13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi Blu-Ray Review

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The Movie: 9/10
War, hate, killing, it’s all ugly. I really don’t think we’ll ever figure that out as a species. The endless supply of hatred, anger, spite, selfishness, it’s chronic. People blame one thing or another for violence in certain parts of the world, but let’s be honest, the individuals who do the shitty stuff, they are to blame and they are the ones to be afraid of when we all travel around this planet. It’s fair to say that this movie is about the cost of our relentless battle with ourselves. The men and women who stand strong at the front line of the fight, where they are part of meat grinder of sorts, an inevitable place to die, or be injured.
In Benghazi on that terrible day 4 men who were hired to be a part of protecting an ambassador stood that line against some amazing odds.
The movie tells us about the events leading up to the attack on the Ambassador’s location, the local militia/rebels/assholes who decided they wanted to make an example of someone. It’s portrayed in a way that makes me think even more about the individuals who join ranks of a violent movement. They are not all stupid or puppets on strings, they are men and women who choose to follow someone into that meat grinder and cause more pain and suffering than they are under the impression they are already suffering.
Directory Michael Bay does an excellent job of wrangling all the different pieces on this dangerous chess board. The government bureaucracy, the men working to protect the bureaucrats, the “hidden” CIA location, the local citizens who have nothing to do with the whole thing, the police, the government and military of that country, and the assholes with their “cause”. It’s a lot to take in but the way he tells the story it’s fluid and makes sense and is compelling from the moment it starts until we are exhausted and angry and sad and spent from the whole of it.
The cast is amazing. There is a bit of chest thumping, but I think that comes with the territory when you are talking about the personality types who endeavor to protect the rest of us from the troublemakers of the world.
The music is moving and balanced and it drives the story and the anxiety right along with the events of that day.
I know it’s a Hollywood telling of a true event, and a recent one at that, but I know how to pick out the dramatized stuff and the nuggets of “holy shit that really happened”. I didn’t feel manipulated to go to a political stance on the whole thing. I just felt for the people who lived through it, and the ones who didn’t and it made me think more and more about how we have all stayed alive for hundreds of thousands of years…it’s boggling, and I’m not sure we should have when I really really think too deep about it all.
That’s what a good movie does for the mind, it explores more than is on the screen, my mind that is. If I think of that day and the people and their terror and injuries and deaths, it makes me shutter just like all the other violence in our species does, and then I want to find a way to not become part of the problem.
Overall it’s an awesome action/thinking movie that tells us a different view of a very public, very debated, very politicized event. You can watch it with all your preconceived notions and prejudices and views, but let it all go and just think of those folks who didn’t sit watching it in a movie, they lived it.

Features: 7/10

  • For The Record: Finding The truth Amid The Noise (8 Minutes) – A short look at the events leading up to September 11th in Libya. Michael Bay also has some input on why this project became very important to him.
  • Uncovering Benghazi’s Secret Soldiers (27 Minutes) – Interviews with the real people behind the story. Also included here is a look around the many sets used in the film and interviews with the principle cast.
  • Preparing For Battle: Behind The Scenes Of 13 Hours (27 minutes) – A proper look at the making of the film, if there is one thing I learned here it’s Michael Bay is a taskmaster and has amazing energy when on set.
  • Operation: 13 Hours Premiere (3 Minutes) – A look at the movies premiere here in America.
  • In Memoriam (3 Minutes) – A look at the soldiers who died during the incident.
  • UV Digital Copy & DVD

Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
I am not impressed with any cover of this story that is anything short of honorable…and this is just kind of blah. I would have a poster about this movie that represents the movie better.

Audio & Video: 10/10
As with all Michael Bay movies released on Blu-Ray 13 Hours features a cutting edge transfer that is striking and prolific. Paramount use the AVC codec to produce a crystal clear 1080P image that really blew me away. The whole film has an acid green/orange tone similar to what Bay used in Pain & Gain so it is a stylistic looking film but still looks great. Bay used digital photography so things look crisper than most of the movies he did on film. I saw no signs of banding or ringing, there are some instances of noise in darker scenes but they are digital camera related.

Get ready for one of the most involving Dolby Atmos tracks to date. This track is full rich and deep and when the S hits the F later in the movie things get very LFE focused. Dialog clarity is superb and anchored to the front speakers this is an involving track that really ups the tension of the film.

Overall Score 9/10