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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

American Sniper [Blu-ray]

 

(Clint Eastwood, 2014)

 

  

  

  

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Warner Bros.

Video: Warner Video

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 2:12:39.868 

Disc Size: 40,988,615,523 bytes

Feature Size: 34,821,378,048 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.94 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: May 19th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

Dolby TrueHD (Atmos) Audio English 3901 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 3901 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB)
Descriptive Audio:

Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
DUBs:

Dolby Digital Plus Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English (HoH), French, Spanish, Portuguese, None

 

Extras:

• One Soldier's Story: The Journey of American Sniper (31:04)
The Making of American Sniper (28:34)

• Digital HD UltraViolet so you can enjoy the film on many different compatible devices (code good till 2018-05-19)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The story of Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), the most-celebrated sniper in American military history. In the aftermath of 9/11, Kyle decides to serve his country by becoming a Navy SEAL. But with each tour of duty, he grows more detached from his wife and children.

***

U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and, as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname “Legend.” However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world. Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, personifying the spirit of the SEAL creed to “leave no one behind.” But upon returning to his wife, Taya Renae Kyle (Sienna Miller), and kids, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.

 

 

The Film:

Early on in Clint Eastwood’s new film, we take a detour back to the Texan childhood of Navy SEAL superstar Chris Kyle. Here, around the family table, he informs his tough-loving pop that he had to rescue his younger brother from a bully by beating the thug to the ground. “There are three types of people,” his father responds as if imparting one of those classic, Eastwood dictums, “sheep, wolves and sheep dogs.” Sheep dogs protect the sheep from the wolves.

Years later, enraged by 9/11, Kyle enlists as a sniper and become a sheep dog like no other. The ground troops, going door to door through treacherous streets, knew him as “Legend”. The Insurgents, who put a spiralling price on his head, dubbed him “The Devil Of Ramadi”. Kyle did four tours of duty in Iraq, amassing 161 confirmed kills. And gradually this true-blue patriot fell apart.

Excerpt from Empire Magazine located HERE

 

There is a class of men in whom is contained a distilled essence of the American spirit. Sturdy, taciturn and mysterious, these men tend to come from places like Virginia, Georgia, Texas. They have a devout attachment to guns, which are, to them, Old Testament swords of righteousness. Their seriousness of purpose seems archaic. They are our warrior class. Women find them irresistible; lesser men salute, if they are wise, or scoff, if they are not.

Chris Kyle was one such warrior. As embodied by Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper,” he is imposing, determined and lethal, a Navy SEAL who did four tours of duty in Iraq, killing by the score men who needed to be killed. In the film, Kyle calls the Islamist fanatics what they are: “savages,” and in such moments, director Clint Eastwood’s overpowering war film scintillates with clarity.

Excerpt from the NY Post located HERE

 

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

American Sniper - another film shot with the Arri Alexa XT - has arrived with a strong Blu-ray transfer from Warner. The 2 1/4 hour film is on a dual-layered disc with a supportive bitrate. The film's camera is quite kinetic and the image in-motion is solid. Colors are bright and true with depth and detail in close-ups is very pleasing. Some of the dusty grays of Morocco look authentic and the film has a, realistic, military greenish hue. It is quite flawless and the Blu-ray provides a wonderfully consistent video presentation. It's no less than you might have anticipated from 1080P.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Warner use a robust Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio track at a whopping 3901 kbps. Effects are abundant and come at your from all corners of the home theater with sharp, piercing bullets, explosions and firefights. Separation is impressive - as is the bass-response depth. The music in the film is fairly simple with Clint Eastwood's own Taya's Theme performed by Gennady Loktionov, Van Morrison's Someone Like You at the wedding scene and Ennio Morricone's The Funeral. All resoundingly tight with a buoyant higher-end and subtleties apparent in the rear speakers. Warner include a Dolby Descriptive track and some foreign-language DUBs as well as optional subtitles on their region FREE disc.

 

NOTE: This is Atmos. My software recognizes this as TrueHD, but from Wikipedia: "Because of limited bandwidth and lack of processing power, Atmos in home theaters is not a real-time mix rendered the same way as in cinemas. The substream is added to Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus. This substream only represents a losslessly encoded fully object-based mix. This substream does not include all 128 objects separated. This is not a matrix-encoded channel, but a spatially-encoded digital channel. Atmos in home theaters can support 24.1.10 channel, but it is not an object-based real-time rendering. Filmmakers need to remix and render the TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus soundtracks with Dolby Media Producer."

 

 

Extras :

Extras include two 1/2 hour video pieces. I thoroughly enjoyed One Soldier's Story: The Journey of American Sniper with discussion by writer Jason Hall, producer Andrew Lazar, actors Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller as well as Clint Eastwood and Chris Kyle's widow Taya Kyle. Wonderful background on the film's evolution, the tragic circumstances of Chris Kyle's death and the extensive effort needed for the project to be brought together. The Making of American Sniper is a shade more generic with a trailer-like opening and brief snippets from the principals. There is a leaflet with a Digital HD UltraViolet code (good till 2018-05-19) for those inclined to view the film on many different compatible devices. There is also a DVD of the film and extra features included.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I thought Clint's film was flawlessly produced/directed and we see an amazing performance by Bradley Cooper - his 3rd consecutive Oscar nomination - also for American Hustle (2013) and Silver Linings Playbook (2012). I saw this when it came out and twice more on Blu-ray. It actually improves with repeat viewings. Political angst for American Sniper is generally misplaced, IMO. It is the story of a soldier. We see his perceptions and how he follows his principles. Flag waving was not an overt issue. I'm keen to read the book now. The Warner Blu-ray package is strongly recommended!  

Gary Tooze

May 2nd, 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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