…one of the best releases on blu-ray
Act of Valor is first and foremost a film to show the brotherhood and bond between soldiers. They are a family that have unbreakable bonds. It is also an action film. It gives a true to life look at the what the Navy SEALS do for our country with precision and tactics.
The directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh of Bandito Brothers wanted to make a film about the Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen and the US Navy allowed them to use active duty seals. While spending time with them, the directors decided to make an action about covert ops reflecting on how seals work in teams and get the job done. Using the SEALS as advisors for the film, the directors decided they needed to use the real SEALS in place of actors to capture the raw and real emotions.
It begins with a narrative from Chief Petty Officer Dave to the son of his friend. Chief talks about bravery, heroism, code of honor while images of him hand-writing the letter and a shot of a HALO (high-altitude, low-opening) jump reflects the cohesiveness of the team. The story moves to the Philippines where an American Ambassador is picking his son up from school. At the same time an ice cream truck pulls up near the school where the ambassador is picking up his son. As they run to the truck, the driver jumps out and walks away, just as the truck explodes, killing the crowd, ambassador and his child. In a mission briefing style, a map pops up to show Russia where the Chechen terrorist named Abu Shabal has fled.
A map pops up again, this time to Costa Rica and shows two CIA agents names Ross and Morales who meet to share information on a drug smuggler named Mikhail “Christo” Troykovich. Christo’s men come to Morales’ place to kill Ross and kidnap Morales to take her to an small compound by the river. Christo orders her to be tortured until she tells them what she knows.
Stateside in Coronado, California, the SEAL Team 7 or Bandito Platoon are preparing to deploy to the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) in the South Pacific. They are briefed on the CIA intel about Costa Rica, and the possible connection between Abu Shabal and Christo. The mission is to take out the camp and extract Morales.
They keep the SEALS anonymous by not revealing their real names or listing them in the credits. The situations are based on 5 real acts of valor but the filmmakers wouldn’t not say which ones were real. The realism was unlike any other film I’ve ever seen. Aside from the live operators and the U.S. Navy Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen, they actually use live fire in the film. Almost every scene where they fire a weapon, they were using real bullets. There is a scene where they team destroys a vehicle and it is being shredded in a real situation.
The video transfer is awesome. It is done in 1080p AVC and looks amazing. Within the opening 10 minutes, there is a beautiful scene of a sunset on a California beach that has great coloring. It is a compliment to the narrative that the Chief is giving. The tone in the greens within one of the area is perfect. There is also a nice grain in the film that adds a realism to the film. I’ll be honest, this is a very nicely done blu-ray.
In the transfer like the video, it was done with care and precision of a SEAL strike team (couldn’t help myself). The first thing that I noticed is the excellent use of all channels. The word “surround” doesn’t begin to explain the sound. Objects and movements flow smoothly from speaker to speaker. Also, the low bass of explosions and car engines feel as if you’re in the vehicles with them. The highs from the gunfire is very loud and clear. The sound really pops in this film.
Includes Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy (iTunes, Windows media Compatable)
Video Resolution and Codec
1080p AVC MPEG-4
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Six Deleted Scenes
Exclusive to HD Content
Interviews with Active Duty Navy SEALs
Making of ‘Act of Valor’
“For You” Music Video by Keith Urban
Making of the Music Video
Amazing Film. I can’t say it enough, it has action, guns, explosions and drama. Just the idea to use real, active soldiers is genius. No one else could portray the emotions that the soldiers and their families feel like the real thing. I also think that this is, collectively I mean, one of the best releases on blu-ray. Superb transfers of both audio and video. Overall, it is a flawless release. This is one to add to the collection and show off the home theater’s ability. Trust me, it won’t disappoint.