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A view on Hi-def DVDs by Gary W. Tooze

War Inc. [Blu-ray]

 

(Joshua Seftel 2008)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Studio:

Video: First Look

 

Discs:

Region FREE

Feature Runtime: 1:46:52

Chapters: 34

Feature film disc size: 21.0 Gig

One single-layered Blu-ray

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 14th, 2008

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: VC-1

 

Audio:
English: True HD 5.1

Subtitles:
Feature: English, Spanish and none
 

Supplements:

trailer for The Contract in HD (2:01)

trailer for King of California in HD (2:23)

trailer for The Amateurs in HD (1:57)

 

Product Description: "War, Inc." is an audaciously funny and surprisingly poignant film in the vein of "Grosse Point Blank." Co-written by Mark Leyner, Jeremy Pikser and producer/star John Cusack, the film also stars Hilary Duff, Marisa Tomei, Joan Cusack, Sir Ben Kingsley and Dan Aykroyd. "War, Inc." is a political satire set in Turaqistan, a country occupied by an American private corporation run by a former US Vice-President (Dan Akroyd). In an effort to monopolize the opportunities the war-torn nation offers, the corporation's CEO hires a troubled hit man, played by John Cusack, to kill a Middle East oil minister. Now, struggling with his own growing demons, the assassin must pose as the corporation's Trade Show Producer in order to pull off this latest hit, while maintaining his cover by organizing the high-profile wedding of Yonica Babyyeah (Hilary Duff) an outrageous Middle Eastern pop star, and keeping a sexy left wing reporter (Marisa Tomei) in check....

 

 

 

The Film:

When Politic and culture satirize themselves, what is there left for satire to do? This is the problem faced by "War, Inc.," a broad lampooning of political corruption and war profiteering co-written by John Cusack (who also stars and produces) with novelist Mark Leyner and screenwriter Jeremy Pikser, who deal with it by putting their thinly veiled Dick Cheney stand-in on the toilet and the video phone at the same time.

 

 


"War, Inc.'s" laudable antecedents are many, but then, once upon a time, it was possible to watch a movie like "Dr. Strangelove" and have an eye-opening, revelatory, even epiphanic experience. Not so much anymore, now that culture and politics are no longer cloaked in a facade of seriousness and unimpeachability.

Excrpt from Carina Chocano of the Los Angeles Times located HERE

 

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

The 1080P transfer is never really exceptional in its visual intent. It appears consistent but definitely in the lower half of Blu-ray image quality that we have seen so far. The film has some dark scenes and these are represented competently by the VC-1 transfer. Colors though, never come alive and detail is barely passable for this new format. The single-layered transfer takes up 21 Gig of space for the feature on the Blu-ray disc.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio & Music:  
A TrueHD 5.1 track is the only option and it come to life a few times with the war-zone bombing, rifle + gun shots, accompanied by general scattered mayhem noises filtering to the rear. It's not overly powerful but, in my opinion, relatively speaking, better than the image. Dialogue and the Middle eastern music used is clear and audible. Subtitles are available in English or Spanish. NOTE: As his accent is thick the 'Omar Sharif' character (played by Lubomir Neikov) has his dialogue translated in non-removable text on the screen (see above).

 

Extras:
Bare bones with only three HD trailers on my Canadian edition of this film on
Blu-ray. This is reflected in the reasonable pricing so its hard to complain. The film might actually warrant a commentary as so much appears to be going on at once some discussion of satirized events (many I'm sure I missed) would have been valuable.

 

Bottom line:
I'd like to revisit this film when I am in a better frame of mind to absorb all its minutia
. There is a lot transpiring and the dialogue can fire like a screwball comedy of the 40's. It had some cerebrally amusing parts but tended to falter in the finale a bit. I thought Hilary Duff kinda stole the show - her performance was surprisingly impressive.

Gary Tooze

October 4th, 2008

 

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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