H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Glory [Blu-ray]

 

(Edward Zwick, 1989)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Studio:

Theatrical: Columbia / TriStar

Video: Sony Pictures

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:02:14.327

Disc Size: 43,452,580,572 bytes

Feature Size: 34,635,988,992 bytes

Average Bitrate: 37.78 Mbps

Chapters: 33

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 2nd, 2009

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1668 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1668 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
DUBs: Dolby TrueHD Audio French 1550 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1550 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps)
Dolby TrueHD Audio Portuguese 1612 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1612 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround

 

Subtitles:

English, English (SDH), French, Portuguese, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Commentary by director Edward Zwick
“The Voices of Glory” (11:18 SD)
“The True Story of Glory Continues” (45:18 SD)
“Making of” featurette (7:36 SD)
Two deleted scenes
Blu-ray exclusive “virtual battlefield” map (HD)

Trailer Air Force One (2:30 HD)

Trailer The Patriot (2:45 HD)

Trailer Black Hawk Down (2:29 HD)

Trailer The Legend of Zorro (2:25 HD)

Trailer Waltz With Bashir (2:05 HD)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The heart-stopping story of the first black regiment to fight for the North in the Civil War, Glory stars Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman. Broderick and Elwes are the idealistic young Bostonians who lead the regiment; Freeman is the inspirational sergeant who unites the troops; and Denzel Washington, in an Oscar-winning performance (1989, Best Supporting Actor), is the runaway slave who embodies the indomitable spirit of the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts.

 

 

The Film:

Glory is, without question, one of the best movies ever made about the American Civil War (a.k.a. "The War Between the States"). The reason isn't just the way in which Kevin Jarre's script illuminates a frequent oversight of history books, nor is it the fine acting or epic feel that director Edward Zwick achieves on a modest budget - although those elements are part of Glory's effectiveness. Rather, it is the way in which the filmmakers weave an impressively large historical tapestry without ever losing sight of the characters that make up the individual threads. Glory has important things to say, yet it does so without becoming

For the most part, the official history texts written about the Civil War ignore the participants of African Americans in the war effort. In fact, nearly 200,000 fought for the North, and, at one point, the South issued a declaration that any black man taken prisoner in a Union uniform would be summarily executed. Glory tells the story of the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the "trial balloon" for black soldiers. Commanded by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick), the regiment was comprised entirely of African Americans - some of whom were ex-slaves - willing to fight for the North. The U.S. government was undecided about how to use black soldiers. At first, the army intended to use them only for manual labor, but, later in the war, some saw combat.

Excerpt fromJames Berardinelli's review at Reelviews located HERE

 

 


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

Glory doesn't appear to achieve a high level of detail in 1080P but I believe this is more in response to how the film was shot than in the transfer.  Despite softness on the Blu-ray this is still quite superior to the older SE DVD edition.  The disc is dual-layered with almost 35 Gig for the feature alone.  Grain is apparent to varying degrees dependant on the specific scene and I don't relate the less detailed, but consistent, image to any DNR manipulation. There is a bit of depth and colors seem balanced. The more I watched this Blu-ray, the more the visual appearance grew on me. The textured look suits the film perfectly and I ended up impressed overall.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The True HD track is not particularly strong at 1668 kbps but still certain battle scenes project a decent to impressive bass and even James Horner's score is exported with a crispness and underlying depth not noted in the DVD rendering. While this is certainly not a demo mix - this track supports the film the absolute best that I have ever heard it. There are 3 foreign language DUBs (2 of then on True HD) and there are optional subtitles. My Momitsu identifies this as a region FREE Blu-ray release playable on that format's machines worldwide. 

 

 

 

Extras :

Aside from some HD trailers and an interactive map (with Civil War historians, Dr. Stewart Davenport and Dr. Roger Ransom) the supplements appear to duplicate the SE DVD with the informative Zwick commentary. He's quite good to listen to and we always appreciate input from the director on his own film. There are 2 deleted scenes and an hour's worth of 3 featurettes - all in SD 1.33:1. These offer something especially the 45-minute The True Story of Glory Continues”.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This is a fabulous film and one I'm so glad to have on Blu-ray. Purchasers shouldn't expect a glossy, pristinely detailed appearance - but it does look true and faithful to the theatrical. The audio supports the film well and there are bountiful, if mostly repeated, extra features. The transfer is not reference but it gives, by far, the best home theater presentation of a tremendous historical and impacting cinema experience. What more could films fans want? 

Gary Tooze

May 27th, 2009

 

 

 


 

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 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 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:

Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player (firmware upgraded)

Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player (firmware upgraded)
Sony DVP NS5ODH SD-DVD player (region-free and HDMI)

Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

Gary W. Tooze

 

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