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directed by Jonathan Mostow
USA 200
0

 

U-571 Product Description: A U.S. Navy Captain and his crew are just beginning to enjoy 48 hours of leave when they receive word to immediately return to duty. On a top-secret assignment, they must disguise themselves as Nazis and infiltrate a severely damaged Nazi U-boat. Once on board, they are to steal the Nazi's top-secret decoding device and sink the sub before the Germans catch on to what's really happening. Their mission is more dangerous and frightening than anything they could have ever imagined, but one which has the power to turn the tide of battle.

***

Because U-571 makes no attempt to overturn expectations, anyone who's ever seen a submarine movie will be able to second-guess the plot. But the incredibly assured Mostow - whose only other feature was the nail-biting Breakdown - has at least two aces up his sleeve: the pulse-quickening sequence where the US crew must take control of the U-boat but find that all the instructions are in German, and a depth-charge attack which cranks up the tension through the sheer use of sound alone. Talk about being right there with them.

Comparisons to Das Boot will be made - indeed, German production designer Gotz Weidner worked on both films - but U-571 is more about derring-do than claustrophobia.

Excerpt from Empire Magazine [UK] review located HERE

 

Poster

 

Theatrical Release: April 17th, 2000

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Comparison:

Universal (Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray

(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Universal

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal - Region FREE Blu-ray
Runtime 1:56:04 1:56:17
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.27 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Video codec: VC-1, single-layered

Feature: 20.3Gig
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1, English DTS Surround, DUB: French Dolby Surround

English DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio 5.1 Surround, DUBs: French, Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 5.1

Subtitles English, none English SDH, Spanish, French, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary with director Jonathan Mostow
• Featurette: "Spotlight On Location"
Featurette: "Britain Captures The U-110"
Featurette: "Capturing the U-505."
Featurette: Constructing the U-571
Featurette: Inside the Enigma etc.


DVD Release Date: October 24th, 2000
Keep Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 2.35:1

1080P Single-layered, VC-1 encode

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary with director Jonathan Mostow
• 
Blu-ray U-Control features Picture-in-Picture - Jonathan Mostow narrates a combination of the material from four of the featurettes found on the SD-DVD
 

DVD Release Date: August 26th, 2008
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 20

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Although single-layered the new Universal Blu-ray (the feature fills 20.3 Gig) has a vast increase in image quality over the 2000 Collector's Edition SD-DVD. This is notable mostly in the colors (yellow magenta skin tones on the SD) and detail which raises up a few healthy notches. Overall the new Blu-ray looks exceptionally impressive at times. Now, it's not totally perfect but it's remarkably better than the older edition. I can't see relating any better than simply viewing the screen captures (and clickable larger resolution ones) below.

Audio-wise the old SD edition had a super DTS track but this Blu-ray effectively blows it out of the water (to use an apt phrase) with its DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio 5.1 . It gets more than its fair share of action as the film is rife with an excess of explosions and underwater sound effects. Frankly, it's almost overdone, but the rear speakers get some much need exercise. I have in my notes some Benny Goodman in the earlier scene and there is an often stirring, if hammy, track by Richard Marvin augmenting the proceedings throughout. Both editions include optional English subtitles but the Blu-ray adds choices for French and Spanish as well.

In terms of supplements the dual-layered 2000 Collector's Edition SD-DVD was stacked - overflowing with featurettes and a commentary etc. Probably more credit is due to director Mostow who gets involved to a large degree. His commentary is kinda quiet but informative and useful in examining certain production choices and details.  Luckily, the Blu-ray keeps this commentary although, unfortunately, loses the numerous featurettes. In their place though is a Blu-ray U-Control  Picture-in-Picture feature - Jonathan Mostow narrates a combination of the material from four of the featurettes found on the SD-DVD. This is pretty sweet but doesn't touch on all the info from the SD supplements. I especially enjoyed the interviews with Vice Admiral Patrick Hannifin and Lt Commander David Balme relating their experiences from WWII. The Blu-ray is very good but we'll give the nod to the old SD this time. 

I'm not as big a fan of the film as some - finding it a bit contrived in terms of the performances during my first spin of the SD years ago. But viewing the new 1080P Blu-ray I was much more comfortable with the shifts and characterizations. It still has an excess of explosions for my personal taste but I thought McConaughey was excellent (and I'm kinda glad Paxton departed when he did). This Universal Blu-ray is a good one and I'm so glad I had another opportunity to examine the film. It's a bit cheesy still - but looks and sounds better than ever before.

 -Gary Tooze

 



DVD Menus / Extras
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Screen Captures

(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 


(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 

 


(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Collector's Edition
Menu: Blu-ray

 
DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Universal

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal - Region FREE Blu-ray


 





 

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Gary Tooze

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