Battle: Los Angeles (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
4.6 Stars (out of 5)
Led by their skillful staff sergeant (Aaron Eckhart), a platoon of gutsy Marines, including Santos (Michelle Rodriguez), Simmons (Taylor Handley) and Lockett (Cory Hardrict), fight to protect all humankind from astonishingly powerful aliens who've suddenly invaded Los Angeles.
Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Taylor Handley, Cory Hardrict, Bridget Moynahan, Lucas Till, Ramon Rodriguez, Michael Peña, Jim Parrack, Ne-Yo
Blu-ray Release Date:
June 14, 2011
English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Overall rating weighted as follows:
Audio 40%, Video 40%, Special Features 20%, Movie - its just our opinion so take it with a grain of salt
Audio 4.9 Stars (out of 5)
Dolby and DTS Demo Discs used as basis for comparison
● Subwoofer - 5.0 Stars
● Dialog - 4.5 Stars
● Surround Effects - 5.0 Stars
● Dynamic Range - 5.0 Stars
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Portuguese: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Any war movie should sound great on Blu-ray, but a war movie with aliens should sound awesome, and this movie does not disappoint. Battle: Los Angeles has a loud and dynamic sound presentation. Bombs explode with resonating bass that can be felt throughout the entire house. Bullets rip through the frame and sound like they are directed at the walls of your room. One of my favorite things to listen to was the sharp sounds of machine gun shells falling to the asphalt ground. The high pitched sounds of the whistling alien missiles were also very fun to experience. Every once in a while the dialog was difficult to here over the bombastic action, but it doesn't take much away from its spectacular audio presentation.
Video 4.7 Stars (out of 5)
Spears & Munsil Benchmark Blu-ray Edition used as basis for comparison
● Color Accuracy - 4.5 Stars
● Shadow detail - 5.0 Stars
● Clarity - 5.0 Stars
● Skin tones - 4.5 Stars
● Compression - 4.5 Stars
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC, Resolution: 1080p, Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
The film has a very interesting color palette of mostly gray and black. It's probably done to show how dreary and bleak to show the true nature of war. The muted colors are drastically contrasted when bright red and orange explosions and fire appear on the screen. This mechanic drives home the fear of destruction and the devastating power of the enemy, it seems like the battle has sucked the life and color out of Los Angeles. The clarity of this Blu-ray is pitch perfect. Every pore and wrinkle is seen on the actor's faces. Asphalt, rubble, pebbles, clothing textures, and shrapnel are also sharply presented. Several scenes take place in dark rooms and at night but rarely show any signs of loss of clarity or compression issues.
Bonus Features 4 Stars (out of 5)
● Command Control (1080p, 22:23): This interactive feature allows users to view storyboard comparisons, behind-the-scenes footage, and interview clips.
● Behind the Battle (1080p, 6:44): Cast and crew discuss the style of the film.
● Aliens in L.A. (1080p, 17:57): A detailed look at the design of the aliens.
● Preparing for Battle (1080p, 5:15): A look at the actors' physical preparations for the film.
● Boot Camp (1080p, 10:18): Cast and crew discuss the actors' "military training".
● Creating L.A. in LA (1080p, 5:45): The process of making Louisiana locations look like Los Angeles.
● Directing the Battle (1080p, 6:33): An examination of Director Jonathan Liebesman's presentations that secured him the job of directing the film.
● The Freeway Battle (1080p, 5:18): Behind-the-scenes of a key action sequence.
● Previews (1080p): Additional Sony titles.
Movie - 3.5 Stars (out of 5)
At it's core Battle: Los Angeles is a war movie first, and a Sci-fi film second. With that said, it has every war movie cliché thrown trying hard to remind you it's a war movie and tug on familiar heart-strings. Let's see, there's a sergeant forced out of retirement just for one more mission, a newly engaged officer, a rookie, a shell shocked private, and of course a sergeant with a pregnant wife at home. All of these heart warming facts about the characters are learn in only the first 10 minutes of the movie. However, I never really felt connected with the characters, so much of the movie is spent in gritty action sequences that you never get to know the characters well enough to care about them.
The movie does a good job at capturing the confusion and randomness of war by telling it from the platoon's perspective. It also has a running themes of handling the pressure of leadership and second guessing important decisions. Battle: Los Angeles is a good movie if you like loud fast action, love explosions, and like a side of Sci-fi with your war film.
Posted by The HT Guys, June 15, 2011 7:52 AM
About The HT GuysThe HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.
Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.
ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.
Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.