Lone Survivor appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a strong presentation.
Except for some archival footage seen on occasion, sharpness seemed solid. The movie offered very good delineation, with nary a soft spot to be found.
No signs of moiré effects or jagged edges materialized, and edge haloes failed to appear. I also didn’t see any print flaws.
Like most films of this sort, Survivor opted for a fairly orange and teal feel, though it leaned more toward the green side of the street. The hues came across as intended and seemed positive.
Blacks looked dark and tight, while shadows looked smooth and clear. Everything about the image satisfied.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it added strong involvement to the experience. With the level of bombast expected from a movie with many scenes of combat, the soundfield used the various speakers well.
Obviously, battles proved the most involving, as they engulfed the viewer with the sounds of the setting. That side of things worked best, but other sequences also seemed quite good.
Even quieter sections placed the viewer in the action and consistently satisfied. Surround usage was pleasing throughout the film, as the back speakers bolstered the various settings well.
Audio quality was also good. Speech appeared natural, and the lines never demonstrated intelligibility problems.
Music was dynamic and lively, as the score showed excellent range and delineation. Effects were also bright and bold, with nice low-end to boot. Across the board, this was an excellent track that deserved a solid “A-”.
The package includes six featurettes, and these open with Will of the Warrior. It goes for 28 minutes, five seconds and offers notes from former Navy SEAL/author Marcus Luttrell, mother Holly Luttrell, childhood mentor Billy Shelton, writer/director Peter Berg, Matt Axelson’s parents Corky and Donna Axelson, Danny Dietz’s parents Dan Dietz and Cindy Dietz-Marsh, Mike Murphy’s parents Daniel and Maureen Murphy, former SEALs Mark Semos, John Hoffman, Brian Call, and Chris Caracci, and actors Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitsch, and Mark Wahlberg.
“Will” looks at Luttrell’s military experience as well as his involvement in the film and other production elements. It’s nice to meet some of the real-life people connected to the movie, but “Will” tends to act more as a declaration of the flick’s commitment to authenticity than anything else.
With Bringing the Story to Light, we get a four-minute, 44-second reel that includes Berg, Marcus Luttrell, Wahlberg, Foster, Hirsch, Foster, Kitsch, and producers Sarah Aubrey and Randall Emmett.
“Light” discusses the project’s path to the screen and related elements. Like “Will”, praise for the movie’s commitment to accuracy dominates and leaves this as a self-congratulatory piece.
Next comes the 10-minute, 27-second Recreating the Firefight. It provides material with Berg, Hirsch, Marcus Luttrell, Aubrey, Semos, Wahlberg, Kitsch, Emmett, production designer Tom Duffield, makeup department head Howard Berger, 2nd unit director/stunt coordinator Kevin Scott, stunt double Sean Graham, action unit DP Dino Parks,
As expected, “Firefight” examines the movie’s major action sequence. While we get a few good shots from the set, we mainly hear self-praise for how real and accurate the film is.
In Learning the Basics, we locate a six-minute, two-second program with Hirsch, Wahlberg, Berg, Aubrey, Emmett, Marcus Luttrell, Kitsch, Call, Foster, Hoffman, and Caracci. “Basics” examines actor training and delivers another show short on substance but high on self-plaudits.
Split into four parts, The Fallen Heroes of Operation Red Wings takes up a total of 16 minutes, 18 seconds. It breaks into “Michael Murphy” (3:55), “Matthew Axelson” (3:35), “Danny Dietz” (3:43) and “Tribute to the Fallen Heroes of Operation Red Wings” (5:05).
Across these, we hear from Berg, Daniel and Maureen Murphy, Kitsch, Marcus Luttrell, Donna and Corky Axelson, Foster, Cindy Dietz-Marsh, Dan Dietz, Hirsch, Michael Murphy’s brother John Murphy, and Danny Dietz’s sister Tiffany Bitz. “Heroes” looks at the men who died during the events depicted in the film.
That’s a worthwhile subject to discuss, but unfortunately, “Heroes” falls victim to the same hyperbole heavy/substance lacking tone of the other featurettes. Rather than learn much about the deceased soldiers, we hear more about the movie’s desire for authenticity – and “Tribute” just throws out pictures/names with nothing more informative than that. Wouldn’t a real tribute give us some insight about the men?
Finally, The Pashtun Code of Life lasts four minutes, seven seconds and features Mohammad Gulab, the Afghan who helped Marcus Luttrell survive along with Berg and Wahlberg. I like the moments with Gulab but the rest falls flat.
The disc opens with ads for Non-Stop, 47 Ronin, Ride Along, Endless Love, Sabotage, Scorpion King 4 and Jarhead 2. Previews adds promos for Contraband, Safe House, End of Watch, The Place Beyond the Pines, The Debt, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Schindler’s List and The American. No trailer for Survivor appears here.
As a war movie, Lone Survivor brings us a firm “B+” effort. While it doesn’t offer anything novel or especially creative, it boasts the brutal battle experience it needs to succeed. The Blu-ray offers terrific picture and audio along with a disappointing collection of supplements. Survivor breaks no new ground but it still achieves most of its goals.