L  e  n  s  V  i  e  w  s

A view from the Blu (-ray) on DVDBeaver by Leonard Norwitz


A Little Background     Openers     


    Modus Operandi     The Scorecard:     

Emotive Connection      Audio     Operations    Extras     The Movie     Equipment




We Are Marshall BRD

(McG - 2006)





Studio: Warner (USA) / Warner Home Entertainment (USA)



Aspect ratio: 2.4:1

Feature film: 1080p

131 minutes

Supplements: SD

1 disc



English: Dolby True HD 5.1

English DD 5.1

French: DD 5.1



English, French and Spanish



•  Featurette: Legendary Coaches

• Ad for West Virginia

• Theatrical Trailer


31 chapters

Standard Blu-ray case

Release Date: September 18, 2007



We Are Marshall ~ Comment

What is it about football that makes movies – especially when based on actual events about overcoming adversities – so irresistible?  In the last couple of years, we've had Remember the Titans, Invincible, Gridiron Gang and, as if rushing for a bus about to leave for freedom, We Are Marshall.  Baseball and Basketball movies don't quite score in this respect.  Even with the venerable Hoosiers, the challenge was more the coach's more than the team's.  The game itself wasn't so much the issue.  I suspect it's the fascination we have with big men - their fall and their redemption - that makes their stories so compelling.  And, in that regard, what could be more compelling than football – except, perhaps, war.




Not much to add to the DVDBeaver review of the SD, except that I enjoyed it less than Gary.  Uplifting, yes, but shallow.  I found McConaughey's persistent talking out of the side of his mouth extremely distracting, especially in that he applies so much energy to it when he gets worked up, which is often.


Gary Tooze, our fearless editor and publisher, had reasonable expectations that this Blu-ray would make things better, image-wise.  I'm not so sure.



We Are Marshall  ~ The Score Card


The Movie : 6

The true story of how a high school and the small West Virginia town that embraced it, resurrects itself after its football team is wiped out in a plane crash.  (Again, see the SD review.)


Image : 7 (6~7/9)

The score of 7 indicates a relative level of excellence compared to other Blu-ray DVDs.  The score in parentheses represents: first, a value for the image in absolute terms; and, second, how that image compares to what I believe is the current best we can expect in the theatre.

Ultra high contrast, oversaturated, especially green and yellow (see screenshots – these are not unmanipulated), blown-out highs – to what point, I couldn't relate.  I assume this is what we would have seen in the theatre, more or less.










Audio & Music : 9/8

The one place quality scores for this DVD is in the audio quality.  Even the dialogue was clearly audible in those crunching testosterone moments.  Still, I found that the fullness and impact of the audio did not complement the video so much as work against it: seemed like I was in two different movies.




Operations : 6

One thing I appreciate about Warner Home Video, especially as compared to Disney, is how directly we get right to the business at hand. The menu is straightforward, simple, easy to understand. Since there are few extras, there's not much opportunity for creativity here, nor chance to lose our way.  On the other hand, the decision to begin the feature with an ad loses a point or two.


Extras : 4

There's a half-hour featurette titled "Legendary Coaches: How Coaches Overcome Adversity" which doesn't nearly deliver on its promise.  Elsewhere, when you hit Play from the menu, before the feature begins you will get a few minutes of an ad for the state of West Virginia, introduced by Straithairn and McConaughey and the governor.  It was enough to make me want to vomit.   Both extras are in low resolution, despite that "Legendary Coaches" is 1080p.  The ad, titled "Marshall Now," is about the worst 480 image I've seen from a source dated past 1910, and is almost unwatchable on a large screen.



Recommendation: 5

The image decision struck me as arbitrary (though I gather this is about what it looked like in the theatre), and got in the way of my appreciation of the story and enjoyment of the game.  The DVD is maybe worth a visit – maybe - but I can't imagine wanting a replay.  I wouldn't recommend "upgrading" to the Blu-ray, but if you want the movie, this is as good a way to get it as any.

Leonard Norwitz
September 23rd, 2007





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