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The Eagle (Blu-ray + Digital Copy)

The Eagle (Blu-ray + Digital Copy)
Studio: Universal Studios
List Price: $39.98
Street Price: $23.99
Amazon.com: $15.50
Release Date: Jun 21, 2011
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Running Time: 114 minutes

4.2 Stars (out of 5)

Synopsis

Haunted by the disappearance of his father, who vanished with the Roman Ninth Legion on an expedition into the north of Britain, centurion Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum) sets out to unravel the mystery and recover the legion's eagle standard. But in the wilds of Caledonia, the soldier and his British slave (Jamie Bell) encounter fierce native tribes and other dangers.

Starring:

Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland, Mark Strong, Denis O'Hare, Tahar Rahim, Paul Ritter, Zsolt László, Julian Lewis Jones, Douglas Henshall

Director:

Kevin MacDonald

Blu-ray Release Date:

June 21, 2011

Subtitles:

English SDH, French, Spanish

Rating

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 4.5 Stars (out of 5)

Dolby and DTS Demo Discs used as basis for comparison

● Subwoofer - 5.0 Stars

● Dialog - 4.5 Stars

● Surround Effects - 4.0 Stars

● Dynamic Range - 4.5 Stars

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: DTS 5.1, Spanish: DTS 5.1

The Eagle soars with a solid DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 presentation. The first piece of audio that impressed me was the hums of working men that filled the soundstage. Sounds of clanging swords and screams of battle pan the room from right to left. Soft ambient background sounds like rain and running water in streams are properly utilized and don't deflect from the rest of the film. The most impressive aspect of the audio in this film is it's use of bass. Heavy thuds of horse hooves, heavy thuds of battle, and booms of tribal drums all are delivered with powerful heft.

Video 4.3 Stars (out of 5)

Spears & Munsil Benchmark Blu-ray Edition used as basis for comparison

● Color Accuracy - 4.0 Stars

● Shadow detail - 4.5 Stars

● Clarity - 4.5 Stars

● Skin tones - 4.5 Stars

● Compression - 4.0 Stars

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC, Resolution: 1080p, Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1, Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

One of the first things you notice is its heavy use of shadows and darkness. Thankfully, the deep colors do not lose much in the shadows, however some small compression issues are noticeable. The film is full of earthy hues and has a few shots of some amazing colorful landscapes. A slight green tint is noticeable thought out the film, but it seams to suit the films dismal emotional tone. The clarity is clean, and is able to highlight small cracks in leather, whiskers, flaky muddy faces, and even pores on the actor's faces.

Bonus Features 3.5 Stars (out of 5)

Unrated Cut: Two versions of The Eagle are included -- theatrical and unrated

Audio Commentary: with Director Kevin Macdonald.

The Eagle: The Making of a Roman Epic (HD, 12 minutes): A featurette with cast interviews, film clips, and even a narration of the trailer.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 6 minutes): Two decent deleted scenes are available.

Alternate Ending (HD, 5 minutes): A drastically different, arguably stronger alternate ending.

● BD-Live Functionality and News Ticker

● My Scenes Bookmarking.

Movie - 3.5 Stars (out of 5)

Review

Based on Rosemary Sutcliff's 1954 novel, "The Eagle of the Ninth," The Eagle is a interesting and moody character driven film. The Eagle is like watching two movies, the first one is a Roman war film, the second one is like watching a medieval road trip heist, if such a thing exists. This film takes itself very seriously. In fact, I can't remember anyone smiling or showing a hint of lightheartedness. Perhaps this is what the director wanted, and it does seam to work with the story. The cast does a decent job of conveying the melancholy tone of the film, and Channing Tatum shows he can be a star of a film by being a stoic hero.

In essence this film is about redemption and honor. It also touches on dealing with the ghost of your father. The fight scenes are exciting, the sound and video are admirable, and the story is different that most. However, the film has a melancholy mood, and even though there are several different locations, and a large cast, the film seems small for some reason.

Posted by The HT Guys, August 10, 2011 7:09 AM

More in Category: Blu-ray

About The HT Guys

The 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.