Age of Heroes (Blu-ray) [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - United Kingdom - Metrodome Distribution
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (21st October 2013).
The Film

***This is a technical review only. For reviews on the movie from various critics, we recommend visiting HERE.***

Inspired by the true story of 'James Bond' author Sir Ian Fleming's formation of one of the most important elite units in the history of the British Armed Forces.

Age of Heroes is a spectacular World War II action-thriller. Like its sister special ops unit, the SAS, 30 Commando was a new breed of taskforce created to carry out some of the most dangerous missions in the war.

Starring Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings, Black Death) and Danny Dyer (The Business, The Football Factory), together again for the first time since Nick Love's Outlaw, Age of Heroes follows the unique circumstances behind 30 Commando's inception. The unit's first highly classified smash-and-grab mission is into occupied Norway, to capture vital radar technology that will change the course of the war. But the unit find themselves in a pitched battle to reach the border against the Germans' deadly 5th Alpine Division.

Video

Metrodome Distribution have released Age of Heroes on to Blu-ray in the United Kingdom, in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The transfer is 1080p, and uses an AVC MPEG-4 codec. Overall, the transfer is kind on the eyes, but does have a couple of flaws.

The main problem for me in the transfer, was the inconsistency in shadow details. During daylight scenes, shadow detail is almost as strong as the regular details, but night scenes are a little more grainy, causing shadow detail to be less sharp. Facial close-ups look immaculate, and you can see every speck of dirt on the faces of the soldiers during close-ups. When the film moves to Norway, the more open shots do become a little soft, and some of the snowy environments did bloom on a couple of occasions. Black levels were solid, although they did crush slightly once or twice. There were no visible signs of damage to the print such as scratches or dirt, but there is a thin layer of natural looking filmic grain for the duration. There does not appear to have been any obvious digital noise reduction.

The disc is region free and the feature runs 93:34.

Audio

There is a single audio option available on the disc:
- English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

You know what you're in for from the opening battle scene here. The surrounds are almost immediately put into use and the LFE joins them. Gun shots whiz past your head, grenades explode both in close quarters and in the distance, and the yells of soldiers whittle around the speakers. The score is actually quite a timid one, quiet for the majority, but when it is utilised, it too makes full use of the surrounds. The subtle environment noises are frequent and used with great directionality, and channel separation is above average. Dialogue is clear and concise at all times, and there is no damage to the track by way of dropouts or scratches. My only minor nitpick would be that the LFE could've been used to more varying degrees and had more low-key rumble at times.

No subtitles have been included.

Extras

The only extra of note is "The History of the AU" featurette (14:33). It is a short but informative look at how the director of naval intelligence (Ian Fleming) came up with the idea to have 30 Commando, who would operate as small units, often partaking in dangerous missions behind enemy lines, including kidnapping scientists. The units were made up of a rag tag crew of safe crackers, experts and specialist soldiers. The featurette includes a number of archive photographs of the troop, and interviews with several surviving members, all of whom are incredibly relaxed as they tell us about how secrecy was the key to their success. The second half of the featurette is full of behind the scenes footage and interviews with various cast and crew. I'd have preferred to of had more information on the enormous sacrifices the original unit made than the change of pace towards the movie elements though.

Other than that, there are several start-up trailers:
- "City of War" (1:19)
- "Age of Dragons" (2:43)
- "Days of Glory" (2:02)

Overall

The Film: C+ Video: B Audio: A- Extras: D+ Overall: C+

 


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