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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Siege of Firebase Gloria [Blu-ray]

 

(Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1989)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Bancannia Holdings Pty. Ltd.

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:39:36.136

Disc Size: 20,573,879,028 bytes

Feature Size: 20,058,021,888 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.75 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: December 8th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.82:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1635 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1635 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None (burned-in English for brief Vietnamese)

 

Extras:

• Trailer (2:02)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Veteran director Brian Trenchard-Smith (Turkey Shoot) directs this film that is hailed as one of the true unsung gems of the Vietnam War genre! Based on a true story, the film follows the struggle of a group of brave marines, led by tough as nails leader (R. Lee Ermey, Full Metal Jacket) and his sidekick (Wings Hauser, Vice Squad), as they attempt to defend Firebase Gloria during the Tet Offensive, even though they are greatly outnumbered. Siege Of Firebase Gloria is a tight, convincing war movie that delivers a studio film s worth of excitement and drama on a drive-in budget -- and war movie fans will love it.

 

 

The Film:

There's an old Chinese proverb that says, "The courage of your enemies does you honor," and that's the theme of Brian Trenchard-Smith's incredible 'Nam flick SIEGE OF FIREBASE GLORIA. It may be cliché as they get, but its more dominant elements make this a highly entertaining and exciting action/war flick.
 

[...]
 

The flick is populated with all the war film stereotypes: Hauser's Di Nardo is the on-the-edge soldier with a decent streak running through him. "Sharp eye and a good nose for trouble," and entirely capable of going mental at the drop of a hat. Ermey is the career Marine, full of insults and wisdom, a great deal of which he probably drew from his own experiences (he and Trenchard-Smith were responsible for the additional dialogue). Albert Popwell (a familiar face to fans of the DIRTY HARRY films) plays Jones, the 1st Sergeant of Gloria, and the man who dispenses words of hope and faith to the men. .

Excerpt from Exploitation Retorspect located HERE

 

In the thick of the Vietnam war, Sgt. Hafner (Ermey) is told to defend Firebase Gloria against the Viet Cong at all costs. His top man, Di Nardo (Wings) is there to back him up. But due to the dangerous and precarious situation, and the many obstacles the men face, Di Nardo begins to crack. The jaded Di Nardo’s faith in humanity seems somewhat restored by his growing love for a young Vietnamese child he rescued, who he nicknamed Peewee, but the enemy is on the move, and even idealistic medics like Flanagan (Gerard) will have to challenge their own assumptions about the world. The men and women at the Firebase are simply Americans forced to deal with extraordinary circumstances. Can they do it?

Excerpt from Comuppance Reviews located HERE

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

We get a standard single-layered Blu-ray transfer of The Siege of Firebase Gloria by Kino Lorber. It looks like you might expect a late 80's film to be exported by HD - plenty of grain, some richness in the colors (outdoor greens etc.). The aspect ratio registers as about 1.82:1 and there is a slight border on the side edges - smaller on the right and a bit thicker on the left. This had no effect on my viewing experience. The 1080P seems competent - with some film-heaviness and some decent sharpness in close-ups. The many outdoor sequences do raise-the-bar for the overall image and the darker sequences show no noise but the textures have more prominence. The source is clean and this Blu-ray gave me a watchable, pleasing, viewing in regards to the picture quality.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1635 kbps in the original English language. There are plenty of deep, intense, effects in the film - from battles sounds including gunfire, explosions, helicopters etc. It is strong without being overwhelming. The score is by Paul Schutze and it supports the film reasonably well. It all sounds consistent showing strength via the lossless. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Only a trailer for the film. Truly, I think it's a film very worthy of post-discussion.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Siege of Firebase Gloria is an exceptional war film. Director Brian Trenchard-Smith surprises me again - and I must seek out more of his work. Despite the limitations of a low budget this is intense and effective film. WOW! This film justifies his reputation for directing 'large scale movies on small scale budgets'.  The bare-bones Kino Lorber Blu-ray
gave me the opportunity to see the film in 1080P. At, currently, 47% OFF pre-order at Amazon - I'd have to see this has immense value - especially, but not limited to, fans of the genre. The Siege of Firebase Gloria is deserved of its high praise. I have to tell you - I was kind of blown away and this get a very strong recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

December 5th, 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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