post Iraq occupation era. "Snipers" of course are polarizing figures. Enemy snipers are portrayed as cowards, friendly snipers as heroes.
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post #22 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 02:50 PM
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I didn't see it, so I will be giving it a rental when it comes out.
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post #23 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 06:39 PM
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??? It was generally liked. Not loved, sure, but liked. Ran about 3 out of 4 critics liking it. I don't get where people thought critics didn't like this movie because of some 'agenda.'
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post #24 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aras_Volodka View Post
It's a real shame because Eastwood didn't infuse his own political agenda into his Iwo Jima films... which were fantastic. But I guess everyone makes a clunker every now & then.
If you avoided every film where the directed infused their own personal agenda or bias, you'd be watching cartoons and (some) documentaries. Everyone has biases.
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post #25 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Frank Sinatra View Post
This film is an important asset in the tradition of militaristic propaganda films. Especially of the post Iraq occupation era. "Snipers" of course are polarizing figures. Enemy snipers are portrayed as cowards, friendly snipers as heroes.
Whenever I hear people saying something like that, it just goes to show they have little understanding of how the military works and/or what a sniper's job is. Obviously snipers have a particular set of skills (sorry, couldn't resist the reference), but they do as they're directed, not as they see fit. Has nothing to do with being cowardly. It's a job just like any other job in the military, there are just fewer people who can do it.
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post #26 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 07:08 PM
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Great review Ralph, this is and always was a day one purchase for me.
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post #27 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 07:42 PM
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Ralph, agreed with you on the Dolby Atmos mix for this movie. Very little overhead sound...even if there are...its fleeting moments with the helicopters fly pass towards the end. I though the sand storm scene would make the Atmos "shine" sadly...not quite there.
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Last edited by Ralph Potts; 05-16-2015 at 04:50 AM. Reason: no need to quote the entire review
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post #28 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Frank Sinatra View Post
This film is an important asset in the tradition of militaristic propaganda films. Especially of the post Iraq occupation era. "Snipers" of course are polarizing figures. Enemy snipers are portrayed as cowards, friendly snipers as heroes.
I understand what you are saying but isn't it also possible it is a well crafted film that tells a bit about inner struggle of a soldier (and family) as well as the human condition put in front of a war canvas? I guess you found Casablanca also to be nothing more than a propaganda film as well.
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post #29 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 10:48 PM
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Excited for this. I haven't gotten a blu-ray since Interstellar.

Last edited by Ralph Potts; 05-16-2015 at 04:51 AM. Reason: no need to quote the entire review
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post #30 of 137 Old 05-15-2015, 11:04 PM
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I'm looking forward to watch this, thanks for the review
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