Green Zone Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art and Menus: 5/10
I am not a fan of this cover image. It’s ok if you say it’s “just a man” and in the story you see him as an individual trying to do the right thing in a situation that’s very complicated. Then again, you can say it’s just Matt Damon’s face and that’s it. I would like it to say more about the story and less about the cash cow. I wouldn’t want it for a poster, if you were wondering. The menu is fine, just an image with navigation, the good old fashioned Blu-Ray way.

Features: 8/10

  • U-Control (Video Commentary/Picture In Picture) – There is a lot of information packed into this U-Control thingy. I am liking it more and more with each movie it comes with. It’s a movie based on true events, real people, and that Hollywood magic tossed in for good measure so it’s got some hefty behind the scenes action to offer up to people like me who like to know where my stories are grown, fresh, organic, stuff like that. There are some of the actual folks talking, the director, Mr. Damon, etc. It’s worth watching the movie again to get the full bits and pieces.
  • Deleted Scenes – These scenes are well done, really seemingly important stuff, but the director makes the final call and they hit the digital floor. I think it makes the movie better when you watch through these, so do it.
  • Matt Damon Ready For Action – He’s just your average everyday mega-star who wants to blend in with the guys 🙂
  • Inside The Green Zone – How do you make a place look like a place that’s currently having a war without going to the place that’s having the war? Go to Spain. The movie looks so awesome and I could swear it was in the middle of the war for real, but nope, just that good old magic movie dust, and lots of it.
  • Dbox Motion Enabled – Hmm my chair doesn’t move.
  • Digital Copy – OK
  • Pocket Blu – OK

The Movie: 8/10
Movies do something for me that I can’t describe. Unless you are like me you wouldn’t understand. I know that Hollywood twists and adds and subtracts from “based on true events” type stories. I get it. The thing is, there is at least a grain of truth in every story, and that’s what trips my trigger and the rest is just sweet bonus movie magic goodness.

Green Zone is one of those movies that’s based on some true life events, real people, real questions about hard issues surrounding the current war in the Middle East. Going in you must sort out the truth from the fiction, or the jazzed up bits at least. The heart of the story is based on a small team of soldiers in the early days of the hunt for Weapons of Mass Destruction. These were real man, doing a really dangerous, and as it turns out, questionable task of finding something that just wasn’t there.

Now, you can make a movie that’s totally on the truth and telling the tale kind of trail, however we might be better to watch a documentary for that kind of truth. I appreciate the combination of that little grain of truth, mixed with lots of research and working very hard to make it all as accurate as possible, and then also mixed with some big budget action. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you are getting an unbiased, correct version of events that have taken place. You can trust that the team did exist, they did not find WMD’s and the true guts of the story show that a man, a soldier driven by doing the right thing becomes a pillar of ethical, respectability in the middle of a confusing, complicated war in this world.

I really did enjoy this movie. It’s hard to say that about something that’s so intense and awful as war, especially so current. It is a powerful action flick if you just like that aspect. It does give you food for thought, that’s for sure. What do we REALLY ever know about wars, politics, the goings on of the world around us? Green Zone drops you some things to consider like what are the motivations of every person involved in the machines of war around the world? Are we all being manipulated for reasons we will never understand? Is it all about individuals who want power or money? This movie doesn’t answer those questions of course, or even directly attack them, but the whole of the story makes me think these things. I like that about this movie.

I won’t even single out anyone in the cast who isn’t just amazing. It’s well played, well directed, with excellent sets, amazing stunts and special effects. It’s a very well made movie, that’s something that makes it that much more gutsy. It made me think about some political, war, life, issues, that doesn’t mean it can’t be a kick ass flick. That’s a hard balance to strike, but I think Greengrass, the director, has a certain talent for this kind of story telling and I am a fan.

You can turn off your brain and watch the soldiers doing what soldiers do, or you can soak up the deeper issues, or you can do both. I choose both.

Audio & Video: 8/10 (By Ascully)
Green Zone was a bit of a flop in it’s theatrical run which seems odd to me as I enjoyed the movie a lot and it was quality from start to finish. Perhaps it will be one of those flicks that goes on to sell well on DVD & Blu-Ray. Talking of Blu-Ray Universal have given Green Zone the red carpet treatment with a 50GB two disc BD set that does not dissapoint.

Director Paul Greengrass uses the Red One HD camera and standard 35mm film to give his movie a realistic feel, I could always tell which camera was being used as the extra space on the Blu-Ray disc renders the scenes perfectly even down to the coarse grain in the low light scenes. Some people will complain that the movie looks bad I think it looks perfect and just how the director intended.

The 5.1 DTS Master audio track is everything you want from a modern day action movie. It’s aggressive, full of explosions and bass and the dialog is crisp and clear. The opening sequence got some applause from me (much to the dismay of my wife) as the explosions and tracer fire in the distance sounded so realistic. Overall I really enjoyed the movie and once again Universal have a top notch disc here to add to their growing collection.

Value: 5/10
Green Zone is a well made, impactful movie. Or, it’s a ‘popcorn’ movie (as described by Matt Damon in the extras). Either way the Blu-Ray version has some excellent extras, but it’s not one of those movies I need on my shelf. It is one of those movies I would recommend to several of the people I know, so it’s kind of a mixed bag of value. For over 25 bucks it’s too too too much, but if you could find it for say, $10-15, I’d think that’s worth it as long as you share it with a friend:)

Overall Score 8/10