MGM/FOX has released the critically acclaimed, but box-office failure, "RESCUE DAWN." Christian Bale gives a fine performance as the real-life American fighter-pilot, turned POW, while fighting in Viet-Nam. Director Werner Herzog deal with this hero previously in a documentary, but his visual style and story-telling technique brings about a wholly unique look at the war, and after so many films made about the subject, this is no easy accomplishment. Herzog's slow, deliberate pacing isn't for everyone, but those willing to give it a chance will be well rewarded with its power. The performances are all terrific, sometimes to a fault, as it's hard to sit through a film wherein one of the characters(Jeremy Davies)is so annoying to be around.
Herzog has crafted a tale in a manner that never seems "crafted." It just feels stark(at times) and honest, and that's a refreshing thing to find in filmmaking today!
MGM/FOX has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer. As in all of Herzog's films, the environment is a character unto itself, and the high bitrate provided on this BD-50 dual layer disc, allows for the surroundings entrapping these POWs to have that "pop off the screen" depth, so necessary for the film to retain its intended impact. Of course, like the theatrical presentation, the use of different footage(some stock), and lighting, causes the detail to vary in quality at times. There are instances of heavy grain changing to surprising degrees of softness. But, having just seen the film in theaters, this blu-ray presentation is completely accurate as to its original presentation. And, again, there are plenty of dazzling moments with great detail and vibrancy.
While Herzog lets images speak volumes, "RESCUE DAWN" has a surprising amount of dialogue. And, because this is a dialogue-driven film, the DTS-HD Lossless mix isn't aggressive. Still, when ambient effects are used, they create an engaging environment. Unfortunately, Herzog takes the impact out of some key moments by de-emphasizing the fine score. It actually sounds too subdued, as it also did in its theatrical presentation, preventing it from achieving its maximum impact.
MGM/FOX has carried over the extras from the standard dvd, along with "exclusive to Blu-ray" extras, including: 5 additional deleted scenes, a subtitle trivia track and an interactive memorial, are featured.