UNIVERSAL has released one of their best hd-dvd presentations in a while, "BORN ON THE 4th OF JULY." The oscar winning film is well worth seeing, let alone owning. Adapted from the autobiography of Viet-nam war vet turned activist, Ron Kovic, it's one of the best films about the war, but also a great drama. Stone still punctuates some scenes with a hammer, but most of the film is beautiful and powerful. The first 15 minutes of the film is better than most entire films! Tom Cruise is magnificent, but the whole cast is great here as well.
UNIVERSAL has released this film several times on dvd, but the hd-dvd is by far the best looking presentation. UNIVERSAL has provided a 1080p/VC-1 transfer with the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio. In comparison to some of their other recent hd-dvd catalogue titles, "BORN ON THE 4TH of JULY" stands out far above the rest. Even with a couple of scenes that have poor shadow detail, the majority of the film has images that pop off the screen with incredible depth. Fleshtones look perfect and contrast is generally impressive.
UNIVERSAL has provided a Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix. It's actually a notable improvement over the recently remastered 5.1 dvd. As good as that dvd was, this hd-dvd offers better bass and a more dynamic range. Surrounds are more engaged and realistic.
UNIVERSAL has carried over the same extras available on the recent dvd special edition, including a great audio commentary with Oliver Stone.