Irwin Winkler's film about the effects of the Iraq war on soldiers returning home, "HOME OF THE BRAVE," is available on blu-ray. Samuel L. Jackson and Jessica Biel give strong performances as two of the soldiers coming back, discovering new, difficult challenges, on top of what they've already been through, after being ambushed earlier in the film, while on a mercy mission.
Most of the cast is pitch-perfect, but 50 cent, is just so wrong here, or not up to the level of so many other actors that would've been better in the part, he brings scenes to a stand-still, in the worst way. Although, being fair, the script is very belabored and offers little in the way of insight or great dialogue. Irwin Winkler's passion for telling an important tale is well-intentioned. However, "HOME OF THE BRAVE" is not "BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES," or even the vastly superior "IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH." It plays more like a good episode from "DAYS OF OUR LIVES."
FOX has provided a 1080p/MPEG 2 transfer with 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The image is impressive throughout most of the film. There are a few instances where the depth is diminished and the picture falls flat, but the majority of the film offers sensational detail and accurate colors. Contrast is impressive, especially in darker scenes, due to deep grays and blacks. It's a decent blu-ray release, however, it doesn't rank up there with a "FROM HELL" or many of the "knock your socks off" transfers found on the best blu-rays out there.
FOX has provided a DTS-HD LOSSLESS MASTER AUDIO 5.1 mix. It offers better dynamic range than found on the standard dvd, with deeper bass. However, this isn't an aggressive mix, and the more subtle moments are well displayed with ambient effects benefiting from the terrific fidelity. The ambush sequence is, however, really well staged in terms of mix, and all speakers kick in with maximum impact here. However, the rest of the film is a more somber, slighter mix.
FOX has included a commentary, which has its moments of insight, especially in regards to better understanding what Winkler's intentions had been. Still, it becomes sluggish, for even the most die-hard film enthusiasts.
A trivia track is available, but on this title, it feels more like an "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT" extra.