Waltz With Bashir DVD Cover Art
SRP $28.95 1.78:1 Dolby TrueHD 5.1 SONY
Waltz with Bashir (Blu-ray)
SRP $39.95 1.78:1 Dolby TrueHD 5.1 SONY

SONY has released, "WALTZ WITH BASHIR," the unusual, bold, alternatively gripping and sometimes dull, animated recounting of the filmmaker's own experience in attempting to recount lost memories of his experience in the Lebanese war he fought in as an Israeli soldier. The filmmaker, and main character suffer from nightmares of his involvement in the prison camp massacres of Palestinians, perpetrated by Christian Phalangists, but with the implied approval of the Israeli government. In documentary-animated style, this veteran seeks out his former comrades, hoping to jolt his memory with their accounts of what happened.  One of the ingenious things the director, Ari Folman, achieves here, is a unique emotional payoff by the various characters revealing their own memory loss, scars, and sadness. Without taking a political side, "WALTZ WITH BASHIR" simply, honestly, showcases the traumas inflicted on those serving in war, and serves as another important plea for humanity to reassess what they do, leading up to war.

SONY has provided the correct 1.78:1 aspect ratio for the dvd(16:9 enhanced) and 1080p/AVC MPEG 4 blu-ray.  Although Folman's intentional color design, typically narrows the array of colors utilized, they can be quite vibrant at times. The blu-ray handles the various hues and saturation notably better than the dvd. There are numerous scenes built upon a noir-ish look, and the blu-ray also offers notably deeper blacks in these instances. The dvd is quite impressive, but it fails to impress in its format, the way that blu-ray succeeds in its format.

SONY has provided a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix for blu-ray and Dolby Digital 5.1 for dvd, with Hebrew and English soundtrack options, as well as subtitle options. While not an "aggressive" mix, surrounds are impressive when utilized. However, this is typically a front-focused mix, and separation effects are used with impact throughout. Bass effects are prominent and continuously used in ways that enhance the film's action and score, without overwhelming the audience. Both formats handle their mixes well, but the lossy mix offers slightly better dynamic range. The "English" versions are as impressive and natural sounding as the Hebrew mix.

SONY has included some extras. The audio commentary with Folman is more engaging than one would expect and really worth listening to, as he discusses the film's development, his multiple jobs as writer,director,etc. and perspective on the actual historical events.

A Q&A and some featurettes may prove worthwhile to viewers, all in 480p. Various trailers are offered in full 1080p.