Lone Survivor Blu-ray Review

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The Movie: 9/10
War is shitty. It’s a human solution to a primitive problem, there is always an asshole who wants to cause trouble for the pack/tribe/flock/group. Trouble is subjective, of course, but it generally means someone wants to suppress, control, abuse, their population with ideas based on their own religion or societal philosophy. It’s a big world and thousands of years ago maybe people on one side of the planet didn’t even know what was going on clear over on the other side, so their lifestyle, “good” or “bad” had nothing to compare it to. The thing is, people know when it’s bad, that’s where the concept of “We will intervene with your culture/country/society because we can see that your people are suffering” comes in. Lone Survivor is set inside a true story in a very modern war, with very old human complications.

One man lives through a failed secret mission to remove an enemy leader. Among the fire fight, the pain, the death, he finds compassion, conviction to an idea higher than most other human ideas, and under the most horrific circumstances comes away with a mission of his own, to tell their story. That story will have played out millions of times through the ages of humans. A small group of warriors up against a larger group of enemy combatants, facing certain doom. What happens in those moments is where this movie finds its heart and soul. I can never ever imagine what people go through in war. This movie can hint to my very safe, very secure, self the visceral, ugly, sweaty, bloody, terrifying life of a soldier under fire.

I can’t say it’s 100% true to the real happenings, it is a Hollywood movie. What I can say is it will remind anyone, whether you support or oppose or are neutral about sending American or whatever your country of origin is, troops to a different country to defend ideas and try to undo oppression and suffering, that war is complicated. I appreciate the amazing performances, and the caliber of sets, effects, all of it, makes this one of the best movies I have seen in years. It might not support your views politically. You can put aside your position on either side of this battle, just THINK about what their story represents?

Our soldiers are not fighting robots from the future. They are fighting, killing, being killed by, people. Lone Survivor also reminds us that not only is war fucked up and seemingly pointless, but that in our species we can be proud of some of the ideas that shape cultures, communities. The idea that you will take a stranger into your home, your village, your community and no matter what follows that person, whether they are your enemy or simply a stranger, you will give your own life to protect them. Wow, think about it.

Features: 7/10

  • Recreating The Firefight – The firefight in the movie is intense with a capital tense. Here we take a look at the location and Peter Berg’s meticulous attention to detail.
  • Learning The Basics – A look at the training the actors went through to get in shape for the role. Lots of real SEAL’s shouting at our leading men.
  • Will Of The Warrior – A 30 minute profile of survivor Marcus Luttrell, this covers a lot of ground in its short running time including the hesitance of Luttrell in letting the book be converted into a movie. We also get some behind the scenes stuff with Director Peter Berg.
  • The Pashtun Code Of Life – Mohamed Gulab speaks about the real life rescue of Luttrell. The Pashtun is an ancient code that the tribe who found him follow.
  • Bringing The Story To Light – Peter Berg explains how he visited all of the families and spent several days researching before actually being given the go ahead for the movie.
  • The Fallen Heroes Of Operation Red Wings – A brief tribute to all of the fallen troops involved in Operation Red Wings.
  • DVD & UV Digital Copy

Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
The cover doesn’t really do much for me. The cover of the book would have been better. I wouldn’t have this as a poster. The menu is just navigation.

Audio & Video: 9/10
The Blu-Ray presentation of Lone Survivor is quite spectacular, aside from some banding which is to be expected from the hand-held digital cameras used in a lot of the action everything looks top-notch. Peter Berg uses some spectacular shots during the film that give the claustrophobic locations a more epic scale. Black levels are on point and color reproduction is spectacular. Most of the movie was filmed in Mexico, but with the color grading done in post production you will think you are in Iraq. Lone Survivor is a reference quality transfer that is a tribute to the fallen soldiers featured in the movie.

Lone Survivor’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track really delivers and adds a lot to the immersion of the film. Bullets whiz around all the channels and helicopters whoosh into the surround field. This is one of the most incredible sounding War movies I have actually seen on Blu-Ray sit back and enjoy the ride.

Overall Score 9/10