Act of Valor Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Rating: PG-13
- Run Time: 110 Mins.
- Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
- Studio: 20th Century Fox
- Blu-ray Release Date: June 5th, 2012
- List Price: $39.99
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(All Blu-rayDefinition.com screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Act of Valor tells the story of a group of Navy SEALS sent to rescue a kidnapped CIA operative. Upon rescuing the operative, we learn of a dangerous terrorist plot against the U.S. The same team, called the Bandito Platoon and consisting of real-life Navy SEALS as well as actors, are sent back into action in hopes of stopping the attack before all hell goes down. What results is a film that does ask you to stretch the realm of believability at times; however, is still solid due to the in-your-face filming style by Directors Scott Waugh and Mouse Mccoy.
Films of this nature are usually a mixed bag. Typically they try to be too over-the-top with the action, tending to forget about dialogue delivery. While the dialogue aspect still rings true here with Valor, I found the action scenes to be quite realistic at times, almost too much so. The stylistic choices by Director Waugh and Mccoy helped to bring any sense of realism to each and every shot. Shot in a kind of 1st person mode, the blood occasionally splattering the camera, the shaking caused by random explosions, the cursing, the sweat, the darkness, and really, the terror all but add to the film’s atmosphere. Almost kind of placing us right in the middle of the action.
The film’s 2:40:1 framed, AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer is solid; however, has a few inconsistencies that keep it from the normal high marks Fox titles receive. Shot using Canon’s 5D Mark II digital still camera’s video mode, the issue seems to lie in how the camera handles the numerous high octane moments. Specifically when the camera jumps, the image tends to become a bit blurry. This isn’t overly distracting to the point where one may get annoyed, but is still worth noting. Outside of this, the transfer does hold a solid amount of detail, particularly during the brighter sequences. The darker moments do have a slight layer of noise to them; however, detail doesn’t really fluctuate. Texture details on the varying outfits worn throughout are quite impressive, particularly that of the SEALS uniforms. Flesh tones and contrast levels, while a bit pumped up at times, are accurate. All in all, minus one slight issue, this is a good effort from FOX.
While the video may have a slight issue, the provided DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is perfect. Dialogue is well reproduced throughout. Even during the heightened action sequences, the dialogue never falters. The track, being a heavy action fest, features quite the active mix. Atmosphere is top notch placing us right in the middle of the Frey. Gun shots ring left and right, explosions add in deep low end, and the film’s music completes the package giving us quite, somber tones when needed and heavy, action sounds when the action increases. Need a demo track? You have it here. Well done Fox. Well done.
The provided supplements are shown in HD:
- Director’s Commentary with Scott Waugh and Mouse Mccoy
- Deleted Scenes – 9:23 worth of scenes, 6 total. The scenes themselves are pretty forgettable not really adding anything substantial to the film.
- Interview with the Real Navy SEALS – Running 30:27 in length, this is one of the best features found here. The seven, real-life SEALS featured in the film, sit down to speak on why they decided to do this movie.
- Directors’ Introduction – At 3:12, this brief clip shows the two Directors speaking on what brought them into the gig.
- Real Bullets – A 2:13 feature showing us that real live ammo was used during filming.
- Real SEALS – At 2:32 in length, this one shows how the the filmmakers strived to make something authentic.
- Making of Act of Valor – A 5:26 basic, run-of-the-mill glance into the film’s making.
- Silent Warriors – This one, in 2:50, shows the SEALS who weren’t in the film.
- “For You” Music Video by Keith Urban
- Making of “For You”
- DVD – A DVD of the film has been included on a separate disc.
- Digital Copy – A Digital Copy of the film, playable in iTunes, is included.
The Definitive Word
While opinion may vary on the quality of Valor, one can’t deny the realism of the action sequences. FOX’s Blu-ray delivers with a mostly solid video transfer and a perfect audio mix. Round out a few decent features, and you have a title worth recommending.
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