"GLORY" is one of those special films that demands to be in every blu-ray collection! Not only is it an important film, it's a great film!
There are just too many reasons to view this film to mention all of them here, but we'll try to list a few.
From the opening scene at the battle of Antietem Creek, we know we're in store for something we've never seen before. Much like Spielberg achieved with "SAVING PRIVATE RYAN," "GLORY" completely de-glamorizes war, while paying homage to the poor souls destroyed by it. Within the first few minutes, we see a man's head completely blown apart by a cannonball. It's shocking and powerful. We see things just as the film's main protagonist, Robert Gould Shaw, sees things, and it's alternately moving, shocking, and unforgettable. But, then like that scene, there are plenty of unforgettable moments in this film. Virtually any and every scene featuring Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, and Andre Braugher, is stirring. Broderick, as the real-life Shaw, is also quite good. And, to his credit, it's hard to fully appreciate the level of fine acting involved, because he's so much more restrained in his performance than we're used to seeing. It's none-the-less, a fine job. Although Director Ed Zwick has made some other memorable films, none have been as perfectly executed as "GLORY." "GLORY" deserves to be ranked up there alongside "SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION" as examples of "Great" American cinema, wherein no scene could have been improved upon. Zwick manages to make the impact of history feel relevant today in a manner few films have been able to do. Numerous scenes, taking place over 140 years ago, retain the historical accuracy of the period, while still allowing for the human drama to transcend time. Right before a final battle, Shaw takes a brief moments to take in his surroundings on the beach. We see as he sees, ...the birds flying, the image of the sky,...the reflections of a man taking in the beauty of the natural world around him, and all that life has to offer, and that's worth living for, before he's about to meet a likely death. It, like the rest of the film, is unforgettable! DON'T MISS THIS!
SONY has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray. Although colors can appear restrained at times, and grain is present throughout most scenes, "GLORY" presents a film-like experience from beginning to end. While never rich, colors do feel natural, and, save for a few scenes, detail is outstanding.
SONY has provided a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix. It's a great mix, and surrounds along the occasional LFE effects, enhance the film's environment, with a rare emotional impact. It's arguably James Howard's best score, and it achieves what great scores intend to! It's difficult for one's eyes not to swell up at certain points wherein the music swells, but without ever feeling overly sentimental and manipulated. While battle scenes benefit the most from the terrific dynamic range offered, even quieter moments, as with the scene with Shaw on the beach, are as equally stunning to hear and see.
All of the extras from the two-disc dvd collector's edition have been carried over. A great commentary with Zwick shouldn't be overlooked. An interactive map, allowing for viewers to pinpoint various plots on the map for text and video notes about the Civil War, is really terrific. A featurette, documentary(narrated)by Freeman, as well as deleted scenes are all worthwhile, although only offered in 480p.