War Horse (Four Disc Combo: Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy)
4.7 Stars (out of 5) – Rated PG-13
Adapted from a novel by Michael Morpurgo, this majestic World War I drama centers on Devon lad Albert and his steadfast horse, Joey, whose faithful bond cannot be shaken -- even when Joey is sold to the cavalry and sent off to France.
Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Peter Mullan, Niels Arestrup, Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irvine, Benedict Cumberbatch, Toby Kebbell, David Kross, Eddie Marsan, Nicolas Bro, Rainer Bock, Patrick Kennedy, Leonhard Carow, Celine Buckens
Blu-ray Release Date:
April 3, 2012
English SDH, French, Spanish
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 5.0 Stars (out of 5)
Dolby and DTS Demo Discs used as basis for comparison
● Subwoofer – 5.0 Stars
● Dialog – 5.0 Stars
● Surround Effects – 5.0 Stars
● Dynamic Range – 5.0 Stars
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, French: DTS-HD HR 7.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
War Horse is a pure thoroughbred in the audio department. Bombs explode with bombastic bass, deep rolling thunder resonates, explosions are heavy and wide, and pounding horse hooves vibrate the couch and really test your subwoofer’s power. Rear channels stay active with sounds of high pitched whistling bombs, soft raindrops, whizzing bullets, crickets in the distance, and of course whinnying horses. Dialog is handled with care, and never gets lost in the mix. It’s not a surprise to learn that this film was nominated for several Oscars including Sound Editing and Sound Mixing because it sounds extraordinary.
Video 4.8 Stars (out of 5)
Spears & Munsil Benchmark Blu-ray Edition used as basis for comparison
● Color Accuracy - 5.0 Stars
● Shadow detail – 4.5 Stars
● Clarity – 4.5 Stars
● Skin tones – 5.0 Stars
● Compression – 5.0 Stars
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC, Resolution: 1080p, Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1, Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
The colors are warm and inviting, and help feature lush green pastures, beautiful blue skies, deep green forests, and golden sunsets. Some scenes are not as clear as others but most are able to bring out the details in beard whiskers, horse hair, rocks, clothing textures, and even reflections seen in eyes. Dark colors are inky and can lose a few details in the shadows.
Bonus Features 4.0 Stars (out of 5)
● War Horse: The Journey Home (Disc 1, HD, 20 minutes): Two discussions with cast and crew including Steven Spielberg.
● An Extra's Point of View (Disc 1, HD, 3 minutes): In small video about one of the film’s extras Martin D. Dew.
● A Filmmaking Journey (HD, 64 minutes): A long in-depth look at making of the movie, interviews with cast and crew, casting the film, filming locations, visual effects, and adapting the story.
● Editing & Scoring (HD, 9 minutes): A discussion with editor Michael Kahn and composer John Williams on scoring the epic story.
● The Sounds of War Horse (HD, 7 minutes): A short video covering the work of sound designer Gary Rydstrom.
● Through the Producer's Lens (HD, 4 minutes): A collection of photographs presented by Producer Kathleen Kennedy.
Movie – 3.5 Stars (out of 5)
War Horse is a conflicting film. It’s a touching sentimental story about a boy and his horse, and it chronicles the harshness and destruction of war. Blending these two worlds together isn’t easy, even when the film is brought to life by Hollywood’s favorite director Steven Spielberg. I found the tone to be bipolar, mainly due to the sappy story about the sensitive boy and his beautiful perfect horse. This might be because the movie is based on a children’s book that was told from the horse’s perspective. When the horse had its own adventures I enjoyed the movie more and was drawn into its dirty and bleak depiction of World War I. War Horse has lots of stories to grab your attention, and all of them are designed to make you cry. Even though you may not shed a tear, when the music swells and some schmaltzy lines are spoken, you might feel the tugs of master puppeteer Steven Spielberg pulling at your heartstrings.
Posted by The HT Guys, April 23, 2012 8:50 PM
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.