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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Unbroken [Blu-ray]


(Angelina Jolie, 2014)







Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: 3 Arts Entertainment

Video: Universal Video



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

Runtime: 2:17:28.490

Disc Size: 45,812,316,925 bytes

Feature Size: 34,149,974,016 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.30 Mbps

Chapters: 20

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: March 24th, 2015



Aspect ratio: 2.4:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



Dolby TrueHD Audio English 4099 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 4099 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB)

Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB



English (SDH), French, Spanish, none



• Deleted Scenes (15:44)
Inside Unbroken: Fifty Years in the Making (5:33)
Inside Unbroken: The Fight of a Storyteller – Director Angelina Jolie (11:45)
Inside Unbroken: The Hardiest Generation (10:14)
The Real Louis Zamperini (29:47)
Cast and Crew Concert Featuring Miyavi (7:42)
Prison Camp Theater: Cinderella (6:29)
Louis' Path to Forgiveness (6:43)

• Includes UltraViolet (Subject to expiration. Go to for details.)

• Digital Copy of Unbroken (Subject to expiration. Go to for details.)





Description: Adapted from Laura Hillenbrand's ("Seabiscuit: An American Legend") enormously popular book Unbroken brings to the big screen Zamperini's unbelievable and inspiring true story about the resilient power of the human spirit. Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie directs and produces Unbroken, an epic drama that follows the incredible life of Olympian and war hero Louis "Louie" Zamperini (Jack O'Connell) who, along with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash in WWII - only to be caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.



The Film:

That story, in its human reach and cosmic scale, in its different permutations and theaters of war, has been recounted in memoirs, novels, fiction films and all too painfully true documentaries. It emerges again in Laura Hillenbrand’s 2010 best seller, “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption,” which is the basis for the movie. With some narrative rejigging, a lot of compression and one significant exception, Ms. Jolie follows the lead of the book, which focuses on the first 25 years or so of Mr. Zamperini’s life. She also sweeps through his early education as a peewee gangster, truculent son of Italian immigrants and accidental athlete who discovers he can run like the wind, but she gets to the war sooner.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE


"Unbroken" also has the advantage of having a terrific young actor, Britain's Jack O'Connell (excellent in the British indie film "Starred Up") to play Zamperini. Gifted with emotions but also possessed of a cocky physicality, O'Connell has something of the air of Jimmy Cagney about him as he portrays a man who lives by the code that "if you can take it, you can make it."

"Unbroken" gives screen credit to a whole platoon of writers — Joel and Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson — and it has chosen to start at a particularly dramatic moment, Lt. Zamperini hard at work as a World War II Army Air Corps bombardier flying with his pal, Capt. Phil Phillips (a fine Domhnall Gleeson) on a B-24 bombing raid.

Excerpt from the LA Times located HERE

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

Unbroken gets a predictably, strong transfer to Blu-ray from Universal.  The image quality shows a striking image with supportive contrast. It is dual-layered for the 2 1/4 hour film with a reasonable bitrate.  The contrast exhibits healthy black levels. You can see it was shot on digital (Arri Alexas) with some of the features of that process. The great DoP Roger Deakins discusses his style choices in THIS Variety interview and the monochromatic look at the last POW camp and the Ocean scenes, his relationships with actors and how it reflects on his work etc. This Blu-ray is flawless in-motion with some highly impress visual scenes that look amazing in 1080P.





















Audio :

The lossless choice was to go with a, lesser-heard, Dolby TrueHD option in 7.1 at a rousing 4099 kbps. I must admit it sounds pretty deep with the film supplying plenty of effects, and separations that the track intensifies through the 7.1. The uplifting score is by Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, The Ghost Writer, The King's Speech) and adds a strong dimension to the viewing experience without overplaying itself with too much intensity. It's a beautiful score - totally fitting to Unbroken. There are two Dolbby DUBs and optional subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.


Extras :

There are about 15-minutes of 10, relatively, interesting deleted scenes that didn't make the final cut for one reason or another, and a 3-part, 27-minute, Inside Unbroken documentary divided amongst the heading Fifty Years in the Making, The Fight of a Storyteller – Director Angelina Jolie and The Hardiest Generation. We get input from Louis Zamperini, his son and daughter, director Jolie, author Laura Hillenbrand and others about the man's life and the details of production. I thoroughly enjoyed the 1/2 hour piece entitled The Real Louis Zamperini focusing on details of Louis' life from his juvenile delinquency at things like his rooming with Jesse Owens at the Olympics and so much more. We also get 8-minutes of the Cast and Crew Concert Featuring Miyavi, a short video on the Prison Camp Theater: Cinderella sequence. Lastly, Louis' Path to Forgiveness runs about 7-minutes and centers on his damaged soul from his horrific experiences, excessive drinking after returning and his, eventual, born-again and 'forgiveness' status. The Blu-ray also includes an UltraViolet ability and a second disc Digital Copy of Unbroken.



I would agree with some of the critics out there that felt the film focused too heavily on the 'torture' aspects - glossing over the redemption side of the incredible story. If more realizing the inspiration - I would see it as very suitable for young boys with all the adventure aspects. Yet, I would say that Unbroken is an important, and worthwhile, film to see. Louis Zamperini's extraordinary life offers so many lessons.  Universal's Blu-ray has immense value with the loaded supplements. This is definitely a disc we can endorse.  

Gary Tooze

March 18th, 2015







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 5000 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.

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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