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Jarhead, Kingdom and Green Zone Combo on Blu Ray
on December 4, 2012
I'm not one to provide summaries of movies or opinions of the plot and acting. For those, go to the individual releases and I am sure you will find them there. My reviews cover only the quality of the Blu Ray transfers for audio and video. It is not surprising that these 3 movies were all combined into a 3 pack as they all deal with the wars in the Middle East and there are many commonalities between them.
Jarhead....The video transfer is very clean without noticeable grain, no artifacts or aliasing. The film makes plentiful use of bleach bypassing and a desaturation of the colors. In many areas, the film's whites are almost blown out and that was deliberate as it clearly recreates the blazing hot sun and sand reflections of the environment. Lots of detail in the shadows and darker scenes as well. If you liked this movie, the update to BluRay video transfer is really very good.
The audio is DTS HD 5.1 and produces a clearly lossless audio experience with ambience used for the entire 5.1 sound system. While there is some quality panning and discreet channeling, there is not a whole lot of it. As I said, the ambience of the environment is evenly spread across the entire theater and, as usual, very nicely spread across the front sound stage with wide definition for the soundtrack itself .
Kingdom.....The video transfer is good not great with some degree of film like grain that is not at all distracting. Like Jarhead, the film displays desaturated colors though no where near as much as was in Jarhead. I saw no stair-stepping or artifacts and there was enough detail in the shadows to satisfy me.
The audio is also DTS HD 5.1 with your sound system used primarily for ambience with some discreet channeling to the rears but not a great deal of it. The LFE channel is used but sparsely. There are some deleted scenes, in addition to the typical commentary, that could have been included in an extended version, but not a whole lot would have been gained by their inclusion. Also included was a video timeline of the oil situation in Saudi Arabia that provided some interesting facts dating back to the '40s. However, navigating through the timeline was very time consuming and I don't think I would refer back to it.
Green Zone... This was the only one of the 3 films that I already had the Standard Definition DVD of, and the one I looked forward to watching the most. I hadn't watched it in some time so this will not be a side by side comparison, however, I don't remember seeing as much grain in the film as I had watched on the SD version. Granted, there are a great many scenes shot in dark areas and any camera has difficulty shooting in low light, but there was so much grain in some of the scenes that it was truly distracting to me. It is my guess, that they simply reformatted the film to blu ray, without any attempt to clean the video. All in all, a very disappointing transfer to blu ray.
The Audio is lossless DTSHD 5.1 and boasts a great balance between the soundtrack, dialogue and foley effects. From the very beginning you are treated to wonderful use of the discreet channels with excellent panning from rears to the front stage and around. The LFE channel gets a nice workout though out the film. The audio is clearly the star of the transfer and the best of all 3 films.
Extras include deleted scenes that could have been in an extended version, and commentaries. Unfortunately, previews of upcoming films to Blu Ray pop up on the opening menu whose space could have been more widely used to reduce the compression of the film itself. When will these companies, in their efforts to get more money, realize that people do not want to buy commercials for other products, they just want a better quality product?
The 3 films are all contained within one DVD plastic holder, each in their own place holder. The first page holds one disc on each side while the 3rd is held on the back cover. These are all single discs and I doubt there is any difference at all between them and their individual movie counterparts. Thus, having this combo saves a bit of space on the shelf, and if the price is right, is worth having despite my great disappointment in the quality of the Green Zone video transfer.
All my movie reviews are of this nature and focus only on the quality of the transfer to BluRay so check them and see if they are of help as well.
Hopefully, this review has been of some help to you in determining your purchase, hope I am on the correct path with a review of the transfer quality as opposed to providing plot summaries.